Love Patchwork & Quilting


Quilting pro Amanda Carye shares her five top tips for kickstarti­ng your quilty creativity!

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If you’re looking for inspiratio­n, Amanda Carye shares her five top tips for kickstarti­ng your creativity!

Why is it that inspiratio­n seems to make itself scarce at the very moment I’m in desperate need of it? Whether I’m trying to come up with a new quilt design or trying to find the energy to start sewing, creative inspiratio­n can be impossible to conjure up at times! Here are my favourite ways to summon up that energy and tap into my inspiratio­n for whatever I’m trying to tackle next…


Whenever I have to step outside of my comfort zone, I’m often immediatel­y frozen by indecision. So, when it comes to machine quilting, I’ve started making swatch samples! I set aside five- to six-inch scraps of fabric from the front of the quilt and make a handful of mini quilt sandwiches to try out different options before committing with confidence to one for the quilt!


Those times when I’m feeling really uninspired, I like to play with triangles. I make a big bunch of Half-square or Quarter-square Triangles and challenge myself to make as many different block combos with them over and over and over again. Sometimes I do this on the computer, sometimes I use up fabric scraps. Allowing myself the opportunit­y to play is a surefire way to get my creativity all fired up!


If I’m really stuck in a creative rut, I like to flip the order of operations around and dive into laying out a scrappy quilt back first. It’s funny but I’m much less ‘precious’ about the backs of my scrappy quilts and invariably, in the process of figuring out the scrappy quilt back layout, inspiratio­n ignites and I come up with a fabric combo for the front that I adore!


When I don’t have the energy to start sewing, I challenge myself to take my oldest unfinished work in progress and write out what I need to do to finish it. By breaking down the project into actionable chunks and telling myself I ‘only’ have to start, I invariably set off a chain reaction and suddenly I’m inspired to finish!


If my sewing space gets too messy, it’s hard to find energy to put things away. When this happens, I like to make things even messier by tipping all my scraps out and sorting through them, figuring out what to save, what to set aside for my next project – you get the idea! Once I’ve tackled my scraps, dealing with yardage is a piece of cake and I somehow find the energy to clean up the rest!

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