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Creativity dysfunction

Apologies for this and the next couple of posts I’m going to make. They’re a bit of a whinge and a self kicking but I feel like I need to get them down here before I can move beyond them. Not talking or writing about it is becoming a block and not helping with the working to move past it.

It’s not surprising given how I feel – frustrated and drowning – that I’m not getting much done on my craft projects. And that frustrates me even more – craft is my outlet. But not being able to face crafting? Makes me even sadder. I noticed that what I have been able to do is more of the scrap quilt. And worse, I noticed I was doing it with almost an obsessive quality. And … well … this is not a project that is going to have a quick end date which means there is no quick payoff or enjoyment to dedicating myself to it. I’m not even really getting scraps tidied up and reduced because there are just *so many* of them. And it’s an example of how I so easily get sidetracked and how I do it as an avoidance technique.

Once I identified this, I realised it was because I was stuck pairing the above triangles for my charm quilt project. So I spread them all out on the table, as you can see, to just, face up to it and start making hexagons. Mm.. I have a lot of charm pieces. And they don’t match. I managed to pull maybe 8 hexagons (6 triangles in each) out of these stacks last weekend. And then I just got kinda depressed with the damn project. I can’t make those damn pieces match. And … *deep breath*  I kinda hate how the project is turning out. Here is just a small part of the pieced quilt top so far. I just. It’s not really doing anything for me. It’s not really going where I wanted it to go. And I can’t tell if this is just deep-into-project-fatigue or my general ennui or if it totally sucks. And none of these are really helping with the getting on with working on, and enjoying making, the quilt.

So that’s not really going very well. And neither is the rest of it. I was really inspired and loving the craft projects I had on the go. And the point of having the spare bed in the craft room was to have it as a working space to piece quilt tops and get them to the finished stage this year. This is how the bed looks at the moment – and this is after I cleared all the clean laundry off it and put that away. I can see 6 separate projects there in various levels of disarray and there is at least one more to the right of that box. Nothing about this inspires creativity.

AND. Course of course there is an And. I’ve been researching for the craft ebook project and listening to a lot of back episodes of Cast On podcast (more about the VJJ project later). And I am starting to miss my knitting. I have this terror of switching crafts – I’m sure I felt it when knitting about moving into quilting and now that I am here, ensconced in quilting, I don’t want to get absorbed back into knitting and abandon all these projects. But as much as I am kinda feeling I’d like to get back into knitting, or figuring out how to knit and sew at the same points in my time-space continuum, I think I’d like to try a sweater. I’ve never knit a jumper before. Which is not really 100% true – I have a kimono jacket which has been on the needles, possibly since the ex and I split. And this not finished. I’ve never embarked on a large knitted project and I’m kinda tempted. But at the same time, I feel like I need to finish the many many WIPs I have on needles about the place. And what’s stopping me? Not knowing where I was up to on most of them.


Am I driving myself crazy right now?


Mirrored from Champagne and Socks.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 21st, 2012 05:22 am (UTC)
I think your scrap quilt is looking really lovely. I find the trick is not to get too bogged down in the detail and stand back and see the project as a whole. So what if a couple of pieces within a hexagon don't perfectly tone? Quilts don't have to be matchy matchy and are often the prettier and quirkier for some random bits. As long as they are on a similar wavelength then it will work. Sometimes with these scrappy projects you lose the woods for all the trees. Pin it to a blank wall or cupboard, stand back and take your work in so far as a whole. If it is really getting on your nerves just pack the whole thing away for a couple of months and forget about it and then come back to it with fresh eyes.
Mar. 21st, 2012 09:11 am (UTC)
I feel your pain. Although I'm not doing a quilt, I used that as a metaphor and counted all the patches on your picture and synced them with one of my various WIP.

The day is just not long enough...
Mar. 21st, 2012 10:18 am (UTC)
OK - Here is what I'd do:

Scrap Quilt -
Separate out the scraps into colours/textures/whatever and put in snap-lock bags and then load those into a carry bag with the completed hexagons, and put the whole thing away. Under the bed away. In a cupboard away. I am allowed to add triangles to the bags, but not allowed to care about the contents of the bags until I finish off the 6 projects that are on the bed.

Quilt WIPs
Open a blank spreadsheet and list all the 6 projects down column A. Don't even put the scrap quilt on there. Write down a status for each one in column B. (even if it's - "On the Bed")
Create new tabs for all 6 projects and write all the info that you need to keep track on in column A. - colourways, pattern, geometric dimensions, links to patterns (or book title & page number if you are referencing IRL, rather than URL), record who it is for. Start date. List the steps that are needed and mark a status against each one. ("10% Complete" is a good status, as is "On Hold - Need more awesome yellow fabric")
Give yourself permission to have these WIPs be WIPs all at the same time. Quilting is a fun thing. If you don't want to be sewing the red windmill quilt, then update .xls with where you are up to, save, change tabs and put some time into the Green Harlequin. If you want to put the red windmill away for a few months, take a photo of the layout and paste it into the spreadsheet before packing it away.

Yarn WIPs
Spend an afternoon adding all your WIP projects to Ravelry. Is an excellent way to keep track of where you are up to.
I have currently hit a wall with a WIP because I was putting the pattern notes into my iPad instead - which then got stolen. *sigh*

Knitted Jumper
YAY! - these are easier than you'd think. You are used to knitting up 3 or 4 ply. Socks take AGES to knit. I suggest that you make your first jumper out of 10 or 12 ply, and it will knit up soooo very quickly on 5 or 6 mm needles! Also - CABLES! Cables are awesome fun.

I have set aside this weekend to knit up and write out my submission. (so you can get one in early - *grins*)
My offer to fill gaps still stands... - I can do a steam-punky thing with Fymo, or an article on historical dying techniques... hmm. can probably knock out a cross-stich pattern or two as well.
Still plan on sending you my scarf, and can knit up other submissions quickly on my machine if you need me to. I can also proof patterns for you if you want. Happy to help - just let me know what you need done!
Mar. 21st, 2012 11:30 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing a crafting dilemma.

At times like this it can be good to do something that is fun, either new or old. Else the craft becomes a chore. Maybe something that does not require thinking but jut pure 'create'. Something without a 'useful' end goal.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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