Finding Inspiration

Looking at everyday objects and situations for new quilt design ideas

When I first started quilting about eight years ago, I knew nothing. I did not know any quilting basics, like the names of the basic blocks. I had no idea about the kind of fabric available and used anything, from polycotton to silk scraps. And I was clueless as to fundamental techniques, such as ironing seams or using a rotary cutter. But despite all of those obstacles, I still managed to run up some quilts which I designed myself. At that time, I just put things together as I went and did not give much thought to the actual design process. As I learnt more about quilting, I realised that creating the design is as much a part of quilting as cutting and sewing. For a while, I looked for deep and meaningful inspiration. I became convinced that good quality design had to be inspired by recognized works of art. I spent hours looking at pictures by famous artists such as Klee and Rothko waiting to be inspired. All I came away with was a feeling of inadequacy: I would never be able to create anything like that! So I decided to take a break and not put myself under so much pressure. In recent months, I have found inspiration in simple everyday objects and events. In addition, if I am planning to gift a quilt, I try and think about the recipients and what is important to them. I have just finished designing two new quilts for two special people. I can't reveal too much at this stage as I have yet not started sewing the tops, but here is an image that gave me some of the inspiration for one of the quilts.

A swim float (holiday in Portugal, May 2013)   

A swim float (holiday in Portugal, May 2013)  

This is a picture of a swim float, taken on holiday in Portugal in May this year. During this holiday, my husband spent a lot of time teaching our elder son to swim. They both had a lot of fun and our little boy was so proud of himself. The swim float was the starting point for the design for a quilt I call "Learning to Swim". I will post more photos of the different stages of completion once I get started.