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

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Here's the Color!

Linda J. and her big coiled fabric tote, which she made.
She also made her denim vest.

My last post asked
"Where's the Color?"
as another gray day weighed upon us.
It's still gray outside, but inside yesterday
with the Twisted Nut Stitchers
(they try to disown that name)
it was blindingly bright!

The unfinished tote flap

When the Nuts last appeared here,
we were on Vashon Island.
(See "The Nuts' Excellent Vashon Island Adventure.")
This weekend we were back on the mainland, hunkered down at Carolyn's home for our monthly Sew Day after a week of snow and cold. It was threatening to snow/rain again outside, but inside it was warm and bright from fabric, yarn, thread, beads, ideas, inspiration, grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup and Girl Scout cookies. 

If you're in need of color or inspiration,
please read on for our Show and Tell!

And if you want me to link to
YOUR sewing group adventures,
send me a note.  

Linda J. models another of her fabulous bags.
The straps go through big shower curtain grommets.
One red button really pops on the black and white fabric.

Look at the note, upper left, reminding Linda what this project still needs.
She did this for all of her sewing room UFOs, packaging them up with notes about what each project still needs. This makes it easy for her to grab a project and go.

Now we'll take a breather
and gaze out at the peaceful view
of the Puget Sound
beyond Carolyn's window,
south of Seattle:

Before moving on, note the snazzy clear table that Carolyn uses to extend the work surface around her sewing machine. The table's individual parts can be adjusted to fit around any sewing machine, making it easier to work on
big projects.

When Carolyn was done with her sewing machine project, she pulled out these BEAUTIFUL, LUSH crazy quilt blocks that she's embellishing with hand embroidery. My photos just aren't clear enough to do them justice, but you get the idea. 

Carolyn has used a lot of silk ribbon
and other beautifully colored threads.
Still to come are beads.

This is another one of Carolyn's blocks,
and again my camera didn't give me sharp photos.
(Operator problem, I suppose.)
Look at all those French knots and ribbon stitches.

As if all the purses weren't enough for Linda J.'s Show and Tell, she also tossed on some of the LOOPY YARN SCARVES that she's been making. THEN she did a little demo showing us how to make one in no time flat.

The other Linda sat peacefully by the window, embroidering this sweet little saying that probably will be turned into a guest room pillow.

Tune in soon for Nancy's quilt tops
and my turquoise and lavender linen vest.

Good Night!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Where's the color?

Photos of Wollochet Bay and our backyard, by Sherrie Spangler
It snowed today ...
It snowed yesterday ...
Classes canceled,
Highways empty.
Not supposed to happen here.

Color drained away
to grayed whites,
light grays,

Nice, but enough for me.
I'm ready to settle into the chairs
in the lower right of this photo
with sunglasses and iced tea.

Bring back the sun!!!

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The shadow knows

That's me and my shadow with one of my transparent quilts.

I love to take photographs that feature shadows
because of the element of mystery.
Shadows reveal a lot ... 
and they go hand-in-hand with light,
which I love more than almost anything else.
Here are a few of my favorites from the past few months.

My watery self-portrait, taken while leaning
on dock railing in Victoria, B.C.

I wanted to photograph strangers
in the Starbucks in downtown Victoria,
but I didn't want to intrude
or violate their privacy.
I solved the problem by
photographing their reflected shadows.

The shadow-story here reveals
the mullions in a window
through which the quilt
-- titled "Light" --
 is glimpsed.

The shadows above let us know
that this quilt is transparent.
(I made it with silk organza
that I painted with Setacolor fabric paint.)

I call these my silk clouds.
After I painted the crisp, sheer silk organza,
I crumpled it and let it dry, sealing in the folds.
I photographed it outside
when the sun was almost overhead.
Only the shadow is seen below.


Another silk quilt, above.
I guess this doesn't really show shadows,
but the light coming from behind reveals
layers of fabric and thread tails.

Julia and her shadow back in Illinois.
(From 2007.)

I saved the best for last:
The shadow-story here tells of
the potted philodendron on the window sill. 

Have a bright shadowful day!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Red chakra, blue sky

Detail, "Red Energy -- 1st Chakra," by Sherrie Spangler
 Size:  17"w x 20"  Copyright 2006

My daughter mentioned that her Taiji Quan (tai chi) teacher focused on the first chakra -- the red one -- yesterday, and that reminded me of my red chakra quilt that's been hidden in the closet for years. I'm not going to go into chakras here. You can google it if you need to know more, or read about it in wikipedia by clicking here.

So, since we had a nice sunny day with a brilliant blue sky, I unwrapped the quilt and took it outside for a photograph. While I was at it, I snapped a photo of the sky to have on hand when the clouds move back in.

The sky today in Gig Harbor, WA!

View of Mt. Rainier today.

I also took this photo of Mt. Rainier towering over the South Puget Sound this afternoon. It was very cold, and people were torn between wanting to linger at the park where I took this photo and wanting to get back in their warm cars.

Detail showing gold foiled spiral.
Getting back to the quilt ... I had planned to make one for every chakra, working my way up through the body and the rainbow. (Remember, "Sherrie Loves Color!") But I wasn't crazy about this first one ... it's not the warm rich red I hoped for ... not enough depth or complexity... maybe I need to work on that chakra.

I've almost convinced myself to shove this one back in the closet and move onto the next one, which would be ORANGE, my favorite color! I'll keep you posted.

Have a colorful day!

Friday, February 18, 2011

A sunny, cold break

Even the tube worms celebrate!

Actually, this is normal "behavior," if you can call it behavior.
The casings for the tube worms are exposed when the tide goes out -- sunshine or not --
but it always looks to me like they're poking out and
celebrating something.

I took these afternoon photos about a week ago when we had a day of sunshine.
It was cold by Puget Sound standards -- in the 30s --
although I know my friends elsewhere scoff at this.
The neighborhood was quiet, cold and bright.
The sea gulls didn't seem to mind my camera, and the cow was unperturbed.

I spent a long time crouched at water's edge
watching the rocks and tube worm casings.
They didn't move.
Only the water and light moved.

The only sounds were the cry of gulls
and the lapping of the wavelets.
Mostly, though, the gulls were quiet.

A few hours later, I watched the sun set
over the snowy Olympics
and Wollochet Bay.
A soft wash of orange, then night.

As beautiful as this is, I still long for the desert. Do any of you readers out there in blog land have some desert photos you can share on your blogs? What's it look right now in New Mexico and Arizona? How about the Outback? I know you're out there with your cameras, I just don't know if any of you read this blog.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Walk on the wild side

Dave and I took advantage of Sunday's break in the rain to hike in not one but TWO nearby state parks: Kopachuck and Penrose Point. We wandered through old growth forests and along the rocky Puget Sound ... through towering Douglas firs, cedars, hemlocks and maples.

Moss carpets the ground, wraps itself around trees and hangs eerily from branches. Mounds of moss support ferns growing high on trees above the trails.

Mushrooms nestle in moss underfoot. (Anyone know what these guys are?)

At water's edge, the rain forest gives way to driftwood, rocks and shells, beachcombers, fishermen, gulls, hawks and eagles.

We watched this seagull drag and tug at a flopping fish at Penrose while a juvenile gull went crazy, shreiking and darting around, hoping for his turn. The other two adults kept a quiet, more respectful distance.

The tide was going out, uncovering barnacle-encrusted rocks, mussels, and broken shells.

A colorful sign at Kopachuck aquaints visitors with the local wildlife.

Other wildlife includes photographers like Dave, who is practicing with his new camera.

Now the rain has returned and I'm back to my usual haunts -- Starbucks and my little computer corner.

Have a colorful day!