Sparking your Creativity – with Samantha of Aqua Paisley Studio

I’ve got a beautiful and inspiring guest post to share with you! Today, the lovely Samantha from Aqua Paisley Studio (all the way from southern Australia) has some thoughts to share about Sparking your Creativity. (I think we can all use a little jump start to our creative juices sometimes.) Samantha has some great wisdom to share, but I think you’ll be equally inspired by all the photos of her gorgeous quilts too! Thanks for sharing today, Samantha!

Thanks Amy for inviting me to share some thoughts with your readers! For those of you who don’t know me – I’m Samantha, and I blog over at aquapaisleystudio.com.

Finding your Creativity - Samantha of Aqua Paisley

For much of my life I have heard people refer to me as being ‘naturally creative’! Flattering for sure, but I don’t mind telling you how far from the truth that statement is. 😉

Over the years I have worked in many fields where it was necessary to create on demand. This experience has helped me to see that people’s understanding about creativity is often coloured by preconceived ideas that have no basis in reality.

That’s why today I am sharing some thoughts with you about creativity and motivation, in an effort to encourage you to think differently about yourself and your creative work.

Creativity 101

It’s easy to believe that some people are more gifted than others, when the actual truth is simply that some people have skills different to our own. Skills, that given effort, practice and time could be ours too.

That’s not to say that we don’t each have varying degrees of talent, because we do. A talent is a high degree of ability or aptitude for a certain thing. But talent doesn’t come wrapped up in a bow, it is something that develops after a tremendous amount of hard work and perseverance. Developing our individual talents and our skill set becomes our unique creative signature.

Let go of that part of you that instinctively wants to compare yourself to another. Your creative journey is yours alone.

If you want to be creative, you have to create! You might not immediately give yourself permission to call yourself ‘creative’, but over time you will ‘become’ the thing it is you do. 

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced quilter, celebrate where you are in your journey, and recognise the opportunities for learning and growth as you develop your creative skills.

Celebration Cake quilt pattern By Aqua Paisley

Celebration Cake – Pattern by Aqua Paisley Studio

The Elusive Spark

Inspiration is very often viewed as the spark that is required to motivate us! We are inspiration seekers in an inspiration saturated world.

Unfortunately, it’s true that we often ‘can’t see the forest for the trees!’ Inspiration is everywhere, but sometimes we need to look beyond the obvious social media influence and connect to something deeper within ourselves.

While I often see images online of quilts that I immediately want to add to my ‘make me’ list of projects, it’s not often that I immediately set out to make the project that excites me. There is always some additional spark besides the initial visual inspiration that sets me on a path to making what I have seen – that’s part of the complex nature of inspiration!

This pouch was a gift for a friend. It was a pattern I had seen and had wanted to make for quite a while, but it wasn’t until I had the perfect person in mind to gift it to that I truly felt inspired to make it.

Gypsey Lane Quilt pattern by Aqua Paisley

Scissor Satchel – Pattern by Fig Tree & Co — Quilt:Gypsy Lane – Pattern by Aqua Paisley Studio

Inspiration is not as straightforward as we are often led to believe. While it has its place in our creative process, it’s important to remember it is not the key to getting started. 

Make the Connection

Results don’t just happen. It is absolutely necessary to be intentional about what you want to achieve in your ideal creative world.

Why is creativity important to you? Why is that project calling your name? What is the connection for you?

Getting clear on why it’s important to you is the first step in working a plan of action to accomplish your goals.

As a quilt maker one of the things that is most important to me is the connection I feel to the origin of a quilt design. Knowing this about myself, it is easier to choose which patterns I want to make next.

Think about what it is that sparks your joy when it comes to making quilts – is it colour, history, play, texture, improvisation, proportion, story, or something that speaks uniquely to you?

Our ‘why’ will most likely be different to the next person and that makes for a wonderful world of quilts ready to inspire and delight.

Stardust Quilt Pattern by Aqua Paisley

Stardust – Pattern by Aqua Paisley Studio

Happiness Habits

Do you want to know the secret to creative motivation? Are you ready for it?

If you want to be creative, the key is to aim for small successes on a regular basis!

It’s the collective small achievements which keeps us motivated. When we observe ourselves making progress, we become the fuel for our own motivation. Even tiny steps towards our final objective generates a feeling of accomplishment and success.

How to find your creative spark with Samantha of Aqua Paisley

Show up each day and do the work that nurtures your creativity. Whether it’s 5 minutes or 5 hours, spend time focused on creating a habit of joy in your creative space.

Final Thoughts

Undoubtedly getting started is the hardest part in undertaking any new creative project. If you want to create confidently then it is important to strengthen and nurture your creative muscle through effort and experience.

It’s essential to start small and focus on creative habits that will ultimately unlock your full creative potential.

If you want to be creative – you can be!

Just get started and stick with it. There’s an endless world of creative possibilities waiting for you and your unique perspective.

Cherry Lane Quilt by Samantha of Aqua Paisley Studio

Cherry Tree Lane – A Pattern by Aqua Paisley Studio

Creativity 101 - finding your creative spark - QuiltingIf you want more ideas on how to nurture your creativity then you might like this post – Creative Habits | 4 Ideas To Get You Started.

Or perhaps you are feeling a little burnt out, then this post  – How to Stay Creative (When Your Sewjo Needs a Vacation) has ideas on how to stay creative while you rest and re-energize.

It has been fun sharing my experience with the creative process with all of you. I hope you can look at your own creativity and see it in a new and exciting light.

Remember these 3 important points:

  • Creativity takes work. It’s not a gift – it’s a skill set.
  • Inspiration is not the key to getting started.
  • Small successes on a regular basis create motivation.

Happy creating!!


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Barbara Opett
    April 18, 2018 at 5:25 am

    Great post Amy! Sound good advice. I specially like the part about small successes on a regular basis create motivation. Did someone say “ mini quilts?”

    • Reply
      April 19, 2018 at 11:30 am

      Mini quilts are perfect for that! And good for short attention spans (like mine). 😉

  • Reply
    April 18, 2018 at 10:20 am


  • Reply
    April 18, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Great post. I agree with what Sam says, creativity is a muscle and you can build it up. And have some fun with it. Creativity seems to be a lot easier when you’re enjoying yourself!

    • Reply
      April 19, 2018 at 11:31 am

      Agreed. One of my favorite quotes from Gwen Marston is something like: “You don’t have to suffer to make a great quilt.” This is supposed to be the fun stuff!

  • Reply
    April 19, 2018 at 12:19 am

    This is a great post, it really is doing the small things that moves us forward. x

  • Reply
    April 19, 2018 at 5:54 am

    What an inspiring post with so many great tips. Thank you.

  • Reply
    April 19, 2018 at 5:58 am

    Great Post!! Question for all…I see beautiful pictures of sewing rooms with small quilts hanging on the walls, what is everyone using to hang them up?

  • Reply
    Jenny Grandfield
    April 19, 2018 at 7:48 am

    Really enjoyed this post. My studio is so sparse! My goal is to have a wall of mini quilts! Love it!

  • Reply
    Lorraine Barnett
    April 19, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Thank you so much, Amy, for this post. This is a post that speaks to every aspect of our lives. I actually am saving this to read again and again. I do want to be creative but her statements about “just doing it” and making small progress often is such a life lesson!! This is true for everything that matters! Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    Barbara B
    April 19, 2018 at 9:04 am

    Wow!1 The truth in a small capsule! Thank you for saying it in such a clear and concise way!

  • Reply
    April 19, 2018 at 9:32 am

    What an absolutely lovely post. Thanks, Samantha, for your wonderful words. And, thank you, Amy for posting them.

  • Reply
    April 19, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    Amy, thank you for sharing Samantha’s wonderful inspirational blog. I read this so carefully and now I will remember these words of encouragement. I love the quilts. Dear Samantha, you are a doll. God Bless you

  • Reply
    April 19, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    Thanks so much for these words. I would like to add one thing. I think to be creative you need to have an open mind. I meet lots of people who think they can’t be creative and because they truly believe this about themselves they never even try. Being open to the possibility is the first step.

  • Reply
    Michelle H
    April 22, 2018 at 8:00 am

    OHMYGOSHHHHHHH! This is SO me right now. I have 3 EPP on the go and projects lined up in my sewing room but no spark to get anything done. I’m a great planner, usually a great starter but a terrible finisher.
    I just can’t seem to get my behind….behind the machine.
    This post has lighted that fire ?

    • Reply
      April 24, 2018 at 10:28 am


  • Reply
    Cindy Beal
    April 24, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Thank you Samantha for these beautiful words of wisdom! My favorite line – “creativity takes work”. So true! I will print this off so I can read over and over. And thanks Amy for sharing Samantha with us. Now let’s go sew something!!!!

  • Reply
    Pam Landolt
    March 22, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    Wonderful article! “Creativity takes work” that is going up somewhere in my sewing space. I will also look at mini quilts in a different light?. Thanks so much!

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.