Despite indications to the contrary, I have actually been sewing. I completed a top for my bed and am nearly finished with the back. My dear mother has agreed to load it on the quilting frame for me and I hope to finish the quilting tomorrow. (I highly recommend everybody get a Mom. They are amazing creatures, and make one’s life much easier. Mine will probably also bind my quilt, because she is a kind, loving, patient finisher. Hi Mom!)

I’ve been playing catch up with my Dear Jane blocks. I fell a couple of weeks behind, but on the plus side I found the right darker blue fabric. Now I just need to find the light blue and the jade/turquoise/aqua/??? color. In the meantime, I’ll continue working with the colors I have – it’s not like there aren’t plenty of blocks to go!

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across a blog called design seeds. I’m sorry, I can’t remember which blog mentioned it, but it’s a great site for color inspiration. I’ve talked before about Joen Wolfram’s book, Visual Coloring, which shows how to choose fabrics by pulling colors from nature photos. Design Seeds does something similar, creating color chips from an inspiration photo. I already have a dozen or so images saved in my Quilting Inspirations folder.

For those of using Flickr, be sure to check out the Gallery feature. You can create collections of favorite photos by other members. I have two galleries of nature photos that I’ve chosen purely because the colors inspire me. You can check out the galleries here:
Gallery 1
Gallery 2

Here’s a mosaic that includes a few of the photos:
Color Inspiration Mosaic

1. 100_8451, 2. paper thin, 3. Baby Tree Leaves, 4. triumph, 5. marguerite, 6. rock river sunset, 7. Stapelia hirsuta flower bud opening, 8. Bad hairday, 9. ananasplant – galtonia candicans, 10. flor_002, 11. rolling in, 12. Dandelion, 13. Sükunet / Serenity, 14. Sitting Pretty – The Clipper, 15. The Birth of a Sunflower, 16. Lake Louise

Created with fd’s Flickr Toys

Gorgeous photos, aren’t they? I wish I could take that kind of photo, but since I can’t I’ll just appreciate and be inspired by the work of others.

I also found a fabulous FREE color tool called Toucan, from Aviary. They have a bunch of tools that I literally just found, and I’m looking forward to exploring them further. Toucan is free but does require that you sign up if you want to save anything. You can import photos from Flickr, create color palettes, and save them to Flickr (as well as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and many other sites). Here are a few of my creations:

(from a close up photo of an eyeball)

Paper Thin
(from a photo of flowers that I should know the name of, but don’t)

Green Butterfly
(from the green butterfly in the mosaic above)

And finally, from my own photo:
susan and allium

Susan & Allium

If you’d like to play, here’s a quick how to (you can play without creating an account, but you can’t save your palettes):

Click Launch Toucan on this page.

Scroll down the page until you see a bar labeled “Image Picker” and click on it to expand.

Click Import Image. At the top of the screen, either import your own image or click one of the tabs to find a photo to work with. I’m going to use Flickr as an example, so click Flickr.

If you sign in you can link to your Flickr account and save palettes there. This also means that you can easily access your own photos in Flickr. If you want to look at photos other than your own, uncheck the “Only your stuff” box.

Type something in the search box. If you’re looking for a specific Flickr photo, enter the title. Put it in quotations to narrow your search to that exact phrase. For example, search for “baby tree leaves” (use the quotations in the search box). Click Search and scroll through the images that come up until you find the one you like. I’m using the third image in the mosaic above. Click on it so it appears larger at the top left of the screen, then click “Import image.” The image is now visible under the Image Picker bar.

Scroll to the very top of the screen – see the row of color swatches across the top? Click on the first one so a grey bar appears under it. Now scroll back to the image you just imported. When you move your cursor across the image, an eyedropper appears and the color under the eyedropper is visible to the right. When you find a color you like, click on it and the color replaces the first color in the row at the top. Click on the second color in the row, then find another color in the image. Repeat until all of the colors in the row have been replaced. If you want to add more swatches, click the + at the top right, or remove swatches by clicking the -.

If you decide to create an account, you can now save your palette. Click Save As at the top right and give your creation a name, then click Save. It will take a moment to process, then will give you the option to copy the HTML for pasting in your blog. You can also publish it to Flickr. Here’s the link using the HTML embed code:

Baby Tree Leaves.egg  on AviaryBaby Tree Leaves.egg on Aviary.

Here it is in my Flickr stream:
Baby Tree Leaves

Pretty cool, huh?

Coming full circle, the last color palette is very similar to the colors I used in my new bed quilt, Coin Collecting.

Coin Collecting



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