Monday, September 7, 2015

Managing Changes in Creative Energy & Design Wall

"You can't wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club."--Jack London

I have low energy right now. My current projects aren't progressing, and I'm struggling to get back on track. No real passion. No creativity. A proverbial standstill. Blah.

What do you do when this happens to you, and you have deadlines to meet? You can't sit back and do nothing. You still need to meet the bottom line. We give ourselves little pep talks, but even those don't help at times. How do we break the cycle?

I Ask Myself These Things About My Wellbeing:

Are you getting enough sleep? Some people say they don't need more than 4 hours of sleep a night, but Web M.D. says some of us need up to 9 hours or more. We each know how much we need to function best, so adjust it if it's part of the problem.

Are you eating fresh, healthy food? Think consciously about the fuel you're putting in your body. I may be guilty about overdoing the cocoa crispies and caffeine lately, and by afternoon I need more. I'm trying to switch to plain water when I'm feeling hungry. Very often I'm thirsty, and can't tell. 

Are you moving? Notice I didn't say exercising. That's a negative word for me that conjures up fancy clothes, and huge amounts of time. I'm talking about not looking for the closest parking space, taking the stairs if you can, and making sure you do walk the dog. Light gardening or even sweeping the room is great movement. I'm guilty here for avoiding it. If you've been sewing for a long time, take some time to stretch. Sandra at Musings of a Menopausal Melon has been writing a series on stretches for sewist. Sunday Stretch #1 and Sunday Stretch #2 We need movement.

My Plan and Promise

Today I will mulch one garden bed. I'll cook a healthy lunch and dinner, and also plan a menu for the upcoming week. I'll try a glass of water before a cookie, but I may still have that cookie. I promise to pay better attention to my physical needs.

Design Wall

My design wall has a lot going on at the moment. Maybe too much? I'm looking for ways to add interest to the corners of my improv quilt above. I experiemented with strips and wedges here. I love the effect of the spider web, but not sure it's what the improv needs. Next try is a square block.

I worked on the hexie quilt (on the top picture right) fleshing out the blocks, but thought a few mug rugs would be a perfect little gift for a friend of ours. Quick and easy projects are very rewarding. I added a layer of PUL next to the backing for water resistance.

Enjoy your holiday today in the States, and breathe in the last days of summer. Be aware of your health, and see how it carries over into your work and creativity. Shall we do this together?

Come on, Doxie girls.
Finish that bit of yogurt, and...
Let's go sew.


  1. I like how your improv piece looks - I'm sure you will find the right solution for the corners. Sometimes I find just doing something else for a bit and not trying too hard helps me to find a solution.

  2. Sometimes I pick 1 project and work on it until I get my mojo back. Sometimes I take a break for a bit before I do that. It sounds like you have deadlines and cannot take a long break but maybe you can try a day or two? Sometimes I do something non quilty like knitting to get the bug out. It depends. But it all usually comes out all right in the end. :)

  3. Sounds like you have a plan for getting your mojo back. Go for it! You'll find the right solution for the corners of your improve project. Maybe just all solid in that mustard color to contrast nicely with the wedges.

  4. Thanks for good questions to ask ourselves! They definitely made me think and reflect. When I am low on sewing mojo, I work on little things, like your mug rugs and that helps me feel like I am accomplishing something!

  5. I know exactly how you feel. With Summer and things being all over the place I haven't sewn for a while (with the exception of the Fabri-Quilt Block for which I had a deadline to meet!). I know once I get started again I'll be fine, it's making that first move!

  6. Regarding movement, I have rearranged my sewing room so that I have to get up to do anything. The ironing board is on the other side of the room and the cutting mat is 2 feet farther than my arm can reach from the machine. It forces me to get up and down. I also keep at least one mindless knitting / crocheting project in the sewing room so that if I need to just stop and rethink a sewing project I can.
    Love your mug rugs.

  7. Ah, this post resonates with me. Although in my case, it feels more like Inspiration is coming after me with a club and right now I'm not very equipped to fend it off! Too many projects and ideas, not enough time/space/mental space to deal with them and move them on, ack. Possibly I'm just too exhausted/stressed/unsettled for them all right now! Good luck with your quilting mojo, you have some very lovely projects on the go. :)

  8. When my quilting inspiration takes a hike, I like to view art in different mediums - botanical gardens, paintings, sculpture, hand made jewelry, pottery, museum exhibits. Before I know it I am headed back to my sewing machine with a plan. Good Luck

  9. I see lack of mojo as the body and minds way of saying just take a step back and do something else that you enjoy. Truly believe things happen for a reason, there is a reason your mojo has slackened off and it will return probably when you least expect it hahahahahahah :)

  10. This was a nice read ... it can be tough when you hit this spot and you're a creative type and also doing creative work connected to income. I like how you focused on looking at things like sleep + nutrition, rather than trying to cajole yourself to just push through it without making other changes. Seems like a good strategy.

  11. You can't force it. You don't know what is simmering and going to break out. The main thing is to keep going. I do made fabric. I sew 2 1/2" squares together. I make pocket quilts to give away. Make some pillowcases to give away. Go through UFOs. Cut up leftover blocks and insert strips. Clean the machines. Keep doing the small stuff. It is so much easier to turn the car if the wheels are moving. Just keep taking steps, we aren't creative on a geometric curve. Don't overthink it. Rest.

  12. I've got a couple of quilts you can quilt on....but we have to get the backing cut! Will that bring your mojo back? Text me when you're ready!

  13. When i feel like that i clear off everything - tidy the whole space up and just make a block. thankfully being in 2 bees there is always something that needs making and a finished block makes me happy and gets me moving again!

  14. I like how your improve is coming along. Mojo what's that?

  15. I try to work in my sewing room for at least 15 minutes every day. I turn up the music and more than not, I find I get lost into some project. But I agree, we always have to be sure we are taking care of ourselves!

    1. And thanks for sharing your post with Oh Scrap!

  16. Sewing is my relaxation time, but sometimes it feels like just one more thing on my to do list. I try really hard to give myself the 15 minute talk. I do anything for 15 minutes. Once I get myself in the sewing room, it usually becomes an hour and I only quit because it's bed time. Hopefully, you'll find your way through all the "have to do stuff" soon.

  17. Your spiderwebs are really lovely _ I like the wonky look which is the result of the alternating pieces. Lovely.... I don't know why, but it is not possible to publish my comment with my wordpress account ( ok, lets try google...

  18. Love what is on your design wall.

    I too am in a bit of of motivation rut. I am definitely not getting enough sleep and am drinking too much coffee to compensate, but I am moving and eating well. I think my problem is that I want to do too much. Instead of making a simple small task my goal for the day, I allow myself to get overwhelmed going down the rabbit hole of things I want to get done. Tomorrow, I will try to be better. Wake up, Alice! Wake up!

    Oh, and thanks for linking up to Building Blocks Tuesday!

  19. That vintage piece really "dresses" up that quilt. Great border choice. Try chocolate. It's great for getting out of slumps.

  20. Your pink and brown design wall block is beautiful.


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