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

Friday, June 23, 2017

Visiting Marcia Derse, fabric designer


Marcia Derse with some of her fab fabric.
Yesterday I took a ferry with nine other members of Gig Harbor Quilters to visit fabulous fabric designer Marcia Derse on Whidbey Island.

While we were there, look who else we ran into! Johnny Depp was helping to advertise an All You Can Eat Chocolate Event in Langley, near where Marcia has her shop. Okay, so it's a cardboard Johnny, but it looks pretty real.


Marcia's shop, which she shares with some other artists, is called Side Market. Here's the link:  http://www.marciaderse.com/side-market/


She showed us swatches of all the fabric she has designed. She designs it by dying and doing other surface design on fat quarters and then sends those pieces of fabric to her fabric company, Windham Fabrics, which has it printed in Japan. From one swatch she can have them print that design in any combination of colors from her palette.


I love the rich colors and loose, almost primitive patterning. Below is a different, more intricate style that she's designed for fall 2017 release.


Here is a wall hanging she made using colors from her palette.


Afterward, we had lunch at an outdoor cafe across the way and wandered through the little shops and gardens. The weather was perfect -- sunny and about 70.


Chess, anyone?


Then we drove a few miles into the heart of Langley and took in this amazing view of the Cascades and water.


After an iced mocha for me and gelato for the others, it was back onto the ferry for the ride home.



Have a colorful day

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Happy Summer Solstice!


From my "Starfish Rising" quilt.

The Summer Solstice here is appropriately sunny -- finally! In today's yoga class I predict we'll be doing some sun salutations. In the meantime, here are a few summery photos that I just snapped from around the house.

Another detail from "Starfish Rising."

From my "Beach Houses" quilt.




Ok, so this next one isn't from around the house. It's from Saturday's Summer Solstice Parade in Fremont, a free-spirited neighborhood in the Seattle area. Dave and I went to watch ... very entertaining!


Have a colorful summer


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Peach Mango, Lemonade, and Orange


Here's another Kool-Aid dyeing on wool experiment. I used a combination of Peach Mango, Lemonade and Orange to achieve these fruity hues. The apricot feels right at home.

Have a colorful day


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

More Kool-Aid wool dyeing


Linda and her Kool-Aid wool.

After yesterday's Kool-Aid dyeing demo at Woolies (see last night's post), Linda scooped up white wool at the quilt shop, Kool-Aid at Winco, and dyed a delicious rainbow of colors -- all before bedtime!


She sent me these photos showing which Kool-Aid flavors she used to achieve the colors. Sometimes she combined two colors.





I, on the other hand, have only done Tropical Punch so far. Here it is on white wool and  beige wool:


Have a colorful day

Monday, June 12, 2017

Dyeing wool with Kool-Aid


Pam and her wool dyed with Kool-Aid.
Today at our Woolies meeting, our fearless leader, Pam, dyed up a batch of wool with Kool-Aid in her kitchen. The colors were so luscious they made our mouths water, and it was so quick and simple!


Here's how:

1. Soak 100% wool (or silk or other animal fibers) in hot water until saturated.

2. Dissolve a package of unsweetened Kool-Aid in hot water either on the stove or in a crock pot. (You can experiment with different amounts and combinations of colors.)

3. Squeeze out fabric (we used about a quarter of a yard or less at a time) and immerse it in the hot Kool-Aid mixture. Stir intermittently until the fabric has absorbed all of the dye and the water is clear or milky -- depends on the color. The more you stir, the more even the color will be. Stir less for a mottled look.

4. Remove wool from hot water and plunge into a bowl of cold water. 

5. Rinse in cold water with one drop of dish detergent until rinse water is clear. 

6. Squeeze out and toss in hot dryer with an old towel. It's okay to dry several different colors together without worrying about the color bleeding.


Here are the results, shown with the Kool-Aid colors that were used.



Dyed first with blue, then a little lemon-lime was added.



Ideally, you can find light-colored wool garments for cheap at thrift stores. Cut them apart, wash in hot water and dry on high and then go to town with the Kool-Aid! 

If you're interested in seeing what other fiber artists are up to this week, check out Nina Marie's Off-the-Wall Friday: interconnected-off-wall-friday.html



Have a colorful day!


Monday, June 5, 2017

Kicking off summer in Gig Harbor


Gig Harbor kicked off summer over the weekend with its annual Maritime Gig Festival. The weather couldn't have been better!


Besides the big parade on Saturday, which I missed, there was the traditional Blessing of the Fleet on Sunday. All manner of watercraft crammed into the harbor to be blessed by a priest in the boat above. Horns bellowed and people cheered as his boat tootled around the harbor.


Besides the action on the water, there was a classic car show lining the closed-off main street through town.


Stand-up paddle boards were on display waiting to be purchased for summer fun:


Kayaks also were ready to go:


And let's not forget the food! We started at the Trolley, with picnic table seating and a lobster roll for Dave and blackened chicken taco for me. We ended at a patio table at Seven Seas Brewery.


I love this display outside a clothing store. 
The hat says "Vitamin sea."


Gig Harbor is a dog town, and sometimes it seemed as if this was a dog festival with all the dogs walking their people and watching the festivities.


So that wraps it up for the Gig report! 
I hope you all had a good weekend.


Have a colorful day


Thursday, June 1, 2017

And more wool embroidery


I thought I was done embellishing the wool Imperial Blooms blocks, then I decided the leaves needed  more stitching. That's what I did this week. 




Now I'm waiting for the Kaffe fabric that I ordered for the border to arrive, then I can finish the top. I looked for border fabric at all the local quilt stores and couldn't find the perfect print. I had a small piece of the perfect print in my stash, but not enough, so I was lucky to find it online at Island Quilter!

This last picture is the wool appliqué that I'm working on as part of our Wooly group's block-of-the-month.


Have a colorful day