Monday, 9 March 2015

Daily creative, sewing practice.

I've been steadily carrying on with my wool pennies over the last couple of months. 

I've tried to make sure I sewed at least a square a day, sometimes it's been quite a few more and other times I've skipped it completely. But it's been the closest thing I've had to a daily sewing ritual. 

Some squares have a very simply sewn circle, whilst others have something a little more elaborate or creative.

There's one in there which was influenced by the beautiful, starry nights we've had. And there's a not hugely effective butterfly down in the corner, as well as a sunshine circle.

I really like that they differ according to the mood I was in at the time, or any inspiration that I'd found around me.

Difficult to see here - but a smiley face up there, and top left was after time spent by the sea.
I think it's no surprise that those circles that are more elaborate or creative generally came further into my period of sewing. It felt like I was warming up creative muscles as I worked on these, I think I've got enough done now but by the end I had so many ideas for different stitching designs that I didn't get to use.

The feather in the centre is one of my favourites,  then there's an elephant up top and the little birdy to the side.
I've really enjoyed making them and reaching the end of the making left me wanting a new project along similar lines. A small, daily, creative exercise, ideally involving sewing, that would build into something bigger over time.  

There have also been a couple of very interesting blog posts I've read over this same period that have added to this itch to have some daily creative practice - Yvonne over at Quilting Jetgirl on Creativity and Time (great section on children and creativity in there too), and several posts over at Ann Wood Handmade. A few years ago Ann set herself the challenge of making a cardboard horse a day, until she had 100.

You can find her finishing post here, with more lovely photos and a video. 

You can also find her pattern and a tutorial for making them here.
As much as she herself wondered initially what she was going to do with them, I think they're gorgeous, and can completely understand how it became a very valuable daily, creative exercise. Just recently she's written an interesting post here about starting a daily practice of keeping a sketchbook.

So the stars were all aligned! I became set on finding my own version of a daily, creative practice. I'm hand sewing lots of yoyos at the moment, hopefully for a future quilt in my head, but I'm not finding that's getting any creative juices flowing. It is relaxing hand sewing however, so I began to think about my new creative practice being machine based instead. And what I've settled on is a fish a day!

I've cut out lots of small oblongs of sea coloured fabrics and stashed them in a little box.

And I'm going to sew a fish on to at least one a day (I'm not planning on beating myself up if I don't manage it for whatever reason every now and then, but the aim is very much daily). I'm thinking most of them will be simple, raw edge applique, with or without some machine embroidery, but that's completely open to change as I go along. When I feel like I have enough I'll sew them all together into a quilt (this is as much about the process of the daily making, but I do like it when there's an end purpose as well as process!). 

Here are my fish so far...

I haven't decided what to do about eyes yet - whether to use buttons, or machine embroidery or a mixture of the two. I think I'm swaying slightly towards the buttons, but we'll see.

It's also obviously a great way to use scraps, even tiny ones. These oblongs range from 12 to 15 cm by 8 cm.

So, do you have any kind of daily, creative practice? Whether it's drawing or sewing or something completely different? Or would you think about starting one maybe?



  1. Those wool pennies are lovely, can't wait to see the finished product. And I love your daily creative practice. I make it a point of being creative every day, not necessarily with a particular project, but just creative in some aspect. On good days it might include knitting, sewing, hand stitching, maybe a little sketching, and on busy days, my only creative time might be in the kitchen creating our meals for the day, which I find just as fulfilling as sitting down to knit.

    Happy creating my friend. xo

  2. I wouldn't say I have a daily practice other than the fact that I try to do *something* related to quilting or sewing every day. I really like how your wool pennies came together, and it will be fun to see how you decide to arrange them together. :)

  3. Your happy face penny caught my eye immediately! Happy faces make me smile, especially when they appear in unusual places (like when I cut the top off a green pepper). :-)
    Oh, my! Your fish would have big, black X's for eyes if they were mine, and they'd be hung vertically as though at the end of a fishing pole! The poor things!
    I'm not surprised that you've chosen fish as your subject, with "wild swimming" being one of your favourite activities. Can't wait to see how your creativity is stretched with this project.

  4. Love those fishes.
    Hum daily creative practice ... Getting out of bed doesn't count?!? For me I tend to do 'something' makey everyday. Even if it's sewing on a button, a few crochet stitches. At least I'm trying. Some days deciding what's for dinner is a creative process!!!!

  5. Love your idea of meditative sewing, repeating a creative activity every day, building something in the process like a quilt,throw or blanket. X

  6. I've just been reading the post Sara wrote on a daily creative practice ( her's is all about art journalling but it made me think that i'd love a bit of daily creativity. It doesn't really lend itself to knitting though but I think I might try it for writing - in addition to the blog I mean. I think your wool pennies are gorgeous and the fish are and will continue to be amazing. I'm looking forward to seeing a giant fish quilt at the end of the year!

  7. the wool pennies are lovely and I can't wait to see all the fish, a daily practise is a fantastic idea xxx

  8. The pennies are a perfect daily! Love 'em!

  9. I just love your pennies... so much of you in every single one. I've actually started making myself sit down and stitch together one EPP flowers every other night. My goal is to have about 20 to make myself a summer table topper by the beginning of the warm season. I admire how dedicated you are. A much as love sewing, there always seems to be something else to do.

  10. The wool pennies are terrific and quite unique! I love that each one is different, so much more creative.

  11. I love your wool pennies...what fun! I especially like your starry nIght one. It's almost like a type of journaling. When you look at each one, you will be reminded of what inspired you.

  12. Thank you for the inspiration I've been looking for. I bought a small bundle of woollen scraps some time ago just because I liked them. I am going to make a leaf a day/every now and again and see where that takes me. Barking up the wrong tree, I expect!

  13. Thank you for the inspiration I've been looking for. I bought a small bundle of woollen scraps some time ago just because I liked them. I am going to make a leaf a day/every now and again and see where that takes me. Barking up the wrong tree, I expect!


Please post a comment, I love to hear from you!