Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Inspiration ... And Where It Takes Us

This month on the Block Lotto, I suggested we blog about inspiration. It was, perhaps, a silly question, because I think most quilters are inspired by, well, almost everything. For me, it is the process by which inspiration morphs into creation that I find especially interesting ... and I especially appreciate blogger-quilters that share that process.

Last week, Julie offered a giveaway on The Intrepid Thread. For a chance in the drawing she asked everyone to tell her what new quilt pattern from Quilt Market they had seen and wanted to make most ... I thought it was an interesting idea, but realized that while I may be inspired by the quilts I see, the inspiration does NOT turn into an urge to make the same quilt for me.  I realized that I look at beautiful quilts and see block designs and other shapes, color-way ideas, quilting design and other elements.  Those bits and pieces of ideas do find their way into block and color ideas for the Block Lotto and aspects in my quilts, though I'm not sure anyone but me would necessarily connect my inspiration with the source.

The blue and cream Diagonal Bars blocks for this month's Block Lotto were inspired by a red and white quilt from the Infinite Variety quilt show a few years ago.  A charity quilt seen during my guild's show and tell inspired an idea for a future lotto block, though we will, inevitably, make it in different colors.

Show and Tell of Marie's Quilts (charity quilts for kids)

Sometimes I start with a straight forward idea and start asking, "what if." That's how it went when, inspired by Beth's cute Cat, I decided to make one of my own.  What if I changed the square body shop?  What if I made the body with a flat bottom so it would sit upright?  What if I added a tail–would it look like a 5th leg?– and some Siamese-inspired details?

 Proto-Kitty
Beth's Copy Cat (inspired by a knitted one) is on the left and my Proto-kitty is on the right. They are still definitely related, but because I couldn't resist those what if questions, the proportions and other details are a bit different.

Spring Challenge - April's Lovely FinishSometimes a current project inspires an idea for something new. When I was working on my Spring Challenge pillow, I was (pleasantly) surprised at how easy it was to insert the circle (bloom) into the pieced, made-fabric background.

I have an idea for a summer project which will have a different kind of inset circles.  This pillow project inspired to think about using a pieced background ... which led me to remember a set of blocks from an exchange that took place long, long ago.

It was a great block swap, in which each person's block was made from half-square triangles (HST), made in the specified color-way (combined with cream) for each of the other swappers. I asked for neutrals and here's what I received.

Blocks made from Half-Square Triangles

I put these blocks away because, at the time, I didn't think there was enough variation in those "neutrals" to make for an interesting quilt. I'm not sure I still think so, but I think they will also work well as a scrappy pieced background. As I pulled them out and put them on the wall today, I also thought that if you're looking for ideas for HSTeria blocks, thee are some good ideas here.

I plan to turn these twenty 12-inch blocks into a dozen 20-inch or larger square backgrounds. Some blocks will be deconstructed into parts; I will likely make more HST units to add into the mix.  As with the kitty, I will begin with one prototype block and see what happens ... and whether this new idea for old blocks succeeds or fails, I'll likely share my process here.

I'm joining the Linked lists for the topic of the month on the Block Lotto, Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday and Vicki's HSTeria QAL.


4 comments:

Beth Shibley said...

Love your kitty cat. Great post.we're all inspiring one another. One big happy creative neighborhood I call blog land.

Jo said...

I think you have some great neutrals in there. There are quite a few colours

Vicki W said...

Those are great HSTeria blocks!

Vicki W said...

Hi Sophie, you won the HSTeria drawing this week! The prize is a collection of hand dyed scraps. Just email me with your address and tell me if you prefer more textured fabrics or more mottled or if there's some other preference. Congrats! Vicki

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