Everyday Quilt Inspiration: Frangipani Colours

Frangipani Colours color scheme by Clever Chameleon 31 Days of Finding Quilt Inspiration in Real Life

In exploring my 31 Day Quilt Inspiration series, I am having a lot of fun making colour boards from my own happy snaps. I am primarily choosing pictures that mean something to me, and while I try not to pick the really blurry ones, I am deliberately not getting hung up about technical perfection either.

And you can do this too. But what do you do when a picture you like doesn’t convey the colours that you remember (accurately or otherwise)?!

Finding Quilt Inspiration in the Everyday: Day 20

As I was going through pictures I took in Vanuatu on our last work trip, I found a photo with colours and a story that I liked….. Or at least colours I thought I liked!

Frangipani in a bowl
Frangipanis – a sweet gift from my young daughter in Vanuatu

On the first Sunday that we were in Vanuatu, Paul took our daughter to the local church while my son and I, who were feeling a little poorly, stayed home. On her return, my lovely daughter gave me two frangipanis that she had picked. They were already looking a little worse for wear, but they still looked pretty in a bowl I found in the cupboard. So I took a quick photo.

When I found this photo among our snaps, I felt happy because I remembered how my daughter had brought me the flowers. And I remembered how sweet the blooms looked in the little bowl of water, despite their slight rough handling. So I thought: “I will make a pretty colours board”.

Only, when I tried, I discovered something. The colours that I remember, and the colours that I thought I could see in the photo, just aren’t there! This is what’s really there:

The actual frangipani colours present in the hastily taken photo.

It is funny how the brain interprets things. It plays tricks on you! Sees things that are not there. Colours are a prime example of this, and it can be tricky to get your head around actual colours vs perceived colours. This is in part because colours in real life are affected by lighting and shadows. Our brains and eyes compensate for light levels better than my camera does on “automatic”.

Furthermore, the brain uses colour shifts to confer three dimensions, form and texture onto 2D images. So often we don’t consciously acknowledge colour change across an object. We see it as shape. This is a powerful tool to use when drawing an image, but a tough adversary when trying to deconstruct one. At least, I find it tricky sometimes.

How was I inspired to find a set of frangipani colours that I can use?

I don’t want to make a project in the colours that are actually in the frangipani photo. They are dull and uninteresting to me. I want to make colours like I think I see. Like this:

These are the colours I remember, and the colours I saw until I started analysing the photo!

As you can see from the board above, the colours I perceive are much purer tones than the shades that are actually in the photo. My colour list and the frangipani photo do not belong together.

So, the easiest fix in this situation is to simply choose the brighter, lighter hues and tints of the real colours. But if you do not feel confident extending your inspiration so far from the source, there is another way. Edit your photos with one of the many software packages that allow you to change the exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows and saturation etc of your picture.  You don’t need to buy an editor. Tech Radar has kindly provided you a summary of the best free photo editors currently available in 2017 . My husband and I have been fans of GIMP for many years, the program that made the top of Tech Radar’s list. But for a quick edit, a simple program like Preview can do the trick too.

screen shot using Preview
Adjusting colours using Preview’s Adjust Color function

Once you have the effect you want, you can pick out the colours from your happier happy snap. 🙂 Oh joy!

Frangipani Colours color scheme from Clever Chameleon
The colour board from my digitally altered photo is very close to the original vision I had from my memories.

And there you have it…. another tool under your belt for using your everyday experiences as quilt inspiration.

See you for more fun tomorrow!


Pineapple color scheme by Clever ChameleonP.S. Do you remember how I said I thought that pineapples were stalking me? Well, it’s possible that they are not after me specifically…. it’s possible that they are methodically turning all quilters into their minions….. hahahaha just being silly, but now I have your attention back, I want to tell you that I just found a really nice post about a pineapple art quilt at Pretty Piney. The pineapples insist you take a look….. 🙂


P.P.S. Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts

Colour Inspiration Tuesday: Silhouettes at Sunset

Silhouettes at Sunset color scheme from Clever Chameleon

Colour Inspiration Tuesday: Colour resources for your next eye-catching quilt design

“Halo” and “Welkam” to my second Vanuatu edition of Colour Inspiration Tuesday! Actually it is a combined Colour Inspiration Tuesday and Everyday Quilt Inspiration post. Like last week’s regular slots, this post was largely pre-written in Australia due to uncertainty about how much time and internet I would have for blogging here in Vanuatu. But I have added some extra material to make this post also fit the 31 Days writing challenge I am doing. I hope it gels ok.

“Halo” and “Welkam”  is pretty much the extent of my knowledge of the Bislama language. And “Tangkyu tumas” (Thank you very much). But thankfully English usually suffices here, the Vanuatu scenery is beautiful, and this week, the weather is superb. Just like today’s quilt inspiration colour board, Silhouettes at Sunset.

Silhouettes at Sunset color scheme from Clever Chameleon

Colour Inspiration Tuesday: Silhouettes at Sunset

The “Silhouettes at Sunset” colour scheme is purple, orange, peach, grey, aqua, teal and super dark teal. Isn’t it amazing how the form of a dark silhouette brings out the colours in a sunset? This contrast is something that we should be aiming for in our quilt fabric choices too….. that is if you are after a bold, brilliant effect. (I am fully cognisant that sometimes subtle and low volume is the right choice for a quilt too…. I just personally usually prefer bright.) And isn’t it nice to be reminded that silhouettes don’t have to be black… any high contrast will be effective, in this case a dark shade of teal.

Silhouettes at Sunset evokes thoughts of warm tropical evenings and beach holidays. Perfect to celebrate a trip to Vanuatu, even if it is for work. Would you like to know more about the humanitarian telecommunications side of our family’s pursuits? When things get back to normal I would love to tell you more.

Another World Blue color scheme from Clever Chameleon

Sunset Wall color scheme from Clever Chameleon

Anyway, back to the task at hand…. It strikes me that “Silhouettes at Sunset” is very much like the love child of “Sunset Wall” and “Another World Blue”. Two colour schemes from earlier editions of Colour Inspiration Tuesday.

So for my Colour Inspiration Tuesday quilt imaginings this week I have decided to see what happens when we colour the Cat on a Wall quilt design with the Silhouettes at Sunset colour scheme. Here is the original design in both parent colour ways.

Cat on a Wall Quilt design

And here are my new colourings. I also added in an eighth colour from the sunset photo – a rose pink. I only meant to do one re-colouring of Cat on a Wall, but I had to amuse myself on the plane to Vanuatu somehow! 

Cat on a Wall quilt design, 3 colour schemes

Which do you prefer? One of the new ones or one of the originals? Or would you choose a completely different colour scheme for this quilt? Please tell in the comments below. 🙂


I really appreciate the talented photographers who generously donate their art to the world without strings attached. Today’s such photos are from Unsplash.com. Unsplash is a collection of free, high resolution, “do what you want with” photos. Credit is not demanded but I give it anyway in thanks. Today’s featured photographer is Aldain Austria. Be sure to check out his collection of photos on Unsplash.

Aldain Austria

blue Clever Chameleon logo

I hope you will tell me which your preferred colours are….

Before I go though, I had better add in some everyday quilt inspiration. This one is easy – there have been many “sunset and silhouettes” moments in my life that I have thought at the time would make great art. We are fortunate in Adelaide to get lots of great sunsets over the gulf. I distinctly remember one such moment when I was heavily pregnant with my second child. I was sitting on the beach, watching my husband and eldest daughter (2 years at the time) jump the wavelets, silhouetted against the setting sun. That is a moment that would definitely be quilt-worthy.

Anyway, here are some more recent silhouettes at sunset. These were taken the second night we arrived here in Port Vila.

Sunset and ships, Port Villa Vanuatu
Ships in harbour at sunset, Port Vila
Sunset and silhouettes. Vanuatu
Enjoying the warm tropical waters.

And to finish off – your everyday colour inspiration board…..

Silhouettes at Sunset, Port Vila color scheme from Clever Chameleon

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 series here.

P.S. On a completely different topic, I must tell you, the Art with Fabric blog hop is ON! It started yesterday (although that might still be today in your time zone…..) Anyway, my post on the hop is not until Friday 13, but there is a huge lineup ahead of me. Visit Tweety Loves Quilting to see the blog hop from the very beginning.

Here’s a sneak preview of my art piece…. it’s called “Remember to thank the Cleaner (Shrimp)”. It’s art with gratitude. 🙂

Art with Fabric blog hop @ tweloquilting.blogspot.com