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.

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 has SOLD on Etsy.


Linking up with Needle & Thread Thursday

Needle and Thread Thursday

 

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?

Rockstar Challenge Quilt

Has a concert ever left you energized and full of creative ideas?  When we saw The Head and The Heart in February, it gave me the inspiration for my Creative Rockstar Challenge quilt.  Prior to the concert I had received these fabrics from Riley Blake to use to create a quilt.  I had been mulling over ideas since I received the fabric, but nothing was really sticking.

via BrewStitched on etsy.com

The fabrics in this line were more my style than previous challenges.  There are some great basics in there.

Okay, let me get back to night of the concert and walk you through my design process.  We got to the venue early and realized we had amazing seats.  The whole back drop was appealing and when the lights were illuminated it was stunning.  It reminded me of 80’s Miami Vice almost.  During one song the quilt idea just started coming to me.  I grabbed my phone and took a video so I could remember the moment.

La-la-la-la was the perfect inspiration to bring these fabrics together.   As they sang I started to see the quilt come together.

 

Rather than the glowing orbs on stage, I was seeing stars and the word la all over.  It was exhilarating and my energy was high post inspiration.  After leaving the concert I was inspired and drew the idea out, then sat on it for a couple of days.  After a couple of days I was still very drawn to this idea and needed to see it come together.  BrewStitched had most of the Riley Blake Creative Rockstar fabric in stock.

I picked these up to round out my quilt’s idea.  The black for the background and gray for the binding.  Oh yeah, those leaves for something else I’m working on.

Without further ado, here is the finished quilt.

Creative Rockstar Challenge Quilt #babyquilt #rockstarchallenge #rileyblakefabricchallenge2017 #creativerockstarfabric

 

It reminds me of the backdrop and it’s pretty close to my original idea.  I always wash and dry my quilts before pictures, especially if I plan to sell it later.  It’s the best way to check for errors.  Well, I had a few errors crop up.  The heat bond didn’t stick as well on the back of the letters and stars.  Rather than zig zag stitch them down, I just ironed and quilted.  For longevity it needs to be more secure.  Luckily, I had some embroidery floss sitting around and went back in to hand quilt the stars and la(s).  It feels softer by adding the hand quilting and pretty successful for my first go round with the method.  There may have been some frantic texts to a friend about how in the world to hand quilt.  I got over my fear of screwing it up and just went for it.

The backing fabric really pulls all the colors together from the quilt.  As I was shopping for fabric, this fabric really caught my eye, it blends all the colors I wanted to use and helped me pick gray for the binding.  Guys, that is hand stitched binding too.

This is going to make a wonderful shower gift or new baby gift for someone.  You can see the listing on Etsy here. SOLD

If you’ve never heard All We Ever Knew in it’s entirety, it is below.  Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Great Grandma’s Finished Quilt

Lora Waggoner, my great grandmother, was quite the quilter. I have admired her Trip Around the World quilt since I was a child. My grandma, Mary Roberts, held on to these treasures and shared them with me from a young age. She had me reciting my ABCs and 123s at a sewing machine. It’s a fond early memory I have.

I am unsure how old the blocks are, but I’m excited to share with all of you these four generation blocks. The finished product has my touch on it.  If it is going to hang in my house, I needed to enjoy the process.

For the quilting I wanted it to be simple straight lines.  White was the color that won.  Someone suggested something bold like yellow or blue.  I promise something is coming with bold quilting.

Years ago I wanted to do something with these blocks from my great grandmother. I wanted my grandma to sew two blocks together, my mom sew two, and then I would sew the four together.  My grandma’s hands were not able to do as much and her health deteriorated before I could organize what I wanted. Plus, her memory was slipping and it was harder for me to visit.

In doing some research, I may have found the block pattern Lora used.  Still not 100% positive and need to do further research.

The backing being from my mother in law is a nice touch.  Going to add a label with all the women involved and the completed year.


Great Grandma’s blocks