Did you know that “productive procrastination” is a thing? I’m talking about choosing to do something valuable while actively choosing not to do something else valuable. For example, you could choose to dust your living room rather than call your mom. Or vice versa. What I’m not talking about is getting lost for hours in Pinterest or Instagram photos, searching for inspiration you’ll never actually act on. Or clicking through Facebook or online news ceaselessly, looking for something new to read or respond to.
Right now, I’m putting off writing about my trip to Peru, and all the tasks that are included in that: identifying photos to share; framing my memories so they are meaningful for you, too; considering how those memories have shaped my creativity, even just a little. And I’m also putting off re-starting one of my quilting projects with the benefit of my new perspectives.
Instead, I am working on another VA Hospital quilt. Certainly that is worthy of the time involved. I can’t pretend that it is a high priority — there is no deadline. On the other hand, there’s no deadline for my purely creative adventures, either.
It started when I opened a drawer of orphan blocks, parts, and binding leftovers. I found a bunch of these, dull and dismal puss-in-the-corner blocks. (They didn’t qualify as a UFO by my definition, as they were not “a project” themselves. They were just orphan blocks, parts waiting in inventory until useful or otherwise disposed of.)
They finished at 6″, more or less. The fabric is not particularly nice. And they certainly aren’t pretty. But could they be useful?
(This reminds me of the very silly public television show, The Red Green Show. He is famous for saying, “If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.“)
So what can you do with 10 not-pretty blocks? I decided to use them within a disappearing 9-patch quilt. Mix them in with enough other, prettier fabrics, and they’ll be okay.
When I make disappearing 9-patches, I like to use an accent color for the centers of the 9-patches. It also is helpful to have value contrast between the large corner patches and the side-centers, which become the “legs.” As I picked through fabrics, I decided to stick with dark greens and dusky blues for the corner patches, rusty oranges for the accent center patches, and lighter pieces for the legs.
I made nine large, ugly 9-patches using 6″ finish blocks. All the blocks were unpieced except my green and tan puss-in-the-corner blocks.
After completing the 9-patches, I sliced each into four pieces, arranged them, and stitched them into a quilt top. The top is now finished.
(Honestly, it’s better looking in person than it is in the photos.)
I’ll need to build a quilt back, quilt it, and bind it. But it will wait as I have another task to tackle in the next few days, one with an actual deadline.
What are you working on? Are you procrastinating, forging ahead, or doing both in turn?