Books, Music, Podcasts, Creative Inspiration

Creative Inspiration: Lying in Bed

It’s Sunday, a day (like Saturday) when many people have the opportunity to sleep in (or at least sleep in a little later than on a workday).

Continuing my series on sources of my creative inspiration, I realize that lying in bed and quietly thinking can be a source of much creative inspiration!

A very creative friend of mine told me a couple of years ago that she could will herself to dream quilt designs while she sleep; and when she needed it, inspiration would arrive while she slumbered.

I do not remember many of my dreams, and those I remember are not necessarily sources of creative inspiration, but I do have moments of intense inspiration when I am laying in bed preparing for sleep or lingering in bed upon waking.

Worrying and reviewing the day used to fill my mind before going to sleep until learning to  essentially “chill out” a couple of years ago. Now I can bring my mind into focus before going to sleep on a quilt design or other crafting project. It is amazing how what was a challenge to me in my studio during waking hours, now has a clear resolution as I quietly ponder it in bed.

My first experience with idea was at the end of 2014 while I was making a piece for our public library’s Novel Idea Book (all of Central Oregon is encouraged to read the same book and then the book’s author speaks at the annual Novel Idea book event). That year’s book was A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. I loved the book so much I wanted to make a small art quilt inspired by this thought provoking novel.

I was stuck for weeks on the design of this piece until one night, while lying in bed and before falling asleep, I focused all my mental energy on the what I wanted for this piece. It is difficult to put into words – I did not force myself to think about the piece, rather I relaxed and asked for inspiration to come to me.

Hope I do not sound too “New Age” or mystical here, but it was like what the piece needed to be just flowed into my mind and through me. It was a wonderful feeling – as if the Universe was telling me how I could translate what moved me in this book into textile art. When I woke in the morning, I had a clear vision of what the piece would look like and felt tremendous relief and a sense of peace.

And it all happened lying there in bed. Since that experience I have used the time lying in bed before falling asleep or upon waking to explore options in creative design. Bed can be a good place – keep those worries out of your mind and invite the creativity in!

Jiko’s Secret Robe (2015) – inspiration for this piece arrived while lying in bed


For more on “clearing your mind of worry before you fall asleep” see my post Monday on the “Butte” in which I briefly discuss Arianna Huffington’s audiobook – The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time and share this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote:

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day and you shall begin it well and serenely. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

11 thoughts on “Creative Inspiration: Lying in Bed”

  1. Haha I thought it was Sassy too! Ok I need that sleep book and I love your quilt. I loved that Time Being book too! It really resonated with me and I think your quilt celebrates that book beautifully. Thank you for sharing and now I’m going after the sleep one. Bless you!

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    1. Thanks Laura and I have been experimenting with using free images on this website called free images. I was rapidly using up my photo space on my blog and thought I would use these lower file size images, plus to add some different interest (and to have some photos taken by decent photographers). Oh I am so pleased you read the book and the quilt is meaningful! I got a lot of positive feedback from the library and their staff when it was displayed there during the art show honoring the book. 🙂

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  2. “moments of intense inspiration when I am laying in bed preparing for sleep”
    Oh I know that feeling, and it’s often incredibly annoying because I’d rather SLEEP. But your post inspired me: I should go to bed earlier in order to actively savor those thoughts, knowing that I am deliberately taking time for them (and adding them to my list for later). Thank you!

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