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

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Binding the birds

I'm binding the wool birds this weekend! Soon I'll have it on the wall, although I'm not sure where yet. I'm using Osnaburg cloth, which I love for its natural, earthy look. It's a rough woven cotton.

Nancy's quilting really shows up in the afternoon sun break.

I'm also working on the wool fall table runner. Right now I'm going around each pomegranate seed with a blanket stitch using Valdani perle cotton #8.

Outside the window where I stitch, the sun is going in and out of the clouds. We just set a record for the rainiest October EVER, so I'm glad for our sun breaks, no matter how brief.

Have a colorful day

Monday, October 24, 2016

The wool birds are quilted!

Here I am with Nancy, left, who quilted the birds.
After ripping out my disastrous attempt at quilting the wool birds on my little home sewing machine, I turned it over to Nancy of Nancy's Long Arm Quilting in Gig Harbor, 253-432-1029. She did a masterful job and I couldn't be happier! Now all I have to do is bind it and hang it on the wall more than one year after starting it.

(The pattern is from Sue Spargo's "Bird Dance" book, but I did my own border design.)

Here's the quilting in process in Nancy's shop. She worked up some sample quilt designs and I chose swirls for around the birds and circles for the border.

You can see the designs a little better here. Now that it's done, I have to find another hand work project to keep me busy through the winter. I've come to love hand work because it's portable and I can do it sitting in my favorite wicker chair looking out the living room window with my feet propped up on a bench.

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Wooly weather

The "historic" storm I wrote about last post didn't happen. Oh, we had wind and pummeling rain, but we didn't set any records and we didn't lose power.

But it was still stormy enough to pull out the latest wool project and snuggle with it in my fleece and favorite chair.

Here's how it looked yesterday outside the window. The sun broke through the clouds and turned the water silver. All day it rained then had a brief sun break, then rained, then another sun break. It felt  like spring in Pennsylvania, where I grew up.

The project I'm working on is a wool appliqué fall table runner. First I did a tiny whip stitch to hold the pieces down. Now I'm using heavier thread to do a decorative chain stitch around each piece. Should be finished for Thanksgiving.

Have a colorful day

Friday, October 14, 2016

Monster storm headed our way

Not much color here today. We're in the beginning of what threatens to be a "historic" Northwest storm, with massive winds, rain and expected widespread power outages.

I am not prepared. I have no chocolate in the house. I don't want to go out in the driving rain and howling wind to get any. I wonder if I could order some from Amazon and have a drone drop it off in the next few hours?

I do have a flashlight and hand stitching.

Here's what our local weather guru, Cliff Mass, says about the storm in his blog:

"A true monster storm, potentially as strong as the most powerful storm in NW history (the Columbus Day Storm of 1962) will be approaching our area on Saturday. The UW WRF sea level pressure forecast for 5 a.m. Saturday shows the approaching cyclone. The central pressure is an amazing 961 mb, with an unbelievably strong pressure gradient around it."

Have a safe day

Friday, October 7, 2016

Hiking at Devil's Lake, Wisconsin

Hiking at Devil's Lake State Park in Wisconsin.

I've been absent from the blog because I've been in California and Wisconsin visiting family for a couple of weeks. I'll just blog about our last day in Wisconsin, which started rainy but by the afternoon had turned into a perfect day for a fall hike.

We went with our son and his wife to Devil's Lake State Park, about 35 miles from Madison.  The first leg of the hike was easy and level, winding our way through large rocks along the shore.

Then the hard part started: a 500-foot climb to the top of the bluffs. My yoga didn't prepare my leg muscles for this part, but everyone else did fine. I was huffing and puffing and kept stopping to give my legs time to recover. 

But I made it, and the view was spectacular! Here you can see how far we came from the lake shore. Across the lake, rolling hills had turned into a patchwork of green and gold trees.

When we got back, Rachel and Keith made us a delicious Mexican feast, starting with vegan queso and guacamole. Next came veggie enchiladas with my favorite salsa verde.

Too early the next morning we were on a plane headed back to the Northwest. I snapped the photo below as we descended to Sea-Tac.

Have a colorful day