Part of the problem is that while I like manipulating fabric and doing lots of dense stitching, what I actually like to wear, and have around me is very pared down and fuss free. So fuss free in fact that I often don't bother showing them here for fear of boring you to death. I like things to be utilitarian and devoid of fussiness, and grey and navy blue are my favourite colours (some people have Dita Von Tease as a style icon, I have Chairman Mao).
So, how to get around this dilemma? How to satisfy my need to be stitchy, and combine it with making things I'll actually use? Well, I think the answer might be in handmade books. I've done bookbinding before, firstly at college when training as a graphic designer, then intermittently over the years on evening courses. (Funnily enough, the teacher on the part-time bookbinding course I most recently attended, is the same one who first taught me nearly 30 years ago!).
With a book, I can make the pages as fussy as I please. I can play with colours (such as the yellow and lilacs in the chain stitch example) that I would never normally use, but really rather like. Making samples and storing them in a handmade book will become a long term project in itself, even though the samples need only be around A4 in size. A book can be a collection of random samples, yet still have use as a single source of reference. It's just a pity I didn't think of this before I assembled my quilt top, as then, some of the blocks would have found their way into the book instead of languishing in a bag, at the back of a cupboard.