Out-takes from my book

While you are designing on the wall, do yourself a favor and take pix of everything as you go along. You never know when you will need them, even if they are ideas or arrangements you rejected. Trust me on this.

As I was experimenting with "what if?" and writing, I shot pictures as I worked -- just for the record. Here's one of the blocks that went into the quilt that is on the cover of my book. When I photographed this experimental block, I didn't know where it would end up -- but I kept going.

Then I found a stack of leftover string blocks from years earlier and since I was writing a chapter on modern strings, I experimented with those, cutting them the same way I had sliced the gray squares.

When I put four of them together, here is what they looked like. Uh -- not book material.

I kept going and played with a variety of ways to set them. And took pictures -- one of which ended up on my Instagram page about a year ago.

But I couldn't decide, and didn't have time to keep playing because I was still making work for the book. SO I just sewed them together like this. I hated it, so I put it away and forgot about it. Obviously, it never made it into the book.

Fast forward to this week. As I was unpacking, this thing surfaced again. And coincidentally, I found a photo I had taken of the previous incarnation I couldn't decide about. Ha! Of course! Why did I give up on it? No time to play.

Fortunately, I have time now. I got out the seam ripper and took it apart. Happily, because I had the photo to guide me, I was able to put it back on the design wall the way it had been a year ago. Otherwise, I would never have remembered. Now I am tweaking it and sewing it together, so stay tuned.

PHOTOS, people!! When you are working improvisationally, do you take frequent photos at each stage or with each change? If not, why not? And if so, has it made a difference in your work?

 all text & images ©rayna gillman 2019