Monday, July 28, 2014

Meet my Guest Blogger - Tammy Silvers!

Meet  my Guest Blogger - Tammy Silvers.  

Quilting since 1991, Tammy has taught at quilt  shops as well as county parks and recreation facilities. She designs and self-publishes her own quilt patterns under the label Tamarinis.
She love batiks and bold, bright colors.  Her special weakness - chickens. She says “If it clucks, it goes in a quilt!”. Her background is in art and literature and she loves to find ways to use “words” in her work.
Under the label Tamarinis, her designs are regularly published in a variety of quilt magazines , including Quilt, McCall’s Quilting, American Patchwork and Quilting, Stitch, Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting, Quilty, Quilt It...Today, Sew It...Today and Create and Decorate. She works with major fabric manufacturers designing projects to showcase and promote their fabric lines, including Camelot and Fabri-Quilt. 

So please give a great big welcome to Tammy!

What are you going to do???

I don’t know about you, but I’m finding (with the wisdom that old age brings – at least there’s ONE benefit to getting older!) that I tend to get stuck on a theme for a while.  Or, to spin it, I “trend” for a while.

My trend for the moment?  A blank slate – as in, a blank mind.  A blank sheet of paper.  A blank computer screen.  That blinking cursor is really getting on my nerves, FYI. 

Quilt Market is fast approaching.  Ok, I know October doesn’t seem like it’s right around the corner.  But it is.  And I need new projects.  New ideas.  But I need more than that.  I need something….inspiring.  So, what am I going to do?  (Bentley, my daughter’s more than adorable pup, always gives me a look that says “So what ARE you going to do? Huh? Huh?”)

Am I the only one in this boat?  I’m guessing not.  I think that’s why so many quilters love kits.  Ok – so yes, it’s more than terrific that many of them are precut, so all you have to do is open the package and start sewing.  Lovely.  But there’s also the fact that the fabrics are already chosen.  No decision process there.  No worries about mistakes. 

But let’s say you’re like me.  Not a kit gal.  And the mind is blank.  What to do?  What color scheme?  What approach to that new project?  So where do you get your inspiration?  So Bentley will quit staring at me – and that cursor will quit blinking at me – I’m turning to some pictures.  Sure, it’s fun to stroll down memory lane.  But pictures can offer more than that.

Have a picture that makes you smile every time you look at it?  Use it!  What shapes are in the picture?  Pull them into your next project.  What colors are dominant?  Let them determine the color scheme for your next quilt.  Those emotions that the picture elicits will carry over to that project.  Just think, every time you snuggle under that quilt, you’ll think back to that picture from this summer’s vacation, or the smells and sounds of the garden on a spring evening.       

I took this shot during Spring Market in Pittsburgh.  The underside of the bridge, not usually a thing of beauty, is interesting.  The lines are strong, and the shadows and colors of the metal provide some fascinating options.  I definitely see a quilt in this – not a literal interpretation, maybe, but definitely something that echos back to it.  And the colors – well, that’s a fabulous modern color palate, isn’t it.  Cool and industrial, which would combine nicely with the sharp lines.

And I’m particularly fond of this little dark snapshot.  I took this in the wee hours of the morning, as my flight arrived in Charlotte from Portland.  Not only did it mark my first voyage to market under my own label, but I also love the clash of warm and cool colors as night gives way to day. 

Black is frequently used to provide a strong backdrop to other colors, but can’t you just see the icy blues, vibrant oranges, and that shot of gold and burnished mustard shooting through a quilt?  I can.

Felix is patiently waiting on me to make a decision – and most considerately pressing a selection of fabric for me while he waits.  I think I’ll peruse some more pictures.  I’m feeling inspired. 

What about you?  Pull out the digital camera or the cell phone (love that they take such terrific pictures now!!!) and look over snaps from fond memories.  Maybe you can capture a bit of that in your next project!  Turn that blank slate into a quilt that warms your heart and your eye.  Happy stitching.

A special thanks to Nan for allowing me to take up space on her blog for the day.  I’ve enjoyed visiting with you!

Thank you so much Tammy for sharing some of your ideas for inspiration. You have given us a lot of insight as to how we should view our surroundings as a quilt idea may be just around the next corner.  As an animal lover, I also appreciate you sharing Bentley and Felix! One can never have enough pictures of dogs & cats! Thank you again.

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Until next time...