This year, I've spent a lot more time than usual thinking about why I need to create, and what I really, truly want to spend my time creating. I've mentioned "being in a creative rutt" a couple of times recently on here. I've been making things but not with the enthusiasm I typically have, and definitely not as much. Not, that that's a bad thing.
I can think of a lot of reasons why I haven't exactly been as creative lately, but a few biggies come to mind...First, I started the year with a lot of lingering WIPs (works in progress). Some people like to juggle a bunch of projects at one time, but I do not. I find that the more WIPs I have, the more they weigh on me like a to do list, and inevitably become unenjoyable. Last year, I just started too. many. projects. Looking back now, I'm sort of annoyed with my former self. Because, I started a lot of things I didn't need and maybe didn't love. Lesson learned.
Another reason things have been quiet is because I had a muscle spasm in my neck about a month ago and it seems to agitate me when I sew. I have a history of back issues, and I seem to struggle the most when I have a little one to tote around. So, I'm being super cautious these days.
Oh, AND...my sweet little Lyla has not been napping. Oh my goodness, I'm so bummed. Seriously, a good 80% of my sewing takes place during naptime. Also, podcasts, audio books, chocolate, tea, cleaning, cooking. Pretty much life without naptime is going to be a hard adjustment.
So, yes, with all of this in mind, I find I've been pretty moody about my creative life. On one hand, I'm happy for the time to focus on other things, and find new inspiration. I've been reading more and knitting more, which has been fun. On the other hand, I definitely feel a little unfulfilled. All of this has made me realize that I really want to get back to more intentional and mindful making. I want to make things that genuinely excite me and meet needs in my life, and not because I just want to play with new fabric, or so that I have something to show on my blog.
Recently, I've gotten super excited about sewing and knitting for Lyla. I suppose it's her age (because two is the cutest) and the fact that she gets a kick out of dressing herself these days. Also, the speediness of kiddo garments is pretty enticing. Sometimes I convince myself that making clothes for my kiddos is not as worthwhile or as special as making quilts. But then I think about some of the dresses I've made Maggie (this one especially) and the memories they evoke. Lyla doesn't have a lot of clothes and I really don't buy her many. So, I have been going crazy thinking about sewing her oodles of dresses, little flowy skirts and maybe even this little knit cardigan for these impending warmer days. I picked up a couple of new prints that I'm so excited about (these feathers!) and also pulled some more from my stash. I can't wait to get back into this kind of making.
I never stop dreaming about quilts, but the truth is I don't really need to add any more quilts to my WIP pile. Also, with every quilt, I realize over and over again how big the process really is. It's a process that I don't want to rush. More than anything, I want the quilts I work on this year to be meaningful. Just like last year, I have an obligation to lead and finish two quilts for do. Good Stitches. I'll be putting one together next month and another one later this year. I'll also have some traveling quilts to work on for my Sew Carolina friends, which I'm super excited about! Lastly, I have a couple of long overdue quilts for my sweet twin nephews who were born last year - still hemming and hawing over those. So, yeah those plus the 2 or 3 quilts I have lingering from last year will probably be enough, don't ya think? Still there are one or two "just because" quilts that I can't get out of my head. And, to find the time and energy would be wonderful. I'm saving those for special opportunities - like perhaps my weekend away at Sew South in April.
I suppose this is my plan for the time being. I'm hoping to find ways to fulfill those creative spurts without embarking on a heap of new things. I'm slowly but surely checking things off of my WIP list. Just today, I sewed the last seam on a Christmas quilt that has been hogging my design wall for the past couple of months. I really, really wanted to pack up the pieces and put them in a bag, because Christmas in February is really not my thing. But I saved myself a bunch of time and potentially a wasted project, by taking the time to get it done. So, how do you or don't you manage your creative life? Do tell!