This famous quote by Pablo Picasso tells us that in order to experience inspiration in our every day lives, we have to be doing the mundane work. I know this is true is for me. Much of my work is not inspired…it’s simply showing up and getting things done. However, it’s in during this time when I’m working on the mundane that I often get “hit” with inspiration. And, it’s a great feeling, no doubt! A few weeks ago I visited the Dallas Market to enjoy a day of shopping and I spied this kantha quilt from India. Inspiration hit immediately!
Now, for a little background…I’ve been wanting to do some vintage fabric chairs for quite some time. Kantha quilts in this particular pop-up shop use vintage fabrics. So, while the hand-sewn quilt was new, the fabric on them was old. I knew immediately I would use this quilt on a set of chairs. It just so happens that I had this set below in storage waiting for someone to claim, but they had been there a few months with very little interest. So, I decided these would be the perfect platform for my new inspiration.
I went to work stripping, cleaning, painting (with Annie Sloan French Linen chalk paint), and waxing them (with a dark wax). Then, I rebuilt the seats and layered the fabric, being careful to make sure each chair looked unique with key colors and patterns from the quilt.
Finally I sewed the double welt cord trim from this very quilt and applied it with hot glue. And here you have them!
I had been looking at various kantha quilts on eBay before finding this one at the Dallas Market—and let me tell you how easy it was to use on upholstery! It definitely transforms the sweet Victorians into a distinct boho, vintage set of chairs. Such a fun look! Doesn’t it make you want to sit outside and have a tea party?
So, what does this have to do with inspiration finding us? I had been doing my part—doing my work—when I found exactly what I had been looking for for months. It’s sort of like lightning striking. Any time I try to make quick decisions about fabric, I always make mistakes. The reality is that it takes time for me to think about it, visualize it, and then look for it. Often this process can take months. But when the right thing comes along, my gut knows it immediately…inspiration. All those long walks with my dogs, boring drives to places hours away, and time spent just sitting on my porch…my mind is still working out the problem. So when inspiration does strike, I’m ready and able to recognize it.
So, if you need a little inspiration, take Picasso’s advice. Work, and work hard. Then, inspiration will surely find you.