There are times when I'm making a quilt --especially one that isn't a specific block pattern-- that I make decisions as I go along (for example, the Gwen-inspired medallion quilt). Occasionally there are times when my brain gives me no ideas for the next step and I get stuck, stopped completely. I can't come up with the next idea, the next step, the next shape, color, pattern, the next anything. I assumed it was just me and how my mind works. But maybe not.
I happened onto Mary Lou Weidman's book, Quilted Memories: Celebrations of Life, when I was at the library the other day. She wrote something I found really interesting.
I have read everything I could find about creativity over my lifetime. I have also read a lot about writing and what is called writer's block. Writer's block is similar to what many quilters go through when they start having doubts about their design.It's not just me! And since she includes some right-brain exercises to try I should be able to get past my occasional "quilt block." The book also has a section called, "How to Increase Your Creativity Quotient" in which the author offers an annotated list of a dozen suggestions. There were lots of good ideas but I was especially pleased with her suggestion to "Start more than one project." Do quilters really need encouragement to do that?!
Whether you know it or not, this is the battle of right brain vs. left brain. Both sides of the brain have their own roles. Left brain is in charge of analytical traits, reasoning, and math. Right brain likes play, design, and creativity. Now, we need both our right brain and our left brain, but there is something you may not know. The left brain likes to take over in some people, and in others the right brain takes over. When you go to work on a quilt design and you start thinking "I can't do this! What made me think I can design my own quilt?" that is the left brain saying, "Hey, let me take over, let's do something I like to do." Many people follow the left brain and give up. But if you can challenge your brain and give it a few right-brain exercises, you can get into right-brain mode.
Maybe your library has the book and you can see the whole list. (I don't want to violate copyright and include it here.) Mary Lou blogs at Mary Lou and Whimsy Too if you'd like to see some of her work and read more of her ideas.
Do you ever get "quilter's block?" If so, how do you get past it?
I hope you're having a good weekend.