What do you when you're a little hyper about going shop hopping? You sew, of course. I made another four-inch block. This one is slanted star. I really like how well these polka dots are going together. They are playing nicely.
The Stashbuster topic of the week is do you prefer to work from patterns or use the patterns as a starting point and "go with the flow?" The first two quilts I made I followed the patterns precisely. But after that never again. I use the pattern as the starting point and tweak it as I go along. These days I'm more apt to design my own quilt. I've purchased many technique books. Books about settings blocks, block books, border books, binding tips. Now I let the fabric "talk" to me and let it tell me what it wants to be. I can't help but look at a quilt pattern and immediately I start tweaking it without thinking twice.
I've had to give up doing mystery quilts because my brain refuses to follow directions. The quilt in the photo is a good example of not following directions. Once I started assembling the blocks they kept "talking" to me, rather loudly I would add. They refused to follow the directions and demanded to put together this way. Since then I always listen to my fabric. Oh yeah, I might have some particular ideas in mind, such as making HST's using triangles on a roll or an exercise in making a scrap quilt and not letting the same fabric touch itself; but unless the fabric wants to cooperate I can't always follow my plan.
These days I think of my quilting as more of a "play" or "exercise" time. What do I want to do today and what fabric is calling to me to be played with? Since I've made this shift in how I approach quilting I've enjoyed the process so much more. I seldom have stress to finish a project unless it's a gift. I seldom have to go shopping because there's always fabric calling to be played with on any given day.
I suppose you're wondering why I'm this way with my quilting. I guess because it's similar to what my job is. I am a product designer. It's not as glamorous as it sounds. It's not for fabric. But I have a database of over 100,000 hotel records and it's my job to make that pile of "stuff" talk to our clients by creating meaningful reports. Some days some records don't want to play, and some days those records want to play nicely. I know the techniques to make those records meaningful. Because what our company does is so unique, all the reports I have created are brand new so, other than my boss telling me what he wants to see in the end, I have to be the one who "writes the pattern."
That's how I approach quilting. The fabric is my "database". The books provide me a vision of an end product. It's up to me to take my "database" and make it sing.
All sounds pretty philosophical, huh? But I like it.
Tomorrow morning is time to shop! I won't be around until Sunday. I'm sure I'll have tales to tell and plenty of photos of my goodies. I hope everyone has a great weekend. If you are in a area where are fires or floods or storms I pray you will stay safe. Bye for now.