your process: methodical, or madness?


the featherweight is getting a workout this week

ideas in progress

how many quilting or sewing or craft projects do you tend to work on at once? 

are you the type to do projects chronologically and in succession, carefully and methodically?

or do you get carried away and work at many things concurrently, little by little, a little here and there, getting one or another done eventually?


i fall into the latter camp...i'm usually struggling under the crushing weight of an avalanche of ideas i want to pursue and projects want to start.  i have about 15-20+ ideas going at once, in a variety of media (quilts, clothing, knitted or crocheted things, jewelry, and on and on).  i manage to manage it all (barely?) by spitting my time amongst all the different projects, putting in intense effort on one project for a while (like, a matter of hours here, a few days there, etc.), then switching off to another project, perhaps in a different media, and so forth.  i tend to work on sewing projects like quilts in my studio during the daylight hours when P is at school or camp.  when she's tucked into bed and Peter is off at jiu jitsu for the evening and I'm exhausted from my efforts and travels during the day (gym, errands, childcare, tending to household chores), i camp out on the couch in front of the television and putter away at somewhat mindless handicrafts i can literally do by hand and half-consciously:  embroidery, english paper piecing, knitting, crocheting, sometimes drawing.

the system mostly works, i guess.   i *eventually* get projects done and i'd argue i am pretty productive...but it might take me a while to finish a quilt i started, for instance, but i almost always finish it.  it just might be months or even years after i first started it.

it's sort of a haphazard system but it seems to satisfy the inner desire to give into pursuing various ideas !!!RIGHT NOW!!!.  if an artistic endeavor is really satisfying, i'll give it first priority and lots of attention and effort for a while, and other projects will fall back in the queue; i'll circle back to them eventually.

sometimes i honestly wish there were extra hours in every day, and extra days in the week so i could get it all done...

alas...  :)


so, again, how do you work?  what's your creative process like?

do you work methodically, serially?  

or find yourself jumping around from idea to idea, working on a multitude of projects at once (like yours truly)?

how's it working for you?  well?  if not, how could your process be better or be improved?

how do you keep track of ideas?  sketching?  hyper-organization?

anyone else suffering under the crushing weight of too many ideas?  how do you manage?

black and white triangle quilt

full frontal b&w quilt :)

b&w triangle quilt // close-up

b&w triangle quilt // trying it out on p's bed

a recent finish:  this black and white triangle quilt!

sometime last year i decided i wanted to make a triangle quilt...who doesn't like a triangle?

i went with black and white as a colorway because i love the's classic, it's chic, it's trendy, it's timeless.

most of the prints are some kind of graphic geometric print featuring circles (with some other things like stripes thrown in for good measure), and the alternating white triangles are white kona cotton.  the binding is solid black kona.

i quilted it with echo quilting on each seam at a 1/4"...the triangles are fairly small (about 4" x 5"-ish) so that process took foreverrrrr.  but i am happy with the final result.

is it just me, or are triangles trickier to piece than one would think?  you have to make sure you sew them together just right or points get nicked, and the like.  the result is worth it, though; all those diagonal lines make for a very dynamic looking quilt.

i decided to put it on Poppy's bed...just to mix things up and try something new in her room.  she said she likes it.  :)

you down with EPP?

first forays into English paper piecing

hand sewing kits (handmade & orla kiely etc. case) @redheadwiththread

hand-sewing/English paper piecing cases (handmade & orla kiely etc. case) - hat tip to @redheadwiththread who uses an orla case to tote her epp stuff around town!

pretty hexies, stacked in a box

EPP in progress

"yeah, you know me!"

in late spring this year, i caught the english paper piecing.   i kept seeing my awesomely talented and kick ass friend holly harper (also a fellow CMQG-er) basting and sewing together guild meetings, chicago stitch bitch and brew nights, or guild retreats.  and for a long time, i resisted (for no good reason, i LOVE to hand sew).  

then, all of a sudden, in a lull between major quilt projects, i decided to teach myself to EPP.  i asked holly for some tips at the CMQG spring 2014 retreat, and then picked up a couple books on the subject (hexa a gogo and quilting on the go) and watched a couple videos on QNN TV starring the amazing katy jones, and i was off to the races.

since i have a GO! cutter, i used one of the hexi dies to cut out a bunch of scrap fabric (of which i have loads!), and then bought the 1" hexi EPP die that accuquilt now offers, to cut out the papers.

i then basted about a bajillion hexies over the course of a month or so.  HOTdamn, it's so relaxing and repetitive!  really easy and braindead yet productive sort of task you can do while watching TV, listening to the radio, or in the car waiting to pick the kiddo up from school.  it's especially good for those times when you find yourself idly waiting somewhere (in lieu of rabidly checking Facebook and instagram on your phone to pass the time)...that sort of thing.  :)

i use card stock to make my hexies.  i know a lot of folks (holly included) use regular copy paper, but i like the stiffness of the card.  i also baste through the card...somehow it feels more secure for me.

last weekend i put them in a plastic box in a nicely organized's really soothing to my organizationally minded brain to see them all neatly arranged in rows.  works much better than the ziploc gallon sized bag i was toting them around in previously!

at the spring retreat i made a hand sewing kit using instructions from lots of pink here, using scraps of fabric i had hanging around in the ye olde and ever-growing fabric stash. it's very cute, but...

holly had the great idea to use one of those adorable orla kiely makeup bags (from target!) to carry around EPP related stuff...and i shamelessly copied her great idea.  the pockets inside are a perfect fit for a couple spools of thread, a glue stick, stork shaped embroidery scissors, one's project, and a couple other EPP or hand-sewing related necessities.  it zips shut and it's lightweight, and you can pop it into a tote or knapsack easy-peasy.  the idea works so well i even bought another in a different print that i can use to hold all my embroidery stuff.

a couple weeks back i started sewing together rosettes/flowers, and that's just as fun and relaxing as basting!  still pondering what i'm going to make with them, exactly, but it will come to me in time.  :)


are you down with EPP? :)

what are you making at the moment?