January 13, 2014

Starting Off on the Wrong Foot

This concept came to me in church yesterday when I noticed a little girl in front of me had her shoes on the wrong feet.  It made me smile   : )

Looking down from above it wasn't really that obvious, but when I saw the bottom of her feet as she knelt down it was quite clear her shoes were pointed the wrong way.

That's kind of how last week felt to me. From one perspective it seemed I was going in the right direction. I even made a couple of breakthroughs with my project. But taken from another perspective I realized I was perhaps starting on the wrong foot. Perhaps going about things backward.

This is what it looked like while in the midst of it all. Actually it was far messier but I have no documentation to prove that point. My dilemma . . .  what fabrics would best demonstrate the design on the computer?

Should I use prints? I pulled way more than this and still couldn't decide.

Should I use solids? I realized I don't have as many colors as I think I do.

Should I use grays? I realized I don't have much range of values when it comes to my stash.

Like the little girl, I didn't notice I was going about things backwards. Like the little girl, I will learn to discern the difference with more practice. Like many of you, I can sometimes have a hard time choosing fabrics. That's what it boiled down to. Not being able to find the fabrics that worked with what I was doing on my computer. Starting with the fabrics instead of the design can sometimes be best.

What I learned is that I'm quite prone to spending way too much time on my computer and not enough time with the actual fabrics. I need to spend more time playing with what inspires me . . . the color and pattern of fabric. And less time playing on the computer and being sidetracked.

In the meantime, I will keep moving forward even if my shoes are pointing in different directions. Sometimes I might drift a little sideways, maybe even a step back now and then. I just need to remind myself that pursuing a wrong direction can help you find the right direction. It just takes longer.

And just in case you're wondering . . . I didn't spend the entire time in church thinking about this.  : )

Linking up with Cindy's Really Random Thursdays . . . this seemed like a fit. Hop over and see what's up with the other links.

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  1. So easy to get side tracked. I do best diving right into the fabric rather than on the computer.

  2. What a great perspective! I think all of us have a little too much of computerlust (versus "wanderlust") in us, so being at the computer is a an easier, less aggressive way to get our quilting fix. Glad for you to realize that about yourself (I feel the same about me!) and hope you can soon begin to let your fingers do the walking through the fabrics, instead of across the keyboard.

  3. I think we all evolve a way of working that works. For some pieces, the computer is a way of not wasting material OR time. For others, diving in is required. Your recognition that your stash and your "computer swatches" didn't match up was helpful.... but I'm betting there are some times when getting caught up in the patterns and textures finds you having overlooked composition, shapes or something. (Funny which thoughts from church turn out to be helpful, and which don't!)

  4. I knew there was a good reason why I have fabric all over the guest bedroom.

  5. Love your extended metaphor about feet going the right directions (and such a great photo to lead us off). I understand about the gulf between what I see on the computer and how the real fabric works in the real (not digital) world. I've loved all your designs thus far, so I know you'll bridge the gap and get the two to work. But you do hit upon a truth: sometimes starting in the fabric is the way to completion of a phase of our projects.

    So many truths for me to think about now. Thanks for a great post!

  6. This is a wonderful post, Anne! (Love the picture too.) This morning at the book store I saw your projects in two different magazines--they were both wonderful. Your quilt in GenQ is fabulous!! I have been trying to spend more and more time away from the computer. The upside--more time spent with actual fabric. The downside--having a hard time keeping up with my friends. I'm not sure how to maintain a good level of balance.


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