I was inspired to do some traditional quilting when I quilted for Dina Pappas as she was writing her first of 3 books. I did the feathers on the border of one of her bigger quilts and loved every minute of it!
However it was Trish Stewart who made me "quilt out of the box" by giving me tops (hiring me as a longarmer) and saying "do something wildly creative and spectacular". I panicked. I procrastinated. I thought about giving the tops back and saying "I just can't do it" but you know what? I don't like to admit defeat. As I was pacing my studio at the time (I've moved & sold the longarm) I came upon a pile of top stitching threads that I'd always wanted to use and never had (this is in the days before Sulky's 12wt - which I just *LOVE*). I grabbed them and threaded the machine before I could chicken out and just started. The first step of any endeavor is the hardest. And I lived 125 miles from Trish - there was no "come on over and see and if you don't like it I can un-quilt it". No, this was commitment and it's most committed.
She loved them and we went on to collaborate on quilts for years until she moved to Texas due to her husband's health. Here are a few of my favorites. Check out the hummingbird on the peachy colored quilt.