Colour Inspiration Tuesday: Bougainvillea Surprise

Bougainvillea color scheme from Clever Chameleon

Colour Inspiration Tuesday: weekly colour stories for your quilts and other crafts.

Have you ever taken the time to really look at something you had always assumed you knew well, only to discover something unexpected? We live such fast lives these days that the little details can start to slip by. At least, that is true for my stage of life, with 2 young children and a travelling husband. But today I stopped to “smell the bougainvilleas” and discovered something.

Nope, it wasn’t that bougainvilleas have a fainter scent than many flowers. Or that the bright leaves that surround the tiny flowers are indeed leaves, not petals. I did already know both of those things. 🙂 It was something more subtle.

Purple Bougainvillea color scheme from Clever Chameleon

Colour Inspiration Tuesday: Bougainvillea Surprise

The photo of the hot pink bougainvillea at the top of this post was taken at our accommodation in Vanuatu a few weeks ago. At the time, I made a colour board and noticed the pretty form of the tiny flower in the centre of the showy leaves. “Funny”, I thought. “How come I’ve never noticed how cute the little centres are?” I even toyed a little with a free-motion quilting design to celebrate my discovery, but it never really got very far.

And the bougainvilleas went by the wayside as other inspiration presented itself for my 31 day series.

But now we are home, and I find that the local council has repainted the local outdoor pool surrounds.  In colours not unlike the tones of the Vanuatu bougainvillea, but with a powder blue thrown in for good measure. I would show you but I keep forgetting my camera when we go to the pool. Anyhow, the new pool décor reminded me of my bougainvillea colour board and I thought I would take another look.

The bougainvillea surprise

Bougainvillea detail

Since we have a huge bougainvillea just outside our back door, I also thought I should make a colour board of the that one too. Just for some extra material. Our bougainvillea is in full bloom now. It is the rampant purple variety that grows well in a lot of climates. But when I went to take photos, I noticed something more. The centres of the purple variety actually do not have the charm of the pink one.  Their basic construction is the same but there is very little definition between the petals. “Ahhh ha! The purple and pink bougainvilleas are more different than I realised”.

And all this noticing of something I had long taken for granted finally spawned a bougainvillea FMQ idea that might actually work….. bougainvillea flowers.

Bougainvillea FMQ motif
Stages in quilting the bougainvillea flower

I could immediately launch into the next flower, like pearls on a string. This would work to fill borders and other long thin spaces.  I don’t think it matters how many petals fit around the circle, as long as there are 4-6 sets of one long and one short petal.

I also thought I could return and add leaves to the string to make a wider border in a second quilting run. Something like this:

Bougainvillea quilting idea
String of bougainvillea flowers with leaf triplets to fill a wider border.

purple Clever Chameleon logo

It will take a bit of refining, but I think I could quilt this.

I hope you like the little bougainvillea-inspired FMQ design. Next time I need a warm-up at my Sweet Sixteen I am going to have a go at this one.

Today’s post doubles as my daily Everyday Quilt Inspiration offering. See you for more Everyday Quilt Inspiration fun tomorrow. In the meantime, if you haven’t been following along, you can find the start of this 31 day series here. Only one week left until the daily writing challenge is over! Amazing.

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts.

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