Inspiration station

April 23, 2013

If you were to put all the printed quilting designs in a row end to end, they would probably reach for hundreds of miles! With so many choices facing you today, deciding to make your own design seems like more work than necessary. But armed with nothing more than a pencil and graph paper, you may surprise yourself!

Sometimes the designs don't just pop out of your head. Occasionally you need to give them a little nudge. You'll discover lots of things that can provide inspiration, if you take the time to look!

Start with your public library. Browse through books containing antique quilts from the eighteenth or nineteenth century and gather inspiration from our quilting predecessors. Pull architectural books from the shelves and examine the ornate, Gothic statues and embellishments on buildings. Find books on textiles such as oriental rugs or weaving for more inspiration.

Take a walk down your main street, but look up instead of down. Study the cornices of buildings, the finials on posts, the corbels and even the window trim. Artisans from centuries ago have given us wonderful examples of creative designs to inspire us.

Now travel to the cemetery, stopping at the ornate, wrought-iron gates to study the intricate scroll-work ornamentation and twists and turns, and sketch out some ideas. Walk through the markers and note the beautiful etchings that make excellent quilting designs. To make an impression of the etching, place your paper over the design and rub your pencil across it, holding the lead flat against the paper.

If you open your eyes and senses to what is around you, the inspiration will flow over you. If you need a source for graph paper of different shapes or layouts, check out this link for free, printable grids with different divisions and markings. Get started designing today!

Written by APQS Team

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