Pieces, Pixels, Inspirations;

Win free fabric! Give-away CLOSED: Entries for the drawing to give-away a 500 piece set of pre-cut Two Inch Treasure Squares are welcome through June 27th! Read all about it under Two Inch Treasure Drawing below or on the right. All comments left on site will count as entry into drawing. Learn more about Two Inch Treasures in the Fabriholic/Obsession post, and the Gallery.

Pieces, Pixels, Inspirations

Many art historians think that Claude Monet had poor eyesight, causing him to see fuzzy images and paint the world in his unique style of Impressionism. The Pointillism movement in painting carried this even further, truly using dabs of paint to create an entire image. When successfully done, the eye perceives the dabs, but the mind binds them together to show the whole subject. As a child, I learned that photographs and even television images were really tiny dots of color, so tiny it could take a serious magnifying glass to isolate them. But our minds read these minute pixels of color and light as the image on the screen or paper.

What quilt may come from this wonderful set of colorplay? What story will it tell?

In our digital world we have become accustomed to the use of pixels to create pictures. Every image online, or from a digital camera, is a veritable quilt of teeny snippets of color arranged to show a finished product. Like the quilts we create with small bits of colorful fabric, viewed closely the detail shows, but from a distance we see the overall effect. Some quilts mimic this effect intentionally: watercolor quilts, some styles of landscape quilts, postage stamp quilts, and many others.

Pixels, pieces of color. Highly automated, usually trying to be very true to the original subject. The digital image parallel to piece of a quilt block. Pieces or pixels are the building blocks, but in a quilt, the subject, colors, and level of realism are the choice of the quilter. We can draw from countless inspirations, and take it anywhere that fabric allows!

Lately I have been drawn to color sets to find inspiration. Shades of green and brown scattered like the view from a forest path. Wild sets of reds, yellows, and purples reminding me of carnival lights or wildflower gardens. Shades of blues and teals reminiscent of deep, swirling water. Sandy beaches shown in tans and creams.

Starting with a color set, I have no “subject” in mind. But a quilt top evolves and tells a story anyway! And it is so much fun, even soulfully satisfying, to gather the color set and lay them out in endless patterns, waiting to see where it takes me.

So many inspirations. Take a look at some of mine on my To Inspire page. What inspires you? When you begin a project of your own, do you start with a subject? A set of colors? A geometric pattern? Or are you drawn to traditional quilt blocks? What makes you settle on the design? Please share!


About thecuriousquilter

Quilter, sewer, writer, gardener, mother, sister, friend, always learning, always curious.
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11 Responses to Pieces, Pixels, Inspirations;

  1. Martin N. says:

    I love my Nana’s old quilts, and it makes me want to learn. I am doing my first quilt, from old cotton shirts cut in simple bricks. Now that I have figured out the basics, I get ideas everywhere I look. Skylines and city scapes are probably next to experiment with.

  2. Great question! I look forward to reading the responses.


  3. J. Johnson says:

    As a new grandmother, and mom, aunt, etc, it seems to me that most the quilts I have made the last few years are gifts, so the inspiration is the person or the occassion. But I have this wonderful set of fabrics I bought when I went to Australia, it is calling to me to make something special just for me. The fabric, and a quilt from it, will be my personal travel reminder.

  4. Donna says:

    Oh I like that bright yellow background fabric! Do show us later what you do with it please! I get ideas when I hike. After a while, I get immersed in the scenery, but something must be percolating in the back of my mind because when I get home I am FULL of ideas! A bad case of poison ivy has motivated me to try to figure out a leaf quilt that shows the lovely leaves and the ugly itch… any suggestions people??

  5. Sarah S says:

    I freely admit I too get bogged down in quilts for gifts. But I have a file folder full of lovely pictures and articles on techniques, all things I yearn to create just for the sake of making it! My mind is full of fanciful things that would never make good baby quilts.

    Reading your thoughts on inspirations made me think. I am going to give myself permission to not be so task oriented when making quilts, but to explore my ideas and new methods! Ok, I am PSYCHED! Which means that, at the moment, YOU have inspired me!

  6. Lynda says:

    My refridgerator is plastered with drawings by grandchildren. It is so colorful! I love the random use of color they use. When I pick out fabric, if I am stuck, I think “what would the grandkids do?”

  7. Laura says:

    Looking at books and magazines is fun, and gives me ideas. But once I start to actually work on a project and make it my own, the creative juices get flowing.

  8. Jennie Olsen says:

    Getting a whole quiet day all to myself! After the chores are done and it is nice and peaceful, I am inspired to sew. And to dream up new ideas. I save shopping for a different day and savor the quiet one to myself (they are so rare).

  9. Patty says:

    What a great list, and wonderful comments! How many of us are stuck in a rut, doing repeat patterns, kits, or nothing but gifts designed for someone else? If I had time, I would take my love for pressed flowers and create a quilt with them. Perhaps pounded? Or appliques? I need time to play with the idea.

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