Blog, Quilt Community

Crazy Time

Hi Folks, hubby here.  Kate is away in Ponca City Oklahoma doing a trunk show, lecture and class for the Pioneer Area Quilters Guild.  And while she’s not looking, I’m going to sneak into the blog and tell you about some of the wackiness going on here.

October in the Quilt World means Quilt Market/Festival in Houston.  And the weeks leading up to it are absolutely insane with new patterns to create, new quilts to design for the magazines and fabric companies, new tools to test.  Add in changing deadlines, broken longarms, and a fabric mixup or two, and you have hair on fire, which way do I go, what was I working on, CRAZY TIME!

And I’m just watching from the sidelines.

Being in the midst of all this, and trying my best to stay out of the line of fire, I started flipping through the latest Quilting Arts magazine (the International Quilt Festival issue) – Kate has a pattern in it, and got an early copy.  The page after Kate’s pattern is Mark Lipinski’s column “Best In Show”.  And as I watched Kate try to get up from a solid week at the cutting table and sewing machine, I saw Mark had written about some of the same things I was thinking –

“When designing fabric or new quilt blocks, I throw myself in headfirst and worry about any consequences later… or not at all. Next thing I know, I’m up to my blond eyebrows in deadlines and an avalanche of more ideas than I can handle.  With my sewing machine at full speed, I piece and stitch for hours without pause, walking away as twisted and stiff as Quasimodo himself.”

You love what you do, you’re passionate about what you’re working on.  But what happens when you get to the point you’re so focused, so buried in it that you can’t see anything else?

We all have busy times at work.  I do, you do… and we get through it.  I work with some really creative people – designers, engineers, marketing and sales people – and in the midst of the craziness there is that great moment when somebody gets quiet, gets that far off look in their eyes, and starts to develop that perfect solution, that design that just does the trick.  Somehow, all the nonsense and all the noise gets put aside and a little creativity pops.

Japanese Pond at Denver Botanic GardensI have a favorite photo – and right now I’m not sure if it’s really a photo or just a picture in my mind.  Kate and I were at  Denver Botanic Gardens.  If you get a chance to visit, do it.  It’s really a beautiful spot.  Kate was sitting by the pond in the Japanese Garden, sketchbook out, colored pencils ready.  But there was no sketching that afternoon, no doodling, no designing.  Just… sitting.  A quiet mind, and a creative spark.  I’m pretty sure a knockout quilt design was done the next day.

There’s got to be a little quiet time – time away from whatever we’re working on.  Time to stop thinking about the problems, about the deadlines.  Time to stop thinking about all the little things that pile up during your day. Time to stop thinking.

Easier said than done.  What do you do – just say “stop the world, I need a minute”?  Good luck with that.  Maybe I’ll get up and get out – go for a walk, clear my head.  Lipinski* shared some thoughts on getting away from it all,  switching gears and clearing out the chaos around you to refresh and reboot.  A quiet mind and a creative spark.

How about you?  You’re all creative folks – how do you handle it?  Are you someone who thrives on the chaos?  If you are, let me know how you do it – it’s a great trait to have sometimes. Or do you need some time to get away?

*Check out the magazine, Kate’s pattern and especially Mark Lipinski’s column, Best In Show, in the International Quilt festival issue of Quilt Scene –

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