Saturday, May 24, 2014

Inspiration from the Works of Others

Inspiration can be derived from many different sources.  Nature, music, and personal thoughts - you know... that "light bulb" moment - are the tip of the iceberg.  Imitation being a form of flattery, another great source of inspiration is the works of others.

This Bullseye quilt, her latest "finish", was shared in the Spring 2014 UFO Club by Kris7:

Kris at said that she started this quilt as an experiment and it's quirky, lopsided circles reminded me that I have been wanting to make one of these quilts for a very long time.  I love how she included some "whole" circles to give the viewer's eye a place to rest.

Look at the cool quilting she did!  I think it's AWESOME!!!

Kris thinks that it's just another "fabric vomit" quilt, but I think it's wonderful!  Go over to her blog to have a look at her mother's "more thought out and artsy" version.  (Not sure that I agree since they are EACH lovely in their own way.)

 Then Jrnylst, also from the UFO Club, posted this quilt from the Denver National Quilt Show in our Ravelry group (from a photo she shared on her blog) to show the similarities noted by another Ravelry member:
  The quilt in question is titled "Black Saves the Day" and was made by Susan Lee, SAQA Color Wheel of Emotion.  Be sure to visit Deborah's blog at for more awe-inspiring photographs.

While I love the quilt that Kris made, something about Black Saves the Day just spoke to the quilter in me.  It spoke volumes and it spoke LOUDLY!  I was inspired!!!

Here was my response (on to the picture post:

'I love the freeform way this one was “thrown” together. Even though that’s not my usual style, it gave me that “Oh! I must go make that NOW!!” feeling. (And I just might…)'

In fact, I did begin... THAT VERY NIGHT with this:

The background grid and the search for appropriately sized circle "templates."  Two true templates were used for the larger sizes.  The smallest circles were cut using a Gatorade lid (thanks DS1 for coming up with that) for the proper balance.

By the next afternoon (thanks to a Sew Day with NeedleB), the quilt was looking like this:
Circles lined up on the background.  Lots of mixing and matching to get the color combinations "just right."  This was followed by stitching the various circles together.

Once the circles were stacked and sewn, I chopped them into bits - half the fun of being a quilter!  :o))  Although, (technically) I only cut them into quarters.

Then came several days of "playing" with the bits to get them to form a pleasing sequence...  it should be easy, but I have a tendency to arrange and rearrange until the bits are probably right back where they began.  LOL

Anyway, it took a fair amount playing and the LAST thing that I did the night before was declare the positioning "perfect."  (I suppose that was my mistake.)  I head off to bed, sleep the night, get up to get ready for Quilt Bee, and go into the studio to get my project pinned down before Show and Tell.

What did I find???

I found that it took a LOT of talking to myself to avoid the tears that threatened to fall.

WHAT??  Why???

Well, it seems that my studio assistant felt the need to rearrange my pieces in the middle of the night!!!  Grrr!!!  (Cats, kids, or husbands... what can you do?!)

I took a deep breath and began pinning the pieces down (in a "new, improved" design).  So much for that other layout... here's what it looks like now:

It's getting closer to that inspiration piece!

I'm still not quite sure that I like the scale of the circles as compared with the size of the background, but I'm going to live with it "as is" for now and decide once I've determined what I want to do for the quilting.  I took a small survey of quilting and artist friends.  The consensus was to leave the background the way it is shown.

For now... I'm thinking machine trupunto using two layers of batting, but I haven't determined if that's the method that I really want to use.  My last trupunto effort went horribly wrong, so it may be time to try it again.

Thank you to Kris7 for whetting my appetite for a new project.  Thanks to Jrnylst for sharing the Denver National Quilt Show photos and thank you to Susan Lee for creating a quilt that forced me into action!!!

Until next time...
Happy Quilting!

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