|Instant access to sewing machine|
1. First of all, you have to have a dedicated work space. It doesn't have to be fancy or isolated from the rest of the household but it does have to give you instant access to your sewing machine, rotary mat and iron. There is no compromise here. If you have to take your sewing machine out of the closet or move it out of the way for dinner, you're already sabotaging your 'get up and go'. Find a corner and make it work.
2. You need a fabric stash available in your home. Have it immediately washed and ready to go. The stash doesn't have to be huge or especially diversified. You just need fabric that you're gonna want to play with and/or start a project with. You can take care of the details later. The important thing is having fabric available when you're ready to get going. And I don't mean when you get back from the store.
3. Keep a notebook in your purse, by your bed, in your desk and in the quilt room. Use it. Write, draw and record impulsive thoughts and glimmers of inspiration.
4. Collect quilt books, magazines and patterns that inform, inspire or instruct. Stalk quilt blogs on the Internet. Read about creative people, their habits and the quilting process. Be curious.
5. Set up a Pinterest and start hoarding inspiration. Get a bulletin board and pin real things. Be colorful, brave and whatever else you do, don't over-think things in this department. You have no idea the type of quilter you'll be this time next year.
|The Bulletin board|
|Multiple on-going projects|
8. Make routines: Daily, weekly, set amounts of time or even parts of the day--just do it. Work, Do, Make, Create. It takes an effort and commitment which your habits will now make possible. Remember, even little chunks of time eventually produce an outcome. Work, work, work. It's not all gonna be lightning bolts of inspiration and goosebumps of anticipation.
9. Always make time for prep work. It's fairly tedious, so get it out of the way! Over and over and over this will benefit your feelings of creativity as you are continually and immediately ready to move on into the next phase of a project.
10. Have a portable project and have it ready to go on a moments notice. Get used to packing it with you even you're convinced it's unnecessary. Stolen moments working on a Forever type project are golden. Be prepared.
11. Create shopping lists for fabric, threads, batting, template plastic etc. as needed and keep it in your wallet. Plan ahead for the essentials and don't be stuck having to wait for an order in the mail or a convenient time to shop.
13. Leave time for projects or phases of projects to simmer and INCUBATE. Study what you've accomplished. Consider your options. Allow time to dream about solutions and let your subconscious work through the possibilities. Come back again and again to 'just check in'.
14. Then, when it's time (or you have no other choice): tackle your projects head on. Work to find solutions. Don't let fear rule your quilting world. Mistakes can sometimes lead to something incredibly brilliant. Besides, no matter what the designers want you to believe, there's always gonna be more fabric to love.
15. Consider working in a series. Narrow your options and then gradually open them back up again, thereby possibly kick-starting a whole new kind of brainstorming. You'll never know till you try.
16. Explore, try and LEARN. Be open to challenges, new methods, tools, classes, experiences and even ugly fabrics or colors. Do not limit your imagination or allow yourself to stagnate.
17. Be willing to have interconnections with other quilters such as quilting groups, bees, QALS, BOMS, quilt-shares, linky parties etc. Push yourself a bit out of your comfort zone but at the same time, make sure you don't get overwhelmed. Figure out the proper balance because it's hard to flourish in a vacuum. Everyone needs feedback.
18. Make time for play-time. Don't think, just DO. Use your scraps, be creative or work small. Try being frugal and/or upcycle. It all works.
19. Improve your skill level. You can't break the rules properly until you know them for what they are.
20. Believe in yourself. Make an effort to find the foundation of who you are as a quilter and strive to perfect on that vision. Don't bother to make comparisons with quilters you admire because you'll either come up lacking every single time or lose sight of what's important. Consider starting a blog or keeping a diary. Be honest and be real.
|Inspiration and information|
21. Start, Finish, Start, Finish. Rinse and repeat.
22. BE in your quilting space. Be in your quilting space. Be in your quilting space. Get the idea? Absorb, clean, organize, play with fabric, make interesting stacks and combinations of fabric or hunt up a perfect fabric, look at every UFO--audition and consider, give yourself permission to jettison partially formulated ideas and projects, make lists for shopping, ideas and goals, re-do bulletin boards, pin Pinterest pics, and/or think. Forget about avoidance--it gets bitter and clingy. Dream about the next project. Be daring and START something new! You don't have to LIVE here, you just need to be comfortable in the space.
23. Take time to look at your beginning, middle and current progress. Pull out all of your quilts and/or quilt tops and reflect. Understand where you've been and where you might be heading.
24. Take advantage of times of Illumination. Get right to work. Shove everything else out of the way. Take advantage of free flowing ideas and inspiration. Capture the spark!
25. Consider including Slow Quilting type projects in with your regular quilting projects: hand piecing, EPP, hand quilting. Make time for introspection and thoughtful quilting.
26. Listen. Trust your instincts. Key in to your intuition and gently cultivate the same. Don't push through a balky idea if something is hovering right there out of sight. Patience has its rewards you know.
27. Be a time saving machine: iron properly, trim, chain piece, figure out the best methods for how your particular mind works with where your skill level currently resides. Efficiency can be gained by not making critical mistakes that make you best friends with the seam ripper or causing re-do's. As you gain experience, difference methods might become faster or make more sense.
28. Occasionally be open to combining ideas, projects, stacks of fabrics and/or quilting pieces. Don't feel like you have to isolate anything. Let ideas meld and watch new sparks and layers occur.
29. Fill up the well. Take walks, read books, spend time with family, take vacations. Refresh.
30. Give quilts away. Put your heart and soul into a quilt, give it some love and then freely give it away.
In closing: I admit to times when I'm less interested in quilting than others. There are weak areas in my 'Habits of Creativity' development and I get stuck in the ruts or cower in my safe little comfort zone just like everyone else. Ha! Do. I. ever. The important thing is: I don't stay in that place for very long these days. I may not be an artist or a professional, but I'm a great quilter and you know what? I'm kind of excited about that these days.