My Tivaevae

Habits of creation

This is how I’ve been spending a couple nights a week since mid-June. Stitching away and watching The Americans (just started season 4!). When I picked sewing back up last month I set a goal to have this piece finished by September 19th. I started this tivaevae (my first) almost two years ago but had only finished about a quarter of it – I was ready to be done already and move on to something else.

These quiet sewing nights have been a gift. I’m re-learning a lesson that I forget too quickly: making art isn’t about the finished piece. Art is in the process; showing up regularly and doing the thing. It’s building a habit of creation instead of waiting for inspiration.

Some nights I only thread the needle once. Other nights I’ve sewn through two hours without noticing the time. I’m closing in on halfway done.

My deadline is only 7 weeks away. I don’t know if I’ll hit that goal but I think my chances are high if I can remember to keep showing up one thread at a time.

Melodie is the director and producer of Spirit of Tivaevae. Born in New Zealand to a Cook Islander father and American mother, Melodie was raised in the United States. Her family background gives her a unique perspective on being a Pacific Islander raised outside the culture.