Jean – QuiltVisions

July 2006

Quilt colors for summer weather: Are you ready?

If spring and summer came a little late this year,
you may now be experiencing a sudden riot of color in
your gardens. At least this is my experience.

The jacaranda tree outside my window overnight,
it seems, turned from barren branches into the largest
and most beautiful lavender flower mass, brilliant
against a royal blue sky, the best ever despite a
colder winter.

My tiny garden, just outside our front entrance
provided the first, somewhat elegant flowers: nine
orchids on a single stem!

When high school proms were a part of my life on the
east coast, I always got rose corsages. Only a few
ever got orchids and thus became belles of the ball.
We understood that orchids were expensive and probably
wouldn’t last long, but oh, how we coveted them.
Fast forward to my first orchids, on a surprise plant
delivered by a friend from his garden. So far, all
nine are lasting well over two months, changing color
a bit as it stays. Beautiful.

This is just a small garden but now, all around,
colors are bursting their little petals. Half a dozen
miniature rose bushes, each grafted with two or more
colors, have come to life in great array. Reds and
pinks, oranges, apricots, and cream, yellows and
corals — all cheerful and inspiring.

Surrounding them like ground cover are lobelia,
almost neon blues and purples, depending on the light.
First time Easter lilies, planted several years ago,
chose this year to burst forth all together, over a
dozen large blooms.

And there was gold, three golden California gold
lilies, shining in profusion against a beautiful
expanse of wide deep green leaves , dotted with white
circles. And keeping them company, a profusion of
California poppies. In back of me on the lawn, green
grass is speckled with the lavender jacaranda petals,
fallen there by a gentle breeze.

All the colors would work beautifully in a quilt,
When asked where I get ideas, certain fabrics, and
sew on — whoops! — so on, I could easily, for this
moment in time, say honestly, ” Why, just open the
door and there they are!”

True statement, but moments are moments and they
change continually. Like artist Georgia O’Keeffe,
when we take the time to appreciate each bloom and
look deep inside and around and around, we can
discover the exquisiteness God offers us and take full
advantage of it.

We have to be alert and capture beauty in the instant
we discover it. The same is true with shopping in a
quilt shop or at a quilt show. Or in a catalog or on
internet. If especially lucky, a quilt retreat that
lasts a week.

Another way of letting color turn you onto fabric
colors and quick action to capture, is to have a
sister-in-law who, after many years of promises to
visit, suddenly arrives at the door. She finally got
here, on the way home from a Hawaiian cruise. Deep
inside her suitcase, she pulled out Hawaiian beauties,
all cut and ready for my needles!

It matters not that all are squares, with a little
TLC, they will mass, dance down diagonals, perform and
glow for us. Playing with them and humming are part
of the art we seek.

Summer time can be a mystery (where will I discover
my colors?), where will the surprises come from (who
would’ve thought it?), or like surround sound,
enveloping us when we least expect it?

Bee happy sewers, using joy and love, music and
dreams, memories and blessings. This is what summer
life spills into being for us.

And if your DH walks through the kitchen door with a
bouquet of bright red roses, find a way to remember
them in your quilt too (or make another one) !

contact Jean, send an email to jean@fabrics.net

writer Jean Spencer began writing at age 11 and continued ever
since.  First half of her life was on the East Coast, the
second on the West Coast.    She is a joyful quilter,
a merry Christian, a multi-field author, the mother of two daughters
(who continue to teach her new things), cheerleading grandmother
of four, happy wife of a Mr. Fix-It who wears a Quilter’s Hero
t-shirt, and plays regularly with two dogs, old Goldie and an
energetic puppy Kobe.   Telling  stories in quilts, 
small groups,  church growth,  photography, fabric
collecting and music  are high on her priority list.

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