Detail from "Rain Dance," an original quilt by Sherrie Spangler

Saturday, February 18, 2017

A fiberful, colorful Saturday

Naturally dyed yarn from the Local Color Fiber Studio
on Bainbridge Island, WA.
Today was gray and rainy, but my friend Joyce and I were surrounded by color at the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma. We spent the afternoon feasting our eyes on a rainbow of colors and feeling wonderfully soft, airy knitted shawls and scarves.

We spent quite awhile at the Local Color Fiber Studio booth,, where all the yarns were dyed with plants grown on the studio's farm. Each skein had a card attached telling what plant was used. The studio is on Bainbridge Island, not far from here. There were even photos of some of the pet bunnies and sheep who contribute to the yarn.

Another vendor, Woolgatherings, from Duvall, WA,, had vibrant hand-painted yarn:

Island Fibers, on Lopez Island, WA,, had some beautifully soft yarns that are hand dyed and hand spun:

I didn't get the name of this next booth, but the colors caught my eye:

The Hotel Murano is filled with colorful glass (and other) art, making it a great stop any day. Here is a glass canoe suspended from the ceiling:

The lobby has walls of blue-green glass that look like water, which is appropriate given Tacoma's location on the water. The lobby was filled with retreaters wearing hand-knitted scarves, shawls, sweaters and hats. Many of them -- including quite a few men -- were knitting. I saw a lot of socks in progress on tiny needles with skinny yarn.

After coffee and tea in the hotel's restaurant, it was back out into the rain for us.

Have a colorful day

Monday, February 13, 2017

Last evening light

I watched in awe as the last evening ray of sun illuminated my quilt on the eastern wall. I had just enough time to snap one photo and then the fire was extinguished and the night turned dark.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Ready to embellish

I just finished whip stitching down the last wool appliqué piece for my "Imperial Blooms" quilt (pattern by Sue Spargo).

Now I'm ready to embellish!

I'm taking this project to Sedona next month, so I pulled out all the beads and threads that I think I'll need. Luckily, there's a good bead store there in case I "need" more.

Besides seed beads and bugles, I may use these dagger beads, which should stand up nicely and give added dimension. I also like to use discs and sequins and anchor them with tiny beads.

My favorite thread for embroidery is perle cotton No. 8, which is big enough to show up well on a quilt. My favorite source is Laura Wasilowski's hand-dyed thread at

This silk will add sheen. I haven't used it much yet, but I plan to on the flowers.

Have a colorful day

Monday, February 6, 2017

Woolies inspiration

We had our Woolies meeting today at Pam's house, and my bird bag found a friend! That's my wool appliqué bag on the left and Bobbie's on the right. Bobbie also did the back of hers:

Pam also made a wool cover for her bag:

Wool needle case by Pam. Love those circles!
These next photos are from a wool quilt top that Pam just finished. Look at the incredible embroidery details!

Next up is the beginning of a little needle case by Karen, who has never done wool appliqué before. Great start!

We needed the bright colors of the wool, because outside we had snow and rain. Snow is so unusual here that most of the schools closed or had delayed starts. But we were warm and cozy inside with our stitching and cookies baked by Pam.

Have a colorful day

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Art Walk color on a rainy day

Today I went on Gig Harbor's First Saturday Art Walk -- in the pouring rain -- with three friends. My intention on this very grey day was to take a lot of pictures in every color of the rainbow. Well, I cheated and only took a few photos because I found one store where there was a beautiful display of sweaters in a rainbow of colors.

Despite the rain, we had a good time that ended with wine and appetizers at Morso's.

 Have a colorful day

Sunday, January 29, 2017

More wool applique

I'm continuing to whip stitch down the pieces for my "Imperial Blooms" quilt. It's quite therapeutic, except when the thumb arthritis acts up and I have to take a break -- like now.

This is just the base for the embellishments to come: embroidery with perle cotton and a lot of beads.

I love, love, love the colors of the wool. People always ask where I get my wool, and I tell them that every time I go into a quilt store I'm on the lookout for it. I haven't made it to thrift stores yet to buy wool garments, but that's coming. 

Here's a look at the blocks I have completed so far. The background blocks are 11" square.

You can see how the colors contrast with our outside view today. This is why I work with such bright colors!

Have a colorful day

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Little things

Little things can brighten my day, like starting a new journal and realizing that it goes perfectly with the bookmark that Linda P. gave me at Christmas. The bookmark looks like Linda dyed (or maybe painted), stamped, foiled and stitched it.

And looking for something else at Costco yesterday, I came across some gluten-free flour that can be substituted one-for-one for regular flour in baking. My daughter has gone gluten free, and this will make it so much easier to bake cookies for her (one of my favorite activities). Plus, the flour is named "Namaste." Namaste is what we say after yoga practice, meaning "The light in me honors the light in you."

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Gig Harbor quilt shop back in old hands

The Gig Harbor quilt shop on Pioneer has a new name again, and this time the owner is Nancy Altman, who co-owned the store before it changed hands briefly last year. It's now officially

Nancy's Quilt Shop
and Longarm Quilting

Best of luck to Nancy, who did the beautiful longarm quilting  on my wool bird quilt.

Have a colorful day

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Women's March shoutout

"If particular care and attention
 is not paid to the ladies,
 we are determined
 to foment a rebellion."

            Abigail Adams, March 31, 1776

I was sidelined by a bad cold from plans to take part in today's Women's March, but here's a shoutout to my family and friends who did march. So proud of all of you for standing up for women's rights:

Washington, D.C. -- Paula flew all the way out from Washington state with her husband and daughter (from Texas) to march.

Spokane, WA -- My daughter marched with three friends from school.

Olympia, WA -- Many of my friends marched there. I think a lot of Washington marchers opted for Olympia rather than face the logistics of getting into and out of Seattle.

Boise, ID -- STITCH sister Judi and her husband and daughter marched in the sleet and snow. I especially loved Ed's sign, which said he's a grandfather marching for his wife, daughters and granddaughters.

Port Townsend, WA -- My sister, Kathleen, marched. I was supposed to join her, but this nasty cold kept me home. I monitored the marches all day in my pajamas.

San Francisco -- My nephew and his wife marched.

Rockford, IL -- My daughter-in-law's mother and sisters marched, as did many of my old friends from when I lived in Rockford.

Have a colorful day!