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

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The birds are back!

Over the holiday weekend I put the final embroidery and beads onto my 30 wool birds and arranged them -- and rearranged a few times -- on the design board.

I gave them all either blue or brown eyes and made sure they all had feet.

Now I just have to square them up, sew them together (which will be a challenge because some of the beading comes too close to the edges) and add borders. The borders will require a trip to the Quilted Strait in Port Gamble to buy larger pieces of wool. It's an hour drive, but at least it's not on the hell hole that is I-5.

I think this will be the final arrangement. It's not the same as that in Sue Spargo's bird book. Hers is a vertical arrangement.

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Color from Judi's garden

A lush, fragrant bouquet from Judi's garden.

Some friends and I went for a hike earlier this week, and afterward Judi -- the green thumb of the group -- invited us to tour her gardens. What a visual and aromatic feast!

She and her family started building the garden 20 years ago. One of the first things they installed was the fence around the future rose garden. It's a beautiful fence (above) and keeps the deer away.

Up close, I was blown away by the rich, lush, fragrant flowers. I'll let the photos of roses, peonies, poppies and others speak for themselves.

The colors are simply delicious. Judi knows the names of every plant as if they are her children, and she encouraged us to get our noses right into the roses to appreciate the individual scents of each one.


After the rose garden, we wandered into the separate "room" of the shade garden, with its layers of green and delicate shade blooms.

Judi makes sure to include light greens to glow amidst the darker greenery.

She also includes a variety of interesting leaf shapes.

 A Buddha statue adds to the calm, hushed atmosphere of the shade garden.

And just for fun, the gardens are sprinkled with whimsical creatures, like these. Hope you enjoyed the tour.

Thank you, Judi!


Have a colorful day

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sneak preview of Judi's garden

Here's a sneak preview of what's coming tomorrow from Judi's garden -- fabulous color and incredible lines and shading.

 Have a colorful day

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sea glass fabric bowl

"Sea Glass and Fog" by Sherrie Spangler

My "Sea Glass and Fog" quilt is finished and hanging above the fireplace mantel, and now I'm using the scraps to make a coiled fabric bowl.

I blogged about the making the bowls here:

It's simply a matter of wrapping strips of fabric around clothesline (held by dabs of glue at either end) and then zig-zagging it together in a coil shape. The tutorial link above explains it in more detail.

The rough-textured beige fabric being added above is Osnaburg cloth, a wonderful nubby cotton. After making the base as wide as you want, you simply tilt it up to the left of the machine and overlap the next round to start the sides.

I got this far and then I stopped to go to a Mexican restaurant, and now I'm too stuffed to sew anymore tonight.

Have a colorful day

Friday, May 13, 2016

Loose threads and STITCH

"Sedona" by Sherrie Spangler

Catching up on random stuff

Here's the full picture of "Sedona" -- I think I've only shown glimpses of it until now. I painted most of the fabric and foiled the center squares. I love working in these rich, saturated colors and quilting with gold thread.

In a completely different color scheme is this top that I finally layered and basted this morning after piecing it a year and a half ago. It reminds me of the soft colors of water, fog and grayed greens here in Gig Harbor. I can't decide on a quilt pattern. I usually quilt in sweeping free-form undulating lines, but I don't know if that would work with this. I'm not good at quilting precise patterns.

It sort of goes with the deck furniture.

And last but not least is the STITCH meeting that I hosted this week. It was a farewell party for Lois, who is moving to California. Here she is (in the green top) with some of our group. That's my "Forest" quilt behind them.

Pat had this spectacular quilt top for show and tell, which she pieced with squares as small as one inch. Her inspiration was a photo of a tree in full fall colors.

And of course we had to have color on the table:

Have a colorful day

Monday, May 9, 2016

Seen on the water

Mother's Day weekend was all about the water this year, with two ferry rides, a hike around a lake and a stroll along the bay in Bellingham while visiting our daughter.

Lake Padden in Bellingham, WA
First up are some photos from Lake Padden, a popular walking, boating and picnic area. The shady path around the lake is 2.6 miles and affords beautiful views of the water. Saturday it was filled with sailboats, canoes, kayaks, paddleboarders, swimmers and people fishing.

We watched Mama Duck shepherd her nine babies through the reeds while Papa fended off some encroaching males.

The next day, Mother's Day, we walked with throngs of other people on the boardwalk that runs along Bellingham Bay, where we saw bigger boats:

Wooden tall ship in Bellingham Bay.
But the most spectacular water sights were Sunday evening from the ferry as we crossed from Whidbey Island to Port Townsend. Within 30 minutes, we passed a whale, a submarine and a huge cruise ship. I didn't get a picture of the whale -- a grey -- but Dave saw it come out of the water and I saw the giant splash as it went back in.

The submarine, center in the photo above, was being escorted by two naval vessels. Minutes later we turned the other way and saw a huge white cruise ship headed toward us, glowing in the sun.

This last photo has nothing to do with the water but everything to do with why we went to Bellingham for Mother's Day!

Have a colorful day