Inspiration? Everywhere!

As quilters, many of us find that design inspiration is everywhere. I’m fairly sure that Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero would say that. I’ve known Jeanie for several years, and her creativity and energy never cease to amaze me. She’s a quilter, expert photographer, and owns a business, Kaleidoscope Collections, whose main product is a program called Kaleidoscope Kreator that creates kaleidoscopes from any photo. She’s been a contributor to MQU on a number of occasions, most recently writing a two part article describing how to design and stitch machine embroidery over appliqués that have been cut using an electronic cutting machine (found in the July/August 2015 and September/October 2015 issues).

jeanie article
The second of Jeanie’s two articles on machine embroidery over appliqués, from our September/October 2015 issue.

I asked Jeanie to share a little bit with us about how she came up for the idea for Kaleidoscope Kreator and the evolution of creating machine embroidery designs to complement the kaleidoscopes. Here’s what she said:

“I was inspired to develop Kaleidoscope Kreator because of the beautiful symmetrical images I could make from my photos. Even photos that are boring or uninspiring can be given new life when turned into kaleidoscopes. After a while I started asking myself what I could do with the hundreds of kaleidoscope images I was creating and with the ability to print on paper, fabric and image transfers the possibilities were endless. Soon the kaleidoscope designs seemed to be asking for embellishment and hand stitching on fabric morphed into machine embroidery because I love a technical challenge.”

Jeanie ran this photo of leaves through her program, creating a pretty kaleidoscope.

jeanie leaves smaller
©Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

She then printed the kaleidoscope design on fabric and embroidered over it. (This could have been stitched with batting in the hoop which would make it more dimensional and quilt-like.) Jeanie then used the ScanNCut to cut a custom mat to go over the embroidered kaleidoscope and make a card. She’s also used this technique with a larger design and put it in a frame.

©Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero Design created using Kaleidoscope Collection’s Blossoms Embroidery Collection

Jeanie created this beautiful card using one of her latest products, the Blossoms Embroidery Collection. The designs in the Blossoms Embroidery Collection can be used separately or combined with printed kaleidoscopes made with Kaleidoscope Kreator 3 and the Blossoms Template Pack. Here’s a stitchout of the embroidery designs by themselves, which I think is equally lovely.


Jeanie is certainly a source of inspiration for me, and I hope she’s inspired you too. Thanks, Jeanie, for sharing part or your creative process with us today!

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