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.
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:
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.
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).
WWII Harley Davidson and Army Jeep
Of course being a nurse I had to include the Red Cross Volunteer uniform!
Women and WWII
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:
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…)
Japanese American Internment
A dark time in American history, hopefully we never forget.
(and finally) The Beginning of the Atomic Age
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
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…
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!
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:
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):
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.
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!
I recently finished another block from the Farm Girl Vintage book by Lori Holt. In the post Farm Girl Vintage, Part II shared the first 8 blocks I made from the book.
Here is the latest block: Canning Season
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:
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!)
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 Lifeby 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:
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.
How about a photo of an adorable senior dog to close our this post?
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!
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 poems: Central Oregon is Central to Me.
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.
Crafters, you know what I am talking about when I mention thoserulers, templates, tools that you were (suckered?) required to buy for a class or a specific project. You have never used them againbut 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!):
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
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).
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?
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:
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
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!
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.
Ok, 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!
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:
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 .
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
Setting Fabric – Using White/Off-White Fabric Scraps
Eight Blocks Completed (3 are duplicates):
My Favorite Block So Far (Baby Chick):
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”.
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.
This post was originally published on the Improvisational Textiles website in February 2017, moving to my tierneycreates blog.
As part of my ongoing series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration, I am sharing my latest inspiration: Temperature.
In 2015 I created this piece: Color Story VII: It’s Getting Warm In Here:
In 2015 a fellow quilter invited me over for a “Sew Day” at her home after she took a “Liberated Quiltmaking” class from Gwen Marston. She shared with me several of Gwen Marston’s techniques of freeform triangle piecing into borders and ‘flying geese’ style blocks. She also shared her stash of fabric scraps, filled with reds, oranges and yellows.
I created an improvisational piece that for me evoked a sense of rising temperature to potentially be the start of a Temperature-themed art quilt series. I added in some blues and purples to “cool down” the piece. I added red beads to the piece after it was quilting to add an additional element of interest for the viewer’s eye.
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:
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:
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):
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?