Getting into the Swing of Things… or Not

Despite the best intentions, I’ve had a pretty slow start at “getting back into the swing of things” after returning from the Slow Stitching Retreat. I have done zero non-deadline related sewing, my house is not nearly as tidy as I’d like, and there are days where we all just run amok outside all day long. But you know what? I’ve decided that’s all okay. These are the final days of summer, with my daughter beginning 1st grade next week and my son beginning preschool two weeks after that, so I’ve officially decided that it is a-okay for the plans and schedules to go out the window. There will be plenty of time for schedules, cleaning, sewing, blogging, and organization in September.

Here’s what I’ve been up to this past week and a half, a peek at our family fun through phone photos, with not even a lick of sewing involved. It happens! Note: Not shown are the moments of crying and bickering kids, sweaty complaints, frustration, exhaustion, and boredom that are very much a part of life. Just keeping it real–I’m human, too! All my days aren’t sunshine and roses, but I like to share the high points here. Enjoy!

organic you pick blueberries at North Branch Farm
We spent a sunny late morning picking blueberries at our local organic farm, North Branch Farm.
organic you pick blueberries at North Branch Farm
16.6 lbs to be exact!!
meeting up with Karin Jordan's family
Quilty blogger friend Karin from Leigh Laurel Studios took her family on an impromptu weekend getaway to Belfast, Maine, so we got our families together for beach, drinks, and dinner. So fun!
garden flower
I’ve been enjoying the late summer blooms in our garden…
hiding spider in flower
…as well as the clever creatures who hide within them!
hiking Blue Hill Mountain
I hiked to the top of a mountain with a friend and our cumulative 5 kids. It was quite a fun adventure!
Robot Dinosaur on the trail
My son insisted on bringing his friend “Robot Dinosaur” on the hike (yes, it’s a toy digger, but the digger part looks like a dinosaur neck and head, right? Right. Trust me, don’t call it a digger.).
hiking Blue Hill Mountain
The weather was perfect and the view was fantastic! This photo was taken about 2 minutes into the 2 and a half hour hike. We were celebrating being on the trail!
hiking Blue Hill Mountain Maine
Most of the hike was along gorgeous, shady forest trails.
hiking Blue Hill Mountain Maine
With a gorgeous look out on the top, at over 900 feet elevation. The kids did great, the moms-lugging-babies did great, and Robot Dinosaur rested in the woods near the bottom of the trail until our descent.

I hope that you are enjoying the final days of summer (or whatever season it may be in your corner of the world), and I look forward to sharing sewing and inspiration with you again soon! Just last night I pulled fabric for three (3) new Farmer’s Wife blocks, and I have plans to finally finish a much overdo and beloved project, as well as join in (in a very relaxed, no pressure way) on the #100blocks100days challenge hosted by Angie at Gnome Angel, thanks to Kim at My Go Go Life‘s prompting! There is much sewing inspiration on the horizon!

Color Inspiration Thursday (76)

*Note that this was mostly written before last week’s Slow Stitching Retreat. It still holds true, just add a week of slow stitching to the list of adventures that have been keeping me busy!*

I feel like I’ve been overly absent from this space these past few weeks. I have been wrapping up SO many projects and making things happen behind the scenes, but I promise I will return to more regularly posting here soon. Most of my time lately has been spent going on grand adventures to the coast of Maine with my trusted and ever-able assistant (also known as my husband) and a giant chest full of quilts to photograph for the Quilter’s Planner.

I’m excited, relieved, happy, and have I mentioned excited?… that I have officially finished the photography for this year’s planner and I couldn’t be happier with it and the fantastic planner Stephanie and her graphic designer Lindsie are putting together this year. I will definitely be sharing much more about the Quilter’s Planner 2017, so I will hold back the excitement just a little bit for now. However, this week’s color inspiration comes from photographs taken along the coast of Maine, during our photo shoot adventures. As always, color palettes were created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs. Maybe you find even a fraction of the inspiration these natural details bring me!

grey barnacles color palette Corresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Pearl Pink, Bella Platinum, Kona Medium Grey, Kona Coal, Kona Pepper, Kona Black

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2405 – Oyster
2606 – Mist
2625 – Arctic Ice
1158 – Med Grey
2785 – V Dk Navy
2692 – Black

This first one fills that final gap in “colors that don’t often star in color palettes” in getting ALL the greys. Barnacles are such gorgeous tiny creatures, both dainty and tough as nails all at once. They also provide a gorgeous aesthetic randomly arranged on a tide-swept stone. These beauties were underfoot as I photographed Rita from Red Pepper Quilts‘ contribution to the planner (recently revealed on IG), so before hustling off to the next photo location, I had to give them a private photo shoot. Gorgeous greys!

orange rusty chain color palette maine coastCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Lead, Bella Etchings Stone, Kona Cobblestone, Bella Rust, Bella Burgundy, Bella Kansas Green

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1246 – Grey
5011 – Rope Beige

2375 – Antique Blush
2335 – Lt Cinnamon
4012 – Copper Brown
2370 – Sandstone

This vibrant rusty chain was sitting right next to the barnacles on the beach in Bar Harbor! Again, a tiny detail that when seen closer simply jumps out at you, begging to be captured in photo. I love the subtle neutrals on the stony beach, with just a few tinges of green from seaweed, boldly divided by a lone rusty chain. I’m holding onto summertime as long as I can, but this palette has an air of autumn to it. Shhh, let’s not talk about that.

Back to berry-picking, lake splashing, sun-kissed summer bliss! Enjoy your day!

 

Reentry

I’m back after a wonderfully relaxing, rejuvenating, and surprisingly silly fun week at the Slow Stitching Retreat in Washington, Maine. My reentry into real life was rather abrupt, since I only had a 15 minute drive upon leaving the blissful retreat until I was resubmerged in the thick of parenting, with my 4 year old sneaking a melty chocolate and dripping it all over the inside of my packed car, one big drip falling a literal inch from my stitching project I had peacefully sewn all week, while my 1 year old simultaneously hightailed it down the hill toward the lake. Ahhh, life! I’m now just starting to feel like I might be getting back into the swing of things, and will share much more of my experience here in the coming weeks.

slow stitching retreat a gathering of stitches maineWhile I had every intention of taking lots of photos, I also made a conscious effort to distance myself from social media and technology as much as I could, so that I could aim to slow down body, mind, and spirit. Lo, I took hardly any photos at all. But I can tell you this: the retreat was everything I imagined and more and I would jump back there in a heartbeat. I’ve already begun saving pennies for next year. There was a whole lot of relaxing, chatting, stitching, laughing, learning, making new friends, swimming, yoga, relaxing some more, stitching some more, eating, drinking, and so much more.

weeks dye works perle cotton alison glass collectionAnd of course color. Lots and lots of color. This is just a tiny peek at the Weeks Dye Works perle cotton collection Alison Glass brought along for all of us to try, and only a tiny sneak peek at all of the gorgeous color that permeated the week.

Once it all has time to permeate, percolate, settle in, process, and all of those other things a rare and beautiful experience must do before becoming coherent, I’ll write a reflection post with a few more peeks and highlights of the week. Until then, you can read my friend Karin’s account of the week, rich with photos galore (at least someone took lots of photos!) on her blog Leigh Laurel Studios, here. In the meantime, while my reflection on the experience has time to process, I’ll jump back into sharing my projects, inspiration, and tips, picking up where I left off two short weeks ago.

I hope you had a week full of little wonders and surprise moments of bliss! I’ve missed you and look forward to getting back into the swing of the online quilting world.

Monday Giveaway & Off to Slow Stitching

Ahhh Mondays! Mondays often have that heavy feel, transitioning from a relaxing or adventuresome weekend of family fun back into the daily grind of work and household duties. Not this week! I’m home on a quick packing layover, gathering my supplies for the Slow Stitching Retreat at Medomak Retreat Center in Washington, Maine!! I dropped in on this retreat for one blissful day last year, but this year I’m attending the entire week! I’m so excited to relax with Sam from A Gathering of Stitches (the mastermind behind these retreats), Alison Glass, Chawne Kimber, my friend Karin Jordan from Leigh Laurel Studios who is also attending the retreat, and all of the other slow stitchers!

slow stitching retreat a gathering of stitches maine alison glass chawne kimberMy parents have graciously come up from New Jersey and rented a house on a lake only 15 minutes away from the retreat center, so during the day they will be playing with all three kids, and every evening someone will drive Finn to me where he will join me for sleep, to be (hopefully) joyfully picked up each morning. He’s still a nursing babe at 14 months, so I’m looking forward to the nightly mama reconnection time, too.

medomak retreat center maineI originally aimed to schedule some blog posts for while I was away, but life has been very full these days, so this week will be quiet. I will be stitching away in this big, beautiful building and its neighboring barn, and will join you upon my return. Keep your eye on Instagram, since I will post a few updates to help share the blissful relaxation of the week! I have a fun color inspiration post pretty much ready for the week I return, and will get back into the swing of sharing my creative process and projects with you next week. And of course, of course, I will share a reflection of my time slow stitching.

fresh adventures amy sinibaldi art gallery fabric fat quarter shopTo hold you over for the week, I do have a fun giveaway sponsored by the Fat Quarter Shop! One lucky reader will win this Fresh Adventures Playground Fat Quarter Bundle by Amy Sinibaldi for Art Gallery Fabrics, which includes 10 fat quarters.

To enter the giveaway today, tell me what type of adventures you like to go on. I’m a big fan of exploring new places, so my ideal day consists of traveling to a new ocean beach, walking along the coast line, hiking through the neighboring woods, and picnicking on the beach. I’d love to hear about what you do for an adventure! Leave a comment and make sure I’m able to get ahold of you if you win.  For an additional entry, click HERE and sign up for my Night Quilter email list (or let me know you’re signed up). Tell me how you follow Fat Quarter Shop (facebook,twitter, Instagramtheir blog Jolly Jabber, etc.) in a third comment for a third entry.

fresh adventures amy sinibaldi art gallery fabric fat quarter shopThis giveaway is open to US and international participants.  The giveaway will be open until Sunday August 14th at 8pm EST when I’ll select the winner randomly with random.org. Good luck, and enjoy your week! This giveaway is now closed! Congratulations One Creative Family!

*Please note that comment moderation is on, so if you do not see your comment right after posting, do not be alarmed! I will be disconnecting from social media for most of each day on the retreat, but will be checking in each evening to approve new comments. xoxo

Foundation Paper Piecing Tutorial on Andover Fabrics’ Blog

Today’s the day! A few months back Giuseppe (aka @giucy_giuce on social media) from Andover Fabrics asked if I would like to do a guest post on their blog. For those of you who haven’t put it together, Andover Fabrics is the manufacturer who houses fabric lines by Alison Glass, Lizzy House, Libs Elliot… and more! You know how much Alison Glass fabric alone is include in my makes, so of course I said YES! I decided to share a tutorial for my favorite quilting technique that sadly often has a bad rep–foundation paper piecing. Today a revamped foundation paper piecing tutorial featuring my newest pattern, Constant Flux, which features Handcrafted Patchwork by Alison Glass, went live on the Andover blog.

foundation paper pieced block from constant flux andover tutorialThis tutorial takes you through the basics of foundation paper piecing, but also includes some special hints, tips, and helpful cutting measurements for sewing together the Constant Flux pattern. You can read more about Constant Flux HERE, and be sure to visit the foundation paper piecing tutorial on the Andover blog HERE.

constant flux pattern coverIf you haven’t yet added Constant Flux to your pattern library, it’s still on sale for a few more days in my Craftsy shop (and Payhip for those of you in the EU). Get it now for only $5, since at the end of the week it will head back up to its usual $8.

Many thanks to Andover Fabrics for hosting me, and I hope all of you find my foundation paper piecing tutorial helpful! Happy stitching!

Constant Flux: Flimsy Finish & Pattern Release

It’s no secret that I love to design foundation paper pieced patterns. You’ve seen me create the likes of Lupine, Love Struck, Bean SproutLove is the Key, Fish Panels, Buoys, and more. Recently, though, I’ve been wanting to play more with geometric foundation paper pieced patterns, and I’m excited to share my very first one with you today!

constant flux pattern coverConstant Flux is an easy, very beginner-friendly, and diverse pattern. There are no tricky angles, odd shapes, or difficult joins, yet the design options are boundless. The mini quilt consists of four 12″ blocks, finishing at 24″, but it’s easy to make a quilt of any size by simply making more blocks or adding borders!

alison glass handcrafted patchwork fabric andoverAndover Fabrics asked me a while back if I would do a guest post on their blog. Of course I said yes, and decided to share a foundation paper piecing tutorial to try to spread the love of this oft-disparaged quilting style. This pattern is the result, and the tutorial will be posted on the Andover blog soon, so keep your eye out for it! The tutorial will take you step by step through how to foundation paper piece this pattern, which in turn can be applied to all other foundation paper pieced patterns! I’ll be sure to link to it as soon as it’s live. In the meantime, go ahead and buy the pattern and start choosing your fabrics!

fussy cutting for foundation paper piecingI created my version of Constant Flux inspired by Handcrafted Patchwork by Alison Glass from Andover Fabrics and just had to keep her gorgeous large motifs intact, so the pattern includes tools to help you plan meticulously cut elements if you so desire. I also include measurements for precutting fabric to make the process move more smoothly, so be sure to check out the tutorial early next week.

constant flux mini quiltConstant Flux is available in my Craftsy store (and Payhip for those of you in the EU) and will be on sale for only $5 for the first week, after which it will return to its normal price of $8.

The name of Constant Flux makes me happy because of the play on words. The visual aspect of the pattern strongly elicits movement, thus the “Flux” part. Yet aspects of the quilt can be meticulously cut as exact replicas, which is where the “Constant” part of the name comes in. Depending on the way you look at it, the constant can imply both that the movement is happening at all times, or that there are some things that are constant despite the movement! Constant Flux.

Constant Flux color optionsFor now, I haven’t quilted my first one and I already want to make Constant Flux in a different colorway. Look at all of the options I came up with in just a short moment of color arrangement play! The pattern comes with a full page coloring sheet so that you can explore your options before diving in. That bottom right version is calling to me–which one would you make first?!

I’d love to see what you create, so when you stitch up your Constant Flux quilt, please tag #constantfluxquilt and @nightquilter so that I can see your creation!

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, Needle & Thread Thursday, and TGIFF. Happy stitching!

Works in Progress: A Little of This, A Little of That

I have a lot of simultaneous projects going on right now, which is pretty typical of my sewing style. I like to have a selection of projects so that when a free moment arises, I have something to work on, but also have a choice as to what I work on each day. It helps my creativity feel refreshed and helps avoid inspiration slumps. When in doubt, I start a new project since I have no shortage of projects I *want* to create, and there’s nothing like curating a new fabric pull or cutting into a new project to renew my excitement for sewing.

It’s been a while since I’ve showed you my ongoing projects, so I thought today would be a good day! These are my most frequently worked upon projects; there are scads more on the semi-permanent back burner that I will pick up again when my plate clears *just* a bit. Today, the highlights!

IMG_5280First up is my ongoing epic Carolyn Friedlander Modern Hexies project. This is my on-the-go English Paper Piecing (EPP) project that lives in my purse. I’m making progress at a bit slower than snail paced this summer, since somehow those free moments that allow for hand stitching while the kids are occupied are few and far between. And oddly, all three kids have not simultaneously fallen asleep in the car on the way to a store even ONCE! What was somewhat regular with two kids is likened to a golden unicorn with three. But still, one stitch at a time, one hexagon at a time, this project progresses.

andover foundation paper pieced project alison glass handcrafted patchworkAnother project I’m plugging away on is a fun one for Andover Fabrics. They were awesome enough to send some Alison Glass Handcrafted Patchwork to me, as well as some yardage of Constellation by Lizzy House from her Whisper Palette collection. I picked up some Andover textured solid from my LQS Fiddlehead Artisan Supply to round it out. I’m working on a new geometric foundation paper pieced pattern, with meticulously cut sections of the gorgeous Handcrafted Patchwork fabrics. There will be a tutorial going up on Andover’s blog very soon, as well as the pattern release, so keep your eye out!

quilter's planner photography outtake karen lewis quilt acadia maineI’ve also been out on three different quilt photography adventures with my amazingly gifted quilt holding assistant, aka my husband. We have been having a blast photographing the quilts for this year’s Quilter’s Planner in a sampling of the gorgeous natural locations in Maine. The planner is now available for preorder! Reserve yours HERE… there are a limited number of early bird specials and some really fun extra bits this year! I’ve shared one fun outtake above, but more will be revealed in the coming weeks. Hint: Shown here is one of the 14 patterns that will be included in the planner this year, this one by the ever talented Karen Lewis! It’s so gorgeous; I can’t wait to show you more! Be sure to preorder yours now; you can read all about it on its Indiegogo page here.

Alison Glass fabric pull for Terrazzo quilt by Lee HeinrichThere are many other fun projects waiting patiently on the decks, including a Terrazzo Quilt (pattern by Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced) made using all of Alison Glass’s Sun Prints 2016 provided by Fat Quarter Shop (the fabric pull is shown above!), a simple new pattern I’m making for a secret side project with some fellow designers, a baby quilt for one of my best friends from college who is having her second baby soon (see the quilt I made for her first baby here), a quilt pattern that will appear in a magazine early next year, and more!

Phew! What have you been working on?

I’m linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times & Main Crush Monday at Cooking up Quilts since I love to see what everyone else is working on.

Color Inspiration Thursday {75}

Over the past two weeks, we’ve been searching for colors rarely seen in my previous color palettes, namely white, grey, blue, and purple. Last week, we attempted some white palettes and settled for white with a pop of color. This week, I’m sharing a couple of palettes addressing the purples and blues. We tried something a bit new for the second palette, but I don’t think it will be the last time we try it! Color palettes were created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs, with conveniently matched cotton solids and Aurifil threads in case a palette so inspires you to sew!

purple blue color palette natureCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Black, Kona Shadow, Bella Baby Blue, Bella Aubergine, Kona Storm, Bella Betty’s Blue

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2692 – Black
2615 – Aluminum
2562 – Lilac
2566 – Wisteria
2745 – Midnight
4140 – Wedgewood

Purple, lovely purple! Literally one, maybe two days after deciding to seek less frequent colors in nature, one of my kids spotted this pinecone refuse left by some critter alongside a hiking path. I went to investigate in response to, “What’s this, mama?” and viola! Purple! and a bit of blue! I love when my kids find little treasures out in the natural world, since that spark of wonder is what makes the world go ’round! I certainly will do all I can to keep it going as long as I have a speck of influence, and will cherish the treasures found.

reverse color scavenger hunt blue violet Corresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Stone, Kona Surf, Kona Ocean, Kona Copen, Kona Periwinkle, Kona Blueberry

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2605 – Grey
2525 – Dusty Blue Violet

2780  – Dk Delft Blue
2725 – Lt Wedgewood
2720 – Lt Delft Blue
2770 – V Lt Delft

For this palette, we tried something a bit different. There are bits of blue appearing around our gardens–blueberries are beginning to ripen, the blue bachelor button buds are ready to pop any day, and the borage is flowering its fuzzy blue blooms. But no where is there a strongly dominant blue; it is mixed in with the rest of the colorful bits of beauty but alone would not hold its own in a color palette.

To combat that, I decided to try a reverse color scavenger hunt. I picked a couple of borage flowers and gave my oldest the challenge of finding things in the house that matched the color perfectly. Borage is a tricky color–a blueish violet that’s very soft and subtle, but she managed to find one book that was an absolute perfect match: a little book called the Dali Lama’s Book of Love & Compassion, a sweet little collection of positive reflections that was a gift from my husband way back before we were even engaged. Everything else we tried was either too blue or too purple, so I headed up and grabbed some blue-violet Aurifil spools to see if we could get lucky. Sure enough, 2525-Dusty Blue Violet is the perfect match! If you look at the matching Aurifil threads pulled from the palette, the second coordinating color is exactly that! Once again, Aurifil has the perfect match.

It has been fun to seek the rarer colors, and I still have yet to find a convincingly grey palette, nor have I fully succeeded with a white one, so I will keep looking! I challenge you to spot some odd colors in the world around you this week–where do you see blue? purple? or any other unusual colors that stand out to you? Let me know in the comments, or link to a photo!

Enjoy the search!

Let Your Heart Shine True: A Mini Quilt Finish

let your heart shine true mini quilt giftI recently finished and gifted this mini quilt to a fellow quilting friend as part of a small private swap, and now that it has been received, I can tell you all about it! I entitled it, “Let Your Heart Shine True”, and it’s meant to be a visual representation of the fact that the goodness in your heart shines through, despite any missteps, mistakes, wrong words, or other things we personally may feel will tarnish or cloud our good intentions. It was made for Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl, who often reflects on her introverted personality and how it influences her day to day, both quilting and non. The design inception came after Yvonne posted a number of articles about the struggles of attempting social interaction as an introverted person. The articles mentioned a desire to have people understand your good intentions, even if the words or actions that emerged as a result of an uncomfortable social interaction as an introvert may have been less than smooth. I think we are all familiar with foot in mouth syndrome; at least I am!

let your heart shine true gifted mini quilt finishThis is my first attempt at a “statement quilt”, per se. My thought was that the quilt would show the large pieces on top as representing “people”, and the rippled reflection below being the public perception of the person. When mistakes are made, things are said in a not so clear way, or even just general awkward social interactions happen, those are the ripples that cause the reflection to be jarred and shaken. Yet despite the ripples and the jolted reflection, the heart remains intact and unbroken. If you lead with the heart, your good intentions ultimately must become known, no matter how many times you need to back pedal or rephrase things to clarify your meaning. I thought creating a statement quilt for Yvonne was fitting, since she has created a number of quilts as part of her Reclamation Project, which she describes as “a project series to explore discomfort in [her] life with the hope that [she] can reclaim and redefine.” I primarily create quilts as things of beauty, but I thought it would be fun to try to create one that is both beautiful and meaningful.

let your heart shine true detailThe construction of this mini quilt was a fun multi-step process. I began by needle-turn appliquéing the rounded pieces onto panels of background fabric. I cut the bottom pieces with an identical free-style rounded top, but with much longer length since I planned to cut and resew it many times. Once they were appliquéd onto the background fabric, I cut random, varied width strips from the bottom ones, off-set it enough to wobble but not extend beyond the width of the finished panel, and resewed it. Each one was cut and re-sewn six or seven times to create the rippled effect. Let me tell you–that first cut into the needle-turned mound was a bit nerve-wracking! It was another one of those times I just had to trust that the vision in my head would translate well to reality.

let your heart shine true mini quiltAfter rippling all three reflections, I squared each panel and sewed them together creating a horizon with a very narrow, approximately 1/8″ strip of solid orange fabric (Kona Persimmon, I think!). Yvonne’s favorite colors are blue and orange, which clearly influenced my fabric selection. I used some of our mutual favorite oranges from Carolyn Friedlander, and added some sketch by Timeless Treasures and an unknown solid from my early quilting days stash. I bound it in blue Mercury by Alison Glass, including a bit of framing while adding a bit from another mutually adored fabric designer.

For quilting, I knew I wanted to matchstick quilt the background, but have the lines become gradually further apart in the bottom half, similar to ripples becoming less dense the further from the source they extend. I matchstick quilted the background of the top portion with 50wt Aurifil 1320-Medium Teal. To keep my rows evenly spaced, I used a stitch length of 3.0 on my Bernina 560, and I carefully moved two stitches (with a three-stitch gap thrown in here and there for interest) between rows. For the bottom portion, I first matchstick quilted with the same 1320-Medium Teal 50wt Aurifil, but instead of making the rows two stitches apart like I did for the top portion, I increased the number of stitches by one between each row. I moved one stitch between the first and second rows, two stitches between the second and third rows, three stitches between the third and fourth rows, etc., all the way to the bottom of the mini quilt. I think at the bottom, each row was 19 or 20 stitches away from the previous row. Yes, it got a bit trickier to keep my quilting lines straight, but I eyeballed it and it turned out well. Organic lines were my goal, after all.

let your heart shine true matchstick quilting detailAfter that, the quilt begged for some more quilting, so I added random rows in yellow, gold, and orange for interest (40 wt 1135-Pale Yellow, 50 wt 5022-Mustard, and 50 wt 1154-Dusty Orange respectively). Both the top and bottom ended up pretty thoroughly matchstick quilted, but I really like the addition of the yellow, gold, and orange thread in the bottom, as well as the added interest of using a slightly heavier weight thread as the yellow. It reminds me of light reflecting off the ripples in a pond, which is perfect given the intention of the quilt.

After matchstick quilting this mini, I can certainly see why people are so drawn to dense quilting. It creates a whole new textural element to the quilt!

let your heart shine true mini quilt gift
One of my dedicated helpers. He really wanted his picture taken with this mini!
let your heart shine true mini quilt gift
My other dedicated helper, who helped by not crawling *too* far into the lake while we were photographing this quilt.

I’m really happy with the final result of this mini quilt–it pretty much looks exactly like I imagined. Yvonne is also happy with it, even though it took months for me to finally finish each part and mail it, so that makes for one happy exchange! The true joy in quilting is in the giving, and it feels really great to have been able to create a little daily visual reminder for Yvonne that as long as you lead with your heart, joy will be found.

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, Needle and Thread Thursday, and TGIFF. I hope you have a joyful day!

Color Inspiration Thursday {74}

I have had some fun this week searching out some of the colors in nature less commonly seen in my color palettes, as you helped me name last week: white, grey, blue, and purple. I have also been getting more comfortable with a new camera, since I very recently upgraded our nearly 10 year old Canon with a newer version. Upon reading up on editing RAW photo files in preparation for the big Quilter’s Planner photo shoot, I also made the executive decision to begin a trial version of Photoshop and Lightroom just last night (or should I say, early this morning?). Combine all of those three things together, and that makes for a lot of late nights and fun photo experimentation. AND some really fun color palettes! All color palettes were created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs.

white flat lay color palette natureCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Sky, Kona Silver, Kona Cloud, Bella Baby Blue, Bella Petal Pink, Kona Zucchini

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2024 – White
2560 – Iris
2606 – Mist
2564 – Pale Lilac
2562 – Lilac
5015 – Gold Yellow

Since low volume fabrics are among my favorites, I decided to begin by searching for white. I enlisted the help of my big kids and we gathered all of the white and light grey flowers and treasures we could find around our yard and garden. Since I wanted to emphasize the white, we laid them out on a big white poster board. Through this whole search for white-rich color palettes, I’ve discovered that it is quite difficult to find a palette created from nature without the green, yellow, or pinks sneaking in. For the palette above, I ignored the green in creating the palette, even though, for me, the green jumps out at you in the photo.

Since I am getting the hang of a new camera, I wanted to experiment with the quality of light in different places, so before photographing in earnest, I took simple top-down photos in a few different locations: inside near a bright window, outside in direct bright sunlight, and outside in a shady spot. It’s amazing how simply moving the location of the photo subject changes the quality of the color so drastically. Here are my unedited photos in each location, to show you the differences:

inside near windowInside near a bright window = dancing shadows

outside in direct sunOutside in direct bright sunlight = garishly bright with dark shadows

outside in a shady spotOutside in a shady spot without direct sun = gentle and flat, and with a little bit of lightening in a photo editor, it creates the bright photo with soft shadows that was used to create the color palette above.

I decided to try my favorite, macro photography, to see if I could isolate some fully white-spectrum photos. Lo, once again, this just proved that pink and yellow love to sneak into the whites! I also discovered that it is quite difficult to get true white to pull from a photograph. Greys and beige, yes. But white? No such luck.

white attempt yellow color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Blue Bell, Kona Silver, Bella Saffron, Bella Longhorn, Kona Cheddar, Kona Limestone

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
5008 – Sugar Paper
2560 – Iris

2318 – Cachemire
2930 – Toast
6010 – Toast
2324 – Stone

I knew that the golden center of this flower would pull through just as strongly if not more so than the white, but how could I resist? Such a gorgeous bloom, and a soothing palette. In quilting, I love good contrast and a crisp aesthetic, which often is aided by using a low volume/white or dark/black background fabric. This palette is one that I could definitely see myself using, perhaps in a gender neutral baby quilt, or summery pillow. I probably would drop the Stone and pick up pure White, though, even though it didn’t push through in the actual photo.

white snuck pink color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Lt Blue, Kona Thistle, Kona Lupine, Kona Plum, Kona Cloud, Kona Sky

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2612 – Arctic Sky
2510 – Lt Lilac
2566 – Wisteria
4030 – Plum
2560 – Iris
2710 – Lt Robins Egg

Ahh Thistle, Lupine, Plum; what gorgeous colors! This is a palette that appears in my creations often, although usually with some other colors joining ranks. Again, despite the attempt to find a fully white-grey palette, this was another no-go. Clearly, Mother Nature likes color, too! I still love the photos and resulting palettes, even if they don’t quite fulfill the request for low volume color palettes. I will keep hunting, and look forward to sharing my finds with you next week!

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Reminder!! The Christmas in July Pattern Bundle Sale ends today at 3pm EST!! It’s your last chance to get a fabulous deal on 23 versatile patterns from some of your favorite designers, including Meadowmist Designs, Quilting Jetgirl, Quiet Play, Blossom Heart Quilts, Live Love Sew, 13 Spools, and many more! At the end of the sale, this bundle of patterns will no longer be available, so get it while you can! As an added bonus, everyone who buys it HERE is entered to win a Quilter’s Planner 2017 Starter Kit. Creativity overload (in a totally great way!)! **The sale is now over!

Also, my giveaway for the Raindrop fat quarter bundle by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cotton + Steel Fabrics, sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop ends tonight at 8pm! Comment on my post HERE to enter to win if you haven’t already!

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