Tag Archives: nature

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!

Making Time & A Thrifted City Sampler Update

I’ve finally decided that the day isn’t going to arrive when I have a window of “free” time where I’m just sitting around wondering what I could do. The past few months have been really busy and exciting with a lot of new opportunities and projects, and while a lot of big projects are finally wrapped up–the photography for the Quilter’s Planner is complete and the amazing planner is now available for sale, Quilt Theory has been announced and our premier line of pattern cards have been released, I just finished and mailed a quilt sample for a pattern that will appear in the February 2017 issue of Love, Patchwork & Quilting magazine, I’m manning the Quilter’s Planner Instagram feed and leading its (and my) very first Sew Along–there seems to always be one more thing. I’ve finally decided that I’m going to make time to work on little side projects, AND I’m going to make time to blog regularly again so that I can share my projects, process, and inspiration with you. You can hold me accountable for taking time to sew for me, okay?

thrifted city sampler progressTo kick off this new resolution of making time for my own sewing on top of my more business-directed projects, I made three more blocks as part of the #100days100blocks challenge hosted by Angie from Gnome Angel. I think I left off around block 22 and the challenge is now heading into the 80s, but as I do with most projects, I set my goal low and I’m happy with just picking up again and making whatever blocks I can. As you may or may not remember, I am making my blocks entirely out of old and worn or thrifted garments, including a black leather skirt, some wool slacks, some cotton-poly blend men’s shirts, and an old pair of corduroy maternity pants. It has been *really* fun sewing with different materials, and with a mostly grey-scale color palette, I’m really focusing on textures within the blocks.

The environmental impact of our actions and the philosophy promoted through Sherri Lynn Wood’s #makedoquilt project are a large part of what spurred me to use only thrifted materials in these blocks, and so I’m presenting each block on Instagram photographed with some plant or natural phenomenon. In each description, I am sharing some information about the species or some interesting fact about its relationship with the rest of the environment. My hope is that by learning more about the world around you, you will feel more invested in preserving and improving it, or at the very least, minimizing damage done to it. This is truly a fun project that combines three of my passions: quilting, the environment, and photography.  Since it has been far too long since I’ve shared my creative process with you, I thought I’d share my three latest blocks and descriptions here, too. All blocks are from Tula Pink’s City Sampler, 100 Modern Quilt Blocks book, and so I’m calling my quilt the Thrifted City Sampler (#thriftedcitysampler).

block 73 thrifted city samplerBlock 73: old wool trousers, thrifted cotton-poly men’s shirt

Remember the milkweed from Block 15? Well here it is in all its seed dispersing glory! After a fun chat with Sharon from Sharon Holland Designs the other day about the amazing seed dispersal technique of jewelweed, I decided to make these next posts all about seed dispersal. As with any organism, the continuation of the species is an extremely important aspect–almost THE main purpose–of life. Since plants can’t move, they’ve developed some really clever ways to ensure their potential offspring (aka seeds) get spread far and wide and/or have a good chance of success.

Milkweed seeds are attached to a thick, light weight fluff tuft that, once matured, emerges from the dried, cracked open seed pod and is carried by the wind. Wind dispersal!! This helps spread the species into new areas, giving the species as a whole a greater chance to survive and thrive. Can you name another common plant that uses wind seed dispersal??

block 72 thrifted city samplerBlock 72: thrifted black leather skirt, pink cotton women’s capris, my husband’s worn-through 100% cotton slacks.

We are fully in the most drab time of year in Maine. The gorgeous leaves are mostly brown and dropped, the flowers are in their winter form or gone, everything is finding dormancy. But plant identification is still not only possible, but fun! I hope you enjoy finding the beauty in winter weeds with me.

These asters have a small tuft that allows for wind dispersal, but they also use power in numbers to their advantage. A super hardy weed, asters produce many flowers, approximately 300 individual flowers per flower head, with many seeds resulting. The sheer number of seeds helps promote the success of their species. Paired with the wind, it’s no wonder there are asters everywhere!

block 77 thrifted city samplerBlock 77: thrifted cotton-poly men’s shirt, old cotton slacks, worn men’s shirt, black leather skirt.

Another fun installment in the “amazing seed dispersal” adventure is burdock. Burdock (Arctium) is equipped with hooks and spines that latch onto any creature passing by too closely (just like Velcro). The creature continues walking until the spikey, itchy seed pod irritates him enough, spurring him to remove it and toss it aside, hopefully (for the burdock) on fertile ground. This allows the seeds to spread far, far further than a stationary plant could reach. While this is a super cool seed dispersal trait, anyone who has “fixed” her children’s coat, hair, and wool mittens after the child has discovered a burdock plant fully understands the annoyance the poor deer, bear, foxes, coyotes, and other creatures must feel toward this and similar plants! (Note that I was VERY careful not to let my block touch the seeds when taking this photo. Those barbs are sharp and definitely would result in pulls in the fabric.)

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing these blocks and their accompanying environmental tidbits. I’m looking forward to updating you on the other small side projects I’ve been working on between deadline projects, AND hope to even finish some of the many (oh, embarrassingly many) works in progress that are stuck in the “soooo close to finished but temporarily abandoned pile”.  I have so much fun to share with you! Hope you’ve been well, and I’m looking forward to being more present in this space again.

 

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!

 

Into the Woods with Wanderlust Quilts {Book Review & Giveaway}

Welcome to my stop on the Wanderlust Quilts blog hop! Here I’ll tell you a bit about Amanda Leins (Mandy’s) new book Wanderlust Quilts, invite you to venture into the woods with me after drawing inspiration from the book, and then tell you how you can win your very own copy of this invaluable book.

Wanderlust Quilts cover
Courtesy of Stash Books. Photo by Nissa Brehmer.

When I was first sent a review copy of Wanderlust Quilts, my initial reaction was Wow! I love how her quilt designs break all the rules! When I mentioned this to Mandy, she replied, “It’s good to know all of the rules so that you know which ones you can break”.  I love how Mandy truly draws inspiration from the world around her, specifically classic art and architecture, unbridled by labels or quilt police. She doesn’t confine her quilts to the limits of a rectangle while still employing skillfully precise quilting techniques, and she spells it out so that we can utilize the techniques, too.

Wanderlust Quilts Going Places
Going Places. Courtesy of Stash Books. Photo by Nissa Brehmer.

One of my favorite aspects of Wanderlust Quilts is that Mandy includes photos of her sources of inspiration, so that we can see how each inspiration photo is translated into a quilt. A cobblestone path in Europe becomes a baby quilt, “the beginning of the road for some little person.”

Wanderlust Quilts Fishbourne
Lovely Fishbourne. Courtesy of Stash Books. Photo by Nissa Brehmer.

In Wanderlust Quilts, Mandy not only invites us to travel to our favorite places, stretch our imaginations, squint our eyes a bit, and see the world as a quilt, but she also gives us the technical tools and skills necessary to fine tune our visions and make them a reality. Included in the book are clear instructions and tips on turning your photos or sketches into a quilt, both improv and precision piecing, sewing Y-seams, sewing curves, and more. Wanderlust Quilts is a great resource for inspiration and technique, which makes it one book that I would happily add to my library.

C&T Publishing is generously offering a copy of Wanderlust Quilts to a reader at every stop along the blog tour.  Keep reading to find out how you can enter to win your very own hard copy. If you can’t wait, Mandy is selling autographed copies in her store here.

But first, travel into the woods with me for a moment. When Mandy invited me to be a part of her Wanderlust Quilts blog hop, she suggested that I choose a place or thing that is inspiring to me and talk about what techniques I might employ to make a quilt based on that spot. With a background of environmental science and an innate love of nature, I immediately knew that I had to shrink the book to smaller than a dime and take it down to the forest floor.

mandalei-mushroom wanderlust quiltsAs I’m sure you’ve noticed in my weekly color inspiration posts, I love to get really close to nature, since changing your perspective can open up an entirely new world of beauty. I took this photo over a decade ago, in gorgeous Sussex County, New Jersey. To this day, it inspires me.

mushroom quilt inspired by wanderlust quiltsThinking about the process I would take to turn this photo into a quilt was not enough; I had to jump right in, newly inspired by Mandy’s ten unique and fabulous patterns in her book. Wanderlust Quilts not only inspired me to give improv a go, but it also inspired me to sew with brown fabric (what!?). Above is my first attempt at creating a quilt inspired by the minuscule mushrooms that unfurl from the leafy loam during particularly wet mornings.

mushroom quilt inspired by wanderlust quiltsAs is my style, I let excitement drive me and I dove into piecing improv half circles without consulting Mandy’s book. After seeing that my first try was less than perfect, I realized that this book full of techniques and tips was available right at my fingertips. Slow down, inspiration; sometimes reading and studying a technique before jumping in is key.

mushroom quilt inspired by wanderlust quiltsAfter flipping through the many techniques offered in Wanderlust Quilts, I decided to put my wonky mushroom tops aside and try the freezer paper method clearly outlined by Mandy. I didn’t have time to complete the experimental quilt before the hop, but I’m excited to put the masterful techniques Mandy includes in her book to good use in making this favorite photograph into a quilt. I’ll be sure to show you my finished work of art upon completion.

Wanderlust Quilts Giveaway

As I mentioned above, C&T Publishing is generously offering a hard copy of Wanderlust Quilts to a lucky reader at every stop along the blog tour. You can enter by leaving two comments:

  1. What location most inspires you?
  2. If you follow me, Night Quilter, let me know how–or visit my right sidebar to follow me if you don’t already, then tell me how! (e-mail, WordPress, Bloglovin’, Instagram, Twitter, Craftsy)

The giveaway will be open until Sunday, November 15th, 12noon EST. I will select one winner randomly from the comments below. Good luck! Note: This giveaway is now closed! Congratulations, Sandra!

Once you enter, be sure to check out the other great stops along the tour to see where else in the world has been visited by Wanderlust Quilts:

November 5: Gen Q
November 6: Casey York Designs
November 7: Bill Volckening
November 8: Angela Walters
November 9: Kitty Wilkin, Night Quilter <—YOU ARE HERE
November 12: Rose Hughes
November 16: Mandy herself, with a final wrap-up and additional giveaway!

 

 

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 {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 {47}

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

color palette match inaccuracy

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

Color Inspiration Thursday {45}

What a difference one week makes this time of year! Last week, we barely had buds on the trees, and this week the garden is blooming with life! Today’s color inspiration comes (finally) from my garden. Color palettes are created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs.

baby blues color inspiration color palette

Corresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Stone, Kona Shadow, Kona Blue Bell, Kona Graphite, Bella Eggplant, Bella Parchment

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2605 – Grey
2600 – Dove
5088 – Sugar Paper
1246 – Grey
2468 – Dk Wine
2315 – Pale Flesh

Our magnolia trees are blooming, painting the yard with gentle whites and vivid pinks . I love that we have multiple magnolia trees, since they are usually one of the first signs that spring is truly here. Their blooms burst seemingly all in one day, another flower blooming each minute. Late last week, on one of the first truly warm days, my five year old noticed this phenomenon and said, “Mom, another flower opens every minute!”

pink magnolia color inspiration color palette

Corresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Espresso, Bella Etchings Charcoal, Bella Plum, Bella Petal Pink, Bella Etchings Slate, Bella Barn Door

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
5024 – Dark Brown
2370 – Sandstone
2566 – Wisteria
2562 – Lilac
2325 – Linen
2345 – Raisin

I personally prefer the pink magnolias, but perhaps it’s because range of bright pinks really cheers me up after a drab colorless winter. They are a little slower to fully bloom, but I’m patient.

yellow orange daffodils color inspiration color palette

Corresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Blue Bell, Kona Graphite, Kona Amber, Kona Citrus, Bella Pesto, Kona Pickle

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
6720 – Slate
1126 – Blue Grey
2145 – Yellow Orange
2120 – Canary
5015 – Gold Yellow
5016 – Olive Green

My first garden-inspired color inspiration post of spring wouldn’t be complete without some daffodils. The family who owned the house before we did planted about a thousand daffodils.  I’m not exaggerating, either. We have at least six different varieties, and they are everywhere: along just about every garden border, forming sunny circles around trees, even just popping up in the grass in some spots where clearly there used to live another decorative tree of some sort. This time of year, our table is adorned with vases and mason jars full of daffodils picked with glee by my kiddos.

Color is slowly popping up between the tufts of green. We even have a tulip peeking out:

tulip bud

And one of my favorite colors of blue hides beneath the daffodil stalks:beautiful blues

Spring is here!!

Color Inspiration Thursday {30}

Sometimes, just sometimes, your iPhone photo comes out better than the ones you take with your “real” camera. This week was one of those times. I had a blast outside photographing beauty after an ice storm, and put up a quick Instagram photo just for fun. I came home and uploaded the photos from my camera, and while I got some shots I’m happy with, the particular photo I posted on Instagram wasn’t even close to rivaled. And so, this week, the final photo is indeed an iPhone photo. C’est la vie.

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

icy evergreen color palette

  Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Graphite, Evergreen, Black, Old Green, Dresden Blue, Blue Bell

This palette elicits peace and stillness. Maybe it’s the fact that the fine pine needles are trapped, frozen still in the ice. Maybe it’s the presence of calming light greens and blues. Either way, I could see this palette in a little boy’s baby quilt, or a lap quilt for a rustic living room.

red osier dogwood color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Steel, Crimson, Iron, Brick, Cayenne, Sky

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2625 – Arctic Ice
2245 – Red Orange
2845 – Lt Juniper
2345 – Raisin
2355 – Rust
2710 – Lt Robins Egg

The botanist/naturalist in me loves this photo, since it is such a classic example of red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea) in winter. The opposite branching and bright red bark are dead giveaways to the species. I also love the shades of red paired with light blue and greys that appear in the resulting color palette.

icy queen anne's lace color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Steel, Charcoal, Coal, Windsor, Amethyst, Shale

This is my favorite from my Canon Rebel XT photos of this particular ice-bejeweled Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) remnant. I love the movement and the muted, subdued tones. But lo, the photo I took with my iPhone captures the light better and thus shines even brighter:

Instagram icy blues color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Dresden Blue, Blue, Charcoal, Indigo, Amethyst, Regal

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
5008 – Sugar Paper
2560 – Iris
2606 – Mist
2785 – V Dk Navy
4140 – Wedgewood
2783 – Med Delft Blue

This photo glistens, doesn’t it? I love the resulting palette, too, although it is no secret that I’m a blue girl. Okay, and a magenta and turquoise girl. So maybe I’m just a color-in-general girl. Either way, I love this palette. I think I may actually use this palette for a future quilt. I need to make a Storm at Sea quilt one day, and these blues and stormy grey might be just the perfect shades.

What color do you find the most in your quilts?

Around the World Blog Hop

Welcome to rural Maine, your next stop on the Around the World Blog Hop! Stephanie from Late Night Quilter tagged me last week, and as she explained, the hop is like a giant blogosphere tag game where those tagged can share a bit about their creative process as well as what they are working on. Sounds like fun!

I met Stephanie less than a year ago, but I already feel like we’re sewing soul sisters. To start, we have completely unplanned, practically identical blog names that pretty much describe our lives. Since meeting Stephanie, we’ve teamed up (with Michelle, too!) on a number of fun ventures, such as starting up the Late Night Quilters Club on facebook, opening a Late Night Baby Etsy shop, and planning an awesome time at QuiltCon in February 2015! Stephanie is an awesome writer and quilter, and recently started a longarm quilting and pattern design business with her other half, Michelle.

Now, back to the hop!

What am I working on?

I’ve been finding ways to make more sewing time, and have actually been making decent progress on some projects. I recently completed two quilt tops: the rainbow jellyroll quilt for my daughter, and a pink and grey baby plus quilt that will be listed in the Late Night Baby shop.

helpful kids and a rainbow jellyroll quilt
Rainbow jellyrolly quilt top.
pink and grey baby plus quilt top finish
Pink and grey baby plus quilt.

I’ve also been making some (secret) progress on my July Supernova Swap blocks, but can’t show you any more than this tiny peek:

supernova swap block peek
Sneak peek at my July Supernova Swap blocks.

In my pattern design world, I’ve finished the sketch out phase of a new pattern, completed the fabric pull for the testing phase, and then realized I forgot to make the paper piecing pattern a mirror image before printing. Oops!

Fabric pull for testing out my new paper pieced pillow pattern.
Fabric pull for testing out my new paper pieced pillow pattern.
paper piecing pattern test fish
My IG post when I realized I had forgotten to mirror-image my pattern before testing. Fishie swimming against the current… oops!

As is my nature, I am working on quite a few projects in addition to these, including my first foray into English Paper Piecing (to be a table runner one day), a couple other paper piecing patterns in the early design phases, the very first quilt I’m making for myself, and about five+ projects that I’m itching to begin but haven’t truly started yet.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

This is such a tricky questions, since no two quilts or quilters are the same. How do you define a quilt’s genre? There is so much debate about what makes a modern quilt, and honestly I’d rather be sewing than debating whether I’m sewing a modern quilt or not! I’m not sure I’ve decided on my quilting style just yet, and perhaps I never will. I definitely am drawn to more “modern” quilt designs, and I LOVE modern fabric. I still feel like a lot of my work embraces the traditional, and my paper piecing patterns are inspired by nature and my love of aesthetic flow. It reminds me of what my brother said about me in high school: You’re a jock, nerd, geek who listens to punk music and wears preppy clothes. Basically, I’m me. And my quilts are mine.

Recent quilty works, from top left to right: 1. Lupine paper piecing pattern, 2. Buoys 1 & 2 paper piecing patterns, 3. Circling gulls paper piecing pattern, 4 (bottom left). Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses, 5. My first quilt made for myself... still in progress!
Recent quilty works, from top left to right: 1. Lupine paper piecing pattern, 2. Buoys 1 & 2 paper piecing patterns, 3. Circling gulls paper piecing pattern, 4 (bottom left). Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses, 5. My first quilt made for myself… still in progress!

As for my blogging, my love of nature and photography can been seen weekly with my Color Inspiration Thursday posts, where I create a color palette from some of my photographs. Nature geek photographer, meet quilting.

bright pink peony color palette
An example color palette from my weekly Color Inspiration Thursday posts.

I’ve also started having fun blogging about my forays into pairing wine and fabric. You know you want to check out those posts! There are many more to come, don’t you worry.

pairing wine and fabric
Find the perfect fabric for this wine? Don’t mind if I do…

 

Why do I write/create what I do?

My Let’s Get Acquainted blog post from a few months ago answers this question fairly well. The bottom line is that I’m a stay at home mom of a two year old and a four year old, and I’ve discovered that I must create something each day in order to stay sane (at least somewhat sane). Taking time to sew and blogging about it forces me to take a little bit of time for myself, even if it’s only 20 minutes a day. Thank you, blogosphere, for holding me accountable for doing something for me: quilting.

How does my writing/creative process work?

I have a rapid fire mind that is constantly thinking of new ideas of fun projects, things to make, patterns to design, etc. I’ve always been a creative person, and quilting is just one more outlet for that creativity. As far as pattern design, I start off with inspiration, which can come from literally anywhere–a pattern on a building, a sight along a walk, a burst of color–, it becomes an idea in my head, then I sketch it out in my grid notebook, tweak it a bit until I’m satisfied with it, scan it, pull it up in Inkscape, and turn it into a pattern. I usually have fabric already in mind in that original vision, so that part’s all taken care of from the get-go, too (for better or for worse, as you’ll see below).

Inspiration for my buoy 1, 2 & 3 patterns.
Inspiration for my buoy 1, 2 & 3 patterns.

As for making quilts, I’m very drawn to the aesthetic flow of a quilt, especially relating to color. Usually it’s a color combination or flow that draws me to a pattern, and then I go from there. I’m really bad at following patterns to their fruition, and usually just use them as a jumping-off place. Choosing fabrics for a project is the hardest part for me, I think in part due to the fact that I typically already have the “perfect” fabric in mind before heading to the quilt shop. Maybe I need to just design fabric, too?

Now that you’ve visited my design space in rural Maine, I’m tagging these three awesome bloggers. Go check them out!

Laura from Adventures of a Quilting Diva: Laura is my partner for the Supernova Friendship Block Swap, and a fellow paper piecing and quilt pattern designer. She’s also the mastermind behind the #quiltspiration365 group of bloggers with a mission to provide inspiration every day of the year.

Anne from Play Crafts: I use Anne’s Palette Builder 2.1 every single week to create my Color Inspiration Thursday posts. She’s a computer programmer AND a quilt designer, and creates some awesomely beautiful stuff. Anne is one of my quilting superstars, who I’ve been following from my very first foray into quilty blogging.

Yanic from Family, Faith, Food, and Fabric: While not a strictly quilting blog, Yanic blogs from the heart about many things I relate to and enjoy reading about. Her blog name sums it up well.

To check out more of the stops in this wild, world-wide blog hop, here’s an easy link to a google search for posts: Around the World Blog Hop blog posts. Enjoy hopping!