Sunday, June 29, 2014

Avoidance Technique Projects?

I was lucky enough to snag a copy of Andrea Balosky's book "Transitions: Unlocking the Creative Quilter Within" (the link will take you to Amazon) at the Puyallup Valley Quilters guild's annual book sale for only $2!  Score!  (if you get the chance to read this book, do so!  wonderful insights into the artistic process!) So, this morning I was reading the part where she discusses the Creative Process and . . . *gasp* I recognized myself.  She was talking about when you are faced with doing something to your project that you'd really rather not do so you go into "avoidance mode" and do something else, like cleaning the studio or something.  Anything but what you'd rather not do.  I know you know what I'm talking about . . . I think we all do it sometimes.  You can call it stalling as well.

Well, I have to admit - mostly to myself - that I was stalling.  I need to do more to my Cherrywood project (see it here)  and I don't want to.  I've decided that I need to add more of the little inserts, which involves undoing parts of the top.  So, major avoidance is occurring.  I know I'm just being stubborn and I'll eventually get it done.  But it's truly amazing what else I can get done when I'm in avoidance mode!

17 1/4 in x 21 3/4 in without borders

Avoidance Project #1 - my Ugly Fabric Challenge quilt is nearing completion!  And about time, too, as it's due on July 11th!  I finally made up my mind what to do with the hideous fabrics I received.  I flailed around for awhile, and then I remembered Bonnie Hunter's saying "if the fabric is still ugly, you haven't cut it small enough".  Bingo!  What's the best way to use it?  Little pieces.  What's the best way to disguise it?  Put it with similar fabrics.  Thus, the log cabin.  So far, without the borders, the top is at 17 1/4 in. by 21 3/4 in.  Those center squares are 1 1/4 inches finished.  The border triangles will also be that size.  Pretty darn little, and kind of pain to make those HST's!  

arrows point out the Ugly Fabrics
This is a close up of the Ugly Fabrics and how I used them.  The middle fabric isn't too bad, so I used it as is.  The other two I've used the wrong side up.  Makes them play better with everything else.

At one point, after I had taken a break (the next day, I believe), I needed to cut more of the center blocks.  Well, apparently I didn't  measure correctly.  But I didn't discover my error until I was trying to assemble the blocks.  These blocks have a center square that measures 1 1/2 inch cut instead of 1 3/4 in.  That 1/4 inch is hard to see, but so important to the finished size of the block!  So, I have 10 extra blocks the wrong size.  *sigh*  We'll see what becomes of these blocks later, when I decide.

So, now I'm stalling about cutting more of the little HST's for the border.  Fortunately, I didn't fold and put away the fabrics yet.  So, that's what I'll be doing very soon.  That approaching due date is starting to motivate me!  So, even more Avoidance is going on around here!  (It's getting pretty bad, huh?)

Modern Disappearing 9 Patch
50 3/4 in x 64 in at this point
In the meantime, here are my other Avoidance Technique projects.  A.T.P. #2 is now assembled and ready for borders.  Fabric has been purchased for said borders and binding.  I need to get this done P.D.Q. so it can get to the quilter and back in time for the quilt show in October.

17 in x 24 1/4 in

A. T. P. #3: another preemie quilt.  I got it quilted at a guild workshop on Friday, now I need to find binding and do that.  No rush on this one.

detail shot
I don't have any baby fabrics, but I thought these worked OK for a little girl.

44 in x 58 1/2 in

A.T.P. #4: the String X quilt got borders!  I went to see the Keeper of the Guild Fabric the other day and found something that works.  It's not what I initially had in mind, but I like it.  Nicely bright and cheery.  This will go to a local facility for seriously ill and frail children.

The yellow fabric has little tiny bees all over it.  

So, I guess I've stalled long enough now!  But, didn't I get a lot accomplished??  Not finished, but accomplished.  Two different things - in my world anyway. *grin*  I amaze myself sometimes.  hee hee!  I really need to finish the challenge quilt because of the looming due date.  So, that is first on my agenda.  Then I think I'll move on to the Mod D9P so it can go to the quilter.  Then maybe I can actually pick up the seam ripper and work on my Cherrywood project so it can be done in time for the quilt show too.  Wish me luck!  Or maybe you should come over and give me a kick in the butt!

So, inquiring minds want to know:  what do you do when you're experiencing the Avoidance Technique?   Do you recognize it when you're doing it?  How do you move past it?  


  1. Oh I LOVE that book. I used to borrow it from my mom every couple years until she finally gave it to me for a Christmas gift! One of the things I do when experiencing avoidance is that I give myself permission to 'avoid'--at least for a little while. I'll work on a border or something else that is a feel good project and then before I leave the quilt room make myself put in at least 15 min. on the Dreaded project. If that's all I can handle for the day then that's enough. Then the next time I'm in the quilt room it starts all over again: avoid, nose to the grindstone, leave in a hurry. Eventually I get to a point where I will work for longer periods of time until finally comes the moment when I find the determination to see it through clear till the end. Usually by then it's late at night or dinner is getting stretched to an hour that my husband is grumbling at me--never good timing I can tell you that.:)

  2. It sounds like me too! I do find that if I clean up my sewing room it helps me to focus. I look to see if anything has a deadline and start there. Of course sometimes I start a brand new quilt too!

  3. I LOVE your ugly fabric log cabin quilt!!! I definitely can't see any ugly fabrics in it. The yellow bee border is wonderful for your string x. I've been going around in circles lately too. Not quite getting anything done but that just happens sometimes, it usually means I should go and do some gardening. Or start a new project, Or sometimes I tell myself sternly to make a decision and go with it. That book sounds great, thanks for mentioning it, I'll see if my library has it.

  4. love the ATP and no, don't see no ugly fabric there. I'd throw those bigger blocks in there too, but I bet you don't want to go too big, esp when the challenge is due soon.

  5. Stalling...I love how you have described this phenomenon. How long is too long to stall? I have been stalling on something for about four years now. Is that still stalling?!?! Too much pressure. This is supposed to be FUN!!!!

  6. Wow, your quilts are awesome and if that's what it takes then it's just another step in the process. There's no race to the finish line, you are just taking the time necessary to create and sometimes it can be puzzling to come up with the best finish for the quilt. You've done an exceptional job here. Love them.

  7. I think every project in my house right now is an avoidance project!!! Good luck with yours!

  8. I guess my question is how much ugly fabric do you have? Those are small pieces and I do like what you have done, but how much time do you want to spend on ugly fabric? :~) Are you throwiing the scraps from cutting away? I hope so! lol


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