Tag Archives: summer

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.

September Goal {ALYoF}

I completely missed August for A Lovely Year of Finishes (ALYoF), so I’ll just call it summer break. The ALYoF link up is one of the most successful ones at getting me to finally finish projects, though, so I want to be sure to sneak in September’s goal setting post before it’s too late (in other words, before midnight tonight). I’m choosing a quick and easy goal for this month, since there are a lot of behind-the-scenes projects going on, too.

summer epp table runnerMy goal is to finish my Summer EPP Table Runner. I have a small bit of hand quilting remaining, and then I need to bind it. Easy peasey.

EPP table runner viewWe spent a lovely relaxing family day at the beach today, so I decided to have an impromptu photo shoot. I always carry a couple of hand-sewing projects with me, either a small hand quilting project like this one, some English Paper Piecing, or both! The strong cool breeze of the ocean made the 90 degree day feel absolutely perfect, but it made it a bit tricky to photograph this light weight runner. I took a few photos in full sun, which is typically a photography no-no, but with the gorgeous view and glittering water, how could I resist?

Then I decided that the trek over to the shady half of the beach was worth it. This is just a tiny little lesson in quilt photography. Photographs in full sun result in washed out colors and highly emphasized wrinkles due to resulting shadows (above). Shady photos, however, provide much richer, truer, and almost more gentle colors and a more forgiving look at the quilt despite the lack of an iron’s smoothing touch (below).

summer epp table runner on the beach

summer epp table runner be sweet backingI decided to back this table runner in Bee Sweet in the Morning colorway from Bonnie Christine’s Sweet as Honey fabric line. The bees in the table runner top are from the Bee Sweet in the Sunset colorway, so it coordinates fabulously.

summer epp table runner hand quiltingI have only a bit more hand quilting to do, and then I MIGHT do a little bit of machine quilting to make sure all stays nice and securely despite the many inescapable washes that surely await anything that will live on our table.

aurifil 12 wt threadI’m using 12 wt Aurifil thread #4140 Wedgewood, which is a perfect match. I love the subtle effect of the large quilting stitches in a coordinating color, and I’m very much looking forward to having this table runner finished and on our table. It can be a lingering reminder of our fun and beautiful summer. And it WILL be finished by the end of September!

I’m linking up with the September Goal Setting Party for ALYoF at Fiber of All Sorts and Sew Bittersweet Designs, then going to bed (with a couple hours to spare).

Color Inspiration Thursday {57}

My Color Inspiration posts have been less consistent this summer, but not for a lack of color. I’ve been focusing on sewing and having quality family time outside, and with an infant, it’s a lot trickier to carry a camera around with me to capture the color all around us. But it’s still there, oh–it’s there! Last week we had a full, full house with my entire family visiting (minus one brother-in-law)–my parents, two brothers, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, and two cousins; it was a full house! This week I’ll be sharing some colorful flowers seen during forays into town, turned into color palettes with Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1.

purple cone flower echinacea color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Titanium, Bella Nautical Blue, Bella Magenta, Bella Peony, Bella Petal Pink, Bella Leaf

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2606 – Mist
1310 – Med Blue Grey
2455 – Med Carmine Red
2479 – Med Orchid
2566 – Wisteria
2887 – Olive

Purple cone flower, or echinacea, is one of my favorite summer flowers. The color, the shape, the wild nature–I love it all. These were spotted along the Belfast waterfront, beautifying the view of the harbor.

blue hydrangea color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Grapemist, Kona Amethyst, Kona Lavender, Kona Blueberry, Bella Sapphire, Kona Blue Jay

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2770 – V Lt Delft
2720 – Light Delft
2725 – Lt Wedgewood
2560 – Iris
2775 – Steel Blue
4140 – Wedgewood

Hydrangea. Honestly, it took me a while to fully appreciate this flower. The color of course is hard to be topped, but the giant fluffball style just isn’t my thing. When seen close up, however, the beauty of the color and the detail of each individual petal wins over the goofy fluff. My daughter, on the other hand, LOVES these flowers. The bigger the better, in her opinion. Me, I’d opt for the delicate forget-me-not over the voluptuous (yes, I just called a flower voluptuous) hydrangea any day. But I’ll take the color anywhere I can!

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?

Feather on a Summer’s Night {& a Giveaway}

I’ve wanted to make the feathers from Shape Moth’s Forest Quilt Along since I first began paper piecing. After recently selecting a fabric bundle for Fiddlehead Artisan Supply, I was trying to decide what project to make with the bundle. I asked my friend Stephanie and she immediately replied, “Feathers!”. Done deal.

summer nights fabric bundle fiddleheadIt’s no secret that I love high contrast and bright colors. Dark midnight blues paired with bright oranges and yellow compose this month’s blogger bundle for Fiddlehead Artisan Supply. It’s called “Summer Nights“, reminiscent of fireflies and popsicles. Scroll down to enter for a chance to win a Summer Nights bundle for yourself.

summer nights fabric bundle fiddleheadThere’s just something about this bundle that was begging to be stitched into feathers, or maybe fireflies. I might have to work on a firefly pattern, now that we mention it. Inspiration is everywhere!

shape moth featherI love how bright and bold the yellow and orange look against the dark blue. The fact that the fabrics include some of my favorites (Doe, Prisma Elements, Plume, and a fun new find by Lecien) surely adds to the appeal.

foundation paper pieced back detailI used wash-away stabilizer sheets provided to me by Alyssa at Pile O’Fabric, and I’m both excited and nervous to soak this block in water so that the sheets dissolve. Imagine that–foundation paper piecing without having to remove the paper at the end! I’ll be sure to write a post about how it all goes once I build up the bravery to let the feather take the plunge.

Growth of a Feather
The growth of a feather, via Instagram #sewtake20 posts.

I’m not quite sure what I will create out of this bright feather block; I think for sure I will make its little buddy (the second feather in the pattern) before fully finishing. I’m on the fence about whether to make it into a pillow or a mini wall hanging. I’m leaning toward a pillow, with the Plume fabric as the back. What would you make?

summer nights fabric bundle fiddleheadFiddlehead Artisan Supply is generously offering a Summer Nights fat quarter bundle to one of my readers. The bundle includes fat quarters of the following six fabrics (clockwise from the feathers):

  • Plume in Onyx from Nomad by Urban Chiks for Moda
  • Lecien Chatter Tailors #40507
  • Doe Trellis in Blue by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman Fabrics
  • Prisma Elements in Solar Quartz for Art Gallery Fabrics
  • Moda Half Moon Modern Scissors in Orange
  • Prisma Elements in Apricot Sunstone for Art Gallery Fabrics

To enter the giveaway today, share what you think of when you hear “summer nights”. Feel free to share word associations or stories; just fill the comments with summer night favorites! Leave a comment and make sure I’m able to get ahold of you if you win.  If you’re a follower of Night Quilter, leave a second comment telling me how you follow for a second entry. Like Fiddlehead Artisan Supply on Facebook or subscribe to their newsletter and tell me how you followed them for a third entry.

This giveaway is open to US and international participants.  The giveaway will be open until 8pm Wednesday 8/5 when I’ll select the winner randomly with random.org. Good luck!Note: This giveaway is now closed! 

I also completed my July Goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes, but I can’t show you yet! The goal was to complete the quilt and pattern that will be published in the September issue of Make Modern Magazine. Rather than post a boring, photoless post to document that I’ve met my goal, I’ll use this post as a multi-finish! I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, and ALYoF as my July Finish post.

Color Inspiration Thursday {55}

It’s time to share another color scavenger hunt! Today’s inspiration comes from the findings of the red-orange-yellow scavenger hunt around our July gardens and fields in rural Maine. Color palettes are made using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs. Flowers were found by my five and three year old kiddos.

red orange yellow flower scavenger hunt color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Lead, Bella Cayenne, Bella Clementine, Kona Grellow, Bella Acid Green, Kona Mint

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1158 – Med Grey
2395 Pumpkin Spice

2390 – Cinnamon Toast
2975 – Brass
2120 – Canary
2886 – Lt Avocado

This was a very fun scavenger hunt, since the yellow flowers just kept multiplying. It was great to look at each new flower and try to decide whether it was one we already had, or if it was a different species. The environmental scientist in me was thrilled to see my daughter reason through similarities and differences in the flowers, and of course the quilter in me was thrilled to play with flower arranging layout once we retreated to the cool porch.

yellow flower color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Steel, Kona Sunflower, Bella Sunflower, Kona Citrus, Bella Orange, Kona Gold

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2625 – Arctic Ice
2125 – Wheat

1135 – Pale Yellow
2120 – Canary
2975 – Brass
2155 – Cinnamon

Oh, these yellows! I will never cease to be amazed by the varied textures within flowers. It’s like a whole new world within the center of this tiny, dime-sized flower. Want to explore? Me, too!

orange flower color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Pewter, Kona Nectarine, Kona Cayenne, Bella Clementine, Kona Persimmon, Bella Golden Wheat

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2620 – Stainless Steel
2215 – Peach

2395 – Pumpkin Spice
2350 – Copper
2150 – Pumpkin
6010 – Toast

The woman who originally planted our gardens LOVED lillies. There are such a wide variety of colors and species of lily, it’s impossible to capture them all. We chose two different flowers as a sampling, and this vibrant orange daylily is like a fiery volcano (you can thank my three year old son for that comparison; he’s all about hot lava these days). So gorgeous!

Color Inspiration Thursday {52}

Fifty-two weeks of color inspiration! I’ve officially provided a year’s worth of color inspiration, and hopefully you enjoy it as much as ever! Today’s inspiration comes from tiny baby feet and gorgeous lupine, since I couldn’t resist creating a lupine palette! Color palettes are created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs, matched with Kona cottons & Moda Bella solids and Aurifil thread.

lupine color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Hyacinth, Kona Geranium, Kona Mulberry, Kona Lavender, Kona Laurel, Kona Limelight

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2566 – Wisteria
4030 – Plum

4225 – Eggplant
2520 – Violet
2890 – Dk Grass Green
1147 – Lt Leaf Green

I couldn’t resist making a palette out of at least one of my lupine photos from earlier this week. A gorgeous range of purples, a splash of pink, contrasting with shades of green, this palette captures the essence of a lupine field.

baby toes color palette turquoise peachCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Delft, Kona Blue, Bella Robin’s Egg, Bella American Blue, Kona Salmon, Bella Bunny Hill Pink

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
4140 – Wedgewood
2710 – Lt Robins Egg

6720 – Slate
1310 – Med Blue Grey
2220 – Lt Salmon
2314 – Beige

Baby toes! Back when my sister was in grammar school, I remember hearing about she and my mom going to some fashion event with the Girl Scouts, where “professionals” helped the scouts determine what colors look best with each girl’s complexion. The reason this particular outing sticks in my mind is that they came back with the news that the color turquoise looks great with EVERY complexion and skin tone. In the decade since learning this fact, turquoise has become my favorite color and therefore graces the family wardrobe numerous times. While the colors in this palette don’t read as straight turquoise, the pairing of the range of blues with the salmony pink baby toes makes me happy. I would most definitely use this palette in a quilt, either for a baby, or perhaps for a breezy summer beach house.

Just for fun, here are some more photos from my baby Finn photo shoot. It’s wild to think that three weeks ago, this big baby boy was still in my belly!

baby feet

finn at 3 weeks old

finn at 3 weeks old asleep

colo coordinated baby snuggles
Color coordinated baby snuggles. Three weeks ago today, he was still growing on the inside. Babies grow fast!

For those of you who have been following my Color Inspiration posts for a while, or even if you haven’t, what is your favorite color palette from the past year? Is there one photo or palette that sticks out in your mind? Certain colors that call to you? I’d love to know! Here’s a quick link to all of my color inspiration posts for reference: Night Quilter’s Color Inspiration Thursday: The First Year

Lupine Season and a Summer Sale

The lupines are in full bloom; some already on their way to seed. That means that country drives in our area are exceptionally beautiful, since lupines sprawl along roadways and in fields like a rolling purple sea, with splashes of pink and white. Summer is here!lupine in bloom maineLupine season makes me think of my paper pieced lupine pattern–one of the first ones I created, and still one of my favorites. I decided that summer is a great time for a sale, and what better inspiration than a field of lupine.  For the next month–through July 23rd–all of my summer themed paper piecing patterns will be on sale–nearly half off! Visit my Craftsy shop to peruse my patterns, add another fun project to your pile, and embrace summer!

LUPINE foundation paper piecing pattern saleIn addition to my lupine pattern, my summer patterns include patterns for buoys, fishies, and some Matisse-style circling seagulls, with sale prices already reflected. If you’re new to foundation paper piecing, I created a beginner’s tutorial to take you step by step through the process HERE.

night quilter summer foundation paper piecing patterns sale

Last weekend while running errands as a family of five–it was my husband’s last day of paternity leave, so I wanted to make the most of it and run the errands I knew I would not be attempting for months with all three kids on my own: Target, especially–and after restocking chicken feed and laundry detergent, my awesome husband pulled off the road at a few stops so that I could get out and photograph the lupine fields. I’m always so inspired by the gorgeous beauty in nature, yet have learned to appreciate the fleeting nature of the sights. Before you know it, the lupines will go completely to seed and the next gorgeous wildflower will take its place.
lupine flower detail purple lupine field busy bee on lupineAhh, summertime! Enjoy the sale and please spread the word!

 

Color Inspiration Thursday {51}

Irises and peonies took center stage in my garden this week, so pinks and purples dominate this week’s color inspiration. Color palettes are created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs.

purple iris color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Eggplant, Bella Royal, Kona Shadow, Bella Baby Blue, Kona Crocus, Bella Purple

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
4225 – Eggplant
2581 – Dk Dusty Grape

2600 – Dove
2562 – Lilac
2524 – Grey Violet
4225 – Eggplant

I like to get up close and personal with flowers. There’s a whole new world of fuzzy, fluffy, intricate detail that is revealed once you get within a few inches. From afar, sure–flowers are pretty. Once you put your nose inside it and take a look around, you see the tiny details that make each flower unique, and an intricate new world blossoms.

pink peony color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Petal Pink, Bella Bunny Hill Pink, Kona Putty, Bella Thistle, Bella Magenta, Kona Garnet

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2566 – Wisteria
2564 – Pale Lilac

2314 – Beige
2566 – Wisteria
4030 – Plum
2568 – Mulberry

Peonies. For some reason, this species of peony makes me feel like I’m watching a ballet, each petal a dancer deftly arcing and twirling in unison with the others, yet bringing her own personality to the dance. Typically, I love the symmetry found in flowers, but with peonies I appreciate the organized chaos, the improvisational beauty.

pink peony color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Lead, Kona Magenta, Kona Cerise, Bella Deep Burgundy, Kona Petunia, Kona Lupine

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1246 – Grey
2535 – Magenta

4030 – Plum
2568 – Mulberry
2564 – Pale Lilac
2479 – Med Orchid

This time of year, my daughter brings in flowers daily to replenish the vase on our kitchen table. From wild daisies to voluptuous peonies, our table always has a burst of color right in the center. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Summer EPP Table Runner Progress

The fussy cutting fun involved with English Paper piecing (EPP) and Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses blocks hooked me immediately (although I still think it should be called meticulous cutting or assiduous cutting).  I’m still wondering what one is to do with these gorgeous blocks other than make a ton and stitch them into a large quilt, though. With the three I’ve completed, I decided to turn them into a summery table runner to match these placemats. I’ve begun to join them together, slowly planning how I want to border these blocks so that they finish as a table runner.  This is my first time “finishing” an EPP project, so I’m learning as I go (read: making it up as I go), as I do with most everything.
summer epp table runner

With a newborn snoozing in my lap all day and night, and since I still have the help of my visiting mom and paternity-leave-taking husband, I’ve been making steady progress on finishing the center block and making tiny 1″ squares to join the three together. Even since these photos were taken this morning, the third block is joined as well. There’s not much better than resting with a peacefully sleeping newborn on your lap, doing some stitching while watching the milk drunk stupor reflex smiles.

sleeping baby stitching
My view earlier today, shared on Instagram.
summer epp table runner
I’m loving the teeny tiny needle minder gifted to me by Mara of @mara_makes on IG.

Since I made my own 1″ square EPP templates with card stock and my paper-cutting rotary cutter, I’m thinking I may just make my own templates for the entire border. In plotting it out, a combination of squares, rectangles, and trapezoids should do the trick (I think).

Have you joined Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses blocks before? What method/shapes did you use? Please link in the comments if there’s a particular method you like, even if it’s just a general EPP tip! I honestly haven’t asked google yet, but I prefer to hear opinions from you, anyway.

perfectly matching aurifilI had been stitching the pieces together using a neutral thread, but decided that since I’m joining a bunch of blues, I should use matching thread if possible. I was pleased as punch to find a perfectly coordinating blue Aurifil thread in my stash (but not overly surprised, since there ALWAYS seems to be a perfect match!) It’s right in the middle of the darker blues and lighter turquoise, and is the perfect color for tying this whole runner together (literally!)

What do you make out of your EPP creations? I am really itching to do some more fussy cutting, but I need to have a project idea in mind before adding another project to my pile.

I’m linking up with Freshly Pieced’s Work in Progress Wednesday, and then switching my gaze back to the beauty asleep in my lap. Happy stitching!