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

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

October color block

Here are the pictures for my October block. They're heavy on gold, orange and reddish-orange leaves, plus some brilliant blue skies as well as grey clouds and fog. And the ever-present green of the Northwest.

Here are the fabrics I pulled out to pick up the colors in the photos. I realized that I hardly have any red in my stash, and what I have is too red-red to use. I like red in other people's quilts, but for my own work it's usually too bold and feels too aggressive.

Here is the finished block, minus the red leaves. I used yellow-orange thread for the quilting because that color seemed to predominate this month. Onward to November!

 Have a colorful day

Sunday, October 28, 2018

A fine fall day on the Nisqually River Delta

The Feet & Forks' latest adventure was a hike yesterday along the trails of the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge near Olympia, WA, in perfect fall weather.

I suggested that they each hide behind a big-leaf maple leaf for a photo, and when they lifted the leaves in place the sun magically shone through. The leaves of the Acer macrophyllum, also known as the big-leaf maple or Oregon maple, grow up to one foot in width and height.

The Nisqually River Delta is formed where the freshwater of the river combines with the saltwater of the Puget Sound to form an estuary rich in nutrients, supporting an incredible variety of animal and plant life. I recognized geese, seagulls, eagles, owls, swallows, buffleheads, ducks and a coyote. 

Most major estuaries in Washington have been filled, dredged or developed, but this one was set aside for wildlife in 1974. The estuary was restored in 2009 by removing dikes and reconnecting 762 acres with the tides of the Puget Sound.

The black spot to the upper right of the tree is an eagle that circled with two others before landing on the top branch.

A mile-long boardwalk allows visitors to walk out over the delicate tidelands and marshes.

Part of the boardwalk trail.
Lenticular clouds over Mt. Rainier.
The light gave us a soft, blue sky that morning, although by the end of the walk rain clouds were moving in and the birds became eerily silent. By the time we got to a restaurant for lunch, it was pouring buckets.

The official name of the area is the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Billy Frank (1931-2014) was a Nisqually Indian, fisherman and civil rights leader. He dedicated his life to protecting and celebrating the traditions of native people and to ensuring that future generations were surrounded by abundant, healthy natural resources. I'm so grateful that his work and that of others gave us this treasure.

 Lunch was at McNamara's Pub in DuPont. 
Thai chicken flatbread for me.

Have a colorful day

Friday, October 26, 2018

Heeeere's Linda J. from Sew Day!

Linda J. hosted Sew Day yesterday, and as I looked at all of the quilts on her walls I decided she needs her own blog post. I'm starting with her latest quilt, a wonky log cabin with text fabric in the centers that she sewed at a recent retreat. It's not quite done yet.

Here are some others, in no particular order. She uses bold colors, often accented with black.

This is Linda's original design
inspired by the challenge theme of "This Is Me."

Folded log cabins.

A Linda original inspired by Libby Lehman.

These next two show some of the special men in her life: her husband, Troy the golfer, and her dad and uncle.

Next up is her sewing room, which is painted in a delicious color that was inspired by the valance. Take a look at the chandeliers! Notice how she worked the chandeliers into her "This Is Me" quilt.

Can't forget the lunch that she fixed for us. It was a colorful Mexican fiesta with quesadillas and all the toppings, plus a platter of four different kinds of desserts (which I somehow forgot to photograph).

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

New stitch, new project, Comfort Quilts

I played this morning with a new stitch that I learned from Sue Spargo's book. It's called the "needle weave bar" and it's quick and easy! 

You just stitch two long bars about an eighth or quarter inch apart and as long as you want the finished stitch to be ...

Then bring the needle up at one end, halfway between the bars, and use the blunt end of the needle to weave the thread back and forth between the bars.

I also like the lacy look of this flower created with x's and French knots. It's from Sue's Fresh Cut pattern which I'm working on.

Yesterday I stitched some Christmas presents, but since they're presents I can only show you a small part. I used some fabric that I painted eons ago. 

Then, for another shot of color, I stopped in at Comfort Quilts on my way home from yoga today and took some pictures of the most colorful tops:

Have a colorful day

Monday, October 22, 2018

Hurricane Ridge hike and Port Townsend

Dave and I went hiking over the weekend at Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park. Even though it's almost November, it was warm, sunny and summerlike. The altitude is only 5,242 feet, which helped keep it warm.

Besides the blue mountains and sky and dark green trees, there was a surprising amount of gold from dry grasses and other dry plants glowing in the sun. It's been a dry season out here.

We only hiked a few miles, but it was a steep uphill climb that had my heart pounding. From the summit of our trail we had spectacular views.

Then it was a much easier descent and a stop in Port Townsend for refreshment. Dave's beer glowed through my water glass, almost the same gold as the dried grasses on the mountain.

After a late lunch and drinks, we wandered out onto a pier to watch the boats on this brilliant sunny Sunday.

Fall color was in abundance, but it was hard to get photos from the moving car. 

On the way out we stopped at the Quilted Strait in Port Gamble and I scooped up some luscious colors to work into my new wool applique quilt.

Have a colorful day