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From Photo to Quilt: Inspiration in Your Pocket!

My little camera goes with me everywhere.

Today’s post will be short on words and long on photos  as I’m packing up to head off with good friends Alex Anderson and Joen Wolfrom for our annual quilting getaway. Without a doubt, my camera will be along for the ride.

Aren’t these little cameras amazing? They’re capable of taking terrific photos that you can view instantly, and they’re tiny enough to tuck into a pocket or purse. I carry mine everywhere. I never know when I’ll spot inspiration for my next fabric adventure.

Sometimes a photo will yield an idea for a block, border, or overall design.

Interesting possibilities lurk in the brickwork and windows of this campus building at San Jose State University.

I stumbled upon this amazing piece of “yard art” in Mendocino, CA. Lots of cool shapes. Inspiration for a contemporary crazy quilt, perhaps?

We hold our See How We Sew brainstorming meetings at a local cafe, where this upholstery dresses the booth benches. Can’t you see this dimensional pattern as a quilt?

Another upholstery pattern from our gathering place

Often I’ll experiment with a photo-inspired design on a small scale–perhaps one of my 3″ x 5″ little quilts–before moving on to something larger. It’s a great way to work out the kinks before jumping into a major project.

Little Circles, 3″ x 5″, by Darra Williamson…can you see the connection?

My photo adventures often open my eyes to new ways of seeing; for example, an unexpected perspective, an instructive play of value, an interesting composition.

I’m inspired by images that give you the sense that you are observing something while remaining unobserved…a secret treasure.

Through the Barn Door: Pierce Point Farmhouse, 3″ x 5″, by Darra Williamson

A lesson in perspective: Napa County, CA, in spring; the rows of grapevines appear to narrow as they march into the distance.

Siverado Spring, 3″ x 5″, by Darra Williamson

The Blue Ridge of North Carolina; the more distant the mountains, the fainter and more misty they appear.

Homesick for the Blue Ridge, 3″ x 5″, by Darra Williamson

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m drawn to serene, vertical compositions.