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

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sunshine and blue skies quilt

I finally arranged my fractured circle blocks on a sunny yellow background of cotton duck cloth and started embroidering them down. The colors remind me of blue skies and sunshine, very unlike what we had a few days ago when I bought the yellow fabric ...

You may think I changed the photo to a black and white, but I didn't. This shows how the day was literally drained of color, so I was glad to have my bright blocks to look at.

I tried numerous configurations -- I calculated there are more than 5,000 possibilities -- before settling on one that I won't show you until I'm done. Here are some of the rejects:

Once I settled on the block arrangement, I debated which embroidery stitch(es) to use to sew them on and finally settled on the good old blanket stitch. We had sunshine the past two days, so I got to spread it out on the dining room table and stitch away in the glorious light!

p.s. I'm linking up to Nina Marie's blog, where you can see what other fiber artists have been up to this week:

Have a colorful day

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Eye candy at Gossypium in Issaquah, WA

Gossypium: 1. Scientific name for the cotton plant. 2. A fabulous quilt store in Issaquah, WA, that I visited for the first time last month.

From Gossypium's web site :

"What is 'Gossypium?' It’s the scientific name for the cotton plant used to create our quality cotton fabrics. Gossypium also refers to a gathering place to create and catch up with old and new friends. Quilting is both an art form and a relationship between you and your fabric, and at Gossypium we strive to be an integral part of that relationship by supplying you with quality materials and personal support."

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I'll just show some pictures from Gossypium. Enjoy!

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Inspiration with the Nuts

Sunday's Sew Day with the Nuts was packed with inspiration from projects finished and still in the works. But first we sat down to Nancy's pretty breakfast table set with cardinal placemats that she made. Note the Seattle Seahawks blue and green flowers. (This was the day before the playoff game where we beat the Packers. Go Hawks!)

First up for show-and-tell was Nancy's striking black and white pillow with punches of yellow in the piping and string of lights. She embroidered and pieced it and embellished it with giant black rick rack.

Next are Linda J.'s journals, which she made from food boxes following a youtube tutorial.

These closeups show the pink stitches holding in the pages (above) and the blue beading that holds the edges of pages together to form pockets.

Next we have Linda's heavily embellished sewing carry-all, which opens flat to reveal storage for everything plus a removeable ironing pad.

In the unfinished inspiration category is Carolynn's colorful mess of embroidery threads, which she spread on the floor to be organized.

Here are some photos of the glorious crazy quilt table runner that Carolynn is making.

Meanwhile, Linda P. practiced her wool applique with these bright and cheery birds.

Supervising it all was Miss Lizzie, curled comfortably on Nancy's Valentine quilt. Hope you've been inspired!

Have a colorful day

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Beading the fractured circles

I've been beading my fractured circle blocks and thought I'd show you a few. I have 36 altogether. 

I've backed them with Warm and Natural batting. When I'm done beading and embroidering (which could be a year from now or a month) I'll arrange them on a sturdy backing. Not sure yet if I'll sew them on by machine or with hand embroidery.

This is the stack that sits by my window chair, inviting me to while away another hour or so instead of  putting away the Christmas stuff, cleaning or cooking.

I'd rather be beading!

To see what some other fiber artists have been up to this week, check out Nina Marie's Off-the-Wall Friday at

Have a colorful day

Friday, January 9, 2015

Colors of LAX

Every time I walk along the tile wall of changing colors at the Los Angeles airport, I think of quilts. I went again this week and snapped some pictures, although the lighting in there is funny and it's hard to capture the true colors. It's fun to look at the color contrasts the artist chose.

Looking at the landscape from the plane is another great inspiration for me. This is somewhere over the Sierra Nevadas and the colors reminded me of the blue end of the color wall.

Have a colorful day

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Threadneedle Street, Issaquah, WA

I found thread heaven last week when my sew group the Nuts went to Threadneedle Street at 485 Front St. N. in Issaquah, WA, near Seattle.

Since a picture speaks a thousand words, I'll just post some photos.

I found a nice selection to add to my embroidery thread stash, and so did the other Nuts. GO if you have the chance.

p.s. It's Day 3 of the Whole 30 diet and Dave and I are doing amazingly well. I think all the nuts and fruit are keeping me satisfied in between meals.

Have a colorful day

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hello New Year, Good-bye Sweets


I ended the old year with a total calorie explosion at a series of parties and restaurants. The worst (or best?) was this dessert table at Paula's party with crème brulee topped with chocolate mousse, chocolate chili cookies, an apple pastry and three kinds of ice cream!

But as of today I'm on the Whole 30 diet, which eliminates added sugar, grains and dairy for 30 days. That means no more decadent desserts for awhile.

Here is Dave, working on the super rich chocolate-hazelnut mousse that he mounded on top of the creamy crème brulee. He showed Julia how to use a blow torch and had her carmelize the sugar on the brulee.

Then Julia and I made our favorite vegan chocolate crinkle cookies, which have just a little cayenne pepper for a kick. They're wickedly good. Paula made the addictive apple crostata.

But last night there was no baking as we prepped for our diet by clearing out all the forbidden foods from the kitchen and stocking up on veggies, fruit, healthy oils, nuts, and NO chocolate. I'll keep you posted.

Have a great NEW YEAR