Wednesday, May 22

A Different Kind of Creativity

kristina knight, quilting, contemporary romance
Liz and I have something in common. Well, something aside from 1) writing romance and 2) being WordWranglers and 3) being friends. We like to quilt. Although, I'll wager that Liz is much better than I am.

A corner that doesn't quite match up? Doesn't bug me. It bugs the bejayjay out of my MIL, who's a master quilter...and I've talked quilting with Liz and I think she and my MIL are of like minds on this one.

My latest project was a softbook quilt - you know, fabric books? Yeah, but instead of making a book, I lay out the 'pages' as quilt squares and create readable art (in my humble opinion). I love this quilt, its for my niece, who just turned 3 and is a bit of a messy princess, just like the girl in this book.

Now, the big problems - I actually sewed one row upside down - were fixed. Ripped out, resewn. Sigh. But the small issues - like that one teeeeeny strip that was a millimeter off being perfect center? Yeah, I left it. My MIL got twitchy but I didn't rip it out.

"I don't know how you can do that. . .it's not perfect!" she wailed.

I just smiled. Because I've learned that there are things to stress out over and things to let go. As a writer, we have to do that. My fourth book, What a Texas Girl Dreams, releases next month. I love it. Absolutely. But I know if I opened that file, I would find things I wanted to change - little tweaks here and there. Nothing that would massively change the book and not necessarily things that would make the book better. So I don't open that file. Or any of the edits files. For any of my books.

kristina knight, quilting, contemporary romanceInstead, when I finish a book, I put it in a folder marked COMPLETE and it goes into a little hidey-hole in my larger Documents folder, where it can live in peace.

Like the finished quilt to the right, it's better off out of my hands at this point. Because it is as perfect as I can make it, and it's time to start another project. Tell another story. Sew another quilt.

How do you let go of your projects?

14 comments:

  1. I LOVE those quilts! I've made a bunch of them, too, but I really love the book you used on this one. I don't think I've seen it before. Oh, and BTW?--I'm with you on things not matching up; I just WANT to be like your mother-in-law. Great post, Kristi.

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  2. My friend Kim is like Liz and your MIL. SHe quilts and if they're not perfect, they don't leave her house.

    I just have to quit, to move on. Otherwise, I'd spend a lifetime on one project.

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  3. If it's perfect, it's not handmade. It's not unique.

    I've crocheted blankets and tablecloths. The little mistakes are what make it MINE! Now, if it were something major (like an upside square), I'd fix it. Maybe. :)

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  4. Ah, Liz, I've pulled you to the dark side (okay, not really)! :D I love this book, it's by Joy Allen.

    D'Ann, I get to that point, too...and then the distance comes and I think, "well..." and that's when I shut myself down. Nothing good will come of it! lol

    Stacy, that is so true. Handmade is perfect in its own way, even with those little bobbles.

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  5. Surprisingly, as OCD as I am, I have no trouble finishing my books. I just know when they are done and then I close the book, lol, and never look back. If I didn't I'd drive myself crazy with what I should have done :)
    Love your quilts, Kristina! I used to cross-stitch, but haven't since my kids were little.

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  6. you should take it up again, Jennifer! I've found quilting is a great way to work out plot-problems...I think anything creative-but-different can do that!

    I've learned to let go and move forward...but there is always a little devil inside that wants just one more peek. lol

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  7. This doesn't have thing to do with your question--just a comment on the darling quilt. Makes me want to be a little girl again.

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  8. Glad you like it, CJ! I think it's kinda cute, myself. :D

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  9. Love the quilt. Lucky niece! I'm a terrible sewer--I even stitch-witchery my hems to avoid sewing. I really enjoy cross-stitching--even if it's been a while.

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  10. I think this is part of the personality you need to be a successful, prolific writer. You have to be able to say "enough" and move on. Because like you said, we can always find more things to change. But if we never quit changing, we can never be done.

    Awesome analogy! :)

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  11. I *love* the stich-witch, Margie (shhhhh, don't tell my MIL)!!

    Totally agree, Piper...thanks for coming by today!

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  12. Kristina, Belated congrats on your award which you really, really deserved. I've learned so much just lurking around you.

    I quilt. I had the MIL and other grandma and greatgrandmomma draw and color crayon quilts for five kiddos. They are all artistic which showed in their works. The fabric books would have been much easier. Great job with texture on the pinks. Kids love texture.

    I need to loosen up my own standards so I can accomplish more.

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  13. I wish I could quilt but I can't work a sewing machine to save my life. Before I jumped into the world of publishing I cross-stitched. I loved it! I think your quilt is beautiful, Kristi.

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  14. That's a neat idea for the quilt. I get crafty sometimes, too, but I'm not much of a perfectionist in my crafts. They are entirely imperfect, but also entirely entertain me between writing books. LOL

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