Creativity and Community

I spent this past weekend at a quilt retreat.  Sitting at a sewing machine for that whole time has left every muscle in my body sore and aching, but my creative juices are flowing.  After it was over, I left feeling renewed.

I like collecting fabric and designing my own quilts a good deal more than I like sewing.  Quilting isn’t something that I do a lot, but lately it’s something that I can focus on and complete.  In many ways this has been a tough winter for me and focusing on any one thing long enough to finish what I started has been difficult to say the least.

A section of a quilt designed and created by Elma Schumacher
A section of a quilt designed and created by Elma Schumacher

The weekend reminded me that every creative soul needs one thing more than anything else.  Not a bright studio space, not plentiful supplies, not endless gallery visits or images of great art online, though we all want and need these things too.  But without a community of creators to share ideas with, staying inspired and motivated is at best a chore.

Spending time with others who are facing the same struggles and sharing their thoughts, advice and ideas is what keeps many artists in the cities where their communities support and inspire outstanding artwork and innovative ideas.  Simply put, creative people need each other.

Living in a rural area, where every friend and neighbor is a lengthy drive away,  that community has been hard to find.  At quilting retreats women of all ages laugh and share their stories as well as their expertise.  Most of them never think of themselves as artists.  But they should.

A large queen sized quilt made by Elma Schumacher using quilt as you go techniques.
Birds and Arrows Quilt designed and sewn by Elma Schumacher


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