Liberty USA Mini Quilt, 3

Well, I finished up the top of my Liberty USA quilt.  And in other breaking news, I also was cleared to take off my sling.  My hands are now free-er than they were a week ago (and I’m even typing more, rather than dictating) but it’s still a slog for a long while.  So, this quilt top will rest until I can figure out how to quilt it, since the left arm is more like a wet noodle than a functioning member of a FMQ duo.

But it’s fun to be at this place. 

One interesting drawback to this whole one-arm thing, is that you can’t clean up the sewing room very well.  So the day after I got my sling off, I noticed the pile of Sarah Jane scraps on the top of the cutting table, as it was one of the last projects I did before heading into surgery.  I had wanted to make Eliza a doll quilt to match her big-bed quilt, and now was my chance.  I scissor cut some pieces, sewed them together, and finished the top.

I tried quilting my HQ Sweet Sixteen, practicing on a quilt square scrap, but it was a no go.  You need two hands for that.  So I used my walking foot on my regular machine and was able to get it quilted.  Off it goes into the mail today!

I’m not doing much cleaning, or sewing, but I have been doing some thinking about where we get our inspiration from.

This is Ingrid Blood’s Bye Bye Rubric Cube.  I have seen it twice now, once in the fall, and once at Road to California, and thought it was terrific.  Then, because I sit and read and read and read (lately), I found this:

Look familiar?  I wonder if it’s more than a coincidence that Blood used Edna Andrade’s abstracts as inspiration (even to the use of that red center), but I have no way of knowing.  Andrade, although she died some years ago, was more popular at the end of her career and after her death.  She worked in the Hard Edge school of painting, of which June Harwood was a “member” — a painter brought to my attention by my nephew, who is observant in All Things Art & Design.  (I actually have two nephews like this, and their IG feeds are always full of interesting images.)  These painters’s ideas are ripe for the picking by modern quilters, as they have a distinct lines between edges, which suits our medium of fabric.  Here’s some more Andrade:

I remember being in a discussion in a class taught by Ruth McDowell, where someone posed the question if she should be acknowledged when we finally finish our quilts.  Typically self-effacing, she offered that it would be a nice gesture to acknowledge those that inspired us, or helped us.

Why are we loathe to state our sources of inspiration?  Does it diminish our efforts, or is it really unnecessary?  Andrade didn’t acknowledge the other hard-edge painters in the corners of her paintings, but Wikipedia notes that:

Andrade listed artists who particularly influenced her style including Paul Klee, Piet Mondrian, and Josef Albers.  Andrade also notes that she was influenced by architectural design, philosophy, mathematics, and design (Locks bio). She was specifically inspired by things such as astrophysics and Freudian psychology, contributing to the complexity and detail of her paintings.

And from the notes from the Locks Art Gallery:

I think many of us are skittish after the Modern Quilt Guild laid down the law on “derivative works” last year, and we are skittish about recognizing where things come from, just in case the Quilt Juries don’t let us in.  While I do think there is some good things that came out of the pronouncement last year (just how many floating rectangle quilts can we invent?) it also did harm to those of us who dabble far and wide in our inspirations. [For an excellent recap of that tempest, head here.]  I hope we come back to a more even pitch, so that we can give credit to things that inspire us, just as Andrade did.

Colorwheel Blossom, 2014

I would never have this quilt if it hadn’t been watching the Apple Keynote address when they launched their iOS system changes a few years ago.  I boldly put the inspiration on the entry form when I entered it into QuiltCon a couple of years, and they rejected it. Did they reject it because of the Apple connection?  I’ll never know, but it doesn’t really matter. Yes, it’s derivative and yes, I love it.  It hangs in the front hallway of my home, and it’s still a favorite.  Instead of worrying about whether or not quilt juries will accept our quilts if we springboard off of someone like Andrade, we should make what we love, from what inspires us, and not be afraid of our inspiration.

Another couple of reads:

Derivative Work from Entropy Always Wins

Derivative Work from the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild

Let’s Be Clear from She Can Quilt

12 thoughts on “Liberty USA Mini Quilt, 3

  1. As an attorney, I found the whole derivative works discussion interesting. I must say that there is the law, and then there is the opinion of the quilt jurors. Personally, I think the Modern Quilt Guild went too far with their expectations about giving credit. There is subjectivity in the law that is open to interpretation and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Supreme Course took up the issue soon. I have not let it stop me from letting my creativity flow from whatever inspires me.
    Be inspired!

  2. I didn’t submit a quilt that used a Sherri Lynn Wood’s score and two Leah Day quilting motifs to QuiltCon for 2016. I thought they were merely inspired, but didn’t want to waste $30.00 to learn that they were considered derivative. I am glad to hear the attorney, above, speak more generously than the QuiltCon directive (and more like I remember from an MQG webinar).

  3. Great post, Elizabeth. I don’t think that any of us can avoid being “inspired” by the works or words or whatevers of all of the creative (and not so creative) folks around us. But, I would be hard pushed to ever identify all of the sources of inspiration for any given work of mine. It may be a flash of an image by Artist A, a line from a song by Singer B, the shadow of a lawn chair, a discussion I had with you, and a vague memory of a short story I read 40 years ago. All of those things (and more), and, unless you knew me well, you would never link those sources with my piece. You mention Ruth McDowell. She’s a great inspiration to me, but do I credit my take on symmetry, the ability to piece darned near anything, the way certain fabrics have of becoming something totally different in my brain, one of her patterns or designs, or an aphorism she repeated in a workshop. Who knows? Probably no one else, unless I spell it out for them. And that’s assuming that I can track back the inspiration to its original sources in the first (or last) place. Glad you are out of the sling. Now starts the real work of recovery! Good luck and keep your bag of peas handy. XOXOX

  4. So glad to hear that you are at least trying to push yourself back into your quilting. Your little doll quilt is so sweet. Just think about how great it will feel the first time you can sit and do the quilting again.

    I think the new rules went way too far and have kept many great talents from being shown because of it. Either way…..I could not have either of those black and white quilts in my house without going crazy! lol They are spectacular, but …wow!

  5. I love your little Liberty quilt! And now that you have been freed from your sling, hopefully it will be finished soon and ready to adorn your wall for Independence Day!

  6. Firstly – CONGRATULATIONS on getting the OK to not wear your sling! Let’s have a burning party.
    Secondly – this is a wonderful post about design inspiration. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for introducing me to the lovely Edna.

  7. Thoughtful post. Thanks for linking to Sam Hunter. She had some further interesting links in her post. Last year was my first year in the MQG and this was my first QuiltCon. I did not attend any classes due to my frustration with their registration process. The show was different than I expected. MANY quite traditional quilts. I mean, if I make one block of my Ohio star a different color, does that make it modern? They were quite lovely, but didn’t fit with the criteria as I understood it. It was definitely the most “commercial” show I’ve ever attended – of course many of our New England guild shows are smaller endeavors and very sweet and homey. We just love going to them – so much love invested. I have not renewed my MGQ membership – there was not enough return on the investment. Great post, as always, Elizabeth. I’m back at my pigs now…… XO

  8. I’m happy you’ve been able to remove your sling, but can feel your frustration at not being able to free motion quilt. That stinks. But, it’s good that you can walking foot quilt, and there are many ways to do that! Just check out what Jacquie Gering does! I’m putting my head in the sand when it comes to QuiltCon’s jurying decisions about derivative works. I just won’t let anything inspire me, okay? Ha, ha. At least it didn’t seem to be a big issue at QuiltCon East. I read the description on one quilt very identifiable as machine-sewn hexagons á la Nicole Daksiewicz to whom the quilt maker gave inspiration credit. I also learned while in attendance at the MQG’s General Meeting that a task force has been appointed to establish guidelines/policies for those quilters entering quilts in QuiltCon. That’s all supposed to be in place by the time entries open for QC 2018.

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