Obstacles to your Creativity

Posted by on July 31, 2017

by Lynn Bell, TinLizzie18 Educator

Hi again, and thanks for joining me for this article.  So, hmmm, obstacles to your creativity.  I’m not talking about you having to climb over a pile of fabric to get to your quilting machine, I’m talking here about SELF-IMPOSED obstacles, aka rules, attitude, etc.

I have found that if someone truly enjoys doing something that does not bring in an income, it is considered “play” and it gets shoved to the back burner.  It’s like we must “earn” or “deserve” the privilege of partaking.  Well, it’s time to climb over those obstacles and tear down the barriers!

Here are a few synonyms for quilting (in my house, anyway):  Therapy, Zen, Mood Altering, happy dance, Valium, rehabilitation, healing, attitude adjustment, anger management, cease-fire, anti-depressant, peacefulness, harmonious, anti-stress, decompression chamber, my happy place.  I could go on and on, but I’d like to get this article wrapped up so I can get to my quilt studio!

Okay, first of all, what are your self-imposed rules of “must do” before quilting?

  • Clean the house
  • Do the laundry
  • Weed the garden
  • Yadda, yadda, yadda

First you must identify ALL of your obstacles, both self-imposed and others.  Then look at your list and determine which are truly necessary.  Can you do these things once a week rather than every day? How about baby steps, once every-other day, then once every two days….get the picture?

What will happen if you don’t do it every day?  Which rules are worth it, and which are totally unnecessary?

I remember my adult daughter coming home for a visit once, and she commented “Wow mom, you’ve really let go of all of your rules.  You enjoy life and don’t go crazy if a dirty dish sits in the sink!  When did that happen?”  It was news to me, but then, I don’t have time for dishes all the time, because I am quilting, and I’m a much happier, easier-to-be-with person because of it.  Yes, my house is a little messy, we may run out of underwear once in a while, there may be weeds in my garden, but the tomatoes still manage to grow!

The Quilting Artist In you needs MORE TIME!!  Sometimes we think we must stay on schedule in order to squeeze out more time for our quilting.  Other times, we have all the time in the world, so we take our time getting into the quilting space, then we run out of time.

Step out of your box and break your chains!!!  Break your own rules. Try taking one whole day every week just for spending time in your quilting space.  Once you get used to that, add another day in the week (or an evening, or whatever is available to you).  I’ll tell you this:  I managed to spend more time quilting when I held down a full-time job while raising a granddaughter than I spend now that I’m retired.  How does that even make sense??  I knew I only had so much time, so I carved it out.  Now I have all the time in the world, so I hardly ever get in my studio.  Hmmmm, well, that changes right now!  I promise (myself) to get into my studio at least 2-3 days a week and to save the weekends for family time (unless there is a quilt retreat somewhere).

By the way, why not break the quilting rules too, while you’re on a roll. The quilt police aren’t watching you.  Quilts don’t always have to be perfect.  Take whatever doesn’t work for you and change it.  I remember Gail Garber once said (in a class), “I can’t do bound corners and I kept getting marked down for them at quilt shows, so I quit making quilts with corners”.  Google her and take a look at her quilts.  Rounded corners!

Have fun with your quilting.  Allow yourself to soar with the eagles as you create and play with fabric.  We are so incredibly blessed to be able to express ourselves with stitches and fabric.  I am not an artist.  Failed drawing 101 and painting 101, but I can stitch fabric together and draw on it with my beautiful thread and my wonderful Tin Lizzie.  Life is as good as I allow it to be, and mine is awesomely blessed.  Fabric just makes me happy!  Okay, time to go do a happy dance in my studio.

Thanks for joining me here at TinLizzie18, where we’re committed to helping quilters of all levels realize their quilting dreams.

Happy Quilting!
Lynn Bell


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