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How Do You Think of That? Quilt Design Inspiration and Where To Find It

January 10, 2024

How Do You Think of That? Quilt Design Inspiration and Where To Find It


Every few months, and especially now that it’s a new year again, I like to scroll through my photos on my phone, or saved on the computer, looking for quilt design inspiration.  I’m one of THOSE people who take photos of random things all the time – if I like the look of something (plant, flower, building), then I take a quick photo, so I can refer back to it later. Do you do this too???

And so often we’re asked “How do you come up with the ideas for all of your quilts?”

In truth, we struggle with too many ideas (and not enough time!) mostly, and we do have to work to refine the ideas down into what will work or not, and what is worth actually taking through our design process to turn into a new finished quilt.

And where do the ideas come from?  A lot of the time, it’s from what’s around us – all of us.

Open your ‘quilter’ eyes and look around to see what you can spy that would be suitable for a quilt design of your own.

There’s wonderful patterns in nature, building and architecture, art and sculpture, and almost everything – even the most mundane can be worked into interesting and unique designs for your own quilts.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match either – blend different ideas to create something new, or take your vision of a design and just replicate it in fabric.

How about this wonderful art wall in the park opposite Houston’s George Bush Convention Centre.  I took this photo years ago when we went to our first Quilt Festival there – Isn’t that just crying out to be made in fabric?

Following are a few photos that should get your creative juices flowing, and remember – Google Images and Pinterest are your friends too!

Isn’t this beautiful? What a lovely design for applique, or maybe a quilting motif…???

Colour!  Look for nature’s palettes for inspiration.

There’s plenty of colour and quilt design inspiration to be found in nature.

And then there’s tiled/mosaic floors and building features and facades…

Isn’t this gorgeous! A 3D sculpted stone/bronze building facade I think I found in Houston too. Look at all those foundation pieced New York Beauty Block style possibilities!!

Tiled details on buildings…

And ancient mosaics too!  Visit a museum and see what you can find there.

Some of you will recognise this – the carpet from the Hilton(?) hotel as it joins the Convention Centre in Houston.  Sooooo many funky designs there.

…and the ceiling in one of the food areas at the Convention centre.  Greys and black with vertical and horizontal lines, and a bold red criss-cross to set it off.  Very modern!

And more recently, I found the following images in an old building in Sydney Australia – our beloved QVB (Queen Victoria Building).  This stunning building has the most amazing tiled floors, and is well worth checking out if you come to Sydney.  Yes – it’s full of retail space, and yes – I was running around taking a bunch of photos like a fool, but look at some of what I found – quilt design inspiration galore!!!

(Yes – that’s my foot)

Isn’t this gorgeous?  Simple quilt with fancy borders anyone??

Well hello – aren’t you pretty too?  It’s a ready-made quilt design!

And outside – don’t forget to look up. More applique or quilting design inspiration…

Hexies!! Even beautifully arranged with jewel shapes too…

And then I went into the nearby cathedral….

Oh my goodness!!!!!!!!!

(Yep – feet again 🙂 ), but wouldn’t this make a stunning stitchery design? And look at the cornerstones too….

That’s enough quilt design inspiration eye candy for today, but I do hope it sparks some motivation to get out and about, and really look around you.  Ideas are EVERYWHERE, and once you develop this habit of looking (and taking photos), you’ll never be stuck for a quilt idea again!

Enjoy your week and let me know what you find!




2 responses to “How Do You Think of That? Quilt Design Inspiration and Where To Find It”

  1. Mary Anne says:

    I have SO many photos in my collection (most of which have been shared with me) that I want to create into fabric landscapes and I know I will never, not in two lifetimes, get to them all. Inspiration is everywhere!

  2. Mary Ann says:


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