Thursday, September 22, 2011

Where do ideas come from?

This is another question I get asked a lot. I generally answer, everywhere. I find inspiration lurking in all sorts of places. Buildings and cars are particularly likely to catch my eye, but really anything can trigger a quilt design. My students are especially likely to send me off on a design. I guess thinking about quilting makes me more likely to pick up a stray comment (or in some cases just a word) and turn it into a quilt design. It started with one student needing a quick, simple and striking quilt (with the option of quilt as you go). On her lap was one of my other quilt designs. After kicking the ideas about for a few minutes we have a design that will do the job, be quite fun to make and I suspect will one day appear as a pattern.

Then the students moved on to what they would like to be taught. This is how my book 'Ferreting Around' happened. They gave me a list of requirements and I built a quilt from it. This time though they want to learn techniques and make maybe cushions or bags with the samples. OK, I can do that but it leaves me cold. So I start kicking the ideas about. They came up with several good techniques, and then I spotted a theme in them. It wasn't quite there and it wasn't fully formed, but there was a pattern to the subjects (mostly) and I could work from there. By the time I got home I had most of a quilt planned. It will use all the samples to make a lap (ish) quilt. Cool. It will meet their needs and not make me feel like I've been producing samples. Unfortunately this is the sort of design where I need to get some diagrams onto paper to be able to see the sizes, but I'm really busy. I am planning on being at the race track this weekend but both vehicles are playing up. Also having lost a day this week to being ill I've got a lot of catch up work to do. Well what do you know, my internet access was down when I got home, so while I waited for dinner I was forced to make some design notes. I guess the world felt the new quilt idea was more important than all the other stuff waiting for me.


jan said...

Don't you just hate it when that happens when you are so busy?

Ferret said...

Yup, but there isn't anything you can do about it :)