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Thread: Have You Hit a Quilting Slump?

  1. #1
    Senior Member marciacp's Avatar
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    I have been making quilts for 20 years, have taught numerous
    quilt classes, owned my own on-line quilt shop for a while, and
    am a published quilt pattern designer. However, for some reason,
    I have hit a huge 'slump' where making quilts is concerned.
    For some reason I cannot seem to make myself work on anything.

    This has been going on for a year or so, but in recent
    months it is worse. Also, it seems I have lost most
    of the people I used to quilt with because of various circumstances in their lives, so I feel more isolated now.
    I have tried and tried to make myself go in my work room
    and 'just do it', but most times I walk in there, look at all
    my fabric and half-started projects, and just turn around
    and walk out. Has this happened to anyone else, and if so,
    what did you do to turn things around? I need help!!!
    Thanks,
    Marcia

  2. #2
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    Hi,

    It sounds like we need to push you to get back in your creative quilting room!

    I was wondering since you taught quilters before maybe you could post some tutorials on the quilting board site for us!

    I hope to hear back from you!

    Karen "Craftybear"

  3. #3
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    I'm the same - well except for teaching and being published etc - but I also go into the sewing room, look around, and walk out. I too was much more productive when I had local quilters to inspire me. I have several projects that I need to work on but none tempt me. I'll be reading along for suggestions!

  4. #4
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    I'm sort of in one of those myself right now and have had them in the past but never for more than 3-4 months. I always wanted to "retire" so I could quilt--sounds like you quilted and then "retired" so I understand why you don't want to quilt some more. Maybe try a new challenge--painting, photograpy, something totally different for awhile and see where you end up. You may go back to quilting, you may find your interests have totally changed.

    I'm going to do the Farmer's Wife Quilt Sampler with this group so I'll be held accountable for weekly blocks. I hope this is the "kick in the a$$" I need to get out of my slump.

    Good luck--just enjoy what you do and do what you enjoy. Otherwise, it's just another job.

  5. #5
    sam_98's Avatar
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    You likely have had some major issues occur a year ago. It is sad you have lost quilting friends. I hope I am understanding what you wrote. A useful book, one that I discovered several year ago, and have been using it again this summer. "The Artist's Way" A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity" by Julia Cameron. This is a great book for blocked artists. It is "A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self".

  6. #6
    Super Member Twisted Quilter's Avatar
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    I've hit a slump too! I finished my first top in June, then a week or two later a lap size top. Then I started cutting pieces for my next project. I cut quite a few pieces the wrong size and just can't get back in the swing. I even signed up for 2 'group thingy's, and still nothing.

    Maybe it will get better before Fall. :(

  7. #7
    Super Member cherylynne's Avatar
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    I feel the same way. I retired in June and have not made one thing.

  8. #8
    Super Member jrhboxers's Avatar
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    I guess I am in a 'slump'. I have 5 client quilts hat I need to hand quilt but they are just sitting in their shopping bags waiting. But I am pretty sure that as soon as the weather cools and I don't feel like I will suffocate under them, I will get started again.

    But it seems like I go in spurts. One is when I buy and buy and buy and buy fabrics and layout quilts and play with my EQ to lay it out, etc. And another is when I cut and cut and cut and put everything together. And then when I piece top after top. Funny, I never really get into a spurt where all I want to do is hand-quilt. I guess it is a good thing that I am saving my pennies from client work to buy a long-arm.

    But it doesn't matter - I enjoy it all. Right now I am working on a baby quilt where I am cross-stitching the centers of the blocks and really enjoying that. I never really get bored I guess. Always something different to do or learn. Right now I am waiting on delivery of my QuiltCut that I bought off of here. I suspect that that will lead to a cutting binge.

  9. #9
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    the last thing you need from us, or from anyone, is "a push". that would just make you feel worse.

    i sense two things. (1) that quilting was work (an obligation); and (2) the friends you quilted with made is seem less so.

    when you're used to doing something with friends, it's difficult to start doing it alone. if there's no local guild to join, would you be up to the challenge of trying to start one?

    try this ... don't walk into the sewing room intent on forcing yourself to work on anything. just pick up a pattern and shop your stash, pulling out the fabs you'd use if you were going to start it today. if that works, try putting together the fabs a few more projects.

    who knows? something might grab your attention and call to you so strongly you'll be at the cutting table before you know it.

  10. #10
    Junior Member Threadedneedle's Avatar
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    You might think about checking with your doctor to see if clinical depression may be an issue also. Especially if it is also affecting other areas of your life. And good luck!!

  11. #11
    sam_98's Avatar
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    One thing Julia Cameron advocates is using "morning Pages". They are 3 pages of long hand, strictly stream of consciousness, sometimes "brain drain", sometimes diary, sometimes planning. This course has you deal with artist child, and help rediscover creativity. The spiritual part will work for anyone. Julia wants all to be open, and as a Christian, I know God is at work in my life, but others will think of "Higher Power" in different terms. So don't let the Spiritual part keep you from checking this out and see if you benefit from it. The other thing she advocates is an "Artist's Date" each week. Sounds corny, but i

  12. #12
    Senior Member katei's Avatar
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    It's ok - just don't beat yourself up on it. We all take breaks from time to time. How about having coffee with an old quilting buddy and see if that brings the inspiration back.

  13. #13
    mlaceruby's Avatar
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    Maybe you need a change of style!
    I embroidered for almost 10 years(8+ hours a day) and sold items at craft shows and online.Made embroidered quilt blocks and quilts with them. I got really burn't out! It became work!
    so NO more embroidery!
    and I discovered batiks! something that I thought I hated.
    I liked everything traditional and they looked to modern.
    Now I love them and piecing has given me a new creative burst!
    But don't force yourself, maybe get a new book or take a class.

  14. #14
    sam_98's Avatar
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    The Artist's Date" is a block of time, perhaps two hours a week, especially set aside and committed to nuturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist. It is an excursion, or a play date with your artist child. You take no one with you. Last time I went through the book, I did the artist date. This summer I keep realizing I am going the week and not getting it done. I am still a work in process.

  15. #15
    Super Member sewmuchmore's Avatar
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    Maybe you can help someone who wants to learn how to quilt and bring her under your wing. Through helping her you may find your zeal for quilting again. Just something to think about.

  16. #16
    Senior Member marciacp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janRN
    I'm sort of in one of those myself right now and have had them in the past but never for more than 3-4 months. I always wanted to "retire" so I could quilt--sounds like you quilted and then "retired" so I understand why you don't want to quilt some more. Maybe try a new challenge--painting, photograpy, something totally different for awhile and see where you end up. You may go back to quilting, you may find your interests have totally changed.

    I'm going to do the Farmer's Wife Quilt Sampler with this group so I'll be held accountable for weekly blocks. I hope this is the "kick in the a$$" I need to get out of my slump.

    Good luck--just enjoy what you do and do what you enjoy. Otherwise, it's just another job.
    Jan,
    That is an interesting way to look at it. I think you are right - I quilted and then I 'retired'. Actually a lot of this started after I sold my on-line shop. I continued designing patterns for a
    fabric manufacturer for about a year after that, but then life
    happened, and I stopped that too. I have continued to do a lot
    of designing at home, and have maybe 20 more patterns designed, but can't even seem to make the samples for them so that I can test the instruction and have a quilt for the pattern cover. Right now, I don't really want to design professionally,
    I just want to regain the enjoyment I have always had for making
    quilts. I thought about taking a class in something very different from my style - maybe I should give that serious thought.
    Marcia

  17. #17
    Senior Member marciacp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by craftybear
    Hi,

    It sounds like we need to push you to get back in your creative quilting room!

    I was wondering since you taught quilters before maybe you could post some tutorials on the quilting board site for us!

    I hope to hear back from you!

    Karen "Craftybear"
    Karen,
    I haven't considered that, and I truly love teaching, at least
    when it is actual bodies in front of me. I am always happy to
    share what I have learned and I could consider your suggestion.
    Marcia

  18. #18
    Senior Member marciacp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sam_98
    The Artist's Date" is a block of time, perhaps two hours a week, especially set aside and committed to nuturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist. It is an excursion, or a play date with your artist child. You take no one with you. Last time I went through the book, I did the artist date. This summer I keep realizing I am going the week and not getting it done. I am still a work in process.
    Sam,
    I appreciate all your comments and suggestions. And I will have to say that the Christian aspect would appeal to me, because I am a Christian also. I will keep you suggestions in mind.
    Thanks,
    Marcia

  19. #19
    Senior Member marciacp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewmuchmore
    Maybe you can help someone who wants to learn how to quilt and bring her under your wing. Through helping her you may find your zeal for quilting again. Just something to think about.
    I don't know your name, but I sure appreciate your idea. I would love it if I could find someone that would like to learn how to quilt
    and then help her. Also, I see that you are from GA. Even though I don't live there now, I was born and raised there. Great state!!
    Marcia

  20. #20
    Super Member thequilteddove's Avatar
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    I can relate completely. I retired & started an LA business. I've only been doing it for a few years, but I find I don't have any time for myself and it really has taken the 'joy' out of it. I haven't made/finished a quilt for myself since January! I love hearing how pleased my customers are w/their quilts and all, but like everything you do day in & day out, it looses it appeal after a while.

    I haven't decided to give up my business, but I have been taking the time to enjoy my summer more this year :)

  21. #21
    Senior Member RevPam's Avatar
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    Sometimes the inability to get started, even when you know you love something, is a sign of depression, which by the way is nothing to be negative about since it's all about brain chemicals, but is also something to not ignore. God bless you.

  22. #22
    Super Member Luv Quilts and Cats's Avatar
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    Hi Marcia,

    I am also in a slump. I got together today with two quilting friends. One was upset about a personal problem and we talked to her and had lunch early. She left to go home and I just did not feel like sewing so I left too. She is usually a very happy person lately to see her so down was terrible. Anyway, lately I like to talk about quilting, look at books and magazines and dream about quilts I want to make, keeping my ideas in a sketch book. Maybe we are all just ruminating for a while and getting our creative batteries charged. I bought a desk to put my sewing machine on, but now it has fabric on it! And I have not room for an ironing board and cutting table upstairs. So if I want to leave my machine out all the time, I'll have to go downstairs to cut and iron. I am still thinking abouth this though. I will find a way. And I think and hope you will too. Sometimes we just need a break. I guess even Muses take vactions too!

  23. #23
    Senior Member PiecesinMn's Avatar
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    Maybe as so many things start traditionally in the fall (school, church doings, etc) it might be a good time to start again with quilting. Enjoy the lazy hazy days of summer for another month and recharge and see if you feel like you should be starting something after Labor Day.

  24. #24
    Super Member applique's Avatar
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    If teaching quilting to kids catches your attention, there are schools, Sunday school, 4-H, scouts and girls clubs who could all use some fun activity. Kids just seem to naturally be creative and have fun. Maybe they can spark something fun in you too!

  25. #25
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Maybe you need to go to a quilt show and get inspired!

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