BLOG TOUR DAY 4: Unlikely Materials

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Photo credit: C&T Publishing

Welcome to Day 4 of the Blog Tour in support of Pat Pease & Wendy Hill’s new book Creative Quilt Challenges (C&T Publishing, 2016).

If you are just joining the tour today on my blog, you can see the full list of the 10 participating blogs on this tour at the C&T Publishing blog post: Creative Quilt Challenges Blog Tour Kickoff.

At the end of this post I will pose a discussion question, please post a comment to automatically enter a drawing for a copy of Creative Quilt Challenges. The random winner will be selected and notified around 04/07/16.

 


CHALLENGE #3 – UNLIKELY MATERIALS

In Creative Challenges, Pat Pease and Wendy Hill invite readers to flex their quilt-making creative muscles by experimenting with different “Challenges”. In Challenge #3 – Unlikely Materials, Pat and Wendy invite readers to stretch their creative muscles by working with materials other than traditional quilting cottons!


Transitioning from Cotton Material to “Unlikely Materials”

Four years ago, I would have looked at you as if you were insane if you suggested I use anything other than high quality quilting cottons, purchased from a quilt shop, for my quilt-making. Then in 2012 my friend and mentor, Betty Anne Guadalupe of Guadalupe Designs invited me to work on a collaborative project involving making art quilts out of recycled silks and linen samples from garment manufacturing. These samples had been saved from the trash heap by someone working for an Italian silk manufacturer in the 1990s and stored away since then.

At first I was terrified of working with anything but cotton for quilting. Cotton is so crisp and stable. Silk is slippery, delicate, and…well…terrifying!

One of the first skills I learned when working with silk was how to back delicate silks with interfacing. The best interfacing I have used for backing silk is “French-Fuse“. I learned about French-Fuse from Betty Anne, who learned about it from another art quilter, Grace. This interfacing provides much needed stability to delicate silks and makes them easier to rotary cut and to piece.

Here is one of the early pieces I made with recycled silksSilk Landscape:

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Silk Landscape (2012). Designed and pieced by Tierney Davis Hogan. Quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe. Photography by Jeremy Koons.


The Wardrobe Meets the Wall

Betty Anne and I both became hooked on using the recycled silks and linens to create art quilts. We formed a collaboration which eventually became The Wardrobe Meets the WallA collection of art quilts created from recycled garments, manufacturing remnants, and samples.

We have a blog, The Wardrobe Meets the Wall (we are working on evolving this into a a website, “Art Quilts by Guadalupe & Hogan”). See our page The Collection if you would like to see a samples of art quilts all made with “Unlikely Materials”.

Our collection includes quilts made from mens ties, recycled silk and linen samples, scrap wool from clothing or blanket manufacturing, recycled denim, and general recycled clothing.


Once You Start Experimenting with Unlikely Materials, You Might Get Hooked!

Betty Anne already had many years experience working with “Unlikely Materials” and before I knew it, she had me experimenting with using recycled wools and denims to create art quilts.

Here is my first experiment with working with recycled wools (from wool mens suiting manufacturing scraps and wool blanket manufacturing scraps) and denims (recycled jeans) – He Dresses Up, He Dresses Down:

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He Dresses Up, He Dresses Down (2014). Designed and pieced by Tierney Davis Hogan. Quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe

Basically – if you can sew with it, we will now try and make an art quilt with it. There are so many unlikely materials we have yet to try out. We enjoy recycling.

I was intrigued that in the Creative Quilt Challenge book, Pat Pease makes an adventurous art quilt with “hair canvas interfacing“. I bow my head to that level of creativity with “unlikely materials”!

(Disclaimer: We still love and support our local quilt shops and still make many quilts with traditional cottons. There are so many beautiful fabric collections to choose from and our new fabric stashes mysteriously continue to grow despite our obsession with recycled materials.)


Tips for Working with Unlikely Materials

I will not deny it – working with “unlikely materials” for the first time is scary. Here are some tips I have learned over the past 4 years. I am still learning and growing in my knowledge and comfort with using “unlikely materials”.

  • Do not be afraid to experiment and play: You do not have to create a great work of quilting art your first time working with a new “unlikely material”. I played with silk for a while before piecing it into an art quilt.
  • Check your sewing machine manufacturer’s website for tips on working with various materials and fibers.
  • Search for YouTube videos on working with a particular fabric and sewing tips on handling that type of fabric in your machine.
  • Network with other crafters that have experience working with a particular textile you are interested in trying. For example if you know a seamstress who has worked a lot with silk, you could ask her/him for tips.
  • Determine if a fabric/material needs to be interfaced in order to stabilize it for sewing. As I mentioned earlier, French-Fuse (which can be purchased at sites such as Annie’s Craft Store) is wonderful for backing delicate silks. It makes them so much easier to cut and piece. There are also YouTube videos on using French-Fuse.
  • If you are using heavy weight materials such as denim and some wools, consider pressing open your seams, and using 1/2 inch seams (like in making garments) as opposed to 1/4 inch seams. A trick that my mentor Betty Anne taught me is to run a tiny (1/8″ inch or less) seam along the front of the seams (front of your piece) to hold down the pressed down seams. This will be helpful if you have your piece professionally long-arm quilted so that the thick seams do not flip and catch the needle when being quilted.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, don’t give up! I have had several “unlikely materials” piecing/sewing disasters (bad words were said, not suitable for repeating). Some disasters were so bad I had to put them in the trash, I could not even recycle them into another project. Speaking of recycling a disaster into another project, see the post A Very Successful Rescue! about a piece made with recycled silk that was destined for the trash but was recycled by another quilter into a wonderful piece!
  • Warning – your other quilter friends who only enjoy using cottons, may at first give you a lukewarm response on your pieces made with “unlikely materials”. Do not be discouraged – art is a private and personal thing and you cannot control others reactions. (I love the saying: “It’s not my business what others think of me”…or my art!). I am sure I have quilter friends who thought at first I had lost my mind working with recycled silks and linens. As you grow in your experience with working with “unlikely materials”, your confidence will grow as will your adventurous spirit.

Working on My Latest Piece with Unlikely Materials

The timing of this blog tour post is great, as I am currently working on a new piece for a group exhibit I am participating in, called “Doors” for the local SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group I belong.

Designing the piece: Selecting the “Unlikely Materials”

I decided to use a photo of a door for inspiration, and located a wonderful collection of unique door photos on an Australian door and window manufacturer’s website Brisbane Timber .

I wanted to created a semi-realistic version of one of their doors, using recycled textiles (“unlikely materials”) and name the piece Recycled Door.

Here are the materials I selected:

(List clockwise from top)

  1. Recycled Corduroy Shirt
  2. Recycled Corduroy Pants
  3. Recycled Tweed Jumper
  4. Unusual shiny gold home decor fabric (this fabric was given to me by the very talented art quilter, Dianne Browning, who primarily uses the unlikely materials of home decor fabrics and decorator samples in her art – you can check out her incredible art at her website Art Quilts by Dianne Browning)
  5. Recycled Denim (from my bag of recycled jean sections)

The Piece in Progress

Below is a photo of Recycled Door in progress. If you like, for fun, you can go to the Australian door and window manufacturer’s website Brisbane Timber  and see if you can figure out which door inspired this piece.

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(The thread at the lower right hand of the piece is orange thread – I think it needs to be quilted with orange thread to repeat the strong orange accent in the piece.)


Are You Ready to Experiment or Have You Already Experimented? 

Now it is time for you to weigh in on your experience with using “Unlikely Materials” or whether you are interested in experimenting with “Unlikely Materials” in the future in your quilting projects.

Please comment below and all comments will be automatically entered into a drawing for a copy of Creative Quilt Challenges.

The random winner will be selected and notified around 04/07/16.

The Creative Quilt Challenges Blog Tour continues tomorrow, Friday April 1, at BOLT Fabric Boutique, boltneighborhood.com. Thanks for joining me on the blog tour today!

“When you are scared but still do it anyway, that’s BRAVE.” – Neil Gaiman

Getting Ready for My “Blog Tour Stop”

Tomorrow the tierneycreates blog is a stop on the “Blog Tour” for Pat Pease and Wendy Hill’s new book Creative Quilt Challenges (2016).

When I join the tour on 3/31/16, I will discuss Challenge #3: Unlikely Materials from this wonderful book.

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The Blog Tour opened on Monday 3/28/16 and here are the other “blog tour stops” posts to date (if you would like to read them prior to the tierneycreates Blog Tour stop tomorrow 3/31/16).


Blog Tour Stops to Date:

C&T Publishing – Creative Challenges Blog Tour Kick Off

Tales of a Stitcher – Creative Quilt Challenges by Pat Pease and Wendy Hill 

Sandra Clemons – Book Review Creative Quilt Challenges

Upcoming Posts:

Thursday, March 31: Tierney Hogan, tierneycreates.wordpress.com

Friday, April 1: Gina at BOLT Fabric Boutique, boltneighborhood.com

Monday, April 4: Yvonne, quiltingjetgirl.com

Tuesday, April 5: Kristin Shields, kristinshieldsart.com/blog

Wednesday, April 6: Paula Marie, paulamariedaughter.com

Thursday, April 7: Teri Lucas, generationqmagazine.com

Friday, April 8: Wendy Hill, wendyhill.net/blog

 You can enter to win a free copy of Creative Quilt Challenges at the C&T Publishing blog  (a Rafflecopter giveaway)! Giveaway ends 4/4, and winner will be announced on the C&T Publishing blog.


See you tomorrow for the tour stop at tierneycreates!

Here is a little something lovely I found in the garden today: my first opened tulip (Spring arrives a little later in Central Oregon)!

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Twigs Gallery Show: Photos

Here is the post from our The Wardrobe Meets the Wall blog with photos from our show that opened on Friday.

This show featured several of my pieces I have discussed or shared in progress photos and stories on the tierneycreates blog, such as We Will Not Be Discarded, made from my dear quilting friend Judy’s scrap discards from trimming blocks in a quilt she was making at a quilt retreat (yes I am that person who says: “are you going to throw that out?”  

Please click on the link at the end of the preview to read the full post at The Wardrobe Meets the Wall blog. 

The Wardrobe Meets the Wall

Betty Anne Guadalupe and Tierney Davis Hogan’s show The Collaborationopened at Twigs Gallery Friday March 25 and will run through April 2016.

Although this show did not feature only pieces from The Wardrobe Meets the Wall Collection, it was aligned with our mission of “Re-use, Re-cycle and Re-invent”.

For this show we featured art quilts made from rescued and abandoned blocks shared by other quilters or found items (such as those at thrift stores or garage sales).

Ivy at Twigs Gallery did a wonderful job hanging and arranging our pieces for the show. Paige at Twigs did an incredible job with promotional materials.

The wonderful sign for the show created by Paige V.:

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PHOTOS FROM THE GALLERY’S WALL (and our Artist Statements)


Ohio Star: 18” X 23” Silks and Wools
Designed and quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe

DSCN3322.jpgWhen Tierney Hogan asked if I wanted the block she…

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The Collaboration – Show Opening

Our show opens tomorrow at Twigs Gallery during the 4th Friday Art Walk, in Sisters, Oregon.

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My collaborative art quilt partner, Betty Anne Guadalupe and I will have a show, “The Collaboration”, opening at Twigs Gallery during the 4th Friday Art Walk, in Sisters, Oregon on Friday, March 25, 2016. The show will run through April 2016 and will feature art quilts we created from “rescued” quilt blocks (projects discarded by other quilters and reinvented/reimagined by us), and recycled materials.

Several of the pieces I have discussed on the tierneycreates blog, including We Will Not Be Discarded! and Tree Outside My Window, will debut at this show.

Below are images from the March 2016 issues of Cascade A&E Magazine (Central Oregon’s Arts & Entertainment Magazine):

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We are seeing each other again…

This post is a follow up to my previous post Break Up Letter to My Warehouse Club, in which I shared that Costco (my local warehouse club) and I were taking some time off from our relationship.

Well I started seeing Costco again, but this time I have better boundaries in this relationship (ha!). I only bring cash (I stopped using the Costco American Express card) and my purchases are limited to my cash on hand. There is something magical about the pain of surrounding cash as opposed to using a credit card.

A credit card is like a mythical payment that you will have to deal with someday in the mythical future. Cash is like so real – the money is GONE from your wallet right there in the moment.

I have also incorporated lessons from studying minimalism concepts. I carefully evaluate any item I want to purchase from Costco for its value in my life. So the giant jar of 80 pickles will likely never come home with me (I am not sure if Costco actually carries a jar of 80 pickles but this example seems to represent the general scale of their bulk offerings!).

So far so good. It felt really good to make thoughtful (and not impulsive or spontaneous) purchasing decisions at Costco and to leave the warehouse club with only the items I truly need and will add value to my life. (Toilet paper for example, definitely adds value, ha!)

So Costco and I have rekindled our relationship. We are taking is slow, and seeing where it goes…

Postscript

I really enjoy posts with photos, so here is a random unrelated to this post, photo. It is from a recent trip to a sushi restaurant to meet a friend for lunch:

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A Very Successful Rescue!

This post is a follow up to my February 2016 post Surrendering My Piece to “Rescue” in which I shared my frustration with an “Ohio Star” type block I was piecing with recycled silks. I abandoned the piece due to “major creative blockage” and my friend adopted it.

Betty Anne Guadalupe, who adopted my abandoned piece, took it apart and completely reimagined it!

I gasped (and nearly fainted) when I saw the wonderful reinvention she did with my humble beginnings!

Here is what I gave her:

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A “hot mess” by Tierney Davis Hogan (ha!)

Here is what she created:

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Ohio Star (2016) by Betty Anne Guadalupe

The piece measures 18” x 23” and is made with recycled silks and wools. If you look closely you can see sections of my original piecing. Betty Anne integrated all of my original piece in her piece!  This piece will be in our show at Twigs Gallery this Friday (see my post The Collaboration for more details on this show).

I think this is a very successful rescue! 

As I discussed in the post What’s on the Design Wall: Silk Squares, I am now working on a piece made from her leftovers from her piece! More to come as this new piece develops…

iCase

In yesterday’s post “When Studios Attack” I mentioned I was taking a class at a local quilt shop.

The class I took was called “iCases”. It was taught by a wonderful teacher Lavelle, and was held at BJ’s Quilt Basket (Central Oregon’s largest quilt shop).

I made my first iPad case and I had a blast in class. This is just a quick post to share the photos. The pattern is called iCase and is by Patterns by Annie.

“When Studios Attack”

Do you remember the cheesy TV specials on the Fox Network in the 1990s (and maybe early 2000s) with titles like “When Animals Attack”, “When Good Pets go Bad”, and other ridiculous titles?

I am not sure if the Fox Network will ever revive these TV specials, but I do have an idea to pitch to them for a future special: “When Good Studios Go Bad”

When You Do Not Want to Enter the Room

Early this year I posted photos of where I do my “tierney-creating”, in the posts  Inside the Studio and Inside the Closet (these titles sound like TV Specials themselves, but I think there would need to be a bit more spicy drama in these stories for a TV Network to want to air them.)

My studio space is approximately 10 feet by 12 feet and I try to keep it tightly organized at all times, as I have a small space to work in.

Yesterday after a crazy day of my healthcare-industry-pay-the-bills-job, I went to our monthly Central Oregon Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) meeting and then to dinner with friends. I also picked up two completed quilts from my long-arm quilter. Prior to leaving for the SAQA meeting, I was frantically busily sewing last minutes labels on the quilts for a collaborative show which openings Friday 3/25/16 (they had to be delivered to the gallery ASAP).

When I got home it was late, and I was very tired mentally and physically.  I placed the quilts from the long-arm quilter in my studio; visited for awhile with Terry the Quilting Husband, Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer, and Mike (also a miniature schnauzer but not as highly opinionated); and then headed to bed.

I had decided to take Friday off from work (today) and to take a class at a local quilt shop. However, I was too tired last night to do the required pre-class cutting before bed and figured I would deal with it in the morning… (are those not the famous last words of a procrastinator?!?!)

I overslept this morning, got up in a panic, stumbled into my studio to deal with all the pre-cutting before my 10:00 am class, and found this scene:

IMG_1559.jpgNow to many people, this does not look too bad. To me – this was like a terrifying Fox Network TV Special about something attacking something it should not, or some thing going very very very bad. I seriously did not want to walk into the room. 

I could not even locate the instructions for the class of what I needed to pre-cut. I had actually sort through most of the stuff lying on top of other stuff to find what I needed. The photo does not look as bad as it looked in person.

We all have different ways we deal with clutter, and many are comfortable with clutter. Clutter freaks me out. It shuts down my creative process and makes me not even want to enter a room.

I made it on time to the class today and had most of my fabric pre-cut. When I returned home, I cleaned up the studio and promised myself to not let my studio become a Fox TV Network Special again!

The Library Stack

Continuing my new ongoing series with a snapshot of what crafting, quilting, cooking, gardening, decorating, self-improvement, etc. books I currently have on loan from my local library.

Here is the stack (soon to be returned though, I have finished with them and it’s time to get a new stack!):

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I took this photo a week ago and there is one book that was in the stack, but not in the photo, that I have just finished and I highly enjoyed: Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed (2015).

Cheryl Strayed is the author of the book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (2013), a wonderful book and a wonderful film (even Terry the Quilting Husband enjoyed the film and he dislikes films about “finding yourself”.)  

Her latest book Brave Enough is a collection of quotes from her other writings.A couple quotes really stayed with me after reading them and I wanted to share:

“You can’t ride to the fair unless you get on the pony”

“Hello, fear. Thank you for being here. You’re my indication that I’m doing that I need to do.”

“Forgiveness doesn’t just sit there like a pretty boy in a bar. Forgiveness is the old fat guy you have to haul up the hill.”

Creative Inspiration: Books I Own

Continuing my series on sources of my creative inspiration, today I explore a couple of books in my personal collection that inspire me to create.

Unconventional & Unexpected: American Quilts Below the Radar 1950-2000 (Roderick Kiracofe, 2014)

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

This inspirational book was a gift from a friend. I have read it cover to cover and refer to it when I need inspiration. I even keep it on display at my house at the top of one of my bookshelves, to remind me that everyday people have beautiful art inside of them.

This excerpt from an Amazon.com review, summarizes how I feel about this book:

Artistic, joyful, visually and emotionally awakening
Beautifully designed and written from cover to cover, Unconventional and Unexpected: American Quilts Below the Radar 1950-2000 is a piece of art in and of itself. The collection of quilts in the book look like modern paintings and poetry created through stitches. Each quilt is made for personal use with most humble materials; it makes you wonder about the personal story of its maker. Like any other form of modern art, it allows you to make your own interpretation through the fabrics they used or the pattern they followed.

The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously (Sherri L. Wood, 2015)

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

I originally borrowed this book from our local library in Spring 2015. After an hour or two with this book, I had to purchase it and add it to my collection.

“Improve Is…Setting Limits to Expand Horizons” – Sherri L. Wood

I think this book is the seminal guide on quilting improvisation. It is not a pattern to follow quilt book, but a guide on strategies to allow yourself permission to be free and initiative in your quilt design. The author provides wonderful exercises to try out your improvisational skills. These “Scores” are intended to help art quilters gain confidence in their “improv” skills.

This also features work by other art quilters (in addition to the author) to include a very talented Oregon Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) colleague of mine, Marion Shimoda.

This book has been read cover to cover a couple times and shared this book with my collaborative art quilting parter, Betty Anne Guadalupe. Betty Anne loves challenges – after purchasing this book herself, she made a piece with recycled silks, based on one of the “Scores” (Setting Limits) in the book.

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Intuition (2016) by Betty Anne Guadalupe

Postscript

My collaborative art quilting partner, Betty Anne, sent this wonderful comment in an e-mail the other day and I wanted to quote her and share with my readers:

Art that breathes and expresses itself is the art that speaks to us from within” – Betty Anne Guadalupe

Hope you have a creative and inspirational week!

Terry the Quilting Husband Update

(Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s blog page SchnauzerSnips for her latest musings)

Five (5) of Terry the Quilting Husband’s quilts have been accepted into the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (SOQS) for the 2016 show on Saturday July 9, 2016. He will be in the special exhibit, ManMade featuring quilts made by men.

One of the quilts he will be showing at SOQS is named Cozy Flannel Snuggle and has a special story.

Cozy Flannel Snuggle : The Story

Terry was very determined and ambitious as a new quilter that he could “mass produce quilts”. He thought why make blocks for one quilt, when you can make blocks for THREE quilts? He took my flannel scraps and did just that – chain pieced (for days and days it seemed) enough blocks for 3 large lap size flannel quilts.

Terry is the youngest of 7 kids and his Mom and two sisters are quilters. When we told his Mom and sisters in 2014 that Terry had become a quilter, I think they thought we were “pulling their legs”. We suspect they thought he was just helping me with a couple tasks here and there on my quilts, not actually making his own quilts!

So in early 2015, Terry surprised his Mom for her 96th birthday, with a quilt made by her youngest son!

She and Terry’s quilting sisters were very surprised and impressed. One of his sisters sent us a wonderful photo of Mom Hogan snuggled with her Terry quilt and her newly adopted little rescue dog (Terry’s sisters adopted for their Mom a senior rescued shelter dog for companionship).

Terry’s Mom received the first quilt he ever made on his own. He figured, since she brought him into the world, she should be the recipient of his first quilt!

The photo of Terry’s Mom and her dog all snuggled in the quilt, inspired the name of the quilt “Cozy Flannel Snuggle”. In addition to the one Terry gave to his Mom, we kept one of the three quilts ourselves and the last of the three Terry is showing (and selling) at the SOQS so someone else can have the snuggle experience! (Perhaps Terry was right about “why make one quilt, when you can make three?”)

(NOTE: This story was originally very briefly mentioned in the first post about Terry the Quilting Husband – This is the Story of a Quilting Husband)

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Cozy Flannel Snuggle (2014). Designed and pieced by Terry Hogan. Quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe.

Postscript

I will have four (4) of my quilts in the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show this year, but mine will be mingled in the “general population” of quilts at the show (smile).

 

Signs of Spring

Very quick post – today on my walk I saw definitive signs of Spring – Crocus in a neighbor’s yard.

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We are in need of Spring in Central Oregon!

Every late Winter or early Spring when I see the Crocus, I tell myself “okay this Fall, you need to plant some so you can have them in your yard”. However, when it gets to Fall I forget! I hope I remember this Fall as Crocus are such a wonderful treat to see!

Why Etsy?

Why do I have the tierneycreates Etsy shop? In this post I share what motivated me to originally open the tierneycreates: a fusion of textiles and smiles Etsy shop; and what motivates me now.

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Original Motivations

I originally opened the shop as a part-time business in December 2013 to:

  • Justify all the money I had spent over the years on fabric and sewing/quilting supplies.
  • Motivate myself to spend more consistent time creating and sewing with the fabric and supplies I  own (to decrease my fabric stash).
  • Provide support (and justification) for future fabric and supplies purchases.

As you will see later in this post, my current motivations for having an Etsy shop now expand beyond those original reasons.

I selected Etsy over selling on eBay as a selling venue, as Etsy appeared to be a friendly venue and forum for connecting those who have handmade items to sell with individuals who are seeking handmade items!

Etsy Shop Challenges

One of the challenges I faced when opening the shop, was that I work full-time.

I read in one or two of the Etsy Seller Forums, that you need to have an adequate selection of items in your shop to attract and interest customers. For example – if you only have like 10 items in your shop, potential customers will look briefly at your shop and move on.

So I decided that until I could find the time to make more handmade items, I would supplement my handmade items with selling a small selection of fabric yardage and pre-cut fabrics (like “jelly rolls” and “fat quarters”). Then plan was to “bulk up” my Etsy shop with additional offerings, so potential customers would not just pass me by (as a sad empty looking shop, ha!)

Well, If you want to see why I would never open a quilt shop (much respect to those who do) see my post from June 2015 –  Adventures in Retail. I could not believe how cumbersome and stressful it is to try and cut fabric yardage for a customer; or to create sets of fat quarters.

I always panic that I will “short” a customer on yardage, so I have been very generous in my cutting. I would likely have very low profit margins as a quilt shop owner – ha!

Additionally, I never fully appreciated those sweet little sets of fat quarters I see in quilt shops, until I tried to make them myself. I now bow in respect to those who work in quilt shops!

Learning to properly package and ship items when they sold was another learning curve I had as a new Etsy shop owner. I can now package and ship items in my sleep (I did develop a process and have a section of my laundry room set up for packaging). Eventually I taught “Terry the Quilting Husband” how to handle packaging and shipping and he helps with the least fun part about an Etsy sale.

Current Motivations & Inspirations

It is now 2016, and my motivations for having  the tierneycreates Etsy shop are different from my original motivations.

One of my primary reasons I continue to manage my shop on Etsy (as it is still not a “quit your day job” kind of business) are the CONNECTIONS I have with customers. I have enjoyed many Etsy conversations with fellow quilters who have purchased fabric and with customers who have purchased my handmade items.

It is very exciting to me that fabric I sold someone gets to go into their project, or that something I made is going into someone’s home or as a gift to someone they care about. As a bonus,  a positive review on Etsy from a customer is such a huge treat! I feel like I am living my tierneycreates tagline, “fusing textiles and smiles”.

I have considered from time to time – “why continue with the Etsy shop, it is extra work and you already work many hours in your full-time health care job?” Then I remind myself it is a fun hobby and the non-monetary rewards I receive from having the shop.

Speaking of customers – I met this wonderful woman through an Etsy transaction and I now follow her blog and consider her a new long distance friend – Martha’s Blog.

Here is the fabric she purchased from my shop (the entire remaining bolt, it is now sold out):

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AND – here is what she did with it (which blows my mind and makes me so glad I had the fabric available to sell her!):

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Here is a link to the post about this amazing quilt which was part of a her quilting guild challenge – Shapely Challenge Revealed.

I would have never imagined using that fabric in such a creative way. I am very inspired!

The Future

I am debating if in the future, once my current selection of fabrics are sold from my shop, whether to keep selling special fabrics.

On one hand, I really enjoy seeing what people make with the fabric they purchase from my shop and connecting with other crafters. On the other hand I am too small an operation to purchase fabric at the wholesale rates that a quilt shop would and there is a very small profit margin on the fabric I sell (it covers the gas to get it to the post office to ship, ha!).

However buying fabric to resell, does help finance any fabric I keep for myself from a beautiful bolt of fabric. If I do continue to sell fabric, I will only sell fabrics I want to use in my own projects.

Another option would be to sell fabric already in my personal fabric stash, but I have worked hard over the past couple of years to donate to charity thrift shops any fabric I do not absolutely love or do not have planned for any future project (see my post The Fabric Purge).

Also, I would not want to sell on my Etsy shop any fabric that I would now pause and think: “what the heck was I planning when I bought that?!!?!”  I bet all quilters have fabrics in their stash that look like they were on hallucinogens (or other mind altering substances) when making their original purchase.

So that is the current story on this Etsy shop journey, thanks for reading.  So far being an Etsy shop owner has been a fun, challenging and wonderful experience!

Website Work

BREAKING NEWS: I am going to be participating in a Blog Tour as part of C&T Publishing’s promotion of my friends new book, Creative Quilt Challenges (Pat Pease & Wendy Hill, 2016) and you will have an opportunity to win a copy of the book, just by commenting on my blog, more details to come!

Learning Curve on the New Website

I spent part of the weekend working on the new Art Quilts by Guadalupe & Hogan website on the Square Space platform. It is not intuitive like my WordPress blog and requires quite a learning curve. I have resorted to having to watch the instructional videos (which are quite excellent) to guide me along each step of creating the website from the Square Space templates.

I can tell the website is going to be fairly professional looking, as opposed to the homegrown blog look of our The Wardrobe Meets the Wall site.  The template I am using is very sleek and allows a lot of cool customization.

In preparation for our upcoming show, The Collaboration (see the Textiles Adventures page or the recent post The Collaboration), Betty Anne Guadalupe and I were asked to write the story of our collaboration (we collaborated on the story of our collaboration, ha).

I am working on integrating this story into our new website but I thought I would share the story now on my tierneycreates blog:

The Collaboration

The work of Betty Anne Guadalupe and Tierney Davis Hogan is about collaboration across generations, backgrounds, and cultures. They each come from different perspectives and bring those perspectives into their collaborative work.

They randomly came together in Central Oregon completely by chance nearly 10 years ago and the universe kept mysteriously bringing Betty Anne and Tierney together until they became friends.

The birth of their first collaboration was for a show that they conceptualized: art quilts from recycled silk couture fabric samples. They then invited other art quilters to join in this challenge of creating art quilts from recycled silks and this became Quilting Meets Couture. This matured into Betty Anne and Tierney’s current collaborative collection, The Wardrobe Meets the Wall, collection of art quilts made from recycled garments and garment manufacturing samples.

Betty Anne and Tierney have been engaging in ongoing collaboration of art quilts projects. They frequently get together for “sew days”. They have exchanged blocks and fabrics from each others’ “stash”. They join together for supportive, collaborative discussions, followed by sharing of fabric, unfinished blocks and a meal.

Tierney and Betty Anne each work independently, but as good friends always do, they share ideas.

Their recent endeavor is to stick with idea of making beauty from random discards. The result of this endeavor is that it has set their creative spirits soaring.

The art quilt below, Flying Triangles, was our very first art quilt collaboration: I designed and pieced the quilt with silk and linen couture garment manufacturing samples (originally due to be trashed by the manufacturer) that Betty Anne had procured; and Betty Anne did the quilting.

Flying Triangles (2012). Designed and Pieced by Tierney Davis Hogan. Quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe. Photography by Jeremy Koons.

Coupons of Temptation

Temptation: The Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores’ coupons…

In previous posts such as  Craft Book Purge and Craft Book Hoarder?!?!? , I confess my addiction to craft books; and my struggle to stop bring new crafting books into the house.

I recently realized a major source of temptation related to craft book buying: The weekly Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store coupons that come in the mail.

img_1514How could I turn down 40% off, 50% off and occasionally 60% off – one regular priced item?!?! You can probably guess what I would buy with these coupons (hint: craft books).

Many times I would go to Jo-Ann’s with a plan to buy a crafting, quilting or sewing supply such as interfacing, rotary blades, etc. with the coupon. I would then discover that the item I had intended to use the coupon to purchase, was already on sale and thus not eligible for the coupon.

After finding what I needed already on sale, I could not just leave Jo-Ann’s without using my glorious coupon! I would usually end up getting a crafting related book for 40%- 60% off with the coupon that was burning a hole in my pocket.

The Solution: I have started recycling these coupons when they arrive in the mail.

It was unnerving at first but it is a huge step towards just enjoying the books I have already.

I can continue use the public library to satisfy my need to have new craft books to look at  (True Confession: I do get a little buzz with the anticipation of leafing through a new crafting or decorating book). I do not need to own them!

Postscript

In my recent post The Library Stack I shared how I am enjoying the audiobook  SuperBetter by Jane McGonigal and her discussion on “cognitive reframing”.

Well, another concept discussed in this wonderful book – “self distancing” – has also caught my attention. Paraphrasing the author, “self distancing” is the technique by which you step outside yourself and view a situation from an observer point of view, not from the point of view of the person experiencing the situation.

For example, when I was working through allowing myself to just recycle the latest weekly Jo-Ann’s coupon, I stepped outside myself for a moment and asked:

“Does Tierney really need anything right now (or in the near future) from Jo-Ann’s?”

The answer from an observer perspective is a clear “No”.

The Collaboration

My collaborative art quilt partner, Betty Anne Guadalupe and I will have a show, “The Collaboration”, opening at Twigs Gallery during the 4th Friday Art Walk, in Sisters, Oregon on Friday, March 25, 2016. The show will run through April 2016 and will feature art quilts we created from “rescued” quilt blocks (projects discarded by other quilters and reinvented/reimagined by us), and recycled materials.

Several of the pieces I have discussed on the tierneycreates blog, including We Will Not Be Discarded! and Tree Outside My Window, will debut at this show.

Below are images from the March 2016 issues of Cascade A&E Magazine (Central Oregon’s Arts & Entertainment Magazine):

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The Library Stack

If you have read my blog in the past, you know I am in love with the public library. I thought it would be fun to start a new occasional series on the tierneycreates blog called “The Library Stack”, where I would share a photo of the stack of books, of my latest borrowings from my local library.

I love to browse the crafting, quilting, cooking, gardening and home decor sections. I will also take a run through the entire non-fiction section just for fun and to see if anything catches my eye.

I recently started following a blog, Dewey Hop, in which the blogger is documenting their journey of reading through their entire local library! I secretly dreamed of doing this someday; and even tried to do it as a kid, attempting to make it through the entire Children’s section! However, I am going to stick my my favorite dewey decimal section of 700 – “Arts & Recreation”!

Every time I think I have borrowed all the books that are worth borrowing – POW – there is a fresh new group of books to borrow! Additionally my local library has a Non-Fiction New Release section, which I love to browse every time I visit it (it is the first place to head when I enter the library!).

So here is my current stack:

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One of my great pleasures in life is to sit with a pot of tea and my library stack! 

Postscript

More library related stuff – this is a follow up to the post Good Listens (and other stuff). In this post I shared I was currently listening to an audiobook I borrowed from the library – SuperBetter by Jane McGonigal.

This audiobook is fantastic and I had to renew it to finish it up (it is rather long, but packed with great information and inspiration). This audiobook is about using gaming concepts to improve things that challenge you in life, and to achieve goals. The author has a TED talk and it is fantastic – Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life. (Thanks to my friend Torben suggesting the TED Talk!).

Also here is the author’s website: www.superbetter.com

Here book goes WAY beyond the TED Talk. One of my favorite concepts in the book is “Cognitive Reframing”, which is defined in Wikipedia as “…a psychological technique that consists of identifying and then disputing irrational or maladaptive thoughts. Reframing is a way of viewing and experiencing events, ideas, concepts and emotions to find more positive alternatives…”.  I have already started applying the concepts I picked up from this audiobook and I am very pleased!

I am enjoying this book so much I might go buy the hardcover version to keep as a reference!

What’s on the Design Wall: Silk Squares

This post continues my ongoing series on “What’s on the Design Wall”?

In my previous post We Will Not Be Discarded’s Debut, I shared:

Also debuting in this show will be the piece that Betty Anne created from my abandoned recycled silk Ohio Star project she rescued (see post Surrendering My Piece to “Rescue”).The piece is amazing – she used all my original piecing and reworked it, with additional recycled silks and linens, into a completely new and deliciously intuitive design. I will post a photo after it debuts at the show. We were so inspired by this “handing off of the start of a piece” to another person to reimagine the piece, that Betty Anne gave me her start of another piece based on the same group of recycled silk and linens scraps. This will be a new challenge – I will create a piece based on her leftovers from her work on my piece that I abandoned …but that is another post…

Well, I have started on the piece inspired by the scraps my friend Betty Anne gave me (from her reworking of a piece I had started and then abandoned). She also gave me a small “square within a square log cabin style block” she had made from the scraps.  I used this block as the starting point for my challenge.

It is now in progress on the Design Wall.

Here is the story of it’s evolution to date, in photos:

The stash of recycled silk and linen scraps that Betty Anne gave me from her silk piece (which was a reworking of a piece I started, then abandoned)

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I made approximately 56 – 58, 2 x 2 inch and 2.5 x 2.5 inch free form “log cabin” style blocks. (I do not remember exactly which one of the blocks is the one Betty Anne originally gave me to start the challenge; but I know it is one of the black silk blocks with a bright center.) 

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I played around with potential layouts (like floating them in a solid silk like you see above photo) and I am leaning towards grouping them all together. I love the intensity of all the colors together.

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Here is a close up of one of my favorite 2.5 x 2.5 inch blocks – I am having so much fun coming up with combinations from the limited fabric options I was given. I enjoyed the tiny piecing challenge and many of the silks had to be backed with interfacing to stabilize their delicate weaves.

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Now the blocks are on the Design Wall.

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Now I can decide, from the remaining fabrics, what additional blocks I need to add and their color combinations.

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It is a work in progress!