03 September, 2009

Workshop Launch

Asking for your opinions on the Water quilt layouts turned out to be a bit of an experiment. When the idea came into my head to share the design process with you I merely hoped to share with you my own thoughts and design development. To be honest, after playing with the layouts I was pretty sure what I wanted to do, or at least the direction I wanted to go (v4 was my favourite at that time). But by the middle of the week I was getting quite excited to read your opinions and insights. Fresh eyes on my work made me see things very differently.  Thank-you for that. I had new ideas to test out and I took a step back to evaluate my goals with the project as a whole.

Some people commented that I either had a thick skin or that I was brave.  Interestingly, I didn’t see it either way.  I saw it as an opportunity to get some input on a design struggle. Quilting can be such an insular activity these days – despite blogging and on-line quilt bees. Sharing my designs was a way to share a bit of me and hopefully solicit the opinions of other creative folks.  You know, two heads are better than one.

With such a positive experience I want to encourage you to open up your creative process to the rest of the blog world.  I'm launching Workshop in Progress today.

Workshop is Progress is merely you committing to being open to other people's opinions. Maybe you are stuck on a fabric choice or layout?  Maybe you ran out of the perfect border fabric and need ideas to help you finish the quilt?  Maybe you are stuck for ideas on quilting patterns?  There are an amazing number of talented quilters, artists, crafters, and designers out there who could help you out. All you have to do is ask. Welcome to the on-line version of a workshop.

Open up your process – pick one project, or all of them.  And instead of providing snippets or glimpes of the work, show it all.  The fabric choices, the pattern intent, the construction process, the mistakes, the struggles, the finished top, the backing choice, quilting, binding decisions, and finishing.

Once you've gathered the courage to open up, all you have to do is grab the button below by right clicking on the image, saving it somewhere on your computer where you can find it, and add a widget (if you are on Blogger or whatever it is on Typepad or Wordpress) where you can post the image and link back to this post. Then send me an email so I can add your blog to a running list here. 


This will only work if you also visit the other blogs and share your opinion there.  It takes a lot for many of us to open ourselves to potential criticism or simply to open up, so have the courtesy to share your opinion as well as ask for others.

A couple of basic rules for this, more matters of respect than guidelines.

1. Let me know by email (mamaark (at) gmail (dot) com) that you are participating so I can add you to the list here.

2. Be honest with your choices and your own thoughts about what you are sharing.  For example, if you are in love with some fabrics and will not entertain the idea of them not in the project then say that.

3. Be kind with your opinions, but be honest. You should say that something doesn't work for you in a design, but don't just say you hate it and run. Explain your opinion and be nice about it.

4. Be open to what people tell you.  It is amazing how it can change the way you see your work. 

5.  But don't feel like you need to change what you've done/are doing because of what someone else says if you really like it. This isn't high-pressure quilting.

6. Have fun, explore, create.

16 comments:

2ndAvenueStudio-Rachel said...

count me in! I love this idea... Im beginning a new work (new style new construction style etc) after I sew up the top I am working on...
Im excited about it but would love new opinions... Someone sent me a fabric for it and it was perfect but I never would have used it if it wasn't for someone else's opinion..
Just count me in...
I also really like the idea of serious commentary..like in college art class..

Tonya said...

I love this idea, very well said. I am definitely in. I often struggle with something and wish I had a second opinion, or third, and forth, etc.

Kris said...

I love how well you put this. I started my blog in order to get this kind of feedback since I don't know anyone is real life who's actually interested in being part of the process. Count me in! I have a project that I already have in mind for this. :) Thank you!

Bowlby said...

Thanks for this! What a great idea.

True Blue Nana said...

This is a great idea. I definitely want to be a part of it.

amandajean said...

i'm on board. i know i really appreciated feedback when I was designing my bento box as I went... so helpful to have other eyes/opinions on the matter.

elle said...

YES! and ditto and for sure, etc. I'm in! I just need to figure out widgets! BUT- Today I'm a 'naptime' quilter so I'll figure widgets tomorrow! LOL
THANKS! from Gram'elle

Cristin said...

Great idea, count me in! I love getting others opinions and thought especially if I'm stuck on a design or layout! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous idea. I have been wanting to find a group like this in my city, but this is great, and I don't have to leave home. I will however, have to start a blog! .....

Karen in Edmonton

KT said...

Count me in! I've just started quilting and it would be great to get feedback on my ideas because, like Kris said, I don't have anyone I can ask in my offline life.

I'm about to start a quilt for my cousin's new baby, so this is perfect timing!

Sue said...

I'm in, I would like others to 'critique' my work, I really value others opinions.

Fulvia said...

Good for you for starting this virtual critique process (NOT to be confused with criticism). It will be very interesting to follow and, possibly, jump in. Thanks!

Amy - Park City Girl said...

Sounds like fun! I liked seeing/participating in your water layouts :)

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Lesly (aka Shadrach Meshach and Abednego) said...

Dang, I'm sorry I missed this - what a good idea and a great way to get real, considered opinions. All I have is my husband, who thinks everything looks good as everything else, and my teenage daughter, who just says "meh". I'm going to follow your blog so that I don't miss any more of your great ideas (and your work is beautiful!).

Jody said...

I'm glad you mentioned this on my blog Cheryl as I'm currently trying to finish a quilt and I'm indecisive about my binding. Would definitely love other people's input....while I love my husband, he just doesn't cut it on decisions regarding fabric:)
Thanks Jody!!