I read a couple of days ago about Lucy's creative process and her link up with Collette of Poppy and Poochie "How to Grow Your Creativity" series. Leaving aside any feelings of wanting to express my creativity (?) and how I go about it, I wanted to support Lucy and Collette. And here's why:
I have always been creative through one way or another from childhood, my favourite Girl Guide badges were the making ones. When my children were small I joined a patchwork and quilting class. I went for many years but eventually got fed up. I realise in hindsight my creativity was stifled but I would have thought that was too pretentious to say. There then passed several years where I dabbled with different crafts but still felt drawn back to sewing.
Then came my epiphany - my sewing comeback. I read blogs before I even lifted a needle, I was interested in the blogging process. It was reading blogs and discovering the online sewing community that helped bring me back to sewing. One of the first blogs I read was Lucy, The Charm About You. I loved her chatty way and felt so inspired by a feather quilt she made from Anne Marie Horner fabrics. You can check it out here. I really felt I wanted to be part of this again.
So, I wrote my first blog post in 2013 and I had to sew because I wrote the blog post and enjoyed the writing process. Remarkably Collette was one of my first followers. Up until then I could track every single follower I had, and trust me they were single followers. It was only when I read Lucy's post I realised who Collette is. At last.
So my creativity. Or my making a mess as it is often referred to. If I don't have something on the go I feel as if part of me is missing. It is important for me to make time in the day for my making things. My ideas also tend to evolve as I go along.
I am not claiming any great originality here. I began using complete lines of fabric and following someone else's idea but changing it to my own taste. Generally because I have cut the fabric wrong and have to fudge it.
I don't write patterns and make waves in the design world. What I can do is look at something that somebody else has made somewhere and do my own version of it, but I do think I have my individual look. I can copy a photo much better than I can follow a list of written instructions. I fluster when bombarded with numbers. I sew much the same way I cook. I end up with an approximation of the meal in the recipe.
I have found being in a Bee great for my creativity. When it comes to my turn, I have generally been inspired by something I have seen online. We have to remember there is no such thing as an original idea no matter what people think. Pretty much every sewing block has been done by someone before.
I never pretend to have written this whole new concept but I do write my own instructions and give it my own twist whilst crediting the original idea, like my Polaroid blocks. Last year I saw the scandibee on IG were making polaroid blocks. They very kindly allowed me to link to them, and I did give them full credit them but I wrote my own plan and had my own ideas on it. And if you're thinking you haven't seen much of this, yes its another wip.
I think this is why I enjoyed Le Challenge so much, sadly missed. Lucy and Nathalie set a challenge and we made accordingly. I loved thinking outside the box and seeing what I came up with. I just needed that push to start me off. I think my favourite was my prawns walking across a lettuce leaf which was inspired by the saying "the rising sun". You can read about them if you like!
Now I find myself flexing my creative muscles, I am less influenced by others and more feeling my own way. Like in my Behemoth Wedding Quilt. I had a vague end concept and went for it. No plan, no sketches, just an idea in my head.
I need to stretch myself, I have a low boredom threshold so Le Challenge has been replaced for me by The Brave Quilter. Julie of Pink Doxies fame challenges us to face our sewing fears or extend our creativity. For me in September my brave quilter challenge is to think of my backside differently. I love to see the backs of quilts that are pieced. But, there is a little bit of me thinks, I bet they just ran out of fabric. Well, so what, they probably did run out of fabric.
And so in September I am going to piece the back of the Behemoth... yes I don't have enough backing. And, so what? It was meant to be like this all along. It is currently on the back of my dining chair to make me "do something" with it. And I'm going to use up those squares I made early on in the process that didn't work as the quilt progressed.
Well, I hope you are not too bored by all this rambling on. Thanks for staying with me.
linking up with both
Collette "Grow Your Own Creativity" with Poppy and Poochie
Julie "#Brave Quilter" at Pink Doxies