Tag Archives: spring

Color Inspiration Thursday {70}

**Note: I wrote this post four (4) weeks ago and between other scheduled tutorials and family sickness, it has yet to be posted. I’m finally scheduling it to post so that it goes up no matter what goes down on the homestead. Spring is in full swing here in Maine, now, so just pretend it is a month ago while reading this!**

Warm, sunny, peeks-at-summer days are popping up here and there, intermingled with some below freezing nights and a bout of snow a couple of days ago. Ahh, spring in Maine! We were able to escape on one last grand adventure as a family of three before my big kids returned from their vacation two weeks ago, and today’s color inspiration comes from our adventures at Popham Beach in Phippsburg, Maine. It’s a bit of a drive away at just over 2 hours, but somehow the stars aligned and Finn slept the entire drive down, making our day joyful and smooth. And such, “beaching it” is the theme of the week; color palettes were created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1.

dune grass beach color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Pewter, Bella Bunny Hill Blue, Bella Prairie Green, Bella Pistachio, Kona Parchment, Bella Etchings Charcoal

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

5010 – Beige
5016 – Olive Green
2326 – Sand
1140 – Bark

As soon as we began along the path to the beach, I was drawn to the sea grasses that grew along the dunes. Such perfect little spikes of green popping up through the fine sand, it’s amazing to think that they alone hold the shifting sands in place during the strongest storms. Yet another reminder of Mother Nature’s simple complexity. The soft greens of the grasses and beige tones of the sand give a quiet feel to this palette.

beach grass sand dune popham beach maineThis grass-covered dune was gorgeous as a whole, too, and I was happy to see a nice solid fence and signage clearly explaining the importance of looking without touching (or walking).

rusty lobster trap color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Peacoat, Kona Pewter, Kona Medium Grey, Bella Nautical Blue, Kona Spice, Kona Latte

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2785 – V Dk Navy
2605 – Grey

1126 – Blue Grey
1310 – Med Blue Grey
4012 – Copper Brown
5010 – Beige

Great color combinations can be found in the most unexpected of places, like this old, rusty lobster trap that was washed up on the beach and almost entirely covered by sand. I am wishing I took a photo of this from further away, since you might not notice the intricacies of texture and color unless you take a closer look. Lovely rust! I actually have a quilt in the wayyyy beginning phases of planning using a rusty color palette like this. It might become a reality in a year or two!

Here are a couple more photos from our expedition, just for fun:

amazing driftwood
Check out that amazing driftwood!!

baby crawling on beach

baby crawling on beach

serenity

Here’s to another color inspiration post next week, featuring some of the gorgeous spring flowers that are finally filling our gardens! Enjoy your week!

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 {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 {46}

Ahh, spring! Color is everywhere, sun is slowly warming the soil, and the world is coming back to life. Spring is my favorite season, until summer comes along… and then fall with the crispness and the gorgeous leaves, followed by that first gorgeous snow that makes me love winter. I guess I’m just grateful to live in a place with clearly defined and vastly different seasons. The constantly changing environment keeps the wonderment fresh.

Today’s color inspiration is again from my garden, with color palettes made using Play Crafts‘ wonderful Palette Builder 2.1. The matching Kona & Bella solids and Aurifil thread is also a perk of the palette builder–if you haven’t tried it, I would definitely suggest taking a moment to make palettes out of your favorite photos. It might change the way you see the world–or do you already see the world in fabric and thread?

green droplets color palette

Corresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Dusty Jade, Bella Betty’s Teal, Kona Graphite, Bella Christmas Green, Kona Jungle, Bella Sprout

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2845 – Lt Juniper
2850 – Med Juniper
1246 – Grey
2892 – Pine
2890 – Dk Grass Green
1114 – Grass Green

On a whim, I did a quick google search for green after creating this palette. I felt like this photo and resulting palette said so much, yet I couldn’t quite put it to words. An interesting website on color psychology pretty much nailed my sentiment. Green…

This is the color of balance and harmony. From a color psychology perspective, it is the great balancer of the heart and the emotions, creating equilibrium between the head and the heart.

From a meaning of colors perspective, green is also the color of growth, the color of spring, of renewal and rebirth. It renews and restores depleted energy. It is the sanctuary away from the stresses of modern living, restoring us back to a sense of well being. This is why there is so much of this relaxing color on the earth, and why we need to keep it that way.

There’s much more reflection on the color green here, if you are interested.  Maybe I need more green in my fabric stash?

orange tulip color palette

Corresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Ochre, Bella Shocking Pink, Kona Mango, Bella Kansas Red, Bella Pine, Kona Pickle

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2930 – Toast
2215 – Peach
2210 – Caramel
2385 – Terracotta
5013 – Asphalt
5016 – Olive Green

Ahhh, finally some more color! I love this range of oranges, with a nice anchoring dark green and a splash of Pickle! How can you go wrong with Kona Pickle?

orange tulip color palette

Corresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Fig Tree Apricot, Bella Amelia Orange, Kona Cedar, Kona Nectarine, Kona Moss, Kona Evergreen

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2930 – Toast
2210 – Caramel
2350 – Copper
2215 – Peach
4173 – Dk Olive
2570 – Aubergine

Here’s just one more photo to share the smooth silkiness of the tulip petals. This palette would make a fabulous spring quilt, perhaps with some added low volumes. Simple, cheerful, full of new life.

What is your favorite sign of spring?

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!!

Balance

The internet has been down for most of the week here at home, which translates to radio silence on this here blog. My goal for the year was “Balance”, after all, so maybe it was decided that I needed to take a blogging break. Either way, here’s a little peek at what I’ve been doing during the silence.

visible mending

I mended my first pair of jeans. Yes, I know, it’s a little embarrassing that as an almost-34 year old, I have yet to mend clothes. I did try mending a hole in a pair of jeans a couple years back, but it was such an epic fail I can hardly count it. This time I used a patch cut from another pair of old holey jeans, zig zag stitched the edges to prevent fraying, and hand stitched it on with Aurifil floss. Many thanks to Dorie (@tumblingblocks on IG) for the inspiration and tips! The floss was gorgeous to work with, but I was later informed (thanks for the heads up, Sam!) that embroidery floss won’t be strong enough to hold up well as a jeans knee patch. I plan to supplement the stitching with a rainbow of perle cotton and hope for the best. At least it looks awesome, and these favorite post-partum maternity-esque jeans are ready to wear post-baby. It is so peaceful to sit and stitch while sitting next to my kiddos watching a movie. Balance, right?

skinny fabric scraps for the birds

I put my skinny strip scraps outside for the birds. I’ve never tried this before, but have seen that others save their fabric shavings to put out during nest-building season. I’ve been saving my skinnies all winter so I’m really hopeful that we see some colorful, soft nests around the yard this year!

alison glass prismatic medallion mini quilt progress

I’ve been working on my Prismatic Medallion mini quilt for my Alison Glass Mini Quilt swap partner. I’m still waiting on a few fabrics, but I’m loving the progress so far!

bean sprout foundation paper piecing pattern

I made a bit of progress on my newest foundation paper piecing pattern, Bean Sprout. Can you tell my mind is on spring?

planting seeds

We finally planted seeds. Today, April 3rd, we FINALLY got seeds into planters. It’s far too cold to plant seeds in the ground still, especially since there are still multiple feet of snow on top, but starting seeds inside is one of my favorite parts about spring. It felt so good to get dirt under my fingernails! Last year, we planted seeds in late February, so waiting until April is crazytown. This winter was just so brutal it felt wrong to plant seeds when the temperatures were in the teens and the snow just kept coming. I’m hoping the seeds still get a good enough head start to flourish once the garden is ready for them.

Back outside I go to enjoy this glorious day with my kids. The weekend forecast is for more snow (it darn well better not stick!), but I know that spring is near. Hope, balance, love. That’s what life is about!

Color Inspiration Thursday {42}

Green, I need green! While the weather has been warming and mud season is almost officially upon us (yes, it’s a real season in Maine–it falls right between winter and spring), there is still a dire lack of green or signs of new life out in the world around us. So today I gathered all the green life I could find and had a little photo shoot. Sure, they are potted, but here is some springy green and life-filled color for your inspiration pleasure. Color palettes are created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs.

green color palette

Corresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Betty’s Brown, Kona Black, Kona Basil, Kona Grass Green, Kona Old Green, Kona Baby Blue

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
5013 – Asphalt
2692 – Black
5023 – Medium Green
5018 – Grass Green
2850 – Med Juniper
2612 – Arctic Sky

Green, glorious green!

marsala color palette

Corresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Coal, Bella Cloud, Kona Pewter, Bella Peacoat, Bella Brick Red, Kona Black

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1140 – Bark
2612 – Arctic Sky
2610 – Lt Blue Grey
1130 – V Dk Bark
2566 – Wisteria
5024 – Dark Brown

This may not be green, but it’s alive and beautiful. This lovely succulent is on top of the trends, since I dare say it’s sporting the lovely Pantone color of the year, marsala. Am I right? Even if there isn’t a solid that matches perfectly, I think if you mix Bella Peacoat with Bella Brick Red, that would land nicely on Marsala.

green color palette succulent

Corresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Coal, Kona Basil, Bella Fresh Grass, Kona Celadon, Kona Medium Grey, Kona Sky

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1158 – Med Grey
5021 – Light Grey
2890 – Dk Grass Green
2845 – Lt Juniper
2625 – Arctic Ice
2560 – Iris

Glorious green. This succulent has seen better days, but I’m hoping that once the sun begins to shine more regularly, the temperatures warm, and perhaps I figure out the best succulent watering schedule for success, it will shine. I’m sure of it. For now, it offers promises for the days to come where green sprouts will be all around us!

Did anyone else notice that despite all the life in these palettes, “Arctic Sky” or “Arctic Ice” made an appearance in every palette!? I just have to laugh at that!

A Tea Cozy for Every Season: Valentine’s and Spring

“A tea cozy for every season,” requested my mom when we were talking about making quilts for family members. My mom loves tea and drinks a pot of tea every afternoon–no, she’s not even English!–so it really is a perfect gift.  For Christmas, I gave her the first seasonal tea cozy for the winter holidays, which you can see in my post Finishes New and Old. Today I sewed on the bottom binding, finishing the next seasonal tea cozy, which should take her into summer. I used Yvonne’s (Quilting Jetgirl) tea cozy tutorial, so the tea cozy is completely reversible and is suitable for two seasons in one!

One side is perfect for Valentine’s Day, since I used my Key to my Heart pattern:

tea cozy valentine's day

The reverse side features a bicycle inside the heart, which I think will be perfect for spring. My mom also loves bicycling, and she and my dad are known to plan vacations that include cycling from bed and breakfast to bed and breakfast in awesome European countries, where they surely enjoy actual tea time.

bicycling tea cozy

I thought about putting both hearts on one side of the tea cozy, but decided make one the “inside” and one the “outside”, with a coordinating solid backing. This way, one side of the tea cozy can be perfect for Valentine’s Day…

tea cozy valentines dayThen after February passes, you can just flip the tea cozy inside out and the other side is perfect for spring.

spring tea cozy bicycle

I technically made the Valentine’s Day side on the “inside” since I figure the bicycle will probably be shown more often. When turned to the Valentine’s Day side, the tea cozy is a little bit snug on my teapot (as you can see in the photo above), but I’m not too worried. I know my mom has a few different tea pots and I’m sure it will fit on one of them!

Now all I have to do is encourage my kids to finish their cards for Grandma (my mom) & PopPop (my dad) and get this all in the mail so it arrives in New Jersey before the 14th. I’m excited that I finished it in time, and hope my mom loves it as much as I do. This “tea cozy for every season” project is making me want a tea cozy of my own!

valentine's tea cozy

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday.

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?