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

Friday, August 26, 2016

Yoga houses being built

Construction of the yoga girl houses is under way and moving along quickly! Each one is about 12 inches square, so the quilted village will come together fast.

I think I'll just do nine blocks and maybe add some spacers and a border.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Yoga houses and wool pomegranates

Time for a new quilt project!

I want to work with splashy flowers, but I'm also itching to do more wool appliqué, so I'm starting both.

For the splashy flowers, I decided to do an improvisational house quilt with a yoga girl in each door. Someone gave me the yoga fabric years ago because I'm a yoga fanatic. Each house will be surrounded by flowers and a fun sky fabric.

For the wool, I just came across a Sue Spargo book in our quilt store with a beautiful pomegranate table rug pattern, so I bought a pack of luscious soft green wool for the background. I started pulling oranges and more greens from my wool stash and determined that I'll have to make another trip to the quilt store.

Luckily, our local store -- Harbor Quilt Garden -- has decided to make wool one of its priorities and they're building up quite a nice wool selection.

So as soon as I get back from yoga class this afternoon I'll dive in!

Have a colorful day

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Pickle Project

Dave and Julia were driving along River Road in Puyallup yesterday when Dave suddenly had the urge to make pickles, so he swung into the Duris Cucumber Farm and bought all the ingredients, including 100 cute cukes ...

... and a big batch of dill.

They stuffed a few dozen jars with grape leafs, dill, garlic, onion, pickling salt, mustard seed, peppercorns, alum, hot peppers (for Dave's jars), sweet red pepper and cucumbers. Next came the apple cider and water, then the lids. After curing 4-6 weeks in the fridge, we'll have crispy fresh dill pickles to last us through the winter.

Have a colorful day

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Feet & Forks hike Tacoma Water Flume Trail

I haven't done any sewing worth blogging about since I finished the basket quilt, but I did walk almost five miles with the Feet & Forks yesterday in Tacoma.

We walked along the Water Flume Line Trail, which follows the path of an old open wooden flume that conveyed water more than 100 years ago from Spanaway Lake to a reservoir. The water was later found to be unclean, so the flume was taken apart. Now it's a nice paved path for walkers and bikers and goes 2 1/2 miles one way through some parks and neighborhoods.

Since Forks is part of our name, we ended by eating at the Edison City Ale House, where we had some delicious sandwiches but no ale. 

We didn't have forks, so pickles and peppers had to stand in. Look at the size of those turkey sandwiches!

Have a colorful day

Friday, August 5, 2016

Catching up

Our gorgeous summer weather has me spending more time outside than at the sewing machine, but I did manage to finish quilting the baskets. I'm saving the binding for a rainy day. 

I also spent days ripping out the quilting on the wool birds. I used the same wool batting that Sue Spargo uses in her wool quilts, but I decided it was way to puffy for my minimal quilting in the ditch. It looked puffy, warped and amateurish. My Sew Day group agreed it had to be ripped out. 

I'm not sure how I'm going to finish it, but we talked about using flannel instead of batting. I'm thinking of just putting on a backing and anchoring everything with buttons.

Earlier this week my daughter and I went on a road trip to Eastern Washington. The photo below is at a scenic overlook on the Columbia River Gorge. While we were standing there, two Blue Angels screamed overhead and dipped their wings, prompting everyone to duck and cover their ears.

And last but not least: WILLIE! Lots of cowboy hats in this crowd at Marymoor Park.

Have a colorful day

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Seattle signs and symbols

Dave and I took the ferry over to Seattle a few weeks ago and my camera's eye noticed signs and symbols of the famous city. From coffee to a moss-covered bike, yoga, rainbow pride and the iconic Space Needle, they were all there.

Speaking of coffee, we came across Starbucks' new shrine, its Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room. For more info go to

We didn't stay in it long because it was too noisy and crowded and it was much nicer to be walking outside. On a rainy day, however, I could see spending time there.

This last photo captures three great Seattle symbols: a ferry, the ferris wheel and the Space Needle. I took it as we were about to take off for home. It was sunny and warm so we sat on the upper deck and enjoyed the ride.

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sisters -- learn, eat, shop

A friendly volunteer with a shopping cart
helped Linda J. schlep her supplies to class.

I already showed you the quilts at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, but there's so much more. Leading up to the Saturday show was a week of classes at the Sisters High School, eating out with friends and  shopping in eight quilt stores.

When we arrived at the high school bright and early the morning of July 4 for our first class, we were greeted in the parking lot by young volunteers with shopping carts to help us transport sewing machines and other supplies to class. 

I didn't need help because I only had a small bin of fabric and a few bins of embroidery supplies. I took a three-day class taught by Rosalie Dace on creating texture with hand stitching. We mostly practiced embroidery stitches, but the last day we could work on whatever we wanted. I layered some organza that I dyed last year at Sisters with some other silk and then embroidered it with bright colors.

During lunch breaks, we all ate in the commons area of the school. I signed up for the $10 sack lunches provided by a local grocer. They were huge and delicious. You could also order in another line a la carte or bring your own lunch.

The town is full of flowers and greenery.
For dinners we hit the town(s), eating at three Mexican restaurants and a few other places. I LOVE Mexican food and can never get enough.

My Sew Day friends and I at a Mexican restaurant.

Besides eating, we did a LOT of shopping! We hit eight quilt stores in the Sisters-Bend-Redmond area, but my favorite was The Stitchin' Post in Sisters. I went back there at least four times for fabric and books. Here are some photos from The Stitchin' Post.

It was a wonderful week. If you ever get a chance to go, do it.

Have a colorful day

Friday, July 15, 2016

Next up: Basket quilt

Today I pulled out dozens of my most colorful fabrics and started a basket quilt. I was inspired by a quilt in Gwen Marston's book, "Liberated Quiltmaking II," which I just bought in Sisters.

Gwen's basket quilt from her book.
Her blocks are 11 inches high, so that's what I'm making mine. I won't do as many blocks as she did  because I don't like to quilt big quilts. But the blocks go together so quickly that I could piece them all in a couple of days. I love the piecing and fabric selection, but I'm not fond of quilting.

Some of my background fabrics.

 Have a colorful day

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

STITCH island getaway

Here's the view from the ferry yesterday on the way over to Anderson Island for our STITCH meeting at Andrea's house. It was perfect weather and a great day to be on the water. 

After we finished waking up with coffee, we had a small but inspirational show and tell. Only four of us made it to the meeting, and only Carol and Andrea had quilts to show, but they were all colorful and beautiful.

The woman dressed in Kaffe Fassett fabrics is Andrea's version of a Gauguin painting. She took a class to learn how to enlarge and translate a photograph into a quilt, but I forget the teacher's name. This is just the top ... no trimming or quilting yet. Andrea used her own dyed fabric for the face and arm.

The next two are Carol's wonderful abstract quilts. I love the circle quilting in the yellow and grey quilt.

Next up was our potluck lunch, but I forgot to get pictures, which is unlike me. We had pesto pasta salad, fruit salad, turkey sandwiches and brownies. Yum. Then it was out to the deck to relax with the flowers and watch the water. A deer came into the yard but bounded away before I could get a picture.

We spent quite awhile just relaxing and talking and being lazy before we finally packed it in and headed back to the ferry for the return trip. It was a perfect day!

Have a colorful day