August 31, 2015

Feeling Blue

This month I'm Feeling Blue . . . a cool, clean, refreshing kind of blue. Blue is all around us if we just take the time to notice. We live on the Blue Planet after all. It's the color of the sea and the sky. In my opinion there's nothing better than seeing it all from the air . . .

Our trip to St. Thomas

These are my Colorado Blues . . . gorgeous blue skies and clear blue mountain lakes.

Distant blue mountain ridges . . . 

Cool blue winter skies from my backyard . . . 

Dark blue stormy summer skies . . . 

And blue twilight skies . . . 

I've always loved the evening mountains silhouetted against the Deep Blue twilight sky. It was the inspiration for my final mini art quilt in the Four-in-Art group last year.

Blue is symbolic of water as well as sky. It's cool and refreshing on a hot summer day, bringing back memories of trips to the beach and time spent at the pool.

Blue is often the color of cityscapes as the sky is reflected in the glass of tall buildings.

Blue is also often thought of as a country color. This gate photo was taken on a trip to Taos last year.

Blue can be found in nature. Maybe not so often in flowers but think bluejays like this sweet baby bluejay in our yard . . .

Or how about a quilted bluejay . . . 

I don't use a lot of blue in my quilting. I don't even have a lot of blue in my stash . . . not to worry though,  I'm working on it. That said, one of my more well known quilts is all blue. Rhythm & Blues was made with a variety of blue solids and won a third place at QuiltCon 2013.

And then there's this blue version of my newest pattern Matrix

 I also have a new concept in the works that uses some beautiful Kaffe Fassett blues.

Blue is not a color I think of in my home. I don't decorate with blue, but the more I looked, the more I found blue here and there around the house. Blue dishes in the form of berries in my collection.

Classic blue and white dishes, some belonging to my grandmother . . . 

And blue vases, a small part of my colored vase collection in my studio . . . 

While blue is not my favorite color, I wear it almost every single day. For that matter, people all over the world do too. Blue jeans. Denim. I will always associate blue denim with my mother-in-law Ellie. She often wore light blue oxford shirts, jeans and a denim hat. We still have her denim hat. It's a lovely reminder of her casual style. My mother also liked blue, but not in the form of denim. Her style was a bit dressier. More like gray blues or navy suits.

Blue symbolizes heaven, dignity, strength and honesty therefore a common corporate logo color. Dark blue is symbolic of authority and used for police and military uniforms. 

We describe Blue with words like baby blue, sky blue, navy blue, midnight blue, electric blue, cyan, cobalt, azure, periwinkle, turquoise, ultramarine, sapphire. These last few are the names of beautiful blue gemstones. My daughter says blue is a very popular color in her jewelry lines. See more at EmilyClaireStudio.

Emily's first car was even blue. Sadly she now calls it bruised blue after a few dents and dings.  : (

Emily challenged me to find leaf photos for all my color posts and I accepted. So here are my blue leaves . . .

The leaf shapes remind me of this cool blue Chihuly glass at the Denver Botanic Garden exhibit last summer . . .

I'll leave you with this beautiful cloudy blue sky. Pretend you're laying in the grass, staring up at the clouds. Tell me . . . what do you see?

When I started this color series, my intention was to really look for the color in my own personal world. To see the color around me in my house, my environment and my experiences. For that reason I've chosen to use my own photos rather than rely on the abundance of beautiful photos and color schemes available through sites like Pinterest and Design Seeds. These sites are wonderful places for inspiration on color but I want this series to be personal . . . representative of the color I see around me. You can see all my other color stories under the Color Inspiration tab at the top of my blog.

I challenge you to look around your home, your neighborhood, your work and really see the colors in your world. 


August 26, 2015

Catching Up

I haven't been sewing much this summer. Plenty of ideas, not to mention things I need to be sewing. But it's summer  . . . what more can I say.    : )

Since it's the end of the month already, it's high time I to got my act together and made my August bee block for the MidCenturyModern Bee. Mary of Molly Flanders asked for a basket block. I loved making basket blocks back in May for Carla so it was fun to do them again. Why did I wait?

Mary has a real vintage style about her work and I don't have a lot of fabric that fits that bill but I thought this sweet floral had a vintage vibe. My only problem was not refreshing my memory on what Mary asked for until I'd already made this one. She asked for neutral backgrounds. Not sure this blue print really counts as a neutral so I'm going to make another today. Hopefully she'll find a use for both.

These baskets are really easy blocks to make. I followed Elizabeth's tutorial so as not to reinvent the wheel. Seriously. Why struggle through when someone has figured it out for you?

I also managed to get this top sewn together over the weekend. I pulled out a box of finished blocks that hadn't been sewn together and took it to guild sew day. Remember when Emerald was the Pantone color of the year? Yep. That's how old these blocks are. So nice to make a little progress. Who knows when it will be quilted though.

Somewhere along the line I changed directions for the design and made this quilt instead. That's why the Emerald blocks languished till now.

I still really like the Emerald blocks so it was a good project to grab and go. Having a project or two sitting in the wings ready to take makes it easy when sew day is suddenly upon me and I haven't had time to gather something else. These nifty 12" x 12" scrapbook boxes made by Iris work really well for this. My Drunkard's Path is stored in one of them.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.
Also linking up with NTT at My Quilt Infatuation.
What have you been up to this summer?

Be sure to check out Mary's shop, Sunny Day Fabric. She and her sister have some wonderful selections including notions that you usually don't find at your average shop plus lots of sweet fabrics.


August 22, 2015

Drunkard's Path QAL: Block 8

Block #8 for the Drunkard's Path QAL is done. Only one more block left so I feel like the end is in sight. Here's my August block . . . I so love the variety of reds and greens in each block. It's going to make a wonderful new Christmas quilt for my home.

I'm finding it a little hard to photograph the blocks with all those hot red fabrics that I've used. The background fabrics aren't 'dirty' looking at all but they look like it here . . . oh well. Thankfully it's easier to sew the blocks than photograph them. Especially when I'm sewing just one block a month.

I don't know how this summer has slipped by so quickly. While I'm sorry to see summer coming to a close so soon, I'm happy to know there's only one block left to make for my Christmas quilt. I'll be back next month with the last block and my plan for the borders.

How are your blocks coming along? I know Susan has already added her borders and they look terrific! Check out her Instagram account @SusansQuiltStudio to see her border choice.


August 18, 2015

Special Sale

Emily Claire Studio is having a BIG sale !

As many of you know, Emily is my daughter 
and a very talented jewelry artist as well.
She's having her first ever online sale 
so please hop over and check out her work.

Today through Friday all jewelry in Emily's new shop is 25% off.
Just use coupon code HAPPY25 at checkout.

and use the shop button to see her current pieces.
If something you like is sold out please just shoot her an email.

Earrings, necklaces, rings. 
Pretty. Pretty. And colorful too. 
That's what I love about her jewelry . . . all the color.

Follow Emily on Instagram:  @emilyclairestudio
Tag your favorite style with #emilyclairestudio

Follow her on Pinterest 
Pin your favorites:

just remember to use coupon code HAPPY25

Thanks for stopping by.

August 17, 2015

Stuff . . . and Life

While I may not be quilting much, or even writing or reading blog posts much, I have been busy.
Busy dealing with stuff. Busy purging.

We've lived in our house for close to 27 years!  Never in my wildest dreams did I think we'd still be in the same house all these years later. In that amount of time ALOT of stuff accumulates.
Too much stuff. Way way too much stuff.

Inside stuff . . .

Garage stuff . . . 

Side yard stuff . . .

Least you think we live in chaos or like slobs, rest assured we don't. Those piles are a result of dragging lots of stuff out and piling it up. It's not the way things normally look around here. Really. 
Most stuff is neatly stored in clear plastic boxes. But it's still stuff . . . stuff we don't have room for. Stuff we don't use. Stuff we don't need. Stuff like these craft supplies and old fabric remnants that I'll never use again. 

When you have three artists in the family, that means way more stuff than perhaps the average household. Our son is the only one with a minimalist approach to his stuff. I appreciate that Jordan. Thanks

My husband uses found objects in his work. Translation = boxes of junk. Mostly good junk, but junk none-the-less. A lot of fun stuff went into this piece . . .

My daughter has always been an artist and has always collected stuff. Translation = boxes of arty stuff. Good stuff, but stuff none-the-less. As a jewelry artist doing handmade markets, Emily shleps a lot of stuff to each and every show she does . . .

I've had my fair share of crafty ventures including scrapbooking,  home dec and garment sewing, and of course quilting. Translation = boxes of fabrics and craft supplies. Good stuff, but stuff none-the-less.

My studio holds a lot of stuff and sometimes looks like this . . . 

Thankfully if more often looks like this  . . . 

But seriously . . .  How many quilts can I make? I don't need all that fabric. While the big boxes above were full of home decor and garment fabrics, the ones below are just a few of the good quilting fabric boxes I need to purge. Maybe in the form of using them in quilts for charity. Maybe?

All three of us have been purging this summer. Whittling away at things here and there when we have time. Trying hard to make a dent in 27 years worth of stuff. Moving every so often would have been easier I think.

It feels good to be making progress. To see boxes piling up for garage sale, donation or the trash can. At this point we might need a small dumpster for all the lumber and big items getting tossed. Hopefully the end is in sight. It won't be all done. But it will so much better. So freeing. So unburdened.

I look forward to quilting again with a new purpose and less weight.   : )

How about you . . . how do you handle the stuff of life?

July 30, 2015

Red Hot

Today I'm exploring Red. Gone are the beautiful lush greens featured in my previous color post called Seeing Green. The 4th of July is a red, white, and blue holiday here in the States and inspired my look at red for July. The 4th always has me wearing red t-shirts and feeling quite patriotic. Now the holiday is long gone and the Red Hot days of summer have arrived. And though the fresh greens of cooler, wetter months have faded, (or gotten crunchy brown like our grass) there are plenty of red flowers to keep things looking bright and cheery.

Red is the symbol for "stop" worldwide, so I hope you'll stop today and take a moment to see the red in my life . . . perhaps it will give you a new appreciation for the red in your life.

Red is a bold strong color. It captures our attention and demands we take notice. Reds played a big part in the Denver Botanical Gardens Chihuly exhibit last summer and seemed especially well chosen for these fantastically wicked looking spikes. Danger . . . warning . . . fire . . . hot . . . sharp . . .

Red symbolizes many things, often with contrasting implications. Love and passion. Anger and aggression. Things of the heart. Historically it is identified with fire and blood. All conjure strong emotions and powerful meanings. I prefer the love connection myself. Who doesn't want to get red roses from the love of your life?  Love . . .

Red is a symbol of power and importance and wearing it is thought to give people confidence, courage and a winning way. Warriors even thought red brought victory to the battle field. 

The deep red of garnet is associated with love, passion, and inspiration. Garnet is the gemstone of Aquarius and the birthstone for January. Here is a beautiful red garnet necklace by my daughter of Emily Claire Studio. It would be a wonderful gift for someone you love or maybe even for yourself. 
Wear a little red and bring out your inner confidence and courage. See her new online shop here.

Summertime brings fresh ripe fruits in bright mouthwatering shades of Red. Most of my favorite fruits are red. I have an apple a day and love fresh strawberries and cherries when they're in season.

Several years ago I made a quilt featuring lots of juicy red fruits called "Fresh Baked". I use it every summer along with the fruity dishes I display.

Soon I hope we'll have some ripe Red tomatoes like these . . . 

In the mean time, maybe I'll finish "Vine Ripe" the red tomato quilt top that's been forever getting completed. If ever there was a Red Hot quilt, this is surely it.

Growing up in a rural farming community, farmers usually either had red tractors or green tractors. I remember mostly red on my uncle's farm. Sometimes you'll see a red barn here or there as well. I see this bright red barn down the street every time I take a walk to the park.

Red geraniums always remind me of home and my Mom. She planted them every summer along with red and white petunias. This traditional floral quilt pays homage to her love of flowers so I just had to get a photo of it with red geraniums in the foreground.

Bright red cardinals also remind me of Mom. They were a common sight around her house but aren't native to Colorado so I miss seeing them. Instead I make do with Cardinal quilts. This is a block from a quilt I made for her. The second is a small Christmas quilt.

I love to decorate with cardinals and poinsettias for Christmas so Red is definitely the color of December at our house. 

The quilt above will be replaced this year with my new Christmas quilt featuring red and green Kaffe prints. The design is based on the Drunkard's Path QAL at SpringLeaf Studios. See the tutorials here to make your own version. 

Of course, if you know me, I have to throw in a few leaf photos for good measure. Red leaves.

The men in my life seem to like red too. My son's car is bright red and he loves it.

And this art piece by my husband really speaks to the Red Hot topic quite well don't you think?

I'll leave you with this photo that relates back to the 4th of July where my Red Hot inspiration started. Red is the most popular color for flags around the world. 77% include red. 

For some interesting color facts and myths I found ColorMatters an interesting site. Here's a little red tidbit according to the site. "The history of languages reveal that red is the first color after black and white. All languages have words for black and white. If a third hue exists, it is Red." 

Check out my other color stories here on the Color Inspiration page. 
I'll be adding more colors as inspiration strikes.