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

Friday, August 31, 2012

Blue moon quilts

"Moonrise at Sunset" by Sherrie Spangler

Tonight is a BLUE MOON!

Since I love weather and any other sky goings on, I thought I should whip out a blue moon quilt tonight. But I'm feeling lazy, so I just went through some of my old quilt photos and pulled out a few that are or could -- with a little imagination -- be blue moons. (A blue moon is the second full moon within the same month.)

Detail from "Mary Conquers Cancer" by Sherrie Spangler

"Under a Blue Moon" by Sherrie Spangler
A fabric postcard that I made -- UFO in front of a blue moon?
"After Katrina" by Sherrie Spangler
Well, it could be a square blue moon.
Now I'm just finding blue quilts in the archives -- no moon here.

I keep going outside to try to find the moon, but it's not out yet. My daughter said it's already out in Chicago -- no fair.

Here's the sky at 7:30 p.m. over our house.
And here it is from our lucky neighbors' yard.

Have a colorful, blue moon night

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Comfort Quilt day

The Harbor Quilt shop has generously given us wall space to display some of the quilts our Gig Harbor Comfort Quilt Project has made for local patients undergoing cancer treatment. When I came in for our monthly sew-in at the store this week, it was fun to see some of our past efforts brightening the room.

The display includes newspaper articles written about the project as well as info on how to help. We've donated more than 1,000 quilts so far!

Here are a few shots of us working on new quilt tops this week:

Chocolate and blue quilt taking shape.

I sewed borders on this colorful one.

Have a colorful day

Sunday, August 26, 2012

STITCH snippets and sun printing

Judi Shipley made this striking sun print using skewers and plastic cups as her resists.

My art quilt group, STITCH, had a very colorful meeting this month, including these sun prints that some of our members brought for show and tell.

Judi S. made the fantastic green print, above, using bamboo skewers and translucent cups placed upside down to create the resists. She scattered rock salt on top of the wet fabric to create spots. The group below was made by Judi and Lois.

Leaves were placed on wet fabric in the orange and blue pieces.

I'm pretty sure Lois made this gorgeous piece. Stencils made the flower designs.

If you're not familiar with fabric sun printing, here it is in a nutshell:

Paint your fabric with Setacolor transparent fabric paints. While the fabric is still very wet, place resists on top and then let it dry in the sun. (It also works inside under bright lights.) When you remove the resists, the fabric under them will be much lighter. This works because the paints are light sensitive. Here's a link to Dharma Trading Co. that explains the process and offers sun printing supplies for sale:

The meeting was at Lois's house, so she gave us a tour of her sewing studio. She used to teach, and the "Mrs. Johnson" plaque is from those days.

Here's Lois and her glass-fronted fabric cabinet, which I covet.
When Mrs. Johnson was a young teacher in the '60s, she made this very mod free-form, color-blocked knit tunic top. Groovy!

Then Mrs. Johnson gave us our surprise assignment. She brought out trays on which she had organized some of her scraps, by color, and gave us each a tray (we couldn't pick) to use to make a fabric background. She told us ahead of time to bring our machines, but gave no hint as to what we'd be doing.

Anne jumped right in with her yellows (yummy) and quickly came up with an exuberant, energetic composition.

Barbara was more deliberate with her oranges, carefully composing and balancing her piece. Don't those oranges look great with her purple clothes? And Anne's pink sweater goes well with her yellows.

I had shades of blue that I don't normally work with (I lean toward the oranges and pinks above), but I like the way my composition is shaping up. I sewed it together later with rows of closely spaced vertical stitching with different blue threads.

We had some other fun show-and-tells, but they'll have to wait for another post. Hope this was inspiring! Thank you, Mrs. Johnson.

Have a colorful day

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Hot pads or placemats?

I've been dying to put these reversible placemats and napkins that I made on the blog, but I had to wait until the intended recipients had received them first.  I made them for Judi and Sheila to spice up mealtimes at the guest hotel by the Mayo Clinic where they're going to be for another month or two while Judi undergoes her treatment. (Please continue beaming positive thoughts and prayers their way!)

I got the hunky construction worker fabric a long time ago at the IQA-Chicago show, where there was a mob of women around the booth all wanting a piece. I heard plans for using it for shower curtains, pillowcases, and boxer shorts.

Bunners could use a vegetable theme placemat for her meals instead of the kitchen rug. She didn't actually get that whole carrot in one sitting -- I just put it out for the photo. Is she the cutest bunny or what? She just sat on my lap for a whole Alfred Hitchcock movie.

And here is a totally random shot of the harbor at sunset last week. Thanks for stopping by and ...

Have a colorful day


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

My first Dutch baby and sewing with the Nuts

Yummy hand-dyed fabric or a yummy Dutch baby pancake -- couldn't decide which photo should go on top. So I'll give the Dutch baby the headline but the fabric photo gets top spot. (Can you tell I used to lay out newspaper pages and actually think about this stuff when I do a blog post?)

Dutch baby, muffins, fruit and bacon for breakfast.

Anyway, the Twisted Nuts had a very delicious August meeting at Linda J.'s house. As soon as we came into the kitchen, my eyes feasted on the gorgeous pile of fabric that she has dyed and painted over the summer. Then my nose told me something special was coming for breakfast, and she pulled a DUTCH BABY out of the oven. I've seen recipes for Dutch babies over the years but have never had one. Boy, was it good. It's like a giant soft bubbly pancake. Here's the wiki definition:

A Dutch baby pancake, sometimes called a German pancake, a Bismarck, or a Dutch puff, is a sweet popover that is normally served for breakfast. It is derived from the German pfannkuchen. It is made with eggs, flour, sugar and milk, and usually seasoned with vanilla and cinnamon, although occasionally fruit or another flavoring is also added. It is baked in a metal pan and falls soon after being removed from the oven. It is generally served with fresh squeezed lemon, butter, and powdered sugar, fruit toppings or syrup.

I'm wrapping fabric around cording for a coiled basket.

After stuffing ourselves, we took a little break for sewing before starting in on lunch. Linda made these fun placemats -- don't they look great with the quesadilla toppings?

There's always room for dessert, even after seconds on the quesadillas. And there was room for seconds on this Texas sheet cake, too.

Finally we settled down to some serious sewing. Three of the Nuts worked on hand embroidery:

Here's a parting shot of that luscious fabric:

Have a colorful day

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fresh from the garden

Harvested a few days ago
I've been neglecting the garden in this summer's blog posts, so I thought I'd show you what's up out there. The radishes are long gone and the tomatoes are still green, but our kitchen is bursting daily with freshly picked carrots, beets, lettuce and other greens, cauliflower, broccoli, parsley and basil, beans, onions, potatoes. I've probably forgotten something, but we're eating and freezing as fast as we can.

As I washed the beets and carrots, I decided they looked even more interesting through the distortion of bubbling water. What's real and what's not?

Swiss chard -- beautiful colors

Cauliflower -- delicious roasted

Curly kale -- Bunner's favorite

Lettuce -- salads every day

Beans -- almost ready

Corn -- courtesy of neighbor Dick

The reason for our deer fence

Dave's hops along our fence

My latest bowl -- inspired by garden colors

I rarely do realistic art. Instead I breath in the colors and impressions of our world and exhale an abstraction. This coiled bowl in my mind is either a garden or a sunset.
Bunners -- our garden's biggest fan

Have a colorful day