Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Coping with life... prescription:sewing


My calendar: the words say,"I'm officially declaring this Mimosas and kites month"

A friend of mine came to my latest lecture. She commented later that what I talked about resonated with her and she is still thinking about it all! What a compliment, Judy. Truly the kind of connection I seek when I speak to a group.

She shared with me, that she basically  just likes to sew, nothing earth shattering, nothing original or artsy. She defined herself while listening to me. She is also a morning person (I can't relate) She makes donation quilts, which makes her tops in my book. I admire her generosity and loving spirit.
She just wants to sew.

Another friend is going through some hard life changes and dealing with loss. She says she can't seem to  think creatively at the moment, can't deal with the studio and it's "care and feeding" or focus on creating art.

It brought home the fact that so many of us cope with life by sewing. I express myself with my artwork, and these days my artwork involves fabric, but there are times I just want to sew.

 I need to sew. I feel unsettled if I don't sew each day.

I mostly do original work, and find it has become almost hard to follow a pattern . I have so much I want to express, that there are just not enough hours in the day to "make". And I'm a fast sew-er. But I also have times, and am kind of going through one now, where it's hard to go sew. However...

Even if I must drag a machine out to the family room where there is more room  to sew, or do hand sewing with hexies, I need to handle fabric. It soothes me and using color revives me.
The problem is the studio...

After months of careening from one deadline to the next, one project to another, through fabric acquisition (I'm part of  FAT =  Fabric Acquisition Team) etc, the studio is now a heap. It's in a state of disrepair. It's become an archeological dig in the making. It could be dangerous as piles may tumble over, or a person might step on a ruler or worse. My files are all over the place, ideas and hand-drawn patterns to complete. I would have started on my guild challenge today but can't locate the fabric.

A fat quarter can hide easily in a stash like mine.
Let's see... it should be near the surface... wasn't long ago it got washed...

Anyway it can be overwhelming to look at a mess even if it's your mess. And it takes space to drag stuff out in order to sort and put it away, like with like. I know how to organize and  it usually is organized. But...

 Life got in the way.

For months I have coped by pushing a stack to the side, so I could make something, Tomorrow I will do that because the leash caddy I designed and made is worn out and needs replacing. I don't remember where I filed the self-made pattern. I'll have to design it again. The eye drops and alcohol wipes are falling out of the old one so I must enter the studio, push the stacks to the left and make a new caddy. Tomorrow.

"Walks" stop for no man, and no woman with a messy studio.
Can you relate?
At least I'll be sewing.
LeeAnna

For other Creativity Roadblocks see the link over there ==>

15 comments:

  1. Leeanna, I can't even begin to tell you how much you post has resonated with me. After this winter and a handful of health and family challenges, I've got the same problem. I've gone up twice to clean it out and gotten so far, only to disrupt it all again when I've had a lecture. I do embroider no matter what--it's portable, I can do it while chilling with my husband. So that helps. But everything you wrote is right on!!! Thanks for this post! hugs, Mickie

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  2. I sew every day.. it's what keeps me sane. Or as sane as possible! I find when the studio gets too disorganized it drains my creativity and cleaning and straightening is the only medicine.. and feels good - both the process and the end result. :-)

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    1. okay, want to come over and help me?? Wouldn't that be fun?
      LeeAnna

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  3. I need my fabric and the hum of my sewing machine - it has helped me stay sane through stressful jobs and family medical issues. And when I'm in a creative slump or simply overwhelmed by life itself, cleaning the studio is my go-to answer. The process revives me AND calms the silent nagging of all those piles and stacks. GREAT post!

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  4. I must need your lecture.......my studio is so messy and what I did yesterday I hate!

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  5. I clean after every big project....clears my mind for the next creative endeavor. I don't get to machine sew much during the week...but hand sew every evening. Can't wait for summer vacation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  6. First of all- I love that quote! I haven't had a mimosa in ages! I know that feeling about the mess, it can really get in the way of my brain.

    Lately I've been stressed out by the following cycle- Love to do original work---original work requires concentrated creative design time---too tired to do creative designing after all day working---go to bed or work on other stuff---feel stressed that I'm not accomplishing enough creative stuff and stressed that I have too many ideas to implement---consider working on easier projects---more feeling like I'm wasting time I could spend doing my original work.

    Talk about a self-destructive cycle! The last week I've been working on finishing a small whole cloth quilt I started almost 2 years ago and set aside, and the feeling of actually being at my sewing machine has been glorious. Since it's a WIP and finishing those seems to make my brain feel ok, I've really been enjoying it.....

    Thanks so much for sharing!

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  7. I so agree that the creative process (whatever it is you like to create...) helps with the stresses of life. My mom is a quilter and my dad was a wood-worker. My dad had an office job, but he loved to do wood-working projects on the weekend. I think he'd start to feel unwell if he didn't have enough of a stash of wood in the garage. "Gotta go buy some wood!" (As for me, my desk is a bit of mess of writing projects and blog notes and just general life stuff, but it's not TOO bad...)

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  8. Grab a kite and a mimosa and buck up! It will get better. I generally find that sorting through things helps get me out of a creative funk. Kind of like when you were a kid and cleaned your room and ended up playing with all the stuff you forgot you had. I bet that's even better with a mimosa in hand! :)

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  9. I definitely get more done all around when I have had time to sew. But when I haven't sewn for awhile my craft room becomes a dumping ground making it harder to get back to sewing. (Thankfully that hasn't happened for awhile.) I need a clean space to create. I wish you the best with your organization.

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  10. Great post, LeeAnna. Looks like you've hit a chord - there's loads of us who somehow feel we need to be sewing. As for the clearing up - it looks bad before you begin, will probably look worse for a bit once you get underway, but you'll feel better once you can bring yourself to tackle it. Good luck with it!

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  11. It's an attitude thing...when my studio gets too overwhelmingly messy and I can't find the scissors I had in my hand two minutes ago, it's time to have a treasure hunt! It's amazing what you find when you actually go through the stacks and piles and baskets of STUFF! So much fun to put all deadlines and projects aside for a bit and go looking--not for anything specific, but for whatever lovelies reveal themselves. The only thing needed is the discipline to continue hunting and organizing and not get distracted by sparklies! It's a gift to yourself and well worth the time spent among the treasure trove of the studio!

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  12. Hi LeeAnna,
    What a great post about this situation! And what lovely comments left behing by readers. It is quite the issue with creative folk everywhere!
    Yes, it takes making an even bigger mess to get the origanal mess organised and put in to place. But what a super feeling when that is accomplished!
    Success with your great creative space!
    Take care,
    Joanne

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  13. I can relate! Sewing,Crafting, Quilting has always been my stress reliever and Therapist! Creating soothes my soul!!! I have been known to pick up my machine and go to my Quilt Buddies to get out of my Messy QuiltZone. Creative minds are seldom TIDY!

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  14. There's something soothing about the texture of fabric. Even just sorting through it is therapeutic. And sewing it just is tops.

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