Hills Improv Quilt





 

This quilt has gone to it's new home awhile back as well, but I just realized that once again there are a backlog of quilts that I have not blogged about.  I don't want this to happen, as I like to keep a journal of my projects, even if not many people read blogs anymore.  This is also a special quilt that I've put off blogging about because I don't know how much to say about it.

Let me explain a bit.  Almost every larger quilt I work on has a book, or theme imprinted into itself.  This is because I usually listen to audiobooks while I'm quilting.  So quite often a larger quilt will naturally correlate with the book I happened to be reading. This doesn't neccesarily mean that the quilt has any meaning or theme related to the book, it is just connected in my head.  Of course the stronger connection or reaction I have to a book,  the stronger the remembrance is years later.  There are definitely some quilts that don't have any book connection, but there are also some quilts that I made 4 or 5 years ago that I clearly connect a book with the quilt.

I've sometimes thought it would be interesting to mention this book in my blog post, or possibly name the quilt with a theme from the book.  The reason I don't is fairly simple.  It feels like a leap into my personal life which I've clearly drawn a line on since my first days of blogging.  I share almost no personal information here which has been a conscious choice on my part.  I have sometimes wanted  to share more, as I realize there can be value in this.  There are also drawbacks, a big one for me being that I'm not interested in dealing with a highly interactive online presence.  I appreciate comments and encouragements so much, but my real life takes most of my available energy and I guard my quilting very closely as a relaxing hobby.  So to start talking about the books I read and my inspirations for various quilts might seem like a simple thing, but for me it's crossing a high line of privacy that I've mostly maintained.  Now, I'm not saying that to change this would be a bad thing!  I'm obviously considering it!  

Another reason is that I sell most of my quilts, and I feel strongly about the person who buys my quilt being the new owner of the quilt and it's no longer 'mine'.  This is the aspect that I'm curious how others would view this.  If you were purchasing any handmade item like this, would you like to know the maker's interpretation and inspiration?  Or might that take away from what it possibly could mean to you?  I'd love it if anyone would weigh in on their opinion!



28 comments

  1. If I were buying a quilt from its maker, I would like to know the inspiration behind its creation. I love stories.
    PS: the pink minky backing on this one is a.m.a.z.i.n.g!

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  2. I feel much like you about how much to share with “ the world”. If a new owner is curious about how you came up with their new quilt then of course share it with them. It’s kind of like sharing it’s genealogy. But does everyone have a right to the personal history? I still think their should be some things kept personal and private. Keep up the lovely work.

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  3. If I am buying anything handmade I love to know if there is a back story, it just makes it more special. However, it i completely up to you, if you feel even in a tiny way that this is going into your private life then don't do it as you don't want to feel overwhelmed or regret sharing something.
    This is a fabulous quilt, by the way, I love the sprinkling of trees and the stars at the top. The colour palette is lovely and warm too, it looks very soft and comforting.

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  4. "If" I were buying, I would love to know the story/history of the product. I understand the "not too much personal stuff" on a blog, but I also still love reading blogs that tell the "story"

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  5. First of all, people still read blogs! I check yours often and when I see you've posted something new it feels like Christmas.

    There is something about your style of quilting, especially in your color/value choices that draws me to your quilts. While it's clear that you prefer not to write about your personal life, your quilts seem intensely personal in the way that many handicrafts/works of art are. There are many very fine quilters whose quilts showcase skill, precision, an eye for color, detail and shape, but they don't necessarily capture the creator's moment in time/place/frame of mind the way others do. I put you in the second category.

    So yes, I would love to know what book you were reading or what inspired you, etc., because it makes the piece more meaningful. When I buy handicrafts/art, I am always fascinated to learn about/meet the artist and find out them and the specific piece. History and context are important!

    I also firmly believe that what makes a quilt (or anything handmade) special is that although it can belong to the buyer, it is also and always connected to the maker. Don't you think that connection creates value?

    Anyway, happy holidays. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. I barely leave the aggregator to leave a comment these days. (For every season...) I even deleted my blog. (So seeing "The Calico Cat" below is another symbol of that past season.)

    I am a very visual person, so back stories are not of interest to me at all.

    But I have similar media memories associated with my projects.

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  7. I still read blogs all the time.
    I love this quilt.
    The backing looks so cozy!
    It's always interesting to hear about the inspiration.
    Happy stitching!

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  8. I am going against the grain here and saying that when I buy something handmade/original, I don't care what the reason was behind the creation. I'll give you an example, if I buy a beautiful swirly blue blouse and someone says, "Oh that looks like a storm" then that's what I think about when I wear the blouse. I no longer think about it being beautiful and blue.

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  9. Once I give something away, it is no longer mine. Period.

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  10. The soft colors of this quilt speak to me. I'm feeling inspired to sort through my scrap bin and make a similarly themed quilt. In my opinion, buyers don't want to know WHY you chose the colors or designs, they just want to buy what they like or the size quilt that fits their purpose. Your inspiration could potentially sway their feelings about the quilt so strongly that they might choose NOT to buy it, rather than having the opposite (desired) outcome of making them love it even more. While that might not be typical, do you really want to risk it?!

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  11. Jolene,

    I patiently wait for your blog! It wouldn't matter to me, one way or the other. I always love your quilts.

    -Jean

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  12. I look forward to reading your blog. I just love how you put colors together this particular quilt is beautiful. Can I ask how you put it together. I would love to make one. You are inspiring to me and it’s your prerogative however much you want to reveal about your personal life. Take care and stay well.

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  13. Interesting discussion. Knowing the inspiration of any art work adds to the experience for me but I understand honoring boundaries with your personal life. Whether you share background on them or not, your quilts are lovely to look at and always inspire me. And I'll be reading your blog as long as you keep posting! xoxo

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  14. I enjoy seeing your quilts. I don't name mine apart from the still unfinished "million ways how not to make a patchwork quilt"! I guess it depends on who is receiving the quilt. Some love the story behind it whil others are just delighted to have a quilt stitched by you and that is enough for them. I have made a few Youtube videos but took a break because of spammers. It scared me! So I do understand why you want to stay private. It is your blog and you have the right to choose what to share and what not to share. I do follow a fair few blogs and I relish them all! So thank you.

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  15. A lovely quilt, such a calm colour palette, it draws you in. With blogging I feel it's still down to as much as the person wants to share. I do find it interesting to read a little about others quilty processes, inspiration, sharing tips & techniques, etc. I'm also just as happy to scroll through a post with mainly pictures... it's all a wonderful pictorial glimpse into what you've been up to. It wasn't until I bought my very first (and only) vintage looking quilt, that I did start to want to know more! And after some research, I was able to talk to the lady who had put the blocks together! Such a wonderful conversation that was. So, I'm in both camps really!

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  16. I don't keep most of my quilts either. I love the process of making them and taking their pictures, recalling the process of picking the fabrics and usually, improvising the design. Then I donate almost all of them. I like the idea that they are comforting someone somewhere who probably needed it. I don't try to sell them because I'd never get anything for my time and materials! I'd rather give them away.

    I really enjoy your aesthetic! Yay!

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  17. So I've only started following you very recently, so I have no history with what you are like as a blogger or even who you are as a quilter. I just knew when I first found one of your posts that I love your quilts. I do love the story behind things, but I also believe VERY strongly that all of us are happiest and most at peace when we are authentic to who we truly are. If you are a private person and prefer to keep strong boundaries between your art and your personal life, that is who you are, and you do well to listen to your own self-knowledge. And good for you for knowing that this is best for you! Thank you for sharing this beautiful quilt.

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  18. I read blogs! I love blogs! Please don't stop. And yes. Your inspiration, your thoughts and feelings bring life to the quilt for it's owner. Wonderful touch!

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  19. I give about 98% of what I make away. I've been asked many times 'why don't you sell your quilts, you could make a lot of money'? Nope....wouldn't make anywhere near what I put into my quilts as far as time & materials go, and the primary reason I GIVE them away is it's what I consider my 'ministry'. I give a little love away with every quilt, and receive just as much back when I'm able to see someone's joy in receiving the quilt. I do give a little of the 'story behind it', occasionally, too. I gave a quilt away that I really wrestled with myself on. I'd put hundreds of hours into it during doctor appts, up to when I went into surgery, for suspected ovarian cancer. I made it thinking it would comfort me when recovering and figuring out 'what's next'? To the shock of the surgeon & me, it wasn't cancer, but rather 3 very fast growing tumors which were removed (also a hysterectomy as she was in there, so why not 'clean house')? I'd just finished the binding while waiting for my car at the shop. The wife of the mechanic was at home and not doing well at all, and I heard clearly in my head 'GIVE HIM THE QUILT FOR HER', but in my heart, it was REALLY hard to give it up. I did, though, and am really glad I did. He was SO shocked and teary eyed when he received it for her & I got a joyful hug from him. I recovered from my ordeal, but I know she won't & found out later how much JOY she got from receiving it and using it, every day. It's a blessing what we do for others - and sometimes, its a blessing for what it does for us, too! Deb E

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  20. Once in a while, I've purchased a vintage quilt for my tiny "collection." Something in the quilt has drawn me to it, usually a sense of history and connection to earlier generations. I absolutely LOVE to know some of its backstory. And every quilt has a story. When a vintage quilt comes into my "collection" without a backstory, I sometimes research the fabrics used in it to help place it in a broad timeframe. But what I love most is knowing that someone had their hands on the stitches and fabric.

    For modern quilts, knowing the backstory is lovely. But our reasons for creating a quilt today are often much different than those of long-ago makers. Maybe the way to approach your decision is to learn to discern between what is "too personal" from what is creative momentum. Or to share your inspiration in a way that is more generalized than specific. In other words, you may still be able to protect what feels very personal to you, while still letting the quilt itself have its own history. Does that make sense?

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  21. Hi Jolene, totally understand the need to stay private but I for one would be interested to know where the ideas/inspiration for the quilt came from - it makes it more personal to the buyer/future owner. Love this one by the way.

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  22. Hi Jolene,
    This quilt is amazing! I love the little tidbits of personal insight you add to your blog. I still remember years ago when you blogged your fantastic basket quilt (which I totally copied) that you weren't sure that it was worthy of the vintage strawberry shortcake sheet on the back! That, for some reason, has always stayed with me and factors in when choosing backing for my own quilts.

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  23. Absolutely this makes sense. Sometimes it is enough to let your quilt speak for itself. As a maker, I'm always eager to know what inspires you, Jolene. I love what CuriousDaylily says about creative momentum.

    But as a buyer? Not necessarily. Your beautiful quilt here enlivens me -- it sparks energy and evokes images of community. I love its playfulness, and to be wrapped in it would feel like being supercharged with imagination and creativity. It's entirely possible that none of those key words would replicate your tags. Does that invalidate my interpretation? I feel vulnerable sharing my perceptions -- what if I'm wrong?

    So, say it was not not a magical Roald Dahl adventure that propelled your work, but a biography of Vincent Van Gogh. That may or may not explain your composition. But, for better or worse, it likely will affect how I feel about it.

    Making a quilt is a journey and there will be music, decisions, stories, snippets of conversation -- major life happenings, even -- that you will associate with your work always because your memories are pieced and quilted into it just as surely as the cotton and minky you used here..

    I think if you are telling a story or sending a message with your work, that information is genuinely worth sharing. You'll know because it won't feel too personal (although you may feel vulnerable). But if your personal audiobook choices provide the momentum (distraction/entertainment/educational context) that accompanies you on your journey and mysteriously guides your hands to the right color and design choices, those secrets are yours to keep.

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  24. I would not be interested or curious about the backstory of a quilt I was buying. I'd only buy it if I really liked it and it would make me happy just to look at it. This is such a pretty quilt.

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  25. I love reading blogs, have only just discovered yours and am exploring older posts as well. Not sure where I sit on the back story, if it has impacted the design or colours I'd be interested.

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  26. I love your blog and look forward to every post. I guess if I was a quilter buying your quilts I would be interested in your backstory. But maybe not if I was not a quilter.

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  27. i also listen to audible a lot when i quilt and it plays into the story of each quilt. personally, as a quilter and as a purchaser of your quilts, i really enjoy the backstory! a backstory doesn't necessarily define a quilt as the new owner will add their own story to it. maybe it's kind of like how a parent has a backstory of their own, which does play into the raising and shaping of a child, but the child ultimately takes over and is their own person? i love backstories for everything - even recipes. so i would welcome knowing whatever influences your quilt making and what you produce. quilts are personal things and i feel knowing your influences and intentions for a quilt would only add to the handmade, personal feel of the item.

    you don't have to include much detail if it feels too personal. but when i read that one line you put into the description of the new penny patch quilt you made saying it was dark and moody because you were reading LOTR at the time, i was absolutely delighted! you didn't go on and on about the book, you just mentioned it. i thought that was really nice.

    some quilters choose to share a whole lot of personal information, and there is a line for me where it's too much. mostly i read a few blogs and follow IG quilting accounts because i want to see quilts and know more about how to make them. accounts that branch out into a whole lot of other material are less interesting to me. when i come for quilts, i want quilts - not your pets or children or political views in large quantities. when those things are relevant to a quilt and it's making, sure, include them. i guess their influence on the making of a quilt is the middle ground.

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