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

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bellingham: Homeskillet in Sunnyland

From the Green Owl Cafe in Madison brought to you by my son (last post) we move to the Homeskillet in Bellingham, WA, courtesy of my daughter. She took me there for lunch last week and I was so excited by the colors -- purple, lime green, orange, turquoise, bright yellow! -- that I could hardly put my camera away long enough to eat.

The colors and funkiness reminded me of favorite places in New Mexico. It was so nice to find this much color here in the Northwest. The funky chicken was above our booth and our table had chickens and eggs in glossy paint.

The food was just as colorful. Look at my daughter's bowl of granola and fruit:

I forgot to get a picture of my food because I was so hungry, but it was a marinated grilled portobello/tofu grinder with roasted red pepper aioli and a side of sweet potato tots and was delicious.

Here's the story (above). If you click on it I think you can read it. Mr. Potato Heads watched over me as I ate -- very comforting.

Have a flavorful day!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Madison, Wisconsin: Owls and butterflies

Green Owl Cafe in Madison, WI

Just back from visiting the sizzling Midwest, and in my search for good color I found a connection between the cafe and the gardens where my son and his honey took us on the same day.

Inside the Green Owl

We started at the Green Owl Cafe, with this great owl-and-birch-trees wall. Love that orange. (Drool over the vegetarian menu at The food was delicious, too.

Then they took us to the Olbrich Botanical Gardens, where we found more birch trees and a butterfly that looked like an owl. The "Blooming Butterflies" exhibit was going on, and besides live butterflies that had been hatched in the conservatory, there were cases displaying butterflies from around the world. This one, below, mimics an owl:

This next one has that yellow-orange that I love. You can read more about the gardens and the butterflies at

The parting shot is this wonderful plaque -- with that great yellow-orange again -- in the kids' house:

Have a colorful day!

Monday, July 16, 2012

"Sunset Sailing" accepted!

"Sunset Sailing On the Sound" by Sherrie Spangler


I just got the e-mail notice that my art quilt "Sunset Sailing On the Sound" was accepted into the Harbor History Museum's Juried Maritime Art Exhibit! ("Starfish Rising" was rejected, but one acceptance is good enough for me.)

The quilt under construction, peeling off the Sulky Solvy.
I'm especially honored to be accepted because the juror is Barbara Lee Smith, a world-renowned fiber artist who lives on Raft Island in Gig Harbor. I've never met her, but I've admired her work at a gallery in Santa Fe and I've read her book, "Celebrating the Stitch: Contemporary Embroidery of North America."

The exhibit will run from Aug. 4-Sept. 2, 2012, at the Harbor History Museum.

Have a colorful day

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Healing stitches

Back in May ( I asked you all to pray or send positive thoughts to my quilt artist friend Judi, from Hood River, OR, who is facing some major health issues. Well, she's now at the Mayo Clinic undergoing tests and hopefully treatment. She may be there awhile, away from her family, and I was trying to think of something I could send her to help her through.

So I took what started as my Summer Solstice Goddess quilt from last year and embellished her with embroidered vines and some more beading, meditating on her recovery with every stitch. I hope Judi can look at her and envision the day when she will stand radiantly again in the sun, full of health and energy.

Meanwhile, my other quilt artist friend, Sheila from Idaho, is taking care of Judi while she's at Mayo. So I made her a little "caretaker" quiltlet, thinking as I stitched of how strong the bond of friendship and love is between them. Sheila has no idea how long they'll be there, but she jumped right in to help. I'm amazed at their strength.

Here are a few shots of the quiltlets in progress. I worked on them outside because the sun was out.

Please send more 
healing thoughts to Judi!
Thank you

Thursday, July 12, 2012

STITCH snippets

My art quilt group, STITCH, met this week and we shared quilts with a political or social message. My contribution to the discussion was a quilt from this 1999 book, "Women of Taste," which matched up women chefs and art quilters to produce some pretty tasty statements.

I can't get my favorite quilt to rotate, but it's this one by quilter Ann Rhode. She looks at the yin and yang of men and women in the kitchen, with text and symbols for women cooks in the pink part and  for men in the blue. She asked the chef, Katy Keck, to list differences she's perceived between male and female kitchens.

No surprise, the men's side includes competitive (and this is before Iron Chef), dominates, lectures, architectural food, pushes new limits, egocentric and works alone. The blue side is overlayed with sheer images of knives.

The women's side includes comfort food, respects tradition, collaborative, nurtures, cooperative, team building, and collegial. The pink side is overlayed with sheer traditional utensils.

There is also text that reads: "While women developed the techniques and the tools for cooking, it was the men who wielded the knife, the tool that was used to dominate and conquer." I'd like to add that I CAN'T STAND the competitive, male-dominated cooking shows that have taken over on television. I hate, hate, hate them!!! I need a comforting brownie to calm down, and I just happen to have some that I baked last night.

Pat brought this very textural quilt. The background fabric is printed with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Delaine wore her stars and stripes and also showed her beautifully pieced Lady Liberty quilt:

And then there was Pat's "Adam Was a Rough Draft," covered with pithy little quotes about men like this one by Roseanne Arnold: "Men have no experience 'taking hints.' Your attempts at subtlety -- which work so well with your female friends -- will get you nowhere with your husbands." I can identify with that!

Here's the whole quilt, with Guatemalan worry dolls hanging around the striped border.

Barbara showed her quilt top (above) based on Underground Railroad blocks. She pointed out that the idea of certain quilt blocks being used to guide escaping slaves is now considered to be a myth by many historians. You can read more in Barbara Brackman's book, "Facts and Fabrications: Unraveling the History of Quilts and Slavery."

Pieces for my little suffragette quilt: "Women bring all voters into the world."

Then Barbara set us loose to work on little quiltlets with a suffragette message. She printed images from the suggragette movement on ExtravOrganza and let us each choose one, and she printed oodles of quotes on fabric for us to use. This was a surprise project -- all we knew ahead of time was that we were supposed to bring embellishments to add.

We also shared regular show and tells, and Karen almost didn't show us this beauty because she said "It's not an art quilt." WELL, we set her straight. She may have used commercial fabric and a pattern, but it took someone with an artist's eye to arrange that color flow that keeps your eye moving. She cut everything except the borders from one fabric, which she described as a "really ugly" flamingo print.

Karen also brought some old hand-pieced quilts to ask our resident restoration expert if they could be saved. The answer was yes. Here are two of them:

Pat was just back from teaching quilt classes in Hawaii, hence her Starcluck Kauai shirt. And Delaine did a little dance to show off the summery jacket she made. There was much more inspiration, but I didn't get photos of everything. Hope you enjoyed these little snippets!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fun reversible napkins

I whipped up some reversible fruity napkins today using a fun, quick method that I found on the Moda Bake Shop site:

The pattern was written by Marie at and also includes instructions for placemats that sandwich scraps between clear vinyl.

Since sunny weather only hangs around a few months here, I try to always sew on the deck when we have a stretch of good weather. I loaded my supplies into one of my coiled baskets and headed outside!

These are so much easier than pressing all those raw edges under twice and then sewing. You just put two 18" squares of coordinating fabrics wrong sides together and sew together with a big X diagonally. Then sew around the edges. I steam-pressed my fabrics together first, then pressed diagonal creases to use as a sewing guide. No need for pins :) I also used a walking foot to feed both layers equally.

Then Marie said to trim the edges with a rotary cutter fitted with a wavy blade. You could use pinking shears instead, but that would take longer. Here they are, with the rasberry side flipped back to show the reverse side and the wavy edge. It'll probably ravel nicely in the wash for texture.

I'm making a bushel of these to give as gifts this summer!

P.S. Look what I found the next day! The sweetest rasberries I've ever tasted at the local Farmers Market, straight from Spooner Farm in Puyallup.

Have a colorful day

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sailing quilt and perfect weather

"Sunset Sail on the Sound," by Sherrie Spangler

Here's the photo of my finished sailing quilt that I posted about yesterday. After converting the photo to a black and white, I'm pretty sure it would benefit from more contrast. On the other hand, I really like the colors and the quilting lines. (Gentle critiques welcome.)

And speaking of sailing in the summertime, look at how the Pacific Northwest was left out of the record books. While the rest of you were sizzling, we had a chilly, drizzly June. This image from the National Climatic Data Center shows the number of places where daily maximum temperature records were broken in June.

June's record high temperatures.
No heat records were set in the Northwest last month.

They say summer arrives in the Northwest on July 5, and this year it came one day early. Our next week is looking perfect and I'm looking forward to sewing outside.

10 Day Forecast
Tonight Jul 6
76°FObserved High6:05 pm
Chance of rain:

Sat Jul 7

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Sun July 8

Chance of rain:
Mon July 9
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Tue July 10
Chance of rain:
Wed July 11
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Thu July 12
Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy
Chance of rain:

Have a colorful day