Doing it my way

Some people have noticed something new in my sidebar.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 8.32.24 amIt says “I took the Process Pledge”. This is the brainchild of Rossie at Rossie Crafts, who has written a thoughtful and intelligent post about showing how you arrive at a finished quilt. Sadly, the button code I copied doesn’t take you over there at present, but she’s taking a look at fixing it. I’ve given the link above, so if you enjoy the idea of talking about how you arrive at an original design, how this translates into fabric choices and layout, and how you construct and finish your quilts, then do yourself a favour, and get over there for an interesting and thought-provoking read. There are hundreds and perhaps thousands of others who’ve taken the pledge too.

Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 11.29.26 amI didn’t realise that I’ve been a process poster all along, till she invented the phrase. Anyone who’s followed this blog for more than 5 minutes knows that I show stage by stage, day by day, in (sometimes tedious!) detail.

I talk about my ideas and mistakes, I explain my thinking, I ask for comment and suggestions (which I then feel free to ignore..), but what I don’t do is say “Look! I made a quilt!” and just show the finished item. It’s pretty, but it isn’t as interesting to me as How and Why, since all it tells you is that I have a nice new quilt.

I’ve often looked at some amazing piece of work and thought “how on earth did she/he come up with that idea?”. I wish we all worked this way. If I get a great idea from somewhere, I’m going to be telling you what and where and who, and giving links, and lots of lavish credit.

The same idea can be applied to any creative process; the ‘ingredients’ and outcome may be different, but the tools are the same. I do find inspiration and all its consequences endlessly fascinating…

Stuff like that’s too good not to share. 


36 thoughts on “Doing it my way

  1. So excellent. You might or might not have noticed, that is the ONLY button on my margin. Process rocks. Much more interesting than the ooh-pretty-quilt reveals. Too often I get it a little backwards, mostly because I don’t take a lot of pix. So I wait until something is mostly done or even done, and then show it. But usually I talk A LOT then about how I thought about it. So not so much IN-process, but process.

    Good for you, Kate, and good for us when more people are willing to show the messiness that can come with design.

    • katechiconi says:

      I had noticed…
      I haven’t, up to this point, shown my early drawings much, but I think that’s going to change, because it shows the idea’s evolution really well. Often, I find myself reversing decisions because it’s obvious that the quilt wants something different, or realising that something on paper doesn’t translate well into colour and fabric. It’s all learning, and perhaps learning that may be useful to someone else, so I believe it’s worth showing.

  2. This is a separate but related topic: Instagram vs process pledge… IG not much good for a lot of discussion, is it?

    • katechiconi says:

      You may have noticed I’m not on Instagram? I think the reason is fairly obvious! On the other hand, I love Pinterest for collecting images and ideas relating to work in progress, and once the project’s done, I just hide the board.

  3. claire93 says:

    an excellent idea
    I do love the way you always sketch things out first, and show us your thought process.
    I couldn’t do the same, as I rarely have a precise idea when I begin a quilt. And I haven’t done much patchworking so far really.
    However, I do try to take photos of the first assembly parts. I enjoy showing my progress stages more than the final “finished” part ^^ Mainly because the fun is in the making, not in the finalised item.

    • katechiconi says:

      Exactly so! I dearly love a finished quilt, but when it’s done, it’s done and I just want to get on with the next one! I just have the hand stitching to do on Doggies, but already this morning I was sitting up in bed with my coffee and sketching for the next big one – another niece’s marriage quilt. I’ll be sharing that one soon… once I’ve dealt with my tax return!

  4. knettycraft says:

    I always love detailed posts about the creative process. For me it is often difficult and I choose then the short way of showing…. I wish my English was better!

    • katechiconi says:

      Your English is very good, and I think you should share your thoughts and processes anyway – it’s always interesting, and we can always ask if something is not clear.

  5. You are exceptionally gifted at this process posting. So often my quilts are just muddled through, my reasoning non-existent, my potos are poor and I haven’t the energy!!!!

    • katechiconi says:

      Gosh, thank you, Viv! Thinking about it, it seems to me that each of my quilts has some sort of theme, or story, or reason for existing, and that’s what gets the process rolling…

  6. tialys says:

    I’m usually too busy struggling with the ‘process’ to photograph any of it for posterity. However, I do find watching the progress of your quilts interesting even if I sometimes struggle to find something to say in ‘comments’ at each stage. Although I generally manage 😉

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m always deeply appreciative of comments – I do know how difficult it can be sometimes to find something constructive to say. For me, the discipline of regular posting has been extremely helpful, since it has forced me to break down and analyse the processes I go through, and to have a much better understanding of what is and isn’t important to me in the making of a quilt.

  7. Grannymar says:

    I enjoy your detailed posts. I used to write regular ‘craft’ posts but took the photos as I went along and used them when I wrote about the completed object. That said, it is time I returned to regular blogging.

  8. modflowers says:

    Ahh, process posting… now there’s a thing I struggle with! If I’m making a quilt, which has a making process that lasts some time, then yes, I’ll do several “along the way” posts about making it. But when I’m sewing commissions it’s hard to post if the item is a gift, in case the recipient is reading. And when I’m making things to sell I tend not to post about how they are made, as this just prompts comments about how people are going to go and make the same thing themselves… which wasn’t really the idea! A case in point is the dolls I’ve been making. I’ve had several people ask if there’s a pattern… erm, well no, there isn’t, because I designed them and made them to sell, and if there was a pattern you could just go and make your own instead of buying mine!
    I love reading about how things are made though. It’s such a great way of learning to hear about how other people do things.

    • katechiconi says:

      In a sense, most of your posts are process of a sort; they’re all about what inspires you, which is the information that’s missing in a lot of ‘look what I made’ posts. I can see that giving away trade secrets is hardly good business sense for you – I wouldn’t want to do that either. You might have noticed that the only images I tend to put a copyright line on are my original design sketches… It won’t protect them of course, but it gives me something to work with if someone does a blatant rip-off!

  9. rutigt says:

    This is thoughtful. I´m not good at this, but maybe I should try. I only show you finished work, cause I forget to take photos and I don´t think anyone would like to read about it. I´ll try to show you more of my work in the future 🙂 Thank you for the tips!

    • katechiconi says:

      If you divide the piece of work into stages, and decide to post at the end of each stage, then you’ve already started to process post! In my next project, I shall show first drawings and fabric selection, then some cutting, then laying everything out, then starting to assemble, and so on. It actually makes it easier to stay on track, and to keep motivated!

  10. Carole says:

    All the quilts I’ve made so far have been very simple or I’ve followed a design in a magazine or online, so not much in the way of sketches. I do like to post when I’m starting something though, with the fabrics, and then as I go along I do the odd post with progress. I enjoy the process as much as the finish so this all makes sense to me. I’ve added the button to my blog, and if I ever get time to do any sewing again, I’ll make sure to keep recording my progress/process.

  11. Glad there’s a term for it now. I like process posts in all sorts of topics. I think that’s what we do when we talk openly with close friends, sharing how we got to where we are in a process that’s ongoing and open to tweaking.

  12. EllaDee says:

    I love the sharing of ideas, and process is an essential part of it, whether it’s on a micro scale of making a quilt or macro of living a life… you’re amazing with both 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      Gosh, thank you! I always have, and always will, led an outward facing life, which basically means inviting the rest of the world to a dialogue about ideas; as you say, on both a macro and a micro scale. If I discover something good, my first impulse is to share it in order to increase the greater happiness of all. Of course, sometimes it gets flung back in your face, but them’s the breaks.

  13. […] som går ut på att visa hela processen med att sy en quilt. Jag läste om detta hos min vän Kate i Australien och tänkte att detta måste jag […]

  14. Lorij says:

    I really enjoy reading the postsI make quilts the way I like. I don’t usually have a pattern on paper. Is most of the time whatever the good Lord drops in my spirit, that’s what I make. I have a queen size one in the hoop I’m quilting now and I’m working on a strip quilt that has 80 10 by 10 blocks.
    I made a purse from scraps for the 15th .
    Kate your blog is really wonderful. It really helps one feel part of a group and not isolated and that’s great

    • katechiconi says:

      Lori, that’s such a kind comment! I think there are loads of blogs out there which do a great job of showcasing the maker’s work, but they’re not really inclusive. I like to encourage conversation, comment and suggestions in order to create a sense of community, which is why I find process posting so interesting, and will always prefer that kind of blog. Your way of working feels familiar to me; I may do a design at the start, but from time to time the quilt speaks and tells me it wants something different! Looking forward to seeing your photo for the ScrapHappy post on 15th – email it over, and I’ll draft something that includes it. Would you like your email address mentioned in case someone wants to comment directly to you?

  15. I have long thought of joining this, but I try to tackle it differently by tending to post finished articles with a lengthy ramble about how I got there. Same, same but different … right?

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