Tag Archives: play crafts

Color Inspiration Thursday {5}

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

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

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

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

peach pink color palette

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

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

 

Color Inspiration Thursday {4}

The past two days have been gloomy and rainy, but I can’t complain. My garden and all the newly planted seedlings and seeds are surely loving the rain, and before the rain we enjoyed quite a few blissfully perfect days here in midcoast Maine. Warm sun with days in the mid 70s, a cool breeze, minimal bugs, nature’s blooming glory all around: perfect.

As a result of these perfect days, I have some new spring photographs to showcase in this week’s Color Inspiration Thursday. As a treat, and because I couldn’t help myself, I’ll be posting more than two this week. Just a reminder for those of you who are new to Color Inspiration Thursday, I’ve created these palettes using the Play Crafts Palette Builder and my photographs. The corresponding Kona cottons are also supplied by the Palette Builder, so those are listed below each palette.

pink palette color inspiration Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Plum, Medium Grey, Petal, Cerise, Candy Pink, Pomegranate

Pink, pink, pink. I just love the blooms on this apple tree. They first emerged in perfect spherical pinkness, slowly opening like a rose to unfurl their soft petals into a glorious array. I probably took at least 200 photographs of these blooms over the past week; I just couldn’t help myself! My sister-in-law absolutely loves the color pink, so I think she would quite appreciate a quilt in these colors. The grey is a nice added touch to help smooth out the pinkalicious overload!

pink and blue color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Periwinkle, Deep Blue, Crimson, Deep Rose, Sweet Pea, Avocado

I just had to include another photograph of this tree. The ceramic bright blue bird feeder we have hanging in it contrasts so nicely with the pink blooms and green leaves, creating a lovely balanced palette. I love the inclusion of a dark and light in each color for this combination.

lights whites blue green palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Steel, Palm, Fog, Ivy, Parchment, Medium Grey

Do you see the bee on his way to fill his pollen pouches to overflowing? This cherry tree is a cacophony of sound this time of year, resonating with a deep, constant, humming buzz. I’m hard of hearing, and my hearing is progressively worsening each year, yet I can hear the buzz in this tree loud and clear. It is right in front of our porch, so my kids and I love to sit and watch the hundreds of bees buzzing around us, and listen to their harmonious hum.

To be honest, I was going for a white-on-white palette when taking this photograph, but no matter how white-on-white the tree seems in real life, and no matter how many angles I tried, those blues and greens still emerged. I like the palette, though. It feels soft and gentle to me, and while I’m not typically a pastel person, I think I would like a quilt made with this color scheme.

purple color palette lilacs

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Baby Blue, Crocus, Hibiscus, Evergreen, Spring, Petunia, Lilac

No collection of spring photographs is complete without lilacs. I used the feature on the palette builder to add more colors for this palette, since I wanted to get a few more purples into the mix without losing that lovely baby blue and the contrasting greens.

What is your favorite spring/early summer flower?  Would you plan a quilt around its color scheme?

Color Inspiration Thursday {3}

Today I thought I’d mix up our color inspiration a bit and use photographs from someone other than myself. Were you getting tired of nature and flower photos? I hope not, but either way, this week will act as a little break. I was going through my photo files looking for some good brights (who doesn’t love brights?), and I found a couple of gems taken by my dear friend Brittany from Brittany White Photography. Both photographs are of my daughter, and I love reminiscing to the days when she was such a wee itty bitty girl. And oh, the color!

red color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Coal, Mushroom, Deep Rose, Crimson, Raisin, Cardinal

This photograph was taken years ago, when Brittany was first starting out her photography business and went by the name of Lucy James Photography. My daughter is exactly one year old in the photo, yet I gasped when I saw it since it evokes feelings of maturity that I had not yet associated with my baby girl. The colors pulled from this photo are both soft and elegant, and I could see them in a comfortable lap quilt draped across a living room couch, or even as a king quilt in a master bedroom suite.

bright teal palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Pool, Breakers, Silver, Denim, Candy Pink, Crimson

And so quickly, she grows. A year and a half later, my daughter was captured wearing my favorite colors, seriously. This is exactly the palette I was seeking when I set out to find this week’s color inspiration, and I’m grateful to Brittany for eagerly agreeing to my use of her photographs in my palettes. Anyone who has been following my latest sewing projects knows that I’m absolutely STUCK on these colors. Turquoise, magenta, a bit of silver (low volume): I’m a happy quilter!

I just love Brittany’s photography; she captures such depth of soul and beauty in all of her subjects. Check out her website or her blog for some more portraiture eye candy, as well as for bits of inspiration and tips (while not specific to quilting, this 6 tips to better photos post is quite helpful!).

While we are on the topic of inspiration, last week I read a blog post that I think any creative person can relate to. Cheryl Arkison of Naptime Quilter wrote an honest and open post about being in a creative slump. This is from the author of popular quilting books Sunday Morning Quilts, and A Month of Sundays, with another manuscript underway! Yes, even the famous quilters get into a slump. Even the big names grow in bitterness and frustration at a continuously cluttered house. I’m not alone in this. There was something releasing in reading her blog post. It helped me to realize that we all feel the daily frustrations and at times get into slumps where creativity just won’t happen, AND that there are steps that can be taken to help emerge on the other side. I asked Cheryl if I could share her list of suggestions for getting through a slump, and she said yes:

– Keep sewing. Keep your muscles moving, your brain activated to the process.
– Finish something, anything.
– Take inventory of the WIPs, admit that you won’t finish some and pass them on.
– Wash the windows, or get them washed. New light, clean light will highlight the path and let the butterflies in.
– Try a new technique.
– Give away a quilt, a finished quilt.
– Say no to a commitment.
– Get up early to sip tea and do nothing in the quiet morning light.
– Colour, paint, or create with your kids.
– Turn off the computer, walk away from Pinterest and Instagram
– Put away the inspirational stack of fabric you pulled out two years ago.
– Sign up for a swap or bee.
– Take a road trip, even if just for the day.
– Have faith in yourself.

I love this list. So many resonate with me, and I think that final tip is so key. Have faith in yourself. For me, sewing and creating in general is an outlet of creative energy and my attempt to make beautiful things daily. If sewing begins to make ugly things, even in my mind, then perhaps it is time to go paint with the kids, put the fabric aside, and open the window so that the butterflies can come in.

I would add “Lay in the grass and look closely at nature” to this list, since getting a close look at the bees busily buzzing from flower to flower renews my awe at the world. And for me, where there’s awe, inspiration flows.

What suggestions do you have for getting out of a slump? Perhaps search for color inspiration everywhere you go? *wink wink*

Color Inspiration Thursday {2}

Yesterday when I checked the forecast for today and the next three days, it said “rain, rain, rain.” We woke up this morning to a bit of drizzle, but blue skies. By the time I got home from dropping my daughter at preschool, it was sunny and gorgeous, as it remained all day. Needless to say, we spent the day outside!

Now that night has fallen and my kiddos are sleeping, it’s time for me to keep my word and post my second weekly Color Inspiration Thursday. As I explained last week, on Thursdays I plan to post a color palette or two that I have created using the Play Crafts Palette Builder and my old photographs. I will also include the corresponding Kona Cottons since the Palette Builder lists them for me!

My hope is that these palettes help inspire you, maybe spur an idea for a new quilt or sewing project, or even just brighten your day and trigger those happy aesthetically-driven feelings. Even if you didn’t get to enjoy a sunny day filled with spring-time joy, new blooms, and keeping-the-bugs-at-bay breeze, here’s your dose of color:

lavender color palette

 Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Cadet, Avocado, Sweet pea, Pansy, Wisteria, Magenta

For this palette, some of the Kona matches were a bit of a stretch (specifically the colors on the outer edges–do they look like cadet and magenta?), but when looking at the Kona colors together, I almost prefer them to actual colors pulled from the photograph.

palette with kona cotton coordinates
The coordinating Kona cotton thumbnails are shown above. I like the cadet–a little bluer, and the magenta–a little brighter!

Regardless of whether you go with the range of purples from the photo, or the Kona colors chosen to match, I could see these colors becoming a quilt for my late Grammy June. Grammy was the sole quilter in the family, and my inspiration to begin quilting. She loved purple! I have to say: purple is certainly growing on me.

 

summer color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
White, Avocado, Grass green, Stone, Sienna, Wasabi

I’m partial to this palette since it includes both white and gray, which find their way into my quilts always very often these days. I feel like this palette has a country, down home feel. Do colors do that for you; do they illicit a specific “feel”? They definitely do for me!

Playing with Color Palettes

I have been having so much fun with the Palette Builder 2.1 on Play Crafts. Having just finished and gifted my biggest work in progress quilt, I’m looking to start a new one (of course!). I’ve not yet created a quilt focused on a particular color palette, but I’m thinking it may be time to try one!

Check out some of the palettes the Play Crafts Palette Builder 2.1 has created from my photographs:

photo 2 (8)-palette

Can you tell I have spring on the mind?  I love the earthy violets that came up on this palette (above). I also couldn’t resist making palettes out of some of the rich, vivid blue photographs from my knitting progress photo shoot.

2014-04-12 18.44.49-palette (1)

The busy bee photo didn’t result in as blue-heavy a palette as I would have guessed, but I still like it. I might add a bit of yellow in to represent the bee.

2014-04-11 11.51.37-1-palette (3)

I also love that the palette builder will give you the names of the Kona cottons that match your palette! Talk about making it easy on us quilters!

2014-04-11 11.51.37-1-palette (1)

 

While visiting New Jersey, I caught up with some old friends. My friend Sara was showing me pictures of her Kitty Cat (I will be honored that she named her cat Kitty, which is also my name), and this picture of hers just screamed to be made into a color palette:

photo (14)-palette

I was serious when I said I’ve been having a ton of fun! Here are some of the palettes I’ve been making from some of my old photographs:

Splash of summer!

3756124115_d34310a16a_b-palette

I made quite a few palettes for the coast of Maine. For the first one, the palette builder originally chose colors Kona Mushroom and Charcoal to represent the blues, but since I think the blues of the gorgeous mussel shells should dominate more as blue, I moved the color dots around until they landed on Kona Steel and Nautical. This is a great feature of the palette builder; you can tweak your palette until you love it. I really like the resulting palette.

2774943241_ce2f550243_b-palette

 

3762539822_656b7a6108_b-palette

 

2775769736_b177f8e9cb_b-palette

I love all of the coastal palettes, but I was really itching to see a bit of color. I love the effect the kayak has on this color palette:

200679358_c715b45279_b-palette

Which palette is your favorite?