Friday, January 21, 2011

What inspires you?

Did you know the price of cotton is on the rise? It won't be too long before a $2+/yard price hike hits your local quilt shop. With that in mind, you can convince your husband that maybe the bulging closet full of fabric is actually an investment!

The time has come to start using it, because the coming price tag may detour you from buying later this year. And... if you decide to buy, getting the selection just right will become that much more important.

Time to get creative! (Thank goodness we all have that stash!)
Do you struggle with fabric selection?
 Do you have a pattern that you just love, but the color doesn't quite suit you?
 Do you have a quilt that needs a little something, but you're not sure what it is?

These particular problems are what inspired this post today. I am Cori Blunt, and I am the owner of a little pattern company by the name of Chitter Chatter Designs. I design applique patterns. You may also know of me from my blog Creativity Amongst Chaos.

Being a designer, I am presented with exactly this problem for every new project I take on. I have the challenge of creating something new; new colors, new pattern, new design. I find this challenge suited to me just fine. It seems my world is full of inspiration, which I hope to share with you today. Surprisingly I am inspired by anything, and everything. Take for example this little problem....

I was designing a bumblebee for one of my quilts. I had stitched up a bee with a dark face. The problem was that you couldn't see his eyes, so I knew I had to give him a lighter face. As I sat in thought, I glanced over to my husband who was watching t.v. on the couch. Immediately it hit me.... see the similarity?

Most of the time my answers are right in front of me. It's like a word on the tip of your tongue, your quilting answers could be right there staring you in the face.

Another little problem....

I wanted some detail in my sunbonnet girl's hair. I was playing with several ideas to accomplish this when I was inspired by my daughter. Her lovely locks is what inspired me to embroider the curls in.

On this project, my color choice came from the exact thing my quilt was based on.... a fish! I wanted a quilt that would highlight the rhyme, but also appeal to a man. So, the natural beauty of a fish is just what this project needed. I took my color from a trout.

Quilting is all about color. Color can quickly change the mood and feeling of a quilt. I try to select fabric colors using one basic rule...

Buy what you LOVE!

Us women have a funny way of choosing exactly the same thing - almost every time. I buy what I love and come home only to realize I have a whole box of different fabrics in the same color. I am drawn to these colors. I especially like combining red and white.

I love the crisp, fresh look that this color combination makes. Adding green or blue just makes the red pop that much more.

I am also very inspired by the work of Ethel Hays. Her color choices and overwhelming "CUTE" factor is so inspiring. I have spent the last couple of years collecting anything and everything I can find of hers. Just love her! Her story is equally inspiring to me. I guess I just must connect with her.

So where do you find inspiration???
Right at home.

That favorite picture of yours, that children's book you love, your favorite shirt, or simply....
your family.

Most of my quilts are inspired by my mother, my first jump into this business was because of her. Here is a picture of my first quilt pattern "ANTtitude."

My mother often asks me for help on a quilt idea, or just an idea she thinks may be cute as a quilt. That sends my mind a spinnin' and has helped me to create my most popular patterns.

My advice....listen to others, listen to what they say about what you are doing. Sometimes it is not easy to when my husband called this quilt "depressing."

Changing the color would have also changed it's mood. But, to be honest, making another one is not going to happen! Had I listened to my husband, this quilt may have been more "me."

Inspiration is all around you. You only have to take notice.

Your mind has a way of complicating the simplest of things, but sitting still while taking a step back may be the only way to move forward.

Trust yourself, do what you love, because what you are doing will become the quilt your special someone-s wrap themselves up in to remind them of YOU!

Thank you Madame Samm, and to all of you here at Stash for having me!

Happy Stitching! -Hugs, Cori


  1. Excellent post. I hear this problem from the most seasoned quilter - color choice. But I think their problem is when starting there were limited color and now with all the wowie bright and mixed color fabrics they are kind of lost. Like you, I tell them to go with their LOVE color and build from there. I love your blue bird quilt - but I find blue a comfort color. OH, love your new Wedding quilt for your mother by the way. Thank you for sharing with us today.

  2. Hi, Cori!! I ordered your pattern 'LOVE in Bloom', and received it last week. Now, I'm having a lot of fun choosing fabrics and I sure want to do that before fabric prices go UP. Your patterns are A-dorable. Neat post!

  3. Good Morning Cori, few share their inspiration that end up with such outstanding results. I laughed at the outline of your Dh's head with that of the bumblebee, I get it...and your daughters hair, Wow!. I best take better notice of my beloved company. Your appliques and quilt designs are by far some of the best I have ever seen, your detail is without a doubt inspiring to me. I love the ANTitudes, but you know that, oh gosh, I love them all.

  4. Your quilts are sweet to my eyes this afternoon. Excuse me for saying this but I think I am in love with your talent. giggle

  5. Your bee and husband photo just gave me a laugh! Soooo cute and I see the similarity ;)
    I also have an excuse on ordering fabric: the Euro-Dollar is excellent for ordering from Europe. I HAVE TO BUY ;)

  6. A fun new way of looking for inspiration.....I might get either really funny or really ugly looking projects in the near future. LOL Thoroughly enjoyed your post today and love your quilts and their stories of inspiration.

  7. Food for thought, Cori. Thanks! My biggest inspiration for jumping out of my box is a color challenge. Like drawing crayons out of a bag or blindly pulling pieces of fabric from a pile or having to use a particular colorway. Running around looking for something to use with those colors is the most fun.

  8. Thank you for a great post and the inspiration!

  9. Dear Cori,

    I've only met you once. But, your sweetness is easily felt thru your speech and smiles. Your quilts/pattern designs have the same sweet feel about them. The patience for detail is alos evident because your handwork is amazingly detailed and BEE-YOU-tee-ful!

    Great words of wisdom - to take time and patience while look at the world that exists "in our own back yard"

    best wishes to you!!

  10. Wow, your quilts are so beautiful!!! I love your suggestion on listening to others opinions. I love having my mother and my husband's mother to fall back on when I get stumped with what color would be best. Thank heaven's for Skype so I can show them what I am working on even through we are miles apart :)

  11. Wow! Great post Cori!! I just love your Ant quilt. You do beautiful work.

  12. Your husband and the bee quilt are fun and your daughters curls ... very sweet. Inspiration is everywhere when your open to looking. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work :)

  13. This post is filled with wonderful ideas--need to print this one off and read it often. Thank you for sharing.

  14. What a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing your inspirations that are so inspiring! Your quilts are beautiful!

  15. Your quilts are very beautiful. Shapes are very important to me in quilts as well as color. To me the shapes have to be soft and flowing. I somehow don't like quilts with sharpness in them. I seem to like more flowing and softness in their mood. (If that makes any sense.) Color is also very important. To me that also creates a mood. At one point in my life blue was the mood I loved. Now that mood is all about reds, maroons. And I see the bright quilts they are also drawing me.

  16. This is a exceptional post. When you go with what you luv your workmanship improves, your luv of the colour refines itself and begins to play nice with all the creative options.

  17. Your designs are beautiful...I especially like the fish quilt!

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

  18. love your quilts now I am heading over to your blog to see more.

  19. Love your designs and the photo of your husband and the bee made me laugh! Thanks for a great post!

  20. Your post brought a smile to my face... your DH and the bee, your beautiful daughter, the bluebird quilt...

    Hate to hear that cotton quilting fabric is going up... and by a healthy/unhealthy chunk... but it was to be expected, I suppose.

  21. Cori....your work is breathtaking. The detail is amazing. I love applique quilts but have only attempted one needle turned quilt. The applique is finished and I just have the borders to do. You have inspired me to get it done. I've visited your blog and am now following along...Thanks for sharing and your inspiration.

  22. Love, love, love your ant quilt!!! And the inspiration photos were outstanding too.......your DH looking up? Funny! Thanks for your glorious post today.

  23. Wow! Your work is just so gorgeous!!! Thank you for sharing how you get inspired. It's amazing to see what you create with the inpiration you start with. It really just makes it so unique and beautiful.

    The fact that the price of cotton is going up, will bring us back to our stash and push us to be a bit more creative to make quilts with what we have. Those fabrics that we may have got bored with before, will now come out and finally be used in a wonderful project. That's what our ancestors did. They made these beautiful quilts using the fabrics they had on hand. Never wasting any fabric. And you go to a quilt museum and see these wonderful antique quilts that have servived over a hundred years or more.

    Once a quilter, always a quilter. Those of us who can't afford to buy cotton at the higher price will learn ways to make our quilts with what we have. It should be a very creative and wonderful journey.

  24. This was a great post. I really get what you saying Cori and that is that we should act on the intuitive sense of design that is in all of us and you're right. I've made the best decisions both quilting and otherwise when I've done that.

    Your quilts are beautiful and inspiring. Will be visiting your blog very soon!
    Gail :)

  25. I love the strawberry quilt. Red is my favorite color, too. Thanks for a very inspiring post.

  26. So beautiful post!!! it's tru we have a tendency to complicate the simplest things.......absolutely true.
    Your work is STUNNING !!!
    Tks fr reminding me that beauty is on simplest things around us.

  27. Wonderful interview and beautiful quilts.
    I love how she uses real life to add details to her quilts.


  28. Hi Cori! Love the pic of your DH and the bee - very clever! You're so right about seeing what's in front of us - guess I need to take off my dark glasses and put my rose colored glasses! Great post! xo, Nan

  29. Wonderful post! and such beautiful work. I agree with you. I find it so hard to be “inspired” by colors I do not care for, brown! You are so right the quilt represents me. So from now on when I make a quilt for someone else I will try hard to put “me” into the quilt and use their likes (even brown)!!!

  30. You are right -- some of the best inspiration is usually right in front of us. The hardest thing is not to be bound or overwhelmed by what everyone else is doing and to get out of our own way to let "the muse flow".

    As a new applique convert I loved discovering your patterns! I noticed the blue bird quilt you showed here doesn't have a name on your site -- what is it called? Love the theme, perfect for soon to be empty nesters.

  31. I've received your e-newsletter for a while. Thanks for the post on inspiration - and to put "me" into my quilts.

  32. Great post and beautiful quilts! I love the ants and both of the red and white quilts. I'm a sucker for red and white. :) blessings, marlene

  33. I love this post. your quilts are wonderful I love the ants, they are so cute. Thank you for your help on how to find insperation. I am just starting out and I love the idea to do what you love. That will surely help me as I grow and learn.

  34. thoroughly enjoyed your post. the sunbonnet sue is adorable. great ideas & message. Thank you for sharing today!

  35. Nice quilts, love the bee! At another $2.00 a yard I will be using more scraps and re-using fabric so I can still make quilts. :>(

  36. Great info and I love how you use vintage childrens books for inspiration.

  37. Absolutely love where you get your inspiration as well as where that inspiration goes! I will certainly head on over to your blog and become a new follower!

  38. That was a wonderful post, Cori. Very inspiring. And your patterns are beautiful! Thanks for taking the time to share with all of us.
    P.S. My daughter's name is Cory! Not too many of you out there.

    Leslie S. in MN
    esclante at comcast dot net

  39. I could cry these are so beautiful. Can I tell you my most fav design, all of them. ( maybe not the fish) haha. Cori, you are my fav designer now!
    huggies for you Alexa


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