Inspiration from Nature

One of my online friends, Chela, reminded me that nature is a great inspiration for quilts (as well as other art).  So here are some of my favorite nature pix.

I love plants and flowers of (almost) all kinds, so they are a frequent subject:

inspiration for quilts

Can you see the bee?

It’s a Jack-in-the-Pulpit right beside my back steps!

Kenilworth Ivy is a favorite, and I like the pattern against the rock wall

The forest floor on one of our hikes

Any nature picture is improved by adding a grandchild!

Like most folks, I take pictures when we travel, some for the colors, some for the general scenery.

The colors are monochromatic, indicating how this little guy survives in the Canadian Rockies (when he isn’t begging from tourists)

One of these days I’ll use this picture, made on the Blue Ridge Parkway, as inspiration for a landscape quilt

The colors in New Mexico are always fascinating, and the sky so big

The one thing I don’t do, and don’t intend to do, is print my photos on fabric and put them in quilts that way.  I use them for shapes, colors, arrangement of forms…but for the purpose of interpretation, not direct copies.

How do you use your photos in your quilts?

18 thoughts on “Inspiration from Nature

  1. Thanks for sharing these gorgeous photos. Yoand you are so right about the addition of your adorable grandchild improving the photo.
    For the quilt we donated to Brackenridge Park, I used the printed photos. We wanted to promote the conservation of this park. Lately, I am attempting to interpret photos of nature through thread sketching. A landscape quilt is on my Dream -To-Do list.

  2. Very cute grandchild!
    I have made two quilts using photos — I took photos of butterflies and other pollinators, and put them through Photoshop filters to make them look painted. Then I printed them (on the 8.5 x 11 sheets) and surrounded them with scrappy strips. They were intended as big banners for nature festivals, and they have done their job and brought people over to our volunteer booth, and I really like them for that. I don’t know that I would want them as bed quilts! 🙂
    I have just designed 5 coordinating fabrics from photos of wildlife, and that order is supposed to get here Thursday, so we will see if that use of photos on fabric is successful!

  3. When I use photos I abstract a bit and if I am following the photo too closely, put it away and keep revising my first sketches. I can see printing photos on fabric for memory quilts or major birthday or anniversary quilts, but haven’t had occasion to do that. I agree on the value of the grandchild’s presence. Cute.

  4. Pingback: Creative Inspiration: A Surprisingly Beautiful Monday – tierneycreates

  5. I’m not very good at using photos in my quilts. I’d say I do take inspiration from the colors, but I haven’t found another way to interpret them yet. I have a picture of Jim’s folks standing in their garden and I’ve long wanted to use it to make a story quilt. But my skills have not yet caught up to my aspirations. Love the photo with your grandchild! What a cutie!

    • I have a photo that I have modified/simplified in Photoshop with the intention of using it as a base for thread painting in future. Maybe something like that would be doable with the photo of Jim’s parents.

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