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

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

Monday, July 11, 2016

Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

The 41st Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show went up on Saturday after the overnight rain cleared just in time. It was the culmination of a week of classes and other quilt events in the small high desert central Oregon town.

More than 1,000 quilts were displayed for the day on downtown businesses, hung from porches, roofs and walls. An army of volunteers hangs the quilts every year, and there has only been one year so far when they had to be taken down because of rain.

The town's glorious flowers and quaint western style buildings added to the visual appeal.

The quilts above are hung on the side of The Stitchin' Post, the town's famous quilt store started by Jean Wells, who also started the quilt festival four decades ago.

I have a lot more photos, but I'm still frustrated with the process of figuring out how to get them easily onto the blog with this Apple computer. Maybe I need to go to the Apple store and ask a nice teen-ager to help me. With any luck, I'll be able to remember the convoluted process I used and post photos about the classes and shops tomorrow.

Have a colorful day

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