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

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Garden snippets scarf

I found a use for those little triangles left over from piecing the Jelly Roll 1600 quilts -- a scarf!

I couldn't bear to throw out all those triangles, even though they were little, so I decided to use them in another "solvy" scarf. The store was out of my usual Sulky Solvy water soluble stabilizer, so I tried this one by Pellon and it worked great.

Here it is as I arranged the pieces with some sparkly yarn on the stabilizer:

Here it is after I sewed a grid with Superior variegated rayon thread:

And here's the final scarf after washing out the stabilizer. It'll make a nice breezy, cool, summer garden scarf for someone. I'm donating it for sale at the Gig Harbor Comfort Quilt Project (for cancer patients) booth at this weekend's Gig Harbor Garden Tour. It'll be at Garden #7 if you're going on the tour, and we'll have other pretty things for sale. I'll be working at the booth Sunday from 1-4 if you want to meet me!

Have a colorful day

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Frankie and Bunners

Frankie and Bunners' first kiss.

Big excitement at home this week. Julia adopted a new adorable rabbit, Frankie, and brought him home to live with us until she can move to a pet-friendly house. (Anyone know of one coming open in September in Bellingham? She's very quiet, clean and studious and only needs it until December, unless she gets a job in Bellingham when she graduates.)

You have to introduce bunnies carefully, because you never know when the fur will fly or too much nipping will take place. This is their first kiss.

Frankie is bigger and way fluffier than Bunners, with lop ears and a much more relaxed temperament than our ever alert Bunners. Bunners is a girl and Frankie is a boy -- could that be the difference? 

Here's the proud grandpa cuddling Frankie. He (the rabbit, not Dave) is like a big floppy stuffed animal.

Have a colorful day

Monday, June 17, 2013

Gig Harbor Arts Center Alliance party

There was a party on the water Friday in Gig Harbor celebrating all of the arts, from performance to visual, and I was thrilled that they invited quilt artists to be a part of it and display some of our work. (That's my "Garden Gone Wild" behind a string quartet.)

It was hosted by the Gig Harbor Arts Center Alliance, which is raising money for a feasibility study to build a Regional Center for the Arts here. It will be so exciting if it gets off the ground. Land has already been donated near the Y and they have an architect's rendering. It would have space for concerts, dances, theater, visual artists studios -- and hopefully space for fiber artists -- studios for recording and filmmaking, a hot shop for glass, conference space, a children's area ... I know I've probably missed some. You can read an article about it here:

Front: Delaney, left, and Olivia, who did tap and ballet
Rear: quilt artists Janet, Delaine, myself, and Anne
Two of the dancers from Harbor Dance posed with our group of art quilters. They gave beautiful performances a little later:

I didn't get the name of this third dancer, but her performance was powerful, and she had to start over several times because of problems with the music. She was a real trooper. (My photo doesn't do her justice.)

They were followed by a hilarious scene from "Spamalot."

Good food, wine and a variety of music by local musicians flowed throughout the evening.

The view from the location at the Babich-Pond Net Shed, in the harbor, was spectacular, with Mt. Rainier on the horizon and boats bobbing in the foreground.

Inside, the evening sun shone through the windows, making our quilts glow like stained glass. It was incredibly nice, as quilt artists, to be showcased with such other talent. Please think about supporting the arts center if you live in this area (or even if you don't). The immediate goal is raising money for a feasibility study.

 Have a colorful day

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Summer scarves and STITCH

I've been on a scarf binge lately, and I've found an easier way to make these Sulky Solvy scarves that I've blogged about before. More on that in a minute.

I started making more scarves because I wanted to give Anne (below) a thank you gift for hosting our STITCH group at her Whidbey Island home. Then I made another for someone who had us over for dinner and another for a friend's birthday this week.

I decided to call them "Summer Scarves" because they're lightweight enough to wear during the summer AND they're the color of summer in the Northwest -- plenty of blue water, blue skies and flowers. I mostly used hand-painted lightweight silks and a little yarn.

Anne wore her scarf so artfully arranged at today's STITCH meeting that I had to show you a photo. We had a great show-and-tell at the meeting, but as usual I got so caught up in discussions that I didn't get pictures of everything. Here are the few that I did get:

Anne used fancy thick threads in her bobbin to make this piece.
This was her first attempt at bobbin work.

Delaine used hand-dyes, Angelina and other glitz is this beauty.

Linda made this fresh, summery quilt for a granddaughter.

Carol made these bowls after a lesson at the retreat from Linda.
Each one uses just one fabric.

And now the easier scarf technique

Instead of pinning together the layers of Sulky Solvy with fabric and yarn in between, I discovered that you can iron the layers together. Remember:

* Place parchment paper or some other non-stick layer under and on top of everything before you press.

* Use a DRY hot iron and press for about 10-20 seconds.

* There should be plenty of empty spots around the fabric snippets in order for the two layers of Solvy to stick together. If you're making scarves that are really filled in with a lot of thick yarn and other stuff, I think you'd still have to pin baste.

If you're not familiar with Sulky Solvy scarves, I've blogged about them here, and you'll also find examples if you google it:

Have a colorful day

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summer color and totem poles in Bremerton, WA

The Feet & Forks in Bremerton

I haven't mentioned our Feet & Forks hikes in awhile, mainly because so many of them were rainy and gray this year so I didn't take my camera. But last month we had a beautiful, sunny day for a hike around Bremerton, WA.

Flowers were popping up everywhere, providing color inspiration for many quilts to come. After the hike, we ate at the Boat Shed Restaurant on the outdoor deck:

The deck was bursting with as much color as the gardens. I can definitely see these photos working their way into some quilts.

Even the rest room had a photo-worthy picture, but we weren't sure who "Lilly" would be. Lilly Pulitzer, maybe? Any other ideas?

This totem pole towered over the parking lot where we left my car. When I was a kid growing up in Pittsburgh, PA, I was fascinated by the totem poles I saw in museums and magazines and never dreamed I'd someday live in a part of the country where they're commonplace.

It was made by Frank Smith (Makah) from Neah Bay, WA, 35 years ago in 1978. That year I was still in Pennsylvania, working as a reporter and plotting my escape to a warmer part of the country. The next year I got a job in the Southwest desert, which didn't have totem poles but did have towering cactuses:

Here are some majestic saguaro cactuses near Tucson, Arizona, that I hiked around a few years ago. I think they look a lot like totem poles.

A note in defense of "cactuses" instead of "cacti" for the plural of "cactus" -- both are correct, but in the journalism world that I trained in "cactuses" is the only way to go. If you love the pickiness of editing and writing, check out this site:

Getting back to our Bremerton hike, we saw this wisteria gone wild taking on the dimensions of a tilted totem pole. It's taking off into the sky via utility wires. I love the idea of nature swallowing up industrialism (as long as it leaves me enough electric power for my sewing machine), although just this week my husband mentioned that wisteria from a home garden easily can swallow up the native vegetation, including strangling nearby forests. I still love wisteria.

Do any of you have things in your parts of the world that remind you of totem poles? I'd love to hear comments!

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Color prompts from Whidbey Island

These are the blocks I made last night for this month's challenge prompt for my art quilt group STITCH. Each month we have a different "prompt" and we can make whatever we want with it, so I've been making a few strip-pieced blocks every month and will turn them into a wall piece at the end of the year.

This month's prompt is the retreat we just had on Whidbey Island, so I decided to make each block based on the color of a photo from the retreat. Here are some of the possibilities that I played around with, using mostly hand-painted fabric from my stash.

I didn't make this block -- too much grey.

And here are the blocks with the photos that inspired them:

Brilliant poppies (I think) against a stone wall.


Kitchen window vignette.

This final photo is from the Coupeville ferry dock as we headed home. We took the ferry over to Pt. Townshend, then drove back to Gig Harbor. It was a beautiful day.

This was so much fun that I may make a few more this month. Here are some of the earlier blocks:

I've linked this post to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday, here, where you can see what other fiber artists have on their design walls this week. Check it out for more inspiration.

 Have a colorful, inspired day