Monday, August 22, 2016

Channeling My Inner Nancy Purvis

Have you encountered the recent controversy about derivative quilt design? It began with a post on the Modern Quilt Guild’s blog about copyright and entering quilts into QuiltCon. I think it’s an important conversation to have, but all the gray in the middle of that discussion can hurt my brain. (Update: The Modern Quilt Guild has since retracted that initial post. You can read about its decision here.)

That’s why I’m happy to reveal these two projects. They’re not derivative. They’re not inspired by. They’re 100% swiped from Nancy Purvis’s Instagram feed!

You may know Nancy from her blog, Owen’s Olivia, or from her book, Quilting from Every Angle. She also showed several quilts at QuiltCon 2016, earning a ribbon for Reflection. Nancy’s designs are fresh and modern.

Since I won’t be entering these quilts into competitions or creating patterns related to them or earning any money whatsoever from them, I am confident the copyright police won’t come after me ...

The first is a project slated to use up the Carolyn Friedlander/Botanics scraps from my Park Bench quilt. I’ve been using a rotary blade without a ruler to cut these scraps into straight-ish strips, sewing them back together with some Kona Silver, and squaring up the blocks. (You can see Nancy’s own projects along these same lines here, here, and here.) This quilt, after just a few completed blocks, is now on the back burner. I look forward to making it a priority again before the end of the year.


The second project is a quickie whole-cloth baby quilt that uses some Heather Ross fabric from Nursery Versery and Briar Rose. Again, my approach was all Nancy.

Although I routinely avoid marking my projects prior to quilting, this is the first time I’ve used the fabric design (as opposed to the seam lines) to plot my quilting. The problem with that approach is, over time, the grain of a fabric can warp as it sits on the bolt, which is what happened with my cut of Nursery Versery. Heather Ross describes the process of remedying this problem as “trueing the fabric” in her book Weekend Sewing. I’ve never had luck with trueing my fabric; once a fabric design is warped, it stays that way. So instead of quilting horizontal and vertical lines as Nancy did, which I thought could reveal my fabric’s imperfections, I sewed diagonal lines. They’re more forgiving. Now that the project is quilted and bound, I’m barely aware of the wonkiness.


I bound this baby quilt in Michael Miller’s Cotton Couture in orange. I’ve used Cotton Couture plenty of times, just never for binding. Its soft hand makes for a happier binding experience.


OK, I’ll admit it: Nancy is a quilting crush of mine. I opted not to try to get into one of her QuiltCon 2017 classes and am already kicking myself for it. Whose work have you been turning to for inspiration—or flat-out stealing!—lately?

Linking up to Let’s Bee Social, Needle and Thread Thursday, and Finish It Up Friday ...

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10 comments:

  1. I love the Nancy Purvis blocks you started at Sarah's. It was nice to meet you! My sewing focus as of now is to work on my many WIPs and not start anything new just yet. I am doing a QAL with Hello Kitty and completely following the pattern.

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  2. Thanks a million for the link - now following her on IG - can't believe I wasn't before!

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  3. No quilt crushes going on at the moment. Although I cannot wait to see the park bench creation finished!

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  4. This made me laugh. You know I'm anxiously awaiting the updated MQG blog post to determine the fate of poor Abe. My perma-quilting crush is Hillary Goodwin (Entropy Always Wins). She creates fearlessly, brings people together, has an amazing heart and everything she does is just plain awesome!

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  5. The baby quilt turned out very nice. She's bright and cheery. Blessings, Gretchen

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  6. Very fun baby quilt, so bright and sunny.

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  7. I'm not sure the 'grey' area will be cleared up anytime soon. I guess what it has done is start a discussion...but it still confuses me. I loved seeing Nancy Pervis' quilt on IG. Such a great way to scrap it out! No crushes here! I'm usually all over the place looking, gawking and being inspired!

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  8. In the interest of time, I need to start making whole cloth baby quilts as gifts! I love your quilt. Great happy colors! I really like the blocks you made as well. How big will that project be?

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  9. It's a tough question isn't it, given that the internet allows us to consume so much inspiration, it's not impossible to imagine two people reacting to the same prompt in a very similar way, and I think it's a discussion that will be going on for a long while! Inspired or swiped I love your quilts this week :)

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  10. Hmm, I can't think of anyone in particular at this time, but for the most part that's because it everyone, all the time. I like Carie's idea that the internet is gives us so many options. I love your work and now want to make a Nancy-inspired quilt of my own!

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Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts! I almost always respond to comments by email. If my response might interest others, I'll also post it here. If you've commented on my blog and never received a response, you're likely a no-reply blogger.