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

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving color 2013

Silent guest watches over us.
I've sufficiently recovered from our rowdy Thanksgiving dinner to blog about it and bring you the color.

Wilderness Chef Dave decided to do smoked buffalo ribs this year instead of turkey, but the skull is NOT from the buffalo we ate. It's from a buffalo farm in Wisconsin and it reminds me of Georgia O'Keeffe paintings and my beloved Southwest, though now it's taking on that tinge of Northwest green.

This is the calm before the storm. My favorite part is always putting together the color, and I love these sunflower napkin rings that I've been using for ages. Candle smoke bothers Dave, so this year I used battery-powered fake candles that still give off a nice glow.

We made the pickled beets and spicy pickled cucumbers, and Dave pressed some salmon between salt blocks for a lox-like appetizer with capers and thin cucumber slices.

Julia makes yummy vegan pies
and you really can't tell that there is no butter or eggs in this pumpkin pie with a graham cracker crust or the apple pie (which I was slivering away at around 2 a.m.). Actually, it was more like I was shoveling it into my mouth with total lack of control. It was good.

Buffalo ribs and wilderness chef

Here's the wilderness chef with his buffalo ribs that he rubbed, sauced, smoked and then garnished with a berry sauce. He made up the recipe and I have to admit it was excellent. I'm not much of a meat eater, so this is high praise.
Dave's buffalo berry sauce.

We spent six hours together and never left the kitchen! Now that's a good party ... good friends, family and food to enjoy together and be thankful for. Good color, too.

While we were letting the food settle in our stomachs before launching into the desserts, we had a little incident with the whipped cream dispenser. Paula forgot to add sugar, but Duane insisted on tasting it before she ditched it and made more. That'll quiet him down for awhile.

After they left and we had turned on the dishwasher, I collapsed on the couch and enjoyed getting close to my coffee table pumpkins. I rescued them from a friend's Goodwill box and gave them a good home.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday with much to be grateful for. 
Have a colorful day

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thankful for illusions

Today I'm thankful for illusions -- shimmering, sparkling water reflections and shadows of my friends and me. These illusions mean the sun is out, and for that I'm always thankful.

This looks like a double-decker bridge, but it's a reflection.

Earlier in the morning, our bay was fogged in, and as the mist lifted and sun broke through it turned the fog a soft shade of pink.

An hour later, I was down in the harbor with the Feet and Forks looking at this incredible tree sculpture at Crescent Creek Park burnished with late-autumn sunlight. Another illusion -- Northwest animals of the sea and sky emerged from two cedar stumps.

The masterpiece is being created by Gig Harbor artist Jeff Samudosky of J.M.S. Wood Sculpture from the 20-foot stump of twin cedar trees that had to be removed because they were in danger of splitting. The 150-plus-year-old trees had been cabled together for years. Jeff is a world-renowned wood sculptor who is self taught. He took up carving after a snowboard accident ended his career as an outdoor adventure guide.

Thankful for the Feet and Forks!
  Now the sun is going down and it's time to be thankful for my sewing room:

Have a colorful day

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday reflections

Bunners is dwarfed by our garden carrots.
Could it really have been this warm and sunny and bursting with life just two months ago? Today we hung little white icicle lights all around the inside of our house because it's cold and dark by 4:30.

I came across these photos as I looked up something else, and now I'm reflecting on that light. It seems like years ago that our sunflowers and beans were in bloom, but the photo file confirms it was only September, two months ago.

Have a colorful week

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Yummy colors for a surprise

I wish, wish, wish I could show you what I'm doing with this Grunge fabric from Moda, but I'm working on holiday surprises so I can't. But the colors are too luscious not to put on the blog.

I found them in Gig Harbor's new quilt shop, Quilt Revolution. These bolts are about half the colors at the shop.

When I got home, I cut them free hand into strips and added a few others from my stash.

As I sewed my free-form surprises, the scraps got smaller and smaller until I had to start throwing the smallest away:

I may end up saving them from the wastebasket and turning them into yet another project!

Have a colorful day

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sewing with the Nuts

Needle-punch tool that Linda used to felt her pincushion.
It's that time of the month again -- Sew Day with the Twisted Nut Stitchers. It was cold and blustery and gray outside, typical November weather for the Pacific Northwest. Maybe that's why warm felt was everywhere.

These two photos above show how Linda P. needle-punched a felted pincushion, from start to finish in one day. She made up the design as she went along. Sure looks like she has enough felt to keep everyone warm!

The other Linda made a felt needle case and is shown here working on the embroidery.

Nancy didn't use felt, but she stuck with the cozy winter theme with this embroidery kit called "String in the Lights." Nancy hosted and fixed a delicious breakfast and lunch, but I didn't wake up enough until midafternoon to take photos. This time of year I'm pretty sluggish until later in the day. It's almost 10 p.m. now and I'm finally hitting my creative stride.

Carolynn carried through the warm, red theme with her quilt featuring panels of Northwest art. She's  working on the binding here.

And yours truly reacts to the cold and gray by using sizzling summery prints in yet another Jelly Roll 1600 quilt, although the backing is a warm comfy green flannel. Love that chartreuse. I think this Christmas my colors are going to be apple green, turquoise, chartreuse and cherry red.

Here's a link to one of my posts explaining the Jelly Roll 1600:

Instead of the beautiful table setting, which I forgot to get, I'll end with our messy sewing table.

Have a colorful day

Thursday, November 14, 2013

STITCH: Finish something challenge

This month our STITCH challenge was simply to finish something. So Andrea started and finished a tuffet! The colors make my mouth water. She also made the crocheted scarf draped over it.

Here's the bottom and the pattern. I was really lazy at our meeting on Tuesday and didn't take notes, so I can't remember where she took the class. I think somewhere in Bellevue, WA.

Anne makes wonderful abstract pieces, and instead of using batting she uses various materials to stiffen her wall pieces. For this one she tried crinoline on the back and it really made it stiff. Again, because of my laziness I didn't get pictures of her other pieces or of those by a few others at the meeting.

Delaine made the beautiful quilt above (that's just a detail) and is calling it "Pollution" because the fish have their mouths open like they're gasping. And that's Delaine below showing off two scarfs that she just learned how to crochet. She's our glitter queen, so she used glittery yarn.

Barbara's quilt above isn't finished, but she's done a lot of work on it since our last meeting. The pastel colored rectangles are actually filled with text. Again, laziness precludes me from trudging upstairs to get my notebook where I wrote down the story behind it. But it's spectacular and I'm sure you'll be seeing it again here and I'll give the full story.

Linda finished this complicated purse full of zippers and pockets and straps and color. The pattern is "The Professional Tote" by Creative Thimble.

Linda also taught a class for our guild on making coiled fabric bowls last week, and Judi shows off the bowl, below, that she made in class. Linda is the friend who showed me how to make the bowls years ago and I've blogged about them a lot.

Lois worked on a tote bag that she had started earlier, and this shows her great hand stitching. She and Linda are our bag ladies!

I told you a few posts ago about what I finished -- binding a Jelly Roll 1600 quilt and finishing "House On the Water." You can see them here under "Color to the Rescue":

It was another truly inspiring meeting that I so look forward to every month. The 12 of us have been together almost two years now! I encourage any of you who want a similar group to start one. We've sadly been having to turn away a lot of quilters who have asked to join because we don't want to get so big that we can't meet in each others homes, and 12 is pushing it. It's also about as many as you would want so that show-and-tell and discussion doesn't go on too long. It's one of the highlights of my month!

Have a colorful day

Saturday, November 9, 2013

New Gig Harbor quilt shop!

Harbor Quilts recently closed, but a new quilt store has opened in the same location. Yeah for Quilt Revolution at 7716-C Pioneer Way!

Owners Diane Shropshire, left, and Nancy Altman.
Grand opening 10/11/12/13
(10 a.m. Nov. 12, 2013)

Owners Diane and Nancy have been filling it with goodies in preparation for the official grand opening on Tuesday, at 10/11/12/13. That's 10 a.m., Nov. 12, 2013. Stop by and buy! Let's keep the store in business, quilters.

Nancy, by the way, just got back from Houston where she had a gorgeous quilt in the International Quilt Festival.

This cute bed layered with beautiful quilts greets you as you enter, and the rest of the shop is arranged nicely with seasonal displays and luscious, colorful fabric and threads.

The display above of the Grunge fabric line by Basic Grey for Moda caught my eye and I just had to buy a pile of quarter yards. This only shows a portion of the colors. Nancy and Diane pointed out that this line is perfect for blenders.

As I was checking out, I overheard Nancy talking with this quilter and I found out that this is only her second quilt ... what an amazing start! Her name is Rachael Odom, and I love her style with its modern look.

More info at

Rachael Odom, left, and her second quilt.

Have a colorful day