Everything is Accomplished (What’s On the Design Wall)

Yesterday I completed the quilt top for a wallhanging based on the following quote:

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~Lao Tzu

And like Nature, I did not hurry on completing this piece! It was started in May 2016 during a class at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, Oregon with the lovely Janet Shorten (see post Adventures in Appliqué ). I picked the piece back up again in June 2017 (see post Quilt Retreat Inspiration and Projects). I wrangled tangled floss and learned to backstitch (see post The Backstitch and the End of Tangled Floss) and finally completed the quilt top yesterday…July 2017!

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At first I was only going to stitch the Lao Tzu quote going around the tree. However the right side did not seem balanced, with the left side having the acorn. Also I thought at first glance it might not be apparent what the odd thing on the left was (my loose interpretation of an acorn), so I decided to risk becoming “Captain Obvious” and stated that “The tiny acorn becomes the mighty oak tree”.

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I am not going to win any “stitching words on quilts” awards, but I really enjoyed slow stitching the backstitching of the words on the piece and learned a lot as I progressed. I wimped out at the end and did not do the letter “i”s french knot top dots (or whatever the official word is for the dot/period on the top of the letter “i”), but maybe next time.

You may be curious about my fabric choices but let’s just say the whole piece is “multicultural”:

  • The saying/quote is from an ancient Chinese philosopher.
  • The piece was inspired by an African Bible Verses quilt and the original fabric for the acorn and the tree were from the teacher’s stash of African themed fabrics.
  • The border fabric is an Aboriginal style print.

Here is the fabric I have planned for the binding – it reminded me of a tree branch:

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I plan to do a combination of machine and hand quilting on the piece, so by 2018 I should have it done (smile).

But then I am only following Nature’s example…and eventually the piece will be accomplished!


Postscript

My blogging buddy Melanie at Catbird Studios, asked her readers in a recent post how they choose their next quilting project to work on. I responded that for me it is random, which is usually true, however I realize that lately I appear to be focused on working on unfinished projects (which is a very good thing) instead of starting something new when it catches my attention.

The Photoshoot Shed: Please Give Me Your Ideas

Looking at the feature photo for this post you are likely thinking: “Wow Tierney, you have truly run out of things to talk about on your blog. You are now talking about backyard sheds?!?!?”

No, this is actually crafting/quilting related post. Quilt photography related as a matter of fact.

I would love your thoughts/ideas on the best way to make the rear of my new 8′ x 10′ backyard shed work for photographing textile art.

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But first, let me share some background.

I am a recovering terrible photographer. My photography skills only approved over the past couple of years because they had to – if I ever wanted to have a sale on my tierneycreates Etsy shop I had to learn to take clear and alluring photos.

My Etsy shop is now closed but it was a great way to force me to become a better photographer.

In order to become a better…well okay, to become a less-terrible photographer, I had to learn some basic photography techniques. One of the first things I learned was the power of using natural light and the concept of “The Golden Hour”.

The Golden Hour and Soft Diffused Light

Here is a wonderful description of “The Golden Hour” from photographymad.com:

The golden hour, sometimes called the “magic hour”, is roughly the first hour of light after sunrise, and the last hour of light before sunset, although the exact duration varies between seasons. During these times the sun is low in the sky, producing a soft, diffused light which is much more flattering than the harsh midday sun that so many of us are used to shooting in. 

This type of light produces less contrast, reducing the chances of losing parts of your subject in strong shadows or blown-out highlights. The warm glow adds a pleasing feel to the scene, and the long shadows help to pick out details, adding texture and depth to the image.

As an added benefit, there are generally fewer people around at dawn and dusk than there are at other times of the day, giving you a chance to capture your images in relative peace.

The Golden Hour was wonderful for photographing the handmade miniature kimonos I used to sell on my tierneycreates Etsy shop. I also discovered it was wonderful for photographing quilts. The mid-day sun occasionally works for some large quilts but for art quilts, they seem to photograph better in diffuse light.

APQS, long-arm quilt machine manufacturer, has an article on their website, apqs.com, on How to Photograph Your Quilt which states:

If you are taking your quilts photo outside, keep in mind that stark daylight isn’t a great idea as it creates strong shadows and it is just too harsh. Filtered light, like dappled light through a tree’s leaves or even the light found during a cloudy day is softer. This type of light will help you capture your quilt’s beauty more easily.

Whether it is “The Golden Hour” or mid-day with dappled light, my handmade items always appear to photograph better in natural light instead of indoor artificial light.

So when our backyard Costco resin/Rubbermaid Shed’s roof caved in from all the intense Central Oregon snowfall this past Winter and was recently replaced with a real wood built-on-site shed, I knew this was an opportunity to have a standard place outdoor place to photograph quilts.

Whether photographing quilts and quilted wallhanging for my former tierneycreates Etsy shop or photographing art quilts for show entires, I have discovered that I get better images if the quilt is hung/mounted vertically and I can photograph it from a standing position. Although I have relentlessly tried, I just cannot get a good quality photograph of a quilt when it is on the ground and I am standing over it.

I just have to figure out how to set up the back of the shed as a quilt photography area that allows me the flexibility to hang/mount quilts of different dimension for their photo shoot.

I would appreciate your ideas!


Postscript

Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s latest Schnauzer Snips blog post – Schnauzer Quilt on a quilt I do not think I have shared before on my blog.

Oh, and in case you are curious, here is a photo of the front of the new backyard shed:

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Creative Inspiration: Just Cut Out the Bad Parts and Keep Going

This post continues my series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration.

One of my quilting mentors, Jean Wells Keenan, once said in a class (paraphrased): When you are really stuck on a piece and you want to give up, don’t give up. Just push through your discomfort or unhappiness with the piece; keep going and you will be surprised how it evolves.

So what does this have to do with my featured image for this post – a pile of sweet potatoes?

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Well, at lunch today (I am a telecommuter), I pulled out the remains of a bag of several weeks old sweet potatoes. I forgot about them in the veggie drawer in my fridge and I hoped I could possibly use them (I hate wasting food) in a salad or veggie bowl if I boiled them.

As I washed the sweet potatoes, a first glance, they looked kind of icky and their only future was compost. However on closer inspection, I realized there were good viable parts to each sweet potato – all I had to do was cut out the bad parts.

While trimming each sweet potato to remove the “bad parts”, I thought how this relates to creating a piece of art. I have worked on several art quilting project when I wanted to just give up, crumple the piece into a ball (and burn it) and discard it.

Occasionally I did just this, throw away the piece and try to forgot the time I spent on expending my creativity on the piece. This was until I took a series of art quilting classes with Jean Wells Keenan and heard her statement about not giving up – it resonated with me.

I learned to work or rework what I have created already, cut the bad parts out, and keep going with creating the piece.

An example of an art quilt that I wanted to throw into the trash pile (or burn as an effigy of what-not-to-do-when-creating-an-art-quilt) was my piece Abandoned Water Structure.  This piece, which was eventually sold to the City of Seattle/Seattle Public Utilities for their Portable Works Collection  nearly made it to the trash or fabric recycling pile several times (or as potential kindling).

It began as an art quilt project based on a photo of a beach structure for a series of classes I was taking with Jean Wells Keenan, called Journey to Inspired Art Quilting. I absolutely hated the piece and it seemed like to would never go anywhere (I felt like I was stopped in my journey anywhere, much less to inspired art quilting).

The series of classes ended, and I took the unfinished piece back home with me to sit in the abandoned project pile (where projects go to die..).

Randomly rummaging through my abandoned project pile a couple months later, I rediscovered the piece and I was suddenly struck with the feeling that I was not using the correct inspiration for the piece. The piece WANTED TO BE SOMETHING ELSE.

I had a photo on my inspiration board of an abandoned/closed water power facility in Central Oregon and I knew this is what the piece was to become (or at least be inspired by)!

After reworking the piece for a couple hours, I was tempted to return it to the abandon project pile (or just soak it in lighter fluid) but luckily I heard Jean in the back of my head to “just push through, keep going“. I cut out the bad parts, the parts that were not working in the piece, and eventually it became the Abandoned Water Structure art quilt.

If I were to summarize my thoughts and advice from this experience (and my ramblings above) for my fellow crafters and artists, it would be:

Creating can be like working with a partially rotted sweet potato. 
You know there is yumminess still there but you don't want to eat 
"the bad parts".

So cut out the "bad parts" and keep the good/viable parts!

Keep going, don't give up, be patient with yourself and the piece.
Let it become the yumminess it eventually wants to become.

Well I have stretched that analogy as far as it will stretch, thanks for reading to see where the heck I was going with my sweet potato story.

Oh and in case you were curious, my trimmed and boiled sweet potatoes were delicious (full of yumminess) in my salad at lunch!


Feature image credit: khongrithSV, free images.com

More Farm House Vintage Blocks

I worked on Farm Girl Vintage Blocks this weekend.

Last time I posted about my progress, I had just completed the Cool Threads Block. I am working through the blocks alphabetically in Lori Holt’s Farm Girl Vintage book.

I knocked out 5 more blocks this weekend: Corn and Tomatoes Block, Corn and Tomatoes Special Edition block (available as special download from the Fat Quarter Shop), Country Crossroads Block, Crops Block, and Postage Stamp Block.

I know,  I know “Postage Stamp Block” does not sound like it is in alphabetical order. I needed a mindless block (created from 36 –  2.5″ squares) to work on after having to pay close attention to create the previous 4 blocks.

Once I complete a couple more blocks, I will post a photo of all the blocks completed to date.


Postscript

As I mentioned in my 06/27/17 post, Seeds, I am listening to, from Episode #1 forward,  The RobCast by Rob Bell (robbell.com). Rob Bell is a former pastor turned author, coach, speaker. His podcasts focuses on spirituality and quality of life.

While working on my Farm Girl Vintage blocks I listened to his podcast Episode #21, which featured a conversation with author Elizabeth Gilbert (best known for her book Eat, Pray, Love).

Here is an excerpt from that interview/conversation that I found particularly inspiring. Elizabeth Gilbert shared how her accountant (and friend of many years) views life:

“(When I call him) He picks up the phone, and when you say ‘how are you doing?’, he says ‘I have never been better in my life’.

No matter what is going on in his life, this is how he answers the phone. I asked him why he answers the phone that way and he responded:

‘Everyday has two miraculous moments. There is the moment you wake up and realize you have been given another chance; and there is the moment when you go to sleep and you realize that you get to put behind you all the mistakes you made.'”

– Elizabeth Gilbert

Tiny Studio Tips

I love seeing where people to create and in case you would like to see where I create, I have added a page to my blog tierneycreates Studio Tour where I will post photos of the latest version of my tiny little tierneycreates studio. More on this later in this post.

As part of my ongoing journey to curate my life (see post category: My Minimalism Journey ), I am working on letting go of more of my crafting related magazines.

Studios Magazine

I have a stash of Cloth Paper Scissors STUDIOS magazine from 2008 – 2014 (magazine is no longer in publication). This publication featured “artist studio porn”: essays and articles about professional and hobby artists’ studios, tips on designing and organizing your studio, and endless photos of studio layouts. The tagline for the magazine was “inspiration & ideas for your art and craft space”.

There are so many online resources (aka Pinterest) on studio organization ideas, I do not need these magazines. I can let them go, donate them to my beloved local Humane Society Thrift Shop and let them go to someone else to enjoy.

But, I wanted to read through each one, one more time, before donating them.

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Working though re-reading the pile with my tea each morning

When I got to the Winter 2010 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors STUDIOS magazine I noticed it featured a collection of tips by various crafters/artists on small space tips.

Recently I re-organized by studio to try and make the best of the small space. I thought I would share some of my favorite tips from this issue from the various studio tours in case my readers find them useful.

Small Studio Tips

In Her Shoes by Catherine Thursby

  1. Get a space of your own, even if it has to be small
  2. Make it personal to encourage your creativity
  3. Have a place “off-site” to keep bulky or seldom used materials

Snowman Season by Sue Pelletier

  1. In a narrow space, set up tables end to end so you can have several projects going at once
  2. A dartboard makes a graphic yet compact inspiration board
  3. Remember that if you want studio space badly enough, you will find a way

The Glitter Fairy by Laurie Davis

  1. Use shelves with cubbies to hold and display rubber stamps
  2. Use under-the-counter space as much as possible
  3. Use stackable containers to hold small items

In a Nutshell – A small space dedicated to creativity by Janice Avellana

  1. Keep supplies out in the open so the work is ready when you are
  2. Disguise a small, open studio behind a tall bookcase
  3. For flexible organization, use painted pegboard

Room of Requirement by Liza Julien

  1. Maximize small space by going vertical with ladder-style shelving
  2. Store papers suspended from pant hangers on a wooden dowel
  3. Install hooks on table legs, the sides of shelving – anywhere that’s handy and out of the way

Studio in the Sky by Victoria Grobels

  1. Store supplies in baskets hung from the ceiling
  2. Make your worktable an inspiration board, too, by slipping photos under a clear, plastic mat
  3. Make a small space seem bigger by positioning it near a beautiful view

The Love Shack by Roberta Philbrick

  1. Use “regular” furniture to hold art supplies
  2. Color-coordinated caddies keep small items organized, portable, and attractive
  3. A glass-topped table cleans up easily and looks polished in a small living/creating space

Strategic Design by Michelle Spaw

  1. For an eclectic approach to organizing, try using non-conventional items such as stackable trays, bento boxes, and takeout-style containers
  2. Removing the doors to your closet is as strong incentive to keep it tidy. Because the contents are always visible, you will be motivated to maintain order and curb the clutter
  3. When purchasing storage boxes, think of color and pattern as a way to identify what you’re storing

Beaddazzled by Linda Dolack

  1. Glue a sample of what’s in a drawer to the front so you can find and retrieve the object quickly
  2. Use simple skirting to hide clutter stored below counters
  3. Install shelving above windows to hold books and display art work out of the way

Where Whimsy Reigns by Elizabeth Holcombe Fedorko

  1. Use collectibles as storage containers that can be displayed
  2. Attach a folding table to the wall: pull it up to work, down to put it out of the way
  3. No matter how small your space, make room for pets!

As you will see on my page tierneycreates Studio Tour I followed Ms. Fedorko’s tip #3 and made room for pets (well actually my manager Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer):

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Sassy hanging out in “cave”

If you have a small studio like I do (or a dream larger studio) I hope you find some of these tips useful!

 

Update on “A Chicken Named Tierney”

Several months ago I posted that a friend of mine named her baby hen chicks after her close female friends. This is an update to that post – A Chicken Named “Tierney”.

A month or so ago I took photos of teenage “Tierney the Chicken” and her brand new chicken coop; and recently I took photos of young adult “Tierney the Chicken”.

The Teen Years Weeks

Here is the deluxe coop she and her hen sisters live in. It has an inside section and a sunroom:

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Chicken Cooping in style

Here is teenage “Tierney the Chicken” and her sister “Gabrielle the Chicken”:

 

Here is “Tierney” and the other teenage hens getting a snack:

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My friend Marla, mother to all the young hens, has a photo in her house of what “Tierney the Chicken” will look like when she grows up and becomes an adult Dominique chicken:

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Young Adult “Tierney the Chicken”

“Tierney” is now a young adult and getting closer to her egg laying days. No eggs yet but my friend Marla thinks in the upcoming weeks she and her sister hens will lay their first eggs.

Here is a current photo of “Tierney” and her sister “Gabrielle” (and some other chicken “photo bombing” the shot, ha!):

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My friend Marla reports that “Tierney” is the friendliest of all the chickens. She runs towards you first when you come into the coop and she likes to snuggle:

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Chicken Cuddles

Truthfully I’ve never cared about chickens beyond enjoying the eggs they lay or an occasionally tasty chicken dinner. This is the first time I have ever seen a chicken snuggle! (Is it my fate to eventually become vegan now that I suspect most farm animals will snuggle?)

Maybe it is slightly weird my friend named one of her hens after me (and her other close female friends) but how many people get to say they have a chicken with their namesake!??!

I will close this post with a photo of the cool wind vane inside Marla’s backyard:

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2017 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

For this year’s post on the 2017 Sister’s Outdoor Quilt Show (SOQS) I am going share my 2017 SOQS experience in one post instead of breaking it into a series of posts like I did last year. Warning: There are a lot of photos in this post!

For more background on the SOQS and for photos and stories from previous shows, see my blog category Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.  

Also watch for upcoming posts and videos from two other local bloggers Woolie Mammoth: wooliemammoth.blogspot.com and  Kristen Shields: kristinshieldsart.com/blog on the 2017 SOQS. There was an incredible Lion King Exhibit I did not get photos of and perhaps these bloggers will feature photos of this mind blowing photos to share on this traveling exhibit.

It was very hot yesterday (imagine the witch in the Wizard of Oz: “I’m melting, melting”)

in Central Oregon and this year I decided to go to the show in the afternoon instead of the early morning as previous years. I had plans to meet friends for dinner after the show and I thought I would be completely melted by the end of the day if I went early!

Pathways Exhibit

I shared the progress on my art quilt for the annual Central Oregon SAQA exhibit, Pathways, in several previous posts (most recent Artist Statements, Part II). It debuted on Saturday July 8, 2017 at the SOQS.

Below are photos from the exhibit which featured the works of some majorly talented art quilters in the SAQA group I belong:

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My SOQS Wandering Partner

My friend the NY Times Bestselling Author, Marie Bostwick, was in town for a book signing at Paulina Books (a wonderful indie bookstore, please support your local indie bookstore!).

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I retrieved her after the book signing to extract her from the comfort of an air conditioned bookstore so she could experience the sweltering heat and wander around and look at quilts!

Inside Sisters City Hall: Respite from the Heat

Here is a secret to SOQS: If it is sweltering hot, you can take break from the heat inside of Sisters City Hall and look at quilts (or pretend like you are looking at quilts and just sit inside and relax!)

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Inside City Hall, when you first enter, they had an incredible quilt on display by Jean Wells Keenan that is a tribute to the town of Sisters Oregon:

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Walking into the City Council meeting hall, there was an incredible display of art quilts, the Quilt for Two Rivers project, inspired by the Whychus Creek in Sisters:

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It was very empty in City Hall towards the end of the SOQS and Marie and I spent a leisurely 30 – 45 minutes or so sitting in the comfortable chairs of City Hall, in air conditioning, visiting. Finally the SOQS volunteers came in and kicked us out as they had to lock up City Hall.

More Around SOQS Photos

I did not take the volume of the photos I have taken in previous years attending SOQS. I hope I do not sound too jaded but it is a very nice show with a lot of very nice quilts, but I  no longer think I need photos of every spectacular quilt.

Instead I took photos of a sampling of sights to give a mini experience of attending this mind-blowing show. The entire downtown of Sisters, Oregon is closed to traffic and the entire downtown, every building (and seemingly every nook and cranny) is covered with quilts!

Here is a glimpse inside the Stitchin’ Post quilt shop (Jean Wells Keenan of the Stitchin’ Post started the show in 1975):

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 During SOQS it is pure madness inside this quilt shop as compared to the rest of the year for us locals. I do not attempt to shop there during SOQS (as I can shop there anytime the rest of the year) but I do like peeking in to see the craziness as quilters from all over the world try to take home a little of the magic.

One thing I have to say about the Stitchin’ Post, besides having a fantastic staff (which includes many talented fiber artists), is that it has a fantastically curated selection of fabrics and yarn. If you are an art or modern quilter this is definitely the place to buy unique and hard to find fabrics.

At the show I ran into Donna R., an extremely talented art quilter and long time SOQS volunteer. She had on a handmade and dyed dress created from previous SOQS volunteer T-shirts:

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The SOQS volunteers are quite an amazing group. I volunteered once in 2007 when I had my first quilt ever in quilt show at 2007 SOQS, but I have not been able to volunteer again since that time. Maybe in the future.

Speaking on volunteers, Jan T. another incredible art quilt and head of our Central Oregon SAQA group, presented a quilt story book in which each page of a giant book had a story on the right and a quilt on the left inspired by that story:

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How often do you get to see something like that? Only at the SOQS!

While at the show I ran into the wonderful teacher and incredible person, Janet Shorten the head of Sisters of the Heart Foundation which brings medical teams and community enrichment teams to struggling villages in Uganda. Janet teaches women in Uganda to do crafts, including quilting, then helps them sell those crafts to raise money for their communities.  Here she is with one of the quilts the women she works with in Uganda made:

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They focus on community empowerment and if you are looking for an organization to support with your donation, I recommend this wonderful organization!

So that is my reporting from the 2017 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. Check out the other blogs I mentioned early in this post for additional photos.


Postscript

While at the show, I did stop at the Sisters Habitat for Humanity Thrift shop and found this lovely sunflower fabric for $2:

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I do love sunflowers and if you have followed my blog for awhile you might remember my obsession with sunflowers, like in this July 2016 post Waiting for the Sunflowers.

It is July again and I am once again waiting…so I just had to buy this fabric!

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Blogger’s Recognition Award

Linda Kelley at kelleysdiy.com nominated me back on June 27, 2017 for a Blogger’s Recognition Award:

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This post is to thank her, as I have been very remiss as it is now July 8, and to recognize some blogs that I follow. I cannot find her original post with the rules, but I did find her notice to me on my June 18th post Cabbage Rose Quilting & Fabrics, Ft. Worth TX.

Since I cannot locate her post with the rules, I am just going say thank you to this very talented DIY Craft & Lifestyle Blogger. She is celebrating a year of blogging and will have a series of giveaways to celebrate the 1st year of her blog July 17th and ends Aug. 14th. Winners announced Aug. 15 – Giveaway Update Daily.

If you are a blogger who has ever dreamed of having a lot of followers she is the role model – she has been blogging for 1 year and has amassed over 5000+ followers.

I am also going to nominate some blogs I have not previously recognized in my other blogging award posts.

The Non WordPress Blogs

For those of you on WordPress (WP) we are sort of spoiled. Using the WP Reader it is so easy for me to sign up to follow and to follow other WP blogs. It is easy to click “Like” on their posts and to comment. On non WP blogs it can be a bit trickier to do this (and some do not have a “Like” button). Usually I have to sign in and verify I am a real person, etc. to comment. I have to admit sometimes even though I want to comment, I do not because I am pressed for time and it is not as easy as with my WP fellow bloggers.

I want though to send some love to the awesome non WP blogs I follow:

  • Mary Fons: Writer! Quilter! All Things! – I met Mary at Trends in 2016 through a fellow friend and immediately liked her. She also gave a great presentation on the history/evolution of quilting (she is a quilting historian). She is the daughter of Marianne Fons of Fons & Porter. Her blog is well written and documents her travels, quilting adventures and life adventures and challenges (she suffers from Crohn’s disease/Ulcerative Colitis).
  • Lady Linda: ladylindateacup.blogspot.com – Linda is a dear quilting friend of mine who is one of my “Quilting Sisters” that I attend and annual quilt retreat. She has been blogging many years and is an Etsy guru/goddess. She was the one who first inspired me to open my (now closed) tierneycreates Etsy shop. She is an avid collector and seller of antiques especially dolls and small sweet vintage items. She is also really into tea. She knows how to do a proper English tea and has a beautiful collection of tea cups and tea service. She is also one of the very nicest people I have ever met. She is a retired 2nd grade school teacher and she is who you would have wanted to be your teacher!
  • Woolie Mammoth: http://wooliemammoth.blogspot.com – I have mentioned this blog several times in the past, as well as her wonderful YouTube channel, Quilt Roadies. Anna’s blog focuses on the happening in the Central Oregon quilting scene as well as her travels in her RV across the country. Her YouTube channel provides many wonderful walking tours of quilt shops across the country, visits with famous quilters, and other travel adventures.
  • Wendy Hill’s Blog: www.wendyhill.net/blog/ – My friend Wendy Hill is a very talented quilter, quilt teacher and quilt book author. Central Oregon is “infested” with nationally and internationally known quilters/teachers/book authors. She blog documents her projects, book writing process, and travel adventures.
  • Kristen Shields: kristinshieldsart.com/blog – Kristen is a member of the local Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) group I belong and is a very talented quilter, knitter, painter and all around crafter. Her quilts have been featured (and award winning) at QuiltCon. Her focus in modern quilting.
  • SimpLeigh Organized – I love the title for this blog which combine the word “Simply” and the blogger’s name “Leigh”! This blog is filled with excellent home organization and cost savings tips!

WordPress Blogs

Now I will send some love to WP blogs I enjoy following that I have not mentioned in previous posts on blogging awards:

No rules for anyone to follow related to this nomination (as I cannot find them), just know I appreciate reading your blogs!

Now with this post I am finally caught up on nominations! In the future if anyone nominates me, I might just say thank you in the Postscript section of the post and call it good (smile).

Update: Terry the Quilting Husband

So unless you live in Barrow, Alaska (1300 miles south of the North Pole/320 miles north of the Arctic Circle), you are probably not thinking about flannel, much less daydreaming of wrapping yourself in a flannel quilt right now.

We are currently sweltering in Central Oregon right but I am still going to share an update on Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH)’s latest quilt top: A flannel fishing themed quilt:

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He actually finished it a couple weeks ago but I am just now getting around to posting about it.

If you check out my 04/30/17 post  Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop 2017 you will see the fabric TTQH purchased during shop hop.

He finished the quilt top in late May when we happened to have some cool days, and I found him and our miniature schnauzers taking a nap under his new quilt top (the “cuteness factor” was very high when I walked into the room and I had to tip toe out and grab my camera!):

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He has not worked on the back for the quilt as it is kind of warm right now to even think about looking at flannel in our fabric stash much less touching it. We might just put the top away for now until the weather gets out of the 90s and we can start to think about flannel quilts again.


Postscript

With the warmer weather TTQH is working on other things in his spare time besides flannel quilts – like taking Mike, one of our rescued miniature schnauzers on a bike ride. We have two doggy backpacks and Sassy rides with me (the girls together) and Mike rides with Terry. The photo below is from a week ago when we had a break from the heat as Terry and Mike head out on their bike ride:

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If you would like to see more photos of Mike (and Sassy) bike riding, see these posts on Sassy’s Schnauzer Snips blog:

What’s on the Design Wall: Scrappy Improvisational Medallion

This post is actually a continuation of my ongoing series What’s on the Design Wall, featuring my latest project up on either the small design wall in my studio or the large design wall my hallway.

Got Medallion?

Obviously I have been influenced by my quilting mentor Betty Anne Guadalupe (see post Improvisational Medallion Quilt) or by my fellow blogger buddy Melanie at Catbird Studio (see post The Six-Pointed Star and per page Medallion Lessons) but I have a burning need to make a Medallion Quilt.

I am also influenced by this page I tore from a Keepsake Quilting catalog for a medallion style Block of the Month (BOM) sampler. The only problem is that monthly participation in this BOM is $42.99 plus shipping! As lovely as this quilt is that would not be in my budget, so I just added the image to my magnet inspiration board on my studio closet door:

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Rummaging Through the “Challenge Bags”

For the 4th of July, we were “bunkered” in our house with loud movies or music playing in the background, all the windows shut and the air conditioner (actually we have 2 evaporative or “swamp” coolers) to try to keep our extremely fireworks terrified dogs calm. Each year we plan to get from the vet some anti-anxiety medications for them but we forget, so instead we distract them with other sounds. This works most of 4th while neighborhood kids are playing with their fireworks. It only stops working in the evening when there is a VERY LOUD fireworks display at local attraction near our house.

Since I was “bunkering” on the 4th, I decided to spend some time in my studio looking through my collection of “Challenge Bags” (see post Basket of Challenges). Inside one of the bags I found an old felt and tweed Schoolhouse block pillow top I had purchased 14 years ago for $1 in a clearance sale at the back of a quilt shop. Tucked in with the Schoolhouse block were several strips of “Pyramid” borders that my friend Betty Anne gave me either from an old project of hers, or an old project of another quilter.

With Medallion Quilts floating around in the back of my mind, I started playing with the pieces on the design wall:

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I had just enough of the Pyramid pieced strips to border the Schoolhouse block twice on each side and ended up with the beginning of a scrappy improvisational medallion quilt!

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My very first Medallion Quilt in progress. I plan to make it using only fabric scraps and recycled pieced items from my challenge bags. I am going to read through Melanie at Catbird Studio’s lessons on for making Medallion quilts as inspiration and then let myself get all improvisational once I understand any helpful concepts.

What Comes Next?

I pulled from my “Basket of Challenges” (my stash of challenge bags) a bag of scrap squares and a bag of scrap triangles.  I am going to just keep this piece up on my design wall and slowly add to it as I am inspired.

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I had fun “bunkering” on the 4th!

The Liebster Award

Thank you to One Creative Family, the mother/daughter creative crafters team, for nominating my tierneycreates blog for the Liebster Blogging Award.

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Here are the guidelines they posted:

  • Acknowledge the blog that nominated you and display the award.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you.
  • Give 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 11 blogs.
  • Notify those blogs of the nomination.
  • Give them 11 questions to answer.

The only thing I am going to do different is not to individually notify the blogs I nominate. I am going to leave it up to the bloggers to catch their nomination on my post and to participate if they like – it is completely optional.


Questions from One Creative Family to their nominees (my answers in purple):

  1. Favorite book – My favorite book of all time would be Speaker for the Dead (the sequel to Orson Scott Card’s book Ender’s Game)
  2. Favorite foods – Pierogies are my complete guilty plesasure, smothered with lots of sour cream, but because I would like to fit through my door frame I do not indulge more than a couple times a year in these delicious delights!
  3. Rather be outdoors or indoors – Outdoors on a walk
  4. If you could travel anyplace in the world where would that be – Australia
  5. Why did you start blogging – as a vehicle for my tierneycreates Etsy shop which is no longer active (discovered I love blogging more than trying to sell stuff!)
  6. How many pets – 2 but not sure if Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer likes to be referred to as a “pet”, she is our “manager”.
  7. How do you relax – crafting, reading or organizing (except after scaling back my life I have run out of things to organize)
  8. Rather eat sweets or salty – Salty I guess as I have been trying to stay away from many sweets
  9. What is your favorite family activity – Bike riding with the dogs in their doggie backpacks 
  10. What type of movies do you enjoy watching – Science Fiction and Indie films
  11. How do you relax after a stressful day – working on a hand quilting project or knitting

11 Random Facts About Me

  1. I have this fantasy I am going to start getting enough sleep each night
  2. I collect schnauzer figurines (though I am trying to be good and not bring anymore into my life)
  3. Somedays I tire of making quilts and only want to make small items, but then I get lured by a new quilt pattern
  4. Every morning my miniature schnauzer Mike and I have a major cuddle – he loves to cuddle
  5. I met my husband on a Alcohol & Drug Detox Unit…no we were not patients – I was in nursing school (it was the only hospital unit that had openings for student nurses) and  he was a nursing assistant.
  6. I have a ridiculous amount of yarn I have never used
  7. I prefer my cooking to the cooking at most restaurants – luckily my husband agrees
  8. I am trying to curb my addiction to self-help genre books and read more fiction
  9. I like to occasionally have a dance party in my living room with myself and the dogs
  10. I miss the excellent Chinese food we had when we lived in Seattle, WA. I have yet to find a dependably decent Chinese food restaurant in Central Oregon
  11. Ice cream cones make me gloriously happy
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image credit: Becco Eliacik, free images.com


The 11 Blogs I Nominate (in no particular order) for the Liebster Award:

  1. Old Raven Creates 
  2. It’s a T-Sweets Day
  3. Sizzlewaggle
  4. Imperial Crochet
  5. Peggy and Sami Quilts (even though I am wondering how her dog Sami is actually quilting, I think she is just covering for Sami and Peggy is actually doing most of the quilting – ha!)
  6. knitNkwilt (one of the first blogs I ever followed and one of my first followers)
  7. Zippy Quilts
  8. Elisabeth Hogarth Designs
  9. Time Nexus
  10. Vintage Sewing Machines 
  11. Brush of Dawn Art by Dawn M Lomako

The 11 Questions for these bloggers, if they choose to participate:

  1. Paper of Plastic?
  2. What is your favorite dish soap, and why (if you would like to elaborate on your dish washing liquid of choice)?
  3. Your favorite non-alcoholic beverage
  4. How many hours of sleep a night do you need to feel rested?
  5. Is there a hobby you would love to do but you are terrified to try it?
  6. If you have a pet and suddenly your dog, cat. hamster, etc. were granted the ability to speak to you, what do you think is the first thing they would say?
  7. If you were required by law to stop blogging, would you be okay with it or would you find a way to secretly blog?
  8. What is your favorite seasoning to use on a variety of dishes?
  9. Where do you think lost socks go?
  10. If you read magazines, what is your favorite?
  11. Favorite Doctor? (for the Doctor Who fans) or Favorite Star Trek Captain?

Yes these questions are really random.

Thanks again to One Creative Family for thinking of me with the nomination.

Sisters, Oregon Before the Madness

Saturday, a week before the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (SOQS), I met up with a couple friends to wander around Sisters, Oregon and have lunch.

A Little Bit About SOQS

SOQS, the world’s largest outdoor quilt show, is always the second Saturday in July. If you are a quilter or a person who loves quilts, I recommend you put it on your bucket list to see at least once in your life.

Per the website: “More than 10,000 visitors from all 50 states and 27 foreign countries” attend the show. We wanted to wander around Sisters before the madness of all those visitors descended upon the town!

While waiting on line to order lunch at The Depot Deli in Sisters, we chatted with a quilter from the UK that was in town for the SOQS and the week of classes prior to the show – the Quilters Affair.

At the Quilters Affair, renown quilters (Tula Pink, Joe Cunningham, Jean Wells, Rosalie Dace, Sue Spargo, Karla Alexander, Hilde Morin, Elizabeth Hartman, Rob Appell, etc.) teach classes.

My friend Susan created this year’s SOQS raffle quilt which will help raise funds to help cover the administrative costs of this free to the public event (the Saturday SOQS main event is free, all other events are not). The proceeds from the raffle also benefit various community programs such as the Sisters Food Bank.

While wandering around Sisters Saturday, Susan and my other friends stopped at the Stitchin’ Post quilt shop where her quilt was hanging out front (and of course we went into the quilt shop and wandered around):

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“A Story of Stars” designed and pieced by Susan Cobb and quilted by Laura Simmons.

Many of the quilts at SOQS are for sale. Last year I had 6 quilts in the SOQS (5 for sale and 1 in a special art quilt exhibit); and Terry the Quilting Husband had 5 quilts in the “Made by Men” Exhibit and he sold 2 quilts!

This year for the 2017 SOQS I will only have 1 quilt in a special show by the art quilting group I belong to, Central Oregon SAQA. I will post photos after next Saturday’s show.

If you would like to get a feel for what it is like to attend this amazing show checking out my Central Oregon blogging buddy, Anna and her blog Woolie Mammoth or her YouTube Channel – Quilt Roadies, where you will find videos from past SOQS and she will post videos about this year.

Additionally, I have added a category for my posts – Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, if you want to check my posts from previous years on the show.

The Drug Store Quilt Show

During the 2nd Saturday of July for the SOQS, the entire downtown of Sisters Oregon is shut down from traffic and quilts are hung from every building in the town. They are also hung inside all the downtown buildings!

A couple weeks prior to the SOQS, Sponsor Quilts are hung in many downtown shops as a prelude to the SOQS. Patrons of these shops have the opportunity to purchase the quilts on display prior to the SOQS.

When you go into a drugstore you never expect to also be walking into a quilt show (not something generally associated with drugstores!). While wandering around Sisters, we stopped in the Sisters Drug & Gift Shop to see another one of Susan’s quilts displayed. Here are photos from inside the this downtown drugstore (and awesome gift shop!) – note the first photo is an incredible paper pieced quilt by teacher Janet Storten who I have mentioned in previous posts (see Adventures in Appliqué):

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I bet you have never attended a Drugstore Quilt Show!

This drugstore is famous for its handmade chocolate counter, which will tempt visitors during the SOQS:

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I am looking forward to the 2017 SOQS next Saturday!


Postscript

While wandering around Sisters, we stopped at the Habitat for Humanity thrift shop and I picked up this Crosley radio for $12:

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These radios retail for $54 – $79 and look like antique radios. The sound is excellent and the only thing wrong with it was a couple cosmetic scratches.

I added this radio to my paper crafting and jewelry making station I created in my sunroom:

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I am determined to start card making and jewelry making again. So many crafts, so little time…

 

The Mystery Blogger Award

Porch Distraction

I have been remiss. Three bloggers have been kind enough to recently nominate me for blogging awards and I have not followed through on them! Recently, outside of working my pay-the-bills healthcare job,  I have not been interested in writing or other “productive” activities.

True confessions: I have gotten involved with this: My Porch Swing.

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All I want to do is sitting or lie on my porch swing with a book, or no book, and just stare up at the sky, or just swing and swing and close my eyes. I have mastered pushing myself with one hand to make the swing, swing, while drifting off to sleep into a Swing-Nap.

If you remember (if you are not new to my blog) in my series of posts on the annual May retreat I attend with my Quilting Sisters, the post Quilt Retreat Inspiration and Projects in   which I share my distraction with the porch swing at the retreat center.

I appear to be suffering from Porch-Swing-itis. I just want to be in my swing!

The Mystery Blogger Award

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Well back to the purpose of this post (luckily it is 10 pm at night while I write this so I can fight my urge to run outside to the porch swing now that I am thinking about it) to thank Dewey Hop: Feisty Froggy Reads Through the Library for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award.

Dewey Hop|Feisty Froggy Reads Through The Library is one of my favorite blogs. She does not post frequently but when she posts they are well researched intriguing posts about a large variety of topics. As the blog’s title implies, the blogger is reading through the library, one section at a time and sharing the interesting finds!

Okoto Enigma created this award as a means of helping bloggers connect and discover amazing blogs. This is what she says the The Mystery Blogger Award is for:

“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve any of the recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.

Here are the rules for accepting/nominating for this award:

  1. Post the award/ image on your blog .
  2. Thank whoever nominated you and give a link back to their blog.
  3. Mention the creator of the award and give a link back to her blog.
  4. Nominate some deserving bloggers and notify your nominees by commenting on their blogs.
  5. Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice; including one weird or funny question.

Here are the questions from Dewey Hop’s nomination post and my answers:

  • If you could change one thing about our country, what would it be and why? I would make it mandatory that in general we treat each other with respect and kindness. There is no actual “us” and “them”, there are just fellow earthlings on one planet. We waste time and distract ourselves from the wonders and beauty in life when we are busy drawing lines in the sand. 
  • Which super hero powers would you like to have, if given a chance? Why ? I would like the ability to know what dogs are actually thinking. Why – because it is about time I figure out the devious plans of Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer!
  • What motivates you to blog (write) ? I like to use my blog to encourage myself…actually pressure myself to complete projects. I like to tell myself I owe it to my readers to complete a project I share the progress on in a blog post. It is likely highly imaginary and no one is really that concerned whether I complete a project or not, but blogging keeps me motivated. I also like to share interesting things I encounter in my life journey with others, in case they find it useful in their journey.
  • What is something you like to collect, if anything?  Fabric unfortunately though lately I am well behaved. I also seem to collect crafting related magazines and books – I love looking over ideas with a pot of tea. As part of My Minimalism Journey I am trying to bring less things into my life/better curate my life, and so far I have been able to reign in my desire for new magazines and crafting related books but using my public library to fulfilled that need (see my series of posts on The Library Stack). In a future post on Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s blog schnauzersnips, she might share some photos of our secret collection of schnauzer kitsch! 
  • If given the chance to rename any fast food restaurant, which would it be?               “Kentucky-Fried Death”? “McPoison”? In general do not eat fast food. I read the book Fast Food Nation many years ago and it forever impacted me on how I view fast food restaurants, especially the major chains. I am about 13 – 15 years free of having eaten at “the golden arches” or other such places. On a rare occasion we will stop at a Sonic to get soft serve ice cream cones.

Here are my five (5) nominees of some “amazing bloggers with ingenious posts” (Please do not feel obligated to participate and follow the rules, but thank you for your wonderful posts I am enjoying):

  • Melanie @ Catbird Quilt Studio – another one of my favorite blogs. Melanie’s posts are well written, informative and focus on a variety of topics to include quilting, but not just quilting.
  • I’ve Read This – a blog I recently started following, this blog is loaded with well written book reviews and lots of photos of kitties! If you like cats and reading, this is a blog you should check out.
  • Zheng Fan Minimalist – this is blog I recently started following with a wide variety of engaging topics and posts!
  • Crave Food-Health-Life – a lovely blog with a variety of topics and wonderful healthy recipes.
  • handmadehomemadeknitstitchdesign – this lovely blog is not just about handmade crafts but a variety of interesting topics.

Here are my five (5) questions for these bloggers should they choose to participate:

  1. If you had to listen to the same album on repeat for an entire day, what would that album be (and what artist is that album by)?
  2. What is your favorite (or one of your most favorite) posts of all time from your blog?
  3. What is ether your favorite meal to cook or your favorite meal to have someone else cook for you?
  4. If extraterrestrials suddenly landed in your backyard, and they appeared friendly, what would you do?
  5. What is the best part of waking up in the morning for you?

Thanks for playing along. I will post about the two other nominations and nominate more fellow bloggers for the next couple of blogging awards.

Remember participation is very optional. I understand if you would rather just hang out in your own Porch Swing!

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The other week in dipped down into the 50s and 60s so I could cozy up with quilt for my porch swing nap!