This post has nothing to do with quilting or crafting! However my blog is about a “Crafter’s Life” and crafters have to eat right? So I want to share a recipe for a very delicious “detox” soup I recently made.
We have local health food store called Natural Grocers. I received their sale flyer in the mail a week ago and it contained a recipe for Super Detox Soup.
I love making soups but normally I would be suspicious of such as soup (i.e. it sounds too healthy and not yummy) but after reviewing the recipe I decided to make it.
It was MAJOR tasty! Surprisingly tasty! I had it for lunch each day for 4 days in a row and did not tire of it. The fresh ginger in it has a nice zing and it has pseudo-Thai soup flavors (without the lemongrass and basil).
I would paste the entire recipe into this post but it might be easier for you to just access and save the link to the original recipe. If you do end up making it note in my opinion you do not need to add all the red chili pepper flakes the recipe calls for – I added only 1/2 and the spice level seemed perfect!
Now this is not a cooking blog so there are no step by step instructions – ha! If you would like to check out a real cooking blog I enjoy, check out InDiane’s Kitchen
I did create a new Blog Post Category – ACrafter Needs to Eat , where you will find previous posts that have to do with cooking/provide recipes or links.
This might seem random, but a Crafter also needs to use MS Office (MS Word, MS Excel, MS Powerpoint, etc.) and I discovered this wonderful sight with great tips on MS Office products:
The alternate title to this post was “A Cautionary Tale About Using Low Quality Inexpensive Fabric”.
First let me make a disclaimer in case you are already cringing that I am about to get “preachy” about only buying high quality quilting fabric at quilt shops. I am only going to share my experience and my personal lesson, not make or imply any judgements on where you buy your fabric!
So let’s start at the beginning of my quilting journey, 17 – 18 years ago and see where this post goes from there…
My Early Days of Quilting: “I am not spending crazy money on fabric!”
I started quilting in 1999 or 2000 when my friend Judy, my now “Quilting Momma”, convinced me to make my first quilt. Being a seasoned quilter, she tried to guide me towards only buying fabric at quilt shops. I refused.
Sure, I enjoyed going to quilt shops with her and looking at all the pretty fabric. When I looked at the prices however at the shops I would exclaim: “I am not spending crazy money on fabric!”. To her dismay, I would only shop at JOANN Fabric for my quilting fabric.
Judy tried gently on numerous occasions to get me to reconsider my fabric purchasing location. She said: “You are spending all this time and energy making a quilt, don’t you want to invest in good fabric that will make the quilt last?” (Well she said something like that, I do not remember the exact statement).
In Love With JOANN Fabrics & Crafts
My first couple years of quilting, I was absolutely in love with JOANN fabric, I thought it was a magical place. I would always wait for their sales – especially on fat quarters (pre-cut 18″ x 21″ pieces of fabric for the non-quilters reading this post). The fancy-smancy quilt shops sold fat quarters for $2 each but I could get them at JOANN’s for 99 cents and when they were on sale, I could get them for 69 cents and occasionally 49 cents!
I remember walking out of JOANN Fabrics after a major sale with a huge bag of fat quarters.
Made with Inexpensive, Low Quality Fabric
My first couple years of quilting, every quilt I made was made with fabric from JOANN Fabrics, including a wedding quilt I made with all blue fabrics. The pattern was called “Around the World”.
I loved the quilt so much, and the fabric I used to make it was so inexpensive, that I made second one for myself.
This quilt has been well used over the years but around 5 years of moderate use, it began to wear in spots and even tear. I carefully stitched up the tears to fix the quilt. Until recently after many washings, the tears became more profound and I needed to do something else.
Before I share what I did to fix the tears, I want to discuss the lesson I feel I learned: my friend Judy was right – you want to use high quality fabric if you want a quilt to last and hold up over the years.
The fabric I used on this quilt was so incredibly flimsy, it obviously had a low thread count and did not wear well over the years. The picture may not fully capture it but the fabric has nearly the feel of paper, thin paper.
Yes this quilt is likely 15 – 16 years old but it should not have worn this way where the fabric feels like it is dissolving away!
Luckily, in my opinion, about 5 years into quilting, I stopped buying fabric for making quilts from JOANN Fabrics (I would still buy it for making gifts such as potholders, etc.) and “bit the bullet” and began only buying high quality fabric from quilt shops (and eventually also online resources that offered discounted high quality quilting fabrics).
“Spot Welding” a Quilt
After years of numerous hand stitched repairs to my beloved shabby blue quilt, I had to figure out another way to repair it or get rid of it (which seemed like a very sad option as I feel quite sentimental about this quilt).
I decided to patch the quilt with a fabric in my stash (yes high quality quilting fabric) that was the closest match I could find to the original JOANN Fabrics fabric.
The quilt looks quite crazy but I “spot welded” the torn areas all over the quilt and saved the quilt:
It is not pretty, but the quilt no longer has tears. I am sure I am going to have to continue to “spot weld” different areas of the quilt in the future.
I love this quilt and imagine if I had used high quality, high fiber count, quilting fabric from the start? As a new quilter, making an “Around the World” pattern quilt was fun but was also a lot of work and I should have invested in higher quality fabric.
What became of all the JOANN fabric I bought all those years ago? All gone from my stash – all donated to thrift shops. I donated most of it many years ago and got rid of the last of it over the past couple years during my purging related to embracing “semi-minimalism” (see posts in the category MyMinimalism Journey).
I am interested in your comments and please know I am not being preachy or judgmental about where you buy your fabric!
Curiously, when looking through my blog posts of 2017, I see I started a lot of projects (like FarmGirl Vintage blocks), but did not complete that many projects in 2017! I better get my act together in 2018…
Seven (7) Favorite Posts/Series of Posts of 2017
I selected these seven (7) posts (or series of posts) because I really enjoyed writing them:
However Mike is much more mellow and not as highly opinionated (and prefers to spend most his time napping in the back of Terry the Quilting Husband’s knees) so it would not make sense for him to want to take over the blog.
Eventually I would like to turn the blog into a memory photo and story book for Terry and I once I figure out what platform to do this on. For now the blog will stay live on the web in the “blogosphere” for whomever stumbles upon it.
Meet the Pups in the Feature Photo
I thought I will end this post on a silly note and introduce you to the pups in the feature photo for this post:
They are known as The Puppy Powers and they live in my sewing studio along with other furry creatures to keep me smiling while I sew. I found them years ago (I do not remember where) and they all have magnetic paws and can be posed it adorable poses and stuck on anything metal.
Their names are Pup, Puppy, Puppa, and Pups:
And here they are having fun on their photo shoot:
It’s challenging to keep a Radio Flyer full of puppies still during a photo shoot!
I could not decide what to title this post. I started with “An Unexpected Surprise” but that sounded redundant as “surprises” are “unexpected”. Next title idea as “A Surprise Treat”. Finally I went with “An Unexpected Treat”. (Blog post naming, one of the great struggles in my world…)
This afternoon I attended our Central Oregon SAQA (Art quilters) group. A very awesome SAQA member, Marion, gave me a belated holiday gift – a stash of fabrics!
She wrapped the stash very sweetly in the Japanese fabric wrapping style with a handmade braided fabric ribbon. I opened it in front of her but I have attempted (poorly) to rewrap it to give you a feel of how it looked when she presented to me:
Inside was a stack of fabric scraps, fat quarters and yardage:
Here is what the gift looks like laid out:
Did Marion randomly give me fabric from her stash? No. The story behind this is a while back one of the SAQA members who lives in Portland, Elizabeth, who is a prolific art quilter, was thinning her immense fabric stash. She posted to our Oregon SAQA facebook group that any SAQA member in the Portland area could drop and take away a haul of beautiful fabrics on a specific date.
Portland is a 4 hour drive for me and as much as I love free beautiful fabric selected by talented art quilters, an 8+ hour road trip was a bit much for free fabric.
What I did not realize is that Marion, who has a good feel for my taste in fabric, was picking me up a surprise stash!
Believe it or not, he actually returned to my sewing area today (with a gentle suggestion) and worked on a couple more feet of the coil for the fabric baskets/bowls.
Now that we were getting some serious length on completed coil, we needed to do something to keep it organized and accessible (instead of become a twisted mess) for when it was time to make the fabric bowls. So I started wrapping it around an old piece of cardboard (I save cardboard from calendars, etc. to use as a surface when making cards, etc.):
This post is an addendum to yesterday’s post Prepping to Make Fabric Bowlsand contains a rare photo of Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) who usually avoids being photographed for my tierneycreates posts!
Alright, this is going to appear like major husband abuse, but somehow I convinced TTQH to work on tedious sewing the coil of batik strips and clothesline required as prep to eventually make more fabric bowls.
I set it all up on my machine, provided training, and he got to work!
After a while, Mike the miniature schnauzer came in the room to check on him and witness the abuse:
Mike gave me the “furry eye ball” for putting TTQH through such tedium!
TTQH finished about 12 – 15 feet of coil and then took a break for an underdetermined amount of time (though he promises to return to it in the future):
I did take TTQH out to dinner to his favorite brewery this evening, so this makes up for the tedious task as well as upcoming tedium!
I love real rainbows, they make me smile.
Our winter has been surprisingly mild in Central Oregon so far and last week we had rain instead of snow. We seem to always get rainbows after a rainstorm here and I took a couple photos while on a neighborhood walk.
In the post I mentioned that I do not make a lot of these baskets because the preparation to make these baskets is so time consuming.
Recently I was cleaning out old projects and found the start of a prep for another set of fabric bowls. I thought: “what the heck, let’s finish up the prep and maybe make some more bowls”. This time I enlisted the help of Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) to help me with the prep.
Below I will share a summarized overview of the cumbersome prep and where I currently am on my journey to make more fabric baskets.
It Starts with Strips
The pattern I originally used, Bali Boxes pattern by Aunties Two, appears to have been designed/inspired by the famous (and addicting) Hoffman Bali Pops. I know not everyone reading this blog is a quilter, so let me share an image of the packages of 42 pre-cut 2.5″ color coordinated/themed batik fabric strips:
Did any of you who are quilters, get addicted to collecting sets of Bali Pops when they came out in the 2000s? Hoffman still makes them but for me the novelty wore off (as did the novelty of buying “jelly rolls” which are another configuration of 42 2.5″ coordinating fabric strips).
I still have 3 – 4 Bali Pops leftover from my Bali Pop days; and all the fabric baskets and bowls I have made are from HoffmanBali Pop sets. One set actually makes a couple baskets – 2 or more depending on how deep you make each basket. I am thinking I could get 3 bowls out of a Bali Pop.
I do not know the name of the Bali Pop I am currently using (they all have cute names for their color combinations like “Green Tea” and “Citrus Grove”) but I think it had to something to do with the ocean as you can see the colors are blues and greens.
The Tedious Steps Begin
This post is not intended to discourage you from making a covered clothesline fabric bowl or basket, but I want to show that a bit of patience with tedious tasks is required to make these items via the Bali Boxes pattern method.
First you have to sew forty-two (42), 2.5″ strips which each measure 44″ long, end to end. Do the math – that is one mega long strip you are creating. Not accounting for all the 1/4″ seams you are creating sewing end to end, 42″ x 44″ = 1848 inches, or 154 feet (46.94 meters).
After that is done, you have to fold each strip in half and then fold into itself again, to create a pocket/tunnel to nestle the clothesline.
Now for the steps above, this time I enlisted (or would this be considered “abused”) TTQH. He amazingly created this ball of batik strips after much work:
It is a large ball and tightly wound/packed. I am amazed at his patience to do this for me, especially to double fold like 140+ feet of sewn strips (I used some quick and suspicious math to subtract 42 quarter inch seams).
Creating the Coil
I am on the last part of the prep to make fabric bowls/baskets – and it is equally as tedious. I have to stitch cotton clothesline into the center of the 140+ feet of sewn strips to create the coil.
But first I had to decide what coordinating thread to use, so I put together some options:
I let TTQH select the thread (he likes to make design choices like that) since he did all that work to create the “Ball-o-Batiks” for me. Here is the thread he selected from the options above:
After winding coordinating bobbins (making a basket or bowl on the sewing machine used a lot of bobbin thread) I was ready to start making the coil on my sewing machine:
I set the ball of clothesline and the “Ball-o-Batiks” on the floor side to side as I work them together through the sewing machine:
Here is what I have finished so far, not very much but I plan to work on it at a leisurely pace:
I will share a photo of my progress in a future post.
In yesterday’s post, OhScrap!, I mentioned that I had moved the fabric scraps from their organization in color themed boxes to a large bag. Well after completing this process I also ended up re-arranging my tiny sewing room again and thought I would share a photo:
Although I could use the space for something else, I always try to find a way to keep my old futon chair (it coverts to a bed for a very small person) in my studio to always have a cozy place to sit and think (about my next studio reorganization project, ha!)
Recently a couple of my blogging buddies, Mary at ZippyQuiltsand Claire at knitNkwilt posted about starting projects from their fabric scrap piles and “fabric scrap wrangling” (organizing a crafter’s crazy scrap pile).
As fabric scraps are my secret (well..not so secret) obsession, I want to join the conversation!
Last time I posted about my fabric scrap organization, I shared this photo of my fabric scraps organized in windowed boxes by color:
Well this organization failed. Why? Because I was not using the scraps, I was just enjoying them as “decoration” in my studio!
I knew I needed to do something and rethought how I was create with scraps I realized it was too cumbersome to pull down individual boxes by color to access scraps (my studio is small and I could only pull down 1-2 boxes at a time without serious crowding!). So I did something crazy: I pulled all the scraps out of the boxes and put them into a bag:
Yes it is a giant bag! It measures 22″ in height and approximately 22″ in diameter…and it is packed (but not too tightly…just fairly tightly, ha!). I’ve named it “Giant-Bag-O-Scraps” and I love it!
In addition to moving the fabric scraps out of their boxes by color, I also thinned out my collection of “Challenge Bags” (see post Basket of Challenges) and moved many of the scraps from these bags into the Giant-Bag-O-Scraps. I narrowed by huge “Challenge Bag” collection down to this:
I did keep one type of fabric scraps separate from the others – batik scraps. They have their own organization into three baskets under my cutting table: 1) light and medium-light colors; 2) medium-dark to dark colors; and 3) thin strips:
The reason for this separation is I want to make some landscape quilts using batik strips. I recently bought a book on Landscape quilts that I will discuss in a future post (once I start an actual landscape quilt project).
During this entire “scrap wrangling” project I did pull out a lot of scraps to donate to our local Humane Society Thrift Store. The thrift store has a crafting section and packages of fabric scraps sell very quickly there (other weird people like me who are also obsessed I guess..). Check out my post from October 2016 – A “Humane” Way to Eliminate FabricScraps to see how I packed up a huge donation of fabric scraps during my purging in 2016. The packages of scraps shown in that post sold within a week at the thrift shop!
Although I am not seeking out any additional fabric scraps, currently I am embracing my fabric scrap obsession. I remind myself that my quilting studio area is “my playroom” and it is okay to go in there and just play with my scraps!
Happy MLK Day! When the political landscape feels challenging to me as a person of color and as a woman, I remember his words and I am re-inspired:
I was juried into this roster by Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture panel and received notification on 11/1/17. The following information was provided by the City of Seattle about the Office of Arts & Culture panel’s decision:
Their decision was based on the following criteria: • strength and artistic vision of past artworks • creativity of approach • resume • experience with previous art exhibitions or projects
According to the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture the Ethnic Artist Roster “is a resource to anyone who is looking for artwork by artists of color or who wants to host a culturally relevant art exhibition. To contact an artist, please refer to their resume.”
For the first several years of my tierneycreates blog I shared reviews and excerpts from an endless stream of audiobooks in the genre “self-help” or “self-improvement” (I was obsessed with this genre). This genre could also be called “personal motivation” and “personal growth”. (If you would like to read my reviews/discussions of some of these books, check out my blog post Category “Audiobooks and Podcasts“)
Recently my incredibly awesome younger brother, Raoul Davis, Jr., along with two colleagues, has published a book in this genre called Firestarters: How Innovators, Instigators, and Initiators Can Inspire You to Ignite Your Own Life (2018).
Yes – one of my family members has written a “self-help” book!
I was so excited when I received a copy last week (I ordered it from amazon to support the sales of this book rather than try to get a free copy from my brother) in the mail.
Yes, I wish it was an audiobook, but I plan to actually sit and read the hard copy version book! The book is currently available on amazon.com in Kindle and paperback version.
Oh and not meaning to violate any copyright laws, here is a little snapshot of my brother’s wonderful “Acknowledgements” section in the book:
If you want to read a little more about our father, Raoul Davis, Sr., here is a blog post I did about him – Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me. Our parents have both passed but I am very lucky to have two amazing siblings!
I plan to return to blogging about my crafting adventures in the near future.
Here are the rules he posted on this particular blogging award nomination:
As per the rules of this award, I have to now ask all nominees three questions of my own. I will keep mine pretty similar to those above, and because I’m feeling a bit dull, I’ll keep it strictly business:
Which one word do you think best describes your blog?
Is there a post you’re particularly proud of and would like to reshare?
Have you any grand goals for your blog/practice this year?
And, of course, the spirit of the award means nominees should also go ahead and nominate thirteen others, ask questions of their own etc. etc. As usual, there is no obligation to do that, or anything at all because I have said so. Go your own way! But indeed, my thanks once more to Dernhelm, congratulations to all nominees, and big thanks to all for your patience! See you at the after-party, which I was told is down there somewhere…
Which one word do you think best describes your blog? RANDOM
I follow many wonderful blogs and I randomly nominated names of blogs that came up in my WordPress Reader this evening. I think all the blogs I follow are unique and wonderful 🙂
A year or so ago there were a lot of these award nominations floating around my regular group of blogging buddies, and I completely understand if you got burned out and do not want to participate in this award nomination.
But if you are one of the 13 above and want to participate, I have borrowed three random and unique questions from the website CONVERSATION STARTERS WORLD for you to answer in your blog post about the award:
What mythical creature would improve the world most if it existed?
What would be the coolest animal to scale up to the size of a horse?
What ridiculous and untrue, yet slightly plausible, theories can you come up with for the cause of common ailments like headaches or cavities?
Now that I have scared you all off from participating…
Feel free to nominate as many blogs as you like or just have fun answering the questions and do not bother nominating anyone.
Everyone, nominated or not is welcome to share their answers to these questions in the Comment section just for fun!
There are additional details on the fabric basket I recently “threw” on my sewing machine: It was part of a wedding gift for a dear friend. Now that my friend has received her gift I can share the additional photos/story!
What began as this –
Became this once five (5) little scrappy batik heart pillows were added to make it the tierneycreates Basket of Love:
My friend has a modified “Brady Bunch” situation going on. When she wed her wonderful finance they joined their families and became a blended family of five.
So I made each family member a little scrappy fabric heart and on the back of each heart I added a pocket so they could use the hearts to share little notes of love and appreciation to each other.
For fun I even made up five generic “sample love notes” and placed them in the pocket of each heart.
Working on this piece and sewing in general was a nice bit of healing for me as I deal with the grief of the recent loss of my beloved mother-in-law and the loss of my Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer. As you all probably know, grief comes in waves and it seems better to be sewing than just sitting around when one of these waves hits.
My friend and her fiancé are wonderful loving parents and I know their joined family and new home is likely filled with lots of love, but it made me very happy to make a gift that does more than celebrates their marriage – it celebrates their new family!
We had a couple days of warmth (up to 61 degrees F) in Central Oregon but now a deep chill has set in. Not as bad as parts of the US where a terrible Arctic freeze/chill is leading to record lows, so I will not complain.
We have quite a bit of “hoar frost” in Central Oregon. Every time I hear the words “hoar frost” I laugh to myself. I remember when I first moved to the Pacific NW in the late 1990s and heard the term “hoar frost” for the first time. I thought my friend was saying something else completely in regards to the frost (hint: sounds like wh___). And I thought: “Wow, in the Pacific NW they really hate frost!”
In case you have not heard of “hoar frost” before, according to the Google dictionary it is:
a grayish-white crystalline deposit of frozen water vapor formed in clear still weather on vegetation, fences, etc.
Here is a tree loaded with hoar frost from my morning walk:
I want to close this post by mentioning how much I have enjoyed reading “end-of-year” summaries by my blogging buddies. I might write up one myself when I feel ready.