This morning I thought I'd talk about how I work, my "creative process".

I'm big into projects that require planning & steps. This is most likely going to be word-y and drawn out. ;)

At first I hated anything that required more than an hour of my time. In school I hated that it look me FOREVER to paint, whereas some classmates whipped out great works in a few classes. I became self conscious the more & more I worked on something, frequently would doubt what I was doing, so I'd stop & start, stop & start. I was a trainwreck. I knew what I wanted: simple, clean, works that conveyed an emotion. Instead I'd end up with an overdone muddy mess with no direction.

What I've learned is: I can't compare my work habits to others & plan plan plan and ENJOY THE PROCESS. I can't compare myself to other folks, it's part of my New Years Resolutions! ;)

I'm the type of person who starts with an idea, an inspiration and as I'm working on it...it's morphed into something completely different than what I wanted. Sometimes this is great! Sometimes this is a mess. I've learned I work a LOT better when I have a visual plan, a theme to stick to and a clear goal. And notes. Lots & lots of notes.

When I was little, my mom owned a ceramic business (she still does!) & she'd frequently take me to other ceramic shops & supply houses. My favorite thing ever was looking at paint. I love color and still do. What inspired me most? The paint names. Fun Fact #8; I've always wanted to be the person to name paint colors. That was my "dream" job as a kid. Lemon Chiffon, Spring Grass, Soot Black...whatever. I love them all. I'd say 98% of the time when I was buying supplies for school, I'd buy paint colors on their name alone. I truly believe in color trends & love when Pantone announces their color of the year! Color gets me going.

My house is filled with piles. I'm a pile maker. Teeshirts fresh from the laundry are almost always stacked in some weird but pleasing color arrangement, my bed right now is piles upon piles of blankets & sheets all in various colors & textures, piles of yarn with crochet hooks stuck in them next to piles of patterns and the worst offender...piles of fabric. On the couch. In the kitchen. On top of the computer printer. They are EVERYWHERE.

If I'm feeling uninspired, I look to fabric and make piles of colors & patterns that please me. And then I walk around the house with them. Like a pet or something. More piles!

Eventually I'll get annoyed with the mess. Or I'll be "over it". And re-shelve them. But sometimes I find a pile & the longest it marinates in it's pile, the more I obsess over it.  And keep obsessing over it.

And then the planning begins. I sometimes use quilt patterns, sometimes I don't. I know a lot of modern quilters shy away from patterns, but meh, I think there are a lot of great traditional patterns that are just begging to be personalized. It's all about my mood, if I'm looking for something that doesn't require thinking, like something I can sew when I'm with friends or while watching a movie, I go for a pattern. If I want to fussy cut or have a commission, I work at home alone and design my own quilt with pandora playing. Two totally different moods.

In this case, I'm going to use a pattern, mostly because of the dynamic nature of the fabrics, some are begging to be fussy cut but really, I'd like to use big chunks of them so there is less waste. I'm going to make a second 5 and Dime. It's a fast quilt that can be really personalized.

So take this pile, it's a mix of Heather Ross, Heather Bailey & Tula Pink. I love these colors together. I adore chocolate browns with peaches, the yellow is an eye catcher and then there are a few small prints like the rain drops that are just too cute to not use.

The fabrics were inspired by daydreaming about late summer early evenings. The kind where your outside, it's still warm, maybe your BBQing, having a freezing cold beer, it's relaxed. If you were to take a photo, you'd get a feeling like this. Mr.McPorkchop used to take me for long car rides out in the country on summer nights when I was overwhelmed & extremely stressed out, this quilt would be the one that I'd shove the backseat for birdwatching or stargazing. It's a generous size, 60x81'', which will also be great for camping & lake swimming/floating dates.

So now I know fabrics & a pattern. At this point I'll make a list, I know, this seems like overkill.

I'll write down the goal of the quilt, the time I hope it'll take for me to accomplish, anything new I want to learn, binding & backing choices, quilting ideas, sashing colors, etc. I write down WHATEVER comes to mind because if I write it down and work my ideas out on paper, it's WAY better than when I'm sitting at the sewing machine having second thoughts. Plus, I love having something to go along with quilts. I save these in a binder. Even if the quilt doesn't get made, I keep these because who knows when I'll decide to revisit an idea. Sometimes I know my sewing goals are larger than my sewing skills, so this is how I get great ideas out on paper and once I learn a new skills (inset seams, a new ruler, a different method of piecing, etc) I can take these ideas out and work on them!

I know for this quilt I'd like to step out of the box & try a colored sashing. Normally I'm a linen or cream kinda girl, but I'm thinking a color! Maybe a shot cotton? Maybe a woodgrain? Who knows!

I realize that's a lot. I know a lot of people who simply grab fabrics, cut and come up with *amazing* quilts. Unfortunately, I can't do that. I'm an overthinker. An overplanner. Want to go on a vacation? Don't worry I'll read EVERYTHING about the area so we can do neat stuff. Want to learn a new hobby? Don't worry I'll read EVERYTHING about the craft so by the time it comes to create something, I won't want to do it ;) Just kidding.

I have a feeling that today; sooner than later I'll be heading to the doctors. I'm coming up on almost a week of being sick & it's not getting any better. This is unacceptable folks, I have quilts & lists to make, not to mention a belated Valentines Day to celebrate & fun orders to work on!

I hope your Thursday is going well!