On Creating – Martha Graham

road less travelled

 

A while ago I was talking to my cousin about “the creative journey” and she shared this quote with me:

 

“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time. This expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it.

 

It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.

 

No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”

- Martha Graham

 

I like this quote.  It captures so powerfully my own sentiments about creating.   It reminds me to not let my own personal creativity police (who are quick to tell me all about their cohorts … the quilt police) … to make sure they don’t have any “air time” in my brain.  It drives home that I must create or it will be lost.  How often have I had an idea and poof it was gone.

 

And I like her succinct command to be open.  Not easy.  So necessary.

 

But I have tussled with her last paragraph.  It has stirred introspection and observation.  Does it fit me?  Yes and no.  I do feel that marching forward need to create, however there are so many times that I have been thrilled with my creative results … satisfied.   And then I reflect back at the process of the projects that have crossed my table the past few weeks.  The tweaking, the almost continual scanning of the vision in my mind, the looking, the seeing (so different from looking!), the auditioning, rejecting, pondering, playing, resting, returning, tapping into intuition, and the assessing repeatedly until I feel it is “done”.  That feeling of completion is so elusive sometimes and when it presents itself it often doesn’t feel solid and sure, instead loose and ethereal.  In remaining open sometimes it is hard to “close” a project.  Is that the “no satisfaction whatever at any time”?

 

 As I started on making a new class sample, this creative melee is brought home to me again.

 

 

making the first cut

 

 

How do you know when it is “just right”?  How do you recognize your “Goldilocks” moment?

 

Happy Stitching!

 

 

Mini Pressing Board

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Those who have taken a class with me know that I shy away from pressing small pieces and mainly finger press, but this mini iron and mini pressing board have been a winning combo and sit right beside me on my sewing table.

 

I had fun using Instructables for the first time to put up instructions on how to make this handy mini pressing board. Let me know what you think.

 

Happy Stitching!

 

Busy Day … and the winners are!

It is a busy day here in the studio.

 

Busy Day in the studio

 

 

And it is exciting to announce the winners

 

And the winners are ...

 

of the draw for the Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Volume 9.  And the winners are:

 

Ingrid

 

and …

 

 Melissa

 

 

What are you working on this week?

 

Happy Stitching!

Me vs. UFO’s … They are winning, 0 to 103!

Do you dreamily picture in your mind the day when your UFO pile will not exist?  I have and I made a huge effort to achieve just that here.  I bet you can almost feel the sense of accomplishment that would wash over you?  Imagine, no nagging feeling that they are calling your name while you sleep. Gone would be the guilt. Just think about it … the ability to focus all of your attention on only one project.

 

I have had a somber but exciting realization.  I am never. not. going. to have. UFO’s!  Even if I finished up the 3 UFO’s I have (yes I am stalled at 3!).  Whaaaat?

 

Two cohorts in crime are dashing the “done” idea … actually slaughtering it.  My mind and my stash. The two of them get together and look at each other and come up with grand ideas for yet another project. While I may have the potential to complete those 3 UFO’s I have realized I have about 100 mental UFO’s on the go!  Fabric pulls for a project are the biggest instigator.  But oh the excitement of picking up a piece of fabric and imagining all the possibilities … oh yes….!  It’s a reality … so much fabric … sew little time!

 

Of course WIPS (works in progress) are a totally different subject!  Totally legal.  And of course guilt free.

 

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A family room quilt in progress as a leaders and enders project. Requested by the kids … but that’s another whole post!

 

I have 5 WIPS right now.  How many projects do you actively have on the go?

 

Happy Stitching!

A Bit More of Boston

While I was in Boston I had a few extra hours for sightseeing.

 

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I loved the SOWA Sunday Market.  Four different venues in close proximity: an open market, a vintage market, a farmers market and a bevy of food trucks.  It was a fun visit.  My “Rookie Melt” grilled cheese and basil lemonade was delish!  Toronto take note … food trucks are a good thing!

 

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And I found this sewing shop, Grey’s Fabric and Notions, bustling with activity.

 

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During my last visit to Boston I did not make it to the Kennedy Presidential Library.  This time I’m glad I did.

 

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Early morning Beacon Hill.  A wonderful walk to breakfast.

 

Do you have a favourite activity in Boston?

 

Happy Stitching!