Where Do You Go for Inspiration?

If you are a dedicated quilter, then you’ll know what I’m talking about.  If you’re new to quilting, these are also great ideas for you!

You work on a quilt for months, and after awhile, you feel a need for a change.  Perhaps you’re tired of the colors, the fabric, the shapes in the quilt, the repetitive stitching… and on and on.

You need a change, but you’re not sure what you want to do.  You need some inspiration!

Here are some steps you can take to get your creative juices flowing again.

  • Get out your quilt books and magazines, pour your favorite beverage, put on some good music, and flip through the lot.
  • Visit your nearest quilt shop and look around.  I find it most inspirational if I plan to NOT buy fabric when I’m in a funk.  By not committing myself to new fabric, I keep my options open for future quilting.  And then there’s that guild factor if you DO purchase fabric… let’s stay clear of that right now.
  • Visit a quilt shop that is NEW to you!  This is an exploration trip.  Find a list of quilt shops in your state or within a 50 mile radius, pick one, hop in the car and away you go!
  • Go to your local library and hit the quilt book shelf.  There’s bound to be one!  You may have some of the same books, but chances are that there are books there you have not seen before.  Grab them, find a good spot to read, and get to it.
  • While you are at the library, look at books in the art and drawing section.  There are often many great patterns and ideas there!
  • Visit a good bookstore and find the Adult Coloring book area.  Coloring books for adults is becoming all the rage now, and you wouldn’t believe the great designs you will find!
  • Need to stay home?  Get out some paper (not graph paper, but typing (printer) paper, plain white.  Get a few good pencils out, a ruler, a compass, and just start sketching and doodling.  Let your mind wander.  Try shapes, geometric patterns, trees, flowers, etc.
  • Visit a quilt show that has a variety of quilts entered.  Take a small notebook with you.  Try to hang out and explore quilts that are in styles you normally would not be interested in.  Look at the design, the color, the stitching.  Ask yourself why you wouldn’t make something like that.  What would prevent you from making an attempt?  Jot down your thoughts.  Here, you are expanding your options.
  • Sit down at your computer and find some great websites for editing photography.  Play with them!  One site I like is http://www.picmonkey.com/ . Use photos of your quilting (you DO take photos of your quilts, don’t you?) and play with them online.  Here’s one I did awhile ago.  I love it!  It uses my Ocean Waves quilt in a different way.


You don’t have to stay in a funk.  There are lots of things you can do to expand your horizons and feed your creativity.

Go for it!

Do you have other ideas?  Share them with others by leaving a comment!

2 thoughts on “Where Do You Go for Inspiration?

  1. I like to take on a small, fun project for “instant gratification” , to break up the “sameness” of my long projects. A tote bag or small purse, coasters or mug rugs for holiday gifts, or a simple table runner or even unique-design pot holders can be made quickly and give me a sense of completion 🙂 If I have the need or desire for a longer time commitment -project, I like to challenge myself to use what I already have in my sewing room & stash for “fresh” project ideas: trying out that nifty ruler or tool that I haven’t used yet, or piecing a small quilt completely from my stash or scrap box, or sewing up a seasonal pattern to have finished in time for the season (spring florals, or patriotic RW&B, or winter /Christmas). Happy quilting!


  2. Excellent pointers. 😀 Most of my quilts are long projects that would drive me to tears to have to work on from start to finish. I’ve found that for me, it’s best to work in a cyclical fashion on several projects at any given time. That way, I dive into one as a priority until I get it to its next stage, then move to another, rotating through a few at a time – and working that way keeps the funk from settling in on me like it did in the past when I thought you HAD to work on only one thing at a time. Sometimes I need to focus on mainly just one quilt because of a gift deadline, and I’m much better at surviving that than I used to be. During those times, I rely strongly on the types of things you’ve shared to get me through my boredom-frustration moments!


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