Creativity needs time and space.
While some processes are fairly quick and straightforward, others require more time and maybe a container in which the process or change can occur.
With my quilting, the incubation period is never the same. When my daughter was a baby, I was coming to terms with the unexpected loss of a new job. I was happy to have the time with her and my young son, but I also wanted to find something creative to do with my time. So I found several patterns and ideas, gathered the materials, and made two small quilts–one for my son and one for a doll bed. I also crocheted a dress and bonnet for my daughter, along with a doll–complete with a handsewn dress and yarn hair. The incubation period was short, and I could move into a productive and satisfying time.
When my daughter had Logan, it took longer for the elements of his quilt to come together. I had a container with the fabric and a file to collect ideas, but the two just wouldn’t come together. The incubation period was longer, but in the end, it was the knowing I wanted to complete it in time to take it to him when I visited last summer. That was the impetus to push a little. Then I found the pattern, something that one would not think of for a child, but with the farm theme, I could make a few adjustments and turn it into just what I envisioned.
Recently, as I’m organizing my quilting fabric, I’m drawn to work on a quilt for my daughter. It means putting away a couple other half-baked ideas that are on my sewing table, but that’s ok. She originally asked me about a quilt several YEARS ago, so I think it’s time has come. I began collecting the fabric when she first mentioned it, but other things always came up. Some of that fabric has seen the inside of many different containers. I had actually figured she might not be interested anymore, so I was delighted last summer when she asked if I was still going to make her one. She even wanted it to be a little more traditional than Logan’s pattern. I found a few patterns that fit her request and the fabric. A much longer incubation process this time, but I’m ready to begin.
It turns out my writing is a lot like that. Today’s post started out as something totally different, but that idea needs more time to incubate. It needs a container of its own; it turns out that I was trying to put too much into one container–one post. I’m allowing time and space for the ideas to come together in their own way.
COMING UP NEXT: Cocoons and Coffee Houses