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

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

On the snowy road to Sedona

In our driveway at the start of our journey.
On the road again ... through rain, snow, sleet and wind from western Washington, over the Cascades, into Idaho, Montana, Utah, and finally Arizona. Right now we're at a hotel in Sandy, Utah, where it's snowy and cold. Tomorrow we'll stay in Flagstaff and the next afternoon head down to Sedona.

Heading over the Snoqualmie Pass in Washington.

Snow-laden trees in eastern Washington.

We stopped in eastern Washington to visit Julia and the rabbits. Here she is with adorable little Charlie. The next day it was foggy and snowy through Spokane and into Idaho and Montana. We spent the night in Missoula, Montana.

Food highlight: A romantic, two-hour dinner at the Pearl Cafe in Missoula. Above is Dave's curried carrot soup and below are our desserts. That's a deconstructed German chocolate cake and a Belgian chocolate mousse. Everything from appetizers through dessert was exquisite, and we were seated at a cozy corner table by the fireplace. Bonus: The music consisted largely of laid back tracks from my favorite band, the Grateful Dead.

This morning it was back on the highway through more snow plus sleet, high winds and some near whiteout conditions. Can't wait for that Arizona sunshine!

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sew Day inspiration

Sew Day rolled around again on Sunday. It was inspiring, as usual, starting with Linda J.'s festive table with a red theme. She made double-sided napkins that paired with sparkly napkin rings to go with the red glassware and red and green placemats.

Breakfast was a rainbow of fruit, quiche, and cranberry-orange muffins. Lunch was delicious homemade chicken noodle soup and brownies and cookies.

Next to the table hung her new hand-appliquéd bird quilt, whose colors I love!

Pattern for Linda J.'s bird quilt.
Then the bags came out. Linda P. showed two maroon Yazzii storage bags that she embellished with wool appliqué years ago. Yazzii bags have multiple zippered plastic storage bags inside.

Detail of Linda P.'s wool appliqué.

Carolynn brought a storage bag that she sewed from this fun fabric, but I forgot to get the pattern:

Linda J. was just back from a quilting cruise to Mexico where she learned a slick technique for sewing many squares together. Instead of pinning all of the squares and trying to keep them in order, you fuse them onto this special gridded fusible web (below) and then sew the seams into tucks. Easy peasy!

Have a colorful day

Saturday, February 18, 2017

A fiberful, colorful Saturday

Naturally dyed yarn from the Local Color Fiber Studio
on Bainbridge Island, WA.
Today was gray and rainy, but my friend Joyce and I were surrounded by color at the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma. We spent the afternoon feasting our eyes on a rainbow of colors and feeling wonderfully soft, airy knitted shawls and scarves.

We spent quite awhile at the Local Color Fiber Studio booth,, where all the yarns were dyed with plants grown on the studio's farm. Each skein had a card attached telling what plant was used. The studio is on Bainbridge Island, not far from here. There were even photos of some of the pet bunnies and sheep who contribute to the yarn.

Another vendor, Woolgatherings, from Duvall, WA,, had vibrant hand-painted yarn:

Island Fibers, on Lopez Island, WA,, had some beautifully soft yarns that are hand dyed and hand spun:

I didn't get the name of this next booth, but the colors caught my eye:

The Hotel Murano is filled with colorful glass (and other) art, making it a great stop any day. Here is a glass canoe suspended from the ceiling:

The lobby has walls of blue-green glass that look like water, which is appropriate given Tacoma's location on the water. The lobby was filled with retreaters wearing hand-knitted scarves, shawls, sweaters and hats. Many of them -- including quite a few men -- were knitting. I saw a lot of socks in progress on tiny needles with skinny yarn.

After coffee and tea in the hotel's restaurant, it was back out into the rain for us.

Have a colorful day

Monday, February 13, 2017

Last evening light

I watched in awe as the last evening ray of sun illuminated my quilt on the eastern wall. I had just enough time to snap one photo and then the fire was extinguished and the night turned dark.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Ready to embellish

I just finished whip stitching down the last wool appliqué piece for my "Imperial Blooms" quilt (pattern by Sue Spargo).

Now I'm ready to embellish!

I'm taking this project to Sedona next month, so I pulled out all the beads and threads that I think I'll need. Luckily, there's a good bead store there in case I "need" more.

Besides seed beads and bugles, I may use these dagger beads, which should stand up nicely and give added dimension. I also like to use discs and sequins and anchor them with tiny beads.

My favorite thread for embroidery is perle cotton No. 8, which is big enough to show up well on a quilt. My favorite source is Laura Wasilowski's hand-dyed thread at

This silk will add sheen. I haven't used it much yet, but I plan to on the flowers.

Have a colorful day

Monday, February 6, 2017

Woolies inspiration

We had our Woolies meeting today at Pam's house, and my bird bag found a friend! That's my wool appliqué bag on the left and Bobbie's on the right. Bobbie also did the back of hers:

Pam also made a wool cover for her bag:

Wool needle case by Pam. Love those circles!
These next photos are from a wool quilt top that Pam just finished. Look at the incredible embroidery details!

Next up is the beginning of a little needle case by Karen, who has never done wool appliqué before. Great start!

We needed the bright colors of the wool, because outside we had snow and rain. Snow is so unusual here that most of the schools closed or had delayed starts. But we were warm and cozy inside with our stitching and cookies baked by Pam.

Have a colorful day

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Art Walk color on a rainy day

Today I went on Gig Harbor's First Saturday Art Walk -- in the pouring rain -- with three friends. My intention on this very grey day was to take a lot of pictures in every color of the rainbow. Well, I cheated and only took a few photos because I found one store where there was a beautiful display of sweaters in a rainbow of colors.

Despite the rain, we had a good time that ended with wine and appetizers at Morso's.

 Have a colorful day