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

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

126 embroidered circles!

I just finished embroidering 126 circles on the borders for my wool birds. I loved the process -- very soothing and meditative.

I used sizes 5 and 8 perle cotton in four shades of cream on several shades of cream wool. 

This was the view from the deck as I stitched today. It was a perfect 72 degrees. I'm delaying attaching the borders because I don't want to get to the quilting stage, which I'm afraid I might mess up. After working on this quilt for almost a year, I don't want to ruin it with my quilting!

Have a colorful day 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

New wool needle holder

I just made a little wool appliqué needle holder so I'll have an extra one to take to classes. This one is headed to Sisters, OR, in a few weeks for a class with Rosalie Dace -- can't wait!

I whipstitched three little leaves onto the front of the case before adding the embroidery. I used a wool/acrylic blend for the whipstitching and variegated pearl cotton thread for the embroidery. 

Then I added some yellow glass beads to the leaves. I used a blanket stitch to attach the outside to the blue inside and then started filling it with needles.

As you can see, I managed to get some photos from the new Apple onto the blog, with much help from my husband and some cursing on my part. I liked the old system better.

 Have a colorful day

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Technical difficulties -- please stand by!

So my ancient PC died last week and my husband gave me his extra little Apple laptop. I've never used an Apple before, but I'm slowly getting used to it.

The real problem is my photos. I've used Picasa as long as I've shot digital photos, and now it's no longer being supported and you can't download it anymore!!! So I'll have to choose and learn a whole new photo program -- and I'm very technically challenged. I also HATE CHANGE.

As soon as I figure out how to deal with photos on the Apple I'll be back to blogging. I hope it's not too painful, but I really hate this tech stuff.

Have a colorful day

Saturday, June 11, 2016

"Spring In the Desert" quilt

I bought a cheerful print fabric of blooming cactuses with birds and lizards when I was in Arizona, so this week I decided to use it in a "Spring In the Desert" quilt. All that's left to do is the binding!

I sewed together wonky blocks, which I cut freehand without a ruler to give organic curves. I arranged the blocks, then filled in where needed with curvy strips and more blocks.

Other than the desert print, I only used solids or prints that read as solids. I painted some of the fabric.

The next photo shows it pieced together:.

Then I quilted it with horizontal and vertical lines, purposely irregular to continue the organic feel. The binding is attached on the front but I still have to hand sew it to the back. It measures 22" x 33".

Here are the books that inspired the wonky look. "37 Sketches" by Gwen Marston isn't a how-to book, but it has photos of 37 beautiful little wonky quilts. The last three books give good instructions on how to design and piece this style of quilt.

 Have a colorful day

Monday, June 6, 2016

1,500 comfort quilts completed

A stunning Comfort Quilt donated by a local quilter.
At Comfort Quilts in May, our leader, Carol, announced that we've now completed more than 1,500 quilts for local breast cancer patients since the project began in 2002! Here are some of the quilts -- either completed or in progress -- from the meeting.

We work the fourth Wednesday of the month from about 10 or 10:30 a.m. until around 3 or 4 p.m. at the Gig Harbor quilt store. Volunteers are welcome to bring their machine and piece, iron, cut or do handwork. All fabric is provided through donations. After the tops are pieced, they're delivered to more volunteers who long-art quilt them.

You can read more about the project here:

And here are the last remaining flowers from the bouquet from Judi's garden. Love the pure colors!

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The birds are back!

Over the holiday weekend I put the final embroidery and beads onto my 30 wool birds and arranged them -- and rearranged a few times -- on the design board.

I gave them all either blue or brown eyes and made sure they all had feet.

Now I just have to square them up, sew them together (which will be a challenge because some of the beading comes too close to the edges) and add borders. The borders will require a trip to the Quilted Strait in Port Gamble to buy larger pieces of wool. It's an hour drive, but at least it's not on the hell hole that is I-5.

I think this will be the final arrangement. It's not the same as that in Sue Spargo's bird book. Hers is a vertical arrangement.

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Color from Judi's garden

A lush, fragrant bouquet from Judi's garden.

Some friends and I went for a hike earlier this week, and afterward Judi -- the green thumb of the group -- invited us to tour her gardens. What a visual and aromatic feast!

She and her family started building the garden 20 years ago. One of the first things they installed was the fence around the future rose garden. It's a beautiful fence (above) and keeps the deer away.

Up close, I was blown away by the rich, lush, fragrant flowers. I'll let the photos of roses, peonies, poppies and others speak for themselves.

The colors are simply delicious. Judi knows the names of every plant as if they are her children, and she encouraged us to get our noses right into the roses to appreciate the individual scents of each one.


After the rose garden, we wandered into the separate "room" of the shade garden, with its layers of green and delicate shade blooms.

Judi makes sure to include light greens to glow amidst the darker greenery.

She also includes a variety of interesting leaf shapes.

 A Buddha statue adds to the calm, hushed atmosphere of the shade garden.

And just for fun, the gardens are sprinkled with whimsical creatures, like these. Hope you enjoyed the tour.

Thank you, Judi!


Have a colorful day