Fitting the Colors & Shapes of Nature Into Your Quilts

Quilting is a passion, but the natural beauty around us calls us out whenever we can manage to get away. A walk in the woods to visit a nearby river and waterfall is one option in our new digs. It renews and inspires us. And it’s therefore only expected that the two (nature and quilting) would merge. Putting the colors we find in nature into our quilt designs just happens – naturally! Here’s a great example:


The various mosses and lichen growing on some rocks were very inspirational for this design, with some red accents thrown in for good measure. The colors don’t have to be exact matches – just generally in the same “color neighborhood.” We stayed with geometric shapes that were nevertheless reminiscent of the spiky shapes of those mosses and lichen.

Another approach is taking the shape of an item from nature such as a sunflower and turning it into a pattern, as we did on this quilt (true, the print on the material was the inspiration, along with our inability to bring ourselves to chop up that array of blooms). If you’ve ever seen a field of sunflowers, you will see this type of design waving in the breeze under a hot sun. And in quilting, you have the added dimension of the stitching, which was sunflower shaped on that quilt. Our quilting machine handles these things beautifully.

So, for your next quilt, go for a walk out in nature, take along your camera, snap some inspirations, and then head back for some serious quilting.

Sunflowers Make Me Happy

This is a quilt that it took me a while to decide how to use the fabric. I was going to use the sunflower fabric in a traditional pieced quilt but the fabric was so beautiful that I could not bear to cut it up. So, I decided to put an yellow border around a throw-sized piece of the fabric and quit it with a complementary sunflower design.

Sunflower Quilt

Sunflower Quilt