Tag Archives: Ravaging Rio

Talking with Pat Sloan Today!

Remember last week when I told you that Pat Sloan would have a special guest on her American Patchwork & Quilting podcast?  Well, it’s me! I’ll be on live at 4PM ET today talking about “Ravaging Rio and the Ghost in the Library.”  If you can’t listen today, the show will be available as a podcast.  See the show page for more information about listening.

Image for Julie Neu on American Patchwork and Quilting podcast

2016 Year in Review

I’ve seen a few “Year in Review” blog posts lately and decided that it is a great idea.  I have long done that in my personal life and it seems like a good practice for my quilting work too so here goes:

  • One of my biggest quilting accomplishments this year has to be publishing “Ravaging Rio and the Ghost in the Library.” This project had been on my mind for years and this year, I finally finished all of the quilts for the pages, photographed them (learning how to take good photos of quilts in the process), and self-published the book. While a graphic designer and professional book publisher could have done more with it, there is nothing like having a book that you created in your hands and it was great to bring it to fruition.
  • I made 10 other quilts this year, in addition to the Rio ones. Most of them were wall hangings and many were created as small projects for the monthly BirdZeed challenges, but 10 completed projects is pretty exciting.
  • I also began publishing my Creative Play Newsletter this year, which has legitimized all of the time that I spend reading and thinking about creativity and has given me a good excuse to buy more books on the topic.
  • Lastly, I re-energized my teaching by participating in the New England Quilt Museum’s Meet the Teachers day in October. Self-promotion is not my strong suit, but I had a wonderful day meeting with guild reps and talking about the workshops that I offer. Actually enjoying that day reinforced for me that a quilting  career is indeed the right path because I’ve never had that much fun talking about consulting.

So, what’s up for 2017?  Well, 2017 represents my 20th year of quilting. I feel like I should have a celebration. I don’t know what that will be yet, but it gives me something to think about. Otherwise, here are my goals for the year:

  • I’m hoping that my sister finishes another Rio book and I can start working on some new illustrations.
  • I have several Arabesques quilts in mind so I would like to continue work on that series.
  • I would like to teach more locally and get back into teaching online. If you know of anyone looking for a quilting workshop, send them my way!

Creative Play Newsletter, Vol. 1, Issue 5

Peace and Quiet

Last month, I wrote about Morning Pages from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and their goal of getting the crap out of your head so that your mind is clear for creative work. One of the other goals of Morning Pages is to slow you down long enough to get you in touch with your own thoughts. I know, that sounds a little crazy. After all, if you’re not in touch with your own thoughts, who is? But, when I got started on my recent personal creativity journey, I was moving so fast that it was like a Road Runner cartoon in my head.  My legs were spinning and I was moving at warp speed and everything else around me was a blur, including my own thoughts.

I worked with a life coach during this time and one of the things she told me to do one Friday was to sit in a chair (I could drink my tea) and just sit there, not reading, not doing anything else until I really felt compelled to do something.  Then, once I had finished that task, I was to sit down until I felt moved again.   My reaction when she told me this was, “What???!!!! Are you kidding? What if I don’t feel moved to do anything? Do you really want me to sit in a chair all day?”  Her response was, “Yes.”  Well, I am a serious student so I did my homework.  I settled into the chair with my cup of tea and I drank the whole thing.  Then, I felt moved to go make myself some breakfast. Then, I sat back in the chair again.  One of the things I realized as I sat there that day was how long it had been since I had had a day off. I mean a real day off and not a day off from work to clean the house and run the errands, etc., but a day off to play.  I couldn’t actually remember the last day that I had done that so I am pretty sure it had been years. The other thing that I realized was that once I finished mentally reviewing my To Do list, I actually had some creative ideas in my head. Who knew?

A spot for some peace and quiet from Ravaging Rio and the Ghost in the Library

A spot for some peace and quiet from Ravaging Rio and the Ghost in the Library

It  shouldn’t have been such an epiphany because it seems so obvious, but it was a real “ah ha moment” for me to realize how important it was to slow down. Slow is not my M.O. at all. I am the person who can get an amazing amount of stuff done and still be in bed by 10 PM.  But, that lifestyle is not compatible with creativity. Let me say that again.  Running around all day from To Do list item to To Do list item getting a lot accomplished, but never stopping for a moment IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH CREATIVITY.  It’s exhausting, for one thing. But, inspiration does not wedge itself in between the grocery list and the phone calls to return.  Ideas need a little breathing space and that only happens if your mind is at rest.

Ravaging Rio – Now on Amazon!

I am so excited to announce that the children’s book I created with my sister, Ravaging Rio and the Ghost in the Library, is now available in paperback from Amazon.  I was really pleased with the quality of the paperback book and I hope you will be too. We’d love to hear your thoughts and would also greatly appreciate any Amazon reviews you want to leave.

Books Now Available – Ravaging Rio and the Ghost in the Library

Ravaging Rio and the Ghost in the Library

Ravaging Rio and the Ghost in the Library

It’s finished!  “Ravaging Rio and the Ghost in the Library,” a children’s story written by my sister and illustrated by me with individual pictorial quilts for each two-page spread, is now available in hardcover on Lulu.com.