Creativity – a Developed Skill

My journey as a quilter since 2011 has certainly been a surprise to me.   I always thought it was something old women did.

Having been a garment seamstress since the age of 10 I sort of landed in this creative process because I wanted to make a special little something for a new grandbaby and then I was hooked!  From that very first quilt 7 years ago to now nearly 40 done and many more longarmed for clients I have learned that today’s quilters span ages of 5-105!!!  I was dead wrong about the old woman idea.

Attending quilt shows has broadened my perspective more than a little.  I aspire to make more beautiful creations the more I learn.  That creativity is a thirst unquenchable for me. I believe every person can be creative, but it isn’t something that happens the first try necessarily.  The more you learn, the more creative freedom you have, the more satisfying it becomes.  Being creative does take work and clearly expressing yourself in any particular medium takes practice and more practice.  I often hear “You’re SO creative!” from people who seem to think it just happens automatically.  They are so wrong because they forget it takes time to develop skills to express that creativity.

My own successes in this journey speak to how practice makes creativity grow.  Enjoy the journey!

"Goosed" exhibited at the 2018 Houston International Quilt Festival
“Goosed” exhibited at the 2018 Houston International Quilt Festival
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“Goosed” exhibited at the 2018 Houston International Quilt Festival
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“Goosed” exhibited at the 2018 Houston International Quilt Festival
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“Penny and Me”
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“The Gift”
On Wings Of Song - musical celebration of 40 years in music ministry
“On Wings of Song” exhibited at the 2018 Houston International Quilt Festival
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“On Wings of Song” exhibited at the 2018 Houston International Quilt Festival
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“Fandango Transformation” exhibited at the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival and the 2018 Chicago International Quilt Festival
Fandango Transformation
My quilt at the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival
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Ideas
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Design wall challenge

 

#9 – Hanging on to the vision

Sometimes in the midst of things we can frustrate ourselves by not hanging on to the prize ahead.  Perhaps the goal is far reaching, or close and seems like it will take forever to reach.  In the scheme of things, a year is not terribly long, but trying to squeeze in time to do the things you love is hard.  Such it is with this quilt-along.  I have to keep in mind the end result to stay focused.  I had a hard time deciding what fabrics to use with this block.  I even conducted a short survey on what others would do.  Eventually I came back to my first idea but it helped to see what others thought.  I gave 9 choices.  Here are 3 of the 9:

 

Here is the result of my decision:

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Keeping my eye on the prize ahead……..Block #10 has now been given to us. (Whew!!!! I finished #9 the same day Laundry Basket Quilts came out with #10)

So far this has been a fun experience and ever so challenging in some months, easy in others.  I think I see an end to this!!!!!!  Stay tuned!

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Just do it!

Sometimes you just have to jump in with both feet, close your eyes, don’t think about it too much, then DO it!  I agonized about how to quilt this for months, and then spent about 40 hours quilting it.

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I think my favorite part of quilting is the free motion aspect of it, not the piecing, although it is very gratifying to piece a challenge.  I still love to make flying geese blocks even after this one with 80 batik geese!

This will go on our bed in the winter months after I enter it in a quilt show or two.

Inspiring creativity

 

One of the things I enjoy doing is passing along my love of fabric, needle, and thread to those who want to learn.  Sewing / quilting has benefits beyond just putting a project together. It allows me to bond with my granddaughter through an attainable goal.  This girl has learned a few things about the joy of giving (she gave this doll quilt to her sister), about patience to accomplish a goal, about color choices, about having fun while learning.  I hope she will continue to enjoy this creative activity.  It trains her right brain to be imaginative and gives a sense of accomplishment.  Go Sydney!!!!!

Inspirations

A precious commodity.  Time.  I have found that the many activities and jobs I do leave only a small amount of time for play and relaxation.  I recently went with my husband on a cruise to Alaska for our anniversary.  We had such a good time while there was very little access to our busy lives.  That time away gave us opportunity to once again connect and enjoy each other’s company.  An added bonus……..quilting inspirations abound!

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Temperate rain forest
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Eagle fishing
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Totem in rain forest
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Island home at sea
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Sea lions
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Humpback whale

Completely. Lost. My. Mind……

Sew…………..today I began making more of the tiny little 1 1/2″ half square triangle blocks for this quilt along.  The directions have told me there are 388 to make.  Gasp!!!!!!!  I have a little over 200 made, but oh my gracious!!! I definitely want them finished before school starts and Block 7, which is a mystery, comes along at the end of the week.  The directions said make a few each month, and I have but now I have decided to get it out of the way.  Hoping Block 7 will be easy and not the dreaded stars up ahead.  Wish me luck!IMG_1434(Edited)

Abundance

Doing what I love gives me abundance in my life.  Having the freedom to choose to do what I like gives me the joy in being creative.  Sometimes the flow isn’t there, but it returns if I let it speak to me.  This is especially true when I do custom longarming.  I am working on my own quilt at the moment and I’m finding that there are life blocks to preventing the time to complete it.

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Perhaps when I retire from teaching and directing music activities I will better be able to just take the time.  For now, when I head to the studio I do have a buddy to encourage me!

Blue, blue, my world is blue……

This may end up being my favorite quilt ever. I have a passion for the color blue and this really appeals to me! In the 5 months of this 12 month challenge there have been MANY challenges. Testing my quilting skill set is a blast. #laundrybasketquilts #mormorsewingstudio #patchesofbluequiltalong #patchesofblue #edytasitarquiltalong

 

 

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Oh, the choices, the choices!

Block 8

Holy smokes!  This step is finally complete!  Lots of froggin’ went on with this one.

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Border blocks
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Trees

Block 6IMG_1434

 

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❤️ I also see camels and/or aliens…….😜
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I need to make a whole quilt of this block with just scraps from my stash……
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Little stars
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What fun this was, and quick, too!
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First month’s challenge
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The goal

Finished is better than perfect!

 

What do you love about quilting?  For me, seeing the finished project is so very rewarding I’m always aiming for that goal.  I cannot leave a project wallow in my closet or drawers without seeing a finish to my work.

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 Eight months of piecing, a month or two of putting blocks together, and about 40 hours worth of quilting with my longarm, and “Flight Path” is finished!  Perfect?  By no means.  Done and happy with the result, yes.  I have really enjoyed this project.  It is now a year this month that I began this quilt along beside a BOM Jenny Parks pattern designed for The Quilting Company called “Urban Basix.  I took the pattern from that BOM I was working on  and used batiks instead of the dots fabrics the BOM used.  I  used 2 layers of batting to make the quilting jump off the quilt, Quilters Dream cotton  and Quilters Dream wool on the top.  The free motion quilting is definitely my favorite part of the process.  I do not use computers to quilt so all the design is from my brain and the skill of my hands.  The results speak for themselves.

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This quilt will live on our bed each winter.  Hooray!!!!  This one’s for us.

Do you have a project that took a long time you are proud of?  I’d like to see it!

 

Deadlines

Plans.  Change.  Priorities.

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Springtime project

I like things to be organized.  I had planned to enter 2 quilts in a show coming up, but then my longarm needed service so my quilts, and my client quilts are now delayed.  It feels disorganized.  I doubt if I will make the deadline for getting my 2 quilts finished, I guess they will have to wait until the next show rolls around.  Additionally, the guild has decided to limit the number of quilts to 425, and the numbers have begun climbing.  I will not rush the jobs as I want quality work! So……….I will still try to enter, but it’s looking rather unlikely at this point in time.

I have a quilt going to International Quilt Festival – Houston for the November show, but I decided to remake the sleeve, so that has also been on my to do list.  The deadline for getting the sleeve put on is right around the corner and I am 1100 miles away from my studio enjoying a family event.  The quilt has to be there by June 1 and will be the priority upon arrival back at the studio.

With the school year sprinting to the finish there are other things that need doing there also.  I have decided not to stress……….much.

Do you ever feel disorganized?  I’d love to hear that I am not the only one.

Happy Thursday!