100 Days of Creative Joy

100 Days of Creative Joy

I've been teaching a lot of sewing classes lately, and many of the students I meet say that they joined the class because they want to try something new or they have been meaning to do a sewing project. There is a TON of value in simply setting aside the time to do something and committing to it. Heck, half my students could probably make the things they make in class on their own, but having a time they committed to really helps them to follow through!

My students have really got me thinking about what I am doing "just for fun" for myself. I've got a million and one things going on (wedding announcements, moving, renovating new house, making stuff, teaching stuff, family stuff, the list goes on....) and I frequently find myself wishing I "had the time" to do fun creative things.

Ever since I started sewing for a living, I feel guilty about sewing or doing fun creative things that can't be monetized. I purposely kept quilting as my "just for fun" thing, but it's so hard to quiet the voice in my head that goes "in the time you made those 3 quilt blocks, how many dollars' worth of merchandise were you unable to make?" So, I push it off, and the next thing I know I am on year 3 of trying to make the same quilt.

Ironically...it gets difficult for me to feel motivated and inspired to do my "paid" sewing when that is ALL I am doing. I was feeling this way when I attended a lecture for the Silicon Valley Modern Quilt Guild, where Sarah Ruiz spoke on her experiences with 100 Day Challenges. She inspired me to try one out!

What's a 100 Day Challenge?

Like the name suggests, it's a challenge that asks you to commit to doing something for 100 days in a row. It could literally be ANYTHING, and when I googled "100 Day Challenge", a lot of health and fitness things came up. I first became familiar with the idea when Sarah did her #100days100postcards challenge in 2020, and perhaps for that reason I really wanted my 100 Day challenge to be something centered on sewing and creativity.

These challenges typically work best when you have a very specific set of parameters around it, especially if you are hoping to have a physical "something to show" for your time. However...mine is more about just taking the time to do it.

Why This Challenge?

Like I have mentioned, I feel guilty doing "just for me" stuff with my sewing time, so I want to break away from this mentality. In the past I have tried to set aside time each quarter or each month to work on personal projects, but it didn't do anything to assuage the guilt, and I'd put stuff of SO long that I no longer had the spark to actually do the dang things.

Doing a little bit each day will, hopefully, force me to take creative risks IN THE MOMENT. I can hem and haw and overthink a project for WEEKS before I start, but I know from teaching others that most of the time you will make more progress if you just START!

It's also good to reinforce the idea that a little bit of progress each day is just as important, if not more important, than big sprints. I don't do great with having to make a lot of decisions each day, but I do thrive with routine. I want to incorporate this into my routine and see what comes of it.

The Rules

  1. I have to spend a minimum of 15 minutes a day doing something creative that is NOT making items to sell. Once I hit 15 minutes, I can stop for the day if I want to, or I can keep going - it doesn't matter.
  2. I have to spend an additional 5 minutes either making a video or a post about what I did and/or what I learned so that I can share it. Ya girl does not do well at recapping in big chunks and setting a maximum time limit of 5 minutes means I'll get it done quickly.
  3. I do not have to participate on days when I have a market I am selling at.  (Those days often go from 6am to 8pm....I am going to let myself off the hook for those days.)

Note: the rules may change...because I get to make the rules! 

What counts:

Any creative activity that is not something I am going to sell. This includes:

  • quilting, and all of the activities that go along with it
  • making charity quilts
  • new product development (because creating a new prototype requires a different mindset than producing products)
  • clothing alterations and mending
  • sashiko and hand stitching projects
  • creative classes and workshops
  • paper arts (drawing, painting, etc)

 I already have a long list of things to tackle, so we'll see how far I get!

Have you ever done a 100 Days Challenge? I'd love to hear how it went! I will be sharing my progress on my quilting instagram, @kfurukquilts.


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