Everyday Quilt Inspiration: Nervous Plant

Nervous Flower color scheme from Clever Chameleon

31 days of Finding Quilt Inspiration in Real Life


I hope yesterday’s post didn’t sound too delirious. It was truly written on the fly – trying not to start from behind with the Write 31 Days challenge. Luckily I had already been contemplating writing about the bedroom décor here in Vanuatu and how it relates to my Splash of Color quilt along plans! So there was already an idea seed waiting to sprout when I found out about the challenge. Today, I have had a bit more thinking time to prepare this post, although no more writing time.

Finding Quilt Inspiration in the Everyday: Day 2

Today we travelled out of Port Vila to a small village where we are going to be doing a pilot study of emergency telecommunications equipment my husband is inventing. We met the Chief and Elders of the village and explained in a public meeting how we would like to install the equipment in their vicinity and train them to use it in return for feedback on how to improve it to meet their needs. It has been a productive and interesting day.

Travelling to and from the village today has given me some quiet time to simply observe the colours and textures around me. Combinations that I wouldn’t normally see at home – that belong to other people’s everyday. Brightly coloured houses. Thatched roofs. Woven reed walls. Tropical lagoon colours. And bright tropical flowers. Lots of ideas to process here over the next few days. 🙂

Discovering the Vanuatu Nervous Plant!

One of the most fun things we saw today was an insignificant-looking plant that I would have never noticed on my own. Even though I am actively looking for blog inspiration. While we stopped for a short break on the roadside on the way home to Port Vila, a colleague who has travelled the Pacific Nations for many years showed us the Nervous Plant. This plant immediately closes its leaves at the slightest touch of a finger. If you poke it again it will shrink back even further from you, towards the ground. It is truly remarkable how mobile this plant is. I should try to get some video of it another day…. today I only have photos to share.

Nervous plant, Vanuatu
Nervous Plant, Vanuatu. Before being touched.
Nervous plant, Vanuatu
Same Nervous Plant, seconds later, after being touched.

How was I inspired by the Nervous Plant?

It strikes me that I can free-motion quilt the Nervous Plant. It would make a pretty background fill design. There are a number of elements to make up the design – the feathery leaves (open and closed), the pom-pom flowers and the flower buds. I have sketched my initial idea for you with pencil on paper…..

Nervous Plant inspired FMQ design
Nervous Plant inspired FMQ design

These are relatively simple shapes that a confident beginner could put together on a continuous line. You can quilt this design as densely or loosely as you liked, depending on how soft you want your quilt to be. More experienced quilters can also modify this idea to pack the leaves together tightly to generate a dense uniform background fill design. 

I hope you have enjoyed learning about the Nervous Plant as much I enjoyed discovering it today. And that you might find a use for its pretty colours or it’s cute little leaves in a project one day. See you again tomorrow!

P.S. You can find the start of my 31 Days of Everyday Quilt Inspiration blog post series here. And you can find the Write 31 Days website here, for hundreds more 31-day series on all sorts of topics. Enjoy!

Now it's your turn.... what do you think?