1. Get out of the studio and go shopping. No, I don’t mean buy more fabric, paints, threads. I mean go window shopping. And bring along a small journal. Sketch some designs that inspire you, note unusual color combinations that you like, and make notes about a new technique you see. Don’t just poke around quilt or fiber shops. Try antique shops, art shops, galleries, etc.
2. Since I’m on vacation this week, I’ll add that new surroundings are great for inspiring new ideas. Historic homes and gardens offer ideas. Shells on the beach or landscapes you don’t see at home can lead to inspiration. Earlier this spring I was in Cape May Point, NJ, and we stopped and took photos of old boating paraphernalia, as the textures were inspiring. So be sure to pack your cameras!
3. Take a class or get together with other quilt artists. This could be as simple as going to a local guild and viewing show and tell. You might also find a small group to join. And, don’t limit yourself to quilt or fiber classes. Try a watercolor or other painting class, jewelry making or photography, something outside your realm.
4. Start an inspiration journal or file. I have a file folder where I keep photos of quilts, rooms, words and sayings, floral arrangements. Anything that inspires me – or makes me smile – goes in the folder. It’s a resource I can turn to to awake my creative juices.
5. Relax. Do something for your inner self. For example, a walk in the woods, a bike ride to the lake with a picnic, a bubble bath can all have the effect of just clearing your mind so you’re open to something new.
The International Association of Professional Quilters offers resources and networking opportunities for you to create a success from your quilting business. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership and join here.