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From All of Us: Photographic Inspiration for a “Creative” New Year

At the end of 2011, we ran a post in which we each shared a few photos that we found inspirational for our quilting and other creative pursuits. That post turned out to be surprisingly popular, as visitors–both regular readers and new–continue to seek it out in our archives for repeated viewings. As 2013 begins, we thought it would be fun to reprise this popular idea with new photographic inspiration for a creative new year.


Wishing you a year of productivity and creativity in 2013. Sidewalk art spotted by Darra in Mendocino, CA

Wishing you a year of productivity and creativity in 2013. Sidewalk art spotted by Darra in Mendocino, CA


Jennifer’s Modest Obsession

I’ve just been on a browse through my 2012 iPhoto collection and, perhaps, my sons are right:  I’m weirdly lunatic about some things. Do you know what makes me happy these days? Fruit and flowers, it’s really pretty simple. Perhaps when those sons of mine grow up enough to have offspring I’ll vary my subject matter, but for now, I’m sticking to Mother Nature. So, when asked to pull images for our collective post, these are the ones that fuel my creativity. I think they’re delicious—okay, amend that:  the steamy blue geothermal in Yellowstone National Park isn’t tasty. It’s malodorous.  I offer it here just because Nature delivers the most incredible pellucid blues.


Blue-violet anemones–wow!


Fruits of the cherry harvest from Brentwood, California.


Citrusy deliciousness!


I’ve never seen such incredible aqua blues outside of tropical waters–Yellowstone National Park is a wonder of wonders.


Seasonal flowers from Florali in Walnut Creek, California (click Florali’s sidebar to start the incredible seasonal flower show.)

Laura’s Musings

When I’m out and about and remember to bring my camera along, I find that I am most attracted to the variety of shapes I see in nature, architecture, flooring, and so on. I’m always looking to see if I might be able to translate what I see into a new quilt design, never knowing where I might find my next pattern opportunity. I might find it in a museum, while out hiking, or even strolling around my local shopping mall. Here are a few photos I have taken over the years and added to my “Inspiration” folder. The flower at the end was taken by my friend, Nelly Shrager. I had to include it because it is so rich in color inspiration.


This would make such a cute pieced and appliqued block.


I can see all kinds of inspiration in this colorful hooked rug.


This is inspiration for my “someday” applique project.


I can see a quilt design here–without the logo, of course!


Simply gorgeous colors!

Darra’s Eclectic Album

My inspiration comes from so many sources. Here are just a few.


Hotel California, San Francisco

Architecture: interesting facades, doors, windows, and rooflines. This is the front of a hotel in downtown San Francisco called–no lie!–the Hotel California.


Chris's gold foliage

Autumn: One of nature’s most amazing palettes. This photo was taken last fall by my friend and co-author, Christine Porter, near her home in Bristol, UK.


“Serendipidous” art: I love to stumble upon art where I least expect it. Here, a crazy “quilt” mosaic tucked on the fringes of a garden in Mendocino, California.


The sea: whether the open water or a quiet cove, always inspirational. Looking back on Drake’s Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore, California.


Fabric: of course!


Gateways: arches, garden gates, and other artful (and sometimes mysterious) forms of egress. I shot this passage to the sea on a foggy November morning on the Northern California coast.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this little bit of photographic inspiration. We’d love to know what inspires you. Please do leave a comment and let us know.

May your new year be happy, healthy…and creative!


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