Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cookie Cutter Inspired

In a recent post on my new Lancaster County inspired quilt series, (third one is being quilted now!) 
I talked briefly about inspiration, (a favorite topic of mine) and asked for commenters to let me know what inspired them, as I am always fascinated by the creative process and what sparks it. 

Today's post continues the inspiration theme in a fun way, I think!

I've been soaking up a lot of inspiration from folk art lately, specifically vintage hooked rugs, 
which have always intrigued me and are proving to be very inspiring 
with the punch needle embroidery that I've been exploring. 
Love the colors and those shapes... 

Yes, those wonderful shapes!
One of the things that I have noticed in these old hooked rugs is how so many of them feature very naive style shapes, including various animals and birds, flowers and leafs 
along with hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades. 

All of which remind me of...

Cookie cutter shapes!

So, that got me to thinking about how wonderful it would be to have an assortment of vintage cookie cutters to use as design inspiration. These shapes could be used for not only punch needle, but other types of embroidery as well, along with appliqué designs for some future folk art quilts.

And that realization led to some of my local vintage shops, 
(lucky me, I live minutes away from a 5 mile stretch of them!) 
for a fun scavenger hunt to find some awesome
cookie cutters...

The photo above and the photo below show about half of what I ultimately found.
Most cost between .50 cents to $2.00, with $1.00 dollar being the average.

And while I can't be guaranteed that they are all 100% vintage, I think the vast majority of them are.
(And does it really matter for the purpose I am using them for?)

(Photos are from my rather humble phone camera, 
thus quality isn't supreme, but the layout looks lovely, don't you think?)

 Look at all those fun shapes! 
Doesn't it just make your imagination take off flying in new directions?
(One is actually a jello mold, can you spot it?)

Below are two recent pieces begun with my new found cookie cutter inspiration...

On the left is "Chicken Pox" and on the right is "Owl and Moon". 
Below them is a ruler, so you can see how small the pieces actually are,
and above them are the cookie cutters I used to begin the design process.

Here's a close up of "Owl and Moon", so you can see all the tiny punched stitches. (I tend to punch a bit more densely then some of the tutorial examples I have seen, but I like the look, it works for me.)
I began with the shapes of the cookie cutters, then used my imagination to fill in the rest. I'm working with solid 8/2 cotton yarn and changed my colors frequently to achieve the look that I wanted.

Here's a close up of "Chicken Pox", (thought long and hard to come up with that clever name!)
Again, I used 8/2 cotton yarns, 
and simply echoed the lines of the shapes, over and over, 
frequently changing colors as I went along.

Both pieces are now available in my shop.
To see more of either piece simply click on the link below them

Hope this post inspires you all as well!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Brunners Grove Quilt

Here's the second quilt in my new "Lancaster County" series. I just finished this one yesterday and am very happy with it. As with the first one, I took the name from a local road. 
We've got some great road names around here that just seem so fitting.

More wonky shapes to reflect my love affair with all the misshapen old barns.
(I wish I could save them all... so many of my favorites have been lost over just the last few years.)

And letting the rolling hills and the plowed fields inspire my quilting has been great fun.

More details can be found here.