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!

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14 comments

  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!

  9. Carol

    Thank you so much for sharing how to get the colours from a photo ex photoshop. I am looking forward to trying that with some of the photos from my garden

  10. Chris Babich

    This blog is awesome! I use Adobe Photoshop and can’t wait to try this out. I have been a devoted fan of your work and fabrics since the early 80′s. Took a class from you in Houston around 1985 and just marveled at your work. I continue to follow you and buy your books. Am now working on the craftsy.com class and am caught up. I have learned so much and have bought the tools you suggested with wonderful results. I have tried every method of applique known to quilters and your method using the appliquick tools is the best! Thank you for doing the class. I haven’t decided but pretty sure I will hand quilt the finished product. Was always a hand quilter since I started in 1976 in Germany. Husband was a career military officer so we bounced around a lot. Since retiring in New Bern, NC (after about 20 years in southern Arizona) have joined a fantastic quilt guild here in town. My older brother and sister in law live in Fairfax so I am able to visit your store in Great Falls. Keep quilting! I am inspired by what you do. Since I am always thinking about quilts finally bought a Bernina 820 to machine quilt. Still enjoy the hand quilting more.

  11. Peggy Anderson, CMP

    I hope you enjoyed Peru as much as I did. I celebrated my birthday there a year ago and had a fabulous time. Thanks for the tips on color selection above. Also, love the dogs.

  12. marianne

    Good morning Ginny, i love your fabrics, can i purchase them from the UK do you have an agent here, i would love to know. Hope you can help.
    Bye, marianne

    • We have no way of getting that information. You can, though, order from us. We ship around the world every day and today is the last day of our internet fabric sale.

  13. Judy karg

    What an amazing way to approach color. I love the website and the BOM. Thanks!!

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