My biggest inspirations have been Leah Day, Robbie Ecklow and Ann Fahl. I study their work and of course Leah has had this fantastic website to show you all the cool designs you can do with videos on how to do them.
I have discovered that place mats are a great way to practice and try out new designs before committing yourself to a larger project. So this morning I finished quilting a place mat. I tried out Leah's Spiral Paisley, some McTavishing, a feather and some echoed C's (I think another one of Leah's designs.)
|A detail of the back of the place mat to show the quilting.|
For the border I came up with a spiral inside a clam shell. While I only did a single row of it, it can be expanded into a filler. Below is a practice piece. I still haven't quite figured out how to elegantly go to the next row, but I'll work on that. You start by making the spiral and echoing back to the beginning and then doing the clam shell outside of the spiral.
|Spiral Clam shell|
|The final place mat.|
I have a long way to go to get really good at this, but it is coming along and I love it.