Interview with Crafter/Artist Qaroline QZ!
By KymBozarth on February 28, 2013
Hello Everyone! This week I bring you the lovely Qaroline QZ from Germany. Qaroline blogs over at qarolinesqonundrums about crafting and creating, She has recently started writing about fat acceptance (yay!) and fatshion. I look forward to her outfit posts because she wears really cool dresses even in that cold looking German weather!
1. Please can you tell us a little bit about yourself, and what drew you to your chosen craft?
I am a tall, fat 34 year old PhD student from Germany and I am very passionate about books, crafts and to be honest … cats. As long as I can remember I have done a bit of crafting; I come from a quite creative family and practically everyone I know has a hobby that has a “crafty” element to it. For my family to find a craft that you love was always associated with self care and self fulfilment but to be honest again, I really needed something to do while watching the telly. I have been blogging about being fat, fatshion and my crafting projects since August 2012; you can find my blog underhttp://qarolinesqonundrums.blogspot.de/ and on Facebook under https://www.facebook.com/QarolinesQonundrums
2. Who taught you how to do your craft, and how long have you been creating?
The craft I am most skilled at is probably knitting. I had some lessons at school but I remember being really frustrated with the teacher who taught me and so I didn't catch the bug the first time around. Sometime later I pestered my Mom to show me some stitches because she used to knit a lot in the ‘80s and I remember wearing a very intricately patterned cardigan that she made for me as a kid. Later I joined a group of Viking re-enactors who were very much into authentic clothes, so I taught myself to spin wool by hand and later by using a spinning wheel. Consequently I started to make my own dyes from plants – my years as a Viking fueled my obsession with crafts – and although I am no longer a re-enactor I am still spinning, dyeing, sowing, needle binding, tablet weaving, felting and doing embroidery.
3. Who are you most inspired by and why?
I am most inspired by all the fabulous fat women whose blogs I have discovered in the last two years since I learned about the fat acceptance movement. They have shown me that fatshion is a brilliant way to express yourself and that personal style can be a political statement.
4. Where do you seek inspiration from?
D.I.Y. blogs are a great source of inspiration for me but sometimes I see costumes in films that I really love and wish to adapt for my purposes – I got the idea for a knitted skirt from a television series. Looking through old books on embroidery or finding vintage knitting patterns is always thrilling …
5. What are you focused on right now?
Right now I want to expand my sowing skills. I really liked lots of last season’s plus size dresses but they were all too short on me; so I took a sowing class and my parents gave me a sowing machine for my birthday (I have a tendency to name my equipment … the sowing machine is called Alfred …)
6. What's the one actual or technical tool you couldn't work without?
My spinning wheel. As a student I am always on a very tight budget and making my own wool (I have a friend who keeps a rare breed of sheep) has saved me so much money over the last years … and it’s quite calming and meditative to spin, perfect if your brain tends to go into overdrive when life becomes complicated.
7. What's your go to pattern that you love to make?
My favourite knitting pattern is the moss stitch. I have made a lot of woolly hats using it – it’s not too boring and not too elaborate to knit.
8. Is there a craft/art medium you haven't tried but want to? And why?
I always wanted to learn how to weave so I could make homespun cloth. I have woven belts and ribbons before by using tablet weaving but it would be absolutely fantastic to wear something that I have made entirely on my own.
9. What does the handmade movement mean to you?
A lot. Handmade things are deeply personal and special to me. When I wear a piece that I have made I know how many hours I have spent with this project and this adds so much to its value. I am also fascinated by the idea of self sufficiency although I know that I will never be able to live like that. I have always been interested in foraging, grow-your-own, make-your-own and cooking.
10. Anything else you would like to share?
Creating and crafting is my way of trying to live a meaningful life. I have thought a lot about this and was a bit shocked by how much crafting means to me and is connected with my sense of self. To teach yourself different crafts usually isn't terrible expensive compared to other hobbies, but to take the time to make something for yourself or for other people is downright luxurious.