Terry the Quilting Husband

TTQH Update

A quick Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) update and follow up to the post Spinning the Homespuns with TTQH .

TTQH recently finished 25 large nine-patch blocks (each square of fabric used in each block was originally a 6.5″ square) made from my stash of homespuns:

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We’ve decided not to piece the lattice between the blocks (the original pattern calls for 2.5″ inch blocks pieced as a border on two side of each block to create the lattice):

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Instead we are going use a single 2.5″ strip of different homespuns for the lattice. It will still give it a “scrappy” feel without all that piecing. I gave TTQH the option of piecing (and first cutting!) all those 2.5″ squares and he liked the solid strip idea instead!

Inspired by my friend Wendy and the book I borrowed from the library – Quilt As-You-Go Made Vintage by Jera Brandwig, I am going to “quilt-as-you-go” this king-size quilt.

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Image credit: Amazon.com

I am very tempted to buy this book, I really enjoyed it and it has great instructions on three (3) ways to join blocks in the “quit-as-you-go” method.

Alas, as I am still working on my two art quilts with deadlines, quilting-as-you-go on TTQH’s quilt is on the back-burner for now.

I will share updated photos when he gets the borders on each block; and show a simulation of what the quilt will look like once it is completed (using the “design bed” a phrase I stole from my blogging buddy Claire @ knitNkwilt).


Postscript

So what else has TTQH worked on recently? Well he was involved with what some people might call “Crafter-Spouse-Misuse” (I thought the word “abuse” was too strong).

In my previous post, A Case Against Procrastination , I shared that I had only completed 13.5″ of a knitted scarf that I was making to coordinate with a knitted hat I made in December 2017:

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One of the reasons, besides obvious procrastination, that I have not progressed on knitting this scarf is that I ran out of the ball of yarn I was working from (the remnant the original ball of yarn I used for the hat).

So last evening, in support of me moving forward on my scarf (so I can coordinate with the hat from the same yarn and stay warm now that Snowmageddon is back in Central Oregon!), TTQH agreed to wind a new ball of yarn for me from my waiting skein.

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As you will see below, Mike the Miniature Schnauzer (who is overdue for a grooming) is giving me the furry eyeball for taking up TTQH’s time with this task.

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Mike’s irritation and Crafter-Spousal-Misuse aside, I now have a nice wound ball of yarn and it’s time to return to knitting in front of the TV again!

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A Crafter's Life, The Library Stack

A Case Against Procrastination

Duh. Tierney we all know procrastination is not a good idea.

Yes, very true, and I have a recent example that reinforces why it is not a good idea.

In my 12/04/17 post Library Stack Catch Up, I shared a photo of a recently completed knitted hat:

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I also stated in this post: “I have another skein of the same yarn for my hat and I am thinking of making a coordinating ribbed scarf.”

I did start knitting a coordinating scarf. I was feeling lazy and decided to do a mindless knit a row/purl a row pattern (even though it tends to curl on the ends) instead of a ribbed pattern which required more thought. My plan was to finish up the scarf while watching television in the evening.

However as we moved from December into January in Central Oregon the weather was not too bad. No snow and on and off in January we had that “Sprinter” (Spring-like in Winter) weather I’ve mentioned in previous posts (see recent post A Beautiful Monday where were are on a hike in 60 degree weather).

So I procrastinated.

I did get nearly 13.5″ of scarf knitted but it is not enough to wrap around the neck of Mike the Miniature Schnauzer much less a human:

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Then…Bam – Snowmageddon is back in Central Oregon! Sprinter is OVER! Winter is here, for real (heavy snow and frigid temperatures)!

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No that is not a grainy photograph, that is snow falling live
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Terry the Quilting Husband and Mike trudging through the snow

And because I procrastinated, I had no scarf to match my hat! I had to face the elements “less coordinated” as I could have been (smile):

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On a chilly, windy, snowy dog walk (I am wearing an old ribbed scarf a friend made me).

I am now trying to finish the scarf, no more procrastination, I have learned my lesson!


Postscript

In my series of posts, The Library Stack, it is apparent that I love to borrow a huge stack of library books at one time.

In case you ever wonder how I manage the borrowed library books I have finished that are ready for return to the library (okay you likely have never wondered this but I will share anyway), I wanted to share my system.

We have an old IKEA shoe rack that we keep under the coat rack by the front door. On top of that shoe rack I have a wire basket that holds all library books ready for return:

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Please ignore the winter mess of coats and Mike’s Winter-Walk-Drying-Towel on the coat rack above 🙂

We also keep a tray with a box of tissues (for runny noses during winter walks), earphones for audiobook listening, and keys for easy access. Yes I guess I could have tidied the area up before taking the photo but I decided to “keep it real”!

I started this library wire basket system years ago after hearing a cautionary tale from a friend:

Her husband was trying to be helpful and returned a stack of books for her to the library. Turns out these books were expensive new art books she just purchased, not library books!

Her husband went back to the library to plead his case and ask for the books back but the library had already given them to the Friends of the Library Group for the next fund raising sale. They were integrated with the other donations stored off site and not retrievable (they don’t give back donations or have the staff to search for “oops” donations). So my friend never saw her lovely stack of new art books again! (I think she tried to find them at the annual fundraiser book sale but they were gone).

So I can safely ask my husband to return my library books for me as they are only kept in one place!

Creative Inspiration, Fabric Scraps Obsession

Creative Inspiration: Recycled Textiles

I thought I’d share a little about my love for recycled textiles as part of my ongoing series of posts on my sources of Creative Inspiration.

Unlikely Materials for Quilt Making: Recycled Textiles

Nearly 2 years ago (March 2016) I did a post on “Unlikely Materials” as part of the Blog Tour for my friends Wendy Hill and Pat Pease’s new book,  Creative Quilt Challenges (C&T Publishing, 2016), and shared the story of how I transitioned from only using quilting cotton fabrics to experimenting with using recycled textiles in my quilt creations.

Since 2012 I have experimented with recycled textiles such as recycled clothing (not suitable for clothing donation) and recycled garment and home decor fabric samples – all items that were likely headed to the landfill. I feel a great sense of joy when I create art with those items that would have been discarded.

Recently I pulled out my entire collection of recycled textiles to work on my piece for our annual Central Oregon SAQA art quilting group exhibit which opens at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Shop in July. This year’s theme is “The Threads That Bind” and the piece like previous years, must meet the dimensions of 18″ x 40″.

For the past couple years I have made 18″ x 40″ pieces, based on the selected annual theme, from recycled materials such as “Recycled Door” (the theme was “Doors”) and “The Recycled Road” (the theme was “Pathways”):

If you would like to read about the development of these pieces, just search their names in the search box on my blog. You can also check out these pieces on my art quilting blog, Improvisational Textiles.

For this year’s piece I am again working with recycled textiles, but this time using different recycled textiles since I used up most of the recycled clothing in the above pieces.

My piece is in progress (it was one of the two art quilts with deadlines I mentioned in my post Art & Fear, etc., that I had yet to start) and it is called Recycled Love.

I am not ready to reveal my current piece while it is in progress, it feels private right now.

Interestingly in the book Art & Fear: Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking (1993) by David Bayles and Ted Orland, they discuss that the artist needs time to work on their work in private without feedback from the world.

(See the Postscript section for more on this book and the post Art & Fear, etc..)

Creative Inspiration From Playing with My Recycled Textiles

As I mentioned earlier in this post, I’ve pulled out my entire collection of recycled textiles while I work on my new piece, Recycled Love. Just having my entire collection laid out before me was a huge source of Creative Inspiration!

They were a little too huge a source of creative inspiration and I ended up designing in my mind 5 – 10 future art quilts until I finally calmed down and made my mind just focus on the art quilt with the deadline!

So I thought I would give you a peek into my recycled textiles collection, most of which were donated/given to me by others.

Recycled Wool

My collection of recycled wool includes manufacturing scraps from wool suit making and Pendleton blanket manufacturing scraps. It also include some felted wool scraps and  various crafting wool scraps from other crafters’ projects.

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Recycled Denim

This collection includes our old jeans and old denim shirts; jeans given to me by friends; and an old denim duvet cover. I also keep my denim scraps from previous projects using recycled denim (as long as they are bigger than 3″ x 3″).

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Home Decor Samples

These were given to me by a couple who did remodeling work on our home. A client of theirs gave them a large box of home decorating upholstery samples and they shared the box with me! Some of the fabrics seem hideous for a sofa or chair but they would be awesome in an art quilt!

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Dyed Silk Scraps

A friend gave me these scraps as samples from a hand dyed silk class she took years ago.

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I took them out of the sample book there were in and discovered if I gently ironed them and then sewed them onto muslin I could use them in an art quilt! Below is an example as I have used them in my piece in progress, Recycled Love:

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Couture Fabric Scraps (Silk, Linen and Wool)

These are my post precious scraps and to read the story behind these couture fabric samples and scraps from New York City Fashion District Circa 1990s, see this page on my Improvisational Textiles website: Quilting Meets Couture.

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The photo does not do the fabrics justice. You can see on the Quilting Meets Couture page the many art quilts made with these beautiful recycled fabrics (all of which were scheduled for destruction by the manufacturer had they not been rescued).

Below is an image of some of my art quilts that I made with these recycled couture fabrics which are in the book 1000 Quilting Inspirations: Colorful and Creative Designs for Traditional, Modern and Art Quilts by Sandra Sider (2015). They are all quilted by Guadalupe Designs.

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Postscript

I was going to do a follow up on the post Art & Fear, etc. that I mentioned in this post, and share/discuss some additional quotes/passages from the book that really resonated with me.

However, on further thought, I decided that this is a book you should experience on your own and read first hand the brilliant insights on the nature of creating art and dealing with the inherent fear and sense of vulnerability and risk that comes with putting your art “out there”.

So instead I will share one more quote from the book and then return to talking about recycled textiles:

“In the end it all comes down to this: you have a choice (or more accurately a rolling tangle of choices) between giving your work your best shot and risking that it will not make you happy, or not giving it your best shot — and thereby guaranteeing that it will not make you happy. It becomes a choice between certainty and uncertainty. And curiously, uncertainty is the comforting choice.”

― David Bayles & Ted Orland, Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

A Crafter's Life

Kaffe-philia

Recently I’ve gained a bunch of new tierneycreates blog followers! Welcome new followers/readers, thanks for joining this random discussion of a crafter’s life!

I guess with all the new followers, I should actually write a new post (what a novel idea!) so they have something to actually “follow” (smile).

Last post I shared with you my “Aurifilia” – my obsession with the beautiful Italian AURIfil thread. This post I want to share with you someone else’s obsession: Kaffe-philia.

(“-philia” = denoting fondness, especially an abnormal love for a specified thing – dictionary.com).

Saturday I visited the home of a quilting friend who is obsessed with Kaffe Fassett fabric.

In case you have never heard of Kaffe, especially if you are not a quilter, he is a U.S. born designer who moved to the U.K. when he was a young man. He first made it big in embroidery needlepoint and knitting and then moved into quilt and fabric design. Here is a link to his website: www.kaffefassett.com if you would like to read more about Kaffe Fassett.

My friend has been collecting Kaffe Fassett fabric for many years and here is a peek inside her stash:

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A close up of some of her Kaffe Fassett fabric delights:

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And a peek inside one of her boxes, on top of her “rack-of-Kaffe”, with her shot cotton stripes collection:

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It is even more yummy in person but hopefully the photos give you a taste of her collection.

She has made many quilts with Kaffe Fassett fabrics over the years and here is a commission quilt she is currently putting the binding on, made exclusively with Kaffe Fassett fabrics using a pattern from a Kaffe Fassett book:

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Here is the cool fabric on the back which is a sateen and you can see a close up of some of the quilting she did on the quilt:

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So you might be thinking: “Tierney, those fabric are lovely, do you own some?” I own a tiny bit of Kaffe Fassett fabric yardage. What I do have quite a bit of are Kaffe Fassett FABRIC SCRAPS! If you have followed my blog for a while you know of my love of fabric scraps (bordering on pathology).

You will never guess where I got the fabric scraps…(hint: from my friend with the Kaffe-philia).

Although I have not invested in a lot of Kaffe Fassett yardage, I am guilty of my own Kaffe-philia (true confession time). I was (last year I finally stopped) obsessed with owning the latest Kaffe Fassett book, and here is my bookshelf to prove it:
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Question: So Tierney, just how many quilts have you made from all these Kaffe Fassett books you own?

Answer: (Sheepish grin) None. But I plan to in the future, I really do!

My friend with the Kaffe fabric obsession, and I with the Kaffe book obsession, got to meet the fabulous Kaffe Fassett a couple of years ago at a book signing at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, Oregon. I tried not to go to all “fan girl” on him when I got him to sign one of my books.

There are many wonderful fabric designers, do not know why his fabric and books are so addicting!

Do any of you have a little bit of Kaffe-philia?


Postscript

Recently, one of the bloggers I follow, thecraftycreek, has been working on a lovely Kaffe Fassett quilt that you might want to check out if you love Kaffe Fassett like some of us do. See her post – Feel the Sunshine and Do a Happy Dance! 

A Crafter's Life, Studio

Aurifilia

This post is actually for me, but I will explain more about that later.

First I want to talk about Aurifilia. Yes, I completely made this term up, however, “Aurifilia” is an obsession, perhaps unhealthy perhaps not, with AURIfil Italian Threads.

Quilter True Confessions

My “Aurifilia” began 5 – 6 years ago when another quilter introduced me to these addicting Italian threads.

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Photo credit: aurifil.com

It started with purchasing multipurpose neutral colored threads: cream, white, light gray etc. It progressed into buying less multipurpose colored threads: blues, greens, purples, browns.

Finally, it evolved into buying quilt designer collections of AURIfil thread in unusual bright or strong colors, with no specific plan or purpose for these threads.

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Photo credit: aurifil.com/valori-wells-collection

Realizing my “Aurifilia” has gotten a bit out of control, I decided to reorganize my threads by brand, instead of color, to see just how much AURIfil (and in what colors) I had on hand.

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I went from this organization (by color):

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To this organization (by brand):

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After organizing my Aurifil threads, I discovered I currently have no gray! Light gray is a great neutral color, in my opinion) for stitching; and medium and dark gray would look lovely as topstitching.

Why this post is for me

It is inevitable I am going to bring more AURIfil thread into my life (at least some gray!). The problem in the past is I could not remember what colors I had on hand when I was at shop and fell into an acute bout of Aurifilia.

Now I can whip out my smartphone, pull up this post and see what Aurifil I already have in my collection.

I might even update this post ever so often with the latest photo of my Aurifil collection!


Postscript

I decided to do the same thing with my fabric yardage collection – keep on my blog photos of my current fabric collection. I added these photos to my tierneycreates Studio Tour page at the bottom if you would like to take a peek.

Yes our blogs can be our online diaries, why can’t they be our online catalogues too?

 

 

 

Terry the Quilting Husband, The Library Stack

The Library Stack

It’s been a while since I’ve posted my latest library stack like in my series of posts The Library Stack . Why? Because I took a break from “library stacks” and limited myself to one book at a time or actually reading books/periodical from my own stash!

But I could not stay away from my beloved library stack from my beloved public library, and yesterday I picked up a new stack:

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The first book I am working through is Quilt As-You-Go Made Vintage by Jera Brandwig – a Pacific NW Authors (she lives in Seattle where I used to live!)

I discovered this book in the Non-Fiction New Releases section (first place I check out when headed upstairs at the library). Borrowing this is perfect timing, as my friend and quilting mentor Wendy H. has been advising me on how Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I can do “quilt-as-you-go” on the king-size quilt TTQH is currently working on. This book lays out three methods for quilt as-you-go in a very easy format.

I am tempted to buy the book but I am trying to take a break from adding any more books to my obscene craft book collection (I have an old post about my craft book collection, Craft Book Hoarder?!?!?, but maybe someday I will do an updated post of the current levels of craft book obsession..).

TTQH continues to work on his quilt on my sewing machine and Mike continues to keep him company in the chair in my sewing room!

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Outside Adventures!

A Beautiful Monday

I meant to post this yesterday but the day got away from me (where does time go? do the minutes slip away to the same place missing socks go?).

I do not work on Mondays and this past Monday I went for a lovely hike with my friend Laurie and her Bernese Mountain Dog, Luna along the Deschutes River Trail off of Farewell Bend Park.

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We are having “Sprinter” (Spring-like Winter, yes I totally made that up) in Central Oregon. Monday was in the late 50s to early 60s degrees F (14 – 15 degrees C for my blogging friends outside the US).  It was truly like a sunny blue sky Spring day (minus the Spring foliage).

We had a wonderful hike along the Deschutes River. Luna got to play in the river so she really happy and as a bonus for her and the humans, we ran in the puppy/”mini-me” version of Luna – an adorable Bernese Mountain Dog puppy named Willow.

Well, instead of me telling you about the hike, why don’t I just share photos and let the photos speak for themselves!

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The Deschutes River Trail and Farewell Bend Park connect you back into the Old Mill District, an outdoor shopping and dining area built around an old lumbar mill, hence the name (www.oldmilldistrict.com/about/history/).

Laurie and I got a kick out of the app-based rental bikes parked at the Old Mill. You sign up and pay for the rental using a smartphone app!

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We plan to rent them someday to explore the surrounding area by bike without having to haul our bikes down to the area!

Actually we are planning monthly hikes to explore our town. I have lived in Central Oregon 12 years and there is so much I have not yet explored, or I just want to explore again!


Postscript

I so appreciate the comments, insights and encouragement on my 02/04/18 post Art & Fear, etc..

I got less stuck (or got over my “inertia” an awesome word my blogging buddy Claire of knitNkwilt commented) and mapped out the required dimensions of one of the art quilts with a looming deadline:

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I also pulled out my recycled materials stash to start playing with fabrics based on the design I have sketched!

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Moving forward! Unstuck! (for now…)

 

A Crafter's Life, Farm Girl Vintage Blocks, Terry the Quilting Husband

Art & Fear, etc.

I am feeling stuck. I have two looming deadlines for art quilts for two upcoming shows and I have not started either pieces.

I am dealing with feeling stuck in two ways: 1) reading an inspirational book; and 2) sewing some traditional blocks.

Inspirational Book

At the January meeting of the art quilting group I belong to (Central Oregon SAQA) our group leader shared that she was reading Art & Fear: Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking (1993) by David Bayles and Ted Orland.

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Image credit: Amazon.com

After the meeting, I immediately reserved the book at my public library and just picked in up from the library on Friday. Diving into this awesome book I discovered a couple great quotes about the reality of creating/making art:

“Making art is dangerous and revealing. Making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be.”

“…fears arise in those entirely appropriate (and frequently occurring) moments when vision races ahead of execution. Consider the story of a young student…who began piano studies with a Master. After a few months’ practice (the student) lamented to his teacher ‘but I can hear the music so much better in my head than I can get out of my fingers’. To which the Master replied, ‘What makes you think that ever changes?'”

“The materials of art…seduce us with their potential.”  

(This last quote made me think of stumbling upon that incredible textile that you know will be perfect in a future piece)

I am only on page 20 and so far there are many gems in this book. Currently I highly recommend it if you are struggling with creating art or moving forward on your artistic journey.

At the beginning of this post I mentioned I have not started two art quilts with looming deadlines. I have actually designed and mapped out both pieces on paper but have not begun to the process of transferring my vision to fabric. That is where I am stuck (likely because of fear).

Stitching Myself Unstuck

I knew I needed to do something to become “unstuck” but I could not force myself to start working on either art quilt when I am not feeling inspired. I could however get myself in a creating mood by sewing something.

So I pulled out my bag of scraps from working on Farm Girl Vintage blocks (see series of posts Farm Girl Vintage Blocks)

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and made a couple more blocks:

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These blocks are about as far as you can get from art quilting but they got me sewing again and it was fun to try to be limited by what was in the scrap bag (from Farm Girl Vintage blocks already made).

I will likely make a couple more blocks and then I will do a post showing all my completed Farm Girl Vintage blocks to date.

I will continue reading the Art & Fear book and look at starting my art quilts.

Have you ever felt creatively stuck and what do you do to get “unstuck”?


Postscript

A follow up to my previous post Spinning the Homespuns with TTQH, Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) has moved into my sewing studio to work on his piece.

We have decided to sell his Baby Lock sewing machine and he is going to use my Bernina. I can better support him on technical issues if he is using the same brand of machine (I can trouble shoot my Bernina in my sleep).

Plus he likes working in my sewing area, it has a better set up with my latest room rearrangement.

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Mike the Mini Schnauzer: “Now he will sew in here all the time?!?!?”
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TTQH enjoying the small design wall on the closet door right behind the sewing area
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TTQH working on his piece

Featured image: Dave Dyet, free images.com

Terry the Quilting Husband, What's on the Design Wall

Spinning the Homespuns with TTQH

This is a follow up to the post Slashing the Stash with TTQH.

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) is ready to make another quilt and this time he wants to make a quilt for our bed – and we have a king-size bed.

He has an ambitious plan, after raiding my stash of homespun fabrics (brushed cotton fabrics woven in a primitive home style weave, usually in plaids) for a very large quilt!

He discovered this book, Slash Your Stash Quilts, while I was thinning out my quilt booklets in November. I had this one slated for donation but he wanted to keep it and make the Twinklers pattern with homespuns in my stash (he was actually trying to slash my stash!).

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We reviewed the original pattern he chose in depth which led to him changing his mind. He is going to make another pattern in the book that does not have all those “points”:

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I helped him cut 225 6.5″ x 6.5″ squares and he has sorted them into 25 nine patch sets:

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Here he is playing (spinning) with some designs with the pile-o-homespuns on the large design wall in the hallway:

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And they now are waiting by his sewing machine for him to start sewing…

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More updates as the quilt progresses…


Postscript

A quick follow up on the post Additional on “Additional Conversations” .

Originally I was going to hand quilt my large art quilt from recycled clothing, Additional Conversations:

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I decided to “quilt it by check” and Guadalupe Designs long-arm quilting service, do the quilting.

Here is the quilt laid out on the bed as I try to make sure I made the quilt back wide enough (using tan colored Peppered Cotton).

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