Beth Markel

Creativity is hindered in clutter

Posted on November 28, 2012 by Beth Markel

The rumors are true…I’ve started cleaning my sewing room!  Notice that I did not say cleaning OUT my sewing room!  Did you ever have a task to do, knowing that it HAD to be done, SHOULD be done, NEEDS to be done, but simply did NOT want to do it?  Well, I work with all kinds of materials, from fabric to dye, paint sticks to indigo, and now I literally have a path through my sewing room – only have about 18” of usable space on my cutting table, which is 36” x 60”… so it is kind of sad!  It’s easy, when you are in the midst of a creative storm, to simply cut what you need then begin heaping fabric into a pile.  Pretty soon, that pile becomes unmanageable so you have to gently slide it to the side of the table and begin another pile.  Then in a little while, you’re looking through the piles for a certain fabric that you want more of… well, you get the picture, and it’s not pretty. 

Being creative often means being messy in the process!  However, what my grandmother affectionately called “the detritus of a creative hand” – at that point being pots of my paints – I now think of as a growing organism in my house – benevolent – but ever-expanding!  If I have a horizontal surface anywhere – I will certainly use it for cutting, measuring, and the birth of a new pile.

I want art to make you think, and to expand your mind.  I want art to make ME think, and expand MY mind… and I have reached a point where I have to have a clean sewey and creative space to do that!

So… this is the piece I finished last week, and it’s fabulous and sexy!  It’s also quite small, only 11 ½” x 12” and the cleaning began when I started looking for my orange fabrics. 


They were having a play-date in one of the ‘piles’  – which was my first clue that I might want to clean up my sewing room.  Creativity is hindered in clutter.  Hey, that might actually be my new mantra…

OK, now back to cleaning!

Happy Sewing,




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