Contributor Spotlight / DAWN / Molly George
What is your craft, and how did you get started?
My crafts are sewing and knitting. My mum taught me to sew when I was little, she made a lot of our clothes growing up and instilled a love of making and appreciation of crafts in my siblings and me. When I think about my childhood, we were always making something, from building bush cubbies to decorating fabric. My mother-in-law is an incredible knitter and quilter. She taught me to knit about 7 years ago, which was great timing as it was just prior to having my first baby and it is a very portable, pick up and put down craft. She has also taught me many helpful tricks for quilting, though I tend to go with a no rules approach. Spinning and quilting or any hand stitching have been natural progressions from knitting and sewing for me. A friend taught me to spin on both a wheel and drop spindle. I am still a complete beginner but find spinning to be magical and meditative. I feel lucky to be continually inspired and encouraged by the people around me to create.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in everyday life, being in nature, the people around me and being surrounded by functional and beautiful objects - especially when they are made by people I love. I appreciate the skills involved in handmade everyday items such as ceramics, textiles and woodwork and especially love old items that are still useful and functional. I see so much beauty in these objects. Browsing op shops and second-hand stores is a favourite pastime.
My kids inspire me; I love the way they create and make in such a natural way. It is special to spend time making with them. They know what they like and have pushed me out of my comfort zone in many ways.
What are your favorite materials to work with, and why?
What made you want to design patterns?
I enjoy getting absorbed in the process (and sometimes frustrations) of calculating how different pattern pieces fit together to make the finished item I had envisioned. It is nice to see how other people interpret my design when they make their own.
My favourite materials are natural fibres such as cotton, linen and wool. I like the way they feel in my hands and their timelessness. I like to use a mixture of second hand/reclaimed and special fabrics that I have collected or splurged on. When I use fabrics and yarns that have been collected from travels or were gifts I feel a connection to those people and places.
What are your best tools and resources?
My hands! The tactile nature of making is why I love it so much, our skills are always evolving. Different hands make art/craft unique and sometimes unexpected results; they are central in sharing craft knowledge with others. I like that essentially, we only need simple tools to make something beautiful.
Of course, I have some special tools that I really love. My fancy sewing machine I got a few years ago - such a dream to use. My reel tidy, made by my grandmother and special timber sewing tools that my dad has made for me. And sharp needles and a thimble.Do you have other passions and hobbies?
I value spending time in nature, sometimes alone but mostly with my family. We are currently in lockdown but really appreciating our local parks and nature reserves. We are looking forward to getting away from the city and bushwalking again!
Why do you create & what do you hope to express with the things you make?
I create because it is part of me, it makes me happy. There is so much benefit of having a creative practice. My job can be mentally draining (I am an Emergency Nurse) and my other time is for family life. So having a creative practice even if it is just the evenings or moments here and there is the way I process life and balance myself. I make mostly for family and close friends. I spend a lot of time with projects so I hope that they will be loved and used for a long time. I absolutely love that quilts can become intergenerational objects that are both beautiful and useful; we are wrapping something special around us.
What is one of your favorite things about the Maker's Project Bag you designed in DAWN?
My favourite thing about the Makers Project Bag is its versatility. I have one I use for projects, but I also have used it travelling, and my kids have even used it for special little toys. It is functional and beautiful and can be made unique to the maker, remaining with them as a companion during their craft or other pursuits.
The Maker's Project Bag pattern by Molly George can be found on pages 51-56 of Making No. 11 / DAWN. For more of Molly's incredible textile work, follow her Instagram, mollyismaking.