One of the things I've heard a lot over the years is a lament over the lack of confidence many people have in making changes to the colours or fabrics I use in an Elefantz pattern - and not just a lack of confidence in making my designs, but patterns by any designer whose style they love.
Now this 'feeling' is not new to me as I also felt that way back in the early years when I was teaching myself to embroider and quilt. I first began to teach myself (and Blossom) through craft magazines late in 2005, and for the next few years I made almost 'carbon copies' of the patterns which caught my eye.
By 2008 things began to change and my 'brave' muscle was flexed as I began to tweak both fabric colours and thread colours. Early 2009 and I was brave enough to begin designing my own freebies to share here on the blog.
You see, it's a process. Like learning to bake a muffin. You begin by following every measurement and ingredient in exact proportions to the original recipe, but as time goes by you ditch the recipe and set forth tweaking flavours and using a variety of ingredients you love to create new and delicious muffin combinations.
Another thing that comes in to play when you're nervous about making changes to an original design is that sometimes you miss or look past something which just may have caught your eye if it was made in fabrics that are close to your heart.
An example of this is a pattern of Allie's I made this week.
Allie's style is more folksy than mine, and she uses solids as well as prints in many of her patterns. Now, I'm being honest when I tell you that I *love* her designs and the unique way she can make simplicity incredibly fetching to the eye (and the heart). Over the years I've taken time out from my own work to indulge in the pleasure of making a few of Allie's patterns and each one is quite different from her original...yet it's still obviously her design.
Just as Allie proof reads my patterns, I in turn get to proof read hers - the bonus being we both have all of each other's patterns before anyone else does! You may not know it, but Allie has just launched her own monthly club, the Applique Club (you can read about it HERE) and it was one of the patterns in her first month's issue that I got to play with this week.
Delving into my stash I chose fabrics very different from Allie's original. Colour is needed in my home and in my life so I think you'll agree my version of her Prim Flowers Wall Hanging ticks that 'colour box'...
I'm deliberately showing you my tweaked version first because I wanted you to 'see' what I saw in my mind's eye after a first glimpse at Allie's original (below).
That gorgeous jug, the elongated churn dash (which you KNOW is my favourite quilt block)...I swooned and declared to her, "I must make this!"
Now you may look at my colourful version and say "oh, no that's not me" but fall in love with Allie's prim folksy palette, OR you might not be sold on either version because you're a girl who plays with batiks or 30's repro or shabby chic or wool felt or something else completely different.
The thing is, almost any pattern can be made in fabrics *you* love.
So if you've held back from sewing or stitching particular designs, even though there's something about a certain pattern that has caught your eye and you can't stop thinking about it, flex that 'brave' muscle and give it a go, make it your own.
My version of the "Prim Flowers" wall hanging by Allie-Oops Designs now adds colour to the greenery which dominates one side of our front entrance and makes my heart happy as can be.
There was one other change I made to Allie's pattern. Her version has binding but I chose to finish the wall hanging envelope style instead.
Allie's pattern includes an optional Scripture verse which is a separate stitchery pinned to one side.
Just for fun, if you were to make your own version of Allie's "Prim Flowers" what style/colours/fabrics/tweaks would you use?
If you'd like to see all three applique patterns in Allie Hartom's new Club pop over here and have a peek.
I'll be back tomorrow with that long overdue tutorial I promised a couple of weeks ago, and yes, finally, that Cinnamon Scroll recipe!
May your blessings flow freely like a bubbling brook in spring and all the work of your hands prosper to the glory of God,