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There's a party going on at Ellison Lane Quilts.  A 5 day party at that! It starts Monday, May 2, and includes all kinds of fun stuff you may want to check out.  Giveaways... interviews...  and yes, I had a pile of fun answering some questions about myself!  Make sure to stop by there next week and look around a bit! Actually, you may not want to wait for next week.  Go check her out right now!  She just put up a great tutorial for a star block that I've got on my list, and while you're there check out her wonky log cabins quilt made from solids.  I love it!





And I couldn't wait to show you my basket quilt so far.  I'm planning on putting a scrappy piano key border around it, and then it will be a nice lap size.  But now that it's put together, I'm tempted to add another row of baskets.  I guess they're just so much fun to make that I haven't got them out of my system yet!

Nine Patch


This quilt is not rocket science.  It is nine patch blocks surrounded by white sashing.  Yes, I am doing my best to contribute to the loss of the art of quilting.  (Insert evil chuckle)

But, what this quilt lacks in intricacy and hair-pulling paper piecing, it makes up for in the cute and snuggly department.  (At least I think so!)


I used some of my favorite fabrics in all my favorite colors.  Yes, if I could choose my favorite color combo right at this point in my life, (not next week, or next year, but likely till Friday at least!!) it would be pink, bright tangerine, lime and aqua.



And, there's something about squares that are so satisfying!  I always find myself drawn to patchwork square quilts, although I do agree that it would get mighty boring if that's all we ever made!


And just one small aside here:  After my ramblings earlier about crediting our inspiration, and whether we're taking someone's idea, or whether all quilt designs are free-for-all, I felt I needed to clarify something.

When I called it rambling, I meant that I was rambling!  I did not in any way mean to imply that I thought MY ideas were anything special and that I needed to be given credit.  I really was thinking in a general sense, and the reason I'm mentioning this, is that I've noticed a few different people have linked to me or given credit in the last while since I wrote that.  First of all, I want to say "Thanks, you gave me a little buzz, and a spring in my step."  Secondly, I want to say, I've been feeling a little foolish.  I don't want you all thinking that I snoop around the online quilting world looking for people who I think may be taking my ideas.  That is not the case at all!

I still think it's a generous thing to give credit for your inspiration if you clearly were inspired by something, but I don't think it's an obligation!

Phew!! That feels better.  I was feeling a little sheepish, that I had given the impression I was entitled to recognition for any quilt you might make that might be similar to one I've made!  And that is definitely not the case!!!

Bowties


This quilt top sat on the shelf for six months.  I contemplated not finishing cause it just wasn't looking that exciting.  I finally decided to finish it, and now it's my favorite of all my recent finishes!  Just goes to show that you can't judge a quilt by it's top!  


I had all these little triangles left over from some other project, and decided to make them into a quilt like this. I originally planned to use all one background color, but my infuriating habit of only buying half yards really came back to bite me here.  I had to keep adding more solid fabrics as I ran out of one, then another.  (I was originally planning on the creamy yellow)  

I really like it now though!  So maybe it wasn't such a bad thing...
 

And I used the last of my Bliss Aqua Polka dot flannel on the back. This stuff is so versatile,  I think I could use it on half the quilts I make.

More Baskets



A few more baskets...I have almost enough for my quilt!  This is one project that I haven't become bored with , even though I've been working on it for a few months.




That's unusual for me, since I'm always thinking about the next newer, better, funner idea!  But these blocks are just so fun to put together.


And here's a little peek of the next quilt I've finished up from the pile of half done projects.  It's one of those that I almost didn't finish, and now I can hardly bear to sell it!

Puddytat Quilt


I went about making this quilt in a very different way.  I pulled this Tweet Tweet fabric (by Michael Miller) out of my stash and decided I wanted to use it for a quilt back.  So I made a quilt top to work with it.


Then once the top was made, it sat on the pile for months. Now I'm on a mission to clean up a few of these projects, since they tend to clutter up the back corners of my mind, and hamper me creatively when I'm working on new ideas.  They make me feel guilty that I'm starting ANOTHER project, another mess, and they whisper to me,  "look over here, you should finish me first."


And I really do like this quilt now.  It's inspired by the many strip quilts of this style. I think the original would likely be the one in Denyse Schmidt's quilt book.  I've always wanted to make one like this, and when I looked at the birdcage fabric I wanted for the back, I decided this would be the perfect pattern.

The only difference is that I added white strips between the rows.  Not sure why?  I said it was a while ago that I pieced this!

I shared the photo above because this strip of flannel is one of my favorite elements.   I think that the texture of the quilt, along with color and design, is equally important, but sometimes overlooked.  The different types of fabric, the density and type of quilting, as well as the batting, all contribute to the final look of the quilt.


It's the color and design that make you fall in love with a quilt, but it's the texture that makes you want to reach out and touch it.  Or even better, snuggle up in it!

Copycat? or Flattery?


Does this title sound a bit confusing?  I'll try to explain...  This is a topic that I think of often.  It's likely a classical problem that has been argued and talked of in many places and in many forms.  But today I'm going to say how I see it and how it applies to my little corner of the world.  The reason I'm thinking of it now is because of this quilt I just finished.

About a month ago, I stumbled across Leslie's (onegirl) blog.  I had seen her cute little oobee's and sewn items before, but had somehow missed her quilts.  So I found myself in love with her style of quilting.  And, to make a long story short, that's what inspired my most recent quilt.  Now, I would agree with you that really my quilt is quite different than hers.  I used larger pieces, it's not as randomly pieced, she has more vintage fabrics, and a much scrappier look.  But ultimately, that's what inspired me!


So then I have my classical little battle with feeling a bit dumb, like why can't I have my own original idea, and a specific style that's "all mine"?  But wait!  This is my whole point here:  Where is the original inspiration for anything, anyways?  If anyone thinks they've come up with a completely original idea that has never been thought of before...  my question is:  Is there such a thing?  I'm not thinking of just quilts here, but I'll use it as my examples.

So how are we gonna find out who made the first quilt with strips.  And once we've found him/her, are we going to give them (posthumously, since I'm sure it was many many years ago) a copyright on all quilts with vertical stripes?  If you make a pattern with a variation of this style, you must give credit to Sally Smith who first had the brilliant idea to sew long pieces of fabric together?  (Before you leave in a huff, I'm gonna bring out the other side yet :))

I've always loved Rossie's CopyLeftist Statement that she has on her blog and have read it quite a few times.  I find it to be a refreshing viewpoint.  Follow the link and scroll down till you see it on the right sidebar.  And while you're at it feel free to look around.  She always has interesting thoughts and quilts!

But back to my subject here:  I really think that everyone, whether you're an artist or just a simple crafter like me, needs to acknowledge the fact that you are not an amazing phenomona that comes up with unique ideas that have NEVER been seen before, and that were not inspired by someone or something.  (If you are inspired by nature, then you've found the True Source of all beauty)

One doesn't need to get all uptight about giving credit to hundreds of places in the fear of missing someone/something.  Just the realization of this humbling fact is enough.  And when you know what inspired you, don't hesitate to give credit, even if your piece isn't anything like what gave you the tiny seed on an idea.

There have been a few times where I've seen a thumbnail photo on Flickr, and I've had this instant little sick feeling, cause it looks so very much like something I made a month ago.  And then I click on the photo, and find out they linked to my blog as  inspiration for the quilt...  and guess what!  That absolutely makes my day!!  Thanks so much if you've done this.  And I'll try to do this as well.

Again, I'm not saying that you always have to do this.  There are many times when I've made a quilt, and although I know it's been partially inspired by the beautiful work of others, I honestly have no idea of any specific source.  And when someone makes something similar to what I've made, I must realize that I've unintentionally done the same thing many times.  And who knows, maybe I'm just having a big head to think that they actually saw my work at all!  They may have been inspired by something completely different and come out a similar place.


But I do not think that everything in life is one big free-for-all.  I just read this blog post, and it was another part of the reason why all this has been whirling around in my head today.  Even though I've said that there's no original idea, there is still such a thing as seeing someone else's work, realizing that it's lovely and that it might sell well, and blatantly taking that idea as your own.  Grrrr.

Sometimes I think that just living above it and continuing on with new ideas is the best.  But when it happens to me, I might not feel so benevolent about it...  Ok, I know that my style rambles and jumps all over the place so it's not likely that this will happen to me, and if it does it will be unrecognizable, right?!



Ultimately, the only thing I can do at this point, is to realize that change begins with me.  I will continue to be inspired by those around me, and I'll do my best to spread the love around to the talented designers around me.

Honestly, I've thought about this topic a lot, and I'm not sure I've covered everything that I've thought about, so I may add more yet sometime.

And I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.  Or send me links to other's thoughts on this subject.