Musings on quilting inspirations

Happy Labor Day!  I’m posting this a little early, and it’s not on any particular project I’m working on, just some thoughts.  (Forgive me, but it’s been a busy couple of weeks.  I am working on a lot of projects but I don’t have the time or energy to upload pictures yet.  As soon as I post this I’m going back to work on a grand, epic project, which I’ve begun referring to as my magnum opus, and which may be grander and more epic than I can manage.  It’s going to be a gift, but for someone who doesn’t read my blog, so you may see posts for it this fall or you may not.)

Recently I saw someone online discussing what quilters draw from for their quilting inspiration.  It made me think how many things inspire me.  I only wish I had the time to make quilts based on all the beautiful things in life inspire me – art, nature, architecture, travel, other people’s quilts and crafts, etc.  When I go on vacation I take dozens of pictures of beautiful buildings and scenery, combinations of colors and shapes that I’d love to replicate in quilts.

In past years we’ve traveled in different parts of Europe; this year we were closer to home but I still found pretty things that struck me.  The combination of wildflowers growing along the side of the highway, pinks, purples, yellows, oranges, and white against the green grass, was unexpected and very pleasing.

I also loved the colors in the local church.  I mentioned this to Z, who told me that I always think churches are pretty.  It’s not 100% true – there were a couple of churches in Switzerland that, post-Reformation, were stripped of all adornment and I found them sadly lacking.  Z and I have different taste in churches; he’s almost Puritan in his taste and he doesn’t think money should be wasted on opulent decorations.  I love to see the ways people decorate their houses of worship, be they churches, mosques, synagogues, etc.  I like to see how people choose to adorn God’s house.  (I also appreciate a pretty church when my mind wanders during mass.)  I’ve made a few pieces inspired by church or religion, including two different presents for anlichan that were both inspired by the church by my old apartment.

Throwbacks!  Anlichan’s birthday present from 2011, in four posts: here, here, here, and here, and Anlichan’s birthday present from 2012.

I like the curves you see in churches and I often think about how I might want to replicate them in a quilt.  Another beautiful, inspiring house of worship is the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo.  I remember being completely in awe of the mother of pearl inlaid wood that decorates the synagogue.  The Blue Mosque of Istanbul is another house of worship that stands out in my memory.

My recent quilts have not been so ecclesiastically inspired.  (I was going to say divinely inspired but then I decided that creative inspiration is divinely inspired.)  My Hunter’s Star quilt was, in fact, inspired by a three-color Hunter’s Star quilt I saw at a quilt show before I even knew what that pattern was called.  I have many quilts I’d like to make, and I’ve love to make quilts based on my travels – a patch for each city, perhaps?  Wouldn’t that be fabulous?  (And huge – I’ve been incredibly fortunate to travel in Europe and the Middle East, through the course of my studies, visiting friends abroad, and on family vacations.)  Perhaps next year – I always say that, next year when I’m less busy, but I might get around to it eventually!



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