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

Monday, September 29, 2014

World Wide Blog Hop

Me in my previous studio before moving this year.
I was invited by Edith Bieri-Hanselmann, a blogger and quilter extraordinaire from Switzerland, to take part in a World Wide Blog Hop -- to answer questions about my work and introduce you to some other fabulous quilt artists. Here's Edith's post: quilts und mehr: Blog Hop and here are my answers to the questions.

1. What am I working on?

I always have numerous projects in the works, but the latest one is another fractured circle quilt like this first one:

"Just For Fun" by Sherrie Spangler
Current circle quilt.
I also have had an ongoing series for years that I call my Yoga Mat Quilts, based on the flowing designs on my yoga mat. I paint, stamp, foil, embroider and bead in a meditative manner. Here's one, still not quilted:

"Yoga Mat Quilt" by Sherrie Spangler
And of course I have a lot of UFOs floating around from years ago.

 2. How does my work differ from others in this genre?

My friends tell me that they can always tell my quilts by the "Sherrie colors." I'm energized by using bright orange, turquoise, lime green, hot pink and purple. This isn't so different from a lot of other quilt artists, but it's my style too. I also like to use many layers, often sheer, metallic for glitter, dangling thread tails, exposed batting and long undulating lines for my quilting stitches.

The last few years I've been incorporating a lot of big hand embroidery stitches and beaded embroidery.

Detail, "Study In Green" by Sherrie Spangler

Detail, "Study In Pink" by Sherrie Spangler
3. Why do I do what I do?

I make colorful quilts because the colors lift my spirits and the tactile properties of fabric are endlessly interesting. Fabric can be painted, scrunched, stamped, folded, foiled, torn, layered, stitched, covered with embroidery, beaded, and on and on.
I'm inspired by the weather, the skies, clouds, water, wild plants and emotions. I especially love the desert Southwest. Here's an older quilt called "New Mexico Light" made with my painted fabric and a gold metallic mesh.

"New Mexico Light" by Sherrie Spangler

4. How does my art process work?

I start with a yearning to work with certain colors, but that's all I know when I start. I either paint some new fabric or pull from my stash and start cutting and layering on my design wall. I have a stash of metallic, tulle, sheer painted organza, yarn and beads that I pull out as I go. Usually I end up with an abstract color or line study, but sometimes I gravitate toward a stylized plant or house or landscape.

My work basically evolves organically. I rarely do design sketches and I rarely rip out or redo anything. I go with the flow and see where it takes me.

Detail, "Yoga Mat Quilt" by Sherrie Spangler
Hand painted, embroidered, beaded

Now for the best part of this post, where I get to introduce you to some great bloggers. Please hop on over and visit them and enjoy their art! They'll answer the questions and introduce more bloggers on Oct. 6.
Robbie of Robbie's Paw Prints

Robbie of Robbie's Paw Prints
I love Robbie's blog because it vibrates with energy and enthusiasm for art and for life. Here's her bio:

"With retirement in the fall of 1999, I started a new day job of creating art using fabric, paints and beads. I've been very fortunate to take classes from some of the best fiber artists. Their influence and direction have given me the ability to create my own art by designing, embellishing, dyeing and painting fabric. I love to add texture and dimension to my work, often by adding different fibers, bead embroidery and hand stitching. I also stay off the golf course by doing my art work, which makes my hubby very happy!" -- Robbie


Pam of the Art of Being Pamela
Pam of the Art of Being Pamela

Another blog I love is the Art of Being Pamela because it is full of happy colorful fiber, paintings and other good things. Here's what Pam says:

"I'm a mom, a sister, a friend, a neighbor, and I'm a nurse. I'm a dog rescuer, a cook and a recycler (now, that sounds funny, doesn't it?!). I'm a self-taught artist and I find inspiration in almost everything, especially nature." 

Pam says that as a child she dreamed "of growing up and living my life as an author-illustrator in a cottage on a beach somewhere. And then I actually grew up, raised my family, and went back to school and became a nurse. In about 2007, I found myself searching for artistic outlets again," so she learned as much as she could through blogs and classes and now spends "every moment possible in the painting studio I've created in my basement, my upstairs sewing room, or I do beading or water coloring in front of the TV in my living room! I carry projects in my tote so that no matter where I am, I can work on an art journal, note card or similar. And once again, I am dreaming about the time when I can 'quit my day job' and paint and sew and craft to my heart's content." -- Pam

Please enjoy meeting these artists
on Oct. 6 on their blogs!

Have a colorful day

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Another fractured circle quilt

I started working on a second fractured circle quilt, this one in brighter colors. I got sidetracked (in a good way) by a visit with a friend to the Tacoma Art Museum, where I saw this striking piece of Chihuly glass:

Back home, I started sewing the arcs onto the blue background and squares of off-white batting.

Then I got distracted (in a good way again) by having the Feet and Forks over for a beach walk and this apple Bavarian torte, which sort of looks like a fractured circle.

I did some more machine sewing, but the view was quite distracting. I didn't want to be inside on such a nice day, especially since the rain is coming back next week.

So I took my squares outside and slowly pulled all the thread tails to the back. In my first fractured circle quilt I stitched in gold and left the thread tails dangling, but this time I'm going for a crisper look.

Thread tails waiting to be pulled to the back.

Have a colorful day

Monday, September 22, 2014

Summer and winter with the Nuts

It was still officially summer on Sunday and the forecast called for record highs in the Puget Sound area, but Sew Day with the Nuts had a decidedly autumn/winter feel to it, starting with Carolynn's warm and inviting breakfast table setting.

Then she took us up to the bedroom to ooh and ahh over her glorious, rich, warm quilt that was finally finished.

Back downstairs, we pulled out our various projects and show-and-tells and you would've sworn it was Christmas time. Linda J. showed this BIG whimsical applique snowman quilt ... look at all the details in the closeup:

Linda P. worked on this beautiful embroidered and beaded cardinal on an evergreen bough:

Nancy embroidered another snowy winter scene:

Carolynn's crazy quilt had holiday reds and greens:

But I bucked the trend. I brought summery colors to start another fractured circle quilt:

And Linda J. showed off her "Funky Chicken." It was another great day with the Nuts!

Have a colorful day

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Bunners and an art show

I thought Bunners needed to get back on the blog -- it's been too long. So here she is in all her morning glory, snuggled in my robe while I check my emails. She likes to eat breakfast and then sit on my lap while I work.

Me with some of my older pieces and a Sulky Solvy scarf.
This was a busy week, including a little display of my art at a New Neighbors luncheon program. I've also included a few photos of other friends who were in the show.

Kat with her fun embroidered seasonal quilts.

Detail of Janet's magnificent crazy quilt.

Barb and her nature-inspired clay pieces,
which I've been collecting since I met her.
Hope you enjoyed the little show
and little Bunners.

 Have a colorful day

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sea Glass Tonga Treats

I'm in that restless phase where I'm not immersed in a big creative project but I still want to sew. So I pulled out this pack of Tonga Treats that I bought awhile ago. It's called Sea Glass and I love the soft blues, greens and greys.

I found this free pattern  on line from Timeless Treasures using Sea Glass Tonga Treats ...

... then discovered that the pattern was for the 2 1/2-inch-wide treats and mine were 6 inches. Bummer.

Then I realized that I could cut just enough 2 1/2-inch strips for the pattern plus have an inch-wide strip of each color left over to make a coiled fabric basket. So I cut them all up and dove into the sewing last night. Now the weather is so gorgeous that I feel I should be outside instead of sewing.

Hope you're all having a good weekend.

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival

I'm a few days late blogging about the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, which was last weekend. It was my first time there and it was a lot of fun.

There were hundreds of wooden boats, from tall ships and steamers to canoes and kayaks and even gorgeous wooden paddleboards.

If you want to build a ship,
don't drum up the men to gather wood,
divide the work and give orders.
Instead, teach them to yearn
for the vast and endless sea..."
Antoine de Saint Exupery

Many of the boats sported colorful flower arrangements, and the picturesque town of Port Townsend was filled with bright hanging flower baskets.


"There is nothing -- absolutely nothing --
 half so much worth doing
as simply messing about in boats."
          - Spoken by Ratty to Mole in Wind in the Willows
 a children's book by Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932)

Wooden kayaks against the brilliant blue sky.

Have a colorful day

Monday, September 8, 2014

Wonky log cabin class

I just taught a Wonky Log Cabin quilt class at a student's house (a wonderful way to teach). Here's the vital sewing notion she put out -- a bowl of colorful m&ms, right in front of me!

She also fixed us a delicious and colorful lunch, including this salsa and fruit. Then all stops were pulled out with red velvet cupcakes with whipped cream (brought over by a quilting neighbor) and some cookie bars that were to die for.

Hostess Jan in the Seahawks shirt. The Seahawks won that evening.

We did get some sewing done in between eating, and here's hostess-with-the-mostess, Jan, auditioning some options for her quilt's center block. She was going to work on more options after class, so I'm eager to see what she settles on. Her fabric is in fabulous colors from the Moda Grunge collection. (My camera did weird things to the second photo.)

Beth, meanwhile, took off in a totally different direction. She went horizontal and based her quilt on a focus fabric from which she cut out these dramatic dragons.

I loved teaching this way. I didn't have to clean my own house, I was served lunch, and I loved the casual atmosphere of just having a few students. Thanks Jan and Beth and cupcake neighbor!

Have a colorful day