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

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Feet and Forks adventures

Oh, my! 
The ladies 
of the Feet and Forks walking group trekked through Bremerton this week and came across this sign in an antique store. Bremerton is a Navy town, but still, we

The Feet and Forks
First we walk, then we eat

This week, we drove to Port Orchard and took a little foot ferry (that means no cars) to Bremerton for $2. Once there, we walked over a couple of bridges, through a park, along the downtown streets and -- surprise -- ended at a restaurant where we had

We don't know what's being made in this project, but it was interesting to watch from the middle of a bridge. Below is a view of the snow-capped Olympic Mountains from another bridge.

And here are a few of the many
cool sculptures
 sprinkled throughout town:

To keep this quilt-related, here are two little fabric and bead collages I made using mostly fabric that I painted. I'll be doing more of these colorful pieces as we burrow deeper into the gray winter.
Have a colorful day!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Haiku and color inspirations

Hawaii sunset in January

Aqua skies streaked pink,
Lavender quilted fields float
through greens of summer.

-- Sherrie Spangler
Haiku accepted in "Eye of the Quilter"

Technically, this verse doesn't meet all the criteria for a haiku, but that's because I wasn't aware of all the rules when I wrote it. (I didn't include a "cutting" word.) Nevertheless, it was accepted into a photography/haiku exhibit called "Eye of the Quilter," which will open next month at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. The idea of the exhibit is to give viewers a glimpse into 
what inspires quilt artists.

Beautiful greens and lavenders of our summer garden ...

... and greens, lavender and soft blue in my hand-painted silk
Color is obviously what inspires me, especially colors from Nature. Sunsets, clouds, fields, water, lichen-covered rocks and mossy trees, deserts and flowers. I don't care much about realistic interpretations of Nature in my art. I like to just wallow in the color.
Shimmery fabrics in this quilt mimic watery reflections below

Sunset reflections in Gig Harbor last summer

And winter sunset reflections in California

I painted silk organza in watery blues and greens and suspended it in a window. Transparency and light are partners in my art inspiration, as well as color. It's a pretty good color match, though unplanned, with the photo below that I took last winter on my first trip to Hawaii.
Clear turquoise water in Hawaii against a steely sky
and black lava beach

Turquoise and a peachy coral is a luscious combination. Blue and orange are complementary colors -- opposite each other on the color wheel -- that make each other sing. Imagine the orange clouds below with the turquoise sea above.
 Gig Harbor sky, above, and water, below,
on different days.

The color that really makes me light up is a glowing yellowy green, like these leaves that I snapped near Hilo, Hawaii.
Brilliant green and purple is a common color pairing in nature,
one I often use in quilts to give them energy. 

Shots of fuschia and blue keep the eye moving
over this green quilt that I made years ago.
My furry "grandson," Marty, loves spring-green grass as much as I do. He's frolicking here in a dog park near Madison, Wisconsin. Black and white doesn't do much for me artistically, but it sure makes a cute dog. I think he needs a lime green and hot pink bandanna.

A note about my photographs: I don't like diddling around with camera settings or digital manipulations, so nearly all of my photos are taken on automatic with no further changes or "enhancements" except for an occasional crop.

Have a colorful day!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkins, owls and fallen leaves

Maple leaves, glistening after the storm.

Sunday (Rainday) started with Julia's pumpkin pancakes, lingon-berries and steaming coffee.

We've had days of rain, wind, thunder (almost unheard of here), and sporadic power outages. It's nice to hunker down inside for awhile, then that nagging voice says, "Get outside and make some vitamin D." So on went the rain jacket and down to the bay I trudged. The gravel roadway was matted with freshly fallen giant maple leaves, all yellow and orange (my favorite color). Some of those leaves are about a foot in diameter -- they grow 'em big out here. Ominous clouds obscured the Olympics on the horizon.

 Then it was off in the other direction to check out the cow pasture by the mailboxes (above). More downed branches and leaves.
On the way back, I stopped in Farmer Dave's garden and picked a few big Swiss chard leaves for vegetable lasagne, some lettuce and a green onion for a salad, and parsley for Bunners.

Midweek, we lucked out and had sunshine during a nature hike at the Tacoma Nature Center at Snake Lake, where paths wind through 71 acres of wetlands (above and below) and thick fir forests.

We chased the sun up into the tall trees, where it sprinkled the forest with the last rays of the day.

Above the trail, a barred owl 
waited silently for night.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Artful Quilters Blog Ring

"Common Ground" by Sherrie Spangler and Sandi Uram
In case you're wondering about (or maybe haven't even noticed) the new gadget on the bottom right side of my blog that says "Artful Quilters Blog Ring," here's the scoop. It's a group of people around the world whose blogs focus primarily on art quilting. Most of the blogs also bring in other things going on in the quilters' lives -- after all, that's often what inspires art -- but the main focus is on the quilts.

What this means for lucky you is that
with the click of your mouse
you can jump into the ring and surf around
to as many art quilt blogs as you can handle. 

Just click on either "previous," "next" or "random" and it'll always be a surprise. Or you can look at the list, which includes a brief description of each blog. (Speaking of webs, here's one right outside the window by my desk. The Northwest is draped with spider webs in the fall.)

My fiber friend Julaine first told me about the bloggers' ring way back in Illinois when I thought a blog was too technical for me. You can pop into her blog by clicking on She's fun and funky and definitely thinks outside the box.
So my web ring offering today is this selection of my quilts featuring rings, circles, or similar designs:

Free-motion crane; double-needle embellishment in circle.

Gathering foot made this puckery detail.

Double-needle with gold thread; faced shapes.
"Red Energy, 1st Chakra," with gold foil and hand-dyed fabric. Spirit doll is by Sandi Uram.

"Labyrinth," with hand-dyed fabric, gold foil, and beads.

Detail from "Beach Houses." Hand-painted fabric, yarn, mesh, beads.

Detail from "Mary Conquers Cancer."
I hope you've enjoyed your little spin around the quilts.

Have a colorful day!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

French toast and Paninis with the Twisted Nuts

Sew Day at Nancy's last weekend
began with flowers from her garden on the table:

This is followed by a visual feast of fall colors in the form of quilts, napkins and plates at the breakfast table. But the real feast is the food:
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Blueberry-stuffed French Toast with Blueberry Sauce
Fruit Salad 

As you can imagine, we stuff ourselves on breakfast and then have to work off some of those calories to make way for lunch. We toddle into the sewing room and do this (we're not called the Twisted Nuts for nothing):

Well, we do work on some other sewing projects, like double-sided mitered napkins, but I didn't get pictures because I was thinking about lunch. Then it's back to the kitchen, where Chef Nancy pulls out her brand new panini press and sets to work. First, she squeezes her homemade pesto on thick slices of bread:

 Then she layers them with fresh mozzarella, juicy ripe tomatoes, and basil leaves:

 And before you know it, we're digging into a plate of warm, melty, yummy paninis:

Ever since then, I've been thinking that I NEED a panini press.

Parting shot: 
Nancy's super-organized cupboard under the sink.