|Art from the Get to Work Book|
We all experience it from time to time. Quilter's block is not uncommon. We simply can't feel inspired and motivated all the time. We naturally have times when our quilting is going well and decisions are easily made and then, suddenly... WHAM. It's like our creativity falls off a cliff. Or we simply can't see which way is best to move forward. I've talked to enough fellow quilters to know that I'm not the only one who experiences this. It's natural to experience a certain amount of ebb and flow from time to time. Think about it, doesn't everything in life work that way? How boring would it be if we cranked out quilts constantly and never had a change of direction or sudden inspiration?
I've been thinking about the ways in which I embrace the inevitable quilter's block that confronts me on occasion. Rather than fighting it, or forcing things that don't feel natural, I find it's better to welcome small changes to see us through. So I've compiled a short list of DON'TS and a long lists of DO's.
When your creativity flies out the window DON'T:
1. Don't start a new quilt. Don't talk yourself into believing a new project will cure your temporary lack of creativity. Just go take a look at your pile of ufo's and you'll know why I say this. You will only find yourself more frustrated!
2. Please don't compare yourself to other quilters. You are not on their journey. You don't know what their ufo closet looks like. They may be making gorgeous quilts now, but I promise it wasn't always the case. No one is exempt and comparing yourself to others will never improve your situation.
3. Most importanly, don't feel bad or blame yourself. Speak to yourself as you would to a friend. Be nice. Give yourself permission to take a break if that's what is needed.
Helpful suggestions for what you CAN DO:
1. Knit, crochet or pick up another one of your hobbies that doesn't require difficult decisions. Use this time to relax and make something different from quilts.
2. Organize your quilting books. There's nothing like flipping through books full of quilts to remind you why this is such an amazing art form. Choose some books that no longer interest you and donate them to the local guild or library. Choose your favorites to put on a table to keep them handy. Or organize them by technique or style and see which ones you have the most of? Why do you think that is? Which ones are most appealing to you? Why? These answers just might trigger what you need to get back into a flow.
3. Try a new recipe. Seriously. Being creative in a whole different area of your life just might spark some creativity in another part of your brain. If not, at least you will have something delicious to eat.
4. Go for a walk. Taking a walk and getting fresh air will clear your head. Maybe you are holding onto stress you aren't even aware of. A nice relaxing walk may just be the thing you need.
5. Pull weeds, or do other chores. If nothing else, it will make you remember why you enjoy quilting so much more than these mundane tasks!
6. Flip through magazines. They don't even have to be quilt magazines. Almost all magazines provide beautiful photos and inspiring color combinations. Or read an article and just enjoy something other than stitching for a little while.
7. Iron and fold fabric. You know you have fabric that needs to be put away or organized. I find ironing and folding fabric very relaxing. Sort it by color or colletion or type. Whatever is easy and works for your system.
8. Read a book. I love getting lost in a good book. I find that I miss reading if I don't devour at least one book a month. Choose one that you've been meaning to read and enjoy it!
9. Make a list. It doesn't have to be quilt related. Just make a list so you can feel more organized or more in control of what needs happen. Even if it's just a grocery list. Making a list always makes me feel less overwhelmed.
10. Hand stitch a binding. Do you have quilts that just need binding? That's easy enough and doesn't require any decisions. I love stitching binding because it is easy and relaxing and it means I'm really close to having a finished quilt.
I would love to hear any other ideas you my use for coping with quilter's block.