Sunday, November 24, 2013

Post Quilt Show Blahs

This is the first time that I’ve ever come home from the Houston International Quilt Festival NOT feeling guilty about how much money I spent on fabric, and not spending every spare second (and even some not-so-spare seconds) I have on  creating.  While I should feel glad (relieved, even) that I haven’t over – well, over-anything-ed, I can’t help but feel a little bummed about it.  You may be asking yourself “Now why would she feel upset about NOT overdoing it?”  Let me explain - it’s not the savings that upsets me – it’s the lack of excitement and inspiration that causes the overspending that I’m missing.   I just didn’t find anything that really wowed me, and I didn’t come home with any inspired ideas, either.  Don’t get me wrong, I saw a lot of beautiful, amazing pieces.  I took tons of pictures, and revisiting them is a joy, but still, I just seem to have a bad case of the quilt-show blahs. 

Perhaps it’s mood – I’ve been so busy focusing on finishing pieces lately that I feel a little flat.  I have a bunch of sketches and ideas jotted down, but I don’t feel the usual excited anticipation to get to them.  Maybe I’m just not allowing myself to go there because I’m so determined to complete these old pieces, but I must admit I prefer a frantic frenzy of creativity to this bland, plodding to the finish.

 It could be fear, too.   Deep down it could be that I’m afraid I’m not capable of reaching the level of artistry, creativity and seeming perfection I see at the quilt show.  Of course that in itself is another form of focusing on the goal, not the journey and also brings in the added weight of ego into the mix; another obstacle to zen existence, which, paradoxically, is my ultimate goal…hmmm, ponder THAT one - I’m not sure I can wrap my puny brain around it.

Too, I feel a little as though I’ve plateaued a bit, both skill-wise and creatively.  The flow of ideas I’ve experienced practically non-stop for the last ten years or so seems to be experiencing a serious drought.  Usually the quilt show gets the juices flowing, but alas, I’m still bone-dry.  I feel like I need something to bump me up to the next level.

In an attempt to prod my suddenly sluggish imagination, I’ve been looking at quilt books, magazines, blogs and websites a lot lately, especially focusing on modern quilts, to no avail.   I LOVE modern quilts, but it just seems to further flog my flagging quilting confidence because I just can’t seem to come up with any ideas.  (Apparently I don’t dream in modern quilts although I really, really want to.)    

While I’m in confession mode, I might as well be totally honest:  The last reason I think I might be in a creative desert is because I think I may be looking for a wee little bit of validation.   I haven’t had any sales in a while, which makes me wonder if it’s all just a colossal waste of time and energy.  I mean, if nobody wants them, or I can’t get any recognition from my peers, what’s the point?  I know, I know – serious zen buzz-kill.  It’s supposed  to be about the joy of creating what the universe has inspired.  Hey, I’m not proud of it – I’m just coming clean, here.  And as usual, the mere act of baring my naked soul immediately jolts me right out of this vortex of apathy in which I’ve been swirling.  Here it comes - a good, old Oprah “AHA!”

I’m going to step away from trying  so hard to create.  Instead,  I’ll continue to work on UFO’s until they are done because even though I realize it’s goal-oriented, I can’t fight my practical German side – it’s DNA for god’s sake!  Something in me just won’t let me move forward until I complete what I’ve started.   I don’t need to  look for inspiration, new ideas, or even perfection.  I’m going to trust the infinite creativity of the universe and accept whatever happens – because even if I never have another inspiration, it’ll be fine – I can still find joy in the doing!   And that, my friends, is precisely the point, isn’t it?   

{I have to say it - Don’t you just love the universe/God/whatever you want to call it?  It will absolutely always give you the answers you need, even if they aren’t the ones you want to hear!   I feel the joy flowing back into me even as I write -Glorious!}

And by the way – The Neverending Quilt is  - no, not finished – (get real!) but I have finished the quilt top, which in itself is a minor miracle.  On to the sandwiching and quilting!  Although in keeping with my relentless need to be honest, I will reveal that I did take a small break from UFO’s to work on a new piece, a present for my sister…DON’T JUDGE ME (it wouldn’t be very zen of you!)

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