Truly original ideas in design are really, really rare More often good designs are inspired by other good designs, and most designers start by copying other people. There’s nothing wrong with that–just give credit!
For example, here’s a door I admire in a friend’s house. It got me thinking that it would be nice to make her a table runner with a design similar to the glass in the door, especially since the dining table is right by the door. I may start out by copying the design, but my table runner won’t be an exact copy. I want it to be obviously inspired by the door, but I probably couldn’t make an exact copy even if I wanted to. And I’m not going to sell it as my own “original” design without reference to the door, either.
Here’s the first attempt:That may be obviously inspired by the door, though in fact both are inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and Craftsman styles of design. If you don’t know much about those styles of design, Google them. There are many similar designs to be found, so I can make LOTS of designs of this style without copying any of them. Here’s the second try:
This one has a little more detail. Another master of this style, popular in the early years of the 20th Century, was Charles Rennie Mackintosh. William Morris textile and wallpaper designs were the same historical period, and you may have seen Moda’s extensive line of William Morris-inspired fabrics.
So go look at some books on the history of design (the history of advertising works too) and make some designs inspired by what you see. It’s a good starting place when you think you don’t have any ideas, and you’ll eventually come up with something your really like. Then it’s time to make a quilt!
Here are the first 5 posts in this series:
Your Inner Designer 5: A Program to Make Your Own Palette!
Quilt Design 4: Choosing Your Color Scheme
Your Inner Designer 3: New Blocks From Old
Your Inner Designer 2: Many Block Arrangements