I love going to Quilt Market.  The isles of new fabric, stacks of pre-cuts, and inspiration are pretty awesome…but also leave me craving some individuality by the time I get home.
I take a week or so away from my machine wondering what the heck I’m doing…and what I really like.  Not what the industry and social media want me to like…but what I like.  I have a hard time silencing that voice in my head (hello Instagram and Pinterest!) telling me what is a must make or what fabric I should be buying and sewing with right now.
Luckily all it takes is pulling fabric and taking time cutting, and stacking, and re-arranging for me to figure it out what I love to make, and what makes it original.
So there you go…that’s my deep thought for the year(s). 
And also, remind me why I put my design wall (if you could call it that!) within reach of my 2 year old?  On the upside it’s kept her busy and it’s pretty fun to watch her re-arrange.

56 Responses to Original

  1. Elizabeth May 30, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

    So pretty! I know what you mean now about Quilt Market. By the time we got home all I wanted to do was to stare at a blank wall until my eyes readjusted. Glad you're back in the swing of it again though! -Elizabeth

  2. Auntie Pami May 30, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

    I know what you mean. It seems all I saw posted was c+ s! I wanted to see other stuff too. Like thread, patterns, notions, you!

  3. EJ May 30, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

    I love that pattern (and the colors)! Tutorial?

  4. Paula @ Sewy Stuff May 30, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

    Love it! And who knows, that beautiful young lady might come up with your best next design! :-)

  5. nerospost May 30, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

    Hi! This looks fantastic and original! I feel if it's anymore possible to find NEW patterns but this I haven't seen before and really love this! Your assistant looks very cute and as said she may create unique patterns because she's not stucked to all the patterns we see around. Thank you for inspiration! x Teje

  6. Kim @ TiesThatBindQuilting May 30, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

    So lovely! Can you share how you made the blocks in the 2nd picture? The HSTs with a mitered border on two sides?

  7. Joni May 30, 2014 at 7:01 pm #

    I'm loving this new design on your wall, any chance it will be a new pattern?

  8. Afton Warrick May 30, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

    Your "thought for the year" makes one contemplate. Also, I like the quilt design you have going. As for childproofing the design wall, I think it'd have to be on the ceiling if you really wanted to succeed in that aim. How you'd reach it yourself, I don't know. At least your daughter isn't like my one year-old who has taken to grabbing up blocks and dumping them, and anything else she gets her hands on, in the bathroom trash can. Yep, the one I just emptied the vacuum into.

  9. Jodi May 30, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

    I never thought of it that way, but you are absolutely right! Many times I just need to step away from the blogs, etc., and do what I myself like! Thanks :-)

  10. Jodi May 30, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

    Oh, and your design looks great, btw!

  11. 315c2b1e-7b1e-11e3-a7ff-000bcdcb8a73 May 30, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

    Those blocks are terrific. Hope we see a pattern in the near future.
    Your daughter's help is priceless!

  12. Mar May 30, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

    Amazing colour combination, liked so much

  13. Marika May 30, 2014 at 7:30 pm #

    Those curls !!

  14. Becky (My Fabric Obsession) May 30, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

    Your thought for the year is a good one! Sometimes I find I'm much more creative when I'm not constantly looking at others creativity! Love the shot of your 2 yr old at the wall. Thankfully mine hasn't discovered it yet. The 5 yr old LOVEs it though!

  15. Cindy May 30, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

    Always love your fabric choices!! Your little one is getting tall and her hair is just gorgeous! She looks like she's following in your steps!:)

  16. Jocelyn May 30, 2014 at 11:50 pm #

    You have such an eye for color & design! Nobody else has to tell you what you should make or buy. :) Looks like you have a quilter & fabric designer in the making! Love her sweet curls.

  17. Alycia May 31, 2014 at 12:33 am #

    Your 2 year old is TOO cute!! She has the design eye ;-)

  18. Marsha May 31, 2014 at 1:59 am #

    I love so much of what you do – color, style and design. I cannot wait for your new line, Clementine to hit the shelves! It is so cute! I plan on buying my share… :) Good designing!

  19. Cheryl May 31, 2014 at 2:38 am #

    My 4 year old loves to "design" on my design wall. I figure that it is good fun that usually does create too much of a mess so I let her.

  20. Denise Russell May 31, 2014 at 3:20 am #

    Oh, so now we know who is the 'real author' of your designs, huh? :-)

  21. Melissa {polkadot chair} May 31, 2014 at 3:44 am #

    Oh my gosh. I felt the same way after Market! Like my head was buzzing and I couldn't get my bearings. After a few days of "what in the world am I doing?" I think my head is starting to clear-
    It was so nice to get to chat with you- hope we get to do it again.

  22. margaret May 31, 2014 at 5:10 am #

    very original blocks here that work so well, good to see your daughter is showing a talent for colour etc, just like mummy

  23. Lynne Shandley May 31, 2014 at 7:35 am #

    Uh, two year old? I remember finding your blog and you had a newborn!

  24. Karen May 31, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    I am excited to see this quilt finished. I am making a quilt from one of your tutorials right now. Just finished cutting it all out. For a charity event. I will make sure I send a pic when it is together. Thanks for the originality. Is what drew me to quilting to begin with.
    Nice to see a future quilter in your daughter!

  25. GabiP May 31, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

    Thank goodness – a voice of reason! Although I enjoyed looking at all the Quilt Market photos, after about the fourth blog they all started to run together and look alike and I was bored out of mind cause I felt everyone was telling me, "these are the fabrics you must own; these are the patterns you must quilt." I'm a big girl, I can decide for myself. Part of the reason I quilt is the creative aspect if it. Thanks for offering a good, solid "eye-candy" read.

  26. Jenn May 31, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

    This new pattern looks great! I can't wait to see what it turns into! And your daughter is adorable. Perhaps a future quilt designer? :)

  27. Margot Rylah May 31, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    Alison, I might sound like a cracked record – but I’m totally in love with your crisp, clear colours and beautifully simple designs – ALWAYS!! (Margot from Queensland, Australia – with the daughter in Seattle)

  28. Laurelle May 31, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

    It is very easy to get caught up in the hype. I have just joined instagram and know what you mean. I do love instagram though everyone is so nice! I love seeing fabric collections combined it makes the quilts more interesting to me. Love your work :)

  29. kshackabq May 31, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

    Looks like she's a budding designer! Good for you, staying true to yourself!

  30. Elsa May 31, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    I so agree with you about what to make ~ I get so irritated about it all sometimes. What's modern, what's traditional and who cares anyway? I'm going to make what I like and that's it!
    Sorry, that was a bit of a rant, but I feel better now!

  31. Lynette May 31, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    Now that's my kind of helper!!! Oh in your book basket, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, a big favorite of my children!! Mine too!! Always made us hungry for pancakes!
    Your colors inspire a "summer feel" to me, I think they remind me of a tablecloth on my grandmothers table when I was a young'un!

  32. Mindy Williams May 31, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

    Oh that is fantastic she is so helpful! I keep one low in my studio with orphaned blocks so my grand kids can arrange them as they like. Every once in a while the blocks get sewn into a doll blanket! What pattern is the quilt you are working on?

  33. Melissa @ My Recent Favorite Books May 31, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

    Im sure it can be difficult in deciding what to make. =)

    Your little girl is so cute!

  34. Jade Prosser May 31, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

    Well said! There is definitely a quilting bandwagon out there and sometimes it's better to let the fads pass by. I feel like you hit the nail on the head though. So glad you took the time to listen to you, your creative and original. We should all be doing that. Love this by the way. (I have three kids, the big ones are fine but my youngest is 14 mos. and his FAVORITE thing to do, besides dumping out scrap bins is pulling freshly folded fabric off the shelf. It's irritating, but it'll pass. I just like that he likes to be with me.)

  35. A Quilter's Mission May 31, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

    Yep, it always goes back to what I like and want to do. We have to be true to ourselves.

  36. Charlotta May 31, 2014 at 6:56 pm #

    About the design wall: so you can find out what SHE likes!

  37. Mª Alba May 31, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

    Un treball molt bonic. I la teva filla t'ajuda molt jajaja !!!

  38. Grantham Lynn May 31, 2014 at 11:11 pm #

    Hi. I usually don't comment. I am one of your lurkers. LOL. Although I get your posts in my inbox. I had to comment because you gave me a great idea. I love that your design wall is toddler friendly. I am going to put one on my classroom wall in the fall. What a great way to reinforce colors and shapes! Thank so much for the idea. Do you mind if I use your pick so I can write about it?

  39. Kate Marshall June 1, 2014 at 2:23 am #

    I love it whenever a blogger acknowledges the fabric industry and its need to drive sales rather than encourage creativity. Makes me sad to think of people buying more and more fabric because it is 'must have', then moving on to buying the next fashion fabric before they've even had time to use what they once loved so much and had great dreams of using. I'm a newish quilter and I spend a lot of time on the Internet while breastfeeding (I have more time to read blogs, look at Pinterest, Flickr etc than to sew, sadly), I can feel it happening to me and I'm trying to resist the corporate machine and the online inspiration overload!

    I really like that quilt you're working on and look forward to seeing more of it.

  40. Lin June 1, 2014 at 2:28 am #

    I've resisted going to even small shows because, although I know I'd get great ideas, the probability of sensory overload kind of scares me. I don't know how you 'see' an individual quilt or fabric with so much around it and after you've seen so much else.
    Your perspective confirms my thinking.

  41. Michelle Jensen June 1, 2014 at 10:34 pm #

    I agree! So much stuff to appreciate. Sometimes too much. Very well said.

  42. Michelle June 1, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

    I want to have my son design the next quilt I make for him like that. Let him pick fabrics and shapes and then he can arrange them for me to sew. Maybe that's what your daughter is up to!

  43. Lisa June 2, 2014 at 3:50 am #

    Is she a Member of Future Quilters of America yet? I have to say she is super cute!

  44. Andrea @ Mouse in My Pocket June 2, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

    Those blocks are super fun! And no matter how much the world tells you what you *should* make, you are too creative to not be yourself.

  45. Chris {frecklemama} June 2, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

    YES!! I love this thought. I often find myself being pulled subtly with thoughts of "but I SHOULD like this…". Thank you for putting it into words. Also, babygirl's hair is so long and lovely. Please tell her to stop aging though. It's quite rude ;-)

  46. Melissa Corry June 2, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

    Love Every Word!!! And your little girl is growing up so quick :) Adorable!!

  47. Kimberley June 2, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

    I know what you mean. I feel so many times (in order to stay current) I have to follow mainstream and do what everyone else is doing and using the same prints and products. I'm glad you spoke your feelings. It makes those nobodys (like myself) feel like it's okay to be me. =)

  48. Judith Blinkenberg June 2, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

    I really like that pattern and your colors are just what I would use. Is that one of your paterns? I understand about doing what I like and using what I like. I'm not one to use a quilt with mostly white while others like the look. I like the color in my quilts. That's why I have boxes and boxes of fabric.

  49. Mojjo June 2, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

    Colors are amazing. And sometimes we need to clear our mind of everything to start being creative again.

  50. Louise June 2, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

    Love the colors on the design wall and love the kid-friendly wall. I have a pile of fabric in my stash from past years. I buy what I like, sometimes I worry that the color schemes may be dated, but they can recombine in new ways!

  51. CurlyGirlMom June 3, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

    As a new quilter, I sometimes find myself overwhelmed by all the wonderful projects I see on the blogs that I follow. The good thing is, I have a very specific taste, so I'm pretty clear on what I like and don't like. I still wish that I would just take some time out and create my own "thing" instead of following others. Maybe while I'm off this summer I'll have some extra play time and will tackle just that. Play, make mistakes, see what works for me. :) Thanks for sharing! (And I <3 this block!)

  52. quiltytherapy June 3, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    I love that your assistant created a new pattern on your design wall. Always interesting to see what children can create.

  53. Judy Gautier June 5, 2014 at 3:13 am #

    Pattern…are you going to write up this pattern for us? =)

  54. amy smart June 6, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    Yes. Thanks for putting into words what I've been feeling lately. I think I'm finally getting better and just liking what I like and not what I am told to like. (Even though I sometimes still like some of that stuff too.) I'm also getting better at not feeling like I HAVE to buy new fabric. I'm purging what I doesn't inspire me anymore from my stash and playing with the fabric I've already got that does inspire me. It's a good feeling.

  55. Becca W June 7, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

    AMEN! Thanks for your words.

  56. Deonna Wade June 18, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    I have just been looking around your sight forever! I LOVE your scout and inside out and pow wow patterns. I have only made a rag quilt and am quite nervous about trying the real deal but your bright modern quilts make me want to try! Following on Pinterest now :)

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