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Changing Quilts in Mid-Stream

Changing Quilts in Mid-Stream

By Janelle Cahoon, Quiltcentric

It occurred to me the other day that very few of my quilts have ended up the way I planned them when I started out, and that the ones I’m most proud of are the ones that veered most from their intended plan.

Has it happened to you?

What I find is that I’m cutting and sewing along quite happily, and then a little whisper starts in the back of my mind, saying, “But what if …?”

If I ignore it, it just gets louder, so I almost always try whatever it is – maybe a different fabric or setting, maybe some appliqué.  Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.  Sometimes that one change leads to another.  And another.

In the end, I believe, listening to that whisper and making those changes are what leads to a more creative and beautiful quilt.  These are the quilts I’m most satisfied with.

The quilts where I’ve ignored that urge to make changes mid-stream and stuck to the initial plan are often quilts where I’m not quite happy with the result.  There’s nothing wrong with them.  They’re pretty quilts.  But when I look at them I wonder how much better they could have been if I’d listened to that “what if?”


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