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

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Fog and sun

This is how it looked yesterday morning from our back deck. Grey. Then I set the camera's white balance for cloudy and it turned the world a pretty blue. (I guess I could wear blue sunglasses for the same effect -- or rose colored ones.)

Later in the day the fog cleared and late afternoon sun made these wonderful highlights on a piece of gnarly, barnacle-encrusted driftwood.

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

STITCH: Of Mice and Women

STITCH met today at Pat's house, and the theme could have been "Of Mice and Women." She served cute little mice cookies (with licorice tails and almond ears) and taught us all how to make "reverse anti-aging voodoo dolls."

The dolls are labeled with all the afflictions you don't want to have in old age, and you stick a pin in to AVOID that condition.

Then we did show-and-tell and talked about our exhibit coming up in October at the Gig Harbor library. Here's a sampling of show-and-tell:

Carol's graphic quilt highlights her collection of New Zealand fabric.

Anne's batik portrait of her granddaughter will be framed with some colorful African fabric. The face is mainly cut from different batiks to achieve the different colorations, but she also used a little fabric paint.

Karen modeled a sweatshirt jacket she made in a class by sewing fabric rectangles onto a purchased sweatshirt ...

... and Linda showed off her hand-appliqued and embroidered snowman quilt that was two years in the making. 

There was more, but in all the excitement I missed get photos of everything.

Greeting us as we headed downstairs to the studio was this grand old lady, a doll Pat made from an elinor peace bailey pattern.

Have a colorful day

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Circle quilt done

"Just For Fun," 40"x40", by Sherrie Spangler
I finally finished my fractured circle quilt, only three years or so after I started it! I called it "Just For Fun" because that's why I made it.

I finished it by sewing each square to the green backing with invisible thread and then tacked a button in the middle of each circle. Done!

The quarter circles and big hand embroidery stitches were inspired by Jane LaFazio's recycled circles series. Here's a link to one of them done in mixed media:

In other sewing news this week, I started teaching another wonky log cabin class today to two delightful ladies who got wonky right away!

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Congrats, Joyce and Nancy!

I'm so proud of my friends Joyce, left, and Nancy.

They were instrumental in pulling together today's grand opening of the Harbor WildWatch environmental center and Gig Harbor Visitor Information Center in the historic Skansie House in downtown Gig Harbor.

Joyce, as president of the HWW board, has long dreamed of permanent headquarters in the harbor for the environmental education group. And Nancy oversees the volunteers for the new visitor center and turned their new space into an inviting stop for visitors and locals alike.

Nancy's husband refurbished the patio table and chairs that greet visitors, and Nancy planted the cheerful flower container out front.

HWW rooms include a cozy library (above) where you can lounge and read about our local marine wildlife. I can see doing that on a rainy winter day. Another room, which I forgot to photograph, has marine life exhibits. The next dream for HWW is to turn the spacious kitchen into an area where the public can examine marine life under microscopes and maybe have other learning adventures.

The city Visitor Center has these comfy chairs in the front room, along with local literature and those gorgeous hydrangeas from Nancy's garden.

The centers will be open Wednesday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. through the end of September. From Oct. 1-April 30 hours will be Thursday-Saturday, 10-4. Stop in and say hello! 

During the open house, HWW had a tent set up outside with touch tanks filled with specimens from the harbor. Here you can see three sea stars and a sea cucumber. Check out the HWW website at for info on other public programs. All summer they set up touch tanks at local beaches.

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Decisions, decisions on circle quilt

If you're a long-time follower, you'll recognize these circle blocks from YEARS ago. Since then they lived in a Ziploc bag on a shelf because I couldn't decide how to join them.

I had quilted each embroidered quarter circle to a larger square of fluffy black batting. That's as far as the plan went, then I hit a roadblock and couldn't decide what to do next. Too many options to think about when you don't do things the traditional way.

Today I told myself I would forge ahead with no second thoughts. So I pulled out a piece of lime green duck cloth and spray-basted the blocks onto it in this arrangement. I'm going to leave the edges of the green cloth raw and raveled.

So far so good, but the next question is how to attach them permanently. Some possibilities: tack each corner with a little zig-zag and leave the tails dangling; stitch around each square through all layers -- but with invisible or colored thread, and zig-zag or straight stitch?; tack each corner with a colorful button. I'm leaning toward tacking the edges with a tight zig-zag and then putting a big bold button in the center of each circle.

I WILL decide tomorrow!

Have a colorful day

Friday, July 25, 2014

Chocolate and Oranges

I finished "Chocolate and Oranges," my STITCH challenge quilt. It was really hard to photograph because it's sheer and shiny. The plastic labels, foil Hershey Kisses wrappers and glittery tulle confused the camera. Let's just say it looks better in person than in this photo where it's pinned to a gray felt design board!

It looks a lot better suspended in midair with the light shining through. I'm thinking of hanging it somewhere in the kitchen.

Have a colorful weekend

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sewing in fits and starts

I've been having trouble focusing on art quilting since the move and the two-week vacation on the road, but today I finally focused in on starting a "quilt" for our upcoming STITCH show. I'm calling it "Chocolate and Oranges" and it's made from ...

... orange bags and Hershey Kisses wrappers. I've been collecting them for years.

I ironed the plastic labels between parchment paper to flatten them and it worked pretty well. The base fabric is silk organza and I might put tulle on top, but not sure yet.

Before the trip, I started this prism quilt from the pattern that was on the bag of a package of coordinated strips. It was fun (mindless) sewing the long strips and then cutting the triangles, but I don't like the precision sewing required from this point on. This project may go into the UFO pile.

Then there are all the photos I took on the drive across Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin! It was overload of color, pattern and texture that has my mind swimming with quilt ideas.


The greens and bright blue skies that we passed for thousands of miles had me thinking of painting silk organza and building up layers of luminescent color.

The hot spring pools at Yellowstone provided great natural colors and patterns for inspiration.

And fields of flowers never fail to inspire me to think about abstract swathes of color in cloth. All of this is making my sewing come in fits and starts while my mind jumps from idea to idea!

 Have a colorful day

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wedding on the farm

My son got married! The latest quilt that I couldn't show you was Keith and Rachel's wedding quilt, with an Apache wedding blessing in the center, Hole In the Barn Door blocks in the corners (it was a farm wedding) and a yellow circle on top to represent the full moon of their wedding day.

The blessing was more eloquent than anything I could have written, but it expressed my sentiments exactly. I found the printed panel (by Block Party Studios) at a quilt store in Texas and painted over it in bright yellow because I wanted it to be joyful and happy. Here's the blessing:

Days of Togetherness

Now you will feel no rain, for each will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness,
for each will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons, but there is one life before you.
May beauty surround you in the journey ahead
and through all the years.
May happiness be your companion.
May your days together be good and long upon the earth.
-- Apache wedding blessing

The ceremony was performed by Rachel's father outside under a big oak tree in a gentle rain. My brother performed the music, beautifully.

Then it was party time in the multistory barn!

Setting up the day before.

Vibrant wildflowers decorated each table.

Now I have two beautiful daughters!
p.s. The printed panel is by Block Party Studios in Iowa.
Here's the link to the panel:

  Have a colorful day