What is your most avoided chore? It’s folding laundry for me. I let it pile up! So, when I find myself wanting to just sit down and fold laundry, I know I’m hiding from a problem!
In the real world, we can’t avoid problems like taxes or paying bills for very long, but what about in quilting?
Quilting is a bit tricking, because quilting for most of us is a hobby. It’s easy to avoid problems, because we *literally* don’t have to do it. So, when we come up against trouble, like a color problem, we might choose not to work through it.
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What would a Growing Creative do?
If we want to get better at color or design, we need to be able to recognize when we’re having a problem. And that means listening in for sneaky symptoms. I want us to be smarter quilters. Instead of hiding from our color troubles or hiding from whatever trouble we’re facing inside our quilt room or a quilt space, I want us to recognize when we’re struggling. That way we can figure out what the problem is and start making plans and start taking steps to address it.
So let’s talk through some of these symptoms that you might be experiencing.
Let’s Keep it Light
Before we get into diagnosing our symptoms, I want to pause here to give permission to have fun with this exercise. Let’s keep this light!
I want us to have a little bit of fun here because many times we can take ourselves a little too seriously. We can easily get wrapped up in working on a serious quilt project, and forget to have fun. So as I’m going through these color symptoms, please know that I’m being a little silly here. So, let’s keep this light and breezy!
My Top 9 Symptoms of Color Trouble:
For many people, myself included, choosing color can be a royal pain! Let me be the first to tell you, even though I’ve written two books (one with a color theme!), hosted a monthly column about choosing color palettes (in Love Patchwork and Quilting), and been known for my use of color, I still struggle with color.
Do you suffer from color trouble like me? Here’s a few symptoms of color trouble you may be experiencing?
Like me, you too may be experiencing symptoms of color trouble if:
- You often give up on a project because the color wasn’t what you expected or you didn’t like it.
- You always order a kit.
- Or you always only use fabric from one fabric line.
- You believe color should be easy and get frustrated when it’s not.
- You have lots and lots of patterns or plans for quilts, but have a hard time starting them because you can’t decide on the color.
- You feel like you need a better grasp on color theory.
- You’d rather do laundry (or some other dreaded chore) than choose fabrics for a new project.
- You feel like you’re in a color rut and you want to do something different.
- Or, if anything color related makes you feel as tired and overwhelmed as our pals Snow White or Barney Fife.
Using a kit or fabric bundle is completely fine. It’s incredibly easy today to choose a kit or use prescribed colors for a pattern. I do it a lot myself because sometimes just having someone else decide and do the color work is exactly what I need to enjoy sewing.
But if you’ve set a goal to improve your use of color, and you find yourself just defaulting to a kit or a fabric bundle, then that’s probably a symptom of an unaddressed problem.
How do symptoms bubble up for you?
The tricky thing is for quilting, because it’s a hobby it’s really easy to sidestep the problems completely. But if you want to be a growing creative, it’s really important to address these problems. And to diagnose the problem, we need to identify our symptoms. Sometimes, these symptoms are sneaky… and appealing! Who doesn’t love buying new fabric and starting a new project?!
So sneaky! And pretty!
So, how do symptoms of color trouble bubble up for you? Start paying attention and maybe ask yourself some hard questions. Like, am I buying this fabric because I’m avoiding a problem? Eek!
Remedies for Color Trouble
The truth is color isn’t easy and there’s no magic cure for color trouble. It is completely normal to experience any or all of the Symptoms of Color Trouble. The trick is knowing how to work through the symptoms.
Once you have a sense of how your symptoms bubble up, then we can address the root causes.