*Try mixing two standard blocks. It is amazing what you can come up with.
*Use a one or more of a familiar block and place them creatively in space.
*Add something new and different to your block.
*Make a grid of triangles on paper and fill them in with color. See what designs you can create. Substitute fabrics for the colors.
*Try appliqué. There are tons of ways to use almost any beautiful shape.
Look around you and see the designs in your environment: flowers, clouds, fences, trees, leaves, wrought iron gates, houses, wildlife, floors, rugs, wallpaper, etc. What tools do you need? Only pencil and paper, a sprinkle of imagination, and a pinch of inspiration. Optional aids might be the computer and crayons or colored pencils.
I had the wonderful good fortune to take a cruise through the Mediterranean in 2009. Every surface is heavily decorated in the whole region from southern Italy to North Africa. There are mosaics, sculptures, frescos, paintings and architecture. Magnificent! I took many pictures that now reside in the quilting folder on my computer for reference, and I look at them often. Here are some examples:
|Mosaic for patchwork and border|
|Overall plan for a quilt.|
Love the black and white detail.
|Black and white and Pumpkin Seed|
|A bowl - whole cloth or appliqué|
|Mosaic compass with extras|
|A door with FMQ designs|
My greatest leap into quilt design came from doing Rhapsody quilts (Ricky Tims) and Spiral quilts (RaNae Merrill). When you design you truly start from scratch and end up with something that is uniquely yours. It does not provide instant gratification, but it is so much fun.
TIP: Reach out, stretch your intellect, try something new. Grow. You may not think you are an artist now, but you can become one. It is up to you.