Containers as Incubators

My daughter a short time after she outgrew the crocheted dress.

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

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One comment on “Containers as Incubators

  1. Hi Deborah – The idea of incubation is thought-provoking. I realize readily that it sometimes takes time for an project idea to gel, to determine the best approach, to get a feel for the right colors. And each project is in a bin of its own while this is going on, true. Now, having read about 6s, there is also the time needed to let go of perfection and see what is left. But I think my whole house and maybe especially my workroom is the place of incubation, the sanctuary. It may take months, especially if other events intervene. I never thought of a business being the right place. Hm…,.a pebble in my pool (something to think about).

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