This post I would like to share with you two quilts that I have inspired me.
I will start with a very recent (as in yesterday recent) discovery. Amy's Creative Side occasionally has featured bloggers, and the featured blog yesterday was called Cut To Pieces which I soon discovered is a completely adorable blog. Beautifully designed and full of things that will make you happy just looking at them!
So, this brings me to the first quilt in question... it was part of the featured blogger post on Amy's Creative Side, but I was so struck by it, that I had to know more and went looking on Cut to Pieces to find out all about it.
Here it is (reproduced with Angela's permission)- it's called "Where Bluebirds Fly" and it is one of my favourite quilts EVER.
I love the references to The Wizard of Oz - it's one of my all time favourite movies - and the little nods (i.e. the rainbow, the tornado, the change from black and white to colour)
I love all the hidden little characters in the quilt like the dwarfs, mermaids, castle peep, unicorn. I love the NOT so hidden characters too especially the witches!
I love the balance in the design of the quilt.
I love the quilting on this quilt - once again the tornado, the sky, the water... all of it! :)
I LOVE the design concept - the muted side (with a glimmer of the rainbow) compared with the bright coloured side. It has sparked in my head a design idea for a 3 panel quilt, using a similar black/white, coloured design.
Most of all what I love about this quilt is Angela (the quilt maker's) explanation about why she made this quilt, and what it meant to her... you should ABSOLUTELY go and read about it on her blog.
The second quilt I would like to share with you is called "Sandstorm Over the White Desert" by an Australian quilt maker by the name of Jenny Bowker. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Jenny's work, you really are missing out. I have to admit that a quilt by Jenny is one of the reasons why I took up quilting in the first place.
Jenny has been working on the most fantastic series of quilts based on people that she met in Egypt while her husband was working there. I believe this is the most recent in the series.
Here is Sandstorm Over the White Desert (reproduced with Jenny's permission)
I have long admired Jenny's works, but this quilt really took my breath away. To give you and idea of the size of this quilt, I was at a quilt show earlier this year and as I walked between the rows, a man standing at the end of the row caught the corner of my eye and I did a double take. It wasn't actually a man, it was this quilt, hanging at the end of the row. When you stand looking at the quilt, he is basically life sized and the way the quilt was hung meant that you were looking at him in the eye.
This quilt has the most tremendous detail in it, from the pieced sky (with the sand storm rolling across) to the amazing sand stone (?) rocks in the background, to the detailing in the face and clothing of the figure and finally the quilting across the surface that provides so much depth. It really is breathtaking. For those who are interested in how this all came about, there is a post on Jenny's blog Postcards from Cairo that shows how she came up with this creation.
I should mention (again) that this is one in series of quilts, you should really go and look at more of them here. I am always so inspired by seeing the pictorial quilts that Jenny makes.
So now we get to the frustration part. I can see my quilt design in my head (actually if I'm honest I can see a number of quilt designs in my head) but I just don't seem to be able to get the design from my head to a quilt. I find it really frustrating. I always start by trying to transfer what's in my head onto paper, but even that's not such a sure thing!
That said, I do know that my quilting skills have improved since my early days, there are definitely things that I can do now, that I couldn't do last year and so on. So, while I wait for my skills to catch up with my imagination, I remain thankful for the quilters, quilts, artists, fabric designers and the world around me for their inspiration.