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

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Real Yoga Girls of Gig Harbor

Last year I made the "Yoga Girls" quilt. Today I'm showing you the REAL yoga girls who I hang out with about three days a week at yoga class at the Y and then afterward at Starbucks. (Not all of them every time, but there's usually at least five or six of us around the table, and sometimes eight or nine.)

We had a potluck at my house last weekend and it was fun to see everyone in party clothes instead of yoga garb. 

I told them to bring colorful food, and they did!

Besides lying on our backs at yoga, we girls have each others' backs in life. Over the years we've shared marriages, births, cancer, injuries, graduations, vacations, books and what to fix for dinner. 

What really brings us together is going to "javasana" at Starbucks for an hour or so after each class. "Java" is for coffee and "asana" is for yoga pose. We usually spend an hour or so, but sometimes in the dark rainy winter months it stretches out long into the afternoon. Why go out into the gloom when you can while away the hours with friends?

(My dress is by blogger friend Judy Sall, otherwise known as Tie Dye Judy. It's really cool and comfy.)

Wait, this isn't a yoga girl! It's Pam's husband, but he made it onto the blog because of his sunny shoes, shirt and smile. We invited husbands to the party, even though they don't go to yoga.

So here's to the yoga girls!


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:

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