I have been sewing little dolls lately. I don’t know why. I don’t even know if I like them: as in, if I saw one on a market stall would I stop and say ‘hey I like these’? Or would I walk right past? Probably the latter.
But I can’t seem to help it. Making them has been responding to the call of whim.
Stitching faces is a new thing for me. Figuring out how to make the stitches small and close so they make a line. It’s slow too, much slower than drawing. It can take me an hour to do one face. An hour! Part of me can’t believe that I would be so indulgent as to spend a precious hour on just one tiny little thing.
I enjoy the textures of the fabrics, the colours, the combining if colours. I like that some of the fabrics and yarns are offcuts, vintage and scraps. I like how the faces can look so different based on the curl of a lip or the placement of some hair. I like how bodies can be hinted at with a rounded shape of fabric. I like seweing tiny buttons or beads on to finish them off.
They don’t make sense to me as a fascination. My ego doesn’t know what to do with them. They aren’t a form I would usually use to make sense of my thoughts and feelings. They certainly aren’t grand or impressive. They aren’t meaningful with a capital M. I don’t even find them particularly great to look at. But I do find them fascinating. And I kind of love each one of them when they’re done.
Or maybe they do have something to tell me.
Maybe they are a lesson in loving what arises. Maybe they remind me not to take myself so seriously. Maybe they whisper that our time here is finite and many things seem vaguely ridiculous in that context, why should sewing a tiny blue face be any more or less ridiculous than anything else?
Maybe they celebrate my family connection with thread and the countless generations of women who have stitched clothes and toys for their families. Maybe they remind me that I am allowed to do things do no reason other than because it feels good.
Maybe they celebrate the variety of moods and personalities that sparkle and shine across humanity.
Maybe they don’t.
Maybe they’re just a nice change from painting and drawing.
Maybe they’re just a cosy winter craft that my fingers enjoy.
Maybe they are none or all of the above.
When whimsy hits I have to follow.