A recent family holiday in Hawaii wasn't just an opportunity to postpone winter a little longer, while absorbing and storing as much sunshine and warmth as Canada customs would allow us to bring home, it also provided a whole new chapter of ideas and inspiration for quilting and needlework designs. On the day of our arrival the evening sky after sunset was magnificent with a vibrant display of lavenders , hot pinks and rich blues. Th ese colour s made their way into a number of my earlier quilts, and I still find the combination attractive and magnetic . Picture perfect orchids were growing everywhere. The petals provide a great example of how a natural colour gradient works. There were a number of species quite new to me. The ironwood tree below is a dense red hardwood that was used for making tools and weapons in ancient times and is currently planted to create windbreaks. But it's the colours of the trunk that caught my attention. The Ironwood Tree.