Studio

And the Winner of the Binding Fabric Poll is…

Okay we are doing this in sort of “real time” as I have not looked at the final poll results yet, and I am going to do it while I type this post!

Wait to back up in case you are just joining us – in my July 30, 2021 post Help Me Pick the Binding for Seattle Scrappy!  I asked for my blogging buddies to vote on which binding fabric I should use for the quilt Seattle Scrappy which I recently finished hand quilting.

Thanks so much to those of you who voted, and the winner is (drumroll as I am about to peek at the results myself)…

A TIE BETWEEN FABRIC B AND FABRIC D!

Okay it is up to me to break the tie.

As much as I love fabric D, I have thought about several of the comments that were left on the post about framing the quilt in a darker fabric and I am going to go with Fabric B for the binding.

So I will start assembling the Fabric B binding and share photos when I get the quilt binded…bound…when I finish attaching the binding (smile).


Feature image Photo by Case Hubbart on Unsplash 

What's on the Design Wall

Creating a back for a “Legendary” quilt

I’ve been doing a lot of “tierneycreate-ing” since returning from a visit with my brother and his family on the East Coast. As you saw in my previous post Help Me Pick the Binding for Seattle Scrappy!, I recently finished hand quilting a quilt (see Postscript section for an update on the poll/vote on which binding I should select); and yesterday I finished making a backing for my Sasquatch/Yeti quilt (the pattern by Elizabeth Hartman is called Legendary) that I most recently discussed in the post What’s On the Design Wall: Sasquatch Quilt Top Completed .

For the backing I wanted to use some scraps of the fabrics used to make the trees, but not go crazy on making a scrappy back. I also wanted to use a pieced tree that my friend Kathy gave to me when she gave me most of the fabric/scraps to make this quilt (which she had also inherited from our friend Dana when she made hers).

So I pieced around the tree block I had from Kathy and used larger scraps to frame it:

I am pretty pleased with the pieced quilting backing – it provides some visual interest to the back of the quilt and it honors the gift that Kathy gave me.

Recently I was talking to Dana and discovered she wants to. make another one (you can see her first one in this post Sasquatch Sightings), and so I am going to give her all the remaining scraps (which I am sure include scraps/fabric she originally gave to Kathy) from making this quilt.

Talk about “circle of life”, well I should say “circle of quilt“!

Oh and here is Dana’s completed quilt which started it all (I’ve seen it in person and wanted to take a nap under it when visiting her home…my understanding is her husband takes naps under it all the time during the colder seasons):

2018-05-25_12-56-57_256.jpeg
“Legendary” pieced by Dana and quilted by Krista

Now I am deciding whether to machine quilt it myself on my sewing machine or send it to a long-arm quilter. Krista Moser, longarm quilter extraordinaire, in the Seattle area did the quilting on Dana’s quilt. I am thinking about sending it to her as I’ve used her before on several quilts and she does an amazing job. The only challenge is she is super backlogged because she is so good!


Postscript

Thanks so much to so many of you that weighed in with your suggestion of which binding I should use for my Seattle Scrappy quilt that I discussed most recently on my previous post Help Me Pick the Binding for Seattle Scrappy!.

I tried inserting a poll into my post for the first time in the new WordPress Editor (that many of us have groaned about) and it seemed to be working. I had to navigate within My Sites > Feedback to locate the link Crowdsignal, which appears to power the polls, in order to look at the results, but here are the results so far if you are curious:

Screen Shot 2021-08-01 at 3.03.24 PM

So far it looks like Fabric D is the winner but Fabric B is close behind. I am going to wait until Monday evening to see which fabric wins and gets to be making into the binding. Again – thanks for everyone’s input – its been fun to “crowdsource” my binding decision (smile)!

There still is time to vote and it appears you can only vote on my actual webpage, not the WP Reader.

Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio

Help Me Pick the Binding for Seattle Scrappy!

Okay time to take a break from “tierneytravels” and get back to “tierneycreates” (smile).

It only took like a year+ but I’ve finally finished hand quilting a lap sized free form log cabin quilt I started back in January 2020 at a quilting retreat which I named “Seattle Scrappy”. Now I need your help to decide which fabric to use for the quilt binding.

I know crafters are opinionated and like helping other crafters with their design, so I am looking for your opinions.

But first here is a little quick background on the piece and some additional photos.

  • In January 2020 (before the pandemic was a reality) I attended a mini quilt retreat with a couple quilting friends in Poulsbo, Washington. I brought a couple hand work projects and had EVERY INTENTION of only working on my hand work projects. But, 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!
  • Out of that bag of scraps came a whole lots of free form pieces log cabin blocks and you can read about those in this post – What’s on the…Design Carpet.
  • Since February 2020 I’ve had a series of posts on the evolution of this quilt:
  • I’ve had an update or two on my @tierneycreates Instagram feed since these posts but basically I’ve just been plugging along (when I remember to work on it) hand stitching it with perle/pearl cotton thread.
  • Last night I finally finished stitching it; and this morning I trimmed off the extra batting on the edges!

2021-07-30_07-27-09_9362021-07-30_07-27-15_4512021-07-30_07-29-13_355

I didn’t have the best light when I quickly took these photos this morning, but they give you a general idea of the hand quilted quilt.

Now it’s time to choose the binding (this is where you come in) and here are the four options I am considering:

As you can see they are all some shade of gray. You might be thinking: “Well Tierney, what about the turquoise, aqua, or the burnt orange in the piece?” I did think about those for a moment but first of all I do not have enough of any of those fabrics to create a binding; and second I do not want to frame it in a strong color. I want to frame it in a gray.

So here are the four gray fabrics up close up against the quilt for you to select from when you share your thoughts:

A – fabric with faux stitching pattern

Fabric A

B – medium-dark gray fabric

Fabric B

C – medium gray fabric

Fabric C

D – variegated gray fabric (the tone/shade of gray will change along the binding

Fabric D

Here is a poll below for you to vote and I will report back on the result of the poll and my final decision (which will likely be heavily influenced by your votes):

****If you’d like to participate in voting/respond to the poll, you have to go to my actual website. It will not show in the WordPress Reader, sorry (thanks @tammiepainter for making me aware). If you are in the WP Reader, click on “Visit Site”.****

I’d appreciate any additional thoughts you have in addition to your vote in the Comments section of this post.

Please note however, I will only tally votes through the poll above just to make sure I do not duplicate votes, thanks!

Awaiting your votes…
A Crafter's Life, Outside Adventures!, Special Events

Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part IV

I am sitting in the Philadelphia airport and I figure this is a great time to complete this series of posts about the trip my visiting sister and I took in June 2021 from Denver to Glenwood Springs, Colorado via Amtrak train.

See these posts for Parts I – III if you are just joining us:

Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part I 

Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part II 

Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part III 

After an amazing weekend, it was time to take the train back to Denver.

At the Glenwood Springs Train Station

This time we decided to sit on the opposite side of the train (right instead of left) that we did going to Glenwood Springs to try and get different views. Now you could argue we sat on the same side of the train on the way back as we did the way there, as we were on the left side going there and the right side going back…but I think you know what I mean…

Oh and I forgot to mention in the post Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part II, we did have to wear a mask the entire time on the train.

So here are some of my favorite photos (we both took a ridiculous amount of photos out the train window) on the train ride back to Denver which include the sunset (we traveled to Glenwood Springs on a morning train; the return train is an afternoon train ride):

2021-06-15_09-23-52_6722021-06-15_09-25-15_8922021-06-15_09-26-22_5622021-06-15_09-26-24_796

2021-06-13_15-38-24_7692021-06-13_19-48-43_4192021-06-13_19-49-18_3892021-06-13_20-01-57_3962021-06-13_20-02-47_648

And of course the photos do not do justice to the actual beauty of the scenery but it was the best we could do looking out a UV protected film window on the train!

It was pretty late when we got into Denver as the train got delayed on the ride home. 

The next day we laid low, relaxed around the house and played with Mike the Miniature Schnauzer. I will close this post (and this series of posts on our adventure) with some darling photos we took of my sister and Mike.

2021-06-15_08-17-19_9912021-06-15_08-17-23_9902021-06-15_08-17-27_771

A Crafter's Life, Outside Adventures!, Special Events

Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part III

I am visiting my brother and his family on the Eastern Coast of the U.S. right now and spent yesterday in New York City, but that is subject material for a future blog post (it seems like instead of “tierneycreates”, lately I am “tierneytravels”). For now I will continue my series of posts about the adventure I had with my sister in June 2021 traveling to Glenwood Spring, Colorado via Amtrak train.

If you are just joining us, here are Parts I and II (there will be a total of 4 parts when this series is complete):

Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part I 

Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part II 

In Glenwood Springs

Arriving in Glenwood Springs via train, we first took in the beautiful scenery around the train station:

2021-06-13_13-55-46_6482021-06-12_09-48-31_0022021-06-12_09-56-36_3802021-06-12_09-53-35_5032021-06-12_09-50-03_627

After checking into the Bed and Breakfast we were staying at, The Floradora House, we headed out to explore the downtown area and visit the brewery that I enjoyed on my first visit to Glenwood Springs – Casey’s Brewing.

Here we are hanging out at Casey’s Brewing:

Yes, look it is another selfie where I am not looking at the camera – ha!

Downtown Glenwood Springs is lovely and we had fun wandering about the shops and restaurants.

Glenwood Springs has two historic hotels: The Hotel Denver and The Hotel Colorado. They are on opposite sides of the bridge connecting one section of Glenwood Springs to the other.

Bridge over review connecting sections of Glenwood Springs
The Hotel Denver
The Hotel Colorado

Our Bed & Breakfast accommodations were within walking distance of downtown and here is the wonderful room we shared:

Even better than the beautiful room was the fun we had at the included breakfast each morning, visiting with other guests visiting from around the U.S. and Canada. Here is the wonderful main floor guest dining area and a sampling of the breakfasts.

We had two mornings of incredible conversations as we chatted with different guests each morning. We even met someone who had grown up in New York like we did.

Our second day in town we headed to the Glenwood Springs Hot Springs (what they are famous for – natural mineral hot springs), which in my post Weekend in Glenwood Springs (my first visit to Glenwood Springs with my partner John), I referred to as “taking a bath with a hundred or so other people”.

We spent the morning there and then returned in the evening (you buy a day pass). Here is my sister enjoying some “community bathing”!

It is pretty warm in the hot springs mineral pools and you can only stay in 5 – 15 minutes before you have to get out or just sit on the side of the pool and take a break, otherwise (as I discovered) you get pretty dizzy!

Our third day in town we went on a little adventure and walked a couple miles to the closest thrift shop (my sister loves “thrifting” like I do, actually she was the one who got me into it):

On our trek to the thrift shop we saw some people paragliding off one of the many hills in Glenwood Springs:

After thrifting we stopped at a delicious donut shop, Sweet Coloradough for a treat and relaxed on their patio with our sugary delights:

We had several yummy meals while in town. Here I am at one of the delicious restaurants after a relaxing session at the hot springs:

We wished we had one more day planned in Glenwood Springs, but before we knew it, it was time to head home.

The final post in this series will be photos from our train ride home, which had different views than the trip to Glenwood Springs (time of day was different and we sat on the opposite site on the way home).

A Crafter's Life, Outside Adventures!, Special Events

Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part II

Okay continuing the story I started on July 17, 2021 about my sister’s visit and our train ride to Glenwood Springs, Colorado in June 2021 – Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part I.

Waiting for the Train

Our trip started early in the morning at Denver’s Union Station. Union Station is the prettiest train station I’ve ever been in (including several I’ve been at in Europe):

Image credit: Wikipedia
Image credit: LA Times

Here are several of my images as we waited for the train in lovely surroundings:

And if you’d like to see some images I took in the “Silvertone” setting on my camera:

Our train was arriving in the station around 8:00 am but we got there an hour early and had coffee/tea and pastries while lounging on one of the comfortable sofas in the station.

The station is so beautiful you’d want to just grab your laptop and go work on a blog post with a cup of tea or coffee, even if you were not catching a train!

Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, Colorado

6 hours sounds like a long time to be on a train, but not if you get to spend the time having delicious snacks, catching up with your sister, and seeing amazing scenery as we traveled this route:

See the 5 hour 41 minute route

Driving to Glenwood Springs is a 4 hour trip but I think the additional 2+ hours (the train ride was over 6+ hours due to having to slow down while going over the Continental Divide) is worth it because you are not driving I-70 at steep inclines as you climb up the mountains (not only steep inclines and sharp curves but also some crazy drivers who all seem to be in a hurry to get somewhere…).

From the article Prepare to be Blown Away on the Best Train Ride in Colorado:

After departing Denver’s Union Station westbound, the train begins the section of railway that made the Zephyr famous—a 300-mile journey over the Colorado Rocky Mountains, along the Colorado River and through Glenwood Canyon. Because roadways take a different route, much of the landscape through which the train travels is viewable only to rail passengers.

As the train leaves the Eastern Slope behind, it travels through 31 tunnels before entering the 6.2-mile Moffat Tunnel and crosses the Continental Divide. Passengers are plunged into darkness for nearly 10 minutes before emerging back into daylight at the west portal, near Winter Park Ski Area.

The route continues on the Western Slope of Colorado through remote Fraser Canyon, Granby—the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park and rugged Gore Canyon. The final 12.5 miles through Glenwood Canyon are among the most spectacular, with unimpeded views of the headwaters of the mighty Colorado River, the historic Shoshone Hydroelectric Plant, the Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path, and of course, the soaring 1,300-foot cliffs.

The seats in coach were very comfortable and were modified recliners with leg lifts so you could put your feet up. Here we are enjoying one of the many snacks we packed for the train ride in our cooler:

Relaxing train ride, visiting with sister, snacks and a magazine = happiness

Now comes the difficult part of writing this post: deciding which of the zillion photos we took during the train ride to Glenwood Springs to share with you, without blowing out my blog’s media allotment (and I have an upgraded WordPress plan!). Every time we thought we’d seen the most amazing sight out of our train window another amazing sight appeared! And as you can guess, the pictures do not do justice to what it was like to actually be looking out the window.

So I will use the rest of this post to share those images I selected. For the most part the images are in the order that we saw them on the train ride. You will see at times we are traveling along the Colorado River. Oh and one of the photos is of the observation car which has large windows/glass dome – passengers can take turns sitting in the car to get a more 360 degree view.

2021-06-11_11-06-49_1352021-06-11_11-07-05_7972021-06-11_11-18-40_8512021-06-11_12-47-44_7022021-06-11_14-42-59_1502021-06-11_14-45-31_8392021-06-11_15-28-47_2182021-06-11_15-35-29_3752021-06-11_15-45-04_8542021-06-11_15-48-08_4772021-06-11_16-26-40_3882021-06-12_06-56-42_1422021-06-12_06-56-42_3512021-06-12_06-56-42_431

And here are a couple short video clips I uploaded to YouTube to provide more visuals (the first one was a “jaw-dropping” experience):

Part III of this series of posts will talk about our time in Glenwood Spring, CO.

A Crafter's Life

News

In my July 4, 2021 post Okay so here is a tote bag (or two)…, I wrote:

I have lots of stories to share, things I’ve been making, and news even about a major life change (even if possibly temporary)

Here is the news:

I quit my job and I am taking some time off to focus on my crafting, sewing, quilting, textile art, etc. Before I return to employment in the healthcare industry, I plan to re-open my tierneycreates Etsy shop. I am spending the next several months focused on my creativity.

My last day at work was July 1, 2021 and I’d been with my former employer for 16 years. Back in November 2019 I transferred within the company from an important and useful position to what turned out to be an awful situation where I felt like I had no value in the company.

A little background: In 2019 I was in the midst of my first year as a new widow and I thought maybe a different job would help me re-focus as I was losing passion and focus for the position I was in when my husband passed. Of course I did not fully realize that when you lose your life partner all the things you thought were important (like your job) become meaningless (except to provide a paycheck).

I won’t bore you all the details of why the new position I transferred to in November 2019 did not work out. Let’s just say it wasn’t just a case of “the grass is not always greener on the other side” mistake, it was more like “the grass was rotting and putrid on the other side“!

Sales motivation quote: Sometimes the grass looks greener on the other side  ... - YouTube

I did meet some wonderful people in the position and had some great colleagues. But unfortunately that was not enough as there were nasty corporate “political” issues going on; and as I discovered, someone in leadership was trying to see me fail in my position. Actually my whole position was set up to fail from the beginning with the reporting structure they set up for the position.

It was a remote position and I enjoyed working from home but I was miserable and hated logging into work each morning.

I Hate My Job: Image Gallery (List View) | Know Your Meme

So if there is anything I learned from my husband’s sudden passing in December 2018 it was that life is short/your time on earth is not guaranteed to be long, so make the best what time you have.

My partner John has a wonderful health insurance plan and I could go on it, so I did. So now I am taking time off, not sure for how long (colleagues at my former employee have already been contacting me with job opportunities but I have declined them for now), but I’ve set a goal not to consider returning to the healthcare industry full-time (or part-time) until I make progress on some of my creative dreams.

How To Live Your Dream Life | Goalcast

I am fortunate to be able to do this; and I’ve been thinking a lot about this quote from the book Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin:

“Money is something you trade your life energy for. You sell your time for money. It doesn’t matter that Ned over there sells his time for a hundred dollars and you sell yours for twenty dollars an hour. Ned’s money is irrelevant to you. The only real asset you have is your time. The hours of your life.”

― Vicki Robin, Your Money or Your Life

Postscript

So you might be thinking: “Well Tierney, since you’ve been off work since July2, 2021, where is all the stuff you could have been creating since then?” The answer is that I’ve been traveling, catching up with friends and family. I was out of town most of last week and will be headed off to visit my brother and his family later this week. 

So I might need to be off work for a while as first I need to reconnect with family and friends I could not see during the pandemic, before I can get into a creative flow!

And maybe for a while I just won’t have a specific plan and see what that is like for a change…

Willie Nelson Quote: “I live one day at a time, one day at a time.  Yesterday's

A Crafter's Life, Outside Adventures!, Special Events

Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part I

In early May 2021 I went on a road trip to see Glenwood Springs, CO for the first time (see post Weekend in Glenwood Springs). I love it so much that I decided it was the perfect trip to take my sister on when she visited in mid June. But this time instead of driving there, we took the Amtrak train!

Before the Train Ride

Before heading out on our 6 hour train ride from downtown Denver’s Amtrak station (Union Station) to Glenwood Springs, the day before our train trip I took my sister to the South Pearl District/South Pearl Street of Denver to wander about and then go thrift shopping. 

2021-06-10_14-36-39_3322021-06-10_14-37-00_108

2021-06-10_14-54-27_012

Above is another terrible attempt at a selfie (I am the “World’s Worst Selfie Taker”) and I am not sure why I am staring off in the wrong direction, ha!

We wandered to various little shops boutiques and had lunch at a very delicious restaurant (where I took our selfie).

After the South Pearl Street wander about and lunch, we went to the huge Goodwill downtown (my sister loves thrift/charity shops also) and we had a wonderful browse there as well as several other thrift shops we stopped at on the way back to my house.

My sister toted about the new Wonder Woman tote bag I had made her (which I first shared in the post Okay so here is a tote bag (or two)…), during our shopping adventure:

In the next post I will continue with further stories of our adventures during our trip, starting with the train ride to Glenwood Springs, which was breathtaking in its scenery!

Trying to catch up on blog posts, I’ve realized that it might be easier for busy readers if my posts are a little shorter; and it is less work for me to get a post out there 🙂

Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger: Happy in My Box

Hi this is Mike, the Miniature Schnauzer that lives with Tierney of tierneycreates and her partner John.

I saw that the tierneycreates Beastie did a guest blog post, so I wanted to do one too.

Since you last heard from me (see February 2021 post Guest Blogger: Obsession with Making Crocheted Dishcloths), I’ve been busy overseeing remodeling projects by my human John, just like in the post from 2020 Guest Blog Post: A Whole Lot of Remodeling Going On.

I spend a lot of time in home improvement stores (Lowe’s and Home Depot) and I love riding in John’s truck as his co-pilot:

He always has my box ready to go behind the seats, which I ride in whenever I am in a home improvement store helping him select the next round of home remodeling supplies:

(Note, I’ve gotten a summer haircut recently and look less shaggy)

I’ve met a lot of staff and customers while riding around in my box in home improvement stores, and the other day John wheeled me in via the shopping cart into Home Depot and heard “Hi Mike!”

It was one of the cashiers greeting me as I went by! They remember my name.

Same thing happened that day when he had to go to a different home improvement store.

I am sort of a local celebrity!

John and I have been working on sprucing up the backyard. I oversaw his installation of pavers under a bench that Tierney found on clearance to place under the large Aspen trees in the backyard; his installation of pavers under their new backyard swing; and his building of a privacy screen for the backyard patio area.

I was pretty exhausted after all that work!

Beastie Adventures, Special Events

Guest Blogger: Denver Quilt Craft and Sewing Festival

Tierneycreates Beastie here to report on my adventures at the Denver Quilt Craft and Sewing Festival. going on this weekend!

Here I am writing this post from my laptop on a make-shift desk

Oh in case you are new to this blog here is my standard blurb/background:

My name is tierneycreates Beastie and I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. I was made by Helen of CrawCrafts Beasties in Dublin, Ireland. 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 the human Tierney falls off the blogging-wagon and I have to help) in the series of posts: Beastie Adventures.

A couple of weeks ago, Tierney (the human version of me) discovered that Denver is having it’s first Quilt/Craft/Sewing Festival since the pandemic. She immediately got us tickets:

$10 for 3 days and free parking!

It’s very warm here (we’ve been having a mini-heatwave past couple of days with temperatures up to 100F/38C) and I changed out of my standard T-shirt to my light summer dress for the festival:

I know, I know, I look extremely adorable. Can’t help it, I was made that way…

I did not wear my shoes as Tierney has a history of leaving one of my shoes behind somewhere when she helps me do my photo shoots.

I even took off my standard messenger bag where I keep my laptop (and library card) and put on my backpack in case Tierney needed help getting any fun finds at the festival home:

Ready to carry as much fabric as my backpack will hold!

The first thing we came across at the festival was a “make and take” table featuring a little felt coffee themed coaster you could make. We were tempted but we had so much to see.

After so many months of social distancing, it was strange to see all these crafters crammed into the festival (and they were all happy and very eager to wander around the booths!). The festival did require masks if you were unvaccinated and we did see some people with masks on (Tierney is fully vaccinated and I am…well I am made from yarn so I am immune in general…).

I could not help myself, there was so much fabric around, I had to play in it:

You think with all those fabric selections, Tierney could find some fabric to make me a new dress or two (I only have one dress, made by Helen @ CrawCrafts Beasties).

In addition to wandering around the many vendor booths at the festival, we also watched some cool demos:

Me watching a demo (I just noticed I have some lint in my hair, probably from laying in fabric)

We also chatted with a vendor that had a very unusual and cool woven shirt:

Very creative shirt!

We had fun watching demos of Bernina sewing machines (and a long-arm quilting machine) we could not afford:

Tierney told the Bernina representative about my Beastinia and he was impressed!

Here are more images from the festival including several of me just being very cute:

We were exhausted after a couple hours at the festival but had fun chatting with other crafters and vendors as well as seeing some amazing things (most of which luckily we did not try to bring home).

Tierney could not help herself on her way to the car and had to take a photo in Black & White of some industrial spools in the parking lot (but she forgot to put me in the photo to make it interesting):

Tierney likes to pretend she is a photographer…

When we got back home, Tierney’s tote bag she took to the festival (one of her handmade tote bags) was full of goodies:

My backpack however only contained my laptop. I am not sure why she did not use my backpack for overflow. Well at least I offered.

I had a great time at my first festival (I know you are shocked that she never took me to one before). I can’t wait until my next one!

Oh and if you live in the U.S. and you are itching to go to one of these festivals, this website had a listing of upcoming (in person!) Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festivals:

https://quiltcraftsew.com/denver.html

But be safe – there are still “cooties” out there and the pandemic is not over yet (especially in many parts of the world).

Bags Bags Bags

Two More Drawstring Bags

This is a quick update to my July 6, 2021 post Adventures in Bag Making: Drawstring Bag.

The s.o.t.a.k. handmade drawstring bag patterns gives you directions to make the bags in 4 different sizes. Last night I finished two more bags – another large bag, and a mini bag (and look how gorgeous the fabrics are, provided by my friend Kathy).

Here are some individual photos of the bags and the interior of the bags:

I want to make like 50 more bags in all sort of fabric and color combinations but I need to start working on an art quilt for a show that I’ve been invited.

When I return to drawstring bag making someday, I’ve decided I want to make my own drawstring cord out of braided fabric strings. I’ve been saving strings for years thinking I was going to make a string quilt, but more on that after I experiment.

Bags Bags Bags

Adventures in Bag Making: Drawstring Bag

Earlier this year several quilting friends and I decided to make a different bag each month (well sort of each month, we all fell behind at times) and to do a fabric exchange where we provide the fabric and supplies (like zippers, ribbon, cords, etc) for the bags.

We’ve been purchasing/using patterns by s.o.t.a.k. handmade , we love her wonderful videos on YouTube at her channel – Sotak Handmade. Below is an example of one of her fabulous videos:

Someday I’ll post about my used Juki sewing machine I bought off Craigslist – influenced by watching her sew on her Juki machine.

So far my “bag making group” has made: 1) The Devon Pouch (see post If at first you don’t succeed… ); 2) The Boxy Tool Pouch (see post More Adventures in Bag Making); and now most recently 3) The Drawstring Bag (this post).

Last night I finished my first Drawstring Bag and I have two more to finish (I decided to make three at one time, production-line style). My friend Kathy provided me with absolutely beautiful fabric – some purple Moda Grunge and several fabrics by Anna Maria Horner (you should check out her website I’ve linked, the fabrics are SO GORGEOUS).

Here is my first drawstring bag:

I could not decide whether to make the lining the outside and the fabric I used for the outside of the. bag – they were both so gorgeous!

The drawstring bag stands up on its own thanks to interfacing on both sides of the outside and inside/lining fabric. The pattern was quite easy to follow (especially since this is my third time using one of the Sotak patterns and I see concepts are repeated) and except for the prep work (like cutting and ironing on all the interfacing) it did not take long to assemble.

My friends Kathy and Dana posted their completed drawstring bags on Instagram and here are screen shots from their feeds:

I love their bags too and all the fabrics were generously provided by Kathy!

I hope to finish my next two bags today. They are pretty fun to make and I already had like 25 different fabric combination versions in my head for future drawstring bags, ha!

Bags Bags Bags

Okay so here is a tote bag (or two)…

I am not sure where the past month or so has gone. I’ve definitely been overdoing it on making up for lost time on traveling and having visitors post 2020-pandemic and post full vaccination.

Keep meaning to start back on blogging; and catch up on reading my blogging buddies posts, but my continually putting it off until the next day has lead to my current situation of being super behind – ha!

image credit: Portland Tribune

I have lots of stories to share, things I’ve been making, and news even about a major life change (even if possibly temporary).

All those in future posts, but for now: how about some more tote bags?

A Little (Themed) Tote Bag Making Background

I continue to make tote bags using drop cloth canvas for the inner liner, handles and bottom (see my previous posts Ready for the Poker Tournament , More Adventures in Bag Making, and Tote, Tote, Tote Bags ).

Now that I can pretty much make these tote bags in my sleep, I’ve been enjoying making themed custom bags for people in my life such as the Wonder Woman (she loves WW) bag I made for my sister to tote around on her recent visit and our train ride to Glenwood Springs, CO (a future blog post); and the card playing bag I made for my partner John for his poker tournament (see post Ready for the Poker Tournament):

2021-06-12_07-04-54_7562021-06-12_07-04-54_844

2021-05-14_16-57-47_6622021-05-14_16-57-57_528

Recently I sent my friend Wendy a floral bag I made. I cannot locate my photo but here is her photo from her Instagram post (@wendyquilter):

Screen Shot 2021-07-04 at 11.33.56 AM

Okay a couple more themed tote bags to share with you:

My friend Zachary is very eco-conscious and I made him a recycling/save the planet themed tote bag (one of my early drop cloth canvas tote bags):

My friend Michele loves a great craft beer like I do and I made her a craft beer themed tote bag:

2021-01-05_22-19-07_033

I have more themed/custom tote bags in queue for other long-time friends (Marla Jo and Torben: yours are coming!), I am just a little behind on making them right now…

The Irish Pub Tote Bag

Our friends Kathy and Matt came to visit us a couple months ago (Someday a blog post about their visit…I am so behind!) as one of their first “Watch-out-world-I-am-newly-vaccinated” vacation (smile). 

Kathy’s family is from Ireland and they’ve spent many a holiday/vacation in the Dublin and lots of time enjoying the wonderful pubs of Dublin and other areas of Ireland (where “everyone knows your name” or at least makes you feel like they do!). 

While they visited us, we went to a relatively authentic (at least for Colorado) Irish pub and enjoyed a pint (or two) of properly poured Guinness:

2021-04-30_14-20-23_859

Matt is a stickler for a properly poured pint of Guinness and he taught us all about the “no foam on the logo” standards!

I had already made his wife Kathy a tote bag before they visited:

I knew Matt needed his own tote bag, so when they returned home to California from their visit with us, I ordered some Irish Pub themed fabric from Spoonflower and made Matt an Irish Pub themed tote bag!

He was quite pleased!


Postscript

So if I follow your blog, you will see me catching up over the next couple of days (fingers crossed) as best I can (smile).

I’ve  got a backlog of ideas for future posts lots of news and updates; and I am committing myself to returning to regular blogging. Plus I am sure Mike the Miniature Schnauzer (Guest Blogger) and the tierneycreates Beastie (Beastie Adventures ) will be providing some updates on their adventures!

I’ll close out this post with an image of a sweet little pouch I picked up somewhere in my adventures that I use to hold my travel hand sewing – what is says it is so true!

2021-06-30_09-35-39_581

Outside Adventures!

Weekend in Glenwood Springs

I’ve lived in Colorado for a little over 2 years now (moved here in April 2019) and the geologic beauty of this state never ceases to amaze.

A couple of weeks ago, between installments of out of town visitors (3 sets so far and more coming!), we visited Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

image credit: Visit Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs is famous for its natural mineral hot springs and this was the primary reason we visited – so I could experience a mineral hot springs for the first time, as well as see the beauty of this region.

The drive was gorgeous, especially when we got to Glenwood Canyon which is before you get to Glenwood Springs. We stopped at a park/rest stop in Glenwood Canyon along the river and wow:

I did not want to leave the park/rest stop area, just wanted to pitch a tent by the water and relax!

Here is a little video I took that I uploaded to YouTube (unfortunately I did not think to film it landscape):

Once we got into Glenwood Springs, we checked into the Hotel Colorado which is one of Colorado’s historic hotels (there is another historic hotel nearby, The Hotel Denver, and these are the famous hotels in Glenwood Springs).

I appreciated that there was a framed quilt inside the hotel!

There was a bridge from the Hotel Colorado side of the town to the shopping/downtown area, which provided a nice view of the area:

Do you see the train tracks in the image above? Well keeps those in mind for what I will mention at the end of this post.

Once we got into downtown, we wandered about – there are lots of shops, eateries and pubs. We stopped at a wonderful brewery tasting room and had pierogis for lunch from the food truck across the street.

After lunch we browed a used bookstore which also had a quilt:

We also visited the famous Glenwood Springs Hot Springs at the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, and it was an interesting experience.

The hot springs mineral water felt great but it was like taking a bath with a hundred or so other people! We all had our bathing suits on but it still felt a little strange with all those people surrounding us while we soaked in the hot springs!

It was a very fun weekend and I appreciate all the post vaccine travel we are able to do now.

Okay, so I asked you to remember the image earlier in this post with the train tracks. Well in the near future I will be riding on those train tracks! My sister is coming to visit and I am taking her to Glenwood Springs for the weekend via the Amtrak train from Denver to Glenwood Springs.

I am hoping it is as scenic as it looked when we drove to Glenwood Springs and saw the train tracks along the way.

image credit Trainweb.org

I haven’t traveled by Amtrak train in many years and I am pretty excited about the 5+ hour train ride from Union Station in downtown Denver to Glenwood Springs. My sister and plan to bring a picnic to eat on the train, relax, read and of course catch up.

I did find this article online titled: Prepare to be Blown Away on the Best Train Ride in Colorado! That’s a good sign!

Bags Bags Bags

Ready for the Poker Tournament

My partner John enjoys playing poker (Texas Hold’em) with his friends (and he is pretty good at it); and in addition to their monthly poker nights, once a year they have a huge three-day poker tournament.

For the annual poker three-day tournament in May this year, I decided to make John a special playing card/poker themed tote bag for him to take to the tournament:

It was quite the hit at the tournament and several of his poker buddies wanted to buy one (one lady wanted to order 3 of them!). Unfortunately the fabric is difficult to find and I have to order more online).

The tote bag was so popular that one of the poker league coordinators asked if I could make one as a raffle prize for their upcoming fundraiser poker night for one of their league members who is battling cancer. I am going to work on that this weekend as I was able to find some quick card themed fabric on Spoonflower.

The tote bags I’ve been making are pretty popular (see previous post Tote, Tote, Tote Bags) and here is one I made my friend Kathy a couple months ago that I do not think is on that post:

I found a great deal on drop cloth (used to make the handles, base and lining) on the Home Depot website a couple months ago, and I plan to make a whole bunch of tote bags “production” style. I have some awesome canvas and quilting cotton fabrics picked out to use for the outside of the bags and the pockets.


Postscript

The weather has turned quite lovely in the Denver metro area (for a while I thought we were becoming the Pacific NW with all the rain we were getting) and we are again enjoying our evening “cocktail” dog walks on the green space behind our home. We started the evening cocktail walks (not always alcoholic beverages!) last summer during the pandemic when everything was closed and you could not go to a pub or restaurant.

Now the pubs and restaurants are all open (at least those that survived the pandemic), seating at full capacity (in most counties), but we discovered we really like this little tradition we started.

Here are a couple photos my partner John took of the sunset the other evening while we walked Mike the Miniature Schnauzer, and had our cocktails in our portable cups:

Audiobooks and Podcasts, From the Archives

From the Archives: Las Vegas and the “Ghost Children”

Since I am in my 8th year of blogging, throughout this year I will occasionally and randomly share posts from my 7 years of archives.

Here is a post from September 2018 I stumbled upon when randomly looking up something on my blog today. What is bittersweet is that the lines in the song by the group Train that I quote in this September 2018 ended up being so true when I unexpectedly lost my partner in life a couple months later (December 2018).

Here’s to the time we have, here’s to the lines we crossed, here’s to the ones we’re waiting on, and the ones we lost.

Here’s to the time we have, thank God for what we got.

Here’s to the one’s we’re waiting on, and the ones we lost, and found, the ones who stick around.

Lost and found, the ones who stick around.

– “Lost and Found” written by Patrick Monahan and William Wiik Larsen

Las Vegas and the “Ghost Children”

September 6, 2018

Have you ever wondered why suddenly you are upset or struggling with something and you do not understand why? Well it could be the “Ghost Children“…

Throughout 2018, nearly non-stop, I’ve been listening to non-fiction audiobooks (with a couple science fiction audiobooks peppered in). (Please see the original post Las Vegas and the “Ghost Children” if you’d like to see the list of non-fiction/self improvement audiobooks )

Between my daily walks (3 – 4+ miles a day), road trips, cross country plane rides, and sewing marathons, I’ve knocked off a lot of audiobooks so far in 2018.

Most of these audiobooks were highly engaging, filled with many useful ideas, tips, and inspirations; however one audiobook really stood out: Geneen Roth’s This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide.

51p8yVuFvqL._SX454_BO1,204,203,200_
image credit: amazon.com

While listening to this audiobook, read by the author, I was introduced to the concept of “Ghost Children“. According to Geneen Roth, “Ghost Children” are the stories we repeatedly tell ourselves based on an unhealed/hurt part of us that believes things such as we’re not good enough, we are unlovable, we are not worthy – because at some point in our life, many times in childhood, we had unmet needs or a hurt which are still seeking to get comfort from.

Geneen Roth has done a lot of work with women who emotionally overeat (she holds workshops and has written books focused on this topic) and she ties the “Ghost Children” concept to why people emotionally overeat to comfort their hurting “Ghost Children” but I clearly saw a connection to other behaviors.

This connection helped me during a difficult time on a recent business trip attending a conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Ghost Children” Appear

I work in the healthcare industry and I attended a healthcare industry software related conference in late July/early August held at the Aria Hotel’s Conference Center in Las Vegas, NV.

2018-07-31_19-05-55_586

Las Vegas Boulevard

The healthcare software company sponsoring the conference was very generous to its attendees to include providing a private Train concert on one of the conference evenings, at the Brooklyn Bowl. I was very excited about this concert as I’ve like the band Train (Drops of Jupiter, Meet Virginia, Calling All Angels) since they first came out with their song Drops of Jupiter in 2001.

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) accompanied me on the trip to Las Vegas and I confirmed with someone at the conference registration desk that he could also attend the conference. He is also a long time fan of the band Train, so I was excited to share this private concert with him which also included an open bar and food (as I said the sponsoring software conference company was very generous).

So the evening came for the concert and TTQH headed to the tour bus set up for conference attendees to be transported to the Brooklyn Bowl for the concert. While on line to load the bus, we discovered that only conference attendees with conference badges could get on the bus and attend the conference. TTQH was not able to attend with me.

We were in shock and incredibly disappointed as I had verified with the conference registration desk that he could attend, only to find out that the staff at the registration desk very misinformed. I was torn – on one hand I wanted to go to the concert on the other hand I did not want to just leave TTQH behind at the hotel with this sudden disappointment. 

TTQH is a very enlightened and well-adjusted person (one of us has to be in the marriage – ha!) and he quickly recovered from the disappointment and strongly insisted that I just attend alone and have a great time. (Something I did not mention the first time I posted this post in September 2018 – for $200 I could have bought TTQH access to the special events of the conference like the Train concert. Oh how in retrospect I wish I had even if he said it was “ok”. I wish I had the memory of attending the concert with him.)

So I got back in line and then got on the tour bus. The tour bus was filling up quickly and people were filling every available seat. Except in my row. No one sat with me. (This was likely because I had a very sad look on my face as I was so disappointed I could not share the concert experience with TTQH). The last person got on the bus and sat with the last seat available besides the one next to me.

So the entire bus was filled, except for the seat next to me.  Before I knew it I was quietly sobbing to myself on the bus ride to the Brooklyn Bowl and did not know why.

But – I remembered the audiobook I had recently finished, This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide , and realized one of my “Ghost Children” had popped up!

When I was around 10 years old my parents had a major disagreement with other parents in the neighborhood and, unknown to me at the time, the other neighborhood parents had told their children not to play with me. For a couple weeks, none of my regular friends in the neighborhood, who I played with everyday after school, would play with me. They all ignored me.

I did not understand why and as you could imagine this was fairly traumatic for a 10 year old who was used to playing with most of the kids on my block for many years. Finally one of the children was kind enough to pull me aside and tell me what happened. It was a very upsetting and frustrating experience as I was being punished for something I did not do and I was now an outsider/outcast from my long-time playmates. It is one of those feelings you never forget and I guess it eventually became one of my “Ghost Children”.

Realizing where my sudden painful feelings were coming from as I sat alone on the bus (no one wanting to sit with me), helped me pull myself together. I decided: “yes I am attending this concert alone, but I am going to have a fun time and find a group of people to hang out with during the concert”. There is so much power in awareness of where an emotion/reaction is coming from – it gives you options on how you react.

And this is exactly what I did. Upon arrival, I asked a group of women if I could hang with them for the evening and eventually ended up in another group and had a wonderful time – a “Ghost Children” free evening!

The Train concert was incredible (I sat close to the stage in an elevated area of the bar to the right of the stage) and got to connect with some wonderful people before the concert and during. I learned some new trivia about some of their songs from another concert attendee: the lead singer, Pat Monahan wrote Drops of Jupiter about the death of his mother (now some of the lyrics I never understood make sense).

Here is a little excerpt from the concert (which was only open to concert attendees) – Train performing Lost and Found (I finally learned how to upload videos to YouTube):

I love the lyrics in this song (excerpt from Google):

My Dad said son, one
Day we’ll have a drink together
You’re young
You got to take your time
Just trust
Let me raise you right, and later
We can raise a glass to life, and say
 
Here’s to the time we have
Here’s to the lines we crossed
Here’s to the ones we’re waiting on
And the ones we lost
Here’s to the time we have
Thank God for what we got
Here’s to the ones we’re waiting on, and the ones we lost
And found, the ones who stick around
Lost and found, the ones who stick around
 

“Ghost Children” Free

I feel like writing Geneen Roth, the author of This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide, and thanking her for introducing me to the “Ghost Children” concept. Thanks to what I learned from her book I was able to reset a moment and turn it around.

38235188_10212182140808357_5811144481528872960_n

Taking a break from the conference and relaxing at the Bellagio hotel, “Ghost Children” free

You are not a mistake. You are not a problem to be solved. It’s possible to treat yourself with outrageous kindness beginning today. ― Geneen Roth


Postscript

During the conference I got to attend my first TED Talks/TED Salon and that was a very cool experience.

38190952_10212182216930260_8407416683991400448_n.jpg

 

Dr. Andrew Bastawrous at TED Salon: Catalyst at the Aria Las Vegas

The TED Talks were focused on the future of health care. It was amazing after years of watching TED Talks online to see how formally TED Talks are filmed. There are hosts that coach the audience on etiquette for the Talk once filming starts.

The six speakers who talks about moving health care forward were amazing and here is a post on the TED Blog I found about the event:

Moving healthcare forward: The talks of TED Salon: Catalyst

2018-07-31_15-37-04_442.jpeg

 

A slide from one of the speaker’s presentation

A Crafter's Life

The Last Baskets

I mentioned in my previous post What’s On the Design Wall: Sasquatch Quilt Top Completed, that I needed to work on something “emotional”. I’ve completed my “emotional” project and here is a post about it.

My late husband Terry (aka “Terry the Quilting Husband) was a quilter and a crafter. He also helped me on numerous projects such as making binding for my quilts, cutting fabrics, making hexagon templates for my English Paper Piecing projects; and being an all around “sous chef” for my quilting/crafting endeavors.

One of the projects he worked on prior to his passing in December 2018 was covering clothesline with batik jelly roll strips (40 – 2.5″ x 42″ strips) to make Bali Boxes (actually “bowls” as I do not make the boxes) from the pattern by Aunties Two:

Here he is sewing the continuous strip (entire jelly roll sewn end to end) of batik strips on to the clothing line (see old posts “Throwing Pottery” on the Sewing Machine, Prepping to Make Fabric Bowls , and Prepping to Make Fabric Bowls, Continued for more on the process):

2018-01-17_14-21-59_306.jpeg

As a result of his efforts I had a roll of batik covered clothing line rope, but we got busy on other projects and I put it away:

Over the past nearly 2.5 years since his passing, I’ve slowly worked on completing projects he began and did not finish; or projects he helped me with and we did not finish. An example of one of these projects was a quilt for his eldest brother Andy (he came from a family with 7 kids and I sent one of his completed quilts to most of his siblings when Terry passed, except I did not have a completed quilt for Andy) that I discussed in the post – The Last Quilt.

(Trying to write this post without breaking into tears, but I want to share this experience with you as perhaps there is someone out there that wants to find the strength to complete projects started by a loved one who passed…)

So continuing my journey to complete anything he started before he passed, I realized it was time to make something with the clothesline he covered in batik strips. I decided to make two baskets: one for his sisters Diane and Susan, and one for me.

Here are images from my recent creation of these baskets – I like to call the process “throwing pottery on the sewing machine”:

Here is the basket for Terry’s sisters fresh off the sewing machine and then an image of the binding for the top being put on:

Here is the completed basket and the view of the bottom of the basket:

You might wonder what is peeking out of the top of the completed basket. Well I decided that my era of making baskets was done for now and I put together a kit for Terry’s sisters to make their own baskets to include: 1) a batik jelly roll; 2) the pattern; and 3) several packages of clothesline rope:

Here is the second basket which I made for myself with the remaining batik strip covered clothesline. It came out bigger than I anticipated and I am using it to store batik scraps:

Last week I shipped the basket to Terry’s sisters in New York and they have received the package.

Along with the basket and basket making kit I included a printed photo of Terry working on covering the clothesline for the basket.


As I did in the quilt I sent to Terry’s brother Andy (The Last Quilt) I said that the gift was from Terry and me – from this life and the next

What's on the Design Wall

What’s On the Design Wall: Sasquatch Quilt Top Completed

A quick update on my previous post What’s On the Design Wall: My Own Sasquatch Sighting, I’ve finished the quilt top:

And now I am going to piece the back of the quilt. Nothing too fancy but I do want to include the tree I made from the leftover piecings from my friend Kathy’s quilt to honor where I got all the material from to make the quilt:

Then I need to find a local long-arm quilter to quilt it. Now that the pandemic is sort of subsiding I need to start connecting with my local quilting community.

I am going to pause working on this quilt for a bit as I have two things I really need to work on: 1) a sort of emotional piece that I need to make for two important people (more on a future post); and 2) an art quilt for a WCQN show I’ve been invited to participate in. The second one is time sensitive so I really need to get it started. Unfortunately I will not be able to share the quilt images until the show opens next year.

Oh but speaking of art quilts, one of my remaining recycled silk art quilts has been accepted into an upcoming show at a local gallery. I’ll post more about that in the future.

Tomorrow another out of town guest arrives, this time for a week’s visit. It is funny we went nearly a year during the pandemic with few visitors (just a set of out of town guests in October 2020) to what seems like a constant stream of (and vaccinated) visitors! (My sister comes to visit in June next).

I will close this post with an inspirational sign I recently picked up while thrifting at a local charity shop. I’ve put it on my bedroom wall so I can see it each morning when I wake up and be inspired!

What's on the Design Wall

What’s On the Design Wall: My Own Sasquatch Sighting

Finally my own “Sasquatch sighting” at my house!

Back in 2018 several of my quilting friends were working on Elizabeth Hartman’s Legendary pattern, which featured a Sasquatch (“Bigfoot”) wandering through the woods.

Screen Shot 2018-05-26 at 10.07.27 AM

I did a blog post about those quilts in progress (and completed quilt) in the post Sasquatch Sightings.

Back in 2018 my friend Kathy gave me the leftover flannel scraps and yardage from her Legendary quilt, some of which came from our friend Dana who also made the quilt.

2018-05-25_13-00-52_489.jpeg

Nearly three years later I am finally making my own Sasquatch quilt and discovered that Kathy gave me enough flannel fabric to make the entire quilt! And I might even have enough to piece a back for the quilt!

First I made the flannel trees:

The tree on the far left is made from leftover piecings from the quilt Kathy made. I am going to put it on the pieced back of the quilt to honor her generosity!

Once I made 14 flannel trees it was time for the challenging part of the quilt – making the pieced Sasquatch which involves over 36+ pieced sections.

I worked on the hands first, which involved the smallest pieces, to get through that first:

It took a couple sessions to get Sasquatch done but finally he was complete!

And now he is on the design wall with the rest of the blocks awaiting for me to cut the sashing that goes between the blocks:

I am going to send this quilt out to be professionally quilted once I finish piecing the front and the back.

It will be awesome to have my own “Sasquatch Sighting”!

A Crafter's Life, Life in B&W, Outside Adventures!

Garden of the Gods in Black and White

This is sort of part 2 of the May 6th post Out of town guests? Put them to work!. We didn’t just make our friends visiting from Oregon work on home remodeling projects, we did actually take them sightseeing.

The weather was cold and a bit snowy during their visit but they really wanted to see the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado. According to Wikipedia, The Garden of the Gods is comprised of “red rock formations were created during a geological upheaval along a natural fault line millions of years ago”.

This was my second time there and very different from my first visit in August 2019 when we took my visiting sister and nephew there (see post And on the 8th Day…Part I). It was much sunnier and much warmer in August.

In honor of the difference between the warm August and cold/snowy early April visit, I took photos in Black & White instead of color.

Here is a photo journal of the day – enjoy (or cringe at my attempt to be a B&W photographer, ha!):

And yes, Mike the Miniature Schnauzer joined us in the backpack.

From the Woodshop

Out of town guests? Put them to work!

You can’t have your guest visiting from out of town just hanging out at your house and relaxing. And you absolutely do not want them expecting you to take them sight-seeing or anything like that while they visit!

Instead, you need to put them to work on home remodeling projects! (smile)

April was a busy month. Besides visiting Orlando, Florida (see post Oh Orlando), we also had two sets of out of town guests visiting.

The first set of guests (Marla Jo and Jason) we used to help build a new dresser for our master bedroom. Actually Jason and my partner John worked on the dresser while Marla Jo and I sat around and binge watched television shows, snacked and chatted (yes, that was exhausting work!)

No we don’t just invite people to visit us and then use them for home projects. Jason is very handy (he does amazing builds and remodels) and enjoys working on projects. Also he wanted to learn how to make drawers and John has become very good at making drawers over the past year.

Here are photos from Jason and John working on our new dresser:

The boys had fun playing in John’s workshop in our basement:

Mike the Miniature Schnauzer grew impatient as his Jason (Marla Jo and Jason used to be Mike’s babysitters when I lived in Oregon and went out of town) was ignoring him and not playing ball with him (Mike felt Jason should have been able to multitask, ha!)

So Mike kept tossing his ball between the back of Jason’s legs while Jason worked on the dresser.

We did actually take them sightseeing as well as out to a nice meal during their visit; and even visited with them. But most of their visit the boys did work on the dresser.

After they left to return to Oregon, John completed the dresser on his own and finished it with a beeswax and mineral oil mix that Jason recommended.

And here is the finished dresser in our master bedroom that two important men in my life worked on:

It was very exciting to put my clothes in it!


Postscript

Marla Jo and Jason are family to me and they have embraced my partner John. Jason drove my stuff 1200 miles from Oregon to Colorado when I relocated in April 2019 after my husband died in December 2018. They were both there on the most awful day of my life and watched my dog Mike when I traveled to see family and friends after my terrible loss.

They are very happy to see me in my life now and to also see that Mike the Miniature Schnauzer is doing so well. Jason took these adorable photos of Mike, posed with his favorite toy – “Beary”- during their visit:

tierneycreates, What's on the Design Wall

Another Baby Quilt to a Baby!

There is something so satisfying as a quilter in seeing a quilt you made being used by a baby (a new person on earth!). Like in the post Baby Quilt for An Adventure Baby, I was fortunate enough to be provided with photos of a new person in a quilt I made.

This post is a follow up to my March 30th post What’s on the Design Wall (Another Baby Quilt), where I shared a baby quilt in progress.

Well the baby quilt got completed and given to my friend Marla during her visit a couple of weeks ago and she delivered the quilt to the new parents in Portland, Oregon. Marla was kind enough to take photos for me of the new baby, Azzy, in his new quilt!

First here is the completed quilt in my studioafter I did basic straight line quilting and pre-washed it for the new parents:

And now here is little Azzy in his new quilt (thanks Marla for the photo!):

I think I just want to make baby quilts as my new career and have a wall of photos of babies snuggled in the quilts I made (smile).


Postscript

At the end of April I was honored to be featured on Maker Monday on the Instagram page of @blkmakersmatter.

Screen Shot 2021-05-05 at 10.34.38 AM

You can read more of my responses to the interview questions posted on the Instagram post at https://www.instagram.com/p/COIprqNlCDI/ or you can find all the screenshots on my Textile Adventures page.

A Crafter's Life, Special Events

Oh Orlando

Thank goodness the tierneycreates Beastie did a post on April 13th (Guest Blogger: Updated Tour of Beastie’s Home), otherwise I’d be many weeks without a post to my blog!

We been “on holiday” and have had several sets of visitors (as well as more to come over the next several months). You give people vaccines and they just go crazy – ha! (Speaking of vaccine, we did get our one dose Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine at the beginning on April – yay!!!!)

So now it’s back to some blogging for me and I was torn between first catching up on reading my blogging buddies posts from the past several weeks versus writing a post myself. But if I don’t go ahead and start writing posts it well it might be a couple more weeks before you hear from me (smile).

OH ORLANDO (FLORIDA)

Not sure why I added the “oh” in front of “Orlando” but I do love alliteration in blog post titles (one of the small pleasures in life).

On April 9th my partner John and I headed to Orlando, Florida for a 4 day vacation which included a visit to Universal Studios Florida.

Here we are in the obligatory photo in front of the Universal Studios Theme Park globe:

I am a notoriously bad group selfie photo taker but at least 75% or so of John’s head got in the photo!

Why Orlando? Well in my March 14th post Outstanding Blogger Award (and snow) I wrote:

Tierney here, writing to you from the “Snowpocalypse” in Colorado, buried under quite a bit of snow. Any of my blogging friends live in Florida or anywhere warm? May I move in with you? 

Well none of you invited me to come live with you in Florida (ha); somehow I got Florida stuck in my mind (warm, sun, no snow); and I read an article somewhere that that Orlando theme parks had excellent COVID protocols.

In retrospect I think I would have enjoyed visiting a Florida coastal town and enjoying the beach but I’ll save that for my next trip to Florida.

When we first arrived at the Universal Studios Resort area which a shopping and eatery area before you get to the theme park entrance, we were very naughty and began our day with a Voodoo Donuts treat:

I had a crazy sugar rush after my exceptionally delicious jelly donut but I worked it off (and hopefully the 10,000 calories) from walking 13,000+ steps per my phone around Universal Studios theme park.

We went on a Monday and were surprised how many people were there. The lines were long to get on each attraction because they had COVID protocols and could not fill each line. We also discovered we were there during a “Spring Break” time (we thought we had bypassed “Spring Break”).

We did not go on as many rides as we planned but here were our favorites:

The Bourne Stuntacular

I could not take any photos but it was based on the Jason Bourne movies and was a mind blowing mix of live action and 3D effects. Definitely worth seeing.

Transformers 3D

I screamed the entire ride as the 3D was super realistic and I thought I was actually plummeting down a skyscraper!

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

This ride was so fun as it was a virtual race through NYC and being a native New Yorker (grew up in Long Island and Update NY), I’ve spent a lot of time in NYC (pre-COVID my sister and I would go a “girls trip” at least once a year there).

Note: none of the rides allowed you to take photos in the actual ride, so any photos I am sharing are from the attraction’s wait queue line or the front of the attraction.

The Fast & Furious Ride

I’ve see all the Fast and Furious franchise movies and the ride itself was an amazing 3D experience but what was really amazing was the extremely detailed recreation of the garage from the movies where the built and services their racing high performance cars. We really enjoyed waiting on/moving through the line on this attraction and seeing the recreation of the garage.

In addition to going on rides, we also went to Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It was pretty amazing and if I’d been a kid currently reading the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling it would have blown my mind.

You can look at the images on the link I provided above and I am just going to share some of my favorite things from Diagon Alley:

Books that can eat you from the bookshop:

And Self-Knitting Needles (wouldn’t that save a lot of time!):

In addition to Universal Studios we stayed in Orlando near a collection of shops, restaurants and attractions called Icon Park. We ate several meals at restaurants at this park and had an especially memorial and delicious meal of paella at Tapa del Toro which also featured flamingo dancers while you ate.

It was a lot of paella and luckily our hotel room had a refrigerator and microwave so we could enjoy our leftovers the next day. John did go golfing with his colleague who lives in the Orlando area one morning while I binged watched a Netflix show (you got to have some downtime/chill out time on vacation).

So that was our Orlando trip, more stories of recent adventures (and even some about crafting) to come!

Beastie Adventures, From the Woodshop, Studio

Guest Blogger: Updated Tour of Beastie’s Home

Tierney is on vacation and she’ll tell you about her trip when she gets back. So I am going to step in and be the guest blogger so she does not go too long without having a new post on her blog (I know, I know, I am so awesome for helping her!).

Oh in case you are new to this blog: my name is tierneycreates Beastie and I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. I was made by Helen of CrawCrafts Beasties in Dublin, Ireland. 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 the human Tierney falls off the blogging-wagon and I have to help) in the series of posts: Beastie Adventures.

A photo from last year of me writing a guest blog post

When I am not guest blogger posting, then Mike the Miniature Schnauzer has to guest blog post:

Someone else Tierney uses to do her work: Mike reviewing the draft of his guest post before posting…

Oh and now the subject of this post (which is not to just show how Tierney falls of the blogging wagon and we have to rescue her…) – I wanted to show you the recent updates to my home, which is also Tierney’s crafting studio.

Tierney’s partner John (human John, not to be confused with my Beastie fiancé “John Beastie”, see post Guest Blog Post: Mail Order Groom) has been busy in his Woodshop making things for her studio.

MY NEW “HIGH RISE

Human John built Tierney a storage unit for her fat quarter collection and fabric scraps which she keeps in wine crates:

“Beastie Towers”

My dog Mikelet and I live on the “second floor”:

IRONING (AND CUTTING) TABLE

Human John also built Tierney a table with shelves for her new large iron board he made her (see post “From the Cutting Table”: Update to tierneycreates Studio (Guest Blogger)) a couple months ago. She stores her rulers in there as well as miscellaneous sewing supplies:

She’s also been known to store a Miniature Schnauzer in there:

THE TABLE

Last year from her local community board for free stuff, Tierney picked up a large black table to use for crafting. It was scuffed up but it worked:

Tierney was “making-do” with the table and covered up the scuffs with an old table cloth but John wanted her to have a decent looking table in her studio so he created a new tabletop for it! John created a pattern with wood like a “nine-patch” quilting block.

A month ago Tierney bought herself a used Juki sewing machine which is in the image above.

Alas, she did not buy ME another sewing machine, I have to just be happy with my Beastnina:

So those are the changes to my home, the tierneycreates studio!

Tierney will be back on the next post telling you about her trip and she might even catch up with reading her blogging buddies posts and responding to comments.

Until then, here is a sign she saw a couple months ago to give you some inspiration:

From the Archives, Special Events

From the Archives: TRENDS Show Part I & II

I am in my 8th year of blogging and I thought throughout this year I would occasionally and randomly share posts from my 7 years archives. Here are two posts combined into one for this post about attending the EE Schenck’s Trends show in Portland, Oregon in March 2018.

It is quite bittersweet to share this post (and any posts pre-December 2018) as my partner in life and crafting, Terry the Quilting Husband passed on December 2018. But we did not know that was going to happen and we were fully enjoying life together before his unexpected passing.


Trends Show Part I and II

Trends Show Part I: The Unexpected Roommate (originally posted March 21, 2018)

They Invited Me So I Went

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I attended EE Schenck’s Trends show this past weekend. This post is part one of my two-part series on my experience at the Spring 2018 Trends show.

I signed up for an EE Schenck wholesale account when I had the tierneycreates Etsy shop and for a brief time thought I would supplement my handmade items sales with some fabric sales.

My ‘adventures in retail” were challenging (see my old post from June 2015,  Adventures in Retail) and I quickly discovered that I greatly disliked cutting yardage and making up fat quarter packs (I believe this is what you have to do all day  in the “Underworld”, if you are bad in life and go there after you die; to me that is a big enough incentive to be good in life!).

I did however meet my lovely quilting friend Martha through one of my Etsy shop fabric sales so I figured that was the good thing that came out of that experience!

Additionally, as I discussed in previous posts, I did not want to compete against “brick & mortar” quilt shops (though absolutely no quilt shop could have been threatened by my meager attempts to sell fabric) and become part of the “online fabric sales world” that threatens our beloved community quilt shops.

I did eventually temporarily close my Etsy shop (it’s been over a year so it has been an extended “temporary” closure) to rethink my strategy and handmade offerings.

My Etsy shop is temporarily closed but EE Schenck still has me listed as a wholesaler and they continue invite me each year to their Spring and Fall Trends show for now.

I attended my first show in September 2016 (see the post Ladies Friendship Circle) and got to hang out with my friend Joan H. as well as the lovely Marie Bostwick (a mutual friend of my friend Joan) and Mary Fons (a friend of Marie’s).

img_5042
Mary Fons and Marie Bostwick, Trends September 2016

So when I received the invite from EE Schenck to the Spring Trends show and saw what classes were offered, I asked TTQH if he would like to go to Portland, Oregon for the weekend (it is only a 4 hour drive from my house) and attend Trends.

2018-03-21_14-28-34.jpg
image credit: eeschenck.com

Beside the opportunity for a nice weekend getaway to Portland, one of the reasons I attended the Trends show was for a very reasonable price I could take “Take n’ Teach” classes from wonderful authors/teachers/designers such as Latifah SaafirKathy Cardiff, and Jody Houghton.

I was especially excited to take Jody Houghton’s class, Fabric Art Panels, because her work holds a special place in my heart. As a matter of fact I gaze at one of her panels nearly everyday: my very dear friend Judy (who got me into quilting and I consider my “Quilt Momma”) made me this wall hanging a couple years ago from a Jody Houghton panel:

2018-03-21_09-09-43_421.jpeg

The Drive to Portland

There are generally two ways to get from Central Oregon to Portland: Santiam Pass or Mount Hood Pass. Until late April (or later) both are at mountain elevations, are ski areas, and both are usually covered in snow. Sometimes the snow is packed on the road and most times until late Spring, chains or traction tires can be required. You always see tractor trailers at the lowest part of the elevation pulled over and putting on their chains to make it through the pass in the late Fall, Winter and early-mid Spring.

We decided to take Santiam Pass to Portland and below are photos from our snowy drive (from inside the car with the windows rolled up). I was glad TTQH was driving! (Actually is wasn’t that bad, we only 30 minutes or so driving on pack snow, the rest of the drive was just wet/snow dusted highway).

2018-03-16_09-57-27_038
2018-03-16_09-56-10_221
2018-03-16_10-00-13_726

The Unexpected Roommate

Arriving in Portland we first stopped at Powell’s Books, the mega independent bookstore and a mandatory stop so TTQH could load up on more military history books (his other hobby besides quilting).

locations-burnside-2015
Image credit: powells.com

After that we headed to our hotel and checked into our room.

It had been a long drive from Central Oregon to Portland and we had spent a long time in Powell’s books, and I was eager to get into comfy clothes and relax. TTQH was in the bathroom and I was getting undressed and suddenly the door opened to our hotel room and a woman was backing into our room with her suitcase!

I exclaimed: “Hello there!” and startled her as I quickly pulled my pants back up. She was a well dressed congenial woman who graciously stated: “Oops, the woman at the front desk was new and I think she assigned me the wrong room.” We briefly laughed about it (though I was in utter shock and yelled to TTQH not to come out of the bathroom unless he was fully dressed) and she said she would go downstairs and sort it out. She also said she was there for the Trends show so I knew she was likely a quilter/crafter and therefore a wonderful person (in general, crafters are wonderful people – smile)!

Shaken (and feeling rather vulnerable as they obviously we handing out card keys to our room to others!) I immediately called the front desk and told them what happened. I then went down to the front desk in person and requested to have a new card key made up. The front desk staff apologized profusely and got everything fixed. The nice woman who had backed into our room was also there getting things sorted out and we laughed about it again.

When I got back to the room, I had calmed down and TTQH were able to have a laugh about it. I said to TTQH, “Well she seemed nice and I guess she could have slept between us if the hotel is completely out of rooms, ha!”

I figured I would run into the “unexpected roommate” at some point at the Trends show on Saturday and we would have a more relaxed laugh about it.

The Unexpected Teacher

Saturday, September 17th, after the Trends keynote speaker’s, Amy Barickman of Indigo Junction, I headed to the “Take n’ Teach” series of classes, my first class being with Jody Houghton.

And guess who was Jody Houghton? My Unexpected Roommate!!!!

2018-03-17_11-40-31_694.jpeg

We had quite the laugh about it when I first arrived at her booth for the class! Jody and I also shared the story with the other class participants who got a laugh out of it too!

Her class was wonderful and we learned how to make quick tote bags using her panels. Here are photos from the class and photos of some of the cool samples she had on display:

2018-03-17_11-27-27_998
2018-03-17_11-17-21_311
2018-03-17_11-07-43_705
2018-03-17_11-29-18_577
2018-03-17_11-45-00_413

Jody is an absolutely lovely woman and a very talented designer and teacher.

Check out her panels and notions on her Etsy Shop: Sisterhood of Quilters by Jody Houghton Designs. I hope you will support her shop (or convince your local quilt shop to carry her items) as in my opinion she really captures the heart of the friendships and bonds that come from quilting together. I hope I get to connect with her again the future (but perhaps not as an unexpected roommate…ha!).

Speaking of quilting friendships and bonds, you can read my previous series of posts on my Quilting Sisters (Quilting Sisters, Part I and Quilting Sisters, Part II ).

It is sort of like the Universe brought us together – how random that the woman who created the panel in the wallhanging that means so much to me, “broke” into my room!

Next post I will continue with more stories from the Trends show (though none involving potential roommates!)


Postscript

Our first time to Trends in September 2016 we took Mike and Sassy (who passed in December 2017).  TTQH only briefly attend Trends (leaving the dogs in the car outside for 1/2 hour) as he was in charge of the dogs (who did not like to be left in a hotel room alone).

We decided to leave Mike with some fellow schnauzer people and be “child-free” in Portland this time so we could enjoy the weekend together. TTQH was not interested in taking any classes but he had fun wandering around EE Schenck looking for dog themed fabrics and talking to other husbands (usually the husbands of quilt shop owners, etc.) at the show.

Here is a photo of Mike with his schnauzer buddies Chopper and Frieda, taken by their people and texted to us during the weekend so we knew Mike was having a good time. They labeled this photo “The Three Amigos”.

2018-03-17_17-44-15_998.jpeg


Trends Show Part II: More Class (originally posted March 24, 2018)

Happy Saturday and here is part two of my two part posts on attending the EE Schenck’s Trends show last weekend in Portland, Oregon.

Alas, in this post there will be no “unexpected roommates” (see Trends Show Part I: The Unexpected Roommate ) like the previous post; but for the rest of the show I continued to take two more great “Take n’ Teach” classes – from Latifah Saafir and Kathy Cardiff.

Latifah Saafir: Fear Curves No More

Latifah Saafir is amazing – she is an engineer turned quilt pattern and quilt tool designer based out of Los Angelas, CA. She is a also a great teacher. Check out her website – Latifah Saafir Studios: One Stitch, One Seam, One quilt at a time.

She demonstrated her brilliant method for piecing curves using pieces cut from The Clammy, her giant clamshell maker template. Below are photos from the class (including some yummy fabric she used for her demo):

2018-03-17_13-38-51_857
2018-03-17_14-24-05_378
2018-03-17_14-13-51_844
2018-03-17_13-28-43_031
2018-03-17_13-32-20_170

Later that day I was fortunate enough to share a shuttle bus ride (EE Schencks provided a free shuttle to and from the hotel to the Trends show) with Latifah and hear more about her transition from scientist to quilting guru!

Kathy Cardiff: Wool Appliqué

Kathy Cardiff is a Washington state based designer, author and teacher who specializes in wool appliqué. Check out her website – The Cottage at Cardiff Farms.

She taught a hands on wool appliqué class in which she prepped our little wool appliqué pieces with fusible backed paper, we just needed to cut the little pieces out to make this (her sample):

2018-03-17_14-44-17_911.jpeg

She also prepared templates for us to use to press the pieces together onto freezer paper before peeling them off to place the fabric for the little pillow:

2018-03-17_14-40-34_306.jpeg

Her work is amazing, here are so additional photos from the class and her booth:

2018-03-17_14-29-59_909
2018-03-17_14-30-03_429
2018-03-17_14-37-57_584

She definitely took the fear out of wool appliqué for me like Latifah Saafir took the fear out of curved piecing for me!

Here is my wool appliqué piece currently in progress from the class:

2018-03-19_10-41-06_470.jpeg

The funny thing is I’ve had a The Cottage at Cardiff Farms sunflower wool appliqué pillow pattern and supplies for many years but I was too intimidated to get started on it. It no longer seems scary – especially now that I have learned a quick way to put the appliqué pieces together and fuse them!

I told Kathy about the pattern I’ve had for years (purchased at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, OR); she knew which one I referenced and gave me tips after class on how to complete it!

There’s No Place Like Home

We had fun in Portland but I was also happy to return home again. My heart always soars when we drive from the Mount Hood pass area into Central Oregon. It is so interesting how the climate and the landscapes change from Portland to Mount Hood to Central Oregon.

The moment I saw my beloved “high desert” landscape, blue skies and Cascade Mountains everywhere – I knew I was home!

2018-03-18_11-51-37_729.jpeg
View from inside the car window before Madras Oregon (still too cold to roll the window down!)

Postscript

Recently I read an article online (oops I do not remember the website) that strongly recommended you do not store your thread out in the open because of dust, etc. In a previous post, Aurifilia, I discussed my beloved collection of AURIfil thread (actually obsession).

Well I decided to take down my mounted thread racks and store my thread collection instead in bins to protect the thread.

So I went from this:

2018-02-07_08-34-17_706

To this:

2018-03-23_09-02-10_993.jpeg

Note the AURIfil is neatly stored in the top 4 containers and the “non-AURIfil” thread is casually strew about in the bottom container – ha!

I also decided to put up more quilted art/gifts from my Quilting Sisters in my Studio.

Here is a quilt made for me a couple years ago by my Quilting Sister Kathy when our group did a quilt exchange:

2018-03-23_07-56-37_249.jpeg

I look around my studio and I feel very loved.


Featured image credit – eeschenck.com