Saturday, December 12, 2015

Allietare Matched Sets


If part of my intention with this project, Bonnie Hunter's 2015-16 Mystery Quilt "Allietare," is to figure out why all my projects seem to take forever, then this past week has been a huge success!

The answer is "scope creep." Scope creep is a term in product or program development, when the thing you are making gets fancier and fancier, until the project is both late and way over budget. Say you are building a house, and then halfway through you decide you need bigger windows. And some extra cupboards in the kitchen. That's scope creep.

Right before the clue came out for Week 2, I decided that since I don't know the whole picture with this mystery quilt, I will just focus on the details. Then the clue was published, and it called for 20 matched sets of these red flying geese:


And somehow, between "matched sets" and "details," I became obsessed with the idea that some of my fabrics could be fussy cut. Not those ones above, but these fabrics below:


Those fans in the first fabric would fit exactly into one of those red flying geese. And wouldn't it be cool to match up the Oriental Trees in the bottom fabric? And then I had to decide how best to do it, and that used up the rest of the weekend. By Monday I simply couldn't think about it any more, and I decided to work on those Christmas Crumbs instead. That gave me enough perspective to see sense! Was I going to do the same thing when it came time to cut the gold fabrics? No way! And any way I cut it, it was going to waste fabric.

I did try it out with the stripes:


Then to cap it off, I realized that the fussy cut pieces were going to end up too far apart for the effect to work. My best guess for how the pieces will be used looks like this:


Fussy cutting makes no difference at all! I cut the remaining fabric normally. I did match up similar colours though:


And, it's fun to play around with the pieces:



But, the whole experience has now made me clearly aware of how corrosive scope creep can be. It's not just that it slowed down this project, but it also sent me haring off to start other projects as well. I realized that I've done the same thing many times before.

And ultimately, scope creep is bad design. It's much better to have a single cohesive concept than to try to fit every idea I ever had into the same project. Good design is something that I take seriously, and I'm hoping that will be the thing I remember in future. If I'm not completely immune now, at least I'm inoculated!

I missed the Week 2 link up, but you can still see everyone else's work here. Week 3 looks pretty straightforward, so it is a good chance to catch up. Heck, Mary Ellen finished her Week 3 pieces in one day, so I should be ready by Monday, right? ;)

See you again soon!

13 comments:

  1. I love your comment about scope creep! I worked in Aerospace before I retired and that is something we all think about during the design phase of a project. It can kill a budget! It's good to try and figure out whether the fussy cutting makes a difference, and then realize it doesn't and now you can save fabric and money.

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  2. I'm not familiar with the term "scope creep", but I am certainly familiar with it's concept. It too has followed me throughout my life, and I appreciate your bringing our attention to it's corrosive properties. Maybe we will all learn to take a "chill pill" more often and enjoy the process without all of the angst.

    Your "Allietare" is coming along beautifully. Great fabrics regardless of which way you cut them.

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    1. Even though I've known about the concept for a long time, now I really see how it is affecting my work. It's making me rethink a lot of things!

      Thanks! :D

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  3. Scope creep was a big issue in my last 15 years of paid employment! This has been a big learning curve. I do like the colour matching though - it has added quie a lot - unlike the fussy cutting!

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    1. Thanks, Jillian! It is one thing, I'm finding, to know something intellectually, and a whole different thing to really viscerally understand its impact. Change is afoot around here!

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  4. Thanks for giving me the correct term for my behavior! I feel relieved to know it is "normal"!

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  5. scope creep is a new saying to me but can see how it applies to a lot of us! Loving the pinks you have used ere flying geese looking so good

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  6. So that's what it's called. I wonder if it's worse because you're second guessing what comes next? I like your fabrics so it will be interesting to see what happens next with this.

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  7. Beautiful units for clue 2, love your colors.

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  8. Your fabrics and colors are beautiful. Since I rarely have a plan, I can't call it scope creep. To me it's fretting. And I do that a lot more than I'd like to admit. :-) Lots of good information in this post. There's a balance between trying various options and moving ahead.

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  9. Monica, I'm mired in scope creep at times! What an eye opening concept!!! This was the first that I have heard of it. I enjoyed the photos of playing with clue three!--Terry

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    1. Thanks, Terry! It's been eye-opening for me too, I've been reconsidering a lot of projects. And now I'm really keen to get on with them!

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  10. I agree with you. Fussy cutting is overthinking it with a scrap quilt. Scope creep? I am probably guilty of the opposite - cutting corners where it won't show or otherwise matter.

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! It is well appreciated. Happy stitching!

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