I’ve been thinking about what inspires my quilt designs, and the first thing that came to mind was the beautiful or fun or amazing quilts I see at shows, guild meetings, retreats, wherever. Here are a few of my favorite quilts for inspiration.
I love the variety of bright colors and the tiny pieces in this one:
Quilt made by Jerri from TINY pieces of Liberty of London fabric
And this is a favorite because of the bright colors and eccentric design:
Cinco de Mayo, made by Renny Jaeger; pattern by Karen K Stone
This unusual design appeals to me:
Rena was given a circle cutter at the last retreat, and she went wild!
Pamela Wiley’s excellent workmanship and eye-popping designs make her quilts among my favorites:
Outside In by Pamela Wiley
I like the use of color in this next one, as well as the movement generated by the curved piecing and curved quilting:
In the Marsh #2, by Carol Bryer Fallert-Gentry
And this one reminds me of Maine, where we lived for a while:
Coves and Islands by Carol Anne Grotian
What inspires your designs?
My modern guild loves dirty Santa games and loves pincushions, so a recent challenge involved making a pincushion to swap. I found a nice cup and saucer at a thrift store and decided to make that into a pincushion.
I previously researched tutorials for making pincushions and learned that ground English walnut shells are one of the best types of stuffing for them. The shells are heavy (dense) enough to keep the pincushion from coming up with the pin you are trying to remove from it, and they are ground fine enough to allow pins to be stuck in easily. Ground walnut shells are available in pet stores, where folks apparently think I want them for my pet lizard to use as desert sand. (They’re mistaken about that, but I bought the ground walnut shells anyway.)
The problem was how to get the walnut shells firmly packed into a nice round ball that would fit smoothly into the cup. I solved that problem by rescuing a discarded athletic sock from the trash, which is why there’s a sock in the picture of the cup above!
I cut off the toe of the sock, stuffed it with ground walnut shells, and closed it tightly with a rubber band.
I patted the filled sock into shape so that it fit nicely in the cup.
Then I cut a circle of fabric and gathered the edge with a long machine stitch.
After drawing up the edge of the circle as much as I could around the base of the sock, I finished drawing it tight by adding another rubber band.
And before you ask, the size of the circle was a guess–I just used the largest circle on my circle cutting template.
Finally, I stuffed the whole thing into the cup, rubber band side down. It was heavy enough and fit tightly enough that it did not need to be glued in. I did glue the cup to the saucer, however.
And that was it! So easy and so fun!
In case you haven’t been reading my blog long enough to know about the condom quilt, here is a brief summary:
- A couple of years ago I wanted to make a quilt from a QR code in such a way that the entire quilt top could be scanned to open the target website. Since I was going to be putting in a lot of effort, I wanted a QR code that had some meaning for me.
- At that time I was working in public health, spending much of each day helping patients cope with various problems that might have been prevented by appropriate use of condoms.
- When I looked for a condom-related QR code, I found that Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands (PPGNW) had developed a QR code to be placed on their condom packages. Scanning the code linked to PPGNW’s “Where Did You Wear It?” site. The goal was to encourage safer sex through condom use.
The Original Code
My colorized version of the code
PPGNW graciously agreed to let me use their QR code in my design. I colorized their code and made my quilt, checking after construction of each section to be sure the whole thing still scanned correctly.
This is the finished quilt. That tiny embedded QR code leads to my blog.
I showed the quilt anywhere I could. (It isn’t just younger people who need safer sex.) That included guilds, quilt shows, and the folks in my office. After a year of showing it to anybody who would listen, I donated the quilt to PPGNW to be used in any way they wish.
I was very pleased recently to receive this picture of the PPGNW management staff with the quilt. That funny looking guy is their condom mascot.
The folks at PPGNW report that the quilt has sparked discussion, especially about the interaction of traditional crafts and technology. I enjoyed this quilt from start to finish and I’m glad it is now in its home.
Last Saturday I taught my “secret valentine” pillow at Studio Stitch in Greensboro (NC). Here are a few pictures of the finished pillow covers with their proud makers.
I’ll be teaching Yow again this spring, this time at A Stitch in Time in Franklin, NC. The class is scheduled for Friday, April 6. This is a lively quilt, and I teach three different ways to piece a curve perfectly.
This is made with bright batiks and templates from Elisa’s Backporch Design
What have you been up to?