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

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Green for Earth Day

Dave and Julia on Fragrance Lake hike.
Dave and I met up with Julia in Bellingham last weekend on a gorgeous sunny day to hike up to Fragrance Lake and back, and I thought all the green would make a good Earth Day post. Earth Day is officially April 22, so I hope you get outside tomorrow and enjoy some nature.

The trail up is about two very steep miles, so I made a lot of rest stops on the excuse of having to take pictures. The growth in this Northwest forest is incredibly lush.

"Nurse log" supporting four new trees.

Even the lake looks green. The "fragrance" comes from skunk cabbage, which isn't exactly a pleasant fragrance.

Fragrance Lake near Bellingham.

To make this quilt related, here's a collaged quilt I made in 2006 called "Forest" that has the colors of our hike. I made the quilt when I lived in Illinois and our house backed up to a forest.

"Forest" art quilt by Sherrie Spangler.

Have a colorful Earth Day

Monday, April 13, 2015

Quilting "Sedona Spring"

I quilted "Sedona Spring" today in one continuous spiral, using a freezer paper circle in the middle to get me started on the path. Here is the top before I started quilting:

I used the walking foot as a guide to keep the spirals roughly the same distance from each other. I used invisible thread on top.

Now it's done, but the edges are wavy. I hate it when that happens, so I'm leaving the studio for tonight and I'll deal with it tomorrow ... somehow. It's so wavy that I don't think it can be blocked or pressed into submission. I may actually gather the edges all around and then press. Won't win any awards, but I still love the colors!

Update a few days later: I gathered the edges and it worked perfectly. It's all bound and lays perfectly flat!

I've linked up to Nina Marie's Off-the-Wall Friday so you can see what other fiber artists have been up to this week:

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Hiking the hoodoos and coral pink dunes

Natural arch formed by erosion in Bryce.
On our way back from Sedona (yes, I'm HOME now!), we hiked in the spectacular and colorful hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Monument in southwest Utah. Words cannot properly describe these bizarre and wonderful rock formations, so I'll show you a lot of pictures.

The trail took us down several hundred feet in elevation into the heart of the hoodoos. Partway down, we came across this painter whose orange shirt matched the rocks.

 Bryce's elevation is around 8,000-9,000 feet, so there was still snow.

The skies at Bryce are intensely blue and clear during the day, and it also has a 7.4 magnitude night sky, making it one of the darkest in North America. This magnitude means that you can see about 7,500 stars with the naked eye, while in most places fewer than 2,000 can be seen due to light pollution.

Before I take you to the coral pink dunes, I'll leave you with this quote on a sign at Bryce:

"If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it."
-- Lyndon Baines Johnson

Last stop: Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, also in Utah near Kanab. The soft sand called out for bare feet, so I carried my shoes as we hiked -- slogged -- around a loop with nature signs. We saw people in the distance sledding on the dunes, which can shift up to 50 feet a year in the wind.

The dunes are formed from the erosion of pink-colored Navajo Sandstone surrounding the park. High winds passing through the notch between the Moquith and Moccasin Mountains pick up loose sand particles and then drop them onto the dunes because of the Venturi effect. (There's one for you to google.)

Have a colorful day

Monday, March 30, 2015

Last post from Sedona

We're packing up and heading out of Sedona tomorrow morning, so this will be my last post from the land of sunshine, blue skies and red rocks.

Last Quilt

I just sewed the final seam 20 minutes ago on the string quilt. It'll have to wait until I'm back home for the quilting.

"Sedona Spring" by Sherrie Spangler

Last Hike

Yesterday we hiked about 6 miles in the West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon. It was cooler and shadier than hiking on the rocks. Temps were around 80 in Sedona but didn't feel that hot in the canyon.

 Last Stand

... in the red rocks for the metal bunny sculpture before we whisk it home to the Northwest. We bought it at a shop in Old Town Cottonwood, and I think Bunners will be excited to see it.

Hope you've enjoyed my blog's glimpses of Sedona this past month! 

Have a colorful day

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Tie Dye Judy gets a new studio

I got to visit my blogger friend Judy Sall's new studio in Flagstaff this month, which of course is worth a blog post. Anytime a fiber artist gets a new studio it's worth a post! She's also known as Tie Dye Judy, and her blog is at The blog links you to her Artfire store where she sells her fun items.

She knocked out a wall to combine two rooms into one, which gives her a beautiful light-filled spacious studio to do her dying, stitching and playing. One window looks out on the snow-dusted San Francisco Mountains and the other window is filled with a lush evergreen tree.

The day I visited she had colorful strips of fabric waiting to be made into coiled fabric bowls and vessels.

 This gathered garment awaited the dye bath.

I was blown away by the beading on her prickly pear art quilt. This is a detail.

 Here we are in front of another one of her art quilts. Cheers to friends met through blogging!

Have a colorful day

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Strip quilt keeps going

I'm still making wonky strip-pieced blocks down here in Sedona. I've been playing with arrangements and came up with these three today.

In case you didn't read my first post about this, I start by cutting old telephone book pages into squares and then I stitch-and-flip strips at wonky angles until the page is covered.

Next, I cut it down to the size I want and then peel off the paper.

The bright, saturated colors here in the high desert remind me of the colors in the quilt. This is definitely more of a sunny, hot weather quilt than one from the Northwest.

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mystery city: Jerome, AZ

The mystery city from yesterday's post is:
Jerome, Arizona!

Jerome, population 444 as of the 2010 census, is an old mining town in the Black Hills high above the Verde Valley. It's about 100 miles north of Phoenix. Supported in its heyday by rich copper mines, it was home to more than 10,000 people in the 1920s. Its main industry these days appears to be tourism, with people with cameras cramming the steep streets to visit galleries, gift shops and eateries.

Have a colorful day

Monday, March 23, 2015

Mystery town

We took a break from hiking the other day to explore a VERY colorful town in the state where we've been vacationing. Does anyone know what it is?

I'll do the big reveal tomorrow!

Have a colorful day