Tag Archives: summer

Color Inspiration Thursday {77}

“Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful!’ and sitting in the shade.”
Rudyard Kipling, Complete Verse

Today’s color inspiration brings us into my vegetable garden. From afar it looks like a fenced in plot of weeds and wildflowers. Pass through the gate, wade through the grasses and clover, though, and you will see three little somewhat tended garden beds, gleefully holding a bunch of delicious veggies. Get a little bit closer, and you have the photos shared here today. Want to sing “oh, how beautiful!” while we sit in the shade and enjoy today’s color inspiration? Let’s! This year my garden is severely neglected, but has been weeded just enough for it to do its job: produce food for our family. Balance and nurture, right? Color palettes are made using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs, craftily taken at such a scale so as to crop out the weeds!

kale color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Limestone, Bella Clover, Bella Terrain Cactus, Kona Basil, Kona Grass Green, Kona Black

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2324 – Stone
5010 – Beige
5024 – Dark Brown
5021 – Light Grey
5018 – Grass Green
2692 – Black

Our first stop is with the hardy, delicious, and dare I say–GIANT–kale. We eat kale in egg scrambles, as kale chips, in soups and stews, stir-fries, and more. Kale does amazingly well in our garden and climate, so each plant grows about 3 1/2 feet tall and 2 feet across. Each leaf is as big as my son’s head. One of these years, I’ll realize that even with our family of five, we only need two kale plants, not eight. In the meantime, kale abounds! I love how intricately frilly each leaf is! The range of greens is amazing, too, including everything from earthy subdued to vibrant and fresh. Mmm!

yarrow soft pink paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Forest, Bella Dill, Bella Thistle, Kona Smoke, Bella Parfait Pink, Kona Pearl Pink

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2892 – Pine
2890 – Dk Grass Green
1140 – Bark
2606 – Mist
2515 – Lt Orchid
2405 – Oyster

Next up we have Yarrow. Honestly, when I ordered these seeds from our local organic seed company Johnny’s Seeds, I thought the yarrow would be white or yellow. To my pleasant surprise, it bloomed this beautiful pink! Yarrow is a great companion plant to many vegetables and is one of those plants you should feel free to plant all over your garden. It repels soil nematodes, aphids, bean beetles, and many more. I planted mine near my brussel sprouts, kohrabi, and kale and it is doing its job well so far!

onions earthy color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Hunter Green, Bella Betty’s Teal, Bella Green Tea, Bella Fig Tree Cream, Bella Paper Bag, Bella Etchings Charcoal

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
4026 – Forest Green
2850 – Med Juniper
5014 – Marine Water
5020 – Light Military Green
2375 – Antique Blush
1140 – Bark

Finally, onions. Onions are my garden pride and joy (very quickly followed by carrots!). After experimenting with a few different varieties of onions, trying seeds vs. sets, I finally discovered the type of onion that thrives well in our area: Copra onions. These are storage onions that I will soon pull, cure in the dry, sunny garden bed, then braid to hang in my kitchen. I learned all of this from a local friend, since I saw a braid of huge gorgeous onions hanging in her kitchen a few years ago and asked if she would teach me everything she knew. She did, and I’m so grateful. I grew less onions this year than last, but they should still last me far into the frigid snowy days of winter. And that earthy color palette that results just embraces the richness of a garden, doesn’t it!?

How does your garden grow?

Getting into the Swing of Things… or Not

Despite the best intentions, I’ve had a pretty slow start at “getting back into the swing of things” after returning from the Slow Stitching Retreat. I have done zero non-deadline related sewing, my house is not nearly as tidy as I’d like, and there are days where we all just run amok outside all day long. But you know what? I’ve decided that’s all okay. These are the final days of summer, with my daughter beginning 1st grade next week and my son beginning preschool two weeks after that, so I’ve officially decided that it is a-okay for the plans and schedules to go out the window. There will be plenty of time for schedules, cleaning, sewing, blogging, and organization in September.

Here’s what I’ve been up to this past week and a half, a peek at our family fun through phone photos, with not even a lick of sewing involved. It happens! Note: Not shown are the moments of crying and bickering kids, sweaty complaints, frustration, exhaustion, and boredom that are very much a part of life. Just keeping it real–I’m human, too! All my days aren’t sunshine and roses, but I like to share the high points here. Enjoy!

organic you pick blueberries at North Branch Farm
We spent a sunny late morning picking blueberries at our local organic farm, North Branch Farm.
organic you pick blueberries at North Branch Farm
16.6 lbs to be exact!!
meeting up with Karin Jordan's family
Quilty blogger friend Karin from Leigh Laurel Studios took her family on an impromptu weekend getaway to Belfast, Maine, so we got our families together for beach, drinks, and dinner. So fun!
garden flower
I’ve been enjoying the late summer blooms in our garden…
hiding spider in flower
…as well as the clever creatures who hide within them!
hiking Blue Hill Mountain
I hiked to the top of a mountain with a friend and our cumulative 5 kids. It was quite a fun adventure!
Robot Dinosaur on the trail
My son insisted on bringing his friend “Robot Dinosaur” on the hike (yes, it’s a toy digger, but the digger part looks like a dinosaur neck and head, right? Right. Trust me, don’t call it a digger.).
hiking Blue Hill Mountain
The weather was perfect and the view was fantastic! This photo was taken about 2 minutes into the 2 and a half hour hike. We were celebrating being on the trail!
hiking Blue Hill Mountain Maine
Most of the hike was along gorgeous, shady forest trails.
hiking Blue Hill Mountain Maine
With a gorgeous look out on the top, at over 900 feet elevation. The kids did great, the moms-lugging-babies did great, and Robot Dinosaur rested in the woods near the bottom of the trail until our descent.

I hope that you are enjoying the final days of summer (or whatever season it may be in your corner of the world), and I look forward to sharing sewing and inspiration with you again soon! Just last night I pulled fabric for three (3) new Farmer’s Wife blocks, and I have plans to finally finish a much overdo and beloved project, as well as join in (in a very relaxed, no pressure way) on the #100blocks100days challenge hosted by Angie at Gnome Angel, thanks to Kim at My Go Go Life‘s prompting! There is much sewing inspiration on the horizon!

Works in Progress: A Little of This, A Little of That

I have a lot of simultaneous projects going on right now, which is pretty typical of my sewing style. I like to have a selection of projects so that when a free moment arises, I have something to work on, but also have a choice as to what I work on each day. It helps my creativity feel refreshed and helps avoid inspiration slumps. When in doubt, I start a new project since I have no shortage of projects I *want* to create, and there’s nothing like curating a new fabric pull or cutting into a new project to renew my excitement for sewing.

It’s been a while since I’ve showed you my ongoing projects, so I thought today would be a good day! These are my most frequently worked upon projects; there are scads more on the semi-permanent back burner that I will pick up again when my plate clears *just* a bit. Today, the highlights!

IMG_5280First up is my ongoing epic Carolyn Friedlander Modern Hexies project. This is my on-the-go English Paper Piecing (EPP) project that lives in my purse. I’m making progress at a bit slower than snail paced this summer, since somehow those free moments that allow for hand stitching while the kids are occupied are few and far between. And oddly, all three kids have not simultaneously fallen asleep in the car on the way to a store even ONCE! What was somewhat regular with two kids is likened to a golden unicorn with three. But still, one stitch at a time, one hexagon at a time, this project progresses.

andover foundation paper pieced project alison glass handcrafted patchworkAnother project I’m plugging away on is a fun one for Andover Fabrics. They were awesome enough to send some Alison Glass Handcrafted Patchwork to me, as well as some yardage of Constellation by Lizzy House from her Whisper Palette collection. I picked up some Andover textured solid from my LQS Fiddlehead Artisan Supply to round it out. I’m working on a new geometric foundation paper pieced pattern, with meticulously cut sections of the gorgeous Handcrafted Patchwork fabrics. There will be a tutorial going up on Andover’s blog very soon, as well as the pattern release, so keep your eye out!

quilter's planner photography outtake karen lewis quilt acadia maineI’ve also been out on three different quilt photography adventures with my amazingly gifted quilt holding assistant, aka my husband. We have been having a blast photographing the quilts for this year’s Quilter’s Planner in a sampling of the gorgeous natural locations in Maine. The planner is now available for preorder! Reserve yours HERE… there are a limited number of early bird specials and some really fun extra bits this year! I’ve shared one fun outtake above, but more will be revealed in the coming weeks. Hint: Shown here is one of the 14 patterns that will be included in the planner this year, this one by the ever talented Karen Lewis! It’s so gorgeous; I can’t wait to show you more! Be sure to preorder yours now; you can read all about it on its Indiegogo page here.

Alison Glass fabric pull for Terrazzo quilt by Lee HeinrichThere are many other fun projects waiting patiently on the decks, including a Terrazzo Quilt (pattern by Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced) made using all of Alison Glass’s Sun Prints 2016 provided by Fat Quarter Shop (the fabric pull is shown above!), a simple new pattern I’m making for a secret side project with some fellow designers, a baby quilt for one of my best friends from college who is having her second baby soon (see the quilt I made for her first baby here), a quilt pattern that will appear in a magazine early next year, and more!

Phew! What have you been working on?

I’m linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times & Main Crush Monday at Cooking up Quilts since I love to see what everyone else is working on.

Color Inspiration Thursday {75}

Over the past two weeks, we’ve been searching for colors rarely seen in my previous color palettes, namely white, grey, blue, and purple. Last week, we attempted some white palettes and settled for white with a pop of color. This week, I’m sharing a couple of palettes addressing the purples and blues. We tried something a bit new for the second palette, but I don’t think it will be the last time we try it! Color palettes were created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs, with conveniently matched cotton solids and Aurifil threads in case a palette so inspires you to sew!

purple blue color palette natureCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Black, Kona Shadow, Bella Baby Blue, Bella Aubergine, Kona Storm, Bella Betty’s Blue

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2692 – Black
2615 – Aluminum
2562 – Lilac
2566 – Wisteria
2745 – Midnight
4140 – Wedgewood

Purple, lovely purple! Literally one, maybe two days after deciding to seek less frequent colors in nature, one of my kids spotted this pinecone refuse left by some critter alongside a hiking path. I went to investigate in response to, “What’s this, mama?” and viola! Purple! and a bit of blue! I love when my kids find little treasures out in the natural world, since that spark of wonder is what makes the world go ’round! I certainly will do all I can to keep it going as long as I have a speck of influence, and will cherish the treasures found.

reverse color scavenger hunt blue violet Corresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Stone, Kona Surf, Kona Ocean, Kona Copen, Kona Periwinkle, Kona Blueberry

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2605 – Grey
2525 – Dusty Blue Violet

2780  – Dk Delft Blue
2725 – Lt Wedgewood
2720 – Lt Delft Blue
2770 – V Lt Delft

For this palette, we tried something a bit different. There are bits of blue appearing around our gardens–blueberries are beginning to ripen, the blue bachelor button buds are ready to pop any day, and the borage is flowering its fuzzy blue blooms. But no where is there a strongly dominant blue; it is mixed in with the rest of the colorful bits of beauty but alone would not hold its own in a color palette.

To combat that, I decided to try a reverse color scavenger hunt. I picked a couple of borage flowers and gave my oldest the challenge of finding things in the house that matched the color perfectly. Borage is a tricky color–a blueish violet that’s very soft and subtle, but she managed to find one book that was an absolute perfect match: a little book called the Dali Lama’s Book of Love & Compassion, a sweet little collection of positive reflections that was a gift from my husband way back before we were even engaged. Everything else we tried was either too blue or too purple, so I headed up and grabbed some blue-violet Aurifil spools to see if we could get lucky. Sure enough, 2525-Dusty Blue Violet is the perfect match! If you look at the matching Aurifil threads pulled from the palette, the second coordinating color is exactly that! Once again, Aurifil has the perfect match.

It has been fun to seek the rarer colors, and I still have yet to find a convincingly grey palette, nor have I fully succeeded with a white one, so I will keep looking! I challenge you to spot some odd colors in the world around you this week–where do you see blue? purple? or any other unusual colors that stand out to you? Let me know in the comments, or link to a photo!

Enjoy the search!

Color Inspiration Thursday {74}

I have had some fun this week searching out some of the colors in nature less commonly seen in my color palettes, as you helped me name last week: white, grey, blue, and purple. I have also been getting more comfortable with a new camera, since I very recently upgraded our nearly 10 year old Canon with a newer version. Upon reading up on editing RAW photo files in preparation for the big Quilter’s Planner photo shoot, I also made the executive decision to begin a trial version of Photoshop and Lightroom just last night (or should I say, early this morning?). Combine all of those three things together, and that makes for a lot of late nights and fun photo experimentation. AND some really fun color palettes! All color palettes were created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs.

white flat lay color palette natureCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Sky, Kona Silver, Kona Cloud, Bella Baby Blue, Bella Petal Pink, Kona Zucchini

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2024 – White
2560 – Iris
2606 – Mist
2564 – Pale Lilac
2562 – Lilac
5015 – Gold Yellow

Since low volume fabrics are among my favorites, I decided to begin by searching for white. I enlisted the help of my big kids and we gathered all of the white and light grey flowers and treasures we could find around our yard and garden. Since I wanted to emphasize the white, we laid them out on a big white poster board. Through this whole search for white-rich color palettes, I’ve discovered that it is quite difficult to find a palette created from nature without the green, yellow, or pinks sneaking in. For the palette above, I ignored the green in creating the palette, even though, for me, the green jumps out at you in the photo.

Since I am getting the hang of a new camera, I wanted to experiment with the quality of light in different places, so before photographing in earnest, I took simple top-down photos in a few different locations: inside near a bright window, outside in direct bright sunlight, and outside in a shady spot. It’s amazing how simply moving the location of the photo subject changes the quality of the color so drastically. Here are my unedited photos in each location, to show you the differences:

inside near windowInside near a bright window = dancing shadows

outside in direct sunOutside in direct bright sunlight = garishly bright with dark shadows

outside in a shady spotOutside in a shady spot without direct sun = gentle and flat, and with a little bit of lightening in a photo editor, it creates the bright photo with soft shadows that was used to create the color palette above.

I decided to try my favorite, macro photography, to see if I could isolate some fully white-spectrum photos. Lo, once again, this just proved that pink and yellow love to sneak into the whites! I also discovered that it is quite difficult to get true white to pull from a photograph. Greys and beige, yes. But white? No such luck.

white attempt yellow color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Blue Bell, Kona Silver, Bella Saffron, Bella Longhorn, Kona Cheddar, Kona Limestone

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
5008 – Sugar Paper
2560 – Iris

2318 – Cachemire
2930 – Toast
6010 – Toast
2324 – Stone

I knew that the golden center of this flower would pull through just as strongly if not more so than the white, but how could I resist? Such a gorgeous bloom, and a soothing palette. In quilting, I love good contrast and a crisp aesthetic, which often is aided by using a low volume/white or dark/black background fabric. This palette is one that I could definitely see myself using, perhaps in a gender neutral baby quilt, or summery pillow. I probably would drop the Stone and pick up pure White, though, even though it didn’t push through in the actual photo.

white snuck pink color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Lt Blue, Kona Thistle, Kona Lupine, Kona Plum, Kona Cloud, Kona Sky

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2612 – Arctic Sky
2510 – Lt Lilac
2566 – Wisteria
4030 – Plum
2560 – Iris
2710 – Lt Robins Egg

Ahh Thistle, Lupine, Plum; what gorgeous colors! This is a palette that appears in my creations often, although usually with some other colors joining ranks. Again, despite the attempt to find a fully white-grey palette, this was another no-go. Clearly, Mother Nature likes color, too! I still love the photos and resulting palettes, even if they don’t quite fulfill the request for low volume color palettes. I will keep hunting, and look forward to sharing my finds with you next week!

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Reminder!! The Christmas in July Pattern Bundle Sale ends today at 3pm EST!! It’s your last chance to get a fabulous deal on 23 versatile patterns from some of your favorite designers, including Meadowmist Designs, Quilting Jetgirl, Quiet Play, Blossom Heart Quilts, Live Love Sew, 13 Spools, and many more! At the end of the sale, this bundle of patterns will no longer be available, so get it while you can! As an added bonus, everyone who buys it HERE is entered to win a Quilter’s Planner 2017 Starter Kit. Creativity overload (in a totally great way!)! **The sale is now over!

Also, my giveaway for the Raindrop fat quarter bundle by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cotton + Steel Fabrics, sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop ends tonight at 8pm! Comment on my post HERE to enter to win if you haven’t already!

Color Inspiration Thursday {73}

My garden is in a very temporary visual lull at the moment, with the first burst of blooms dying out and the next round not quite flowering yet, but I have a good stockpile of photographs from earlier this year for color inspiration posts in the meantime. This week features a few of my garden beauty favorites, with color palettes made using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1.  I hope you find inspiration from the detailed intricacies provided by Mother Nature, by the color bursts and combinations found naturally all around us, or by the gorgeous matching quilting solids and Aurifil threads listed beneath each palette!

pink peony color inspiration paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Dahlia, Kona Violet, Bella Berrylicious, Bella Boysenberry, Kona Thistle, Bella Prairie Green

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2520 – Violet
5003 – Wine

2535 – Magenta
4030 – Plum
2510 – Lt Lilac
2850 – Med Juniper

Ahhhh! Peonies are long gone at this point in the year, but their full beauty lives on in these photographs (and my memory). I did not get dahlias in the ground in time this year; otherwise I would be eagerly awaiting their blooms to step into the vacant space left by the passing of the peonies. Time will tell which bloom will steal my heart next. It’s fun how more or less the same flowers bloom each year, since our garden is a perennial garden, yet it is always a surprise when a flower first begins to bloom.

columbine flower pink red color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Bunny Hill Blue, Bella Petal Pink, Bella Boysenberry, Kona Bordeaux, Kona Azalea, Kona Herb

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2600 – Dove
2445 – Victorian Rose

4030 – Plum
1103 – Burgundy
2530 – Blossom Pink
5019 – Military Green

One of my favorite aspects of our garden is the wide variety of subspecies that are planted of each flower. There are least ten different species of Columbine, from daintily elegant to full and regal. You can see one of the other species featured in a past color inspiration post here. I don’t remember seeing this red species before this year, but it must have been there, hiding amidst the other copious blooms. I fully enjoyed it this year, and love the rich color palette that results.

In looking through my color inspiration posts, there is a definite trend toward pinks, maroons, orange/golds, greens, and earthy tones. I suppose that’s to be expected when the majority of the photos come from the garden around me. I was thinking it might be fun to have a color scavenger hunt, though, and specifically seek some of the colors more rarely found in nature. I’m taking suggestions for color themes–the harder the better (I love a challenge)!  What color should I search for first? Blue? Purple? White? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Geese Crossing Mini Quilt {Sizzix Tutorial} & Color Inspiration Thursday {72}

I recently had some fun playing with a new Sizzix die and a color/value gradient from dark purple to light pink. Today I’m sharing a tutorial over on the Sizzix blog so that you can make your own Geese Crossing mini quilt. Since the colors and the peonies from my garden are serendipitously paired, I created a color inspiration palette to share, too!

sizzix geese crossing tutorial value gradientThis mini quilt finishes at 24″ square, and its creation coincided with the fabulous bloom of peonies in our garden. It features a new die called Geese Crossing, designed by Victoria Findlay Wolfe and released at Quilt Market last month. It’s a very versatile die and allows for lots of design, color, and value play.

-How to get perfect points when sewing geese
Tips for getting perfect points!

In my tutorial, I share information that will be helpful for all quilting projects, including:
– Tips for creating a successful value gradient in a fabric pull;
– How to get perfect points when sewing geese or other triangles; and,
– Tips to prevent bunching when sewing on an angle.

You can read the full tutorial and see more photos of my project process on the Sizzix blog, here.

sizzix geese crossing tutorial value gradient peoniesThe colors of the peonies and the colors in the quilt meld so beautifully together! I really could not help but take a million photos of this quilt with the gorgeous color gradient of peonies from my garden, but since it’s Thursday, I figured a combination of Color Inspiration Thursday and a heads-up about my Sizzix tutorial would be perfectly acceptable.

sizzix geese crossing tutorial value gradient peoniesAhhh peonies! Such an inspiration!

peony geese crossing color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Dusty Blue, Bella Pewter, Bella Petal Pink, Kona Plum, Kona Cerise, Kona Eggplant

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2560 – Iris
2564  – Pale Lilac
2425 – Bright Pink
2479 – Med Orchid
4030 – Plum
2582 – Dk Violet

This color palette was created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 as per usual, and the matching Aurifil threads and Kona & Moda Bella solids are particularly useful! I will certainly be getting a few of those threads for quilting! We actually had dark magenta peonies that would have matched the darkest purple fabric, but they are the early variety that met their end during a thunderstorm a few weeks ago. Still, our garden provided a lovely fade from the palest pink to a bright magenta with the peonies blooming now.

sizzix geese crossing tutorial peonies value playI love the natural ombres and vibrant colors found in nature and thoroughly enjoy combining natural inspiration with quilty projects. It is so fun to try to stitch the beauty around me into the quilts in my hands!

Where in nature do you find the most inspiration? Flowers? Colors in general? Textures? or simply through the endless variety of growth and new life that appears before our eyes daily?

Psst… stop and smell the flowers today!

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday with this finished flimsy!

 

Color Inspiration Thursday {71}

Ahhhh, summer is here! The garden has been cranking full speed ahead, cycling through blooms as only nature can. This time of year is a strong reminder to appreciate the moment, since if you don’t stop to smell the flowers, before you know it they are gone and being quickly replaced by different ones! Today’s color inspiration palettes come from photos of some flowers in my garden, but with a slightly different perspective. You know how I love to get up close and personal; well today, I took it one step further. I played with the easy macro band my husband gifted to me for Christmas, and using my iPhone, took some seriously macro (super duper close!) photos of some familiar beauties. Color palettes are made using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1.

purple star flower paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Cerise, Kona Bright Pink, Kona Violet, Bella Amelia Green, Bella Amelia Purple, Kona Hibiscus

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1100 – Red Plum
2450 – Rose

5003 – Wine
2882 – Lt Fern
1243 – Dusty Lavender
1240 – V Dk Eggplant

This first flower was featured in a color inspiration post last year, as part of a pink/purple color lay. It’s the one on the far left, the purple spray-like flowers. I believe it’s a Mountain Bluet (Centaurea montana). This year, I went straight to the heart of the flower, and I love the blurred depth of field and soft, rich color. This Mountain Bluet heart reminds me of improv quilting, gorgeously random yet cohesive.

iris color palette purple goldCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Magenta, Bella Amelia Lavender, Bella Pewter, Bella Baby Pink, Bella Daffodil, Bella Longhorn

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2520 – Violet
2524 – Grey Violet

2606 – Mist
2405 – Oyster
5001 – Ocher Yellow
2145 – Yellow Orange

Any guesses as to what flower this may be? I absolutely love the soft palette that resulted from this fuzzy view down the gullet of an iris (did you guess it?!). Just for scale, here’s a “regular” photo of the same flower:

iris flower in gardenIsn’t it amazing how simply moving insanely close to a flower changes the entire aesthetic!? I feel like I say it almost every time, but it’s a whole new, beautiful world in there!

A bit more about the Easy Macro band; it’s really simple to use and costs just over $10. I’m not an affiliate or anything, but it’s such a clever little tool, I thought I’d share more information. It looks like a big rubber band with a little round lens on it, and you simply stretch it over your phone, lining up the lens with the lens on the phone’s camera. One tip to getting great photos–get far closer than you think is possible, tap the screen to focus, then slooooooowly back the camera up until you find the focus you want. Take the picture! It’s really fun, and you certainly will be seeing more of these easy macro color palettes. I think the narrow perspective helps you focus more on the color than the subject, which is perfect for color palettes!

Do you prefer macro (super close up) photos, or more landscape/scene photos? I am definitely in the macro camp, but I know there’s a place for both styles of photography!

Enjoy your day, and happy sewing!

 

Slow Stitching for Summertime

Ahh! Summer is upon us! My daughter has mere days left of school before summer break is officially here! That means all three kids home all day, every day, which in turn means time to take lots of day trip adventures! Summer also means lots more opportunity for slow stitching, and a need to have some hand stitching available at all times. We all know that the day I forget my handwork will be the day all three kids somehow fall asleep in the car on the way to some adventure!

hand stitching epp preparation carolyn friedlander modern hexiesMy portable hand stitching kit this summer consists primarily of English Paper Piecing (EPP) hexies and some experimental embroidery-quilting projects.

After a lull in my Carolyn Friedlander modern hexies project progress, I’m ready to pick it up again and baste more hexies! While 2 1/2″ squares work just fine for EPP hexagons, I really enjoy the neatness that starting with a hexagon of fabric provides.

sizzix fabi die cutting hexagons for epp
Nine (9) charm squares lined up on top of the Sizzix 1 1/2″ hexagon die. Pass it through….
sizzix fabi die cutting hexagons for epp
Viola – 18 hexagons ready for basting

This is another time when the Sizzix die cutting machine comes in handy. It doesn’t take long to cut a whole bunch of fabric and cardstock hexagons for slow stitching on the go. I use the BigZ Hexagons with 1 1/2″ sides die to cut fabric and BigZ Hexagons with 1″ sides die to cut cardstock hexies and I’m ready to roll.

sizzix fabi die cutting hexagons for eppA lovely stack of fabric hexagons ready to baste. I need to cut a few more cardstock templates, but this will do for now!

embroidery quiltingI am also continuing to add embroidery quilting to my Rainbow Hex Star mini, as well planning a couple small embroidery quilting experimental projects. My goal is to find a way to get the back to look as neat as the front. Practice, right?

slow stitching retreat a gathering of stitches maine alison glass chawne kimberSlow stitching on the go is not the only slow stitching I’m looking forward to this summer! I’m also officially registered for the Slow Stitching Retreat hosted by Sam at A Gathering of Stitches this August. I can’t wait to slow down and sew with Sam, Chawne Kimber, and Alison Glass. I’m doubly excited since I will also be leading yoga on the retreat! Just imagine… slowing down, breathing deeply, stretching out, learning from amazingly talented and inspirational quilters, and slowly stitching in the sun, rocking on the rocking chairs out on the porch in the calm, cool woods of Maine. You can read about my experience dropping in on a day of this retreat last summer HERE. I am very much looking forward to spending the full four days rejuvenating my soul with some slow stitching in inspired creative company. Are you coming!? I sure hope so!

What are your summer stitching plans?

Color Inspiration Thursday {58}

Heat and humidity still run deep here in Maine, although nights are beginning to cool off. Even still, with school starting and the garden passing its peak, we are clearly headed into autumn, like it or not. Today’s color inspiration includes a couple of photographs I took while my family was visiting in early August. I’ve saved them until now, though, since they have a decidedly autumnal feel to me. Color palettes are created using Play Crafts Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs. The matching solids and Aurifil thread are an awesome perk of using the Palette Builder; they are automatically generated for you!

spiral plant color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Coal, Bella Green, Kona Spring, Bella Baby Blue, Bella Plum, Bella Eggplant

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1158 – Med Grey
5014 – Marine Water

2850 – Med Juniper
2606 – Mist
2566 – Wisteria
2568 – Mulberry

This awesome spiral ornamental plant was spotted outside one of the businesses in downtown Camden, Maine. It’s variegated, but beyond that I have no idea what species of plant it might be. I thought the combination of the unique spiral of the soft green leaf, the brick tinged veins and leaf border, and the brick step background would make a gorgeous palette. It feels like fall to me.

wine and bonfire color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Pepper, Kona Chocolate, Bella Acid Green, Kona Amber, Kona Cedar, Kona Spice

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2785 – V Dk Navy
1285 – Med Bark

2120 – Canary
2145 – Yellow Orange
2390 – Cinnamon Toast
2385 – Terracotta

Wine and a bonfire. What’s not to like? While this scene was enjoyed during a hot midsummer’s night, the resulting color palette screams fall. Maybe it’s the fiery orange and yellow with the dark black/brown background that seems reminiscent of jack-o-lanterns and autumn leaves. I’d certainly love to enjoy a nice glass of wine by a bonfire, but I’ll have to wait until my month-long antibiotic Lyme-kicking regiment is finished before I imbibe. This photo will just have to suffice for now.

Taking this photo reminded me that I haven’t paired wine and fabric in a while. I think it’s high time I got back to that, since it makes for some fun creative fabric play. If you’re a wine drinker, what are some of your favorites? Perhaps I’ll try to find one and pair it up with the perfect fabric match!

Enjoy these last days of summer! Happy sewing.