There’s a Traffic Jam Ahead

 

FINALLY!  I reunited with the love of my life…. quilting.  And now that I have time to get back into the quilting game I need to remind myself to get out of my own way.  Yes, I get in the way of myself !  I think I create an enormous traffic jam  of the mind as I agonized over every little decision.  The mental traffic of thoughts remain at a stand still while I ponder over whether the design will appear just right.  Or perhaps perfect is just around the corner if I don’t rush the process and walk away for a while.  Can you understand why my current show quilt is four years in the making?

Initially I felt as though I was in a creative rut;  that I was getting in the way of my own creativity (yes, I create many traffic jams of the mind).  But it then dawned on me…I just need to quilt.  How could I be lacking creativity when I haven’t spent any quality time in front of my machine? Standing in front of my longarm, silently asking for its forgiveness for being MIA, I felt a reply that had me going on Facebook and rekindling the idea of completing a couple of customer quilts.     Thinking back to my roots of doing custom quilts,  it was then that my creativity was at its peak.  My need to step foot back into that arena felt overwhelming.   Onward and upward towards creativity!

Bonnie Browning from AQS was kind enough to reach out to me.  She told me Paducah would be hosting, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), Creative Cities, meeting for the Crafts & Folk Art section in September.  This is huge because a US City has never had the pleaser of hosting this event until now.  It is customary for the city providing the meeting to bestow gifts related to their designation.  As luck would have it, for Paducah, its quilts.

I was given the pleasure of quilting three small wall hangings for this special event.  I wish I could say that I was able to keep the traffic in my mind moving at a steady pace; but there were delays.  The three quilts that were produced by a local Paducah guild used the same design, the only difference among them was the color of the fabric.  I found once I put my hand to work, and just began quilting the self sabotaging ceased to exist.

Once I moved out of my own way I had so much fun doing what I love!  Now its full steam ahead and I’m quilting up a sample and then my auction piece for Houston.

Do you get in the way of your creativity?  What are your secrets to preventing traffic jams of the mind?

 

Feathers Create My Happy Place

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feathers, feathers, feathers.  Yes, I do know how to quilt many other things, however, I absolutely love to quilt feathers.  As soon as I had finalized the purchase on my machine I was determined to master the technique of  quilting these beauties.   So, maybe you have just bought your first machine and are having the same thoughts I just shared of loving feathers , or you have a machine and simply haven’t taken the time to learn this technique. Well, then this post will come in handy!  Although this is an older video I thought I would repost it for some of my newer followers, and for those of you that have yet to tackle this motif.

The video I am sharing below is a tutorial on formal feathers, some quilters refer to it as the “hump and  bump”.

 

 

Whether you are new feathers, or just needed a refresher on fine tuning your skills I hope you found this video beneficial.  By the way what are your favorite motifs to quilt?

 

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Time to Improvise!

We’ve all had the lovely opportunity of experiencing a moment, a day or maybe a weekend when the unexpected found its way into our quilting reality.

 Ah yes, that moment of “Uh Oh” when for mere moments time stops, and you become acutely aware that something is wrong with the current situation.  During that particular period you inwardly talk yourself off a cliff and realize you would have to improvise somehow in the immediate future.  Are flashbacks running past movie clips in your mind as you relive that less than wonderful occasion?  I have had numerous occasions where improvising played a major factor in the success of my day.

I’m Willing to Share ONE Example

“Divide and Design”, one of my all time favorite classes to teach.  I love introducing my students to this amazing method of designing their quilts.  The facial expression of “By Golly George I Think I’ve Got This” that gradually travels its way across everyone’s face is priceless.  However, you cannot bring smiles, and feelings of success to your class when you neglect to bring the drawing templates that are essential to instructing the class.  Listen folks, we aren’t talking overlooking pencils, we are talking about a major component of the Divide and Design tutorial.  

Judy and I looked at one another and deduced that an immediate trip to the nearest Wal-Mart, or K-Mart was of the essence!  We flew by the seat of our pants and did whatever it took  in order to make this class work.

Let the Lisa Improv Show Commence!

Our speedy jaunt had us purchasing cups, plates, and bowls.  These were transformed into my templates for this particular class, allowing me to illustrate my Divide and Design method.  Above you will see that I grabbed a few items in the studio to show that they too could have also been utilized for teaching that class had I had them readily available.  What started out as a panic attack eventually turned into “I can handle this”.   The class went well, Judy and I survived one, of many, winging it adventures.

A Friendly Tip:  Keep Your “Uh Oh” on the Down Low

  Try to remain calm; easier said than done I know.  However, those around you don’t need to bear witness to your oops.  Heck, depending on what the oops is, no one may even realize you’ve improvised in the slightest way!  There is no reason to advertise your fault, we are all human and I big believer of “it’s not what happens to you, but how you deal with what happens to you”.   At one point in time we all need to improvise in way or another.  Whether it pertains to our business or personal life; every now and then we need to fill in the blanks with words, or items we have forgotten.

If You Must, Fly By the Seat of Your Pants

  Do what you gotta go.  If it requires running to K-Mart,or Wal-Mart then that’s what one must do.  Those of us in the quilting world are very creative people!  Use that gift to your advantage when it comes to improvising.  You will be amazed with the ingenuity your creative juices will produce when push comes to shove.   So improvise, improvise, improvise! You might just surprise yourself and actually love what your spontaneity  brings about!

Have you had to improvise, fly by the seat of your pants or wing it to get through a quilting event?  If so I would love hear about your experience.

Regroup, Reorganize AND Get Motivated!

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Regroup, Reorganize AND Get Motivated

It doesn’t take very long before all the seasonal joy of the holidays dissipates and we find ourselves feeling the doldrums of the wintry months ahead.  All to easily we can be consumed with those lethargic feelings and the constant yearning to remain in our pajamas for several hours each day is a reality.  The idea of breakfast in bed which can easily transition into lunch in bed sounds very enticing; even dreamy!  What keeps me going when the couch/bed potato plays like a lullaby in my head?  Of course my youngest son obviously has me getting out of bed in order to prepare him for school.  But what keeps me from climbing BACK into bed or onto the couch with my favorite blanket?

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Cleaning My Studio!  This does wonders for my spirit.  After completing a project, like the quilt I just finished for my dear friend Paul, and taking the time to revamp all that appeared to be strewn throughout my studio my mind instantly cleared.  Believe it or not stepping down to a clean working space invites creativity and a positive energy.  Who wants to start a new design when it looks like Santa’s elves had a huge Christmas party in the studio?

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Spitballing (or as Drea  likes to say Brainstorming)

My lovely red-headed assistant had never  heard of the term “Spitballing”.

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 She was quite offended when I suggested that prior to diving into our days tasks we needed to huddle and “Spitball” ideas back and forth.  After giving her the definition of what the term meant she was more than willing to  comply with my request.  The idea of spitballing opens the door to new ideas, perceptions, and growth for future business.  This can be especially helpful when your mind feels a bit “stuck”.  Bouncing thoughts off of team members, friends, and peers not only bring enlightenment to my projects but often enables me to wiggle out of that heavy “stuck” feeling that keeps me from moving forward.

My FABRIC!

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Nothing gets me inspired and rejuvenated like finding amazing fabric!  I just bought this “Tula Pink” material, and it has me humming a tune and dancing around the studio.  My web of creativity is spinning away and I am so excited to put vision to thread!  A little fabric therapy does wonders for this quilter!

Motivation comes in numerous forms. Perhaps it is music, or a quote that is hanging in your quilting area. Whatever the source I would love to hear about it!  It’s always nice to tuck away a new idea to prevent the winter blah’s from provoking me into becoming a couch/bed potato!