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

Sunday, September 29, 2013

STITCH retreat on Whidbey Island

Fantastic view from our sewing area.

I just got back from our second STITCH retreat at the home of one of our members on beautiful Whidbey Island, WA.

My non-quilting friends always ask, "What do you do on a quilt retreat?" Well, we sew our own projects, eat, relax, talk, laugh, walk, drink, bond, enjoy the scenery and repeat for a few days with no other distractions ...

Carol works on "Gig Harbor Red."

One of Linda's bowls takes shape.

Janet's delicious white chicken chili and Carol's salad on night one.

Our gracious hostess, Anne, who has made her home a work of art.

Second night's chefs, Delaine and Judi,
with Anne starting the food line.

A few of us took a walk on the beach as soon as we arrived.

Linda strikes her mermaid pose.

Delaine shakes the glitter from her tulle outside, but she still
walked around most of the retreat with glitter on her nose.

Linda models two of her coiled fabric bowls.

No explanation needed.

The scenery was non-stop inspirational.

We soaked in color everywhere,
from socks to flowers to fabric and sky.

Janet arranges a color flow.

The start of my jelly roll quilt.

Rolling along.

Here are more shots of
patterns, color and play:



Judi's apple pie. I had three pieces.
Janet does some hand quilting.

Anne's sewing alcove, which started as a library.
Before we left, we took the
line-'em-up-and-shoot-'em shot:
I'm behind the camera.
Then Linda and I made a Starbucks stop before getting on the ferry from Coupeville (on Whidbey) to Port Townshend and then the final drive home.
It's always good to be home, but I already miss the sisterhood, support and bonding time.

Thanks, everyone!

Delaine also did a blog post about the retreat:

Have a colorful day

Saturday, September 28, 2013

30 years later at Torrey Pines

Dave and I just got back from visiting Torrey Pines State Park, CA, where we were married 30 years ago (gasp!) at Yucca Point. The spot where we had the little ceremony (below) is roped off now because it's washing into the sea, but so far our marriage has stood the test of time.

It's the first time our daughter was there with us, and now she's almost as old as I was when I got married. (Our son and his fabulous fiancee couldn't make it, but they're getting married next year! We couldn't talk them into doing it here, though.) Time just flies. It seems like just yesterday that I stood here in my long white gauze beach dress and Dave in his white linen suit and blue Hawaiian shirt, with my brother, Kevin, playing guitar.
Kevin came along with us, since he lives just up the road from Torrey Pines, but I didn't make him bring his guitar this trip. Note how his shirt looks like the breaking surf and blue sky. (Always note the colors and patterns!)

After the ceremony, we all hiked down to the beach and had a champagne toast, and my friends Laurie and Jane waded into the ocean. Dave and Julia replicate it below, but neither one got swamped by a wave like Laurie did. I guess she had to wear her wet dress to the restaurant afterward -- I don't remember how that played out.

And to make this art related, here are some patterns from the park that inspired me:

Footprints in the sand.

Prickly pear cactus spines.

Pointy yuccas.

 Have a colorful day

Saturday, September 21, 2013

More scarves

I just had a flurry of scarf-making activity and then had fun photographing them outside with my daughter and playing with shadows.

The motivation to make them came from a remarkable coincidence involving a gift shop owner in Brodhead, WI, who contacted my blog friend tiedyejudy in Arizona after seeing her scarves online. Judy, who had learned to make the Sulky Solvy scarves from my blog posts, didn't have time to fill more orders but put the shop owner in contact with me.

Imagine my surprise when I learned she was in Brodhead, which is where my art quilt friend Judi Kane lived before moving to Oregon. Judi recently passed away, but before she died she gave all of her dying supplies to Sheila, a mutual friend of ours who also used to live in Wisconsin but is now in Idaho and used to have a fabric dying business with Judi. Sheila had recently dyed this gradation ...  

... from the dye recipe she and Judi developed when they were in Brodhead. So she sent me some of the luscious fabric and I made a scarf from it to send back to Brodhead. A full circle. And, to boot, the shop owner actually KNEW Judi about 10 years ago through a gallery in Brodhead.

I tried out some of my yarns with the fabric and decided to just use a few snippets of yarn and fabric sandwiched between a water-soluble stabilizer. I put parchment paper under and on top of the scarf sandwich and ironed with a hot, dry iron to seal the layers together. In the past I've safety pinned the layers together, but it's quicker to iron them. (This probably wouldn't work if you had a lot of fabric and yarn in the scarf.)

And here is the finished, airy, breezy scarf:

More scarves from the week of sewing:

Ironed and ready to sew.

Sewing a grid to hold layers together.

After sewing and rinsing the soluble stabilizer away.

The final result.

Hop on over to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays at to see what other fiber artists have been up to in the past week.

Have a colorful day