Creative Inspiration – Be Inspired!

What is “inspiration”?  As a noun, it is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. The Thesaurus lists similiar words: example, muse, motivation, encouragement, influence, stimulus and catalyst.

Artists, designers, and anyone creating something derive inspiration from numerous sources. We use it to influence what we create with our own interpretation – it sparks a creative impulse that goes through a thought process in our minds and souls to create something unique.  I especially like the word “catalyst” because what we see that inspires us is just the beginning.  Our end result is totally different and uniquely ours. It doesn’t matter what we create and it doesn’t have to be a “Mona Lisa”, its ours!

I’m participating in a blog hop “Be Inspired”, the wonderful idea of Brenda Pinnick. Check out the artists listed below to see their inspirations. The purpose of the hop is to illustrate how to create using inspiration instead of copying someone elses work.

My inspiration is based on something I saw in my brother Nick and sister-in-law Lyn’s kitchen.  Lyn loves black spotted cows and has collected many different ones.  While I was visiting a few years ago, I saw this cow catching a Frisbee.Black spotted cow frisbee

It triggered a new idea for me and I painted a collection of animal ballerinas, starting with a black spotted cow ballerina and added a frog and cat. Cow ballerina

It was then licensed for a fabric collection with Cranston Printworks in both this aqua color and in a pink color collection.Ballerina fabric

Be original in what you create based on inspiration. Don’t copy (verb meaning to imitate or reproduce rather than creating something original). And when you create something original, you are protected by the copyright laws, rather than being a copyright infringer from copying what someone else has created.

Please check out these artists’ blog for their wonderful inspirations.

Joanne Sharpe

Beth Parker

Sue Zipkin

Brenda Pinnick

Aaron Christensen

Sharyn Sowell

Chris Chun

Vickie Singleton

Monica Lee

Molly Smith

Shelly Kennedy

Jen Goode

Jane Maday

Robin Pickens

And please – be inspired to be original!

Phyllis

Sweetheart Ballerinas fabric in Hancock Fabrics stores.

I knew four of my Sweetheart Ballerina fabrics were going to be in Hancock Fabrics stores.  But while running errands, I ran in Hancock’s to buy some notions I needed and there they were!  Thank goodness for my cell phone so I could take some pictures.  I pulled out the fabrics and took pictures and then I neatly rolled them up and put them back on the shelves.

The black and green prints above are a small cow pattern based on the black spotted cow ballerina in the collection. To see the pink spotted cow fabric (not shown) made into an adorable little girl’s girl dress, please see my prior post. And for a tote bag, made with the 2 pink fabrics above, check out this post.

To see the full collection for “Sweetheart Ballerinas” from V.I.P. by Cranston, please visit my website. And if you are in Hancock’s, please look for them.

Happy sewing and quilting,

Phyllis

What a sweetheart! And she’s wearing her new Sweetheart birthday dress.

I love hearing from readers of my blog with projects they have made with my fabrics or designs.  Its always fun to see the projects!  I just have to show you the adorable dress Jessica made for her equally adorable daughter Raelyn.  In this case, it was a special honor for me, as Jessica made the dress for Raelyn’s birthday dress for her 2nd birthday.

Jessica chose the pink cow print fabric from the Sweetheart Ballerina fabric line that I designed for Quilting Treasures.  Raelyn loves cows and also had a pair of new pink cowgirl boots (aren’t they just too cute!).  Jessica made the dress to match the boots but also made it reversible as well.  She used the green ballerina fabric for the reverse side.

It looks like Raelyn had a wonderful birthday and is a fabulous model as well!  Thanks to Jessica for sharing the pictures.

Have a wonderful day and many more happy birthday’s to Raelyn!

Phyllis

Today’s Creative Home Arts Magazine has 4 sewing and quilt projects by me!

 

Today\'s Creative Home ArtsI just received the latest issue of Today’s Creative Home Arts magazine.  I have 4 designs created with the Sweetheart Ballerina fabrics in this issue.

The sewing and quilt projects are designed for a child’s room with dimensional dragonflies.  The projects include a quilt, window valance, lamp shade and fabric framed bulletin board.Dragonfly Quilt  The Fabric Framed Bulletin Board is on Today’s Creative Home Arts website so that you can follow the easy instructions to create this project. Dragonfly Valance in Today\'s Creative Home ArtsThis magazine is available by subscription only and is not on the newstand.  It was fun to design these projects and I hope some of you enjoy sewing them as well.

Quilter’s Buzz blog

I’m very excited about the Quilter’s Buzz blog article posted today on me and the Sweetheart Ballerina fabrics I designed for Quilting Treasures. Gina Halladay, the author of the blog, is also a partner of Threaded Pear, a pattern company. (Click on Quilter’s Buzz and Threaded Pear in the categories at the right to read my prior posts on Gina). I would love for you to check out this article as well as the blogsite.

Pink Sweetheart Ballerina tote bagThis is a quilted tote that I made from the pink color range of the Sweetheart Ballerina fabrics. I just love sewing with these fabrics and have just completed several projects with them that will be published this summer.

Sweetheart Ballerinas again – Article in Designers’ Quarters Magazine

The mail was good today.  I received copies of a magazine – Designers’ Quarters that had a feature article on me and my Sweetheart Ballerina fabric line with Quilting Treasures by Cranston. Sweetheart Ballerinas is my debut fabric line with Quilting Treasures, so I was thrilled with this article.

I will show you two pages pages from the 6 page spread.

“Dance with Flowers” is the name that I gave this quilt. Its a twin bed size quilt and is created with the aqua color range.

Sweetheart Ballerina Quilt

I wanted the quilt to be a unique design, which I designed around the fabrics.  The magazine features the pattern for this quilt.

page-with-fabrics.jpg

This page shows swatches of the fabrics that were used in the quilt. Designers’ Quarters is a fabulous magazine for quilters. It contains 10 quilts with patterns, information about the fabric used including the style numbers, and information about the designer and the inspiration for the fabric design. Its published 4 times a year and is available through independent quilt shops as well as online at their website, www.designersquarters.com

After I received the magazine and was intently reviewing the article, my husband Danny looked at it also.  With the intent of being complimentary, he said that I “looked younger” in the magazine.  Now, as a woman, this is not exactly a compliment. Well, I didn’t let it stop there, but asked him if he meant that I looked older now. He realized his mistake and tried to backpetal.  He did get me to concede that I really am 3 months older than the photos.  Men, go figure!

Sweetheart Ballerina Embroidered Quilt Block

International Quilt Market is in Houston this weekend, starting on Oct, 27.  It is a major trade show for fabrics, notions, embellishments and anything for quilting and sewing. Kreinik Manufacuring Co., Inc is a manufacturer of gorgeous silk and metallic fibers to use for needlework, scrapbooking, quilting and sewing. They are decorating their Quilt Market booth with individual blocks created by designers and embellished with their fibers. Kreinik asked me to create a block, which I was delighted to do.flower-dance-quiit-block.jpg I want to show it to you.  I used my Sweetheart Ballerina fabric that I recently designed for Quilting Treasures by Cranston. The block, which I named “Flowers Dance is an embroidery design of flowers swaying in dance to go along with the Ballerina theme. I used all metallic fibers to stitch the design with the chain stitch, stem stitch and colonial knots. The block size is 12″ x 12”.  I told you in a recent blog that I loved color and this block is definitely colorful.

If any of you are attending Quilt Market, which is open to the trade only, be sure to visit Kreinik’s booth to see the blocks from all the other designers. International Quilt Festival follows Quilt Market and is open to the public.

Pink Sweetheart Ballerina fabrics

Today I’m sitting in my studio working on my next fabric collection for Quilting Treasures.  I can’t say much about the next collection yet, but it will be really fabulous and in wonderful colors and will be out at the end of the year. 

I wanted to show you my newly released Sweetheart Ballerinas fabrics  in the pink color range since my previous postings had shown a lot of the aqua colors.  The fabrics come in a lot more colors for the coordinating fabrics.  Sweetheart Ballerinas fabric from Quilting Treasures by Phyllis Dobbs I made a rollup-naptime for children to use for their naps from this fabric.  In the filming last week for Martha Pullen’s TV show Martha’s Sewing Room, I showed how to make it. I’m showing the top half.  The bottom is made the same but is reversed in sewing the borders.Sweetheart Ballerinas fabric from Quilting Treasures by Phyllis Dobbs 

My time for writing is short today as I’m also getting ready to leave for New York.  I am exhibiting in a surface and textile design show (SURTEX), where manufacturers come to find art images to use for their product design. Wish me luck!

I love New York and will post some photos from there.  Its a fabulous place for spotting trends and sparking unique ideas.  I have my favorite places that I go each trip for that….stay tuned!!!  Of course, I have to throw in a little shopping! What fun would it be if I couldn’t do that?? My husband Danny would think something was wrong with me if I didn’t come back with my suitcase stuffed to the max with my finds.

Thanks for visiting.

On the set with Martha Pullen

One of the perks of my career as a professional designer is occasionally being on television.  Last week, I taped two segments sponsored  by the Warm Company (fabulous batting!) on “Martha’s Sewing Room” for PBS.  This show is hosted by Martha Pullen and demonstrates all kinds of sewing techniques – from hand sewing to machine sewing as well as embroidery and incredible hand sewn heirloom items. The show is filmed at the University of Alabama, my alma Martha’s Sewing Room set mater.

I find all the behind-the-scenes interesting and wanted to share it with you.  Some of the photos are dark, but even with the lighting on, its not very bright in the studio.

Maratha Pullen and Phyllis Dobbs on setThat’s me on the right, sitting on the set with Martha, a truly warm and charming lady.

What’s a TV show without bloopers! My blooper happened when I started to sew.  I reached for the pressure foot lever to lower the pressure foot and could not find it.  My hand was groping all around trying to find the lever when I hit the snap-on pressure foot and knocked it off. Of course, it turned out that the pressure foot lever was there all along, it was just higher up on the back.

I used my new fabrics, Sweetheart Ballerinas by Quilting Treasures for the items I created for the show.  Window Curtain Panel made with Sweetheart Ballerinas fabric by Phyllis Dobbs for Quilting TreasuresThis window curtain is quilted (using batting from Warm Company) to hang over the window by the tabs at the top.  Creating a window treatment is an additional way to use your quilting skills and this one is easy.

Outside the set, all the projects for the segments being taped are lined up. Projects lined up for taping on Martha’s Sewing Room for PBSThe 2nd segment that I was on featured a naptime roll-up mat for children to use for their afternoon naps.  It was made with the pink colors of Sweetheart BallerinasI also made the aqua pillowcase.

A huge workroom is needed to coordinate everything for the show. Martha’s Sewing Room For PBS workroomEveryone is working away on their laptops.  Martha’s producer, Charlotte Potter, is in the center. It was a very pleasant and fun day.

I hope you will watch for me on the shows on PBS, in addition to becoming a regular viewer of Martha’s Sewing Room.  One show will be shown after August 2007 and the other one will be shown after Christmas.

New Fabrics

Hi, welcome to my blog and my first entry. To introduce myself, I am a mother, wife, and pet owner. I spend my days being creative as a professional artist and designer in textile and surface design (that’s basically anything you can put a design on). I have also designed mountains of needlework and quilts and have written quilt books. 

My latest design venture was creating a fabric collection of 20 fabrics, Sweetheart Ballerinas with Quilting Treasures. These fabrics debuted last week at the International Quilt Market in Salt Lake City and had me floating above the ground for several days.  Phyllis Dobbs with a quilt made of Sweetheart Ballerina FabircThat’s me in the Quilting Treasures booth standing in front of a quilt designed with Sweetheart Ballerinas.  It is such fun to me, designing, sewing and quilting items with my fabrics, although I didn’t  design the one above. 

This is a snapshot of part of the Sweetheart Ballerinas fabric collection. The entire collection can be viewed on my websitePhyllis Dobbs Sweetheart Ballerinas fabric stash

I love creating things to use in home decor, especially with fabrics and a sewing machine.  My  home is always a work in progress as I am always changing things.  There’s nothing like a new color paint to completely change the way a room looks. Add some great fabrics and you’ve redecorated so easily with such things as window swags or throw pillows. I have so many pillows that they have to be moved before you can sit or sleep. I don’t know what it is about pillows, but I just love them.  Sweetheart Ballerinas PillowcaseThis pillow is for sleeping, covered with a pillowcase I made with the aqua colors of the Sweetheart Ballerinas. 

I guess its time for me to quit writing as Kitty Kat is sitting in my lap wanting to help me type. Thank you for joining me and  I hope you are back again very soon!

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