Moon Tree


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!

23 comments:

  1. That is so great! Don't you just love the little imaginations they have! Its good to feed into that. I love this quilt, but I am like you and it would be way out of my comfort zone too. It does look pretty great though.

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  2. I just love this quilt. It is very artistic and the colors together are wonderful. Your quilts are very inspiring.

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  3. I love your process on this quilt. That you came to the conclusion that "liberated" quilt making is not for you is just fantastic! I love when I learn something about my sewing style and just generally become more comfortable doing what I love to do. By the way, this quilt is a stunner, for real. The colors and shapes are just gorgeous and your quilting is lovely too.

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  4. Don't you love when your kids like what you do???

    I don't enjoy the process of liberated quiltmaking, either. I'm glad to hear I am not alone. For me it is very stressful. I like for all the "thinking" and decisions to be on the front end of my quilt. I love writing new patterns and sketching and figuring up what I need. By the time the sewing machine turns out, though, I just want to sew kind of mindlessly. Seeing what was on my graph paper come to life is what I love. I think the liberated quilts are cute...just not fun for me to actually make.

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  5. thanks for iterating that we should do what makes us happy. We don't all have to make one-of-a-kind original masterpieces all the time. Sometimes the fun is in taking the pattern, and adjusting it ever so slightly to make it your own. Glad to hear you had some self-discovery and bonding with your son!

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  6. Well, I love the quilt (and love that your son "got" it). But I completely agree with your thoughts on improv - I haven't done much of it, but what I have done has been difficult and not enjoyable. I'm a planner. I can't help it, that's just me. Gotta go with your strengths. : )

    BTW, just because you're not doing improv doesn't mean you're not being creative! I've said it before and I'll say it again: Putting your own spin on somebody else's pattern IS creative, IMO (as long as you give credit where it's due).

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  7. Aren’t kids the most intuitive people? My kids pick up on so many things I’d never notice or take the time to glance at. Your quilt is so pretty, I love the colors on it. Good for you for trying out the liberated quilt making! I was thinking about doing that, but I am such an “orderly” person, I don’t know if my brain could handle it LOL!

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  8. Thank you, thank you, for talking about your process and what you found out about your quilting style. Sometimes I feel like I need to be totally improvisational without a plan to be a "modern" quilter. I have my own style and it is what it is.
    And I'm okay with that.

    P.S. I LOVE 3-year-olds! My 4-year-old granddaughter and almost 3-year-old grandson are a constant source of inspiration and entertainment!

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  9. Thank-you for sharing you real thoughts about this process. Interesting and so genuine. And it all worked out so well in the end for someone that really matters - your son!

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  10. This is a beautiful tree quilt! I love the leaves and the arrangement of the colors. Very beautiful! I also have the book that you referenced and it filled with inspiration.

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  11. This quilt is beautiful. And very calm. The effect is so completely different than your experience of the process.

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  12. While my conclusions regarding improv are the exact opposite, I applaud you for trying hard, staying committed to the project, and forming your own conclusions. What's important is that we are happy creating, whatever we create.

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  13. I really like this piece! good for you for stepping outside of what you know!

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  14. Three-year olds are absolutely the best!! My granddaughter is my best critic - when I show her a new quilt, she'll stop what she's doing, look at it very carefully, think about it for a minute, and then render her opinion - usually, "Nana, that's beautiful!" That child knows how to earn her keep! So after looking at yours, I will say, "Jolene, that's beautiful!" In an interesting and unique way, it speaks to me. And I applaud you for stepping outside your comfort zone, AND for realizing that you don't have to do that to be happy! Good work!!

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  15. I love love love love love this quilt and its story and you husband and your son - that is all so great. I'm with you, I can't do "imrpov" unless I've measured it all out beforehand which kind of defeats of the object! I bought the Gwen Marston book which I like but there's a Jean Wells book, called something like intuitive colour and design which is amazing and I loved everything about it. I still can't really do improv though. Your blog is so great now - it's come to life.

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  16. What an awesome story! And what an awesome way to come to understand what you like and don't like in your quilting.

    I think that many of us don't even stop to think about our "style." We just go on doing what we've been doing and don't push ourselves to try new things and we never do learn about what we truly like and don't like about our craft.

    And, the three year old...well, he's just PRICELESS! Give him an extra kiss for me, lol!

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  17. I enjoyed hearing about the process!

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  18. It's great that you stepped outside your comfort zone on this, even if it wasn't entirely comfortable. I enjoy the liberated quiltmaking style, but I understand that the exact opposite is fun for a lot of people. It's awesome how kids are able to pick up the things in art that we've been trained too much to appreciate as adults.

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  19. oops - my husband's google account was signed in above!

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  20. This quilt is wonderful. I love to quilt like this. I usually use bright colors, but now you have inspired me to use some of these colors. Great job!

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  21. Just found your blog and I love it. I love this quilt and the sweet story with your son.

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