Like just about everybody else, I've been trying to figure out what my quilting goals are for the new year. Finish my UFO's? Get rid of stash? Take a class? Blog more often? What???
This morning I had an ah-ha! moment, a flash of insight so brilliant that it has to work for me. And here it is: I'm going to work on those projects that will make my gut feel good. I know, I know, it doesn't sound like a plan and it certainly doesn't sound brilliant. But it's just what I need to push myself and to feel good about what I've accomplished. Here's why:
Quilting is my hobby, which means it's something I do for fun. Right? Apparently not, because I sometimes stress about it. So then it's not a stress-reliever, it's a stress producer. I need to get rid of whatever makes me feel bad about my hobby. And what is that? I feel bad that I don't let myself work on projects that are really creative because I don't know whether I can be creative. In the end, that's what I will regret -- not that my sewing room was messy, not that I have several UFO's, not that there are skills I have not mastered, but that I have been afraid to follow my own creative instincts.
So I'm starting small. Quilt Pixie is doing a block a week to improve her piecing skills, and I thought I'd do something similar to give my creativity an opportunity to come out and play. I need new potholders anyway, so I thought I'd try some ideas there. How about a wonky log cabin potholder? I love how a tiny project looks great big on my blog!
My only rule for practicing creativity is that I have to start the creativity-jogging project. Once I'm started, I'm usually okay. (It's that "energy of activation" stuff from chemistry class -- it takes more energy to start than to keep going.) I don't love this potholder top, but I like it fine and I feel great about the process -- I didn't know where I was going with it, but I let it develop as I went.
And on a completely different note, I finished the three borders of an I Spy that started as a way to make use of leaders and enders, a la Bonnie. Still need to quilt it. (And don't you hate how those great big projects look so tiny in a photo? It's the same size as the potholder!)
I wish you all a wonderful 2009 -- I know my year will be better for sharing it with my blogging friends. May we all find the guts to aim for our true goals!