Tag Archives: maine

Maine Quilt Shop Hop 2017: Rockland Shops

I have officially kicked off this year’s quilt shop hop in the state of Maine! While I don’t anticipate hitting any impressive number of shops with kids in tow, I love that having an official state quilt shop hop month gives me the incentive to visit some of the more distant among my favorite Maine quilt shops, and to try to visit new ones.

maine quilt shop hop 2016 clementineLast week, I had an errand to run down in Rockland, so I decided to make a day of it and visited the quilt shops down there: Quilt Divas and Clementine. Quilt Divas stocks more traditional and cute novelty fabrics, so I stopped in for a stamp and a walk around but didn’t stay too long, especially since I had three year old Max AND mobile Finn in tow.

maine quilt shop hop 2016 clementine kid areaWe spent a bit more time in Clementine. It’s a gorgeous shop that focuses strongly on garment sewing, but also has a great selection of modern quilting cottons, as well as notions, patterns, thread, wool, zippers (do they count as notions?), and more.

maine quilt shop hop 2016 clementine kid areaAs a huge added bonus, they have a gorgeous and spacious kid play space, which actually succeeded in keeping my busy 3 year old occupied for a good 15-20 minutes (which is unprecedented and amazing, trust me). A quilt shop that can somehow cater to kids in tow is an immediate win in my book!

maine quilt shop hop 2016 clementineI bought a few zippers for upcoming projects, some crushed walnut shells to use for stuffing pincushions, and the most adorable tiny Merchant and Mills Baby Bow Scissors ever. I am itching to sew something teeny tiny for a scissor intro photo shoot! As part of the shop hop, Clementine gave some jelly roll strip swag, which I’ll happily add to my stash.

clementine rainbow wall of zippers and perle cottonFor those of you looking for more information about the Maine quilt shops in the hop, I did a thorough run-down of many of the shops I visited two years ago. This year, I will most likely be less formal with my reviews since I don’t plan to visit many shops, but I’ll be sure to show you where I go anyway! Here are links to reviews from two years ago:

Fiddlehead Artisan Supply & Nancy’s Sewing Center, Belfast, ME
Z Fabrics, Portland, ME
Cotton Cupboard & Choppin Cotton, Bangor, ME
Waterville, Augusta Area Shops

The official State of Maine Quilt Shop Hop website has more information, too!

I’m linking up with Molli’s Sunday Stash, since there’s nothing like a Quilt Shop Hop to help bolster little gaps in a stash!

Color Inspiration Thursday {68}

I’m breaking one of my big blogging rules today and sharing color palettes created from photos I took with my phone, but I had to–they are photos of the first flowers of spring! Yesterday we finally had a warm and sunny day, so the boys and I walked to meet Maddie after kindergarten. As we began to walk home, I spotted something tiny and blue in the grass. We all immediately went to investigate and found a bunch of tiny grape hyacinths and Siberian squill.  I had my phone but not my camera since we were traveling by foot with only a stroller. We watched a honey bee buzz around them for a bit and I flattened to my belly to capture the moment (as is my style). Camera phones are pretty impressive these days, though, so I think the photos turned out alright. I think I have an iPhone 6, but tech details are not my forté. Color palettes were created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1, as per usual, and the springy matching Aurifil thread and fabric solids (a mix of Kona cottons and Moda Bella solids) are one of my favorite perks of the Palette Builder tool.

grape hyacinth color palette spring maineCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Flax, Bella Leaf, Kona Avocado, Kona Nightfall, Kona Royal, Kona Cornflower

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
5011 – Rope Beige
2888 – Fern Green
5018 – Grass Green
2780 – Dk Delft Blue
2525 – Dusty Blue Violet
2770 – V Lt Delft

These little grape hyacinths were tiny, but I’m glad my ever-color-seeking eyes spotted them! I love how everything changes when you get really close and take a detailed look. Tiny bulbous bells, happily visited by an early bee, were exactly what I needed to see! The bee was flitting a bit too quickly for me, so I didn’t catch him this time. No worries; there will be a next time.

siberian squill color palette maineCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Bunny Hill Blue, Kona Laurel, Kona Palm, Kona Grapemist, Kona Copen, Kona Royal

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2600 – Dove
2890 – Dk Grass Green

5021 – Light Grey
2770 – V Lt Delft
2725 – Lt Wedgewood
2775 – Steel Blue

Siberian squill are one of my favorite flowers, most likely due to their rich and gorgeous color. I also love their dainty overhanging splay, which I would imagine to be a fabulously cute umbrella for the resident fairies. You can get a really fabulous look at these flowers in bulk in my post from a year or so ago HERE (seriously, it’s worth a visit!).

finn for scale spring flowersTo give you a bit of scale for these spring beauties, here is giant Finn sitting next to them, more focused on the leaves and grass that those tiny pops of blue. I’m so excited that the flowers have begun to bloom, since the forecast promises a few more warm days of sun. Surely by next week, the flowers in our yard will begin to show! Spring has finally arrived in Maine!

Color Inspiration Thursday {67}

Last weekend, we took advantage of the gorgeous spring weather and headed down to hike Mt. Battie in Camden, Maine. Flowers have not yet made their way out, but I found lots of color along the trail. It was also really nice to actually hike, probably for the first time in nearly six years. My oldest was at a playdate, so my husband carried Max and I carried Finn, meaning we could travel the path at an adult’s pace instead of a 3-6 year old’s pace. I love hiking with kids, but it was a nice change of pace to get to work a bit. It was a lovely day! This week’s color inspiration comes from some photos I took along the trail. Color palettes are made using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs.

moss color inspiration paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Lead, Bella Soft Finish Black, Kona Sweet Pea, Kona Palm, Bella Grass, Bella Zen Grey

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1246 – Grey
4241 – V Dk Grey
2900 – Lt Khaki Green
5021 – Light Grey
2908 – Spearmint
2600 – Dove

I was excited to see quite a bit of green along the path, even if none of it was new growth. The moss, lichens, and wintergreen ferns growing on the rocks on the forest floor gave me a much needed dose of green goodness.

lichen bark color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Etchings Slate, Bella Wisteria, Bella Indigo, Kona Ash, Bella Betty’s Brown, Bella Peacoat

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2900 – Lt Kakhy Green
2524 – Grey Violet
2568 – Mulberry
2600 – Dove
5013 – Asphalt
2785 – V Dk Navy

Again, these lichens caught my eye from their textured perch on the trees. I love the purples that are pulled from this photo.

orange blue lichen stone color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Paper Bag, Kona Herb, Bella Night Sky, Bella American Blue, Bella Betty’s Blue, Kona Surf

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2335 – Lt Cinnamon
5010 – Beige
1248 – Grey Blue
1158 – Med Grey
4140 – Wedgewood
2735 – Med Blue

I couldn’t resist including this third palette, featuring some gorgeous orange lichen on a large stone. The shadowed lighting helped the blue to shine, but I wish the brightness of that orange came through better. Imagine that left-most color cranked up a notch or two. Such a gorgeous partnership of colors! I am wishing my geological knowledge was stronger, but lo I’m more a botanist. I want to say this is granite since it’s wasn’t layered like slate, but I can’t be sure.

And now, just for fun, a few more photos from our hike.

mt battie family hike
My handsome husband, all suited up with our 3-year old, ready to hike!

mt battie family hike

mt battie family hike
This kid was telling everyone along the trail “shhhh! the Tick-Tock Crock is here!”, but I think he took his imaginative play to heart a bit. He was pretty serious during the hike.
mt battie family hike
It’s always fun when my husband takes some turns with the camera. Look, I was there, too!
mt battie family hike
Fishing for the Tick-Tock Crock.

mt battie family hike

Color Inspiration Thursday {66}

I have been on the hunt for signs of spring, but the frozen ground is not yet giving us much ease. It was a fairly sunny day early this week and looked quite warm, so the kids and I headed outdoors to do a serious search for real signs of spring. Instead, what do we get? Snow! Within 20 minutes the sun dipped behind a cloud, the temperature dropped, and it began snowing! So much for spring! This week’s color inspiration palettes are from photos I took during that snowy search. It’s as close as we can get to spring just yet. Color palettes are made using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs, and of course the matching solids and Aurifil threads are an added bonus!

snowy lichen color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Lead, Kona Coffee, Kona Moss, Bella Etchings Slate, Kona Pewter, Kona White

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1246 – Grey
1130 – V Dk Bark
2905 – Army Green
2900 – Lt Khaki Green
2606 – Mist
2800 – Mint Ice

There may not be much bright color out in nature these days, but there’s always texture. I love the texture of this lichen-laden tree branch! The mix of bark, lichen, moss, and snow creates a great variety of visual texture. The earth tones ring out strongly in this one, too.

daffodil sprouts color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Platinum, Kona Pewter, Bella Chocolate, Kona Espresso, Kona Avocado, Bella Avocado

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2612 – Arctic Sky
5004 – Grey Smoke

1140 – Bark
1285 – Med Bark
4173 – Dk Olive
2910 – Med Olive

This is as close as we’re getting to spring colors so far here in Maine. These little daffodil sprouts are trying their hardest to push up through the frozen ground, standing strong despite snow and ice, and waiting patiently. I know that it won’t be long before these little sprouts reach with earnest and the flowers begin to appear. Once spring hits, I know it will begin a cascade of flowers that will snowball quickly (how about that for punny irony—snowballing spring flower blooms!). I can’t wait!

finn snow baby
Finn on Monday

Update: Maine spring weather is as fickle as ever. Yesterday it was nearly 60 degrees and we all played outside without coats!

Maddie and Finn Spring
(L) Maddie, Finn, and Abadee Abadoo, one of our chickens, yesterday (Wednesday). (R) Our first taste of bare feet weather!

Spring is upon us (at least at the moment)!

Color Inspiration Thursday {65}

This time of year is when I really start to yearn for green sprouts, new life, and colorful flowers. February, and even March, in Maine is usually pretty dismal. I appreciate the season, though, because this dark, dreary, still chilly and sometimes snowy time gets me really ready to appreciate and jump into spring, even those “warm” 45 degree days. I will soon be pulling out my grow lights and starting pots and getting some veggies started indoors–onions, definitely, perhaps some brussel sprouts or broccoli, or some rosemary. Possibly some cut flowers. I also usually succumb to the urge to buy flowers, and this year is no different. It is amazing what a vase of fresh flowers can do to enliven a home! Today’s color palettes are from photographs of some tulips I bought to help make February a little less grey. Color palettes are made with Play Craft’s Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs.

tulip color palette Corresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Charcoal, Bella Brick Red, Kona Cocoa, Bella Dove, Bella Betty’s Brown, Kona Palm

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2468 – Dk Wine
1103 – Burgundy

2345 – Raisin
2375 – Antique Blush
1285 – Med Bark
5023 – Med Green

This palette is darker than I was hoping to find, but it still represents the little peek at the colors to come.

tulips color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Grass Green, Kona Crimson, Bella Blush, Bella Bubblegum, Kona Pale Flesh, Kona Sunflower

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
5108 – Grass Green
2345 – Raisin

2245 – Red Orange
2420 – Fleshy Pink
2205 – Flesh
2125 – Wheat

Here are the light, springy colors I was hoping to see! I know that in a few short months, our gardens will be bursting with color, with new flowers and plants sprouting and flowering every day. Until then, I might just get a few teasers from the grocery store! Enjoy.

Color Inspiration Thursday {64}

We have walked to school more times this winter than we have gotten snow, which is just one clue that our Maine winter weather is definitely out of whack. Despite the lack of fresh powder, last weekend we decided to have a family fun day out in what little snow there is. I pulled Max and Finn around the yard in a sled, we all played on the snowy swing set, we sledded down hills, and Finn had his first roll-around in the white stuff. Even without our typical couple feet of snow, we had fun and enjoyed some winter beauty all together. The photos in today’s color palettes were taken during our fun afternoon outside. Color palettes were made using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photos. Matching solids are a combination of Robert Kaufman’s Kona cottons and Moda’s Bella solids. Matching solids and Aurifil threads is one of the awesome perks of using Play Crafts’ tool!

color inspiration color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Pewter, Kona Hibiscus, Bella 30’s Blue, Bella Amelia Blue, Kona Regal, Kona Leprechaun

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2605 – Grey
2465 – V Dk Brown
4140 – Wedgewood
2730 – Delft Blue
2745 – Midnight
2890 – Dk Grass Green

There is not much color to be found outside these days, except that of the brightly colored snowsuits of my children. I couldn’t resist turning this one into a color palette, and the resulting color combination is bright and bold.

color inspiration color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Soft Finish Black, Kona Coal, Bella Blue, Bella Periwinkle, Kona Ash, Bella Sienna

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
4241 – V Dk Grey
1158 – Med Grey

5008 – Sugar Paper
4140 – Wedgewood
2600 – Dove
2372 – Dk Antique Gold

During my sled rounds, I was searching for any bits of color other than the ubiquitous browns, greys, subtle blues, and whites in the winter environment around me. This milkweed pod caught my eye with its hint of orange, and with the blurry blues of the background, it makes a fun palette. While the color reads more like a brown here, I swear in real life if felt like a radiant pop of orange in an otherwise barrenly brown landscape. Feel free to take poetic license and orangey-up that Sienna! I definitely could see a successful quilt in these colors.

Where is your favorite place to find color inspiration during the bleak days of winter?

 

Color Inspiration Thursday {63}

It’s been ages since my last color inspiration post, but I’m determined to get them going again. Maine has been thoroughly drab and colorless this winter, and not even with the pristine blanket of snow so common this far north. We finally experienced our first good snow a week or so ago, and I knew it was a great time to get out and take some photos. These color palettes were created using my photographs and Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1.

winter color inspiration paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Silver, Kona Stone, Kona Medium Grey, Bella Glacier, Bella Cloud, Kona Cloud

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2615 – Aluminum
2325 – Linen
2524 – Grey Violet
5008 – Sugar Paper
2612 – Arctic Sky
2560 – Iris

As much as my mind calls snowscapes white, when I look closely I discover that there actually are quite a few colors hidden in the soft scene. Blues, lavenders, and browns abound. This creeping thyme looks much different now than it did when it appeared in THIS color inspiration post a few months ago!

winter red color inspiration paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Cloud, Kona Pewter, Bella Blush, Bella Tomato Soup, Bella Indigo, Bella Wisteria

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2560 – Iris
2606 – Mist

2445 – Victorian Rose
2245 – Red Orange
2468 – Dk Wine
2524 – Grey Violet

Leave it to Mother Nature to provide some pops of color even during the bleakest season. Red berries paired with fresh snow create a quintessential winter scene and a color palette I’d surely use in a quilt!

Where have you found your latest color inspiration?

Color Inspiration Thursday {62}

Yesterday was one of those gorgeously warm days that pop up amidst the weeks of solid autumn chill. The kids and I took advantage and spent as much time outside as we could. It was a much needed reminder of how rejuvenating time outside is for everyone; I think the entire afternoon and evening went by without a single bicker, request for a movie, or beg for Halloween candy. That’s the way I like it. Today’s color inspiration comes from some photos taken during our outside play. These are colors of the season, muted and earthy. Color palettes are created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photos.

earth tones color palette autumnCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Graphite, Kona Ash, Kona Celadon, Bella Chocolate, Kona Hibiscus, Bella Paper Bag

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2625 – Arctic Ice
2600 – Dove

2850 – Med Juniper
1140 – Bark
2465 – V Dk Brown
2335 – Lt Cinnamon

Remember those vibrant and colorful zinnias that brightened our yard not so long ago and made cheery color palettes here? Well here they are now, in all of their back to the earth autumnal glory. This palette embraces the earth tones that I enjoy so much while out in the world, but very rarely include in my quilts.

milkweed seedsCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Grape, Bella Etchings Slate, Bella Baby Blue, Kona Blue, Kona White, Kona Titanium

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1158 – Med Grey
2625 – Arctic Ice
5008 – Sugar Paper
2710 – Lt Robins Egg
2024 – White
2612 – Arctic Sky

Ahhh, the season of seed dispersal! The way different plants attempt to champion the continuation and widespread of their species never ceases to amaze me. From burdock seed pods that stick your clothes and refuse to be removed, to the delicate and beautiful milkweed seeds that blow gently in the wind. Want to have a fun afternoon with your kids? Set them free in a field of milkweed that has gone to seed. Here are some more glimpses into our afternoon of exploration and seed dispersal.

exploring milkweed seeds

finding the perfect seed pod

finding the perfect seed pod

on our way to apple picking after spreading milkweed seeds far and wide
On our way to apple picking after spreading milkweed seeds far and wide

Color Inspiration Thursday {61}

It’s here. The season in Maine where the days are brisk but warm in the sun, the colors of the changing trees are stunning, and mornings often arrive with a glistening layer of frost. This year it feels like the true chill of the coming winter arrived overnight. It flipped from unseasonably warm to BAM! frozen. I was tempted to officially dub this week’s color inspiration “Denial”, but decided that instead I should just face it and pull out the winter clothing bins, pull out the knits, pull out the boots and gloves, and see what still fits. I live in Maine, after all.

These color palettes were made using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs, and illustrate the difference between this week and last.

creeping thyme purple color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella American Blue, Bella Amelia Lavender, Bella Crocus, Kona Medium Grey, Kona Purple, Kona Avocado

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1158 – Med Grey
2510 – Lt Lilac
2524 – Grey Violet
2625 – Arctic Ice
1240 – V Dk Eggplant
5021 – Light Grey

This is what my creeping thyme plant looked like last week. It was vibrant, bold, and flowering happily. A little sea of purply green sweeping along the edge of my edible plants & herb garden.

creeping thyme purple color palette frostCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Graphite, Bella Glacier, Kona Shadow, Bella Indigo, Bella Petal Pink, Kona Straw

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1246 – Grey
5008 – Sugar Paper
2847 – Lt Grey Green
2568 – Mulberry
2425 – Bright Pink
2314 – Beige

Flash forward one week and here it is, fully frosted. Despite the indication that winter is indeed coming, I love the frost. It seems to soften everything, muting out the colors and making them glisten. I suppose seeing the world covered in frost is the one time I like pastels.

frost up close and personalfrost up close and personalAgain, when you get realllllly close and look at the frost-covered ground, beauty shoots up at you in tiny spikes. How awesome is nature!?

Color Inspiration Thursday {60}

As long as it’s before midnight, it still counts as Thursday, right? I don’t want this week to slide, so I’m squeaking this beauty in before the buzzer. We’ve been getting doused in rain (I hear we got 9″ yesterday!), so these poor gorgeous flowers have been beaten down into a horizontal position since these photos were taken, but that doesn’t mean we can’t bask in their beauty!!

Today’s color inspiration features Cosmos from my garden, a perfect magenta-pink against a bright blue sky. The color palette was created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and the matching solids and Aurifil thread are an awesome perk!

cosmos color palette flower magenta pink blueCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Cobalt, Bella Amelia Blue, Kona Candy Pink, Bella Fuchsia, Bella Boysenberry, Kona Eggplant

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1248 – Grey Blue
4140 – Wedgewood
2515 – Light Orchid
2479 – Med Orchid
4030 – Plum
1240 – V Dk Eggplant

Take a deep breath. Soak in the glorious sun (c’mon, play along with me, even if it’s nighttime). Imagine these dainty flowers peacefully bobbing together in the gentle breeze, warm sun shining down upon them. Just looking at this photo makes me feel lighter. It surely helps that I LOVE these colors together. In fact, I very well might take this palette to create my first official color inspiration quilt. I’ll need to include a pop of golden yellow, of course. Maybe?…

I’m sharing a few more photos of these flowers, sans color palette, since the palette above embodies the colors and brightness so well, but I can’t resist sharing these other angles with you. Enjoy!

cosmos flowers pink against bluecosmos flowers pink against bluecosmos flowers pink against blue