Thursday, April 30, 2020

Creative Doldrums?

Day 40-something of our brave new world finds me feeling a bit flat and looking for . . . . .  I'm not sure what I'm looking for?  Almost everyday, I see a post or two on Instagram from stitchers who say they've lost their "creative mojo".  Perhaps that what I'm feeling but I'm not going to stop stitching.
It's been a mild week weather-wise and spring continues to progress at a pleasant pace.
The American toads have returned to my little pond to make babies oblivious to any of the changes inside the house that provides this little piece of habitat for them.
The summer birds are returning and are house hunting around the back yard.
All reasons to be delighted!
I finished one of the triplets' big bed quilts.
The pattern is Kinship: 100 Block Fusion Sampler by Angie Wilson (GnomeAngel) and Bed Proschogo (Skyberries) and a new sewalong is beginning again on July 1, 2020 - details HERE!
It was fun to piece and it's made (almost) entirely from my stash!
I had this small wheelchair laprobe layered up and plunged right into quilting it once I finished the Fusion Sampler!  Layering ahead of time has become a brilliant strategy to keep me moving!
I kept the quilting simple -- strictly straight lines.  Something I realized recently is that less quilting produces a soft drapey quilt and dense quilting produces a stiff quilt so I'm trying to keep that in mind as I determine how to quilt my tops.  
Is this a quilt that will be cuddled or a quilt that will live a flat life (on a wall or table)?
It's finished and ready to donate when that is allowed again.
Here's a little trick I've discovered recently.  When I get out of sync (hands moving faster than machine), my stitches look like this - long and loose.
I can carefully use a pointy object (usually a needle) to pull the stitches tighter and move all the excess thread to one spot.
Then I insert my self-threading needle into one of the adjacent stitch holes, 
push the loop into the eye of the needle and pull the excess thread under the surface of the quilt.
As I pull the needle through, the thread pops off -- I don't cut the thread!!
All fixed! 
Of course, if I would not get cocky and let my speed balance get muddled, I wouldn't have to do this in the first place!?!

The Halo blocks are multiplying
and in spite of the mess I create cutting for each one, it's still fun!
One knitting project is finished . . . .
(High Desert Socks designed by Lindsey Fowler -- pattern on Ravelry, boot socks made with a double strand of sock/fingering weight yarn)
and another is started!?!
(This is the Breath and Hope shawl by Casapinka that she designed for a nationwide - or maybe worldwide - "local yarn shop" promotion that was cancelled this past weekend - available on Ravelry if you don't have an LYS.)
I've pulled out the second triplet quilt to layer today -- it will be done in two sections with the borders added on after the center is quilted and assembled.  This approach will allow me to quilt each of the rose star blocks individually more easily -- less quilt sandwich weight equals easier work.
The feeling that I'm being creative isn't something I find that I can conjure up when I have the time to stitch.  For me, it happens because I stitch everyday.  I have an abundance of projects as you know but I've learned that listening to how I feel about doing the work of stitching isn't the key.
The key is to show up every day and stitch.

Feeling creative is a perk -- and if I'm not engaged in the work, it will elude me.
I could have a beautiful studio and lots of supplies, but if I'm not in there working on a regular basis not only does nothing get made, but I don't experience any of the inspiration that expresses my creativity.  

Right now, I might be spending "too much" time in there but in my life before covid, I established the habit of daily stitching -- sometimes only 20 minutes, sometimes an entire afternoon -- 
but everyday, everyday, everyday!

Perhaps your current (weird) schedule allows you to adopt a habit of daily work that you can carry forward.  Sometimes getting started feels like washing the dishes or making the bed, but my experience is that once engaged it feels much better than that!
In my humble opinion, it's the best cure for building enthusiasm for doing what you love and feeling creative.

For another take on facing the doldrums, feeling stuck -- give one of Marie Greene's recent podcasts a listen!!  Oh, just listen to all of them -- she's so inspiring to me!!

I am heading outside now between the rain -- the peas are tall enough to add the sticks for them to climb and it will be a good time to deduct dandelions from the flower beds -- they are all over the lawn and I don't mind that, but NOT in the flower beds!
Have a pleasant weekend and keep on keeping on!


Linking up this weekend with WHOOP, WHOOP!


  1. I normally have a piecing project, some type of hand project and a quilt being hand quilted going at the same time. This gives me enough choices that if I don't feel like sewing, I do hand work or quilt. This works for me. Many times I think I only have to work on this for a half hour and I keep going for several hours.

  2. So true - once I get myself into my studio and start on something, anything, creative work takes over. You have such a great sense of color - those halo blocks are so tempting. It's going to be a fabulous quilt. Blessings, Mary.

  3. Love that cute little toad! I see them now and then where I live, but as I almost always have a 4 legged critter on a leash, I don't get close. Your wheelchair quilt came out very nicely. I seem to still be in my little funk, and a severe bout of sciatica hasn't helped. I have a heating pad applied right now and hoping for the best. Accck!!

  4. Wow, those halo blocks are cool!