Thursday, July 28, 2016

Finding the Muse #9 Sorting your stuff

Artwork by Queen's Ink  in Savage Mill MD
Isn't that something? It appeals to me for several reasons. It's a female face, it's like a line drawing, lots of color with black and white, and not the least of which, it's 3-d.

Last week a friend of mine was in town and called me for a visit. We met at Savage Mill for shopping, lunch and laughs. More on an upcoming post, and it's full of color!

For today's post on Finding the Muse... when your inspiration well is low, it's a fine activity to go into the studio and sort or clean up. Just going through your supplies will make you want to stop and make something! (if only to avoid cleaning up)
I was sorting through some old purchases, you know, putting new fabric in the wash and looking through my loot, wondering where I was going to store all the new stuff when I came across some scraps a friend gave me. I put them in a mesh bag to wash with the other new fabric. When it came out I saw she had given me about 140 colorful 2" squares.

Stop the presses! Well, go ahead and press them, but then I stopped the cleaning/sorting process, swiped off a section of my cutting table and started to play.
 Oh I arranged, and imagined lots of different patterns with them before deciding to sew them together into a table runner. After they were laid out, I mistakenly thought they were not interesting enough. Silly.

So I cut out about 30 solid black two inch squares and imagined a wave running through the piece...
 Not quite content with that, I added in some side waves too, then stitched the gadzillion little seams together.
I'm happy to report most of the corners matched.


The pressing of seams took a moment.

As per usual a couple got twisted, and then I saw this...


How in the world did that happen? Or how didn't I notice it while sewing it? Then I had to UN-SEAM it and replace it.

That done, I thought, wow, this runner is tiny. About 9" by 22"

Then, again as per usual, I hated it. I started trying to add borders... which made the studio an even bigger mess...

Then I remembered the piece of musical fabric left over from my Husband's dance vest... hmmm the runner  does remind me of piano keys... Let's try it. After all I already tried twenty other combinations.

Which leads me to the rule, doesn't matter how small or unimportant a piece is, one can dither over it.

This is what I think I'm going to do with it. Note: the wave turned into some kind of double wave.
Notice how much the whole thing looks like the first inspirational photo at the top?

So my point is, if you don't feel inspired, feel like you want to sew but can't think of what to make, go into your happy place (sewing room) and sort stuff.

If you keep it clean all the time... well... I just can't imagine doing that but I know people who do. If you are a tidy sort, then maybe you just have to look through your carefully-tidy,  put-away-supplies til you get inspired to finish one of those UFO's. If you are one of those who have no UFO's, well, what are you doing listening to me?!!?  The rest of my Peeps out there with messy studios and piles of unfinished projects... do you find you get inspired to sew by cleaning up?

Other Finding the Muse posts HERE


  1. I am at the moment in I plan to re-organize my stash--I know something always happens--or hits me, when I do that. Right now I have it in darks and lights by color...and cannot imagine "making" anything more after the 4 quilts...but we shall see...
    hugs and congrats on your Muse showing up....mine is a feisty and shy little thing...hugs Julierose

  2. I'm right with you. Sometimes I throw aside scraps then find them laying on other fabrics that complement ... then the design genes kick in and before I know it I have a new top.

  3. Interesting how this one worked out; I think the border holds it all together because it echoes the darkest squares. It definitely has a feel of your inspiration picture, even though the shapes are so different.

  4. Neat! I'm gathering quite a pile of squares - I'll need to do something with them soon.

    Yes - I get inspired while tidying, too.

  5. Leeanna, you had me laughing, because I can so (should that be sew) relate. Seems every simple project morphs into a much larger, more complex one with innumerable hurdles to overcome. What joy!

  6. A clean sewing room is a sign of a broken sewing machine


  7. Brave you, sewing all those tiny squares together, but they came out great and you had a lot of fun doing it. I do love that inspiration piece!

  8. I usually clean up when I'm trying to avoid sewing. This happens when my sub-conscious is unhappy about something I'm working on and wants me to stop and re-think it.
    Pat F in Winnipeg

  9. I have to admit sewing all those tiny squares together would test my patience. Then to have to undo a square oh dear. You must be very patient determined person with tidier sewing room than mine.
    Have noticed in my old age have to be in mood to sew, really wanting to make something before I can get in there and stick to it. That's if can even get into room, it's a big fat mess, would have to take lots of "stuff" out of room to be able to get to sewing machine, then what would I do with all that "stuff" in hallway? I desperately need my own storage shed to keep all my "not being used at time decorations" that will be called upon for duty in some other season or holiday. On top of that both craft and sewing rooms are much smaller than other peoples closets.
    Keep hoping mood will strike to get into sewing room soon as really do want to do some sewing. Then maybe urge will strike to tackle craft room, groan. Think that could be very big maybe with this heat.
    Have wonderful weekend

    1. I hear you sister. I came from a really small sewing room, to the one I'm in now. It felt roomy for about a month!! Now I need a sewing FLOOR of rooms. LeeAnna

  10. I love, love, love it! The borders at the end just make that runner come alive. You are so good at this stuff...[;lease, come live with me. (We really like poodles here!!!)

  11. I loved your post!! Yes, I get inspired by cleaning up, LOL, so my room never stays tidy for long and the more room I have the FULLER it gets. I used to sew in our bedroom, then I got a small, narrow room in the basement, then eventually all three kids left home now I have 3 bedrooms full and the long narrow room in the basement!!!! :D Hahaha!!! And still, I don't have enough room!!!

  12. I enjoyed your process! The black and white dot border makes it happen, good for you!

  13. mess -- my personal bugaboo because, I admit it, I am a messy person. Or perhaps I can tolerate quite a bit of chaos. Right now, the mess or perhaps better said the lack of organization is getting to me. Your table runner is definitely cute. The border really pops now.

  14. Yes! If I start to tidy up, which should happen much more often, I always find something I want to sew. Usually some bright new plan develops. Unfortunately for my creative whim, rationality usually wins: "You came in here to tidy up, didn't you?!". I then resolve that I must remember that bright plan, as I continue moving fabric from one pile to another; a useless activity and very depressing. I should follow my heart! After all, your little squares are tidied now aren't they, and you have a table runner to prove it!

  15. Yes, cleaning up, sorting, moving things around gives me always great inspiration. The only "problem" with this approach is that I get inspired in the middle of the cleaning/sorting so I usually have one half of the stash nice and tidy and the rest, well, it's inspiration for another day :) Thanks for sharing your process, you are always very creative!!

  16. I ALWAYS prefer sewing to tidying up, even if I am just sewing scraps together randomly! But I did clean up a big chunk of my sewing room the other day, and like it after all! I love what you did with the tiny squares, especially with the black running through. That just looks like fun to me!

  17. Size doesn't matter. Some of the smallest quilts are much more attractive than their big sister quilts. It's the creating time while you played with color. Nice!

  18. Sewing is definitely therapy for me! It also tests my patience. Lol!