My #The100DayProject

Over the weekend I visited with my sister. She is a quilter, too, and she’s also recently retired. With her newly available time, she’s gone on a creativity tear. She quilts, she paints, she does collage, among other things. I admire how she can juggle all the various parts of her creative life.

But I’m not like that. I can’t seem to manage more than about two things at a time. Other than basic maintenance stuff, I can write, and I can quilt, and when I quilt, I usually work on only one project at a time. That works pretty well for me, but it also frustrates me. It holds me back from spending a lot of time in exploration, because that is one more thing than I can manage.

Recently I wrote this:

I would like to be both more productive and more creative. For me, those two concepts can be in conflict. To be more productive (have more quilts finished,) I could reduce the time I spend on planning and design, and choose options that are easy/quick to execute. Doing that I could finish multiple quilts a week. Some people get great joy from that, but I would not. Or, I could be more “creative,” chewing over lots of possibilities, brainstorming endlessly, drawing and redrawing designs, looking up strategies and techniques, taking classes, endlessly gazing at fabric choices online, searching for inspiration. That would take up a lot of head space and boy howdy, I’d have a lot of creative ideas going. But they wouldn’t get made. Well, that’s no good, either.

It’s the “creative” thing I don’t make time for. In particular, I’ve long wanted to improve at telling stories through my quilts, but I haven’t taken the time to learn strategies for doing so. (I’ll explain more about telling stories in another post.)

In the same post I mentioned The100DayProject. If I consider exploring storytelling as A PROJECT, as one of my two things to do, I can do that for 100 days.

My plan isn’t fully developed, but my intention is to use my Green Man project as a vehicle for learning to tell those stories.

There were so many great suggestions from you for executing the Green Man motif. They included wool appliqué, batik appliqué, raw-edge (non-wool) appliqué, appliqué with and without fusible bond, embroidery, painting, printing using Spoonflower or similar vendor, thread painting, inclusion of atypical fabrics, fabric pens, paper piecing, collage… I’ve also thought of trying crayons, paintsticks, block printing, and embellishing, among other things.

Each day for 100 days (with possible exceptions, which is allowed,) I’ll spend at least 20 minutes trying a new means of creating a Green Man, or perhaps another concept or two I have in mind. In 20 minutes I won’t complete anything in a day, so each trial may take several days. I give myself permission to abandon a process at any time. Some processes may require I buy supplies, but I’ll use what I can from my current inventory. I’ll photograph each day’s work and post on Instagram, so we can all see the progression. I’ll summarize here regularly, and discuss process and how I feel about it.

Tomorrow is Day 1. My plan for tomorrow is to begin with paper and fabric to create a simple collage. Let’s get started!


13 thoughts on “My #The100DayProject

  1. snarkyquilter

    I suspect some of your 100 days will be spent staring into space as your brain does the work, and that’s OK. Others may be spent coming up with alternative depictions of the green man. What-ifs can help unlock creativity.

  2. tierneycreates

    Everyone approaches their creative process differently. Your sister sounds awesome but she has her way and you have your way – 1 – 2 at a time and that is awesome too! I would like to be more focused on one project at a time and less quilting ADHD – so you are a role model! I love the idea of your journey to become more of a storyteller with your quilts (and you are an awesome storyteller in your blog writing) and thanks for taking us along 🙂

  3. katechiconi

    Would you be willing to link your IG feed to this blog? I’m not on IG, and I don’t really want to sign up for another thing, but I’d love to see how you’re doing with this project…

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I believe you can see it using the link I dropped in the post. Pretty sure you don’t have to be a user. But no, I won’t link the two. Thanks for asking.


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