Adventures in Paper Piecing, tierneycreates

Pup Pillow

I must be on this pillow kick (see 02/21/19 post From “Orphan Blocks” to Pillows) as I’ve made another little pillow.

Saturday, before “Snowmageddon” descended upon Central Oregon, I went over my friend Marie’s house for a Sew Day.

I did not want to arrive empty handed so I whipped up the evening before a little pillow, from a dog faces panel (Dogs of Many Breeds by Elizabeth Studio) I had in my stash, of her beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Pup Pillow Making

After cutting from the panel the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel block, I worked to find fabrics in my stash to pair with it:

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I decided to go with a gold shot cotton inner border and a gold small print floral outer border.

I used the “quilt-as-you-go” technique to assemble the pillow, piecing the pillow directly to a piece of batting.

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After trimming excess fabric to even up the borders, I had a completed pillow top:

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I give the pillow enough weigh in the back as the front was quilted with batting, I used a double layer of coordinated backing fabric.

After pinning the two right sides together, I stitched around the edge of the pillow, leave a couple inches opening for turning right sides out and for stuffing.

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I like to stuff the corners first when stuffing a pillow to make sure they get enough stuffing. I used which I like because it is made from recycled materials:

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Once the pillow was stuffed to my liking, I pinned the section I left open and whip stitched it closed with coordinating thread.

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I figured out a couple years ago that pinning the open section of a pillow (or other stuffed item) before you whip stitch it close gives you a better chance of an even closure.

Pup Pillow Reveal and a Very Cute Model

Here is the completed pillow:

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But here is something EVEN CUTER, my friend’s Cavalier King Charles Spaniel doing a photoshoot with the pillow!

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Of course she was thinking: “I am way cuter than that dog in the pillow!”; or “Lady, hurry and get this photoshoot done, I want a biscuit!”


Postscript

In case you were wondering what I worked on during the Sew Day at my friend’s house – I worked on my ongoing English Paper Piecing project and actually made a little progress:

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You can check out posts about this ongoing project in my series of posts Adventures in Paper Piecing – (scroll through to see older posts after you click on the link).

Oh and if you would like to see my friend Marie’s lovely quilt studio that I got to hang out in on Saturday, you can check it out on her June 2018 post in her blog Fierce Beyond 50A (Craft) Room of One’s Own: Craft Room Ideas, Inspiration, and Eye Candy.

This post also includes a photo of her writing desk where she writes her amazing Women’s Fiction novels! (Marie is New York Times Bestseller Author, Marie Bostwick).

Special Events, WCQN

The Lesson & The Equation at Texas Folklife

The traveling WCQN exhibit “Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience” is currently showing at Texas Folklife in Austin, Texas (see post Visioning Human Rights Show Opens in Austin, Texas on 02/21/2019).

This is a quick post to share a photo of my piece, The Lesson & The Equation” hung at the show, courtesy of one of the other artists in the show, the very talented Jas Mardis:

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My piece in the large one hanging on the left side of the image above.

The brilliant pieces to the right of it are by the very talented Carolyn Crump (who even has a quilt hanging in the Smithsonian Museum!). How lucky I am to have a piece in this traveling exhibit with some really amazing artists.

If you are new to my blog, here are the previous posts related to this traveling show which celebrates the 70th anniversary of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi is the show’s curator.

Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part I

Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part II

Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part III

Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part IV

Alas, I could not attend the show opening in Austin, Texas but I so appreciate the photos I seen so far on my fellow artist facebook pages!

Special Events, WCQN, What's on the Design Wall

Secret Quilt Revealed, Part II: Yours for Race and Country

This post is a follow up to my 12/9/18 post: Secret Quilt Revealed, Part I.

In this post I announced the exhibit for which I was working on a secret quilt (the curator ask us not to post photos of our quilts until the show was announced) from April to August 2018.

“Working” is a term I am using loosely as I was procrastinating on completing the quilt during that time. I was given over one+ year (maybe 1.5 years) to complete the quilt from the invitation to be part of the Women of Color Quilting Network show, but alas, I was burning the midnight oil to get it done in time for the October deadline!

The show is called “Yours for Race and Country: Reflections on the Life of Colonel Charles Young”. It opens on March 16, 2019 and the exhibit will run from  through August 17, 2019 at the National Afro-American Museum in historic Wilberforce, Ohio.

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Image courtesy of Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi

Please check out the “Part I” post of this series for more details on Colonel Charles Young.

So now it’s time to reveal the quilt I made for the show.

Honoring His Service at Sequoia National Park

As I discussed in the previous post, the show’s curator provided us with options of what part of Colonel Young’s life could inspire out quilt. I selected his time as Superintendent of Sequoia National Park.

I read a book about his life and accomplishments (Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment: The Military Career of Charles Young by Brian G. Shellum) and studied images I found online of Sequoia National Park to inspire my piece.

After sketching out numerous ideas (in my journal, see post Creative Inspiration: Peek Inside My Journals) I knew that I wanted to make Colonel Young part of the beauty of Sequoia National Park since his role, as the first African American Superintendent of a National Park, was to preserve its beauty.

Also I decided I wanted to use only recycled materials to create the piece which would also honor his conservation efforts. I decided to only use cotton Batik fabric scraps.

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Here is the forest as it developed on the large design wall in my hallway (I added this post of my series What’s on the Design Wall, as it was secretly on my design wall!):

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I wanted to incorporate Colonel Young and his accomplishments into the trees. So first I worked on a tree with his image as part of the bark:

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I also wanted to honor the National Park Service, so I created a fabric version of a U.S. Parks Service sign and edited the image to be the name of the quilt – Giant Among the Sequoia.

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I had so much fun making this “monument marker”!

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And here is the full quilt which measures 40″ x 40″:

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Here is the Artist Statement:

Giant Among the Sequoias (2018)

Tierney Davis Hogan

40” x 40”

Recycled cotton batik fabric scraps, batik cotton fabric, recycled cotton and polyester batting, ink

Inspired by Brian G. Shellum’s biography, Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment: The Military Career of Charles Young (Bison Books, 2010), this piece honors the legacy of Colonel Charles Young, the first African-American Superintendent of a national park.

Floating among the trees in a mythical scene inspired by an image of a section of Sequoia National Park and by Brain G. Shellum’s book, are phrases describing the work that this groundbreaking leader accomplished during his time as Superintendent of General Grant (now Kings Canyon) and Sequoia National Parks:

Overseeing Operations, Park Superintendent, Clearing Trails, Providing Leadership, Stopping Livestock Grazers, Park Patrolling, Protecting Against Poachers, Road Building, Respected by the Community; and Inspiring Youth

In the center of the piece, a giant Sequoia tree with Colonel Charles Young’s image surveys and protects the park. Adding a bit of whimsy to the piece, an image of a real U.S. Forest Service sign in Sequoia National Forest was creatively edited.

This piece also honors the precious natural environment of our national parks and is made primarily from recycled materials (batik fabric scraps) that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.

I’ve add this piece to my Nature Stories Series of my Art Quilt Stories.


Postscript

By the way, if you’ve been following my blog for a while and remember this post – Creative Inspiration: Tree Bark – now you know why I was studying tree bark this past summer!

Studio, tierneycreates

From “Orphan Blocks” to Pillows

If you make quilts, then you’ve probably dealt with “orphan blocks” – the extra blocks you either made accidentally while making your quilt or intentionally to give you options when you laid out your quilt and made final decisions on what blocks you want to use in the quilt.

For years I’ve had these two “orphan blocks” from a Connecting Threads Minnesota Stars Kit I made at least 8 years ago.

Here is what the quilt looks like (it is currently serving as a tablecloth on my table in the sunroom):

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And here are the two “orphan blocks” that did not fit into the quilt (I think I accidentally made too many):

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You may notice in the images above it looks like the blocks were hand-stitched. Well they were – I attempted to do something with the blocks years ago and added batting, backing and hand-stitched them.

And then they went to the place where all unfinished projects go – to the back of the closet.

Last night I decided rather than move them as unfinished blocks to my next residence, why not just FINISH them and make them into coordinating pillows?

So I did:

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And now they are on the chairs in the sunroom with the tablecloth quilt that they are connected:

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Ah, it feels so good to finish an old project!

My Minimalism Journey

A Guest in My House, Part II

Just a quick update to my previous post A Guest in My House.

I appreciate everyone’s comments and two of the comments particularly stuck with me:

  • Concern over sleeping and working in the same room; and
  • In my future one bedroom apartment in Colorado – the suggestion that I do not sleep with my fabric due to the off gassing from the chemicals (like sizing) used on fabric.

A Tweak to My Arrangement

I am a telecommuter and the type of job I have requires that most of the time I am connected directly to a broadband connection rather than using WiFi to connect to my employer’s network. So since I was working where I was sleeping this required me to sleep with my cable broadband modem/router. Also there were some blinking lights on my work computer that were always present.

The feeling came upon me that sleeping right next to your powerful broadband modem/router might not be the best idea.

So this morning I moved my home office into my quilting studio.

Thanks to the person who brought up that concern!

Sleeping with Fabric

Since I planned to move to a one-bedroom, I was sort of thinking of “sleeping with my quilting fabric”. However one of the comments on my previous post made me think that is not the best idea.

In a month I go to Colorado to visit my dear friend and to tour apartments to rent and sign a lease. I’ve been checking out apartment complexes online for a couple weeks now and I will definitely be looking for a place with a large enough living room to work in my quilt studio and perhaps a nice hall closet for fabric storage!

One of the “finalists” apartment complexes, which is also near where my friend lives, has a nice built-in desk in the large apartment kitchen. That would be perfect for my home office!

Speaking of kitchens, all the apartment complex finalists have nice modern kitchens and many of them have a lot of storage – more than I need. So I might be storing fabric in my kitchen – ha!


Postscript

Okay next post I will be returning to sewing/crafting specific posts. Thanks for reading my non-sewing/crafting related musings (smile).

My Minimalism Journey

A Guest in My Own House

This weekend I did something that some might think crazy: I moved out of my master bedroom and ensuite bathroom and into my guest bathroom and guest bathroom.

I now live alone in a 1340 square foot (124.5 square meters) house since my husband suddenly passed in December 2018. The house has three (3) bedrooms and two (2) bathrooms. It seemed like the perfect size for two people and a miniature schnauzer but now the space seems too large for me.

This Spring I plan to sell my house and move to a one bedroom apartment in Boulder/Denver Colorado (see Colorado Bound). However until then I need to keep living in my existing home in Central Oregon, without my beloved husband.

For the first month since his passing, sleeping in our king-size bed in our master bedroom gave me comfort but for the past couple of weeks I’ve had difficulty sleeping in that bed.

I am also finding that using the master bathroom, with it’s double sinks constantly reminds me of my profound loss.

Well this Saturday and idea came to me: Since I am not planning on having any guests before I move to Colorado, so why can’t I just move into my guest room and guest bathroom?

So I spent them weekend completely clearing out of my master bedroom and bath and into my guest room and guest bath. I even moved out of my master bedroom closet and moved my hanging clothes into the mudroom/laundry room closet which is next to the guest bedroom.

I also moved out of my dresser in the master bedroom and moved my undergarments, socks and t-shirts into baskets in the guest bedroom closet. I even fit the television from my master bedroom into the closet of the guest bedroom!

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Mike the miniature schnauzer and I had a cozy sleep last night in the guest room. I even moved my first “art quilt attempt” Inspired by Schnauzers from the master bedroom to above the guest room bed so a schnauzer watched over us while we slept!

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I think several really good logistical things came out of this move:

  • Now I only need to clean one bathroom
  • My master bedroom and closet are now storage areas for staging for my move
  • I can practice living in a one bedroom apartment and using/living in less space
  • I was able to find more stuff to downsize and put in my “charity thrift shop” donation pile

But the best thing to come out of this move is a cozy, less grief infused place to sleep. I also feel like I really gotten back on track on “My Minimalism Journey“.

The funny thing to come out of this move is that my guest room is also where I have my home office as a telecommuter. So I now sleep and work in the same room!

UPDATE: One person who commented on this post asked about what became of my quilt studio? Well I still have that in place (I have a three bedroom house) in the back bedroom. However when I move to a one bedroom apartment I will be incorporating my quilting studio into my living room area (it will be my apartment and I can do whatever weird thing I want – ha!).


Postscript

There are so many good “Home” shows coming out of the U.K. I discovered several delightful series on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Recently I’ve been binge watching the UK show “How to Live Mortgage Free with Sarah Beeny” on Netflix. Here is an interview on Good Morning Britain with Sarah Beeny.

I am actually in bed (in the guest room!) right now watching this show in the background as I write this post.

My favorite episode so far is Episode 3 in which a man who wanted to take care of his father with Alzheimers built a small cottage in his father’s backyard in order for he and his girlfriend to have their own space but to be right there to help his father (and allow his father to stay in his own home).

There was another episode where a young man built a small house for him and his partner on the land where his beloved grandfather’s shop use to stand and using his grandfather’s tools.

The show is really excellent with wonderful stories and amazing idea for alternatives to traditional housing options.

Oh no – I just discovered that the show only has six (6) episodes and only one season is on Netflixmaybe I better slow down my binge watching!


Feature Photo by Evelyn Paris on Unsplash

A Crafter Needs to Eat, Audiobooks and Podcasts

Soup’s On

Homemade chicken noodle soup, with homemade stock – this was my big accomplishment for the later part of this week.

I love cook and bake but my cooking and baking (until recently, see previous post Valentines) have been on hold since my husband suddenly died in December 2018.

For the past couple of months I’ve been living on what I could forage at Whole Foods (well at least it was a recently healthy diet). Many very kind and thoughtful friends and coworkers gave me Whole Foods gift cards after my husband died.

At first I would just get food at the Whole Foods hot food bar and sit in the supermarket dining area and eat so I would not have to dine alone every night. Luckily that got old after a while (plus the hot bar food is charged per pound and is rather “spendy” unless you only get really light food…) and I started buying groceries to take home.

But I was only buying groceries for quick prepare meals and it seemed like I lived on avocado toast, boiled eggs, Miso soup, and hummus with carrots for a couple weeks.

My diet was fairly vegetarian and the thought of meat turned my stomach, but earlier this week I was really craving some hard core protein. So armed with the remaining funds on the last of my Whole Food gift cards, I bought a whole cooked rotisserie chicken.

After a couple days of chicken, chicken, chicken, I was trying to decide what to do with the rest of the bird. I convinced myself to not only make homemade chicken noodle soup but to make my own from scratch chicken stock with the carcass, something I’ve never done before.

I found this wonderful recipe online: Easy Chicken Noodle Soup from Leftover Roasted Chicken on the chowhound.com cooking website.

Here is the stock simmering with the cut up and browned rotisserie chicken carcass:

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Here is the strained stock:

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The soup made with my homemade stock simmering (and the house smells so good):

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And finally a yummy bowl of my very own homemade chicken noodle soup!

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I’ve made homemade chicken noodle soup before but with store bought chicken stock or chicken bouillon base. Soup with my own homemade chicken stock tasted very different – It is pretty darn delicious!

One of the best things I learned from the Chowhound recipe is that you have to cook the noodles separately – do not try to cook them in the soup. You boil them per package instructions in their own pot and then add the cooked noodles to the soup. If you try to cook the noodles with the soup you will get what I’ve experienced in the past – a pasty mess of noodles!

Of course this recipe made a lot of soup so now my life is chicken soup, chicken soup, chicken soup – but it seems to be satisfying my soul (smile).


Postscript

I’m currently listening to an amazing audiobook – Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life by Eric Greitens. 

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image credit: amazon.com

I did not think I would be at the point now where I would be interested in reading any “Self-Improvement” books but this one caught my eye when I was browsing my local library’s audiobook loan offerings online.

Goodreads has a wonderful synopsis of the book:

You cannot bounce back from hardship. You can only move through it. There is a path through pain to wisdom, through suffering to strength, and through fear to courage if we have the virtue of resilience.

In 2012, Eric Greitens unexpectedly heard from a former SEAL comrade, a brother-in-arms he hadn’t seen in a decade. Zach Walker had been one of the toughest of the tough. But ever since he returned home from war to his young family in a small logging town, he d been struggling. Without a sense of purpose, plagued by PTSD, and masking his pain with heavy drinking, he needed help. Zach and Eric started writing and talking nearly every day, as Eric set down his thoughts on what it takes to build resilience in our lives.

Eric’s letters drawing on both his own experience and wisdom from ancient and modern thinkers are now gathered and edited into this timeless guidebook. Resilience explains how we can build purpose, confront pain, practice compassion, develop a vocation, find a mentor, create happiness, and much more. Eric s lessons are deep yet practical, and his advice leads to clear solutions.

We all face pain, difficulty, and doubt. But we also have the tools to take control of our lives. Resilience is an inspiring meditation for the warrior in each of us.

It is a pretty powerful book even if it took listening to a chapter or two to get me engaged. Although the book is based on letters from one Navy Seal to another Navy Seal suffering from PTSD who also recently lost his brother to an auto accident, the messages in this book are quite universal.

I’ll close this post with a quote from this powerful book:

Smiling and breathing. These are simple things. Exercising and serving. These are simple things. Being grateful and gracious. These are simple things. Acting with humility. Acting with courage. These are simple things. Some people try to make this business of living too complicated

Eric Greitens, Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life

 

A Crafter's Life, Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH)

Valentines

A little less than a week ago I began having quite a bit of anxiety over how I was going to face my first Valentine’s Day without my Valentine. In December 2018 my husband Terry suddenly passed away. I’ve been with Terry more than 1/2 my life and we’ve never been apart on Valentine’s Day.

I was anticipating a painful day on February 14th, completely stricken my grief, perhaps not even able to get out of bed.

In the middle of my anticipatory grieving anxiety, I suddenly realized that doing something for others might be the solution to dealing with Valentine’s Day.

For the past 5 weeks I’ve been in a difficult but awesome Spousal Loss Grief Support Group that meets weekly. It suddenly hit me that all the widows and widowers in the grief support group with me were facing the same dilemma of their first Valentine’s Day without their Valentines.

So why don’t I invite them all the be my Valentines?

And that is just what I did.

For My Valentines

For the men in my grief support group:

Terry’s favorite cookies were the Molasses Crinkle Cookies that I loved to make. I’ve done little cooking and no baking since he passed so it was a pretty big thing to open my cookbook and actually bake something.

I made a huge batch of these cookies and it felt good to bake again, so good that I actually experienced a sweet moment of joy as I assembled the ingredients.

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I put the cookies in a basket and included little sandwich bags for them to take as many as they wanted home.

For the women in my grief support group:

I gave them each little wallets. If you are new to my blog here is a post about the little wallets I made a zillion of since I first became obsessed with them – “Little Wallet Madness” . If you are not new to my blog then you know all about little wallets and some of you own some of my little wallets you won in my blog anniversary drawings!

For the group facilitator:

I gave her a set of my little heart pillows, as she has been helping us heal our hearts.

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I then made “Oregon Healing Hearts” valentines using my circle punch and heart punch from my card marking supplies with Oregon/outdoor themed colored papers:

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People had the option of an “Oregon Healing Heart” with a dog in the middle of the heart (as I consider dogs healing) or a plain heart:

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Here is the whole set up I surprised them with earlier this week at our weekly Spousal Loss Grief Support Group:

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I think it went over pretty well. The facilitator let me present them at the start of our support group meeting.

The men were willing to share their cookies and both the men and women got to take home some cookies if they wanted. There was laughter, smiles and hugs despite the difficult topics we discussed at that support group session.

Feeling at Peace

Today is Valentine’s Day and I feel at peace. I think it is because I stepped outside of myself and my grief and thought of others for a moment.

Day and night wallowing in my grief was not working for me, even if everyone expected and supported it. I had to try something else. That’s where my grief group came in, my unexpected valentines.

Grieving is hard work, maybe the hardest work I’ve ever done. It’s definitely a hobby I don’t recommend for anybody.  But, if you’re suddenly find yourself a member of the club that no one ever wants to join, find a grief group. Part of what I have learned from this experience is, don’t try to go it alone.

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A Crafter's Life, Special Events, tierneycreates

“Soulful” Show Opening

Just a quick follow up to the January 21, 2019 post Soulful: A National Exhibition of African American Artists.

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My piece Color Study I: Flying Triangles, the first official recycled textiles art quilt I made was juried into this show which opened on February 7, 2019 in Norfolk, Virginia.

Color Study 1: Reflections of Flying Triangles (2012)
Color Study I: Flying Triangles. Photographed by Jeremy Koons.

As it is deep Winter in the Northwestern part of the U.S. where I live it was a bit much to fly to the other side of the country for the opening.

I did however discover photos from the opening on the d’Art Center facebook page and here are a several of those photos:

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d’Art Center facebook page
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d’Art Center facebook page

I appreciate the unknown person who took these photos who gave me an opportunity to see how my piece was displayed. Whoever hung the pieces did a nice job “color coordinating” the pieces on display!

Studio

Quilter’s Studio and House Tour

Alas, I am not sharing my studio and house tour. It is more like I am sharing my dream studio and house tour (smile). My house and studio are currently partially packed up and a mess as I sort my stuff out for my move to Colorado this Spring.

This post about another quilter’s studio and house tour.

My dear friend Marla Jo (and her wonderful husband Jason) have been incredibly supportive during this difficult period in my life (my new life as a recent widow) and to give me a distraction from my grief, a couple of weekends ago she invited me see the studio and home of one of her clients/friends (Jaime) who is a quilter.

I thought it would be fun to share some photos from that visit as I would guess many of you, like me, enjoy artist studio tour posts!

The Studio

Here are images of Jaime’s yummy quilt studio:

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She has beautiful custom designed cabinetry throughout her gorgeous home.

I was fascinated by how she organized her fabric:

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She showed me that she used scrap thin cardboard cut to a uniform size to organize the fabric:

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I love how her fabric stands upright like in a quilt shop.

Her organizationreminded me of the studio of my friend Dana which I shared on this post – Ultimate Studio Fabric Organization and the way Dana organized her fabric yardage.

Dana used recycled cardboard from fabric bolts that quilt shops gave to her. She cut them in half and wrapped her fabric around them:

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Jaime had a wonderful wallhanging in her studio, made by her sister, celebrating her collection of decorative pins:

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The House

The studio was spectacular and the house was equally as spectacular. Here are a couple of my favorite areas of Jaime’s beautiful home:

The Entire Wall Bookcase in the Living Room

My dream!

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The Dream Soaking Tub

Jaime is an artful decorator and designed a nook in her bathroom to put a peaceful soaking tub:

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The Grand Piano

At one point in my young life I studied piano and I have always been fascinated with pianos. Jaime had in her sitting room a custom made piano from Estonia that had an exquisite sound (she treated us to a mini concert):

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There were many other magical rooms/areas of her home but I wanted to spend time visiting with her and Marla Jo and not be rude and just take photos.

But let’s close this post with a view that took my breath away (my photo does not do it justice) – the view from the upstairs balcony of her home with a view down to the living room:

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A Crafter's Life, Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

A Fish Tale

Making a Fish

Around 2010 or 2011 my friend Judy (my original “quilting sister” who taught me how to quilt, see post Quilting Sisters, Part I) visited me in Central Oregon for the annual Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (SOQS).

Each year the week before the actual SOQS, which is always the second Saturday in July, the Stitchin’ Post and other local Central Oregon quilt shops have a week of classes by nationally known instructors called Quilters Affair“.

Officially “Quilters Affair” is managed by the Stitchin’s Post and the SOQS but many other local quilt shops have their unofficial version by offering classes to out of town quilters during this time.

While Judy was visiting, one of those quilt shops offering classes the week before SOQS was BJ’s Quilt Basket. They offered a class by Donna Cherry, an extremely talented young appliqué quilt designer and quilter. Judy and I decided to take the class to make the her wallhanging – “Mountain Trout“.

Here is her original version from her website Donna Cherry Designs:

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Image credit: donnacherrydesigns.com

Judy and I both had husbands who were into fishing, my Terry was a fly fisherman. We thought these wallhanging would be a wonderful gift for them.

Here is the version I made in class:

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Releasing a Fish

Well as most of you know, I lost my beloved husband suddenly in December 2018. Over the past could of months I’ve been donating and downsizing my life in preparation to move from Central Oregon to Colorado in the late Spring (see posts Colorado Bound (Part I)  and Colorado Bound (Part II)). Downsizing is especially important as I am moving from a three-bedroom house to a one-bedroom apartment.

I’ve made a lot of quilts over the years and many I’ve given away; however many I’ve kept. I know I needed to thin out my collection of quilts a little bit prior to the move.

My husband Terry (who I used to refer to as “Terry the Quilting Husband”/”TTQH” on my blog) was a quilter. I tried to make sure that many of his quilts were given to his family members, but I kept a couple special ones for myself.

I’ve made him many quilts over the years, including the Mountain Trout wallhanging quilt but my heart was telling me that it needed a new home – to go to another fly fisherman.

Fish Giving

I’ve been with my employer for 14 years and I’ve met some pretty awesome people at my job. I am fortunate enough to be a telecommuter (though I did work a year in the office when I lived in Seattle, WA when I first started my job) and will be taking my job with me to Colorado.

I’ve met a couple people at work that are so special I kind of consider them “work family members”. One of them is my friend Nancy who I refer to as my “Work Sister” and I made her a little quilted wallhanging for her cubicle of her beloved Cannon Beach Oregon (see post A Case for Buying Things You Have No Plans for at the time) in 2017.

Another work family member is my friend Cody who I consider my “Work Brother”. He is actually around the same age as my biological little brother and similarly as awesome. Although I was a fan of his work from afar, I met him in person for the first time at a national conference we attended in May 2018 (see post A Presidential Artistic Journey) and knew he was “my people” – especially when I discovered he is a crafter!

He is an avid fly fisherman and while we were at the conference he was busy in the evenings, with the supplies he brought from home, making/tying his own flies in his hotel room. I was kind of envious as I wished I had brought a quilting project to work on in the evening after each conference session in my hotel room!

A couple months ago I got to meet his beautiful and brilliant fiancée Cici and was totally smitten with her (does that make her my “work sister-in-law” when they marry?).

So I knew Cody was the perfect person to send this special Mountain Trout quilt and here is a photo taken by Cici of him with his new quilt (even if he did not iron the crease out in the middle from shipping before taking a photo – ha!):

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He was very happy with his new quilt and I received a wonderful phone call from him and Cici that made me smile.

It was a good “release” of a fish I once held.


Feature Photo by Sticker Mule on Unsplash

A Crafter's Life

“The Guest House” Revisited

Grieving the loss of my husband whom I’ve been with more than 1/2 my life is a daily life-consuming experience.

It was like he was the “tether” that held me to this world, to this life.

Now friends and family attempt to try to reach up and grab “my string” to re-tether me as much as they can, but ultimately I have to learn to “tether” myself.

Recently I finished a powerful book that my grief counselor loaned me – Grieving Mindfully: A Compassionate and Spiritual Guide to Coping with Loss by Sameet M. Kumar PhD.

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Image credit: Amazon.com

After reading this book I’ve been thinking about one of my favorite poems by Rumi (Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī – a 13th century Persian poet and scholar) – The Guest House. 

I’ve shared it in previous posts but thought I would re-post it.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness
comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
-Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

Postscript

I attend a weekly Spousal Loss Grief Support Group. Prior to today’s weekly meeting I’ve not shared with the other group members my plans to move to Colorado (see my previous post Colorado Bound (Part II)).

However, before the start of today’s meeting, another group member randomly gave me this little pocket card below and I’ve taken as another reaffirmation that I am headed in the right direction with my move to Colorado:

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Feature Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

A Crafter's Life

Getting Started with Quilting: What You Need to Know (Guest Post)

Today I have a guest post from Diana S. Clark of the Sewing Machine Club for anyone who is thinking about becoming a quilter but is not sure when to start.

Diana contacted me a week ago with the idea of a guest post and I love the information in her article and thought it would be fun to share with you!


What You Need to Know Before You Start Quilting

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Sewing Machine Club

There’s nothing more heartwarming than receiving a novelty quilt handmade with love and care which is why quilts make such great gifts!

Although quilting seems tedious and takes a lot of time and effort, they’re actually pretty simple. As a matter of fact, anyone can start quilting in the comfort of their own home.

If you’re on the fence on how to begin quilting, we got you covered. We have some tips to help you start your quilting project to ensure you’re fully prepared.

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Sewing Machine Club

Patterns, patterns, patterns!

Patterns are a crucial part of your quilt. It’s important to think about what patterns you want so you can prepare fabrics and equipment before quilting. Patterns come in different varieties and some may be a bit more complex than others hence, taking more time to create. So, keep in mind to choose a pattern that suits your taste and skill.

Preparation is Key

Before quilting, remember to gather all the equipment you need according to the instructions of the pattern since different patterns have different instructions. When searching for fabrics, opt for colorfast fabrics that don’t run when washed. Also, make sure to measure each block to figure out how much fabric will be needed.

Quilt Away

Find a comfortable space and set up your equipment such as your fabrics, sewing machine, and tools. Start by carefully cutting your patchwork pieces with a rotary cutter before sewing them. Once you’ve got all the patchwork pieces prepared, start quilting the top as it takes a lot of time and precision. Finally, make sure to iron the patchwork to set it.

Final Touches

Next, baste the quilt by combining the top and bottom layer and placing batting in between like a sandwich. Use pins or temporary adhesive to hold the layers while you sew them so the layers stay in place. When you’re done with sewing the layers, add some final touches with some decorative binding to the edges of your quilt to seal the layers.

For more details and images, check out this infographic about quilting!


Feature Photo by Jeff Wade on Unsplash