holy messes

holy messes


By Patricia Belyea

The intimidation of a blank canvas stops many artists from painting their first strokes with ease. The same applies to an immaculate sewing studio. When everything is in its place, it’s daunting to get started. Yet, we need to get messy to get creative!

As we dive into our stash, hang rainbows of color on our design walls, or play with threads and sewing stitches, we connect physical matter with our minds. We absorb what we see and feel. Our personal logic identifies new connections between diverse things—helping us break through from our typical thinking patterns. Our internal light bulbs brighten and we’re propelled forward.

Let’s place an imaginary camera on a tripod in the corner of our sewing studios and take a photo every day at 5pm. (Of course the frequency of taking these fanciful photos is different for those who seldom get to sew in their studios.) If the mess is different than 24 hours earlier, then we’ve been busy. If the studio is spotless day after day, we’re not in the depths of creating. If the studio is paralyzed with disheveled accumulations of stuff, we’re likely in an arrested state of creativity. 

Becoming brilliant, not neat, is our goal. Recognizing that untidiness of our own making sparks inventive insights gives us permission to get totally messy. Let’s appreciate and embrace our fast-moving piles as we open ourselves to new ways of thinking about making quilts.

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SOARING STITCHES is a blook (blog book) by Patricia Belyea.