Accept Orphan Blocks

encouragement play Feb 02, 2022

Experimentation and play means that you will be left with random blocks around the sewing room.

For some quilters this is hard to accept. For them, everything has to turn into something. I am here to tell you though, not everything has to end up in a finished quilt.

To be honest, I struggled with this for a long time. If it wasn’t for something, then what was the point? The desire to create and try more things eventually pushed that thought aside, right along with the stress of unfinished things laying about. It requires a change in your mindset.

Think about kids on the playground. When they are playing tag or crossing the monkey bars they aren’t thinking about a tangible thing at the end of the game. No, they are simply immersed in the play, in the process of what is unfolding in front of them. Quilting and fabric play can be exactly like that. Immerse yourself in the activity without even contemplating the results. Who cares if those first attempts at perfect circles never make it into a finished project? That wasn’t the point.

Try, experiment, be open to failure. Failure meaning you don't want to use it again. That's fine. When you get to that point I suggest one of three things. 1. Recycle the fabric back into your scrap bin. 2. Write notes right on the block so you can remind yourself what did and did not work. 3. Collect orphan blocks because does the line you may want them for something.