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.

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 –

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:

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


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:



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.


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:


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.


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


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




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

  1. Oh wow… I love everything about this piece, Tierney! It looks great already (especially in that photo where it’s hanging on the gate outside in the spring sunshine) and your use of various types of recycled textiles is inspired! Not only are you closing that gap between the fabrics we consume and what gets thrown away, it’s also like you’re going back to the origins of quilting… Because didn’t patchwork quilts develop as a way to use up offcuts and scraps of fabric so that they wouldn’t go to waste? Great work, and I can’t wait to see the finished piece!
    (Also, lovely spring-y pictures in your postscript! 😊)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comments and they make me feel better for posting a photo of a piece still in the rough stages (not even properly trimmed even on the sides). I did feel ready to share it so I did and later on comes the finish piece photos! Yes I felt like I was going to the origins and core of quilting. Even if quilting was in the early days for utilitarian purposes (recycle old clothing to stay warm) – there still was a lot of love flowing through those fabrics (loving to keep you and your family warm on the cold pioneer nights – ha!) 🙂


      1. That’s true! Plus reusing those pieces of material can be a great way of preserving memories, too. Is there nothing quilting can’t do? I really should take it up myself! 🤔 And you should never fear posting something unfinished… I think it’s fair to say that pretty much all craftspeople like to take a look at a WIP!

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  2. I am impressed with the amount and the types of fabrics you re-cycle in your quilts. Just a small scrap of something brings additional texture and color to your design and I like how the denim brings all the fabrics together. Since denim is a fabric that is such a part of our everyday life and wardrobe, I am happy to see it up-cycled/re-cycled in a beautiful quilt! I like to follow your thought process and watch your concept evolve from a blank design wall to a completed work! Nice job!


  3. So many thoughts are flying thru my head as I read your post. First of all, from the other day: I also have been listening to Tom Hanks’ book and find myself actually smiling asi listen. My local art gallery (where I volunteer, place items in its gift shop, try to enter a quilt in most monthly exhibits) had its annual fundraiser last weekend: the recycled runway, it was a huge success and a FUN fundraiser. I’m already thinking of my entry for next year. As of right now, it will not be fabric (gasp) but I think I might make a quilt using recycled of fabrics to help promote the evening. I’m laughing at your use of denim because just yesterday I took some drapes I was ‘saving’ from my sister’s cabin to our local reuse store. I was going to put her denim futon covers in but just could not. I’m trying to pare down of my hoarded potential fabric (beyond my ‘normal’ stash) since we are starting a remodel of a home in our area. I needed to get real about what moves with me. Ah, and then the problem of the 60 word limit to describe the process or motivation or inspiration behind each piece. Well, time for another cup of coffee, I say!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Christine – I enjoyed all those thoughts – thanks for sharing! Yes you should make a recycled textiles quilt – and look you got some recycled denim from the futon cover to throw in also! I am glad you are enjoy the Tom Hanks book – I think it is a gem! Well I cannot advise you on “hoarded potential fabrics” as I am in the same boat with you – ha! 🙂


  4. What a great idea for a quilt! It looks lovely. Also like your statement. It holds some personality by adding the role of thermodynamica and is fun to read plus clear on theme of the quilt

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, Tierney…this is a wonderful quilt, but how have not found your other page? I love the quilting stories and just finished reading them all! Congratulations on a wonderful series of works!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! My other page, Improvisational Textiles is a website and blog I share with another quilt. It was a place to showcase both of our art quilts (hoping to get into shows, sell work, etc.) I must admit I put way more time into tierneycreates as I love blogging about a Crafter’s Life (plus who has the time to make a bunch of art quilts – ha!!!!) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Of course I enjoyed the recycled work (since we quilters often hold onto things to give new life), but I especially loved the Postscript–we don’t see crocuses in South Mississippi, and the “rainbow making a halo around the sun” was simply beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and I was quite taken by the rainbow around the sun! It was of course more spectacular in person but I did the best I could spur of the moment with my smartphone camera 🙂


  7. Wish I had thought of the phrase “what’s on my lap”. Very clever!
    Your heart energy shows in your quilt. It is lovely and the recycled fabrics must have taken extra effort..
    I admire the sentiments in your artist statement..
    Looking forward to seeing the finished work. For me, binding gives a neater finish than a facing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Mariss, I greatly appreciate your comments 🙂
      The standard in our art community is facing art quilts, but I think binding (like in a contrasting color to the denim) would give it a finished frame look. I will have to audition both options 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I like the quilt a lot; I vote for facing, not binding. I love your making the heart from bits of the “folded quilts.” And the statement sounds good too. I think the threads-that-bind theme is implicit in what you say and doesn’t need to be made explicit.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much and I probably will do the facing, also I appreciate your comments/insight that the theme is already implied and I do not need to repeat it in my artist statement – Thanks so much 🙂


  9. Yep, facing, not binding. One of the best things about quilts is the care that goes into making them, and often the care is motivated by love. So quilting about love seems only natural. I think the advice is on target to keep artist statements brief. If you have to say a lot in words for the viewer to understand or appreciate the work, perhaps the work needed to say more for itself. Of course, there could be times when that doesn’t actually hold, but generally it probably does. ALSO I love the crocuses! We have too many deer around here to enjoy them. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much and yes I will probably do facing since I don’t have enough of any of the existing fabrics in the piece, besides of course the Jean material, to use for binding. It seems like the advice to keep the artist statements short has relieved me of a lot of stress for some reason😀

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  10. Beautiful process photos, Tierney. 🙂 I love your artist-statement, and the idea that quilting is way of transferring loving energy from one person to another. I know another quilting friend who expressed a similar idea – she came across one of her old projects and described feeling all the love she put into the stitches coming back to her from when she made it. Your statement expresses that beautifully.<3

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    1. Oh thanks so much for sharing that – that gave me a huge smile! I love that your friend remembers the feelings surrounding the making of the quilt! Okay now I am feeling all warm and cozy and have to go grab a quilt to snuggle under!

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