Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Finding Inspiration - in unexpected places.

A fellow quilting blogger in Ohio wrote today about a current "slump" and asked where other quilters find inspiration and motivation.

I don't always know about motivation - some times I get on a roll and sometimes I don't - but inspiration - well sometimes that comes from very unexpected places, and not necessarily a pattern book or fabric store display.

I have been meaning to share with everyone my son's "baby quilt" and the inspiration behind it.

For a long time before my son was born I had been amassing a small collection of Seven Dwarf plushies. It started when I was living in Japan the first time around and visited Tokyo Disneyland just before returning home. My host Mom bought me a stuffed "Happy" and the collection was begun.

A few visits to Disneyworld during my college years added to my collection, and by the time the Munchkin was on the horizon, I had two full sets of plushies in different sizes, plus a few other accessories.

I decided to "do the nursery" in Seven Dwarfs - but I did not want the typical printed sheets and curtains and all that - it was way too busy. Instead I took the plushies to Home Depot (!?) to the paint department and picked out paint chips that matched the different colors of their clothes, shoes, and hats. Those chips were paper-fastened together and a set was sent to Lazy Sister Sue and grandparents, and I kept a set in my wallet. The wall paint was chosen from among those colors, and the rest would be incorporated into the quilt, bedding and curtains. Frequent visits to all sorts of fabric stores and the bedding departments of other stores finally completed the stash needed to put this quilt together. The backing is flannel from a sheet set, and the light creamy color is from a percale sheet set. The pieces were all cut to random sizes and shapes, and stitched randomly onto flannel strips, then assembled in a "quilt as you go" style. The rust and cream fabrics were fashioned into dust ruffles and curtains, and the remaining flannel recut to make crib sheets.

The Munchkin's room is now more of a jungle than a Disney forest, and the rust curtains have given way to dark green leaves and parrots, but this quilt still remains a required fixture in his bed - even in the heat of summer. Many washings have it nice and soft and pliable and cuddly.

Tomorrow I will show what the same paint chips inspired Lazy Sister Sue to create.

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