We are museum members so we got invited to a members’ only showing which was awesome as the crowd was small (and everyone was social distancing and had their masks on).
The pieces in the exhibit were amazing and many were HUGE! We imagined hours and hours of creating these pieces. Here is a video I found from when the exhibit visited Manchester, UK. (which unfortunately closed early due to the pandemic).
Well let’s dive into images from the Denver show we saw Sunday:
All life size or larger!
Also displayed were an amazing collection of reproductions of famous paintings and sculptures done in Legos:
The artist also created some very unique pieces with Legos, including a giant figure swimming in Lego water:
My favorite piece in the show was this one (yes a Legos dog made life size):
My partner John’s favorite piece was this twisted Lego block:
John loved Legos as a kid and participated in Legos building competitions. He got a kick posing with several of the Legos figures at the exhibit!
I’ll close out this post with one of the posters of quotes from the artist throughout the exhibit:
A couple weeks ago I finished a wonderful book by author Susan Orlean – The Library Book (2018).
I’ve loved public libraries since I was a kid and still do (just see my series of posts The Library Stack).
This non-fiction book uses the backdrop of the 1986 Los Angeles Central Public Library fire to share the history and glory (and challenges) of public libraries. She shares her historical research as well as interviews with many library staff throughout the country. This book also pays homage to public libraries and their importance in our communities. Just listening to a day in the library of various public library staff is pretty awesome and gives you perspective of how library staff serve our communities.
I borrowed this book as an audiobook from my public library, and I loved it so much I bought a hard copy of the book from a local independent bookseller.
Early in the book, this passage about the author’s trips to the library with her mother on page 7 really captured my heart:
…my mother and I walked in together but as soon as we passed through the door, we split up and each beaded for our favorite section. The library might have been the first place I was ever given autonomy…Our visits to the library were never long enough for me. I loved wandering around the bookshelves, scanning the spines until something happened to catch my eye. Those visits were dreamy, frictionless interludes that promised I would leave richer than I arrived.
There is a lot more to this passage and I highly recommend this book if you love libraries!
One of things I missed during the first couple months of the pandemic is being able to go to my local public library and browse for new books. The local library near my home is still closed but I do have access to a neighboring town’s library online and they do curbside pick up (see my post The Library Stack Is Back!)
If I’ve wanted to read anything, it seems like I’ve always borrowed it from my local library. Well this whole pandemic experience has made me think about having a book collection of my own (beside my crazy collection of crafting books) and building a home library.
To get this started, my partner John and I decided to designate the front room (sort of like a small formal living room) as “the library” and rearranged the furniture.
John, who loves Pinterest and is crafty, found an industrial pipe bookshelf image on Pinterest, figured out how to recreate it and built two bookcases near the window opposite each other.
Here is the first bookcase completed:
I am still working on arranging books on this bookcase. John has built the second one across from it and we plan to put a writing desk next to the two windows that are between the bookcases. I will share a photo in a future post once we get our library finished!
We’ve been building up our collection of fiction (primarily science fiction since we are both science fiction nerds) and non fiction books by finding them at thrift stores and independent bookstores (which have recently opened up again, see my post A Friday Frolicking Adventure) which we are trying to support.
Speaking of home libraries, I recently finished a book I borrowed from the library called For the Love of Books: Designing and Curating a Home Library by Thatcher Wine.
What is discovered is that there is a wonderful sounding bookstore in Boulder, Colorado called Juniper Books which sells beautiful book collections. Here is an example – their “Influential Women” collection:
The book, was essentially a beautiful advertisement for Juniper Books but it was a delightful advertisement! The custom book collections (with covers that form images, etc.) displayed in the book are amazing and dreamy.
No plans for an expensive custom book collection in my future but I plan to visit their shop in Boulder and have fun browsing!
“What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.” – Anne Lamott
And speaking of books and libraries, I hope you are listening to my blogging buddy Tammie Painter’s: The Book Owl Podcast. I’ve been catching up on episodes when I walk my dog and I appreciated she mentioned my blog on the third episode of her podcast.
Tammie shares wonderful stories related to books and libraries (well researched with lots of humor). Most recently I enjoyed the story of Barter Books in the U.K., the iconic poster it is responsible for rejuvenating and the train that runs through it!
A couple days ago my art quilt Giant Among the Sequoias (2018)arrived in the mail. It was touring in an exhibit: “Yours for Race and Country: Reflections on the Life of Colonel Charles Young”, curated by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, head of the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN).
It was bittersweet having this quilt returned to me.
This quilt was the last “art quilt” I created before my husband Terry (Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH)) suddenly died in December 2018. I remember having the quilt up in the design wall in the hallway in my former home in Central Oregon and soliciting his feedback as the quilt organically evolved.
I’ve continued quilting and making little craft projects since he died, but for the past year and a half I’ve lost my art quilt muse. I can make improvisational quilts like Seattle Scrappy (see post Seattle Scrappy (What’s on the Design Wall)) but I’ve struggled with wanting to create storied/pictorial quilt like Giant Among the Sequoias. I even passed up an amazing invitational only opportunity in the spring of 2019 which would have led to my first quilt showing at the Houston International Quilt Show.
I am so happy I had all the quilts already made when I had my first solo show at the Seattle Municipal Center in April 2019 (see post Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower (re-post)) as I could not have made new art quilt pieces for that show.
I did not attend the opening for the exhibit “Yours for Race and Country: Reflections on the Life of Colonel Charles Young” which opened March 16, 2019 in Wilberforce, Ohio. I had planned to attend it before Terry died and my sweet brother wanted me to meet him in Ohio and attend the show with me.
I just was not up to it and in retrospect I regret not attending the show and also missing on an opportunity to spend time with my wonderful brother Raoul.
Alas grief is a strange beast and now a year and a half into widowhood I have learned to tame that beast a bit, or at least live somewhat peacefully with it.
The narrative quilts are a history lesson captured in fabric.
“Giant Among the Sequoias,” a quilt created by Oregon artist Tierney Davis Hogan, is a re-creation of a forest scene made from recycled batik fabric scraps. In the center, an image of Young is stitched into the largest tree, keeping watch over the park.
“I love that because it’s quite a twist,” Mazloomi said. “It’s not necessarily a narrative quilt but it is a modern quilt in geometric form and it goes on to tell a story about his work in Sequoia Park.”
I am so honored!
My muse has slowly returned and I am going to create a storied/pictorial art quilt for an important show, which I hope to get juried into. Even if my piece is not accepted, it will be my next piece (I only have one so far) in my series Stories My Father Told Me (see series of posts Stories My Father Told Me).
I did hang up the quilt in the hallway headed downstairs to the daylight basement as there is other wall art related to national parks and the outdoors in that area.
I finished machine quilting my quilt created from a zillion half square triangles (HSTs), most of which were from scrap triangles collected over 15 years, most of which were triangles from the trimming of blocks by other quilters. Hence the name: All the Trimmings.
The quilt measures 57.5 inches by 72.5 inches (146 cm x 184 cm).
Here’s another photo with my partner John holding up All the Trimmings:
I was limited to 50 words, but here is the Artist Statement for the quilt I submitted:
Missing my Quilting Community during Quarantine and inspired by Amanda Jean Nyberg’s pattern “All Sizes”, I created a quilt from 15 years of scrap triangles collected from my quilting friends at quilt retreats and “sew dates”. Most of the scraps in this quilt are from the trimmings of blocks by many quilters as they made their quilts. Instead of going into the trash, scrap triangles compose this cozy quilt.
I am fairly sure some pretty spectacular quilts (and art quilts) have been submitted for this international call for entry and some of the quilts will go to the Houston International Quilt Show, one of the biggest quilt shows in the world.
I have doubts my little HST quilt will be selected but as they say: “You got to be in it to win it” – ha! (and it was free to enter).
The rules say the makers of the quilts selected will be notified no later than July 10th. I will let you know the outcome.
For now, the quilt is keeping me company on my favorite chair in the living room.
You might notice that the quilt Seattle Scrappy (see post Update on Seattle Scrappy) is sitting in the chair also – I am still working on hand quilting it (and wow hand quilting a lap size quilt takes MUCH LONGER than machine quilting it!).
Speaking of “Quarantine Quilts”, a friend of mine has been working on an incredible quilting collaboration project with some children in her neighborhood and I hope she will share with us this project in a future guest post. Every time I look at images of this quilt in progress I get a huge smile!
I changed the layout of the table I have on risers that serves as my cutting table. This is the table I got for free from my community’s for sale/for free online boards.
After (gave the Eurolounger next to the window to the pre-teen next door for her room remodel):
I had a feeling when I first re-did my studio after moving back into it after we decided in the early COVID days not to sell the house and to stay put (see post Perspective), that I would make tweaks to the layout as I used the studio and got a sense of what worked and what could be better.
I shifted the iron board and re-did the area on top of the bookcases in the room. I also added in additional storage drawers in the cubby bookcases.
One of the biggest changes is that my partner John removed the original wire shelf and built me nice shelves in the closet. Previously I had the original wire shelf where clothes would have hung with hanging wire shelves added.
I love my new closet and had so much fun organizing it!
Tierneycreates Beastie’s New Home
I relocated the Tierneycreates Beastie from a basket to the top of a bookcase next to a delicious basket of fabric string scraps (well delicious to me):
Project That is Sort of In Progress
I am will share more on this project in a future post in my series What’s on the Design Wall, but one of my quilting friends gave me a project she decided to give up on after taking a class. Right now I am sorting out the pieces she has sewn together, the pieces she has cut out, the leftover fabric, the pattern and the templates.
I am also still working on machine quilting my piece All the Trimmings which I last discussed in the post Update on “All the Trimmings”. I had to take it off my sewing machine to roll the section I completed quilting to make room in the machine:
I am really enjoying my Tierney’s Woman Cave, it is my “happy place”!
A quick follow up to the post Proud of My Maker (Guest Blogger Post) in which the guest blogger, Tierneycreates Beastie mentions that I lost her t-shirt during packing for my move that did not happen.
Well her t-shirt has been found!
Turns out I had shoved it into this antique box when I was packing up:
I originally put the box in my cubby bookcase without even checking the contents, but took a closer look the other day.
So now she has her t-shirt for the warmer weather instead of having to wear her sweater all the time!
A couple weeks ago I did a photoshoot of a quilt I made with African textile inspired fabrics for a project I have been invited to participate in (more details in the future) and I thought I would share a couple images of this quilt, African Windows, I made in 2014.
Back in 2014, I was gifted a collection of African textiles (not sure if they were originals or reproductions) from someone’s Aunt who had passed who was an avid world traveler and collector of textiles on her travels. (I was also gifted a collection of Japanese and Dutch textiles, which I used to make the quilt I will share in a future blog post).
Here is the Artist Statement I recently wrote on this quilt for the project I was invited to participate:
African Windows (2014)
I was gifted a collection of African textiles and created a piece to display the beautiful patterns of these spectacular fabrics. The design of this piece was inspired by an old Patchwork Studio pattern called “Aussie”. I adapted this pattern to work with the African textiles.
The quilt measures 56 inches wide by 64.5 inches long.
Here are a couple close up photos of the fabrics used in this quilt:
Recently my partner and I remodeled our garage and painted it white. We discovered that an empty section of wall in the garage is a great place to photograph a quilt. So we set up a shop light on a ladder for better lighting.
Of course it took a while to figure out the best way to mount the quilt so it did not keep sliding down (we used Command Strips) right before we snapped the photo – ha!
A couple more Command Strips and finally it worked!
Around the same time as a photoshoot, I decided I needed a new journal to write thoughts and plans. I came across this lovely journal which I felt had a very inspiring cover and added it to my life:
I completed all five sections of the quilt top made from fabric scrap triangles and scrap squares to create nearly 600 half square triangles (HSTs) in the following sizes:
2 inch x 2 inch
2.5 inch x 2.5 inch
3.5 inch x 3.5 inch
4.5 inch x 4.5 inch
5.5 inch x 5.5 inch
It was inspired by the pattern All Sizes by Amanda Jean Nyberg from her book, No Scrap Left Behind.
Here it is on the ironing board after I pinned it for quilting:
And here is it currently being machine quilted on my sewing machine:
I decided to machine quilt it myself rather than send it out to be professional long-arm machine quilted. Slowly I am making progress, I try to work on a section each day.
(You might notice some curious brightly colored half-circle blocks on my design wall behind my sewing area. I’ll talk about those in a future post. They are blocks a quilting friend gave me when she decided not to finish a piece. More to come.)
And of course when I finish machine quilting All the Trimmings I will share another update.
I am going to do an Artist Statement for this piece since there is a story behind it. Here is a very rough draft of that statement:
It’s more than just a half square triangle quilt. I miss going to Quilting Retreats and hanging out with Quilting friends so I made this quilt, based on Amanda Jean Nyberg’s pattern “All Sizes”, from scraps collected from my quilting friends during 15 years of quilting retreats and “Sew Dates”. Most of the scraps are triangle trimmings from their block piecing. Hundreds of scrap triangles went into this quilt top!
A friend of mine recently said that she was looking forward to hearing my thoughts on the tragic events and strife currently going on in the United States in a blog post.
For me it is just too deeply personal and sad issue to discuss in this forum, so I am going to just focus my blog posts on my creative projects and other lighter topics.
I will however share with you that I am currently taking a break from watching or reading the news as this was wearing down my soul.
Recently came across this quote by Fred (Mister) Rogers that made me feel some peace and I will close out this post with this quote: