New Issue, New Projects, and a New Contest!

With the release of the September/ October 2013 issue of Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting only one day away, we wanted to give you a sneak peek and highlight one of the featured quilters, Amanda Murphy! Amanda wears many hats, including author, quilter, and designer, and her trademark look is based on nature. Look for Amanda’s quilt, Bella’s Garden, in this issue, and visit or the Fons & Porter Facebook page to view a three-part video series that delves into Amanda’s busy life!

Bella’s Garden by Amanda Murphy

The arrival of September brings with it the Annual Quilt Expo, held in Madison, WI! This year’s event runs from September 5th through the 7th, and will feature numerous experts, vendors with wares you’ll just have to have, and of course, a quilt contest! In the spirit of contests, we’ve got one for you! 3 lucky winners will each receive two tickets to the Quilt Expo!

To enter to win, leave a comment telling us if nature inspires you as it does Amanda Murphy! This is a 24-hour long contest and will end on Wednesday, August 21st, at 8:00 a.m., CST.

ETA: This contest is now closed. Tanks to all for participating! Congratulations to our winners: Debra N., Judy M., and Lynette!


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254 thoughts on “New Issue, New Projects, and a New Contest!

  1. I just finished 2 quilts for granddaughters. Made with appliqué “tweet-tweets” on branches with colors from the outdoors!! I love the nature colors.

  2. How could nature not inspire us? God’s work is incredible. We, quilters, are driven to copy His beautiful work in fabric. And, He never fails to inspire us!!

  3. I have always gravitated towards earth tones and with all the lovely new fabrics out it gets easier and easier to do that….I have a little hoard of 5″ squares of the Bittersweet collection by Benartex. It has a gorgeous eggplant color in it that makes me drool.

  4. I am a beef cattle rancher, which naturally give me colors to play with as well as form. Example a field of native grass has,,,has lavenders, blues, yellows, greens, blue greens,browns, grays..the sky the whole range of blues. forms…fence lines, round bales of hay, a rolling horizon, animals ..cattle, goats, horses and the smiles of grandchildren in what you create for them.

  5. My sewing machine is beside a large window, so while most of my quilts are from scraps I have a view to inspire as I create!!! I love sunsets and would love to make a quilt with those colors!

  6. We live in a log cabin, in the woods, on a lake. We are surrounded by nature’s colors all year long. But, I love fall’s warm, earthy colors that are so appropriate for our home.

  7. One of my favorite quilts, that I made, was out the kitchen window. It was the view I saw every morning as a child when I went out the back door of our farm house, right down to the cows in the pasture waiting to be milked. I belong to a charity quilt group so I donated the quilt to Linus.

  8. How can you NOT be inspired by nature and all the colors she has to offer! Mother Earth is all around us, everyday is a Blessing! And to be able to transfer that wonderment of color onto fabric is a tremendous talent that a quilter wants to achieve and share with others. I still an learning through trial and error, but I’m getting there! Ps..I love it!

  9. yes nature does inspire me – whether it is the flowers, weeds, animals. I would like to one day take a photo of our pond in the spring/summer and turn it into a wallhanging.

  10. Beautiful quilt. Believing In Santa Clause, because I would love to get back into sewing an quilting. My machine was dropped 4 yrs ago and is totally destroyed, moving mishaps can happen. Now that I put all my wants on the back burner and puts the kids wants first. Guess that’s what being a parent is all about. Maybe one day Santa won’t over this old mama.

  11. I love the soft colors of the quilt. It reminds me of early spring. I take a lot of inspiration from nature and am always taking photos and referring back to them. The colors are amazing. I just finished a 5″ twister quilt done in Autumn colors, much like you would see at the end of a Farmer’s Market.

  12. I too live in a cabin in the woods. In the fall the view of the trees is like a giant multi-colored quilt stretching forever in front of me. Nature is the basis for everything I do, it influences my color choices (browns, golds, oranges in the Fall; pastels and greens in the Spring) and inspires me to try to duplicate its glory in my creations, whether it is in fabric or paint.

  13. i’m not one to applique flowers or make landscape quilts….but i love picking my colors based on what is in bloom in my flower garden, cone flowers in bloom…make a quilt with purple, deep jewel tones for my maroon daylilies that make me smile, a dark storm day, get out the blacks and greys, etc. i just love making quilts and giving them away. people are always surprised to see someone was thinking of them.

  14. I love Amanda’s choose of colors for her quilt pattern. I also find myself inspired by water and nature themes in my quilts. I actually have to force myself to move away from them once in awhile for variety.

  15. Nature is a very strong source of inspiration especially for color combinations. Mother Nature doesn’t make mistakes! I love seeing each individual’s interpretation of nature whether through quilting or other art form.

  16. Nature is the most inspiring tools we quilters have! I love looking to nature for color, shapes, patterns, etc. What better inspiration, than to use what nature provides us with for inspiration. I love this quilt!!!

  17. Nature inspires me everyday….. the colors, the shapes -(individual shapes = petals, leaves, branches, circles, – all shapes are in nature) flowers, trees, butterflies, trees, mountains…… designs and inspiration everywhere.

  18. I love to try to use colors and designs I see outside…. birds, leaves, water, trees, anything! You name it, I have probably looked at it and thought, “That would make a beautiful quilt!”

  19. I’ve created many quilts using nature’s colors, purple, red, blue, white tones I’ve seen on the Colorado Rocky Mountains in the morning and evening, gold against dark green when the Aspens in the fall are gold against the pine trees.

  20. From the fall leaves of the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee with their beautiful red, yellow, orange, and brown leaves to the Gulf Coast of Florida with white sand beaches and blue, green, and turquoise water, I find myself frequently gravitating toward these colors. Nature is all around us no matter where we are, and we need to take time to enjoy God’s blessings.

  21. Nature inspires me in sew many ways! Floral and leaf print fabrics draw me like a magnet. I love to quilt free motion leaves. When it gets cold here in Minnesota, there is nothing better than snuggling under a quilt!

  22. I am always amazed at the many shades of color, whether it be the greens or browns of fields, the blues of sky, lake and stream, or the whites of snow fields.

  23. I am more times than not making quilts with flowers, I love all the colors of flowers! It’s a little harder to find the fun ones for boys, though. I do love all the wonderful colors God made and the variety of things in this beautiful world!

  24. Living on the West Coast with nature all around, it’s hard not to be inspired. I especially love the Autumn colours. The rain is also inspiring in that its an excuse to stay inside and sew!!

  25. I look at the sky and realize that the first women to come across the prairie saw the same sky and drew inspiration. The miles and miles of land that changed color ever so lightly could not have gone unnoticed by these brave women and they drew inspiration. And now they inspire me.

  26. Nature inspires me with colors to use and even some designs!! All you have to do is look outside and your colors to use are there-no matter the season OR the source!! Plants, trees, animals, clouds! It’s ALL in there!!!

  27. I love dragonflies, bees, butterflies and spiders (although, I stay well away from the spiders!). They always are in the most interesting parts of nature (land) and so many varieties exists! The co-exists with wildflowers, which are my favorite weeds! 🙂

    Thank you for a chance to win.

  28. I love nature i guess its why i live in Maine.I have seen a few beautiful quilts in the past few weeks that have wild animals .But my favorite its fall all the browns and yellows oranges .There really is a wide range of things to quilt about in nature ..Ty Lord for making it so interesting…

  29. Nature is beautiful and nature does inspire me greatly. There is nothing better than a quilt full of nature. I am greatly inspired by prints with flowers, trees, birds and animals. I also love to do applique of a cabin near a lake, streams of water going done the rocks and some of natures animals like deer or bears. It makes you wish you were there. I think making a quilt is much like being an artist who sits outside with easel and paint brush in hand as he looks upon nature and draws what his eyes and soul see’s before him.

  30. I live in the country with a gorgeous view of the mountain and can see all the different colors of nature that has been created for us. This helps us put many different color combinations and textures together to design and create many wonderful works of art in cloth.

  31. I love nature! The change of seasons and I love listening to the sounds of nature all around us. I quilt by my bay window looking out at all of God’s beauty!

  32. I love nature and have many fabrics on hand (in my stash) to prove it. This beautiful quilt inspires me to do something similar with fabrics I already own.

  33. Nature inspires me with her glorious colors. Every season holds a different palette. I love them all, but my favorite is autumn. Those warm mellow colors seem to make a quilt just that much cozier.

  34. Nature give us everything we need for inspiration – all of the colors of the rainbow – all of the shapes on the earth……just would love just to draw and quilt 24/7!

  35. Nature really inspires me – God creates such colors and movement out there that sometimes it’s just difficult to do a basic block, but my skills are getting better and it won’t be long till I can transfer those into my quilting.

  36. colors, especially spring and fall, inspire me. I love the blends, the brilliance, and get excited when I find a bit of color (a flower) backed by drab (growing in the rocks or from a downed tree). I love the little surprises!!

  37. Nature does inspire me!! God’s creation is awesome and always changing! I love to see how nature inspires others and am so glad they share to give me even new ideas!!!

  38. Of course nature inspires. It leads me to different color ways depending on the season. The fall colors of orange/reds, deep purple, multi greens, and different creams are my autumnal favorites.

  39. Nature inspires me in my quilting. That is how I learned to put colors together. I look at nature and the beautiful colors that nature as given us. Thank you for sharing that beautiful quilt.

  40. Nature,I wish,I’m usually inside trying to get some of my projects done. They are starting to pile up along with all the new rules and kits and all the new fabrics???I did buy her book and rulers and can’t wait to try them.Thanks for the contest!

  41. I live with nature surrounding me, and it is my inspiration for many quilts and crafts! The deer muching, the seals slapping o. The wat, the herons and eagles…all remind me of how fortunate i am to live i. Thebeautiful country!Can’t wait to see this new issue!

  42. Nature is always in my thoughts when making a quilt. My last one for my granddaughter has flowers, grass, bugs, birds, butterflys and lots of color.
    I just love using what is right in front of me! Really inspires me.

  43. I love all the colors of nature which includes the brights and what I call earth tones. Just finished a quilt using earth tone batiks for my nephew and his bride.

  44. I have one granddaughter and three grandsons. Being the eldest, my granddaughter has been the beneficiary of the most quilts, though I am trying to make up for that. I just made her a “Big Girl” quilt set for her room, but now I see this quilt and am trying to figure in just when I can do this for her, having just purchased the fabrics for her little brother and cousin, both going on 4. Of course the name of the quilt seems serendipitous, as her name is Mia Bella!
    Am I the only one who feels there just isn’t enough time in the day to get all my quilt and sewing projects done? And ask me if I’ve made myself a quilt yet!

    1. I got so carried away with the above quilt I forgot to answer the contest question. I come from the East and now live in Arizona. Back east, I was surrounded by lush greenery, and the splash of seasonal colors, that I marked the passage of time by. Spring was the soft, pastel colors, summer was the more intense palate, and fall brought the vivid reds, bronze and golds of falling leaves.
      When I first moved to the desert, I was missing the colors of nature I was accustomed to. All I saw was the tan and brown of the desert. But I gradually began to see the incredible beauty of this special place, and how the desert colors change as the light of day passes. The winter allows for the planting of annuals that only temperate climates can allow. Spring is a burst of yellows and reds and oranges from the wildflowers nourished by winter rains. Cactus flowers provide the vivid pinks and golds against an assortment of greens. But nothing can prepare you for the AZ sunsets, especially after a rain.
      I’ve been blessed to live in two very beautiful parts of this magnificent country.


  46. I can’t even count the ways I am inspired by Nature. Color combos abound, then there is the magical shape of trees and the swaying branches. I also admit I am obsessed with birds, those sassy chickadees are my favorite.

  47. The magazine inspires me. I love the instructions that are given that make the projects doable! And the accompanying photos that show what you will be able to create! I’d love to be to attend the quilt expo for live inspiration!

  48. Nature always inspires me. I am in the process of pinning a quilt of rainbow shades. Just purchased fabric with cardinals and white-capped chickadees on it. Why go for the fake when you can have the real thing! 🙂

  49. I love nature.. photographing butterflies on my butterfly bushes and trying to recreate their loopy-loop flight paths in my quilting. So I would say yes, nature definitely inspires me 🙂

  50. Nature inspires me greatly!
    Love flowers and birds.. much happier when I’m working on a project that is colorful and cheerful like a flower garden.

  51. I also tend to lean towards the colors of fall, it is my favorite time of year. When nature paints the leaves miraculous hues of red,yellow,orange and often (my favorite) a deep rich maroon. I try to include those colors from nature but I also use alot a spring flower patterns and the romantic patterns of the Victorian age for my 10 granddaughters.

  52. Without nature to inspire us what would we have. The vibrant colors of nature would not be there. No sky blue, no daffodille yellow, no grass green. We would have nothing. It’s time we all took the time and thanked GOD for his creation for with out it we would be nothing.

  53. I love quilting with natural colors! I am a Autumn girl through and through! When I look back at the quilts I have done, I see oranges, yellows, and greens! So It is safe to say, I love nature!!!

  54. Nature does inspire me, I love to do my designing while sitting in the backyard or while at the park, I love using floral prints in my patterns and I love quilts with a nature theme.

  55. Nature has always inspired me. My sewing machine is faced so I can look out the window, I read my Quilt books and magazines on my porch swing and even do some of my sewing out there.

  56. I always admire how nature manages to shade colors together. Everything looks great with green! When you look at a body of water it’s calming & cooling & again amazingly blended. That’s how nature influences my quilting.

  57. Nature has inspired me in my past quilting projects- namely the autumn themed maple leaf quilt I made. The was a series of orange/brown hued leaves that looked like they were falling.

  58. I am fall person and find that my stash and therefore many of my quilts trends to fall colors. But, I do love to have a new flower-bright quilt made to put on my bed come spring.

  59. Yes, nature inspires me. I personally love vines, ivy and trendles in quilting, and love leaves, flowers etc in appliqué. I would love to learn the artistic and fiber quilting as well…..I just need to allow myself to let go and do it!

  60. I love natures colors. They are always so vibrant and real. I would love this quilt in my house. I have 9 grand children and trying to keep up with making them quilts. I have one granddaughter that loves horses.

  61. Nature and its colors are but one tool on my quilt palette, there are lineal qualities, design components..hard lines, soft textures, etc. Any quilter here has an “eye” for what appeals to them within their quilt framework. For me, the fun at looking at other bodies of work is finding where their inspiration came from and how it was interpreted by the designer. Learn something new every time I visit 🙂

  62. I love her Bella line and have made 2 quilts using it.
    1 in the Buttercream colorway and 1 in the Seaglass colorway.
    I think I have enough left to blend them together if I can find the right pattern.
    Her colors inspire me to want to create – but nature has nothing to do with it.

  63. Nature inspires me with her foliage. Fall colors evoke as much inspiration as spring flowers, and then there is the winter bark and snow. So much inspiration.

  64. A field full of all kinds of flowers would be beautiful to look at and be inspired. I’m not a creative person but love to look at a field with all the colors God has given us.

  65. The greens and blues of the water inspire me. I love looking at the wetland out the window of my quilting room–watching how they blend and then separate. The waterbirds add the focus piece. There is nothing more beautiful than God’s colors!

  66. I love carrying my camera with me whenever I head out the door.. Who knows what nature will have for inspiration???? Yes… I love Nature and all the inspiration it gives me as I “create”! I esp love blues and browns.

  67. Nature does inspire me… family goes camping a few times a year and I’ve made several quilts that have wildlife built into them but also trees and rivers too. The colors of nature are soothing and relaxing, just like a good quilt should be.

  68. To date the majority of the quilts I make are gifts (wedding or baby) to people whose lives have been influenced by the World Hunger Relief farm. So to share their enthusiasm my quilts are farm related. They are flowers, fish (aquaponics) or livestock in earthy colors.

  69. Fall colors are my favorite colors but I find the blending of color that only nature has in it help to inspire me to try new color combinations that I might not have thought of before.

  70. I love primary colors for children’s quilts, and blues and rose colors for big people quilts.
    I like to match the person’s personality to the theme of the quilt

  71. I am not very good at picking colors, so I just look around and see what nature provided. As they used to say: Blue and green do go together–Isn’t the sky blue and the grass green??? God doesn’t make any mistakes. I simply love this quilt, but have been searching the web for the fabrics to no avail and my LQS does not have it. Bah Humbug!!!

  72. Nature often inspires me in the way that I choose the color combinations for my quilts. When I am not making an Americana inspired quilt, I will often choose a theme inspired by the seasons. One of my favorite places to find this inspiration is in a flower garden. There is no limit to the color combinations! In the fall, a color tour when the leaves are changing is also extremely inspirational. I am very blessed to live in Western Michigan where there is never a lack of beauty all around me.

  73. I make at least one quilt a year based completely on fishing, as a prize for an ice fishing prize! I also love to use fall colors in many of my quilts.

  74. Never thought of it before but I suppose it does as I do spend a lot of my time in the spring enjoying the local landscape/flower shops. Then come a rainy day I’m pulling fabric for a quick table topper for a friend’s birthday.

  75. This is such a beautiful quilt, love the green, I am really into fall colors………have enjoyed your magazine for many years, did visit the shop in Winterset one summer, George actually took a picture of my husband and myself in front of the shop………so keep up the great work………….

  76. I love the colors of nature if you look at the sky, a mountain, an ocean there are many hues and colors that makes up natures beauty and they all play in harmony.

  77. I can’t imagine nature not having an influence on my! The colors, the reflections, the stunning simplicity and intricate complexity are completely inspiring!

  78. Nature definitely inspires me! I’d only been quilting for a few months when I got the idea to make my Pond Quilt. Blues in the center, greens and golds for the meadow surrounding it. Autumn forest colors in the border. English paper pieced turtles with shell colors and patterns based on the real turtles that live in the area. It’s been a Work In Progress because I’m just letting it tell me what it needs as I reach each new part of the quilt. Right now I’m looking at ways to add life sized appliqué (or knit or crocheted pieces?) of native wildflowers on it too!

    I also designed a quilt BOM for my guild called the Wisconsin Sampler Quilt. All of the blocks and colors came for this quilt from the landscape around me too. Many members made their own quilts from my pattern, and we’ll be showing many of them during our quilt show next month. So cool!! 😀

  79. YES! I love doing art quilts and I have done some from pictures of my travels with landscape. Blue Ridge mountains…and also have an art quilt that I am doing with all kinds of flowers on it.

  80. Absolutely, we retired to a home on Lake Huron, color and the ever changing surroundings sets my mood and creativity. Huron is a living entity that changes design and color with each season. Everyday the lake is a different shade of blue or turquoise and the sky is filled with white clouds. But my favorite color combinations are when the sun is setting, I see every color from steel blue to pinks, purples and golds. Balance that with the beauty of the trees, beaches and serenity is all anyone would need to find their inner Picasso.

  81. Nature inspires all of us. Some of us choose to wrap ourselves in the warmth of a quilt in fall colors. Others to paint the colors of spring or cook up cool summer fruits into a sweet sauce for ice cream. Inspiration is all around us. What makes you happy is what you should inspire your next project.

  82. Nature inspires me!! Nothing more beautiful than nature!!! I never would of dreamed of being a quilter and enjoying country life with my husband. My father always knew I would be living in the country! He has been gone now for 13 yrs. He inspired my love for flowers. I have recently finished a quilt with panels from Stephanie Bradenburg’s fabric collection!!! Used flowers in my quilting on my first ever hand quilted full size quilt!! Love both of these quilts!!!

  83. I love the colors of nature like sage green and soothing browns. These of course are complemented with golden colors. All of these remind me of trees, mountains, and glorious sunshine, all of which are God’s creations on this glorious earth. Of course, the beautiful blues of the sky and the glorious colors shown in the sky during sunsets with fluffy clouds above are also inspiring.

  84. I love nature colors and have made a few quilts with the oranges and golds and rust colors that go along with the fall. Here’s to another beautiful fall with fall quilts!

  85. I love the colors. The design has a simplistic, realistic look. I want to reach out and pick the flowers. I hope the article on this quilt gives the information on the fabric choices.

  86. Nature is all around us and you can’t go wrong with any of the colors. Fall with it’s warm reds, browns, and oranges. Winter with it’s beautiful evergreen trees covered with fresh fallen snow, and red berries on the holy trees. Spring with everything coming to life again after a long winter, and Summer with every color under the rainbow from the trees, the beautiful lawns and flowers blooming non-stop. Every season is my favorite time of the year.

  87. I love twigs, berries (lots of berries) and leaves, both in fabric and in the quilting design, as well. I am old fashioned in my earth tone colors and fall, as well. So, yes, nature is my underlying love.

  88. I love the colors of the seasons, each one has wonderful appealing colors that wake up my senses and make me smile. Using them in a quilt makes the happiness transcend all senses forever more…….just heavenly!

  89. Nature gives me great ideas – but without the dyes made from natural products, we’d only have white fabric to work with! I love using baby animals in my quilts for infants.

  90. When I travel I often look around at the different landscape and buildings and imagine if I could incorporate what I see into a quilt. Sometimes I look at pictures that family members have taken and think wow that would be a beautiful landscape or picture quilt. I am always amazed at the creative minds that quilters have!!! Nature is probably one if our biggest inspirations.

  91. I love all the colors of nature, but I think that spring and fall are my favorites. Would love to go and see all the beautiful quilts on display and maybe have a chance to talk to all the experts for tips. I have a lot to learn

  92. I love the colors of all of the seasons – browns and oranges of fall, the blues and whites of winter, the greens of spring and the colors of the flowers of summer…I like them all!

  93. Nature calls to me while hiking/walking in the woods with the smell of cedar and fir trees, the greetings of birds and squirrels, cobwebs outlined in the morning dew, and the occasional sighting of a deer. I love all the many wonderful fabric designs and beautiful panels now that capture the spirit of forests, lakes, mountains, and wildlife. Love sewing them!

  94. yes nature inspires me In my quilting, I find I use the colors of the season in the quilts I am working on , like when the leaves change colors it makes me want to add fall colors and when every thing blooms in the spring makes me want to add flowers

  95. There’s so much diversity in nature to choose from. I don’t normally think of quilts and nature being linked, but I’m just starting out. As someone else pointed out, God did good when he made nature. So, I can see how you would get inspired by nature.

  96. Nature is the best teacher ever! When I was first teaching my niece to quilt I had her sit in my garden and told her to look around at how the plant colors all blended and complemented one another. I had her look at how the sun caused lights and darks and how my flowers in the garden added a pleasing pop of color that flowed naturally and were not offensive to the eye. We then went to the quilt shop for fabric. This was 6 summers ago and today she is studing art in college. Oh yes her 3rd quilt won a blue ribbon at the fair for her age category. I love how nature!

  97. i get my idea’s from the fall leave the red dark green and tans of the leave the blue and shades of pink and amber as the sun sets at the evening or as the sun rises in the early morning sky is always so peaceful

  98. My very first quilt was of cross country skiers and I loved doing the white snow and blue and white sky! I have a a kit now of a mountain scene with aspen trees that I will make this winter. Yes – nature inspires me! Love all the batiks in blues, greens, yellows and browns. – Rochelle (Crested Butte, CO)

  99. The colors of nature inspire me most. I love putting things together that remind me of the ocean (blues and greens) or a garden for my granddaughters (pinks and greens). There are so many beautiful colors out there in fabric that I would love to have!!!

  100. Nature is God’s artwork and it contains the greatest colors and textures. It provides a complete color palate. It would be hard to make a quilt and not incorporate nature into it, in some way shape or form. Natural mauves and greens are my favorite combination.

  101. The gentle hues of our quiet backyard often bring to mind a new project to persue. The water lilies of varying shades of pink, peach and yellow that dance in the sun encourage me to play with pastels. Tall irises inspire long stitches of purple and white. My favorite inspirations are the various frogs that sit quietly in their watery home. The greens and yellows, the varied patterns, even their spontanious songs give me fanciful ideas to create and share. Now back to quilting!

  102. My sewing room windows looks out onto the back part of our property with giant trees, that in the fall change to all these beautiful color blends. It’s like nature is your own color wheel, and for me those are my natural colors that I tend to wear, the greens, golds, orange tones. Our home also reflects those types of colors in decor throughout, so this quilt would fit perfectly in any room.

  103. My sewing room has windows that are at ground level so I see the world from a completely different perspective down there. I am so inspired by the variations of color and texture found in nature.

  104. The quilt is stunning. The colors are so soothing. Each season is unique in its own way. Spring and fall have each different stunning colors for their season. When I look around me I see God’s handiwork in nature. I can thank him for the different seasons.