Uninspired and I’m Okay with That

Ruts happen.  That creative spark has slowly fizzled to just some burning embers.  As I mentioned a few months ago, I don’t feel like I have to sew all the time now for stress management.  The fun and joy is back when I am sewing, rather than stress inducing.

It’s freeing since I can focus on what I want to create instead of what I feel I have to create.  My passion and creativity can be the drivers in the sewing room, not an arbitrary deadline.  Yes, there are still times that I procrastinate on a project or it takes more time than I estimated.  These are now way less frequent than they used to be.

 

There are benefits and downsides to this new freedom.

Downsides:

  • I can work well under pressure
  • Deadlines keep me focused on getting something done
  • Not spending as much time creating
  • Nothing to really share

Benefits:

  • More focus on other areas of my life
  • Hello #healthysewist
  • I’ve been playing around in the kitchen more  and doing some other DIY projects
  • Less stress
  • More family time and truly enjoying it
  • Thinking of doing a destash to clear out some stuff

Anyone with a creative pursuit has gone through this.  In the past, it has lead to some amazing next projects for me.  What will be next?

There are currently three projects that I’m just working on here and there.  There is no sense of urgency to complete them, just enjoying the process.  It’s new and different for me.  However, this new experience has left me a little uninspired.  I’m getting back to basics and just making some easier projects.  Focusing on some scraps and realizing some fabric in my stash isn’t inspiring anymore.  Maybe time for another destash?

I could just be rambling or on the cusp of a breakthrough.  When I’m on a run or walk, I feel that I’m looking at things differently.  It’s allowing me to take in a new perspective of the same route and roads I’ve been on for years.  I stopped to smell some flowers one day during a run, they were stunning.

Trying something new helps me at times too.  With my Icy Waters quilt, I wanted to quilt wavy lines in it.  The thought of quilting wavy lines has been paralyzing me from completing the quilt.  When did I become such a chicken to try something new.  Over the weekend I just went for it.  Guess what?  I liked it and my response was the same as trying free motion quilting.  Now I want to wavy line quilt everything once I get some bobbin issues figured out.  My machine and I were not on the same page.  Since I’m not in a rush, I gave it a two gun salute, and walked away.  Yes, I flipped my machine off and it felt great.  Last night I was going to try again, but decided sitting outside with wine watching my kid pretend to be Maui was much better.

Maybe more inspiration will strike this week, maybe it won’t.  Either way I’m going to continue to feel uninspired for any one project and enjoy just creating.

Creative Weekend Retreat at Home

That’s right, at my house.  Over Memorial Day weekend I was given the chance to just have some time at home.  My wonderful parents took P on Thursday night to the lake and I had taken Friday off work.  Earlier  in the week I had written down my to do list to help keep me focused with all my free time.  I was planning 3-4 days with no kid and hubby had some plans too.

What you don’t see on the list are some errands that I wanted to accomplish as well.  I knocked most of those out on Friday morning and needed those errands to complete some home projects.  Spray paint was necessary to make these happen.  Saturday my yard was colored robin’s egg blue and gold/bronze.

We are hitting a few big salvage sales in the area this upcoming weekend to complete some updates to our bedroom.  My husband painted the room two years ago, yep, that’s our speed for home projects.  I’m happy with how these pieces turned out.  They are going to stand out against the navy walls in my bedroom.

Saturday morning I made candles with soy wax and essential oils.  I didn’t follow a tutorial, I just started creating.  Next time I need more oils to make a stronger scent.  They are easy to make once you have the supplies.

I worked on the spray painting as a break from sewing.  My items for the Urban Home Goods Swap on Instagram (#uhgswap) needed to be finalized.  Based on my partner’s request I wanted to make an apron and a pillow cover.  Guess what I had never made before?  An apron.  Pinterest is full of tutorials and ideas and this one is awesome, click here.  My version is below.

I hope my partner doesn’t hate the butterfly print as I used it as the base fabric for most items I made her.  We shall see.  Once the adult version was complete, I whipped up a smaller version for her daughter.  Rather than a fabric waistband, I dug into my vintage lace and found the perfect piece.

After these, I needed a creative break.  I began working on the clouds for the Rainbows and Clouds quilt.

 

Thank you for your kind words on the project.  It took a lot emotionally to create it, but the overall finish was perfect.  The rainbow strips and piecing curves were a nice challenge to keep working on when I didn’t want to keep going.

Saturday night I was able to get the quilt based and ready for quilting on Sunday morning.  As I wrapped up Saturday night I turned to a collection of fabrics I pulled to create the pillow for the swap.  The first pull I made was great, but wasn’t quite right.  The next pull was just right.

I went back to my favorite flying geese tutorial and knocked out the geese in no time.  In the background I was watching new episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and dying.  If you haven’t watched the series, start because it’s hilarious.  In making this pillow, I decided I want to see this as a whole quilt.  Monday I was able to order more of the background fabric and some fabrics to coordinate from Stitch Stash Diva.  The fabrics have already arrived and I will probably start on the quilt this weekend.

Finally over the weekend I wrapped up a few projects that I had sitting around and just wanted to get done.  You will see those soon.  What I didn’t accomplish was the video tutorial just yet for a postage stamp quilt, but it’s coming.  That’s going to take an afternoon and I want to give it the proper time it will require.

Overall it was a great weekend and thankful I was able to make so much with the time I had.  I had been feeling a creative rut and not very motivated.  Having a weekend to focus on creating was what I truly needed.  Look for new quilts and items coming up.

Rainbows and Clouds Baby Quilt

When making custom baby quilts, it gives me an opportunity to connect with a family.  Their friend or family member relays their story to me and I create something especially for them.  I love watching their story come to life in a quilt.  The recipient of this quilt has been through an immense amount of heart break to welcome this new bundle.

“Without the storms there would be no rainbows,” is the quote from their Facebook announcement.  Baby #6 is on the way.   I’m not even sure how to relay the hard part to you as it’s crushing.  However, I assure you this family is elated and they have the biggest smiles on their face in their announcement.  All the babies before have either miscarried or passed shortly after birth.

Did you just get a huge lump in your throat reading that?  I did just writing it.  It breaks my heart to hear their story and work on something special for them.

If you’re reading this and have experienced the loss of a pregnancy or child, HUGS!  Know that while making this I recalled stories of my own friends and their journeys to create their family.  It’s not always sunshine and rainbows.  Sometimes it’s just a shitstorm and it’s not fair.  You’re not alone and many couples have been there.

After some discussion the rainbow idea was born.  To incorporate all the children I would include six clouds.  I put two clouds at each end of the rainbow for the parents.

Yellow was omitted from the rainbow for two reasons:

  1.  I didn’t have a big enough piece of fabric to coordinate with all the other prints.
  2.  Having six stripes of colors also is a tribute to all six children.

You can really see the clouds in the picture above.  The green grass provides a nice contrast to the gray background.  It’s not a solid gray, it’s Robert Kaufman Spot On in Silver.  I remembered there was some in my stash and thought it would be a great background.

For quilting I went with free motion loops.  It gives such a nice crinkle to the finished quilt.  Solid yellow is on the back and rounds out the colors of the rainbow.  Adding black and white binding gives the piece a frame.  Not only did I want this to be a quilt, but later on could be used as wall art.

The clouds kind of disappear and the rainbow shines bright.

One detail you can’t see unless you’re up really close (extreme close up not included) is the thread color around the clouds.  I used a very light blue as the bobbin thread and it gives each cloud a little glow.

The quilt is off to it’s new home this weekend.  I hope the parents enjoy the quilt, but mostly new baby snuggles soon.  Thoughts to them as they anxiously await the arrival of baby #6.

All fabrics are from my stash or scraps.

All The Way Up – Kona HSTs Gender Neutral Quilt

This quilt is a good example of what happens when you just play and create.  You can evaluate the design and make changes more easily.  It all started with two charm packs and some ideas.

Originally, I had planned a disappearing nine patch pattern.  It wasn’t right.  Half square triangles seemed to fit the quilt better.  The change was a better move, but the overall layout wasn’t working.  I put the squares away for another day.

While stuck at home on a Saturday, I busted out the squares to try again.  The idea to try arrows struck and well, I liked it.

Adding the light gray borders created an offset look.  Yeah, this will do.

Upon basting the quilt it was apparent I had no clue where I was going with the quilting.  An offset triangle seemed like a good starting point.  I repeated the triangle a few times before I realized it sucked.  You can read about my decision here.

My quilting specialty is straight lines.  I should have stuck to that in the first place as straight lines were my first idea.  After recently playing around with free motion quilting, I wanted to do something different.  I didn’t need to do something different, I needed to listen to my gut and just create.

I named the quilt All The Way Up.  Maybe it should be named All The Way Fed Up.  In all seriousness this quilt reminded me creating isn’t easy.  Going through the process to create an original design allows for growth.  Growth is what you want when you’ve been stuck in a creative rut.

Kona solids baby quilt by quiltytherapy. #Half square triangle quilt #solids quilt #kona solids #HST quilt #modernbabyquilt

Here is the finished quilt.  I love the arrows created with half square triangles.  Below you get a detailed look at the straight line quilting.

Kona solids baby quilt by quiltytherapy. #Half square triangle quilt #solids quilt #kona solids #HST quilt #modernbabyquilt

I found this Dear Stella stripe at a local quilt shop a while back and had it in my stash.  When I started looking for backing I dawned on me that I had it.  The colors coordinate perfectly and the stripe is vertical.

striped backing

The quilt is listed on Etsy and ready to ship.


Linking up with Needle & Thread Thursday

Needle and Thread Thursday

 

Workout Essentials

If you have been following my workout journey on Instagram, I appreciate the support.  It feels great to prioritize my health goals.  The number on the scale isn’t dropping as much but that wasn’t my primary focus.  I am seeing changes in how my clothes fit, my strength, and gaining endurance.  The gear I use also contributes to my success.  I don’t want to spend an entire workout fighting with clothes, it’s distracting and will have an impact on your workout.

Having the right gear can make your workouts much more enjoyable.  There are many options to choose from, but these are my tried and tested favorites.  When I started running 20 years ago, I thought nothing about shoes or clothes.  I bought whatever shoe I thought looked cool and wore some old cheer stuff to log the miles.

Cotton + Indiana humidity were not a good combination.  This was before all the glorious performance fabrics we have available now.

I encourage you to find the right combination of things for your workouts.  Trial and error is okay and may lead you to find something amazing.  My top places to find gear at reasonable prices:  TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and thrift stores.  Many races are now giving out performance fabric shirts and people donate them after a couple of years.  I have also found some great running tanks on a Facebook swap group in my area.  TJ Maxx and Marshalls are also my go to spot for workout socks.  They can get expensive pretty quickly.

While I save money on socks and shirts, I do not scrimp on shoes and sport bras.  These two areas will halt your workout goals pretty quickly.  This is where I would start my trial and error then build out.  Always check a stores return policy as well.

Sport Bras

For those with a cup size bigger than a C, be ready for a price shock to get a quality high impact sport bra that can support activities.  Many manufacturers offer sport bras by cup size, but not all high impact bras are the same.

via Target.com

These are a great option for the price point.  I was very wary at first, knowing that I could return it if it sucked.  Well, it didn’t suck and exceeded my expectations.  So much so, I have emailed Target to keep these stocked.  Bonus:  sometimes there is a 20% coupon with the Cartwheel App.

via Jackrabbit.com

Moving Comfort has some good options as well.  My personal preference is a sports bra without the Velcro adjustable straps, it bothers me while I run.  The Maia has a bra closure and no Velcro.  Do you notice the higher neckline on this one?  It’s a detail that is hard to find and I appreciate.

Wearing the Maia in this picture from a workout.

Tights

Lots of options for tights.  Almost too many options.  I like Old Navy’s Go-Dry High or Mid Rise Compression Crops.  They don’t wiggle down as I run or fight me while doing yoga.  They stay put.  I have enough issues while running, I don’t want to be that person fighting her tights the entire time.  Lots of colors and patterns to choose from.

Shoes

Finally, do not scrimp on your shoes.  Sorry they won’t last years either.  If you’re wearing them regularly they should be replaced every 300 – 500 miles.  Make the effort to find a shoe store near you that specializes in running or walking shoes.  Get fitted from knowledgeable staff that can recommend a shoe based on your gait and usage.  You may pay more, but it’s worth it.  Typically, they offer a 30 day return even if you’ve worn the shoe outside for miles.  Brands change their style every “season”, so the shoe you have been in may not work with tweaks they make in the new model.

Maybe you find a new favorite.  Don’t hesitate to share your favorites as well in the comments.  I love hearing about products.

 

 

 

“This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a portion of sales if you make a purchase using links in the post.  All products are things I have, use regularly, and would recommend to you if we talked face to face.

 

It’s Okay To Grab The Seam Ripper

 

If you don’t like where a project is going, it’s okay to grab the seam ripper and start over.  It’s a lesson I had to remind myself of yesterday.  Sunday afternoon I started quilting on the Kona HST quilt in my WIP pile.

I had been contemplating the quilting design and decided to just move forward with it.   Starting with an offset triangle and following that design around.  All was well until I had to change the bobbin.  Something wasn’t right after I changed it.  New thread?  The tension is off?  Fingers crossed it isn’t something more, like the timing.

Working on the quilted triangles I started to question my original idea.  After taking a few hours away from the machine, I couldn’t shake that feeling that it wasn’t right.

Yesterday some frantic texts were shared with Rachael to get a second opinion.  She agreed with my assessment.  It’s okay, but not exactly right.  Notice those evenly spaced horizontal lines?  That’s where I want this design to go.

Last night I grabbed my trusty seam ripper and started busting up the stitches.  The first row was painful.  As I went on taking out the quilting became satisfying.  Taking out what I didn’t feel was the right design is time consuming.  Ultimately, I will be happier with the finished product.  For now, this sits in my sewing space waiting for me to get home from work.

Do you have any projects that you’ve taken the seam ripper to?  If so, how did you feel after?