Last week I lost my sewjo. One minute it was right there, the next it was gone. I had almost an entire week of checking my pockets, looking down the back of the sofa, trying to re-trace my steps to work out exactly where I might have lost it. I even emptied out THAT drawer, you know the one with takeaway menus, pens, batteries, a couple of random toys, a small plastic thing that you don’t know what it is so you can’t throw it out… but to no avail. It was well and truly lost. I hadn’t known it to be gone for this long before. A day or two, yes, but a whole week? Despair started to set in – what if it never came back?
Later that week, tired of passing the time looking at cat videos on the internet (what on earth did I even do before I started sewing?) I checked our local neighbourhood “good karma” Facebook group, where people ask for and give help or recommendations, swap and borrow things, or give away surplus of backyard fruits and herbs (I know right? Sooo cool!). On this particular day there was a lady saying that she’d just sewn up her first ever quilt but had no idea how to bind it, so I invited her around for a lesson. We had so much fun! Talking about my passion with her, showing her the things I had made and sharing my knowledge got my creative juices well and truly flowing again. The moment she left I just wanted to SEW ALL THE QUILTS!
So my big tip for reinvigorating your sewjo? Teach someone something!
We asked our Modern Makers what they do when their sewjo goes MIA, and here’s the low-down:
- There’s a well known tip for writers to avoid writers block: just write something. Anything. And this applies to sewing too. If I’m not feeling creative, I mindlessly chain-piece triangle offcuts to make HSTs, or pre-make binding (trust me, you’ll LOVE yourself for this last one next time you finish a quilt and the binding is all ready to go!)
- Tidy your sewing room. Once it’s all lovely and IG picture-worthy, you’ll want to spend some time in there.
- Re-organise your stash. Just seeing all that gorgeous fabric will inspire you to get it out and make something.
- Find a quick and easy pattern. We’re programmed to be motivated by progress, so making something that isn’t challenging and having a quick finish will spur you on to greater things.
- Have a break. Like a few days if necessary. You can’t force creativity, so don’t try to. Binge watch something on Netflix instead. When you’re bored stupid by seventeen episodes of The Gilmore Girls and want to stab yourself in the ears every time the the theme tune starts, you’ll be gagging to get back to sewing. (Trust me, I speak from experience here.)
- Don’t spend all your time making lists, planning and researching – actually get to your sewing machine and just make something!
- Keep your eyes on the prize – which in this case is getting all the praise when you post what you’ve made on IG!
- Keep a little hand-sewing project at hand so you can still feel productive, even if it’s not at your machine.
- Go fabric shopping!
- Do a little selfish sewing. Even if it’s one block just for fun.
- Do some charity sewing – knowing the effect it’ll have on the recipient should be enough to spur you on. Check out Jackie’s Keep Safe Quilts or the Very Snuggly Quilts program.
- And finally… stop reading this blog, switch off your device and JUST START SEWING SOMETHING! Seriously, go away! (But pop back later to let us know what you made!)