September 12, 2013

What's old . . . is new again

Lately I've been trying to get my studio under control a little at a time. The scrap piles have been sorted and a scrap system begun that I can honestly say is working and quite useful so far.

Of course, the problem with the "little at a time method" is that there are always unfinished areas still needing to be organized and then whole new messes develop as I work. I think I need to accept the fact that my studio will always be a work in progress just like my quilts.

First off came making room for a group of stripe fabrics I've been collecting here and there. I have lots of design ideas for stripe fabrics with more popping into my head every day.

Do you ever start a collection of fabrics by picking up a fat here and there and then realize you have way more than you thought, or dare I say even need, once you get them all in place? I had no idea I had this many stripes and must admit this is only half the collection.

The main area I've been tackling recently is sorting, organizing and disposing of old publications. I love magazines and books and over the years have accumulated quite a library. My style has changed over the years and some of the old publications just aren't where I'm at today. My new favorites are Generation Q, Stitch, Quilty and Modern Quilts Unlimited.

Some of these older issues will go back on the shelf, some into the donation bin at my library and some will go to the next modern guild meeting to giveaway.

As I sorted through pile after pile of magazines . . . some over 15 years old . . . what I discovered is how often what is old is new again. I can't tell you the number of times I came across a quilt design from years ago that was very much like a quilt I just recently saw on a blog or online somewhere. New fabrics, new spin on an established design. Thus what's old is new again.

Was the newer one simply copied? I'd like to think INSPIRATION is a much better word. In many cases I would bet the quilter who did the newer version never saw the earlier one. In this age of instant digital access it can be extremely hard if not nearly impossible to be completely original.

We are all inspired by something, somewhere we've seen. It might be lurking in the recesses of our brain from years ago. It might be something brand new we just saw or experienced that has nothing to do with quilting. The important thing is that it inspired us. It moved us. It awoke our creativity and the need to make. Bringing this creativity to life by making allows us to express ourselves and give meaning to our work. Rather than simply copying, I hope we are truly creating.

I encourage you to let the inspiration in your personal world bring new life to your work . . . create your own vision. If starting from scratch with a quilt design of your own is intimidating, try a pattern but put a spin on it to make it your own.

If you're not sure how this works, check out my patterns which offer many different options so you can bring your own personal creativity and style into play. I have three new designs in the works too so stay tuned for new pattern releases in the next few months.

I'm linking up with Cindy's Really Random Thursday for this post.
Have fun creating.  : )

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  1. I am curious about your plans for those striped fabrics, I love them!

  2. I'm thinking you could make any block you ever wanted without a trip to the store ; )

  3. Ditto what Carla said! Your striped stash is enviable, but getting organized is even more admirable. It helps so much with one's creativity to be working in an uncluttered space. I appreciate your insightfulness about "old" designs being seen again too! I definitely ditto that! I'm smiling over your pile of magazines to donate. I bet more than one of those has an article in it written by me. I was a fairly prolific freelance writer for several years, writing for QNM, AP&P, AQ, and Love of Quilting.

  4. Ooohhh...I am suffering from fabric envy! Such a delicious collection. And so organised too:)


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