What's on the Design Wall

“Colour Wheel” Quilt in Progress

Thought I would share a quick update on the Colour Wheel quilt/wall hanging I am working on using a pattern from the book Quilt Color Workshop by T. Bruecher, B. Greenberg, L. Goldsworthy, and J. Adams (2014).

If you are just joining us, here are the two previous posts giving you background on this project: Color Sorting and What’s On the Design Wall: So Much Color!.

Here is where I left off in the March 24th post What’s On the Design Wall: So Much Color!, looking at the 12 sets of 8 fabric scraps in the different colorways:

I labeled the image with the colorway name, I don’t have my actual design wall labeled.

Over the past couple of days I’ve ironed and trimmed the scraps to the size required by the pattern:

Then I made the strata for each colorway, cut into a wedge with a 30 degree ruler and put them backup on the design wall in order:

It is really cool in person, I am surprised how nice the color wheel layout looks!

Now to sew it all together, add a white center, and appliqué it to a background square.

I have two sets of trimmings (from each side of each strata to create the wedges) of each colorway and I am working out an idea of what to do with them.

Most likely I will use them for some type of inner border for the quilt. I laid them out on the design wall to hang out until I decide what to do with them.

What's on the Design Wall

What’s On the Design Wall: So Much Color!


I did not realize the scope of the project when I decided to do it…

This is a follow up to the post Color Sorting, in which I share my plans to make a Color Wheel out of fabric scraps like in the book Quilt Color Workshop by T. Bruecher, B. Greenberg, L. Goldsworthy, and J. Adams (2014), that I borrowed from the library.

I didn’t realize how ambitious this project would be when I decided to create the Color Wheel to use as a teaching resource when I teach an art quilting workshop in September 2024.

I’ve finally completed sorting 8 different scraps for each of 12 colorways to create the quilt, and it is all up on my design wall:

It took a long time to get to this point and it involved a lot of fabric scrap archeological digging through my fabric scrap collection!

I started with reds, purples and oranges using this box of scraps:

By the time I got to greens and blues, which I saved until the end, I was coughing from fabric scrap dust!

I feel like I really know the color wheel now after a couple days of working on this project. I feel like I’ve lived and breathed (literally) the color wheel in fabric!

If you are curious how the colors breakdown, or want a refresher, here you go:


  • Red (R)
  • Yellow (Y)
  • Blue (B)


  • Orange (O)
  • Green (G)
  • Violet/Purple (V)


  • Red-Orange (RO)
  • Yellow-Orange (YO)
  • Yellow-Green (YG)
  • Blue-Green (BG)
  • Blue-Violet (BV)
  • Red-Violet (RV)

I’ve labeled them on my Design Wall image below:

Red-Orange, Yellow-Orange and Blue-Violet took me a long time to figure out. I thought I knew color but I did not know/understand Tertiary Colors as much as I thought I did.

It was a good, even if painful at times, exercise to complete.

Now I need to iron all those scraps, cut them to the size in the pattern, sew each set of the 12 sets of 8 strips together and use a 30 degree ruler to cut them into wedges.

The order you see the individual strips arranged in might change as I refine the order of the fabric strips for each of the 12 colorways.

I am hoping to eventually get the fabric scrap lint out of my lungs…

Shows and Exhibits, WCQN

Coming to the California Museum

I was updating my tierneycreates News page (the latest information on my art quilting adventures) with this information and I thought I would also share it as a quick blog post.

I recently discovered that my quilt Langston Hughes: Pioneer Poet is one of the quilts featured on the California Museum’s Upcoming Exhibits page.

Below are screenshots from the web on a computer and then on a mobile app:

So honored to have my quilt featured again in the advertising for this venue for the touring exhibit Black Pioneers; Legacy in the American West.

The exhibit at the California Museum runs June 17th – October 1st 2023.

Special Events, Studio

Color Sorting

I use color in art quilts intuitively: selecting “what feels right” for a piece. I am inspired by combinations found in nature, color combinations that I see in publications, and colors that I enjoy seeing together.

Below are a couple photos from my inspiration board in my studio:

I also have a palette that I love to use, an example is in my quilt below The Lesson & The Equation:

You can also see my palette repeated in this poster from first solo show in April 2019:

(It’s funny but it took a while for me to realize that I actually have a palette that I repeat!)

That being said, I have studied “color theory” in both formal art quilting classes as well as by reading many books. For example I love Joen Wolfrom’s book Color Play: Easy Steps to Imaginative Color in Quilts (2000), the first book I ever read on color theory.

In order to challenge and “break the rules” when creating innovative art quilts, first you have to understand the rules! Although it might be disinteresting to some of the students in my workshop, it is a foundation of artistic creation and one I should cover during my workshop.

I realized that if I am going to teach an art quilting class next year (see post A Year of Finishes: The Pivot) I need to brush up on color theory. I thought the best way to do this was to create a project I found in the book Quilt Color Workshop by T. Bruecher, B. Greenberg, L. Goldsworthy, and J. Adams (2014), that I borrowed from the library.

I am making the Colour Wheel Quilt on the front cover, which will serve as a class visual for my workshop as well as refresh my understanding of Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Colors; and Pure Color, Tints, Tones, and Shades.

I have a lot of sorting to do to find the strips from my large collection of fabric scraps for the piece.

Currently I am sorting through my box of Reds, Purples, and Oranges to begin the project (I’ve organized many of my fabric scraps into wine crates that liquor stores have my kind enough to gift me or sell to me cheaply).

At first it was tedious, but then it became fun. It is a productive way to revisit my fabric scraps.

I am having fun mapping out the 6-day workshop I will give next year. I am planning to ship to the venue a large amount of my fabric scrap collection for the students to use if they like during the workshop. I am ready to move on from my crazy fabric scrap collection* and start digging into my crazy fat quarter collection (and create more scraps – ha!)

*75% of my fabric scrap collection is from fabric scraps others have given to me. So it is from others’ fabric choices. I am ready to primarily work from my fabric choices in the future…

A Year of Finishes - 2023, Studio, tierneycreates

7 Million Stitches+

Funny how you get sentimental over a sewing machine…

Last year I got my Bernina Aurora 440 QE (Quilter’s Edition) sewing machine serviced at a local Bernina dealer called Thread Play with Bernina. It just needed routine maintenance work and a “tune up”.

The awesome Bernina Service Technician told me when I picked it up after the service was complete, that I had sewn over SEVEN (7) MILLION STITCHES the machine!

Wow that is a lot of stitches!

I got really sentimental when I found that out as this Bernina sewing machine and I have been together since 2006, when I did a “24 months same as cash” financing to buy it. It was the most expensive sewing machine I ever imagined buying. But I’ve made so many things on the machine from utility quilts to art quilts; and lots of craft projects like bags, I definitely got my money’s worth!

I started quilting around 1999, while living in Seattle, WA, on a basic Singer sewing machine. A year or so later into quilting, I upgraded to a Husqvarna Viking sewing machine. I thought I had made it to the “big time” on that $300 machine!

As a beginner quilter I bought my fabric at discount stores like Joann Fabrics in Seattle. After a couple years of quilting and being influenced by other quilters, I began buying more expensive (and higher quality) quilting cotton fabrics from Quilt Shops.

By the time I moved to Bend, Oregon in 2005, I only bought fabric for quilt projects at Quilt Shops and one of those shops was Sew Many Quilts in Bend, Oregon.

Sew Many Quilts is a Bernina Sewing Machine Dealer; and every time I shopped there I began to drool over the beautiful engineered (that Swiss engineering and all metal internal parts) Berninas they had on display. Too many conversations with the friendly staff led to the purchase of my first Bernina!

Fast forward to 2022: My original Bernina is over 16 year old and although I’ve faithfully maintained it (nearly annual maintenance/tune-up visits; and staying on top of routinely cleaning and oiling it myself after each major use), the technology and features of Berninas has significantly advanced.

And now I am drooling over the latest Bernina models…

In early 2022, John decides to buy me one of the latest Berninas – the Bernina 770 QE Plus:

It is an AMAZING sewing machine, light years in features and functions than my old Bernina 440 QE.

But it just sat around looking pretty on the table in my studio, yet not being used. Despite my amazing new sewing machine, I keep sewing on my old and beloved sewing machine with 7 million+ stitches on it!

Recently I made myself put away the Bernina 440 QE and start using my dream machine the Bernina 770 QE. I made myself “break up” with my “longtime sewing buddy” and give the new machine a chance.

As part of the A Year of Finishes – 2023 project, I worked on quilting and adding the binding to a table runner I made from Batik fabric scraps (see post Update on Batik Scrappy Table Runner) for a friend which I promised a table runner many years ago.

I just did straight line quilting with a Walking Foot but the quilting was a breeze and so quick! It took half the time (or less) than it would have taken to quilt the table runner on my old Bernina.

I am now at the point where I am sewing down the binding so the table runner is nearly done and ready to ship off to my friend.

After she receives it I will share the full photo of the finished piece.

I hope my old Bernina is okay sitting around in its case not doing anything. Sigh, I love that machine so much but I need to be with more awesome technology now! My first Bernina sewing machine will always hold a place in my “sewing heart” and I am so grateful it got my through 7 million+ stitches!

(What I’ve left out from this story is how in 2021 I impulsively bought a used Juki sewing machine, but I’ll save that for another post once I figure out what I am going to do with the Juki. We ended up not getting along very well…)


While I worked on the table runner, Mike the Miniature Schnauzer lounged under my studio cutting/work table.

He looked especially cute because he was snuggling with his favorite toy – Beary. Mike used to rip out the crotches of his toys (we do not know why) but he stopped a couple years ago. John and I thought the photo looks like Beary is looking gratefully at Mike because he still has his crotch – ha!

And an update on this post Cat Approved Quilt:

Now both of my stepson Z’s cats (both rescued kitties) are enjoying the quilt I sent him!

Shows and Exhibits

Langston Hughes Quilt at Booth Museum

My art quilt, Langston Hughes: Pioneer Poet now exhibiting at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia (outside of Atlanta, GA) as part of the WCQN show Black Pioneers: Legacy in the American West

The show opened on January 28, 2023 and runs through May 21, 2023, and curated by Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) founder Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi. I was not able to attend the show opening due to my broken ankle and subsequent surgery. (I did attend the show’s first opening at The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art in St. Petersburg, FL in January 2022 – Black Pioneers: Legacy in the American West show opening weekend, Part I )

On the Booth Museum’s website they have a 3D Tour of the exhibit:

Here are some screenshots which include my quilt:

I appreciated being able to virtually see the show/exhibit since I could not attend the show opening.

This is the second venue for this exhibit/show, there are two more venues to go:

A Year of Finishes - 2023, Bags Bags Bags

A Year of Finishes: 21st to 31st Finish

Yes I am shamelessly counting each completed Project Drawstring Bag as a finish.

Before moving on to prepare for the art quilting class I am teaching next year, I finished another round of project bags which I will someday list on my Textiles & Smiles Etsy shop.

Recently I completed 11 bags in a sweet Marimekko floral fabric for the top of the bag; and a lovely Moda Grunge fabric for the base:

I made them in sizes small to extra large and I might sell them in sets like this:

I love the two floral fabrics I used as linings that I found in my stash:

I still have fabric cut out and interfaced to make like 15+ more bags but I’ve put that all away for now!


Cat Approved Quilt

Recently I blogged about “baby approved” (well multiple kids in one family used the same quilt, so perhaps I should say “parent approved”) quilt in the post A Reminder on Why I Make Quilts; and Mike the Miniature Schnauzer discussed a “(multiple) dog approved” quilt in the post Guest Blog Post: Dog Approved.

Well, just to be fair, it’s time to share a “CAT APPROVED” quilt!

A couple weeks ago I sent my stepson Z a quilt I made in 2016 from fabric scraps using a “log jam”/improvisational log cabin piecing technique. Recently he sent me photos his rescue kitty Morticia enjoying the quilt!

This quilt was in the 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show:

I remember lingering around the quilt during the show, waiting to hear comments by attendees to the show (like a “quilt stalker”…I know it was pretty silly but I was so excited to have quilts hanging in the show).

This quilt has been sitting around in storage for a while and thought it would be happier if it was enjoyed in someone’s home (and by kitties is a bonus) instead of gathering dust.

Thanks to Z for sending me the photos!

Guest Blogger

Guest Blog Post: Dog Approved

This is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer guest blog posting for my female human, Tierney.

Getting ready to write something brilliant…

I want to use this post to encourage the crafters following this blog whether they are making blankets or quilts, that whatever warm and cozy item they make, make sure it is “DOG APPROVED”.

Don’t just focus on human comfort, also focus on canine comfort!

Here is a recent example of a “dog approved” quilt, actually multiple dogs approved.

Earlier this week, Tierney’s longtime friend MJ had surgery to her arm. (MJ, Tierney and their mutual friend J call themselves the “Surgery Sisters” since over the past several months each of them have had surgery to some body part. I think this is a poor choice for a hobby but humans are going to do what they are going to do…)

Here is a photo MJ sent Tierney of her recently operated body part:

Ouch! That looks painful. I might even give her some sympathy for that (especially if it would impair her from petting me if she was visiting).

Well Tierney, having recently had surgery herself on her left ankle (which she broke while being careless on ice while walking me), thought she would send MJ a nice surprise to snuggle under during her recovery; so Tierney sent MJ a quilt that Tierney made many years ago and MJ always liked.

Well MJ received the quilt in the mail the other day and sent Tierney this photo, reporting that the quilt was DOG APPROVED!

I mean if a quilt or blanket is not DOG APPROVED, why even have it?!?!?

The quilt has a nice flannel backing and so it will be great for dogs to snuggle in. Unfortunately Tierney did not think to photograph the quilt before sending it out the door to MJ (duh!).

MJ is one of the humans I am able to tolerate.

When we lived in Central Oregon before moving to Colorado, MJ and her husband would let me stay with them at their home when my humans went out of town. She even forgave me after a certain “crotch biting incident” when Tierney first adopted me and I had (behavioral as the humans call it) “issues”. See the post Taking Chances: The Mike Hogan Chronicles (re-post) for Tierney’s side of the story of when she first got me from the dog rescue organization…

Well all I know is that I am awesome now and the humans are lucky to have me in their lives!

Okay that’s what I wanted to share in my guest blog post. I now need to return to managing humans. Here I am keeping my male human calm during a thrilling movie we are watching.

A Year of Finishes - 2023, Special Events

A Year of Finishes: The Pivot

As John Lennon said:

After writing the series of posts about auditing my existing unfinished projects, releasing/donating some of those projects, and coming up with a plan to finish over half of the remaining projects in 2023; the Universe has surprised me and I have to suddenly pivot.

Seemingly out of the blue (but not really out of the blue), I received an invitation to teach a 5-day or 6-day art quilting workshop at an very awesome venue in 2024. It is a first-major-crafting-related-teaching opportunity absolute dream.

At this time I am not sharing where it is or what I will be teaching until my curriculum and program name is approved and my workshop appears in the venue’s catalogue. I will also share in the future the specifics of how this opportunity came to me.

But you all are welcome to attend my workshop which will be limited to ten (10) students. And it is in an awesome and kind of famous place in regards to crafting workshops. That’s all I got to say at this time (smile), more to come later in 2023 or early in 2024.

So my major pivot from working on those unfinished projects is that I need to work on class samples and my curriculum, etc. I do have an extensive training/teaching background but that is in the healthcare industry. This will be different than teaching health care professionals how to use software; or doing a new hire orientation – ha!

So that’s my news.

I am going to finish up one more set of those drawstring/project bags and quilting a gift table runner; but I put all the other unfinished projects away!