A Crafter's Life, Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio

Scrap Party!

It’s no secret, especially if you’ve followed my blog for a while, that I am obsessed with fabric scraps. I won’t try to link any of my numerous previous posts on fabric scraps. If you are new to my blog, you will have to just trust me 🙂

Well one of my quilting friends, actually the one who got me into appreciating the value and opportunity for unlimited creativity provided by using fabric scraps, is coming over tomorrow for a SCRAP PARTY!

She had a birthday a couple of weeks ago and we are going to do a belated celebration by going to out to lunch and then coming back to my house and spending the afternoon playing in my fabric scrap pile:

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I did not post about it (as those of you who’ve followed me for a while may have grown weary of my constantly talking about fabric scraps) but last weekend I thinned out my scrap pile. I pulled out any remaining old lower quality fabric and donated more to a local charity thrift shop.

During a previous donation, a volunteer at one of our local charity thrift shops (for our local Humane Society shelter), told me that fabric scraps sell very well at the thrift shop. They cannot keep fabric scrap bags in stock, they sell out immediately! (See there are more weird obsessed people like myself in Central Oregon).

So what are we going to do at a so called “Scrap Party”? Well I am going to dump the whole box onto a plastic tarp on the floor of my master bedroom (as not to take up precious space in my tiny studio space that we will be sharing) and let my friend go wild playing with my fabric scrap collection. She is really into improvisational piecing (she is the one who helped me move from traditional quilting to art/improvisational quilting) so fabric scraps are one of her favorite textile mediums!

I’ve set up my travel sewing machine for her in my studio so we can sew together. I have two design walls (a small one on the closet door in my studio and then the big one in the hall way) so we won’t have to battle for design wall space!

I’m not sure what she is going to work on, but I plan to work on some paper piecing. I’m trying to spend more time with my extensive (ridiculous) craft book collection and rediscovered in my craft book collection – 50 Little Paper-Pieced Blocks by Carol Doak. Playing with fabric scraps seems like a great time to work on my paper-piecing skills.

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My friend is bringing over her miniature schnauzer so Mike will have a furry friend visiting.

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) made us chocolate chip cookies (to keep our sugar fueled energy level high for crafting!!!):

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Of course I will share the outcomes of our Scrap Party!

Studio, What's on the Design Wall

Recycled Love (“What’s On My Lap” and Artist Statements, Part III)

This post is actually part of my ongoing series of posts, What’s on the Design Wall, in which I share my latest project in progress.

Since I’ve been primarily focused on hand quilting this piece, I will call this “What’s on My Lap” instead.

In addition to sharing my latest art quilting project, I want to continue the discussion on writing Artist Statements that I began in the 8/25/16 post, Artist Statements and continued in the 04/17/17 post Artist Statements, Part II.

What’s On My Lap

Our local art quilting group, Central Oregon SAQA, has an annual themed art quilting exhibit (with a measurement requirement of 18″ x 40″) at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, as well at several venues in Central Oregon.

This year’s theme is “The Threads That Bind“.

In response to that theme, and keeping with my series of art quilts made from recycled jeans (and other materials) I have a piece in progress called Recycled Love.

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Recycled Love by Tierney Davis Hogan, in progress

Keep in mind this piece is in progress and I have not yet evenly trimmed the sides (why it looks “wonky”), finished the hand quilting, or added the facing (or binding), etc. (I trimmed off the excess batting as I had finished hand quilting all edges/borders and wanted it to look semi-neat for the photo.)

I am still trying to decide if I will do a “facing” finish like I did for my piece The Recycled Road (the Central Oregon SAQA annual theme was “Pathways”) or bind it like I did for my piece Recycled Door (the Central Oregon SAQA annual theme was “Doors”). You can view these two pieces I reference at this link – tierneycreates.com/2017/04/11/the-recycled-road/)

But first I need to complete hand stitching the rest of the heart and the “folded quilts” in the piece.

Here are additional photos from the photo shoot I did in my backyard this afternoon:

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Still working on hand quilting the heart and the rest of the “folded quilts”

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In addition to recycled denim jeans, this piece is made from a whole lot of recycled textiles including:

  • Recycled jeans
  • Recycled upholstery fabric samples
  • Recycled couture silks
  • Recycled wool
  • Various bits of recycled clothing
  • Recycled sample book of hand dyed silk strips
  • Recycled blocks (made with recycled clothing) from my piece Recycled Windows)
  • Recycled section from another art quilt (Color Story VII: Ohio Shifted) that I had trimmed while making the original piece

Like I mentioned above – a whole lot of recycled textiles went into this piece!

As an example, in the photos below are the bag of hand-dyed silk samples a friend gave me; and me piecing them together on muslin to create the first “folded quilt” at the top of the stack:

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The “heart” in the piece (representing “love” in the statement: “Quilts are Love”) is made from the scraps of the “folded quilts” I pieced for this quilt! I am still working on the hand quilting in the heart.

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The back of the piece is also made from recycled textiles: I used an old shirt and upholstery fabric samples (I will share the back in a future post as I forgot to take a photo – oops).

I even used recycled batting in the “quilt sandwich”! Below is a photo of me zigzagging together two smaller pieces of recycled batting (that my long-arm quilter friend gave me) to create a large piece for the quilt:

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Did I carry the whole “recycling” concept too far?!?!? (smile)

Next time I share photos of the piece they will be of the completed piece!


Artist Statement (Artist Statements: Part III)

In the previous posts on writing Artist Statements (Artist Statements and  Artist Statements, Part II.) I shared my struggles writing Artist Statements on individual pieces and my general/overall Artist Statement.

In a recent issue of the SAQA Journal (2017, No. 4) I came across an excellent article by Allison Reker titled “Craft an amazing artist statement in less than 60 words”. 

The article’s author emphasizes brevity in Artist Statements and her tips to achieve such brevity make a lot of sense to me. So my new thing is challenging myself on how meaningful a statement I can make in under 60 words.

Also I think brevity leaves more room for the viewers interpretation. I want to assist the viewer to get a feel of where I am going to (or coming from) on a piece but still give them room to draw their own conclusions/have their own private experience with the piece.

So with that in mind, here’s the draft Artist Statement I’ve written for this piece.

Recycled Love (2018)

18″ x 40″, recycled clothing, upholstery samples, hand-dyed silk samples, and other recycled textiles

The first law of thermodynamics states that the total amount of energy in a system cannot be created nor destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another. Quilts are made from recycling the existing “love energy” from the quilt maker’s heart and hands into the pieced textiles, transferring it to the quilt recipient.

I am at 58 words (just keeping it under 60) and I plan to revisit this draft Artist Statement when I actually finish the piece. I want to play more with the concept of energy not being create or destroyed, just transferred/changed. Also I am trying to decide if I want to fit in the words in the theme “The Threads That Bind” into the Artist Statement somewhere.

Once completed, this piece will become part of my Recycled Denim Stories Series. If you would like to view the other pieces in this series (or my other series of art quilts) check out my Tierney Davis Hogan page on the Improvisational Textiles website.


Postscript

Finally some real signs of Spring in Central Oregon – the crocus have appeared (and the tulips are popping up their leaves everywhere).

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This evening on our walk we saw a rainbow providing a halo to the setting sun – it was quite magical!

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Audiobooks and Podcasts

Got Problems?

Last post I shared my latest audiobook listens. Well, I just threw one more audiobook into the mix: Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.

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Image credit: amazon.com

This is a “re-listen” and in 2016 I shared a couple insights from this book. I accidentally borrowed the book again from my library (all the self-improvement books are melding together and I can no longer tell one from the other!) and decided to listen to it again as background while working today.

There are two great concepts the authors discuss in the book related to problems: 1) Gravity Problems and 2) Anchor Problems.

Thought I would share excerpts from two old blog posts (circa 2016) in which I discussed these problems in the “Postscript” section in case you find value from these insights like I did.

Gravity Problems

In this book the authors discuss “Gravity Problems” and how we get mired in “Gravity Problems”.

What are “gravity problems”? They are problems that are not actionable to resolve.

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Image credit: Pexels Photo Library

The authors share a great example (paraphrased):

A friend asks you what is wrong. You reply “I am having a hard time in life, I just cannot make it up hills as easily as I want to due to this thing called gravity. If I just did not have gravity in my life pulling me down, I would be fine and I could run up any hill I want”.

The authors humorously share that unless you are able to change how the earth spins on its axis and its rotation around the sun, you are not going to be able to resolve your “gravity problem”.

Now perhaps the real problem is you are not at your ideal fitness level and/or you need to improve your cardiovascular health, so you can more easily climb up a hill. That is an actionable problem.

Here is great quote from the book to ponder:

If it’s not actionable, it’s not a problem. It’s a situation, a circumstance, a fact of life. It may be a drag (so to speak), but, like gravity, it’s not a problem that can be solved.”

– Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

Anchor Problems

The authors discuss another type of problem that gets you in the way of moving forward – “Anchor Problems“. As the authors describe – “Anchor Problems are like a physical anchor, they hold us in one place and prevent motion
”

I love this quote from the book in relation to “Anchor Problems”:

“Anchor problems keep us stuck because we can only see one solution – the one we already have that doesn’t work.

Anchor problems
are really about the fear that, no matter what else we try, that won’t work either
”

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Image credit: Pexels Photo Library

I could relate to the two types of problems and re-listening to the book is reminding me of a different way to think about “problems”.


Postscript

Next post I will reveal my work to date on my art quilt called Recycled Love for our annual Central Oregon SAQA show.


Feature image credit: Pexels Photo Library

A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts, Outside Adventures!

A Beautiful Monday and Audiobook Delights

As it is nearly Monday again, I thought I should share photos from the beautiful Pilot Butte hike I took on Monday. I have shared numerous photos of Pilot Butte, our miniature mountain with a wonderful 360 degree view of Central Oregon and its surrounding Cascade Mountains, in previous posts in my series Pilot Butte Adventures.

Our weather in Central Oregon is all over the place – somedays snowy and cold, other days beautiful Spring weather. Monday was the latter and I went on a solo hike on Pilot Butte and listened to a wonderful audiobook. More on the audiobook and my other recent audiobooks a little later.

Pilot Butte

I’ve shared like a zillion photos of Pilot Butte in previous posts on my hikes, so I will just share a couple more below to give you a little taste of my experience.

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Headed up the Butte
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Near the top, taking in the panoramic views
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Headed down the Butte and of course some really fit Central Oregon Senior Citizen passed me

When I got to the top of the Butte, I took a break at the summit and spent time cloud gazing. While cloud gazing I noticed something I’ve never seen before – a prism of color in the sky (like a little section of rainbow. I captured it as best I could with my smartphone camera:

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It was quite magical!

Audiobooks

I’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks lately (I borrow them from my local library and download them directly to my smartphone using the Overdrive app).

On Monday’s Pilot Butte hike however I listened to an audiobook I found for free on iTunes podcasts: High Performance Habits with Brendon Burchard by Brendon Burchard.

Here are the 6 habits which the author discusses in depth:

  • Seek Clarity
  • Generate Energy
  • Raise Necessity
  • Increase Productivity
  • Develop Influence
  • Demonstrate Courage

You can Google “High Performance Habits” or “Brendon Burchard” and find lots of information as well as YouTube videos such as the one below:

There are many gems in this book, here is one of them:

“Often, the journey to greatness begins the moment our preferences for comfort and certainty are overruled by a greater purpose that requires challenge and contribution” – Brendon Burchard

Now here is a list of the other audiobooks I have recently listened or am currently listening to:
  • Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks – a collection of short stories written by the actor Tom Hanks. I have listened to two stories so far (narrated by the author!) and so far it is AMAZING! Who knew this awesome actor is also an awesome writer?
  • Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman. This intriguing book is by the Pulitzer Prize winning author who also wrote The World is Flat and Hot, Flat and Crowded which explore the rapid changes to the world in the 21st century. His current book explores the extremely rapid technological changes and how we can survive them. I am only in the first section of the book but the author shares an awesome analogy (paraphased): If a car from the 1960s had advanced in technological development like the computer chip did, then cars of today would get 200,000 miles to the gallon and cost 4 cents.
  • Living an Examined Life: Wisdom for the Second Half of the Journey by James Hollis.  This is a complex but beautiful book and reads like poetry. Here is a nice summary of the book on the Sound True website: Living an Examined Life.
  • Waking Gods, and Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. These two books are part of a trilogy (I think it is a trilogy as I am currently anxiously awaiting the third book due to be released in May 2018). Unusual and exceptional science fiction presented in a very creative method: through a series of interviews. The audiobook performance is exceptional as it is done by a series of actors and they perform it in a way that you feel like you are listening to actual conversations. One of the best audiobook performances I’ve even listened to and a great engaging story!
  • Nine Women, One Dress by Jane Rosen. This was a fun “chick-lit” romantic comedy – predictable but fairly well written. The story is exactly as the title implies but very engaging!

You can follow me on Goodreads (I am “Tierneycreates” on Goodreads) if you want to follow what I am reading.

A Crafter's Life, Special Events, Studio

Trends Show Part II: More Classes

Happy Saturday and here is part two of my two part posts on attending the EE Schenck’s Trends show last weekend in Portland, Oregon.

Alas, in this post there will be no “unexpected roommates” (see Trends Show Part I: The Unexpected Roommate ) like the previous post; but for the rest of the show I continued to take two more great “Take n’ Teach” classes – from Latifah Saafir and Kathy Cardiff.

Latifah Saafir: Fear Curves No More

Latifah Saafir is amazing – she is an engineer turned quilt pattern and quilt tool designer based out of Los Angelas, CA. She is a also a great teacher. Check out her website – Latifah Saafir Studios: One Stitch, One Seam, One quilt at a time.

She demonstrated her brilliant method for piecing curves using pieces cut from The Clammy, her giant clamshell maker template. Below are photos from the class (including some yummy fabric she used for her demo):

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Later that day I was fortunate enough to share a shuttle bus ride (EE Schencks provided a free shuttle to and from the hotel to the Trends show) with Latifah and hear more about her transition from scientist to quilting guru!

Kathy Cardiff: Wool Appliqué

Kathy Cardiff is a Washington state based designer, author and teacher who specializes in wool appliquĂ©. Check out her website – The Cottage at Cardiff Farms.

She taught a hands on wool appliqué class in which she prepped our little wool appliqué pieces with fusible backed paper, we just needed to cut the little pieces out to make this (her sample):

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She also prepared templates for us to use to press the pieces together onto freezer paper before peeling them off to place the fabric for the little pillow:

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Her work is amazing, here are so additional photos from the class and her booth:

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She definitely took the fear out of wool appliqué for me like Latifah Saafir took the fear out of curved piecing for me!

Here is my wool appliqué piece currently in progress from the class:

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The funny thing is I’ve had a The Cottage at Cardiff Farms sunflower wool appliquĂ© pillow pattern and supplies for many years but I was too intimidated to get started on it. It no longer seems scary – especially now that I have learned a quick way to put the appliquĂ© pieces together and fuse them!

I told Kathy about the pattern I’ve had for years (purchased at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, OR); she knew which one I referenced and gave me tips after class on how to complete it!

There’s No Place Like Home

We had fun in Portland but I was also happy to return home again. My heart always soars when we drive from the Mount Hood pass area into Central Oregon. It is so interesting how the climate and the landscapes change from Portland to Mount Hood to Central Oregon.

The moment I saw my beloved “high desert” landscape, blue skies and Cascade Mountains everywhere – I knew I was home!

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View from inside the car window before Madras Oregon (still too cold to roll the window down!)

Postscript

Recently I read an article online (oops I do not remember the website) that strongly recommended you do not store your thread out in the open because of dust, etc. In a previous post, Aurifilia, I discussed my beloved collection of AURIfil thread (actually obsession).

Well I decided to take down my mounted thread racks and store my thread collection instead in bins to protect the thread.

So I went from this:

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To this:

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Note the AURIfil is neatly stored in the top 4 containers and the “non-AURIfil” thread is casually strew about in the bottom container – ha!

I also decided to put up more quilted art/gifts from my Quilting Sisters in my Studio.

Here is a quilt made for me a couple years ago by my Quilting Sister Kathy when our group did a quilt exchange:

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I look around my studio and I feel very loved.

A Crafter's Life, Special Events, Terry the Quilting Husband

Trends Show Part I: The Unexpected Roommate

They Invited Me So I Went

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I attended EE Schenck’s Trends show this past weekend. This post is part one of my two-part series on my experience at the Spring 2018 Trends show.

I signed up for an EE Schenck wholesale account when I had the tierneycreates Etsy shop and for a brief time thought I would supplement my handmade items sales with some fabric sales.

My ‘adventures in retail” were challenging (see my old post from June 2015,  Adventures in Retail) and I quickly discovered that I greatly disliked cutting yardage and making up fat quarter packs (I believe this is what you have to do all day  in the “Underworld”, if you are bad in life and go there after you die; to me that is a big enough incentive to be good in life!).

I did however meet my lovely quilting friend Martha through one of my Etsy shop fabric sales so I figured that was the good thing that came out of that experience!

Additionally, as I discussed in previous posts, I did not want to compete against “brick & mortar” quilt shops (though absolutely no quilt shop could have been threatened by my meager attempts to sell fabric) and become part of the “online fabric sales world” that threatens our beloved community quilt shops.

I did eventually temporarily close my Etsy shop (it’s been over a year so it has been an extended “temporary” closure) to rethink my strategy and handmade offerings.

My Etsy shop is temporarily closed but EE Schenck still has me listed as a wholesaler and they continue invite me each year to their Spring and Fall Trends show for now.

I attended my first show in September 2016 (see the post Ladies Friendship Circle) and got to hang out with my friend Joan H. as well as the lovely Marie Bostwick (a mutual friend of my friend Joan) and Mary Fons (a friend of Marie’s).

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Mary Fons and Marie Bostwick, Trends September 2016

So when I received the invite from EE Schenck to the Spring Trends show and saw what classes were offered, I asked TTQH if he would like to go to Portland, Oregon for the weekend (it is only a 4 hour drive from my house) and attend Trends.

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image credit: eeschenck.com

Beside the opportunity for a nice weekend getaway to Portland, one of the reasons I attended the Trends show was for a very reasonable price I could take “Take n’ Teach” classes from wonderful authors/teachers/designers such as Latifah Saafir, Kathy Cardiff, and Jody Houghton.

I was especially excited to take Jody Houghton’s class, Fabric Art Panels, because her work holds a special place in my heart. As a matter of fact I gaze at one of her panels nearly everyday: my very dear friend Judy (who got me into quilting and I consider my “Quilt Momma”) made me this wall hanging a couple years ago from a Jody Houghton panel:

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The Drive to Portland

There are generally two ways to get from Central Oregon to Portland: Santiam Pass or Mount Hood Pass. Until late April (or later) both are at mountain elevations, are ski areas, and both are usually covered in snow. Sometimes the snow is packed on the road and most times until late Spring, chains or traction tires can be required. You always see tractor trailers at the lowest part of the elevation pulled over and putting on their chains to make it through the pass in the late Fall, Winter and early-mid Spring.

We decided to take Santiam Pass to Portland and below are photos from our snowy drive (from inside the car with the windows rolled up). I was glad TTQH was driving! (Actually is wasn’t that bad, we only 30 minutes or so driving on pack snow, the rest of the drive was just wet/snow dusted highway).

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The Unexpected Roommate

Arriving in Portland we first stopped at Powell’s Books, the mega independent bookstore and a mandatory stop so TTQH could load up on more military history books (his other hobby besides quilting).

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Image credit: powells.com

After that we headed to our hotel and checked into our room.

It had been a long drive from Central Oregon to Portland and we had spent a long time in Powell’s books, and I was eager to get into comfy clothes and relax. TTQH was in the bathroom and I was getting undressed and suddenly the door opened to our hotel room and a woman was backing into our room with her suitcase!

I exclaimed: “Hello there!” and startled her as I quickly pulled my pants back up. She was a well dressed congenial woman who graciously stated: “Oops, the woman at the front desk was new and I think she assigned me the wrong room.” We briefly laughed about it (though I was in utter shock and yelled to TTQH not to come out of the bathroom unless he was fully dressed) and she said she would go downstairs and sort it out. She also said she was there for the Trends show so I knew she was likely a quilter/crafter and therefore a wonderful person (in general, crafters are wonderful people – smile)!

Shaken (and feeling rather vulnerable as they obviously we handing out card keys to our room to others!) I immediately called the front desk and told them what happened. I then went down to the front desk in person and requested to have a new card key made up. The front desk staff apologized profusely and got everything fixed. The nice woman who had backed into our room was also there getting things sorted out and we laughed about it again.

When I got back to the room, I had calmed down and TTQH were able to have a laugh about it. I said to TTQH, “Well she seemed nice and I guess she could have slept between us if the hotel is completely out of rooms, ha!”

I figured I would run into the “unexpected roommate” at some point at the Trends show on Saturday and we would have a more relaxed laugh about it.

The Unexpected Teacher

Saturday, September 17th, after the Trends keynote speaker’s, Amy Barickman of Indigo Junction, I headed to the “Take n’ Teach” series of classes, my first class being with Jody Houghton.

And guess who was Jody Houghton? My Unexpected Roommate!!!!

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We had quite the laugh about it when I first arrived at her booth for the class! Jody and I also shared the story with the other class participants who got a laugh out of it too!

Her class was wonderful and we learned how to make quick tote bags using her panels. Here are photos from the class and photos of some of the cool samples she had on display:

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Jody is an absolutely lovely woman and a very talented designer and teacher.

Check out her panels and notions on her Etsy Shop: Sisterhood of Quilters by Jody Houghton Designs. I hope you will support her shop (or convince your local quilt shop to carry her items) as in my opinion she really captures the heart of the friendships and bonds that come from quilting together. I hope I get to connect with her again the future (but perhaps not as an unexpected roommate…ha!).

Speaking of quilting friendships and bonds, you can read my previous series of posts on my Quilting Sisters (Quilting Sisters, Part I and Quilting Sisters, Part II ).

It is sort of like the Universe brought us together – how random that the woman who created the panel in the wallhanging that means so much to me, “broke” into my room!

Next post I will continue with more stories from the Trends show (though none involving potential roommates!)


Postscript

Our first time to Trends in September 2016 we took Mike and Sassy (who passed in December 2017).  TTQH only briefly attend Trends (leaving the dogs in the car outside for 1/2 hour) as he was in charge of the dogs (who did not like to be left in a hotel room alone).

We decided to leave Mike with some fellow schnauzer people and be “child-free” in Portland this time so we could enjoy the weekend together. TTQH was not interested in taking any classes but he had fun wandering around EE Schenck looking for dog themed fabrics and talking to other husbands (usually the husbands of quilt shop owners, etc.) at the show.

Here is a photo of Mike with his schnauzer buddies Chopper and Frieda, taken by their people and texted to us during the weekend so we knew Mike was having a good time. They labeled this photo “The Three Amigos”.

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Feature image credit: eeschencks.com

Special Events, tierneycreates

Art Quilter Play Date

Last Thursday I took the day off from work to attend a SAQA “Play Date”. SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) is the art quilting group I’ve been part of since 2013.

One of our members, Helen, was generous enough to host the “play date” in her lovely studio. We got to play with fabric printing using fabric inks and here are a couple photos from the play date.

  • Helen encouraged us to bring drawings on freezer paper to transfer into our fabric printing designs. Below are some of the drawings other art quilters brought to the play date:

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  • Our host has a lot of experience with fabric printing and had all sorts of fun tool like the shape below which made an interesting design on fabric:

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  • Work in progress:

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  • There were lots of wonderful pieces made during the play date and here are some examples from my fellow “play-daters” (only sharing photos of works that I got permission from the arts to share):

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  •  Here are some of my pieces (I am not going to show you my first pieces that I tried to hide in the trash, ha!):

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I plan to turn this collection of tree like images into an art quilt.


Postscript

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I just returned from a weekend trip to Portland to attend the Trends show. The next post I will share photos and stories from my experience meeting and taking classes from Latifah Saafir, Jody Houghton, and Kathy Cardiff. Amy Barickman of Indigo Junction was the keynote speaker.

I will close this post with a photo from out the passenger window from our drive from Central Oregon to Portland, Oregon via Santiam Pass on Friday morning (TTQH was driving thank goodness):

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Stories My Father Told Me, Studio, WCQN

The Lesson and The Equation

I’ve been waiting to share this with you for quite a while. First, I needed to wait until the show’s curator gave me permission to share, and then I needed to be ready to share.

I am ready to share!

This post is an overdue follow up to my post Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me, originally posted in April 2016. You are welcome to read the original post but here is a synopsis of some of this post and a little bit of additional information:

While browsing the magazine section at our local Barnes & Noble bookstore in March 2016, I came across this magazine that I’ve never seen before: American Craft Magazine:

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Image credit: craftcouncil.org

In the April 2016 issue of American Craft they had an article about an exhibit, And Still We Rise by the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN).  I never heard of WCQN and immediately knew I wanted to join! 

I reached out to Dr.Carolyn Mazloomi, founder of WCQN, shared my blog links with images of my work and asked if I could join and she said yes.

I then spent a lot of time looking through the WCQN website and was inspired to create a series based on the incredible stories my father, Raoul Davis, Sr., told me while growing up – Stories My Father Told Me. 

I shared this with Dr. Mazloomi and she invited me to participate in the next WCQN show. (I was terrified and wanted to say “No” but I made myself say “Yes”)

The Lesson & The Equation

The WCQN show that I was incredibly lucky enough to be invited to participate, was based on the United Nations (U.N.) Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Participants had to select one of the thirty (30) Articles in this declaration and make a quilt inspired by the Article.

I selected Article 1 as it aligned with the lessons and values my father taught us as children:

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

I’ve shared partial images from the quilt I created, which is the first quilt in my series Stories My Father Told Me. Here is a full image of the quilt, courtesy of Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, and below the image is my Artist Statement.

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Image courtesy of Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi

ARTIST STATEMENT

The Lesson & The Equation (2016) 50 x 50 inches
Applique, cotton, batiks, quilted

“Article I: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” – U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article I of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights resonates the values that my father instilled in my siblings and me, as young children. My father grew up in the segregated South in the 1940s and embraced at an early age that change comes from respectful dialogue, not violence.

He taught us that regardless of what adversity we faced in life, we must face it with grace; and treat others with respect, dignity, and brotherhood. The foundation for a life lived embracing the values illustrated in Article I, begins at home, modeled and mentored by the adults in a child’s life. (THE LESSON)

In this quilt, a father (modeled after my own father in the 1970s) is teaching his children, on the main blackboard, THE EQUATION to achieving a world in which people are Free and Equal: Reason + Conscience = Spirit of Brotherhood

The two individual blackboards, “Dignity” and “Respect”, are the building blocks of the Free & Equal equation. I am from a family of educators, beginning with my great-grandfather. The blackboards in the quilt honor that legacy.

My father also taught us another key lesson, which is best expressed in the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet”.

WCQN Show

This quilt will debut in the WCQN show, Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience, on August 17, 2018 at the FiltonCenter for Creative Arts in Hamilton, OH.

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Image credit: ohio.org

Yes I will be attending the opening in August and there are no words I could type that would convey my excitement to be participating in this important exhibit. I am feeling very blessed to have been given this opportunity.

There will also be a book that accompanies the exhibit and Dr. Mazloomi’s books are incredible. Search “Carolyn Mazloomi” on Amazon to see a sample of books related to past exhibits. I own several of these books and to call them “inspirational” would be an understatement.

Below is an example of one of the books from a WCQN exhibit (which is currently touring):

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Image credit: schifferbooks.com

And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversations is on exhibit at the Freedom Center until September 1, 2018 – here is thelink if you would like to check out more information on this exhibit.

I had the opportunity to finally meet Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi in person this past September when I attended Quilters Take Manhattan (see post The “Dance Partner” – Michael Cummings at QTM 2017). I tried not to behave like too much of a “fan girl” but I was completely in awe of this amazing and accomplished woman.

What is Next?

I mentioned in my post Art& Fear, etc., I was struggling with two looming art quilt deadlines.

One of those quilts is for my local SAQA group annual show which I have started (will share in upcoming post); and the other one is a new art quilt for the next WCQN show I have been invited to participate in. I cannot share the details at the time, I need to wait until the curator is ready to officially announce the show – but it is another really exciting opportunity!

With the first quilt done in the Stories My Father Told Me series, I have mapped out the next 6 – 8 quilts in the series based on stories from my father’s life and lessons he taught me.

I just need to start making them (and if I win the lottery I plan to work full-time on completing this series)…


Postscript

I think my whole experience demonstrates that you have to take risks in life and when an opportunity comes to your door – take it!

“Go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.” — Jimmy Carter

Imagine if I never contacted Dr. Mazloomi? (Of course imagine if I never randomly opened that magazine at my local Barnes & Noble…thank you Universe!)

A Crafter's Life, Creative Inspiration, Outside Adventures!

Creative Inspiration: A Surprisingly Beautiful Monday

We have a break in our Winter weather and I went on a beautiful hike at Shevlin Park this past Monday with my friend and her Bernese Mountain Dog.

I thought I’d share photos from my hike as part ongoing series of posts on my sources of Creative Inspiration. My blogging buddy Mary @Zippy Quilts had a recent post about Inspiration from Nature, and her post inspired this post!

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I think several of the photos above would make awesome art quilt compositions! Especially the one of Luna the Bernese Mountain Dog!


Postscript

After our hike we went to a lovely bakery for lunch (salad and sandwiches, not pastries for lunch!) and then wandered a well curated small indie bookstore nearby, Roundabout Books.

I have an old post about the joy of spending time in an Indie bookstore Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe – Independent Bookstores; Wonderful & Magical Places, and I also enjoyed wandering around Roundabout Books.

Here are a couple photos from my visit:

Like Dudley’s, Roundabout Books has an antique typewriter on display:

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They have a wreath made from recycled book pages:

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The entire shop is peppered with Staff Suggestions of great books to read (I did purchase the science fiction book The Fifth Season to read after discussing with one of the staff):

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Their counter was made from books (I did not want to bother the patron to move so I could take the photo):

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And they had a great quote above their backdoor:

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Special Events

Sewing & Stitchery Expo 2018, Part II

Let’s dive into a continuation of yesterday’s post, Sewing & Stitchery Expo 2018, Part I.

Overload!

I appreciate the comments and as one commenter stated: “My brain would be on overload”. Yep, my brain was on major overload.

But at least I did not get this overloaded:

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Yes the paramedic arrived for a crafter who had passed out at Sew Expo and hit her head. She was okay and I am not sure if they had to take her out on the stretcher or no (I did not want to “rubberneck” around the scene (another attendee filled me in as I walked by).

Buttons, So Many Buttons

Here is a sampling of the numerous booths of buttons. I did not linger in these booths too long as I have enough buttons in my life right (even if the booths had “life-changingly-beautiful” buttons 🙂

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Need a Sewing Machine?

There were so many domestic sewing machine vendors: Bernina, Pfaff, Brother, Janome, Baby Lock, etc. There are also many long-arm machine vendors. They all had “show specials” and were willing to spend as much time as you needed to convince you to buy one of their machines!

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There were also sewing machine cabinet/sew room organization vendors; of course my dream Bernina machines.

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Yes most of the photos above have to do with my fantasy/dream Bernina sewing machines! As I am a “Berninaphile”, I spent time wandering around these booths. (If you ever win the lottery and want to get me something nice as you have really enjoyed my blog, I have a couple $10,000 + priced Berninas in mind!)

I even bought some awesome Bernina fabric at one of the Bernina booths:

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I do not know what I am going to make with it (I bought 2 yards of it) but it was one of those “I have to have it” moments 🙂

Serious Cuteness

Most of the vendors had beautiful and well thought out displays, but a couple really caught my attention:

Craft your own wool stitched treats (very low calories, ha!):

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This vendor made a covering for her booth so you entered a quilted house:

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Nothing to wear? Turn a quilt into a dress:

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A sampling of some of the cool quilts on display in vendor’s booths:

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The medallion one makes me think of Melanie @Catbird Studios!

A Touch of Home

My beloved Stitchin’ Post Quilt Shop from Sisters Oregon had a vendor booth at the show. They are there every year. I first learned about the Stitchin’ Post when I lived in Seattle, WA, had just started quilting and went to my first Sew Expo around 2000 or 2001. Little did I know a couple years later (2005) I would be moving to Central Oregon and they would become one of my favorite quilt shops!

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It was fun to say hi to local people I knew working the booth and believe or not, I actually purchased a couple items at the booth (although I can shop at the Stitchin’ Post anytime back home!)

Just Some Random Photos

Here are a couple random photos that did not fit into their own header section.

Endless displays of patterns and fabric bundles:

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Cool cork fabric:

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Very fancy handmade seam rippers! (Taking seam ripping to the next level…)

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And endless “bits and bobs” you want to add to your sewing/crafting room:

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Overstimulated and Hungry

We wandered ourselves near the point of fatigue with no break for eating. Finally about 2:00 pm we had enough and found a place to eat nearby.

We could have eaten inside the convention center/fairgrounds like many crafters did:

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But we seriously needed to escape Sew Expo (a new Science Fiction film idea: Escape from Sew Expo) and we ventured a couple block away to a New Orleans cuisine themed eatery and had amazing Po’ Boys sandwiches away from the maddening crowds!

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Mmmmmm catfish Po’ Boy sandwich and a microbrew

Our Haul!

When we returned to my Quilting Sisters home who was hosting us this weekend, we pulled out our individual hauls of goodies and did a “show & tell”.

Here’s a photo of some of our combined group haul:

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There is a lot more but we do not want a record of it – ha! (“What happens at Sew Expo, stays at Sew Expo”).


Postscript

My Quilting Sisters are a jovial group and we enjoy teasing each other.

For the rest of the evening, and the next day, we did a mini quilt retreat and each worked on small projects we brought with us. Well the hostess was working on a scrap quilt with half-square triangles and my other Quilting Sister was working on a wedding quilt with a lot of trimming.

To tease me about buying a bag of cool scraps at Sew Expo, they put together some additional scraps for me to take home:

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As you can see by the ruler, unless I was going to glue a tiny quilt together, these scraps are a little too small….

Special Events

Sewing & Stitchery Expo 2018, Part I

I spent a brief (it seemed too short) 3 day trip to visit friends in Gig Harbor, WA and go to the Sewing & Stitchery Expo (“Sew Expo“) in Puyallup, WA at the Washington State Fairgrounds with some of my WA based Quilting Sisters.

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I took a zillion photos and in this post I will share some of the “zillion” photos and give you a taste of what it is like to attend Sew Expo.

The Flight to SeaTac Airport

When Terry the  Quilting Husband (TTQH) and Mike the Miniature Schnauzer dropped me off at our small Central Oregon airport (RDM), I thought of this old post from Sassy the Highly Miniature Schnauzer’s SchnauzerSnips blog: Human Storage?. From a dog’s point of view, as this post discusses, it appears that I am just staying at the airport for a couple of days – Mike sees me dropped off at the airport and then picked up at the airport!

Flying in small planes makes me slightly nervous. When we moved from Seattle to Central Oregon I had to acclimate to taking smaller planes. Our airport is small and cannot handle standard size planes/jets, just the Turboprop size planes, like the one in the image below:

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But I discovered, years ago, thanks to my primary care doctor, the magic of a small dose of Ativan and a dose of Dramamine – it makes the flight awesome.

Alaska Airlines serves, for those 21 and over, a complimentary glass of wine or a Pacific NW Microbrew during these small plane flights between Central Oregon and Seattle. The flight is between 45 – 55 minutes and I enjoyed a blissful flight with my microbrew, a biscuit, my knitting and relaxing music on my smartphone (in airplane mode of course!):

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Flying in small planes is better with a brew and biscuits!

I got quite a bit of knitting done on the scarf I mentioned in the post A Case Against Procrastination, during the trip between the flight, hanging out in the airport before flights, and hanging out visiting with my friends. I will share an update when the scarf is done (so you won’t lie awake at night wondering when I will get that scarf done – ha!)

Welcome to Washington State Fairgrounds

The Sasquatch is the unofficial mascot of the Pacific NW. I lived in Seattle for 8 years and did a lot of hiking but never saw a Sasquatch running around! But when you walk into the WA State Fairground there is a carved Sasquatch to greet you and it was decorated for Sew Expo!

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Inside Sew Expo: The Crowds

There are two buildings housing vendors for Sew Expo and the space is HUGE! It took us 4 – 5 hours to walk around Sew Expo. Here are a couple photos of the crowds and some random vendors:

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It’s Called “Sew Expo” But There Was a Lot of Yarn!

Sew Expo is really about most textile based crafts and there were many yarn vendors. I know many of you knit and crochet, so let me share some of the endless yarn-yumminess in the vendor booths at Sew Expo:

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Special Booths: Pendleton Wool

Some vendors had special large booths, such as the large booth of Pendleton Woolen Mills. They had a large area in their booth in which they were selling Pendleton Woolen Mills selvages. I could not figure out why someone would want to buy a giant bag of these selvages until I noticed that there were shag rugs made from these selvages. Great recycling!

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The Fabric, Oh The Fabric

Okay it is called “Sew Expo” and so the bulk (at least 60% or more) of the vendor booths were dedicated to fabric for sewing garment, making quilts, and other sewn crafts. Here is just a sampling of the fabric delights I browsed:

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This booth had an exceptionally delicious offering of silks:

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There were lot’s of fabric deals:

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But the “craziest” fabric deals of all were the “trough-o-fabric” at $7.99 a pound section and the vendor selling yardage of high quality fabric at $5.99+ a yard.

Trough-o-Fabric

A ridiculous amount of quilting fabric remnants, fat quarters and yardage were thrown in giant rolling tubs. You grab a large plastic bag and fill it up with what you want, they weigh it and you pay $7.99 a pound.

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Yes this looks like total insanity, and it was but I had so much fun with the other quilters digging through the troughs. We were all helping each other and looking out for whatever someone asked for help looking for. for $14.00 I picked up about $40 – $50 in high quality quilting fabric (some Kaffe Fasset stripe fabric, etc).

Fabric Roll-Land

This area was huge and took up a large section of the last aisle in one of the Pavilions at Sew Expo. One of my Quilting Sisters picked up some mind blowing fabric deals in this section but I had “Fabric Burnout” by the time I got to this section and only took photos, no serious shopping (which I regretted later when I saw the deals my friend got!)

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Let’s end this post here, I will continue in the next post with the rest of the Sew Expo experience.


Postscript

Thank goodness I spent a little time proofreading this post before posting it. It was not a “Freudian Slip”, just typing too quick, but I did type “Sex Expo” instead of “Sew Expo” in several area (including at first the post title, which I expanded to the official name of the event).

Trust me, if I went to “Sex Expo”, I would not be posting about it – ha! (And that would be a very strange thing to attend with one’s Quilting Sisters!)

 


Feature photo credit: sewexpo.com