I was listening to Mark Lipinski’s Creative Mojo episode from 6/29/2011 the other day. He was interviewing Lesley Riley, who I thought was really good. She is the creative force behind TAP and a creative mentor/coach. She said that people often don’t do anything creative, because they have forgotten how (we are all born with the ability to be creative, according to Leslie), or we feel like we don’t have time or we feel like everything we do has to be a masterpiece, because we don’t have time to screw up.
The masterpiece comment really struck a chord with me.
It made me think about the quilts I have made where I feel like I have really struck gold. I have had Fabric of the Year 2010 on my mind lately, because I really feel like I struck gold with this quilt. This conversation, further, made me think that there is no predicting whether a quilt that will have the it factor.
I feel like I have two or three quilts that are truly excellent quilts. This is many fewer than the number of quilts that I have made. I asked myself if I was ok with that and I am. I am because the other quilts are not horrible, ugly or hideous. Most of them are good work and make me happy. They are nice quilts, but just don’t have the “it” factor.
I am going to keep making quilts and I’ll nail another one sometime. I don’t know when, but if I stop working, because each quilt isn’t a masterpiece I will never find that quilt with the ‘it’ factor, but more importantly, I won’t progress. I believe that my truly great quilts are great, because I keep making quilts.
I make blocks to try out color schemes before I commit to a whole quilt, sometimes. I make bags and other small objects to try fabrics and techniques that may not be suitable for quilts. I go to A Work of Heart and play with paint and ink, paper and gesso under the watchful eye of Andrea, a creative genius if there ever was one. It feels good not to be making all the decisions all the time.
And I just keep making.