31 Oct

Inspiration Sunday

It’s that time of the week to show a photo or thing and a quilt or design that was inspired by it. I’m working on a quilt that is directly inspired by a road near my house, but since it’s close to being done, I’ll wait until it’s complete to share it. In the mean time, I’ve got more pattern designs and their inspiration to share.

This is a plant native to Hawai’i called Naupaka. It has a wonderful legend attached to it and I was immediately drawn to it. I go by several naupaka plants when I walk around my neighborhood and they got me to thinking about how to translate the flower and it’s story into a quilt or design. It wasn’t long before I had a collection of designs based on local flora.

This is the first, and still my favorite, of the designs (click for a better look). I had it printed (by the half yard, on demand) at Spoonflower so that I could make things with it. Next Sunday, I’ll share another design and it’s inspiration.

PS: Sherri Lynn inspired Inspiration Sunday — check out what’s inspiring her.

01 Dec


I got hit by the Hawaii bug quicker than I thought I would. It’s not a Hawaiian quilt I’ve made though, it’s fabric designs.

Just walking around my neighborhood got the ideas flowing. I started sketching, and then working up more finished designs, just to see what they’d look like. The Twelve by Twelve Passion challenge ended up being just the push I needed to try printing my designs via Spoonflower.


With the fabrics in hand, there were, of course, refinements that needed making, though I used what I had for the next projects.

Along with the Twelve by Twelve art quilt, I also made coasters, tissue holders, and pillows — to fill out a proposal to fabric companies. I’ve been quiet about these, thinking that perhaps I could persuade some big fabric company to pick them up.


Half a dozen rejections, and some soul searching about reality, later, I’ve decided to take a different tack. In a perfect world, a fabric company would love these designs as much as I do, and print them as the type of quality cottons I enjoy buying from my local quilt shop. However, I’m a little fish in a big turbulent sea, and tropical prints make the viability even less.

So, I’m going to show them off here. I’m going to make things with them (eventually). Since they are at Spoonflower anyway, I’m making them available for purchase there (just click here). And if, by chance, anyone sees potential in them, I have a bunch more ideas in my head waiting for an excuse to come out.

I’m calling the collection “Kunia,” after the neighborhood where I live and am inspired.

Kunia fabric logo

04 Mar

Local Inspiration

I’ve been very busy lately. It came after a bit of a slump, but I decided to make some new clothes, which led to riffling through fabrics, which led to unearthing old projects, which led to inspiration for new projects, which led to… You get the idea. When people say “just do something, anything” to get out of a slump, they are right.

I’ve been posting more crafty than arty things lately, partly because that’s who I am, but also because working on the crafty has lit a fire under the arty. No art to show yet, but it’s coming.

I love the way one thing leads to another, especially in conversations and with inspiration. I take a walk around our housing development most school mornings after I see the kids off at the bus stop. One of the first things I pass is a row of Naupaka bushes. Looking at these half flowers, I was inspired to make simple postcards for the Hawai’i Quilt Guild’s annual show (they’ve invited everyone to make postcards). The Naupaka postcards led to Ilima postcards, and the whole process (along with another train of thought related to using kid’s drawings as fabric for something completely different) has me now thinking about local plants as inspiration for custom fabric. These sketches are far from fully realized, but I love the idea of the patterns being pretty graphic and not looking like typical “Hawaiian” fabric.

I’m not sure if I’m going anywhere with this, but the path and where it intersects others is a lot of fun.