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

Monday, October 24, 2016

The wool birds are quilted!

Here I am with Nancy, left, who quilted the birds.
After ripping out my disastrous attempt at quilting the wool birds on my little home sewing machine, I turned it over to Nancy of Nancy's Long Arm Quilting in Gig Harbor, 253-432-1029. She did a masterful job and I couldn't be happier! Now all I have to do is bind it and hang it on the wall more than one year after starting it.

(The pattern is from Sue Spargo's "Bird Dance" book, but I did my own border design.)

Here's the quilting in process in Nancy's shop. She worked up some sample quilt designs and I chose swirls for around the birds and circles for the border.

You can see the designs a little better here. Now that it's done, I have to find another hand work project to keep me busy through the winter. I've come to love hand work because it's portable and I can do it sitting in my favorite wicker chair looking out the living room window with my feet propped up on a bench.

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Wooly weather

The "historic" storm I wrote about last post didn't happen. Oh, we had wind and pummeling rain, but we didn't set any records and we didn't lose power.

But it was still stormy enough to pull out the latest wool project and snuggle with it in my fleece and favorite chair.

Here's how it looked yesterday outside the window. The sun broke through the clouds and turned the water silver. All day it rained then had a brief sun break, then rained, then another sun break. It felt  like spring in Pennsylvania, where I grew up.

The project I'm working on is a wool appliqué fall table runner. First I did a tiny whip stitch to hold the pieces down. Now I'm using heavier thread to do a decorative chain stitch around each piece. Should be finished for Thanksgiving.

Have a colorful day

Friday, October 14, 2016

Monster storm headed our way

Not much color here today. We're in the beginning of what threatens to be a "historic" Northwest storm, with massive winds, rain and expected widespread power outages.

I am not prepared. I have no chocolate in the house. I don't want to go out in the driving rain and howling wind to get any. I wonder if I could order some from Amazon and have a drone drop it off in the next few hours?

I do have a flashlight and hand stitching.

Here's what our local weather guru, Cliff Mass, says about the storm in his blog:

"A true monster storm, potentially as strong as the most powerful storm in NW history (the Columbus Day Storm of 1962) will be approaching our area on Saturday. The UW WRF sea level pressure forecast for 5 a.m. Saturday shows the approaching cyclone. The central pressure is an amazing 961 mb, with an unbelievably strong pressure gradient around it."

Have a safe day

Friday, October 7, 2016

Hiking at Devil's Lake, Wisconsin

Hiking at Devil's Lake State Park in Wisconsin.

I've been absent from the blog because I've been in California and Wisconsin visiting family for a couple of weeks. I'll just blog about our last day in Wisconsin, which started rainy but by the afternoon had turned into a perfect day for a fall hike.

We went with our son and his wife to Devil's Lake State Park, about 35 miles from Madison.  The first leg of the hike was easy and level, winding our way through large rocks along the shore.

Then the hard part started: a 500-foot climb to the top of the bluffs. My yoga didn't prepare my leg muscles for this part, but everyone else did fine. I was huffing and puffing and kept stopping to give my legs time to recover. 

But I made it, and the view was spectacular! Here you can see how far we came from the lake shore. Across the lake, rolling hills had turned into a patchwork of green and gold trees.

When we got back, Rachel and Keith made us a delicious Mexican feast, starting with vegan queso and guacamole. Next came veggie enchiladas with my favorite salsa verde.

Too early the next morning we were on a plane headed back to the Northwest. I snapped the photo below as we descended to Sea-Tac.

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Our library quilt show

"The Art
of the Quilt"

October-November 2016
Gig Harbor Library
4424 Pt. Fosdick Drive

By members of

My art quilt group, STITCH, hung its annual fall show at the Gig Harbor Library this week. I hope some of you can stop by and see it!

My "Yoga Girls" share space with Nirvana.
In other news, I just got back from a quick trip to L.A. to visit family and am out the door next to visit family in Madison, WI. More later!

Have a colorful day

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sew Day color

No, this isn't a new sewing gadget. It's the homemade grout scrubber that Nancy showed us when we met at her house yesterday for Sew Day. She got the idea on Pinterest and had her hubby (in the background with his Seahawks shirt) make it for her.

Game Day/Sew Day meant a hearty, spicy taco soup for lunch, followed by pumpkin cream cheese bars. Delish! I forgot to get photos of breakfast, but it included a yummy breakfast casserole, cinnamon bread and fruit.

But I digress. Here are the projects we worked on. I continued to hand appliqué the pomegranate table rug, which is a Sue Spargo pattern. It looks like a pumpkin, but once I add the seeds it will look more like a pomegranate.

Linda P. worked on another Sue Spargo appliqué -- the same wool birds that I made. In fact, it was Linda who introduced me to the wool birds and Sue's work. In the lower photo, Linda is bordering the wing with a bullion stitch.

Here's another wool appliqué that Linda P. worked on:

Next up is the inside of a fabric bowl that Linda made in a class by Hilde Morin last summer at the Sisters, OR, quilt festival:

Nancy worked on her winter embroidery in red and white. You can't tell from the photo, but she embroidered graceful swirls of white on the background.

Finally, Linda J. free-motion quilted her exuberant sunflower, which is an Ann Shaw pattern. It's almost as tall as she is!

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Good blues

Blue, blue, my world is blue ...
but in a good way.

Low tide this morning.
We've been having bright blue skies and sparkling blue water here in Gig Harbor all week, with promises of more good blue days to come. So I took my coffee down to the water this morning and soaked it in.

Mt. Rainier floats above boats in Gig Harbor.
Then in the afternoon I walked out onto the downtown public pier to see the blue and white mountain and more blue sky and water.

Detail of "Searching" by Sherrie Spangler
 It put me in a mind to snap some pictures of watery blues in my quilts.

Detail of "Searching" by Sherrie Spangler

Detail of "Starfish Rising" by Sherrie Spangler

"House on the Water" by Sherrie Spangler

Detail of "Beach Houses" by Sherrie Spangler

Have a good blue day

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Last beach walk with Julia

I took one last beach walk behind our house with Julia yesterday before she headed off to grad school. The weather was glorious ... 70s and sunny, with calm sparkling water.

We can't see Mt. Rainier from our deck, but if we walk down a few houses it comes into view. A common saying here on a sunny day is, "The mountain is out!" It's 40 miles away but looms large.

The beach is pebbly, the water clear and cold. Crabs are common in our little area of the Puget Sound, and Julia found a few crab claws.

It was a beautiful, relaxing stroll, even though it signaled the end of summer. I'm sure we'll still have sunny days for awhile -- it's usually nice in the Northwest in September -- but the boat traffic has already slowed and it's dark now around 8 instead of 10. Wish we could store it up for the winter, but photos will have to do.

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Yoga girls are quilted

I just finished free-motion quilting the yoga girls from the back, tracing around the flowers and leaves on the back (more or less). It worked out a lot better than I expected!

Now all I have to do is bind it.

Here is one of the many reasons that I like yoga:

For more creative inspiration, follow this link to NinaMarie's Off-the-Wall Fridays:

And here is my daughter and two of my furry grand bunnies.

 Have a colorful day