Thursday, March 24, 2016

Week 12: From Start to Finish

I was originally going to do a post about how quilting became more than a passing creative phase for me. It has long been a part of my heritage, an important part of my Mennonite Brethren roots. Also, for me, it can fill whatever need I have--whether I just want to play with pretty fabric and sew squares together to take my mind off some sort of stress, or whether I want to do more intense and complex patterns. Sometimes I need to chain piece without having to concentrate, sometimes I want to fussy cut just the right fabric for some hexies. Is that how it is for you as well?

Today I decided to focus on inspiration. What inspires you?

For years, I made quilts only from published patterns. There is not a thing wrong with that. I just didn't have the confidence to branch out. I'm very much an "in the box" kind of person.

And then one day I was having lunch with friends at a favorite Mexican restaurant. I looked down at the floor and thought, "That would make a GREAT quilt block!"
That piece of linoleum was the springboard to what would become my first published pattern, Charm Parade, which coincided with the time the first precut was just coming into into its own.
Realizing what had developed from a floor in a restaurant made me start looking at simple things all around me. This booth upholstery in our local Chick-Fil-A fast food restaurant

became Neon Ninja Star,  a quilt that was later published in the book, Modern Bee: 13 Quilts to Make with Friends.
An online church logo
morphed into First Call for Fall.
This ad for tile in a magazine

became Bullseye.
Another ad, this time from the flooring company, Flor,
became a fun quilt called Lanyard.
The Kona color card and a set of Pantone note cards inspired me to make
One in Every Color.

This pick of the week app from Starbucks

turned into Missing a Cog.

These Pattern Play block cards purchased for one of our grandsons

became Pattern Play.

A poster by Animodul, discovered by good friend, Dani,

became one of my most favorite quilts ever, Animal Planet. Of course a lot of that probably has to do with the cute 4-year-old who is now the owner.
And this very unassuming upholstery
ultimately gave me the idea of two sizes of the traditional Bear Paw block, and resulted in another favorite, Delta Breeze.

So. Where do you find inspiration? My challenge is to look at the most common things all around you. You never know what will spark your creativity.

Post by Cindy Week #12: Cindy comes from a heritage of quilting, going back several generations. She has been quilting for twenty-plus years. Besides making quilts for family and friends, Cindy regularly donate quilts to help raise money for disaster relief at an annual auction in my hometown of Fresno, California. Find Cindy on


  1. Wow Cindy. I just love seeing the connection between inspiration and final quilt design. You have made many many amazing quilts since venturing into designing your own. Well done!!

  2. You know how much we loved your presentation of these creative developments at the Central Coast Quilters guild meeting! I'm inspired again, reviewing your processes and the great results.
    Thanks for the fun week at 52 Quilts! I'm sure you've made some new friends here!

  3. This is incredible, Cindy. I really enjoyed seeing your inspiration pieces in relation to your quilts. Thank you for sharing that. You are such an amazing quilter. I am in awe.