Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Little of This and A Little Of That

I try to surround myself with things that are fun and inspire me for Story Quilts. I have a HUGE stash...boxes and boxes and boxes of fabrics I have collected for years and I started designing fabric about 15 years ago. This gave me an insight on what I love for color and light. Light is something that quilters don't seem to know about. If you are a painter, light and shadow are two important elements to know about for any successful painting. Above, these darling little girls playing would be something that would be great fun for any artist to jump off of. I have three Granddaughters and I think this would be a great theme using super fabrics for a story quilt.
I bought the magnet above many years ago at a folkl art museum. His hair looks pretty tame here but sometimes it is really wild and out of there! How about a cute face filled with loads of rickrak? FUN.
 Last time I was inPacific Grove, a shop owner gave me this Queen. When her handbag is in the sun, she waves. This brings great interested to adults and my Grandkids and makes me smile. Alot!
 This is a quilt I just got back from a Museum show. I want to redo her eyes and a few other changes for more detail in the girl. The jar is a treasure jar and it says "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." I believe this is true. There are awesome buttons on this quilt and lots of pretty reds (light givers). This is a quilt that I think will have value and I wish you could see it in person. It is on it's way to another Museum and I hope to get changes done before it leaves.
 Flowers can make a quilt more interesting and why use boring tone on tone fabrics when you can use dots, stripes, checks, geometrics etc. This is why I teach workshops, I want my students to look at fabric totally different and to know who the best companies are to purchase your fabric from. Don;t pay attention to who makes the fabrics you buy? You should.
 A good quilt can be made better with embellishments and older buttons make me especially happy. Do you have old buttons, jewelry and trims from someone you loved in your family hidden away in some drawer? Get them out and use them! The quilt is more valuable to you and others with these treasures in there.
 Great fabrics and patterns make great quilts!
 The piece above is a little snippet from my New Mexico quilt. I have a whole new large quilt started that will have tons of scraps and pieces in there as well as great shapes and embellishments.
If you have a plain spot that needs something great, put a bird on it. Who doesn't love birds?
 I did a story quilt about my family (when I was little) going on vacation with whirleygig hats (my Dad's story idea). Here is my Mom with her camera, a pie and her luggage.
Another bird that I and good color.
 I love angels as most of you know and wrote a book oln angels. I like small newsprint for skin on my people. Fun.
 A little photo of the quilter's retirement castle. This quilt in person is large and has loads of different scraps of fabric in there along with some old Grandmother Flower garden blocks someone did a long time ago. It is a happy quilt for happy quilters.
 I LOVE plaids as everyone knows. A plaid town is a happy place! Below is my Dad leading us on vacation when I was 8. I remember him telling me we would fly back East with those whirley hats...and I was young enough to believe what he said.
I have tried to show here that ideas and invention comes from many places.
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I try to be out of the box when I imagine. I stack at least 20 fabrics in three color families and begin a fun story quilt. I have been making these since 1988. Once I die, I am leaving a large selection of quilts that tell about me, my family, my friends and things that inspire me. I am leaving a legacy or stories and who I am and what I leave behind. I am using those beautiful fabrics I purchase and I am having fun with color and show how to use it. I hope to meet you one day in a workshop, at a show, a shop, a museum and hear what you would like to tell about YOU. YOU are an artist and it is easy to get out of the Box and bring your artist outside and throw away those doubts. This is the fun of being a quilter and an artist.
If you would like to see more, go to my old blog which I cannot host any longer (Google took away the buttons to add or moderate)-it is fun and has alot of my quilts as does my website
Marylouandcherries too    (blog OLD)


  1. Thank you, Mary Lou, for your continuing inspiration, whimsy and creativity. I just ordered your new book and can't wait to get started on the coffee cup block!!!

    I especially loved your comment today about using those button treasures that have been passed down to us. I have two metal boxes of buttons from my Grandmother, Mom and Aunt. Your picture of the buttons surrounding the bird made me think of a rainy day garden with all those little white/transparent buttons falling from the sky.

    Thank you once again for more inspiration!

  2. I enjoyed your quilt show this morning, your pieces always put a smile on my face. Love that queen piece, so funny.


  3. I love the idea of a quilters retirement castle!
    Such wonderful stories.

  4. Mary Lou, you are the happiest, most creative and truly inspirational person I've ever met! You are my hero! :~D I love your blog so much! Thank you for brightening my days!

    Sending you HUGE happy hoochy hugs! :~D

  5. I love every quilt you shared this morning, but most especially the whirleygig hat vacation. Toooooo cute!! Your dad is hoot to suggest this. What fun. Thanks for all your tips and inspiration. You've got me believing I could do this, too!

  6. Happy Friendship Day!

    Your quilts are so inspirational and fun to look at again and again. Each time I discover something new. I enjoyed seeing them at the LaConnor Quilt Museum, just wished I could have taken some pictures.

    Thanks for being you!

  7. Wow! That was like being in one of your classes! Thank you for such an inspirational post this A.M. I think I will go have a cup of tea and admire my fabric stash for awhile. Inspiration! Thanks Mary! Donna

  8. Try to look at your blog everyday. I am always amazed at the colors and whimsical things you post. Thanks for making me smile everyday.

  9. I just sit in awe when looking at your pictures of your quilts. I so love them. They always bring a smile to my face. Thanks for your inspiration. Big Hugs.

  10. I should be sewing but taking a minute to check out your blog- as usual- fabulous Mary Lou- always an inspiration and a smile...