A “Charming Quilt”

In my posts What’s on the Design Wall: Rediscovering My “Charms” and What’s on the Design Wall: Pre-cuts Wrangling, I discuss trying to use up my out of control collection of pre-cuts such as charm squares (5 inch pre-cut coordinated squares).

Update: I continue to work through my pre-cuts collection, actually MAKING QUILTS out of them instead of using them to just decorate my studio!

Below is a quilt, “Charming You”, that I created from two packages of charm squares (40-42 squares per package) Moda fabrics.  This quilt measures 45″ x 61″ and has a cozy flannel backing. I just got it back from the long-arm quilter and it is ready to put on the Etsy shop!

What’s on the Wall

No there is not a word missing in the title -.this post is about what is on an actual wall (house wall) not the design wall in my studio (as I normally post on).

New Wall Art: Miniature Kimono Shadowbox

I have been making miniature kimonos for years – they involve an origami-like folding of fabric to create a kimono shape and measure about 6″ x 7″. Miniature kimonos make great little gifts and I have given them as gifts to friends and family for years. I have also framed a single kimono alone in a shadowbox or in coordinated set of 2-4 kimonos, as gifts.

They were the first items I made for my tierneycreates Etsy shop. Then one day, I abruptly burned out on making them. It has been many months since I thought about making a miniature kimono.

Until the other day: On a whim, I decided to make myself a shadowbox set of kimonos. I chose red, black, cream and gold Asian fabrics to coordinate with a fun schnauzer print I have on the wall where I wanted to hang the kimono wall art.

I made myself a set of 5 miniature kimonos

I made myself a set of 5 miniature kimonos

Another view

Another view

Auditioning buttons

Auditioning buttons

Finalized buttoms

Finalized buttoms

Preparing the inside of the shadow box

Preparing the inside of the shadow box

Mounting on the shadowbox background with small pins at top and bottom of each kimono

Mounting on the shadowbox background with small pins at top and bottom of each kimono

On the wall in the entry

On the wall in the entry

Above the whimsical schnauzer print

Above the whimsical schnauzer print

I love making gifts for family and friends as well as items for the Etsy shop, but sometimes you need to just make something for yourself!

What Was On the Design Wall: Rescued Blocks

Please see Sassy’s blog/page Schnauzer Snips for her latest adventures and comments on life!

Usually I post about what’s on the design wall – what I am currently working on. I was looking through some digital photos and came across photos from when I was working on the 1930’s Block Quilt, made from rescued blocks. So this is sort of a “design wall retrospective” post!

My friend Betty Anne and I are fascinated with recycling fabric, especially fabric intended for other purposes (clothing, blankets, upholstery, etc.), as evidenced by our The Wardrobe Meets the Wall Collection. We also enjoy finding abandoned blocks and rescuing them!

What are “abandoned blocks”? They are quilt blocks leftover from making a quilt (when too many blocks were made than needed), or when a quilt was started but not finished and the quilter just gave up on the blocks. You can rescue sets of abandoned blocks from thrift stores, friends, and even inside your own stash! Betty Anne had a friend who found a set of block from the 1930s in her attic and did not want them. Betty Anne rescued them and then let me adopt them!

Originally these rescued blocks did not fit together and were in a strange pattern (so strange that no matter what I did I could not make them fit together). So I redesigned the blocks, cutting off the left and right corners (which I recycled into the quilt’s border). After trimming down the blocks they fit well together into a small lap size quilt (41″ x 44 1/2″).

The abandon blocks are now rescued and part of a quilt (I bet they are a lot happier than they would be just sitting around an attic all alone!)

Addicted to Audiobooks

I appear to be addicted to audiobooks – I listen while working on textile crafts, driving, walking, cooking, housecleaning, etc. I know it has truly become an addiction because I am currently listening to three (3) audiobooks at the same time:

  • Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin
  • Beyond Willpower by Alexander Loyd
  • Blue Labyrinth by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Alright, I am not actually listening to three (3) audiobooks at once (that would be insane) but I have three different audiobooks loaded on my iPhone and I juggle between the three of them depending on my mood.

It is all the fault of my local library (in true addiction you are supposed to blame someone else, right?) for providing an endless supply of downloadable audiobooks through the Overdrive app. If your library has digital downloads, and you enjoy audiobooks, you should take advantage of this free community resource.

Disadvantages of free audiobooks from the library include only being able to keep them for 14 days (they expire from your device after 14 days) and your library may not have exact book you want. I like the pressure of 14 days though – it makes me actually finish up the audiobook. Usually I have books going at various staggered intervals where one expires in 5 days while the other expires in 11 days.

I have been in the middle of a thrilling audiobook and then boom – it expires – and there are other library patrons who have it on hold so I cannot renew it. I end up having to put the audiobook on hold and wait my turn to finish up my book. But that is okay – it is worth it (and it is free!)

Happy Listening!

What’s On the Design Wall: Fabric Surface Design Experimentation

Check out Sassy’s page Schnauzer Snips for her latest adventures!

Last Thursday I took the day off from work and participated in a Fabric Surface Design Workshop (actually more like a play day!) through my local SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) chapter.  There were four workstations set up for the participants to watch demos on the following surface design techniques:

  • Fabric printing (using fabric ink and stamps)
  • Fabric painting (using special fabric paints to achieve a structured or an abstract watercolored-like designs)
  • Using decolorant to achieve unique surface designs (by removing color from different areas of a fabric in specific patterns)
  • Mono printing (one time printing using unique found items and special textile techniques)

All the techniques demonstrated were wonderful but I was most drawn to the fabric printing using fabric ink and stamps. The demo involved using manufactured stamps or designing and carving your own. After the demos were complete we had time to play with the new techniques. I ended up carving my own custom stamp with a with a special carving block and a linoleum cutter/carving tool. On SAQA member had a beautiful hand carved tree stamp I fell in love with so I tried to model my hand carved stamped after it.

Below are some photos from my play day! I have an idea already on the piece I am going to design around these printed squares…eventually…

Creative Inspiration: Quilting Mentors

Dictionary.com defines a Mentor as a “wise and trusted counselor or teacher”. I think this a perfect definition of a mentor, especially a quilting mentor.

This post continues my series on exploring of my sources of creative inspiration (previous post in this series –  Creative Inspiration: Quiet, Stillness, and Daydream).  I am lucky to have four key quilting mentors (so far) in my life: Judy D., Roxanne Carter, Betty Anne Guadalupe and Jean Wells Keenan. Each of these mentors have inspired me in different ways.

Quilting Mentor #1: Judy D.

Judy D. is a former coworker and dear friend who convinced me to start quilting in the late 1990s. If it was not for her, I would not be a quilter. Judy, an experienced quilter, convinced me to work on my first quilt. She patiently engaged in quite a bit of hand holding to get me through my first quilt: taking me to quilt shops, showing me the basics, accompanying me to my first quilting class, etc. I call her my “Quilt Momma” as she helped give birth to me as a quilter!

Judy has given me a lifetime gift that has brought much happiness to myself and family and friends who now snuggle under the quilts I have made them.

Quilting Mentor #2: Roxanne Carter

Roxanne Carter of Quilting with Roxanne was my first quilting teacher. She is a brilliant and masterful quilter (a quilting genius) as well as an excellent and patient teacher, renown for her wonderful quilt making patterns which make complex looking quilts easy to construct. I was fortunate enough to take classes in her beautiful home studio as well as attend monthly “Girls Night Out” where she provided ongoing mentoring. Now see her once a year at one of her retreats in Monroe, WA.

Using her easy to follow patterns and learning quilting under her exceptional teaching style,  I gained confidence in my technical quilting ability as a new quilter.

Fritz & Snickers (our first rescued miniature schnauzers) wrapped in the first quilt I ever made – one of Roxanne Carter’s Irish Chain style patterns, completed under the patient mentoring of Judy D.

Irish Chain (1999/2000) first quilt I made.

Quilting Mentor #3: Betty Anne Guadalupe

I met Betty Anne when I first moved to Central Oregon at a quilt shop and we kept running into each other around town. It was as if the universe wanted us to be friends. She had also recently moved to Central Oregon and was establishing herself as a professional long-arm quilter. Meeting Betty Anne was a pivotal moment in my path towards becoming an art quilter – she got me interested in abstract art quilting and helped me move beyond traditional quilting. Although both of us still enjoy making traditional quilts,  there is something so thrilling about designing your own textile creation.

Betty Anne introduced me to using less traditional fabrics in quilts such as recycled garment manufacturing scraps, denim and wool. Our experiments with recycled silk scraps led to the creation of The Wardrobe Meets the Wall Collection.

My first abstract modern quilt piecing adventure under the mentoring of Betty Anne Guadalupe

My first abstract art quilting piece (Betty Anne mentored me on designing this piece)

My first abstract art quilting piece (Betty Anne mentored me on designing this piece)

Quilting Mentor #4: Jean Wells Keenan

My newest mentor is someone I have admired for a long time – Jean Wells Keenan, owner of the Stitchin’s Post quilt shop, teacher, author, and a inductee into the Quilters Hall of Fame. I briefly discuss the influence of her two brilliant art quilting books, Intuitive Color and Design: Adventures in Art Quilting and Journey to Inspired Art Quilting, on my creativity in the post Creative Inspiration: Nature.

Jean Wells Keenan brought intuitive creative design in quilting to the Central Oregon quilting community and her work has been an important influence in my move from traditional to art quilting. She is an excellent and inspiring teacher and I have been fortunate to be in several of her workshops as well as attend SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) meetings with her.  I live in a wonderful art quilting community and I am inspired many of my fellow local SAQA members and their daring and innovative art quilts.

Random Not So Random – recycled silk art quilt inspired by the line work of Jean Wells Keenan. Part of The Wardrobe Meets the Wall Collection.

Designed and Pieced by Tierney Davis Hogan.  Quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe. Photography by Jeremy Koons.

Designed and Pieced by Tierney Davis Hogan. Quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe. Photography by Jeremy Koons.

I hope someday to be a quilting mentor and inspire others on their creative path like these four wonderful women have inspired my creativity.

This is the Story of a Quilting Husband

Check out Sassy the Schnauzer’s latest adventures in her Schnauzer Snips page. 

I recently finished a wonderful audiobook written and read by Ann Patchett: This is the Story of a Happy Marriage (2013) – a brilliant collection of her essays. (Yes, I should just abandon my plan for a year of fictional audiobooks as I continue to primarily listen to nonfiction…)

In Ms. Patchett’s novel she tells, as the title suggests, the story of her happy marriage in one of her essays. I have been fortunate to be happily married for 25+ years to my husband Terry and recently finishing this novel inspired the title of this post.

This is the Story of a Quilting Husband

My husband Terry has always been supportive of my quilting hobby (as he enjoys a nap under a cozy handmade quilt). He never questioned the quilting fabric purchases during my intense “fabric acquisition periods” (refer to the post Craft Book Hoarder?!?!? and substitute “craft book” with “quilting fabric”).

Terry would accompany me to quilt shops and patiently wait while I shopped. Eventually he developed the habit of looking for dog themed fabric (especially if the fabric had schnauzers in it) whenever we went to a quilt shop. This became his special self appointment assignment (which eventually led to a large collection of dog themed fabric in my stash). Occasionally when I was done shopping at the quilt shop, Terry would still be looking around.

Terry became popular among my quilting friends when we lived in Seattle – he drove an Astro Van (which I called the “moving living room”) and he drove several of my quilting friends, myself and our two miniature schnauzers at the time, Fritz and Snickers, all around the Seattle area for Quilt Shop Hop. We must have spent 10 hours that day going to quilt shops and on the road driving a hundred or more miles trying to go to as many quilt shops as possible for shop hop. He deserves a special husband award for doing that!

Last fall I was struggling to make items for my tierneycreates Etsy shop and work my full-time health care job. On a whim I asked Terry: “would you be interested in learning how to quilt and helping me with simple piecing/sewing on quilts and other projects?”  Terry replied, “sure, I can do that.”  He proceeded to “do that”, Terry patiently learned, from his wife, basic sewing machine operation, machine sewing and simple piecing. The plan was to also enroll him in a beginning quilting class but the class he was enrolled got cancelled.

Terry has progressed in his sewing abilities and has become adept at basic straight piecing (sewing a straight edge to another straight edge) and is a natural with the terrifying tool – the rotary cutter (he has never sliced himself like I have). He has helped me on many projects, completing repetitive chain piecing projects and making the binding for my quilts.

His first completed quilt, a yummy log cabin flannel quilt, he gave to his Mom for her birthday as a surprise and she was quite pleased. He finally took his first quilt shop quilting class – on making t-shirt quilt.  Below is a photo of his first t-shirt quilt which made from his collection of brewery and beer enjoyment themed t-shirts.

Luckily I do not see Terry becoming a fabric hoarder like myself, but he does have his own stash (primarily stocked with those dog prints he found over the years). Besides we have a small house and we have reached our limit of fabric!

He is interested in the future in designing quilts that men would enjoy (and women who enjoy simple cozy comfort) made from flannel and denim. His favorite quilt is a quilt I made him in my early days of quilting which is very worn (and not very well constructed, ha) and made from flannel shirt material and denim.

Craft Book Hoarder?!?!?

Isn’t realization the first step to admitting you might have a problem?

Have you watched the TV show on A&E Network – Hoarders? Well I am not at that level (yet), but I do have some concerns over the size of my craft book collection.  I finally made myself count and I have 370 craft books.

IMG_0144I have crafts book on:

  • Quilting (of course)
  • Knitting
  • Crocheting
  • Beading
  • Pillow making
  • Bag/purse making
  • Potholder making
  • Scrapbooking
  • Organizing your craft space
  • Art inspiration
  • Beading
  • Metal clay
  • Felting
  • Etc.

In addition to craft books, I have quite the collection of crafting related magazines. I refuse to count them. I am still reeling from the shock that I have 370 (or more as I likely under counted) craft books.

So what am I going to do about it? I already gave away all the books I know I will never use to local charity thrift stores (some of the books I originally bought from a charity based thrift store, so I am completing the cycle).

What I would like to do (complete fantasy) is the make at least ONE ITEM from each book and then post it on my blog. That could be 350 new craft projects I would complete (at least 20 books are about organizing and inspiration not the actual making of a craft).

I am going to do it. Maybe. Watch in the future for an ongoing series of blog posts about actually making things from my craft books. Perhaps.  For now, I am seriously going to work on curbing my acquisition of craft books. Definitely.

This post serves as an addendum to the post Living with Less?!?!?! to further support why I would be challenged to scale back to 100 personal items, though I still daydream of living this minimal.

Creative Inspiration: Quiet, Stillness & Daydream

Sometimes quiet, stillness or time out to daydream… to let your mind freely wander…is just what you need to inspire your creativity.

I had committed to a year of listening to fictional audiobooks after listening to a year + of non fiction audiobooks, but I have slipped and a couple non fiction audiobooks have recently graced my ears. Two of those books inspired this post: The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere (2014) by Pico Iyer and The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload (2014) by Daniel Levitin.

Both of these books explore the need for the mind to be quiet at times. Being still and quiet can open up new windows of creativity.

This is very true for me. When I am stuck on a design for a new fiber piece and it is just not going anywhere, I find that taking a solitary walk or just sitting quietly and daydreaming is what I need to get unstuck.

Daniel Levitin in his book The Organized Mind, explores the importance of allowing your mind to wander freely and daydream. When I was working on the piece Jiko’s Secret Robe (see post A Novel Panel Idea) I was stuck on how to extend the original panel in an interesting way. Giving up on the piece for the evening, I went to bed and let my mind wander and daydream about the piece before going to sleep. Suddenly it came to me:  Mirror the waves in the printed panel and extend the panel with the sensation of flow, movement and waves. When I work up in the morning, I was clear on how to finish the piece.

In Pico Iyer’s audiobook The Art of Stillness, the author shares the story of sitting next to a woman on a plane for a long flight who appeared to be quietly meditating. Later in the flight he spoke to her and she said she was using the long flight to be still and move her mind from work to vacation time. I use stillness to transition from my health care day job to my evening of working on a fiber art quilt piece.

Three Sisters Mountains of the Cascade Mountain range as viewed during an airplane flight

Three Sisters Mountains of the Cascade Mountain range as viewed during an airplane flight

I appreciate a moment of stillness, a pause, in an otherwise overload mind. If we can give our minds a moment to wander freely or just be still we may find it refreshed and energized with new ideas and solutions to creative challenges.

If you would like to see recent piece that came to me during a moment of daydreaming, please see The Wardrobe Meets the Wall’s blog post New Addition to the Collection: Flying Vessel.