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Friday, May 7, 2010

Find Your Creativity

One my recent trip to Rhode Island for the "MQX" Machine Quilters Expo. I took a wonderful class from Cathy Wiggins on finding your creativity. The name intrigued me, but I had no idea what I was in store for. She sat us down with a workbook and crayons. We had to color a picture with our 5 favorite colors, then the same picture with our 5 least favorite colors. That was hard. Then we had to trade our crayons with someone else and color with their favorite colors. It sure was a challenge, when it should have been so simple. The proof was there. We do really respond much more readily to our favorites. After some exercises she had us take out magazines that we brought along. We cut out picture of things that we loved and put them in a pile. Then we had to break out our quilt magazines and rip out the things that we really liked in them too. As with most of the class, I freaked out at cutting up a quilting magazine. Cathy kept telling us that only keeping what inspired us was way better than keeping everything. Having so much around to look thru, takes away from the inspiration for the things we loved. (Yeah right! I was still sniveling about cutting up my quilt magazines even when I left. ) We took all the photos and pasted them into a journal that she provided us. On the plane ride home I kept thinking about that journal that we started. I did enjoy looking at the few things that were in it. Could it be, that it did really speak to me, because there were no distractions?????? I made a commitment to myself to "try" to clean out my old quilting magazines. The pile above is what was left after taking out the things that I loved. 2 bookshelves worth of magazines are now gone! Now that was a freeing feeling! 

This, I am happy to report, what is left from that challenge! I am sure loving the looks of it!  :-) .
I was very generous in what I chose to keep, after all it was 10 years of treasures! The patterns from quilting magazines went into plastic sleeves in a 3 ring binder, and things that spoke to me are now in my journal. We all have those calendar photos that we can't part with, and those special greeting cards that we love. I even added some photos of quilts that I found online, along with some things from online quilting magazines. What I am left with, I find myself thumbing thru almost daily. I'm not sure if it's the colors, the designs and patterns or just the lack of things that detract, that "speaks" to me, but I just can't seem to get enough of looking thru my books. I have read quite a bit, online lately from those who have done just this same thing, and the one thing I am hearing over and over is, that tastes change as years go by, and many find that the patterns they just had to save are now being replaced with new. Throwing out the old must get much easier as we grow into this. Another point, well made by one wise person, is that if we live to be a hundred, we will never manage to stitch out all the things we have kept for years. So I guess purging isn't really a bad thing now is it? Sorry I need to get back to looking and drooling over my journal! :-)
Oh yeah and finishing up those darn PIGS!  :-)


  1. Hmm, I don't know about this. Whilst it's good to clear shelf space I would find this ripping up magazines a bit difficult. Firstly I don't have that many magazines, and I did have a ripping out session a while back. But then where did the pages go?. Some how I then feel weighed down by a pile of "things I want to do - unborn PIGS " rather than "sources of inspiration". Secondly most of my magazines are the Japanese Quilting magazines, and there is absolutely NO WAY I will be ripping up those. Thirdly, you mentioned it yourself - tastes change - you will have some pages you will go off and should through away, and you will have already thrown away other things you may now like!
    Any way well done you. Sifting through things is to be recommended, but it makes me shudder. It must have been awful to have to have done that in the class!!!

  2. You are speaking the truth, it was very hard to start on it and I did almost have heart failure in class taking apart my magazines! :-) And truth be told, I still have my favorites like Quilters Home when Mark Lipinski was there, that I wouldn't dream of defacing and my Jenny Haskins Embroidery magazines. I had my limits, but it was freeing to get rid of so much of the other "stuff". It's not for everyone, I definitely know that. I had a hard time making myself do it, and I know many wouldn't dream of it! I try not to think about the things that I didn't like and tossed because I am sure something else will come down the road, that will even be better. Now for all those free online patterns I have stored... Well, there really isn't a shelf space issue with them, maybe they will be just fine for now!! :-)


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