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

Saturday, October 31, 2015

More birds

Today I started Bird # 22 in Sue Spargo's bird book. I found the perfect pearl cotton thread in my stash to embroider the pinky-rose bird and yellow moon/sun ... a hand-dyed colorway called Nasturtium. It's by Laura Wasilowski at I outlined the bird in the chain stitch, which is different from Sue's directions.

Then I added the little birdy feet with a tightly twisted thread called Silken Pearl:

Next I anchored the green circles with a tiny whip stitch. Tomorrow I'll do decorative embroidery around the circles and on the wing. I also might bead the moon/sun. I'm saving the eyes until I finish all 30 birds.

It was a good day to stitch because it poured buckets of rain all day.

The outdoor birds didn't seem to mind. The seagulls had a convention behind our house.

 Have a colorful day

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Wool bird progress

It's been raining all weekend and I've been inside embroidering my Sue Spargo wool applique birds. While I'm working, I'm listening to our own birds -- two parakeets -- and one of them has started imitating the rabbit's snoring. Who needs music?

The birds above and below show the drizzle stitch used to make fancy feathers. I learned that stitch from Sue's book, "Creative Stitching." The birds are from her "Bird Dance" book, although I'm changing a lot of the embroidery. I outlined the green bird in the back stitch and the red bird in a fly stitch.

This orange bird shows another stitch I learned from her book: the rosette chain that runs down the bird's breast.

I love this orange thread from the Thread Gatherer. It's called Sheep's Silk and is a 50/50 blend of wool and silk. It needles beautifully.

The blue thread in the fly stitching above and below is #8 pearl cotton, which doesn't pull through as smoothly as the Sheep's Silk but is way more affordable.

(Here's how it looks outside.)

The next two birds are still in progress. I might add beads to the top one, and I've already stitched purple beads on the second one. That lavender wing could use a little something, too.

Meanwhile, my nest of thread tails is growing.

Have a colorful day

Monday, October 19, 2015

Button jars

Linda P. made these cute button jars for everyone at Sew Day this month. The padded lids can be used as pincushions. Love the fall colors!

Thanks, Linda!

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Feet and Forks in Birch Bay, WA

When I last left you hanging, we were on Chuckanut Drive south of Bellingham headed north. Today we're in the beach town of Birch Bay, almost to the Canadian border in western Washington. We arrived just in time to settle in for the Seahawks game wearing comfy polka dot slippers and socks that we bought in Coupeville.

Go Hawks!!!
The next morning we set out to walk along the bay through town and all the way to Birch Bay State Park. It was cloudy but no rain, so we were good to go.

The state park has gorgeous views over the bay, and I think those are the Canadian Gulf Islands on the  horizon. We walked and explored the nearly two miles of saltwater shoreline and forested trails for hours.

After our hike, we grabbed a delicious lunch at Via Birch Bay, then headed to the quaint town of Lynden, about half an hour east. First stop: Lynden Dutch Bakery!!!

The town lies in a broad valley along the winding Nooksack River. The surrounding area is filled with dairy, raspberry, strawberry and blueberry farms. Although not founded by the Dutch, there were a lot of Dutch immigrants later and the town paid tribute to them by developing a Dutch theme, including windmills throughout town.

We went back to our condo fortified with bakery treats and a rental movie. Just so we wouldn't starve, I baked brownies to eat during the movie. That was our last night in Birch Bay, and the next morning was too rainy to walk.

THIS IS WHERE THE PICTURE YOU WON'T SEE WOULD GO. It's the long, rainy slog home down I-5 in horrendous traffic. Going up via the ferry and Whidbey Island was so much nicer, but longer. We rewarded ourselves by ending the hair-raising (for me since I was driving) trip by going straight to our favorite Mexican restaurant when we got to Gig Harbor ... El Pueblito's!

Final Forks photo of the trip.
Hope you enjoyed our little trip and travelogue!

Have a colorful day

Monday, October 12, 2015

Road trip on Whidbey Island!

The Feet and Forks in Coupeville on Whidbey Island.
The Feet and Forks hit the road (and water) last week for a trip up through Whidbey Island, WA, and then on to Birch Bay, almost to Canada. Today's installment is about the first part of the trip.

We started by driving from Gig Harbor to Port Townsend, where we took a ferry to the lower part of Whidbey Island and the cute little tourist town of Coupeville. It was a 35-minute crossing, which allowed me just enough time to finish my Starbucks pumpkin cream cheese muffin  and coffee.

After landing on Whidbey, we drove the short distance to Coupeville and somehow stumbled into Knead and Feed, a bakery that has the most divine cinnamon rolls. It also was the setting for a lotion and potion shop in the 1998 movie "Practical Magic," with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman.

Fortified with the pastry, we explored the little shops and waterfront of Coupeville.

Kandi and Joyce -- "Whatever Makes You Laugh!"

Mount Baker in the distance.

 The town was dressed for Halloween, with a scarecrow contest and a cemetery full of awful puns.

Leaving Coupeville, we wandered through rolling farmland under blue skies. When we spotted a sprawling pumpkin farm, I had to stop for photos of the color.

 I made the other Feet and Forkers pose in the dorky pumpkin cutouts.

Nancy, Joyce and Kandi become pumpkin heads.

Then it was on to the northern tip of the island, where we walked out onto the bridge over Deception Pass and took photos of the boats far below in the swirling currents. The bridge is 180 feet above the water and connects Whidbey and Fidalgo islands. Here's a link to more info on the bridge:

There's a state park at Deception Pass with trails, but we didn't have time for that. Another day.

Back on the mainland far north of Seattle (we went up Whidbey to avoid the awful I-5 traffic through Seattle), we took the scenic and curvy Chuckanut Drive along the water and stopped at the elegant Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive for lunch. We took one look at the signs saying no cell phone use or children under 9 and knew it wasn't your typical roadside oyster shack.

I can't get our forks photo to turn horizontally, but you get the idea. Sweet potato fries!!!

More tomorrow on the Birch Bay part of our trip.

Have a colorful day

Friday, October 9, 2015

Art quilt talk Saturday, 1-2, at library

Quilts by Judi Shipley, front, and Sherrie Spangler

Come hear our art quilt talk!
Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015
1-2 p.m.
Gig Harbor Library

Members of my art quilt group, STITCH, will talk about some of our favorite art quilt techniques. While you're there, you can wander through the library and enjoy more than 40 of our art quilts that will be on display through early December.

Hope to see some of you!

Have a colorful day