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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Two "I" Words...Inspiration & Intimidation

I just got back from my favorite quilt show, Road to California, late yesterday.  This is a fabulous show full of some of the most amazing quilts ever as well as some GREAT vendors!  I thought this was the perfect time to write a post on two of the "I" words that I talk about in my classes...Inspiration and Intimidation.



Many years ago I attended my very first REAL quilt show which was Pacific International.  Before I arrived I was a fairly confident quilter...when I left I was nearly crawling out the door as I was so Intimidated by the beautiful work of quilters from around the world.  As I looked at the quilts I kept thinking to myself that I could NEVER do this type of work...it was amazing...breathtaking...humbling...and intimidating.  I went home feeling a bit defeated and dejected and the wind had been taken out of my sails.  My projects at home didn't appeal to me that much anymore...they just weren't as good as what I had just seen at the show.

After this particular show I had been invited to start working with Superior Threads at some of their national shows so I was obviously exposed to more phenomenal quilts and I kept experiencing the same defeated feeling and I knew I had to "get over it" in order to continue to grow as a quilter.

I had a long talk with myself and decided that rather than be Intimidated at the shows I needed to be Inspired.  I talk constantly about Dividing and Conquering a piece of fabric to make the areas smaller and more manageable.  I get thru my very full days the same way...I divide the day into smaller parts and tackle the smaller parts.  Life is more manageable and achievable that way.

Now when I go to the shows I DO admire those amazing works of art...and yes, I still get Intimidated-- trust me.  But what I do differently is look and take pictures of the smaller parts that totally Inspire me.  I may find a beautiful feather design...a gorgeous background...a small little detail added here and there.  That's what I'm focusing on and you know what???  I've enjoyed the shows sooooo much more and come home totally energized to keep working on the projects I have here!

Rather than share pictures of "whole" quilts from the show I am going to share the "parts" that inspired me.  I hope they inspire you too!

The picture at the top of this blog post was created by Lisa Calle and she named this "Red Velvet".   It was the one quilt  that took my breath away every single time I walked by it.  This one inspired and intimated me more than any other quilt at the show...even the big winners.  I had the pleasure of meeting Lisa in one of my classes several years ago and it was before I even knew who she was.  Sometimes it's better you don't know who's sitting in your classroom!  Here are some detail shots of this amazing quilt...





Now here are some photos of small areas of  Inspiration!!!

LOVED the little swirled hearts along the seam line...GREAT detail!

Beautiful background fill with lots of motion!

LOVED the over/under of the feathers around the purple bar!

OH MY...no explanation needed here~


I took this one for all of us...GREAT divide and conquer technique!

LOVED the background on this...you saw it and then you didn't.

Another humbling moment...and this is only part of it!

Beautiful wholecloth work...again a small part...

I hope that this post has helped to Inspire you a bit...remember to take the pieces and parts of the things you love and let them encourage you...not discourage you...into creating your next masterpiece.

Big Hugs, Cindy :)






12 comments:

Kate said...

Cindy - a fabulous post! Now I want to know HOW she did that under/over thing with the purple bar!!!! I'll be asking you about that next week at the design workshop! Can't wait!
Kathleen

Anonymous said...

Great post, Cindy. What a great reminder that we need to NOT be so intimidated by those who are further along their path than we are at the moment........Thanks! claudia w

Penny said...

Cindy- thank you for the wonderful post! I guess it's hard to believe YOU are intimidated by anything. Your work is amazing. I would also like to understand how the feathers went over the purple bar!
Penny

Anonymous said...

Oh my! To your posts, I always find an internal spiritual response. Breathtaking. Thank you for sharing your inspirations and encouragement with us.

Elena Shamgunova said...

Thank you so much for sharing that! I will certainly use your Divide and Conquer technique from now on!

SewCalGal said...

How so very true. While I'm far from an expert, I do think quilters of all levels can feel intimidated when we see such spectacular quilts. But bless the teachers like you that can help break down the pieces to teach us, as well as continually inspire and encourage all of us to reach our best. And you, are certainly one whom I'm sure have dazzled many award winning quilters. Your workmanship and ability to design is spectacular.

Great post. thanks for sharing. Your camera did a much better job capturing the beauty and stitching of several quilts my camera couldn't do justice to.

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

Quilt Crazy said...

I love looking at those beautiful Quilts through your eyes. Thanks for sharing

Maggie said...


for those of us not able to attend the design workshop - can you share here how the over/under thing was done? Do you know who did it? So we could look up a blog or website. Gorgeous photos and soooooo much inspiration!
Maggie in Arizona

Linenqltr said...

Hi All! With regard to the "purple bar" quilt...It would be my guess that she drew in where the purple bar was supposed to go. Quilted the feathers, appliqued the bar in place and then ditched the applique to make it pop. Pretty cool, huh??? Cindy :)

Karen said...

Don't you just love Lisa Calle's work?! Been following her for years. But then there is your work Cindy. Definitely inspiring as well as intimidating. And oh so beautiful!

Karens Quilts, Crows and Cardinals said...

Hi Cindy -- brand new to your blog and thrilled that I'm here. I rec'd my Craftsy email this morning for your new class - Congratulations! Loving the blog post today - as I am also always trying to grow and improve and yearn to be able to make quilts like the ones you've shown and the ones in YOUR gallery! Thanks for continuing to inspire. Karen
http://karensquiltscrowscardinals.blogspot.com/

Amanda Sevall said...

Wow! What an awesome peek at some beautiful quilts!! I love your attitude for approaching these shows Aunt Cindy -- I experience similar feelings with paper crafts (cards, scrapbooks), this is a much better way to look at it!! :)