Hmmmm… what?

This picture shows some bits I worked on last weekend. These pieces were freely cut with my rotary cutter and pieced back together. I had intended to cut them again and work this into a new ladder piece. But, I like them like this! I am very pleased with the randomness and slight curves in the strips. Cutting without measuring or using a straight edge is still tough for me and I think partly why I like this is that it is proves to myself that I can do this. I used the chocolate brown with some leftover pieces from the strips sets and think it works well with the yellow and green.


So now what to do? Do I sew this together or get back to cutting?

Another thing bothers me here: this reminds me of some pieces by other quilters I admire. I am not trying to copy them, but I do want to explore working with this kind of cutting and piecing. Am I infringing when I explore similar ways of working? I have read about people taking Nancy Crow’s workshops and she has people make certain strip sets and then recut and combine them in other ways. This is a method she uses and teaches. I love her work. (Some day, I would LOVE to take one of her classes.) If I do this, am I copying her way of working or is it really my art? How can I get beyond this to something entirely new of my own creation if I don’t work through making pieces with the very basics of making strip sets because I am afraid my work will look like someone elses?

I thought I was happily sewing last weekend  but what I really did was open a can of worms in my own mind. Maybe that will be the title of this piece if I ever decide where to go from here.

Comments and thoughts are welcome.


About katyquilts

I am a wife, mom of four amazing adult kids, and a former librarian. I love making everything from traditional quilts to art quilts. I am thankful to God my Father and Creator for the gift of creativity!
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7 Responses to Hmmmm… what?

  1. katyquilts says:

    Myrna- this makes so much sense. I think you put into words what I felt but couldn’t quite express. Thank you!

    Mary Ann, Carol, Bobbi- I so appreciate your comments. Great thoughts to chew on for a while.

    Hopefully tomorrow I will get back to this. I keep thinking also of something Nancy Crow says about not having to do everything in one quilt, that is why she works in series. This one might not need much more.

    Thanks again to all who commented!

  2. carol says:

    sew them together as is..that IS why you like them//they will tell you later what step (pun intended) is next >)

  3. bobbi says:

    In my mind, patterns and designs are copyrightable, but techniques and processes aren’t…if you cut these out freehand, so to speak, I don’t think you’re steppping on anyone’s toes. And please remember, there is very little new under the sun…even nancy crow, great quilter that she is, built her work on the work of earlier quilters.
    We don’t want to be copyists, but we don’t have to reinvent the wheel, either!

  4. Myrna says:

    The reason that we like the work of certain artist is because their work contains elements of our style. It makes sense. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be drawn to them.

    I totally relate to your “am I copying” struggle. Been there done that. Letting it go is the thing. Acknowledge the similarity and move beyond – keep creating, make lots of your art, and your own interpretation will come to the forefront. It’ll be you. For me, that’s often in the thread work. Most all – enjoy. – Myrna

  5. Mary Ann says:

    I started out as a traditional quilter, learning from books and friends. My first formal quilt class was a 4-day improv workshop with Nancy Crow. Every art quilt I’ve done since then was influenced by what I learned there. I too fight making quilts that will be interpreted as Nancy Crow look alikes.

    I don’t know how large these four pieces are or how large you like to work. I think the four pieces work well as they are. You could finish it like it is or add many more similar sections. I don’t feel this is a huge departure from your ladder series. Do what feels good for this one and move on to the next one.

  6. katyquilts says:

    Thanks for the feeback Robin. I think I will sew more sets but this sure has me thinking :).

  7. Robin says:

    Hi Katy, I just stumbled upon your blog and love the little start you have on this quilt. IMHO you are too early in the game with this one to stand back and ask what’s next. Make more of these little “blocks”… introduce more fabrics (that go with these), and make more three color blocks. Make light blocks, dark ones, long and skinny and short and fat. Make 12 more and leave another post. I’ll subscribe to your blog to check up on your progress. By all means, stop analyzing and just do!

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