I don't think I can express how happy I am to be done with this quilt. This is another one that I started almost a year ago and I was as ambivalent about it now as I was then. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful quilt but I really can't take credit for any of it. This is a total rip-off of the Pure Baby Boy quilt the fabulously talented Teaginny Designs created for Moda Bake Shop.
What changed my attitude was reading the fabulous book "Steal Like an Artist" by Austin Kleon. My favorite quote, "Modern art = I could do that + Yeah, but you didn't." Sure, everyone is impressed by a traditional quilt with a million tiny pieces and quilted feathers everywhere. Modern quilts look deceptively simple but as anyone who's made one knows, it's really hard to get them right. When less is more the less becomes really important!
Looking back I see copying this quilt as part of my transition to modern quilting. I definitely went through a phase where I was making other people's patterns with precut collections. I made a lot of quilts I don't love because they aren't really me. What I realize now is how much I learned from those quilts: how to use negative space, how to mix fabrics and effectively use solids, free motion quilting... it's almost like I was in grad school using the mechanics I already had to explore the artistic aspects of modern quilting. With so much input from blogs, flickr and pinterest there's no shortage of inspiration but that also makes it hard to find your own vision. I'm starting to notice a shift so hopefully now I'm "graduating" and I can apply those lessons and ideas to jumpstart my own creativity and get back to making things I absolutely love: )