visual inspiration for quilt making

Ways To Find Inspiration For Quilt Making - Visual Inspiration

Tags: abstract art, bargello, design a quilt, flower, inspiration, quilt art, quilt thoughts

Each quilt tells its own story and is unique with its own characteristics but where does the inspiration come from to make a quilt? Over the next few weeks I'm going to give you a number of ways to find inspiration for quilting. Each post will be divided into a category group. In most points I will include my own personal examples to give you further understanding for it.

Our first category is visual inspiration. Visual inspiration is the most common form of inspiration.

Visual Inspiration

This category can be broken into several subtitles.

1: Nature

Nature is likely the most common of all inspirations - for me any how. Look at the flowers and trees, parks, rivers, and mountains.... and don't forget animals, birds, and insects, all of which fit into this category.

After looking at my website you will know that flowers are a great inspiration for me. Many of my best patterns are appliqued flowers. Here is just one quilt "Light Upon the Earth" that was inspired by nature. I started by taking a photo to capture the moment so I could draw in the comfort of my home thus the creating began.

Calla Lily photo for inspiration
Calla Lily photo for inspiration
Light Upon the Earth quilt of calla lilies
Light Upon the Earth Quilt

If you want to find out more about the process of designing this particular quilt see my blog post: Calla Lily Applique Creation - the idea >>

2: Photos

Photos go hand in hand with nature and all visual inspiration because it is the visual picture that we capture within the photo. Photos will grab the moment and set it ready for us to transform into a quilt. Here are a couple of examples of how I used photos to make small quilts. I printed the actual photo on fabric. In the first photo, I free-motion stitched over it to enhance the colors and add textile.... and in the second, I made a small quilt using several photos after a day at the San Diego zoo.

Redwood Valley quilt
Redwood Valley quilt
Printing on fabric zoo quilt
Printing on fabric zoo quilt

You can learn more about printing on fabric through my e-Book "Printing on Fabric".

3: Architecture

Buildings can be a great source of inspiration. Architecture is an art source of its own so transferring it into patchwork can create some very interesting results. While my Bargello Blues quilt wasn't explicitly inspired by architecture, yet many of my students have made reference of it to the Great Wall of China, suggesting an unintentional connection.

Bargello Blues quilt
Bargello Blues quilt

4: Artwork

Artwork such as paintings, statues, masonry, woodcarving, and the likes are another great source of inspiration. Often we will find great designs carved that we could easily transfer into quilting lines.

I'm sure you have heard of Claude Monet's famous lily paintings. Lily Pond is my interpretation of his artwork.

Claude Monet's waterlilies
Claude Monet's Lilies
Lily Pond quilt made by Ruth Blanchet
My Lily Pond

5: Movies

Movies can be another source of inspiration especially mythical scenes such as castles, serpents, and dragons or galactic scenes. If you ever watched Lord of the Rings there were some truly beautiful scenic views that could easily be used as inspiration.

"Phantom of the Opera" by Andrew Lloyd Webber inspired me to make several pieces including a quilted book. Here is one page of the book I made.

A page from Phantom of the Opera quilt book
A page from Phantom of the Opera quilt book

This covers the main areas of visual inspiration. You can see there are many forms of inspiration around us many of which we may not even be aware of. What inspires you visually? Let me know by leaving your comments below.

The second part of finding inspiration is coming up next: Finding inspiration for quilt making part 2

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