I know – it seems a bit late to be reviewing March and April when we are already well into May, but hey, better late than never!
March and April seemed to have flown by at supersonic speed this year. My calendar has been overflowing with events and appointments – I imagine this is why the days seemed to have passed by so quickly!
I have enjoyed birthdays, school holidays, and Easter with family and friends. I had to prepare my youngest son for a trek event he participated in as part of our church youth group; and I’ve spent many extra hours as a driving instructor in preparation for my daughter’s final driving test. On top of all that, at the end of March, my husband required an emergency trip to the hospital when he injured himself significantly in an accident, and I have also been playing nurse to a sick dog (who had surgery last week). (I’m tired just thinking about it all ;).
I still feel like I am trying my best to focus and get on top of things after a whirlwind couple of months – I am sure many of you can relate – we all have periods in our lives that are a combination of chaos and ‘catch up’!
Consciously, I knew creativity was not high on my priority list these past two months – instead I was trying to simply go with the flow! And yet, the results pleasantly surprised me!!
My 5 Goals Review | A Summary
#1. A WIP Finish (every second month)
I managed to complete my Little Miss Sunshine Going Places quilt top early in March, but I couldn’t quite keep up the momentum long enough to quilt the top. It’s a big quilt, and while the thought of quilting it doesn’t worry me so much, the idea of having to baste it first, is what makes me nervous…
I did however quilt my Pink Lemonade Swiss Quilt, and am well on the way to completing it, with only the hand stitching left to do to complete the binding.
I also finally turned my bee blocks from the second round of the I Heart B&C Sampler Bee into a quilt top. I decided on a simple, yet slightly unusual setting for the blocks – vertical stacks!
#2. Pattern Writing
Pattern writing and pattern designing are very much two different things – and I am starting to think I need separate goals for each!
I completed three new quilt patterns in April, and designed quite a few more. Moving forward, I keep telling myself to focus on the quilts that I have already made that are still waiting on their pattern, rather than allow myself to be so easily distracted by my latest inspiration – but let’s face it, that is so much easier said than done!!
I made the following three quilts from start to finish in April. Sadly, I started writing instructions for a couple of older designs, but I didn’t finish either of them :(.
#3. Learn Something New
My word this year is STRETCH, and while I haven’t taken any specific classes to learn something new, for the past few weeks I have been making a conscious effort to try to stretch myself creatively when it comes to choosing projects and engaging with the world around me. I was recently asked to participate in a couple of upcoming blog tours, and after some consideration I chose to make projects to share that for one reason or another, wouldn’t have been my first choice. Rather than choose the safe option, I am endeavoring to stretch my creative boundaries to see what I can learn along the way.
Learning something new often means thinking laterally! My daughter was asked to make a 3D object that could represent the idea of ‘biology’ for a science course at school, and she asked me if she could have some fabric to make a baby quilt. Everything from the cotton fibres to the floral prints, and the fact that it is made for a new baby are in some way a representation of biology. Her idea really made me stop and think, and it made me appreciate quilting (and my daughter) in a whole new way!
My current goal is to blog at least once a month. I know it is not that often, but I feel deeply that anything I post must be of some value to those of you who take the time to read my thoughts, or to me. These bi-monthly review posts may be of more benefit to me, as they are very much a part of my creative journal, but I still hope that you enjoy the glimpse behind the scenes.
In April, I also shared a tutorial for my One a Penny mini quilt which you can find here – it’s a great weekend project if you are looking for something easy, and it’s perfect for scraps too :).
Overall I blogged 6 times in 2 month, and I have been generating a number of ideas I would love to share in the future – so while there might be room for improvement I am happy I am more than meeting my current goal ;).
#5. Take Creative Sabbaticals
I have a sabbatical scheduled for next week – and it is perfect timing. I’m definitely in need of a creative reboot right about now, and some downtime away from the noise of the world always helps to give me a fresh perspective. I am so glad I block time out for this on my calendar because I am sure if I didn’t see it written in black and white, it wouldn’t occur to me to stop and take the time to pause and recharge.
Quilt Inventory 2017
Recently, I decided to re-evaluate the way I am taking inventory of my projects this year, and so I sat down one afternoon and did a physical count of what projects I had in the works, and broke the list down into ‘large WIPs’, ‘small WIPs’ and ‘to be quilted’. I then went on and created a new spreadsheet, and alongside my running list of works in progress, I added columns to take account of what I have made in 2017 to date. I have 5 columns to keep track of, ‘old projects quilted in 2017’, ‘new quilts’, ‘mini quilts’, ‘quilt tops’ and ‘small projects’.
As of today, this year I have made
- 3 quilts
- 4 mini quilts
- 2 quilt tops
- 6 small projects, and
- quilted 2 older quilt tops.
And I have
- 9 large WIPs
- 5 small WIPs, and
- 14 tops to be quilted.
Reflection is a great thing! I was surprised to discover that while I felt the busyness of everyday life was negatively influencing my creativity, the truth is, my productivity was much the same as it had been in the previous 2 months.
While pondering this fact it really reinforced my belief in the importance of establishing a creative habit.
With good habits in place I was able to embrace creative flow without any conscious effort.
Here are some thoughts you might like to consider to encourage your personal creativity –
- Have I established clear creative goals, and am I working towards them?
- Am I sufficiently challenged to keep my creative self engaged?
- Do I have a system in place to keep track of my projects?
What’s your one big creative goal, or your biggest creative obstacle right now?