The Free Motion Quilting Project: Big Magic Creating Mosaics

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Big Magic Creating Mosaics

Yesterday I hopped on the Audible website ready to find a new set of audiobooks enjoy while quilting and was delighted to find Big Magic, a new book by Elizabeth Gilbert. I immediately downloaded the book and I've absolutely enjoyed every minute of this book about living a creative life without suffering, following inspiration, and creating with joy.

It's this last point that is really important to me: Creating. With. Joy.

I create new stuff every day. This is as natural to me as breathing, but it doesn't always feel easy. Because of my history of negative thoughts, I have to be very careful not to slip into pockets of brooding about the past or worrying anxiously about the future. I also tend to be a perfectionist, and no matter how many times I tell you in videos not to obsess about your stitches being perfect, I'm really saying it to myself.

While reading this book, it is the parts about creating with joy that have struck the greatest chord.

Where is the laughter and lightness in my work? Where is the happy flow and smiles at myself? I think I just got out of the habit of asking joy to come visit. I allowed the weight of duty and the burden of responsibility to take her place, and because of that, I haven't felt that bright, bubbly joy while I created in quite a long time.

So I did something about this little problem last night! I pulled out fabrics, fusible web, and a pair of sharp scissors and while laughing my head off at this new book, I cut and fused this beautiful mosaic quilt block:

This is very small - only 8 inches square - so cutting all those itsy bitsy triangles was quite tedious, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I've been obsessed with mosaics since this spring when I began running across them everywhere and they caught my attention in a way that mosaics never had before.

I've resisted the pull of making a mosaic quilt because it just seemed so weird. Why would I suddenly go from hating a craft style to loving it overnight? What am I going to do with this thing? Will I teach it? Will anyone else even like it?

I let all these doubts stand in my way and stop me from playing, which was really silly because what is wrong with playing around and having some fun with fabric? Does everything have to have a massive purpose or well laid plan? I like this, it calls to me, and I'm curious about where it will lead.

I jumped right in and had such a fun, joyous experience. This was pure fun and exactly what I needed to create. Today I've felt lighter, happier, and more energetic for following this impulse and creating with joy.

If you've been needing a creativity kick in the pants, I highly recommend Big Magic as a great place to learn more about being creative and how to create with joy as your companion.

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day


  1. love it! creative, inspiring! just the thing to make ... love fabric, cutting it, playing with it, but am not so good at sewing pieces together. so, this is my kind of make-its! have put this 'big magic' on my need-to-get list.

  2. Apologies if this is a duplicate....I just bought big magic today and am reading along with Brene brown's rising strong. Keep on rising and creating!!! You have been an inspiration for me for a number. Of years now- I love this new block!

  3. I love mosaics since I was a child and yours is so beautiful! It's so colourful and bright and warm, good job. I always think to play with fabrics and colours is balsam for the soul.
    Have a great day!

  4. Wheeeee.....what fun! I just heard a review of "Big Magic" and look forward to reading it.

  5. I can't WAIT to read Liz Gilbert's new book; thank you SO much for the heads-up. Ok, serendipity alert. Today, while passing a closed tile factory, I wondered where in my hometown I could find ceramic 'art' tiles, and if I could buy a single tile if I did find them. And then your 8-inch mosaic shows up just 3 hours later. Uh-huh. Never thought of quilting them! Awesome. By the way, if you have never heard of Esther Hicks and Abraham, you might want to check them out. They are always emphatically about everyone finding their joy and living in it in every moment of every day. Not only is it good for the individual, but good for everyone around them...and everyone around THEM, and then everyone around them, etc. It radiates and multiplies. We are supposed to be enjoying ourselves here.......'en-joying,' meaning 'to cause to be in joy.' Love your posts!!

  6. By the way, got so carried away that I forgot to say, your mosaic is beautiful! So striking; it reminds me of a stained glass window with the sun beaming through.

  7. The mosaic is stunning! I have just begun quilting in the last year and I do find it joyful. But some days I just want to sew, some days make greeting cards, some days just read. I decided when I retired that I would devote part of most every afternoon to things that bring me joy. So in the mornings I do what I have to do and what keeps the household healthy and happy. And, I do all that through a lot of pain and the depression brought on by such pain. Always there is in my mind what I will do for joy today. I try my best to concentrate on that.

  8. Your mosaic block is gorgeous! The bright colours against the darker background are so pretty. I would LOVE to hear more about how you made this, please!

  9. That's a really nice mosaic quilt, fabrics do look like glass! I would like to hear more about it too. I really like the bright new website. Well done Leah and Josh!


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