We all love quilting, right? It’s a wonderful way to express our creativity, learn something new, try something different. But it’s probably not your only creative, crafty outlet, am I right? I think by nature, quilters tend to be creative in a multitude of arenas. Most quilters I know also spend time knitting, scrapbooking, painting, crocheting, taking pictures, beading, or any one of a number of other hobbies. I think this variety and “stepping out of the quilt block” so to speak, are important to developing our creativity. We can find inspiration everywhere!
I recently learned the art of creating Zentangles, developed by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. Traditionally the drawings are created on a 3.5″ square “tile”.
What is it? From the Zentangle website: “Creating in a Zentangle way is an easy to understand process of simple deliberate strokes which build on each other in beautiful, mesmerizing and surprising ways. Our Zentangle method is a way of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns. It is fun and relaxing. Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. The Zentangle method is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages. We believe that life is an art form and that our Zentangle method is an elegant metaphor for deliberate artistry in life.”
With a few quilty friends, I took a class this Spring from a local teacher thinking this might lead to inspiration for quilting designs on my quilts. It turned out to be so much more. The deliberate strokes and working without a plan are very liberating and meditative all at the same time. The piece evolves as you continue to add designs. There are no wrong answers and anyone can do it – you do not have to be able to draw. REALLY!
The supplies needed are minimal. Something to draw on, a couple of 01 Micron Pigma pens, pencil, eraser.
While many of the traditional Zentangle patterns probably wouldn’t translate directly onto a quilt, I think the process of freehand drawing and the shapes from the patterns will be a great starting point for creating unique quilting designs for my quilts. Not to mention just having another creative outlet!
I would highly recommend “stepping outside the block” and exploring other creative hobbies and ventures. I think it can bring a new perspective and creativity to your quilting. How do you “step out of the block”?