We returned home from a spring break of skiing in Telluride. It was so nice to get away from winter, even if it is still winter in the mountains. Colorado's winter is different than what we have here. They have sunny skies and temperatures in the forties feel very balmy. And people, sun makes all the difference.
We skied seven days in a row! (Yes, my legs still hurt.) And along with the fun of skiing comes a chunk of time every day on chair lifts. I have always enjoyed this part of the sport, too – it is a forced rest and a great opportunity for conversation. Fatty and I spent a few rides up strategizing on how to make my workspace more efficient and usable. I have found that I have outgrown my little studio. There is very little room to work in that space (it was once a walk-in closet) and I have been doing the bulk of any sewing and quilting down two flights of stairs in our family room. It's not convenient to leave my messes spread out (although I still do from time to time) or to have to go back up and down the stairs to get small tools, pieces of fabric, etc. I know I am not sewing as much as I'd like because my space is not working for me. Fatty gets that, too, and I'm excited about the plans we hatched to make a bigger, better working space for me.
All of that talk got me thinking about what has been holding me back creatively beyond the optimal space to create. I have determined that much of what I have sewn in the last year or so has been about the finished product and not a bit about process. And I am OK with that. I have made some lovely things and they have all been enjoyable to create. But, I miss cutting up fabric with no goal in mind. I also miss starting a project when the desire strikes and not worrying about my long lists of other things I should be doing instead of sewing. I've also thought about the connection between my creativity and my comfort and happiness in my own skin. When I'm down for whatever reason, it is hard to make myself branch out and try something new, or, heck, even create something I've made dozens of times. Sometimes, though, it is the deliberate act of making and creating that will lift me up and make me shine. It's time to do something about that.
Still with me?
This is a very roundabout and circuitous way of saying that I know I could benefit from some free play. Just like kids who sit on the floor and build all that their mind can imagine with legos or play dolls for hours on end, I need to let go and play with fabric. With that in mind, and ignoring the last few loads of laundry from our trip, I pulled a stack of fabrics yesterday afternoon (the prints are all Field Study by Anna Maria Horner and the solids are from my stash).
And then I cut them up into various and random pieces, sorting them by size: small, medium and large.
I put each pile of fabrics in a separate bag (just like we did when I went to Denyse Schmidt's workshop) and gave myself one hour to sew. I figured that an hour of playing would be enough to feel like I was making without investing a huge chunk of time.
Pulling mostly out of the small and medium bags, this is what I had at the end of the sixty minutes.
You know what? It felt great! I remembered that I like to play! I got in a groove, I let my mind wander and just had fun. And now I want more. So, although I'm not sure where this will take me, there will be an hour of free play today, Tuesday and Thursday. If I can squeeze it in on Wednesday and Friday, then that will be bonus.
Just one hour, for four (or more days) of free play. I'll be posting the progress each day. If you feel like joining me, please do. I'd love the company.