I gave myself rules: one a day, improvisational, don't get hung up on it, only allowed to change one colour per day, 4 1/2 inch finished, straight line quilting.
It's been a real eye opener for me regarding what my preferred colours are, what works with improv quilting and how the proportions of colour really change the end product. I got sick of pink so fast...
What has also been very useful is making a quick cropping tool.
I took a sheet of paper (I have a roll of brown butchers paper that never seems to get any smaller and is incredibly useful) and cut a five inch square out of it. I should have actually cut a 4 1/2 inch square because that's my finished size, but I was worried I'd mark my sides and then cut them without thinking, ending up with 4 inches....
Look how it helps me see possible end compositions:
And here's what I finished with:
Below are three of my most recent; numbers 20, 21, and 22. I broke my rules and made three in one day with the same colours as I found this colour combination so compelling, and there was something really clicking with my piecing that day. I felt as if I was really reaching something I had been looking for.
Do you crop? And how do you feel about cutting off precious bits of quilt? And do you break your own rules!?