Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Creative Journey

One of the things I'm most fascinated with is the creative process. I know that in the 30 plus years I've been quilting the way I get from nothing to something has changed considerably.

In the beginning I was very nervous and afraid I'd make a mistake. I made kits and followed patterns, but they always frustrated me. I knew there was more to it than that so I began a process of giving myself breaks, of not expecting everything to be perfect.

That was tough, I was one of those goody-two-shoes kids, the kind who got A's and sat quietly with my hands folded in front of me. I used to think that if I did everything the way I was supposed to that I'd be happy. It was a revelation when I realized that I wasn't happy being "perfect" and frankly, I wasn't as perfect as I thought I should be anyway.

So, where to go from there. . .

For me it was getting over mistakes and learning from them. It was also letting go of other's expectations and mine as well. I used to tell people what I was making, but came to realize that the only thing I knew I was making was a quilt, and as far as the rest of it went, well, we'll see what unfolds.

Since I've written about the creative process before, and blamed it for some of my crankiness, I thought I'd start work on a simple project and show you how I do it, and hopefully learn from how you do things as well.

The piece above is something I found during my recent stash purge. It was a hand pieced square with some beautiful fabrics. I don't remember what it was "supposed" to be, which is kind of frightening because the fabrics are pretty recent, ( some memory I have!). Anyway, I put a border around it, and brought the extra fabric of the backing over to bind it. I know it's taboo to do that, but I work small and I stitched the outside border onto the patchwork piece with the batting and lining on so I don't have any distortion to worry about that I can't fix by quilting.

It's really a blank slate, so I thought I'd do a little work on it everyday and keep you posted on what I do. It'll be as interesting to me as it will be to you to see where I go with it, or even if I give up and toss it out! (the suspense is killing me. . .)

I hope you'll enjoy this journey with me.

Happy Stitching!



Colleen said...

I am looking forward to the future posts of the project. I do not work from patterns, enjoying the creative process and letting the fabrics tell me what to do. So often I will find myself laying in bed at night working out a plan, then in the morning I just can't wait for an actual plan and I have to lay out my fabric and see what it says to me. Consequently I often have to order extra fabrics because I never have a size in mind when I purchase fabrics that I love. With my Batik Puzzle Quilt I started making puzzle blocks not knowing what I would do with them. I bought the blue for my sashing and borders 4 times, twice in the store and twice by mail.
Thank you for sharing.

V. said...

I like to work that way too! No pattern, just let it happen!

You can see some of my stuff at