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

Thursday, February 27, 2014


I just saw this cool paisley Kleenex box at the store and picked it up to put next to my bed. That's when I realized it was really similar to a Dover book of paisley designs that's been on my bedside table for a week. It's "A Treasury of Design for Artists and Craftsmen" by Gregory Mirow.

The book, which I must've gotten used somewhere, is copyright 1969 and is a real treasure trove of paisleys and other designs, including florals, geometrics that look like quilt patterns, and folk and primitive motifs. The designs would make great inspirations for quilts, although so far I've just enjoyed looking at them.

Have a colorful day

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sew Day inspiration

It's that time again: Sew Day With the Nuts. It was a mixed bag of treats today, and I'm starting with this sizzling wall quilt that Linda J. started in a class and was finishing with borders today. At first I only saw the stars, then the tumbling blocks started popping in and out.

Carolynn worked on this beautiful crazy pieced quilt for her daughter, with special photos, trims, lace, and hand embroidery.


We spread our big work out on Linda P.'s floor. I worked on the fence rail to take to our Comfort Quilt meeting this week and Nancy brought a Christmas quilt so she could decide on borders.

I finished piecing the top and now someone else from Comfort Quilters will machine quilt it and someone else will do the binding, then it will be donated to a local cancer patient.

Nancy debated borders and we all added our opinions. So many choices ...

Linda P. (our hostess), worked on this vibrant Brazilian embroidery of a cardinal on a bead-bejeweled branch.

And here's the rest of the mixed bag of inspiration:

Linda J. and I brought quilted journal covers to show-and-tell, and Nancy brought quilted bags that she made for her cell phone and tablet (or some sort of electronic gadget).

Last but not least, here are Linda P.'s fun reversible placemats, with a colorful coffee print on one side and tea on the other. These make me want to run out and buy coffee and tea fabric! (like I need more fabric). 

Hope this inspires you for the week!

Have a colorful day

Friday, February 21, 2014

Modern Log Cabin class students get A+

I taught the last session of my Modern Log Cabin quilt class yesterday, and everyone got an A+. Here I am with them and their work at the Quilt Revolution shop in Gig Harbor, WA.
I came up with the class after making my daughter's graduation quilt (I'm holding it at left in the top photo) using wonky log cabin blocks and a landscape center block.

Dawn -- full speed ahead!

Dawn was a speed demon, racing way ahead of everyone else even though this is only her second quilt!

She chose bright fabric and turned it into an ocean sunset. I think that orange-gold fabric is yummy, and all of the colors together make my mouth water because it reminds me of summery citrus fruit.

Barbara hard at work.

Barbara, meanwhile, played around with her center circle.

She auditioned a few color combinations for the center block, deciding against the bright blue in favor of a brick red for the sky and a yellow circle that looked like the moon in a night sky. I think it looks like a big harvest moon.

The colors in my photos look brighter than I remember them being in her quilt. I guess my camera settings changed them a little. Either way it's gorgeous. In the last photo of her quilt she's auditioning connecting strips. Notice how the strips of zingy green carry your eye around the quilt.

Andrea (who wasn't happy with her first fabric choice in my previous post) came to the second class with this fabulous, rich ombre fabric. All of these colors except for a few were cut from one piece of  fabric that went through the whole rainbow.

Andrea and her rich rainbow colors.

She joined her blocks with navy strips after auditioning black and deciding that was too harsh. Great choice with the navy.

Marilyn went for Moda's Grunge fabric line (which is what I used) supplemented with some prints. She chose to depict the seasons in her blocks.

Marilyn with her seasons blocks.

Here she is ironing the baby carrots ...

... which grew from the seeds in the darker winter block.

All in all I had a great time teaching and I couldn't have asked for a better bunch of students! I can't wait to see their finished quilts.

Have a colorful day

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Shadow play


Feeding the fish? A few days ago we had a sunny morning, so I celebrated  by eating breakfast on the front porch where I could bask in the rays. On the way back in, this shadow caught my eye and I went running for the camera before the sun could leave. (It's the shadow of my breakfast bowl and a wooden fish that hangs in our entry.)

Later, my favorite metal bird cast its shadow near the front door.

It's been a wild weather week, with snow, sun, and now howling rain and wind. The power went out a few hours ago, but now it's back on. We're under a wind advisory, and another storm system is moving through tomorrow.

Have a colorful day

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Class is in session

We had session 1 of my two-part Modern Log Cabin quilt class this week at Quilt Revolution, and what better way to start than with chocolate? So we did.

After I gave a little background about the traditional log cabin block and showed everyone how to make it wonky, they got rolling pretty quickly. Barbara shows her first few strips before she went on another shopping spree to get some lighter fabrics to add to her mix. She said, "I'm treating the store like my stash." Here are her first two blocks:

Dawn went for bright, brights and she found this great rainbow rick rack to insert in a seam. She's going for a sunny beach theme, with a wavy print that looks like water.

Andrea wasn't thrilled with her first two blocks, mainly because she was using a lot of prints from a jelly roll and she decided that they blended together too much and didn't let the wonky piecing show. She's going to start again with mainly solids. I like these blocks, and so did everyone else, but I see what she means about the prints blending. (She thinks the blue-square print looks like men's boxer short fabric, which also didn't thrill her.)

Look at Andrea's hot pink sewing machine!
We sewed and ate happily for several hours while the sun shone outside in between the week's storms. Another student got there late and turned out some nice work, so I'll show that after next week's class. I can't wait to see what they all do in the next week!

View of Gig Harbor from classroom windows.

 Have a colorful day

Monday, February 10, 2014

My first journal cover

I'm behind the curve on the trend to make covers for journals and ipads, kindles and all the other electronic stuff that I don't have. I probably never would've made one except for a challenge issued by my art quilt group. So here is my first effort. I like it enough to probably make a few more.

It started when I needed something to hand stitch while watching the Olympics. I had some scraps in my stash that I used for these squares, then I hand stitched them onto a black background. At this point I hadn't decided that I was going to use it for a journal cover, otherwise I would've made the background bigger.

After I decided to use it for a cover, I looked up a bunch of tutorials online and pieced together enough general directions to come up with my own. I also pieced together scraps for the batting. 

I extended the cover's size by adding this lime green for the back.

I found the perfect button in my button box. I think I bought it at a quilt festival somewhere along the line. The elastic loop is a hairband, which I saw used in several tutorials. 

It's also time for a bunny update. Here is my daughter's cutie, Frankie, who was home for a visit with Grandma over the weekend!

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The case of the fused safety pin

Getting back to my quilt -- I already had pin-basted it for quilting when I decided today to add a circle on one of the blocks so that I could quilt outward from it in a spiral. So I dove into my many stashes of leftover tidbits and found this circle that I stamped years ago.

The color worked, so I fused it down ... I fused it down good. Then I satin-stitched the edge to make sure it wouldn't go anywhere. I got ready to quilt, starting on the stamped spiral, and I felt something funny.

I had fused a safety pin between the quilt and the circle!

You can see its faint outline in the picture if you look just to the right of the spiral.

After considering my options, I decided the only thing to do was go in for surgery, cutting carefully through the top. I removed the pin, sealed the slit with fusible, then topped it with some scraps of sheer yellow and hoped it would all look like I planned it.

To get started on the spiral, I drew a guideline on a scrap of paper and stitched over the drawing. After that I just used the edge of the foot as a guide. I'm not done yet.

I like the back of the pieced top almost better than the front.

 Have a colorful day