Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Seven Minutes

They say the devil is in the details. I'm not sure about that, but I know that sometimes it's the little things that make a big difference.  Shown below are four photographs I took the night I designed the layout of the Petals quilt. I had all 108 blocks on the wall.

 When I took the first photo, I thought I had it. Then I looked again.

I made several changes. I knew the big flower print in the inner pink ring wasn't working, so I moved it. Three minutes elapsed between the first photo and the second one.

I swapped two blocks, and took another photo. One minute between the second and third photos.

 I didn't like the fragmented outer pink ring. I couldn't make a complete second ring, but I didn't need to. I didn't need to have a complete one to get the effect I wanted. I moved a few pink blocks and created a partial "ring" below the main one.  Three minutes between the third and fourth photo, and I knew I had it.

Seven minutes.

It doesn't seem like much, but those seven minutes made the quilt. Here's the thing. We all know when we've got it right. That's the easy part. The hard part is getting from "OK" to "Nailed it." You can get there through trial and error, or what geeks call "brute force." That takes a lot of persistence, patience, and a willingness to experiment and fail. It's also a recipe for frustration.

I find it much easier to verbalize what isn't working. If you can't figure out WHY you don't like it, you'll struggle with how to fix it. After all, how do you know what you have to do to fix it, if you don't know what's wrong with it?

Now, I had no freaking clue what I wanted it to look like when I first started laying out the blocks. I knew I'd get started and things would happen and I would change my mind as I went along, but that was OK. I did get a design I thought was interesting, but I couldn't make more blocks (ran out of gray fabric, challenge was NOT to buy more). So I had to use what I had.

Looking at the third variation, I knew the placement of the pink blocks in the "outer" ring looked clunky and didn't suggest a ring because they were too far apart to connect with each other. What to do? Put the ones I DID HAVE next to each other to suggest an outer ring. And the only place to do that that made sense was BELOW the pink center, because any other position would have made the design look unbalanced.

Seven extremely worthwhile minutes.


suzanne, dutchess county NY said...

Love the improved blocks and the layout is super!

Quiltdivajulie said...

WELL worth the time you spent rearranging blocks.

Vicki W said...

Well that ws worth the time! Is there smething off in the upper left corner too?

Judy in Michigan said...

Well worth the effort - it is GREAT now (not just good. Also happy that your quilt went to GR!! What a nice surprise!!

Marei said...

I always enjoy following your design process and I agree that "nailing it" should be the goal, not just saying "ok".

Millie said...

Vicki - hold that thought and check out tomorrow's blog post.