Friday, December 4, 2009

Uncreative Time

Today is the coldest so far this fall. The temp never rose above 25 degrees! At least the sun was shining today. Today I chose to put on heather gray socks with red dots on them, to coordinate with my denim jacket with dots.

No matter how you live your life and schedule your sewing times,  there are periods when you are not creative. You've heard of writer's block; well I have quilter's block. This doesn't worry me anymore. I have worked hard; and criss-crossed the country for teaching; and produced lots of quilts in the last 3 or 4 years. It is inevitable that your mind will say, "Stop, I need a rest!"

When the manuscript for my new book went to C and T at the end of February 09, I spiraled into a quilt funk. There were no ideas for new quilts in my head. Because in the past this has happened several times;  I know this means that I should do something else. So what did I do? I wrote two more books. The first is a 28 page booklet on bias binding, which will be a perfect companion to my upcoming "Dancing with Thread" book about machine quilting. 

The second book, I'm still working on, my family genealogy,  6 generations of my family, biographies and photographs. This has been lots of fun. I have talked to people in my family that I haven't talked to in ages. I'm getting pictures of people I've never seen before. I'll be printing up only 30-40 copies to distribute to only to familly members. This is something I wanted to do for my children. It is good to know about your ancestors.

In the last few weeks, ideas for new quilts have been coming to me. So as the holidays approach, maybe I can get a start on one or two of them. And then again, maybe not. I always keep of list of hot quilt ideas, so I don't forget my little inspirational moments! You will just have to wait and see what develops.

Someday, if you find yourself in a quilting funk, it means that it is time for you to devote your time to other things.  Maybe your family or home requires your attention. I find I like to paint a room or two when these periods hit. Maybe you like to clean, then clean with a vengeance. Go downtown where you haven't been shopping in years; visit a museum; call a friend and go on a field trip; dig in your garden. You get the idea, throw yourself into something else. Your brain needs a rest, and would like to ponder other tasks and problems.You'll know when it is time to start a new quilt.

There are other times when I have the time to quilt but no ideas. This is simple to solve. Simply make some placemats, or cut a bunch of squares and start a nine patch quilt. In the past, I've found that if I am working at my machine, or just cutting fabric, my mind eventually will click back into gear, and ideas begin to flow again.  So just the act of sewing, will jog your system back into creative mode again. Sitting around just waiting for a good idea, will never work. Keep busy, the ideas will come.  

Oh, hey, I got an idea!


Frieda Anderson said...

Good advice for all of us, thanks Ann. So happy to see you finally are blogging.:)

GailM. said...

I found you through Dianne's blog. Congrats on your new blog. I'm anxious to see some of your machine quilting. I totally agree with you on the quilters block thing. If I'm not sure what to do next, I sew small things like luggage tags, or bazzar items. Guaranteed, the minute I start, my mind starts thing of other things that I need to make or sew or quilt. Sometimes, I even stop in the middle of a project and start another one, which is so bad for me.