Tag Archives: colour

Late Bloomers in the September Garden – Photo Wednesday

Here we are, mid-September, and the garden has cooled considerably. A few days of rain about a week ago interrupted a three-month drought in the Southern Gulf Islands. The soil is still not moist enough, but mosses are reviving.

Meantime, in my garden and on the deck, a few plants are joyfully blooming… a last hurrah.
Bougainvillea on the deck. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above, the bougainvillea that “pouted” all summer long, after a serious clipping back, is now in full glory. That is a close-up of the blooms (the little white flowers) and bracts (the flashy fuchsia/purple “wings”). This plant livens up a corner of the deck… but should come back into the greenhouse in a couple of weeks or so.


Succulent Bloom in September. Photo by Andrée Fredette

This is one of my succulents’ bloom. It is an Echeveria, I am not sure which one, though. After a summer on the deck, it is finally blooming.  It also will have to return indoors in a couple of weeks, because it doesn’t like really wet soil.


Salvia Blue Angel. Photo by Andrée Fredette

True blue, that is my name for this Salvia “Blue Angel”.  That shade of blue is very noticeable as you walk to the front door. Took all summer, but is finally blooming its little heart out!


Hardy Cyclamen. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And above, a hardy Cyclamen. The previous owners of this house planted some bulbs 30+ years ago, and I never saw these little flowers until we installed a deer fence three years ago. Now, I spot these little angel wings all over the front yard! Very elegant little flowers.

Here is a close-up:

Hardy Cyclamen (Cyclamen hederifolium). Photo by Andrée Fredette

Sunset Sky in August – Photo Wednesday

Tonight’s sunset was heart-stopping. I was stalking it with my camera, from my deck. I knew it was going to be a repeat of yesterday’s show, and did not want to miss it.

Sunset over Pender Island, Southern Gulf Islands of BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

A slow lowering …

Sunset over Pender Island, August 12, 2015. Photo by Andrée Fredette

With a touch of cloud, to provide a little veiling.

And the sun kept traveling down, cradled between two hills, before disappearing.

Golden heat
descending behind
dark forests

Western sky,
on fire
at the

edge of the world

Southern Gulf Island Sunset, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

I added a little visual jazz to this last photo. Let us call it “The last heat of the day”.

Bonne nuit!

Poppies are red… or not! Photo Wednesday

I love poppies. In my garden, they finished their big show over a month ago, but that won’t stop me from bragging about their beauty. And individuality.

So today, I will overwhelm you with poppy gorgeousness. Prepare yourself.

Picotée poppy. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above, a picotée in delicate shades.


Dark picotée poppy. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And its cousin, in dark shades. Note the hot pink near the center…


Poppy Drama Queen. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Isn’t this one the Drama Queen?  Complete with fringe, and high contrast action.


Deepest red poppy. Photo by Andrée Fredette

A beauty in deepest red… and hot pink. Absolutely shining in the sun.


Light pistil poppy. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Hot colour, light pistil, in contrast with the one before…


Cutie pie poppy. Photo by Andrée Fredette

I call this one the Cutie Pie. All pink inside, and deep red outside.


Poppy, up close and personal. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Up close and personal with the Drama Queen. Couldn’t resist.


White poppy. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Then, there is the white one with pink heart and exotic pistil.


Poppy, aging beauty. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And the aging beauty, starting to show its wear and tear, but still showing some flash. Feels familiar!


All together now! Poppies photographed by Andrée Fredette

And this is the “all together now” moment. This is just a section of the poppy riot that occurs every spring in my garden for the past 7 years, because I shake the seed heads in late July, and I encourage a whole bed of them to flourish the next year. Best dollar seed packet I ever spent!

Quilt and Stitch… Some Ideas, Part 7

Traveling back in time, on this 7th of my posts exploring the origin of the species some of the techniques I use to texture and quilt my work.

(My previous Quilt and Stitch posts are here: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, and Six).

Sinuous Fern Lines. Photo © Andrée Fredete

First, here is a photo of a sword fern frond, its sinuous lines highlighted with bright colours, lacy edges and all.  It’s an introduction to the sinuous lines of a quilt I made long ago, celebrating my son’s birth, and my memories of the hours that preceded his arrival.

During those hours, I was hooked to a monitor that kept track of my contractions, with a very wavy set of lines, a visual description of what my body was going through.

A few years later, while paging through a photo album, I came across the monitor printout. Memories of that day just flooded in.  I thought I could interpret those lines in a quilt. In hot colours.

Here is Contractions:Contractions. Quilt by Andrée Fredette

First, I inserted wavy lines into a black piece of cloth, using reverse appliqué.

Contractions, Detail. Photo by Andrée Fredette

I used bright colours to highlight the electric waves of contractions I remembered so vividly…

And about bright colours: I think that any rules you were taught (or read about) are meant to be broken, at least a few times.

To illustrate that, here is a close-up of a Rufous hummingbird.

Colourful nature! Rufous Hummingbird. Photo © Andrée Fredette

Who knew that hot pink can be jazzy near this delicate buff, and russet? And that the heat of that hot colour actually brings out the subtle green below? Not me.

In nature, almost anything goes, so why not in textile art?

Back to stitching: after inserting the bright reverse-appliqué lines and shapes , I moved on to the finishing of raw edges. Lots of plain old satin stitching. Let me tell you that satin stitching along miles (or so it seemed) of curvy lines got a tad repetitive.

I started playing with the thread colours and the tension in my machine. I used two thread colours in the top, and a third in the bobbin. I added extra tension on top, to “pop” the bottom thread.

Contractions, Detail 2 Quilt and photo by Andrée Fredette
In a way, this approach is the equivalent of creating your own variegated thread. All three colours show up and blend. The above photo shows the progression from plain satin stitch on the left and middle, to jazzy “bubble stitch” with three threads on the right.

Between the wavy inserts, I added more texturing. I was hoping to create flow between the rows of contractions.

Contractions, Detail 4. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above, the left blue and red curvy shape is entirely thread-play. The right reverse-appliqué in red is edged with moss stitch. This is very tight figure eight stitching. Very time consuming. And thread consuming too…

Contractions, Detail 3. Quilt by Andrée Fredette

Above, on the left: regular satin stitching with two thread colours and with really tight top tension, pulling up the bobbin thread to the surface, and creating an interesting variation in the process. A “tribal” effect. I really like it.

On the right: satin stitch with spikes, in purple. The spikes were achieved by jerking the piece at some points, to break up the regular sating stitching.

Thread play. It’s fun, it’s not dangerous. It can keep you out of trouble. Well, you may end up investing in threads… So it could be dangerous, after all.

Sea star with special effects. Photo © Andrée Fredette

In closing, I offer up a  sea star, gloriously red and ridged, hanging out on the side of a rock. Colour and texture, always a winning combo.