Thursday, 1 September 2016

my creative process in short

There is no formula for how I work and I like it that way. Quilting is my passion and 'my time' so it is very liberating to explore my creativity freely. Of course I want things to be good but how I get there, the process, can be changeable.

When I starting quilting I stuck to patterns and fabric combinations that met the 'rules' of colour theory, general advice I got from blog and articles, and the inspiration of seeing other peoples quilts. I soon realised that lots of white space or sticking to one fabric collection wasn't me and I like odd colour combinations and fabrics that probably 'shouldn't' go together. So I mixed things up, chopped up some quilt tops, added or changed patterns to make them work for me and my aesthetic. Often it is fabric that speaks to me the most, or a cool pattern that I just have to make. From there I am now comfortable deciding on how to make it my own and the ways I can adapt it. 

Hexie Tiles  - pattern from 627handworks on craftsy

My creative process is full of contradictions though, because as sure as I am about how I want something to look, I nearly always doubt myself, wonder if it's good enough, and sometimes that sucks some of the joy out of the process of making. That is why I'm so interested in joining Collette of Poppy and Poochie for her mini series 'How to Grow Your Creativity'. She is exploring different aspects of creativity and how we can nurture it. You can link up blog posts or social media pictures on her blog - there are prizes too! This week is 'creative process', to read Collette's post and link up click here.

The way I create changes according to my mood and I have spent some time thinking about what 'my process' is and I'm not sure I can explain it well. During art classes and exams in high school we always had to give examples and describe our process, from inspiration or idea through to finished piece. Literally sometimes I just see something in my head and make/draw/sew it. At school I had to make it all up because there was no 'journey'. So sometimes I just make things!

When I do think things through I rarely sketch first, I'm much more likely to write. Names, words, ideas - writing is the best way for me to sort out through my creativity. Once I've done that I might draw out a layout or quick doodle.

And again, just like at high school, I can't force my creativity. I can't turn it on or off and there's no way it is showing up if I'm not in the right head space. So I go with it. The flow, the spark, the sewjo. When I'm not feeling it I might just go back to working on a WIP that follows a pattern, make something simple, or do a different craft altogether.

Once I'm working on a project it is open to change too, I might come up with a different way of finishing something or a quilting pattern that is different from my original plan. This is something I have found really hard and it has been a struggle to accept that it is ok to make changes (totally against my nature)... but now I realise it is freeing and the more I allow myself to stand back, reassess and play with my projects the happier I am with my work. 

It might be interesting to 'witness' my process a little more, in a way I do that through blogging and I explain a lot of my ideas here. I probably am just busy doing rather than noticing where my ideas come from, letting my creativity happen!

Share your creative process and join in, I am certainly fascinated and would love to see! Head over to Poppy and Poochie to find out more (like winning lovely fabric!), link up and use #howtogrowyourcreativity on instagram. What is your creative process?

credit: top photo taken of me by Sabrina Fuller

To read my second post about creativity, click here


  1. What great insight into your process. It's relaxing to think of it as you've described: creativity as a flow that you can follow. I am in love with the fabrics you chose for your Hexie Tiles project!

  2. If I was home I would show you, loved seeing your process

  3. Hi Lucy! I enjoy reading about your way to create, thoughts, process etc. I feel that I create very much like you - as I feel. It's not easy to force creativity. Thank you for the links, too. x Teje

  4. Hi Lucy thanks so much for linking your post in my blog - I love the little photos of your notebook and you working on a quilt. Xxxx

  5. Roll with it is my 'method' too. It gets me into some sticky situations but hey, then I have fun finding my way out of them!

  6. You are so great at making thing your own Lucy ! Keep doing what you are doing as it is absolutely gorgeous and inspiring

  7. Not sure I have a process.. hit and miss is more like it! Thanks for sharing your ideas Lucy! Very interesting!

  8. Very interesting. I love that you make things your own!

  9. I think your process is very much my process but I haven't been able to put it in words as well as you have. I always say I am a serendipitous quilter. Ideas come and I make them. If I am not feeling it, just like you I work on something else until that project speaks to me again. Thank you for sharing today.

  10. oh neat thanks for sharing this - I think we have a similar process which probably explains why I also tend to like all the things you make! Looking forward to reading more as you follow along!

  11. im off to write about my creative process now. Right now and remembering your blog was one of the first i read