on anonymous comments and quilt design

IMGP4270i got my first non-spam anonymous comment!  readers who leave anonymous comments often feel uncomfortable leaving their name because they feel that their comment is a negative one, but in this instance, the commenter simply asked, “How did you “design” this quilt? The pattern is in the “Modern Quilt Workshop” book since 2005.” which i am  pleased to be able to respond to.  although i’m sure i read through the modern quilt workshop book when it first came out, i had forgotten that there was a bookshelf quilt in it, so i first went to find the book and see where the similarities between our quilts lie.  conveniently, google books gives us an inside peek into the book and we can see the exact page describing the quilt they’ve titled “book club.” indeed, “book club” is a quilt meant to represent a full bookshelf, just as mine has been compared to a bookshelf.  here are some other things i noticed:

IMGP42021.  “book club” has a few tilted, slanty books in the mix and also includes borders below each row of books and around the edge of the quilt to represent the bookshelf itself.  “overdue” by very careful design has only vertical books and no visible “shelf” (i’ve even carried the booklines though the binding to maintain that image of floating rows of vertical lines of color).  these subtle differences make a huge difference (at least to me) in the overall “feel” of the quilt and were purposeful design decisions.

2.  both times that i showed my quilt at our local modern quilt guild meetings (when it was just a finished top and after it was quilted), i had other guild members approach me afterwards to show me pictures of bookshelf quilts they’d made. although both were lovely, neither of their quilts looked much like “book club” or “overdue.”  a quick google images search for “bookshelf quilt” reveals a wiiiiide variety of designs.  my guess is that people have been making bookshelf quilts since long before 2005 and everyone has their own interpretation, from very abstract to very literal.  that is the joy of the creative process–taking inspiration from other works and from the world around you and figuring out your own interpretation.

so, to answer the original question, when i said that i “designed” my quilt, i was referring to the process i went through to decide how i wanted my particular quilt to look–from piecing to quilting.  if you’d like to read more about my thought process while planning the quilt and what inspired me to develop my own interpretation of a “bookshelf” design, i encourage you to read my original post on the common threads quilting bee blog.  if you’re interested in reading about how the quilting design evolved, please read this post on the in a stitch quilting blog.

thank you for asking for clarification.  i always find conversations about creative inspiration to be fascinating and complex.

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