My priority used to be to create accurate representations of items. I prided myself on being as accurate as I could be and on finding perfect fabrics to represent each animal, bird or thing in the patterns.
Then I entered my Bird Quilt in the Festival of Quilts. I was hugely proud of the quilt and smiled as I entered it, but looking at my entry next to all the amazing and colourful creations that others had sewn, it looked... well.. a bit bland!
Don't get me wrong, I still love the quilt and am immensely proud of it, but seeing it next to other quilts made me wonder if I could do something more creative- more artistic. Whether I could make more of a statement. Whether I could utilise the beauty of modern quilting fabrics more and let the fabrics play a greater role in the finished result.
I decided to try and play a bit. To have more fun. To make more of a statement.
Now I will admit that I stressed a bit about my decision to step away from the style that I was beginning to develop. But then I realised that I have never made any secrets about the fact that I see my blogging and sewing as one big journey.
When I looked at it this way, it just seemed wrong to get stuck at a halfway point because of a fear of what was to come. I realised that I had to take a leap of faith and hope that it paid off. If it didn't then there would be no shame in moving on again!
The next project that I undertook was Puzzled, a table runner for Make Modern. I don't know if you agree, but I find the design unlike anything that I have designed before. It is far sharper and I can't hide the fact that it excites me.
I can see many many possible uses for the one simple building block which is the basis for this project and I can't wait to share some of my ideas with you. To me, this simple pattern has so much potential for producing fun and stunning quilts. I really hope that I can find the time to play with it some more.
The first edition of Make Modern is released today so make sure you pop over, grab yourselves a copy and find out how to make my table runner.
The next patterns that I released after this change of heart were the bears. It is no coincidence that none of the sketches or images that I have produced of the bear patterns portray him in realistic brown and black fabrics.
I wanted to challenge people to try different things and to see my patterns in a different light. To experiment with fabric and colour.
Initial impressions are that my gamble paid off. It would seen that this pattern has caught the attention of people who would otherwise have ignored yet another realistic paper pieced design.
Only time will tell if people approve of Puzzled.
I intend to keep experimenting with my design. I have no doubt that some gambles will pay off and that others won't. I always find it virtually impossible to predict which patterns will take off and which will tank, so please forgive me if I produce a few duds along the way- its all part of the journey!
As a final note I'd like to say thank you to everyone who took the time and effort to join in the Butterfly Challenge. Rascal and I will take the next few days to go through the entries and decide on the winners.