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Where do you get your creative inspiration from? It is something that I have been trying to be more conscious of lately in an effort to spark my creative juices.

One of the challenges for the New Zealand National Quilt Symposium in 2019 is to create a quilt from a photo. It has to be from a photo you have taken yourself and not someone else’s image. This is something I would like to have a go at. While I am not skilled at taking photos if I take enough hopefully I will have something to work with.

On a recent holiday I saw plenty of inspiration, especially in the architecture of old buildings. Hundreds of photos later I have a few to choose from! This photo is of a ceiling I saw in the entrance of a church in Riga, Latvia. The shapes and their arrangement screamed ‘quilt layout’ to me. The possibilities are definitely there to make an amazing applique quilt. It could be tone on tone cream as in the picture or by stretching your imagination (and more my comfort zone) it could be bright and bold colours on a black background. Possibly even wool applique…

In May I went to a Gloria Loughman class (a highly organised and generous tutor who I highly recommend) where I managed to make a small wall hanging from a photo of a sunrise outside my kitchen window.  It is a view I have seen for many years and have often photographed those glorious sunrises because I love the colours in them. I also look out to some silver birch trees and their black shape against the backdrop of the sunrise really appealed to me. I have to admit that this wall hanging, although not of high artistic talent, has special meaning to me because it is my photo and of my view from my house.

Sometimes I think we are looking at too much. I think I often find the best inspiration when I zoom in on something and eliminate the clutter around it. Take some close-up photos and look at the texture or details that you see. These can often be overlooked when we are looking at a whole scene.

I started looking at things differently after I spent a few days with Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably in February. Walking down the street they would suddenly see something I would have completely overlooked. These were often really simple things – peeling paint on a door was texture for a possible fabric, the manhole cover showed another possiblity.

We all need to open our eyes a bit more and try and really look at everyday things that surround us and we might just see something more than we thought was there.

What are your thoughts on this and what has inspired you in your quilting journey?