The End of an Era: Goodbye to Making Miniature Kimonos

Check out Sassy the highly opinionated miniature schnauzer’s blog Schnauzer Snips for her latest thoughts and adventures.

RETIRING THE MINIATURE KIMONO LINE

I have been making miniature kimonos for friends and family for over 12+ years and for my Etsy shop for nearly 2 years. After talking to my sister who I like to bounce online sales ideas off, I decided to do one more batch of miniature kimonos for the tierneycreates Etsy shop and then be done with making miniature kimonos.

I have so enjoyed making them and seeing them hung in the homes of friends and family. I had a nice response to them on my Etsy shop with repeat customers on the miniature kimonos, which was quite an honor.

Now I am ready to move on and create other small handmade items I can offer on my Etsy shop at reasonable prices. I will still make a miniature kimono on special request.

For my last official batch of miniature kimonos, I made 24 and gave one to my sister for her birthday and listed the rest on the Etsy shop. I used new color combinations and embellished some with cool antique buttons a friend shared from her mother’s/grandmother’s collection.

I am pretty pleased with this batch and I was tempted to keep some for my personal collection of miniature kimonos (I have them displayed in shadow boxes or hanging from chopsticks in my house).

Miniature Kimonos we had a good run – I know you have brought smiles to many!

23 new miniature kimonos ready for the shop

23 new miniature kimonos ready for the shop

The Quilting Husband Saga Continues…

THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT BIND HIS QUILTS

Feeling a little overwhelmed….

Terry, the Quilting Husband (see previous posts “This is the Story of a Quilting Husband“, etc.), has been hard at work piecing quilts. We just got back from the long-arm quilter THREE of his quilts and now they need binding sewn on and then sewn down to finish the quilt.

I am in charge of binding quilts – The Quilting Husband wants NOTHING to do with binding quilts. I have not pushed the issue as when I started quilt-making I was terrible at putting binding on quilts and sewing binding down. It was very frustrating for me, I just wanted to be done with making the quilt and not deal with the binding (I redid the binding many years later on my original quilts which looked like I had been taking mind-altering substances while binding…).

I am happy he is quilting and I want him to keep enjoying the process, so I do his binding.

(By the way – now I actually enjoy sewing down the binding as it builds the anticipation to the completed quilt.  I do not mind plopping in front of the TV and sewing down a binding. The Quilting Husband would equate this to enjoying a dental procedure!)

Keep in mind I have my own quilts to bind too, but I will just take it on, one quilt binding at a time!

IMG_0915

POSTSCRIPT

If you are not a quilter, binding a quilt can take several hours or more to complete depending on how large the quilt you are working on. A quilt is truly a labor of love –  from figuring out the pattern (or creating your own design), selecting the fabric, measuring and cutting the fabric, hours of sewing to piece the quilt, machine quilting (or paying to have professional quilted), trimming the edges after machine quilting, measuring and cutting the binding, sewing the binding onto the quilt, and finally sewing down the binding! (Whew I got exhausted just writing that – ha!)

Why do we keeping doing it (us crazy quilters)? Because it is fun and addicting!!!

Ugly Sunflower Fabric Challenge

IMG_1448I love sunflowers and years ago (maybe 10) I bought some sunflower fabric I found on sale. I never used this fabric and it ended up in the back of my stash, forgotten.

A couple of months ago I was purging the fabric that I no longer loved to donate to a charity thrift store (see blog post The Fabric Purge!) and came across the sunflower fabric again. I do not have a photo of the original fabric, but 10 years later, looking at it I thought “what was I thinking?!?!?”

It was…well…quite ugly fabric. Little sunflower images with a very cheesy looking patterns and other images surrounding the sunflowers. No wonder it had been on sale 10 years ago!

A quilter friend of mine suggested a Challenge: Don’t get rid of the fabric – cut out the sunflowers and use them as centers in a log cabin style quilt. She offered to give me some coordinating fabric that she was purging from her stash!

I took on the challenge and made the quilt! I just gave to my long-arm quilter the 88″ x 66″ quilt top made with just the sunflower sections of the ugly fabric and coordinating fabric from a friend’s stash!  I set the 9.5″ by 9.5″ inch blocks in a Moda paper bag colored fabric. I cannot wait to see what it looks like quilted!

Creative Inspiration: Organization?!?!?

Continuing my series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration…

HOW ORGANIZING MY SCRAPS GOT ME INSPIRED

Sounds like a testimonial, right?

“At first my life was empty of direction and meaning and then I organized my fabric scraps and suddenly everything was much much much better!” – Anonymous Scrap Hoarder

Not exactly. However organizing my fabric scraps last evening did inspire my creativity!

I love fabric scraps and I have quite a collection. I have several blog posts about my love of scraps. My fabric scraps were getting out of control and were in two fairly large boxes. I enjoy the “hunt” for the right fabric scraps when creating a scrappy quilt, but found I grew irritated with not being able to easily find the colors I want.

So I decided to organize my fabric scraps in two ways, to give me flexibility of how I create with fabric scraps:

  1. By color
  2. All thrown in a box (random)

This new system allows me to create fabric scrap pieces (quilts, pillows, wallhanging, table runners, etc.) based on my “creative mood”. I might want to work on a piece that it focused on oranges, yellows and reds; or I might want to work on a piece that is very scrappy and more random. Now I have two options!

I am interested in working on some pieces in the future that are more monochromatic but with fabric of different patterns and textures in the same general color. Having fabric scraps organized by color will make this design process easier.

As I was organizing my fabric scraps I got very excited as ideas for new pieces ran wildly through my head!

So…

Sometimes I want to create from these containers…

IMG_0679

And sometimes I want to create from this box…

IMG_0684

Happy Crafting!

What’s on the Design Wall: Making Progress?

PLAYING…

In my post What’s on the Design Wall: Rescued Blocks II  I shared that a quilter friend gave me a cool stack of batik freely pieced abstract fabric blocks that she no longer wanted to work on, and a pile of coordinating scraps of fabric.  I was planning to combine those blocks and scraps with a couple trees stamped on batik fabrics, from a fabric surface design workshop I took earlier this year.

Here is what I started with:

IMG_0627

After playing with the pieced blocks and assorted scraps for awhile, I decided to create 12.5 inch blocks. I am aiming for 15 blocks, so far I have 8. I am looking into non-traditional block settings once I complete the 15 (or more blocks).

Here is what it looks like now (so far):

in progress

in progress

Occasionally I wish I had a larger design wall to put more blocks up on during the design process, but I can use the top of a bed to continue my design layout when I have 15 blocks (or more). All sorts of ideas have been running through my mind (the fun of designing a piece) such as spacing out the blocks by setting them at wide intervals in a neutral fabric, etc. We will see how it turns out and of course I will post future photos!

POSTSCRIPT 

I love good quotes! I came across this quote the other day that made me smile and reflect:

“Continual is the journey: Past sunset towards morning.” – Willis Eberman

Is this quote referring to my marathon art quilt design sessions where I lose track of time? Or perhaps my ongoing journey on my “tierneycreates” path!

Should I Run or Walk?

I am currently listening to, while working on crafts or walking the dogs, an audiobook by Ben Davis titled Do Life: The Creator of “My 120-Pound Journey” Shows How to Run Better, Go Farther, and Find Happiness

He tells his story of achieving a 120-pound weight loss by changing his damaging life style choices, dealing with his addiction to food, video games and gambling, and taking up running – eventually becoming a marathoner and triathlete.

I always secretly wanted to be a runner. I have two friends who are experienced runners tell me how to start running, however I have yet to really try their methods. I don’t have 120 pounds to lose but I could stand to lose another 20 and running might be the way to achieve this dream.

Starting running might be like when I started quilting. In the late 1990s a friend at work (now a lifetime quilt sister friend) encouraged me to start quilting and I was very hesitant. I kind of went along for the ride, because I liked her as a person and I liked the idea of quilting. I struggled through my first quilt but it was an incredible accomplishment. 15+ years later I continue to know the initial struggle was worth it.

For now I will keep listening to the audiobook and mulling it over in mind, whether to try running. I will keep walking the dogs twice a day and enjoying the beautiful scenery on my walk as neighborhood gardens are in bloom!

Quilt Sold at 40th Anniversary Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

Please see Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer blog on the Schnauzer Snips page for her latest adventures. 

Today I have a huge grin on my face!

I sold my quilt, Beautiful and Bright Colorful Batik Quilt,  at the July 11, 2015 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show!  This is my first time selling a quilt at a quilt show. I have had quilts exhibited at quilts shows but they have not been for sale in the past (note: I have listed for sale The Wardrobe Meets the Wall art quilts at gallery shows).

I had five quilts in the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show this year and I am so happy that this large beautiful quilt sold to someone from California who will be enjoying it in their home!

(I secretly wish I did not have to pay the 30% commission to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show on the sale – ha! However I so appreciate the hard work of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show staff and volunteers who hung my quilt and handled all the logistics of the show. The commission from quilt sales helps keep our beloved premiere Central Oregon quilt show going!)

In and Out, pieced by Tierney Davis Hogan, quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe

Beautiful and Bright Colorful Batik Quilt, pieced by Tierney Davis Hogan, quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe

My Brush with Greatness

I am fortunate to live in Central Oregon where there are many talented and nationally known quilters/quilting book authors who inspire me, such as Jean Wells Keenan owner of the The Stitchin’ Post and founder of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. Last night I got to meet Quilting Greatness from outside of Central Oregon at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 40th Anniversary Ruby Celebration.

First, I got to see in person the Quilters of Gee’s Bend from Gees Bend Alabama who are descendants/children of the original Gees Bend Quilters (whose quilts were featured on the USPS Stamp Collection as well exhibited in museums such as the Whitney Museum of American Art). In addition to being interviewed on stage by Jean Wells Keenan and telling their stories, they also performed several Southern Gospel tunes.

I also had the chance to chat individually with two dynamic and engaging famous quilters: Fabric designer, teacher, and quilting book author Tula Pink (I am a huge fan of her books) and Rob Appell of Man Sewing (I watch his instructional craft videos and read his blog all the time, so fun to meet him in person!). Additionally,  I got to briefly interact with the famous machine quilter Angela Walters – I have a couple of her wonderful books that make accessible to regular machine quilters like me cool modern quilting patterns and techniques and it was great to meet her in person.

As a bonus to the evening, I got to see my friend Betty Anne Guadalupe and partner in The Wardrobe Meets the Wall, be recognized as one of the Honored Quilters for the 40th Anniversary Event! It was a very cool evening! IMG_0657

Being Proactive: 24 New Miniature Kimonos in Progress

This week I started a new schedule for my health care job (the job that keeps the lights on) – I work Tuesdays to Fridays and have Mondays off from work. Mondays are now a day to focus on tierneycreates – making handmade items for my tierneycreates Etsy shop and working on art quilts for The Wardrobe Meets the Wall.

In my previous post, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Crafters, I discuss my crafting goals in the context of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey’s habit #1 is “Be Proactive”. On my first Monday off in my new work schedule, motivated by revisiting Covey’s 7 Habits, I was actually PROACTIVE!

As I stated in my previous post: “Those projects will not just start or finish themselves, Tierney!” Today I worked on 24 new miniature kimonos for my Etsy shop. Miniature kimonos were the first items (besides my vintage Barbie collection) that I offered on the tierneycreates Etsy shop when I first opened it in late 2013. They ended up being more popular than I anticipated and I am adding a new batch. I may stop making them after this batch as I would like to focus on other small items for the shop.

I experimented with some new colors and combinations I have not tried before. I will finish them up with their own unique decorative button and possibly a tassel (if the tassel works with the button and color combination.

A new batch of miniature kimonos in progress, July 2015

A new batch of miniature kimonos in progress, July 2015

It felt good to be proactive and get a new load of kimonos started, even if it was tedious and tiring at times. I am still working towards to achieving my 2015 goal of having 100 items on the tierneycreates Etsy shop and the only way to achieve that is to be proactive and make stuff!

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Crafters

Do you have a favorite inspirational book of all time? A book whose message you have woven into the core of who you are as a person?

I do – Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. If you have not read this book, I highly recommend that you do.

Recently revisiting this book got me thinking: “how would the habits discussed in this book apply to creativity,  making handmade crafts, and creating a collection of art quilts?” Can I apply Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to the work I do on my tierneycreates business: striving to make a catalogue of handmade items infused with smiles to offer to my Etsy shop customers; and to working towards my dream of becoming a professional artist (The Wardrobe Meets the Wall)?

I came up with The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Crafters, based on Covey’s 7 Habits. If you have read Covey’s spectacular book then you know the background on each habit listed. If you have not read the book, read it, it is a life changer! 

THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE CRAFTERS

  1. Be Proactive: Those projects will not just start or finish themselves, Tierney! This habit reminds me that if I want to move forward with my goals, I have to get off the couch (and stay away from those highly addictive iPad games) and start working on projects and actions to achieve my goals.
  2. Being with the End in Mind: This habit helps me when working on an art quilt. When I get to the point when my intuitive and free-form design appears to have gone awry, I step back and think: “What do I want this piece to be? What do I want it to truly express and represent?” Taking a step back and thinking about what I want the end (the completed piece) to accomplish helps me refocus.
  3. Put First Things First: I use this habit when deciding on what priorities of projects to work on. It is very attractive and fun to work on another set of log jam blocks (read about my addiction to “log jam” blocks on my post “Log Jamming”: The Sequel) but it does not move me towards my goal of becoming a professional artist. What I need to put first is working on a new art quilt to build my catalogue of art quilts. This habit is also important when there are times I need to step away from the sewing machine and focus my attending on spend time hanging out with my husband and dogs.
  4. Think Win-Win: This has been a helpful habit on rare Etsy shop issues. Recently a customer mistakingly ordered the wrong fabric for a quilt project she was trying to complete. I did not carry in my Etsy shop the hard to find exact color she needed, only a similar color. I offered to accept a return on the fabric and I spent a bit of time researching for her where she could find the hard to find color in rare fabric line. She decided to keep the fabric she ordered by mistake and she used the links I sent her to work on locating the rare fabric for her quilt.
  5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood: The meaning of this habit is actually much deeper then how I am about to apply it to crafting: Sometimes you have to step back, slow down and try to understand why something is not working on a piece in progress. I get so focused on trying to complete something it is as if I am trying to force a square peg into a round hole. If I take a step back and try to understand what is really going on with the piece then I can come to solution. This habit is also an invaluable habit when working with other quilters on projects and working with my Etsy customers.
  6. Synergize: This habit comes into play when I am working with my collaborative partner, Betty Anne, on The Wardrobe Meets the Wall art quilts. When I am designing and piecing a new art quilt I think about the blank space and design elements that will suit her creative long-arm quilting. We discuss her plan for overall quilting design on my art quilts and I trust her intuition in what will work on the piece.
  7. Sharpen the Saw: I am an experienced quilter but I need to continue to take quilting classes and workshops to learn new techniques and refine existing ones. I also need to continue to network with other quilters and crafters, both those doing traditional quilts and those doing art quilts and experimental art quilting techniques. Inspiration does not come to me in a vacuum.
photo credit: Wikipedia

photo credit: Wikipedia

Postscript:

I first read this book in the late 1990s after attending a work related inservice in which the presenter briefly reviewed and discussed The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. After reading The 7 Habits, in addition to gaining an incredible new perspective on life, relationships, what is important in life, etc., I also gained a life long friendship.

I read this book in the early days of amazon.com and I wrote my first amazon.com book review on this book. I was contacted via e-mail by someone in Europe who read my review and was looking for someone to discuss the book. Our book discussion via e-mail turned into a life long friendship with a trip to Europe to meet and then years of trips across continents to get together and hang out.

18-19 years later, we are still close friends. My friend had the opportunity to meet Dr. Steven Covey in Europe prior to Dr. Covey’s death in 2012, and got me an autographed copy of the book that I will cherish always.