The Design Doldrums




I am trying to do at least one Quilt Design a Day on Facebook.  Each day two palettes are chosen based on two photographs and then we are challenged to design at least one quilt, not spending more the 15-20 minutes on a design.  Today’s photo was taken from Design Seeds, it is a picture of the side of a building:  turquoise shutters with orange and blue siding.  Some days I jump for joy, because the palettes are so beautiful, or the inspiration photo is so beautiful; other days I just say to my self, “huh?? how am I going to use that color scheme?”  I saw today’s colors from the above photo and wondered if maybe I should go wash the dishes!  🙂

I looked at the photo, noticed the slats in the shutters and the lines of the colored siding.  I  tried several blocks which had similar lines, none of which seemed right to me.  I went in search of inspiration and searched for photos of American Southwest art.  I frequently look at art or photos to inspire me.  Most of the time I will pick up a shape, an idea, or a play on words, etc. which will jump start my brain.  Today, I saw a photo of a rug and thought I could adapt that to a block design  and this design was born:


I was so relieved that I had come up with something, I quickly posted it…and then regretted.  I liked the horizontal lines, the feeling of movement, but I wasn’t completely happy.   I walked away and enjoyed a really stupid movie with my sick son.  (No, his illness was not caused by looking at this quilt!)  I definitely achieved a feeling of movement (maybe too much) in the quilt, when I really wanted to create more minimal design.  I needed to edit.  My next thought was to add some negative space, although I’m not sure that orange is that negative space and I rotated  half of the blocks 90 degrees.



I think my “editing” further complicated my “minimal” design.  I looked some more at the original photo.  I thought that the shutters and the orange siding were important in the original photo, so the quilt should reference them.   As a result I drew the slats of the shutters, I placed them off-center to the left of the block and chose the darker blue as the background, and then placed the orange.   A minimal design.  It is so simple, why does it seem so difficult??  Which design do you like best?



How do you get inspiration?

Have a quilty day,


7 thoughts on “The Design Doldrums

  1. I really dig the minimal design. What a fun way to stretch your creativity; I think it is interesting that at first you were turned off by the colors but you ended up sticking with it and making 3 really interesting designs! Very neat. 🙂

  2. It’s unanimous! We all love that last design! That is a great exercise with the quilt design a day. I keep wanting to try doing that….. Thanks for sharing and inspiring!

  3. I do like the first one a lot, but the last one is the kindest to my sore tired eyes ;-). Also, it would be the easiest to piece and while I’m not exactly lazy, I like a quick piece project!

  4. Well, I think the ayes have it 🙂 I kinda liked the first one. . . but when I got to the third one I said YES! 🙂 Sometimes it just takes some time for the brain to get to where it is going!

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