Several people have asked me to show the original inspiration photos for some of my quilts; I wish I had kept a nice neat file of them!! And of course I didn’t…but I would definitely advise you to do that.
Regrets my posting has been a bit sparse lately; it’s because I’ve been working on a new course for Quilt University about Working in Series. It’s still going through all the editing etc and it will be Spring or even later before it’s up online – I will definitely announce that on the sidebar. It’s a different kind of course and involved quite a bit of writing, so I was totally writ out with no energy for the blog.
So here are some of the quilts and inspiration photos I could find. I always do a sketch from the photo and very often manipulate that sketch in many different ways before finally choosing one idea (or maybe more!) from which to make the quilt. I never ever blow the sketch up to a giant cartoon. I think this is a waste of paper! and my energy and fuel in trekking all the way across town to the nearest copy shop. But even more importantly, I think if you have a big plan like that then you tend to switch off your creative brain and just start following the pattern. And, oh! you lose so much doing that!! A small sketch with the values noted and a colour scheme is by far and away the best starting point. The value sketch gives you the basic structure of the composition but dictates only the bold shapes and lines. As you start to work, you can allow a mixture of serendipity and inspiration and sudden wild ideas to begin to ferment and that’s what brings the piece to life. I have seen many quilts in shows that were made from one big cartoon and a lot of them (not all, there are definitely some amazing ones out there) but a lot of them look very stiff and lifeless. They’re like those awful rigid commercial landscapes – everything is just right and there are 3 or 5 of this or that low maintenance bush planted exactly the same distance from everything else – and Nature has definitely been thrown out of the window (or should I say “wheelbarrow”?!). So please, don’t send your mind on vacation (even though Mose Allison suggests it!) or your creativity! Make them keep working throughout the quilt making process.
Eniow, enough of the rant.
Here are the pictures:
As you can see frequently I’ll make more than one quilt from a single photo. Also I might change things around considerably - first of all sketching the piece very literally, but then shifting around for different angles, omitting things, moving things, inserting other things etc etc.
any questions or comments?? I’d be most happy to receive them. If you can guess where all the places are, I’ll send you a couple of my new postcards!!!
And, as always, if you have been, thanks for reading! Elizabeth