Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Triggering New Ideas for Art

When I am trying to determine what is going to be my next project I have several ways of triggering ideas. Most often I go to my fabric stash and look for that certain fabric that will inspire an entire piece. Once I even built a quilt around a fabric and then eliminated that fabric because it didn't work well in the final design! Choosing the fabrics from my stash to go with the inspiration fabric is one of my favorite parts of the whole process!

Another way to figure out what to do next is to look in my sketchbooks and see what ideas I have had that I've probably forgotten. Everytime I look through my books I see the value of making little sketches or notes about ideas that pop into your head at odd times. The recording of those thoughts is a great jumping off point and many of my pieces have started there.

A third way I trigger ideas is by looking at my design wall where I often pin up unusual items I have acquired---a piece of beaded trim, some dyed gauze, a hank of nubby hand-dyed yarn, or a new strand of particularly stunning beads. The reason I put them there was so they would be in the forefront and not forgotten when I am looking for ideas. Sometimes unusual combinations arise because of what happens to be pinned up next to what. The trick for this technique is not to cover up so much of your design wall that you can't work on it!

Recently I created a couple of quilts that started with rubber stamps that had an inspiring images on them. Both of these pieces turned out very interesting and seem to be well received. The simple black printing on simple/solid fabrics can then be quilted and embellished to create a interesting piece. Here is one of my new ones that will be in my family's show opening on Friday:

Violet Shadows - $250.00

In a previous post I showed you some detail images of two pieces I was working on. One was inspired by the simple idea to quilt with white thread on black fabric, and the other was inspired by the round copper beads that are dangling at the bottom. Neither of these are masterpieces, but interesting I think. They are both going to be in the show opening on Friday.

Nautilus - $220.00

Zen Copper - $90.00


One more way I get inspiration for a design is from a technique I'm playing around with. The quilt below is one that arose from a fabric weaving technique my mom showed me using those wonderful ombre fabrics that fade from one color to another or from light to dark.

You never know where your next quilt idea will come from. Keep a sketchbook for those ideas that come when you aren't ready for them yet. Keep some key items out where you can see them to help trigger that next design idea. Run your fingers through your stash once in a while to see what gorgeous fabric you had forgotten you bought knowing it would be just perfect for building a showpiece around! Then get in your studio/sewing room and design that fiber art!!

Frog Pond - (Sold)



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