Guest Blog Post by Jen Frost of Faith and Fabric
Inspiration is defined as: “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative”. Everyone finds inspiration from a different source; perhaps it’s in the setting of a sun, a walk on the beach, fond memories of growing up, or events in popular culture. For me, I draw inspiration from the beauty of my faith – and use it as a basis for creative quilt designs.
Today I’m excited to share two quilts I designed that came from this inspiration!
Easter is a beautiful season which, to Christians of all denominations, has more emphasis on the resurrection than on the bunny and eggs (though we love a good Easter Egg Hunt as much as the next person!). I wanted to design a quilt that spoke of the joy and celebration that comes on Easter morning, and designed this Easter Sunday quilt. Truth be told, inspiration also came from wanting to design a quilt made exclusively of log cabins – and variations on the log cabin theme – as well as the gorgeous watercolor tones of the surrounding coastal landscape.
To create the darker wood tones, I used brown fabrics sewn together with Sulky 30 wt Cotton Blendables Thread in Natural Taupe, and loved how it blended into the multiple shades of alternating dark and light fabrics. The lighter colors radiating out were a bit trickier; I used Sulky 30 wt Cotton Thread in White as it blended into all shades and colors perfectly.
To quilt this design, I really wanted to emphasize the radiating color so chose to do lines that radiated from the center to the edges. I initially started with another Blendables thread (I love the Blendables and how they change colors every few inches!), but – with the radiating colors – realized that the impact of the thread was quickly lost. After a bit of seam ripping, and a more trial and error, the best color ended up again being the trusty 30 wt White. I am so happy with this quilt, and the way it captures all the initial inspirational components as well as the essence of Easter Sunday!
Another design that was inspired by my faith was around Pentecost – the image of the dove and flames was one I couldn’t wait to show in fabric! In designing this Pentecost quilt, I wanted the quilt to feel as if it was almost on fire itself! The background for the quilt is a herringbone variation, where each piece ends at a right angle into the next. Pointed down, they mirror the flight that the dove takes as it, in a sharp contrasting white fabric, dives downward. The flames, each paper pieced and appliqued, grow in color from dark to light. Much as a real fire burns in different shades of red, orange, and yellow, these flames start at a deep red at the bottom and grow to a pale yellow at the top. To applique the flames, I spray based them to the quilt top with Sulky KK2000 Temporary Spray Adhesive; this held them securely on the front so they wouldn’t slide around. Because I was satin stitching the flames down, I also used Sulky Stiffy Stabilizer on the back of the quilt top. This gave it the support it needed to prevent the stitches from pulling the fabrics due to the tight stitches, all done in Sulky 30 wt cotton threads to compliment the fabric colors.
When it came to the border, I wanted to continue the theme on the inside of the quilt. The intensity of the fire is incorporated into the border; the shades in the flames are mirrored the dark tones at the bottom and decrease in intensity as the border climbed towards the top. To reflect the dove, I used pure white across the top and into the sides of the border.
Inspiration can come from anywhere, and being a maker is such a wonderful way to turn inspiration into something tangible!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Jen Frost is a Catholic quilter and crafter who evangelizes through fabric. She’s a pattern writter, quilt designer, and book author. When she’s not in front of her sewing machine, she can be found at the beach with her husband and son, toes happily buried in the sand. She writes and quilts each week at Faith and Fabric and invites you to join in the fun every Monday at 12pm PST.