This particular type of mess can mean only one thing...
I'm working on a new beach scene. For the last few days, I've been carefully auditioning, positioning, selecting and cutting each piece of fabric for this quilt. Its the slowest part, because each piece needs choosing separately, then has to be cut to the right shape, and they all have to work together. It got a whole lot worse before it got better, too! I kept running out of space to see all my fabric options!
Now all the pieces are pinned roughly to their foundations (the water has 13 sections, the beach 5 and the sun and sky are all one), and tomorrow I will start sewing them together. This is a really satisfying stage, because it's where I get to see how seamlessly they blend together. This time I've pinned the whole thing up on the foam sheets I use for photographing my quilts, which has enabled me to spot and correct a few errant pieces early - even if the lighting doesn't show the colours too accurately here. On the left are some prepared appliques I'll add once the piecing is done.
I've been building my stash of reef, ocean, water, sand, beach and sky fabrics since my first beach scene about 8 years ago. Since then, I've made nine more, and this is the tenth. Most are quite different. These quilts always involve a lot of fabric handing, and I've now refolded and tidied them, ready to go away. Except, I've just had some good news which means I'll need to be making the eleventh one soon - so I might just leave them out!
Out of interest's sake, once the piecing is done, I'm actually going to count up how many different fabrics have gone into the quilt. I estimate under a third of what I got out. While I have a few prints which I use in almost every beach scene, the selection varies almost by chance every time, largely depending on the first piece I choose.