yellow bucket in the surf

Color Inspiration Thursday {11}

This week you will get another glimpse into the colorful world of the Maine coast. Meanwhile, I’m driving all day long with my husband and two small children, off toward Ohio for our next family vacation! You get the better end of the deal, I think, but I hope to have some new fun photographs for next week’s color inspiration.

As always, the color palettes are created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs.

seaside treasures color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Charcoal, Steel, Pewter, Dusty Blue, Sweet Pea, Black

I love to get a really close look at the stones and shells at the beach. What from above looks like a bunch of rocks, when inspected from an inch or two away, is an entire world of complex beauty. Tiny bits of shell, stone, sea glass, and even pieces of sea creatures create a gorgeously intricate scene.

yellow bucket in the surf color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Steel, Fog, Wasabi, Yarrow, Sunflower, Raffia

Vacationing with children, there are sure to be little splashes of color in the form of buckets, shovels, and other beach toys. I couldn’t resist a photo of this bright yellow bucket in the surf, and I love the color palette that resulted. Yellow and gray are GREAT together!

lobster maine coast color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Pepper, Coal, Spice, Earth, Primrose, Shale

A lobster tail washed up onto the beach, providing the perfect finale for the Maine coast color palettes. After all, Maine and lobster are synonymous according to some people. I have really loved the heavy presence of gray in many of these coastal color palettes, and I love how well gray plays with the pops of color that emerge in other details.

I hope these color palettes inspire you, and I would love to see any quilts that you create using these palettes!

2014 New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop Wrap-up

2014newbloggersbutton3This year I was honored to be a part of the New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop organized by Beth at Plum & June. Through this blog hop, I got to know so many awesome quilters, helped jump start a couple of awesome friendships, and learned a ton about quilting and blogging in general. If you missed it, my introductory post is here: Let’s Get Acquainted! It includes everything you ever wanted to know about me, and then some.

As of last week, the final round of new quilt bloggers have posted their introductory posts, so the hop is officially complete! For those of you who haven’t had a chance to hop around to all of the awesome new quilt bloggers in the group, here’s your chance. Compiled by Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl, here is a complete list of all of the new quilt bloggers and their introductory blog posts in no particular order. Yes, there were a TON of us… pace yourself! There is no better way to get to know some new, follow-worthy bloggers. Enjoy, and tell them Kitty @ Night Quilter sent you!

Serena @ Sew Giving

Deborah @ Sunshine Through The Rain

Jane @ Where Jane Creates

Jennifer @ A Quarter Inch From The Edge

Carla @ Granny Maud’s Girl

Jenny @ Jack’s Room

Sharon @ Color Girl Quilts

Carmit @ Quilting Rainbows

Jehn @ Jehnny And The Boys

jehnny and the boys melodie and feathers quilt
Some of Jehnny’s favorite quilts: From left to right: Melodie’s quilt, Feathers quilt

Elli @ Lovelli Quilts

Sharon @ Motherdragon’s Musings

Cynthia @ Cynthia’s Creating Ark

Sally @ Wonky Patchwork

Bee @ Pink Almond Quilt

Debbie @ Quilting Makes My Heart Sing

Leanne @ Devoted Quilter

Karen @  Capitola Quilter

Sarah @ Berry Barn Designs

A favorite baby quilt by Berry Barn Designs.
A favorite baby quilt by Berry Barn Designs.

Liz @ Green Cheese Quilting

Janet @ Simply Pieced

Ruth @ Charly and Ben’s Crafty Corner

Kristyn @ Melon Patch Quilts

Linh @ Calling All Stitchers

Alida @ Tweety Loves Quilting

Rachel @ Quiltineering

Shauna @ Shauna’s World

Pam @ Sewing Wilde

Wendy @ Wendy’s Quilts and More

Jan @ The Colorful Fabriholic

Carole @ From My Carolina Home

Lin @ Lin’s Quilts

Kate @ Thread Everywhere

Cheryl @ Texas Quilting Gal

Jenn @ Sew Crafty Jenn

Heather @ QA Creations

Cornelia @ Pieced with Love

Chelsea @ Patch the Giraffe

Carole @ Fresh off the Frame

Joanna @ Riddle and Whimsy

Riddle and Whimsy's Round Robin center for Possum Magic: A group of Aussies and Kiwis from the Blog Hop have started up their own Round Robin.
Riddle and Whimsy’s Round Robin center for Possum Magic: A group of Aussies and Kiwis from the Blog Hop have started up their own Round Robin.

Camelia @ The Recovering Perfectionist

Nurdan @ Hug-a-Bit Quilts

Paula @ Mud, Pies, and Pins

Lori @ Sew Psyched

Christina @ Wips and Tuts

Diana @ Sew Crafty Chick

Marcia @ Cozy Capatiller

Judy @ Quilt Paradigm

Jasmine @ Quilt Kisses

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts

Elizabeth @ And Pins

Daisy @ Ants to Sugar

Rachael @ The Floral Suitcase

Jennifer @ Never Just Jennifer

Alice @ Blossom Quilts & Crafts

Jill @ Pie Lady Quilts

Kelsey @ Lovely and Enough

Some awesome fabric designed by Kelsey at Lovely and Enough.
Some awesome fabric designed by Kelsey at Lovely and Enough.

Megan @ Sew Stitching Cute

Stephanie @ Late Night Quilter

Jen @ Bower Bird Patch

Afton @ Quilting Mod

Jessica @ One English Teacher

Barbara @ Suzy Homemaker

Cynthia @ Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

Mary @ See Mary Quilt

Laurel @ Drowning In Fabric

Linda @ Talking Lunch Box Quilts

Rebecca @ One Wee Bird

Anne @ Hudson Valley Quilts

Diana @ Red Delicious Life

Terri @ Childlike Fascination

Sarah @ Smiles Too Loudly

Vera @ Negligent Style

Michelle @ Michelle Bartholomew

Barn Door quilt by Michelle Bartholomew.
Barn Door quilt by Michelle Bartholomew.

Katie @ Good Golly Ginger

Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs

Jana @ Jana Machado

Karin @ Leigh Laurel Studios

Kim @ Ties That Bind Quilting

Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl

pairing wine and fabric

A Perfect Pair: Wine and Fabric

Sometimes, after a long, hot day on vacation, you open up the perfect bottle of wine to help refresh the evening. And sometimes, when you open up that perfect bottle of wine, something serendipitous happens: you realize that it’s also the perfect bottle of wine to pair with your current handwork project.

pairing wine and fabric

Who knew that wine and fabric could pair so well? There’s no debate that this is the perfect pair, though. Birds & Bees Sweet White wine is a refreshing and crisply sweet wine perfect for cooling off on a hot summer’s evening.  Properly chilled, this wine is smooth and has the perfect balance of sweetness to make it pleasant and refreshing. I love that the back label says “Birds and Bees Sweet White evokes sunshine and laughter, passion and romance.” What’s not to love?

As I enjoyed this lovely wine, I worked on my Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses, my first ever foray into English Paper Piecing. The feature fabric fussy cut for the center cross is none other than the Bee Sweet Fabric from Bonnie Christine‘s Sweet as Honey line. Talk about the perfect fabric to pair with Birds & Bees Sweet White!

english paper piecing at the ocean

This serendipitous encounter on the coast of Maine got me thinking about pairing wine and fabric more often. For those of us who love stitching, and love a glass of wine at the end of a long day, why can’t there be a perfect pairing of the two? You would pair the “right” wine with your dinner, so why not pair the “right” wine with your stitching? I admit, this idea of pairing wine and fabric had me giggling and laughing into the next day (or was it the wine?), so it is decidedly something I must try to do again.

The perfect pair:

Fabric
Fabric: Bee Sweet in Sunset
Collection: Sweet as Honey
Designer: Bonnie Christine
Manufacturer: Art Gallery Fabrics

Wine
Wine: Birds & Bees Sweet White
Producer: Trivento

What is your favorite wine? Favorite fabric? Maybe I’ll try to find its perfect pair! 

child wonder at a starfish from the coast of maine

Color Inspiration Thursday {10}

Greetings from the coast of Maine! This week, my family is vacationing on Hancock Point, Maine, with my husband’s family. We’ve had a solid mix of sunny and stormy weather, but the forecast looks promising for the remaining two days of our trip. Despite the rain, I’ve taken hundreds of photos since we’ve arrived (does anyone else have a penchant for filling camera card capacities in record time?!), both of my kids enjoying playtime with Grammy, Grampy, and Aunts and Uncles, and of course plenty of shells and rocky coast. Be prepared for a good month of Maine coast-fueled color inspiration!

Here are the inspiration color palettes for the week, created with Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my own photographs.

crashing tide color paletteCorresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Baby Blue, Charcoal, Moss, Dresden Blue, Raffia, Biscuit

A Maine coast inspired day would not be complete without a photograph of the gorgeous crashing tide on the seaweed and barnacle-bedecked rocks. I have loved watching the tide ebb and flow, and our view of Acadia (that’s Cadillac Mountain in the background) makes the view that much sweeter. There is something peaceful about the gentle sway of the seaweed as the waves bring the tide in or out, even with the smashing spray on the rocks. I love this color palette exactly as it formed. To me, it’s quintessential Maine coast: peaceful and earthy.

peach starfish and child color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Steel, Sable, Smoke, Black, Moss, Charcoal

Exploring the treasures that abound along the coast is especially exciting with my two- and four-year-olds. There is nothing like the endless wonder of a child encountering nature’s beauty. This starfish is being gently held by my normally rambunctious two year old son. He didn’t even throw the rock into the water after holding it–amazing!

sea glass maine coast color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Ash, Shale, Old Green, Stone, Black, Charcoal

Never in my life have I found more perfectly polished and abundant sea glass than on this private home’s beach on Hancock Point. I love sea glass, and simply stacked on a smooth, dark, Maine stone, this palette brings me so much joy and peace. A bit of gentle turquoise (Shale meets Old Green) and light grays, with the solid foundation of the black/charcoal stone.

Enjoy these first peeks into my week. There will be more Maine coast palettes awaiting you next Thursday!

english paper piecing at the ocean

Vacation Rainy Day Sewing: First Foray into English Paper Piecing

I never wish for rain while I’m on vacation, and this trip isn’t any different. Sometimes, though, you get rain even if you don’t want it. We are on vacation on Hancock Point, Maine, for the week with my husband’s family. The rental house is right on the ocean and has an amazing view of Bar Harbor and Acadia, located directly across the bay.

Acadia and Bar Harbor as seen from our rental house on Hancock Point, Maine.
Acadia and Bar Harbor as seen from our rental house on Hancock Point, Maine.

Until today, we have had gorgeous weather and have spent much of our time swimming (or quickly dipping, in my case) in the ocean or walking along the beach looking for treasures. I don’t think I could ever tire of gazing at the beauty left by the tides.

Swimming in the ocean in Maine

Rocky coast beach treasures in Maine

maine beach treasures

Today, it is cold, dreary, and pouring. In trying to beat the rainy vacation day humdrums, I decided to pull out my sewing stuff. This morning I tried my hand at English Paper Piecing, starting with the fussy cut center for a Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses. I must say, handwork is quite fun!

english paper piecing on vacation

Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses EPP

Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses center

I had to unstitch and retry one of the honeycomb pieces since the pattern didn’t even come close to lining up on one side. Admittedly, it wasn’t a whole lot closer after I redid it, but I decided to go with it.

IMG_3680

Having never done any handwork before, I felt like I was flying by the seat of my pants. How far apart should the stitches go when joining pieces? How exactly does one “whip stitch” the corners? I think I did two whip stitches, but it seems to have worked for the moment. I can see the stitches a bit, but my mother-in-law said that the slight peek of stitches is part of the charm of hand sewn creations. I’ll take her word for it.

Beach rainy day sewing patchwork of the crosses

I can certainly see why so many people travel with their English Paper Piecing projects. Progress is made in small bits, so it is easy to pick up and put down as needed. I finished sewing the center four honeycombs together at the breakfast table this morning, and once I figure out what color scheme to go with for the rest of it, I am looking forward to passing the rainy days with stitching.

I also brought my sewing machine with me on this trip. It’s the first time I’ve ever brought a sewing machine on vacation, and I debated for quite a while whether I should take it with me or not. Now, with the next two days forecasted as torrential rain and chilly cold, I’m so glad I did. Not to mention the fact that there is a singer treadle and table right next to my bed in our bedroom.

Singer treadle sewing machine and table in vacation bedroomWhile this treadle is missing its belt and therefore doesn’t work, I am taking it as a clear sign that I was meant to bring my sewing machine on vacation with me. Perhaps this afternoon I’ll do a bit of machine sewing as well!

My loaner Bernina, ready to go on her Singer table.
My loaner Bernina, ready to go on her Singer table.

Do you take your sewing on vacation with you?

yellow flower sunny

Color Inspiration Thursday {9}

Thursday… was yesterday. I had a rare date night with my husband last night, which meant the day was spent packing overnight bags and getting us and the kids up to the in-law’s house, getting ready, etc.  So this week you’ll get your color inspiration on Friday, just in time for the weekend! This summer has been a great reminder as to why summer is one of my all-time favorite seasons. I just love the endless beauty that grows, blooms, and emerges daily.  This week’s color palettes feature a few newly blooming flowers from my garden. I certainly hope you are not tiring of flower photos! Created with the Play Crafts Palette Builder 2.1, here are your inspiration palettes for the week. color palette

  Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right: Palm, O.D. Green, Pewter, Leprechaun, Hibiscus, Cappuccino

This palette is exactly as it was created by the Palette Builder, without any tweaking or moving of colors. I love it. The little burst of bright green (Leprechaun) and purple (Hibiscus) are so well balanced by the more muted greens, grey, and dark brown. I could see these colors in a throw quilt for a couch in an elegant living room. sunny yellow color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right: Sunny, Yarrow, Gold, Cedar, Paprika, Corn Yellow

You can’t go wrong with a sunny palette like this one! Everyone needs a bit more yellow in their lives, right?

pink purple flower palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Peridot, Basil, Eggplant, Violet, Magenta, Punch

This flower was actually photographed at a friend’s house at Pemaquid Point, Maine. I saw the flowers dangling from a trellis alongside the house and simply had to take a few photographs. Such a voluptuous, gorgeous flower! And the colors are among my favorites these days. All I need is a bright teal background and it would be perfect. Even as is, I love this palette of brightness.

Tomorrow my family and I are headed off to the coast of Maine, to a house in Hancock right on the ocean. I’m excited to spend some quality time with my family, swimming, kayaking, and taking walks along the coast in search of treasures. I hope to do some sewing if we have any rainy days, but as with any vacation, who knows what each day will hold? I do know that I will be on the lookout for splashes of unexpected color! You never know what you will find by the ocean.

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

IMG_3267-001

Work in Progress: Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt

Lately I’ve been trying to multitask during my sewing time, since this summer is so full of outdoor adventuring that my time spent sewing is little. The last time I had a good chunk of sewing time, I worked on piecing three projects at once. It made for little bits of progress for each, but no big noticeable progress on any one quilt. Today I decided to focus on one quilt so that I can hopefully get a finish under my belt to renew my quilting fury. Since I have yet to complete quilts for my kids, I decided it was high time I remedied that, and I decided to focus on sewing together my daughter’s rainbow quilt.

rainbow quiltMy design wall is one huge fail, so I had to lay out the strips while the “wall” was laying flat on the ground, and then slide it up to take photographs as quickly as possible before the pieces all fell to the ground. The bumps bug me, but such is life. Nothing’s perfect, especially not a partially pieced quilt top! A new design wall is creeping its way up my to-do list.

My four-year-old daughter wanted a rainbow quilt, and while searching for ideas, I came across this gorgeous quilt on Creativebug.

Rainbow_Jellyroll_Quilt_on_Creativebug2I had never created a quilt using jellyrolls before, but only a couple of days after seeing this quilt, the deal of the day on Missouri Star Quilt Company’s site was the Andover Fabrics Color Collection Jellyroll. Sweet! Needless to say, I bought the jellyroll and added another work in progress to my list.

Today during my two-year-old’s nap, I finished sewing the strips into pairs. I’m hoping I’ll be able to finish sewing all of the paired strips together soon and will have a completed quilt top within a week or two. Next I will have to decide whether to keep it simple and finish it, or to add a border or edging to the quilt. Because it’s for my four-year-old, I’m leaning toward finishing it simply and letting it be small enough for her to drag around with her. What would you do?

I’ll leave you with some fun photographs from my playroom photo shoot today.

Depth of field rainbow jellyroll quilt

IMG_3249

I love playing with depth of field!

IMG_3274Since I’m sneaking this in before midnight, I’ll link up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday

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