Tag Archives: garden

Color Inspiration Thursday {77}

“Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful!’ and sitting in the shade.”
Rudyard Kipling, Complete Verse

Today’s color inspiration brings us into my vegetable garden. From afar it looks like a fenced in plot of weeds and wildflowers. Pass through the gate, wade through the grasses and clover, though, and you will see three little somewhat tended garden beds, gleefully holding a bunch of delicious veggies. Get a little bit closer, and you have the photos shared here today. Want to sing “oh, how beautiful!” while we sit in the shade and enjoy today’s color inspiration? Let’s! This year my garden is severely neglected, but has been weeded just enough for it to do its job: produce food for our family. Balance and nurture, right? Color palettes are made using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs, craftily taken at such a scale so as to crop out the weeds!

kale color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Limestone, Bella Clover, Bella Terrain Cactus, Kona Basil, Kona Grass Green, Kona Black

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2324 – Stone
5010 – Beige
5024 – Dark Brown
5021 – Light Grey
5018 – Grass Green
2692 – Black

Our first stop is with the hardy, delicious, and dare I say–GIANT–kale. We eat kale in egg scrambles, as kale chips, in soups and stews, stir-fries, and more. Kale does amazingly well in our garden and climate, so each plant grows about 3 1/2 feet tall and 2 feet across. Each leaf is as big as my son’s head. One of these years, I’ll realize that even with our family of five, we only need two kale plants, not eight. In the meantime, kale abounds! I love how intricately frilly each leaf is! The range of greens is amazing, too, including everything from earthy subdued to vibrant and fresh. Mmm!

yarrow soft pink paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Forest, Bella Dill, Bella Thistle, Kona Smoke, Bella Parfait Pink, Kona Pearl Pink

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2892 – Pine
2890 – Dk Grass Green
1140 – Bark
2606 – Mist
2515 – Lt Orchid
2405 – Oyster

Next up we have Yarrow. Honestly, when I ordered these seeds from our local organic seed company Johnny’s Seeds, I thought the yarrow would be white or yellow. To my pleasant surprise, it bloomed this beautiful pink! Yarrow is a great companion plant to many vegetables and is one of those plants you should feel free to plant all over your garden. It repels soil nematodes, aphids, bean beetles, and many more. I planted mine near my brussel sprouts, kohrabi, and kale and it is doing its job well so far!

onions earthy color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Hunter Green, Bella Betty’s Teal, Bella Green Tea, Bella Fig Tree Cream, Bella Paper Bag, Bella Etchings Charcoal

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
4026 – Forest Green
2850 – Med Juniper
5014 – Marine Water
5020 – Light Military Green
2375 – Antique Blush
1140 – Bark

Finally, onions. Onions are my garden pride and joy (very quickly followed by carrots!). After experimenting with a few different varieties of onions, trying seeds vs. sets, I finally discovered the type of onion that thrives well in our area: Copra onions. These are storage onions that I will soon pull, cure in the dry, sunny garden bed, then braid to hang in my kitchen. I learned all of this from a local friend, since I saw a braid of huge gorgeous onions hanging in her kitchen a few years ago and asked if she would teach me everything she knew. She did, and I’m so grateful. I grew less onions this year than last, but they should still last me far into the frigid snowy days of winter. And that earthy color palette that results just embraces the richness of a garden, doesn’t it!?

How does your garden grow?

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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Color Inspiration Thursday {71}

Ahhhh, summer is here! The garden has been cranking full speed ahead, cycling through blooms as only nature can. This time of year is a strong reminder to appreciate the moment, since if you don’t stop to smell the flowers, before you know it they are gone and being quickly replaced by different ones! Today’s color inspiration palettes come from photos of some flowers in my garden, but with a slightly different perspective. You know how I love to get up close and personal; well today, I took it one step further. I played with the easy macro band my husband gifted to me for Christmas, and using my iPhone, took some seriously macro (super duper close!) photos of some familiar beauties. Color palettes are made using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1.

purple star flower paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Cerise, Kona Bright Pink, Kona Violet, Bella Amelia Green, Bella Amelia Purple, Kona Hibiscus

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1100 – Red Plum
2450 – Rose

5003 – Wine
2882 – Lt Fern
1243 – Dusty Lavender
1240 – V Dk Eggplant

This first flower was featured in a color inspiration post last year, as part of a pink/purple color lay. It’s the one on the far left, the purple spray-like flowers. I believe it’s a Mountain Bluet (Centaurea montana). This year, I went straight to the heart of the flower, and I love the blurred depth of field and soft, rich color. This Mountain Bluet heart reminds me of improv quilting, gorgeously random yet cohesive.

iris color palette purple goldCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Magenta, Bella Amelia Lavender, Bella Pewter, Bella Baby Pink, Bella Daffodil, Bella Longhorn

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2520 – Violet
2524 – Grey Violet

2606 – Mist
2405 – Oyster
5001 – Ocher Yellow
2145 – Yellow Orange

Any guesses as to what flower this may be? I absolutely love the soft palette that resulted from this fuzzy view down the gullet of an iris (did you guess it?!). Just for scale, here’s a “regular” photo of the same flower:

iris flower in gardenIsn’t it amazing how simply moving insanely close to a flower changes the entire aesthetic!? I feel like I say it almost every time, but it’s a whole new, beautiful world in there!

A bit more about the Easy Macro band; it’s really simple to use and costs just over $10. I’m not an affiliate or anything, but it’s such a clever little tool, I thought I’d share more information. It looks like a big rubber band with a little round lens on it, and you simply stretch it over your phone, lining up the lens with the lens on the phone’s camera. One tip to getting great photos–get far closer than you think is possible, tap the screen to focus, then slooooooowly back the camera up until you find the focus you want. Take the picture! It’s really fun, and you certainly will be seeing more of these easy macro color palettes. I think the narrow perspective helps you focus more on the color than the subject, which is perfect for color palettes!

Do you prefer macro (super close up) photos, or more landscape/scene photos? I am definitely in the macro camp, but I know there’s a place for both styles of photography!

Enjoy your day, and happy sewing!

 

Color Inspiration Thursday {56}

This week showcases the results of what may be my favorite summer scavenger hunt yet. We mixed it up a bit this time and instead of searching for flowers and objects in the yard of a particular color, we collected one of each different lily that grows in our gardens. It’s amazing that one genus of flower can have such a vast variety of size, shape, color, and intricacy. According to wikipedia there are more than 35,000 daylily cultivars alone. We only have a very tiny sampling. Color palettes are made using my photographs and Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1.

lily color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Gold, Kona Grellow, Bella Key Lime, Kona Baby Blue, Bella Plum, Bella Deep Burgundy

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2155 – Cinnamon
2975 – Brass

5015 – Gold Yellow
2710 – Lt Robins Egg
2566 – Wisteria
2568 – Mulberry

An aerial view of our full collection, this photo shows the range of size, shape, and color. You can see that one of these things is not like the other; one of the lilies is a double or maybe triple, meaning instead of one rosette of petals, there are multiples. I cannot take credit for planting any of these, but I’m again grateful that the woman who first created our gardens had a deep love for anything that flowers.

multiple lily orange color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Cinnamon, Bella Kansas Red, Bella Cheddar, Kona Cheddar, Bella Peach, Bella Periwinkle

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2355 – Rust
2350 – Copper

2214 – Golden Honey
6010 – Toast
2320 – Lt Toast
4140 – Wedgewood

Here’s a more detailed view of the odd lily out. The petals on this species are wild and swirly, reminding me of the gorgeous magnolia blooms that kick off spring. The range from peach to orange paired with the grey blue of the wood make such a gorgeous palette! It’s also kind of fun that the “Cheddar” color from both Kona solids and Moda Bella solids fabric lines appear in this palette.

max and the liliesMax selected his favorite flower, which happened to be the biggest and brightest of them all:

large orange gold lily color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Yarrow, Bella Tawny Olive, Kona Grellow, Bella Grape, Bella Graphite, Bella Deep Burgundy

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2920 – Lt Brass
2975 – Brass

2132 – Tarnished Gold
2630 – Pewter
2610 – Lt Blue Grey
2345 – Raisin

The largest lily of them all shines like the sun. I love the delicate curl of the pistil and stamen, which reach up toward the light.

Here are a couple more photos of these gorgeous lilies for your viewing pleasure.

lilies color flower

lilies color flower

Which one is your favorite?

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!

A Garden {Quilt} Full of Florals

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

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

Grace fabric rjr fabrics flowers

Grace fabrics rjr fabrics flowers

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

big fabric flower fussy cut

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

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

small flowers fussy cutting planning

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

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

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?