Tag Archives: flower

Color Inspiration Thursday {22}

Honestly, I thought I was ready to move on to autumn. But then we had a stretch of warm, sun-filled days without frosts at night, and my dahlias went wild. Can you ever get enough dahlias? I know I can’t. So here, again, is a color inspiration post thick with dahlia’s. I’ve created color palettes using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and some of my photographs, and I’ve included a few additional palette-less dahlia photos for added inspiration. I truly can’t get enough dahlias!

dark dahlia color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Wine, Cocoa, Taupe, Tan, Deep Rose, Black

dark dahlias

These first photos were taken on my dining room table, resulting in a rich and shadowy capture of the dark colors within the dahlias. After some photos on the table, I decided to change it up and move to directly in front of a window, with the dahlias on top of a white piece of paper. It’s amazing how much a move of five feet and a different backdrop changes the photo!

pastel dahlia color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Iron, Smoke, Coal, Green Tea, Artichoke, Herb

The added light brings out the pastels within the dahlias. Gorgeous, soft, gentle.

dahlia color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Bordeaux, Honeysuckle, Corsage, Zucchini, Stone, Moss

Get a little closer, and pop! Here comes some more of that bold and vibrant color. I just love the balance and aesthetic perfection of dahlias. Nature amazes me every. single. day.

While creating these palettes, I made an exciting discovery! The Palette Builder now matches not only Kona cottons, but also Aurifil thread (my favorite!) and Hex values. My computer programming husband informed me that Hex values are for using the colors in a web format.

dahlia palette with matching aurifil thread

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
4030 Plum
2479 Med Orchid
2562 Lilac
5015 Gold Yellow
2900 Lt Kakhy Green
5013 Asphalt

I personally love Aurifil, and I am now even more inspired to choose a palette (maybe even this one!?) and order the exact Robert Kaufman Kona cottons and exact Aurifil threads and make a lovely, gorgeous, completely coordinating quilted creation!

dahlia flowers

What would you make?

Color Inspiration Thursday {20}

This past weekend we were treated with a surprise, hot, summery day. We took advantage and spent the day in Bar Harbor, enjoying the warm sun, gorgeous late summer flowers, and wading barefoot in tide pools left on the sand bar bridge to Bar Island. Today’s color inspiration palettes are a fleeting last glimpse at summer. I am saving two more for next week, after which the more earthy, subdued tones will appear (or maybe fiery autumn hues!?)

sandy quilt lines color palette

 Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Steel, Rafia, Coal, Lilac, Pepper, Iron

I love the wavy quilt lines left on the sandbar by the retreating tide. Speckled by bits of shell and stone, the little troughs make for fun exploration for both the eye and little hands and toes.

magenta flower color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Purple, Magenta, Pepper, Cerise, Violet, Thistle

I couldn’t resist this last burst of color. Do you ever tire of gorgeously colorful flower photos? I don’t. I sure hope you don’t either!

Here are a few more shots from our sand bar adventure in Bar Harbor:

IMG_5989 last summer dayslast summer days

I am holding onto the last hot days of summer (when the rare treat day above 70 happens), but I do love the crispness of autumn, too. The other day my four year old daughter went outside and said, “I love this season, mom.” I replied, “Oh, you do? Why do you love it?” and she said, “It smells so fresh outside! Do you remember this season, mom? Do you remember?”  I do remember, and as much as I love summer, I’m happily anticipating the turning leaves, crisp, fresh air, and earthy-root veggie stew season that’s upon us!

What’s your favorite season?

Color Inspiration Thursday {18}

Today’s color inspiration is noticeably autumnal, as the garden shifts from colorful abundance to the muted tones of the tail end of the growing season. Palettes, as usual, are created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs.

apple pastel color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Peridot, Pewter, Geranium, Coal, Titanium, Slate

To be honest, this color palette surprised me. It seems so soft and pastel, when I was expecting a more bold, red and green-led palette. I debated playing around with the color dots to change the palette to fit my expectations, but decided to leave it as is. It’s a very gentle, soft palette that would work well in just about any quilt.

yellow autumn color palette

 Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Citrus, Wasabi, Palm, Bonsai, Kelly, Yarrow

Here’s another sunny palette created from some lingering flowers. I love the combinations of yellow and green paired with a pop of blue and orange. I’m not sure how accurate the Kelly kona match would be; I think Everglade would match better. It’s fun that the Wasabi kona cotton makes an appearance here, though!

autumn color palette

I absolutely love the fact that the Palette Builder 2.1 matches the corresponding kona cottons for each palette. It’s always fun to see where each kona color appears in the photograph. I think the time is nearing for me to choose one of my palettes and create a quilt from it and its kona cottons.

Which color palette (of all of the ones I’ve created since the very beginning) would you choose?


Color Inspiration Thursday {17}

This week’s color inspiration brings us back to the garden and the late summer blooms that abound. There always seems to be something flowering in our garden, and even with the harvest of fruits and veggies swelling, now is no exception. Color palettes are created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my own photographs, taken today.

sunny yellow color palette

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

I don’t think I’ll ever tire of these beauties. Bright golden yellow black-eyed susans are scattered throughout our garden and fields and seem to flower for much of the summer. While I can’t see myself making a quilt that’s entirely yellow, it’s an awfully cheerful color palette.

magenta purple color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Charcoal, Purple, Magenta, Violet, Dark Violet, Cerise

This palette features my favorite seasonal colors: radiant orchid and magenta. I love the range of purples in this palette and can definitely see it making its way into a quilt of the future!

dahlia color palette with inch worm

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Palm, Laurel, Coal, Crocus, Iron, Raffia

This year I’m thrilled that I got my dahlias into the ground in time for flowers. The gorgeous blooms have been brightening our kitchen table for the past week or so, and they just keep coming. These colors are stunning together, but my favorite part about this photo is the inch worm explorer; do you see him?

Quiltspiration 365

For those of you who are looking for quilty inspiration for every day of the year, I’ve teamed up with a group of quilting bloggers to provide exactly that. Search for tag #quiltspiration365 on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to see new inspiration each day, or visit these Quiltspiration bloggers:





Color Inspiration Thursday {12}

One of my favorite parts about traveling is the variety of new sights that you get to see. I like to look at things from an up-close-and-personal perspective, especially when it comes to nature. With my background in environmental science and ecology, I like to think that I see differences and similarities in landscape and vegetation that a normal passerby may not notice. Nature is endlessly beautiful, and when seen from an intimate distance, that beauty is intensified greatly. Here are some bits of beauty as seen in my travels over the past week.

These color palettes are created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs.

lake erie stone color palette

 Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Charcoal, Coal, Pewter, Black, Stone, Taupe

The beach on Lake Erie is a nice balance of fine sand and smooth rocks of varying sizes. I’ve become accustomed to the rocky Maine coast, and the beaches here in Ohio are a gentle respite from those footwear-requiring, albeit beautiful, beaches. Varied rock types, including many conglomerates and fossils can be found along the beaches, which add to the aesthetic.

green color palette

 Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Palm, Laurel, Black, Chocolate, Shale, Coal

These green buds were too awesome to pass by. It’s another earthy, dark palette, but the balance of green and shady grey-blues with the dark black/brown are a beautiful embodiment of green goodness.

buttonbush color palette

 Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Evergreen, Fog, Shale, Palm, Ivy, Parsley

Buttonbush is a wetland shrub typically found in standing water. When I was a wetland scientist doing delineations, we LOVED finding buttonbush since it is an obligatory wetland plant and therefore a clear indicator of the wetland area, not to mention its gorgeous and whimsical flower. This palette is included more for the novelty of the plant than the colors, but it’s another lighter variation on the green and blue nature palette.

tiger lily palette red and orange

 Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Spice, Gold, Amber, Garnet, Rich Red, Peridot

I wouldn’t leave you without at least one big burst of color! This tiger lily from my mom’s garden just burns with vibrancy!  While tiger lilies bloom in the height of summer, I can’t help but feel a bit of autumn in this palette. I’m a summer lover, though, so I am NOT hurrying autumn along by any stretch. I just need to make that clear. I’ll take summer for as long as I can have it!

Enjoy! I’d love to see what you create with these palettes.



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?

Color Inspiration Thursday {7}

This week’s color inspiration comes from yet another flower adorning our yard: the locust tree’s gorgeous pink blooms. Many locust trees have white flowers, but the previous owners of our house had a serious thing for beautiful flowers, so it does not surprise me that ours flowers pink. These flowers not only look beautiful, but they smell great as well. Here are color palettes from two very different photographs of these beautiful blooms, created with Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 combined with my photographs. I hope they inspire you!

fuschia flower color palette pink

 Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Cerise, Olive, Plum, Lupine, Petunia, Raffia

The locust blooms begin with this glorious, vibrant pink, but slowly fade to a hazy purple as the petals die and blow off the tree. The tree’s show of beauty is not yet complete, however. The purple petals cover the ground beneath the tree, blowing about in the breeze and making everything prettier.

petal palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Steel, Raisin, Coal, Bone, Pansy, Lilac

Color Inspiration Thursday {5}

It’s peony time in my garden, so today’s inspiration comes entirely from those large, voluptuous flowers. There’s something about flowers that makes me reflect in awe about nature’s complexity. The petals are so soft, often symmetrical, yet abstractly swirling, the centers are a little universe of stamen and pistil, drawing the bees and butterflies into their little world to ensure the spread of future generations. It’s just flat out amazing!

Here are your color inspiration palettes for the week, created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1. I hope they inspire you in the creation of a new quilt or project, or even just to take an extra moment to pause, get close, and really look at the next flower you pass. You may be surprised at what a closer look reveals.

pink peony color paletteCorresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Coal, Steel, Magenta, Garnet, Raisin, Palm

bright pink peony color paletteCorresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Candy Pink, Azalea, Pomegranate, Kelly, Brick, Cerise

peach pink color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Salmon, Smoke, Sienna, Poppy, Gold, Grass Green

Can you think of anything more beautiful than a freshly blooming peony?


Friday Finish: Lupine, a Foundation Paper Piecing Pattern

I had never seen lupine before traveling to Maine, but now that I live here they are among my favorite flowers. There is a depth and richness to their color that force me to get really close and admire their intricacy. They are very advantageous growers, almost invasive, and the sheer numbers of lupine seen along roadsides, in fields, and in happy gardens make the color incredibly apparent.

Photo by Steffen Ramsaier, found on Flickr
Photo by Steffen Ramsaier, found on Flickr

Early in my sewing days, I was trying to think of a gift to make for my mother-in-law. I immediately thought of lupine, since they are her favorite flower. (If you have children, do you know the book Miss Rumphius? aka the Lupine Lady? Well that’s my mother-in-law–okay, it’s not really, but it certainly could be!) I had recently found paper piecing and wanted to make her a paper pieced lupine pillow.  The only problem was that all of my searches for paper pieced lupine patterns came up empty.

Flash forward a month or so, when I discovered that I could design paper piecing patterns.  A lupine flower was one of the first sketches I did. Talk about complex! I really wanted to get the heart-shaped petals into the pattern, but I knew it had to be fairly simple to be able to be pieced. I drew out a few sketches, chose my favorite, and began to try to break it down into logical pieces. My brain instantly scrambled.  I had to put the pattern aside, and work on a few different projects for a week or two.

paper piecing process
It all starts with the graph paper and sketch.

After that much needed breather, I picked up the lupine again one evening and smoothly worked it into numbered paper piecing sections. After a month or so of fine tuning and testing, the pattern is ready!

paper pieced lupine quilt block

Don’t you love it!? I wasn’t sure about my fabric choices at first, but now that the block is done, I think they were perfect! They blend together just enough to give the flower depth without detracting from the congruence of the bloom.

This is not a beginner paper piecing pattern in that there are many pieces and a few sharp angles.  There are only simple joining seams, though; no y-seams! If you have a good sense of paper piecing, this block shouldn’t be too tricky. It took me about 4 hours to complete and measures 10″ square (10.5″ with seam allowance).

paper piecing progressIf you follow me on Instagram, you’ve watched this lupine block’s progression. For those of you who don’t follow me yet, here’s a peek at the process from my Instagram feed (@nightquilter). Of course these are taken with my iPhone during my late night quilting foray, so pardon the blur!

Lupine paper piecing progress
Little by little, it comes together.

paper piecing detail

The back is my favorite! Stragglers hanging on after I’ve removed most of the paper.

The pattern will be available in my Payhip Pattern Store by the end of today, so now if you need to make your mother-in-law (or mom, sister, brother, cousin, friend, or yourself!) a lupine pillow, wall hanging, table runner, bag, etc. you can get right to it!

This particular block will soon become a long-awaited Lupine Pillow for my mother-in-law. I’d say it was worth the wait.

This is my exciting Friday Finish, so I’m linking up!

Crazy Mom Quilts



Work in Progress: Lupine Paper Piecing Pattern

Now that I’ve got my printer figured out, I’m back to testing my new Lupine Paper Piecing Pattern. It’s a 10″ block with lots of small bits, but no complicated joining points. I’m excited to test this out and finalize the pattern, since I really think it will be a beautiful block, truly representative of lupine. Lupine grows all over Maine, and during early June you can see it sprawling gorgeously alongside highways and roads, as well as in fields and gardens. I’m working on a Downeast Paper Piecing Series, and this lupine is an essential piece!

Gorgeous lupine
Gorgeous lupine

When designing paper piecing patterns, I always battle with the balance of visual accuracy and simplicity. I want the finished pattern to look unmistakably like lupine, but I also want it to be simple enough that people will want to create it. With the lupine design, I knew I definitely wanted to get the heart-like flower petals into the pattern.

Hearts in the heart of a lupine flower.
Hearts in the heart of a lupine flower.

The recognizable radiating leaves also had to make an appearance, albeit simplified.


I’m really happy with how my pattern turned out! I think it looks like lupine, leaves room for lots of color play in the flower, and is fairly simply pieced despite the many small bits. There are a few tricky angles, but using the printer paper foundation paper piecing method, I focus on being generous when cutting my fabric bits and haven’t had trouble yet.


I’m not overly wild about my fabric choices this time around; they seemed like they melded and contrasted well when I looked at the stacks of fabric, but once paper pieced, I’m not sure it’s enough contrast for my liking.


Mental note: when choosing fabrics for Lupine Paper Piecing Pattern, go bold!


I’ve only completed one small section of the Lupine so far, but I will be sure to post my progress as it comes along. I’m hoping to have this pattern posted in my Craftsy Pattern Store within the next couple of weeks, just in time for lupine season here in Maine.

This pattern came about when a search for a paper pieced lupine pattern turned up nothing. There are many paper pieced flower patterns, but I could not find lupine! The only solution was to design it myself.

What’s your favorite flower? Would you take the time to paper piece it into a pillow, table runner, etc.?

Since it’s Wednesday, I’m linking up with
Work in Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday


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