Saturday, January 18, 2020

Where Do You Get Your Design Inspiration? Appliqué Inspiration From Interior Design Fabrics

I'm still plugging away at my Spirit Song quilt top, albeit intermittently.  So far I have four of the twelve 16" blocks completely assembled:

Four 16 Inch Blocks Assembled, Eight More to Go
It's tedious piecing at this point because I'm matching up triangles with seams that don't nest.  Lots of unpicking and finessing to get those triangle points to match up to my satisfaction!  But meanwhile, my mind is on other projects, inspired by everything I see around me.  If you're one of those sensible people who has made a resolution not to start any new projects or buy any new fabrics in 2020, you should probably stop reading this RIGHT NOW.  You have been warned...

So this gorgeous photo landed in my email in-box the other day in a newsletter from the interior design fabric supplier F. Schumacher

Linen Print Roca Redonda in Carbon and Multi from F. Schumacher, Retail $248/yd
I love how fresh and current this 18th century French botanical pattern looks in this colorway, updated with shades of coral, emerald and turquoise against that carbon gray background.  Wouldn't this be a fun color palette for an historic or traditional appliqué quilt pattern?  I especially love that dusky background color.

Moda's Ombre Confetti in Soft Black, available on Etsy here (affiliate link)
Moda's Ombre Confetti in Soft Black, available from an Etsy seller here, would give me a similar effect as a background fabric.  The black and gold metallic dots are clustered most densely near the selvages of the fabric and are much more sparse in the lighter parts of the fabric, so I'd likely use the middle areas of the fabric for my appliqué backgrounds and then use the areas along the selvages for borders or in pieced blocks.  

If you're not a fan of the metallic dots and you want to stay truer to the background in the inspiration print, you could try Sketch in Charcoal from Timeless Treasures, available on Etsy here:

Sketch in Charcoal from Timeless Treasures, available on Etsy here

Then, for the applique elements themselves, there are all sorts of delicious possibilities.  I could see this Jade Green Batik Blender from Timeless Treasures for some of the leaves:
Jade Green Batik Blender from Timeless Treasures, available on Etsy here
Kaffe Fassett Collectives prints from Free Spirit Fabrics would also work well for the appliqué elements.  
Philip Jeffries for Kaffe Fassett Collectives Bundle, available on Etsy here

I love fussy-cutting for applique from the oversized prints from Kaffe Fassett.  An emerald and turquoise flower or feather can make for a striking appliquéd leaf.  So much fun!  Back to the inspiration fabric from F. Schumacher:

Appliqué Inspiration Fabric, Roca Redonda in Carbon and Multi from F. Schumacher
Although I like Kaffe Fassett Collectives for some of the green and turquoise elements, the other colors in this palette are a bit more subdued.  To recreate the corals, aquas, and ochre shades found in my inspiration fabric, I'd probably turn to prints from Anna Maria Horner's Conservatory collection for Free Spirit Fabrics:
Anna Maria Horner's Conservatory collection for Free Spirit, available on Etsy here
Of course, I wouldn't be using ALL prints for my appliqué   I'd want plenty of solids and tonal solids as well.  I feel like I'd need to mix in a handful of luscious shot cottons for this project:

Peppered Cottons from Pepper Cory, available on Etsy here
In the photo above of Pepper Cory's Peppered Cotton swatches, you can see that different color yarns are used for the warp and weft of shot cottons, which gives them their fabulous color-shifting properties.  They're much more interesting than plain solid fabrics, yet the colors aren't hyper-bright to the point of distraction.  The effect is subtle, especially in an appliqué composition where the shot cottons are combined with batiks, prints, and true solids.

Last but certainly not least, I adore the tiny detailed elements of the F. Schumacher inspiration print fabric, many of which would be too small to execute as applique.  Those delicate vines, tiny leaves, and other details would be exquisite if they were embroidered using Sue Spargo's beautiful threads from Wonderfil:

Sue Spargo's Eleganza Threads from Wonderfil, available on Etsy here
And, while we're at it, some of those flower centers would probably benefit from a smattering of seed beads here and there, so long as our quilt isn't going to be used on a bed and frequently laundered.  My pick, to keep the palette true to my inspiration fabric while adding just a subtle bling, would be these size 11/0 Czech glass seed beads from Etsy seller lanabeads2:

11/0 Czech Glass Seed Beads in Taupe, available on Etsy here
Have I inspired you to start a new project yet?  Here are a few patterns that would be beautiful in this color palette: 

Love Entwined, Historic Reproduction by Esther Aliu, pattern available here
Like the F. Schumacher inspiration fabric, Esther Aliu's masterpiece historic reproduction pattern "Love Entwined" was based on an 18th century antique quilt, so I'd expect it would look amazing rendered in the updated Carbon & Multi colorway of the linen drapery fabric.

However, this color palette would also be delightful for one of Sarah Fiehke's whimsical applique patterns such as her 2017 Down the Rabbit Hole BOM, for which patterns and instructions are available here:
Down the Rabbit Hole by Sarah Fielke, pattern available here
Ooh, and imagine using this color palette for Karen Kay Buckley's Majestic Mosaic appliqué quilt, pattern available on Amazon here:

Majestic Mosaic by Karen Kay Buckley, pattern available here
One last peek at our inspiration photo:

There are a lot of books and workshops out there on color theory, but you really can't go wrong if you choose your color palette based on a mix of colors that speaks to you immediately as soon as you see it.  Interior design photos, fine art paintings, travel photos -- all are terrific sources for selecting colors for your next quilt.  

Where do YOU find your best design inspiration?  Let me know in the comments.

Meanwhile, there are a bazillion coral-colored Birds in the Air blocks waiting for me to sew them together for my Spirit Song quilt...

Still In Progress, my Spirit Song Dress Code Quilt

Happy weekend and happy stitching, everyone!  I'm linking up today's post with:

·       Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's Quilts  
·       Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework
·       Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts  
·       Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
·       Moving it Forward at Em's Scrap Bag

·       Colour and Inspiration Tuesday at Clever Chameleon


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

Whenever I see Love Entwined I think about getting it back out to work on - it will be a lifelong project if I ever get to it - I'm not even done with the center and it has sat aside for years now - I don't think Esther has ever made much progress on hers either and many others that started it. I keep it and say one day maybe

SJSM said...

I’ve had my "colors" done. I use those for most fabric purchases. I still add gray of black but try to keep it away from my face. It works if I use it as almost anything will mix and match. Then I see that luscious fabric, will power breaks and a have a fabulous fabric I don’t know what to do with it.

The Joyful Quilter said...

Most of my inspiration comes from the many wonderful blogs around the internet. Just like YOURS!!!

Kim said...

So much beautiful inspiration to be excited about here. Tell me....are there people who start one project and finish it before starting another....really?? =)

Kathy S. said...

My vote is for Down the Rabbit Hole. It looks super fun! Lovely fabrics.

Jill said...

Very inspiring! Love the Schumacher! It would be a gorgeous quilt.

Denise :) said...

I have the Love Entwined pattern...but haven't yet started it. It's so beautiful! That one gets my vote! :)

O'Quilts said...

This is a really lovely post

Judy Hansen said...

Great inspiration fabric post. I made several quilts (in my head) while reading your blog today. Thanks for the journey, and for linking with Design Wall Monday, Judy

Preeti said...

When did I ever obey warnings? No point starting now :-)
By Golly, this page was like a huge dose of quilters porn and although I am very adult about porn, it just seemed a lot and all together :-D
That picture of colored thread at that angle - oh my I have goosebumps up to my toes.
OK, seriously speaking, there is a lot of eye-candy and temptation here. Hope you can stay outta trouble.
Sending big squishy hugs to you.