Sunday, November 8, 2015

Inspired by...

I have a blogging friend, Nancy, who blogs over at Joy for Grace, and she recently began a weekly link up as a way for bloggers to share the inspiration behind their quilts. Here's the link to the first one and I'm linking up this week here. Quilty Inspiration #7

It made me stop and think about my own source of inspiration so thank you, Nancy for the inspiration for this post. :) In a recent email. Nancy wrote:

We quilt bloggers usually post about the fabric for a quilt, the first blocks, the progress, the final quilt -- which gets so many kudos -- and yet I think what happens in our minds and imaginations before we ever put cutter to fabric is equally important in the "life" of a quilt.

Not only does she make beautiful quilts that she hand quilts, but I should mention that Nancy has a wonderful way with words too. The quilts we make have meaning and are made with love, but they have to start somewhere. There must be an initial creative spark that draws us to make that first cut or reach for that particular fabric.

Recently, I finished this quilt and I blogged about it here. Family Tradition Quilt. Our ranching lifestyle was definitely the inspiration for every stitch. It was as if the designer, Shelly, had designed it for us personally and when I first saw the pattern, all the pictures I shared in the Family Tradition post instantly came to mind. I could have share hundreds more, but I thought I probably shouldn't get too carried away. :)

Whenever I attend quilt shows, I am always curious to know what inspired the quilt maker to make that particular quilt. I know there's a story. There's always a story.

Sometimes it's as simple as a piece of fabric like this piece for me:

I was in the little local quilt shop with a friend about a month ago. I didn't need a thing. I was only there for moral support. :) And then she pulled out this fabric. It's called Indian Summer. We both knew instantly that we were going to be making a quilt with it and the brainstorming began. It makes me laugh to think of others who were close by and perhaps listening into our conversation. She and I play well off each other and I can only imagine that our spoken thought process probably sounded confusing. One of us often says what the other is thinking and it is always intermingled with much laughter.

It was the coral colors that spoke to her and for me it was the wild abandon of the entire collection of wildflowers. I've been collecting floral fabrics for a few years now for a simple patchwork quilt and this one pretty much summed up all I had been trying to capture in one fabric.

I had brought this book:

to show her this quilt

that I wanted to make using fall fabrics. After a quick conversion of blocks to make that floral the focal point, we had a plan. I went home that night and began to pull fabrics

and a week later I had made 58 square in a  square blocks:

I brought my stack of supporting fabrics to the sale barn to share with her and we shopped together for others to fill in the gaps. I have a stash and I thought every quilter did, but not C. She buys exactly what she needs for each project and nothing else. I do believe this is the first time I ever bought 1/8 of a yard of anything! I told her I couldn't bare to watch them cut such a small sliver.

So my Indian Summer quilt started with a fabric, mix one part quilt pattern, and 2 parts friendship, fold in a variety of supporting fabrics, stir in a double dose of laughter, a little math to add our own spin, add a few stitches and you have the beginnings of a quilt!

Do I NEED to add another quilt to my list? No, but as C would say, "What does need have to do with it?" and who am I to argue with such logic?


Allison said...

Lovely to find one of Nancy's blogging friends via her Quilty Inspirations link up! Your post is a great description of how a quilt idea develops. Nice to have a friend to shop and bounce ideas with too. The floral fabric that inspired you is so full of life, I'm sure it'll be a stunning quilt.

KaHolly said...

Ha! My story is usually the same one, over and over. I see a pattern and my brain says,"I love it, I just have to make it!" End of story.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that wonderful fabric would have grabbed me, too, and I love the coordinating colors and simple block that really showcases the beauty of the floral print! Looking forward to seeing the completed quilt.

Melanie in Oregon

Judy said...

I just love this idea!! This is just wonderful! That one piece of fabric draws all those other colors to it and it looks beautiful. I have never looked at fabric that way. I just buy precursor and then try to find a pattern. You have really inspired me. Wow, thank you so much!

Ranch Wife said...

Thank you, Melanie - we're still hunting some corals. The ones we've found seem to be awfully bright and we don't want to overpower our inspiration piece. With the holidays just around the corner, it'll be a while before I get it finished,but I am hoping this one never even gets added to the UFO list.

Tired Teacher said...

I love this post AND your fabric!

Buying only the fabric needed for a quilt? No real stash? You'd better warn your friend that stash enhancement is contagious!

Denise :) said...

Great story!! And seriously, her logic is flawless when it comes to quilting. That floral fabric is *GORGEOUS*. Very yummy, makes my eyes smile kind of fabric! :)

Nancy said...

Karin, I think I would have fallen in love with that fabric, too. The print and colors are so inviting. (The peach/coral/salmon range have been a favorite for many years even though I don't sew with them much.) Your choice of block is perfect to showcase the fabric. I'm looking forward to progress photos now that you've told us about the inspiration!

Thank you for the generous introduction to Quilty Inspiration. You are very kind and I appreciate it.

Pauline said...

When I first started quilting I bought only what the pattern called for. Once, and for what reason I don't even remember, I didn't have enough of one particular fabric and had one horrible time trying to find another piece that I had to have to complete the quilt. It took hours and hours of searching and way too much money (shipping) to get the small piece I needed. Never again! I promised myself. Now I ALWAYS buy some extra and it's such a comfort to know if I mess up cutting or decide to add a row or too, it there for me! What I don't use goes into a special drawer that I use to make the scrappy quilts I love. Warn your friend of the consequences of running short. It can turn a project into a "forever UFO."

juliehallfeldhaus said...

I love that flower print to. I find that is what I tend to do too, is pick a focus fabric and then add from my stash for the rest. Can't wait to see the finished project:)

Ann Marie said...

How can someone who says "What does need have to do with it?" not have a fabric stash? Your quilt is looking good. I hope you find the corals you need soon.

Anonymous said...

Do you know the maker and name if that wonderful fabric? I would love to get some.
Sue.quilts at

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