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

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sneak preview of Judi's garden

Here's a sneak preview of what's coming tomorrow from Judi's garden -- fabulous color and incredible lines and shading.

 Have a colorful day

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sea glass fabric bowl

"Sea Glass and Fog" by Sherrie Spangler

My "Sea Glass and Fog" quilt is finished and hanging above the fireplace mantel, and now I'm using the scraps to make a coiled fabric bowl.

I blogged about the making the bowls here:

It's simply a matter of wrapping strips of fabric around clothesline (held by dabs of glue at either end) and then zig-zagging it together in a coil shape. The tutorial link above explains it in more detail.

The rough-textured beige fabric being added above is Osnaburg cloth, a wonderful nubby cotton. After making the base as wide as you want, you simply tilt it up to the left of the machine and overlap the next round to start the sides.

I got this far and then I stopped to go to a Mexican restaurant, and now I'm too stuffed to sew anymore tonight.

Have a colorful day

Friday, May 13, 2016

Loose threads and STITCH

"Sedona" by Sherrie Spangler

Catching up on random stuff

Here's the full picture of "Sedona" -- I think I've only shown glimpses of it until now. I painted most of the fabric and foiled the center squares. I love working in these rich, saturated colors and quilting with gold thread.

In a completely different color scheme is this top that I finally layered and basted this morning after piecing it a year and a half ago. It reminds me of the soft colors of water, fog and grayed greens here in Gig Harbor. I can't decide on a quilt pattern. I usually quilt in sweeping free-form undulating lines, but I don't know if that would work with this. I'm not good at quilting precise patterns.

It sort of goes with the deck furniture.

And last but not least is the STITCH meeting that I hosted this week. It was a farewell party for Lois, who is moving to California. Here she is (in the green top) with some of our group. That's my "Forest" quilt behind them.

Pat had this spectacular quilt top for show and tell, which she pieced with squares as small as one inch. Her inspiration was a photo of a tree in full fall colors.

And of course we had to have color on the table:

Have a colorful day

Monday, May 9, 2016

Seen on the water

Mother's Day weekend was all about the water this year, with two ferry rides, a hike around a lake and a stroll along the bay in Bellingham while visiting our daughter.

Lake Padden in Bellingham, WA
First up are some photos from Lake Padden, a popular walking, boating and picnic area. The shady path around the lake is 2.6 miles and affords beautiful views of the water. Saturday it was filled with sailboats, canoes, kayaks, paddleboarders, swimmers and people fishing.

We watched Mama Duck shepherd her nine babies through the reeds while Papa fended off some encroaching males.

The next day, Mother's Day, we walked with throngs of other people on the boardwalk that runs along Bellingham Bay, where we saw bigger boats:

Wooden tall ship in Bellingham Bay.
But the most spectacular water sights were Sunday evening from the ferry as we crossed from Whidbey Island to Port Townsend. Within 30 minutes, we passed a whale, a submarine and a huge cruise ship. I didn't get a picture of the whale -- a grey -- but Dave saw it come out of the water and I saw the giant splash as it went back in.

The submarine, center in the photo above, was being escorted by two naval vessels. Minutes later we turned the other way and saw a huge white cruise ship headed toward us, glowing in the sun.

This last photo has nothing to do with the water but everything to do with why we went to Bellingham for Mother's Day!

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Cooler summer pillows

After spending one too many days lounging on the couch thinking the red wool kilim pillows were way too warm for spring and summer, it finally occurred to me that I had some extra quilt blocks in cool blues and greens that I could turn into new pillow covers.

They were left over from this top that I pieced a year and a half ago and still haven't quilted. I used a Tonga Treat package of strips and a pattern I found online. I blogged about it here:

After putting four blocks together for each pillow, they were still a few inches too small for the pillow forms inside the wool pillows, so I added strips of beige Osnaburg cloth. I love that fabric because it's so nubby and casual.

Here's the first one. It goes perfectly with the green throw ...

... and the green rug

... and the green quilt over the fireplace.

 Have a colorful day

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Peaceful stroll through Bloedel Reserve

"Nature can live without man,
but man cannot live without nature." 
     -- Prentice Bloedel

Earlier this week I spent a relaxing three hours strolling with some friends through the gardens of Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island. There were no crowds, the weather was perfect and spring was in full bloom!

Dwarfed by rhododendrens!

The reserve, a former home of Prentice and Virginia Bloedel, is full of peaceful settings and special spots -- moss covered benches, a magical birch grove, a Japanese garden, beautifully sculpted masses of flowers.

The Bloedel home is now open for tours and events.

Prentice Bloedel was colorblind, so he was more interested in different textures and shades than he was in colorful flowers. He also didn't use signs or labels on the plants because he found them distracting.

The bright pink candelabra primroses, below, were one of Virginia Bloedel's favorite flowers.

As we sauntered along the soft fir bark paths, our eyes feasted on delicate spring blooms and lovely vistas. It was nice not to be distracted with reading material from signage, but luckily my companions knew the names of most of the plants and filled me in. Of course, I don't remember most of them so you won't be reading about them here.

My camera battery died before we reached the Japanese garden and moss garden, so I'll have to go back. Darn! Hope you enjoyed this little peek into a beautiful day.

Have a colorful day