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

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Happy Birthday, Kevin!

What do you do when you didn't buy a birthday card for your far away baby brother in time to mail it? You do a blog post with photos of him over the years, and hope that he won't be embarrassed!


A Mexican restaurant for his birthday in Redondo Beach, CA.
Another favorite Mexican restaurant in SoCal.
A lot of the old photos with Kevin involved beverages:

Somewhere in San Diego after fishing with Dave.
Helping Dave pack for our move to WA.
Helping me drive on our move from Illinois to Washington.
Many Starbucks stops were involved.

A lot of photos also involved animals, which he loves.

Bunners adores him.

The animal shelter where he volunteers.
Well, they act like animals. He was always the "fun" uncle.
We grew up in Pittsburgh, but he's spent his whole adult life in San Diego and I'm very jealous:

Just hanging out on the sidewalk in his home turf of Solana Beach.
Aboard a friend's boat. Sigh.
With Julia ...

... and with me at an L.A. beach.
A typical sunset for him. Sigh again.

I blogged about him a few years ago, and you might remember him as "the Irish poet.":

Have a colorful, wonderful birthday!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Cancer survivor's mom needs votes

This note was just sent to me by a quilter friend in Gig Harbor about her neighbor whose little girl is a cancer survivor. She asked me to pass it on as I see fit, so I'm posting it here:
"My next door neighbors are a young couple with a 2-year-old daughter named Violet who is a cancer survivor.  Violet's mom works at home designing and making adorable children's knitted and crocheted items.  For every three hats sold, one is donated to a child battling cancer.  She has an Etsy site from which she is currently selling:
"Her pieces will soon be featured on a new website called Green Mom Guide, where moms find and purchase sustainable and natural high quality products. She was selected as a finalist in the Who's Who awards in the category of Most Awesome Baby & Kids Accessories.  Winning would create an opportunity for her to gain publicity for her business and community outreach.  You can vote for her at:  When you get there, scroll down to "VIOLET BRIELLE."

Her FB link is and has some very sweet pictures.
Thanks and have a colorful day  

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Simple summer quilts and Mt. Rainier

and the quilting is easy.

Lately, I've just felt like doing simple quilts with pretty colors. I've been reading about and practicing meditation, and doing simple sewing with no curves or points to match is very meditative. I finished the quilt top above at this week's Comfort Quilters work session, where we make quilts to give to cancer patients. All those beautiful batiks were donated by someone, then Kristin cut the pieces using the Timeless Treasures Salt-Water Taffy pattern and I stitched them together. Others in the group will do the quilting and binding.

And I finally finished this quilt, also in batiks, which I started in Sedona, AZ, during a March snow storm and blogged about here:

See what other fiber artists are doing this week at Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday:

I also did my first hike at Mt. Rainier this summer! We hiked about five miles on this part of the Wonderland Trail, which encircles the mountain:

It was perfect weather, not too hot and not too cold, and sunny. The falls and trees are majestic. Only about 88 more miles to go to complete the Wonderland Trail.

Some mountain thoughts from my current meditation book, "Wherever You Go, There You Are," by Jon Kabat-Zinn:

"As the light changes, as night follows day and day night, the mountain just sits, simply being itself. It remains still as the seasons flow into one another and as the weather changes moment by moment and day by day. Calmness abiding all change. ...

"Through it all, the mountain continues to sit, unmoved by the weather, by what happens on the surface, by the world of appearances. As we sit holding this image in our mind, we can embody the same unwavering stillness and rootedness in the face of everything that changes in our own lives over seconds, hours, and years."

Hope you're all having a good summer!

 Have a colorful day

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Another Sew Day with the Nuts

Today was another fun and relaxing day with my Twisted Nuts sewing group. Here they are with their embroidery and applique projects. (I'm the only one who used a sewing machine, and I forgot to get photos of my work.)

The five of us take turns hosting at our houses, and highlights are breakfast and lunch. Here we are on Linda P.'s back deck (that's her on the right) after the sun burned off the morning clouds and the day turned warm with blue skies. She prepared a delicious chicken Caesar salad with an amazing herb bread, watermelon, iced tea, and ice cream with fresh rasberries for dessert. Yummy.
Nancy's embroidery project.

Linda P.'s Christmas applique.

Linda J.'s same Christmas project, adding embellishments.

Carolynn's lush embroidery.

The tote that Linda J. made last week in
Sisters, OR, during the big quilt show there.
I love these sew days -- good friends, good conversation, good food, and sewing inspiration!

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

STITCH: Circles in fabric and friends

We were circled with circles at this month's STITCH meeting -- circles in our designs, a circle of chairs, a circle of friends, and even food arranged in circles!

The creative prompt for this month was circles, so I'm going to show you what resulted, in the order that we went around the circle.

First up was Barbara, above, who created a rust sampler. She laid out metal objects that would rust on PFD fabric, sprayed them with a 50/50 mix of water and white vinegar, and let it soak for a week before washing it out. It was her first experiment with the process and I was really impressed. Her directions said to let it soak for 24 hours to one week, if you want to try it.

Next up was Delaine, our Queen of Glitz. She created a galaxy with velvet, sparkly tulle, and other fabrics.

Lois created this gorgeous piece with sun-printed leaves. She laid the leaves on freshly painted wet fabric and let it dry in the sun.

I finished this spiraling quilt that I started two years ago to enter into an exhibit but didn't finish in time. I call it "Blissed Out In Bellingham" because my daughter took the photo of my face on a sunny, blissful day in Bellingham. The circle of light on my forehead was created by the late afternoon sun shining through the peephole in her door and hitting a spot on the opposite wall. Originally, I had a circle of sheer black fabric where my face is, but I decided a peaceful face was better.

Anne did these next two pieces. We all saw a VW bug in the top one, although she said it really is just an abstract work. The bottom one is her family when she was a little girl soaking in their big circular washtub in Europe, where she grew up.

Karen created a spectacular quilt called "God Bless Our World," with a detail below.

Carol made the colorful quilt on the left in the photo above. It was inspired by her artist daughter's work shown in the postcards on the right. Carol used leftover fused fabric from a Laura Wasilowski workshop.

Pat showed this quilt, which she quilted in circular patterns using the thick template shown below. The quilt top was actually purchased for $5 at Goodwill, but Pat did the quilting. The templates come in various sizes from, although at this time that website is no longer available. Pat uses double-stick tape to temporarily adhere them to the quilt while she machine quilts around them.


Pat also showed these two silver and black older quilts.

Andrea did these next two. She made the bright top one in a Libby Lehman class using the Bernina circular embroidery attachment to stitch circles with decorative stitches.

Andrea also made this gorgeous 3-D flower quilt to exchange with a friend who made her a decorative sink.

And last but not least, Janet, who issued the circle challenge, said her circle is this little ball of fur that was taking up so much of her time that she couldn't meet her own challenge. But we forgive her, because she set out these yummy circles of food:

 And here is a little extra colorful eye candy from the meeting:

I really love getting together with these women. When I started the group less than two years ago, I wasn't sure what direction it would take and I was nervous because I didn't want it to fail. I am totally thrilled with how it has evolved, with so much inspiration, new friends and new learning experiences. And in October we'll have our first STITCH show, at the Gig Harbor Library!
 Have a colorful day