There has been a lot of stealing of ideas lately and it made me start thinking about my work and where my designs originate from. I RARELY follow a pattern, I quilt like I cook, I see a pattern or recipe, use it as a loose guideline and then make so many changes that by the end it is often nothing like the original idea.
I used to make all of my own designs from original ideas because I did not have quilting community, online or in real life, so I had nothing to compare to so what I came up with was truly my own idea, not inspired by another's quilty work. The problem is that now with so many blogs, free tutorials, Pinterest, and an overabundance of incoming "inspiration," I sometimes find it hard to figure out whether the ideas I now come up with are truly mine or just something that I saw once and loved. I am scared of accidentally copying someone's work.
I try to find inspiration outside of the quilting community. If you don't it is very easy to have the issues stated above. I have a pattern oriented brain and pick up patterns and details in things that normal people do not. Whether it is in shadows, negative spaces, or even ways to turn existing art into fiber creations, I find that the "real" world gives me most of my truly original ideas.
Bathroom Wall in a local restaurant
Jump Ropes at Field Day
Rain Boots I got from Target
T-shirt from Target
Window at the Bakken Museum
The document under this adorable dog :)
A root structure
Old piece of palm wood
A card I got from a friend
If you don't already, try to find patterns or designs in everyday objects and think about how you can use them in your own work. It's surprising what you find when you start looking...