Usually when I start a project I take time to plan it all out. I often sketch rough drawings to get a clearer idea of what I am trying to achieve. But sometimes, I simply get an idea in my head and I go at it with only a vision and a lot of enthusiasm. Occasionally things go awry--but my dahlia pillow was the result of a mistake I made and I loved how that turned out, so I don't usually worry too much, unless my materials are expensive and I don't want to screw them up. Generally speaking though, things work out.
For instance, right before Christmas I got the idea to make some white ruffled placemats. Simple enough I figured, so I just started cutting and sewing with a vague idea in my head and modified it as I went along. A short time later I had four cute ruffled placemats:
I took them to the shop to set up a table under the snowflake mobile I made. And that would have been that, except. . .
A day or two later one of the shop girls called to tell me that a woman wanted to buy them, but she wondered if I could make four more because she needed eight. Of course I said yes--then I scrambled to remember the dimensions and how long I had cut the ruffle strips and how far from the edge had I sewn them anyway? It is a good thing I had made four, because having done it four times I remembered most everything, and luckily the one thing I couldn't remember (the ruffle width and length) I had cut an extra one the first time, so it was still sitting there in my workroom. I'd show you, but of course I rushed them right over and didn't take a picture.
You would think this would be a lesson in writing things down--but as I type this, I realize I STILL didn't write down the instructions and sizes. Well actually, I did scratch down the dimensions from memory before I made the second set, but who the heck knows where I put THAT piece of paper.
So the moral of this story? Write down what I did--and put it in a safe place where I will find it again. It will really make my life easier.