I’ve been collecting fabric bits and scraps and making quilts with them for years and while I would never say I know everything there is to know about my craft, I sometimes think I know enough…and that my friends is the edge of the “slippery slope”, which spirals downhill into a massive pit, full of boredom and UFO’s. You don’t want to go there.
So, how do I stay away from the edge. Here are my 5 top ways.
- Pick up a quilt magazine. Read it from cover to cover, even the articles which you think are boring or too “old-school” for you. I guarantee there will be one-thing inside that will make you say “hmmm”, and there you go, you’re thinking about something new, which is always the first step to being creative.
- Make one sample block of your favourite block . Build it using a technique which is just a tiny bit foreign for you. My favourite block is the churn dash. I have dozens of these blocks in my sewing room, all different shapes and sizes. Most recently I was following my own advice and looking for a new way to make this block, when I found an article on a disappearing pinwheel block, that when cut apart and re-sewn, turns into a fabulous churn dash with a tiny pinwheel in the centre. So very freakin cool.
- Take a Walk. Trust me, there is no better way to open your creative eyes than by getting outside and looking at everything around you. For me, this means bundling up in about a thousand layers, putting on my snow shoes and taking our two standard poodles for a walk in the woods behind our house. Nothing like the beauty of nature to spark a new idea…and its good for me to get off my butt and get some exercise. You too. Here are two photos that I love, both taken at the Acadian Centre in Abram’s Village in PEI last summer. Gorgeous eh? These colours are going into a quilt soon.
- Do Good…Ask yourself, is there someone, somewhere, you know who needs a new quilt? Of course there is…there always is, so go make it, it’s your thing, its what you do. Seriously folks, consider making a quilt for charity, or for a veteran or for a senior’s centre, a women’s shelter, etc. Currently I am working on a “dancing girls” quilt, which features little girls with big boots, dancing in the corners of the block. I’m giving it to the Pediatric Oncology Unit at the Queen Elizabeth II hospital in Charlottetown, PE, when its finished. I hope it makes some little beauty who is scared about all the things she will have to face on this journey, smile one time. If she does, then this quilt may be the best thing I’ve ever done. Look over there on my sidebar. Isn’t she cute.
- Find folks with similar interests. Join your local quilting guild, or sign up for a class at your favourite quilt shop or online if you are so inclined. Check out Pinterest (be warned, there are so many awesomely creative artisans in the universe you can get lost for hours; so if you are like me, you should set a timer somewhere, or else you will forget to put the roast into the oven, sigh…) Another great way to connect is to commit to a Block of the Month (BOM) group or perhaps a sew-along of mammoth proportions. “Bloglovin” is a great way to connect with fellow quilters, all of who are overflowing with amazing creative ideas. You should check them out…
So there you have it, five ways to go forward…into your sewing room to make something beautiful. When you’re done, you should link back here and show me a picture.