Monday, March 10, 2014

Inspiration: My Solids Challenge

What inspires your designs?  Why do you choose the colors or the patterns that make the cut?  And where do you find them?  Everyday life?  Magazines?  Blogs?  Dreams?  Do you create your own designs or do you stick with traditional blocks?  A little something in between?

A recent Pinterest find inspired the design and colors for my solids challenge.  I love geometric patterns.  You can find them everywhere!  And I love creating my interpretation of something beautiful I see.

For the solids challenge, I found this picture from Anthropologie's Flickr stream:

The colors are beautiful, the lines are perfect for some half square triangles, and overall it's pleasing to my eye.  So I decided to mock it up in Microsoft Visio.  I started to play around with some of the colors, swapping greens and yellows for the oranges and pinks (someday I'll create something with the fiery hues).  Cropped out some of the bottom and left bits that I didn't want to mess with and here's what I came up with:

I liked it but something just wasn't right.  The orderly side of myself needed some sort of symmetry or pattern for it to work.  The last column (#7) jumped out as something that could stand on it's own.  Yellow, blues, berry, and gray.  Can't go wrong with that!  What else?  Column #5.  Balance.  Opposing directions.  Hmmmmm...  How do I make this work?  Get rid of the random green.  Rotate the yellow HSTs on column #7.  Put them side by side.  I think we're on to something.  Now I need a pattern.  

Shove #5 and #7 together and throw them on the far right side ("Original Set").  Make a second set of these two columns but add one HST square to the top of #7, cut off the bottom square.  Add one HST square to the bottom of #5 and cut off the top square.  Repeat this pattern, incrementing by one, to two more sets and here's what we have:

Move the columns to meet at the top and bottom, in effect shifting each up and down to create a flow in two directions.  Here's what you end up with:

A design that I can live with.  Whatever!  It's a design that I LOVE!!!  It's new.  It's fresh.  It reminds me of '80s ski jackets.  Hmmmm...  But it's totally mine and it's something I want to see on my couch or drug out into the yard for Spring picnics.

Check out more of my quilt inspirations on Pinterest.  Tell us what inspires you?  Or where you pull your designs from!


  1. Thank you for this post! I was so interesting reading about your process.

  2. I really like this quilt and pattern. I have wanted to make a quilt like this, but am having problems with the execution of it. This is a great way to have it a bit organized for those of us who can't seem to color outside the lines. It's like organized chaos for me. Thanks...great post!

  3. Wonderful final design. I actually was inspired by some storm clouds. The design struck me in an airport and I ran to the nearest shop to buy a blank journal and a pen so I could jot it down before my head exploded. After looking at it for a while I knew what piecing technique would work great for what I wanted. Now I'm collecting the fabrics. I love the creating process when you see something, anything at all, and suddenly a quilt design pops into your head.


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