Monday, 10 February 2014

Quilt Inspiration

This popped up on my Pinterest a few weeks ago:

Mini Quilts Pinterest
Something about it grabbed my attention. You know I like quotes, and all my mini quilts are going to have quotes on them, plus the white circles coming outwards seemed perfect for quilting lines. But the quote wasn't really working for me. It's not something that has a personal connection to me, it's not something that I particularly feel the need to see on my wall. And, for me, I'm not sure the quote works with those circular lines. I think I'd prefer to see something free and open and joyful with that quote - just as a personal preference.

But one of my favourite quotes sprang into my mind when looking at this image:
'The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result'
(I always thought this was an Einstein quote, but I did read something a while back that questioned this. I like to think it is though still, it sounds to me like something he might say!)

So I started making. I used some old school trousers, they had holes at the knees and were too small and no good for anything else. I decided I wanted to make it patchy and crazy to sort of fit my quote even better. I stitched down a 'circle' shape on top of a background patch, all on top of a scrap of blanket:

And then just carried on stitching random shapes around it to build it up and cover all the blanket.

I left the edges raw and really didn't worry about any pattern or regularity to it. It came together very fast and I quickly got to the point of adding my quote.

And then the quilting lines:

And then the binding and a finished quilt:

I'm also very impressed with myself here for the fact that this photo has a little 'wonkypatchwork...' watermark on it, hurray! First time I've actually done this!

I deliberately made it a funny shape to add to the 'crazy' element of it. Personally I really like this quilt, mainly because I love the quote and I think the quote works very well in this setting. But it is quite 'different' and I'm not sure how well it will sit with my other mini quilts - but maybe that's part of the fun of making a mini quilt wall.

It also started me thinking about inspiration and what might set me off making a quilt. Pinterest is obviously a great source of inspiration, for all kinds of projects not just for quilts. And my pinterest boards do contain quite a lot of inspiring quilts. But frequently I find the pins that get me most interested and really make me want to create a quilt aren't actually pins of quilts in the first place. They're pins of illustrations, or lino cuts or book covers or some other random image. Like these pins for instance:

From my board Patchwork Inspiration

From my Mini Quilts Board

Mini Quilts Board again
So, if you're feeling uninspired, rather than head over to Pinterest and search for quilts or cushions or whatever else you might be wanting to make, head to Pinterest and search for something a bit different. Try searching patterns, screen printing, design, illustration, book covers, wood cuts or maybe just art or your favourite artist. Another option is to find someone to follow who has fairly eclectic tastes, someone whose pins will constantly surprise you and open your eyes to new images. My person to follow who meets this criteria is Matthew Carlson, I've no idea how I started following his boards but his pins frequently intrigue me. And I'm clearly not the only one of this opinion, I hadn't realised before I started writing this, but he's got over 132000 followers.

And there are so many other online sources of inspiration, blogs obviously being one of my favourites. But, as easy as it is these days to limit our inspiration to online browsing, there are plenty of other sources out there. For instance, I've mentioned here before that, for me, books are another favourite, particularly children's books. I also find myself spotting things, just every day things out and about, all over the place, that make me think of quilts. Here are a few:

I often drive past this wood store, and it did, in a strange inverted way, play a big part in how I made Sam's quilt.

Theo thought I was completely bonkers photographing a drain!

I love this gate!

This one is a bit more boring obviously, but very easy to see how it could translate to a quilt.

A bit too simple perhaps, but I seem to have chevron/herringbone type patterns on the brain at the moment!

There's something about this barn that makes me want to keep looking at it.

Theo didn't see me photograph this, he would probably have thought this was even more bonkers!
So, that's a bit about some of my sources of inspiration. Have you got a particular favourite source of inspiration you could share - perhaps a Pinterest board, or a place, or a magazine maybe?



  1. Really great blog called wonky patchwork that inspires me! Cheesy!!

  2. Very cheesy! But very kind! I really hope what I wrote didn't sound like I was fishing for a comment like that though??? I'm a bit worried now, I didn't mean to be!


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