Why we create

I’m currently preparing for an exhibit at the Arts Council of Moore County that will open in November. I will be exhibiting with 3 other woman who are all very diverse in what they do. There’s a collage/painter, a potter, a stained glass artist and me, with textile art. Knowing the ladies I am exhibiting with, I know this is going to be a color-filled exhibit.

As I’m busy creating, I’ve noted that thread painting (aka free-motion machine embroidery) is still one of my favorite things to do in my textile art. As I’m adding the stitches with my sewing machine, I find myself drifting into a flow-state. Flow is a mindset when outside distractions fade from consciousness. When you’re in flow, your mind is fully engaged and tuned to the task at hand. You have very little self-awareness or critical self-judgement, you’re 100% into the task. Flow is a very meditative and peaceful state.

As I work on my thread painting, I’m in-tune with my sewing machine. The stitching is so intrinsic, that my body movements go into auto-pilot mode and my brain is focused. I’m not thinking about cleaning the house, going to the grocery store, or walking the dogs. I am 100% in the act of stitching. Eventually, my brain will kick me out of this thought pattern. That’s when I realize, I’ve been at it a while and should probably get out of my seated position, walk around a little bit, and maybe get something to eat.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is known as “the father of flow” after he conceived the flow theory and associated it with methods of finding happiness. I agree with his theories, because flow brings an internal sense of happiness and comfort. And, I believe it is partly what we seek when we create.



Join me and 17 other
creative instructors for
Global Quilt Connections Sampler Platter
September 23 & 23, 2023

Learn more and sign up here: https://www.globalquiltconnection.com/samplerplatters


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