A new project means different things to different people. It could mean starting a new woodworking project, a new writing project, a new painting, a new garden plot, or maybe a new venture altogether, like beekeeping. Whatever you feel passionate about. For me it’s always a new quilt. Getting started again, regardless of your preferred area of creativity, is all about motivation.
I had lots of fun making a number of quilts in 2017 for many of my favourite people (my grandchildren!). Not the case in 2018 and 2019. Well, except for one. The motivation for that one was impossible to resist. One of our nieces, who had been a few months shy of 3 years old when I first met my husband(-to-be)’s family, became a grandmother in May of this year. A grandmother! And we had spent a lot of time with her daughter, the new mother, when she was a tiny thing, living for a short but sweet period of time in the same town together. She was the cutest thing ever. Now she had her own little daughter. Suddenly the idea of making a baby quilt had appeal. Lots of appeal.
But, as is evident from the now 6-month old cutie on the baby quilt (my great-great-niece!), that was quite a while ago. Then, recently, motivation to start a new quilting project came knocking on the door from some unexpected sources: a post by a fellow blogger, a local human interest story, and – believe it or not – CNN.
A few weeks ago one of my very first blogging friends, Country Girl Life on the Farm, posted of her excitement at completing a quilt for her granddaughter. This was a quilt her granddaughter had requested; she had picked out the design and had chosen the fabric she wanted from Country Girl’s fabric stash. I could imagine the pleasure my blogging friend would have taken in quilting away, thinking about her granddaughter and the excitement to come in being able to give it to her, a gift of love. That’s exactly what motivates me.
Fired up to start a new project, I ran through a few tentative ideas and some possible target recipients, but nothing was clicking. And then I saw this news article in CNN online: “A woman found an unfinished, 20-year-old quilt and complete strangers are helping piece it together”. The woman in question went to an estate sale and, while admiring a completed project of a map of the U.S. done by the deceased, was asked by the organizer if she’d like to see a box in the bedroom that contained a 20-year old unfinished quilting project. She discovered a box with a complete design for a full queen-sized quilt, all mapped out to be tackled but never done because the quilter had to focus all her time caring for her ill husband. The story goes on to describe how this estate sale-goer bought the box for $6 and sent out a message on social media looking for people who wanted to help her complete this project. She got over 1000 volunteers! It’s a fun story to read.
Hmm, now there’s a legacy, I thought. Maybe that should be my next project, to plan a full quilt, sketch out each block, maybe even cut out all the pieces, and then box it all up and hide it away to be found when our loved ones are going through all our belongings. Surely, they’d all exclaim over the brilliance of it and excitedly organize a group quilting bee in my memory?! Or not. I’d probably be setting myself up for disappointment, although of course I’d never know!
A few commitments got in the way of this wave of quilting enthusiasm. But last week an article appeared in the regional section of the online CBC entitled “No quit for this 95-year old quilter”. Another inspiring story, certainly if you’re a quilter. And she only quilts by hand. Wow, if she’s busy quilting at age 95, I’d better step up to the plate. [As I struggle to thread a needle with my 73-year old eyes and as I have to give my arms and fingers frequent rests when quilting, I can only marvel at this woman’s physical prowess.]
And so, with this accumulation of inspiration for getting back at it, I’ve done it. I’ve come up with my idea. I’ve decided on my target audience. I’ve completed my design. I’ve assembled my fabric. It’s now a work in progress. I’m pumped!
Of course, I can’t share the details or I’d be giving away the surprise! With a little luck, it might be ready by Christmas. Stay tuned!
What about you? What motivates you to get started on your next project? What kind of projects stir your passion? Are you working on anything special for someone at the moment?