Free Preview: Capturing Inspiration


Translating Inspiration in Quilting


Lesson Info

Free Preview: Capturing Inspiration

Hey guys, thank you so much for tuning into translating inspiration and quilting with cheryl hardison who's here with me thank you so much for joining us. Thanks for having me so I know aside from being a crafter your mom you have three kids that's a lot on your plate and you also wrote a book what's that about it is called you inspire me to quilt so it's really appropriate for this class but it's all about the crazy ideas that we quilters get from the people in our lives were like, hey, you should make a quote that looks like in my case it was an equalizer and I laughed about it forever and then I made the quilt and so it's it's about being able to translate that inspiration. So this class is a great primer into that right and working people find the book the book will be available in your local quote shop online have kosher I am is I know from my publisher publisher stash books great and if you haven't already, make sure to download the bonus material for this course, you get the too...

ls and notions supplies list, which is great to have handy, so you're watching this course and can also, you know, work from home and go at your at your leisure we'll let you get started all right, thank you so thanks for coming today as vanessa said, I am a culture and a mom I've been quoting for seventeen years now quite a long time and I started really, really young just a child that's not true, but one of the most common question I get asked when I'm speaking and when I'm teaching is what where do you get your inspiration from and it's it's a loaded question it's a very big question it's a very heavy question and they're for me the answer is where do I not get my inspiration from it's really quite difficult because inspiration is everywhere I can look around the studio that we're in today and go look at the angles on that tripod you know look at those earrings look a look at the way the light's air hitting there, but the key is that it's everywhere you look and I use the word look very explicitly because you have to be able it's a conscious act you're looking with your eyes you're looking with your heart looking with your mind. All of those things matter it's not just about what you see it's where you look but inspiration is also about feelings and it's about inaction it's an about event that happened for instance, I've got a quilt underway right now that is inspired by a trip to alabama and and my totally eye opening experience with the civil rights movement I'm canadian and so we didn't grow up with the civil rights movement history of the fifties and sixties so learning about that on a recent trip to alabama has inspired a quilt you see you can't predict it it's not just a shape it's not just andi then it's everything but it really is about keeping your eyes and your ears and your heart open so let's get started today on what we've been doing what are our goals for the class today if the slide will change for me there we go our goals for the class today is to know what inspires you what grabs you what takes your attention what makes you want to get your butt in the seat and so because most of you here today are probably quilters I would assume you're swelters or you really interested in quilting so this is about what's going to get you in the seat and wanting so more than anything so you have to know what inspires you and that could be anything from specific bundle of fabric that's come out a new fabric line a set of colors the tripods and studio it can be anything in there so I want everybody who's here today with me and watching the class to be ableto sort of look inside themselves and go what's going to get me in the seat or what has got me in the seat in the past we're also going to talk about how to capture and store your inspiration because I know a lot of people have said this and I myself suffer from it is that you got that inspiration overload, you're like, oh my god, there are so many ideas and I don't know where to put them and I don't know how to sort through them and, you know, when you get in the seat to so you're like, but what do I do? What joe ideo and so that's, what we're going to do today is take one of those swirling ideas and work it through to get to the plant, the point of where we can make a quilt from it. S so we'll go from the swirl all the way to butt in our seats. So I, um, in there today, so thank you for being with me and and let's go on this. So how do you capture your inspiration? Thank goodness for the smartphone, really? I think it is absolutely changed the way we think about inspiration for quilters, absolutely, and this comes from whether you're taking a picture with your smartphone or your regular phone in there. I tend to have both with me at all times, so I'll use them sort of interchangeably. The smartphone no is great like you're walking through the mall and you see a window display or a tile floor or something like that on dso you just capture those but it's not enough to just take the picture, write you need a way to actually sort those images, store them in a way so that when you are going, what do I want to make? You could find it again in there. So there's a couple of different ways to do this on dh I do multiple sorts of ways of these instagram instagram because you can really you have everything on there so you can just search through your own feed. I know a lot of people who would just like they take the picture and they're like, well, this isn't for any of you this is just so that I have the record of it and I know where it is and it's not lost within five hundred images on your phone in there, but if you're going to do that, give yourself a hashtag so that you can search by that hashtag lit later, right? Like so for maybe me I would go cheryl's quilts or inspire me to quilt or or something like that so that you have this hashtag so that you can search for it, so you don't even have to go through all of your own images in there another great tool is ever note which is an app that you can download and right within the app you can take a snapshot and then put notes with it right away and so that's another really good tool for for using capturing your inspiration but another way to do it in and it feels it feels very old school although I'm talking about using it on your computer so that's not that old school is create a file on your computer and or if you're in your photo software and stuff like that have an event or a folder that's like just quilt inspiration so that you can email yourself the photo if you took it on your phone or if you've taken it on your real camera, you can download it and put it there and have that there. So you have this dedicated folder with all of your images in it and that's a great away just having something dedicated for that whether it's with instagram in your own hashtag or through evernote or by having the images in a folder on your computer then you know where they are and they're easy to find because they'll come that time when you need to make a baby quilt and you're like I don't know what to make and you get stuck on it you start your stash forever and like what should I do well, hey, what what have I seen lately that that's really interesting and you'll go into that? Oh yeah, I remember those colors done right and you can go right there. But if you have to search and search and search like you might as well just play with your fabric for a lot longer because it's going to be about as effective as sorting through piles of fabric and getting nowhere so have a way to do that. I don't think there's anyone right way I'm not an organized national expert that says thou shalt do things this way find the way that works for you know how you use your phone no how you use you spend your time on your computer being able to do that the next step of that and I do see it as a step and a compliment is the sketchbook these are my favorite sketchbooks. Super plane super easy to use I have is blank pages in there it's not lined it's not gritted I prefer the blank but everybody's different. You can get ones like this that are gritted, which for quilters is quite nice because then you can actually be sketching out patterns and stuff like that I tend to go to graph paper after I've done it in the sketchbook the sketch book is about capturing the idea the moment this is about figuring out the plan but it depends on what type of quilter you are you may be more comfortable, you can sometimes get books that have a blank page and then gritted are lined on the other side so you'll find the one that works for you again. It's it's just a matter of personal preference in there I like the's I probably have now about a dozen of these if there was a fire in my house, I would save my sketchbooks before I saved my quotes, I would get my laptop and I would get my phone and I would get my sketchbooks after the kids of course make sure the kids are out of the house and then I would run back in for those because quilts, quilts, khun be remade quotes her moments in time, but the these air like my diary, right? Like they're my journal, they're a reflection of what goes on. The other tip I would give you with ease is on ly have one at a time. I know lots of people have oh, I have this one because it fits in this purse I have this one, you know, that stays on the desk and this one that's in the car, but then again it's like having photos in about two places you can't remember where that was at any one time, so I really recommend having only one going on at a time and going through all the way until that book is finished and then starting another one my sketchbooks I gave up a couple of years ago my kids go in them all the time so you know we have drawings by a six year old that the two year old added two on dh so on and then the two year old does this but but that's again then you get the eight year old playing with things and that's fine right? I have some sketch books that are far more their drawings than mine but recently I started a quilt based on one of their sketches will show I'll show you one later in the class that is based on the doodles of a two year old s o you can never know where that inspiration comes I also this is my tip by a purse that fits your sketchbook I will not buy a new personal unless it's like you know the date night purse that you don't really need anything more than you know your wallet and your your phone and let's stick every other person I will put my sketchbook in and can it go in kind of close because I always have it with me and so that's important to me that it that it fit in in their entirely and then it also works when I met with my kids because if they're getting antsy and nervous system here's my sketchbook and they draw so that's when most of their images come in there but it's so handy because then you always have it with you and you could be writing stuff down in it all the time um so scrap paper we've all used to scrap paper there I used to work corporate lee for a power company, which meant I went to a lot of boring meetings and conferences along the way hotel ballrooms are fantastic for quilt inspiration because they always have richly patterned carpets and stuff like that and so I have tons of quilt sketched on hotel stationery and I have quote, sketched on just blank paper and then they all those little scraps of paper get lost on door I'm going through boxes I was this past summer and I found I'm like, oh yeah, I forgot about that quote I remember that that was, you know, from that conference in banff and but they get lost and so if you do because you're out and you don't have your sketchbook and you have the scrap paper the backer receipt glue it into your sketchbook as soon as you get home because then it's there, right? I I also when I worked corporately because I would always get inspired actually get markers in my office so there I was doing my environmental policy see work and negotiating deals for millions of dollars and like a thing of markers on the desk and people would come in and I'd be like, oh, don't worry about that, it's just you know when I need a break and everything, but you never know. You never know there's a quilt in my first book sunday morning quilt that was one of those inspiration is that I have the marker drawing of what was there? Because soon as I got to the office, the idea hit me and then it ended up being in the book, so you never know, but if you don't have that captured it's kind of hard to find in there, some people like to use the software programs that that are available illustrator photo shop any one of those there sketching on the wakame pads? Whatever works for you, if that's the environment you're comfortable and go for it. If you are a painter and that's your way of sketching, do that to write don't feel like you have to do it a certain way because I'm saying it or because that's you know the accepted rule or anything like that do it because you're comfortable with it. Another example is for my second book, which was called a month of sundays I did all my sketches in watercolor for that I'm not a painter by nature but because I was using low volume fabrics for that book, it felt appropriate to play with it and have it out and then I could be sitting outside in the sunshine with mike his playing and, you know, hashed out the ideas that way and they could be painting to write those of us who have small children in our lives, whether there are children day home grandkids and everything like that, you have to get creative with how you're capturing the stuff and how you're using your time with it. So go for it and just find the system that works for you but just tried it just like the photos try to keep it together so if you're using the computer have it all in one space if you are a scrap paper person and you're really good like you really prefer to have everything saved on the computer, scan things in and put them in the folder with her photos right? That's another way that you can be managing things, whatever you do, it has to be very conscious and very intentional, ok, you don't want to just have it be there. Um I have one quote her friend who doesn't do any of this and I'm kind of this part of me is like how do you manage that she's like I don't because the ideas that matter will stick right? And so she lets them float around, she lets them be, and then the ones that really stick for her are the ones that she'll get around to making on dh that's. Great. But if you're someone who tends to get overwhelmed by options and by the ideas that's, probably not going to be is effective for you. So make it very conscious make an effort, whether that's a daily practice of going in your sketchbook, whether that is a weekly practice, you just make that a very conscious effort and make it very intentional and what I mean by this and I'm going to spell it out in the bonus materials for the classes. Well, but when you put that sketch down, don't just do the drawing. Where were you when you made the sketch what's the date that you did it? What were you doing? Why was this image important to you? Right? Because if you just take the picture that's, why ever note, for example, or instagram are good because you can say, you know, at the mall really like the way that line cut across or really like this color combination, things like that because you may go back to it in a year and go. I don't know what I find it inspiring about that, right? And so then, it's not an inspiration anymore. But if you can look at your notes and go oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, I really like that. I remember now, and I remember what I felt when I saw it. And so those little notes that intention with it go a long way to keeping the inspiration they're in and knowing why you did it and came. So I'm going to run through a couple of quilts here where this is has come for me. So I was in a class teaching a class in the summer and we were talking about it was an improv class, but we were talking about shapes that you could make, and somebody said, well, could you do a sewing machine? And I'm seeing paper piece sewing machine blocks, the very detailed a very nice not my thing, right? That I like to paper piece, but I was never inspired by that block. So we just quickly on a white board sketched out what we might do for that. And it was like, ho, well, that's kind of interesting. I really like that. What could we do for that, and so I came home and started playing. Because I was so inspired by that moment so I made that first drawing in my sketchbook and it's in a much older sketchbook so I can't show it to you but I made it in there, you know? And ok, so this is what it wass and I designed it in an improv class and where I wass and when I did that and I was lucky because I came home and like immediately wanted to do it it got my butt in the seat to do it, but if I didn't, then I still have that image to go back to and I could remember the moment and what it did for me so then I just started playing and I designed the blocks and then I got such good response to it that I mean the whole quote, right? And so I made the whole quilt and now it's going to be a pattern right? Because people got so excited by it and and so it moved from there it was this progression from a random little snippet of a conversation in a in a crowded classroom to a finish quilt for me a pattern that hopefully everybody helps would be interested on dh inspired by to make writes, we get this full circle sort of bit of inspiration all right let's do another one so here's another one where I was inspired by both an image and events so on in my hand there that's my hand are what are called crayon rocks they looked like rocks but their crowns great for little tod their hands and as little toddlers tend to dio they hand you thinks constantly they're playing and then they handed to you and you put it down and they give it back to you and it's this endlessly boring game exciting for them, not for mama's, but so I was doing that and I just kind of had my hand out, so yeah, give me the rocks and everything and she put them in my hand and I looked down I was like, oh, I really like those colors, those colors you're really cool quick will get mama's phone because I didn't want to remember it just hope that I remembered the combination I wanted that right then and there and so got the cat that got the phone and I actually got my camera and took a picture of my hand with those and it just got filed away and I never really thought about the combination again. It was just there, it was pretty, but I never really thought about it again and then this is where I'm gonna get personal in this, but then I had this idea for a quilt at the time that I made this quilt I had two babies, I have three now babies get mad at me if I say that. But I had two little girls ls and at the time I had also had experienced a rather traumatic miscarriage. And that was my second miscarriage. And I got in my head about four patches, right? Cause two plus two equals four. And so that's where I was thinking, when it came to this quelled, but I don't want to just do for patches, so you know, because it just got a little bit more interesting to me. I I changed the scale of the four patches. I went through the book the thing, but when I came to decide about colors, I immediately thought back to those crowns. I was like, hey, you didn't really like that combination of four colors in those crayons. So I searched through, found the photo, and and it was the two different inspirations came right, and it seemed so appropriate because this was a children's toy and activity that was bringing me to making this quilt. And so I made the quote, and it was my two plus two equals four. And so this is where you get these disparate inspirations that that come to you and you never know when it's going to hit you, but I was I had my eyes open. And I was receptive and willing to go for it and then it became this wonderful quotes and then I donated the quilt to two kids after a tragedy because I'd had my moment with it right? It was it was ready to go to somebody else and be comforting and have it for them okay, another one some of you may recognize this quilt it's from sunday morning quill ls and it's called grass kind of appropriate and it was inspired entirely by this patio that we were putting in but it's also got another story to it so there's the obvious inspiration and my chubby little daughter playing around there but the other inspiration wass for those of you who've been quilting for a while and if you're a modern quilter and you've been following the modern quote movement and the rise of that when it first really started tio come into popularity the most common quilt that you saw waas, a wonky log cabin set in white and lots of white sachin right and I tend to be the kind of person that likes to poke and poke and there's a there's a word for it that I won't use here but I just had to be like that person that's going let's just see where how far we can go with making fun of this and so I decided I wanted to make a quell where there was no white fashion but it was white blocks right? Just because I could and so I had I had that thought in my head and then when we were planning the landscaping on this patio which on lee came about because we flooded and had to redo like everything so it was just this confluence of events is that brought me to this quilt fundamentally, but but that's what it was it was the literal inspiration there and then that sort of, you know industry inspiration of having white so these are the white is not pieced it's just a white block but with colored stashing on that and it's just kind of fun right on dh not to mention that that's really easy quilt to make in there so that's in sunday morning quilts that pattern ok, I mentioned that I was going to talk about child scribbles, right? That is not in my sketchbook because that was were visiting my husband's grandfather, you know, he was meeting the grand his great grandchild and she was being too or not even to probably and he was being eighty something and so I had to separate them and I hadn't brought coloring things with me to the trip and so we just went in his desk and she was grabbing like highlighters and a random sharpie and stuff like that and she did it and I and I had just put it on the desk but those were the colors that she picked and I loved that she picked those colors I've like oh that's really cool s oh, that was a scrap of paper that I kept and I set it aside and didn't think about it again for a long time and then during about if insomnia um in which you don't get very often but one night I just could not sleep at all and uh and I had a newborn which was really weird because I should've been sleeping but I couldn't sleep and so I went down into at the time why still so in my basement but our basement was unfinished I mentioned that flood eso our basement was unfinished they used to call my sewing space my new york open concept loft style studio it was really an unfinished basement but I could see all the wires and the industry just in the nine foot ceiling so it's not quite loft but the things we do to justify make ourselves feel better but this scrap of paper happened to be on the top of the sewing table I don't know why because she had done it ages ago I must have been cleaning up or something and it was there and it was the middle of the night and I couldn't sleep I was like, oh look at that I started pulling fabric in the colors and because it was the colors that got me right, the blues and the greens and that dark in there and I didn't really know what I was going to dio so I just started hacking up fabric on dh to see what would happen. I had no intent to make a quilt I just had an intent to play because I had that and I was inspired to play by her image s o I hacked it up, sowed some stuff together after a couple of hours decided to go to bed and then when I got up there the next time I got into my studio, which I have no idea when that actually wass um I went down there and went ok, what am I going to do with ease and a little bit I thought later it turned into that right so it's not a literal translation of that inspiration but to me it captures the energy and the colors clearly of her drawing and it was just it was fun to make and it was it was done without regard. It was done like a child scribbles right of just putting it on paper and I like that motion and then that's what this quilt into that being for their again I gave this one away to my boss at the time I was waiting for a heart transplant which he did get and he's alive and well, so but I gave this to him, and he loved the story, right? He loves kids, and he just like he's, like that's, so cool like it came from your kid's drawing. So on. The label for the back of the quilt actually scanned the drawing in and used it on the label. That's. A great way. When you have a quilt that you finish that's inspired by something specific, put that story on the label, right. Have it be a part of what you can, d'oh.

Class Description

Inspiration for quilt patterns is everywhere, but converting those ideas into quilts can be intimidating. In Translating Inspiration in Quilting, you’ll learn how to take an image, a floor, a pattern, or a stack of fabric and turn it into a beautiful quilt.

In this class, Cheryl Arkison will teach you how to take something that inspires you – a shape, color or line – and turn it into workable quilting elements. You'll learn about both literal translations (copying shape, color, line) and how to use influences of what you love from an image to enhance your quilts. Cheryl will teach you how to effectively capture ideas so you can refer to them in the future and she’ll show you some sketchbook basics for making notes by hand.

This class will give you the tools to bring your imaginative ideas to fruition and equip you to make truly inspired quilts.