Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ten Thoughts on Creativity

© 2011 Ann Fahl
Sometimes you have the time to work, but you don't have any ideas for a new project. What can you do to spark your creative energies and get going?
Pile of fabric that was auditioned for one of my current quilt projects!

  1. Always keep a list of quilt ideas. Post it where you can easily look at it or add new ideas! If you don't have one of these, start one today.  Then you can check your list of ideas and maybe find something to work on.
  2. Go and touch your fabric, look through the colors, what speaks to you?
  3. Go to your local quilt shop and find a fabric that you can't live without; and use it to begin a new quilt.
  4. Look through your quilt magazines and books.  You can also check the links on my webpage to see what others are doing.
  5. Take yourself out to lunch or go to your local garden center or museum.  Take a notebook or little camera and photograph things that interest you. If you look, you will find ideas all around you.
  6. Cut a bunch of squares in one or two colors and construct a background. Or--make some nine patch blocks with your scraps and see what develops.
  7. Just sew something.  Do you have a nightgown or piece of clothing that needs to be altered? I am a firm believer in the fact that if you sit down at your machine or start cutting fabric, an idea will come to you.  If you sit with your coffee cup at the kitchen table all day, nothing is likely to happen.  But, if you go to your sewing area where all your "stuff" is and get busy; an idea is more likely to emerge.  Why not make some placemats and practice your machine quilting?
  8. Pull out some scraps with Wonder-Under on them, and make a tiny little quilt.  Allow yourself to play or color freely, just like when you were in grade school. Who knows what might develop? 
Buds and Beads a tiny quilt 12 x 10 inches  Made from scraps with Wonder-Under on the back
     9. If nothing seems to come to mind, you are probably distracted by life's events. Or, sometimes your brain is just tired, and needs a creative break. It is called "writer's block" by people that do lots of writing.  I have just emerged from a very long blank period.  Take this time to read a good book, paint the bathroom, or throw yourself into a completely different project. If this is where you are, just concentrate on NON-QUILTING activities.  You will know when you are ready to get back to work.
    10. Try wearing a pair or colorful socks or a wild T-shirt, something that is FUN. This will help set your mood for more creative thoughts.

Good luck.

Ann Fahl


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. I am at this point right now. Just finished a piece that took a lot of concentration. Have another one up next that also will required lots of concentration. Thinking, in the meantime, I'll try just playing with fabric for a week or two to get rejuvenated.

annieQ said...

Sometimes one needs a little space or time between projects; to switch gears!

Rachel said...

Quilt limbo strikes us all. A potential motivator may be to tidy up your stash. Refold those messy piles, organize your scrap box or take inventory on a color or value of fabric you're low on . . . then go shopping! It also doesn't hurt to have a bit of chocolate.

annieQ said...

Oh yes, chocolate always helps.

geni said...

Thank you for sharing these thoughts,
I'm having a quilt block(age) and I find it hard to start. But like Rachel said, tidying up helps!

wordmama said...

Sometimes it just helps me to organize my sewing area or my fabrics, even if I'm too tired or stressed out to sew. When you move things around you begin to see them in a new context and nice things happen.

I think your list is fantastic.


Anonymous said...

Your suggestions are good to try when needing to move forward...hopefully, as you said,new ideas are at least "percolating" for later! I've enjoyed viewing your art and visiting your website...My Best, joni