Welcome to Fuller by Design, where we explore what it means to lead a creative life. Because the truth is this - life is what you make of it. So let's make, every day. For life.

Making Space for Sparks


Have you even been taken with that feeling that you must do something that’s completely not part of your plan and actually fairly frivolous and you really have a lot of other important things to do and you don’t have time for fun projects but this, this thing, THIS THING is telling you it needs attention and it takes all the energy you have to squelch it back but in your heart you know it’s not supposed to be squelched so you have no choice but to do it anyway?

Phew. Exhale.

Yeah, that.

That’s what happened to me this week.

Although we’ve slowed school down considerably, there’s still plenty for me to attend to. I’ve got standardized test scores to get out and a re-vamped office that’s in desperate need of cleaning and organizing, plus a commission quilt to work on not to mention organizing everything for vacation. There’s more than enough to occupy my time right now.

But on Tuesday night I was overtaken with the urge to create. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to make, but I was sure I was supposed to make something (and I know it wasn’t just progress on the 12 other projects on my table…).

This fabric caught my eye and I couldn’t get it out of my head.




And in cleaning out my office last week, I found a quote I’d written down years ago. It’s by the Goo Goo Dolls and it was long forgotten, stuck to the bottom of a drawer. I always thought I’d do something with it, but never knew exactly quite what.




And instantly I knew the two were destined to be married into one.




I pulled fabrics and sewed improvisationally. I puzzled over how to arrange all the pieces.

I’m such a big fan of embroidery and hand sewing, so I knew I had to incorporate that somehow. That part is what’s taking the longest so far and why it’s not done already.




I really don’t have time for this. I really do have so many other things to do. I have blog posts to write and photos to edit and plans to make and business goals to push toward. There’s an office to clean and packing to do and a house to organize.

This little quilt, however, has made its place known in the world and says to me “This is where you need to be, right now.”

So what choice do I have but to listen?

In the time it’s taking to put all those stitches into my quilt by hand this week, I’ve had major revelations. Things I’ve been pondering, wrestling with, mulling over for weeks, months, and in some cases even years, have revealed themselves to me this week.

Bit by bit. Stitch by stitch.

I realized that this quilt really did have to come to life this week. It’s some kind of gift from the universe and with all the jobs I have to tackle this week, the most important one is this quilt. Deep, deep inside me I knew that if I gave myself to this quilt, it would give back to me.

And it has.

Thank you, universe. A hundred thousand thank yous.

So what have I learned by focusing on this little quilt this week?

That when that tiny spark of creation ignites deep inside and tries and tries and tries to push its way out, my job is to fan the flame and help it spread. My job isn’t to smother the spark (which way too often seems like the right thing to do, doesn’t it?), but instead make some space, move aside and let that spark get some air and ignite.

Because the light that spark gives off just might be the resource I need right now, right here, even if I’m not looking for it. Maybe even especially if I’m not looking for it.

Do you have some little glowing embers of your own, ready to grow into sparks of bright light? How can you find the time and space this week to give your own sparks over to ignition?

Find a way to let your light shine. You too just might be gifted some illuminating results!



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