I added a border to Split 9, but it might need another to be “big enough.”

I’ve been contemplating what “moves” me as a quilter. What energizes me. What propels me to the end of a project.  What drives me to start another.

You see, my motivation is drying up.  I feel like the projects I’m working on now are not very stimulating.  I keep making excuses not to call up Cricket and ask if I can put something on the long arm. My “new” projects all involve using up/finishing already started projects. I am “stalled” in the marking of the Xmas Dear Jane.

Projects I am actively working on have  already been (mostly) designed and simply have the “rote” part to be done. Fabrics have been pulled and cut. All that’s needed is the pieces to be sewn together.

And I still haven’t written up my analysis of the pattern I tested simply because I don’t like the way it turned out. (The pattern was fine.)

Grandma Anna's Flower Garden won my first blue ribbon (for "Wall Hanging Contemporary")

Grandma Anna’s Flower Garden won my first blue ribbon (for “Wall Hanging Contemporary”)

So, I decided I needed to go back to the beginning.  Maybe that will help motivate me to be happy with what I am doing, quilt-wise. What is it about quilting that inspires and intrigues me?

When I was first starting out, I would have said “color.”

I was working at a place that developed and sold computer typesetting systems. I worked in the typography department.

At that point, everything was black and white, so coming home and “playing with color” was relaxing and stimulating to me.

Even today, there are fabrics that I can pick up that make me want to use them in some way.  Sometimes they “suggest” a use, and sometimes I just can’t put them back down and need to take them home in order to figure out how “they want to be used.”

Like other quilters, I find fabric shopping inspiring. Not just visiting fabric stores, but also pawing through other people’s scraps. I think this is why I’m still working with the squares I was given from my Guild’s Comfort Quilts.

One of my inspirations for Stars for Malcolm

One of my inspirations for Stars for Malcolm

But, I’m coming to see that it’s not just color that inspires me. After all, I’m working with color for Aiming for Accuracy and, even though I’ve kept up, I still feel uninspired for the rest of my quilting.

When I was young, I used to work on jigsaw puzzles with my Dad. We all did, I suppose, but my enjoyment of them lasted longer than my sister or brother.

I think putting together a quilt is, in some way, related to putting together a jigsaw puzzle for me.  It’s probably why I like looking at vintage quilts and trying to determine how they were made.

It’s one of the reason that, while I write patterns and test them, I seldom actually use patterns to make my quilts.

I like the “figuring out” part and, yes, I like the math.

So, maybe I need the a level of “figuring out” to make me happy when working on my quilts. That’s probably what drew me to Cross Roads, and, maybe finding another quilt or block to “break apart and put back together” will assuage the restlessness I feel when working on my current projects.