Tag Archives: flower

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!

Color Inspiration Thursday {73}

My garden is in a very temporary visual lull at the moment, with the first burst of blooms dying out and the next round not quite flowering yet, but I have a good stockpile of photographs from earlier this year for color inspiration posts in the meantime. This week features a few of my garden beauty favorites, with color palettes made using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1.  I hope you find inspiration from the detailed intricacies provided by Mother Nature, by the color bursts and combinations found naturally all around us, or by the gorgeous matching quilting solids and Aurifil threads listed beneath each palette!

pink peony color inspiration paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Dahlia, Kona Violet, Bella Berrylicious, Bella Boysenberry, Kona Thistle, Bella Prairie Green

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2520 – Violet
5003 – Wine

2535 – Magenta
4030 – Plum
2510 – Lt Lilac
2850 – Med Juniper

Ahhhh! Peonies are long gone at this point in the year, but their full beauty lives on in these photographs (and my memory). I did not get dahlias in the ground in time this year; otherwise I would be eagerly awaiting their blooms to step into the vacant space left by the passing of the peonies. Time will tell which bloom will steal my heart next. It’s fun how more or less the same flowers bloom each year, since our garden is a perennial garden, yet it is always a surprise when a flower first begins to bloom.

columbine flower pink red color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Bunny Hill Blue, Bella Petal Pink, Bella Boysenberry, Kona Bordeaux, Kona Azalea, Kona Herb

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2600 – Dove
2445 – Victorian Rose

4030 – Plum
1103 – Burgundy
2530 – Blossom Pink
5019 – Military Green

One of my favorite aspects of our garden is the wide variety of subspecies that are planted of each flower. There are least ten different species of Columbine, from daintily elegant to full and regal. You can see one of the other species featured in a past color inspiration post here. I don’t remember seeing this red species before this year, but it must have been there, hiding amidst the other copious blooms. I fully enjoyed it this year, and love the rich color palette that results.

In looking through my color inspiration posts, there is a definite trend toward pinks, maroons, orange/golds, greens, and earthy tones. I suppose that’s to be expected when the majority of the photos come from the garden around me. I was thinking it might be fun to have a color scavenger hunt, though, and specifically seek some of the colors more rarely found in nature. I’m taking suggestions for color themes–the harder the better (I love a challenge)!  What color should I search for first? Blue? Purple? White? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Color Inspiration Thursday {57}

My Color Inspiration posts have been less consistent this summer, but not for a lack of color. I’ve been focusing on sewing and having quality family time outside, and with an infant, it’s a lot trickier to carry a camera around with me to capture the color all around us. But it’s still there, oh–it’s there! Last week we had a full, full house with my entire family visiting (minus one brother-in-law)–my parents, two brothers, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, and two cousins; it was a full house! This week I’ll be sharing some colorful flowers seen during forays into town, turned into color palettes with Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1.

purple cone flower echinacea color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Titanium, Bella Nautical Blue, Bella Magenta, Bella Peony, Bella Petal Pink, Bella Leaf

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2606 – Mist
1310 – Med Blue Grey
2455 – Med Carmine Red
2479 – Med Orchid
2566 – Wisteria
2887 – Olive

Purple cone flower, or echinacea, is one of my favorite summer flowers. The color, the shape, the wild nature–I love it all. These were spotted along the Belfast waterfront, beautifying the view of the harbor.

blue hydrangea color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Grapemist, Kona Amethyst, Kona Lavender, Kona Blueberry, Bella Sapphire, Kona Blue Jay

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2770 – V Lt Delft
2720 – Light Delft
2725 – Lt Wedgewood
2560 – Iris
2775 – Steel Blue
4140 – Wedgewood

Hydrangea. Honestly, it took me a while to fully appreciate this flower. The color of course is hard to be topped, but the giant fluffball style just isn’t my thing. When seen close up, however, the beauty of the color and the detail of each individual petal wins over the goofy fluff. My daughter, on the other hand, LOVES these flowers. The bigger the better, in her opinion. Me, I’d opt for the delicate forget-me-not over the voluptuous (yes, I just called a flower voluptuous) hydrangea any day. But I’ll take the color anywhere I can!

Color Inspiration Thursday {55}

It’s time to share another color scavenger hunt! Today’s inspiration comes from the findings of the red-orange-yellow scavenger hunt around our July gardens and fields in rural Maine. Color palettes are made using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs. Flowers were found by my five and three year old kiddos.

red orange yellow flower scavenger hunt color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Lead, Bella Cayenne, Bella Clementine, Kona Grellow, Bella Acid Green, Kona Mint

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1158 – Med Grey
2395 Pumpkin Spice

2390 – Cinnamon Toast
2975 – Brass
2120 – Canary
2886 – Lt Avocado

This was a very fun scavenger hunt, since the yellow flowers just kept multiplying. It was great to look at each new flower and try to decide whether it was one we already had, or if it was a different species. The environmental scientist in me was thrilled to see my daughter reason through similarities and differences in the flowers, and of course the quilter in me was thrilled to play with flower arranging layout once we retreated to the cool porch.

yellow flower color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Steel, Kona Sunflower, Bella Sunflower, Kona Citrus, Bella Orange, Kona Gold

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2625 – Arctic Ice
2125 – Wheat

1135 – Pale Yellow
2120 – Canary
2975 – Brass
2155 – Cinnamon

Oh, these yellows! I will never cease to be amazed by the varied textures within flowers. It’s like a whole new world within the center of this tiny, dime-sized flower. Want to explore? Me, too!

orange flower color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Pewter, Kona Nectarine, Kona Cayenne, Bella Clementine, Kona Persimmon, Bella Golden Wheat

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2620 – Stainless Steel
2215 – Peach

2395 – Pumpkin Spice
2350 – Copper
2150 – Pumpkin
6010 – Toast

The woman who originally planted our gardens LOVED lillies. There are such a wide variety of colors and species of lily, it’s impossible to capture them all. We chose two different flowers as a sampling, and this vibrant orange daylily is like a fiery volcano (you can thank my three year old son for that comparison; he’s all about hot lava these days). So gorgeous!

Color Inspiration Thursday {54}

This is the time of year when colors pop up all over our gardens and the surrounding fields. We spend much of our days outside, either swimming at the lake or staying around home, where Finn and I relax in the shade while the big kids play in the kiddie pool and jump through the sprinkler, snuggle chickens, or just explore like curious kids do.

Earlier in the week, when I started thinking about my color inspiration post this week, I decided that I really would love to get some color sans green. Don’t get me wrong–I love green! But sometimes, the gorgeous colors of the flowers beg to be the star without the background sea of green. This thought led to a fun, family-involved activity: color scavenger hunts. So far we’ve completed two color scavenger hunts, where my big kids and I walk around the yard, finding and collecting colors from a specific color family. Then, we head to the shady porch to lay out our finds and arrange them in a fun way.

pink purple color scavenger hunt july maine Corresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Lead, Bella Plum, Bella Berrylicious, Kona Violet, Kona Mulberry, Bella Baby Blue

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1246 – Grey
2566 – Wisteria

2535 – Magenta
2479 – Med Orchid
4225 – Eggplant
2562 – Lilac

Here’s our fun collection of pink and purple flowers both cultivated and wild found in rural midcoast Maine in July. I’ll be sharing our results from different color scavenger hunts over the next few weeks, with the full palette and then some closer detail shots purely for the fun of seeing the tiny variations in floral anatomy and color.

zinnia color palette pinkCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Medium Grey, Kona Ash, Bella Peony, Bella Orchid, Bella Berrylicious, Kona Sunny

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2625 – Arctic Ice
2600 – Dove
2479 – Med Orchid
1103 – Burgundy
2535 – Magenta
2214 – Golden Honey

Such gorgeous details jump out at you when you get really close. The sunny little flower bursts dancing around the center of a zinnia is my favorite part of the flower.

astilbe color palette pinkCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Pewter, Bella Lead, Bella Plum, Bella Magenta, Bella Petal Pink, Bella Barn Door

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2606 – Mist
1246 – Grey
2566 – Wisteria
2455 – Med Carmine Red
2562 – Lilac
1103 – Burgundy

If you have young children and are looking for a fun activity to help them explore and notice details in the environment around them, I definitely would recommend going on a color scavenger hunt. Finds don’t need to include only flowers; yesterday at the lake, my daughter found a tiny blue jay feather and some berries from a Blue Bead Lily and the colors matched beautifully. Sadly, I didn’t get a photo, but at least the idea of finding colors in nature stuck with her. If you have older children, they can each conduct their own hunt and displays can get even more intricate–think mandalas and imaginary scenes! I’d love to see what colors you find!

Okay, back outside we go! Enjoy your day and enjoy the color!

All color palettes were created using Play Crafts Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs.

 

Lupine Season and a Summer Sale

The lupines are in full bloom; some already on their way to seed. That means that country drives in our area are exceptionally beautiful, since lupines sprawl along roadways and in fields like a rolling purple sea, with splashes of pink and white. Summer is here!lupine in bloom maineLupine season makes me think of my paper pieced lupine pattern–one of the first ones I created, and still one of my favorites. I decided that summer is a great time for a sale, and what better inspiration than a field of lupine.  For the next month–through July 23rd–all of my summer themed paper piecing patterns will be on sale–nearly half off! Visit my Craftsy shop to peruse my patterns, add another fun project to your pile, and embrace summer!

LUPINE foundation paper piecing pattern saleIn addition to my lupine pattern, my summer patterns include patterns for buoys, fishies, and some Matisse-style circling seagulls, with sale prices already reflected. If you’re new to foundation paper piecing, I created a beginner’s tutorial to take you step by step through the process HERE.

night quilter summer foundation paper piecing patterns sale

Last weekend while running errands as a family of five–it was my husband’s last day of paternity leave, so I wanted to make the most of it and run the errands I knew I would not be attempting for months with all three kids on my own: Target, especially–and after restocking chicken feed and laundry detergent, my awesome husband pulled off the road at a few stops so that I could get out and photograph the lupine fields. I’m always so inspired by the gorgeous beauty in nature, yet have learned to appreciate the fleeting nature of the sights. Before you know it, the lupines will go completely to seed and the next gorgeous wildflower will take its place.
lupine flower detail purple lupine field busy bee on lupineAhh, summertime! Enjoy the sale and please spread the word!

 

Color Inspiration Thursday {51}

Irises and peonies took center stage in my garden this week, so pinks and purples dominate this week’s color inspiration. Color palettes are created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs.

purple iris color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Eggplant, Bella Royal, Kona Shadow, Bella Baby Blue, Kona Crocus, Bella Purple

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
4225 – Eggplant
2581 – Dk Dusty Grape

2600 – Dove
2562 – Lilac
2524 – Grey Violet
4225 – Eggplant

I like to get up close and personal with flowers. There’s a whole new world of fuzzy, fluffy, intricate detail that is revealed once you get within a few inches. From afar, sure–flowers are pretty. Once you put your nose inside it and take a look around, you see the tiny details that make each flower unique, and an intricate new world blossoms.

pink peony color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Petal Pink, Bella Bunny Hill Pink, Kona Putty, Bella Thistle, Bella Magenta, Kona Garnet

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2566 – Wisteria
2564 – Pale Lilac

2314 – Beige
2566 – Wisteria
4030 – Plum
2568 – Mulberry

Peonies. For some reason, this species of peony makes me feel like I’m watching a ballet, each petal a dancer deftly arcing and twirling in unison with the others, yet bringing her own personality to the dance. Typically, I love the symmetry found in flowers, but with peonies I appreciate the organized chaos, the improvisational beauty.

pink peony color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Lead, Kona Magenta, Kona Cerise, Bella Deep Burgundy, Kona Petunia, Kona Lupine

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1246 – Grey
2535 – Magenta

4030 – Plum
2568 – Mulberry
2564 – Pale Lilac
2479 – Med Orchid

This time of year, my daughter brings in flowers daily to replenish the vase on our kitchen table. From wild daisies to voluptuous peonies, our table always has a burst of color right in the center. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Color Inspiration Thursday {48}

The garden continues to burst forth with flowers of every size, shape, and color, and I continue to draw inspiration and excitement from the abundant beauty. Today’s inspiration includes more photographs from my garden, transformed into color palettes using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1.

baby pink color palette flowersCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Lt Blue, Bella Glacier, Kona Ballerina, Kona Silver, Bella Home Town Sky, Kona Grasshopper

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2560 – Iris
1126 – Blue Grey
2562 – Lilac
2405 – Oyster
5014 – Marine Water
1114 – Grass Green

This tree smells divine. It’s called Pink Silver Bells (Halesia monticola) and certainly lives up to its name. It’s tough to see the bell-like shape of the flowers from this palette photo, but here’s another look:

pink silver bells tree floweringThe flowers feel so dainty and delicate, and the pale baby pink compliments them perfectly.

bright pink fuscia color palette flowersCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Pewter, Bella Etchings Charcoal, Bella Boysenberry, Kona Plum, Bella Berrylicious, Kona Bright Pink

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2610 – Lt Blue Grey
1140 – Bark
2345 – Raisin
4030 – Plum
2479 – Med Orchid
2450 – Rose

If you look down after photographing the Pink Silver Bells, you immediately kick the pink up a notch to one of my favorites: bright, bold, sassy fuchsia. I was anti-pink for a long, long time, but especially lately, I’ve embraced it in both quilting and wardrobe. It’s just so bright and cheerful, how can you resist!? Not to mention the fact that it pairs swimmingly with turquoise, my tip top favorite color. I definitely would use this color palette in a quilt, but if you had told me 10 years ago that I would consider making an entirely pink quilt, I would have laughed and said you were crazy.

lilacs color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Steel, Bella Mauve, Bella Amelia Lavender, Bella Betty’s Brown, Bella Baby Blue, Kona Geranium

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2610 – Lt Blue Grey
2566 – Wisteria
2524 – Grey Violet
5013 – Asphalt
2562 – Lilac
4030 – Plum

Lilacs are an annual reminder to enjoy every minute and always take time to stop and smell the flowers. If you don’t, you will miss them! As soon as the lilacs begin to flower, I cut some for our table so that we all can enjoy them to the fullest. I love that this year, my 5 yr old daughter has made it a daily routine to go out and smell the lilacs upon returning home from school. Like mommy, like daughter!

Our house smells divine, thanks to one bouquet of lilacs on the kitchen table. Can you smell them from there?

Color Inspiration Thursday {47}

The blues found in nature are among my all-time favorite colors. Forget-me-nots, delphiniums, hyacinths, the sky, the ocean… all the most gorgeously varied shades of blue! Today’s color palettes are created from some photographs of grape hyacinths found at a local park–Belfast City Park.

Color palettes are created with Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs. An awesome feature of the palette builder is that it matches fabric solids and Aurifil thread, too. This week I discovered that we could use more variety in our fiber blue-voilets–the matches are not entirely accurate–or maybe mother nature wins the hand when it comes to color. That doesn’t mean we can’t soak in the gorgeous colors and feel inspired!

grape hyacinth flower color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Deep Blue, Bella Terrain Iris, Kona Hyacinth, Kona Dahlia, Bella Clover, Bella Stone

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2735 – Med Blue
1248 – Grey Blue
2520 – Violet
2520 – Violet
2908 – Spearmint
2605 – Grey

This palette captures the lighter blues and purples, while the next one focuses on the darks. Seeing this sea of hyacinths, I had to take a little detour to photograph them. Now THIS is spring!

grape hyacinth color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Night Sky, Kona Bright Periwinkle, Kona Laurel, Kona Coal, Kona Lavender, Kona Hyacinth

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1248 – Grey Blue
2775 – Steel Blue
4173 – Dk Olive
1158 – Med Grey
2520 – Violet
1128 – Lt Blue Violet

Perfect little grape bells dance around a hundred stalks. This palette reads more purply, catching the darker and denser flowers. As I mentioned above, the solids and thread color matches are not as accurate as they usually are.

color palette match inaccuracy

As you can see, the actual fabric matches read a lot more on the side of either straight blue or straight purple. The flowers are a lovely blend of blue-violet in a variety of shades. Isn’t the aesthetic variety in nature amazing!?!

Color Inspiration Thursday {27}

Flash back to fall! All color palettes are created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs.

pumpkin ladybug autumn color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Biscuit, Earth, Forest, Ivy, Spice, Gold

While I’m resigned to the fact that winter is here, I’m still cherishing the little bits of life that still brighten our garden. This little ladybug was relaxing on one of our almost-ripe pumpkins a couple weeks ago. The muted tones of the resulting color palette speak volumes of fall. Many of the corresponding Kona cotton colors also scream fall: ivy, spice, gold… Yum!

flower autumn color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Evergreen, Gold, Coal, Paprika, Pickle, Ivy

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
5013 –Asphalt
2330 – Lt Chestnut
1246 – Grey
4012 – Copper Brown
2910 –Med Olive
1318 – Dk Sandstone

While beginning to put my gardens “to bed”, I was overjoyed to see a few last Calendula flowers holding on, with bright sun-ray petals dancing circles around them. Those last flowers in fall make me so happy! There’s something about the intricacy and color play that naturally occurs in flowers that makes me marvel at the ever-present beauty in nature. Color is everywhere!