Tidal Pool Quilt Block – The Inspiration

I briefly mentioned on Monday how I found using Kim Anderson’s new fabric range, Tidal Lace, challenging, and that was part of the appeal. What do I do with a collection called Tidal Lace that is primarily a pastel palette? I don’t normally live my life in the realm of pastels, so this fabric bundle had me stumped.
My go-to neutral is bright white, but that only served to intensify the softness of this collection. It seemed to actually make it more pastel like I was living in an awful Meghan Trainor video (you know I’m all about that bass!) I stared at these fabrics for days waiting for inspiration to strike, and it would not come. It was time to take matters outside the sewing studio.
The inspiration for Kim was the coastal waters of San Francisco, so I figured I should go explore the coastal waters of Sydney! (Fun fact: Australia has more sunny beaches than any other country). I could have gone to Bondi, Coogee, Tamarama, even a ferry to Manly beach. Nah. I went to the nude beach, La Perouse. Ow! Before you even ask, yes, I got my gear off like the rest of them, and no, I didn’t get burnt … anywhere. It was a fun afternoon frolicking in the waters, sun baking and walking around the cliff rocks as the tide lapped at my heels.
I looked and I looked–at a lot of things–but still, the inspiration for this quilt would not come. It was dusk before I left; I literally shut the beach down. As I walked across the white sands away from the water, I turned around to see the moon shining, and the sun setting, both casting reflecting lights across the gentle waves. The colours! The ocean was a celestial blue, while the tips of each wave were bathed in varying pastels from reflective light bouncing across from the rocks, vegetation, beach, and sky.
In that moment, the whole day rushed back into my consciousness, and I knew exactly how to make this fabric bundle work for me. The colour story was there before me, and I thought about the many tidal pools (aka rock pools) I had walked across during the day. Each tidal pool was full of small sea life, and they were all connected by slivers of water draining between them. Combine that with the flickers of light capping the waves at dusk, and it culminated in this block I have aptly called Tidal Pool.
I raced home and began to cut and sew, as a new project and inspiration was born! I combined Kim’s collection with Kona Celestial (thank goodness for Sunday Stash #112) which gave the blocks the brooding contrast I was hoping for. I also managed to find near-enough coordinating solids for the draining and reflecting colours already in my stash! I’m wise enough to know that this block has probably been previously created, and has a name dating from 1834. That’s cool. I’m hoping though, that by adding the randomly placed lines of coordinated solids that it provides a new modernity that is uniquely me.
The inspiration was difficult to find, but it came in the most logical and likely of places. While you’re searching for yours, don’t forget to enter the AU/NZ only giveaway for a fat quarter bundle of Kim Anderson’s new range, Tidal Lace. Check out Monday’s post for details on how to do that. I’d love to see how it inspires you, even if you didn’t have to get naked to figure it out!

17 Responses

  1. Salley says:

    Molli . . you are so cleverrr!
    You force us to look at the world. Well done.

  2. Julie Beard says:

    Love shat you did with Tidal Lace. It soft and delicate touches really make it too femine for you Molli but your certainly worked it out! Love the extra tonal touches and how they almost looking spinning. Wondering what they would look like if they were all on point too???? I do love them.Got my fingers crossed.Keep up the great work.Julie from Adelaide.(julie714@adam.com.au).

  3. Ooooooh I love this! Must get playing in my sewing room later 🙂

  4. V Hair says:

    Beautiful! Naked inspiration is so cool!

  5. You rocked it, Molli! Fabulous concept with fabric that you made your own. You have showed us that even pastels can be strong and mystical magical!

  6. SewPsyched! says:

    I love what you've invented!! And that extra tidal flow line makes your block have such good action!
    I would get naked more to get inspired, you know I would, except it's Alaska, and… oh that's right, it's only cold on the East Coast this year!! Well now.

  7. Heather J says:

    The things you do for your art. Love your blocks and the randomness is great as I was looking for those slivers.

  8. Pat says:

    Totally in love with this!

  9. Carol Q says:

    what gorgeous blocks (and a great story to go with them!) I would imagine they are quite fiddly to make

  10. The O's says:

    Clever _ _ _ _! Okay, in the interest of keeping it G rated… clever clogs! Very good. Your marriage of colours amazes me. I could also see these working with a really inky aubergine. Perhaps? As opposed to a shiney of a lavender bridesmaid dress…

  11. I am so smitten with this block design! I enjoy the explanation of people's processes, although I still don't get how you got from here to there. It's still fascinating to hear.

    Leslie S. in MN, USA

  12. Laurelle says:

    Wow they don't look so pastel any more! I had to go back to Mondays post to see how they looked in the bundle . It's amazing how a bold colour choice really changes the look of the fabric. Can't wait to see this one finished 🙂 Cool looking block.

  13. Naomi says:

    What an awesome story. When I saw the first block pop up on the screen, pastel was not what came to mind. In fact, when I started reading I had to look again. Nope. Still doesn't look pastel. You've managed to give them Sparkle!

  14. CATHY DANIEL says:

    Wonderful post – I was just saying in my latest one that we need to get out and away from the making, now and again, to gain some clarity about it all. And here you are saying the same thing! It certainly worked for you – your blocks are great and the colours work so well together! xCathy

  15. Katy Cameron says:

    Excellent inspiration – so the coral was all the other sunburned peeps then? ;o)

  16. amy says:

    This is a seriously amazing block design!!! I got to meet Kim at QuiltCon and she is seriously a doll 🙂

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