Hand-dyed Heaven

These past two weeks have put me in “hand-dyed Heaven”!!

One of my friends has a reputation for making marvelous hand-dyes!! Due to health reasons, she decided to get rid of most of her fabric and I was excited to be able to purchase the majority of her hand-dyes.

After I had washed and dried them, I started wondering exactly WHAT HAD I DONE…..

After several days of ironing and folding, I have three wonderful shelves full of special fabrics…..

I especially love the ones with these lines…..

There were several surprises mixed in and I can’t wait to figure out something special to use them for…..

These night skies are also intriguing!!!

I am so looking forward to using these in future projects!!!

…oh….if you need hand-dyes, just give me a call!!

Door Stop….

Michael and I are enamored with DOORS!! They can be big, small, wooden, glass….you name it and we will take a photo of it!!!

Today I have been playing with the designs from this door…..


I started out with a very intricate block spinning around the center square…..

© copyright 2020 (francesquilts)

But when I added it to a quilt, it was WAY TOO busy….

© copyright 2020 (francesquilts)

So I returned to a super simple block spinning around the center square….

Like the Mama Bear’s bed this one was WAY TOO boring!!!

Then I added four lines and things got interesting, although much different from the inspiration…..

This quilt was a still a bit boring, but when I changed the coloring, it got more exciting…..

© copyright 2020 (francesquilts)

A few more changes and I ended up here…..

I know that this is NOT an original design but it was an interesting exercise in how new designs are developed!!!

I will keep playing and maybe I can come up with something new!!!!

Peas in a Pod….

For today’s…….

….we are back in Istanbul Turkey, visiting a local market.

These “peas-in-a-pod” were so artistically displayed that I immediately labeled the photo as an inspiration…..

Today I played a bit with some ideas in Electric Quilt and came up with these ideas in just a few minutes…..

I am excited about trying a few of these ideas for some charity quilts!!!

Cord Wood Quilt…..

As I have mentioned previously in this blog, I seem to find quilt inspiration in ALL sorts of places and with ALL sorts of things.

Today it is a random cord of wood photo…..

I played on Electric Quilt for about 15 minutes and came up with two different blocks…..

And when I alternated them in a quilt, it ended up as this…..

© copyright 2020 (francesquilts)

I really like it and can see piecing it with all scraps….

Something else to be added to my list of quilts that I want to make!!!!!


Heading to Turkey for inspiration

Yesterday I spent some time looking thru photos from previous international trips, starting with a 2012 trip to Turkey. We had two weeks in the country, beginning with one week in the small city of Kars, located in the far eastern part of the country, not far from the Armenia border.

If you are interested in posts from the trip, start HERE. I will say that it was one of the sweetest trips that we have been on, and we have been on a few!!

Anyway, back to the inspiration…..

I took a photo of this road while walking around in the city…..

….ignore my foot!!

As I studied this photo I started playing with pen and paper, trying to get an idea of how I might turn it into a quilt.

This has potential but if I want to offset the “spools”, I will have to piece the strip between the rectangles and then attach them. That could get tricky!!

I played a bit more with the spool idea and came up with this thought…..

It might be fun to use stripe fabrics in each of the blocks…..

Anyway, for now this is just a thought to put back for a later time, but it was a fun exercise!!!

What things inspire you??

Thanks, sweetie for the inspiration!!

I often present a talk that discusses where we, as quilters, find inspiration. Personally, I LOVE finding things in the world that remind me or inspire me to make a quilt.

I love it even more when others send inspiration to me!!

My husband, Michael, just returned from two weeks in Namibia, located on the southwest coast of Africa.

While there he came across an abandoned village that had been inhabited by the Herero People. As he walked around the village, he found houses that were built from a mixture of clay and cow dung. That, in itself, was amazing, but the designs that were imprinted on the walls were the most fascinating thing of all…..

Can’t you just see lines of stitching in there?

Now I am thinking about making a top using squares and rectangles of a solid fabric and adding quilting lines going in different directions for each square!!

And look how the “stitching” lines are at angles rather than being vertical or horizontal……

TOO much inspiration!!!

I was interested in learning more about the Herero people and found out that they are a Bantu ethnic group and that traditionally, they are cattle herders. Cattle are so prominent that their traditional dress is worn with a headscarf that is tied to resemble the horns of a cow…..

Photo taken from Wikipedia

Based on the number of pens that Michael saw…..


….this particular village once held many cattle, but the drought had taken away the grazing pastures, forcing them to move on.

So inspiration AND a history lesson….all in one post!!!

Coffee Shop Inspiration

It is Tuesday, so must be time for a bit more………

When we were visiting in Austin, Texas a while back, we had breakfast each morning at a local coffee shop. This design was found underneath one of the serving bars and immediately caught my interest…..

I love that the stripe quilt blocks lead into the neighboring block and I especially like the black/white coloring!!

Will I ever make a quilt like this??? Probably not, but it is still fun to find quilts where they are least expected!!!!

Inspiration Tuesday

Today I am bringing a TRUCKLOAD of inspiration!!!

I was heading in to pick up Julio (my new Juki 2200QVP) and was dazzled by a flash of color in front of me. Thankfully, my phone was in its dashboard holder so it was easy to take this photo as I drove……

Closer inspection…..zooming in on the photo, not on the highway….. showed this…..

I’m still not sure what this is, but it gave me a quick “quilting break” in the middle of traffic and that is always a good thing!!!

Mandala Art….

My friend Debora is a wonderful quilter who has recently turned her talents to paper and pen, in particular working with Mandala patterns.

She recently went “upscale” with her art and moved it off the paper and onto the wall. This video details her work……

If you want to see more of Debora’s art, check her out on Instagram…. @debora.exum or have a stroll thru her youtube channel.

This very much reminds me of the Henna Tattoo quilt that I did several years back…..

And as I think about it further, maybe I should use a Mandala design and plan another whole-cloth project……

……One more idea to add to the pot!!!