I keep a little booklet of graph paper tucked in my purse for when I’m bored at the dentist or waiting in line for my morning cup of Joe. I just never know when I’m going to feel inspired! You can find little pocket-sized graph paper notebooks almost anywhere, but my favorite is Doane Paper sold by Fringe Supply Co. The booklet comes in a set of three for a very reasonable price. I jot down ideas and possible new designs, then flesh them out later. Fringe Supply Co. also has some other great tools and supplies that are great for ‘makers.’ I definitely encourage you to check them out, as well as their blog at Fringe Association.
Another great tool to use to get your creative juices flowing is your smartphone. I am constantly snapping photos of designs or color combinations everywhere I go. Yes, my family is probably a little annoyed with this obsessive behavior, but my little collection of photos really come in handy when I’m trying to come up with a new pattern. Don’t limit yourself to just designs and patterns on fabric or clothes to inspire you. One of my favorite things to browse through is stationary and magazines. Think outside the box and turn to nature too. Many Hmong embroidery designs are based around flowers. Take a picture of the next flower you see and try to recreate it on some graph paper, then transfer it to cross-stitch fabric with some vibrant thread. Also, the next time you take stroll through your neighborhood or downtown make it a point to look at the different types of architecture and snap some pictures of anything you find interesting. There are a lot of lines in Hmong embroidery and architecture can help you think about these lines in a different way.
Once you actively start looking, gathering, and recording you’ll be amazed at how much there is out there to help with your next design. Now, go into the world and start creating!
I invite you to share your ideas with me and fellow readers by posting your inspiration and design on Facebook!