Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Third Time's A Charm

About 36 x25"

Now that's what I'm talkin' about! This was totally stress free piecing. It began with a clean sweep of the mess on my work surfaces, folding up the strips and remaining fabrics. After that only little bits of fabric remained, some too small to save. I decided to just stitch them together and make a tiny composition, quilt it and call it my work for the day.
After the initial bits were used up I decided to add a few rounds of strips, since they were now all arranged so neatly on my table.

Soon I was thumbing through my big Nancy Crow book for inspiration, guidance and permission.

The old questions still come up. Is this original or a rip off? Is this art or is this a functional quilt? ( I waste a lot of time wondering if what I am making is original. Like, who cares?)
Well, it is going to be a functional quilt because I am going to make it bigger and bigger, and USE IT, after I quilt this section today.
 But is it original? Not so much. And then the question, does it matter? Strips are strips and no one owns them. Now that we have had a decade or more of Nancy's and Gee's Bend's take on improvisational quiltmaking, can there be a new tradition forming, thus making quilts like these Traditional and therefore open to making for everyone?

I plan to quilt the piece above and then add borders as I go, ala Marianne's great tutorial which was my plan before I got all lost in my previous design starts.
At 5 AM when I took the dogs out it was already 80+ degrees, and will be a scorcher today. Good to be inside.

And now, your Daily Dawgs.

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  1. My take is, if you made it "out of whole cloth", it is original. Always love being in your head and hearing your self talk. Very helpful to me. And about the dogs: Isn't it wonderful to have two who amuse each other all day??

  2. scorcher here in Canada too....have a cool, creative day.

  3. Mel,
    This doesn't look like Nancy Crow's work or any of her students. The color is definitely you. Don't worry about using someone else's work as inspiration, since you always put your distinctive stamp on your piece.
    Looking forward to seeing your pieced narrow connector strip disappear in the design.

  4. no scorcher here, but it is technically winter. Lovely day though.
    Surely if a quilt top is improvised, it is original? I can see that a quilt cut to someone else's instructions is not original but one that is pieced according to your own head or random chance must be original, even if it is inspired by the work of another.

  5. To respond to your questions - it's good to be original sometimes, and it's good to make a "traditional" quilt (whatever that is). I don't think it is a waste of time to worry about being original - the main thing is not to pass it off as your own work if it is actually a copy (although as you say, how do we work out what is a copy?). I really like your comment about nobody owning strips. I once agonised about using an arch in my work because another quilter used arches a lot.
    Thanks for your daily posts. It's lovely to see you quilting again. Hope you are enjoying it.

  6. LynneP9:07 AM

    Have been out of town and had lots of posts to catch up on. Soooo delighted to see you quilting again! It is helpful for me that you have the same head conversations that I do about originality. Just be you-you are an original!

    BTW, IMHO, I think your latest quilt might look better oriented differently-with the pale green border strips on top rather than the bottom.

    Love those dawgs!

  7. Gorgeous! Both quilt and dogs.

    And these days, there's nothing original. I've given up on thinking I could ever be original.

    I just try to be me.


  8. Judy Morningstar9:37 AM

    It's original. You didn't measure anyone else's strips and put the green piece in the same place..you know what I mean. But nobody can equal your remarkable colour sense! By adding the dark values, the brights just sing. Isn't it wonderful that you have a project that turns your crank to sew on such a hot day?!

  9. I'm loving all these quilting posts, as usual, and so glad you're into quilting again for the time being! And the dogs....so adorable and sweet that they're always together!

  10. Hey, I say go for it any way you want it. You can use any inspiration from any where you want to as long as you don't copy verbatum( don't know if that word is right or not), but you know what I'm talking about. I'm sometimes tired of all this copy and copyright stuff because it does not apply some of us as far as infringement is concerned. You go for using all those pieces any way you want, and keep on giving us inspiration. YEAH!!!!!!

  11. I love the dawg shots! They look like they were meant for each other...

  12. Those dogs look more alike evrey time you show them!

  13. Inspiration is orginal. You use "eye candy" to get the motor running. If you sat there and copied it piece by piece...then it's not orginal. But look at the last big winner at Paducah. Complete copy of another's quilt. Give credit, and it is ok. So MAKE WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY!

  14. I think it's time that you do something like this... (fabric fuse or paint it)





  15. Looks great. I ask myself a lot of those very same questions.Inspiration is a funny thing. I've definitely been influenced by Nancy Crow's work, but I try to put my own spin on what I make.

    I'll go out on a limb here, but I definitely think things are "over patterned" in the quilt world these days. Make a pattern of an old idea and call yourself a designer......it just doesn't fly with me. Whoops, can you tell this is a bit of a hot topic for me.

    I can't wait to see the finished piece.
    You know I love your work.

  16. Anonymous4:17 PM

    I can't find my google account log in info - but I just have to say - there's nothing new under the sun - all we can do is the best we can do - tweek things here and there and then it's ours. But - there's still nothing new under the sun.

    An old Texas girl.......

  17. Melody,

    There has been so much discussion lately about innovation in quilting that I just am maxed out with the rhetoric. You are an artist. You do your own work from inspiration. No different than any watercolorist or oil painter. What can a painter do after so many eons of painters creating? Just follow her heart. That is what you are doing with your quilts. And I must say I always know that a quilt is yours and not Nancy Crow's. You are an original. Do what makes you happy.


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