I've only ever made two quilts exactly to someone else's pattern. One I at least changed from really sweet white and pastel pinks to black and hot pinks, but this quilt is almost exactly like the original, and that includes the colors. Gwen Marston published the pattern in a magazine in November 1993 and I so fell in love with it that I copied it, finishing in May '94.
I'm ashamed to say that I even traced the pattern of the Christmas tree, rather than drawing out my own which would have been easy easy easy. Twelve years later, I can wing stuff like that without worrying.
What do I love about this quilt? The colors and their placement. OOh purple mismatched width borders and a RED tree on a green background. And look at the beautiful quilting design. That was easy enough to draw freehand with chalk - it's not supposed to look precise so that makes it much easier to just DO.
You start by making the curvy double line around the border and then go back in and fill in spirals. I've used this design a couple of times since.
So I copied and I learned. I still love the idea of a red christmas tree and after I'd learned Susan Shie's technique I used it to make this little guy back in 2001. Doesn't look like anything she'd make, but it does look like me.
I actually got the idea of doing all those buttons from a wool crazy quilt that some creative quilter had embroidered a giant chicken outline on and then filled with buttons. (Sorry I don't have a copy of the pic, for all you chicken lovers out there - believe me, it was fun.) I glued rhinestones on there and am thrilled they've stayed on.
By the way, I've been having an ongoing discussion lately about "name-dropping" in blogs. I happen to like knowing where people got their ideas and inspirations from. I'm not saying "ooh, I'm special I know who this person is" I'm saying "Wow, this person really influenced me and if you don't know who they are, then you should check them out because you really might like them too."