Are You Flexible?
That’s a good question. Am I flexible? I think I am, but I have been told I am not. Perhaps the true answer falls somewhere in the middle. I do adhere to routines. I find them invaluable to help propel me forward into my day and also to reduce time spent dithering about what to do.
I believe a key to making art is flexibility. You may hear artists stating that they let the art speak to them. I think of it as the muse whispering in my ear. Perhaps it can be as simple as instinct. However, I have learned to be flexible out of pure necessity. What do you do when you run out of a particular fabric or something feels off in the composition? You must adapt. This week I coped with running out of one of my black fabrics. Can you tell? Of course not. And no, I didn’t run out and buy more. Next week I hope to redo a compositional issue that has been bugging me. See, I am flexible. 🙂
Rainbow Scrap Challenge
Green is this month’s color in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. When I designed How Does Your Garden Grow I purposefully decided that my green blocks would be the stems and leaves supporting each flower head. As you can see in the above image I finished the stem portions of the top row. I plan to be flexible about filling in the “spacer” fabric surrounding different elements and won’t push myself to finish all the stems in March. This can be easily managed as “between” project activities in the future.
I’m linking up to the following posts:
Ha! Flexible, it is my word for this year. I’m a planner and, like you, dither if I don’t have a plan. It’s not than I’m inflexible, it just takes me a few minutes to adapt to going off script. And please no surprises!!
Chortling here. When you have a plan you can opt to branch off. No plan and it is easy to be mired in indecision. Your comment was a delightful surprise.
always a thoughtful post… I am reminded by quilt designing to be flexible in choices. I get socked in with an idea, but just yesterday I pulled some blocks down to try a whole different approach. It’s hard to change direction though
It is hard to change direction. Probably why the best direction I was given by teacher after my plan was carefully crafted was “now do something radically different.” And I did and I am so glad I did. Do it once, twice and ten times and soon you are “pulling down some blocks and going in a whole new direction.” Ain’t life grand? Well done, LeeAnna.
I love the progress you have made on In the Beginning. Great idea to use green month for the stems. xx
Thank you, Lin. Hard to believe I am nearly done with piecing In the Beginning. I’m eager to get to the next phase, but I do love piecing. Those stems look simple, but I am finding them challenge. Kind of an odd “green” block, but I am glad you agree they qualify for the RSC.
Flexible is a great quality, and being able to adapt is a skill. I can see you have both! Your green blocks are perfect, ready for the next color and flowers.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and linking up ;))
Yes, being flexible can be a good quality and is often necessary. I have witnessed your flexibility in past posts. Just opting to piece the stems and not do the flowers at the same time is flexible for me. Those stems look orphaned.
I am most impressed by the fact that you did NOT buy more of that fabric when you ran out! I think flexibility, like most other human traits, exists on a spectrum and whether one person is “flexible” or not depends on to whom you’re comparing them. Compared to ME, you’re VERY flexible! I pride myself on stubbornness and not taking No for an answer, to the point that I had a discontinued embroidered silk drapery fabric recreated as custom embroidered yardage for one of my interior design clients, at about 5x the cost of the original fabric. (In my defense, that client had gone through a horrible house fire and had lost many irreplaceable family mementos and prized possessions. I had the fabric recreated because it was her favorite window treatment before the fire and that was one thing I COULD get back for her). I digress! As usual! ;-). In the Beginning is looking very cool so far!
I love your digressive stories, Rebecca. Stubborn has negative connotations. I see you as resilient, determined, dedicated and very caring. You have an amazing work ethic.
It took me years to buy 95% or so my fabric by value, hue and texture. The other 5% of my purchases are either for a specific purpose (found a great backing for In the Beginning) or because I couldn’t resist.
Great topic! While I am currently working with a fabric kit, where it’s fairly straightforward to plan, I usually make scrap quilts where it’s all improv and adaptation. For me that’s how creativity works – having a general idea, but devising the details along the way. Your RSC quilt is coming along beautifully.
I am impressed by quilters who work improvisational without some kind of game plan. In the Beginning definitely has its improve/adapt moments, but I am guided by the photo I am adapting, the two primary blocks I chose to give it structure and the fabrics I pulled from my stash to work with. Perhaps I do planned improv or improvisational planning. 🙂 It is good to know what works for you and to push those boundaries. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me, Michelle.
I left the planned, graphed, regulation path many, many years ago for improv abstract. Your precision gives fantastic results and I can only stand back and admire that dedication to detail. It’s wonderful that there are so many great ways to express ourselves with textiles!
I absolutely agree, Kathy. I love that we have both discovered a creative approach that works for us. I’ve tried starting with improve, but find I need a piecing understructure. Once I have the blue print, that is when my improve thrives as I instinctually select one fabric after another. I am also fascinated by how others create and by studying creations, such as yours. I learn by doing and by observing, particularly from those who take a different approach to mine.
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