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Everyday Inspiration

One of the MANY things I love about quilting is that even if I'm not stitching I can easily gather inspiration from anything else I might be doing. I usually have my phone on hand to snap photos of flowers from our garden or other textures I find either at home or around town. Creating projects from my own photos allows me to experiment with new and learned techniques and develop original designs.

The above iris was created using a mosaic applique technique I learned in a workshop.

In the project above I stitched out a free-motion quilting design on solid white cotton fabric and experimented with Derwent Inktense pencils.

Textures from the ocean are great inspiration for free-motion work. If you live along a shoreline take a few minutes out of your weekend and do some collecting along the beach. I like to draw out ideas in my sketchbook and audition the textures I pick up or photograph in pencil. If I decide I like them I'll refine the designs for later reference on projects.

You can also see how many possibilities exist on a walk from your kitchen to your patio. From the woodgrain on your floor to the metal grating on your patio table, you'll be surprised at how many different textures and motifs you can add to your toolbox.

You probably have a basket or storage container with a basket weave texture in your home. The basket weave is a grid based design totally worth mastering and including in your repertoire. Folks are always in awe when they see this texture stitched out in a quilt. It is a very dimensional design, quite easy to achieve, and with so many possible variations.

Architectural elements provide endless possibilities for reinterpretation into piecing or free-motion patterns. Historic buildings and churches are treasure troves of craftmanship and ornamental design. From stained glass windows, to brickwork and masonry you can build your own vast library of reference sources from landmarks and places of interest within your own town.

As we manage work, family, and everyday errands it's easy to forget the multitude of inspiration at our fingertips. I hope you find these ideas useful as you plan your next creative endeavor!

Happy Stitching!

- Liz


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