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Wednesday, March 09, 2011


When it's time to quilt something I sometimes get stuck on picking a design and need inspiration.

I have plenty of pattern books that show quilted quilts but rarely look at those design. 

I have about 6 books on this shelf that are just on quilting. There is a book on McTavishing, another book has three increasingly difficult quilt designs for 6 different quilts and the rest of my books show doodles or designs for specific block shapes.

I even have DVDs from Patsy Thomson for design ideas.

I also have a sketchbook of designs. Anytime I see a quilting design that really grabs me, I cut it out of the magazine or sketch it on scratch paper. The ultimate goal is to transfer those ideas into this sunny yellow sketchbook.

When I get ready to quilt a specific quilt I approach the design two different ways. Generally I take out a muslin sandwich and draw out the quilt block and quilting design. I will practice over and over on the sample and then they're saved in a drawer for later inspiration. I can see a lot of improvement from my earlier samples but I think I need to date them...

Last week when I was going to quilt my zigZapp runner, I looked thru the sketchbook for ideas (recognize that design bottom center?). When I had a couple possibilites, I traced the leaf shapes onto paper and drew in the quilt design. I took that paper with me to work and every time I sat back down at my desk I had to retrace it with a pen. By the time I got home I was all "warmed up," had formed the necessary "muscle memory" and decided to forgo my usual muslin sandwich. It worked great!

so...How do you store your quilting ideas? And where do you find inspiration?

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