Thursday, April 30, 2015

Nectar, Inspiration, and Creative Fuel

Last weekend I had the opportunity to take a lecture and workshop with Weeks Ringle of Modern Quilt Studio. This presentation was put on by the Sacramento Modern Quilt Guild, of which I am a new member. To be completely honest I had no idea who Weeks Ringle was prior to this event. I have a limited knowledge of sewlebrities beyond Angela Walters and that because I have taken her Craftsy class. I can say now, that this weekend with Weeks will have forever changed me.

On Friday we attended a lecture called Creativity and Quilts: The Power of Cross Pollination. Weeks has a great metaphor for creativity and finding inspiration in your daily life. She talked about the honey bee and how the honey bee goes to an average of 17 flowers to find the right nectar to make his honey.

17 flowers.


This really hit me. What a beautiful way of explaining what it takes to come up with original ideas!

All night Friday and all day Saturday my mind was whirling. It's the collective power of your life's experiences that make your thoughts and ideas and actions. Not just as good life advice, but for understanding your creativity too. Saturday I had to pull fabric for Sunday's workshop on piecing curves.  We were going to make her quilt, Eclipse, and the pattern called for 10 medium to dark fabrics and 10 lighter value corresponding fabrics. They should be small scale prints, tone on tone, or solids. Sounds easy right?

Not so much if you are me! Lol. I love big prints and until Saturday I thought I loved color. As it turns out I love one color, blue.  I wanted to shop my own stash for this workshop and really struggled getting a variety of colors and tones. I had to run to the fabric shop to get a darker purple and a medium blue.  I could have made the quilt three times over in shades of Aqua and teal though. 

This is the 
pattern "Eclipse " by  

Modern Quilt Studio. 

During the workshop on Sunday I learned how to cut and piece a curve. It's much easier than it seems. Much like zippers it can be intimidating until you do it and then you wonder what you were ever so scared for. The real issue with mine became my color palette. I explained that I was trying to use what I had etc and since we were learning color value it became a bit of a secondary challenge for me. My selections ran a variety of a few colors, not a variety of colors across the spectrum. 

Here is one of each block made from my selection of colors. I added the mango to my colors for a little bit of variation, but once it was made I knew it had to go. It looks like The Lorax

But taking out the mango color brought me back to the same question : Why do I like blue so much?

Here is where I really want to go with this blog. Why do we like what we like? No matter what your creative medium, have you ever thought about why you do things the way you do? I have spent the better part of the last 4 days thinking about this. I talked with my friend and my husband and after we thought about it we were able to pin point some key things that shape the way we do things, creatively and otherwise. 

I mentioned previously that I am originally from Washington state. I wasn't raised so much in one town as I was an entire county, Kitsap County. Kitsap County is the little peninsula you see across from Seattle on a map of Washington. It's surrounded by water and it's full of lakes. You can't really get anywhere without driving over a bridge. It's home to a naval base and a submarine base. It's blue and green and wet and it's where my family is and I miss it too pieces. This is where all my nectar comes from. Homesickness, comfort, and familiarity. I knew I was drawn to prints with raindrops but now it's become even more clear to me why I like the things I like.

In the end I chose to go with my preferred palette and swapped out the mango for a light green. I finished the quilt top today and I'm hoping I can get it quilted before I road trip home for the Mother's Day holiday.  Yep, it's blues, greens, Aqua,and it has my signature raindrop prints in it. But to me it looks comforting and calming. It's what I like and now that I know why I like it so much, I'm even more okay with it. At first I was so concerned that I had a very small window of likes. But I'm less concerned now that I know I had 30 years of nectar making all this honey! 

I hope this makes sense to all of you. Do you ever think about why you like the things you like? What is it about certain fabrics/colors/designers that makes it speak to you? Do you feel like you should challenge yourselves more to branch out or  are you content with where you are? I think I need to figure out what my California style is and how I can mesh the two together. 

I'll be back this weekend with a blog about learning to long arm quilt! Follow my at @52quilters on Instagram for more updates.


Post by Angelina - Week #17:   I'm Angelina, 33, and living in sunny California but I'm a Pacific Northwest girl at heart. I grew up sewing with my Mother and Grandmother but really started focusing on sewing a year ago. When I'm not sewing I like traveling, a nice glass of Barbera, and thinking about sewing some more. You can find me shamelessly overgramming at @weenchaweena on Instagram.

1 comment:

  1. I am drawn to the same colour palette as you, I will need to puzzle out where that inspiration might come from. Your finished quilt is gorgeous!