09 June, 2009

"Let's Talk Tuesday"

Is it just me or do Tuesdays seem to be rolling around a little faster than they used to? I can scarcely keep up some weeks, and this is one of them! I am still reveling in the inspiration I received from Kristin Steiner when she presented a program on creativity at a recent Guild meeting. Thanks for all your wonderful responses to last week's question on what our quilts say about us, or what we hope they will say one day.
If we are making our own imprints, being true to our creative selves and pouring our lives and loves into our quilts as forms of self expression it can be exhausting, at least it can be for me. Sometimes I feel myself slowly sputtering to a complete stop.
How do you jump-start your creative engine when it stalls out?
For me, sometimes I need to simply walk away. I can gain new inspiration from a brisk walk, a movie, a book, a visit with a friend; but I can tell when it's time to leave the sewing room altogether. What about you? Four years ago I had major surgery, my friends all commented on how lucky I was to have the time to spend on my quilting projects while I was recuperating. I smiled, I nodded, but my heart knew it was the last thing I wanted, or felt inspired, to do! I worried that I might never want to go back to it, my spirit wasn't interested in the least. I suppose my body was too busy healing itself at the time, eventually my quilt mojo returned to full strength! I didn't know if this was unusual or not, at the time. And so, now, when my creative engine slows I don't worry that it's a permanent state; but I know myself well enough to recognize the fact that I need to simply walk away sometimes, for a little while, that's all part of my creative cycle.
...and sew, let's talk...
Life is Good!



19 comments:

blushing rose said...

Life is full, rich & wonderful!
TTFN ~ Marydon

Domestic Designer said...

I love to take classes to spark my creative energy. I always leave so inspired and ready to tackle a new project or to complete an old one. Have a great day!

Mimi said...

I had surgery last Thursday. I'm feeling very blue that I don't have more interest to go upstairs to my sewing heaven and sew.

I am not sure if I'm afraid of doing too much, or if I'm just not feeling well enough to be inspired. I'm not sleeping well and my system is out of whack.

Projects? Yes, I have the Geese in the Forest block of the month that I'm a little behind on. I also have a raw edge applique pattern (hand work) that I bought to do during this time, but I don't have it cut out. Sigh...

So, that's where I am at this point in time.

Hugs

Salem Stitcher said...

Early on in my "quilt career", I became highly discouraged and thought I would never quilt again. I had lost the point of it. One Saturday, I happened to drive by a quilt show sign and decided to go take a look. Awestruck, I found "the point" again and couldn't wait to get home and start again.

Quiltdivajulie said...

My quilty spirit often takes a holiday and leaves me stranded... I've learned (slowly) not to panic, not to stress, not to try too hard ~ it has always returned.

I used to be completely miserable when the design wall was empty (it still bothers me because I miss the colors) but I don't panic like I used to.

When a slump arrives, I try to think of it like the seasonal cycles of farming ... to everything there is a season. I have come to understand that I need the quiet, vacant times in order to restore and regroup in order to produce and create.

Barb said...

For me the interest shown by my granddaughter to try new things is my inspiration! When she is available to sew on a quilt...it makes me want to join her! We have the best time together! Taking classes and enjoying trunk shows together, just adds more desire...I am blessed to have my special quilting buddy so full of ambition and creativity! When she gets too busy with her other activities, I tend to wait for her to stir me on! Very good "Let's Talk Tuesday" topic, thank you for asking.

quiltmom said...

Debbie,
Sometimes I worry that I might never quilt again- I have so much beautiful fabric in my stash and I think about it just sitting there- sometimes that overwhelms me but mostly it inspires me to do something with the fabric.
There have been ebbs and flows in my quilting life- usually it is related to the amount of energy left after work and other demands in my daily life. I have come to realize that is the way my quilting life - is probably the way life is...
If I feel like I should be quilting and getting things accomplished because I need to get something made then it can be problematic.
Some ways I get going are by looking at quilts on the blogs, reading quilting magazines and books and going to quilt stores. Sometimes just going to play in my sewing room will get me moving.
The hardest part is the initial decision making choices for a quilt. Once I get started I usually see the quilt to fruition.
Attending a class is another way to get me moving..
Hope everyone finds ways to be inspired..
Regards,
Anna

Teresa said...

You know, creativity is a funny thing. Sometimes I work on my quilts as a kind of therapy, to escape what is troubling me or to just get a break from a hectic schedule. But other times, I can't get to my fabric, or my EQ6, quick enough when an idea as come to me. That is when it becomes exciting and as I bring what I see in my mind to a design or in fabric. I think if you are tired, stressed or ill its hard for those creative thoughts to come to the forefront as your body is just working overtime to get you "healthy" again.

Bonnie said...

I've gone through all my old stacks of magazines and cut out the patterns and pictures that inspire me, putting them in page protectors in binders. These have become my "DREAM BOOKS"....

When I'm feeling a bit low, or need something to jumpstart me, thumbing through my own dream books have never failed to get the juices flowing again!

Visiting a quilt show with girlfriends and lunch out is also a "non threatening" venture. If you are inspired, great, if not...no worries..just pet the fabric in the vendor mall, and know that the inspiration will come when YOU are ready!

Sometimes I think we deal with a lot of "quilt guilt" due to so much fabric, so many UFOs....we have TOO MANY choices, so we can't pick one. Kind of like a kid in a candy store who has had his fill. What now?

Sometimes I need a special occasion to light a fire, such as a birth, a wedding, a graduation, a baptism, a retirement...to turn on the switch to make something special for someone, and then the creative juices flow like mad.

Bonnie

Tam said...

As you I walk away..but too my cross-stitch, knitting or I spin wool. While I spin wool I can day dream, clear the quilting overload from my head and just "chill". Sometimes I will just sit with a pile of quilting books and page through them...I think my book stash is bigger than my fabric stash.
Wonderful post thanks for sharing :-)

Carrie P. said...

It is kind of funny how most of us go through a lull in our creative times. I know for me it depends on what is going on in my life. I have learned that the creative juices will flow again and I don't fret that I won't get to my sewing again. Looking at blogs, reading magazines and sometimes just going into my sewing room is enough to inspire me. I have to remind my self I am not in a race and that I am creating that makes me happy.

Marla said...

Sometimes I just have to leave my guilt by the door when I come in the house if I don't feel like it. I have to tell myself that quilting is my FUN thing to do not a chore. When it gets to be a chore, then at that time I will stop. This works for me!

paula, the quilter said...

I just let the quiet times flow. I'll read or knit. Lately I have been drawing. Everything will come in its own time, so I have learned not to stress with it.

Cheryl said...

From time to time my mojo seems to take a vacation. Luckily I have friends that encourage "it" and me to hang in there. I also find after I have been in a down cycle I am more creative when my mojo does return.

Kim said...

Sometimes I have too many projects going at once then I don't get to enjoy the creative energy. It becomes too much like setting goals and getting projects done to be done.. that is when I need to step back and reorganize my thinking to get back to letting the quilting flow instead of being forced.

Gardening, walking and bird watching always reset my creativity.

Happy Sewing

Kimberly Mason said...

Flipping through a pile of quilting books and magazines before bedtime usually does the trick to get me jump started by the morning. I let my subconscious mull things over. By the early AM I usually have tons of ideas rolling around.

Gina said...

I love looking at blogs to see what other quilters are doing. Their projects always inspire me to get going on my own. I want to make beautiful quilts like they do.

Michelle said...

I definitely have times when my creativity stalls or I don't feel like quilting. I am getting better at recognizing it, and finding other things to occupy my time. It does not bother me as much as it did before, because I know in my heart that quilting will always be a part of me. Sometimes I have to walk away for my own good. I tend to impose deadlines on myself that are too harsh. Stepping back allows me to get some focus and return to enjoy quilting again.

Nan said...

When my creative mojo goes away, I walk away from sewing for awhile. When my heart's not in it, I don't do a good job. Sometimes I do embroidery or find something else to do, far away from the sewing room. I find that cleaning up the mess in my sewing room also helps with the bringing that creative spark back! It's like I swept my mind clean, too.