I brought a couple hand work projects from my basket of hand work (see post Inside the Basket ) and had EVERY INTENTION of only working on my hand work projects.
My dear quilting friend Dana brought an extra sewing machine (one her her Berninas, and I love Berninas) and a BAG OF GRAY FABRIC SCRAPS for me to play with – oh no!
As you saw in the “From the Basket” post, I did work on my English Paper Piecing rosettes, but after a while I put them aside and STARTING PLAYING WITH THE GRAY SCRAPS! (I could not resist the temptation to play with fabric scraps)
Before you know it, as I shared on @tierneycreates on Instagram, I began creating freeform pieced/improvisationally pieced log cabin blocks (also known as “log jamming”):
And before I knew it, I had a pile of 138 blocks I made!
Once I got home, I could not wait to play with them and see what interesting pattern I could make with the dark gray and light gray framed blocks, So I decided to use the “Design Carpet”:
I began with creating a pattern with the dark gray framed blocks:
Then I worked on framing them with the light gray blocks:
I like the effect with the dark gray floating in the lighter gray blocks.
Since I took these photos, I’ve made additional progress and pulled out my sewing machine from the storage room (where you hide everything when staging a house for sale)!
Let me make a bit more progress on the piece and I will share in a future post!
Let me know if you think I can patent the concept of the “Design Carpet” and make millions on my late-night infomercial selling “Design Carpets” and quit my day job and just sew all day!
“You can own your own Design Carpet for 5 easy payments of $99.99!
But wait, there’s more:
Buy one Design Carpet and get a second one for only $99.99 plus shipping and handling.”
The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Jan. 20, 2020, marks the 25th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy. Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. The Corporation for National and Community service has been charged to lead this effort for the last quarter century. (nationalservice.gov)
I am re-posting a blog post from April 2016 from my ongoing series on on my sources of Creative Inspiration, in honor of MLK Day, about a person I knew personally, my father Raoul A. Davis, Sr., who lived a life of service.
My father’s stories, words and lessons keep me centered and focused, and they inspire daily just like those of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Friday Night at Barnes & Noble Bookstore: A Discovery (April 2016)
Life is filled with serendipitous events. Several Fridays ago such an event occurred.
A wild Friday night in Central Oregon involves hanging out at the local Barnes & Noble bookstore. I love browsing in bookstores. I love bookstores, period. They are nearly as magical as libraries (except the discoveries at bookstores are not free to take home!)
While browsing the magazine section of Barnes & Noble, I came across a magazine I had not seen before – American Craft Magazine (and I thought I knew all the magazines in the “crafting” magazine section). This magazine is published by the American Craft Council.
Flipping through this magazine I found an article on an exhibit by the WCQN (Women of Color Quilting Network). I did not know, as a woman of color, that there was a Women of Color Quilting Network! I made a mental note of the acronym and immediately upon returning home I googled the WCQN.
The WCQN , according to their website “is a non-profit organization founded in 1985 by Carolyn L. Mazloomi, a nationally-acclaimed quilt artist and lecturer, to foster and preserve the art of quilt making among women of color.”
Wow. What a discovery for me!
I contacted the Director of WCQN, Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi, to find out how I could join.
After several wonderful exchanges with Dr. Mazloomi, I am now a member of the WCQN. I had the opportunity to view her website, www.carolynlmazloomi.com and view her amazing art. I also spent a considerable amount of time looking at the the WCQN website, www.wcqn.org, and viewing their past exhibitions (www.wcqn.org/exhibit.html).
I was overwhelmed with inspiration to explore an additional direction in my art quilting – telling stories with my art quilt.
The WCQN art quilts poignantly share stories from a people of color’s perspective and shared experience.
Wanting to explore this theme in the future, I am inspired to create a future series of art quilts called Stories My Father Told Me.
Stories My Father Told Me
My father, Raoul A. Davis, Sr. was an amazing man. He passed in 2008, and left behind a legacy of stories and inspiration.
Born of the 4th of July, he was the son of two teachers and grew up the segregated South (Charleston, West Virginia) in the 1930s. He faced many hardships and challenges but always forged ahead to achieve his goals and dreams. He was the first black to attend Kiski School in Pennsylvania, received a bachelor’s degree from Central State University, and obtained his master’s degree from Columbia University. He also served his country in the US Army.
He served as a leader in the nonprofit sector for over 40 years. His service included working with gangs and underprivileged youth as a Social Worker in NYC; founding the Urban League of Long Island, NY; and creating the first Empire State Black Arts and Cultural Festival (today known as the African American Family Day Art Festival).
He retired as the Deputy Commissioner for the Office of General Services for the State of NY. In his retirement he volunteered and consulted for local nonprofits and community agencies.
His resume was impressive, but what I remember most about him is his stories.
Starting from my earliest memories as a child, I remember him telling me stories of his challenges growing up in the segregated South, stories of his athletic pursuits (he was an accomplished multi-sport athlete), stories about the intense hazing he received as the first black to attend Kiski Prep School, stories of overcoming shocking physical and psychological abuse in the US Army in the 1950 by his drill sergeant, and many other inspirational stories from his life.
A couple of years before he passed he decided to write his autobiography and I offered to help him by transcribing his handwritten notes and pulling them into a rough draft. It was so wonderful to read the stories I knew well from hearing in my youth; and I was honored to help him with this project.
Unfortunately my father passed before finishing his autobiography. I did take what I had and make it into a book for my sister and brother (two incredible individuals who continue my father’s legacy and inspire me daily); and for his grandchildren (one of which he did not get to meet before he passed).
I am still left with all his stories in my head and in my heart, and I think I want to share them in another medium beyond the verbal and written word: in my art quilts.
His Stories into My Quilts
I am in the early stages of thinking of how I want to translate some of my favorite stories into a textile story – will I do something abstract, or will I do a pictorial quilt (time to brush up my appliqué skills!).
An ongoing theme in all his stories is: Here is a challenge, it may seem impossible, but you can overcome it!
One of my favorite stories that my father told me, is a story from his growing up in the segregated South and a bus ride experience that embodied his outlook on dealing with racial prejudices:
As a teenage in the 1940s, I was riding on the bus and a white guy was forced to sit next to me because no other seats were available. He turned to me and growled – “I hate you, you #%%$%%!”
I calmly replied to him “Well, you would like me if you got to know me”.
We ended up having a great conversation and when we got to his bus stop, he exclaimed as he exited the bus: “Raoul, you are alright”.
My father likely did not change this man’s racist outlook on people of color, but he may have left an imprint in this man’s mind and heart to evaluate people based on their character not their color.
My father, who was also active in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s and fortunate to have met Martin Luther King, Jr., believed in focusing on getting to know each other as individuals and not judging an entire group or population.
He believed change came through dialogue not violence. He taught his three children to be brave, no matter what adversity life threw at them; and to as Mahatma Gandhi said “…be the change you wish to see in the world”.
He also taught us to be proud of who we are as individuals, as a people and of our heritage, and not to listen to those who tell you otherwise.
“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” – Gandhi
I would be honored to share his stories through my quilts.
While at the retreat, I worked on my EEP project and completed stitching together 38 rosettes of the 99 I need to make:
If you do the math, I have 61 more rosettes to make, and my sweet friend Dana, organized my remaining EPP hexies into groups of 6 for the outside hexies on the left side of my “box of hexies” and the solid color center options on the right side:
I have enough matching hexies to make about 30 more rosettes, so it is going to be time soon to create more EPP hexies.
The hexies I currently on hand have a lot of sentimental meaning/value, as they were all created by my late husband Terry (aka “Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH)“) who used to be my assistant on crafting projects. So I am also finishing this project in his honor.
My partner John and I are moving along in getting his house ready for sale and have been actively house hunting. So it might not be too long until my studio gets unpacked and I am no longer limited to only hand projects.
Over the next several posts I will share more projects and stories from the mini quilt retreat I attended in Poulsbo!
I had to relocate my “Basket of Hand Work” that I discussed in my previous post.
Our real estate agent wanted us to move my comfy leather chair in the living room up to the master bedroom, so I also relocated my basket of hand work. Additionally I tried to tastefully arrange some craft related reading I want to do and several projects into a bookcase in the bedroom.
The tierneycreates Beastie stated: “…she has set up this basket of hand craft projects in the living room and allegedly she will show you what is inside of this basket in her next post”. So I am now obligated to do just that, otherwise my Beastie will give me grief about it!
A Peek Inside the Basket of Hand Crafting
So we are staging the house for sale and had to pack up my studio and my sewing machine.
I am not sure how long it will take to sell the house, and find another house, and then to move into that new house. It could be several months and I cannot go that long without crafting, so I set up a basket in the living room of crafts I can do by hand.
I am also in the process of setting up a sewing basket, found at a thrift shop, with my commonly used tools for hand crafting.
Here’s what is inside the basket – a lot of old hand work projects, and some new ones, that I would like to finish.
English Paper Piecing (EPP)
Ssee my series of post Adventures in Paper Piecing for some background on this project. I made the zipped bag I am storing the project in.
In addition to the EPP project above, I also have this EPP project which I have not started (and do not know what I am doing with these hexies which I made from a friend’s scraps during a quilt retreat several years ago:
The Yo-Yo Project
Someday I might blog about this old mysterious project…
Another project(s) I should blog about someday…if I get any further on my dabble with Sashiko stitching.
The hat in progress has a story behind it that I will share in a future post.
If I ever get working on them, I will explain what they are in a future post (smile).
So that’s what is in the basket! I think I have enough projects to keep my busy a couple months.
I am writing this post from the airport as I am returning from a small informal quilt retreat with 3 quilting friends. At this retreat I brought my EPP and made some progress! And I did some freeform log cabin block piecing with a borrowed sewing machine and a bag of a friend’s scraps. More of my next post.
It is time for a Guest Blogger entry by a brilliant, adorable and talented guest blogger (me, me, me!).
In case you are new to this blog, my name is tierneycreates Beastie and I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. You can read my story at I’m A Monster!!!. You can also check out the other posts I’ve had to guest blog on (i.e. when Tierney fell off the blogging-wagon) in the series of posts: Beastie Adventures.
Well it is all GONE! The studio is gone and our cozy spot is gone!!!!
Tierney and her partner are getting ready to sell his house and buy their own house, and they have to do something stupid called “staging the house for sale”.
That means that her whole studio got packed up and put away, and they are painting over the beautiful turquoise color in the room to make it a boring neutral color like the rest of the house (humans are so silly!).
I am highly irritated over this (and Mikelet is none too happy either) and what has made it even worse is that Mikelet and I were relocated to Tierney’s home office to hang out with her creepy collectionof giant stuffed animal schnauzers (well they are giant compared to Mikelet and me):
Mikelet and I are kind of disturbed by the giant schnauzer head we are pushed up against as well as the super creepy schnauzer hanging over the basket next to us!
He is just a little too close for comfort, I can feel him breathing down my neck!
Once you recover from the shocking images above of Mikelet and I thrust into a “schnauzer slum”, you might start to wonder: “well what is Tierney going to do for crafting with all her stuff put away?”
Well she has set up this basket of hand craft projects in the living room and allegedly she will show you what is inside of this basket in her next post.
Experienced knitting blogging buddies: please see the Postscript section for a question/request for advice, thanks!
The title of this post is Interesting as it is obvious that I ended up seriously procrastinated because I finally finished the scarf for this hat I made in December 2017 (Library Stack Catch Up):
Well over 2 years later, the matching scarf is now done:
I could not wait to try them on together the moment I finished the scarf:
However ever as soon as I put it on, I took it off as I could not wear it outside today (without looking very strange) as it is was 52 degrees F (11 degrees C) and that is a little warm for scarf wearing.
It felt wonderful to have this scarf done and I am sure our snow and cold will return this winter in the Denver metropolitan area!
Postscript (Question on Blocking Knits)
Experienced knitters reading this post – tell me about your experiences with blocking scarfs or other knitting pieces.
I used a garter stitch to make this scarf. I used a blend wool-acrylic yarn, and the edges on the scarf curled. So I blocked it after I was done knitting it, just like in this video below:
But after all that work, the edge of my scarf still slightly curl under.
As I mentioned in a recent post, I did a lot of traveling in 2019. I’m going to spend time in January 2020 catching up on the stories I did not get a chance to share in 2019.
I’ve always appreciated how parents traditionally encourage their children’s creativity and artistic endeavors by displaying their art on the refrigerator. However in March 2019 I witnessed a very awesome way in display “kid art”.
In March 2019 I visited Denver, Colorado to tour potential apartments as part of my move from Central Oregon to the greater Denver metro area (see series of posts Colorado Bound). I stayed with my friend Michele who drove me around to tour apartments.
She and her husband Blair have a lovely home and at the top of their upstairs landing, they have an amazing display of the art of their three children!
All the pieces are nicely (and maybe professionally framed) and the entire wall is dedicated to celebrating the artistic talents of their children at various ages.
Here is some of the wonderful art up close:
This is lightyears beyond the traditional “art on the fridge” that I’ve seen at other families homes. I love that this couple turned their children’s art into an art gallery!
Originally I had planned to begin a series of posts about my “New Year’s Crafting Resolutions“. I was going to provide a catalog of my unfinished projects and a plan to start working on them (sort of like the recent cool series of posts by Melanie @ Catbird Studios in which she shares the contents of her cabinet of unfinished projects), however suddenly I have begun packing up my studio.
Why? Because my partner and I have decided to go forward with selling his house and buying a house together.
The first step in this process is getting his house ready for sale and it is time to paint over the bold turquoise of my studio (see post New Studio) and make that room the same neutral color as the rest of the house.
Since he will be listing the house in the near future, and it needs to get “staged” for sale, I will keep my studio packed up. But that is okay, I have a plan for creative endeavors for the next couple months while my studio is packed up: It’s time to pull out the handwork!
I will post about that plan in the future.
The funny thing is I was recently preparing to return to working on my Farm Girl Vintage blocks and finish up a 20 block quilt (see series of posts Farm Girl Vintage Blocks) as I shared a couple days ago on Instagram:
I’ve completed 19 blocks and only needed to make one more 12.5″ x 12.5″ block to make one of the sampler quilts in the book which uses 20 blocks.
But since my sewing machine is getting packed away, that will have to be on hold for now.
What’s that famous saying that comes to mind…oh yes:
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon
It’s been a long time since I had a post in my series of posts Audiobooks and Podcasts. So I thought my first post of 2020 would be a recap of some of my favorite audiobook listens in 2019.
I constantly listen to audiobooks, especially on my twice a day dog walks and while crafting. Occasionally I listen to fiction but my favorite genre is non fiction, especially books related to personal growth.
Below I share my favorite listens in 2019 along with a link to the Publishers Weekly or or Amazon.com book review; and a quote from the book that resonated with me.
“Souls have deep connections and unique contracts that span centuries, exist back and forth in time, and bind us in ways we can’t really understand…. These connections are ancient and everlasting, and they already exist in our hearts, even if we’re not always aware of them.”
“Digital Minimalism A philosophy of technology use in which you focus your online time on a small number of carefully selected and optimized activities that strongly support things you value, and then happily miss out on everything else.”
“Unless one is unconcerned by other people’s judgments, has no fear of being disliked by other people, and pays the cost that one might never be recognized, one will never be able to follow through in one’s own way of living. That is to say, one will not be able to be free.”
“Resilience comes from deep within us and from support outside us. It comes from gratitude for what’s good in our lives and from leaning in to the suck. It comes from analyzing how we process grief and from simply accepting that grief. Sometimes we have less control than we think. Other times we have more. I learned that when life pulls you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface, and breathe again.”
I discussed this book in my 2/16/19 post Soup’s On
“When real transformation does occur in someone’s life, it usually happens through evolution, not revolution. Every time we make a choice to confront our fear, our character evolves and we become more courageous. Every time we make a choice to move through pain to pursue a purpose larger than ourselves, our character evolves and we become wiser. Every time we make a choice to move through suffering, our character evolves and we become stronger.”