1.) All time favorite is Red Pepper Quilts. Rita has an amazing eye for color combinations and perfect fabric! She always has precisely pieced quilts and sharp, crisp lines. I can't even tell you how many times I've nearly drooled into my keyboard while looking at the new things she creates. Just look at the heading of her blog and you'll see what I mean.
2.) Next on my list is the talented Anna Maria Horner. She is a fabric designer and lives in my lovely homeland (Tennessee) with seven children and her husband. Her daughter, Juilana, now has her own line of fabric too (it can be purchased at Joann fabrics). Anyway, Anna Maria does it all, quilting, sewing, embroidery, knitting, designing... All of it amazing!
3.) Next, we have Jeni Baker. She has recently designed two lines of fabric, Color Me Retro and Nordika. They are both very nice and I think there will be lots more lovely things from her!
4.) Fourth is Faith at Fresh Lemons Quilts. This is where I learned how to paper piece! I never even knew anything like it existed, but I saw a finished product and knew I needed to learn. Fresh is exactly how I would describe everything here! Lovely and fresh :)
5.) I really like the blog Mommy by Day Crafter By Night. Ashley is super-cute and has projects that I love and uses fabric that I love too! I have these fabrics and will be using this quilt as inspiration for my own! What is it about mermaids and ships that I love?!
6.) Last but not least is Camille Roskelley at Simplify. This picture will be enough to clarify why I like this blog. Color, fabric, and precision!
Now, some ways that I like to find patterns is by using Google Images to do searches, by browsing pinterest, using free patterns like McCall's, and of course the blogs. Another thing that helps me is just to go fabric shopping! Sometimes an idea doesn't emerge until you know what fabrics you'll be working with. For me that holds true anyway. Many of the fabric designers that I love are only available to me online, so for them I shop online at Hawthorne Threads, Fat Quarter Shop, Pink Chalk Fabrics, and Pink Castle Fabrics. Most designers have their own blogs, and a couple that I love that I didn't mention earlier are Aneela Hoey and Heather Ross. They are two of my favorite fabric designers. I know that I'm forgetting something...
Oh. Graph paper. Simple and handy. That's where I make a lot of my quilts first and check if the math works and to get my fabric requirements. I also like to color and see what works best where. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer it that way to most online tools. Hope you all enjoy!