Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What Inspires Me

To Start A New Quilt?

My quilting career began with this quilt, Young Reader. When I started this quilt, other than being confident that I could learn how, I knew nothing about sewing. And it shows.

I started quilting about 10 years ago. How did that happen? What inspired me to start quilting? That's a good question but not one I'm going to answer today. Instead I'd like to consider why I'm still a quilter. What inspires me, or anyone else for that matter, to start yet another quilt?

There are a lot of reasons to start a quilt. I'm only going to write about 3 of them.


It can happen any time. It might be at a quilt show, or while I'm reading a quilt magazine, or when I'm surfing quilt blogs on the internet. I see a quilt that sends a thrill of delight through me. I am inspired. I want to make something as good as that. I want something just as beautiful, just as wonderful. Something that I made and that I can call my own.

My wife showed me a quilt block that made secondary patterns and I was inspired. I wanted to design blocks that would do that. The result was my Alberta series of quilts. This is one of them, Patricia/Ribbons.


Awful is too strong a word for what I really mean but it will have to do until I think of a better one. There are times when I see a quilt and I think - I can do better than that. It may or may not be true. But that doesn't matter. Having thought that I can do better, I need to prove it. I need to test myself. I am inspired to try something new.

After I finished Young Reader, I knew I could do better so I made a second quilt, Cliff Swallow.


Sometimes I need a deadline staring me in the face before I get started. This is not the most glamorous of inspirations, but I'll bet that it's a common one. And it can't be a soft deadline. It can't be that I would like to get this sewn by a week from Friday, but if it's not done, then Monday will do, or even the next Friday. It has to be that I must get this done by a week from Friday or it will be too late and the world as it is presently constituted will cease to exist.

I contracted with C&T Publishing to write my book Designing Quilts Is Easy! That meant I had to design and sew a lot of quilts in a hurry. Lac Des Arcs was one of them.

How about you? What inspires you to start a quilt? You can leave a comment below. Or if you'd rather write in your blog, let me know and I'll link to it; my email is tuxedoparkdesign@shaw.ca.

More Inspirations

If you want to know more about what inspires quilters to start quilts, go to any of the following blogs:

Judy Butcher of Virtual Quilter

"I work away at a design, and realise that I have fabrics in my stash which have been waiting for this design."

Angie Padilla

"I actually live off my designs, I would have to say the driving force behind most of them is an attempt to delight our subscribers."

Tonya of Hillbilly Handiworks

"I love to make quilts that I can learn from."

Caroll Drudy of Attic Window Quilt Shop

"I needed to keep my hands busy so I wouldn’t eat cookies from the time I got home from work until I went to bed."

Tennye of Little Star Quilts

"I like surprising people and doing something new."

Elsie Montgomery of Elsie Quilts

"It seems that most quilts begin because of a challenge."


  1. Wayne, thanks for this opportunity. It's fun and interesting to see what inspires others to quilt. Yes, cookies was my original inspiration! LOL

  2. Well, Wayne having read the ones you decided to link up to I enjoyed this process very much. My blog is posted too, so go on over and check it out.

  3. Hi Wayne,
    Lost your email invite... but made the post just now at http://elsiequilts.blogspot.com -- thanks for this good question. I had fun thinking of what makes me want to make a quilt.

  4. Wayne,

    Thank you for another interesting exercise ... both writing down my own reasons, or excuses, and reading about others.

    Judy B

  5. Wayne - I am so sorry! I left the store this afternoon and realized when I got home that I didn't say goodbye to you. How rude! So it was nice meeting you today, my husband thought the two patterns I bought were cool, and maybe we will run into each other again someday. Hope you and Linda enjoyed your day at Sew Divine and maybe Pat will have you back again someday. Have fun designing new things - Sheila