At times it's oozing from every pore and then, quick as you please, it's all dried up like the Mohave Desert. This week I had one of my dry spells. I was just finishing up a custom quilt and intended to plan my next quilt. NOTHING. I couldn't find a single creative thought.
So I decided I would take a walk through my family history for some inspiration.
My great grandmother was an artist. She painted in oils on copper in the Hudson River style. Her paintings are so serene. Cows grazing in the field, bubbling brooks and willow trees swaying in the breeze. You can almost smell the grass. Occasionally she would paint florals in watercolors. This medium allowed her to express her talent for detail.
My grandmother was a quilter. She created pieced quilt tops that were perfect. She collected fabric...as all quilters do...and when she had the right combination of colors out came the big, grey tailors scissors and her box of patterns. Gram wouldn't have liked this age of rotary cutters. She was in her zen place when she was cutting. After the quilt top was finished, it was time to bring out the quilting frame and begin the hand quilting that would fill her winter days. Her quilts were a labor of love and she was a master.
My mother was a seamstress, though she'd just tell you she liked to sew. She was quite well known for her pill box hats and stunning wedding gowns. The detail of her gowns was amazing. She covered the buttons by hand and crocheted each loops herself so they would fit perfectly around the buttons. There was always a sea of white on our living room floor as she added the laces, seed beads. sequins and pearls... ALL BY HAND! She made a name for herself with her creativity and attention to detail.
To help me find my creativity, I called on these artistic women. I went to my living room wall and got lost in great Grandmother Elizabeth's paintings. Then off to the bedroom to spread across my bed, the quilt Grandma Sarah made for me when I was a little girl. I finished my search for creativity with an old and tattered photograph album. On it's pages I saw the beautiful wedding dress my mom made for her only daughter.
Each of these creative women touched me and I was aware that they were now my muses. I began to hear their quiet guidance and filled my design wall with ideas for many new quilts.
Though they are no longer here with me on earth, their spirits are alive in the beautiful things they left behind.