Early in 2020 I wrote an Instagram post fueled by the fires that were devouring Australia. I'd like to share those words and accompanying image here:

A view out a window of a world that is red due to smoke from fires in the region covering the sun.

“WARNING: Unedited, heartfelt rant ahead.

I am finding it very hard to carry on with life as normal at the moment. How can I, when life is not "as normal"? When life for so many right now is devastation and heat and smoke and flame? Or will that be the new normal? How can we not be scrambling in our minds for some way, any way, to lessen our impact on this beautiful planet we call home?

We have become SUCH a consumerist society. We consume resources and food and products and EVERYTHING like it's never going to run out, not like the rubbish created is never going to go away.

This industry I'm in, quilting, is as guilty as any other. We use fabric made from cotton grown with the aid of chemicals that poison and pollute our people and our environment. We create and buy gadget after gadget to make our sewing lives easier. We buy yards of fabric to add to the miles and miles we already own and don't use, just so we can have ALL the pretty things to pet and admire. We are spurred on to finish projects or start new ones by people offering prizes we might not even want let alone need. The act of creating is somehow not enough for us, we need a prize of more STUFF or accolades and admiration from strangers.

I'm really and truly struggling with how to fit into this industry. I want to carry on making quilts and patterns. I want people to buy my patterns and make quilts from them. I want to buy pretty fabric. I want to make without feeling guilty and create because I love it, not to try to fit in with a community I'm feeling more and more different to, alienated from. I want to be conscious of my impact in my making and reduce that impact wherever I can.

What say you?

By the way, this photo was taken from my dining room in the middle of the afternoon yesterday, just before it went dark. I mean dark as night, that's how much smoke was blocking out the sun that should have kept it bright for another four hours. And I have it so, so much better than so many! No danger from fire here at the moment, just surrounded by fires in the region. What is happening to the world? How are we so, so screwed up in our priorities?”

Yeah. I still think that. Has anything changed, really?

I’m planning a post or two discussing ways in which we are potentially doing harm, and how we can be more mindful in our approach to our craft. If you have any ideas to share, please let me know in the comments. I’ll leave you with a very obvious one now: 

If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.

Bye for now,

Hope x


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