Tag Archives: New York

My week of QDAD Sparks

This past week, I was so super excited to be hosting the sparks (palette choices/inspiration) for our Quilt Design a Day Facebook group. I decide early on that, I would show and inspire the group participants by using photos from my travels over the years. I had such a blast and was amazed at the designs (make sure you come over and take a look – or even add your own design).

26 April: San Francisco
First up, is Coppola’s Sentinel Building in San Francisco. I love the variations of the copper – those teals!!


I actually based this design on the top of the middle building but I rotated and tilted the design. This seemed to give it much better balance.


27 April: New York High Line
This is one of my favorite spots and photos that I took while visiting New York High Line. Of course, it has one of my favorite color palettes; blue, grey and orange.

I had so many ideas for this one and decide to play around with lines that could possibly be done with improv techniques.

28 April: Washington DC
This was taken in Winter. I love the starkness of the color palette.

My design kind of happened by accident. I  accidentally moved pieces off the design worksheet and couldn’t delete them, these landed up being the best part of the design…the left hand side. I love the difference between the darker palette in the right with the starkness of the white panel on the left.

29 April: Venice, Italy (St. Marks Basilica)
I really love neutral palettes, so I decided to challenge the group with a couple of palettes.

The diamonds and the crosses on the side of the building fascinated me. I really liked the repetition options.

29 April: Venice, Italy (Grand Canal + Rialto Bridge)
To be fair to those who don’t like neutrals I also included a brighter palette, but I did not do a design for this one.

30 April: Sintra, Lisbon (Castle of Moors)
Lisbon is one of my favorite cities in the world. This castle has amazing tiles and architectural features. The castle itself has amazing gardens. imm006_5-23-palette(1)

I loved the spikes and that gold in this palette, LOVE.

30 April: Lisbon (Coastal Village)
Like I mentioned, I love Lisbon. This photo speaks words about why I love it!!imm001_1-44-palette

01 May: Rome, Italy (Coliseum)
This photo was taken by my husband. The illumination of the Coliseum provides an amazing color palette.imm029_30-palette

I loved the architectural arches, and the top lines of the Coliseum. I really enjoyed this palette.QDAD_01May2015

02 May: Paris, France (Musee d’Orsay)
The glass roof of the old railroad station of Musee d’Orsay has amazing shades of greens.

I did two designs, one more structured that was based on the floor space.

and one that is more adhoc, improv based. I think this is my favorite of the two.

So several of these are on my make list: NY High Line, Sintra Lisbon (Castle of Moors) and Rome Italy (Coliseum) are among my favorites!!

Please Note: If you would like to make or use one of my designs, please email me (ml_wilkie(at)hotmail(dot)com) or leave a comment below. I am happy to talk with you on options and provide the relevant measurements etc. or have you test out a pattern. Also, if you use one of my designs, please use the following text to credit me the design: “Designed by Michelle Wilkie @ Factotum of Arts”.


New York Part 2: Quilting Inspiration

While in New York, we took some time just to look around the city. Isn’t it amazing when you take some time out, just the places you find, that are inspiring. Here are a few photo’s of things which may land up in some way, shape or form in my quilting projects in future.

  1. Bluish Mod-Style Window facade of the building in middle of the photo. I can already see a great pieced quilt design in this building, the blocks all made of squares, rectangles and framed; each block being of a different size:IMG_7519
  2. This building struck me with shape and the vivid white-black-blue coloring. Once reviewing the photo, I also loved the addition of the orange and red that were captured in the overall photo.IMG_7520
  3. The windows of this building amazed me…I loved the composition of a quartered circle within a square within a square.
  4. The stain glass dome in the roof here, could be the next FMQ pattern I could use for a large hexagon pieced project.
  5. I love the design/composition of this pop art piece. Look at the vibrancy of those primary colors, blue, red, yellow, with the white and black. There is a splash of green which works out perfectly. IMG_7485
  6. I see two things I really like in this photo….the obvious one are the irregular shapes and colors used in this outdoor art piece. Secondly, look at the windows in the background…are those log cabin blocks I see?
  7. Lastly, I was super impressed with the walls and walls of M&M’s. The photos were made at night, which is not the best, but hopefully you can still get the idea of a cool striped quilt or blocks out of these:

Linking up with Lee @ Freshly Pieced WiP Wednesday (after all design is part of the work in progress right ? )

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

40 and Lotta’s Surface Printing Workshop

First off – this is a picture heavy post. Today, I am turning 40 and decided to embrace it!! I am celebrating it with a trip to New York to attend Lotta Jansdotter Surface Printing Workshop. We (I took the family along) started the trip out with delays from Tropical Storm Andrea, but thankfully we got to the hotel, even though it was midnight (4 hours late).

This morning, I couldn’t wait to get in that yellow cab and be driven to Brooklyn to Lotta’s workshop. One of those cab’s below will be mine!!


The workshop was held in an amazing space that included the shop, workspace and office.  And yes, in the photo below those are shelves of fabric bolts. I made a purchase while I was there, of course – a strawberry journal, a table runner and the 1 yard of the dandelion fabric from her Echo line.





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The course, itself, was run by Lotta. I shared the experience with 11 other great people who helped me celebrate. The course took you through working with potatoes, rubber blocks and stencils on both paper and fabric.



I loved Lotta’s teaching style. She made sure that the main goal of the course was just to experiment and go with the creative flow, which was very liberating and stress-free. The four hours flew by….I so wished the course was a weekend course (2 days) – I enjoyed it that much. I would highly recommend anyone coming to New York, to check out her shop at the very least, and if possible sign-up for a class. You will love it.

Potato printing

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Block Printing 


Inspiration – Pohutukawa flower, the New Zealand Christmas Tree:PohutukawaRed PohutukawaOrangeRedPink

Inspiration – Pacific Island tapa clothes. Designs which are typically painted on woven flax sheets:TapaOrangeSilver BlackTapaPrint

Fabric Printing

Final Products of Work
Stationary – Pohutukawa and Tapa Cloth Card Sets.
PohutukawaCardFinal TapaCardFinal

Tote to carry all the goodies home with 🙂