Creative Spark #29: Leave it on the Field

“I am proud of what you did out there. You did your best. You left it all on the field” (pg.122).

What this quote says to me is something that I try to live by, but need reminding about periodically. I always says that I need to show up and do the work. That isn’t enough and this quote reminds me of it. Yes, I need to show up. Yes, I need to do the work. I can’t, however, do it in a desultory way. I need to give it my all. I need to look at my work throughout the process. I need to think about what I am doing. I need to try different things and do my best work. It might not actually end up being my best work, but I need to give quiltmaking my all and not hold back.

“I used to think I had to save it all up for this or that” (pg.122) speaks to me. I recently bought some Tula Pink dots and stripes and in September I started to use them. Using my good fabrics is FANTASTIC! I have done this a couple of times lately and I have to say that saving fabrics for the perfect project is horrible for me. I have fabrics I used to love and now I don’t even remember why I bought I them. It is sad. Using my good fabrics means that I can see them in my house and use the quilts and enjoy the fabrics.

In this context, Carrie Bloomston means herself. She compartmentalized herself and doled parts of herself out as she saw fit. She writes “some knew me as a mom, some as an artist, some as a spiritual seeker, some as a kniiter, glassblower, a painter, a designer…I finally let go of that a few years ago when I began the process of letting go of control” (pg.122).

I know the examples are different, but I believe that using my fabric now is the first step in stopping the compartmentalization we, as humans, are prone to engage in. Letting go of control or planning isn’t easy. We all have busy lives and like to squeeze a lot into our days. “Befriend incidents, accidents, and mishaps. They are your greatest teachers” (pg.123).

“No matter what form your creativity takes, you have to let go of expectation and perfection. For the record, there is no such thing as perfect. …if you ever finally made the perfect quilt or painting or cake, you’d never need to make another one, right?” (pg.123). This quote is profound to me. I know that there is no such thing as perfection. Every project I make sparks a ‘what if’ moment. What if I made the blocks bigger? What if I used pink instead of green? There is an endless number of what ifs that populate my mind as I work on quilts and other projects.

For me, trying my best (despite what Yoda says) and working towards my best work and towards perfection is what I have to do, what I have been doing and what I will continue to do.

Carrie says the same thing when she writes “There is only trying, doing your best, and leaving it all on the field. If you do your best, honor your journey, and love yourself along the way, then you will find the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow. The pot of gold is everywhere when you go with the flow, surrender to the process, stop controlling, and let yourself be filled with joy and love” (pg.123).

She ends the Spark with “I hope you have learned that no matter what, you are good enough exactly as you are right now, and your lief experience will fill your work with your spirit” (pg.123).

You can see the last post on this topic from several weeks ago.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Play along. There is much more to each spark than what I am writing. The original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.