One of the coolest things about Linda Poole is that she likes post her Color Fixes that get me thinking about quilts…how I can make them and how I can reproduce some of them. When she posts the Color Fixes I always comment…and have actually started going to the machine when I have some time. I recently realized that I don’t have to reproduce the color fixes exactly. Stitching out the general idea of the color fix is quite satisfying.
On an post earlier Linda asked me to share where I find inspiration for quilting.
Quilts. I find inspiration in quilts. Loads of inspiration in quilts. From traditional work to contemporary and art quilts. This leads back to the quilters, who work hard at producing quilts, whether for family, friends, causes or shows. Often these quilters have little time to spend quilting and just do amazing work.
When I have the opportunity I get to any quilt show I can…from small & local to big and not so local. Small local shows are usually run by guilds whose members often have some amazing talent!!! I’ll take photos of quilts, often sharing them on my blog. Often what inspires me most is the quilting. My greatest passion right now is the thread work so I look at what other quilters are doing in thread design and see what I can take from that. Large quilt shows offer a grander opportunity to see more quilts. I’m hoping to get to MQX for the first time this year as it’s moved a bit closer to home. I’ve heard great things for years about this show.
Quilt Shops…from fabric to thread, notions to thread and quilts and classes I’m hooked. While it is a rarity that I actually purchase patterns they certainly do inspire and show what can be done with a particular fabric. I love to look at and pet fabrics…I’d have to admit that I’m not a particularly traditional quilter I do find traditional looking fabrics inspiring as they prompt me to think about quilting (thread work) designs and how they can be used in other quilts. I love non traditional fabrics batiks, hand dyes, unusual patterns again leading to how I can play with thread.
Nancy at the quilt cottage in Mamaroneck changes her window seasonally and had a delightful wintery window now. The shop has pressed tin on the walls & ceilings giving the shop a delightfully homey feel. Nancy keeps fabrics current and has an ecclectic mix of styles from asians to batiks and kona solids. She also carry’s yarns and knitting and crochet supplies. I learned to love going into yarn shops a while back with a friend…we were walking around the City and she took me to a yarn shop….ooooooooooh yummy.
Yarn is just as inpiriring for color. I love the look and feel of yarn and some quilters are embellishing their quilts with yarn now. The industry is taking as many risks as the fabric industry in that they are really branching out with a grand variety of styles and textures giving quilters a great variety to look at and feel.
Thread inspires me. Everything from solids, tone on tones, variegates and silk. Oh how I love quilting with silk. Mostly in my thread stash is anything I can get my hands on from Superior threads from light weight poly’s to heavier cottons. Yummy. As I’ve become more confident in quilting using a variety of thread in a quilt has become more of an option and even a goal. Thread is the final part of a quilt that is so essential and choosing thread can be a bit of a challenge for any quilter but well worth the effort! In an earlier post I quilted a silk quilt with silk thread that is now on display at the White Plains Public Library. I would recommend silk for beginners…given the right information on needle size to use with the silk…go for it!
Flowers inspire me from color and texture to shape and style. Flowers are a great theme in quilting from the color washed textures to the bright and bold of Kaffe Fassett/Rowan. I find these great inspiration when helping new quilters choose fabrics for a quilt. Of course I’d love to steer them to batiks however it’s more difficult.
Students inspire me. There is a moment when my students just start getting it, really start understanding the process of machine quilting and their concentration kicks in, shoulders relax, the machine speed stays at a steady medium and they’re truly in the quilting zone that just gets me all inspired. In teaching beginner quilting watching the students gain confidence in skills from pressing & cutting and piecing to getting the quilt basted and quilted when they can.
I love to take my camera with me and shoot anything from quilts to nature. Mother Nature has a way of putting together color that is quite inspiring and quite freeing. There are quite a few great teachers who are great at guiding quilters how to use color in the quilt. Often it’s something truly subtle that makes the quilt and grabs the attention. I’m putting together a quilt for a class I’m teaching and realized after I’d chosen all of the fabrics that two of them have a purple edge to them…this provides a bit of sparkle in the browns & oranges. Two of the peachy/orange fabrics have purples & yellows running through that will keep that same sparkle in a different and unique way.
Autumn inspires me as this palate is for me a natural color palate….reds, oranges, yellows, browns, greens and a dash of maroony/purple running through the landscape. This all works and works well.