The Creative Life – Because We are Made in the Image of the Creator

I love to write. Like most of my writer friends, I have more stories inside of me than I can ever hope to write.  But I can only take so much computer time before my eyes start to cross and my stashes of fabric and paper start calling my name. (In the summer, the garden calls, too, but not so much in December.) As Christians created in the image of God – the ultimate creator – I think we are supposed to live a creative life.

You are creative!

It doesn’t have to be BIG creativity.  You don’t even have to be talented or trained. You don’t have to be “craftsy.” Just think outside the box (yes, I know a creative writer shouldn’t use cliches like that, but it fits.) A creative life doesn’t necessarily involve arts and crafts at all. It might just be a matter of rearranging things you already have. Cooking a new meal. Reorganizing your bookshelves.  It doesn’t have to be expensive. I’ve always liked dressing up my house for the changing seasons, but I seldom spend money on it. I just pull out quilts, dishes, linens, and anything else I could find in the right colors for the season.

As long as you don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect (you should never do that!), being creative feels good. We’re made that way! When God finished His work of creation, He surveyed it with a sense of satisfaction.  Admittedly, His work was perfect and mine won’t be, but it still feels good to be creative.

Living a Creative Life

My main creative pursuit has always been sewing. I’ve been sewing clothing ever since 2nd grade, when my school’s dress code changed and girls were allowed to wear pants instead of just dresses. With the assistance of my patient mother, I made a pair of doubleknit houndstooth check pants and actually wore them to school! 

About 35 years ago, while we were living in Germany and I was pregnant with our second child, I started quilting and never stopped. When we returned to America, I took classes and met other quilters. A few years later, I started teaching – first to children through 4-H, and then to adults. We moved often, and everywhere we lived, I taught classes and workshops for quilt shops, community centers, quilt guilds, women’s ministry groups and families. I established a business, GloryQuilts, for selling quilts, garments, patterns and classes.

Now I write, and I love that. Writing is an act of creation! Some of my favorite books feature quilts or characters who engage in other creative activities. But I’m always happy when I can put on my quilt teacher hat.  There’s something especially rewarding in encouraging others to live a creative life, helping them succeed and enjoy quiltmaking.

What I’m creating now ~ Join me!

GloryQuilts Block of the Month 2021 Cathe Swanson

Busy with writing and my family, I haven’t done much teaching in the last couple of years.  Covid came along, and then we moved to a new state, where I don’t yet have quilting connections. So, just for the fun of it, I’m running an online Block of the Month event in 2021.  The first Block of the Month club I did, in 2003, was done by MAIL, and while it was fun, this one will be easier and more interactive.

It’s going to be so much fun!

This is a “discovery quilt,” which means you choose your own fabrics, but you won’t know exactly what the finished quilt will look like until you sew it all together. It’s a year-long virtual quilt class, and you’ll end up with a beautiful quilt top next December! The pattern is suitable for a “confident beginner.” If you can use a rotary cutter and a sewing machine, you can do this! Get more information HERE and sign up now!

Here’s How it Works

The total cost, for the entire year, is just $30.  Every month,  you’ll receive a 12″ quilt block pattern by email.  We’ll have a private Facebook group for participants, and after you make your block, you can share it with the rest of us! If you need help at any time, you can ask questions in the group, and I’ll post more information – maybe a video.  I’ll  be sharing some helpful tips and techniques in the group, too. Step-by-step, throughout the year, we’ll make the quilt blocks, and near the end of the year, I’ll share the instructions for assembling your quilt blocks into a  beautiful quilt top. It will be so fun to see everyone’s finished work!

How is your creative life?

But hey… maybe quiltmaking isn’t your thing. That’s okay! I hope you’ll think about creativity, though. It’s such a good thing – to stretch your mental muscles and try something different.  It’s freeing.

Living a Creative Life - Cathe SwansonChildren are good at living a creative life because they haven’t yet learned how to NOT think creatively.  Are you familiar with the Harry Chapin song, “Flowers are Red?”  You really must listen to it. It’s short. Click HERE.  Children start out creative, and we have to nurture that instead of crushing it!  Recently, my granddaughter stuck out her feet and showed me her mismatched socks. “I like the way these socks go together.” That was creative thinking, and it brought her pleasure. She started drawing clothing designs next.

I’ve set up a private Facebook group to share creative life ideas, and I’d love to have you join us.  Its small and friendly! Click here if you’re interested.

What can you make or do a little differently this week?