Do you have more than a few unfinished quilt projects?
Do you have so many that it feels a little overwhelming or like you can't move onto a new project?
If so, this one idea is going to be a game-changer.
Are there tons of different methods you want to try out, but you just don't have the time?
Let me introduce you to the quilt "experiment".
Whenever I try out a new technique, I start with an Experiment.
An "experiment" is a small or scaled-down project that you make before investing the time and materials in a full-sized project.
So often we want to try out a new technique, so we buy a lap-sized quilt pattern. It takes us FOREVER to finish the project, if we do finish it at all. And sometimes half-way through, we realize-- I don't really like this technique after all. Or I wish I had done this a bit differently.
This might mean making just one block or a scaled-down version of the pattern.
If you don’t love the technique, no worries, it was a worthwhile experiment, it didn’t take too much time or materials, and you may use what you’ve learned in a different way later on!
Think of these experiments like sketches in a sketch pad. Every sketch will not necessarily be turned into a full-sized painting-- most are just experiments.
If you do love the technique, then you can try a full-sized project, if you like.
This is going to help prevent a huge pile-up of unfinished projects.
It will also allow you to try out lots of different techniques and styles quickly, so your creativity, skills, and style will really bloom.
Your Experiment Bin
Often we are hesitant to try something new because we don't want to "waste" fabric.
Enter the Experiment Bin.
I keep a basket in my studio called an Experiment Bin. This is where all my orphan blocks, abandoned projects, and miscellaneous precuts go, as well as fabric I don't really care about.
Then whenever I am going to start on a new "experiment", I dip into my Experiment Bin for that fabric.
Since I'm not using fabric that I love, I'm not worried about "wasting" fabric, and I can take risks and try something that I'm curious about that might not work.
This is where the magic happens!
Make Your Own Experiment Bin
It is super simple to make your own Experiment Bin.
Grab a basket or tub and fill it with:
- orphan blocks (leftover blocks from past projects)
- precuts that you don't have plans for
- that stack of 4" squares you cut out but never used, etc
- abandoned projects
Once you have your Experiment Bin in place, you can dip into it whenever you have an idea for an experiment you'd like to try!
If you’d like to join a community of quilters from around the world who are constantly experimenting with and learning new styles and techniques, I think you’d love Meander. Learn more about Meander, here.
I'd love to hear from you! How big is your "Works in Progress" pile?? Leave a comment below!