During my podcast with Victoria Findlay Wolfe, she talked about how she uses her “15 minutes of play” exercises to start her sewing sessions or when she has an idea she has to get out of her head before she can continue working on something else. I frequently have ideas that pop in my head but I normally sketch them out with pen and paper. I love the idea of seeing them in fabric. Recently, we have had a few changes in our household and I have limited amounts of sewing time. Like an addict, I just want a “little bit of something” to tide me over until I have time for a larger project. The 15 minutes of play is my “little bit of something”. For five days, I decided to keep track of my 15 minutes of play exercises, record how I felt and show you what I made.
Day 1: Green and Gray Scraps
For my first day of play, I decided to make something with my green scrap bucket. For some reason, I have A LOT of green scraps. I decided to grab the grey scraps to accompany the greens. At first, I was incredibly anxious to get as much done as possible in my 15 minutes. I was cutting without a ruler and just playing with the first scraps I grabbed out of my bucket. My color combinations gravitated to keeping the greens and the greys together. I kept thinking about making this slab quilt from crazy mom quilts.
Day 2: Black and Pink Strips
I grabbed my red/pink box of scraps and found strips of various lengths on the top. I decided I would grab whatever fit in my hand and combine them with black solid fabric already sitting on my sewing table. Less worried about time this session, I really enjoyed playing with the strips and not being worried about what came next. I love the eye photo bomb strip! Ultimately, I love how the black solid became my constant design feature to pull in the rest of the strips. I can see myself making a quilt like this in the future.
Day 3: Yellow with a Pop of Orange
I could not get rid of my desire to make a slab block so I grabbed yellow scraps. The pop of orange became a focal point. I found it was really hard not to piece it into a log cabin. As I kept working with my scraps, my love for buttery yellow has increased ten fold. Now that I realized how much I could get done in 15 minutes, I was more relaxed and enjoyed my sewing time this session.
Day 4: Browns with Solids
At one quilt guild meeting, we asked quilters what color fabric they had the least of in their stash. Can you believe some people said purple!?! (I kid. I know purple is not as popular as I would like it to be!) Even though purple came in second, the number one color was brown. I like a deep brown and feel like it goes with almost every color. I decided I would tackle my brown scraps next. My initial thought was to partner the purple and brown scraps together. I made one piece and changed my mind. (You can see it in the top left corner.) Instead I decided to use one piece of brown fabric as the focal piece and match solids around it. I was really pleased with my result. Maybe I can convert other quilters to like brown and purple… maybe…
Day 5: Purple and Green
You knew purple was going to happen at some point, right? I decided to add solids around a few of my favorite scraps. On this day, I focused on careful cutting and pressing. I was happier with the end result. For some reason, I associated my 15 minutes of play with ruler free play. After four exercises, I realized ruler free does not work for me during these exercises. I wanted to play and have the end result look great.
I am so glad I pursued my 15 minutes of play. It will now be added to my creative exercises when I get stumped or quickly want to play. Victoria has written a book about her process called 15 Minutes of Play. To learn more about the book, you can also read Daisy’s review. Have you ever tried a creativity boasting exercise before a sewing session? What was it and what did you think about it?