More Lessons From a Quilt Square
When I first saw my two "bits" for this week, I wasn't at all sure they would work. One was a beautiful purple plaid with bits of green and a peachy colour in it. The other was a purple background with purple flowers. The floral was not a piece I would ever have purchased on my own. However, I managed to find a lighter peachy fabric that picked up the tones in both of my "given" pieces and off I went to my sewing room.
I loved the pattern we were given this week. As I cut out the pieces, I could envision a wallhanging made of these fabrics, in this pattern, hanging above my fireplace. I was ready to rush right back to the quilt store and buy a metre of each fabric, including the one I didn't really like. But it was Sunday, and the fabric store was closed. Besides, my goal for the day was to finish the square, not spend more money.
The pattern turned out to be more fiddly than I thought. There were lots of points to match up, and edges to trim. Still, I felt pleased with what was happening beneath my fingers.
The strangest thing happened as I finished. Though I looked at the completed square and smiled over my accomplishment, I realized I'd never be happy looking at that colour scheme as a wallhanging. What seemed like such a good idea in my imagination turned out to be less appealing in reality.
That's one of the hard realities of creativity. Not all of our ideas survive the harsh inspection of daylight. Whether it's a quilt square, a story idea or a new recipe, there's always the potential it won't work out quite as well as planned.
That's why being creative can be anywhere from slightly scary to downright terrifying. Each idea carries with it the potential of failure. How I respond to that failure determines whether my creativity grows or withers. If I blame myself for something which didn't live up to my expectations, I build barriers against further ideas. If I accept that the very nature of creativity is that some ideas succeed brilliantly and others don't work at all, then I leave my soul free to keep exploring, keep experimenting, and keep listening for that nudge of inspiration.