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

Monday, December 30, 2013

Last quilt of the year

Graduation quilt by Sherrie Spangler, copyright 2013

Here's my last quilt of the year, which I made for my daughter's college graduation.

It's a takeoff on the traditional Log Cabin block, with the center wonky orange block representing the heart of the home. The strips around the center represent -- via color -- each place she's lived. I printed the city and the years she lived there on ExtravOrganza.

This block from Kansas shows the bright blue summer skies, yellow of the sunflowers, white for winter snow, and tan and green for the prairie grasses. The little bunny is the first pet rabbit to come into her life.

The center block represents her wide open future!

I pieced the blocks improvisationally, starting with a pile of strips and sewing them down at different angles. It was quick and fun.

Then I quilted in a spiral, radiating out from the center sun. Besides loving the completeness of circles, I decided this could also represent her life spiraling out into the larger world. 

Now I'm working on a second quilt as the basis for a class I'm going to teach Feb. 13 and 20 at Quilt Revolution in Gig Harbor. It'll focus on the improvisational log cabin construction and also how to personalize your quilt. It should be fun! I hope some of you can take it!

Here are some of the fabrics I'm using in the second quilt. They're from Moda's "Grunge" line by Basic Grey. You can't go wrong with any combination of colors in the line.

Hop over to  Off the Wall Friday to see what other fabric artists are up to.

Have a colorful New Year!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Color splash in Pt. Gamble, WA

My sew group group went to Pt. Gamble a few days ago for our annual Christmas field trip. It was a gray, gloomy, drizzly day, but we found plenty of color in the yarn and quilt stores and other little shops.

These first photos are from The Artful Ewe yarn store, a cozy, welcoming shop with a fireplace and a comfy nook to sit and knit and visit.

The Artful Ewe's dog has it made.

The quilt store, the Quilted Strait, is in an airy former stable building.

We found piles and piles of color:

Some of the fabric we bought.

Here we are, clutching our quilt shop purchases before heading back outside.
We had lunch and exchanged placemats that we made for each other at a cute little tea house. The warm tea felt so good on the cold day.

If you ever get a chance to visit Pt. Gamble, do! I blogged more about it in October here:

Have a colorful day

Friday, December 27, 2013

Happy Hour Yoga Tote Bag

Now that Christmas is over, I can finally show some of the sewing gifts I made. I made a Happy Hour Yoga Tote Bag for my son's fiancée because she loves a good Happy Hour with fancy drinks and she's a yoga teacher.

It's reversible and big, so she can go from yoga straight to Happy Hour and carry all of her supplies.

I filled it with some tropical Happy Hour goodies, since she loves flip-flop weather and the beach.

For my son, I made a reversible fleece couch throw, with a tool-print fleece on one side since he does a lot of handyman work around the house. I thought the bright colors might embarrass him, so the reverse is basic, manly brown.

More to come soon!
Hope you all had a Happy Holiday!
Have a colorful day

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Mug rugs for the Feet and Forks

This week, I finally made some "mug rugs" after reading about them in quilt magazines and books for years. They make perfect gifts if you include a mug and some snacks.

The pattern I used was from the Aug. 22, 2013, Quilting Daily blog post, and it was called Easy Mug Rugs. You basically cut four 3-and-a half-inch squares of one fabric and three of the other and piece them together as shown in the top photo. Layer batting, then backing right side up, and pieced top right side down. Sew around edges, leaving an opening to turn, handstitch the opening closed and quilt it. Done! 

I made them for the fabulous Feet and Forks, my walking and eating group. Here we are at a local coffee shop today exchanging gifts. I love these ladies! (You can read about our latest adventure in Seattle a few posts down.)

 Have a colorful day!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Winter placemats

My sewing room looked like Santa's workshop for the past month because I was getting ready to celebrate Christmas early (last weekend). My son and his fiancée came out from Wisconsin for a few days, but they couldn't stay through Christmas so we moved it up. 

Their visit gave me the incentive to finally make these Christmas/winter placemats with a pattern and fabric that I bought a year ago at Sew Many Quilts in Bend, OR. I used the bright striped fabric for binding and the red rick rack covered the seam.

They really brightened up the table! The pattern is called "Sew Simple Placemats," by Gail Ransdall. Web site on the pattern is It's a slick pattern because you turn one quilt sandwich into six placemats.

This view from our house shows why bright, cheery placemats are a necessity during winter here. 

Have a colorful day!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mystery city: Seattle at Christmas time

The mystery city is revealed:  SEATTLE!

The Feet and Forks made our annual December ferry trip to the city to look at hotel Christmas decorations, get free samples of  food and tea at Pike Place Market, and to walk. Here we are planning our route on the ferry.

Click on this car art for a better view -- it was near the ferry landing.

My favorite spot for Christmas decorations was the Fairmont, which has this Santa scene (above) in the lobby and an elaborate Teddy Bear Suite (below) that's been a tradition for years.

The Sheraton hosts an elaborate gingerbread display with a different theme every year. This year's theme is nursery rhymes. The displays are done by different groups and you can vote on your favorite.

Chef Jason Scott of the Sheraton came out to answer questions and said his crew churns out all the gingerbread for the groups.

We decided to eat at the Georgian Room in the Fairmont because it had a $16 four-course lunch that looked -- and was -- delicious. We felt so elegant.

What are the holidays without  chocolate? What's life without chocolate?

As we wound through the little shops by Pike Place we found Rachel's Ginger Beer giving out samples. It was really good.

I love birds, so I was on the lookout for bird décor:

Other colorful places that caught my camera's eye:


 ... just as I noticed how the setting sun slanting through a window lit up the inside of Pike Place with an orange glow! Major bummer.

Then we made our annual stop at the donut machine inside Pike Place and I couldn't get a photo. Then we went to the shop down by the ferries where we get free fudge samples and met the woman who makes all the fudge and it would have been a great photo op. Lesson learned: Always bring an extra battery!

But we were happy as we settled onto the return ferry, sailing into the night with our bags of gift chocolates and other goodies.

 And to all, a good night