Creativity vs Productivity

I was reading MQResource webpage last night and found a great article about creativity and how to deal with creative slumps. It has some excellent references, one of which is to Lisa Call’s blog. Lisa is an incredible woman with a full-time job and family and world of textile art. It’s hard to know how she keeps up with it all.

For me, the issues are not only creative slumps, but also productivity. I used to blame it on my day job, but that no longer exists. And I do have serious family obligations–but who doesn’t? I have only finished a couple of digital designs in the last two months–and should be doing at least two per week. I have been trying to put a portfolio of five quilts together by Monday, July 5; and that’s not finished either. In order to get it done, something will have to give, so there are decisions as to what will give. I lay awake last night thinking it through–the dog prompted this thinking by barking at 4:30 am.

Part of the issue is that sometimes I do things and then am not pleased with them enough to show them. So, I sometimes actually throw them away, but usually give them away as anonymous pieces. Anyway, the decision is made. Family is more important on this holiday weekend. I’m not going to burn the midnight oil on quilting–I’m going to enjoy my family. And the quilting will get done when it’s done.

Here’s what I’m doing now–some really fun projects–some finishes and some beginnings:

I’ve been working on ‘Delirious Again’ and am almost finished. My quilting plan is random overlapping spirals. I just have a few holes to fill. Here’s what it looks like so far:

I saw an artist’s work when I was looking at the Artcenter web page. I loved her work so much that I contacted her and asked her if she would work with me to put her designs into quilts. Her name is Jody Cedzidlo of Flytrap Studios. She does custom screen printing and limited edition garments. I provided her with fabric, and she screen printed a huge stack of fat quarters and squares for me. Now, I have to incorporate these into some sort of quilt design. I have had some of her designs up on my wall for awhile. I am still not sure what I will do with them, but have some ideas. Actually, I am thinking that the ones that are on the darker fabric may be quilted as individual prints and mounted on canvas. I was thinking of creating the frame for the individual prints with the Shiva oil pastels. Here is a preview of Jody’s prints and my beginning thoughts:

Sometimes WordPress makes me crazy – no matter what I do – it won’t order the images the way I want them. And today, I’m not going to fight it!

A little more about Shiva Paintstiks and Pentel fabric pastels

I talked a little bit about Shiva Paintstiks the other day and want to give you a little more information. I have no affiliation other than being a satisfied customer. These oil Paintstiks can be used directly to make rubbings, with stencil brushes and stencils, or used as if they were a large crayon. The colors can be blended on a palette and then applied, they can be applied thickly as a solid color, or in a thin coat as sheer color. I have often used the lighter tints to lighten up a patch in a block when the contrast was not what I wanted it to be.

The Cedar Canyon website has a wealth of information about how to use Shiva Paintstiks, some fun projects, tips for success, and other FAQs. These oil paints are the only ones that are specifically made for fabric, and there is a complete article on the website which explains how they are made with a lower linseed oil composition to work specifically on fabric.

Another product I have used that I really like are the Pentel fabric pastels. Their website also has information about these. Using these pastels is more limited than the Paintstiks. The fabric pastels are crayon like, but work extremely well in some situations. The project photos below show a flower that I colored with fabric pastels and then quilted with metallic thread.

I do have one tip related to freezer paper stencils. I have found that if you press on the fabric side, after you have first adhered the freezer paper stencil to the fabric, that the stencil sticks better. Now, I wonder if you could stick two layers of freezer paper together and then press from the fabric side to make it really adhere. Sounds like an experiment to do today. I’m still babysitting – do you think a 2 year old can use Paintstiks or fabric pastels — NO! she will definitely get her own fabric and the Crayola fabric crayons.