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

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy Earth Day!

Our weather forecast was for a rainy Earth Day, so yesterday -- when it was sunny -- I took some pictures for today's blog post. You can't celebrate Earth Day without bunnies, so here are the ones on our front porch. Bunners now lives with my daughter, so I can't take her photo for this post.  

Yesterday morning the sun burned through a curtain of mist,
creating drama behind our house.

I watched as the mist slowly lifted over Fox Island, across the water, and revealed a stunning blue sky. Soon our resident heron took up her post on a floating dock surrounded by glistening blue water. (Today it's all grey out there.)

In the yard, the sun illuminated
new hosta leaves
and sparkled on dew drops.

Inside, I added some gold beads to my wool appliqué. Now that it's raining, I think I'll spend some more time sewing.

p.s. Did you know that Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970?

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"Colorful Landscape" quilt challenge

I'm taking a break from the wool appliqué to get back to what I used to do -- abstract quilts with hand-painted fabric.

STITCH has issued a challenge to make a 22x33 vertical quilt with the theme "Colorful Landscape" for this year's library show. So I pulled out some fabric that I painted years ago that reminded me of a landscape.

I generally use Setacolor by Pebeo fabric paint on white cotton and water it down so it runs around on the fabric and creates interesting patterns.

Then I free-motion quilted it, mainly following the patterns made by the paint.

The top photo shows an orientation that reminds me of rolling hills covered with wildflowers under a blue sky. I think that's the orientation I'll use. 

The bottom photo flips it upside down to look like water (with a bump in the middle) under a sunset.

Next I'll put on the binding, after I make a Starbucks run.

And speaking of landscapes and water, Dave was out kayaking this weekend with two friends. The sun is slowly creeping back and the days are getting longer!

Have a colorful day

Friday, April 14, 2017

Embellishing the wool appliqué

I'm still working on my wool appliqué flowers,
using buttons, beading and embroidery. 

Some of my favorite stitches are
the herringbone, blanket (or buttonhole),
chain and back stitches.

I love gold accents, 
so I'm using quite a few gold seed beads.

The hand work is meditative. 
I stitch by the window, 
looking out at the water.

I'm almost done with the flowers, 
so now I'm auditioning fabrics for the borders.

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Museum of Northern Arizona

When we were in Sedona last month, we revisited one of my all-time favorite museums -- the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, founded in 1928. 

The inviting building, which reminds me of a cross between a high desert ranch house and a hacienda, is set among towering Ponderosa pines below the San Francisco peaks. It shelters Native American artifacts and natural history displays from the Colorado Plateau.

It's cozy, comfy and quiet and makes me want to stay for the evening after it closes and settle into a chair by the fireplace with a book from the nearby shelves.

Tiled floors, Indian rugs, graceful arches and carved beams add to the charm.

The Indian pottery collection is breath-taking!

I also could spend hours looking at the jewelry in the museum. Turquoise, coral and silver jewelry has always been my favorite because it reminds me of the desert and the Southwest. Diamonds hold no interest.

There's just something about the bold style of this jewelry that I find so appealing.

The museum has much more, but after photographing the pottery and jewelry I put the camera away and just enjoyed wandering. Hope you enjoyed this glimpse into a fabulous, special place.

Have a colorful day

Monday, April 3, 2017

Coming home

We got home from Sedona last night after two nights and three days on the road. This morning (above), it was sunny and brisk. Instead of red rocks and high desert vegetation, there was water outside my window!

Leaving Sedona in snow flurries.

To back track, the morning we left Sedona we had snow flurries after a night of high wind and muddy rain. Then we had snowy mountains in Utah.

Snowy mountains loom over the highway in Utah.

Oregon's green hills dwarf a train in the Columbia River Gorge.
In Oregon, the Columbia River Gorge had the most gorgeous emerald hills! They looked like velvet in the late afternoon sun. Later that night, I had a decadent chocolate torte in Hood River, OR.

We unloaded the car last night before it got dark, and this morning I went for a walk in the sun. It wasn't the same as our six-mile treks in Arizona, but it did get me out of the house to check out what had changed in the past month.

We didn't see trees this tall in Arizona!

These gorgeous flowers are blooming in our yard, as well as fruit trees blooming throughout town. I also spotted some daffodils, but I didn't get pictures. I miss the desert, but it's good to be home.

Have a colorful day

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Good-bye, Sedona

Good-bye, chairs. 

No more stitching in the sunshine by the juniper-pinyon oasis.

Good-bye, red rocks.

Good-bye, flowers.

Tomorrow morning we hit the road for the long drive back to Gig Harbor. We had a good month of hiking and eating and visiting with friends and relatives.

Have a colorful day

Monday, March 27, 2017

Keith and clouds

I rarely have photos of my son, Keith, in the blog, because he lives in Wisconsin and I only see him a few times a years. But he came out to visit us in Sedona, so now I get to catch up.

We hiked almost every day in the red rocks, but one day it rained so instead we went south to visit the cliff dwelling called Montezuma Castle. 

Southern Sinagua ("without water") native farmers built the five-story, 20-room dwelling sometime between 1100 and 1300. Early American settlers assumed that it was Aztec in origin, hence the name Montezuma Castle.

Keith in front of Montezuma Castle.

The next day we hiked along the creek on Munds Wagon Trail and were treated to some waterfalls and nice pools of water from the previous day's rain: 

And then there are the clouds, which I have to work into a post before we leave. Here are some:

Sunset view from our rental house.

Sunset from Airport Mesa, where everyone goes to see the sun set.

Interesting cloud formation yesterday afternoon.
Anyone know what it's called?

We only have a few days left here and I've come down with a nasty cold, so I don't know how much more hiking I'll get in. I think today I'll stay home and sew and send my husband off on an adventure by himself.

Have a colorful day