I'm nearly finished a holiday gift project that I started when I finished the tropical quilt, and for once I'm trying to edit myself a little more with the embellishments. Curbing my enthusiasm for beading and lace helps prevent the stitchwork from getting buried. For example, one panel ready for embellishment started out looking like this:
And now is looking like this:
I originally had lace motifs all over the blocks, on the intersecting corners of the ribbons, etc. It looked very fancy -- and very crowded. More is not always better; sometimes it's just more. So I limited myself to two lovely motifs so my embroidery wouldn't get lost in the details.
Here's another example of less versus more:
When you're telling a story, you're giving a reader a lot to remember just with the people, places and plot you create. So when you do get into the details, remember to choose carefully what you embellish, and make sure all your other elements don't end up eclipsed by the fripperies.
I tend to write like I quilt, too -- bare bones first, establishing a solid foundation by focusing on the dialogue and characters and action. Later during my daily edit I'll add the embellishments (although not always; sometimes a scene comes out on the page with all the sensory bells and whistles from the get-go.)
How do you handle writing all the little details? Share your wisdom in comments.