Episode 176: The We’ve Got Music Episode

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In this episode, I discuss progress on the Christmas table runner, getting through Thanksgiving  with a bug (hint: read big books), and what’s on Quiltin’ Jenny’s mind when it comes to patterns and copyright.

travis on quilt

Travis is all about Autumn.

devin's art










My nephew’s artwork–how do I make a quilt out of it?


Christmas applique quilt

Here’s the Christmas applique quilt I did two years ago. What a fun project!

Hope you’re enjoying the new site and the new music! If you need some music in your life, check out our guy Ben Brown at Contrail Sound: http://contrailsound.com/

If you want to join the Twilters’ group on Facebook, friend me (Frances O’Roark Dowell) and then I’ll get you in. It’s a whole lot of fun!


13 Replies to “Episode 176: The We’ve Got Music Episode”

  1. Hey Lady! I love the new music bumpers with the intro and outtro, very nice! The show feels so polished. There was nothing wrong with it before, of course, but it sure is a nice touch.
    I enjoyed this episode, but I was little distracted by life, so I will be relistening tomorrow while I sew. I know there were some thought provoking moments in there I wanted to reapond to, but my brain is mush. I’ll get back to you, but didn’t want to forget to come by and tell you how good it sounds.

  2. This is similar to KOOL KALIDESCOPE by Ricky Tims … maybe get his book or DVD and see how he drafts the pattern.

    I would tape multiple pieces of freezer paper together till I got the desirable size of the art piece . I would then draft out your black and white RAYS radiating from the center point. I would THEN cut out your rays and iron them on to a second piece of freezer paper then add the 1/4 inch seam allowance to your pattern.

    AT this point I am not sure if I would cut the pattern pieces from yardage following grain lines ….
    Sew pieces of yardage together to get the size you want … ( bigger actually as when sewn the piece size will shorten and shrink) There will be long lines of bias that will need to be sewn together…..

    As long as it lies flat … you will be good to go….ANYTHING that does not line up can be covered with an applique circle. (Use the interface birthing technique.) I would put a slightly bigger circle then the one shown over the center radiating point on the quilt as that will probably be the biggest problem area….. at least that is what I learned when I made the Kaleidoscope quilt… I made a hokey star applique to cover the big hole I had in the center of the radiating rays…..

    Hope this helps but does not give you a headache in the process….. BTW I love your nephew’s art pieces… you are right it will make an awesome quilt.


  3. Hi Frances, it’s been a while! I’m behind with my podcasts so I’m leaving a comment probably days before listening 🙂 I always pictured Travis as a dark brown dog, don’t ask me why (maybe it’s his barking, LOL!) ! So no more wordpress in the title, eh? Likey likey 🙂 Your Christmas applique quilt is super cute, I’d love to have something like that on my wall:) Guess I should just be thankful for the village I have which I can’t wait to put out this weekend! Happy Holiday Season to you!

  4. Wow! That sounded even more grouchy when you read it than in did in my head when I wrote it! I guess I need to clarify to say that I do respect copyright for the work that people do but get frustrated when some designers get snippy about being “copied” when their designs are not all that original in the first place. I love your idea of playing with design and that this is what art really is.

    In that same vein, I think your nephew as an artist would appreciate and value a quilt made that is inspired by his work and not a duplicate. I think it would make a great quilt!

    Love the music – you definitely are a pro by now! Hope you are feeling better by now.

  5. I love the new website and the music! Very professional!

    I agree about the freezer paper method of making the art quilt, with round applique circles. It reminds me of some of the Bill Kerr/Weeks Ringle quilts. It would be your interpretation of his art, so don’t worry about making a perfect duplicate.

    I just finished reading “Anybody Shining”, which I enjoyed, and I wish it had included an apple stack cake recipe! I am from the west coast, and have never heard of it.

  6. Love the new music! It’s a very nice touch to an already wonderful podcast.

    My initial thoughts about your nephew’s artwork is that it could be turned into a paper pieced pattern fairly easily, with applique’d circles. Trace the piece and enlarge it (perhaps at a copier place), cut it in half along a seam line, paper piece each half and sew them together. (It’s just that easy :^) It is a beautiful piece and would make a striking quilt. How large is the art and how large are you thinking for a quilt?

    I’ve very much enjoyed your discussion on patterns. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately since the discussion of how popular quilting has shifted from blocks to fabric and designers. I guess I’m old school – I started quilting in the early 80’s. I buy books, but rarely buy patterns (and most of the patterns I have bought were for applique), have only bought one kit and have never purchased a jelly roll or other pre-cut coordinated fabrics. I typically use all kinds of sources for inspiration and may use snips from all over to create one quilt. Even in the instances where I do use most of a pattern, I change up the borders or the colors or something to make the quilt my own. I don’t like copying another quilt entirely.

    I look at quilting and patterns in a similar light as cooking. If I make the Toll House cookie recipe from the back of Nestle’s chips, sell them and call them my own, I am probably violating some copyright agreement. However, if I tweak it and make something inspired by the original I contend I can do whatever I want with that.

    OK, as an aside and more food for thought on the copyright issue, recipes and clothing are not covered under the copyright laws because they are considered to be functional (as opposed to decorative, like art.) So, does that imply that if I make a quilt and call it a bedspread, that I am not violating any copyright laws? Or does the fact that it is hanging in a quilt show imply that is it art?

    I don’t mean to open the whole copyright issue again. What I meant to say is that I rarely use a pattern to make an exact duplicate of the pictured quilt, but I may use them for inspiration to create my own vision.

  7. Love the music intro and outro! I have a few thoughts about patterns. I think that it’s kind of a personality thing. I think of it kind of like following a recipe. There are people who always follow a recipe, and people who never follow a recipe. And people who start out following recipes, and then eventually get confident enough to branch out on their own.

    Some people enjoy having someone with some skills create a nice pattern and do all the math. I am one of those people. But I have also designed a few simple quilts myself, as I’ve gotten more confident. I agree that a lot of what is passing for “patterns” is pretty basic stuff. But for my very first quilt I bought a simple patchwork pattern (just squares!)–but it taught me to quilt and was worth every penny.

    I think it’s great that you are providing information for future quilt historians, I’m ashamed to admit that I have never labeled a quilt.

  8. Hi Frances,
    I agree with everyone else who says that the new site is coming along nicely. I would encourage you to also purchase the ‘theoffkilterquilt.com” domain name so that sillyheads like me who forget you dropped the ‘the’ will be redirected to this new and fabulous site automatically. Also, you will keep your branding secure.

    The intro (haven’t gotten to the outro yet!) is GREAT! I am so glad you kept your regular words. I love thinking of you hosting me in your podcast. It seems so civilized.

    This about your nephew’s artwork in layers. The bottom layer can be easily pieced with a wedge ruler (if you want to make that as another block in the sampler quilt, let me know). Then you could layer the circles on top and applique’ them on top of the piecing. Finally, you could trim the fabric piece to the correct size. I use this wedge ruler: http://amzn.to/1NM7vX0 I have it in a couple of sizes, but if you want a larger piece, this version will work.

    In addition to millions of quilt patterns, there are lots and lots of coloring books and things to help you with applique’. You can do a Google search for something like “free Christmas clipart” to find some pictures that inspire you.

    For your listeners who might be interested in the quilt class tutorials, they can be found at: http://www.artquiltmaker.com/blog/aq-projects-tutorials/aq-tutorials/quilt-class/ As I add new tutorials that could be considered appropriate to a quilt class, I update this page. The Rose Wreath tutorial shows how to do machine, fusible applique’.

    I saw Soft Fuse, a newish fusible when I went to Houston in 2014. I recently tried it for a placemat sized art quilt and was very pleased with how it worked. It is very soft, though I stabilized the living daylights out of the rest of the piece so it is hard to tell.

    I really appreciate your reminder to your listeners that at some point not everything was online and that people had to go to classes. I get so frustrated sometimes when some of the newer designers forget that there was quilting in between the 1930s and 2005.

    Great podcast!

  9. Read this blog post and thought of your conversation about copyright: http://williammorrisandmichele.blogspot.com/2015/12/copyright-vs-courtesy.html. But I agree–there’s original patterns/designs and then there’s tweaks on something that’s been around a hundred years and someone wants to copyright it…

    For the most part, I’m not really a pattern person in quilting anymore as I do prefer to do my own design, but patterns are very useful for (1) speed, (2) learning, and (3) making life easy on yourself. I also love it when someone else does the math for me. I do follow patterns in sewing things like purses and handbags as I don’t have enough experience or patience to do it myself. With embroidery I started out drawing my own designs but now I’m actually following patterns on occasion and finding it very relaxing (although I still substitute my own colors). For me, it depends on what I want to get out of the project: the satisfaction of something being entirely my own, or the relaxation of not having to think too much while I produce something pretty.

    Love the music! Give Travis a scratch for me…

  10. Very fancy Frances. I like your website. Your man did and is doing a wonderful job of representing your quilting work online. The music was beautiful, too. I (this is just me – the suggestions of all were excellent) would have your nephew’s art printed at Spoonflower and then I would whole cloth quilt it. There are some fabulous negative spaces that would give you a chance to practice quilt patterns. Cindy Needham is now offering stencils with very small motifs for backgrounds. They are so darn cute.

    Take care and have a lovely, lovely NC weekend. It is 85 degrees here. Where is the rain?

  11. Hi Frances,
    Love the new website and the music! Just wanted to pipe in as a pattern designer that I would never expect anyone to put my name on their quilt label because they used my pattern. That particular project and all that goes with it (time, money, and materials) was not created by me but by the quilter. My name belongs on the pattern not the finished project. I think there’s much silliness in the quilt industry today regarding copyright and I think a lot of it is because people don’t fully understand copyright. Let’s loosen up and just enjoy the process!

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