Creative procrastination pays off

I’ve started designing a new quilt, and it’s entirely out of my “normal” range of styles. It’s really outside a number of my boxes, so it’s been kind of interesting figuring out how to do it. It’s appliqué, which I don’t do a lot of because it takes too long by hand (and my hands don’t handle it very well these days anyway) and I’ve never liked the results doing it by machine. The quilt is in bright, clear colors, which I don’t do a lot of either. Some quilts just have to be made, though, so on we go.

To get to the point of all this, I’ve spent the last three days or so just looking at the stuff for this quilt on the table while really concentrating on some much needed web page maintenance instead of quilting (procrastinating, if the truth be told). I’ve puttered with the quilt a bit and thought about it a lot, but haven’t really done much except to try to cut the scalloped borders for it, and mess them up. I thought I was going to put the borders on before I did most of the appliqué, because that’s how it kind of needed to be done. I was able to fix the borders, but when it came time to move forward, I went back to my computer and worked on web pages some more. I knew what needed to be done, but for some reason I wasn’t ready to do it. Now, I don’t really have time to “not be ready” to move forward with this thing or procrastinate, as it’s for a contest and there’s a deadline involved.

So late last night, I was getting ready for bed and the borders were still lying there on the table. I was musing over the whole process, and the light bulb went on, and I realized that I could do it another way and it would be so much better and easier to handle during construction! And therein lies the rub: I can’t design on a schedule. Well, I guess I can, and do, but sometimes down times and musing times happen for a reason that only becomes clear later on. My subconscious was working on the quilt even though I was preoccupied by the computer. Maybe my subconscious was telling me that I needed to find another way to go.

This kind of thing has happened a lot with my many UFO’s as well. I’ve found that when I’ve finished some of those old quilted projects up recently, they are more beautiful and satisfying than they would have been had I finished them years ago. Years ago, I probably got stuck at a creative crossroad and couldn’t move forward. Having different fabrics available now, and having a different viewpoint based on design experience gained has made these quilts better than they would have been otherwise.

So now I can move forward on the new quilt, since my creative procrastination has paid off.