New Years Day...my favourite of all the year for the clean slate of new promises that rises within me. I've been sitting and staring down the driveway and just realized we haven't left the house for three days. Its been enough to move slowly through the spaces of our home enjoying the simple things...cricket, sewing, a new puzzle, a movie and a book. These simple things bring breath and space back to my mind. Every year its the same, we slam into summer and the holiday season with such force that it seems relaxation will never arrive. But it has.
My promise for the new year is to myself. Being in my studio for the past few days has reminded me that my spirit belongs to the process of making. The rest will happen but letting the creative energy move from my heart to my hands is an energizing life force. It starts with a state of total confusion. In an attempt to find order I usually rearrange everything in my studio and make clean spaces. That lasts for about 5 minutes.
The next step is to do a pull of all the fabrics I have been aching to use and to see how they look together. This was my promise of joy for the holidays! In it are a few peaks at my next range which appropriately for this time of year is called Celebrate! I am loving how it sits in with my favorite designers from Kaffe and Brandon to Natalie Barnes from Beyond the Reef Patterns.
Once I have the stack I stare at the majestic mix of textures, scales, values and colors. How will these prints be best used? How can each print take on a space of its own? How do they balance and enforce each other??? That all remains to be seen at this point but the mere fact that they are stacked makes me fingers itch.
During the hectic movement of the year the sound of inspiration gets muddled to a dull roar. While I wait to be able to hear my ideas formulate it helps to slip into the meditative state of quilting. The rhythm of the random stitches releases my mind from the plans that so often over rule my creative voice. Doubt, insecurity, fear all speak louder and the result is that it becomes so much easier to focus on the LIST of things to do as it has a start, a middle and an end. The creative motivation takes time to be heard and understood. It isn't magic. It takes consideration. But when the stars align with time and space it is perfect living.
I found this needlepoint in my clean up. It was originally an opp shop find covered with a bouquet of roses. I had just designed my Wandering Mind range and drew the bird image from the fabric collection over the roses. Then Kaffe came to town. He picked it up and started the background filler design which makes it beautiful. I did curse those small squares a few times but in the end the repetitive pattern makes the image so beautiful! Its been a few years in the making but finishing it was easy. I am enjoying just looking at it for now
Luckily, just after closing on our last day of business a package arrived of The Outback Wife by Gertrude Made
This collection is a game changer and will be arriving in shop soon. I was thinking of the country roads that intersect the outback properties of the outback and just started cutting. The spirit of this range is deep and meaningful. We'll be mixing it with other linens and making packs as soon as it arrives so stay tuned!
So when I have a stack of fabrics that I am keen to mix together I always look for a template or shape. This year I am teaching a new class called taking shape that is all about focusing on the shapes we can make so that our minds are free to really work the fabric. These are four blocks that I am making with a fun new template that we just got in stock. Fat Robin Mariner's Compass templates have fantastic instructions that make these blocks fun and easy to put together.
And one for the road...Courthouse Steps inspired by an antique quilt in Unconventional & Unexpected by Roderick Kiracofe. This was a dream...Just loved the flow of piecing it and am now working on borders.
So, goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017. Lets hope the road to the future is filled with creative juices blended to perfection. I have to say I hated the fireworks that reminded me of bombs and guns. Wouldn't it be nice to ring in the new year with gentle wishes for kindness and peace!
Take care, listen to your spirit and enjoy the processes that make life worth living!