Sunday, December 6, 2009

Indulging The Impulse; Where Will It Lead?

Friday evening, I went to an art exhibit of works by my daughter's art teacher, Catherine Watkins. She exhibited the work she did while on an sabbatical last spring. It was interesting to see her work but what made it particularly enjoyable for me was hearing her speak about how she went about it, and it got me thinking a bit differently about my quilting (not that my quilting is in the same category of art as what Ms. Watkins creates).

You see, I have a tendency to mentally berate myself for flitting from project to project, not always finishing what I start, or having a number of quilts in the works in various stages simultaneously. Sometimes we jokingly refer to this as quilters' ADHD. I have tended to view it as a lack of focus or lack of serious intent when it comes to my quilting.

Catherine Watkins got me thinking about it differently. She described her own efforts to make the most of her sabbatical. She started it with an idea of what art she should be making, but she began to gratitate to something else. She came to realize that she needed to relinquish control and give up her set agenda and instead, indulge the impulse, take the risk of doing something new and see where it could lead her.

I like this idea of "relinquishing my agenda" and instead, allowing myself to indulge an impulse when it comes to quilt-making and seeing where it might lead. I've been inspired by the work of other quilters to try some new things, work with new colors and new shapes. I'm going to follow those impulses and be less concerned about the projects left unfinished in order to indulge my impulse. Those UFOs may call to me again at a future date and when they do, I will indulge the call.

Today, I went back to my scrappy string quilt. I like the way it is coming together.

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