A Taste of the Tropics

My plan for blogging last week (before I realized that my laptop was toast) was to look for eye catching architectural elements that might make for interesting quilting designs. Things like this:

grid blog triangles blogarches blog hilton hawaiian village small

The last time I’d been in Waikiki was 20 years ago, and it has really grown since then. The variety of balcony designs alone was staggering! Any of these images could inspire some fascinating quilting motifs.

However, as I went through my photos from our trip to Oahu I fell in love with some images I’d taken of flowers. I thought it would be fun to try and catch their essence in some quilting designs, as opposed to directly copying them. For each of them I sketched simple guidelines on the fabric with a chalk pencil, just to keep things roughly in the right proportions.

First up, a Heliconia:

heliconia for blogstitched heliconium

Quilting this was remarkably like creating feathers. I’m not in love with it, but with refinement and more interesting back fill it has possibilities.

Next, a variety of fern that I saw in many places.

fern for blogstitched fern

Here I really took some artistic liberties. There are so many tiny leaves on the real fern that it would take quite a bit of time and patience to sketch the fern more accurately. I do think that I captured the essence of it, and look forward to working with the design a little more to improve it, maybe in a different scale.

And, my favorite of the three, some ginger:

ginger for blogstitched ginger

In some ways this was the easiest to quilt, and I love the elegance of the hanging blossoms. If I added some leaves I think this would look great in a border.

A change of scenery can sometimes truly spark the creative process. Have you been inspired to create quilting motifs from things you’ve found on your travels? If so, please share here or on our facebook page, we’d love to see them!

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