Help! I'm not creative!

I joined my local guild last fall and have mostly found it to be a
confounding mixture of close friends and the rest of us. But i got up
my courage and joined a new Round Robin for art quilts. It was just
starting and everybody was saying they were learning and exploring and
it seemed like fun. Well, long story short, I've managed to make only
two of the four meetings so far. Now, we are meeting tomorrow night and
everybody is ordered to bring whatever "art quilt" they are working on.
Eeeeeeeeek. I forgot to be creative. I'm working on putting back
together the crazy quilt I made my friend (which with four new blocks
will make two lovely lap-quilt size throws to be donated to our local
hospice house). I'm finishing a baby quilt (I stole the idea for the
border from mini-mini) that is lovely but not "art". I'm in the middle
of a quilt as you go that was supposed to be a throw but DH loved it so
now I'm expanding it to be a queen size. And I suddenly realize I have
not a single "artsy" bone in my body. I love making things by my own
sort of twisted mix and match way of doing. But they don't end up
making anybody say "oooooh, how abstract" or "it makes me think of
flight....or maybe the wind over Paris". And I'm no good AT ALL at
those amazing geometrics that take a pretty little flying goose and run
it around into all kinds of roller coaster sorts of shapes. I have
never gotten the hang of anything geometric. Straight lines are torture
for me, so you can imagine what squished angle straight lines do to my
tender psyche.
So please, friends, advise me. How do I find my inner artiste? I want
to do some landscapes, but I haven't had time to explore this yet. I
love working with commercial fabric. I want to get into painting and
dyeing, but I can't see myself ever giving up those delicious fabrics
that the designers so lovingly pump out for us every season. Is there
any hope for my artistic bone? Will it develp or should I schlep over
to the round robin that sews up tied quiltlets of unmatched double knit
for the local dog pound?
Send advice, or point and laugh. But don't leave me to whittle along
this evening just me and the power bars.
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I think you are being too rough on yourself, Sunny. I have one pattern for a landscape quilt....bought it because it reminded me of the Oregon coast. I don't think I will ever get into making art quilts. That's just not my thing. Either go tomorrow and see if you get inspired. No inspiration, beg out of the group. Go with what you enjoy and drop what is painful.
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I am SO not the right person to be advising on art quilts but . . . . when I looked at the crazy quilt I saw the sashing as a trellis that would be a perfect home for a vine of abstract/Jacobean/Triffid/3D/over-embellished flowers/fruits. Sort of Day of the Triffids meets Martian Grape Vines in a wild mix of techniques. I couldn't tell how big the quilt in the pics was - it might be too big for this sort of "load".
Does that make any sense at all?
((Slinking quietly back to my kitty stitching))
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Don't know about "artsy" but it sounds like you have your own special style. And as long as YOU are happy with your work, who cares whether or not it is artistic by someone elses standard? I've found the most creativity within me when I've said "oh, who cares!!!" and just did what I felt happy doing.
I hope this makes some kind of sense. I'm off to refuel/refill my tea mug and see in a further infusion of caffeine into my muddled brain helps it function better!!!
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Have you had a look at
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Have a look at some of the challenges, you'll see what a range of art quilts can look like. If you like landscapes, have a look at the travel challenge. Remember art quilts can be any size you like, including postcard size.
Have fun
Reply to
Sarah Dixon
It just has to 'allowed' out, Sunny - and that takes time after many years of squashing it. At least, that's what I discovered. But, after all, even if eventually you discover that you are not artsy, so what!! Nobody will die (as Polly would say!). Just carry on making beautiful things, as you think of them.
If you really do not like straight lines, try to beg or borrow a book by Judy Dales, called Curves in Motion. I have dipped into it for years, and I have used the basic principle of her method loads of times.
The other thing I recommend is to storm your library and, after reading all the books they have, look on the Internet for other books on, for example, landscape quilts, and put in a book request for them. You need to search widely for inspiration, and to find techniques which you can work with, which will allow your own creative juices to flow.
I am not artistic at all - in the seemingly accepted sense of the word! - but I can now see potential quilt designs all around me. It didn't happen overnight. Many quilt shows, books, other people's work in this group, and so on. All this helps develop that little seed.
Many people do some hand dyeing, but also buy commercial fabrics - they do not have to be mutually exclusive pastimes >g<
Keep up your confidence. . In message , Sunny writes
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Heavens, sunny - you did crazy quilting! THAT'S creative! Take that along and get them involved. Just tell them you do artistic usable quilts rather than decorative only stuff. :)
Reply to
Kate Dicey
Agreed! As soon as you said "crazy quilt" I thought to myself...what isn't artistic about that? I honestly see quilting in general as art!
Relax, go to the meeting and see what happens!
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On Wed, 19 Jul 2006 23:20:23 -0500, Sunny wrote (in article ):
This is probably too late for you immediate needs, but a friend of mine took a class at Quilt University with Myrna Giesbrecht. I think it was called self expression and she ended up with some great "art" quilts.
Maureen, who also doesn't have an artistic bone in her body but loves playing with fabric.
Reply to
Maureen Wozniak
What a fantastic site - all the quilts were so different, some quite simple in their concept.
I found the 'Welcome to Haifa' rather poignant at the moment.
If you felt inspired by something and want to go to the meeting, couldn't you just do a sketch of what you would like to do, and start to collect fabrics for it - you could take any bits you have with you. It would provide a talking point, and you wouldn't be going empty handed. You will probably find there are others who haven't started yet. -- Sally at the Seaside ~~~~~~~~~~ (uk)
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Reply to
Sally Swindells
Go ask a group of 5 yos how many are artists. They will all raise their hands. The same question to adults yeilds only a few positive responses. Find your inner 5 yo! You can do it!
First, don't think big. I took a class at Quilt University
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called Self-Expressions (or something) and our first assignment was to make a piece that was roughly 8"x11". We took plain paper (like copier paper) and sketched, doodled, scribbled, until something inspired us. Then we had to choose a fabric we *loved* and go with it.
What is the worst that can happen? You end up with a piece you hate and a little less fabric. Huh. That's not so bad - it's not like it caused the Apocolypse. No one got hurt, children won't go hungry.
What's the best that can happen? You will learn something.
Go forth, and create something. Anything. Don't aim for masterpieces, just try to have fun, and do something new!
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Oops, just tried to post to say (more articulately than this) that you could try experimenting by making some postcards, but google is getting stuck. Leslie is one of our resident postcard/unleashing your inner artiste experts. One of her postcards was even published! Lynn
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I think there can be artistry and creativity in making very simple pieced quilt. You can make a very basic pattern but be creative with your use of color and/or fabric patterns. I have an antique log cabin quilt hanging on my living room wall. There is certainly nothing very unique about this quilt, and the workmanship is uneven, but it is certainly very graphic and I would consider it to be art. Sometimes I think we have trouble recognizing our own artistic abilities. My mom had a floor loom and wove rag rugs; she would definitely not have considered herself artistic in any sense of the word, but her rugs showed a very nice sense of color, and I would consider that to be showing creativity and a certain amount of artistry. Don't sell yourself short :)
Julia in MN
Reply to
Julia in MN
If you are stressed about it, the creativity likely won't come....
did you "like" doing the crazy quilt? and you want to do a landscape you could do something like
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A wallhanging i planned long ago based on another i saw... you could do beach colors with your crazy quilt or hill colors or whatever you want and then piece or applique flowers/house/tree/ etc.
just an idea
Reply to
Kellie J. Berger
LOL! From the sounds of it, you have exactly what the guild needs...a sense of humor and the ability to not take yourself too seriously. You are certainly creative, or you wouldn't be quilting! Creativity and 'art quilts' only go hand in hand for those who are inclined to make 'art quilts' instead of going in another creative direction. Take your little self, along with whatever your temperamental artiste alter ego 'feels' like bringing, to the meeting and have fun. I'm sure they'll be impressed, (if that's important), especially if you present it with a fake French accent and lots of aplomb.
chipper (who really admires Bugs Bunny ;)
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Dear Chipper, I want to be your friend. :) Any chance you could come to our next guild meeting?? Bring a fake French accent. Even though I'm trying to stay away from butter and white bread, I still seem to have a really big aplomb and I take it all meetings. ;) We would make a good pair.
Dear everybody who replied... Thank you much. I love all your ideas and now will be drawing out quilts I want to make and reading websites and exploring all kinds of ideas. Oh yeah, and buying fabric that excites and inspires me. hehe. Eventually I may even make something. And it will be VERY artistic.
Luv ya all!!! Sunny
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Oho mon amie, be careful what you weesh for..! (cheesy enough?) I'm glad to hear your aplomb is in such good shape. Mine has an unfortunate habit of following me wherever I go, too. :P I will await the opening of your new 'artistic quilt gallery' long as the admission isn't more than $.25, and the doors are wide enough to accommodate my considerable 'aplomb'. chipper ;D
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Sunny!!! Your quilts are gorgeous. Why would you be so hard on yourself? I don't do "art quilts" either, but that's because I think a functional one is a better use of my time. Do what you like, and leave the rest. Quilting is supposed to be fun, not a chore!! (just my nickel, for whatever that's worth)
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TerriLee in WA

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