Hi, welcome to String Revolution. I'm Léan, I live in Dublin with my husband and two little boys, and I am a dangerous stringy subversive.
My job is to radiate my creative truth, and to help you radiate yours. I create, without exception, every day. I write here when I have something to say.

(learn more about me).

Craft Bubble

Altered image of bubbles

I live in a bubble. I mean, we all do, obviously, and the Internet allows us to accentuate the effect as much as we feel like. But really. Big bubbly bubble.

It’s kind of nice to be reminded of that, when it happens in a gentle way.

Take the other week. I’ve posted about my recent trip to London to see the Quilts 1700-2010 exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

We flew over the previous day, and I had dinner with my cousin, after which we met a couple of her friends for a drink.

“What brings you to London?” asked one (an Irishwoman a few years younger than me).

“I’m here to see the quilts exhibition in the V&A,” says I.

“Ah, what are quilts, actually?” asked the Frenchman. My short answer didn’t satisfy him, so I riffed for a while about the techniques, thrift, art, and so on. (It emerged that he’d confused the word with “kilts” – an easy mistake to make, if you’re a French speaker.)

They both seemed very impressed that I’d come all the way to London to see an exhibition about quilts. Then I explained that I was there with the Irish Patchwork Society.

The woman’s eyes widened. “The Irish Patchwork Society? There’s an Irish Patchwork Society?”

“Um, yeah,” I said, a little bemused.

“Wow, that’s mad!” she said. “And … where did you hear about it?”

I think if I’d said, “A raven appeared to me in a dream, and enjoined me to seek out the Auncient and Worshipful Company of People who Cut Up Perfectly Good Fabric Only to Sew it Back Together,” she wouldn’t have been entirely incredulous. In her bubble, it was just that outré.

But I played it straight. “I think it was at the Knitting and Stitching Show a few years ago.”

Her jaw dropped. “The Knitting. And Stitching. Show.”

(I thought about throwing spinning, weaving, tatting, bobbin lace, and luceting into the mix for good measure, but refrained.)

I don’t want to give the impression that she was being rude – she wasn’t, at all. It was simply clear that my bubble and her bubble share barely any territory, at least when it comes to what we consider normal ways of spending time.

Perhaps she lacks a nerdish streak. It’s my experience that nerds of all stripes are apt to understand the nerdishness of others – or at least to be relatively unfazed by it.

You craft nerds, for example, will positively swoon when I tell you that as well as seeing the Quilts exhibition, I had the unspeakable privilege of visiting the textile stores, with my cousin (a different one), who works at the museum.

I’ll tell you all about that very soon.

4 comments to Craft Bubble

  • Ailbhe

    That’s hilarious. My mum loves the Knitting & Stitching Show. I must buy her tickets one year.

  • Emma

    You are right, I will swoon. I may already have swooned. The Quilts exhibition, being 12,000 miles away from me, is unattainable, but please do tell about the textile stores. Soon.

    Sigh. Somehow the Sydney Quilt show seems just a bit ordinary. I would love to have seen quilts that were older than my country.

  • Oh, I totally love this. I live in a bubble too, and I’m just becoming aware of it. I mean – for instance, I just joined a couple of choirs. And apparently, the best way to find out about music events that you didn’t even know about is to talk to music people.

    Seriously. There is so much going on in my local area that I just hadn’t even imagined and it’s amazing.

    And I might have to check out that exhibition at some point, if it’s still on.

  • leannich

    @Ailbhe: I love the Knitting & Stitching Show too. Going on my own has been part of my birthday present for the last few years.

    @Emma: Heh, whereas to me, the thought of the Sydney Quilt show makes me sigh enviously 🙂 Australia seem to have a pretty amazing quilting community!

    @Lucy: Yes, the choir bubble is very evident where I live too. The exhibition is well worth a visit, if you’re into textiles at all – it’s on until 4 July, IIRC.

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