How your location affects your creativity

Do you think it doesn’t matter where you are, you can still be creative? Not so, or at least not completely so. And just to be clear, I’m not talking about your creativity, I’m talking (or grousing, as the case may be) about mine. My creative energy level is heavily dependent on my location. Here’s the vicious cycle: The design and construction process on the quilt is going well, a new idea hatches, experiments take place and the experiments look good, until I realize that I need x, y or z to really make it all work, and I can’t get my hands on x, y or z (because of my current location here in Germany) without ordering it from the States and waiting a week (or more) for it to arrive so I can continue on my merry creative way. Much angst and gnashing of teeth ensues while trying to find a way to avoid ordering x, y or z, but still make the new idea work. No good, and creativity comes to a screeching halt and the energy and enthusiasm levels plummet. Rinse, repeat, ad nauseam.

In this particular instance, x happens to be Sulky rayon embroidery thread in colors that are evidently not sold in Germany. Why this should be since the dang stuff is made here is completely beyond me. Maybe I could try a different brand of rayon, but I already have lots of Sulky, and it comes in spools of a reasonable size for someone like me, who just dabbles in the machine embroidery thing. I have some spools of Isacord, and they’re so huge, I’ll probably not get through them before it rots, and they’re more expensive anyway. And yes, it’s The Misery Quilt, again. If it ever gets to the quilting part, I’ll believe in miracles. I guess I’ll go pack it all up, and try to find something else to work on until my thread gets here. /grousing done now, thank you.


4 thoughts on “How your location affects your creativity”

  1. I hear you!!! And it’s not just the supplies issue. I think that proximity to friends who nurture your creative side, or myriad other things that affect us are also an issue. For example, if you’re a social person, you’d do better in a location where you could find a guild or crit group to sew with, or, if you need to commune with nature to feed your muse, you’d obviously do better in a rural setting than in an urban one. This is probably something we don’t consider much, but it definitely makes an impact.


  2. Yes, you’re right, the supplies issue isn’t the only thing! All that you say is true as well, and then there’s also the quilt shows and workshops that we’re too far away from to participate in. Sometimes I wonder how we do as much as we do, living where we are!


  3. Sometimes when you have to use something else because you can’t find what you need drives you to explort uncharted territory–Out of your comfort zone. Which makes you grow as a quilter. Sometimes it works great sometimes it doesn’t. Usually it works greatk, and you’ve done something new. It is a new feather in your cap, and you totally know that you put it there. It really makes you grow. I know you are sitting there with your arms crossed going ‘sure, whatever!’ but after it has happened and you are able to look back at it, you just might realize it was a great silver lined cloud. Thanks for listening.


  4. Yes, Tana, I hear you, and I’m no stranger to making do and being creative because of it. But when you need a certain color of thread, well, you need it, and there’s not necessarily any creative way around that one! 🙂 My silver lining on this one is that because I can’t work on the Misery Quilt, I’m finishing up an 11+ year project, so it’s great to get it off my machine and into the washer finally. Thanks for the reminder that it’s not always a bad thing to be stumped!


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