Last week I talked to Jane, the president of our guild and one of the things she mentioned was that many of our members had lost their sewing mojo during the pandemic. Since then, I've talked to two members who mentioned they weren't sewing and then received an email from another friend from our guild who mentioned the same thing. So what do you do when your Sewjo (sewing mojo) is deflated?
The first thing I did was too google this topic and there are a lot of articles on the subject. So guess what? You're not alone! Many of the articles I read were even pre-pandemic. Sometimes we all get in a rut or there are just too many extraneous things happening in our lives to focus on sewing. And by the way, it doesn't just happen to quilters, there are a lot of craft blogs that are talking about how this or that craft is being put to the side by people who lack motivation right now.
Some of the articles had helpful tips, some I felt were not so helpful. Here's my first tip:
1. You've made it through one year of the pandemic and are still here. THAT is something to celebrate and a reason to continue what you are doing to keep yourself safe.
2. Many bloggers suggest you clean out your sewing room.
Here's my perspective: Clean it out not so you can start sewing again. Whenever you do get the urge to thread your needle, you'll have a nice clean place to go.
You'll also have a nice place to escape when life is hectic and you need a getaway. Many of us are loving this time with our families but sometimes you just need a quiet place to read or even just "be."
I've noticed recently that many bloggers are taking this time to rearrange their areas, even repaint the room and make it more conducive to their work. Beth began that task last spring. She has been redoing her sewing room and even ordered some new furniture!
3. Another suggestion has been to organize your stash. I think this is a great idea. I've even studied articles on how people organize their fabric. Some folks are cutting their scraps to specific sizes a la Bonnie Hunter. If that works for you, great!
4. Relax. Think about yourself: are you an introvert or an extrovert? My friend Chris (the therapist) has explained the difference to me. An introvert recharges their batteries by being alone. An extrovert finds energy in being social situations. Part of your sewing mojo challenge might be just that pandemic isolation has depleted your energy supplies.
But if you've found clever ways to spend your time or navigate through the pandemic, you've managed half the battle. Diane mentioned in her email that she has been trying new recipes. So she hasn't lost her creative mojo--she's just rechanneled it into different aspect of her life.
5. Play games with yourself. When I reorganized my stash, I realized that I had a lot of fabrics set aside for specific projects. The problem was that I just wasn't interested in that quilt anymore. OH THE GUILT!!! It was absolutely freeing to just say, "well that's never going to happen" and put the fabric back in to the general stash.
A couple years before the virus, I decided to not buy fabric unless I absolutely needed it. It wasn't for any specific reason, I just wanted to see how I would cope. I am still holding to that resolution and have only purchased black fabric, white fabric, and a batik set that is for a cousin's wedding shower quilt. Not buying fabric has forced me to be creative with what I have and I find that satisfying. I support my local fabric shop with orders for thread and other necessities.
6. Many blogs suggest forcing yourself to do an easy project. To be honest, maybe that was a great idea before the pandemic. But forcing yourself to do anything is not fun and sewing should be fun. If you don't have it in you, you just don't. Be kind to yourself. The sewing machine isn't going anywhere.
7. Pat yourself on the back. These snowy covid days are a perfect time to think about all that you have accomplished with your sewing. I look at photos or images I've saved on computers. I often find that I'd forgotten all about a number of quilts I completed.
I live in a VERY small house. I love to look at how people display their quilts because--well--I don't have much space to hang quilts. This is a great time to celebrate what you've sewn and the things you love and surround yourself with them.
8. This too shall pass. I know that in my heart and so do many of you. Being afraid of the pandemic or annoyed by it isn't a creative use of my energy. Here are some last thoughts:
Turn off the tv.
Turn on your favorite music.
Imagine what color combos you enjoy or what patterns you haven't made in a while. If you could sew right now, what would you make?
Well I have to go--hubby and I are doing our curbside grocery pick-up. If you have more suggestions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Have a safe and happy day!