I had a conversation with a friend recently who told me “you are so creative!” “No,” I responded, “I surround myself with creative people that inspire me.” While I didn’t think anything about it, I later wondered how I got here, starting my own business and doing something I love. I know it was no accident. I’ve had a job. I’ve had careers (yes, plural). I was looking for something that I could do that would feed my soul and still make enough to help pay the bills. I also didn’t want to work outside the home. As I looked around, I saw my friends doing what they loved; teaching yoga, quilting, coaching, photography. They were thriving and still taking care of the day to day matters despite the challenges of living in a post Covid universe. How could I use what I saw around me and do the same?
Embroidery, for me, allows me the structure to make everything my own unique creation. I may have an initial design, for example, but through different colors and threads, I can combine or deconstruct it. Then I can apply those designs to apparel, quilts, home accessories, caps and bags, and make them one of a kind pieces that will sure to fit today’s need to be individual.
Creativity doesn’t have to be limited to what someone else’s perspective is. Many of the quilts I’ve made in the past, for example, were from patterns that were inspired by someone else. How I put them together, however, was what made them mine. Most of the quilts that I’ve made were earmarked for a specific person. My sister loves the color purple. So, her quilt of flowers had every color of purple I could put in it. My other sister loves dogs, so her quilt was a combination of colors using a dog biscuit pattern.
I love Pilates but finding a reformer design to embroider on a shirt was challenging. I am not an artist. I do know some, though, my husband being one of them. I shared what I wanted and he took that vision and created the initial designs for my Pilates shirts. The next step in the process was digitizing the design and converting it into something the embroidery machine could understand. For that, I enlisted the help of a digitizer friend who has far more experience that I in digitizing. And the rest, as they say, is history. I now have different Pilates designs that I can use on T shirts, sweatshirts, caps, gym bags, totes, etc.So, look around. Find what inspires you and know that you probably know someone who can help turn your ideas into reality. Help comes from the most unusual places. You don’t have to actively look. Inspiration will find you; just be open to it. It won’t take years. It just takes awareness and action.