Day 21 quilting, the solstice. The longest night. The shortest day. The marking of winter. Yule tide and the Norse god Thor. Do you celebrate? Whilst I do not light fires, I do inwardly celebrate the returning of longer days. At each of the solstices the sun actually stays in one place for a while. The sun is at its lowest point for us in the northern hemisphere at 4.20 am on Sunday the 22nd. It is a huge difference of less than 8 hours in daylight time to the summer solstice. No wonder things start to look dark and depressing at this time of year. Yet inwardly we mark the significant step of the coming of spring. You can read more about it here
One way of getting rid of winter blues, is to use this period of time for inspiration. Whether it is as a design subject for quilts or a way of having a ritual cleansing. Ridding yourself of everything old and unwanted and making way for the new.
I am engaged in a bit of that myself. Looking at the fabrics I have left, looking at what I have designed and how far I have come on my quilt journey and more importantly, where I want to go next. For me, it is a time to move forwards. I have also been through all my writing, checking what needs finishing and what needs to get going. I’ll talk more about this in the coming week. Some of my ice quilt designs:
Two New Inspiration Books
Winter Inspiration is about to be launched highlighting my photos taken during winter for the past several years. The second launch is my Quilting Journey so far. In the latter you can read about the quilts I have made so far and how I designed them.
Day 21 quilting why not order an ebook for someone special? Did you know that the ebooks can be delivered straight to the email of the person you are ordering them for? This means they could be delivered on Xmas morning. An ideal last minute surprise gift, or great for someone you have overlooked. They are all full of colour images and inspiration sent as pdfs, so easy to read. At just 7.99 they make a wonderful gift. Take 20% off today only, making them even more of a bargain. All the ebooks can be seen here. You’ll find quilting ones, textiles, inspiration, artworks, publishing and gardening all covered.
Quilt design solutions is the process you go through from start to finish when designing a quilt from scratch. Quit design is all about problem solving. It’s a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. This post follows on from the one last Monday, so check that out if you have not seen it. I have not progressed as much as I would have liked, but at least I have done something.
Last week we looked at the scrap pieces I had left to make this quilt. This week I have done some more sorting.
Quilt design solutions involves a lot of decision making. For this quilt I had various shapes and sizes. I have had to decide the best way forward. Although I loved the diamonds and toyed with the idea of working on point, I discarded that.
The semi-circles were also wonderful and would have added a lot to the design, but I did not feel they fitted in with the rest. So it all boiled to making those sort of triangle shapes into squares.
So my principle quilt design solution so far has been to decide on squares. Now everything is sewn into squares, I need to sort them again. I sorted according to size. I pressed each one. They have been pinned to the wall to see how many I have. A few more than you see here as I unpicked the top of the hexagons from the last quilt and added the semi-circle pieces as squares too.
My next task is to decide what comes next. Many options are still available to me. Drop by next Monday for the latest stage. Remember, you too can be a quilt designer – take my one year ecourse in Quilt Design here.
Inspiration for quilters can be found anywhere and everywhere. The local landscape is always an excellent place to start when looking for inspiration for quilters. Your local landscape (unless you live in this location) may be different to mine, but you’ll find the inspiration you need if you just look.
You’ll be looking for inspiring views but also concentrating on shapes. Absolutely anything from the banal to the extraordinary can spark off the imagination. Be prepared to look anew, with fresh eyes and open your mind. If you are stuck for inspiration, take a look at my series of ebooks to get you going.
It is true that I have often wished to live somewhere more inspiring, but really my home city is proving to be full of inspiration, right on my doorstep. Take a look around and see what you can find.
I have already talked about one or two ideas I have had from the local landscape and that it is my wish to concentrate on the River Don. This week I walked further along the Don than ever before. I found the nearest ‘picturesque’ spot to the city centre.
I love all the bridges, most of them are from the 1800s. The ripples on the river. The plants along the riverside. The teams have been working hard to rid the river of invasive species. The trees on this part of the river are beautiful and there is a small nature reserve. Occasionally the route goes back to the road. In one spot, the brightly coloured Spiraea was aflame with orange.
What inspiration did I gather from my walk? I noted down patterns, shapes, reflections, a possible landscape quilt. Flora and fauna. I loved the fresh greens of the new leaves. Colours were gathered and recorded. I also made use of some of the photographs digitally, you can see below.
The wonderful thing about inspiration from a natural habitat such as a river or garden, is that it will change through the seasons. So you can keep returning and recording the changes. Until next time, keep quilting.