Spring is Here With Design Inspiration!

Luke, 3 months and Gus, 8 years

Luke, 3 months and Gus, 8 years

Spring is in full swing here in northern Virginia. How do I know this? Well, it could be the warmer temperatures or cherry blossoms blooming. But it’s not. For me, I know it’s spring because my 14-month-old dog, Luke, has been trying desperately to catch a frog since they have reemerged with the nicer weather.

We have always had dogs. I like having two. The older dog teaches the younger one and they keep each other company. Luke is our newest puppy. He came to cheer Gus up after we lost our Swissy, Gretchen. I have to say that Luke is one of the funniest dogs we have ever had. I will not be able to resist periodically sharing some of his and Gus’s antics.

However, for most of you, spring is about warmer temperatures and whatever it is you have blooming around you. I’m very fortunate that I live close to the Potomac River. I walk along the river three or four times a week. Monday of this week had to be the most gorgeous day of the year. Greeting me was a spectacular array of native flowers—bloodroot, toadshade, Dutchman’s breeches, toothwort.

wild flowers sm

Bloodroot, Toadshade, Dutchman’s breeches

The most amazing, though, were the Virginia bluebells which were at their peak. There was a carpet of bluebells stretching into the woods as far as one could see and reaching in the other direction to the banks of the river.

Bluebells woods and river smI came back fully inspired.

I often take colors from nature and use them in my quilt and fabric designing. Here are the colors of the Virginia bluebells.

colors of Virginia bluebells sm

I think these colors make a beautiful palette for a quilt. How did I get them from the image? It’s pretty simple if you have Photoshop.

  1. Open the image in Photoshop.
  2. Go to the top menu bar to Image/Mode/Indexed Color. Select the number of colors you want to see from the pop-up menu. You can go up to 250.
  3. Next go to Image/Mode/Color table. The chart with all the colors will come up.

bluebells in palette colors

Once you can clearly see the colors in the image, it is easy figure out your fabrics. I’ve used my Portable Palette which has swatches of all 150 of my Palette fabrics.

So take a walk and get inspired. Oh, and Luke? He’s still out there trying to catch a frog.

I know I could catch that frog if he'd just sit still!

I know I could catch that frog if he’d just sit still!

Leave a Reply



  1. Kathy Lovgren

    I enjoy puppy stories. We have a new grand dog so I get updates all the time. It can be the smile for the day. I will share your color information with our guild, if that is OK with you. Selection of color is a huge challenge for so many.

  2. Teresa McCloskey

    Dear Jinny , I love my wild flowers and looking for them in the spring is my favorite thing to do. i have a picture of Blue Eyed Mary’s if i can find it i will share. thanks for the inspiration. love you Trose

  3. Koroleva Lena

    I also had a labrador, a girl, lived with us for 12 years. This is the most beautiful dog. About them can write a book :)

  4. Quilting Tangent

    Cute Dogs. I just saw your Batik fabrics on Craftsy. Your fabric is gorgeous! I would use it a phoenix quilt and allot of other quilts till it ran out. Seeing how the fabric was made was so interesting. Thank You, Jinny! I wasn’t able to leave a comment there, so I left it here.

  5. Deb Cashatt

    Thank you for sharing the easy way to make a color table. I’ve been doing it the hard way for years.

  6. Pingback: Tech Tuesday: Fun with Color | Pixeladies

  7. Lori Brock

    Dear Jinny- I am excited to see your fabrics in person, until then, I hope you can read the email I sent to your general store account about this weekend. My Golden Doodle would love your labs. Lori

  8. Sharon Fry

    After hearing you talk about the “Antics of Luke” during our class you taught last week, I was delighted to see this picture of him, looking for frogs!
    It was a delight to finally meet you; I have been a “fan” for years! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. Thank you also for showing us your three “personal” quilts!!!! They were exquisite in every way!

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