Saturday, June 25, 2011

Inspiration--How Does it Start?!!

Many things can lead to the inspiration of a quilt block, a quilt design, etc.  But, sometimes things just seem overwhelming.  Maybe it's too many ideas.  Too much fabric in the realm of ideas.

Yesterday was one of those days.  I was hopelessly neurotic about what to do.  I had too many ways to go with this uninspiring (for me anyhow) fabric.  It had been in a drawer for over 5 years.  I'd used it in string blocks, but I still had a hunk of it left!
 It came from a purchase on Ebay quite a few years ago, and it seemed like a great purchase.  But in it was I think 50 yards of various batiks.  When I got them, I thought I could use them.  As I've progressed as a quilter, I now know that these aren't the highest quality of batik--but I still have them.

So, I traveled around Blogs and found this one to be very helpful to my lack of inspiration.

I tried the first one on the list: astericks.  I'd made some before for Block Lotto, but I just hadn't made any for myself and decided now would be a great time to try something new.
These are some of the blocks from this fabric and some blending colors.

 I'll need 20 blocks to make a quilt for a teen that may show up this winter at the local family connections center.  Not sure yet how I'll set them.  But, I'm past my block

 Another link:

There's in I Phone app called "Spinspiration" that seems to be a help for some.  But, I have an android phone and nothing similar showed up there.  Oh well, Michele's blog listed above has more ideas than I can use for awhile...

Artist Robin Olsen offered a terrific list of prompts and advice on how to use them in the September/October 2009 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. She prints up prompts on small pieces of paper, folds them, and tosses them in a basket. She then keeps drawing prompts from the basket and acting on them until the piece she's working on feels complete.

These prompts are not complex or mystical. They can be as simple as "add a new shape" or "make dots on the piece and connect them with wavy lines." But they can have a profound effect on your work.

Here is some of Robin's advice:

  • Try doing one small piece from start to finish using prompts. Don't give up too quickly. Some of my favorite elements came from prompts that seemed impossible at first.
  • A prompt does not have to be a dominant element in a piece. Think of ways it can be incorporated subtly, using soft colors, sheers, fine lines, or as small background details.
  • Customize your list of prompts for how you like to work. You might add mixed-media or embellishment techniques to your list. You can also customize how you use them such as just using one or two prompts to get started or only at the end of a piece to add final embellishments.

So, I'd love to hear from you.  Feel free to leave a comment and tell me how you get your inspiration--especially for donation quilts.


Debbie said...

I use a lot of photos, saved in a binder, as a jump start to inspire me. I did the Art Quilt Workbook last year....what a help in finding my way. My favorite donation quilt is a rail fence...quick and easy, but change it up by using only batiks, or just florals, or only plaids. I pay a lot of attention to the value placement for impact.
And beware the ebay purchases...I have 25 yards of florals. LOL.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Quilt shows inspire, sometimes just a thought - google search 'images of ------' and you can find some inspiration (and some things that should be banned) Flowers are great inspiration. Deb's suggestion of a rail fend is great cuz' the rails can be 1,2,3,4 strips wide and with color and placement - they all look smashing.