This is just one take in a series of blog posts in hopes that you begin to realize that EVERYONE can be inspired and creative. And that the inspiration can come in many forms.
I’m a pictorial art quilter-wait don’t stop reading yet-there’s something for traditional quilters too! People always ask me where I get my ideas. Of course, there’s always my two standard lines, “I carry a camera with me wherever I go” or “they wake me up at about 2 am”. Today I’d like to show you how ideas can just knock you on the head and say, “Here I am, do something with me.”
I recently went to Las Vegas
and I have to admit that it’s not my “kinda town”; I’m not a gambler. So, I wasn’t too excited when my husband asked me to join him there for our 35th wedding anniversary.
I knew he was going to be in a poker tournament and I’d be on my own anywhere from 2 to 22 hours depending on how well he played.
So, while he played, I took advantage of seeing what the city had to offer; always looking for inspiration for new pattern designs. My first stop was a cute quilt shop in Henderson, NV just a couple minutes outside of Las Vegas.
Besides the wonderful fabrics and quilt samples, I was drawn to all the sweet antiques that where sprinkled around the shop and added to its playfulness. I have been wanting to design a quilt pattern of an old Ford truck and these antique toys cars motivated me to get started when I return home.
I was staging my quilt Savvy Strips available here a couple of years ago and have been wanting to make a pattern of this truck ever since. Maybe now that my interest has been renewed it will happen.
My next stop was the Ethel M Chocolate factory because what quilter doesn’t like chocolate?
I had fun touring the factory but what really surprised and inspired me was the cacti (cactus?? help) garden that they had at the end of the tour.
It reminded me of the saguaro cactus that grew in my backyard when I lived in Tucson.
This pattern, Saguaro Sunset is available here. It also reminded me that I have been choosing cacti fabric prints for CCQ and that I need to design a new southwest pattern in the near future.
I then ventured over to the Neon Museum.
While the old signs where fun to view, the Hard Rock Cafe guitar caught my eye. It reminded me that I have a quilt based on a design by Robbi Joy Eklow.
Then I remembered that, oh yeah, it’s currently in UFO status. Maybe some inspiration to finish??
And who can’t make a trip to Las Vegas without stopping off at the Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens showing a magnificent display of cherry blossoms at the time of this post.
It reminded me that I had started a quilt with cherry blossoms last spring and needed to get back to that one. Anybody else ever get distracted and jump from one project to another? There were two beautiful red-crowned Japanese cranes and a replica of the Osaka Castle. Don’t know that they would inspire me enough to make a quilt pattern; but I never say never! The cherry blossoms are still on the design wall.
I stopped by the Venetian to see how authentic it is compared to the real thing.
The shops are set in a replica of St. Mark’s Square. The Doge's Palace, Rialto Bridge and the canals are great imitations with one exception-the buildings were too clean! Many years of weathering has blackened the real buildings such as the Bridge of Sighs here.
All the tile work reminded me of the many quilts that have come to realization because some quilter saw them and got inspired such as Bella Bella Quilts by Norah McMeeking.
I am always intrigued by architecture. When I got home, I pulled out some of my Venice pictures and got started on a pictorial canal quilt!
I moved on to the Flamingo to see the flamingo habitat.
I had a mosaic top made before the trip and after seeing these wonderful creatures it has inspired me to get down to work and get the pattern, "Flamingo Island" (c) 2019, written so that I can share it with you.
Another quick stop at Mandalay Bay and the Mirage to see the aquariums.
I wasn’t disappointed with being able to see sharks, jelly fish and other salt water sea life. I’ve got many fabrics that fit this genre on my web site and I’m playing with ideas for a new quilt pattern and kit.
It was finally time to check in to the Wynn and this was in the lobby.
If I didn’t already know that there are patterns out there by quilt designers such as Violet Craft using this type of geometric technique with animals, I would definitely have pursued a pattern design based on this bear.
I wondered if this is where she got her inspiration? Ok, on my soap box for a moment, please respect copyright laws and don’t copy others images / art / patterns.
As I proceeded to the registration desk, a myriad of other images/inspiration caught my eye and made my creative soul smile.
I’m sure you’ll see something in one of my future patterns inspired by some of these images! And the delights just kept coming-eye candy (literally!).
Now I may not use any of these images in a future quilt pattern; but it sure revved up my imagination.
Inspiration at the Wynn was also on the floors…
Creativity was on the walls…
I’ve been wanting to produce another floral design but wasn’t excited about another horizontal piece. Seeing this large vertical piece has urged me to get in the studio and start creating! And seeing these mosaic diamond shapes on the walls just solved another problem. I’ve been playing with fabric mosaics (patterns coming soon) but didn’t have a background in mind-now I do!
Inspiration was also on the ceilings. I only had to look up…
I’ve had butterflies in my mind ever since I created a piece for a quilt guild challenge.
Now might be the time to revisit the idea of butterflies. I'd been noticing butterflies thoughout the day. Like when you buy a car and then you notice how many others cars of that same model are on the road. Before that you probably didn’t even notice they passed you by. Does inspiration find you or do you go looking for it?
The round ceiling lights as well as the orbs at the pool-side dining area inspired me to make this quilt I call Simple Sewn Circles for a class.
Ok, so hopefully you traditional quilters are still hanging in and wondering what inspiration I found in Vegas that you can relate to. Well besides the Venetian tiles and various block formations, a major source of inspiration would be color combinations. So, I found some of this in unexpected places- stores, hotel lobbies and the buffet just to name a few.
I found monochromatic, analogous, complimentary and some color scheme that just spoke to me.
Oh yeah and the rainbow at various places!
I’ve enjoyed sharing my views on what inspires me and how to keep an open outlook. Here’s a summary of how inspiration can help to get you started on your next quilt project.
Inspiration, motivation, stimulation...
- Reminds you of what you have done in the past and maybe revisit that theme/idea and put another twist on it in the future.
- Recalls to mind thoughts that you wanted to try and by seeing images they prompt you to move forward with your idea. Similar to what comes first the chicken or the egg. Do you see something and it inspires you? Or have images kept popping up, catching your attention and reminding you of an idea you've put "on the back burner"?
- Initiates a totally new idea whether it be color scheme or an idea that you want to try.
- Helps you to become energized to finish a UFO.
- Reminds you that Ideas are out there just waiting for you to notice them. You just have to keep your eyes open and be open to receiving inspiration.
- Doesn’t always have to prompt you to start something new but maybe instead to finish something old.
- Challenges you to group like themed fabric (like I have been gathering southwest or sea life). Take a look at them as a group and a creative idea may come to you.
- Don’t forget to look up or down because inspiration isn’t always right in front of you.
You don’t have to fly to a different city to find inspiration. Just look around you and be open to what motivates your creativity. And then get started. Thanks for taking a trip to Las Vegas through my eyes. BTW, I had about 11 hours on my own before he got knocked out of the poker game.
This was an unusual way in pointing out how to get inspired; the next post on inspiration will be a little more traditional so stay tuned…
Where do you get your inspiration from?