Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Summer Gone, Need Inspiration!!

Summer is just about over, school will be starting soon ( august 19th, Yippe), and hopefully things will be back to "normal". This summer has been so busy with doing things with the boys, keeping up with daily house crap, church things, but no sewing. :( I just can't seem to get in the mood these past few months. Don't know what the deal is hadn't been in a quilt shop for awhile, went into joanns last week first time since may!! I didn't even get to go to the NQA show this past June. You'd think I was having withdrawels by now, but none.

What do you do for inspiration?? What keeps you motivated? Do you go shopping? Hook up with other quilters? Retreat? Leave me a comment & I'll send someone 4 fat quarters in their color choice. I'll do this for a couple of weeks, say the end date is August 4th. I'll do a random number poll for the winner. Please leave your blog address so I can get in touch with the winner & post a link to my blog on your blog as well. If you leave your blog address & a link ( because I'll be checking, LOL) you might get an additional gift. :)

74 comments:

Diane said...

I look through a lot of blogspots and I take what I like from a lot of you quilters. You are truly inspiring.

Nann said...

I'm tempted to say, "I take two aspirin and lie down until inspiration returns," but in reality I have too much else to do. I get inspiration from looking at quilt books and magazines and from online conversations (YahooGroups or blogs). It's usually not a lack of ideas that slows me down--more like paralysis from too many choices. I pull out a box of squares or strips and start piecing and pretty soon I'm back in the swing.

Regina said...

I value my online quilting buddies -and their blogs -they really help keep the momentum going for me. When I find a slump, I pick an evening and say "well, I will just sew for an hour tonight" and go from there -sometimes that one hour kick starts me again, and sometimes I stay in the slump a bit longer.

Suzan said...

Every August I go on retreat. Though I don't often feel the need for inspiration (I have many more ideas than I will ever implement!) retreat with this group of women always revs me up for the fall.

Sunny said...

Well, since I have now discovered all the wonderful quilting blogs, I simply surf the net! LOL. I use to buy books galore, subscribe to way too many magazines, visit local (and not so local) quilt shops, watch shows, and see as many quilt shows as I could. Now I just look at the blogs. I have so many I want to make, that I just file most of my inspirations away. then when I cannot think of what to do, I pull them out!

Annette said...

I just start looking through my fabrics and just enjoying them and pretty soon the ideas start coming and with ideas comes motivation and before you know it I am cutting and sewing.

debbie said...

My kids inspire me. It also helps me to set aside special time for sewing. :o)

Quilter's Friend said...

Lately I've been focusing on color, so bought a book by Joen Wolfrom and have been dreaming of beautiful quilts with colors chosen from nature.

Otherwise, I love to see quilts my customers bring in. Yesterday one of my customers challenged me to do the same project she is, so that will be fun.

Linda

Bethany said...

Is there something quilty bugging you? For me, it's because I'm usually stumped on a project and don't want to deal with it. The more I ignore it, the guiltier I feel. Then I try harder to ignore it. Can you see the endless cycling happen? LOL.

Sometimes you just hit that "Quilt Slump" period. I think it's a way your body tells you "I'm on overload" and it shuts down for a period of time. It might be response to the above. Or the situation below.

Do you need a challenge? When you feel like you've done everything you can do with a quilt, your mind needs stimulation. Then you realize you are just bored.

It hit me about a month ago that I was indeed "bored". I needed a different quilting challenge. After drooling over an embroidery machine, I splurged and bought it. It was the change I needed. I'm back to quilting up a storm now.

Umm..not sure how to post a link back to here..but I'll try.

Lynne in Hawaii said...

Sometimes I just have to wait for inspiration to hit me on the head! Especially since I 'wing' it and don't necessarily work from a pattern. I read a lot of blogs, look through magazines and books or move to something else for a while.

Debbie said...

there are several ways i keep motiviated - I belong to a guild, I go to 2-3 retreats a year... but the biggest thing is that quilting is MY getaway, MY relaxation - so even if I spend 15 minutes or so a day.... it is calming for me. Inspiration comes from magazines, other blogs, and .... my ufo's.

Shelina said...

I go through these slumps quite a bit- although they are usually about cleaning and not quilting. LOL

The thing to remember is to change the semantics of what you say to yourself. If you say "I SHOULD be quilting" the rebel in you you is going to say no. It is something you do for fun, so if you aren't going to have fun doing it, don't bother.

But when I say to myself "I get to quilt", then I get excited. I try to do a few minutes, maybe pick out some fabric for the next Dear Jane block or the next project.

I also go through a lot of quilt blogs, but sometimes that puts me in overload mode, because there are too many things I want to make.

I'll link to your blog.

Rebecca said...

My inspiration usually comes from a good fabric shopping trip or searching out tutorials online and looking at people's etsy shops.

Joyce said...

I get a lot of inspiration from books and magazines. And, of course, from bloggers.

T said...

I agree that many times I get inspired by surfing blogs.

Other times, I'll go in and pull out my UFO stack (okay, stackS) and think about where I was or why I did a particular quilt - then figure out why it's still a UFO. It might be something as simple as needing to press it well and baste it for quilting, or to just add a border. I actually kinda force myself to do one, then I seem to easily be able to find other quilt-y things to do that are more fun!

Another thing I do is start to clean my sewing room. I am a stacker. If I pick one stack and put the pattern away, separate out the scraps from the fabric that just needs to be folded and put back on the shelf, put the spools of coordinating thread away... again, that's not so much fun, so it's easy for my head to come up with other things to do that are more fun!

Lastly, I try to help someone with a creativity slump. Someone says, "I have a stack of Moda's latest charms and don't know what to do with them" and I just come up with a bunch of ideas to help them figure out what to do. By the time I've come up with ideas for someone else, a couple of them have usually stuck with me, too!

Hannies Annies said...

motivation..well i eat to get motivated..have chocolate lol...I look at blogs and that is inspiring I find yours inspiring..I look at magazines at times...and I take time to just sit and ponder what I have been doing; think about what I want to accomplish in the future and what I like to work with as far as fabrics..and it flows from there.

Di said...

I get inspired by all the blogs and then when I wander into a quilt store, all the fabric. Patterns and quilting books, too. The thing that works for me is to just sit down and sew something or start cutting fabric for a quilt. I think it's the "doing" that sustains me.

Leah S said...

Pictures are my biggest inspiration. Whenever I see a quilt design that I want to do, I save the picture. Math doesn't intimidate me, so I usually can figure out traditional pieced patterns from pictures alone.

On the flip side, quilt shoes don't inspire me. I think I feel overwhelmed with all the completed quilts. Knowing how many UFOs I've got... yikes! So I just take pictures at quilt shows and save them for later. :)

BrendaS said...

Oh, it's colour, beautiful colours. Take a peek into your stash or scrap bag and find the colours you love. touch them, play with them, and cut a bit. sew the bits together, and you're on your way. The other thing to do is just to start sewing precut pieces together -- mindless sewing is fun sometimes. I had a box of two inch squares that I just kept sewing and sewing, and many fun things grew out of it. but then again, sometimes July is just too hot to sew. http://scrapsandstrings.blogspot.com

Linda said...

Hmmm, inspiration, that's a tough one. I work in a quilt shop and have done so for 10 years. I used to sew every day and I have so many projects in the works, I have lost count. I love the colors and the feel of the fabric. I enjoy being around women that talk fabric. I love blogging and and I enjoy reading other blogs. Sometimes, I get really overwhelmed and don't know what to work on or where to start....When that happens, I get on the computer, read some of my favorite blogs, watch Quilters TV or QNN and just relax. I find that if I MAKE myself sew when I'm not ready, I screw up...Just take a breath and take this time to enjoy yourself. Relax and it will come. Hugs, Linda

The Calico Cat said...

No fat quarters from me, but...
I get inspiration from flickr & from books...

Screen Door said...

Upcoming seasons always inspire me. Gees-- I'm inspired by all the quilters that commented before me on your site. Have you studied the Australian Quilters weblogs? They have really interested me lately. When I get into a quilter's slump I try to focus on a small project to just kind of jump start me. Fabric postcards are fun or quilted bags are fun too. They are quick and easy for yourself or to share. Quilting always seems more fun when you can share it with someone else.....

Linda and Diva said...

I get inspiration from the quilts shown on all the blogs.

And just last night I got out my older quilt magazines and leafed through them and found some ideas that didn't appeal to me before.

I have been in kind of a slump and I think this has jump started me.

ikkinlala said...

I often just take a break and do another type of creative project (taking a break and not being creative at all doesn't help me, though). Otherwise I'll choose a really small project or look at blogs until something inspires me.

I don't have a blog, but my e-mail address is in my profile.

Rose Marie said...

Signing up for swaps is a good way to keep inspired. They are small and quick to make up. Once I finish a quilt, I choose something from my 'to do' list and that keeps me going. In between, there are always UFO's to whittle down. So, a little bit here and there keeps boredom away.

Annemiek said...

Blogs and lots of books! That does it for me!But is't easy for me to say: I'm a handpiecer and quilter so it's slooooow. Plenty of time to think about the next project..

Narelle said...

I took part in a challenge to complete 5 by the end of July so that's been an inspiration to keep going.

For new projects my ideas come from magazines and definately from all the talented quilters in blogland.

Magdalen said...

I get inspired by a lot of things; mostly I see a quilt that I adore and think, "I could do that design in a different color palette," or I see a fabric that I not only have to have, but immediately know how I'd like to piece it. But here's a very specific example of a recent jolt of inspiration. We were at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont a couple weeks ago. They have 400 quilts in their collection, with only a few out at any given time. One was a Lone Star quilt, but it used a 19th century chintz for the star pieces. The chintz was a Civil War era botanical stripe, with a sort of mini-stripe in the design. Each diamond for the star had been fussy cut to feature the join between the stripy part of the fabric and the non-stripy part. (Sorry I can't link to a picture, and it's hard to describe.) The net effect was that the Lone Star oscillated (the strobe effect, if you're familiar with that) as you looked at it. And yet the color palette was quite muted. It reminded me that we can achieve stunning effects without throwing brighter colors and stronger contrasts at quilts.

mary aka oleqwilter @aol.com said...

I love fall and school shopping. Even though my children are 29 and 30, I buy myself a box of crayons every fall. Just to smell for a while, and then I doodle blocks or embroidery. I also surf the web and see other people's creations and go to fabric stores and fondle fabric. Of course some often follows me home too. LOL

jenclair said...

I visit blogs and make myself begin just one project. If I can begin that one, things frequently take off and before I know it, there are several projects in the works.

Treasa said...

My inspiration usually comes from magazines or other bloggers. I have a whole list of patterns I want to make. Alos my local quilt shop owner knows my likes and dislikes. So she is always on the lookout for me.

Marit said...

If I need inspiration I look at all the wonderful blogs! And then I often look at web sites with free patterns. There is too much I want to do! :)
Greetings from Marit in Norway

Donna said...

Looking at quilter's blogs seems to inspire me lately. I love to go to the quilt shops too. You have a great one in Ohio called the Fabric Shack. When we visit my inlaws I always try to sneak a trip in there. Good Luck!

Lindi said...

I clean up my sewing room, look through my stash, then just grab a piece of fabric that I really like, and cut into it - usually squares, sometimes strips. I have no idea what I am going to do when I start. Once it's cut, I have to start thinking and playing with other fabrics, because it is, after all, a favourite piece! Once I have something that coordinates, I muddle along until the fabric tells me what to do.

artfilstitch said...

I find that a visit to Barnes & Nobles and browsing through magazines and books will give me some inspiration. Going outside, looking around our property always inspires me.

Fiesta said...

I have several projects going on so I do not get bored or in a funk. If i am too tired I sit, relax, watch the tube and hand stitch.
I try to sew a little every day.
I go back to work in 2 weeks so I get up 2 hours earlier, drink coffee and stitch a bit.
Makes my day.

Lyn said...

Hi Carolyn,before we went on holidays, I lost my MOJO (that's what I call it) for three months. I had no desire to quilt/stitch/craft, at all, even though I attended Guild, my Monday Morning quilting group and surfed my favourite blog sites.A friend lent me a stitchery pattern of little cottages, once I started tracing the cottages, the idea formed to make my basket liner. Then I was right again, since, I have made the basket liner, The Wedding Quilt, The Replacement Wedding Quilt and a Mystery Quilt My next projects are for my friends babies to be born in Sept/Nov/Dec.Something will trigger for you and you will be right again. Warmest Regards Lyn
http://bluebirdquilts-lyn.blogspot.com

Teresa said...

Inspiration comes to me mostly from my quilting friends and blog buddies - I see their beautiful quilts and just have to share in the fun. Please count me in on your give-a-way.

Robin C said...

well when I am having a dry spell I tend to read though blogs that I like and see what might inspire me and I also go online browsing. There are lots of nice things I like that can't be purchased in Richmond VA

Heidi said...

Hi Carolyn,

today I find your nice blog.
Sometimes, if I can't sleep at night or if I walk in the nature I'll be inspired and often, I'm inspired from any other wonderful blogs, journals, books...

Best Regards from Germany
Heidi

Caryn said...

That happens to me too - especially during summer! Sometimes I just wait it out, sometimes I switch to something else, like redwork, cross stitching or card making, and sometimes I force myself to quilt even if i don't feel like it and once I get going the inspiration returns. I also look through blogs, books and magazines or take a trip to the quilt store. Good luck!

MB said...

My inspiration comes only when I'm in a situation when I can't act on it... So for me it's early morning peeks at blogs, right before firing up the work computer.... or quick dashes into small town quilt shops on a road trip with a deadline... but it finds me... and keeps me going until next time.
Mary Beth

Jackie said...

The fabric usually talks to me, but mostly I get inspiration from the life in general. Could be colours in an advertisment in a bus shelter or from product packaging at the supermarket.

Chris@Cats On My Quilts said...

I surf blogs which sometimes inspires me. I like going through antique stores because sometimes the colors of their different vignettes inspires me. And sometimes it just takes pulling out some book or fabric you haven't seen for a while that gives me ideas.

rachelgriffith said...

what inspires me???

other peoples quilts.
quilting magazines.
quilting blogs.
playing in my fabric stash.
i often google different types of quilts.
{i.e. celtic quilts, green quilts, fall quilts, bargello quilts etc.}

fun stuff.
lol.

you can reach me here:
www.rachel-griffith.blogspot.com
and i blogged about your giveaway.
:O)

Connie said...

One thing I do is to just dig out stash fabric and start laying out various combinations--sometimes the stuff you end up liking isn't anything you'd ever consciously plan! I also like to look at block books.

Laura said...

I get my inspiration from home decorating magazines. I love looking through them and finding color options that I hadn't thought about before. I am then inspired to start something new.
http://www.pineridgequilter.blogspot.com

Judy said...

I enjoy shopping, retreating and quiltilng with other friends. May next quilt with be triplets with my 2 other friends, which will be a patriot quilt we all want. You are truly inspiring.

Judy Hurd
Crazy4quilting@blogspot.com

Judy said...

I love shopping for fabric - retreating and quilting with my 2 other friends. This summer has absolutely flown by for me. I have made about 9 quilt tops this year. Now to the binding. Also am involved in some CQ for Newbies on-line (Yahoo group). It has been very tedious for me. Have to many "sane" quilts to make. I am truly hooked on quilting! Your blog is very inspiring.
Judy Hurd
crazy4quilting@blogspot.com

Carrie P. said...

When I need inspiration I will look through some of my new quilt magazines. Visiting blogs helps too. There is some great work out there in blogland.

Herzblatt said...

My children.......my husband.....my dog.....my blog friends....all the wonderful things I see on the blogs ......my garden.....my million of ideas inspire me....
best wishes,
Iris

Vickie E said...

Carolyn, I just spent a bit of time with 2 quilting buddies in Myrtle Beach... seeing their projects and shopping for fabric...being with them..that motivated me. I miss them so much...
I will post this to my blog...

butrfly2200 said...

Well, what alot of comments. Took me awhile to get through them all. Interesting.
Sometimes I need a deadline to get going.
I found some neat sites about disappearing nine patch that I am itching to try.
I've blogged about you giveaway and count me in.
Thanks,
:)Carol
www.butrfly2200.blogspot.com

anne said...

I get inspiration from blogs, books, magazines and craft shows. Thanks for sharing on your blog. Happy Stitching

TLC said...

I keep inspired by reading blogs, attending my quilt guild meetings, getting my quilt magazines in the mail, attending retreats. All these things keep me excited about quilting. And of course sitting down and quilting is just plain fun!!

Mary said...

I started blogging after lurking long enough....I found bloggers that are quilters were a great inspiration because I have moved so much over the years I don't have a "foundation" of friends in my neighborhood. Yep, there are days when I wonder what do I have all this for? I don't feel like it and then I get started on some project and it is all I can do not to start another 10 or so on top of that one. Blogging...great inspiration! Look...I found you!

Amy in Kentucky said...

I get lots of inspiration from looking at quilting blogs daily. And looking through my fabric stash helps too.

Dandelion Quilts said...

Well, for starters I visit lots of blogs. There are so many quilters online that inspire me. I also frequent several quilt shops that keep their displays hopping with new quilts. Thanks for the giveaway.

StitchinByTheLake said...

I'm motivated by so many things - certainly books and magazines and shops, but more often by other quilters, in my guild or on a blog. To see what others have created makes me dream. Blessings, marlene

Regi said...

There are several methods i use to try and reenergize my inspiration... other crafters blogs, wandering through a fabric store and fondling the cool fabrics... and looking through books.

If all else fails I turn to a different type of project until I feel the pull of the quilts. *smile*

~Regi

mamabug said...

I have been where you are many times. It seems like the out doors is calling my name. My vegtable garden and my flowers take presidence during the summer. But I do feel changing it up helps. Do a less complicated project. This summer I have been making aprons and baby quilts. They get finished alot faster. I have set up my sewing in it's own room so that helps alot. I can close the door and the mess stays put!! Read a few more blogs and magazines and cut yourself some slack......it will come back in it's own time :) Kathie no blog k.bugbee@att.net

Carol said...

I don't have any quilty friends where I currently live, so my inspiration comes from blogs, online quilt groups and magazines.

Ruthie said...

Reading blogs, guild meetings with show n tell, and new magazines.

Mary said...

when i just can't get back to quilting, a read a really good book and always, always, try to have some hand work that I can work on while watching tv. Then I look through quilt magazines or books and I can always find something that i want to start. I am a pro at starting projects, finishing is another thing,usually takes a lot more time (winter is good for that), also I belong to Pat Sloan's Yahoo quilt group on line and get inspiration from them.Hugs, Mary
http://mary-myneedlethread.blogspot.com

quiltmom said...

Hi Carolyn,

I enjoy quilting but I certainly experience chunks of time when I am not productive- sometimes every day life gets in the way and sometimes I can't focus on one thing because I want to complete ten things at once.However, when I am seeking inspiration, I will check out all the books and magazines I have collected or go on the net and read some blogs and look at all the wonderful work that quilters around the world are doing. Sometimes, I just go and play in my fabric- sometimes that will help me begin again.
I do sometimes call up a fellow quilter and we talk about quilting or I go to a local quilt store and look at what is hanging on the wall or buy some new fabric that I love.
I hope that you find your inspiration.
Regards from a Western canadian quilter,
Anna

Regina said...

Carolyn
How are you doing? Feeling more inspired yet???

Thinking of you...
Regina

Quilts And Pieces said...

Wow, I could write 5 pages of what inspires me for quilts. But I think the main thing for me would be seeing an antique quilt. Boy I see one and I turn to mush and just have to get sewing!

Carol said...

Mostly I am inspired by looking at a lot of the beautiful work I see on quilting blogs. It seems that if I go to my stash I want to do so many things with various fabrics and I get nothing done, so I have to have a project in mind before looking through all the fabrics.

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

Buying fabric is what I used to think inspired me. I would buy alot - and then make 1 scrappy quilt to justify the purchases. I loved the shopping, the looking, the new fabrics! Maybe 2-3 years ago my thinking changed one day when I was looking at overflowing tubs/shelves of fabric and I decided to bust my stash - all of it! Now I love finding a pattern that will work with fabric I already have - and then I add a new fat quarter or two (for my own "spice") and allow the purchase of background, borders and backing. And maybe I don't love, love my top when I am making it (after all - I've been looking at many of these fabrics for YEARS), but I do love the finished tops and my big splurge is having them long-arm quilted. I would rather pay for quilting than to add fabric to my shelf. I prefer traditional scrappy quilt patterns and love to use patterns that are written for modern rotary cutting, although it is rare for me to buy a quilting magazine/book anymore - I already have so many patterns that I want to try for the time being. Not an inspiration, but a great motivation is being able to post photos on my blog along the way and all the supportive comments that other quilters leave!
Cheers!
Evelyn

LC said...

I'm inspired by the least of things, life around me, magazines (not just about quilting), blogs, color, fabric, even sounds, and a million whirling ideas from who knows where. Like Nann, it is too many choices that are at the root of my overflowing UFO cupboard and that sometimes keep me away from my sewing maching! Or it could be other responsibilities that keep me from that next project or finishing the last one... I keep telling my BH that I need a houseboy, and he just laughs.

Thanks for an inspiring blog!
http://elsiequilts.blogspot.com

Infinity Quilter said...

When I need inspiration, I like looking through my magazines and looking at quilty blogs. I wish you good luck. I've been where you are and the "bug" will hit again.

JenniferB said...

I usually take my inspiration from what I see around me -- on someone's beds, walls, etc., and then go in search of a pattern that matches it. I'm not a fabulous quilter (yet) but continue to learn and hope to someday do something that I have designed myself.
squirrelsmom(at)hotmail(dot)com

Koningskind said...

To get inspiration I read the quilt-blogs, flickr-groups, I went into the summer-stash-challenge and I am watching the fabric-web-shops.
It works amazing.

Jo Jo said...

Inspiration would be great if you could buy it in a bottle! I like to look through my quilt magazines or plan some things to make for an upcoming event like christmas or even re-arrange my sewing room just for a change. I hope your motivation returns soon. Jo x