Monday, June 07, 2010

A Managed Mess on Monday Morning


There are few sewing situations that put my studio in a bigger mess than spontaneous quilt block making. Its like painting and cooking. I am so very messy at both of those things too. I cannot stop to clean up while immersed in inspiration or the fear of screwing up (same thing?). But these mindless organic creative processes bring me so much joy. The mess is just part of what makes it feel comfortable and at home, and perhaps unfortunately also makes it feel very me. Ask my mom or my sister, they would agree with that. Me. Mess. BFFs.

But these processes of mine also reach a breaking point where I have to regain some order. And that's when I devote myself further in my relationship with color. I look, listen and answer each fabric with a position in a stack. Some are obvious, others joyously perplexing. All of them back in their place and my inspiration is saved once more from the edge of chaos. Just barely. (This collected chaos could likely describe so much about me if you are in the dark. In fact, refer to this post for all future questions about me.)

Now, to remake this mess into another. And another. And another.
More on all that soon.


  1. I've never heard of a tidy creative process. Maybe graphic design? I love spreading out and messily grouping colors and textiles for inspiration, I'm with you girl. Great blog entry. I love your stuff =)!

  2. a beautiful mess if you ask me- love all those pretty stacks!

  3. I love your blog--this post is no exception. :) And I always think your children are very blessed indeed to be part of such a lovely family. Your love and enthusiasm for life and for them comes through well in the blog, I think.

  4. Does this say anything.. had an art event Friday evening that I was creating like mad for. This morning, grab a spoon to scoop the coffee into the filter.. paint on it. Coffee made, pour into a mug. What's this? Lipstick? Nope, big red blob of paint. Oh, and how did I miss a big blob of green paint on the bottom of my right foot in the shower. Eeek!

  5. My mess today looks a lot like YOU. Why? Because Textile Fabrics is having their half off all fabrics sale and I went ANNA MARIA CRAZZZY! My apologies to anyone whom might have gone into the store looking for your fabrics after me. I came home and spread it all out. It was such a colorful, beautiful mess ... needless to say - I am sure heaven has a lot of tables that look like this.

  6. It's a comfort to hear someone so wonderfully creative, who seems like they have everything all together all the time, talk about being messy. I'm the messiest person I know...besides my five-year-old daughter. Heaven help me, she's just like me! :) Oh, sure, I love the look of a clean, organized sewing room--who doesn't? But it's no fun if you can't mess it up. :) And I certainly can't make anything nice without first making a huge mess! (It also doesn't help that I'm usually tackling about five projects at once...)

  7. Anonymous2:08 PM

    Love your blog, designs, colors.
    And thank you for the peek into your family life; beautiful, beautiful children.


  8. Anonymous2:09 PM

    That mess looks delicious!

  9. Oh those stacks of fabric look edible! yum!

  10. Angel Mandery3:07 PM

    So I feel like I am always checking your blog for new entries. LOVE your blog!!! When this opened up I simply let out a GASP! Love it. I have ordered a scrap bag with one of the orders I have placed with you and fell in love with fabrics I would not of by simply by seeing them. To have and touch does it for me!

  11. I'm messy too, I just need to walk past paint to get it on me LOL. Lovely mess though :)

  12. Who was it that said "It is a boring woman who has a spotless home"? I love a big creative mess!! And I just finished two quilts I made with all of your Bohemian fabrics and I love them - thank you so much for creating such gorgeous designs! They are my favorites and I'm so happy to have them in a quilt to treasure!

  13. You don't know how happy it makes me to know that you make messes too. I mean, you create gorgeous, fabrics, quilts, books, children...enough already! Thank you for showing us some imperfect-ness :) although, those piles look like a gorgeous mess.

  14. The only reason graphic design appears less messy is that it's all on computers now-a-days!!

    The creative process is inherently messy.

    I love the rainbow of fabric. And YOU are in control of that rainbow. How lucky!

  15. LOL -- I hit my "breaking point" on Saturday, regained order (even bought some bins to keep projects together), and almost immediately started a new project with resulting mess. And I'm about to go start a new mess. Hmmm. I think I'll just sweep the last mess to one side....

  16. I think I enjoy your work so much partly b/c I can really relate to how your brain seems to work. It's much like my own. I always look forward to reading your posts:)

  17. Hahaha I could TOTALLY relate to your problem. I'm in the process of cleaning up my stash and piles and messes too. It's a huge undertaking - remember to take breaks and drink plenty of water :P.

  18. Lisateresa9:31 PM

    That photo is very helpful to me - thank you! I was just up in the attic putting something away, and felt so overwhelmed by the amount of fabric, and a "what am I ever going to do with all of it" feeling came over me. It was awful. But what a thought; to put it into groups of color! Hallelujah!

  19. Organization by colour makes me so happy - in fabric, my clothes, and even on the bookcase. Call me a creative anal creature!

  20. Anonymous8:17 AM

    I LOVE piles.... and I love your blog. I linked to it on my own blog @
    because I think you're great. Thanks for all you do.

  21. I just have to add my praise to those who already have.

    Your messes are what inspire others. Your talent and your dedication make us want to be just as dedicated and just as talented, but in our own way. It's an inspirtation cycle. You're inspired to create, which inspires us to create, which we hope will inspire others to create, live, laugh, play, learn, etc. It's people like you that put so much meaning into this world.

    So, thank you for your managed messes and sharing them with us all.

    (And please excure the royal "we", but I'm sure many would agree with me!)

  22. This is a mess? looks like very orderly creativeness. Lovely fabrics and colours..ah be able to sew..

  23. Beautiful! I can't wait to see what comes of it.

    I was poking around on Etsy today... have you seen these outerspace inspired quilts? Very expensive, but amazing!

    Atom & Eve Design

  24. This is like group therapy! I work exactly the same way. I don't like planning my quilts much, so there is much pulling and piling involved. In fact, right now I just lined up my piles of strips along the wall on the floor in my sewing room. Organized chaos. My husband does not work this way. He likes to hang out in the other rooms of the house.

  25. You know, I've seen (and bought) your fabrics, but I had never visited your blog until very recently. I have to say that it is super refreshing to see that you are a real person, like a normal person - with kids and messes, and the like. I hope you're taking that as a compliment not an insult...

  26. I can't even explain the satisfaction and joy that comes from looking at stacks of fabric...

  27. Hi my name is Kenda. I was so excited to read about you on Scott Hansen's(Blue Nickel Studios) Blog. I myself have 5 children all under the age of 10. I homeschool 3 of them. I love to sew just about every form imaginable. I often get inspiration to make myself or one of my kids an outfit with no pattern. I they are lacking because I have no schooling on making patterns. But any how I was so excited when I heard how many kids you have. Yeah I'm not the only one with lots of kids that loves to sew and create. I guess I new that already but I have never come accross someone with so much recognition for her work. Its gives me hope for pursuing my dream.

  28. I need to meet you.

    I do.

    We don't live far.

    Your brain and mine are waaayyy too similar.

    .mac :)

  29. It's so nice to know that others like myself exist out in the world...thank you!!

  30. Its great informative and useful tips..thanks a lot..keeps going on…… I invite you to see my post, I hope you will find interesting too.

  31. Those fabrics are beautiful. The patterns and colors are awesome. I'm so excited to see what you'll gonna do with all those fabrics.

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