Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Things I've learned #3

Strictly speaking I think the next one in this series should be "always put the cover back on your rotary cutter" (I know, I know) but that is pretty much self-explanatory, like "don't run with scissors" so I shall move swiftly on to "don't decide too much too quickly". This applies, for me at least, to both colour choices and to design decisions.  

So, pick some fabrics, but keep an open mind; sometimes you need something unexpected and you can only see this as you go along. Equally, even if you have an idea of how you think your quilt is going to look, be open to things changing. I usually know when I start roughly what I think I'm doing but the finished quilt sometimes bears no resemblance to where I started.  

Some examples:

In Two Hungry Birds the flying geese only occurred to me about a third of the way through;



In this one I had a pile of beautiful, carefully chosen reds and purples, but added in the little scraps of turquoise from stash;


 And when I started this, the little elephant was going to be the centre of some version of a medallion quilt.


I guess the gist of what I'm saying is that if everything is planned and decided up front, you know what you are going to get, but for me part of the fun is to let the quilt tell me what to do as I go along, to watch what is happening, think about what is missing (or surplus), keep changing the plan, and to trust that the end result will be satisying.

Linking up with Show and Tell Tuesday at i have to say.

12 comments:

  1. Dropping by from 'Tuesday Show & Tell' - that's three very individual quilts with so much of you in them, I love how you've improvised on the go and I'm a sucker for good strong colour too - Chris :D

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  2. I'm with you on the not planning. I've tried to make borders work, ones I chose before making the quilt, and it was hard to let go even though they didn't work. Good post! I like design talk
    LeeAnna at not afraid of color

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  3. I get bored if it's all completely planned out. And yea, don't run with scissors, lol...

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  4. Each of these are gorgeous examples of improvisational quilting at it's finest. Love your style!

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  5. Yes I know what you mean ... sometimes the quilts just tell you what they need ... you just need to keep an ear open to listen to them :)

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  6. I'm a planner but things always change in the doing. sometimes I wait so long to make something it ges made with totally different fabric that bought! Great advice.

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  7. Couldn't agree more. Many times plan B works out better than the original. Love your quilts and the improv nature of them.

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  8. What good examples of how our work improves when we don't pre-plan everything. Kind of like life.

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  9. I needed to hear this. I'm such a planner. Right now I have a baby quilt to make with a very specific color palette. I've been collecting bits of fabric from here and there and still have no idea what I'm going to do, which is not me at all. I know it will all work out, and whatever I reject can go on the back (or another quilt). Hopefully that quilt will tell me what it needs soon!!

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  10. Being open to new ideas and colours along the way can bring great results and more fun in the process. Sometimes a quilt just seems to grow as you build on your ideas.

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  11. Why fight the quilt? It knows what it wants to be! You have to listen or you'll end up really frustrated. Looks like you've learned that lesson well. Love all of the quilts!

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  12. Kaja, I get thrills and goosebumps just looking at them all! You are inspiring me to loosen up and be more free. Except for that "covering the rotary cutter" rule- Ouch! Hope you are okay.

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