Sometimes creativity “just happens.” A random spark igniting a flurry of experimentation and invention. Marty Carroll, full-time nurse and sometimes seamstress, talks about the inspiration and process of creating fabric bowls.
TH: For how long have you sewn? Who taught you to sew?
MC: I think my mother introduced me to sewing. I can recall hand sewing clothing for my troll dolls out of felt from the 5&10 store. Later, my Aunt Alice showed me more sewing tips and helped me to complete a project when my sister and I spent some time staying with our aunt and uncle.
My godmother also sewed, and I used to spend occasional weekends with her. I suspect that she helped me to sew, although I have no actual memory of that. In junior high, I took Home Ec as did most other female students at that time.
Since then, I’ve fiddled about with sewing, off and on. I’ve had a machine of one kind or another even when money was tight.
TH: Thinking back to the fabric bowl project of 2008, I know you said your sister sent you a book and you made quite a few bowls after that. Can you remember what it was about the making of the bowls that got you excited? Was it making 3-D shapes? The colors?
MC: The book about making fabric bowls appealed to me because it presented a creative challenge. And it also allowed me to buy more fabric and thread with colors I might not otherwise use. I sewed in odd bits of yarns that I had on hand. I felt I could justify buying thrift store ties to use on the project as well.
After I had made several bowls, I realized I had nothing to do with them. But I was at least able to give them to office mates as Christmas presents.
TH: When you are not interrupted and are sewing, what do you feel like?
MC: I enjoy the making of items because it gives me a project to work on. Something new. A challenge.
At the time I was making the bowls, I was working, and had children to care for. The bowls were a project that was for me–mine–but, I was still around and available if the kids needed something.
Sometimes sewing things is relaxing. Sometimes it’s frustrating. With the addition of a tablet next to me to watch a favorite program or movie, I’m quite pleased to be working away on a project, as long as I have the light to see.