Wednesday, April 6, 2016

maker slump, turned making spree, and Gee's Bend

I am not sure what started it exactly, or where it was I lost my desire to make things, but it happened. About a month ago. I am pretty sure it was a combination of my personality and our busyness/stress that spurred it on.

I am a little bit of a control freak. And unfortunately, not the kind that typically results in something wonderful. More like, if I don't feel like I have control and it's what I really want, I rapidly lose interest. For example, I will see patterns or designs and think "I need to make that, it looks so good." I will start cutting and piecing, and then I lose interest. If it doesn't totally pull me in, I'm out. So making just to make is completely unfulfilling for me. The projects that I start and finish within a few days-- that is where my heart is. The ones I put down and set aside half way through, not as much. --However, there have been occasions where I go back to the works in progress renewed, or sometimes I tackle it in a different way. Like my mother-in-law's quilt... I started quilting it with purple thread because I saw (and really liked) how other people were using colored thread to make their quilting pop. I did it and did not like it. At all. So I put that quilt down and it sat and sat and SAT.....until I finally decided to rip out all my quilting and start anew with white thread. Ahhhhh. Much better. When something feels like me and really interests me, I am all about it.
--all of that is the exact reason why I don't do custom orders. the second it starts feeling NOT like me or like something I would make, it becomes not fun and feels like work. bleh. If I am taking time away from my family and my job, I want it to only be for what really drives me.--

I have totally stepped off course. Whoops. My bad. Okay, so basically I had started to make a few quilts for my little etsy shop, but they weren't doing anything for me. And stuff going on personally had really drained me, so I fell right into a creative slump. Nothing.

And then I saw a picture of fresh spring flowers and the color palette made me the feel the need to MAKE SOMETHING. So I did. This quilt below. 

I didn't want to overthink it, so I just grabbed fabric and cut, and then pieced it all together. Ahhhhhhh. It was just what I needed to get me back in the saddle. 

I have been wanting to make a quilt where the color lavender was the focus for some time, but again, I didn't want to overthink it. (Is it just me, or has anyone else found that pinterest- while great inspiration-- can HURT creative drive? I see SOOOOO many amazing quilts and patterns and color schemes, that I feel overwhelmed and don't have any clue where to start.) 

I searched through my stash and remembered I had hoarded a Brambleberry Ridge bundle. I pulled the lavenders from that as my starting point and incorporated a couple more. I went back and forth between adding ONLY gray and white, but then grabbed a piece of icy blue and loved it. And then it totally evolved as I was pulling but I really like the end result of the colors together. It feels wintery to me. 

I used a different pinky than my normal to back it, and it ended up being heavier and a little more difficult to quilt with. But the end result is a super warm and cozy quilt. It's available in my etsy shop if you want to check out some more pictures :) 

Now that these two are finished, I am plotting my next one. I have been reading a lot of about the Quilts of Gee's Bend and I am just completely pulled in. The history, the women, the very utilitarian nature of the quilts, and how unbelievably amazing they are. I am blown away. I love history and looking back and imagining life, and seeing what these women made with their hands, using pieces of sheets and's just all the good stuff. The impact that they had. Y'all need to read all about the women of Gee's Bend-- here is a good place to start. It's all so inspiring and amazing.


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