Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Exploring Collaboration: Myths

If you've been following along, Karen Bolan and I have been exploring different aspects of collaboration together, then reflecting on our conversations on our blogs. You can find the first two entries in our series here on my blog and on Karen's blog as well.

 This week Karen and I are exploring some of the myths that might keep you from jumping on the collaboration bandwagon. If you're like me, you might make up stories in your head about things that "might happen" if you collaborate with other quilters. And, I'm not going to lie, some of them might! But there are ways to avoid them and ways to deal with them when they do. Here are just a couple of collaboration myths that I've faced.

#1 Others in the group might not follow through.
Possible. However, in my experience, it doesn't happen as often as you might think! Most people who sign up for a collaborative experience really want to be there. If you've carefully selected your collaborative partners and established clear rules for the group as I discussed in my earlier post, chances are everyone will do their best to participate fully. 

What do you do if members are not reliable? Here are some things to consider...
- if you are in charge of the group, you can talk to the person and work out a solution. Often life just happens and the collaborator might be overwhelmed or embarrassed that they can't do their part. Communication is key! Can a deadline be extended? Can someone else fill in for the person until they are able to rejoin? Does the person really need to back away permanently? All are valid.

- show lots of grace! I've found that this is an important factor in all aspects of life, but especially when I'm collaborating with others. Forgive and move on.

#2 I won't end up with enough blocks to complete my quilt.
This is closely related to myth #1. First of all, you will ALWAYS have enough to make a quilt. It may not be the king sized bed quilt you envisioned, but it will indeed be a quilt! Some things to think about...

- try to go into collaboration with an open mind. Expect the unexpected! You may end up short a few blocks, blocks may be different than you had originally pictured. Colors may vary, sizes, techniques... it's ok. Whatever you receive reflects the group you are working with.
- if you want the quilt to be bigger, add more blocks of your own, add sashing or borders to the blocks you receive or even lots of negative space. It's your quilt in the end! 
This bee quilt was intended to be for my queen sized bed, but some blocks did not arrive! I added tons of negative space. When folded right, it makes a beautiful bed runner across the foot of my bed.  When a few blocks arrived late, after I had already pieced the quilt, I made some matching throw pillows and was able to use them all.

I wanted my Japanese x and + quilt to be bigger. Making one giant block added interest to my quilt and went faster than creating four extra blocks
- you can always make a smaller quilt! Small wall quilts can be very impactful.

These are just a couple of collaboration myths you might encounter. Karen is addressing different myths on her blog today. Check back in two weeks when we'll have more thoughts about collaboration!

1 comment:

Debbie said...

Thanks for exploring this topic. Good to know what you might be up against, but also that it's usually worth it!