I'm spending the last weeks of summer working on my second quilt of the year, this tropical twin-size quilt:
Because I'm hand quilting the entire thing it's going to take another month to finish, but I'm not in a hurry. Like the heart strip quilt I made back in March it's simply a practice piece. As I go along my hand stitching is slowly improving, and once I complete the quilt I think I'll be ready to tackle something more ambitious, like a quilt I've been planning to make with some fabric sent to me by a lovely pal of mine.
Working with color and beautiful threads always energize me, and I've never made a tropical-themed quilt, so creating this one gives me a lot of joy, too. That's important for some of the other things I do when I sit down to work on it -- like writing. While I'm quilting I often sort through story ideas in my head, create characters, plot books, etc. Because sewing calms and clears my mind I get quite a lot of mental writing done, too.
That said, sometimes I don't think about anything when I sew. A few days ago I was having a tough time working out the last half of a proposal -- I couldn't come up with a really dazzling idea for the story wrap-up -- and finally I set it aside and went to work on the quilt. I knew that stepping out of my creative writing space and not thinking about the proposal for an hour would clear my head, and the quilting made me happy, which refills the creative well for me every time. When I did go back to the proposal I felt clear-headed and more focused, which helped me think of a different approach to the problem. An hour later the proposal was finished with a bright and shiny new wrap-up (which did work because this morning the client hired me to write it.)
How do you reset the creative space in your head? Let us know in comments.