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

Sunday, January 29, 2017

More wool applique

I'm continuing to whip stitch down the pieces for my "Imperial Blooms" quilt. It's quite therapeutic, except when the thumb arthritis acts up and I have to take a break -- like now.

This is just the base for the embellishments to come: embroidery with perle cotton and a lot of beads.

I love, love, love the colors of the wool. People always ask where I get my wool, and I tell them that every time I go into a quilt store I'm on the lookout for it. I haven't made it to thrift stores yet to buy wool garments, but that's coming. 

Here's a look at the blocks I have completed so far. The background blocks are 11" square.

You can see how the colors contrast with our outside view today. This is why I work with such bright colors!

Have a colorful day

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Little things

Little things can brighten my day, like starting a new journal and realizing that it goes perfectly with the bookmark that Linda P. gave me at Christmas. The bookmark looks like Linda dyed (or maybe painted), stamped, foiled and stitched it.

And looking for something else at Costco yesterday, I came across some gluten-free flour that can be substituted one-for-one for regular flour in baking. My daughter has gone gluten free, and this will make it so much easier to bake cookies for her (one of my favorite activities). Plus, the flour is named "Namaste." Namaste is what we say after yoga practice, meaning "The light in me honors the light in you."

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Gig Harbor quilt shop back in old hands

The Gig Harbor quilt shop on Pioneer has a new name again, and this time the owner is Nancy Altman, who co-owned the store before it changed hands briefly last year. It's now officially

Nancy's Quilt Shop
and Longarm Quilting

Best of luck to Nancy, who did the beautiful longarm quilting  on my wool bird quilt.

Have a colorful day

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Women's March shoutout

"If particular care and attention
 is not paid to the ladies,
 we are determined
 to foment a rebellion."

            Abigail Adams, March 31, 1776

I was sidelined by a bad cold from plans to take part in today's Women's March, but here's a shoutout to my family and friends who did march. So proud of all of you for standing up for women's rights:

Washington, D.C. -- Paula flew all the way out from Washington state with her husband and daughter (from Texas) to march.

Spokane, WA -- My daughter marched with three friends from school.

Olympia, WA -- Many of my friends marched there. I think a lot of Washington marchers opted for Olympia rather than face the logistics of getting into and out of Seattle.

Boise, ID -- STITCH sister Judi and her husband and daughter marched in the sleet and snow. I especially loved Ed's sign, which said he's a grandfather marching for his wife, daughters and granddaughters.

Port Townsend, WA -- My sister, Kathleen, marched. I was supposed to join her, but this nasty cold kept me home. I monitored the marches all day in my pajamas.

San Francisco -- My nephew and his wife marched.

Rockford, IL -- My daughter-in-law's mother and sisters marched, as did many of my old friends from when I lived in Rockford.

Have a colorful day!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wool dots

I've been going dotty with wool dots! Thanks to the handy dandy hole punch that my husband gave me for Christmas (see this post: ), it's really quick and easy to make even the tiniest circles.

They're a little hard to hold accurately in place with pins, so I put a dab of glue in the center to hold them in place while I whip stitch them down. This Sewline glue works nicely.

The only drawback to glue is that it holds the circles flat against the background after stitching, and I want the circles to puff out. To get around this, after I've stitched the circle partway down I peel it away from the background and then finish stitching.

On a completely unrelated note, my poor little baby Bunners is in a cast after breaking her toe! She doesn't understand what's going on and looks so sad.

Have a colorful day

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Sew Day and the Seahawks

Today was Sew Day at my house, and we ended up stitching at the kitchen counter while watching the Seahawks playoff game (They lost, unfortunately.)

Linda, Nancy and me.
Only three of the five of us could make it, so that meant more food for us! We started with a breakfast casserole, raspberry almond coffeecake and fruit.

Then we hand stitched at the dining room table, with Linda and me doing appliqué and Nancy tracing some appliqué patterns before turning to embroidery. Lately we seem to have mostly switched to hand work instead of lugging our machines to each other's houses.

One of my wool flowers.

Linda's butterfly applique, from a Facebook group pattern.

"Wild Blooms and Colorful Creatures" patterns.
Lunch was Weight Watchers chili (pretty similar to other chili recipes except that it also had zucchini), grapes and carrots, and more coffee cake while we watched the game.

Nancy's embroidery.
Nancy gave me these cute napkins. 
My Sew Day friends are chocolate chips!
(And we thought we were nuts.) 

 Have a colorful day

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sunnyside up!

We have sunshine!

That may not be a big deal for some of you, but in the Pacific Northwest in the cloudy corner of the country, it's reason to celebrate. Even though it's below freezing, I'll take a day like this anytime over warm and cloudy.

I know that I could consider a cloudy day a day to cocoon with a hot beverage in front of the fireplace, but you can only do that so many weeks in a row. Today's sunshine is much needed!

Everything in our living room takes on a new life in the sun light. Colors come out of hiding and everything sparkles.

Have a colorful day

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Wool hole punches

Hubby gave me a hole punch kit for Christmas
and it's almost better than chocolate! 

I've been using it to punch wool circles for my latest appliqué quilt. One whack (or maybe two) gives you a perfect circle. Besides the punches (round arch punches), he gave me a pounding mat and a weighted leather mallet. I never thought I'd be so excited about tools! The holes below are 1/4", 3/8" and 7/8".

Here's the link to the company he bought them from: 

The sunset last night was gorgeous. (The UFOs are reflections of our little white lights hanging inside the window.)

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New year, new project, new plans

It's a new year, which means it's time for a new sewing project, getting back on track with Weight Watchers, and making a cleaning plan so I don't wait until company comes to have a clean house.

First up is the new wool appliqué project, "Imperial Blooms" by Sue Spargo. Instead of appliquéing the flowers onto a wool background, I'm using this yellow-green cotton, which is probably my favorite color. After I'm done appliquéing, I'll embellish the flowers with embroidery and beads.

As for Weight Watchers, I joined at the end of October with the goal of losing 30 pounds over 30 weeks, but between Thanksgiving and this week I have had 17 eating events -- potlucks, parties, luncheons, dinners with friends -- with the last one being a soup potluck tomorrow with my yoga buds. So after tomorrow's party I'll get back on track, yes I will!

The cleaning plan -- not a resolution, but a plan -- is to either clean or organize at least one thing every day, no matter how small. Today was unseasonably sunny and all the dust showed, so I dusted the living room, dining room and bedroom. I also put away clean laundry that had been sitting folded in baskets for days. And I vacuumed. That was a good jump start, and the house looks so much better already.

Have a colorful day