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"Being creative is not so much the desire to do something as the listening to that which wants to be done: the dictation of the materials." -Anni Albers
I love making textile art. But I don't love every part. I love designing most. Generating new ideas is exciting and the beginning of the planning stages fill me with creative energy.

If I'm improvising an abstract, that energy continues. If I'm carefully planning then constructing or, as in this case, painting, that energy begins to wane. But it's still interesting.
Joseph Campbell said "follow your bliss." Much later he commented that what he should have said was "follow your bliss-ters." Meaning, that anything really worth doing is going to involve tasks that are just plain boring, difficult, or unpleasant.

There was a study about workplace satisfaction mentioned in the same place I heard the Joseph Campbell quote, saying that Zookeepers consistently rated as the most highly satisfied with their profession. And a large part of their job involves shoveling poop. They just see it as a necessary part of a higher calling, caring for the animals, so they just do it.

(I can't find the reference - although it's likely either from the book Art and Fear, the Freakanomics or Radiolab podcasts, or maybe even Joseph Campell's book. Either way, I highly recommend all of those sources.)
Once the design is complete, I often have to just push through the rest of the process. It isn't hard, I just have a difficult time maintaining that excitement. It's not always easy to make those design decisions and commit to them. "What if it doesn't work" pops up in everyone's head before they make that next step.

Then come the bliss-ters. I'm truly not fond of machine quilting. I get the top done and I want to be DONE. I've spent so much time thinking about and creating that part of the design that I can get completely stuck when it comes to adding that last layer of stitched texture.
This piece was the closest to done, sitting around for at least two years half quilted before a deadline came up and I just needed to get it done. Funny thing is, once I start doing the thing I wasn't looking forward to, it isn't that bad. And the outcome is definitely worth the "bliss-ters."
What mental hurdles do you face when making your art?
Name them.

"Studies indicate that the one quality all successful people have is persistence. They're willing to spend more time accomplishing a task and to persevere in the face of many difficult odds." Dr. Joyce Brothers

Anything worth doing is worth the bliss-ters!

Join Lyric for a week that could change your art practice forever!

Overcoming mental hurdles and the design decision-making process are only two of the things we will work on during this week. Let's spend time developing your voice as an artist. This is a nurturing environment where we push each other to truly grow.


Sun, August 21 to Sat, August 27, 2022
Hudson River Valley Art Workshops
Sign Up before space is gone

Lyric is the featured teacher at Sacred Threads

I'll be teaching and speaking at Sacred Threads in Herndon, VA (right outside Washington DC) July 21-25th. It's not only a beautiful exhibit of quilts focusing on healing, spirituality, grief, and joy, but it's a beautiful experience. I'd love to see you there.

Calls for Entry

The following calls for entry focus on shows that feature art quilts and textiles. You can find further dates at
Listings include entry deadline, Name of show, URL, exhibit/shipping dates


Mar 1, 2022 (African American Quilters)
15th Annual Exhibition African American Fiber Art (North Charleston, SC)
May 14-June 7, 2022

March 10, 2022
Genesee Valley QuiltFest (Rochester, NY)
May 5-22, 2022 (ship+show)

March 14, 2022  (Aotearoa Quilters Members and non Members)
Color Challenge Brown (New Zealand)
Entries must arrive New Zealand March 18

March 15, 2022
Small Expressions (Knoxville, Tn)
July 13, 2022 - June 2023 traveling 

March 21, 2022(Georgia Quilters)
Georgia Celebrates Quilts (Marietta, GA)
June 5-11, 2022(Quilt drop off and show)

March 31, 2022 (FRCQ members)
Truth (Colorado)
Apr-May 2022 (online)

March 31, 2022 (SAQA CO, WY, UT)
Wild!(Brigham, UT)
June 25, 2022 - Sept 15, 2022 possible travel after

March 31, 2022 (Europe/Middle East)
Wide Horizons VII(European Patchwork Meeting)
August 20-September 2023 return

March 31, 2022 (SAQA)
SAQA 2021 Spotlight Auction Annual Event at the Bridging the Gap SAQA Online Conference
Apr 29-May 7, 2022

March 31, 2022 (SAQA)
SAQA Portfolio Submissions (Juried Artist Members)
Published in Art Quilt Quarterly and Online Gallery

The following listings are placeholders for exhibits that don't yet have information listed

2021 Entrants rolled to 2022
World of Wearable Art (New Zealand)
Jun 15 ship, + travel or exhibit 2023(?)



Apr 1, 2022
AQS Quilt Week (Grand Rapids, MI)
Jul 8 - Aug 17, 2022

Apr 1, 2022(US and Canada)
Harmony (Alexandria, VA)
May 8-Sep, 2022(Ship+show)

April 21, 2022
Movies and Musicals: Hooray for Hollywood (International Quilt Festival Long Beach)
August 2022 - Jan 2023 unless traveling

April 21, 2022
Quilted Comics and Sci-Fi (International Quilt Festival Long Beach)
August 2022 - Jan 2023 unless traveling

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