Thursday, October 11, 2012


I admire Maya Angelou for many reasons.  Among those reasons is that she can say so much with so few words.

I am trying to internalize her quote above.  Often I find myself saying I don't think I am creative or artistic.  Instead I pride myself on good skills and workmanship.  I consider myself to be a strong teacher/mentor for others wanting to learn the art of quiltmaking.

At this place in my journey I am attempting to step out of my comfort zone and to try some "free wheeling".  It is simply not my nature to let something "just happen".  I would like to find the "creative muse" that lives inside me.  I want a personal relationship with her.

I have been reading a few new books and attempting to learn something about being more creative.  This is my way of getting out of my rut.

Art Quilt Workbook

This is the book that my art quilt guild will be using for its guide this year.  I found a quote that spoke to me  "You must find your personal inspiration and learn how to tap into it.  The most useful skill you can develop as an artist is observation.  Slow down and really look at the world around you.  Look again -- see the relationships between objects, colors, and shapes.  Learning to see is really important." 

I know that I "observe" in generalities and not in particulars.  This will be my challenge.  Observing with no other purpose than observing is difficult for me.  Looking without trying to come up with the method of producing a quilt requires me to stop myself and let the art "talk".

Art + Quilt
This author says  "I firmly believe that  everyone is creative in some way, and that if you have the desire and the willingness to learn, you can become an artist.  There are technical skills in the world of visual art that can be learned, just as we learn to read or do math."

I have the desire and I believe I am willing. 

Fearless Design for Every Quilter

The title of this book is a little daunting, but look at that cover picture.  Does that grab my color senses or what?

The quote from this book that I am latching onto is  "Many people believe that creativity is a magical power limited to those who have a special talent.  Scientific evidence shows us that this is a myth.  Being creative is not a mysterious process understood by only a few.  Rather, it is a process in which anyone can engage and produce new ideas.  The secret is work, trial and error, and learning from mistakes."

I don't do a very good job of sketching and I have not been successful at keeping a sketchbook or a journal.  I am committing to truly trying to practice this technique of creativity.

I am looking forward to the next year of my quilting journey.  I want to practice some trial and error; some pausing and letting my mind rest and relax as I observe my surroundings; and then translating my findings to some form of art quilt.

Come along with me, won't you?




  1. We used Fearless Design as a guide in Choo Choo guild in 2011 and I loved it. I learned so much from the programs we had based on concepts from the book. The other two books look inspiring too. I am sure you will have a great experience with all three.

    1. I will be working this book on my own as I use it along with the other two. I am excited!

  2. I accept your invitation and eagerly anticipate the journey! My own wheels have been turning with more and more energy. I can't wait to see what appears.

  3. I was on the team that presented a year of Inspirational Quilting for the Choo Choo Quilters guild. We used L. Torrence's "Fearless" book and added other design and technique exercises from the other books as well. Check out the recap at Have fun! We all learned a lot.

    1. Thanks, Veronica. Several people have told me they were part of that guild's study of "Fearless..." I will take a look at the recap.

  4. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the page layout of your blog?

    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.

    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2 images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?
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    1. Have not given any thought to changing the page layout. Do you have something specific to suggest? I am not sure what you mean about "only having one or 2 images". In this post there are four images shown.
      I am open to hear what you might have to say.