Here’s the thing: I’ve been in a bit of a funk this spring. It’s not to say that I haven’t been happy, or that there is anything specifically wrong. But I think there were a few negative things that wedged themselves into my brain and just wouldn’t get out. It doesn’t really matter what they are or were. I think what matters is that I had to experience that for awhile before I could shake them and move on.

What also matters is that I feel it lifting. In a funk, my instinct is to retreat and hide. Wait for it to blow over. I thought that posting less on Instagram and doing calm things that help me re-charge might help. But it didn’t. Ultimately, getting out into the world and connecting with other people is what worked this time.

Going to Mid-Atlantic MOD helped. I met some really inspiring new friends there, and I spent time with my own guild mates who I hadn’t seen in awhile. Last weekend, I attended a lecture and workshop by Melissa Averinos* that made me push the boundaries of my own creative process. She taught me how to draw a face and then make one with fabric collage. A face. That looks like a human person. It was extremely empowering for me.

The lesson that I keep repeating when it comes to my work now is, “don’t be too precious.” I do tend to get very invested in a piece, sometimes to the point of stopping short of making it truly awesome. It’s a new facet of Dare to be Awesome. Don’t be afraid to keep pushing it farther into awesomeness. Don’t be precious.

Melissa’s remedy for being precious is to work in a series. So I really made three faces, purposely experimenting a bit with each one. I will never look at a face in the same way again.

But I think I still have a ways to go before I fully practice a lack of preciousness, because I fell in love with this one. She looks like I felt in the funk, a little worried, a little too preoccupied with beauty. I hope to finish her next week.

So many good things to think about. And Melissa came along at the right time. I needed her inspiration for my next big leap of faith.

I gave a lecture. I did it.

I got a request from the Long Island MOD quilt guild, to speak to the guild about my evolution as a quilter. And It was very exciting, but also terrifying to me. Partly because of the funk, and partly because public speaking can be scary if you don’t exercise that muscle. But you know what? I knew enough about myself to really do the work and prepare. And once I got started, it just rolled along, and my 45-minute talk went well over an hour. The members were kind and generous, I brought about ten quilts to show, and we just got geeky about quilting and process and how quilt people really are some of the best people out there.

Step three of my funk lifting was to go to my own guild’s meeting last night. There were slow stitching demos in visible mending, embroidery, and hand quilting. There were sweet people and sweet treats. Tracy even had a finished Peek quilt to show! Isn’t it gorgeous?

The final step is that I finished the matchstick quilting portion of my massive semi-secret quilt. It’s on to the next step, which is something equally slow but completely different. I’ve also been looking to finish the projects I’ve been working on, start new projects, develop new designs and pitch them.

With spring comes reinvention and re-emergence. Happy spring. Have a happy rhino made by an awesome kid. He is fantastic at chasing funks away.

* If you don’t know Melissa Averinos, take a little time to check her out. She is a painter/quilter/artist who lives on Cape Cod. Her quilt “My Brother’s Jeans” won Best in Show at Quiltcon this year. And her face quilts, which I got to see and photograph at a gallery in Providence in March, are fascinating. Also, she is a sweet soul, totally funny, and one of the best huggers I have ever hugged.