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

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Seattle light

Dave and I went to Seattle a few weeks ago and spent two nights and three days leisurely exploring and eating. I was most struck by the lights and lighting. Our first night was Election Night, and the ferris wheel down by the water put on a red, white and blue light show. Another iconic Seattle sight was the sign at Pike Place Market:

The next morning we had breakfast at Bacco's, where I snapped the window reflection behind me.

It was rainy, so we decided to spend a few hours inside with the wondrous lighted glass at the Chihuly Garden and Glass center. Below is Dave, man of mystery, in front on a sea life form.


Above and below are shots of the Persian Ceiling, a spectacular ceiling of more sea-like forms with dramatic lighting.

Next is a closeup  of a glass vessel in the Macchia Forest room. Each style of glass has its own room in the exhibit, and it's fascinating to read about the inspiration that went into each.

The exhibit continues outside, where I captured our reflection with the Space Needle behind us in a blue, rain-splattered glass globe. This one really says "Seattle."

That evening the sky was pale orange, dusty blue and grey as the sun set on our last day in the city.

The next morning we walked down to Pike Place in the fog. I saw a group of people aiming their cell phones up to the sky and followed their gaze to this brilliant sight of the sun reflecting off of a glass building and being scattered in the fog. Then it was time to catch the ferry and head home.

Have a colorful day

Monday, November 21, 2016

My little (wool) chickadees

Now that I'm addicted to stitching on wool, I did another little project over the weekend. The chickadee candle mat is from a kit that I bought almost two years ago and will be perfect for winter decorating.

I embroidered a feather stitch in green around the inner circle. I did a tiny whip stitch with one strand of DMC cotton embroidery floss to appliqué down the little pieces. (That's a half-inch appliqué pin in the photo.) It was very satisfying to finish it so quickly -- now I need to find another project!

Have a colorful day

Friday, November 18, 2016

Seabeck quilt retreat

I just got back from a relaxing and productive quilt guild retreat at the Seabeck Conference Center on the Hood Canal. Dorms and meeting buildings are scattered throughout the rural setting just across the street from the water. It is beautiful.

Inside, about 14 of us sewed, ate, chatted and laughed for three days. I can't show you what I worked on because they're gifts and most of the recipients read the blog. But I did get a LOT done until my sewing machine seized up about an hour before the retreat ended. Luckily, I have a second machine so I can finish the gifts before Christmas.

Here are some of the projects being worked on:

I always love looking at other sewers' pincushions when we get together. Here are a few:

Somehow I missed getting food photos! That's unheard of from me. I guess I was too busy eating to remember to take pictures. They served us family style in a big lodge and I'd categorize all of it as comfort food. 

Already looking forward to next year!

Have a colorful day

Friday, November 11, 2016

Wow, wool!

One of Pam's many wool appliqué quilts.

Our quilt guild has an extraordinarily prolific and talented wool appliqué artist named Pam who just started a wool group that I joined. I was so blown away by her work that I asked if I could feature her in a blog post. She said yes.

So ... Heeeeere's Pam!

She started doing wool appliqué about 15 years ago when she lived in Alaska. She even dyes her own wool, often starting with white or light colored wool garments from thrift stores. In the summer she dyes outside with wool dyes and in the winter she dyes inside with Kool-Aid. (Kool-Aid doesn't require working with ventilation for safety.)

All of the work here was done by Pam

Her studio is to "dye" for, with stacks and stacks of colorful wool and projects under way.

For the first meeting of the Woolies, she spread books, patterns, supplies and yummy finished projects throughout the rooms. Ten of us dove in and feasted on the color and designs. 

I was inspired to order two of the books that she had, and tomorrow I'm going to a sale  at the quilt store in Port Gamble, which has a nice selection of wool.  Then I'll settle in for the winter with a new project!

Detail from one of Pam's quilts.

Have a colorful day

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Snake Lake with the Feet and Forks

The Feet and Forks had a break in the rain for today's hike around Snake Lake at the Tacoma Nature Center. The center is a 71-acre nature preserve encompassing the lake and surrounding wetlands and forest.

It has a great little visitors' center with some colorful artwork. (I couldn't find the names of the artists for these two pieces.)

After going through the visitors' center, we hit the trails. Towering trees surrounded us in the woodland areas ...

... and open areas soaked up the sun.

Ducks and frogs greeted us at the water, and reflections played tricks on our eyes. In the photo below, what looks like stairs or railroad ties is actually a reflection in the water of the underside of a bridge.

A little painted rock rested in the middle of a trail. It says "Tacoma Rocks" and asks that finders post a photo of it to Facebook. (I will.)

Dew drops dripped from berries, making them look like holiday decorations. And as we were leaving, we spotted this busy squirrel with a basket of nuts at the visitors' center. Winter is coming! 

Have a colorful day