Thinking about Process

Earlier in the year, while working on the Star Sampler project, I wrote: “Still I didn’t want to work on any Sawtooth Stars at the moment, even the new patterns. I just left these on the design wall and pretended I wasn’t behind again. This is an interesting exercise in working on one project almost exclusively. It is difficult for me to dedicate so much time to one project, I am finding. This makes me think more about my process.”

I didn’t go back after the above musing and put pen to paper (or keyboard to blogsite as the case may be) about my thoughts on process. I do think that the Star Sampler has given me some insight into working on a semi-complex, long term project. Whether or not I have said it, I have been thinking about trying to mostly stick to one project at a time. And, whether or not I have realized it or planned it, the Star Sampler project was a test of that thought.

We were about two months into the Sawtooth Star project when I wrote the above.  I found my eyes wandering. The Star Sampler turned out to be a special project, because it required so many blocks,  and, in turn, so much dedication. The blocks weren’t all difficult and there were some similarities, such as dozens and dozens of Flying Geese, but there was figuring out and puzzling out to be done throughout the project. The small 4″ stars were especially challenging, but mostly because of the size and the quantities required. The quilt, and the exercise might not have been a good test, but it was a test.

I have spent time thinking about this and I found that, after a few months of no longer working on the Star Sampler, the project sticks in my head. I feel like I have a relationship with Sawtooth Stars and I think about how much work and time the project took.

I think I have learned something about process from this project. Working on a large project that requires dedication has value. Speeding through projects doesn’t allow them to lodge in my brain. The Star Sampler is in my brain. I keep thinking about it. I think I need to consider other projects with the difficulty and depth of projects in the future.

Do I want to work on all projects that take 4 months to piece? Probably not, but I also don’t want to churn through projects every weekend. I want to remember the projects that I have made. I feel really bad about Fresh Fruit. Fresh Fruit, as you know was a leaders and enders project. Because the pieces were so large, I had the major pieces for the quilt top done before I really realized it. It didn’t require much dedicated time on my part. I kind of slid it between whatever else I was working on. It is definitely not lodged in my brain.

I don’t think it is sheer time that makes a quilt top lodge in my brain. I think there has to be a little drama, like the green border for the T-Shirt quilt. Not a lot of drama, but a little. Perhaps drama isn’t the right word? Perhaps the right word is process. I have to work through the process in order to get the quilt to stick in my mind. If there is no process, no puzzling out piecing tricks, no quandries, then the quilt just doesn’t stick in my mind. It is kind of sad to make a quilt and then not even remember making it.