That same week I came across a book that I fell in love with and has been immensely helpful to me. The book is “Steal Like An Artist” by Austin Kleon. It’s a small book – a quick read – but full of great ideas. Don’t be put off by the title. It’s not really about stealing.
The part of the book that helped me the most during this period of feeling uninspired was this:
“Take time to be bored. One time I heard a coworker say, “When I get busy, I get stupid.” Ain’t that the truth. Creative people need time to just sit around and do nothing. I get some of my best ideas when I’m bored…”
I can’t say that I’m bored very often, but since reading that I have made an effort to hollow out a bit of time each day to stop, sit and do nothing. I also put away all of my WIPS into the closet, set aside the patterns I’m working on and other assignments that I have. I pulled fabric from my stash that I love and I started to play.
It was delightful.
This is what came from it.
and here’s the back:
As I was working on this quilt I was thinking about what it means to belong to a community. I am a member of many communities, some tighter, and some more loose and less defined. For instance I belong to a physical community here in my neighborhood- small and defined by where we live. I also belong to a quilting community, blogging community, religious community, etc. Each of these are so different from the next. As I worked on this quilt top, I considered how I fit into each different community. Then came the day of the Boston Marathon. I had never considered myself to be a member of the running community until then. I run, but I don't consider myself a "runner." But seeing the running community unite so quickly and powerfully was a moving thing.
This was a great project for me. It’s not big – just 48” x 50” and it will eventually hang on the wall of my sewing room. Next week it will be at the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild’s display at the HMQS show in Salt Lake.
It was a lot of fun to create something just to create. And I remembered why I enjoy it so much.
And now I’ll always have a reminder of how important it is to give myself time and space to do “nothing.”