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Friday
Jan052018

Creative Constipation

I try not to edit myself too much while writing this blog; it's a fine line I walk between being myself and not saying things that other people might find offensive. You have to remember, though, that I am a medical transcriptionist by day. Not much is sacred anymore. I probably type the word "constipation" (or actually, the letters "cpn" for auto-expand) several hundred times a day. That word has lost any modesty it might have had at one time and "creative constipation" really is the most accurate term for what I am experiencing at the moment. 

This is the first time in a couple of years that I have had to put sewing projects away for more than a week or two. It has been more difficult than I thought it would be, especially as I tend to use my sewing projects as an outlet to relieve stress and Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year for me. The girls are going through all of their stuff in an attempt to consolidate and organize their belongings—one just got back from four months in Europe and the other one is moving to Seattle to start a new job—so I am loathe to get out any of the sewing supplies that are stored in their rooms and closets. It would just add to the confusion. 

[I hesitate to talk about this because it sounds like I don't want my kids around and that's not true. I am enjoying having them here very much. I am just trying to sort out, for future reference, how to deal with frustrated creativity. The husband jokes about me having taken over the entire upstairs and converted it to a sewing room (which is partially true) but he has never had to give up space in his garage/workshop so that someone could sleep out there.]

The Self-Sewn Wardrobe group on Facebook holds periodic "challenges," and at the end of November, we were challenged to sew every day for a week. That's an informal challenge I try to hold myself to year-round, but it's harder than it sounds. I need a lot more practice. The issue is that I work best when I have a big chunk of time in which to sit down and attack a project with enthusiasm and intensity. I get very frustrated when I have to work in little blocks of time here and there. I tell myself that working like that might be slower by the minute but faster by the month, but that doesn't always help. It's just not how my brain functions optimally. 

I've managed a small compromise, and that is to spend a big chunk of time prepping a bunch of projects and getting them organized into smaller pieces. That way, when I am faced with a limited amount of sewing time, or sewing time where I don't have complete access to the personal Jo-Ann Fabrics store I have here in my house, I can work with what I've got available. I did a bit of that before the holidays, but apparently not enough of it. (Note to self.) I wish I had prepped a few more bag projects. Right now, all I have are pillowcases and some tumbler pieces. They aren't all that challenging. I tried working on the tumbler pieces last night and I just wasn't feeling the love. I got a strip about 60 inches long put together:

These were tumbler pieces I cut on my Accuquilt Go! a few months ago. I collected all the scraps that were big enough to cut 4" tumblers out of and ran them through the machine. It's quite the collection of prints. In an attempt to keep it from looking like something the dog threw up on, I alternated the busier prints with the prints that read more like solids. It's still pretty random, though, and I don't know how I feel about it. I am going to leave this strip up on the design wall for a few days and let it marinate. I can always take these pieces apart if I don't feel like continuing in this direction. (I do like the way the Accuquilt cuts the tumbler pieces with the dog-ears removed; it's very easy for even this spatially-challenged sewist to put them together the right way.) The solution might be to add some solid Kona tumblers in there to quiet things down. Or sort the tumbler pieces into color familes and stick with more controlled color palettes. We'll see. 

Meh. 

DD#2 and her boyfriend are driving back to Spokane next Wednesday (or perhaps Tuesday or Thursday depending on weather conditions) and DD#1 flies to Seattle next Friday. I'll be able to move back into the various areas that are currently being used as bedrooms and spread out all my projects again. In the meantime, tomorrow is Saturday and I'll have a big chunk of time. Maybe I can get supplies for some projects pulled and start prepping them. It would be great to get the creativity flowing again. 

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Reader Comments (3)

How about a knitting project in the meantime? I like the look of the tumblers but I like a riot of color. Snow day today ...to soon after break ended, but a long weekend. I understand about wanting your space back. Enjoy your time with the girls.

January 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDoreen

Knitting is not calling to me right now. I have a prayer shawl I can work on but I don't really want to *start* anything else. Still contemplating the tumblers. I am like you--I love color, but the tumbler shapes seem to mess with that a bit. Hmmmm.

January 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Szabo

Maybe it's because it is only one strip? A couple of strips might provide a better look? Maybe s strip of solids or offset the more solid looking pieces with the patterned? I guess I'd have to see in person...

January 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDoreen

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