Thursday, December 21, 2006

Why are there Quilting patterns?
I was having a discussion with some of my Artsy friends yesterday. And this is some of the thoughts that came out of that discussion. First let me say that none of them are quilters, but they are all creative people. I will not try and create the conversation word for word because there was a lot of gift wrap, tape and ribbon involved. I'm still not quite sure why Carmen tried to tape my arm to that box. But perhaps that will help you grasp the nutty mood we were in.

We are all the type of people that have creative and artistic ideas bursting out of our heads. And we are all very thankful for that gift. So at first glance, who needs a pattern? As we talked we came to the conclusion that not everyone is confident enough in their creative abilities to just jump into designing their own project. Pattern are guide lines to get started and spur on creative ideas.

As a teacher part of our responsibility is not to teach our students to copy or imitate our work, but to help them gain confidence in their ability to create. To inspire them to break the mold and color outside the lines. So how can I do my part to inspiring someone to break their mold? I originally made samples using my hand marbled fabrics to inspire quilters and fiber artists. Then I found some folks demanding the patterns I had used and they got upset when I told them I didn't use patterns. Next I found myself selling patterns at my booth at quilt shows. I soon discovered myself going a little nuts using patterns. It took a little adjustment but now I find myself using the pattern as inspiration for quilts, wall hangings and wearable art. I draw, embellish, stitch, paint, cut, modify and create outside the lines and hopefully inspire others to do the same. Think of a pattern as a skeleton and you get to add the flesh, hair, eye color and personality. No two people are alike so no two quilts should be alike. Step outside the line a little at first. Then go a little farther the next time. I love to hear quilters say that they changed this part around and added something to make it their own. And I really love to hear them say that this is the first piece that they created without a pattern.



At 4:21 PM, Blogger Donna said...

I've always wondered why are their quilt kits so one can make it exactly like the sample? I have hundreds of books and patterns yet it is very rare that I make the item exactly the same as shown. I like to put my own mark on the items I make.


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