In Design inspiration

This month is my big prototype development crunch to get new sewing patterns designed before Spring Quilt Market. I’ve written about prototyping before. As much as I love the design process, it can be all-consuming. I apply a lot of pressure to myself and I admit, sometimes I manage to take the fun out of it in the process.

This morning I woke up knowing the week was about half over [pressure!] and thought about my day. I knew I needed a diversion, yet one that would fuel me creatively. Just then a friend had emailed me a link about sparking creativity and it was just what I needed to read! (thank you, Jan!) I declared then and there to have “Creative Play for Half a Day”. I can afford that, right? Just a half day of experimenting and trying something new. Ready set go…no computer time, just sewing and making for 3 hours.

I have been super inspired lately by “improv” quilting. Lu Summers and Maureen Cracknell come to to mind. I keep drooling over their projects thinking to myself, “Now that’s MY kind of quilting!”. Scraps, winging it, keeping it wonky yet intuitively making decisions and designing it as you go. No rules.

I hauled out a pile of fabric scraps and sorted them into color palettes. Then I loosely followed this improv log cabin quilt block tutorial by mama love quilts. I ended up using some old school Amy Butler prints, Erin McMorris, a few thrifted sheets, and even a little Stitch.

And look what I did! My first bit of improv piecing! I had such a good time making this, I can’t wait to do more. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with this. But hey, that’s what makes this exercise so liberating. I doesn’t even have to BE anything, right? 

What do you do to re-ignite your creative spark?

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Showing 11 comments
  • Jan | Daisy Janie

    It looks great, Betz! Those hues are scrumptious! I think I’ll have to try doing my free play in the morning before I get thrown back in jail.

  • jacquie

    love it betz! love improv!!

  • Rachel

    That’s wonderful! I have so little time for “free play” that I think every minute has to have a purpose. Isn’t that sad? I’m going to check out the link you posted and see if I can get my slumping creativity going again!

  • Nicole

    Gorgeous!I love the prints you used. You can really see the shapes because of the nice contrast. Isn’t improv fun?!? There’s so much you could do with this block. You could put it in a picture frame and admire your artwork. You could make a pillow. You could make a few more and add to it for a quilt top. The possibilities are endless. Have fun with your creative play!

  • Ludo braille

    Magnifique !!!

  • Scrapiana

    That’s gorgeous! Setting a aside a block of creative play-time is the only way. Keep it up!

  • Tracy Altieri

    How wonderful to make a play date with your own creativity!

    I admit that I peruse other people’s blogs and sites for inspiration – like right now! It never fails to ignite a spark!

  • Maureen Cracknell Handmade

    I LOVE it, love it, love it!!! Thank you so much for including me in your post, WOW!

  • Tumus

    very cool! I think that would look really neat as an actual fabric design too. Possibilities?

  • Samantha

    Love the result of your playtime!

    It may seem odd, but sometimes finishing a wip or 2 will reignite my creativity- freeing myself from the guilt of “i need to finish what i start” can really get my creative juices flowing again…

  • I love this!! you are inspiring me to give this a try!!

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