Sunday, 24 June 2012

Sew Inspired

People sometimes asks me what inspires me to use the fabrics that I do together, given that I rarely buy bundles or use just precuts, where the hard work of choosing which fabrics to use together is done for you. If truth be told I do not find this choosing hard work. It's probably one of my favourite bits. One of the things that greatly inspires me is my garden.

I wish today I could have you all round. Despite the breeze there is a blue sky and it's quite mild.  We could sit in my garden and just 'be'.  There are flowers in every kind of colour and shape you could imagine and if you closed your eyes you'd be able to focus on the gorgeous scents on the breeze: the mock orange, honeysuckle, lavender and many roses.

My garden is a typical cottage garden.  I was fortunate enough to be able to pretty much completely re-do this garden a few years ago. I'm always hearing how difficult cottage gardening is. Far harder than most kinds, as that romantic chaos is supposedly harder to do and get right than just regular gardening.  I am not sure about this. I think if you have the hard landscaping in place and you get the planting balance right you can do this kind of gardening pretty easily. But one thing typical of this type of gardening is that no colour is wrong with another colour. Over all it works out and if it doesn't clash in nature then it won't clash in a quilt. At least that's my theory. You may have to tweak value or pattern in the fabric.


One thing you'll notice from the above photo is that green focuses pretty heavily. If the above was a quilt the green would be the background colour or a kind of neutral. Without even realising I am drawn towards green in quilts, where it sometimes becomes a neutral.

Freebird by Momo for Moda Quilt
The quilt I made from a Freebird Charm Pack and some Kona Chartreuse.

Rolled up string Green's quilt
String Greens Quilt.

The influences of my garden are obvious in things like my hexie quilt and the recent Ferris Wheel Cushion I made.

Ta Da! All finished the piecing at least Ferris Wheel Cushion Finished.

But sometimes I look at individual flowers and I see the potential of putting colours together I'd have maybe not thought of before.

Purple and Yellow Lupins

Looking forward to a long weekend.
Purple, green and jewel like pinky reds in this poppy shot.

Lovely colours

Imagine a quilt purple, pink, yellow, white and a pop of red, all with a green background?

I see endless possibilities in my garden.  When you're deciding which fabric to make into a quilt what inspires you?


  1. Not sure what is more beautiful - your quilts, garden or photographs.

  2. Beautiful - I am probably influenced by my bank balance ;)

  3. beautiful... will be round to sit and just "be"!! x

  4. what lovely pics, its easy to see why your garden influences you!

  5. I love cottage gardens (although I am a complete non-gardener!) That last photo is gorgeous, I would love to see you make a quilt in those colours!

  6. Being all out of gardens, I just go with whatever fabric leaps out at me first - so technical, I know ;o)

  7. Fab photos - Loving those lupins and poppies x

  8. Well, that was full of gorgeousness! Those lupine are extraordinary and one of my favorite color combinations!

  9. Your garden is stunning, I am a big fan of the cottage garden look! I am limited by the fact my garden is a small yard!

  10. Lovely post Jan - I love your garden and its cottagey feel. I also love that string greens quilt!

  11. I love your garden! I'm not sure what inspires me as I tend to get an idea that just won't go away until I pull some fabric out and sort out a design...then it all goes in a box until I have time to make it!

  12. oh what a wondeful post! as susan said all beautiful photos. I am inspired by nature, sweeties!, the other week I say a channel 4 trailer and the colours inspired me. I see inspiration everywhere! Quite often I say to my other half oh that would make an awesome quilt! He thinks I am strange!

  13. This is such an inspiring post with such beautiful flowers and lovely quilts! I'm finding myself more and more drawn to green....all shades!


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