Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ladies and Artichoke?

During the design class I took at the Quilting Expo in November, I had occasion to observe another person's source of inspiration, or one of them. The teacher had a file of pictures she had clipped from magazines that she thought might make a good design, either for the subject of a quilt or the design of quilting lines. Since then, I have started my own picture file, for those occasions when I find myself in need of some inspiration.

A new quilting challenge had me going back to this file to find inspiration for a quilt of fruit, veggies, or flowers. I pulled a few pictures of flowers, one or two of some fruit, and this one of an artichoke. I started to play with the picture of the artichoke, tracing its lines and daydreaming about fabric. In so doing, I found myself entranced. At the beginning of this process, I doubted I would find a fruit or vegetable to inspire a quilt. Maybe, maybe, I could find some flowers that wouldn't be trite. But now, here I was, falling in love with the artichoke.

Over the last couple weeks, I've scanned it in, converted it to black and white, and made a template of it. All along the way, the artichoke kept getting prettier and prettier. Let's hope the same can be said of the quilt.

It's a Tough Job...

...but somebody's gotta do it!

Today I went through the agonizing process of going to a quilting store and choosing fabric for some upcoming projects. (Check the store out at This brutal process involves passing through rows of quilting fabric, looking for fabrics to catch my eye, auditioning them against one another to see if they fit. I have to pull the fabric off the shelf, touch it, look at the pretty colors...

It's agony, but I am willing to suffer for my art.

What projects looming on the horizon inspired such a visit? Well, there's the artichoke quilt that I'm doing for a competition (more on that later), and also the quilt for a dear friend's baby shower. She's due at the end of April with a baby girl, and the shower is at the end of March. So, not a ton of time to finish said quilt, but enough. Enough.

In the end, I decided on some fabrics for the baby quilt to complement the decor of the baby's room now, but have enough variety in the color scheme to accomodate any change in decor. Hopefully this quilt will be something the kid has for a long time.

These fabrics seems whimsical, but not childish. Exactly what I was looking for. I've scanned them in and started playing with them in my EQ software. So far, I'm loving just about every configuration of them. More play...more hard decisions.

'Tis the life of a quilt addict.