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

Friday, November 30, 2018

Christmas decorating is done!

I finally finished the decorating, and I only used a fraction of my holiday stuff. I didn't put out a single ornament this year, nor did I use the bag of red berry branches or the sleigh or the glittery bows and tablecloths. It's a relief not to have so much STUFF out!

You might also notice that there is no big tree. For the past 13 years or so, since the kids left home, I've switched to scattering little trees throughout the house, with little white lights but no ornaments. It makes me feel like I'm in a winter forest.

Here's the entry way, with a quilt that I made more than 20 years ago and just had quilted recently. It's the Jewel Box pattern.

Moving into the living room, we hung white icicle lights (my favorite decoration) in the bay window. I think of them as stars dancing inside.

This year's mantel is simple, with just a lighted garland, a bunny stocking holder ...

... and some brass deer from my daughter's vintage shop.

I still use the stocking that my aunt knit for me when I was little, and now it's joined by the stocking that my mother knit for my daughter. The moths got into both of them and I need to make some repairs.

The dining room is my Christmas card work shop.

I cut back this year to 76 cards instead of the usual 90, but I'm sure I'll think of some more people to send them to before the season is over. I love doing holiday cards!

In the kitchen, our little snowman family watches over us from atop a bookcase and my wooly reindeer hangs beside the kitchen door.


I put my wool winter village by the sewing room. I made it early on in my wool applique days, before I started adding beads. It looks sort of bare without the glitter. Maybe I'll rectify that some cold winter night!

Have a colorful day

Thursday, November 29, 2018

November color block

November was many shades of gold and brown, with swaths of glowing orange trees and more blue skies than I expected. I sewed everything down with yellow-orange thread.

Here are the photos that inspired the block:

And here is the year so far,
with only December left to go!

Have a colorful day

Monday, November 26, 2018


My plan was to get the house decorated for Christmas today before doing anything else, but I'm burning out. Every time we move to a new house -- like this year -- I have to rethink where to put all the decorations. It stresses me out, so every year I put up less and less.

And today when I unpacked my battery-operated candles, I discovered that they had melted and reformed while in storage into weird shapes. This one looks more like a bone than a candle.

So I took a break to print the photos for my November color block ...

... and to pull together the fabric for it.

Then I hung Christmas towels in the bathrooms and took another break to stitch a little on my latest wool project.

Now I'm stymied because the extension cords, which I need for the lights, are packed away at my husband's shop; the melted candles need batteries; and I remembered that last year as I packed to move to the new house I gave away all of my fake pine branches, which I need for my arrangements. So now I have to either clip some real ones (but it's pouring rain) or buy more.

I think I'll just pour another glass of iced tea and do some more stitching.

Have a colorful day

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Catching up

Here's a little roundup of the past week, starting with scenes from the beautiful Gig Harbor waterfront, then our neighborhood nature and finally inside our home for Thanksgiving.

Last weekend, Dave and I walked the harbor on a sunny, crisp fall day. Mt. Rainier was out and the big fishing boats were lined up. We were there for the Chum Festival, which celebrates the salmon coming home to spawn. Blue and white dominated.

I also try to walk daily in the neighborhood, and here the colors are mainly green and gold.

Moving inside, here are a couple of pictures from Thanksgiving. The group shot is tilted and blurry, but Dave managed to get us all in with help from the selfie stick. That's me at the far end and that's a wool applique table runner that I made from a Sue Spargo pattern.

We served buffet style, with hot dishes lined up on the kitchen counter. Everything was delicious (burp), and now I need to go on longer walks to work it off.

Next up: Christmas lights!

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Sewing and cooking

I mentioned in my last Woolies post that Pam let us use her needle case patterns for new projects. I made a Christmas one with red and green wool and a snowflake/scissors fabric inside. Here's the front (above) and the inside.

The pattern uses a tab with snaps to secure the scissors, but I used a strip of ribbon for tying the scissors in because it was easier.

Here's the pattern:

In other sewing news, I'm still working on my Fresh Cut wool blocks. I've whip stitched the appliqu├ęs down in this block, and now I'm adding embroidery and beads. 

I used French knots to attach the rickrack.

And in kitchen news, I'm starting the Thanksgiving side dishes. These roasted sweet potatoes will soon be in the traditional casserole. 

I've been hosting almost every year for 20 years! Thankfully, Dave does the bird and gravy, guests bring side dishes, appetizers or desserts, and I fill in with anything else that's needed. This year I'm making the dressing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, mulled cranberry-apple cider and pumpkin and chocolate pecan pies. And Dave is also making Oysters Rockefeller for an appetizer, since we do live in the land of shellfish.

It's supposed to rain on Thanksgiving, but today is sunny and crisp -- a perfect fall day. I should take a walk later in preparation for all the calories I'll consume on Thursday.

Have a colorful day

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Linda P.'s quilts

Linda P. hosted Sew Day this week, so I thought I'd feature some of her quilts. 

Her home is warm and inviting, and so are her quilts. I just love the colorful one with its wavy, organic strips of solids hanging above the fireplace in her living room.

Here is Linda with one of her two new kitties in front of her kitty cat quilt in the family room.

Her wool applique butterfly quilt is from a 2017 block of the month project, "Butterflies In My Garden,"  by Gail Grassell of River's Edge Antiques and Quilt Loft. The blocks were offered on the Wool Applique Facebook group.

Linda designed this pumpkin quilt, with falling leaves and warm, fall colors. The piece below also features leaves, but this time with shadows. It was from a class by Colleen Wise.

The next quilt says Christmas to me, and features warm, cozy Thimbleberry colors.

Getting wilder, this folded log cabin uses vibrant jewel tones set off by black.

She made this elegant fabric bowl in a class with Hilde Morin ... warmth and elegance.

Linda also collects Featherweights, and she repainted this one in a luscious burgundy/plum color.

Thanks, Linda, for allowing me to feature you! 

 Have a colorful day

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Craft tour of Ireland

As promised yesterday, here is my blog post on Mary's visit to Ireland through the group Craft Tours. Check out their website at

Another one of the Woolies members took a Craft Tour trip to Bali and said it was wonderful. They offer trips all over the world and the prices include oodles of tours, classes, lectures and shopping related to a certain craft, plus air fare (except your local leg), nice hotel accommodations, transportation and some meals.

Mary went to Ireland in October and said the weather was beautiful and that it looked just like these cards.

She bought this set of luscious wool at one of the places on the tour. 

She also learned how to needle felt and made this cute piece of sheep grazing in an Irish field.

The trip was jam packed with tours of gardens, castles and historical sites as well as wool-related activities. 

And now I'm dreaming about taking one of their trips one of these years.

Have a colorful day