Welcome to tierneycreates: a fusion of textiles & smiles

Me and my fellow blogger and quilting companion, Sassy.

Me and my fellow blogger Sassy the highly opinionated miniature schnauzer

Thanks for visiting my blog and I look forward to your comments and thoughts on my posts.

My blog is focuses on the aspects of “A Quilter’s Life” and discusses topics such as sources of creative inspiration, what’s on my design wall, quality of life, quilting adventures, artistic growth, books that inspire me and all things related to handmade textile crafts!

The “Tierney” page shares my story and the Textile Adventures section  has links to my Exhibits and Shows, Art for Sale, and Gallery of my work.

My rescue miniature schnauzer, Sassy, the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer now has her own blog Schnauzer Snips at schnauzersnips.wordpress.com 

If you have questions or want to contact me, please use the form on the Questions page, thanks!

I also manage the blog for Improvisational Textiles a collaborative collection of art quilts.

Fusing Textiles & Smiles!

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Slow Stitching

I decided to hand quilt the piece I am working on for our Central Oregon Art Quilting Group’s annual themed group exhibit. The previous post, What’s on the Design Wall, I shared images of this piece in progress.

I rarely hand quilt. As far as hand quilting an entire quilt, I think I tried that once or twice in my life and hated it. I grew inpatient. It seemed to go on forever…endless repetitive stitches.

I am that way with machine quilting and this is why in the past I have preferred to send my quilts for professional quilting. If I was patient, perhaps I could become a decent machine quilter (perhaps) but it just seems to take so long and i just want it to be done.

But, for some reason, I am really enjoying hand quilting this 18″ x 40″ art quilt made from all recycled materials (jeans, sweat pants, corduroy pants, tweed jumper, a curtain, etc.). It is very meditative and pleasurable. I love seeing the stitches sink into the fabric and relishing the slow process. I am loving: Slow Stitching.

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Slow-Stitching in progress

Maybe it is the point I am in life. Maybe I have quieted down enough in my head and in my spirit to be able to enjoy slow meditative work. I am not going to overthink it, I am just going to embrace a potential new evolution.

More photos to come as I complete my hand quilting. The name is still up in the air but I am now thinking “Recycled Road” (keeping with this year’s theme of “Pathways). I still need to write my Artist Statement to know the final name. But that is a month or two away. No hurry. Just time to sit and stitch quietly in the evenings.*

*Why yes, of course I am going to sneak in a couple more projects – my mind won’t completely slow down enough to focus on just one project at a time!


Postscript

Something funny (and perhaps only funny to me) just popped into my head:

Instead of this post being part of my “What on the Design Wall” series, it could be part of a new series “What’s on my Lap“!

Okay that was very lame hand quilting humor (but I cannot always control the talking hamster spinning about on the hamster wheel I call a mind).

Speaking of “hamster wheels in our heads”, recently I read a fantastic article by Quinn McDonald (quinncreative.com) in the latest SAQA Journal, titled “Fool your mind into doing art – instead of laundry” (SAQA Journal, 2017, No. 1).

In this article, the author shares an example of a familiar situation for us crafters: You plan a day (say a Saturday) dedicated to working on craft projects, however before getting started in your studio, you run a couple of errands, maybe throw in some laundry, all the time telling yourself you will still have plenty of time that day for crafting…

But, before you know it, your day entire day of planned time in your studio has ended.

In addition to discussing the challenges with having a lack of discipline – “the kind of discipline that helps you stay focused”, the author also discusses the problem of having too many choices.

I am closing this post with a quote from article that gave me something to about in regards to having too many choices (like which quilting/crafting project to work on):

“Having too many choice derails creativity. You’d think all those choices would be good for your creativity. At the brainstorming stage, it’s helpful to have many ideas. But when you get to execution, too many ideas are dangerous time-wasters. Getting to the studio and getting the creative work done requires fewer, not more, possibilities.” – Quinn McDonald


Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s musings on her blog Schnauzer Snips!

What’s on the Design Wall

It’s time to continue my ongoing series, What’s on the Design Wall, on what I have on either the small design wall in my studio or the large design wall in my  hallway.

I am taking a break from working on Farm Girl Vintage blocks, and began working on my art quilt for our annual Central Oregon SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) exhibit. Last year our theme was Doors, and here was my art quilt for the group exhibit – Recycled Door:

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Recycled Door (2016). Designed and pieced by Tierney Davis Hogan, quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe

For more on the group exhibit see the posts 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show Part II and First Friday Art Walk 09/02/16.

For 2017, our theme is “Pathways”. Inspired by a SAQA online workshop I attend on “Working in a Series” and Elizabeth Barton’s book Visual Guide to Working in a Series: Next Steps in Inspired Design (2014), I want to repeat most of the fabrics used in Recycled Door (2016) and developed the art quilts from my annual participation in our SAQA group’s annual exhibit, into a series.

Recycled Door (2016) was created with all recycled fabric – used clothing and recycled home decor fabric scraps. See the post Blog Tour Day 4: Unlikely Materials for a list of materials used.

I am repeating the same recycled materials for this year’s art quilt and adding two additional fabrics for the 2017 piece: 1) the fabric from a pair of recycled sweat pants; and 2) a recycled curtain.  Tentatively I am naming it  Recycled Pathway. (I will have to complete the piece and draft up my Artist Statement before I decide on the final title).

My 2017 piece will be truly “recycled” art –  in addition to using recycled fabrics (including fabrics from the 2016 piece), this quilt is being created from recycling of blocks made for another art quilt I started for another project – Sherri Lynn Wood’s (The Improve Handbook for Modern Quilters) Make Do Challenge (#makedoquilt). Please see the 09/13/17 post Make Do Quilt Challenge for photos of the progress I made on the piece (which I eventually abandoned because I was stuck and honestly just did not like it).

Since my improvisational pieced blocks for the #makedoquilt were just not going anywhere (except to gather dust in back of the closet), I cut it apart to reimagine it for the 2017 Central Oregon SAQA exhibit.

Here are photos of my progress “Recycled Pathway” (tentative name), on the small design wall in my studio. I am using the dark gray recycled sweat pants fabric to border my “pathway”piecing of recycled denims, curtain, tweed jumper, gold home decor fabric and orange corduroy pants:

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The completed piece will measure approximately 18″ x 40″. I plan to be bold and either machine quilt or hand quilt the piece myself.

Here are the basket of recycled clothing scraps I am working from:

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I really like working with the recycled sweat pants and I want to incorporate the “wrong side” of the sweat pants fabric into the piece also as I love the texture:

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More to come, I was happy to be visited by Inspiration today in order to start this new piece. Also it was fun to return to working on some improvisational art quilt making!

 

Recycled Plastic Bags…Become a Bag!

Yesterday a friend surprised me with a gift – a large sturdy tote bag made from recycled grocery store plastic bags by a very talented crafter friend of hers!

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It measures approximately 18″ x 12″ x 18″ and appears to be made using a crochet technique. Here is a photo of the bottom and if you crochet the pattern might look familiar:

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Just how study is it? Well you can transport a Pom-Chi in it!

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Imagine how many plastic bags get recycled to make this bag!

The friend who gave it to me (who also recently adopted the senior Pomeranian-Chihuaha, Chewy) mentioned that her friend who makes these has a huge ball of plastic grocery bag twine in her studio. The artist first makes plastic bags into twine/plastic yarn before crocheting (?) them into bags. She also makes mats/rugs from recycled grocery bags.

I am very excited about my new bag!

How awesome to go from this:

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To this*:

*Adorable dog in a cute sweater not included.

Minimalism.Life

After 3+ years of writing on my tierneycreates blog, I thought it would be fun to reach out to other online publications. A new online publication, Minimalism.life invited me to write a short essay summarizing my minimalism journey in 250 – 300 words.

My article, “Living as a demi-minimalist”, was published in their newsletter today (Letter No. 8). Below is the link:

Living as a demi-minimalist

This new online journal, Minimalism.life, was developed in partnership with The Minimalists who I have followed via their blog for several years, listened to their weekly podcasts, read their books and saw their movie (now on Netflix) – Minimalism: A documentary about the important things.

So I am honored to share a little of my journey in this publication!

The Napkin Story

In my previous post Farm Girl Vintage, Part III I mentioned my past challenges with nearly OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) level of desire for order and neatness in my life.

When we lived in Seattle, WA I used to entertain, a lot. Game nights, holiday get-togethers at my house, random dinner parties, birthday party hosting, baby shower hosting, work parties, etc., etc. I was very social – and if I was not throwing party, I was attending a party or going to some event. Notice, I mentioned that “I” was very social, as I learned years later, Terry the Quilting Husband was only playing along, he would have preferred more quiet time at home with me and the dogs. (There is the Thanksgiving he always teases me about – when we out of obligation, courtesy and my desire, attended 3 – 4 Thanksgiving celebrations at various friends’ homes all in one day!)

I enjoyed the gatherings, but when I hosted it was secretly very stressful as I always wanted to have everything  absolutely perfect for my guests. I would spend hours before hosting a party making sure everything was perfect. I would read magazine articles about tips for being the perfect host (Martha Stewart in her heyday would have been proud…or perhaps have some concerns about my sanity).

One of the “perfect host” tips was to have a perfectly set table. I always kept a perfectly set dining room table, even when no one was coming over to dine. All the plates, flatware, and cloth napkins perfectly arranged (at least I refrained from keeping glassware set out to gather dust…) in anticipation for the next get together.

The cloth napkins, oh the cloth napkins. They were always freshly pressed, perfectly arranged in their napkin rings and never to be used. Yes, you read correctly, never to be used.

When people came over for dinner, I would pull out disposable napkins and place them next to the cloth napkins. I did not realize how much weirdness this was, but my friends quietly accepted my weirdness and would use the paper napkins while the cloth napkins remained untouched.

Then my sister visited…

My younger sister Rianna is awesome and has helped me evolve to a more “chilled-out” person. I had a dinner party in her honor when she visited with some of my closest Seattle friends.

Rianna did not know of my “napkin weirdness” and sat down at the dining table to eat and proceeded to remove the cloth napkin from its napkin ring and place it on her lap.

A hush fell over the dining room table…

My sister tells the story much better than I but it was like she had climbed on top of the table and started dancing through our plates of food – it was that shocking to me and my other guests (who unfortunately I had obviously trained to accept my weirdness). I am sure I behaved very tensely for a moment but I had no choice but to see the silliness of the situation – being upset that someone was actually using a cloth napkin I had set out on the table.

My sister was patient and understanding (though she thought it was hysterical once she realized what happened). When she returned home from her visit she sent me a HUGE collection of cloth napkins and kindly suggested I actually USE them.

Fast forward many years. Now having embraced minimalism, living with less, and a desire to be thoughtful to the environment, I have completely given up paper napkins and only use cloth napkins!

As you can see from the photo below, they are very well used. We even use napkins several times before throwing them into the washing machine (unless we have a really messy meal).

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We do not entertain like we used to and we are very happy with that (notice I said “we” – Terry the Quilting Husband is over the moon that he gets to mainly spend time hanging out with just me and the dogs).

I still keep my house fairly neat and I like things in order. If you read my series of posts on My Minimalism Journey you will see that I have much less things (so they are even easier to keep in order – ha!). I accept that order makes me happy but I try not to be obsessed about it and continually try to let go of perfection (I no longer iron my cloth napkins and I donated all my napkin rings to a local charity thrift shop!)


Postscript

Paper Towels

As I was thinking about writing this post, one of my blogging buddies who writes an awesome blog about living thrifty, @Devise.Create.Connect, posted this about paper towels: THINGS I DON’T BUY ANYMORE TO SAVE MONEY: PAPER TOWELS.

I realized that in addition to using cloth napkins, we also switched to using old tea towels and old wash cloths to clean the house; and crocheted washcloths for dishes. We keep a supply of paper towels for anything super messy and for draining fat/oil when cooking (i.e. for bacon).

We used to go through a lot of paper towels and now a roll of paper towels seems to last us forever.

Signs of Spring

It feels like it has been an endless Winter, but yesterday in my neighbor’s garden, I witnessed signs of Spring! The crocus are popping up:

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The Easter Schnauzer Bunny?

This probably belongs on Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s blog, Schnauzer Snips, but Terry and I were at the grocery store on Friday and came across this in the Easter display:

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Yes, nestled among the stuffed animal rabbits, chickens (or is that a duck?) and sheep, was an “Easter Schnaubunny”. No we did not buy it, as tempting as it was!

Farm Girl Vintage, Part III

I am not a farm girl but I am strangely in love with Lori Holt’s Farm Girl Vintage quilt block book. I recently finished 3 more blocks from her book.

There are 45 blocks in the book, arranged in alphabetical order, and I have finished 9 different blocks so far (3 of the blocks I made two of, so I actually have 12 in total completed). Here is a link to my most recent previous post:  Farm Girl Vintage, Part II and Recent Audiobook Delights.

I am working through the blocks in alphabetical order. Here are the latest blocks I’ve completed:

Chicken Foot Block

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Churn Dash Block

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Cool Threads Block

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I am having a blast selecting from my pull of fabrics (see post Farm Girl Vintage, Part I) for this project as in the example below when I prepared fabrics for the Cool Threads Block:

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Technically this post would be part of my What’s on the Design Wall series/category of posts, so here are the blocks on the small design wall in my studio (in a future post I will share a photo of all the blocks up on the large design wall in my hallway):

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9 blocks down, 36 more to go! If you want to see a photo of most of the blocks, the Fat Quarter Shop blog has a posting on Farm Girl Vintage Sewing Along – scroll down to the “Farm Girl Vintage Schedule” section.

(No need to panic for me if you read my recent post Quilt Studio Archaeology and Purge, Part III which focused on my “Fat Quarter Pathology”. I was not on the Fat Quarter Shop website to shop for more fat quarters, it was just a resource I found to see all the blocks posted on the web in one spot!)


Postscript

Here is an update on my most recent The Library Stack post.

One of my blogging buddies @Handmade Habit had a post with a wonderful sounding  book suggestion – Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting, edited by Ann Hood. I reserved it at my beloved local public library and picked it up the other day along with a couple additional books for my mega stack:

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This book is an anthology of inspirational knitting related short stories by popular authors and included stories by two of my favorite authors: Barbara Kingsolver and Ann Patchett. The book also includes a couple knitting patterns.

One of the early stories in the anthology is by Elizabeth Berg and she shares this passage that I feel embodies the core sentiments that are the foundation of handmade gift giving:

I made this for you. 

I thought of you while I made it.

I guess I kind of love you.

A book already in the stack was the fabulous book by Mary Randolph Carter – A Perfectly Kept House in the Sign of a Misspent Life. I am a notoriously neat housekeeper (and trained Terry the Quilting Husband to be so too), occasionally to the borders of OCD-levels of neatness. I have learned to chill over the years (in a future post I will share The Napkin Story) and the book is further supporting my ongoing progress on being more balanced.

I love this quote in the book by Dame Rose Macaulay:

At the worst, a house unkept cannot be so distressing as a life unlived.

I still have a lot of the rest library stack to get through – warm up the kettle!

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Feature photo credit: Paul Kearley, free images.com

Quilt Studio Archaeology and Purge, Part III

This post is a continuation of yesterday’s post: Quilt Studio Archeology and Purging, Part II.

How well do we know each other? Are we at the point that I can bare my soul and share with you my deepest secrets? Can we talk about “Fat Quarter Pathology” (and can you try not to judge…okay you can judge a little..I deserve it…)

But before I bare my fat quarter hoarding soul here’s a couple definitions so we are all on the same page:

Fat Quarter – a quarter yard of fabric cut into a rectangle that measures 18″ x 21″, commonly packaged with other fat quarters into a themed fat quarter pack.

Pathology – any deviation from a healthy, normal, or efficient condition (Dictionary.com)

Are you ready? Alright here is my darkest fabric hoarding secret…

Fat Quarter Pathology

When I started quilting around 1999/2000 and discovered the magic of fabric shopping, I also discovered my love of little “fabric samples”. I was not into collecting scraps yet (or making many scraps as I only had a quilt or two under my belt). I was intimidated to buy a bunch of yardage when I saw a fabric collection I liked, but I did like buying a fat quarter bundle of the fabric collection that gave me a sample of many of the different fabrics in a collection.

This attraction to fat quarter bundles (usually or 6 – 8 fabrics) morphed into an attraction of fat quarters in general, including individually fat quarters. Quilt shops would display baskets of individual fat quarters and sell them in “baker’s dozens” so if you bought 12 you got 1 free.

Perhaps I only need a couple fat quarters (or likely none) but how could I turn down getting ONE free. So I would buy 12 to get the 13th free (makes sense, huh?)

Fat quarter bundles for a future project, individual fat quarters, fat quarters given to me as gifts, fat quarters won at Quilter’s Bingo, fat quarter found at thrift shops, and more, and more and more fat quarters…

I kept them organized, I kept them…IN THE CLOSET:

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I knew as part of the Quilt Studio “Archaeological Dig” I needed to go beyond just looking through them in their containers, I needed to go through them, find the treasures I wanted to keep and let go of what I would never use. I always try to keep lessons from Marie Kondo’s book – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing in mind.

Marie Kondo says you have to actually look at and hold every single item you own in your hands and decide if it is brings you joy. Every single item.

I knew I needed to go through every fat quarter. Then I needed to create a better system to store them which encouraged me to use them, not just try to create the world’s first Fat Quarter Museum.

The big step first – go through every fat quarter – here is my secret revealed – it was all laid out in the huge pile on my floor:

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I am a fat quarter hoarder!

There it is, now you know. Watch for my story on a future episode of the American TV show Hoarders (there was a UK version of this show but I forgot the name of it). I will be the one sleeping in a mattress in the corner surrounded by piles and piles of fat quarters. The Health Department will send a public health worker for an intervention…

But seriously, I was shocked at the sheer volume of the amount of fat quarters I had in my collection. I just kept accumulating them. I had purged a little in the past but obviously not enough to make a dent.

The Intervention

Similar to what you might see on a reality show about hoarding, I had to get honest with myself, deal with this pile and then find a meaningful way to organize what I kept.

Previously I organized my scraps by color (see post When all else fails, reorganize your fabric scraps) and I tend to think in colors rather than in fabric lines or fabric collections when I am working on a textile project, so I decided to organize the fat quarters I was keeping into the following groups:

  • Black, white, black & white patterns, and gray
  • Creams and fabrics where cream to light beige is the predominant color
  • Browns
  • Yellows
  • Oranges
  • Reds
  • Purples
  • Greens
  • Blues
  • Teals & Turquoises (I struggle with sorting these into blues or greens so I decided to just let them be their own group)

Interesting, the colors I had the most of in fat quarters, also reflected the colors I had the most of in my fabric yardage:

  1. Green
  2. Blue
  3. Red & Orange (tied)

I cleared out another standing storage drawer set and arranged the fat quarters in drawer set so I could easily access them. I also had to use the bottom drawer of another drawer set for the Blues.

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When I dumped out the fat quarters from their previous containers, I pre-sorted them by color into piles on the floor (see photo above). When I put them away by color, I looked at EACH fat quarter and made a decision whether to keep or donate.

Here was my criteria:

  1. Do I love this fabric and do I find it visually pleasing?
  2. Is it high quality quilting cotton (when I first started quilting, I would only buy inexpensive fabric at chain craft stores)?
  3. Would I use it in a future project and is it still my style (our tastes change over the years)?

Using this criteria I was able to pull out many fat quarters for donation:

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At one point I likely loved all the fat quarters shown in the donation pile above but not any longer – there is no joy for me in that pile!

Epilogue

Now that this project is over, I know I do not need to add any more fat quarters to my life (as I appear to have enough for several lifetimes!)

If you have followed my blog for a while you likely know a little about my minimalism journey and my quest to curate my life with only those items that bring me joy. I have removed and donated so much from my life such as household items, trinkets and kitsch and clothing (I probably own only 25% of the clothes I used to own).

The challenge with my craft supplies is that they BRING ME JOY and I think this is why I have saved this deeper dive into my crafting related supplies for last.

Another bit of Marie Kondo always in the back of my mind:

The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.

So fat quarters I no longer love – be gone! I am not going to worry about the money lost for bringing you into my life. I hope via my local thrift shop you will find your way into some other crafter’s life who will appreciate you (or perhaps hoard you in their collection, oh no….).

Thanks for letting me share with you my true confessions and my ongoing journey to curate my life to only the things that are useful and bring me joy.

Quilt Studio Archeology and Purging, Part II

I consider myself an organized person. I try to keep everything nicely organized in my crafting area.

However it is just organized clutter.

In two recent posts Quilting Studio Archaeology and Quilt Studio Closet Purge I discuss going through the stuff in my sewing area with a critical eye and beginning to purge. Perhaps “quilting studio archaeology” is not the most appropriate term as over the past couple of days I have been engaged in Crafting Archeology.

You see, I am not just a quilter. I am also:

  • A paper crafter (card making)
  • A beader/jewelry crafting
  • A knitter
  • A crocheter
  • A small fabric craft maker (bags, potholders, pillows, etc.)
  • A various miscellaneous crafter (like my foray into felting…)

Each craft involves related paraphernalia and supplies. I had all of them organized in the closet in my studio, along with sewing fabric:

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Above the closet doors is this a painted sign a friend gave me as a gift – Simplify. I kept this is mind as I go through everything left in the closet and make some honest decisions. I had already purged my unloved knitting, crocheting, and beading supplies. I have avoided until now my card making supplies, random crafting supplies and my fabric fat quarter storage.

Papercrafting Supplies

Between making cards and scrapbooking I have acquired quite a bit a paper and paper crafting supplies.

Over the past couple of years, on my journey towards embracing the minimalism movement and only have in my life that which brings me joy, I have donated a large amount of paper crafting supplies. I completed a huge project in 2015 – all my loose photos  were either put into a scrapbook or discarded. I have no more loose photographs.

When I completed this massive scrapbooking project, I decided to give up paper scrapbooking. If I craved another scrapbook in the future, I would have a digital scrapbook professional created.

However I had not decided what to do with my card making paper and supplies. I did sell a set of handmade cards on Etsy a couple years ago and I still like making handmade cards.

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Initially my plan was to just box up all my card making and remaining scrapbooking supplies and donate them all. However the I am continually inspired by the beautiful paper crafts I see on blogs I follow such as PaperPuff (paperpuff.wordpress.com) and I want to continue to make cards.

So here was the compromise…

What I kept:

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What I let go:

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Next post, I will continue sharing my archeological dig and purge; and talk about my “Fat Quarter Pathology” and the big decisions made around my obscene collection of pre-cut fabric/fat quarters.


Postscript

I am waiting until I have a couple more blocks done to provide an update on my Farm Girl Vintage blocks (see posts Farm Girl Vintage, Part I and Farm Girl Vintage, Part II and Recent Audiobook Delights). I just finished on called “Chicken Feet”.

One of my blogging buddies is also working on Farm Girl Vintage – check out peggycooperquilts.com for her blocks (she has made much further progress!)

Monday 3/6/17 is my last week of my 28 day Fast Metabolism Diet (FMD) that I shared in previous posts. I do not like scales but I feel like I have lost at least 5 – 1o pounds. When I have my annual wellness exam with my MD in April I will find out the official number.

My clothes are definitely looser and I feel great. I am looking forward to having a little dairy when the 28 day program ends!


Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s posts on her Schnauzer Snips blog – schnauzersnips.wordpress.com/blog/

Feature photo credit: Russell Hugo, free images.com

The Library Stack

I took a break from borrowing my normally large stack of library books, spending time instead reading/browsing through books already in my collection and my backlog of crafting magazines.

But, of course, I just had to continue my ongoing series, The Library Stack,  so last weekend I borrowed a HUGE stack of crafting and home decorating books from my beloved local public library.

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This stack will take several pots of tea to get through! I am hoping some of the decorating books give me inspiration for the living room remodel we want to work on this Spring/Summer, adding in a wall of bookcases and fireplace.

I am slowly working on more Farm Girl Vintage blocks, I just finished the “Chicken Foot” block. I want to complete a few more blocks before I post again on Farm Girl Vintage. I am working through the book in alphabetical order of the blocks, hoping to make each block in Lori Holt’s Farm Girl Vintage book.

I am curious about my recent and ongoing desire to work on blocks from a pattern instead of working on improvisational art quilts. I am wondering when my art quilting muse will return and will there be some improvisational art quilts are in my future (and so I will have something to post on the collaboration art quilting site, Improvisational Textiles…)

Let me close this short post with a quote shared by Gwen Marston in her book A Common Thread: A Collection of Quilts by Gwen Marston, that reminds me to flow with wherever I am on my creative journey:

“To please herself only, the cat purrs.”

– Irish Proverb

WWII: The High Desert Home Front

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) is a military history buff and yesterday we went to see the exhibit “WWII: The High Desert Home Front” at the High Desert Museum.2017-02-25_12-52-16_242

This is exhibit, with many items donated by Oregon WWII veterans or their families, according the the exhibit’s page, “reveals the wartime activities that took place in the High Desert, including some of the most celebrated and tragic chapters in our country’s history”.

This exhibit honors those who served, those who gave the “ultimate sacrifice”, women workers during WWII, efforts by various ethic groups, the dark times of Japanese internment camps, and the development of and decision to drop the atomic bomb.

I took a zillion photos of this excellent exhibit and I thought I would share some of my favorites. (TTQH was in his element quietly wandering around this exhibit reading and looking at everything in awe and respect).

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The Vehicles

WWII Harley Davidson and Army Jeep

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The Uniforms

Of course being a nurse I had to include the Red Cross Volunteer uniform!

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Women and WWII

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I do not want World War to be a reason but I think more of us need our own “Victory Gardens” growing our own vegetables:

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Contributions by Specific Ethnic Groups

Native American, African American, and Mexican American (keep in mind this was the 1940s a much different America than we are now…)

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Japanese American Internment

A dark time in American history, hopefully we never forget.

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(and finally) The Beginning of the Atomic Age

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Postscript

After viewing the WWII: The High Desert Homefront, we needed something lighter before leaving the museum. So went wandered the rest of the museum and enjoyed some lighter “visual fare”:

Prehistoric Buzz Saw Sharks (Helicoprion)

Hysterical T-Shirt in the Gift Shop 

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A little High Desert humor!

Our Beloved High Desert Raptors

I enjoyed visiting with the museum volunteer holding the raptor in falconry style. We discussed Helen Macdonald’s book – H is for Hawk and the beautiful story of how falconry with a goshawk helps a woman deal with the loss of her beloved father. I listened to the audiobook and I thought it I was listening to beautiful poetry.

Looking through the Raptor exhibit made me think back to a weekend afternoon early last Fall. On a beautiful Central Oregon day with endless blue sky and a few fluffy cloud meandering across the sky, I took a “mini-vacation” in my backyard lying on a lounger and staring meditatively at the sky.

Suddenly my view appeared partially obscured by a large flying reptilian object and I thought for a moment I was in a scene from the movie Jurassic Park. No, it was not a Pterodactyl, it was one of our Central Oregon raptors, flying very low (likely it had spotted something tasty in a backyard…). As I had been intensively and hypnotically staring at the sky the object appeared larger than actual!

The whole moment took my breath away for a second. I guess if you are going to be eaten by a Pterodactyl at least have it happen after a relaxing afternoon…

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Image credit: dinosaurpictures.org


So there were so many more photos but I had to stop somewhere with my photo sharing. Thanks for virtually joining me at the High Desert Museum!

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Quilt Studio Closet Purge

Continuing the momentum from my Quilting Studio Archaeology, each evening last week I have continued to evaluate what I have in my quilting studio/sew room.

I decided to take an honest and objective look at all the crafting paraphrenelia and projects in queue that have gathered over the years in my quilting studio closet. As a result I was able to unload and remove two tall rolling organizing/storage drawer sets. I donated them to our local Humane Society Thrift Shop along with some of their contents from my purging.

Here they are in my backseat awaiting their next adventure (I hope they go to a good home). They served me well for at least 15 years:

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In one of the drawers I kept my large collection of art brush markers, gel pens and Sharpies. Most of these markers and pens came from a coworker in the early 2000s. She loved cool pens and markers at her local speciality stationary store and would impulsively buy pens. In the early 2000s I was into card making and she decided to purge her huge pen collection and give most of it to me for card making.

I moved all these pens with me from Seattle to Central Oregon in 2005 and most of them have just sat in a drawer since 2005, unused.

On a mission not to keep stuff that is not functional/does not work and that I do not love, I checked every single pen/art marker on Thursday evening (I know you are very envious that we have such wild evenings as “pen checking” in Central Oregon). I was able to toss 30 pens that had dried up.

Here is what remained (still a lot but they all work and I like the colors):

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Terry the Quilting Husband and I are planning on doing some remodeling in our living room this Spring/Summer. We want to put in built-in bookcases/entertainment unit/fireplace along the largest wall of the living room.  I have spent (or wasted) a lot of time on Pinterest looking at “bookcase porn”.

The plan is to repurpose 1 – 2 of the existing free standing bookcases in the living room as studio closet storage. To make this work, I will need to have less stuff in my quilt studio closet and removing the two storage units gets me a lot closer to that goal.

POSTSCRIPT

Recently I am quite inspired by a newer blog I follow – DEVISE.CREATE.CONCOCT – Finding frugal ways to live more with less (devisecreateconcoct.com). This blogger’s tips on managing your spending on the necessities of life have inspired me to also take an honest and objective look on how we spend money each month, beginning with January 2017.

Today I created an expense tracking spreadsheet and recorded expenses for 2017 year to date. It was very enlightening – for example, I did not realize how much we are spending on groceries!

Now with my quilting studio closet purged (as much as I was willing to purge at this point); and our expenses all documented, I can perhaps return to working on Farm Girl Vintage blocks (see post Farm Girl Vintage, Part II and Recent Audiobook Delights)


Featured image credit: L. Emerson, freeimages.com

Farm Girl Vintage, Part II and Recent Audiobook Delights

Farm Girl Vintage

I recently finished another block from the Farm Girl Vintage book by Lori Holt. In the post Farm Girl Vintage, Part I I shared the first 8 blocks I made from the book.

Here is the latest block: Canning Season

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You might have to use your imagination but this block is supposed to be 6 jars of canned goods in a farm’s cupboard. Yes, these colorful “Mason jars” of food may look suspicious but the fabric is pretty!

I had fun selecting fabric from my basket of fat quarters and scraps for this block:

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If happen to also have this book and plan to work on the blocks here is a tip: Each block has cutting directions for both a finished 6″ block or a 12″ block. If you are working on the 12″ blocks, like I am, cover up the directions for the 6″ block so your eye does not accidentally cut your fabric to the 6″ block directions (BEEN THERE!)

Recent Audiobooks

In my post Cozy Quilt and Audiobook Delights, I shared that I was listening to the wonderful audiobook Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life by Susan David. Well I finished that book (I highly recommend it) and now I have moved on to listening to another “self-improvement” genre audiobook – Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within by Chade-Meng Tan.

Instead of providing and overview of this awesome audiobook, here is a link to brief article on mindful.org by the author that provides many of the key concept in this book:

Joy on Demand The art of discovering the happiness within

Early in the book the author shares a wonderful quote by Archbishop Desmond Tutu:

“If you want to become an agent of change, you have to remember to keep your sense of humor.”

I love this quote!

I am mixing my endless nonfiction audiobook consumption (thank you local library!) with some fiction lately – a couple of mystery/suspense novels by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

Postscript

How about a photo of an adorable senior dog to close our this post?

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I was visiting a friend who was babysitting a tiny 13 year old “Pom-Chi” (pomeranain and chihuahua). He was so tiny but he did not know it. He was trying to be alpha to a large golden retriever and very large golden doodle!

He was totally a miniature with a big attitude!

The “Nurture” of Words (and Quilts) – repost

Happy Saturday, I hope you are having a peaceful and restorative day or engaging in something fun. Here is a post from the tierneycreates archives from November 2013


The Nature and Nurture of Words and Quilts (repost from 11/10/13)

Last night I attended The Nature of Words (www.thenatureofwords.org) annual literary festival’s evening of “Guest Author Readings”. This local literary festival’s guest author evening included readings by two poets: an Oregon Poet Laureate, Professor Lawson Inada and a National Slam Poet, Karen Finneyfrock.

While listening to these wonderful poets and the other guest authors perform their poetry or read excerpts from their novels, I began to think about the “nurture of words”. Reading poetry and literature nurtures our souls and stimulates our creative spirits whether they explore complex painful emotions or humorous and joyous experiences.

Eventually my thoughts turned to quilting and creating handmade items (as my thoughts always do). Quilts are nurturing – they keep you warm, they make you smile, they say ‘someone cares about you so much that they took hours and hours (and hours and hours) of their time to make you a substantial gift’.

Quilts and quilting can be also thought of as poems. We carefully select a pattern for our quilts (as a poet might select the Haiku poetic form) or we create our own unique design (a free-form poetic structure). As we make our quilts, each section of the quilt we piece is essentially a stanza of our poem. The final product is something that we choose to share with the world, a private individual or just keep for ourselves (as poets do).  My friend who is a talented long-arm quilter essentially creates beautiful poems on her customers quilts with thread as her poetry composition medium. The process of creating a quilt,  quilting a quilt, and/or giving someone a quilt as a gift, can be as nurturing as beautifully crafted poignant words on a page of prose or poetry.

I wanted to end this post with a short poem about creating a quilt, but I am not a “written word poet”. Instead I will leave you with an image of one of my textile poemsCentral Oregon is Central to Me.

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“Central Oregon is Central to Me”, Tierney Davis Hogan, 2013

Quilting Studio Archaeology

Mondays I am off work from my pay-the-bills-job and I thought this Monday would be a great day to do a little Quilt Studio clean up (or archaeological digging).

Quilting for over 16 years, I have acquired quite a bit of quilting paraphernalia to include templates, rules, quilting aids, tools, and well…quilting thinga-ma-bobs. I thought I was fairly organized and diligent on cleaning out the stuff I no longer use, but then today I remembered the cabinet in my sewing desk where I had shoved a bunch of rulers and templates.

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The cabinet now empty but once filled with curious archaeological finds

Crafters, you know what I am talking about when I mention those rulers, templates, tools that you were (suckered?) required to buy for a class or a specific project. You have never used them again but you are not sure if you should part with them.

If it wasn’t for a class then it was from a demo you saw at a quilt shop, retreat or conference that you thought “why yes, I definitely need that”. Or maybe it was something given to you by a friend who finished their project, gave you the pattern that they were NEVER GOING TO DO AGAIN and the accompanying special ruler or template.

Keep all that in mind as I show you what was unearthed today during my “Quilt Studio Archaeological Dig” (and don’t judge – ha!):

Thangles!

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Oh look I have never used Thangles in a nice variety of sizes!

Yes, they are actually called “Thangles” and they are used as a shortcut to making “half square triangles”(HSTs). I purchased them when I lived in Seattle, likely in the early 2000s when I saw them demo’d at a quilt shop.

I have made a zillion (okay I am exaggerating, perhaps only a million) HSTs over the years and never once (never) have I thought about the Thangles I was storing for posterity in my cabinet. Imagine if I had actually used this tool as it was intended! Perhaps it would have made a couple sets of HST’s quicker.

Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates

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Are these collectible?

A burning question plagues me (a question besides why the heck did I buy these?): Why do I have Set A, Set B and Set D, but no Set C? Was Set C too controversial to purchase? Or by the time Set C came out did I decide it was silly to buy anymore sets I have never used but had a moment of weakness when Set D came out and bought it anyway?!?!

Great and mysterious question to ponder…

Rulers Gone Wild!

Oh so many rulers only used once (or never).

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I was going to lay them all out and take a photo of them, but right now I am in denial so I merely placed them all in a basket for now. I am simply going to keep them all in sight, out on my cutting table for now, and continue to pretend like I might use them someday.

Just for fun, here is a list of some of the likely useful and likely very obscure rulers in my collection:

  • Easy Diamond Template (never used)
  • Easy Heart Template (never used)
  • EZ Quilting Hexagon Shapes (never used)
  • 60 degree Diamond (never used)
  • Quilt Sense Rulers (never used, I guess they made so much sense they scared me)
  • Flying Geese Bloc Loc Rulers (I am really going to use these someday, maybe)
  • Fons & Porter Binding Tool (if my friend Lisa is reading this, enjoy the private joke now about my quilt binding skills)
  • Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Corner Trimmer (yikes all these years I have let my corners go un-perfectly trimmed!)
  • A whole slew of Kaye Wood rulers (I do not want to talk about my Kaye Wood obsession in my early days of quilting and just how many of her rulers I purchased…and never used)
  • A Girl’s Best Friend Diamond Cut Ruler (obviously not one of my best friends as I have never used it)
  • Easy Circle Cut (never used)
  • Japanese Jigsaw Ruler (well a friend of mine DID make a quilt with this ruler, does that count?)

That’s enough I cannot bear to list anymore. Honestly though, I cannot bear to part with any of these never used rulers. I still plan to use them all – SOMEDAY!  (Note I do have at least double the amount of rules I just listed which I have actually used or used at least once).

Have any of you discovered any dusty ancient gems in your crafting room lately during an archaeological dig?


Postscript

One of my readers asked for some photos of food from the Fast Metabolism Diet (FMD) I mentioned in my previous post. I just started the FMD today but here are photos of breakfast and lunch:

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Breakfast of steel cut oats and blueberries

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Lunch of a turkey bacon wrap on a spelt tortilla (yup I was hungry while photographing and couldn’t resist a bite!)

No, no I am not going to post photos of every meal I have for the 28 days of the FMD. At a later date I will do a post about it and share more meal images for anyone who is curious.


Featured image photo credit – Russell Hugo, free images.com

Thank You for the Blogging Awards

I am supposed to be working on our income taxes right now but I thought I would just have quick distraction by checking my blog reader and I discovered I have been honored with being nominated for another blogging award.

I have been nominated for several blogging awards in the past and I have been VERY remiss in following the guidelines on the nominations.

Commonly blogging award nominations propose that you nominate several of your favorite blogs/bloggers part of your acceptance post – to pass on the love. Blogging awards are great ways to give a kudos to the blogs you like to read and to expose to other bloggers.

My problem is I love all the blogs I follow. I want to follow even more but alas I have to keep time to work on craft projects, spend time with Terry the Quilting Husband and the dogs, and of course that pesky pay-the-bills-job.

I list some of the blogs I follow in my my Main Sidebar, however WordPress limits it to 50 blogs, so the earliest blogs I followed are not listed (but check out my Postscript section for a special note).

Since I have been so remiss on following the rules of the blogging awards nominations at this point I am just going to say thank you to those who nominated me and invite my readers to check out their wonderful blogs .

Blogger Recognition Award

Linda Kelley at the fabulous Arts & Crafts Blog Extraordinaire – kelleysdiy.com – recently nominated me for this award!

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Black Cat Blue Sea Award

The intriguing writer, blogger and bibliophilist (there is your word for the day) – Of Tales and Dreams Kamalini nominated me for this award in September 2016.

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One Lovely Blog Award

Speaking on “bibliophilist”, the awesome blogger Feisty Froggy of Dewey Hop (Feisty Froggy Reads Through the The Library) in June 2016 nominated me for this blogging award.

one-lovely-blog-award.pngOk, now this is embarrassing – I think there was one more blogging award I was nominated for but I cannot remember what it was or who nominated me. My sincere apologies to my fellow blogger who was kind enough to nominate me!


Postscript

I wanted to recognize two of the first fellow bloggers to follow my blog when I started it in late 2013 (back when I had like 5 readers as most were friends and family I badgered into following my blog – ha!).

Claire and Cindy – I really appreciate your posts and your comments on my posts over the years:

knitNkwilt (knitnkwilt.wordpress.com)

A Quilter’s Corner with Cindy Anderson (https://inastitchquilting.com)

Farm Girl Vintage, Part I

Not a Farm Girl but In Love with Farm Girl Vintage

I am not a “Farm Girl”. I spend my teenage years in Upstate NY where there were farms and I have visited farms but there is nothing remotely “farm girl” about me. I did however absolutely fall in love with Lori Holt’s quilting block book – Farm Girl Vintage .

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Photo credit – Amazon.com

The blocks and quilts in the book are not even my style (they would not fit in my home decor) and still I am completely in love. This book contains a wonderful collection of sweet farm-themed blocks and quilt layout options. It is very delicious.

So a couple quilting friends bought the book also and we are working on blocks and comparing notes. Here is my progress so far (to date I have completed 8 blocks):

My fabric selection/palette

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Initial pull of fabric from my stash (primarily fat quarters)

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Organized nicely in a basket

Setting Fabric – Using White/Off-White Fabric Scraps

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Eight Blocks Completed (3 are duplicates):

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My Favorite Block So Far (Baby Chick):

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I will try to have better photos next time to showcase my next set of blocks.

Fat Quarter Stash Busting

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have a “dirty little secret” – my ridiculous stash of fabric precuts (jelly rolls, charm packs, fat quarters, etc.). One of the cool things about this project is that I am using fat quarters and scraps fabric to make the blocks. I am not cutting into any yardage at this time.

I had a blast visiting with my crazy stash of fat quarters (purchased from over 16+ years of quilting) and pulling fabrics for my Farm Girl Vintage blocks!  As you can see from the photos my palette is not traditional “farm vintage” fabric but more “calico” and modern style “brights”.


Postscript

I just realized I have not posted in a while.

Besides working (that darn pay-the-bills-job), I have been busily cooking up lots and lots of slow cooker/pot crock meals. On Monday I start my first ever formal diet – the Fast Metabolism Diet by Haylie Pomroy.

I am not one for formal diets and having a nursing background and knowledge of general good health principles, so when I have wanted to drop weight in the past I have done it through good nutritional choices and exercise. Recently however two of my quilting mentors (Jean and Susan) have gone on this diet and look fantastic. My friend Susan got me interested in looking into this diet as it restarts your metabolism. I read the book and it made a lot of sense scientifically.

I am not one to just jump into a formal diet plan, especially after never doing one before, so for the past couple of weeks I have made significant changes to my food choices such as decreasing dairy, gluten, and sugar intake; and learning to drink a large amount of water each day. Also I have worked on learning to snack a new way (life without peanut M&Ms) and learning to eat every 3 hours while awake. Finally I have been trying out the recipes.

So I am hoping to get off that pesky 10 pounds I have been wanting to lose – and if all goes well maybe I can lose 20 pounds and return to the weight I was when I was first dating Terry the Quilting Husband (you know before starting to put on those “love pounds” – ha).

We’ll see how it goes. I have been running my slow cooker non stop it seems,  portioning out and freezing meals (and labeling of course).

Terry the Quilting Husband has agreed to eat some of the meals (the food, much of it made in a slow cooker, is absolutely delicious) so that will make life easier instead of cooking two separate meal plans.

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Photo credit: hayliepomroy.com

 


Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s latest musings at schnauzersnips.wordpress.com/blog

Adventures in English Paper Piecing (Part II)

Hi there!

Here is an update to my 10/03/16 post  Adventures in English Paper Piecing (Part I) – I’ve made quite a few EPP hexies:

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They have been the perfect portable project and now I understand the fun of EPP. All the fabrics are from the 2016 Central Oregon Shop Hop – fat eighths given out by area quilt shops (from a set collected by both Terry the Quilting Husband and myself).

This weekend I hung out with a couple quilting buddies and we opened up Pinterest and starting playing with some layout options on the kitchen counter:

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I still have many more hexies to make so I am not ready to decide on a final pattern yet but I am leaning towards the randomly placed design as opposed to a more traditional “Grandmother’s Flower Garden” design.

So more to come.

I will close this post with a lovely sign I saw recently at a shop:

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Baby Quilts

In my recent post Little Bits of Oregon Warmth I shared a baby quilt I made for a friend expecting her first child (shortly now!). Today I received an e-mail from a friend for whom I made a baby quilt for his first child nearly 7 years ago that started me thinking about the baby quilts I have made.

Recently he and his wife had friends visit and they brought their baby. The quilt I made his baby all those years ago was enjoyed by the new baby and he sent me a photo (I do not know the parents so I cropped out the sweet baby’s face to respect their privacy):

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A huge smile took over my face when I saw this photo!

I have made so many baby quilts over the years and my heart feels very full when I think of all those sweet “new people” that got wrapped in my creations. I have also donated a couple baby quilts to Project Linus and I want to do more baby quilt donations in the future.

When I had my tierneycreates Etsy shop (it is now inactive), I sold an inspirational baby quilt (not sure if it was a Moda fabric line)  with words like “Grow”, “Sunshine”, “Renew”, “Life”, “Plant” and “Hope”.

I received the most beautiful communication from the woman who bought the quilt – she was going to wrapped her newly adopted child in the quilt. It was one of those communications (via Etsy conversation and then the Seller Feedback she left) that made my eyes fill with tears of joy that something I made could be that meaningful to someone else (I am glad the quilt was so reasonably priced, otherwise I would have been tempted to just give her a refund and say “take it as a gift!”)

But my sweetest memory related to giving someone a baby quilt is related to a baby quilt I made for someone I never met. Terry the Quilting Husband (before he was a quilting husband but he knew handmade quilts made people very happy) had a coworker that was expecting her first child. He asked me if I could make her a baby quilt.

I did not know the woman and I was pressed for time but I found a baby themed pre-printed panel and whipped out a very quick and easy baby quilt. It was definitely not my greatest work but it was your basic utility baby quilt.

When Terry arrived home from work that day he told me about her at work Baby Shower and how she had started sobbing when she opened up the gift and saw the quilt. She said no one had ever made a quilt for her or anyone in her family. She was overwhelmed and felt very special.

Some fabric sewed together can be pretty magical, eh?

Cozy Quilt and Audiobook Delights

Cozy Quilt Completion

Terry the Quilting Husband got his cozy flannel quilt back from the long-arm quilter and finally we have put the denim binding on (I say “we” because Terry sewed the binding strips together but I sewed them down on the quilt as he hates that part!) and completed the quilt.

Here is Terry under the quilt (he does not like his photo posted, and no, he is not in a witness protection program):

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Somewhere under this cozy flannel quilt is a male quilter…

A close up of the denim binding (Terry’s idea) and the pieced :

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Pieced flannel back and binding

Here is the chair with the quilt “sans Terry”. This chair is actually my favorite chair for reading in front of the window, but Terry has hijacked it and has his quilt and his book (Military History not crafting) in my spot:

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Not sure if there are enough quilts in this corner…

Terry selected the fabric (a fat quarter stack of Woolies flannel), designed the quilt, and pieced the quilt…and assembled the binding then handed it off to his wife to sew onto the quilted quilt!


Non-Stop Self-Help Audiobook Listening

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while know of my obsession with self-help audiobooks. I do try and sprinkle a little fiction into my book consumption whether it be a Neil Gaiman audiobook or my recent read (via a hardback book!) of Paula Hawkin’s The Girl on the Train (which I really liked, it was a page turner, but the main character did irritate me…).

Recently from my local library, I have listened to three “self-help” genre audiobooks back to back:

  • Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
  • Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life by Susan David

I am still reading/listening to Emotional Agility and it might end up being one of my most favorite “self-improvement”/”self-help” audiobooks of all time. It is narrated by the author who has a lovely South African accent (early in the book she shared some of the horrors witnessed growing up in South Africa during the Apartheid and how they influenced her; she now lives in the US).

I greatly enjoyed The Subtle Art… and it was not about being indifferent or becoming a sociopath – it was about embracing your life struggles and viewing your struggles from a different perspective. The book also focused on deciding what is important to you in life, based on your values, and focusing your energies there instead of getting lost in the meaningless details in life.

I gave up halfway through the book Present Over Perfect as I found the narrator and the book sort of tedious and repetitious; however the author did make some good points and perhaps I would have enjoyed it better as a print book.

Here are some quotes from each of the books that I found inspirational:

Present Over Perfect (Shauna Niequist)

“What kills a soul? Exhaustion, secret keeping, image management. And what brings a soul back from the dead? Honesty, connection, grace”

“How we live matters, and what you choose to own will shape your life, whether you choose to admit it or not. Let’s live lightly, freely, courageously, surrounded only by what brings joy, simplicity, and beauty.”

“But you can’t have yes without no. Another way to say it: if you’re not careful with your yeses, you start to say no to some very important things without even realizing it. In my rampant yes-yes-yes-ing, I said no, without intending to, to rest, to peace, to groundedness, to listening, to deep and slow connection, built over years instead of moments.”

The Subtle Art… (Mark Manson)

“We suffer for the simple reason that suffering is biologically useful. It is nature’s preferred agent for inspiring change. We have evolved to always live with a certain degree of dissatisfaction and insecurity, because it’s the mildly dissatisfied and insecure creature that’s going to do the most work to innovate and survive.”

“Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.”

“We are so materially well off, yet so psychologically tormented in so many low-level and shallow ways. People relinquish all responsibility, demanding that society cater to their feelings and sensibilities. People hold on to arbitrary certainties and try to enforce them on others, often violently, in the name of some made-up righteous cause. People, high on a sense of false superiority, fall into inaction and lethargy for fear of trying something worthwhile and failing at it.”

Emotional Agility (Susan David)

“People frequently die in fires or crash landings because they try to escape through the same door they used when they entered.”

“Your Values will bring you freedom from Social Comparisons.”

“Bottling and brooding are short-term emotional aspirin we reach for, yet these habits don’t deal with what’s causing our distress.”

There is a great transcription of an interview with Susan David by the University of Pennsylvania’s The Wharton School’s website: How Achieving Emotional Agility Can Help You — at Work and in Life.

This quote by Susan David from the interview sums up the theme of this wonderful book:

“(Emotional Agility is) the ability to be able to be with your thoughts, your emotions and your stories. We all have thousands of these every day in a way that enables us not to be derailed by them, but rather brings us intentionally and with purpose towards what we value in our live.”

I keep thinking I will eventually tire of or just get completely sick of “self-help” books but then I stumble across a couple of gems like The Subtle Art… and Emotional Agility!


Postscript

I backup my photos on Google Photos and occasionally it will automatically add a special effect to one of my photos that I can choose to save or discard (not affecting the original photo). Here are two photos that were first featured on the 01/15/17 post Creative Inspiration: Winter Trees that Google added special effects.

I wanted to share these photos as they look really cool (well at least to me):

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Quilt Shop Tour and Sewing Machine Maintenance

This post has two parts: Part I (the fun part) is a tour of the new Sew Many Quilts quilt shop location; and Part II (the less fun part) is a little discussion on sewing machines and their maintenance (with a request for your input).

Part I: Sew Many Quilts’ New Shop

We have wonderful quilt shops in Central Oregon. I have a full list and link to the shop’s websites in the right sidebar of my blog.

Saturday I need to take by Bernina QE in for service (more on that in Part II) to Sew Many Quilts and Bernina Center. They recently moved to a larger location and Terry the Quilting Husband and I were looking forward to seeing their new shop and layout.

We have lived in Central Oregon for nearly 12 years and Sew Many Quilts is one of the first quilt shops I went to when I moved here. They used to be in a very very very tiny location and you had to sometimes back out of an area so another quilter could pass by the area you were shopping in. Then they moved to a semi-industrial shop area but it was tucked away and I wonder if they were not getting enough traffic. Now they have moved to a highly visible store front strip mall type location.

This quilt shop is always dear to my heart as it is where I bought my first “high-end” sewing machine (but more on that in Part II).

Enough rambling, here is a photo tour of their new location (note they do not have their sign out front yet so I did not take many outside photos).

General quilt shop photos:

The Bernina Center (warning this section contains “sewing machine porn”):

There were many wonderful quilt samples on display, but this one was my favorite:

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So next time you are in Central Oregon, be sure to add this wonderful quilt shop to your visit list!

Part II: Sewing Machines and Their Maintenance

Here are a couple questions for those of you who sew (at first I wrote “sewers” but I thought hmmm that would be like I am addressing all the underground conduits following my blog, ha!):

  1. What type of sewing machine(s) do you have; and if you have multiple machine – which one is your favorite?
  2. How often do you get your sewing machine(s) serviced?

My Sewing Machines

I have 2 sewing machines – a Bernina 440 QE (my primary machine) and  Bernina Active 210 (for travel/classes). I nicknamed my beloved Bernina 440 “Berny”.

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My beloved Bernina 440 QE (“Berny”)

I began quilting on a Singer sewing machine and then upgraded to a Husqvarna Viking sewing machine. At the time this was a huge purchase as a new quilter – $400 (on sale of course) for a sewing machine – could you imagine someone spending that much on a sewing machine, I could not (little did I know what was to come…)

After a couple years of quilting and taking classes and drooling over the higher end machines that other quilters had, I decided that to feel complete in life I needed a Bernina. I was very attracted to Bernina because of its reputation for being well constructed and reliable with durable internal metal parts. I did of course have “sticker shocked” when I saw what Berninas cost!

I would visit Sew Many Quilts and drool over their Bernina display. Then they had a sale with 12 months same as cash no interest and I decided to make the investment and purchase the Bernina 440 QE.

Overall I have been pleased with my Bernina and a couple of years ago bought a smaller Bernina for classes during another sale at Sew Many Quilts.

The one thing I wish my Berninas had is a thread cutter. I borrowed a friend’s Janome with a thread cutter and I fell in love with the whole automatic thread cutting experience (it made me coo with delight!).

However after years of quilting and talking to other quilters, I realized I could have bought at least one of my Berninas used and saved quite a bit of money. I have also sewed on other machines such as Janomes that a pretty nice too (and are less expensive).

My friend Betty Anne has used/older Berninas that work wonderfully (I borrow one when I go over her house for a “Sew Day”). I now realize you do not always need the newest shiniest thing when it comes to sewing machines!

Maintenance

Berninas require regularly service/maintenance and you have to oil them (they come with a bottle of machine oil) to keep them running smoothly. We have one (that I know of) Bernina Service Technician in Central Oregon so if he is busy you have to be patient.

The recommendation is a once a year service which I have to confess I have not always followed. I am pretty good at regularly oiling my machine and keeping all the areas I can reach free of dust and lint. So sometimes I go up to 2 years before bringing it in for maintenance (clean, oil and adjust).

In the 8 years I have had my Berninas I have only had one major issue and that was because one of them got dropped on the way to a quilting retreat by an airport shuttle company. I did pursue a claim with the airport shuttle company and they did reimburse the repairs.

I look forward to reading your thoughts on sewing machines and sewing machine maintenance in the Comment section – thanks!


Postscript

I have listened to a bunch of interesting “self-help” audiobooks lately while sewing or walking the dogs. In a future post will share a little bit about those books and key inspirational insights.

What’s on the “Design Bed”

The Happy Ending quilt top is done!

I first introduced this project in the post Diving into a quilt (and other stuff) and What’s on the Design Wall. As I mentioned in my prior post, I had to move it from the “design wall” to the “design bed” (a concept I borrowed from Claire @ knitNkwilt) as it grew (and grew) in length.

I am not sure what I was thinking. I have no twin beds in the house, but the quilt top (pattern by Lesley Chaisson, from the book Perfect Quilts for Precut Fabrics by Patchwork Place, 2014) measures 81.5 in. x 105.5 in. !!!

Yikes!

So Many Precuts…

I was going to photograph my entire fabric precut collection (jelly rolls, fat quarters, charm squares, layer cakes) but I am not ready to share my dirty little secret.

I will share that I was able to decrease this basket of charm squares (5 inch precut squares) by 2+ packages of 42 charm squares to make the Happy Ending quilt:

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It Started on the Design Wall

I have a giant design wall in my hallway (the one hallway in my little house) and I thought I could layout the entire quilt on the design wall.

Building the quilt top:

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Um…it is now dragging on the floor:

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So I had to abandon the design wall for the “design bed”.

On the Design Bed

Here are photos of the quilt top completed and laid out on the “design bed”:

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I used two Moda Fabrics charm packs (Basic Grey line) to make the half-square triangles. Everything is set in Peppered Cottons by Pepper Cory fabric (color PC44-45 – Ink).

Shot Cotton Challenges

Peppered Cottons are shot cottons are fabrics woven with two slightly different colors creating a shimmering effect (source: Purl Solo). Many shot cottons are lightweight and some are rather sheer. They can be challenging to work with and if not cut correctly can had friable and fraying edges.

As shown in my personal example below:

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I was discussing this challenge with my friend Susan who is a masterfully precise technical sewer/quilter, and she advised that if I carefully cut the fabric along the straight line of the threads, I would have less fraying.

I also found these tips (which I should have searched for prior to beginning a project that involved a large amount of shot cotton yardage):

HOW TO WORK WITH PEPPERED COTTONS BY PEPPER CORY

Next Steps

I am putting together the backing (yardage from the Moda Fabrics Basic Grey line):

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Then it is time to connect with Cindy of A Quilter’s Corner with Cindy Anderson (inastitchquilting.com) on shipping the quilt top and quilt backing to her. She is my longtime blogging buddy and this will be our first collaboration on a quilt!

NEXT POST: Saturday I took my sewing machine in for service and visited the new Sew Many Quilts quilt shop location. Photos and musing to come.


Follow the musings of Sassy the Highly Opinionated Schnauzer at her Schnauzer Snips blog.

Straightened Curtains and Dalai Lama Wisdom

The plan was not to do a post until I finished my Happy Ending quilt discussed in previous posts. I am plugging away at it and have moved it from the “design wall” to the “design bed” (a concept I borrowed from Claire @ knitNkwilt) so hopefully in the near future I will post the completed quilt top.

But for now, I thought I would share a silly update from my 12/23/26 post Independent Bookstores (wonderful & magical places).

I took a vacation day from work today and went to lunch with my friend Jenny and a wander about downtown Bend, Oregon. After lunch we stopped at Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe for a Chai tea and bookstore browse. Dudley’s in the indie bookstore featured in my 12/23/16 post and had an upstairs curtain which was askew. After grabbing my tea, I rushed upstairs to see if the curtain was still askew as this time I planned to fix it (a little OCD humor discussed in the comments in the 12/23/16 post).

Well! The curtain was already fixed!

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The owner of Dudley’s had promised to leave the curtain askew for me after reading my 12/23/16 post but I guess some other patron fixed it before I could return!

After leaving Dudley’s we wandered around a couple other downtown shops. In one of the shops I saw this wonderful quote by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet (I had to google that to find his proper title) that gave me a moment of pause and reflection:

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I transposed the quote on a photo I snapped of a cloudy day in Central Oregon this past Fall. If you like it, feel free to copy the image and share it. I used PicMonkey’s Photo Editor.

Okay back to working on that quilt.

The Guest House

I am busy working on my Happy Ending quilt top from my recent post, What’s on the Design Wall. I hope my next post will be to show you the completed quilt top (fingers crossed). For now, here is something from the tierneycreates archives…


The Guest House (originally posted June 27, 2016)

Happy Monday to you and I hope you have a wonderful week filled with Inspiration, Creativity and Joy.

As I mentioned in last’s post “Listening and Reading“, currently I am listening to the audiobook The Here and Now Habit by Hugh Byrne. This book focuses on using “mindfulness” to break unwanted habits.

During my walk on Sunday with this audiobook, I listened to the author discuss one of my favorite poems by Rumi (Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī – a 13th century Persian poet and scholar) – The Guest House.  

The author discusses this poem in relation to finding peace in dealing with unwanted thoughts and feelings. What I love about the work of Rumi is that it can be interpreted in so many ways and the meaning can be personalized to what you needed to hear/read at that moment in your life.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness
comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
-Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī
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Photo credit: Domagoj T. – freeimages.com

Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s latest musings at schnauzersnips.wordpress.com/blog

Material Girl Fabrics

Wanna go fabric shopping with me? Shall we wander around a quilt shop together?

Yes, yes, I know that unless I was to fly you all to Central Oregon (and that could get really expensive when it comes to bringing my readers in Australia over to Oregon…), our only option is to virtually go fabric shopping together!

Today I will to take you one of our wonderful Central Oregon Quilt Shops – Material Girl Fabrics in Redmond, Oregon.

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2017-01-21_15-16-23_447.jpegTerry the Quilting Husband and I met a couple friends for brunch today in Redmond and then headed for a wander about Material Girl Fabrics. The wonderful owner Leslie was having a quiet afternoon when we arrived (because of the weather/snow), though it picked up while we were there. Luckily before it go busier, we did get time to visit with Leslie who always makes her visitors feel welcome.

The quilt shop is very sweet – it is inside a former house and it is very cozy!

Let’s start our wander around this shop together:

General Photos

(Click on a photo to open a slideshow)

A Sweet Little Play Area

Tucked away in the shop is a sweet little play area for small children among the juvenile themed prints:

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The Kitchen!

As I mentioned, the quilt shop is a former house, and has a functioning kitchen which also serves as the counter/cash register area:

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Fabric Purchases

I was well behaved and I bought a remnant piece of gold Asian fabric. One of my friends, Susan, bought a nice little stash of fabric and was quite pleased with her purchase:

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Material Girl Fabric may be considered a “smaller quilt shop” but it is very well curated. There are many high quality delicious quilting fabrics inside the cozy house.

For those of you familiar with the Row by Row Experience, where quilt shops around the US offer an annual free pattern of a row for a quilt (usually themed for their shop), here is the Material Girl Fabrics’ Row by Row:

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Thanks for virtually wandering around the quilt shop with me! (If you would like to check out the our other lovely Central Oregon shops, I have links to all the shops in the right sidebar of my blog.)


Postscript

Terry the Quilting Husband got his most recent quilt back from the long-arm quilter, Betty Anne Guadalupe, today. This quilt was discussed in the 11/20/16 post Terry the Quilting Husband – Update.

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Usually I am a “nice wife” and I trim the excessive batting and backing off the quilt, but this evening I let him do it himself. He wants to put a denim border on it and I am trying to figure out if I have some light weight denim in my stash that will work. I will post a photo of the complete quilt once the binding is added and sewn down.

What’s on the Design Wall

I was playing a game with myself: I could not write another blog post until I completed the top on the quilt discussed in the post, Diving into a quilt (and other stuff)Happy Ending.

Alas, I am writing a post and I have not finished the quilt top, but I have made some progress with this half-square-triangel (HST) pattern and sections are on the design wall (note – my design wall is in my narrow hallway so I can only photograph large pieces in the works from angles):

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I am still wrangling with piecing the HSTs into the setting fabric and there are sections all over my little sewing room:

At the sewing machine table:

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On the ironing board:

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This quilt is going to be a collaboration with my blogging buddy Cindy of A Quilter’s Corner with Cindy Anderson (inastitchquilting.com) who is a long-arm quilter. I will be mailing the quilt top and the backing to her for her long-arm quilting artistry. So I bet she will have this quilt on her blog too after she quilts it.

It is late so no additional ramblings at this time. Tomorrow is Saturday and I am determined to keep wrangling these HSTs and their setting fabric until they become a quilt top!  (More later on my thoughts about using a “shot cotton” type fabric as a setting fabric…kind of challenging even if it is a heavier weight shot cotton).