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

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Colorful clothes from Julia and Judy

I love colorful clothes, especially ones from back in the day, so I decided to show you some that my daughter, Julia, has found and is selling in her Etsy shop at DesertSpringVintage.

I especially love the embroidered details and shisha mirrors on this striped dress.

I wish I was still skinny enough to wear this gorgeous orange skirt. It reminds me of a sunny, summer day.

Now I could fit into this caftan.

But here's one that I will wear, and it just arrived from my friend Tie Dye Judy in Flagstaff. It's a long, loose rayon dress from Dharma Trading that she dyed beautifully. You can look at more of her work at You can also email her at

So here's to all my girlfriends
who love to dress colorfully!

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Feet and Forks take on Vancouver

Last week, the Feet and Forks walked and ate our way through Vancouver, B.C., for four days of fun! It was my first time there, and I loved it.

What struck me first was the concentration of sleek, high-rise apartment buildings surrounded by greenways. Vancouver is the fourth most densely populated city in North America, after New York, San Francisco and Mexico City. There are more than 5,400 people per square kilometer in Vancouver.

Historic houses are protected among high rises.

The buildings are a nice mix of old and new, with a preponderance of nautical-inspired buildings with architectural elements hinting at ships and ocean waves.

City planning has encouraged the growth of high rises over urban sprawl, and it's evident as soon as you arrive.

After the architecture, the next thing that struck me was the incorporation of greenways into the city. We walked for miles along pathways bordered by trees, gardens and grass. Separate paths were designated for bicycles, making walking easier and safer.

On our first full day there we walked almost seven hours to, through and back from Stanley Park. It's one of the largest urban parks in North America, with 1,001 acres.

View from the restaurant in Stanley Park.

Another prominent feature is the water. Vancouver is a coastal seaport, and everywhere you look are ships, seaplanes, water taxis, kayaks and other watercraft. After our second day of walking (estimated at 10 miles), we took a cute little water taxi back to the center of town.

View from inside the water taxi.

View of Granville Island Public Market.

Sign on Granville Island.

What about the food? Yes, we ate ... and ate and ate. We got great deals on happy hour appetizers and we found a plethora of bakeries. The 24-hour bakery Breka was my favorite. I wish it was here in Gig Harbor because I'd be there now!

I'm still dreaming of Breka's raspberry jelly doughnuts.

Cold drinks tasted great after hours of walking.

Granville Island Public Market overflowed with fresh food!

And last but not least, Vancouver has a shrine to two of my favorite musicians -- Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley. It doesn't open until June, so I could only pose outside. I'll be back.

Have a colorful day

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Eating at Sew Day

Linda J. served us a hootenanny for breakfast at Sew Day today! A hootenanny is a big pancake baked in the oven, and it tasted absolutely delicious. Served with turkey bacon and a fruit salad, it was a great way to get started. The breakfast table, below, was colorful, as usual.

After breakfast, we all sat around the dining room table doing hand stitching. Four of us were doing wool appliqué and Linda was doing regular turn-under-the-edges appliqué with cotton. I didn't get good pictures, which is why I'm focusing on the food and the garden.

Carolynn, Linda P., Linda J., and Nancy at lunch.
Lunch was on the patio, celebrating the return of the sun and warm temperatures after a long, grey winter and spring. Everything was blooming and looking beautiful.

Okay, to make this post a little sewing related, here's a chair and foot stool that Linda covered after taking a class at a local fabric store.

And here are some very small buttons that Nancy bought over the weekend at Button, Button in Vancouver, B.C.

 Have a colorful day

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Why I whip stitch wool appliqué first

Just embellished a flower pot with perle cotton cross stitches and outlined it in a chain stitch. Next, I'll add some veins to the leaves. Everything is whip stitched down in the bunny block below, awaiting embellishment. 

Why whip stitch?

A friend recently brought up the subject of whether whip stitching wool appliqué pieces is necessary or if it makes more sense to just tack everything down with embroidery stitches or other means. Here's why I like to do a tiny whip stitch first with one strand of embroidery floss:

* It holds everything very neatly in place, with no pokies.

* It allows me to embellish with embroidery without having to worry about catching in the edges of the appliqué to hold them down. I also don't have to worry about being stuck with appliqué pins.

* It tends to "gather in" each piece so it looks almost like trapunto, especially after it's surrounded by embroidery.

* Most important, to me, is that it's mindless and meditative. I love whip stitching as much as I do embellishing. Sometimes the mindless, no decisions needed part is even better than thinking about how I want to embellish.

Not trying to change anyone's mind, just offering my reasons for loving the often overlooked little whip stitch.

Have a colorful day

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

Hope you're all having a Happy Mother's Day. My mother is in California, so I talked to her on the phone and then went back through my photos to pull a few of my favorites of her. She loves doughnuts, which is why she looks so happy in the first photo. The second one is of her and my dad celebrating her birthday.

I did get to spend the weekend with my daughter, who drove six hours, mostly in the rain, to see me! My son is in Wisconsin, so that was another phone call.

Julia and I went to the botanical gardens in Tacoma this weekend.

Keith and his wife, Rachel, in Florida.

And of course, Julia brought my grandchildren home for the visit -- Bunners, Charlie and Bailey got a lot of snuggles all weekend.

Last but not least, the guy who made it possible for me to become a mom:

Revisiting our marriage site.

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

STITCH and pink projects

Lemon squares, strawberries and grapes await.

I hosted STITCH yesterday and got photos of color in my kitchen before the meeting but ended up not getting pictures of all the colorful, inspirational show-and-tells. 

I kept wanting to take pictures, but I didn't want to interrupt the flow by asking people to stop while I clicked. Pieces get passed around and then quickly tucked away, and before you know it the next person is up. Now I'm kicking myself because there were so many exciting pieces. Oh well, next time. It was a nice, relaxing meeting with good friends and sunshine.

I put out some flowery placemats that I made decades ago and clipped some lush, pink rhodies from the yard.

Continuing the pink theme, here are the two wool appliqué blocks-of-the-month that I'm working on for my Woolies group. I'm whip stitching the pieces down and then I'll embellish them with embroidery and beads.

Have a colorful day

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Port Gamble quilt show and Sujata Shah talk

View from my lunch table at the General Store!
The Port Gamble Fiber and Fabric Show is where I spent Saturday, and the weather cooperated with sparkling sun and beautiful views of the water.

After browsing through the quilts at the show, I headed over to The Quilted Strait, in the photo above in an old stable, for a lecture and trunk show by Indian-American quilter Sujata Shah. It was great!

Sujata grew up in India, surrounded by glorious colors. (When she moved to the San Francisco area at age 22 she said she struggled with the grey.) 

Her talk focused on the influence of these colors and patterns on her current art. She loves the beauty of the imperfection of hand work, so her quilt blocks are purposely not perfect, with points that are cut off and curved lines instead of straight. This creates a wonderful sense of movement lacking in many perfectly geometrical quilts.

Here are a few of the quilts she showed during the talk.

I bought a copy of her book, "Cultural Fusion Quilts," and eagerly devoured it while I waited for my almond-crusted French toast at the General Store restaurant.

Next, I wandered through the vendors scattered throughout the little town. I hit the jackpot for wool because Darlene Sabo of Olympic Wool Works in Port Angeles was there with stacks and stacks of luscious wool that she hand dyed. She sells on Etsy at

I couldn't decide between her spring and tropical bundles, above, so I bought both! I also bought a fat quarter of marbled wool, below, which I'd never seen before. It was really hard to pick out just one color, but I use orange a lot so I went with that.

At The Quilted Strait, I had a $25 credit to use so I bought a selection of hand-dyed perle cotton embroidery thread by Weeks Dye Works I use that for embellishing my wool appliqué.

From a local vendor whose business card I lost (she was really nice, so I feel bad about that), I bought   a length of hand-dyed silk ribbon, also to use in embellishing quilts.

Another vendor was selling little pieces of wool for 45 cents, so I selected a few. But the biggest thrill of the day was being given my very own pink pussy hat at the Artful Ewe II. The woman said she was giving them for free to anyone who would wear one, so I put mine on and didn't get a second glance (as far as I know) as I walked back to the car with it on. She's given out more than 300 so far.

p.s.  Here's my quilt, "Just for Fun," which was in the show. I heavily embellished it with hand embroidery and beading, "just for fun."

And here is a view looking out from inside the quilt show. It's a popular wedding site in the summer.

Have a colorful day