Tag Archives: inspiration

One Year of Stitches: April

Whoa! May is trucking along at quite a rate! Now that we are halfway through May, I thought it might be a nice time to share my April update for my 1 year of stitches embroidery project. I also share some of the embroidery resources I find myself visiting again and again.

For those who are new to this project, my 1 year of stitches project is a personal challenge to stitch at least one stitch every single day. I am working with no set plan, I don’t mark the fabric before stitching; I simply stitch whatever wherever whenever. I’ve been using my stash of 12wt Aurifil thread and loving it! It’s quite fun!! You can follow along with my daily stitches at @NQ1yearofstitches on Instagram.

Here’s a refresher of the monthly progress so far:

night quilter 1 year of stitches month 1…after January’s stitching…

february progress for 1 year of stitches…after February’s stitching…

march 1 year of stitches progress…after March’s stitching…

april 1 year of stitches embroidery freestyle aurifil thread…and finally, here it is after April’s stitching!

I realized when looking at the photos that in April, I worked entirely in that center “coastline” section. It was not really intentional, but I suppose it just kept asking for more!

april 1 year of stitches embroidery freestyle aurifil threadI think it all began with some rocks, and then some little critter footprints, and then took off from there.

april 1 year of stitches embroidery freestyle aurifil threadI mostly stitch whatever comes to mind each day, without much influence from my everyday happenings. A couple stitches this month had some subtle meaning, however. I stitched a large rock on Good Friday and a lily flower sprouting out of the rock on Easter. Sometimes it just sneaks in.

april 1 year of stitches embroidery freestyle aurifil threadOn one particularly uninspired day, I showed my hoop to my husband and prompted, “Where should I stitch? Tell me a color and point to a spot.” He pointed to a spot and said “A piece of driftwood here.” Thus originated the couched stitch driftwood, which was followed by some 12wt Aurifil 2600-Dove sand and a few tufts of beach grass. Some days inspiration strikes; some, not so much.

april 1 year of stitches embroidery freestyle aurifil threadI also added another wild and crazy layered flower consisting of long tailed lazy daisy stitches, lazy daisy, and pistil stitch. There might be a few french knots in there, too.

april 1 year of stitches embroidery freestyle aurifil threadThe boldness of the flower begged for some offsetting feature, so another woven picot appeared in the form of a big green leaf. I love the little 3-dimensional elements on this hoop!

I’ve had a few people ask about the embroidery books and resources I use, so I thought it would be helpful to compile a short list of some of my oft-visited resources.

What are your favorite embroidery resources??

Quilt Theory Release: Staggered

Today I’m excited to share my pattern for Quilt Theory’s collection for spring 2017. I’m really excited about this collection as a whole; there is such a great variety of easy, innovative, and fun quilt patterns, and I’m sure you’ll fall in love with all of them. For our second collection, we challenged ourselves to write patterns that utilize precut bundles of fabric. Our hope is that you find a lot of inspiration in our collection to make quilts from your favorite bundles in your stash. In this post you’ll also have a chance to win a copy of my Staggered pattern, a rainbow bundle of Alison Glass fabric, and a spool of Aurifil thread, so read on!

Staggered

Kitty-Staggered quilt theory collection 2First, to introduce you to my contribution to the second Quilt Theory pattern collection! Staggered is a fun, easy, extremely versatile pattern that is a fun way to showcase your favorite fabric line.

staggered quilt staged quilt theoryWhen thinking about possible patterns to create for this collection, I turned again toward nature. With the vision of rock strata, water ripples, and windblown sand swirling in my mind, Staggered was born. Designed to be jellyroll friendly, the assembly instructions make it a very quick sew, perfect for all styles and quilty needs.

quilt theory spring 2017 staggered patternI used 14 of my favorite prints from the Sun Print 2017 line by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics, with Lizzy House‘s Asterisk in white as a background. I love the vibrancy of Alison’s fabrics, and the hand of Andover fabrics is the perfect balance of soft and supple and sturdy and strong. When searching for a rainbow, I always head to Alison Glass fabrics first! Many thanks to Andover Fabrics for providing the fabric for this quilt!

Whether using a strip of yardage from your favorite designer, or an old stashed jelly roll of a favorite fabric line that’s been sitting in a drawer for years, this is the perfect pattern to put your favorite fabrics on show! I’m not a Liberty of London girl, typically, but for some reason I’m itching to make this quilt using Liberty fabrics and a textured solid background. I can’t wait to see what fabric combinations you use!

quilt theory spring 2017 staggered quilt detailI quilted my sample with alternating vertical and horizontal straight lines, emphasizing the stagger in the pattern. I used 50wt Aurifil thread in 2021-Natural White horizontally and 2600-Dove vertically, with the walking foot on my Bernina 560. The subtle color difference in thread is nearly imperceptible, but it was a fun experiment to see if Dove truly does blend in with every color. It does! Many thanks to Aurifil for supporting Quilt Theory and providing the thread needed for our projects!

Staggered-Rainbow-Binding (1)Staggered also includes a link to instructions for a bonus rainbow binding, since I couldn’t help but extend that rainbow off the edge of the quilt. So much fun!

staggered quilt theory quilt pattern flowersAll of the Quilt Theory patterns are simple enough to be printed on 4″x6″ cards or a single page downloadable pdf. At only $3 each, they are perfect for gift giving or collecting, too!

 

About Quilt Theory

Let me tell you a bit more about the designer team behind Quilt Theory.

quilt theory spring collection 2017Our goal at Quilt Theory is to create simple and modern quilt patterns, and as I mentioned above, for this collection we focused on using precuts. I am so excited about this collection as a whole, since I can see that we are really melding as a group and the efforts show.

We have become a strong team as we worked through writing, testing, editing, and quilting the patterns in our collection, and I’m excited to see how you take these patterns and make them your own.

quilt-theory-designers-row
Quilt Theory Designers (l to r): Cheryl Brickey-Meadowmist Designs, Daisy Aschehoug-Ants to Sugar, me!, Yvonne Fuchs-Quilting Jetgirl, Lorinda Davis-Laurel, Poppy and Pine, Stephanie Palmer-Late Night Quilter & The Quilter’s Planner, Michelle Bartholomew

I think many of you are familiar with the Quilt Theory team members, but for those of you who are not, here’s a brief introduction. Quilt Theory designers have been featured in 20+ major quilting publications and international quilt exhibits. Combined, we have 47 years of quilting experience, and we are excited to share our second collection for Spring 2017.

How to buy or stock Quilt Theory Patterns

You can buy either individual or a pattern collector’s package of PDF patterns through our Quilt Theory website right now!

pattern-mosiac-spring17 quilt theoryPattern cards will be coming soon to a local quilt shop near you! If you are a quilt shop and want to carry our patterns, set up a wholesale account here, or order through Checker Distributors, EE Schenck Company, or Erie Quilt Art for Canadian shops.

Want to buy the cards, but don’t own a quilt shop? Let your local quilt shop know you want them to carry Quilt Theory patterns (click for a handy note to send to your favorite local quilt shop!)

Now, for the Giveaway!

No. 10 - Staggered kitty wilkin quilt theory patternTo celebrate the release of Collection 2 for Quilt Theory, I am giving away a copy of my pattern, Staggered (printed or PDF, your choice!) along with a bundle of 11 Alison Glass fabric fat quarters straight from my stash and a large spool of Aurifil 50wt 2600-Dove, my panacea thread. See? I really do love you!

staggered quilt theory release giveaway alison glass fabric aurifil threadTo enter the giveaway today, tell me what fabric collection you would use to create Staggered. Leave a comment and make sure I’m able to get ahold of you if you win.  For an additional entry, leave another comment telling me how you follow Night Quilter (email list, instagramfacebook, twitter, blog follower, etc.) Follow Quilt Theory (facebooktwitter, Instagram, etc.) and tell me how in a third comment for a third entry.

This giveaway is open to US and international participants.  The giveaway will be open until Sunday, May 21st, at 8pm eastern time when I’ll select the winner randomly with random.org. Giveaway is open to participants 18 years or older. *If you buy my pattern and then you win it, I’ll refund you or let you pick out another free Quilt Theory pattern! Giveaway is now closed! Congratulations to Mary!

Be sure to visit the rest of the Quilt Theory designers this week during our blog hop.

Quilt Theory Release Blog Hop Schedule

Friday 5/12 – Quilt Theory
Saturday 5/13 – Kitty @Night Quilter <–YOU ARE HERE!
Monday 5/15 – Michelle @Michelle Bartholomew
Tuesday 5/16 – Daisy @Ants to Sugar
Wednesday 5/17- Stephanie @Late Night Quilter
Thursday 5/18 – Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs
Friday 5/19 – Lorinda @Laurel Poppy and Pine
Saturday 5/20 – Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl
Monday 5/22 – Quilt Theory

I’ll be linking up with Let’s Bee Social, TGIFF, and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday!

One Year of Stitches: March

With April ticking quickly away, it’s time to share my March progress on my 1 year of stitches project!

For those who are new to this project, my 1 year of stitches project is a personal challenge to stitch at least one stitch every single day. I am working with no set plan, I don’t mark the fabric before stitching; I simply stitch whatever wherever whenever. It’s quite fun!! You can follow along with my daily stitches at @NQ1yearofstitches on Instagram.

Here’s a refresher of the monthly progress so far:

night quilter 1 year of stitches month 1…after January’s stitching…

february progress for 1 year of stitches…after February’s stitching…

march 1 year of stitches progress…and here it is after the month of March!

I seem to have branched out in March and created two entirely new sections. In the first two months of the year, I mostly aimed to extend from the existing stitching, and this month as I look at my hoop progress in full, I mostly started new little islands of stitches rather than building upon what is already there. (self reflection aside: interesting!)

march 1 year of stitches progress deep seaThere is the “deep sea” region of the hoop, where I played with my 12wt Aurifil blues and explored the nuances of spiral trellis stitch, done both correctly (the top light blue circle with the light grey star in the center) and incorrectly (the big bubbly center thing, where I accidentally began the stitch with a running stitch circle instead of backstitch). I have not conquered this stitch yet, but I also am not yet finished. I will tackle it again, for sure!

march 1 year of stitches progress flowerA little flower garden island also popped up this past month, built around those turquoise bullion knot flowers.  I enjoy using both pistil stitch and long tailed daisy stitch for flowers, and you certainly have not seen the last of these stitches!

march 1 year of stitches progressThe center ecotone did not grow much at all, but still acts as a neutral divide between deep sea and lush greenery. Here’s the scientific definition care of google, just for fun!google definition of ecotone

A few days ago, I realized we were exactly one quarter of the way through the year, day 92.

march 1 year of stitches progressLooking at my hoop overall, I think I have covered about one quarter of it, so I’m feeling good about my progress! I also am very curious to see where this goes, since nearly every day, it’s as much of a surprise to me as it is to you!

Just to share some of my thought process, some daily thoughts I have are:

  • Should I learn a brand new stitch or use a tried and true favorite?
  • Which is often preceded by: How much time do I have today?
  • Do I fill in between or layer my stitches? or should I stitch in an open spot?
  • Should I stick with these colors only, or should I expand my Aurifil 12wt thread stash *just* a bit?
  • Should I leave that warm top left portion allll warm and sunny and bright? or do I throw in a cool green or turquoise?
  • Is this going to be a crazy mess at the end of the year?! (laugh here with me)

Either way, I’m having fun with it, exploring my creativity and keeping the pressure light. I hope you’re enjoying following along, too!

 

One Year of Stitches: February

I’m still working on a post about my experiences at QuiltCon last week, but as March continues to skip on, I thought I should share February’s stitches for my 1 year of stitches project in the meantime. QuiltCon post coming soon!

My 1 year of stitches project is a personal challenge to stitch at least one stitch every single day. I am working with no set plan, I don’t mark the fabric before stitching; I simply stitch whatever wherever whenever. It’s quite fun!! You can follow along with my daily stitches at @NQ1yearofstitches on Instagram.

Even after a short month, it grows! As a reminder, here’s the hoop after the month of January:

night quilter 1 year of stitches month 1and here it is showing the progress from February:

february progress for 1 year of stitchesI guess 28 days can make a big difference!

erin from aurifil thread live at quiltconThe highlight of the month was getting the chance to chat with Erin from Aurifil on Facebook live while attending QuiltCon in Savannah. You can see my low key chat HERE on the Aurifil Facebook page. I talk about my process, how the project came to be, why I use Aurifil 12wt thread, and I show a quick demo on how to stitch a French knot. It was a really fun opportunity, and while a bit nerve-wracking knowing I would be live, Erin made it easy by being totally awesome and relaxed. Plus, she’s from Maine. Perfect! The whole experience inspires me to try a bit harder to figure out a way to video my stitches live each day, or at least some days each week. I’ll get right on that and will let you know if I figure it out!

1 year of stitches freestyle embroidery progress february 12wt aurifilBack to my embroidery progress! Here are some close up shots of the various sections of this freestyle hoop.

1 year of stitches freestyle embroidery progress february 12wt aurifilI am still stitching without a plan, deciding each day’s stitches the morning–or sometimes night!–of the current day. I have tried a handful of new stitches and look forward to trying even more as the year progresses!

1 year of stitches freestyle embroidery progress february 12wt aurifil1 year of stitches freestyle embroidery progress february 12wt aurifil1 year of stitches freestyle embroidery progress february 12wt aurifilThose little white three-petalled trillium flowers are the most recent addition. Time will tell where this will go from here!

Finn helping me with photographyThis month, I had a photography helper, so of course I can’t end the post without a few Finn cameos. I often use the photos on my phone as a reference, so I pulled up January’s photo to make sure I arranged the thread in a consistent way. Finn was please as punch that they matched.

Finn helping me with thread positioningHe also helped me put the thread back into the box, then arranged around the hoop, back into the box, then arranged around the hoop. What a helper!

Hmmm what shall I stitch today?

One Year of Stitches: January

As a full time mom of three little ones, but one with a strong innate need to create every day in order to maintain sanity, I feel like I do a fairly good job of creating opportunities for creativity and stitching, sprinkled throughout even the busiest of days. First, it was knitting–something I could carry with me and leave next to the couch to pick up while nursing or holding a sleeping baby in my lap. But as my children grew, their desire to turn yarn into spider webs, spy laser obstacles, leashes for stuffed pets, etc. also grew and knitting became quilt a risky endeavor.  English paper piecing helped and I dove into basting hexies and honeycombs. Then I felt like I needed something new. Enter: embroidery. It’s small, I can store it up on the counter out of reach, it’s clearly mommy’s–not simply a ball of yarn begging to be unravelled or little fabric bits to be tossed around–, and it’s something I can pick up and put down quickly.

AG stitched embroidery hoop aurifil 12wtLate last year, I kind of got hooked on the quick mental fix that comes with freestyle embroidery while I was creating this Alison Glass hoop. In late December, when some friends brought my attention to the 1 year of stitches project initiated by Hannah Claire Somerville, I was intrigued. After a bit of googling, I found this invitation by Sara Barnes of Brown Paper Bag, who helped spread Hannah’s open invitation for others to join, and I knew that I had to join in. Hannah’s specific personal rules and stipulations are here, but I chose to take a looser approach. The goal is to stitch at least 1 stitch every single day for a full year, 365 days.

night quilter 1 year of stitches beginningsI went into the year with a 10″ hoop of Robert Kaufman Essex linen in light blue, my stash of Aurifil 12wt threads, and no plan at all.

night quilter 1 year of stitches month 1Here is my hoop after 1 month of daily stitch-whereever-the-wind-blows stitching. Fun, right!? I created a separate account on Instagram @NQ1yearofstitches to document my daily stitches, and I am trying my hardest not to make any kind of formal plan at all.

night quilter 1 year of stitches month 1My basic strategy began as a daily google of “embroidery stitches” as an image search. I would scroll through, find a stitch that looked cool, and then find a tutorial on how to make the stitch.

night quilter 1 year of stitches month 1I began by learning bullion knots, so this whole project began with that little mass of turquoise squiggles and has grown organically from there.

night quilter 1 year of stitches month 1I love the texture that results when you stack embroidery stitches together. Those white floppy things are my first attempts at braided picot stitch, another fun one!

night quilter 1 year of stitches month 1This has been really fun so far, and as of the writing of this post, I’m already over halfway through February, too! (You’ll have to wait until March, or check the IG account, to see those additions, though!) I’ll plan to share an update each month, so that you can see how this grows.

night quilter 1 year of stitches month 1My personal guidelines include stitching at least one stitch each day, trying to plan as little as possible and simply stitch whatever feels right each day, and not remove any stitches no matter how much I dislike the final outcome (cough, cough, that octopus family, cough). I figure this way, the stress of getting everything *just* right disappears, and instead the thought that it will all work out somehow in the end dominates. No stress!

1 year of stitches embroidery month 1This is a really fun, exhilarating project since it is pure spur of the moment random creativity. If you have any cool, unusual embroidery stitches to recommend, I’d love to add some more to my arsenal. There’s something about learning something new that makes my day.

If you are itching to learn embroidery, this is also a really fun way to do it. In the end, you end up with a hoop of many different stitches, as well as a visual story of your progress! Happy stitching!

I’m linking up with Beth at Cooking Up Quilts for MCM, since I’m excited to be blogging, and always excited to stitch!

2017 Goals and a Lush Idea

In my style, I’ve well missed the 2017 Planning Party hosted by Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl, but I thought I would write a quick post with my 2017 Goals and word for the year, both to share my focus and to hold myself accountable!

I’ve been thinking long and hard about what I want to focus on this year, and I’ve decided that I really need to make my mantra: “Finish What You’ve Started”. I have ample projects that were begun with excitement and then quietly forgotten before reaching completion, and I also branched out into a few other big new endeavors in 2016, such as pursuing quilt photography work and designing for Quilt Theory. I’ve been helping Stephanie with the Quilter’s Planner Instagram account, and that has been extremely fun but also takes time. I also have a few potential teaching opportunities that I’m excited about in the coming year. Combined with being a full time mom of three little ones, keeping house, tending chickens, and in the proper season, gardening and adventuring along the coast, my plate is pretty full as it is. So it seems right to set my engine for steady on and just keep plugging away in the direction I’m going.

project planning for 2017
I’ve used the Projects at a Glance page in my Quilter’s Planner to list WIPs from 2016 on the left and new projects in 2017 on the right. The right shows my color palette choice for my 2017 bee and sew alongs–greenery!

That said, I also recognize that there’s no way I could go a full year without trying anything new. For that reason, I also plan to participate in a few Sew Alongs and a Quilt Bee, as I outlined in my last blog post. The relaxed, no-stress mentality will let me fill those block making moments in between my “finishing” so that I can stay fresh and excited about making. I also plan to play along more regularly with the #beesocial prompts, since they stretch my creative spirit more than anything else I’ve encountered. I’m already beginning with Stephanie from Spontaneous Threads’ first prompt for January–Resolution. Watching the video she included as part of her design inspiration prompt reaffirmed the word I selected to guide my year (I definitely recommend clicking over to her post and watching the video. It’s well worth 5 minutes of your time.)

Which brings me to my “one little word”–the one word to guide my year. 2017 will be my “green” year. There are so many influences to my selection of this word, from my lifelong love of nature, my degree in environmental science, to all that’s been happening in the world around us. Sparked initially by Chawne Kimber’s quilt “The One for Eric G”, the first statement quilt I saw that made me hold my breath as my stomach took a nosedive, and made me realize that this amazing craft can be used to inspire positive change (more than just making the world a more beautiful place one stitch at a time), further melded and inspired by the Make Do Quilt challenge posed by Sherri Lynn Wood last year, and always continuously inspired by Hillary from Entropy Always Wins and her focus on using reclaimed textiles in her creations, I have decided on “green” as my word of the year and “finish what you’ve started” as my guiding mantra.

I love how Cheryl from Meadowmist Designs set measurable steps for herself in her goal setting post, so here is my attempt at the same. This year, I will try to:

  • Focus on incorporating repurposed textiles into at least three (3) quilt projects;
  • Minimize new fabric purchases; focus on using the fabrics that exist in my stash already (not very measurable, but important to state!);
  • Experiment with at least six (6) of the #beesewcial prompts to help stretch my creativity and build improv skills;
  • Use a purely green color palette (inspired by Patone’s color of the year, Greenery) on all bee and quilt along blocks to help create a visual statement on being “green” and to stretch my design skills by fitting them all together at the end;
  • Create a more concrete plan for my social action quilt idea, including:
    • a full sketch
    • 2-3 sample blocks
    • brief description
  • Dive further into the “Slow Fashion” movement:
    • Overcome my fear of garment sewing by making at least three (3) items of clothing
    • {BONUS} hand stitch one garment;
  • Complete two (2) quilt photography projects to deepen my repertoire and experience;
  • Teach at least three (3) different quilting and quilt photography related classes–spread the love and inspiration for creating beautiful things!
  • Use my Quilter’s Planner to set manageable goals and help myself feel successful and motivated–including building up to exercising 5 times per week!
  • Stitch daily for 365 days as part of my participation in #1yearofstitches (more on this soon!)
  • Finish eight to ten (8-10) works in progress from last year!!!

Phew, I’d better stop there. I think this is a great start to my goals for the year, and I’m curious to see how successful I am at meeting each of these goals. Note that I have not included pattern design in my specific goals this year. Aside from Quilt Theory patterns, two of which I plan to develop and release this year, I am letting pattern writing be more relaxed this year so that I may focus on my other goals. It doesn’t mean it won’t happen, though!

quilter's planner WIPs from 2016So far I’m off to a decent start and have made good progress on one WIP (Max’s Eye Spy Picnic Plaid), and have finished another, which I’ll share later this week. (Note that I’ve added quite a few old WIPs to this list since this photo was taken).  I’ve begun to play with the #beesewcial prompt, and am incorporating repurposed textiles into it! Baby steps!

I hope your year is off to a great start!

I’ll be linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts’ Let’s Bee Social so that you can all hold me accountable this year!

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 (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!

 

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 {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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