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