Nancy Purvis is an artist, author, and designer. I talked with Nancy about design, her favorite quilts, and more in January.  This time, I asked her to tell me a little about her thoughts on creativity and transitions.

Nancy’s words reminded me of my friend Ellie, who writes, “Unsure of where to start but feel desperate to start something? Pick an entry point, any entry point. Tell that self doubt to go to 🔥 and just START. Where you start won’t be where you end up.”

Raising a very active toddler has forced me to slow down a bit in my creative pursuits. I have to be more thoughtful in the way I use the little free time I have, and I have to use that time wisely, which can be hard to do at times! As my daughter has become more mobile and curious about her environment, I have had to turn to different outlets that let me be creative yet do not require a mass amount of tools. I can’t leave my sewing machine out, and I think anyone who sews can relate to the headache of having to pull everything out only to have to put it all back away very soon. Sometimes, it’s difficult to leave a sewing project midway and not get back to it until weeks later. 

As a result, the things I do as an artist have changed, but I do look forward to quilting again someday. One new craft I have tried is punch needling embroidery. I was introduced to punch needling by the extremely talented Arounna Khounnoraj of Bookhou. I had previously designed a collection of small quilts that were just waiting to get pieced and stretched over frames.

Instead of waiting for the time to piece these small quilts, I made a frame and tried my hand at punch needling. It’s portable, doesn’t demand any certain fixed amount of time, and is a craft that I can quickly store away. The process is much different from quilting. There’s very little math involved, no seam accuracies involved, no pressing, and the medium produces a very different texture. There’s so much texture in punch needling embroidery, which I love, and it’s fairly forgiving too. If you make a mistake, it’s easy to go back. Sometimes, we cannot do that with our quilts. Sometimes, we have to start over with new materials. If you have considered giving this a try, I highly recommend it! It’s a repetitive process that can be soothing for some. As much as I crave to have hours back in my day to be creative, I am thankful for the internet. I can be inspired and find new ways to be creative.

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Nancy designed the June Pattern, the On Point Quilt.

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