Workshop Withdrawal

I vowed it would not happen this time. I promised myself I would not come home to workshop withdrawal. I have been to six intensive workshops at the Barn and each time I have returned home, I fall flat. It takes way too much time to regain my momentum in the studio. The first few days I catch up on everything that is undone from my absence : I clean (always a novel concept), I iron clothes instead of fabric, I run errands that really can wait, I cook great dinners and I make cookies. I procrastinate. I do everything but return to the studio.

I rationalize it thinking I am overstimulated with new ideas. I write down all of the ideas in my journal. And I do nothing with them. Then, I think I am useless as an art quilter. After seeing all the great work that others have done, I compare myself to the famous and fall woefully short. I order books that will make me smarter.  I review my notes.

Then, I relax.  The studio is in order. I am going this weekend to travel  to see my daughter at college in Iowa.  I am going to love on her and have fun with her. I am not going to think of my workshop withdrawal. Instead, on Monday I will do what I always do when I return from a workshop: make a baby quilt or two. It has worked every time.

What do you do when the adrenaline from a workshop is gone?

4 thoughts on “Workshop Withdrawal

  1. Barb Mortell

    I wonder if it’s universal?! I haven’t even plugged in my machine yet, no stitches have been strung in this studio. I have a couple of unfinished quilts for friends… Perhaps finishing those will get the juices flowing again.

  2. Maria Shell

    I have been thinking about you and your baby quilts all week. I do the exact same thing. The best way for me to get back into my studio practice is to make a utility quilt AKA procrastination quilts. It does always seem to work. They are warm-up exercises! Right now, I am quilting a baby quilt for my girlfriend. I know this might not be the best use of my time, but I can’t help myself.

  3. Laura McGrath

    I’ve never been able to afford a week-long workshop anywhere, so I don’t know how I’d be afterwards. But from what I’ve heard of Nancy Crow workshops, it isn’t unusual to be drained after returning home, or even at the workshops while they’re going on–I understand they’re pretty “rigorous”.


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