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

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wool dots

I've been going dotty with wool dots! Thanks to the handy dandy hole punch that my husband gave me for Christmas (see this post: ), it's really quick and easy to make even the tiniest circles.

They're a little hard to hold accurately in place with pins, so I put a dab of glue in the center to hold them in place while I whip stitch them down. This Sewline glue works nicely.

The only drawback to glue is that it holds the circles flat against the background after stitching, and I want the circles to puff out. To get around this, after I've stitched the circle partway down I peel it away from the background and then finish stitching.

On a completely unrelated note, my poor little baby Bunners is in a cast after breaking her toe! She doesn't understand what's going on and looks so sad.

Have a colorful day

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Sew Day and the Seahawks

Today was Sew Day at my house, and we ended up stitching at the kitchen counter while watching the Seahawks playoff game (They lost, unfortunately.)

Linda, Nancy and me.
Only three of the five of us could make it, so that meant more food for us! We started with a breakfast casserole, raspberry almond coffeecake and fruit.

Then we hand stitched at the dining room table, with Linda and I doing appliqué and Nancy tracing some appliqué patterns before turning to embroidery. Lately we seem to have mostly switched to hand work instead of lugging our machines to each other's houses.

One of my wool flowers.

Linda's butterfly applique, from a Facebook group pattern.

"Wild Blooms and Colorful Creatures" patterns.
Lunch was Weight Watchers chili (pretty similar to other chili recipes except that it also had zucchini), grapes and carrots, and more coffee cake while we watched the game.

Nancy's embroidery.
Nancy gave me these cute napkins. 
My Sew Day friends are chocolate chips!
(And we thought we were nuts.) 

 Have a colorful day

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sunnyside up!

We have sunshine!

That may not be a big deal for some of you, but in the Pacific Northwest in the cloudy corner of the country, it's reason to celebrate. Even though it's below freezing, I'll take a day like this anytime over warm and cloudy.

I know that I could consider a cloudy day a day to cocoon with a hot beverage in front of the fireplace, but you can only do that so many weeks in a row. Today's sunshine is much needed!

Everything in our living room takes on a new life in the sun light. Colors come out of hiding and everything sparkles.

Have a colorful day

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Wool hole punches

Hubby gave me a hole punch kit for Christmas
and it's almost better than chocolate! 

I've been using it to punch wool circles for my latest appliqué quilt. One whack (or maybe two) gives you a perfect circle. Besides the punches (round arch punches), he gave me a pounding mat and a weighted leather mallet. I never thought I'd be so excited about tools! The holes below are 1/4", 3/8" and 7/8".

Here's the link to the company he bought them from: 

The sunset last night was gorgeous. (The UFOs are reflections of our little white lights hanging inside the window.)

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New year, new project, new plans

It's a new year, which means it's time for a new sewing project, getting back on track with Weight Watchers, and making a cleaning plan so I don't wait until company comes to have a clean house.

First up is the new wool appliqué project, "Imperial Blooms" by Sue Spargo. Instead of appliquéing the flowers onto a wool background, I'm using this yellow-green cotton, which is probably my favorite color. After I'm done appliquéing, I'll embellish the flowers with embroidery and beads.

As for Weight Watchers, I joined at the end of October with the goal of losing 30 pounds over 30 weeks, but between Thanksgiving and this week I have had 17 eating events -- potlucks, parties, luncheons, dinners with friends -- with the last one being a soup potluck tomorrow with my yoga buds. So after tomorrow's party I'll get back on track, yes I will!

The cleaning plan -- not a resolution, but a plan -- is to either clean or organize at least one thing every day, no matter how small. Today was unseasonably sunny and all the dust showed, so I dusted the living room, dining room and bedroom. I also put away clean laundry that had been sitting folded in baskets for days. And I vacuumed. That was a good jump start, and the house looks so much better already.

Have a colorful day

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Cheers and Happy New Year!

What better way to end the year than with the sentiment on this mug. Carolynn gave everyone in our Sew Day group one, and I love it!

Cheers to all my wonderful wacky women (and men) friends, those I know in person and those who I only know through the blog and Facebook. I treasure every one of you.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Little gifts I made

Now that I've presented all of my handmade gifts, I can finally show you what I was working on. First up are embroidered wool needle cases that I made for my STITCH group. I appliquéd hearts and leaves onto a wool background and embellished them with embroidery and beading.

Next are the "Wish Birds" (from a Valerie Wells pattern) that I made for my Sew Day friends. There's a little pocket on the back to hold wishes written down on scraps of paper.

Finally, I made a wool candle mat for my daughter. I switched up the pattern by making the little black bunny running opposite from everyone else to represent our obstinate 10-year-old black rabbit, Bunners. The others are rabbits past and present in my daughter's life -- Charlie, Bailey, Frankie and Bobby.

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

This and that

The past week has been a blur of holiday parties, with Christmas Eve being an eight-hour celebration at Paula and Duane's house. These are just a few of the appetizers. The weather outside was misty and chilly.

The rain and mist left overnight, and Christmas Day saw a stunningly clear, brilliant morning with a feeding frenzy behind our house, below. Hundreds of sea gulls circled while sea lions arched out of the water and barked. The commotion drew human families -- some still in pajamas -- up and down the beach out onto their decks to take videos and pictures. We watched for a good hour. Our next-door neighbor, who has lived here for decades, said it was the first time he had seen sea lions rear out of the water and bark here. 

Much later, after things outside had calmed down, our lasagne dinner had been eaten, the company had left, and the sun had set, I snuggled with little Charlie the bunny for another hour on the couch. 

Today, the daughter and rabbits went home, Dave went back to work, and things got back to normal as I sewed at Comfort Quilts. Here's the top I pieced, using the brightest colors we had. 

Next up is a round of New Year's Eve parties, then I really have to buckle down and get back to work in the studio.

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Wooly bird bag completed

I just put the finishing stitches into the wool bird appliqué for the front of my new sewing kit.

The bag has clear zippered pouches for all of my wool appliqué supplies. The appliqué pattern is from Wendy Williams' "Wild Blooms and Colorful Creatures" book.

Have a colorful day

Monday, December 19, 2016

Bunnies on the blog

Julia brought my grandbunnies home for Christmas and we took their picture under the tree last night. That's Bunners, our 10-year-old little lady, on the left. Charlie is squished in the middle, and Bailey is on the right.

From up above they look like three loaves of bread in a basket. And the next picture has them being photo bombed by Hammy the hamster! It's going to be a fun, furry week.

Have a colorful day

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Tacoma Zoo Lights

Rendition of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in lights.

I shivered through the zoo last night with Dawn,
looking at half a million lights.

Mt. Rainier and reindeer.
Every year, the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium transforms into a winter wonderland. It was my first time to see the lights, although I'd been hearing about them ever since I moved here.

It was about 24 degrees, which is REALLY cold for Tacoma.
Here are just a few of the photos I took.

 Have a colorful night