Friday, September 3, 2021

Quilting and Motivation on Off the Wall Friday


You know I'm quite sure that most people don't realize how much time and effort goes into a quilt.  That goes double for a quilt that is an original design.  As I've gotten back into the swing of things, I've been thinking over what I want to do next.  I have a few projects started that really do need finishing but it's been hard to get myself back in there.

One of the reasons is  it literally looks like a hurricane went through from me pulling supplies to go to John C. Campbell's Folk School.  Plus then when I got home, I just piled them all back in. So obviously, it will need a good clean before I do anything else.  

During Jennifer Reis's class we talked a bit about motivation.  I mean anybody who takes a look at her work knows that it take hours and hours of hand stitching.  When asked how does she get a piece done, she mentioned she has several going at once.  When she gets sick of one, she grabs another.  

Since I've had an obvious lack of motivation in 2020 that is running right through  2021, I thought it might be nice to come up with some ideas that would help!



  • Start Small, Finish Big  Yeah, I know it's just common sense.  The smaller the project is, the easier it is to finish right?!   But who wants to spend their time making small quickie projects?  YOU DO!  A small project finished will give you the momentum and the confidence to tackle something a little bigger and bigger still.  It's all about setting a rhythm and knowing what to expect as you work your way through the quilt.  If you start big, you have a bigger chance of losing steam half way through.  How many times have you said to yourself, "OMGosh, I had no

    idea it was going to be this much work!  How did I get myself into this!" 
  • Set Solid Deadlines  What I mean by this is set a deadline where you are being held accountable
    by someone else rather than just yourself.  If I was being honest, this is the only way that I get anything done!  I use art show deadlines, commissioned work deadlines, assignments for class etc etc and magically things finished.  But if I'm just being beholden to myself than myself is a pretty lenient taskmaster.  (Yes, I know...pathetic!)
  • Stop Letting Your Emotions Run Your Actions  Okay, how many times have you said, "I know I set today aside to sew, but I'm just not feelin' it today.  Maybe tomorrow.  I'll go watch a movie instead"  Tomorrow comes and goes and your project is still sitting next to your machine not done.  IF YOU ARE WAITING FOR MOTIVATION TO STRIKE YOU HAVE A LONG WAIT!  It's about you getting up and getting to work no matter how you feel.  My rule is that I have to work for 20 minutes.  If  I'm really - really hating sewing after 20 min I stop, but normally put in at least a couple of hours at this point.  (I do want to say, I'm terribly guilty of this lately.  I blame it on menopause!)

  • Build A Routine  I truly feel that in routine we will find comfort and security.  I also feel like half the reason I can't find motivation to go into my studio is the fear of failure.  So it makes sense to set up a routine that give me the structure  and the security to get my butt in motion!  For instance, maybe set  up a day you sew every week or time every day. Make it concrete not just sometime this weekend.  Then walk into your studio, set up your favorite playlist which you already have in mind, and start working on the project that was left ready to begin the last time you were in there.  THEN when you finish set up your studio so that you are ready to begin right at the place you left off.  If you are comforted by a clean studio, pick up.  If you like to create in chaos leave it.  Whatever works for you, but do it over and over.
  • Share Your Process  If you are sharing your process, rather than just the finish piece you're more likely to keep going.  Nobody likes to create in a bubble.  Okay well some people do, but not most of us.  When you can share what you are doing...the ups and the'll keep on working so you can share some more.  Also listen to other people's process.  This will remind you that you aren't the only one that is working hard for your art.  Social Media and blogging makes this easier than ever.  So sharing with a lot or just a few trusted friends should help motivate you to continue!

Now I don't want to give the impression that I think these are easy, because obviously if they were I would have gotten a lot more done.  BUT it's a start and a start is all anybody can ask for!

 So What Have You've Been Up to Creatively?

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Angela said...

Thank you for your words of wisdom. Thank you for giving us a place to share our creations!

DVArtist said...

Wonderful post. I do know what it takes to make a quilt. I made 1 and swore I would never make another. LOL