I had been reading the How To Grow Your Creativity posts over on Collettes Blog and it had made me think about this last loss of sewjo. Since I re-started quilting in earnest - largely motivated by Flickr and then the online community of modern quilters and bag makers that grew out of it, I have had little periods when my sewjo was lacking. Most of the time it was because I was simply overwhelmed with ideas and could never make everything I wanted to. I'd have needed 48 hour days and it would totally demotivate me until I could see the wood for the trees again.
This more recent lack of sewjo is more entrenched. Firstly, after years of travel anxiety I finally managed to go abroad again last year. It left me wanting to travel more and I did it again this year - this time flying. (In fact over two trips I've managed six countries!) My head has been full of travel and potential for travel photography and some how sewing and quilting has taken a back seat.
Secondly - life just has a way of getting in the way.
Also, one of the quickest ways to stop me in my tracks creatively is to lose my purpose for the craft. I have made so many quilts in the last few years that I think goodness do I really need any more? Where will I put them, who can I make one for and gift it, knowing it will be appreciated? The same with bags. I suppose each time I've added to my fabric stash I have kidded myself it will only take up valuable space in the short term because it will be made into something (eventually). But all those somethings need homes and it has got to the stage when I've felt I'm making for the sake of it and that has sapped my enjoyment.
I was never someone who wanted to make a living from my craft. Or at least (unless I was teaching something) never felt that I could compete with the world and his wife already out there doing it and perhaps a lot better than I ever could. Kidding myself amassing a decent sized stash, so I could whip up stuff to eventually sell, was quite frankly, delusional.
I've spent a lot of time thinking about what might kick start my creativity and rationalising what I have is definitely the way to go. Hence my thinking I really needed to destash.
And then something unexpected happened. Someone (I can't say who until it's gifted.) I know had a baby and the moment I saw pictures I thought: Oh! I could make a baby quilt as a gift. I have longed for the excuse to make a baby quilt. A simple one can be whipped up in next to no time and ahead of the destash, making something from stash was going to help get shot of some fabric!
I kicked myself for not doing the sewing over the last 6 months I've known the baby was coming. Being out of the sewing groove, it just didn't cross my mind!
I grabbed two packs of Oh Deer! by MoMo that I'd saved thinking they'd be great should I ever need to make a baby quilt. I wanted to do something different to my 'go to' baby quilt pattern which has been the charm squares baby quilt that Elizabeth Hartman offered up some years ago. But I hadn't got oodles of time (unless the baby was graduating kindergarten before she got the quilt!) and as I had two charm packs I decided to alternate half squares between whole squares much like the original design, but leave out the sashing. I used an off cut of left over wadding and some of that Ikea number print to back it.
Binding was going to be tricky as using fabric from all one line (and a distinctive one at that) there was nothing in my stash that obviously complimented it - until I came across some green solid fabric. Probably left over from another long forgotten project.
I'll confess until it was finished I did wonder if it wasn't too 'boyish' in colours and I do think this quilt could be for a boy or a girl. Hopefully the parents will like the bright modern colours and not take one look and wish I'd have created something more pastel and girlie.
Sewing this I was reminded just how much I like sewing. Also, how I can be really motivated and excited to shop my stash for a project. There is nothing so satisfying as when you can justify that fabric you bought three years ago by turning it into the perfect project.
I don't want to lose momentum - I think I may make some more x&+ blocks for that long term quilt project. I'm also thinking I might make another baby quilt or two. I've got ideas, I've got fabric and as I've got no other babies looming on the horizon, I'm thinking maybe a charity donation, as there has to be some little babies out there in need of a quilty hug?
So my top tip for anyone who's lost their sewing mojo is: look at your stash with fresh eyes and aim to make something just using what you've got. It doesn't have to be a big quilt. Raid your stash for fabrics for mug rugs or table runners, pouches and cushions. After all Christmas is just around the corner and if you're stash is holding you back get some of it used...
...you can always buy more fabric if you use too much up!