I love quilting--I love the order of it, the timelessness, the age of it, the practicality and artistry of the project, the lines, the geography of pattern. But for my brain to settle, I need one of two things: a piecing pattern to follow or a limited palette of fabric with which to work. I am, alas, not the caretaker of a brain that can sweep into the fabric shop, pick pieces at random, and then--without plan, without pattern--arrange them into some kind of original, beautiful piece. I've tried. My brain just shuts down and asks for Netflix.
What I've realized from this, well, many things, but mainly that it's okay to like patterns. It's okay to like subtlety, to adhere to the lines in the coloring book, not because we're *supposed* to, not because there are rules (there aren't), but because it pleases the eye and soothes the soul. Obviously, this isn't limited to quilting or ceramics or painting or whatever your hobby, but our crafty/maker leanings inform us a great deal about what works in our lives, about what we invite in and welcome versus what we think we *should* invite in and (grudgingly) welcome.
Arts and crafts are wild acts of meditation, of self-reflection. It's no wonder that the desire to touch, to make, to remember has surged back into our collective consciousness. We're waking from the deadening forced on us by scripted lives--on-screen or off--by technology, by the drone-like dependence on a little blue screen. We're realizing that there is no art there, no life, nothing to be made or treasured. So we'll put down the devices, pick up our tools, and get to work.