Last Saturday evening was an interesting night. Totally not what I expected would give me inspiration for writing this sewing blog. Keep reading and you’ll see where I’m going with this.
Saturday evening, during his work lunch break, my husband posted David Draiman’s (DISTURBED) version of Simon and Garfunkel’s song, “The Sound of Silence” on his Facebook page. Having grown up in the 70’s listening to that song, having it as part of our band concerts in high school, it is very familiar. S&G made some of my favorite songs.
I grew up with music in my life. My parent’s liked and played 33 LPs of those of their era like Glenn Miller, Dean Martin, and my father’s favorite, Harry Belafonte—especially the “Banana Boat Song” . My dad could not carry a tune in a bucket, but every time that one came on he would sing along loudly and enjoy himself immensely.Roy Hamilton
My favorite song from their era is Roy Hamilton’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. Every time I hear it, it brings tears to my eyes. In fact, I’d probably have to say it is my all-time favorite song.David Draiman-DISTURBED
Our children’s childhood included groups like Disturbed and Five Finger Death Punch. I would listen—with my ears closed. I didn’t like the music. For me, “Chicago” was about as close to “metal” as I liked. They also grew up listening to Michael Jackson (we all loved the “Thriller” album) and Disney music—variety at its best! So, because I didn’t like what the kids played, I had a pre-conceived notion about the groups. However, Mr. Draiman surprised me with his S&G rendition—I must have listened to it three or four times. It is so powerful and so stirring. I could hardly believe this was the same person I had closed my ears to.
While listening, I looked at the side bar of YouTube videos and noticed he did an interview about his experience producing the song. I learned he is a classically trained artist—that was not something I expected him to say. The interview was very interesting and I learned a bit about him, and how his singing the song came about and that it was very much out of his comfort zone. I also learned it has helped him reach a new audience with his music (i.e. those in my age group) who may not otherwise pay any attention to his talents.
So, how does all of this relate to sewing? Many times we stick to our comfort zones whether music or sewing. We don’t explore. We don’t reach out to those who are different than us and learn about how they view the window of their world through their art. In fact, it may be we are so “traditional” that we dismiss them without even looking. Maybe we don’t reach out because our discomfort may be we think we have nothing in common with them or we won’t know how to converse with them, when in fact, our common denominator is the basics of a sewing machine, a stitch, and notions. When we reach out and learn, we find truly unexpected treasures. By sewers going out of their comfort zone of designing and exploring we, like Mr. Draiman, may find new audiences for our sewing and for our groups such as ASG.
I would say I’m a “classically trained”, very technical sewer. I learned by the old-school rules of one way to do it, do it right or rip it out. In some ways I think this has stymied my creativity. Though I have desired for many years to be more of a “designer”, what my background and schooling taught me were things so that I can very accurately analyze garments or project and duplicate them. In turn, it taught me to gain inspiration and my own twist. It taught me that fabric can give me inspiration and experience has taught me what types of garments would work well in what fabrics and which techniques need to be used to execute a design. I admire the new sewers of today who throw rules out the window and just create for the sheer joy of the process–just like my Dad’s immense pleasure at singing at the top of his lungs just because he enjoyed a song. He didn’t care if he was off key! He knew the words, enjoyed the melody, and the lyrics tickled him. I think it is akin to the same joy new sewists find when they sew by their own rules.Urban Threads Embroidery Designs
My background in machine embroidery is what I would consider, again, classically trained. And even though I like traditional and heirloom embroidery, I’ve really come to love some of the edgy stuff like “Urban Threads” sells. Their colors, execution of designs, and artistic expression intrigue me and I have an appreciation of their art. I have purchased a number of their designs so I can study how they sew.Tula Pink’s Herringbone Quilt
Quilting is the same. Though I consider myself only slightly better than what one would call a novice quilter, I gravitate toward very traditional quilting. By watching quilting shows I’ve come to appreciate the “Modern Quilt Movement” and some of the new designers who express themselves in non-traditional ways. Tula Pink comes to mind. I’d love to make our daughter a quilt but she certainly isn’t the “traditional quilt” kind of gal; however, Tula Pink’s “Herringbone” quilt might fit the bill. Our daughter, who loves Disturbed, also loves black and white, she likes things simple and uncluttered, and she likes clean lines. I like herringbone patterns so I think I would like the experience of making the quilt and our daughter would like the finished product. It is not something I would probably make otherwise but Tula’s version of over-sized herringbone and her slick way of making it are pure magic.
Maybe some Saturday evening you’ll find yourself exploring something new. You may find a new technique you’ll learn from a young sewer or quilter who doesn’t do things like we’d do them traditionally, but who may actually have developed something better. Maybe while you are doing that, take a listen to Disturbed. Secretly, I’m hoping Mr. Draiman will do a rendition of “Hallelujah” in the same style as he did the “Sound of Silence”—are you listening Mr. Draiman?
Sew ’til next time….enjoy the journey of sewing!