I've really enjoyed the time I set aside for myself to create new designs and quilts not tied to a deadline.  One of the projects I was able to work on and complete, which is always a bonus, is my Swatches quilt!

This quilt was inspired from my oil painting days; sketches, painter palettes, paint tubes, canvases, brushes, lighting and other images both concrete and abstract.  I designed this quilt to convey a feeling more than actual objects tied to painting.

I’m finding that more and more I’m merging my first creative love, oil painting, with my current creative love in my quilt designs.  I've even started working with watercolors again mainly because the clean up is so easy. 

I chose the quilting to add interest and depth to the design. I took some risks, like black thread echos around the paint swatches and hand quilting the small grey squares. Most of the quilting is fairly dense and I was shocked when blocking the quilt to find out the length shrunk by 3”.

I reall…

From Inspiration to a Quilt

More Stop Than Go
Here's my More Stop Than Go Quilt.  This quilt was inspired by a set of Orla Kiely luggage I own. So I thought I'd share really quickly how I got from my luggage to this quilt.  Here is the inspiration piece:
Orla Kiely Luggage
Obviously, I really liked the design, I bought it right, and it hit me one day that I could make a quilt like that.  So the first step was to stop and think about what I liked about the design.  For this piece it was the uniform repetition of the cars and the limited high contrast color palette.  After determining what I liked I started with a simple design then added some fancy boarders.
Intermediate Design
I posted this design on Instagram and got some very good feedback along with several comments say "it looks like Orla Kiely!"  At that point I knew I needed to change up the look in order to make the design an inspiration and not a copy.

Final Design
I added some different cars but it just didn't get far enough away from the inspiration piece so I changed the cars to chevrons.  By doing that it accomplished few things: it made the design mine, maintained the look of cars without being cars and it gave the illusion of tire tread.  Even though that sounds pretty simple I probably spent 8-10 hours playing in Photoshop before I arrived at my final design.

More Stop Than Go
Because the traffic theme was established at the beginning of this design I tried to create quilting that fought against the forward progress of the cars.

Finally, I took pictures and my dog Anne, who have been featured on this blog in the past, was less than thrilled with the whole thing.

Oh Bea!
I've done quite a few very structured-geometric quilts lately for my next project I'm planning on something a little more organic and in shot cotton, I'm very excited!!


  1. this is a really lovely quilt. thanks for sharing your process.

    1. Thank you Cheryl. I hope to have a followup post about designing modern quilts if not this month than definitely March!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Debbie and those strawberries are super cute!


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