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

Sunday, May 20, 2018

More embellishing

I finally settled in at the sewing table in the new house to further embellish the wool applique blocks that I started a year ago. Buttons, beads and embroidery -- you can never have too much!

I'm adding French knots to the vine on the house with this hand-dyed pearl cotton thread. A great source for that is, which is basically Laura Wasilowski.

I also hung up my thread racks, which hold my "fancy" threads. Well, not all of them. I won the two on the left about 25 years ago, my daughter gave me the sun rack, and my son made the calendar from photos that he took hiking in the North Cascades. So it's also my memory wall.

I like to machine quilt with gold thread, so I pick up YLI spools whenever I see the gold. I haven't had as much luck with silver, which breaks more often for me. I've tried all different brands, with YLI working best in my machine (a Bernina 1260).

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

April block and Julia's visit

I finally did my April color block, halfway through May. The move to a new house sidetracked me for a few weeks. Basically, April was rainy. I think we set a record for rainfall. The little squiggles of pink are azaleas and rhodies that started blooming.

Here are this year's blocks so far, with dark January in the upper left, dreary February upper right, sunny March lower left, and rainy April lower right.

To see what other fiber artists have been up to this week, I'm linking to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday: vacation-inspiration-off-wall-friday.html

In other news, Julia visited for Mother's Day and brought my grand bunnies! Lots of snuggle time.

Yesterday was sunny and in the 80s, so we walked in the harbor. This is one of the historic net sheds that dot the waterline.

Snowy Mount Rainier, 40 miles away, rises above Gig Harbor. When someone says, "The mountain is out," it means it's sunny and you can see Rainier. Much of the year it's hidden by clouds.

Afterward, we made a stop at Goodwill and then Julia had tofu pho and I had a Thai iced tea at Fresh Rolls. Cheap and fresh eats.

Have a colorful day

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Quilts, showers and flowers

I'm pretty much settled into the new house, with just a few more quilts to hang. Dave gamely climbed onto a bookcase to hang "Garden Gone Wild" in the dining room.

In going through my old quilts, I came across "Morning Light," which hadn't seen the light of day since I made it nine years ago because I didn't like it. Then I caught a glimpse of it sideways, below, and decided that it has potential. I like the vertical movement. The top version was supposed to represent a sunrise illuminating rolling fields, but it just didn't cut it for me.

I used mostly cottons and silks that I painted, along with some sheers.

Speaking of light, we had a sudden downpour the other day illuminated by late afternoon sunshine. There must have been a rainbow, but I couldn't find it.

And the flowers are big and beautiful. I had never seen such big flowers until I moved to the Northwest.

 Have a colorful day

Saturday, May 5, 2018

A peaceful stroll through Bloedel Reserve

Earlier this week, Dave and I headed to one of our favorite spots for a tranquil walk through nature, the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island.

Virginia and Prentice Bloedel bought the property in 1951 and owned it for more than 30 years, sculpting it into a magical place of forests, meadows, water and flowers. Now the home and surrounding nature are a reserve open to the public for strolling and contemplation.

I like that the brochure asks visitors to, "Silence your cell phone, minimize use, and keep voices low. ... Kindly use museum-like etiquette and allow all our guests, and the wildlife you may discover along the trails, to quietly enjoy the tranquility of the Bloedel experience."

It was a warm, sunny spring day, with light splashing through the trees and flowers in bloom.

Tucked throughout the reserve are moss-covered wooden benches in forest glades and along lush shorelines.

The first floor of the Bloedels' former house is open to visitors and affords a spectacular view over the water.

Volunteers create flower arrangements for each room, and I snapped our photo in front of this arrangement of lilacs and greenery.

In case you're interested, I've written other posts about spring and fall at Bloedel:



Hope you enjoyed the scenery!

Have a colorful day

Monday, April 30, 2018

Good-bye old house, hello new

"For I have promises to keep
and miles to mop before I sleep!"

I spent three hours today at the old house on my hands and knees mopping miles of wood laminate flooring. Hubby, thinking he was helping by clearing out the old house, took my mops and left me with just a broom, vacuum and a few rags to do the floors. It was actually easier on my back than standing and mopping.

Some things I'll miss most about the old house are the Buddha statue, which belongs to the landlord, and the view, although today's view was awfully grey.

The new house is still a rental, but I love the traditional warmth and feeling of living in a big park. I've never been attracted to traditional houses, but I stunned myself by feeling right at home when we moved into this one! I may have to rethink that house we're planning to build and incorporate some warm, traditional elements.

Meanwhile, there's still a lot of unpacking and organizing to be done.

 Have a colorful day

Friday, April 27, 2018

Still unpacking

My clean sewing room table is once again covered with boxes, bins and baskets to be put away. The old house just keeps spewing stuff from dark corners and cupboards. But I'm getting there.

My husband made this massively sturdy ironing table. It came in handy for parking my file cabinets, which used to be in a separate room. 

My wool pieces are definitely eye candy for me, and I can't wait to dive back into my wool projects.

A friend sent me this card a loooong time ago for my birthday, and it's perfect for the studio.

I've corralled my fancy fabrics and notions in decorative baskets, but I still have a big pile of empty baskets to deal with.

I'm sorting through my quilts, deciding which ones to hang in the new house. We only plan to be here for a few years -- just long enough to find property and build a house -- so I'm not going to hang very many. I want to keep the next move as easy as possible. For that same reason, I'll probably only hang a few of my oodles of framed pictures.

But the chocolate sign stays out! Nancy gave this to me on my last move, four years ago.

I love the landscaping outside of our new home: giant perennials and towering Douglas firs. I almost don't miss that water view at all.

 Have a colorful day

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Unpacking the sewing room

I'm still moving. I haven't moved the sewing machine cabinet and ironing table, but just about everything else is at the new studio. The photo below shows what awaited me at the new house today: boxes, bags and baskets of stuff to be shelved. 

Two hours later it looked like this:

Beads, notions, and fancy fabrics.

Sewing books (more to come) and blog books.

I can't wait to get moved in and set up some lounge chairs on the deck right outside the studio. First I have to buy some -- I don't know how I've survived the past 20 years without good lounge chairs. It'll be the perfect spot for hand work this summer, but the rest of the year is usually rainy.

And my reward for all the hard work:

Have a colorful day

Saturday, April 14, 2018

More rain, more moving

It's been a week again since the last post,
and I'm still moving and it's still raining!

The upside is that I've claimed the family room at the new house for my sewing studio, so I have a lot of space. My handy husband made the big shelving unit, which will hold ALL of my fabric. The smaller shelves to the left will hold beads and books. Sewing machine will go to the right in front of a window.

We did have a soft sunset the other night during a break in the rain.

And the flowers are starting to bloom.

We had one mostly sunny day, during which I got outside and took flower photos. Now I have three more days of rain to get through and then the sun will be back! Rainy days are good for staying inside and unpacking, but they do eat away at my energy level. I'm a desert sunshine woman living in the rain forest.

 Have a colorful day