03 October, 2009

Keep Your Eyes Open

The past few days took me out of town for my desk job.  There are worse places in the world to go for work than Banff.  Especially when you get the added luxury of staying at the famous Banff Springs Hotel.  The work stuff was okay, even interesting at times, and the food was sadly only mediocre.  But the inspiration in the Rocky Mountain Setting and this fabulous historic hotel more than make up for any disappointments.

Once upon a time I travelled quite a bit for work.  I've seen a lot of hotel ballrooms and meeting rooms.  I've stared at a lot of carpet, wallpaper, and over the top ugly mouldings.  And in that time I've doodled a lot of quilt designs. While the curlicue stuff isn't generally my cup of tea, the designs and impressions can serve as wonderful inspirations for even modern designs. So, next time you are at a boring work meeting or stuck in the speech portion of a wedding, take a look down, up, and around at your space.  See what graphic images can inspire.

The entire exterior of the hotel is covered with stone.  I adore the juxtaposition of the lines in the archways over the windows and doors and decorative spots like this.  With simple fabric choices this could be very effective on a quilt.
Oops, I just noticed my toes peeking out there.  Another candidate for the Toe Catchers group. I like the radiance of this carpet.  You could use a single fabric in the center, or some applique, with strips coming out from behind. With a bolder choice of fabric this would be a very striking quilt.
I really liked the angled panes of these chandeliers in the lobby.  It could be a very interesting take on a charm quilt.  Angle one section one way and flip it around again to still ensure a square piece. I actually did another sketch from a different chandelier, but I didn't take a picture of that one.  It was in the ballroom where half our sessions where and I didn't think people would appreciate me standing up and pointing my camera to the ceiling in the middle of a session by a Microsoft exec.
Isn't this a fantastic chair? Those perfect semi-circles!  Oh the possibilities for a circle lovin' Mama like me.
And look at the colours on this carpet. It was one of the brighter carpets in the hotel.  As I look at this picture now I know I have a fabric in those exact colours in my stash. Hmm, what to do with them?  Pick one of the inspirations above or even try something different?
This grill work was part of an extensive decorative system in the Conservatory at the hotel.  I can picture copying that design in one strip down a quilt.  Just a little to the left of center and with these exact colours.  Now that's a way to take something historical and turn it into something modern.
Lest you don't believe that I was actually there, I'm including this photo. I went for a short hike after the day's activities and snapped this by the Spray River.  I also snapped a whole bunch more photos.  I think my next nature inspired quilt will be Mountains. I think I need to go shopping for some grey fabric to round out the stash before I start that project.

11 comments:

Alison said...

Hi from a fellow fishie!...I'm jumping in a little late.

I love the colors on that carpet and on that grill—gorgeous...and I can so relate to your last post. I just joined a knit along, in spite of, and almost as an antidote for the UFOs and the swirl of ideas squirming around in my head. It feels good to work on something "just because". Nice to meet you!...alison

Tonya said...

I love this post! I can so relate to seeing quilts everywhere you go. I am always taking pictures of random things for inspiration and design ideas. I love the bricks and the chairs. Although, I am not seeing the vision with the chandeliers, I can't wait to see what you do with them.

sewtakeahike said...

Wow! If you have to travel for work, that looks like a great place to go! Thanks for all the inspiring photos!

CitricSugar said...

I know it can get a little touristy at times, but I honestly think I could live in Banff. It's like its own little county in Alberta....

Heather said...

What a great way to get inspiration. This looks like a beautiful place.

Cristin said...

What a great place to be if you *had* to be on a work trip! I never even get to leave my office building, much less travel around town, or out of state! You're so lucky! GREAT inspiration too... very thoughtful of you ;-)

sulu-design said...

Banff! We dream of going there. What an amazing spot to stay in - inspiration EVERYWHERE!

amandajean said...

i loved this post! what a gorgeous hotel. and it was nice to see you in your post, too. :) i do see quilts everywhere i go. i wish i translated more of them onto fabric.

Marielle said...

Thanks for the reminder to find inspiration in the everyday. Isn't that the mark of an artist? I also loved seeing a pic of you in your post.

Sew It Up! said...

I'll have to remember that next time I'm in another boring meeting. Thanks for sharing.

thewillowsnest said...

Hi thanks for your visit to my wee blog, wow , that grass quilt seriously blowin' my mind!!!!! Beeuutifull!