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Color Inspiration – Tree Trunks to Bouganvilla

It’s not uncommon to hear new quilters say they find it difficult to choose fabrics for their projects. That’s typical of most of us when we’re getting started, but with each new project we develop our sense of color and become more comfortable with the process. While it’s easy to stay within the confines of a fabric line, it can become too “matchy” and, although being safe, can be a bit boring. I will admit it took me awhile to step out of the “matchy” box.

Why not let Mother Nature help with color selection? Lately I’ve been fascinated with the phenomenal colors in tree trunks. Here’s a photo of my current favorite (found outside my local post office):

Christie's tree trunk

I decided to challenge myself by printing the photo and going through my stash to find fabrics with all the colors in that photo (ok – I cheated and bought a few). Here they are:

After considering what to make from my “tree trunk” palette, I selected one of my own patterns, Urban Chic, which is perfect for showcasing a collection of fabrics. It’s a contemporary design with a simple pieced rectangle block. I’ll select one dark fabric and one light fabric for the perimeters and use all the “tree trunk” fabrics for the centers.

Urban Chic

I do realize that “tree trunk” is not everyone’s idea of beautiful, so I asked my friend Sally to take the challenge along with me, using a photo of the beautiful bouganvilla plants in her yard:

Sally's bouganvilla plants

We’re committed to completing these projects in time for my November 8th post, where there will be photos of the quilts and a “challenging” give-away! Until then, keep an eye on Mother Nature’s beauty – fall colors are on the way!

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