Five Prompts for More Creative Quilting

For some prolific quilt artists, inspiration just seems to flow. But I can guarantee you that everyone–even artists who churn out art quilts left and right–eventually experiences a creative block.

The good news is, working through that block can lead to more creative quilting.

mini quilts by jane davila
Mini quilts by Jane Davila

Here are five prompts for changing your routine and finding your muse again, from Jane Davila (Quilting Arts June/July 2012):

1. Change one thing about how you work: Think about how you work now and try to vary one or more aspects of your process.

For example, schedule your creative time early in the morning instead of after lunch. Sometimes just making a small change in your routine will make a big difference in your artwork.

2. Get physical: Exercise releases chemicals into your body that can ease the depressive feelings of a creative block. It also increases oxygen to your brain, which can stimulate your thinking. Get outside and walk or run, take up a new form of dancing, hop on a bike, or pop in an exercise DVD.

Engage your brain in activities that will open your mind to creativity. Play word games, do crossword puzzles, or study a foreign language. Everything you do and learn will eventually be reflected in your work.

3. Transform a failed piece: Once you have determined that a piece you’ve made is not working, cut it up and use it to jump-start your next work. . Maybe it will be the starting point for a successful collage or journal cover.

Or just turn the piece into inchies, ATCs (artist trading cards), mini quilts, or some other bite-sized form of quilt art you can play with.

4. Change your creative environment: Don’t let a stifling working environment be a stumbling block to getting your work done. Instead, ask yourself if the space you currently have is truly efficient. If the space really doesn’t work for you and you’re not productive in it, it’s time for a change. The change can be as simple as rearranging your supplies, or as complicated as moving to a more conducive space.

5. Analyze your work: Everything you create, both good and bad, offers you the opportunity to grow as an artist. You can learn from your mistakes as well as from your achievements. Join a critique group to get positive input from your peers.

Of course, I couldn’t leave this topic without suggesting that you break through a creative block with the new ideas and inspiration we bring you in every issue Quilting Arts Magazine!

P.S. How do you break through a creative block? Leave your advice below.

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2 thoughts on “Five Prompts for More Creative Quilting

  1. I clean up my area… And then invariably I come across something that triggers a desire to finish, make anew, or create a new item….an then I also benefit from a tidy workspace: Doubly Blessed!