Being somewhat confined to home (although not totally, by any means), I find myself with more time to create, play, mess around, have fun - and get stuck... As the deadline nears for the PA National Quilt Extravaganza show, I have just realized that I do not have a new piece large enough to enter either category. Last year, "Going In Circles" was juried into this show and I had hoped to enter "Flaming Feathers" this year - at least until I realized it is too small! It's amazing what an extra few inches means at times like this!
But that deadline, aside from calling my attention to size difficulties, also did something strange to my sense of fun in the studio. I was surprised to notice that I was "afraid" to start quilting “Flaming Feathers” – especially so since I really like the machine-drawing-quilting best of all the processes in the art of quilt-making! Somehow or other, the deadline/jury syndrome entered my being and all of the sudden, my art work became just that – WORK. I avoided the quilt for 3 full days before today when I finally decided to quilt SOMEthing on it, anything – just to get it going. That worked, of course, and the quilting has proceeded relatively smoothly since then.
While I’m in the creative mode, I rarely consider anyone or anything else other than the piece with which I am playing. Often, I have many such pieces in various stages of beginning, middling, and ending – although one piece usually has my major attention. When I get stuck on that one, or have only a little time to sew, I’ll pick up one of the other pieces laying around and play with it to see what will happen if I try this or that or something else.
But the prospect of entering a show with a piece that has yet to be completed makes me freeze up like a cars’ locked brakes as it skids across a frozen lake. As long as I forget about showing my work, entering competitions, having the judges look at the back (!!!), and/or other such nonsense, I create happily, freely, and lovingly. I experiment, play, mess around and have a great time. But when the ‘judge’ comes to visit inside my brain, I falter and hesitate, stop, read, do errands or (heaven forbid!) housework – anything to avoid completing my budding creation. You’d think I’d know by now that even if I ‘mess up,’ it’s OK – life goes on and I’ll make more art, some of it good, some of it less so. And even the presumed ‘failures’ have given me something in return – I’ve learned what not to do, or that I moved too quickly without listening to the quilt and its movement, or that part of it can be salvaged and used in other projects, yada, yada, yada.
Well, now that I’ve given myself this little pep talk, maybe I’ll go back and sew. Thanks for being here…