Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Inappropriate Urges

I have a confession. Sometimes I have extremely inappropriate urges in social situations. I will miss parts of conversations because I'm doodling in my head. I cut people off mid sentence to stop and take a picture of something that "should be a quilt". Frequently in the midst of a larger, and louder gathering I will have the intense urge to go to my studio and just quilt.

The more time I put in the studio, the stronger and more frequent the urges becomes. I practice background fillers both in my head, and by "drawing" with my finger on my thigh/the table/etc.
I'm fairly certain it's become an addiction. There are few things that give me as much joy as seeing the dimples and puffiness of a densely quilted sandwich of fabric.

The other inappropriate urge, is the need to touch anything that looks like a good textured fabric. It's all well and good when your friend is wearing a shirt that looks touchable - but the situation is awkward when you're in line at JoAnn's. I've actually asked people if I can touch a fabric on their shirt/coat/purse. I try to limit asking for this to places where it's likely the victim person will understand; JoAnn's, quilt stores, quilt shows, etc.
Ask any of my best friends and they can tell you that shopping in a store with fabrics/clothes is amusing. If I see something that looks interesting. I will pretty much always go touch the fabric. Sometimes petting is necessary. Are heavy petting sessions with fabrics in public legal?
I can't be the only one right? Surely some of you can relate! (Please leave a comment and 'normalize' me!)
As an aside, I've started a new project just for myself. I'm using the book "A Light in the Attic" by Shel Silverstein to do a long running series of 12" blocks. If you've not read it, it's a book of children's poems by Shel Silverstein. I was actually looking for book "The Missing Piece" by the Shel at the behest of Teri Lucas, but they were sold out!
I'm planning to do my own drawn interpretation of each poem on the blocks. Not sure if they will be separate finished blocks, or if I will piece them together in the ends for bigger quilts.
Anyone want to get the book and try the same? Here's my first (crappy) block for the project:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. I had to laugh out loud at your confession. I am a knitter, and I do the same kinds of things you describe--always want to touch knitted garments I see and have to hold back; very often I do ask if it's handmade so I can at least talk about knitting with the wearer! I often fantasize about "how I could make that scarf." My female students (I teach college) come to know I will always comment on their scarves and ask to touch them! Sometimes when I'm sitting on the bus or walking behind a woman with long hair I start to see it as a skein of yarn. This can be quite distracting when it is on the head of one of my students while I'm trying to teach! Thanks for the humorous look at our "addiction."
    --Betsy Barnum, Grand Forks, ND

  2. When I was little one of my sisters had big furry slippers. I used to follow her around laying by her feet so I could pet her slippers. This is a life long obsession with me. You are definitely not alone. Love Shel Silverstein too, can't wait to see all your blocks. I like the idea of interpreting poetry.

  3. Oh how I can relate to your distraction. I have to try very hard not to do this in any store other then a fabric / crafting related one since I have calluses on my fingers both from quilting and from being a diabetic ( lots of poking going on there ) so when I want to really get an idea of how something feels I tend to use my face and cheeks as a better gauge of texture ( my fingers make EVERYTHING feel scratchy ) . SO attempting to rub my face on a stranger is a VERY awkward situation !

  4. I've been touching fabric since I was a kid. My mom thought I had a serious problem and actually put me in therapy for a few months (which did more harm than good!!!). I still can't stop, if it looks nice or textured I. Must. Touch. You think I'd have grown out of it by now but nope, I just grew up to be a quilter! :D Also your block isn't crappy. A light in the attic was my favorite book as a kid, I still own it. If I had time, I'd totally join in on your fun!

  5. I'm considered reasonably normal by my friends, but I've been a fabric toucher since childhood. My dad had a camel hair robe belted with a braided silk cord with tassels. Oh my, did I love to touch that, and to play with the tassels. My mom had a sealskin coat (not considered bad in those days), and it was the softest thing I'd ever felt. I would practically hang on her when she and my dad went out for the evening and she was wearing the coat. To this day, I can't resist touching fabric of any kind that looks interesting, or looks like it would be soft and silky to the touch. Fortunately I've never been smacked upside the head while doing this. LOL :D Love ya', Steph. EL

  6. Have you been following me? How did you know about my obsession? LOL! I have always been a tactile person. My Dad was a woodworker and stroking finely sanded wood is a delight. I remember watching him sand and then softly run his hand over the wood, sand some more, until the wood was satiny smooth. Nothing is safe. Driftwood on the beach, a strangers sweater, bark of a tree, all delight my greeding little finger pads. This weekend I went to a fiber show. There was handspun yarns, rovings, and fleece - tactile overload!I touched every fiber shown. I knit/crochet occassionaly and rarely buy yarn. Somehow a cute cupcake of sensual yarn made of silk/baby alpacca/cashmere found its way into my bag. When asked what I was going to make, I simply said - nothing. I am going to stroke the yarn, the dandelion puff softness - pure joy!

  7. You sound completely normal to me.