It’s time for another Good Idea, Bad Idea. Good Idea: planning a project. Bad Idea: overplanning a project to the point you no longer want to have anything to do with it.
I like to plan and have the ability to overplan something so much I never actually get to following through with the plan, aka, producing something from it. Sometimes I think it is a sickness that I have to go through every possible scenario in my head of What Ifs and Thens that come time to start I feel mentally exhausted. I think that is one reason I rarely do test runs for my cakes, even though that would be totally beneficial, with the exception of my sister’s wedding cake, from which I did three different tests to plot out design feasibility due to the intricate scrollwork design.
For the most part I’ve tried to get away from planning projects to prevent overplanning them and instead make lists of what needs to be purchased or used to complete said project and maybe a sketch. Anything more than that and my brain goes into research mode and then there are days, weeks, even months of looking for everything similar to what I want to do, which in turn overwhelms me and turns me off from the project. That reminds me, I need to start making more puppets…
So, take the quilt I’ve been working on lately. I don’t think I’ve spent this long on a quilt ever. Then again, I’ve only made baby blanket-sized quilts, most of which I have made in an afternoon from start to finish and I just admitted that to all the parents who received them for their little ones. I guess part of me is taking my time on this one because it is kind of like a test run so to speak where I am both making it for a throw in the living room and to test out my sewing machine’s capabilities for future quilts. Basically finding out what I can and cannot do with this machine, as well as learning what I should and shouldn’t do while quilting, such as when your gut tells you to start quilting in the middle and work your way out don’t try to convince yourself that sewing the four edges together first is a better way because it most certainly is not.
Okay, so I guess the real question is what should a plan resemble? That varies from person to person. Some people research like crazy and have a multitude of resources they use to craft their project and are able to look past the vast amount of information inundation while others can barely make a rough idea of what they need to complete the project and they’re overwhelmed. For me, a list of ingredients and basic instructions along with a rough sketch of what the end result will look like and being okay with any last minute changes during actual construction works best for me. I’ve used the term ingredients here because pretty much every project I tackle seems to be easier to figure out if I plan it out like a recipe, and from the success of the Moda Bake Shop, I’m apparently not alone.
I guess the moral of the story is keep your plans simple and allow for happy accidents and you’ll save yourself a lot of stress and headaches and a few of those debilitating eye pains that tend to happen too in situations like this. Eventually you’ll work yourself into being able to accomplish those more difficult tasks with ease due to practice and experience.
Weekend Quilting Book Showcase by Jemima Flendt
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