This quilt has put a lot of different thoughts in my head, and I'm not sure I can get them out cohesively, but I'll try. I think I've learned a few things about myself, my style of quilting, etc...
For Christmas I received Liberated Quiltmaking II (which I absolutely love!! I'll give a little review sometime), and I also received some money to purchase a couple more books, so I was busy researching. I snooped around FunQuilts a bit, and saw one of the quilts on this page, called Leaves. I think it must have been the inspiration for the quilt you see here.
So, after reading Gwen's Liberated Quiltmaking, and having dived into some of this other heavy discussion on improv quilts, art quilt, etc., I decided to make this quilt with NO planning. I started out by making my own template for the ovals, originally planning to use a layout similar to the Leaves quilt. Then it somehow morphed into a tree idea, with the leaves going up both sides of the trunk. This entire time, I MADE myself work as I went along.
But you know what I found out? I don't like making quilts this way. I normally start out with a picture in my mind of what the finished quilt will look like. Now, the finished product rarely resembles this first picture. In fact, I often don't even remember what I was thinking of originally, but I always have a goal in mind as I work. I felt out of control the whole time I was working on it. Now, maybe that's a good thing, but it wasn't really fun or relaxing.
So, this quilt makes me feel good in the way that when I look at it, I know that I made myself come up with something completely out of my comfort zone. But, as a finished product, I can't say that I LoVE it.
(my favorite spot on the quilt)
So, here's what I learned: it's OK for me to make quilts that are 'cookie-cutter'. It's OK to make quilts from patterns. It's OK to take inspiration from other's quilts (just DONT pass it off as your own super-duper new idea)
It's also kind of fun to come up with something wierd looking, like a Moon Tree, but I'm not gonna make myself do it unless I feel like it!
But here's the one thing I really do LoVe about this quilt. It's hanging in my three-year-old son's room. Wonder why? While I had these leaves up on the design wall, I asked my husband what he thought. He mentioned a few things, but just couldn't see that they looked like leaves. He just didn't "get" the tree thing. (He's very appreciative of my quilting and all, I'm just saying :)
The other day, I had just finished quilting this quilt, and had it folded in half over my sewing room chair. The "trunk" of the tree was folded underneath so it couldn't be seen. My little boy came into the room, noticed the quilt, and said, "Mommy, is that a tree quilt?" I paused in slight amazement and said yes it was. Then he asked, "but where's the stick part of the tree?" (meaning the trunk) I picked up the quilt, held it up for him to see, and asked him if he could see it. Without hesitation he pointed to the vertical strips which were indeed what I had meant to be the tree trunk.
So he effectively made my day. And now he's pretty pleased with his new wall art!
P.S. I haven't forgotten about the giveaway. The winners have been contacted and I'll post them soon!