Our lives are like quilts - bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love.

These are just some of my quilts.  Many I have given away and many I did not take pictures of before I gave them to friends.  The brown and red one still needs the applique finished and the top made into a quilt.  Right now I am in a quilting slump.  I have the brown and red lap quilt to do and I have a log cabin out of beautiful oriental fabric that is in 25 blocks.  I have started a purse making club at the local quilt shop and I have 10 days to cut out and make the first purse.  Everything is just sitting there, not being worked on.

I started quilting after going to a Public Library Association Convention in Atlanta.  It ended on Saturday and my flight was not until evening so I went to a juried art show at the convention center.  I saw some beautiful quilted clothing that was selling for $400.00 a skirt.  And I thought I can do that.  So I started by making quilted verts.This is one of them.  I then
when on to making quilts, wall hanging, table runners, and some "art quilts".
I am trying to broaden my horizons, however, I still consider myself a traditional quilter.

My mother, Gladys Mildred Holdred Holmes, was a sewer through out her life.  By the way, she liked Millie or Mildred not Gladys.  She came from pioneer stock.  Her mother, Ruth Katrina Lamb, was born in 1880 in Salt Lake City and she and her family left that year to settle in Chandler Arizona by wagon train.  My mother who overcame the problem of complete nerve deafness brought about by a case of thypoid in early childhood to become a elementary school teacher in the mining camps of Arizona.  She was a modern woman in that she did not can fruits or vegetables like her mother...she bought them in the grocery store.  She also did not quilt, she bought her bedding in the department stores.  But she could sew up a beautiful designer Vogue pattern or tailor a men's suit coat.  I learned from her and from my home economics classes how to use a sewing machine and I think my love of wild vibrant colors came from my mother.  The love of quilting did not.

I can remember the first sewing I did in junior high in Miami.  I made an a-line lime green dress out of linen.  I really never liked the dress after it was finished, however, I did learn  how to use a sewing machine.  The first machine I purchased after graduating with my masters degree in Library Science and joy of joy getting a job...it was a Kenmore sewing machine.  I really did not sew with it much until I was inspired by visiting that art show in Atlanta.


This is my sister-in-law from New York with a quilt I made for her a few years ago.  
I enjoy quilting.  I love learning new techniques and I go to quilt conventions in Utah, but also in California and Arizona.  I am thinking of taking classes at the International Quilt Show in Long Beach this summer.  Now I need to get motivated and start finishing some of my projects.  I work as a library director 40 hours a week.  I have my husband and two daughters at home.  I have my 92 year old father that I take care of at home.  We are upgrading our 1915 year old Carnegie Library to seismically safe....our town is on a fault that has not moved for over 100 years and about every 100 years it has moved and a major earthquake has happened...so with the help of FEMA our library will be upgraded to survive. All of this in my life is stressful and my motivation to sew and be creative is low.

Have any ideas on motivation to create?


Stacy West said…
I would suggest a small, not-too-challenging, useful project, perhaps to give to a friend (extra motivation). I made tissue cozies (Google them... lots of simple tutorials online) and had so much fun choosing the fabrics. I took care of my 98 yo MIL and my sister-in-law who is mentally and physically disabled. I empathize with your stress.
Tanya Brown said…
(Here via QuiltArt.)

I saw your note about getting motivation to create. I sympathize. The end of last year kind of kicked me in the rump. What you're going through with stress will take the creative drive right out of you. Even "good stress" can take it out of a person.

A few ideas:
Make crazy squares from small fabric scraps, using squares of muslin or something ugly as a base to sew on. I just did that for about a week, mindlessly sewing bits together until my brain cleared. It worked wonders.

Try something new, something you wouldn't use in one of your usual quilts, and go nuts on half a yard of fabric. Go to the store or look online for an interesting product. Break out the potato masher or cookie cutters and use them for stamping fabric. Afterward, if you like what you've done and want it around, turn it into placemats or bookmarks.

Go on an artist's date. Visit a museum, conservatory, or someplace else you like. Take pictures.

Think about what really matters to you and base a small notebook paper-sized piece on that.

Wishing you the best -
janettestitches said…
I can also empathize, we are trying to pack up our house, move into a mobile home (think very small for 2 people) until the new house is ready, so time and stress are my bad cmpanions.However as self help I have looked over my old sketch books, magazines and some books (not all quilty stuff) and that seems to work as a starter for creativity even if its only adding to the sketches, marking pages for future work, or eye candy.I think if you frett about it you only feel worse so take a time out and do other things, your creativity will return.
Takke Care
Thank you Stacy, Tanya, and Janette for you comments and ideas. Great ideas. I am going to try making fabric postcards for fun and a creative break.

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