Everyday Inspiration

In today’s fast paced world we’re bombarded by new ideas. Sometimes it’s nice to slow down, take a deep breath, and look for inspiration right where we are.

I happen to live in a very wooded area, and I love it. The colors and shapes are a constant source of design ideas for me.

woods fall copy
The view from the end of my driveway in autumn.

Next time you’re trying to come up with an original quilting motif, perhaps try looking in your yard or garden. By combining simple shapes you find there, such as the outline of leaves, you can produce a myriad of designs. Shown below are a few designs I came up with in a short period of time this afternoon. I started by finding an oak leaf, then tracing around it and roughly sketching in the veins.

grouped outline

By arranging copies of the leaves in radial patterns I created a variety of pretty options.

4 motifs jpeg numbered USE

  1. Note that here the 8 leaves are all facing in the same direction. The slight asymmetry and curvature of the leaves lends movement to the design.
  2. I arranged ten leaves here, reversing the direction of every other leaf. This creates a subtle star in the center of the motif.
  3. The ten leaves are the same relative distance from each other as in option 2, this time in “pinwheel” formation.
  4. By moving the stems closer to the center the design has a more detailed look, and the stems of the leaves create a little more interest.

Try arranging your line drawing in other ways. The swag below would make a great border.

oak swag flat

Here’s another idea.

oak border

Combining the leaves with a simple star is yet another possibility.

ten leaves with star

All kinds of things, not just leaves, can be used this way. Geometric shapes, cookie cutters, seashells, utensils, flowers, and silhouettes of animals all have potential. The possibilities are endless! Look around, see what catches your eye, then play a little and who knows what you’ll come up with?







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