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December 31 2011


Collaborative COLOURlovers Project: Spoonflower Quilt for a Queen

So many great things have happened on COLOURlovers in 2011, but one major, behind the scenes project that only a very small portion of members have been aware of was a quilt project straight from the heart of the Group: COLOURlovers on Spoonflower.

Group administrator, leader and very involved COLOURlover, Penina, wanted her group to be something more than just a group of people who loved the idea of fabric. So one fine day back in July 2011, after coordinating ideas to make a digital quilt from the group member creations, she had the thought, “What’s stopping us from making a real quilt?!

Penina wanted this quilt project to have purpose and to involve as many group members as possible. This also meant that the final piece would need to have a good home at a single location; so who would get the quilt?

Before designing began, group members had to decide on a theme. Unknown to one another, a handful of COLOURlovers independently suggested the same idea, a Cancer Healing Quilt. Many offered the idea with a particularly beloved COLOURlover in mind, o2bqueen, (a.k.a. Linda) who had shared her personal cancer journey (which she is still going through) on her COLOURlovers profile. With that in mind, the secret project started...

Official Spoonflower color test swatch created by Penina 

And so began the first COLOURlovers on Spoonflower cooperative project: a queen-sized quilt made from colors, palettes and original templates submitted by members of the COLOURlovers community.


This turned in to much of a learning experience for many COLOURlovers (see the postpartum "what I learned thread in the group here) including Penina as the project coordinator and group leader. Under her very involved leadership, the project began when members voted on a seven color palette.


Project Colors Links by ycc2106

Next, each contributor combined the chosen palette colors in the variation they thought best featured their submitted template. This is where some COLOURlovers learned exactly how the protection of works literally works on COLOURlovers. After learning the in and out of the COLOURlovers rules, some participants were unable to be involved since it required the submitting of your own template.

During the last days of pattern submission, a couple of colors seemed to become the most prominent choice as the background for many of the patterns. At this point, additional COLOURlovers were invited to participate and their submissions helped reestablish the balance of colors which provided enough squares for the quilt to be queen-sized.

Completed submissions were printed via Spoonflower. There was some discussion on how how this was to work as a collaborative project. Between COLOURlovers copyright restrictions and needing to order from a single Spoonflower account, each participant had to email their SVG of the colored Template to Penina who put them in to a group run, not for sale status, account on Spoonflower called, COLOURlovers on Spoonflower.

This solution actually turned out to be beneficial to the group on COLOURlovers because it has since turned in to a feature group on Spoonflower where Penina can utilize it in a number of ways as it showcases the group and member designs on Also, she has provided a link to each pattern (on COLOURlovers) and put the username of the designer in the details. Lastly, this established group can also be used in the future for more collaborative Spoonflower projects.

pictured, Dannielle (aka sundancer)

The swatches were sent to a talented charter member of the group, Dannielle (a.k.a. sundancer), who enthusiastically volunteered to sew it.

Originally, meant to feature the finished quilt on the blog in October for Breast Cancer Awareness month, Dannielle’s timeline for sewing up a queen size quilt was insanely short as swatches were arriving in the first weeks of October.

left: Dannielle / sundancer: All the swatches cut to size and ready to sew! right: Special Thread

She began cutting the fabric as soon as the package arrived. Shopped for additional materials for the quilt’s back, border, binding and batting at her local fabric store. With her own unique thread, she sewed by hand and with her sewing machine. Although she has made many quilts for others, she admits “I’ve never made a quilt that fast!

During the four weeks it took to finish the quilt, Dannielle joyfully continued, even when her personal responsibilities intensified unexpectedly. Group members posted encouraging comments for her and she posted photos of the quilt as it progressed. Excitement really began to build as fellow COLOURlovers saw Dannielle’s loving heart and high standard of excellence reflected in the quilt’s construction.

As her deadline neared, Dannielle says she gave up a little sleep and postponed some housework to get the job done. She also had numerous fights with her sewing machine that threatened a delay. Ultimately, these arguments were settled by her seam ripper, which Dannielle calls “a quilter’s best friend.” Finally ready, the quilt was sent off to ketisse for a special lunch-date delivery to o2bqueen / Linda.

left: ketisse, right: Linda / o2bqueen - having lunch!

After all the months of work that was put in to this top secret project, not to mention, keeping it a secret, the tension started surpassing the excitement, what if Linda / o2bqueen did not want us to surprise her with a quilt centered around her cancer? What would we do with it then?

left: ketisse, right: o2bqueen / Linda

This was clamped as quickly as the hesitation came when Linda excitedly and warmly responded to our reaching out to her and she welcomed the gift, overjoyed:

" I love, love, love it. It's gorgeous, ingenious, inspiring, and joyful, and every time I see it, I will feel loved. How can I ever thank you enough for such a gift?"

"Not till I read your note did I realize how many people were involved in the project. I teared up big time. And I thought to myself, "However did they all keep this secret from me?" I do hope the experience was fun and rewarding for all of you." - Linda / o2bqueen (provided by sundancer / Dannielle)

It so happened, the very week ketisse was due to try to meet with and deliver the quilt, Linda was having yet, another recovery surgery and this meant so much to her to have something positive from the community she so loved and it was delivered in time, right before her 6th surgery.

o2bqueen / Linda holding the folded quilt to take home

Best wishes to Linda (o2bqueen) on the road to healing on behalf of the entire COLOURlovers on Spoonflower members. Many members were still a part of the process even when they were unable to submit a custom template.

Finished quilt

Funding & Sponsorship for this project most generously provided by Spoonflower:

Printing a collection on Spoonflower as a Swatch Sampler will save you money when assembling a project like a quilt.

You can order a batch of swatches for all the designs in a collection in a single 'swatch sampler'. A sampler for a collection of 1-5 designs is $12, 6-15 designs is $20, and 16-30 designs is $35. At as little as ~$1.20 per swatch, this is the most cost effective way to order swatches at Spoonflower. Swatches are the same quality fabric as ordering a fuller selection of fabric.

Be sure you are familiar with the color changes (Spoonflower Color Guide), before printing an entire collection. Creating a color palette for an entire collection and then printing a proof swatch is the smartest way to avoid a major mistake and waste of money.

Templates used for this project and laid out in a digital quilt which links to the Spoonflower version of each template, which in turn links back to COLOURlovers (kindly assembled by ycc2106):


Much of this story and content of this article was written by Ketisse. Posted as a collaboration with my editing and a few portions written by me (mollybermea).

June 22 2011

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Reposted bysirthomasbolton sirthomasbolton

April 26 2011


Group Feature: HAIKU- Where Poets Create with Colors and Words

Of the many word-based games played on ColourLovers, one of the newest is HAIKU PALETTES & POETIC PATTERNS where Lovers create palettes and poems at the same time from the words in the color names. The group began in January 2011 and quickly grew to 20 members in its first few days. Membership has more than doubled in less than the three to four months since the group was launched.

The Autumn Queen HPP

by Luna Rose

Upon rainbow throne
Bright and bold - The Autumn Queen
A sight to behold

April is National Poetry Month - A note from the editor

The month of April has many national celebrations, one of those being National Poetry Month. Before we draw this month to a close, we want to feature one of our most recent, popular groups, the HPP, managed by ketisse, a COLOURlover who is very passionate about writing and poetry. I personally think that it is amazing how she has invented a way for COLOURlovers to work with color, pattern and palettes to create poetry - the process is truly intriguing!

Today, the group currently boasts:

  • 178 COLORS
  • 179 PALETTES
  • 184 PATTERNS
  • 67 LOVERS

I hope you enjoy learning about the group itself and learning how to create a Haiku through palettes. ketisse has put together a very through guest post about her group and the creation process.

- Molly Bermea / Community Curator & Blog Editor

Creating Haiku's Using Color

A Haiku is created by combining colors while arranging the color names so they compose a poem.

The HAIKU Palettes and Poetic Patterns Group (HPP) challenges its members to be creative in two very different ways simultaneously:

  1. 1.) Combining colors while arranging the color names so they compose a poem.
  2. 2.) Working with words and colors this way can be a worthwhile exercise that helps expand personal creative horizons.

When making a palette or pattern, an artist can choose from every possible color available in the COLOURlovers' system, which can seem overwhelming. If you stick to the word games in the HPP Group Conversations, it might help you narrow your options and focus and sets a challenge to meet.

When you first enter the group, only five Conversations show, make sure you open up all of them. For instance there are only 5 of 13 Conversations showing (as of today), you'll find many other challenges if you view ALL 13 Conversations. With new challenge types, will come a new Conversation thread.

Haiku group discussions are distinguished by who names the colors.

It seems to be more of an advanced challenge if the haiku palette/poem was created using colors named by other COLOURlovers, than if the colors were named by the palette maker to complete the haiku palette. Some palette poems can be made up from a mixture of self-made colors and existing colors, these would be moderate to intermediate challenges.

"Crossovers" - palettes that qualify for two or more groups

This is where “crossovers” came in to play. These are palettes that qualify for two or more groups. The One-Lover at a Time (1LP) palette challenge was the first to be combined with Haiku for a crossover challenge. Periodically, a COLOURlover who has a lot of colors with English names is announced to the group and the palette/poets who accept the challenge use only that person’s color names to create a poem palette.
Crossover Palette Example / 1LP (One Lover Palette): notice all the color swatches are made from one COLOURlover.

Old Brain HPP + LP

by nfowler

Memory Dream Work
Fading Thoughts, Old Brain Butter
I Can't Remember.



Reading a COLOURlover Created Haiku

When viewing a HAIKU Palette, some may LOVE the palette after viewing only the color combinations. Unfortunately, viewers can move on without reading the color names and miss all the beauty in the artist’s poetic work. So, in group discussion threads, most palettes are presented in a way that allows viewers to appreciate the poems and the colors simultaneously. Of course, reading the color names of most HPP palettes is the same as reading a poem.

Shown below is an example by Donna Brock, aka COLOURlover: sunmeadow

Notice the correlation between the poem and the names of the colors swatches used in the poem.


The Rose

by Donna Brock / sunmeadow

The red blossom bends
and drips its dew
to the ground.
Like a tear it falls




HAIKU Poetry Café - Watch & Listen

Hidden inside this group, is the HAIKU Poetry Café. This is where ColourLovers can sit back, relax and enjoy some poetry performances by some very entertaining spoken word artists recorded in their own voices. Palettes inspired from this discussion do not have to be Haiku poems. The performance videos are chosen because of their powerful messages as well as their potential appeal to all audiences. For instance, some of the artists featured in the February series, for Black History Month, included Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Tupac Shakur and Jill Scott.


I liked how Trixxie also incorporated a pattern describing parts of the poem's points, being a phenomenal woman, in patterns with the same color palette (see below).




Making a Haiku yourself

Haiku poems have 17 syllables arranged in three lines with five [5] syllables on the first line, seven [7] syllables on the second line and five [5] syllables on the third line.

Because most COLOURlover palettes contain five colors and because the palette-poet must combine phrases found in color names written by others, the syllables may be spread over those five lines in any combination that totals seventeen. If a poem-palette doesn’t have 17 syllables, it is still a poem, even if it isn’t a HAIKU.

First, open MS Word, Pages or a notepad program, where notes and lists of color names can be saved outside of the CL system. A paper notebook, sticky notes and a pen or pencil can be used for this step, too.

Second, start searching for colors to use for your Haiku. When searching for existing color names, the poem might need to be edited if phrases from the poem don’t exist in the COLOURlovers system. To compare colors, consider opening a separate browser window/tab for colors that represent each idea.

Dissecting the Process...

For those who are ready to make a Haiku palette, but have never written a Haiku before, here is a glimpse into the creation of a recent One-Lover poem-palette: “INDECENCY” - made using colors named by ycc2106.


The color search for Inecency HPP 1LP began with using the word "SEA". Color names appeared in the search and ideas came to mind. The next searches were for words like WATER, FISH and SWIM, etc. Funny thing, “SEA” didn't even end up in the finished poem, but it led to the color names that did.

Each color name that had potential went onto a list on the notepad. If a color name contained a color word, it was skipped because most color names evoke an idea of color without actual color words. With a 17 syllable limit, color names that suggest colors are more expressively efficient (a good thing).

To develop the story of the poem, these questions came to mind:

  • Who would be in this water?
  • What would happen there?

The color name search was shaped by these questions. YCC2106 had written two color names "ARROGANT MOON FISH" and “SWIM NAKED”. These color names answered those questions.


The word "arrogant" evokes an emotional reaction; the "moon" part took on a double-meaning when added to “swim naked”. These were the first to be added to the poem. The paradoxical, oxymoronic color name: “WISE FROGS” was already on the notepad but not in the poem yet. The idea of “WISE FROGS” seemed to be the perfect foil or opponent for the “arrogant moon fish” and went well with “DON’T KNOW WHY”. The poem was almost finished.

To fill the remaining syllables, the word EMBARRASS seemed appropriate at this point. YCC2106 had one color name: “EMBARRASSINGLY” but with five syllables, this took the poem to 18 syllables (one too many for a HAIKU). A search on “CONFUSED” revealed “CONFUSED AS HELL”. With four syllables, this completed the poem perfectly. Placed intentionally between the "moon fish" and the "wise frogs", "confused as hell" can apply to either. Let the reader choose.

Here is the finished poem-palette (with syllable counts next to each line):


  • (5) Arrogant moon fish
  • (3) Swim naked
  • (4) Confused as hell
  • (2) Wise frogs
  • (3) Don’t know why
  • by ketisse
  • February 28, 2011




When you go to this palette, Indecency HPP 1LP, take a look at the comments (both pages). It's fun to see the reaction from a COLOURlover when you use all of their color names in a Haiku.

The creative process can vary, COLOURlovers who are members of the HAIKU PALETTES & POETIC PATTERNS GROUP, put a lot of time and effort into their poem-palettes. You may view other HPP palettes here (by searching "HPP" under Palettes).

Group badge pattern artwork: colored by ketisse, Original Template by sunmeadow and badge assembly by ycc2106. Pattern "Symea wrote a Poem" is also used in the header of this post.
Header color palette, "Indecency HPP 1LP" was made by ketisse.

Keep creating beautifully.

This group feature post was written by - ketisse

June 22 2010

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