Category Archives: inspire

images and ideas that inspire me

Inspiration: Quilt Exhibition

Maria Hofmans: Linnen-Goed
Maria Hofmans: Linnen-Goed

Maria Hofmans: Linnen-Goed

Maria Hofmans: Linnen-Goed

Gert van Raalten: Watashi no Nihon no Takarabako
Gert van Raalten: Watashi no Nihon no Takarabako

Almut Raaijmakers: Wie het oude niet eert!
Almut Raaijmakers: Wie het oude niet eert!

Almut Raaijmakers: Wie het oude niet eert!

Earth Apple Bib

Last Thursday, I went to the Dutch Quilt Guild’s annual exhibition in Arnhem. There were some really beautiful pieces to look at. When I look at a quilt, I think about the massive amount of time, work, and skill it takes to make one. The color, fabric, and pattern combinations are inspiring. In Arnhem, I saw traditional quilts and art quilts. Quilts made with new fabrics, Japanese fabrics, linen, and scraps. A few quilts particularly struck my fancy and I thought I’d share them here.

Linnen-Goed by Maria Hofmans is a gorgeous quilt made of linen. I loved the details. Each scrap pieces was quilted on so that there was a pretty pattern on the back of the quilt, too. The actual quilting was done in a very loose style, which I love because it shows that it was made by hand. Being able to stitch perfectly is important, but letting go of that can often give a more expressive result. The linen squares all vary slightly in color and they’re beautiful neutrals that look lovely together. I love the style of this quilt and am sure this will inspire some of my work in the future!

I also got a kick out of this piece, Watashi no Nihon no Takarabako by Gert van Raalten. The colors are fabulous in and entirely different way. I love the punctuating color in the field of brown. The colors get to pop against the monochromatic background. My favorite detail on this piece, though, is the fact that the pattern runs out in the corner. It is a fabulous surprise to look at the pattern, be drawn into looking at all the individual colors, and then, oops! I love it.

A third piece that made a big impression me was Wie het oude niet eert! by Almut Raaijmakers. It has a few repetitions of the same image, each using a different technique and the same colors. There was some applique, french knots, chain stitching, and beads. Then I took a step back for a bigger picture and realized that all the small pieces were on a background that was the whole image again, but gray on gray. The quilt works as a wonderfully patient exploration of the impact of different techniques.

My bibs and a lot of my work are inspired by the piecing that is the basis of quilt making. Put two fabrics together and way they contrast or compliment each other can be transformative. Last week I made a new series of bibs. I used a beautiful fabric from Amy Butler’s Mid-Century Modern series and paired it with a contrasting rusty red. It’s in my Etsy store now. After two weeks of bib making, I’m going to move on to card holder making this week. I’ve got some fabric choices in mind and can’t wait to see how they turn out.

Inspiration: Patchwork Style and Peanut

The design

Adding a strip

Getting ready to quilt

There’s something very special about making a pillowcase designed by your 5-year-old son. He chose the log cabin style out of a few sketches and played with different color combinations until he found this one. Once he’d chosen his favorite, he took it into my work room and found fabrics in almost exactly the same colors that he used in the design. The look of total satisfaction and expectation on his face when he came back with his stack of solids was priceless. Now I just have to make it!

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Slowing down, moving faster

Cloth by Cassandra Ellis

Music Box Jumper progress

There’s a pattern emerging as I continue to participate in markets. The week before market is a mad dash of staying up late and sewing at every available moment. The week after is one of moving slower, but also finding some kind of non-work sewing project to stay up late about. All my plans to take pictures and write fabulous blog posts are put aside to reflect and recharge. So much has happened this past month that I can hardly wrap my head around it. I’m a bit overwhelmed by trying to figure out what to work on first. This week, doing something entirely different felt like a good way to cope, and hopefully a good way to get a bit of perspective.

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Inspiration: Surprise quilts

Passacaglia with Penrose

Made by Restless Hands

A couple weeks ago I attended an event at the Radboud University. A friend was giving a lecture and I went to listen. Outside of the lecture hall were these amazing quilts by Willyne Hammerstein-Schoonderwoerd. These quilts were mostly hand pieced and made of pretty much the tinies pieces of fabric I have ever seen. On top of that, some of the patterns were so complex, I could only see them from way across the foyer. I was totally taken with these two, Passacaglia with Penrose and Made by Restless Hands.

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On the road: Brugge & Ghent

DSC05210

Last week was Crocus Vacation here in Nijmegen. We had a week of lovely weather and a great four days in Belgium, two in Ghent followed by two in Brugge (Bruges). It was my first trip to both cities and one of our most balanced family trips in the sense that everyone got to do something they really wanted to do, we found lovely places to stay, we ate out, we ate in, and no one got pushed past their limits. The result – a lot of fun!

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Market Choices

Bib

My first market experience has given me my first real feedback on what products and colors are going to work at this particular market. While part of me wishes that my story will be the one of the girl who hit the ground running, in reality, I expect it will take a year or longer to really figure out what I want to make (lots of) and what you lovely folk want to own. So, with that in mind, I’ve a couple plans for the next round (December 22 at the Linden Market – coming?).

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Inspiration: Sprout Tree

Tree Sprout

Inspiration cabbage

Let us...

Grass

I found a tree in a brussel sprout. It was a sweet little surprise. I’m the only brussel sprout eater in my house, which makes no sense to me at all since they are delicious. “Eat your brussel sprouts” sounds terrible, though. “Want to eat a tiny tree?” sounds so much better. Won’t work, but will be fun to try. The real question is – why look so closely at my vegetables?!

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