Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Design Directions

Christmas Quilt from Successful Scrap Quilts

It has become apparent that we all have different ways to problem solve.  Some might call this divergent design directions; we get stalled and stuck on a project.  Marny and I have differnt approachs.

jill here....I don't know if I have a case of latent onset ADD where I am easily bored (or challenged) and start yet another project.  I do eventually return but there is a very large pile  of "laters", possibly "nevers".  Some would call this multitasking.

marny here...I am a plodder. One project at a time, not necessarily to completion, but I have to understand where it is going before cutting into the next pile of fabric.

I make lists in the morning of what needs to get done or remembered for my household--often those grocery and to do lists become a place for doodling and recording ideas in my head for my quilting life.  It is almost like the logical list making process liberates the flittering creative urges.
Even airplane napkins are fodder for my scribbles and organizing.  It surprises me how often the little pile of paper scraps add up to a successful quilt idea.  

jill here....A list?  That might mean a commitment.  Actually I do keep a sketch book (several, whatever is handy). I'm always anxious to cut into the fabric...I can only vision so much on paper. One approach to finishing is giving myself an actual number of blocks but usually it is a layout decision where I just have to keeping trying different solutions.  Sometimes I call Marny for a look-see, sometimes I have a glass of wine and fret.  Sometimes I go to bed and wake up with fresh eyes.
And sometimes, there is a deadline!

Marny again.  When excited by a new quilt design it is an interesting challenge to think in terms of how could this work for a new pattern.  Making a single quilt a single size for a single purpose is one thing, but making it work in multiple sizes and for different purposes is an enjoyable design challenge for me.  It adds another layer to those decisions that need to be made as the project moves forward.  All good for those gray cells.....

We're curious as to what you are working on.  Gifts? Long term projects?  Something fun for yourself?  Any suggestions on design approaches?  Please just comment and send a photo if you can!  Stay sane and warm, until next Tuesday!


  1. I'm a bit of a flitter - I jump from one project to another quite often. Currently I'm trying to complete 3 UFO projects (or must do projects) before the end of the year - one is done, one is started (and won't be ready in time for a 40th birthday on Sunday) and one is well underway.
    On top of those challenge pieces I've got the existing stash and I've also started a stitchery, and none of that takes account of the yarn projects, and spinning that is around to be done. ;0) Who cares though it's great to be able to craft and express one's artistic desires.

  2. I am naturally a one or two projects at a time kind of person. In reality, with deadlines and other interuptions, I usually have three or four projects in various stages. Too many more than that and my brain would feel too cluttered to make progress on any of them!

  3. I am working on so many things it is keeping me up late at night. Right now I am making two t-shirt quilts for people to give as gifts for Christmas. Yikes, that is coming right up. I am also working on three small wall-hangings all made out of old clothes from a lady's parents that have both passed. Meaningfull but hard. Always busy. I need more hours in my day or find a way to require less sleep.

  4. I am packing my car and heading your way next week. Included is a large flannel throw that I will hand sew the binding on as we wheel across Nebraska. It will keep my lap warm as I sew and listen to a book on CD. I will also do the last bit of stitching on some small paper pieced ornaments.


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