Home Beth Said Sew Do You Have Sewing Pareidolia? I Do!

Do You Have Sewing Pareidolia? I Do!

by Beth Cooper

Hey friends! Have you ever heard of “pareidolia?” It is the tendency to assign meaning to patterns. Seeing faces in inanimate objects is a common type of pareidolia. Neuroscientists have been trying to understand how and why our brains imagine faces that aren’t really there. Although I am guilty of sometimes seeing faces in random objects, I am always seeing quilts or quilt patterns in the world around me. Do you do this? I can turn about anything into an idea for a quilt.

This behavior makes me want to whisper, “I see quilts” in the same way that the little boy in the Sixth Sense said, “I see dead people.” They are all around me, yet not everyone can see them.

Vacation Inspiration

I recently returned from a super fun vacation to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. My husband, my three kids, and myself had a ton of fun riding all the rides, eating loads of ice cream, and swimming in the enormous resort hotel. I made them all laugh when I would take pictures of walls, colors, and architecture. They would ask, “Why are you taking a picture of that?? Oh, wait, never mind. I’m sure you see a quilt in there somewhere.” They know me oh so well!

The photo below was taken as I was slowly sailing past this wall in a boat with about 20 other people in “It’s a Small World” at Magic Kingdom in Disney World. I’m not sure if anyone else in the boat noticed the half-square triangle blocks but I sure did. This whole wall/floating feature thingie would make a cool quilt, but that’s not what prompted me to take the pic. The real reason I took the picture was for the colors. I love this color scheme! These shades of purple against the cream, white, and black backgrounds are gorgeous. I will be using these colors in a future quilt. I may even decide to throw in some of the turquoise shades from the attached wall on the right of the picture. Inspiration is all around us!

This photo was taken on a ride through “It’s a Small World” at Magic Kingdom in Disney World.
Do you see a quilt or a color scheme?

This next photo was taken near the lobby of the Boardwalk Villas Resort at Walt Disney World. The entire resort has a 1900’s Coney Island Boardwalk theme. I was struck by the beauty of this painting and how wonderfully it added to the theme of the resort. The furniture was gorgeous too. So, what part of this photo inspires you? For me, it’s the picture frame. This frame design would make beautiful borders on a quilt. Not only do I love the rich colors, but that gold-colored filigree in the corners is gorgeous. I am picturing a beautiful quilt in these rich colors of gold, black, navy, with a hint of red and green, surrounded by three borders, just like this frame (gold, dark, gold). I would love to applique, embroider, or free-motion quilt some fancy stitches in each of the four corners, much like this frame. (Excuse me, while I go write this down in my quilt planner…)

There’s a lot happening here. Do you see any quilt inspiration?
Looking for a cool notebook to write down all of your inspirational ideas in? Here it is! Find it by clicking here.
I found an actual quilt at Disney World! This beauty was hanging in the Christmas Ornament shop in Magic Kingdom!

What do you see in the next picture? This is actually the backside of a waterfall on the Jungle Cruise ride at Walt Disney World. This ride is another boat ride through a “jungle” full of animatronic jungle animals. It is led by a tour guide full of puns and bad jokes. It is a very fun time! I had to snap a pic of this waterfall though. The movement of the water caught my eye and I thought this would make a beautiful art quilt or thread painting. I would love to “paint” the water with a silvery-gray thread. My waterfall will be made with fabric and thread, of course.

I may turn this photo into a future thread painting…

Okay, in this next photo many will see a fireplace flanked by two weird chairs. I see that, but I also see something else. This fireplace is located inside the Boardwalk Villas Resort Hotel lobby and these two chairs are called the Nanny Chairs. They are rumored to be haunted and are occasionally found switched around and in different locations. I am pretty sure the staff moves them around and that they are there for conversation pieces. That being said, these chairs are creepy as heck up close. The reason for the photo though was the fireplace grate. In this golden swirly design, I saw a free-motion quilt design. I love to free-motion quilt and am always experimenting with new designs. Who knows if I’ll ever give this one a go, but it is what inspired me to take the picture.

I see a quilting design. What do you see?

The next picture is pretty obvious. I saw a quilt design. I think we can all see this one. This was a tiled floor in the ladies restroom at Disney World. I loved the design and how the soft buttery-yellow was used against the cheddar-yellow squares. I personally would love to turn this into a quilt, take it with me to Disney World next time, and take a photo of me with it in the bathroom. Do you think the other fifty women in there might think that’s weird? lol! I don’t care! (Adding this to my to-do list…)

Wouldn’t this make a beautiful quilt??

As you can see, I find inspiration all around me everywhere I go. The only problem is that there aren’t enough hours in the day to make everything I want to make! I bet we all feel like that with our sewing projects though. Are you ever inspired to make a project, but just don’t know how to do it or where to start? Check out Missouri Star Academy! These online classes will have you on your way to cool new techniques in no time at all. Check them out here.

So, do you have a case of Sewing Pareidolia, like me? Let me know what inspires you in the comments!

‘Til next time,


(Pssst. Want to read more blog posts by Beth? Click here!)

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3 months ago

Funny I stayed at the Boardwalk Resort a couple of months ago. Some of the very things you showed I was fascinated with also. My difference is I loved those chairs and would happily place them in my home.

Anita -Mickey & Quilt Lover
Anita -Mickey & Quilt Lover
3 months ago

OMM! (Oh My Mickey). Yes! I was just as excited when I saw this beautiful quilt as I was seeing Mickey! It is hanging in the gift shop next to the Liberty Tree at the Magic Kingdom! Now I can’t wait to see It’s a Small World again for other discovers. Thanks!

3 months ago

At a recent craft show I met a woman who takes pictures of things that strike her, things that no one else would take pictures of, and turns them into greeting cards. They were incredible! I had to buy several because *I see quilts*! For example, this is the BOTTOM of a basket.

3 months ago

I see quilt designs in hotel hall carpets everywhere.

Linda Morehouse
Linda Morehouse
3 months ago

Hi Beth!
I am a weaver and I have an irresistible urge to touch any fabric I see! Set off the alarms in a museum one time. Oops! I study people’s clothing when they aren’t watching me. Thanks for the technical term!

2 months ago

I came across this wonderful building and immediately saw a quilt pattern. Probably a string quilt.

String quilt building.jpg
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