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Color Inspiration Thursday {25}

My hope for all of these color inspiration posts is that someone gets their creativity spark ignited and creates a gorgeous quilt or other work of art based upon one of my palettes. Since I and many of you are quilters or other fiber artists, where better to let inspiration strike than the fabric shop? This week’s color inspiration comes from Alewives, a gorgeous fabric shop in Nobleboro, Maine. Palettes are made using my photographs and Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1.

alewives website

Enjoy some color inspiration eye candy:

pink ribbon color palette

 Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Steel, Geranium, Rich Red,  Crimson, Garnet, Thistle

Wooden spools, assorted ribbons, and a lovely palette of pinks and purples.

fat quarter color palette

 Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Terracotta, Cinnamon, Mahogany, Lipstick, Paprika, Salmon

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2350 – Copper
2245 – Red Orange
5024 – Dark Brown
2215 – Peach
2355 – Rust
2220 – Lt Salmon

One of my favorite spots in Alewives is the collection of fat quarters in the center of the store. Arranged by color in awesome vintage wooden bins, these fabric bits beg to be touched, gazed upon with wonderment, and then (naturally) purchased. Yum!

fabric eye candy
Fabric eye candy; how gorgeous is this fat quarter display!?

fat quarter color palette

 Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Bark, Med Olive, Med Juniper, Arctic Ice, Peach, Toast

Another gorgeous glimpse of the fat quarter bins. I could see this palette making its way into a lovely gender-neutral baby quilt. Or a soft, autumnal lap quilt or table runner. Or just about anything!

color in the quilt display

 Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Bison, Wine, Cinnamon, O.D. Green, Kelly, Spice

I loved the color and fabric choices for this quilt display. Isn’t it wonderful when you walk into a shop and are not only swooning over the fabric, but are also are inspired by the quilts displayed around the shop?! I think the match of Kona Kelly to that darker teal is off, but you get the idea! Aurifil matches it as 2285 – Med Spruce, which looks like a more accurate match along with the 2850 – Med Juniper match for the Kona O.D. Green.

To see a few more glimpses of quilty beauty from the Alewives shop, visit my post Color for Quilters & the Maine Modern Quilt Guild. If you are ever in or near Nobleboro, Maine, I’d definitely recommend stopping in to Rhea’s shop. Tell her Kitty sent you!

Note: I have no affiliation with Alewives Fabrics; I simply think it is a gorgeous, well stocked and kindly owned local fabric shop and I like to spread the love! Plus, It’s kind of awesome that their minimum fabric purchase online is 1/8 of a yard, AND that they will send you a 1/16 swatch if desired! That is hard to find with online shops! Enjoy browsing.

 

 

 

 

fabric eye candy

Color for Quilters & the Maine Modern Quilt Guild

As I swooned over all of the Quilt Market photos flooding Instagram this past weekend, I also immersed myself in a new pool of quilters. I was fortunate enough to attend my first ever Maine Modern Quilt Guild meeting! This month, the meeting took place at Alewives, an AWESOME modern fabric shop co-owned by Rhea Butler, and one of my favorite “local” (if a 1.5 hour drive each way counts as local) quilt shops. Rhea offered a Color for Quilters class, and the Maine Modern Quilters made it the feature of their meeting. I had such a fun time, both meeting the wonderful Maine MQGers, but also taking in Rhea’s color theory knowledge and insight.

alewives fabric store nobleboro maine

I was so impressed with the Maine MQG and how friendly and welcoming they were. I immediately made new friends and felt comfortable there, admiring other works in progress, being inspired by the sample BOM blocks made by Karen, and just getting to know my fellow Maine modern quilters. I do hope to make it to another meeting of theirs, even if my attendance isn’t regular (they typically meet over 2 hours from my home, which would require over 4 hours of driving to attend a meeting). Here are some fun photos from the day:

betsy from maine modern quilt guild
Betsy leads the meeting, guiding us through the items of discussion for the day.
Karen shows her November BOM block samples.
Karen shows her November BOM block samples.
A color challenge: discussing whether this fabric bundle "works" or does not work, guided by Rhea.
A color challenge: discussing whether this fabric bundle “works” or does not work, guided by Rhea.

Rhea provided a lot of insight into color and its role in planning a quilt. I learned a lot about general color terminology, such as value, shades, tints, and hue, but also confirmed that I am personally drawn to tertiary colors (fuchsia, cornflower, turquoise, lime, cheddar, tangerine) as opposed to primary (red, yellow, blue) or secondary (orange, green, purple).

I discovered that Rhea has a very different quilting style than I do; she likes her quilts to be “delightfully schizophrenic”, while I am still very focused on smooth aesthetic flow and “safe” color choices. Rhea has convinced me to be a bit more adventurous though, and try some improv or unexpected color and fabric combinations. I may even try the Denise Schmidt-inspired method of throwing scraps in a bag and randomly pulling them out and sewing them together (yikes!).

Rhea discussing her fabric choices.
Rhea discussing her fabric choices.
Rheas quilt: delightfully schizophrenic.
Rhea’s quilt: delightfully schizophrenic.

After the color class, I enjoyed browsing Alewives‘ awesome fabric selection, and taking in the eye candy that abounds. Here are a few sneak peeks at the gorgeousness that is Alewives. Stay tuned for some more tomorrow; color inspiration will come from the fabric shop this week!

fabric eye candy
Fabric eye candy

fabric

I loved the sample quilts around the store. Inspiration everywhere!
I loved the sample quilts around the store. Inspiration everywhere!
red berries from the bog

Color Inspiration Thursday {24}

This week’s color inspiration comes again from the bog. There were so many pops of color in that oasis ecosystem that I just had to share more than one week’s worth. Palettes are made using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs. Enjoy!

red leaf pop color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Avocado, Steel, Sable, Old Green, Plum, Pepper

I love how this little pinkish (Kona Plum) leaf just pops right up with burst of color amongst the evergreens. Getting the leaf in perfect focus was a bit tricky with the wind and fading light, but I think it still works. If nothing else, it makes me smile.

red berries color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Steel, Bison, Brown, Ruby, Wine, Lipstick

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1246 – Grey
4173 – Dk Olive
5024 – Dark Brown
2230 – Med Peony
2355 – Rust
2265 – Lobster Red

I love this photo. I don’t know if it’s the mirrored red berries all blurred in the background, or the bits of blurred green swirled into the mix, or whether I am just really drawn to the pop of the red berries. Either way, I love the photo and the resulting palette. It makes me *maybe* think I could be ready for snow in a couple months, as long as there are pretty red berries to brighten it up a bit. Maybe.

stash building for a new project

A Garden {Quilt} Full of Florals

For as much as I photograph and swoon over flowers, florals are foreign to my fabric stash. Last week, I built my stash with this fabric it rarely sees: florals. I bought in 1/4 yard cuts since it was the smallest possible cut at the local fabric store I visited, and I don’t typically use florals in my projects. I must say, though, I am happy with the floral fabrics I did find, and they are perfect for the project gift I have in mind.

stash building for a new projectThis project is a surprise gift with a short deadline. I KNOW the recipient will love it, and I’m exciting to share details with you. But for now, I’ll just show off these fabrics.

Grace fabric rjr fabrics flowers

Grace fabrics rjr fabrics flowers

I don’t know the full information for all of the fabrics, since I didn’t have a chance to write them all down, and I bought small enough cuts that the selvedges don’t all have the manufacturer/designer information present. Many of the fabrics are from the Grace fabric line by Mary McGuire for RJR Fabrics, which I love. I had to buy some of the Snug as a Bug (spiderwebs) fabric  by Melly & Me for Riley Blake Designs, since how could I resist sneaking a spider web into the garden?! I also bought a couple of fabrics by Andover and Studio E, with two coordinating Cotton Couture (I think?) solids, one for sky and one for border.

big fabric flower fussy cut

fussy cutting plan
Planning my 2″ square assiduous cutting (okay… fussy cutting!), with the help of the 2.5″ square template I made.

As you may have guessed with the little hidden templates, I plan to fussy cut most of these to make a garden quilt wall hanging. Some of it will consist of 2″ squares on point (2.5″ unfinished), and some will consist of 1″ squares on point (1.5″ unfinished).

small flowers fussy cutting planning

Some small 1" flowers to be assiduously cut.
Some small 1″ flowers to be assiduously cut.

More than that, I cannot yet tell you. I have my work cut out for me, though (pun intended!). Stay tuned to see this secret garden bloom!

crimson pitcher plant

Color Inspiration Thursday {23}

Last week, my kids and I joined some friends for a walk at the Orono Bog Walk. From the Bangor City Forest Report website, “the 4,200-foot long Orono Bog Boardwalk enables visitors to City Forest to see a bog up close and personal without getting their feet wet… The bog itself encompasses 616 acres on the Bangor and Orono town lines and is home to hundreds of species of hardy yet fragile plants and some of Maine’s rarest bird species.” It is a truly magical place; you walk along the boardwalk through the woods for a few hundred feet and you’re suddenly in a completely different world, where the ground is covered in squishy moss floating on water and trees can’t grow taller than my two-year-old.

kids at the bog
My kids and their friend at the Bog Walk.

This week’s color inspiration comes from the bog. Palettes are made using my photographs and Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1.  I have included matching Aurifil thread for one of the palettes, but if you want the matches for all of them, let me know and I will start including them, too.

yellow gold color palette

 Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Moss, Ivy, Taupe, Coal, Honey, Mushroom

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2905 Army Green
4173 Dk Olive
2372 Dk Antique Gold
1158 Med Grey
2910 Med Olive
2900 Lt Kakhy Green

This tamarack was glowing in the late afternoon sun. I honestly thought the palette would be more gold-orange heavy, but the dark background colors make a bold appearance. The golden needles in their perfect little swirls entranced me, and perhaps might inspire a quilt design for the future.

tamarack at the bog
Tamarack from afar. The golden yellow swirls of needles called me in!

See how the tamarack, stunted in its bog home, glows in the late afternoon sun?! I also think it’s amazing how a “normal” tree can look so different when you get right up close and personal. Perspective is everything.

evergreen color palette

 Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Moss, Ivy, Steel, Iron, Peridot, Raffia

 A sweet evergreen, bringing us cool and earthy greens and blues.

crimson pitcher plant color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Wine, Deep Rose, Mahogany, Spice, Bison, Leaf

This pitcher plant blended right in with the bright red peat moss! Pitcher plants are among my favorite plants, and they are ubiquitous in the bog. Their autumnal red and fuzzy trap-mouth make them so gorgeous this time of year! Did you know that pitcher plants are carnivorous? That’s right–they eat meat! Ready for your daily science lesson? Here’s a bit about how pitcher plants work, from Encyclopedia Britannica (it’s still a useful resource!):

Pitcher plants… have unusual tubular leaves that are shaped like urns, trumpets, or small pitchers, with a flap that partly covers the top of the pitcher. Insects are attracted to the mouth of the pitcher by a trail of nectar-secreting glands that extend downward along the lip to the interior of the pitcher. The lip is covered with stiff, downward-pointing hairs that are not easy for an insect to climb upward on once it has partly descended to gather nectar. Just below the lip, in the steepest part of the pitcher’s throat, is a very smooth area without hairs. Like a greased slide, this zone sends the insect tumbling down into the liquid pool at the bottom of the pitcher, where it quickly becomes submersed and drowns. The insect is then digested by an enzyme secreted within the leaf. (from Encyclopedia Britannica online article “pitcher plant”)

How awesome is that!? A hunting plant. Who knew that a carnivorous plant could inspire a quilt? Any other science geek quilters out there? What is the strangest thing that has inspired one of your quilts or craft projects?

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Works in Progress: Star Crazy & Baby Plus, Take 2

Most of my sewing projects fall into two main categories: gifts for friends and family, or a new pattern that needs to get out of my head and into reality. This past week, I’ve been working on projects that don’t fall into either of those categories!

Star Crazy Quilt

Many months ago, I did something crazy. I started a quilt just for me! I made some progress on the quilt, and then it got tucked away in a corner for a good long time. This past week, I pulled it out again and made some more progress. My Star Crazy quilt is slowly coming together, and I love it!

star crazy quilt progress

A few months ago, I made the decision to leave grey fabrics out of the “light” sides of these blocks, but noticed that some of my “lights” still read pretty dark. One of the quilters I follow on IG posted about checking fabric values by turning a photo black and white (if it was you, please let me know so I can give you credit!). Trying this method, you can see that some of my “lights” are indeed quite dark.

star crazy value txt
Note how the light star on the right is noticeably darker than the star on the left.

I’m going to aim to group the darker ones together so that each star is all one value. In making more blocks for this quilt, I’ve also decided that I’m going to be okay if two of the same turquoise prints are next to each other. These are little design details that have been holding me back from forging ahead with this quilt, so I feel a bit relieved that I’ve made the executive decision to let go of avoiding turquoise samesies and aim to match the “dark” lights. Onward with the star crazy!

Baby Plus Quilt, Take 2

I couldn’t help it; I started another Baby Plus Quilt. I had so much fun putting together my Pink & Grey Baby Plus Quilt that I immediately pulled fabric for a second one the day I sent the pink & grey top off for quilting.

fabric pull for baby plus quilt
from @nightquilter on Instagram

The butterfly & flower print was the inspiration piece for this version, and I opted for mostly solids or blenders as my accompanying fabrics. Amazingly, this entire pull was from my stash! After spending a couple hours cutting and playing with layout, I’ve finally begun to sew the rows together. Four (4) down, seven (7) to go.

baby plus quilt 2

Design Wall

One last important work in progress from this past week is the final acquisition of a design wall that actually works! You may remember my old design wall (read: epic fail), which I built out of carefully framed 2″x2″ wooden boards, complete with a cross-support beam, and wrapped with white felt. The amount of work that went into building that design wall was inversely proportional to how well it held quilt blocks. In other words, blocks wouldn’t stay on that design wall for more than 2 seconds. I learned from that experience, and this time I bought a $2.99 vinyl tablecloth with a flannel back. The lightest color our local Reny’s had was bright pink, but I realllly wanted to get something to use as a design wall so I bought it. It works SO AMAZINGLY WELL! I apologize for the internet “shouting”, but I am absolutely floored at how well quilt blocks–both solid fabric and already-pieced–stick to that table cloth! It is amazing. Ugly as sin, but amazing!

design wall loaded
My cheapo design wall, weighed down with WiPs. It works SO well!

I’m linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced’s Work in Progress Wednesday.

WIP Wednesday

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Giveaways and Sales

Two words everyone loves to hear, right? I recently released three new foundation paper piecing patterns and had some great pattern testers help me along the way. I offered my blogging testers the opportunity to host a giveaway on their blogs, so now you have a chance to win a free copy of one of my new patterns. Check out these two great giveaways:

foundation paper piecing pattern giveaway leaf

Visit Shayna’s blog Wife, Mom, Creator for a chance to win a copy of my leaf paper piecing pattern.

Pattern tested by Sarah Pitchard

Sarah of Pitcher Family Adventures offered to test both my Leaf pattern AND my original Fishies pattern, so on her blog you have a chance to win your choice of either pattern.

Be sure to take a minute to stop by both blogs to enter to win! While these giveaways are going on, I’m extending the sale in my Craftsy store. Both Fish patterns and the Leaf pattern will be on sale for $3.50 for one more week.

Each of these patterns will be on sale for one more week!
Each of these patterns will be on sale for one more week!

I try to outweigh “check out my pattern store” posts with more project-focused, photo-heavy, quilting inspiration and progress posts, but sometimes there just needs to be a little self promotion (right?). In this case, it’s win win–you have a good chance of winning a free paper piecing pattern, and I’m helping spread the word for my awesome pattern testers.

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