Friday, January 20, 2012


I've spent most of this week writing course materials and planning my teaching schedule for the next few months. Some really inspiring books have been on my desk, which I'll post about another time.

I've also been making some simple patchwork samples and a few resolutions as I sew. Overfaced by the amount of stuff in my workroom I've decided that in my own practice I am drawing a line and will not accumulate any more materials this year. Working with really familiar fabric has always given me the most pleasure and I'm wanting to explore the way I engage with the materials I use, and why I choose to keep, use and re-work them.

I'm hoping that imposing limits can build and inspire creativity.

Lotta and Sonia have both posted recently about similar resolutions. I'd be interested to hear if anyone else is thinking this way.


  1. so agree with using what you HAVE, like most creative people we love to have lots of stuff, like you say it can actually make you more creative if you have limitations.

  2. Hello Karen, good to see you here! x

  3. I am still sticking with it, although there have been plenty of temptations already. I may need some moral support here and there... I love your stitching - no matter what it is on.

  4. I completely agree with these resolutions, for two reasons: limits have always helped me to encourage my creativity. Even when I was a painter, I was very confortable reusing materials, better than puting a brush over a white brand-new canvas. The other reason is that I'm also concerned with consumism and accumulation of things at home. I need less things and more space!

  5. I really agree with that resolution Karen but l am finding it hard but at least l am tryint to keep to the ideaxxxlynda

  6. Richard Oliver10:59 PM

    Too much choice can be bewildering - not much good for creativity, I don't think. Limitation, like repetition, can provide strength and beauty.

  7. Catherine Gowthorpe11:01 AM

    I like this thoughtful approach to the acquisition of stuff. I'm doing a City & Guilds course, which means trying lots of new techniques, and acquiring products, many of which I suspect I will never need or want again. Generally, I think that constraint is good for all sorts of reasons, not least because you learn to be creative with what you've got.

  8. after managing not to buy fabrics last year, it wasn't very difficult to keep up with this resolution this year. It really isn't difficult, just a little bit of willpower when you think you'd loooove to buy this one, or when you think this other one is sooo beautiful. We tend to underestimate what we already have. I know I have enough fabrics (and even more than simply store bought, since I also salvage fabrics from clothes etc) for creating for years & years to come. And in a way, it makes me really really happy. Limits are a booster for creativity, I can attest that.
    I enjoy all of your work very much, thank you for keeping on sharing with us :)

  9. i did slip once already - but it was a "promise to purchase" made with my silk supplier late last year. but i too am trying hard to stick to a No More Acquisitions rule this year.
    the only way to clear space is to use up the stuff that is cluttering it. clearing will, i hope, lead to clarity [and less claustrophobia!]


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