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

Thursday, September 19, 2019

A little humor, a little coziness

Facebook had some good spousal humor today. I'm celebrating not having to deal with this stuff anymore, especially the one about being constantly interrupted when trying to read.

And earlier this week, there were pictures of both of my kids on Facebook snuggling with their furry children. Keith's wife posted the picture of him with the dog, and I'm sure he would be embarrassed if he saw it -- but he's one of those rare Millennials who's not on Facebook so he won't know.

And here is Julia with two of her super snuggly bunny babies. I miss them. I'm planning a road trip next month to see them all.

I'l end with a quote that I pulled from Instagram this morning. It's been my goal this year. Sometimes I slip up and cry, but I'm getting way better overall.

 Have a colorful day

Sunday, September 15, 2019

A relaxing Sew Day at Linda's

An old friend greeted me at Linda's house during Sew Day this weekend -- the Fall 2005 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. Linda had picked it up at a sale for 25 cents and didn't realize until she read it that I have an article in it! The quilted women's faces on the cover were done by my friend Bonnie Saxby, and inside is an article by me on non-traditional bindings and an article on the art quilt group that Bonnie, Julaine and I had formed when I lived in Illinois. A real blast from the past!

I tried a little hand stitching on my wool appliqué, being careful not to overwork my thumb. The brace I bought got ditched after about half an hour because it cut off my circulation and made my arm numb. Instead, I worked very, very slowly and took a lot of breaks.

Linda P. also worked on wool appliqué, stitching some Christmas blocks that she downloaded from a Facebook group.

Carolynn worked on this swashbuckling coat in burgundy wool for her son. At 6'3", he'll be a head turner when he wears it! She went to the Pendleton store in Oregon, a few hours from here, for the fabric.

Linda J. was trying to put a dent in her stash by sewing 2-inch squares into 16-patch blocks that she'll set off with pinwheels like in this pattern.

She also had some fall show and tells:

Lunch was a delicious taco salad with colorful toppings in a pottery server from Mexico.

But what really caught my eye was the swirling colors in the water glasses!

  Have a colorful day

Friday, September 13, 2019

Madison quilts and critters

The white glove at Wisconsin Quilt Expo.
The reason I picked last weekend to visit Keith and Rachel is because it was the weekend of the  Wisconsin Quilt Expo in Madison! I had never been to that one and was excited to find some inspiration.

I took photos of my faves but decided I probably shouldn't put them on the blog without getting permission from the makers. 

But I did get a picture of Heather Givens, the designer of a pattern I'm excited to make. I'm a big fan of snail mail and pretty notecards with matching envelopes, so this quilt really caught my eye. In fact, out of the entire show it's the one thing that got my blood pumping!

The pattern is "Letters From Home" by Crimson Tate. It comes with a square template to use with your rotary cutter if you want to fussy cut prints for the envelope. It also comes with directions for making an optional open envelope that you can slip notes or goodies into.

I'd love to visit the Crimson Tate shop sometime in Indianapolis.

Then I found Blue Bar Quilts on the last day of my trip and was in heaven. It's a modern quilt shop with wonderful graphic fabric, a large gallery featuring a different quilt artist each month, and a makers gallery with items for sale. I bought this selection of fabric:

Moving on to wildlife, here are some Sandhill Cranes we saw while hiking in the Pheasant Branch Conservancy. These beautiful  birds can be up to five feet tall!

We also saw plenty of wild turkeys. These ones were sauntering through Keith's neighborhood.

 At Olbrich Botanical Gardens we saw ducks eating duckweed.

And squirrels were everywhere, squirreling away nuts for the winter.

Which leads nicely into this quote:

 Have a colorful day

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Colors of Madison, WI

As I flew across the country last week to visit my son and daughter-in-law in Madison, WI, I was struck by the changes in scenery. Leaving Seattle, above, there was water snaking around heavily developed land. 

I changed planes in Salt Lake City. As the plane descended, I noticed how the blue sky contrasted with white mineral deposits -- at least I think that's what it was. Salt deposits around the Great Salt Lake?

And finally, as we circled over Madison, it was green farmland as far as I could see.

Down on the ground, we walked miles over the next few days through green fields, prairie and woods. Here's Keith at Pheasant Branch Conservancy with me on the bench and with Rachel.

The wild prairie was full of yellow flowers punctuated with purple.

On another day, we wandered through Olbrich Botanical Gardens,  an oasis in the city that includes a tropical conservatory and a Thai pavilion. 

Here is the pavilion, above, and some gorgeous color from the conservatory.

I also found this soft, feathery texture
on a birch tree.

Speaking of Thai, we had delicious meals at two Thai restaurants. This is the sweet potato curry I had on my last day for lunch at Curry In the Box. It was so good. I googled sweet potato curry recipes and found a few that I'm going to make.

And speaking of food (which I usually do), Rachel baked a chocolate wacky cake with vegan cream cheese frosting on my first night! Their dogs were very interested. That's Marty the border collie mix on the left and Penny the cattle dog on the right. Tomorrow I'll show some quilty photos from the trip.

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Adapting my sewing for arthritis

This is the hanging sleeve on the back of my latest quilt. My thumb was just too painful to hand stitch the bottom of the sleeve down -- even while wearing my brace -- so I fused it down! Then I hand tacked it in a few spots. I don't know if it will hold up to the weight of the quilt, but if it does I think I'll do all of my quilts like this from now on.

I also did machine stitching to catch the back of the binding (this is the front), stitching in the ditch on the front. I always used to enjoy hand stitching the binding to the back, but once again my arthritis has nixed that practice.

On a walk today in the neighborhood, I decided that the trees reflected in a pond look like the greens in the new quilt. It definitely feels like fall is in the air.

"Choosing Joy," 48x48 inches

Have a colorful day

Sunday, September 1, 2019

"Choosing Joy" quilt is finished

I just finished another quilt. I'm calling it "Choosing Joy" because that's what I'm doing with my life. The green is for rebirth, and the pink, orange and yellow are for joy. I'm going to bind it with the text fabric, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. It measures 48x48 inches.

This second layout is what I originally had in my head, but then I started playing around with it and like the top star formation much better. It seems to have more sparkle and movement.

 I love the intersections.

I always hate to throw away the pretty trimmings, but after the photo I scooped them into the waste basket. In earlier years I might have saved them just in case I thought of a creative use for them.

Here is how I covered up the seams on the back -- with fused strips.

I'm continuing to come across good quotes on Facebook and Instagram. Here is a recent one. (In case you're wondering why I stopped the Friday Yoga Wisdom quotes, it's because Jillian has left the Y and no longer teaches our class. We all miss her.)

Have a colorful day