Sunday, March 17, 2013

Playing with proportion, and works in progress

I thought about adding a zig zag border to one of the quilt tops that I have on the go, and so I made some test swatches, like you do in knitting to find the right gauge,

On the same day, I also did some machine quilting on my Salt Water Squares, some hand piecing on my hexagons, and some crocheting.
 It made me wonder about the nature of having lots of projects on the go at once. Of course it's nice to have projects in various stages that use different techniques so that you can pick up the one that you "feel like" working on.  Then it's all about the process, and relaxation and all that. 
And of course I can find other reasons why I have so many things on the go--  such as,
"I have to let that one sit until I decide whether or not it needs a border, or what sort of border.." or,
"I worked on it so much that I am sick of looking at it", or
"I need to start this other one so that I don't forget about it"
"I need to use this new fabric, now."

But what about having to make yourself do a task in order to just "get it done".  What makes the urge to finish a project, even though you might be really tired of it. 
1. the desire to give it to someone. (I think this is a good thing)
2. the desire to avoid accumulating a mountain of things that will clutter  up your sewing room (this might be a bad thing)
3.  the voice that says, "you started it, now you need to finish it"  (this might be a good thing, but it could be a bad thing)
4. the voice that says, "if you don't finish it, you will be wasting all those supplies and the time you've already spent working on it."  (I suspect this might be a bad thing)

Or what about that internal switch that comes on when you feel like you are getting a few to many projects in progress... where does that come from? it is definite that I reach some sort of tipping point where I need to finish something before starting anything new. 
There is much to think about here, and any thoughts you can contribute are welcome. 


  1. I could probably own all of those reasons for having so many projects on the go. They would just vary according to the occasion. The reason that figures most prominently for me is that I am so excited to try new things but have a tendency to get bored quickly. But I do finish things more often than I abandon them. That said I think there is wisdom in knowing when to move projects along. It is supposed to be fun after all.

  2. You're right, it is supposed to be Fun after all! And I like the phrase" knowing when to move projects along", I also get bored easily. I am vey thankful that there is a group like serendipity that doesn't mind receiving partly made items to do something with.

  3. i also own up to all the above! i fall down, though, when it comes to swatching, either in my knitting or my quilting. i always feel like i'm wasting time and materials when i swatch. somehow, in the search for perfection, i have lost the concept of 'playing' with my materials. i always found that 'playing' produced some of my best work...i guess it's time to rediscover my 'inner child'!

  4. I think of the swattches as the playing, although I understand how you can play with the larger project too, I guess as long as it's play, it's fun, so it's good, right? I never thought of it as a search for perfection, more like trying to find a solution that will fit,. Funny how one situation can be viewed in different ways,

  5. Some projects I'm very intentional with, even in the playing around stage. Others, I go where the whimsy takes me. These are some great thought-provoking questions you've raised, Michelle! I try only to have a few projects on the go at a time, though, just to keep me from getting in over my head. :-)


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