Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dear Jane, Farmer’s Wife and More


Quilt books... Quilt Magazines.... Quilt software.....Do you have them? Some of them? Do you really use them? What entices you to buy them? Me.... well let's start with magazines. At one time I had literally hundreds and have no idea how many subscriptions. Then one day it dawned on me, they were all pretty much the same. All pretty much the same basic patterns. Well, at least that's how I saw them. And then I asked myself “how many quilts have I made from these magazines?” My answer to me??? “a total of one”. And that was because it was applique and I'm terrible at drawing. I have since discovered that the internet has free coloring pages that would work well in applique (but that's another story). So, I went through all those magazines and kept maybe 20 that I felt I would refer back to for ideas or inspiration. The rest I gave to a friend who's daughter was wanting to learn to quilt. Do I ever buy magazines now? Yes, on occasion when I see something that jumps out at me, but no more subscriptions.

Books... What enticed me to buy one? Usually the cover picture. I did get caught up in the Dear Jane fever a few years ago. Bought the book with CD (I knew I wouldn't make those 4” blocks) and will I ever complete the quilt ? Umm no I won't. I have made a few blocks in a 6” size and will maybe, someday make some more. I recently bought the Farmer's Wife book with CD that I've seen all over blogland. Will I made that quilt? It's too early to tell but I do like the simplicity of the blocks and I've enjoyed reading the Farmers wives letters. I do have a couple of other books that I tend to pull out more than others. “Lazy and Lovin' it” I have used that book more than any other in my library and yes, I do have the ruler to go with it. “Twist n Turn” another book that I use often. I love that setting when I want something a little different, especially on children's quilts. But I have to say here, I have many, many more books that if I took to the second hand book store, I would never miss. May be time for me to review my library and clean it up a bit.

Okay, so Quilt Software.....I have EQ5 (nope never upgraded) and I do use it. Do I use it to it's full ability? No. And that's my own fault. I simply have never taken the time to learn it to it's full potential but it's on my “have to do” list.

So with all this said, I now have a few questions. Where do you find your inspiration? Do you prefer to make a quilt from a pattern? Or do you prefer to create your own pattern? And.....Quilting TV whether on PBS or the internet shows, do you watch them? Are they an inspiration if you do? I do subscribe to QNNTV and I will probably continue to do so. I love the variety there and have learned a lot.

So what was this post all about? Curiosity more than anything. When I started quilting around 2001, I bought the magazines, the books, surfed the internet, read forums, etc.... I learned a lot. I tried different techniques that accomplish the same goal and came up with what worked best for me. I love to read the blogs and see what others are working on. They give me more inspiration than some of the books I see. I enjoy coming up with my own ideas for patterns. They may not be original, per se, because let's be honest here, most quilts are made up of squares, half square triangles, quarter square triangles, strips, etc... so it's the combination of those different shapes that make a pattern come together.

Okay, I've rambled on enough..... I'll leave you with my 'latest' EQ design that I still need to work on......

PatrioticI layered some embroidery from the EQ library just to give me an idea of what it would look like.  I only have 12 of the quilt blocks that will be used, so will have more embroidered blocks than pieced blocks.  I’d like to set them on point, but will have to tweek the measurements some…….




Linda said...

I agree with everything you said! I was horrified when I picked up a quilt magazine a couple of days ago along with one other item in the grocery store. My bill was so high, I actually looked at what I paid for the magazine. I paid over $10!!! This for a few patterns that I will NEVER use and a lot of advertising. I bought it because I try to stay abreast of trends, but I found very little in it to inspire me. (I could have had a yard of fabric for that!) My inspiration comes from nature, memories, stories from childhood, colors I see around me, and things like that. I used a pattern a couple of times when I was first learning to quilt, but even then I found I couldn't stay interested unless I changed it up quite a bit to make it mine. I approach designing a quilt like I approach illustration. An idea comes to me and I sit down and start sketching it out. I rarely piece - I find it too repetitive. I have about 3 UFO's that are actually pieced quilts. I just can't seem to get interested in them again. (That doesn't mean I don't LOVE the pieced quilts I see around me!!!)

Karen said...

Totally agree - and think about the storage space...better to use that space for fabric. :D