This is sort of a follow up to the 10/21/18 post Creative Inspiration: Sunflowers!. but it really about the end of the “warm” seasons in Central Oregon (late Spring, Summer and early to mid Autumn) and the heralding of the Winter (aka cold) season.
Here is what it looked like in Black & White in September:
Here is what it looks like now in November:
And here is what it looks like now, in Black & White:
I seems like Black & White is the right palette for the now stark and shriveled previously gorgeous sunflower.
It appears that all the sunflower seeds are gone from the sunflower head and I am not sure why the homeowners are letting it sit there to decay.
The decay reminds that Winter is coming…
There are many good things about Winter and Winter is important to the Central Oregon ecosystem and to our economy (we have Mount Bachelor which brings in the skiers and other Winter sport enthusiasts). Winter is also a great time for reading, nesting, crafting, reflecting, and the Winter holiday.
But today I am sort of wistful for the beauty of the other seasons and grieving the end of the tremendous beauty of Autumn in Central Oregon (see post Creative Inspiration: Fall Colors).
Right now all the leaves have fallen and everything looks stark, bare and dried out. I think the landscape will get more appealing once the snow falls and a lovely blanket of white covers the stark ground.
It’s time to return to blogging after taking a week or so off after 31 days straight of posting to celebrate the tierneycreates blog 5th anniversary for the month of October.
I am going to return to sharing more photos/stories from the quilt retreat I attended the near end of October; and I recently returned from a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico and I have photos and stories to share.
But first, I wanted to share another very cool thrift store find! It’s another entry in my series of posts Thrift Shop Adventures. This post is sort of a follow up to my October 22 post, Awesome $3 Thrift Shop Find. However this time it was an awesome $2 thrift shop find!
A Trip to a Local Charity Thrift Shop
Why I ended up on Saturday at a local thrift shop: I was dropping off a donation of yarn skeins after clearing out my excess yarn stash.
In my master bedroom closet I had two tubs of yarn tucked away. Poor forgotten yarn.
A couple of years ago I made a commitment to only keep the craft items/materials that I loved and used (see my series of posts My Minimalism Journey) except I appeared to have forgotten about my yarn.
I pulled out the two large tubs of yarn, dumping all the skeins onto the floor and discovered I had yarn that I purchased over 15 years ago, never used, and likely would never use (especially the faux fur type of yarn that was popular for making those furry looking scarves 15 years ago!). I was able to put together a large package of yarn skeins to donate to a local charity thrift shop.
After pulling out all the yarn I would never use, I decided to put the yarn I would like to make something with (someday) somewhere besides tucked away in tubs in the back of my master bedroom closet.
So I organized (and I use that term loosely) the yarn skeins in the closet of my studio which I keep open most of the time:
So with my remaining yarn organized, I headed off to a local thrift shop to donate the yarn I did not need.
A Yummy Find
After dropping off my donation at the donation area in the back of the thrift shop, I figured it would not hurt to just peek inside, quickly (smile), the thrift shop.
Once inside I immediately headed to the crafts section and what did I find – a large bag of beautiful home decorating samples:
I could barely contain my excitement when I saw the price on the bag – two dollars! So the bag and I headed up to the counter to pay and I gleefully left the thrift shop with my prize!
Inside the $2 Bag
It was difficult not to open the bag and look inside in my car, but I knew I should wait until I got home and could fully enjoy the discovery of what waited inside.
Inside were many beautiful home decor fabric samples, like these ones below that were from New York City:
And here are photos of a sampling of the other samples, as I was putting them away in the container where I keep home decor samples (which is now full…):
Included in the package were beautiful swatches of raw silk, gorgeous embroidered fabrics, velvets and other wonderful textures.
Who knows what I will do with these fabrics, for now I am just happy to have them in my recycled fabrics collection and appreciate that someone donated them for someone else to enjoy rather than having them end up in the landfill.
I have returned today as the Guest Blogger after I was interrupted by Halloween and then Tierney announcing the winners of the tierneycreates 5th anniversary giveaways in yesterday’s post.
Do I need to introduce myself again? This is tierneycreates Beastie. I am a monster, but the good kind of monster. You can learn all about me and catch up on my adventures in the series of posts Beastie Adventures.
Okay so now that the introduction is over, let’s return to how I was left to wander around the Quilt Retreat because Tierney would not let me help the other quilters cut their fabric, sigh.
Wandering Around the Retreat (continued)
In the last post I shared the Penguin Party blocks that 3 of the quilters were working on. Here are some other works in progress and a completed jelly roll rug:
There was also some major Tula Pink All Stars action that is a follow up to this post – Tula Pink “All Stars” Retreat (Part II), but Tierney want to milk stories from this retreat for as many blog posts as possible so that will be covered on another post (Beastie eye roll).
Quilt Retreat Food
There was all sort of interesting foods served at the retreat, a quilter could never go hungry! There was also a birthday celebration for some of the quilters and birthday cake:
And what’s under this dome?
Well it’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake! (No worries it was not served on the same evening as the birthday cake – ha!)
Inside the Quilt Retreat Center Main House
The Sew N Go Retreat in Vancouver, Washington has a quilt retreat center where all the sewing happens; it also has the main house with the sleep accommodations, living and dining rooms and a classroom. Here are some images from inside the main house which is decorated with…you guessed it – quilts!
Tierney always brings the host, Nancy a handmade gift each time she attends the retreat and here are a couple of her gifts from previous years displayed – a miniature kimono and sets of coasters:
During the quilt retreat, we had to do a little road trip to a quilt shop! We went to the quilt shop Country Manor in Battleground WA.
I got to wander around the aisle of the quilt shop.
The best part though was the road trip to the quilt shop, I got to ride for a while in the front on one of the quilter’s shoulders!
Take a Hike!
You can’t just sit around and sew and eat. You have to get some exercise! Sew N Go is located in the country with lots of farms around and the quilters went for daily walks. Here are some photos from their walks:
Abbey the Quilt Retreat Kitty
As with previous retreats, Tierney visited with Abbey the Quilt Retreat Kitty.
Abbey was chewing on one of her “hot spots” on her tummy and did have to wear a “collar of comfort” for part of the quilt retreat:
That did not slow her down from trying to get pets from Tierney (I could not pet her with my limited Beastie arm motion, plus she might have thought I was a toy!)
Inside the Classroom
The large garage of the Sew N Go Retreat main house was converted into a classroom a couple of years ago. It is an impressive garage conversion! Here are a couple project going on in the classroom.
Quilts of Honor
Nancy the owner of Sew N Go and her friends have a Quilts of Honor (like Quilts of Valor) where they make quilts for Veterans and then present them in a special ceremony. One of the quilters volunteering on this project makes incredible embroidered labels for each Veteran’s quilt that is customized with their name. Here is a section of one of those labels:
Cool Carry All
Not sure what you would officially call this, but in the classroom were examples of an awesome carrier for quilting or other supplies that were recently made. Tierney bought the pattern to make one herself:
I was exhausted when we got back home, it was a long weekend for a Beastie! Tierney and I took the Central Oregon Breeze bus to Portland for the retreat and back home, and it is about a 4 hour bus ride (why does she live in the middle of nowhere?!?!).
But the best part of returning back home for me, was being reunited with my dog Mikelet who was so happy to see me!
There are more posts to come about the retreat, this time by Tierney, but she and I are going to take a little break from blogging after 31+ days straight (and you can get a break from reading these crazy musings!).
The posts are linked above the winner’s names in case you need to refer back and see exactly what you have won!
Special Recognition Giveaways
To celebrate the tierneycreates blog 5th anniversary I posted daily for 31 days and that is a lot of posts for people to endure, I mean read! Thank you so much to everyone who read and commented on the 31 days of posts in October!
TTQH and I did a 6th surprise drawing based on the “Top Recent Commenters” according to my WordPress stats:
We did a random drawing from the names above, and the winner of the 6th drawing is Mary @zippyquilts. Mary can select a little wallet and a choice of a set of my art quilt cards or a miniature kimono.
One more special recognition
As a special thank you to someone who has followed me for nearly 5 years (one of my first 5 followers), I am giving Claire @knitnkwilt a little wallet and a choice of a set of my art quilt cards or a miniature kimono!
Instructions for the Drawing Winners
Please use the Questions/Contact Me form to send me your mailing address as well as your full name for mailing purposes. I will not use your name and address for anything other than mailing you your drawing winning.
Also please let me know what color little wallet you would like and an alternate color. If you won a miniature kimono, please let me know what color you would prefer. My final selection of what to send you will be based on availability.
And if you decide you do not want the prize or that you do not want to provide your mailing information (I will not be offended, it is okay), let me know and we will draw an alternate winner from the other names.
Thanks everyone for sharing my in 5th anniversary blog celebration!
Feature Image Credit: Krzysztof (Kriss) Szkurlatowski, freeimages.com
Wow we made it through 5 days of giveaways – seems like that would never end! Now finally I can tell you about my first quilt retreat.
Oh, hi there – this is tierneycreates Beastie, the guest blogger for this post. Tierney took me on my first quilting retreat last weekend and I have been patiently waiting for all those boring 5th Blog Anniversary Giveaway Posts to be done so I could tell you about my time at the retreat!
First a little background if you are new to this blog:
Yes, I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. You can read my story and see some of my adventures so far in the series of posts – Beastie Adventures. I was born in Dublin, Ireland and moved (well was shipped) to Central Oregon to join Tierney of tierneycreates in June 2018.
Since today is Halloween in the U.S., how appropriate for a “monster” to be a guest blogger, right?
A Beastie At A Quilt Retreat
This October Quilt Retreat is at the same place in Vancouver, Washington, as the annual May Retreat that Tierney attends. If you’d like to see her posts about previous retreats, check out her blog post category – Quilt Retreats.
As soon as I arrived at the quilt retreat, Tierney’s quilting friends encouraged me to get into some mischief – they handed me a rotary cutter:
I was already ready to cut something, but Tierney ran over to see what was going on and told me to wait right there and not to proceed with helping one of the quilters cut their fabric:
Then she convinced the nice quilter who gave me the rotary cutter not to let me cut anything, sigh. She did let me hang out with another rotary cutter for a while (she quilter took back her rotary cutter to use) and watch the other quilters work on cutting their fabric.
She said it was better for me to just observe for now (I think Tierney has some type of trust and control issues…)
I got bored and started wandering around to see what the other quilters had been working on (NOTE: The quilt retreat started on Wednesday but since Tierney had to work we did not arrive to the retreat until Thursday).
Wandering Around the Retreat
Here are some of the cool projects the quilters were working on.
Elizabeth Hartman’s Penguin Party
Several quilters were working on their own version of the Elizabeth Hartman pattern – Penguin Party. They were all using flannels to make their quilts so the quilts were not only going to be cute but also cozy!
In case you could not tell from the photo above, there are a LOT OF PIECES involved with piecing each penguin!
To be continued…
Oh – I just realized it is Halloween evening, and I have to go get ready to hand out candy to the tricker treaters! I hope I do not scare them, being a monster and everything (should I really scare the kids by meeting them at the door with my rotary cutter?!?!).
I will continue this post later this week as I have much more to share, and Tierney wants to do a post of her own about the retreat at some point (we are really going to milk it – maybe we’ll stretch it out to like 10 – 20 posts about the retreat..just teasing!).
Tomorrow’s post announces the winners of the 5 days of giveaways for the tierneycreates blog 5th anniversary!
Thanks to everyone who has entered the drawings by commenting on the 5 posts:
We are at Day #5 of the 5 days of giveaways in celebration of the tierneycreates 5th blog anniversary.
The 5th giveaway is inspired by previous posts on Thrift Shop Adventures, most recently the post Awesome $3 Thrift Shop Find; and by my former Etsy shop which is the initial reason I started the blog and one of the items I used to sell on my shop.
Inspired by a comment from Shasta@highroadquilter, I am giving away a couple of the home decor fabrics, that have a vintage fabric feel, from my recent thrift store find; and I am giving away a set of little love pillows in vintage style fabrics.
The home decor fabric totals 1.5 – 2+ yards (around 2 meters/metres) in the bigger pieces.
In addition to above, like in giveaways 1 – 4, in addition to a miniature kimono in a color of your choosing (if available), you will also receive a little wallet in a color of your choosing:
To enter the drawing for Giveaway #5 simply write in the “Thoughts/Comments” section of THIS CURRENT POST if you’ve ever had an exciting thrift store or garage sale find (or if you have never even been to a thrift store or garage sale).
Good Luck 🙂
This drawing is open until 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time on 10/31/18 and a winner will be selected by random drawing from those who commented on this post.
We are at Day #4 of the 5 days of giveaways in celebration of the tierneycreates 5th blog anniversary. I am back home and have decent WiFi again! I am starting to catch up on reading all the wonderful comments on the posts over the past couple days.
I seriously appreciate DFLAMMIA3 @travelitch2 ‘s comment on yesterday’ post – “Chins up…we all understand and no need to respond to everyone’s comments.” Alas, being sort of compulsive I will continue to try to eventually reply to every comment (smile).
By the way, tierneycreates Beastie is back from attending her first quilt retreat and she or I (we have to discuss) will be posting about the retreat, but here is preview – we let her play with rotary cutter (danger, danger!):
So What Is Today’s Giveaway?
Well before we get to today’s giveaway (see I am so wordy when I have access to decent WiFi) here is a listing of the posts related to the 5th anniversary giveaway to date:
Originally on these posts I mention that the drawing will close at October 30th at 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time. I am moving that cut off date to October 31st at 11:59 pm.
Today’s giveaway takes us back to where the blog began: as a vehicle for my no longer open Etsy shop – tierneycreates: a fusion of textiles & smiles. The first thing I sold on my Etsy shop and my most successful offer was my handmade miniature kimonos.
Below is are example of the miniature kimonos I sold on my Etsy shop – the photos below are of one of my all time favorite miniature kimonos (which sold immediately when I listed it on my Etsy shop):
The Miniature Kimono Story
I began making miniature kimonos to feature beautiful Asian fabrics many years ago. I came across a miniature kimono at a small quilt shop in British Columbia but there was no pattern.
So I reverse engineered it as close as I could and started making them.
I use two coordinating fabrics are used: an intriguing Asian print and a solid cotton. I decorate them with buttons and occasionally tassels and hang them from a chopstick tied with a heavy embroidery thread.
These Miniature Kimono are approximately 6 x 7 inches and look great hung from a chopstick; or frame in a shadowbox individually or in a grouping.
Below are some examples:
Here is what I have left in my stash of miniature kimonos I did not sell through my Etsy shop:
In addition to a miniature kimono in a color of your choosing (if available), you will also receive a little wallet in a color of your choosing:
So How Do I Win It?
To enter the drawing for Giveaway #4 simply write in the “Thoughts/Comments” section of THIS CURRENT POST whether you have ever sold your crafts online and/or if you have every purchased handmade crafts online.
Feel free to elaborate on your experience if you like.
Good Luck 🙂
This drawing is open until 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time on 10/31/18 and a winner will be selected by random drawing from those who commented on this post.
It’s day 3 of the 5 days of giveaways in celebration of the tierneycreates blog 5th anniversary celebration and I’ve run into a little snag at the quilt retreat I am currently attending – the WiFi is spotty.
So I haven’t been able to respond to your comments or read any of the blogs I follow without using up my cellular data minutes (yup I am the last person on earth who doesn’t have an unlimited data plan, ha!)
I am briefly posting from my phone to keep to the challenge of daily posts for the 31 days of October. This post will not be pretty but it will do the job 😀
Today’s giveaway is a book by my friend and the talented art quilter and teacher, Wendy Hill – On The Surface: Thread Embellishment & Fabric Manipulation.
In honor of my love of craft books (see posts like Craft Book Hoarder?!?!?) and my great finds at thrift stores (see my series of posts Thrift Shop Adventures) the next two giveaways are related to crafting books found at a thrift shop.
The first one is Modern Designs for Classic Quilts: 12 Traditionally Inspired Patterns Made New (2012 by Kelly Biscopink and Andrea Johnson.
This book is used but it is in very good condition.
It is a book I already have in my collection (and plan to make a quilt from it someday!) so if you win it then maybe we can work on the same quilt from the book at the same time (and maybe you can inspire me to actually use a book I own to make a quilt instead of just letting it gather dust on my bookshelf!)
Here is a screen shot from the Barnes & Noble Bookstore website with an overview of the book:
In addition to this book, if you win this giveaway you will also get a little wallet in your choice of color:
So How Do I Win It?
To enter the drawing for Giveaway #2 simply write in the “Thoughts/Comments” section of THIS CURRENT POST whether you prefer Classic/Traditional Design or Modern Design in general.
Feel free to elaborate on your preference of just write “Classic” or “Modern” in the Comments.
Good Luck 🙂
This drawing is open until 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time on 10/31/18 and a winner will be selected by random drawing from those who commented on this post.
In addition to a set of Art Cards, the winner will also receive a Little Wallet in a color of their choice (if available):
How to Enter
To enter the drawing for Giveaway #1 (set of art cards and a little wallet) please explore any old tierneycreates post from October 2013 to December 2017.
Below are links to posts organized by month from October 2013 to December 2017 to help you locate old posts. Simply write in the “Thoughts/Comments” section of THIS CURRENT POST the title and date of the old post from October 2013 – December 2017 you peeked at.
Hi there, this is tierneycreates Beastie and I am the guest blogger for today’s post. Below is a shocking photo of me, but I will explain in a moment:
First a little background if you are new to this blog: Yes, I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. You can read my story and see some of my adventures so far in the series of posts – Beastie Adventures. I was born in Dublin, Ireland and moved (well was shipped) to Central Oregon to join Tierney of tierneycreates in June 2018.
So normally I look like this:
Or like this in warmer weather:
And often I am accompanied by my dog Mikelet:
But the reason why I am currently in a plastic bag is that Tierney of tierneycreates is letting me go to my first Quilt Retreat today. She is headed to a 4 day retreat with her quilting friends from Oregon, California and Washington state – and I get to go with her!
We decided not to bring Mikelet, we are going to let him stay at home with Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and Big Mike the Miniature Schnauzer (well to Mikelet who is a couple inches tall, Mike is pretty big!).
I agreed that it would be safest to have me travel securely so that I do not lose my glasses or any of my other accessories (if you check out the post Beastie Adventures: Sisters, Oregon, you will see how once nearly lost my little boots when I was wandering around in a yarn paradise!) in route.
What I think is cool is I get to travel in Tierney’s messenger bag where she also keeps her laptop. Well I have a messenger bag too and a laptop (as well as a library card just like Tierney):
I am actually in this bag right now (and you might be wondering how I am managing to write this post. Well, you’ll just have to trust me that I am making it work…):
Okay, now what was this post originally about?
Oh yes, the tierneycreates Blog Fifth Anniversary Celebration!
The tierneycreates Blog Fifth Anniversary Celebration and Giveaway
Tierney’s first post was on October 27, 2013 and in two days the tierneycreates blog will be officially 5 years old!
Originally she started her blog as a vehicle for her now closed tierneycreates Etsy shop. Then she discovered she enjoyed blogging much more than she enjoyed running her Etsy shop and trying to sell handmade items online.
Tierney appreciates all her blog followers/readers and she asked me to recognize her longest, still active followers:
What does Tierney love most about blogging? Connecting with creative people all over the world! Tierney and I took a look at her WordPress stats and her blog has been visited by readers in everyone continent except Antartica.
Here is a screenshot from the tierneycreates blog stats page to show all the countries around the world from which people have visited her blog:
As you can see, besides Antarctica (which is not even tracked by WordPress) no one in Greenland cares for her blog!
For 2018, the top 10 countries for visitors to the tierneycreates blog are:
On behalf of Tierney, thank you so much to those creative people in these countries and to all people in all countries who spent the time to visit the tierneycreates blog during the past 5 years!
Tierney is very surprised that she made it to 25 days so far of daily blogging posts in honor of the 5th anniversary without pulling any posts from her archives. That is a lot of new ramblings! Over the next 5 days she will announce FIVE GIVEAWAYS in honor of her 5th Anniversary. Tomorrow’s post announced the first giveaway.
Here are the general guidelines and overall plan for the upcoming five days of giveaways:
Each day will feature a different giveaway and all items will relate to a tierneycreates blog post over the past 5 years.
One winner will be selected for each giveaway.
In addition to each of the giveaways a handmade little wallet will be included (see post Little Wallet Madness.) will be sent to the winner (so there will be two gifts).
Special instructions will be provided each day on how to enter the drawing (no worries, nothing complicated but there will be an activity related to commenting on the post).
Readers in any country are eligible, and like last year’s 4th anniversary celebration, Tierney will mail items to the winners at her cost in any country (note – you will have to use the Questions/Comments form to privately send Tierney your mailing address so she can get the item to you!).
There will be one special 6th giveaway announced at the end of the month.
Well I am off on the “road to retreat” and I am so excited about my first quilt retreat with Tierney and her quilting friends (and you know there will eventually be a blog post or two about it). Hopefully they won’t accidentally sew me into any of their projects.
And honestly, I cannot wait to get out of the plastic bag
– tierneycreates Beastie.
Thanks everyone for 5 years of reading these ramblings and musings – Tierney
The “Noir” setting on my iPhone camera is a dangerous thing in the hands of an imaginary photographer!
Last year while attending Quilters Take Manhattan 2017 (see my series of posts Quilters Take Manhattan), I took a series of photos while wandering Manhattan (and on the Long Island Express train from Manhattan to Queens) in Black & White. Like yesterday’s post photos I recently came across these photos while cleaning up my photo storage.
So I will let today’s post be a photo essay of New York City in Black & White.
All images property of Tierney Davis Hogan. All rights reserved
If you’ve watched the television show Project Runway, then it is likely you’ve heard of Mood Fabrics in New York City’s Fashion District. Last year while attending Quilters Take Manhattan 2017 (see my series of posts Quilters Take Manhattan), I had the opportunity to visit Mood Fabrics for the first time.
My sister, nephew and I wandered around both the Mood Fabrics Home store and the Mood Fabrics apparel fabric store (the one seen in the show Project Runway).
Technically you are not supposed to take photos, but here are my photos (don’t report me okay?)…
Inside Mood Home were amazing home decor fabrics and a delightful sample bin!
Here is what I picked up from the sample bin:
Unless you are brand new to my blog, you probably recognize the fabric above – it is currently on my large design wall simmering (update on that in the Postscript).
As I mentioned above, technically you are not supposed to take photos so I had to take photos when the opportunity arose (wink, wink) and here are the photos I got of some of delights at Mood Fabrics:
More About Mood Fabrics
Here is some interesting tidbits about Mood Fabrics, summarized from their website – Mood Designer Fabrics:
Mood Fabrics is the number-one shopping destination for fashion fabric in the world
The NYC flagship store alone plays host to more than 1,200 customers every day
Fashion designers, fashion students and home sewers have always been steady clientele of Mood, but the film, stage and television industry relies on Mood for fabric as well to costume their casts.
Hundreds of non-sewing tourists pop into the NYC store daily, hoping to catch a glimpse of Tim Gunn, Swatch the dog, or one of the many Project Runway alumni who now call the store their inspirational second home.
I wish I made clothes – it is the ultimate fabric playground for clothes making!
After spending quite a bit of time at Mood Home and Mood Fabrics (my teenage nephew was very patient!) we stopped for delicious hot beverages and ice cream at a sweet little cafe (notice the Mood Fabrics shopping tote in the background):
And then we wandered a bit around Grand Central Station, enjoying the amazing architecture and the celestial ceiling:
There are lots of places to eat inside of Grand Central Station but we were fascinated by this microgreens vendor’s case:
Later that day while wandering around Manhattan, we came across the cutest storefront:That is one of the most adorable fashion window displays I’ve ever seen!
In case you are wondering why I am sharing these photos a year later, it is because I was looking through my online photo storage (I use Amazon Prime Photo) and came across these photos that I forgot to do a post on!
Happy Monday, can you believe it is day 22 of daily blogging in October as part of my 5th blog anniversary celebration? Thanks so much to those of you who have been finding time each day to read my ramblings! Later this week I will do a post about my 5 years of blogging and then introduce the five giveaways to celebrate the tierneycreates blog anniversary!
This post I want to share an amazing $3 thrift shop find – a collection of beautiful high-end silk and premium fabric drapery samples.
The Giant Bag of “Upholstery Fabric”
Saturday I dropped off some donations at our local Humane Society Thrift Store. As long as I was there, I thought I would peek in and see what they had in the craft section. I found a large bag marked upholstery fabric for $3. I do not need more upholstery fabric in my life but I noticed some very nice looking pieces peeking through the pile of upholstery fabric.
Here is the bag when I got it home:
Unpacking it, I first discovered some very cool textured upholstery weight fabric:
Then to my surprise, under this fabric, was a collection of 4 large drapery swatches:
I was blown away with the beauty of the fabrics and removed the heavy duty staples and cardboard legend of the samples from the top of the swatch books.
The photos do not do the fabric swatches justice but here are photos of the fabric swatches after the individual samples were separated:
Here are some close ups of some of my favorites (though it was difficult to choose favorites):
Here is the whole stack:
Yes, are you thinking what I am thinking? Some of these fabrics will work in the piece I have simmering on my large design wall in the hallway (see post What’s Simmering on the Design Wall):
I need to focus on preparing for the quilt retreat I am attending later this week, so I am not going to play with the new fabrics and the design wall right now but it is something fun to look forward to add more to the “simmering”!
Did Not Keep It All
I did not keep all the fabric – a third of the larger pieces were not my style, so I put them back into the bag and I am going to donate them back to the thrift shop to sell again!
I think I got my money’s worth for $3!
I’ve posted about thrift shop finds over the past 5 years and I’ve created a new blog category in case you like to check those posts out – Thrift Shop Adventures.
If you would like to see what beautiful and amazing textile art can be made from upholstery/home decor fabric swatches and samples, check out the art of Dianne Browning, a member of the SAQA art quilting group I belong – Art Quilts by Dianne Browning (bendartquilts.com).
Check out her website and here is one of her amazing pieces made with home decor fabric swatches – Crossroads:
Today I am continuing my series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration and sharing some of the zillion (yes “zillion”) images I took in late Summer and early Fall of blooming sunflowers.
Sunflowers Make Me Happy
I am absolutely obsessed with sunflowers, I even have a sunflower themed quilt. I’ve added a new category to my blog, Sunflowers! , in case you’d like to look at my previous posts related to sunflowers.
Sunflowers are more than just creative inspiration – they just make me happy in general, I am not sure exactly why, but they do! The sunroom in my house is decorated with sunflowers including this corner which has a wonderful faux sunflower plant from my dear friend Michele:
Did you notice the little sunflower tea set in the above photo, yup, I am obsessed!
My Favorites From This Sunflower Season
Well I would blow out my WordPress photo storage allotment if I posted all the photos I took of sunflowers during their 2018 Central Oregon season (late August to early October) and that would be silly especially after I posted tips on how to manage your WordPress photo allotment last month (see post WordPress Image (Photo) Management)!
So here are some of my favorite images from all the images I took.
In my neighborhood we also had the “Mother of All Sunflowers” – a serious GiantSunflower with at least a 12 inch (30.5 cm) diameter (I bet it was even wider):
I became completely obsessed with it and I will not tell you how many photos I took of it (daily at times as I passed it on my walk every morning). I also photographed it in Black & White:
I also started photographing other sunflowers in B&W in full bloom as well as when they were wilting:
Smartphone cameras are a dangerous thing, eh?
Let me close this post with one of my favorite sunflower related quotes from one of my favorite inspirational people, Helen Keller. I remember reading her book The Story of My Life as a pre-teen and being blown away by her courage (and her amazing teacher Anne Sullivan who believed in her and taught her to communicate).
Keep your face to the Sunshine and you cannot see the Shadow. It’s what Sunflowers do. – Helen Keller
I continue to listen to audiobooks non-stop on my daily walks, primarily non-fiction and usually with a self-improvement or growth theme (if you liked to browse my previous posts on my audiobooks listens checked my blog Audiobooks and Podcasts category ).
Recently I finished the audiobook, read by the author Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein; and I am currently listening to My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Dayby Benjamin Spall and Michael Xander.
image credit: Amazon
image credit: Amazon
There many “gems” of wisdom in the book Spirit Junkie and so far My Morning Routine is also filled with gems. I thought I would share two gems with you from these books.
Gem #1 – From Spirit Junkie
The author Gabrielle Bernstein is a student of the spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson. I’ve heard Marianne Williamson’s famous quote:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
But I did not realize it was a poem called Our Deepest Fear.
In her book, Gabrielle Bernstein shares the full poem which I found to be exceptionally powerful.
Our Deepest Fear By Marianne Williamson
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.
We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
Pretty powerful stuff in my opinion!
Gem #2 – From My Morning Routine
The second gem is from my current audiobook listen, My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day. In this audiobook, the authors share Benjamin Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues. I’ve never heard of these before and I am blown away to learn that Benjamin Franklin, one of the U.S. Founding Fathers, created them at age 20 as a way to develop his character.
Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
Industry. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
Tranquillity. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
I wish I had been that enlightened at age 20!
Imagine our world if everyone created their own set of virtues for themselves, to develop their character, while they were a young adult!
I am continuing my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library. This will be my last library stack for a while – I will explain later in this post.
One of my favorite books in this stack was A Year Between Friends: 3191 Miles Apart: Crafts, Recipes, Letters, and Stories(2016) by Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes.
Two friends who met through an online photography site, one living in Portland Oregon and the other in Portland Maine, formed a close bond 3191 miles apart. This book shares their letters, stories, recipes, and crafts. It is a beautiful story of friendship with wonderful photos and stories.
Enjoying the Stack
One of my favorite weekend morning activities is to sit in my quilt and afghan covered old chair in the front window, with tea, and browse a stack of books:
I used to make a pot of tea that I set on a warmer, but I discovered that my tea will keep just as well in a thermos!
Buying a Library Book, Literally
I decided to purchase one of the books from my previous library stack (see post Library Stackings) and found it used online. When it arrived, turns out – it was a library book!
I was laughing when I looked at the receipt and saw it was from the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library.
Our library in Central Oregon, Deschutes Public Library, also has a “Friends of the Library” organization that raises money for the library through used book sales. How cool I bought a used book from another library to support it!
Then to my surprise when I opened the book, it was stamped by yet another library – this time in Las Vegas, Nevada!
So I book I borrowed from my library, that I decided to buy used, came from another library’s book sale fundraising activities that they got from another library! Wild, eh?
Taking a Break from Library Stacks
I’ve decided to take a break indefinitely from borrowing craft and home decorating books from the library. Instead I am going to focus on spending time with my extensive library of craft books (see my old posts Craft Book Hoarder?!?!? and Craft Book Purge).
To give you an idea of how many craft books I’ve collected over the year, here is our guest room with all my books and magazines in piles and baskets as we prepared to replace our 20+ year old bookcases with new IKEA bookcases:
So maybe I will start a series of posts where I talk about the books in my collection, instead of the libraries!
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I were laughing hysterical when we came across this recliner at a local store the other week:
Now no judgement directed towards someone who finds this chair appealing, but what gave me a laugh was that if you really wanted to feel like you were “bathing” in the forest while sitting in your living room, this chair would be the perfect solution!
First I want to clarify – this is not a political post but a post about a secret dream of mine being realized – to have a piece of my art shown in New York City.
The art piece, Seeds (2017), inspired by a Mexican proverb, could be considered political as it is a banner from the Women’s March. But let’s put all this aside and let me share this moment with my blogging community, no matter what your political views.
Seeds is showing as part of the exhibit Still They Persistfrom the FemFour at the LMAKgallery on the Lower East Side in Manhattan, New York City from October 17, 2018 – November 3, 2018.
What I did not realize until today, when I discovered it on social media, is that the exhibit had opened in New York City!
I am originally from New York and for me as a native New Yorker (well semi-native, I was actually born in Pittsburgh, PA) it seems that one of the ultimate achievement as an artist would be to show a piece in a major city such as New York City (or Paris, or London, or Tokyo, or Melbourne, etc.).
Although my piece of art is a banner I made for a protest march, I am going to embrace this moment as a realization of a secret dream!
Below is my piece in the center in a promotional photo of the exhibit on the LMAKgallery’s facebook page.
Thanks for sharing this moment with me!
This is a quick follow-up to the 10/12/18 post Impromptu Quilt Gifting. My colleague’s daughter received the quilt earlier this week and she sent me a picture of her daughter snuggled under the quilt.
The best thing is my colleague stated “The quilt is amazing, she has been sleeping with it since it arrived!” I cannot put into words how happy I am that a quilt I made will keep a child warm and cozy during her ongoing hospitalizations.
I have the makings of an art quilt simmering on the large design wall in the hallway (see yesterday’s post What’s Simmering on the Design Wall), so on one of the smaller design walls I have in my studio, I’ve put up the blocks I made during the Tula Pink All Stars fabric retreat I had with my quilting friends a couple weeks ago:
Yesterday I pulled out my “box of Tula” with fat quarters and scraps from the retreat:
Now that I have the fourteen 12.5 inch x 12.5 inch blocks up on the design wall, I’ve decided I am going to create 36 blocks for a 6 blocks x 6 blocks quilt. My plan is to make 12 blocks of each of the 3 types of blocks I’ve made so far as shown below (all with “fussy cut” centers).
1) Square within a square within a square within a square with:
2) Square within a square within a square with a larger square in the middle:
3) Little boxes: 4 squares within a square block:
The Tula Pink All Stars collection has six creatures in the feature fabric collection:
Coordinating with the feature fabrics are coordinating stripes, dots and solids.
Here is my original stack of fat quarters before I started making the blocks:
I plan to set the blocks using the various blocks as sashing with some type of cornerstones like the example below:
Now that I have a plan on where I am going with the blocks, I am going to start cutting out blocks in preparation for a quilt retreat I am attending the latter part of next week.
If the quilt top works out, I might try my hand at writing a pattern for the quilt and offer it to my readers as a free download of something like that. It is going to be a very colorful quilt!
Before we go any further on the post I need to give you some background to explain the low light and less than stellar photos. In 2016 I decided to embrace “whole house crafting” where I decided to expand my crafting space beyond the little studio in the back of my little house. This included turning part of the only hallway in my house into a large design wall, The only problem is that the hallway is narrow and so I have to take photos at odd angles.
Okay now back to my ramblings about my what is on the design wall…
Art Quilter Play Date – Earlier this year I went to a fabric printing workshop held at the studio of one of the artists in the art quilting group I belong. Here are the 5 pieces I printed.
Quilt Retreat Inspiration and Projects. – Last year during the annual May retreat with my quilting friends, my friend Lisa was working on an old UFO from a machine embroidery class she took but was losing interest in finishing the piece. I offered to take it off her hands.
Her blocks looked like this:
I took them apart and along with the extra fabric end up with a nice package to become a challenge bag (see post Basket of Challenges):
I was rummaging around in my Basket of Challenges the other day and came across this bag. Looking at the fabrics in taupes, browns, golds, creams, and silvers, I realized they might look great with the fabric printed pieces I made earlier this year.
I decided to put everything up on the large design wall, and let them “simmer’ until I decided what type of piece I want to make (most likely some type of improvisational art quilt):
In addition to these fabrics, I put up on the wall this home decor remnant I picked up from Mood Fabrics during a trip to New York City:
I also have the 5 blocks that my friend Lisa did machine embroidery on, to work into the piece:
I am not going to work on designing the piece yet, I am just going to keep the fabric up on the design wall and let it “simmer”!
If you have recently joined us on this blog, the title might be freaking you out right now. You might be thinking: “I thought this was a nice quilting/crafting related blog…is this some type of ghoulish or macabre journal?!?!?”
No, this is a follow up to the 10/10/18 post Mysterious Package, in which I received my 6 year old nephew’s favorite, alas decapitated, bear Marseille for repair:
Well I am happy to report Marseille had his surgery yesterday and he is “recapitated” and all better!
I used a doll needle for the first time, to repair Marseille. This is a very long needle (over 5 inches/2.5 cm). Here is a comparison between a doll needle and a regular needle:
Here is Marseille posing with the needle and the thick thread that I used to put his head back on:
Marseille also had a loose arm so I reinforced the stitches on his arm so he did not suffer any spontaneous amputation of his limb!
Today Marseille flies back to the Eastern Coast of the U.S. to be reunited with my nephew (via the U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail).
I already texted a photo of “recapitated” Marseille to my sister-in-law who shared this with my nephew who is very excited to get his beloved bear back (with a head)!
I must admit, repairing Marseille and working with a doll needle got me interested again in the idea of making “softies” someday. I will put that into my backlog of craft projects I want to work on someday.
In addition to repairing Marseille the little teddy bear, I also had to repair Mike the Miniature Schnauzer’s favorite toy “Lamby”.
We do not usually let mike have stuffed/soft toys as he tends to tear them up (his main toys are usually chew-resistant balls). However when my sister-in-laws visited this summer for the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (see post Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2018, Part II: Visiting Crafters) they brought his a toy that was allegedly rugged and could handle his chewing – a toy lamb.
We named the lamb “Lamby”. Well Lamby, despite losing two limbs, was holding up and Mike adored his lamb and would nap with it:
But then we discovered Lamby had a terrible and unsightly injury: his crotch was ripped open!
Oh the horror!
I immediately repaired Lamby’s crotch injury and said to Mike: “You must be gentler with Lamby or he has to go away”. I think Mike understood me as here he is keeping post-operative Lamby company:
Yay! Tango Stripe (pattern by Jean Wells), is finally done!
It took a while to match all the seams of the rows in the diagonal/”on-point” setting:
But finally – it was done!
Okay it is not actually done as it still needs to be quilted. I will be giving it to my Washington state based quilting sisters I see at the end of the month to take to a long-arm quilter I met many years ago when I lived in Seattle – Krista Moser.
A couple of years ago I attended a quilt retreat with her and was reinforced on what a lovely and talented person she is (Little Miss Muffet, Made Her Own Tuffet). My quilting sisters Judy and Dana have used her services for years and she has done beautiful work on their quilts.
It is fun to see Krista who started as a teenager on a long-arm, move from making purses and long-arm quilting in her small garage to try and make a living, to building a quilting empire (her patterns are now sold in quilt shops are around the country as are her custom rulers)! She is like “local girl makes good”!
I’ve already put together the backing for the quilt and have it all packaged up to give my friends to take to Krista. I feel so free that this quilt (which was an old “UFO”) is done!
By the way, it was the imaginary pressure of you all expecting me to finish up the quilt soon since I kept sharing posts about its progress, that really pushed me to finish it. Living in a fantasy world can be really useful at times – ha!
I love all seasons in Central Oregon and I feel blessed to live in a place where I can experience all four seasons.
Our mid-summers are often hot and for the past couple of years we’ve had to deal with residual smoke from forest fires from Northern California, Washington state, British Columbia or even Oregon forests. Usually by late summer and early summer, the forest fire smoke has cleared and the weather has suddenly cooled.
As the weather cools, suddenly the beautiful colors of Autumn appear as the leaves Central Oregon deciduous trees change into spectacular shades of green, gold, yellow, orange, red, and purple!This is not the first time I posted about Autumn in Central Oregon and how it inspires me. Here are a couple previous posts for you to check out, filled with images of the beauty of our Fall:
I am on Day 12 of daily posts as part of the challenge I set for myself for the month of October in celebration of my blog’s 5th anniversary to post everyday for the 31 days of October.
If you count the post I made on Sept. 30th then I am actually at 13 days straight of daily posts!
So far I haven’t had to pull from my 5 years of post archives as I thought I might have to by now. Today I originally planned a semi-follow-up to yesterday’s post Shinrin-Yoku: The Japanese Art and Science of Forest Bathing, but then something cool happened yesterday afternoon that I wanted to share: Impromptu Quilt Gifting.
When the Moment Feels Right…
6 or so years ago I made this quilt from scraps and leftover blocks from flannel quilts I made during my early years of quilting:
2 years ago I took it out of “quilt rotation” at my house and put it away in the closet. You see after 18 years of quilting I have a lot of quilts in rotation at my house!
Earlier this year I took the quilt out of the closet to decide what to do with it – I did not want it to just live in the closet – it is a nice cozy quilt that someone could enjoy. It was not the style of any of my family members or close friends. So I put it back in the closet.
Well yesterday this quilt discovered its new forever home at the spur of the moment.
I am a full-time telecommuter for my pay-the-bills-job. Yesterday afternoon I had a virtual meeting with a new colleague (the unit I work on recently transferred into her department). She mentioned during our meeting that she heard I was a quilter and wondered if I she could commission me to make a quilt for her daughter.
Her 12 year old daughter has a complex illness and is continually in and out of the hospital or extensive ongoing outpatient visits and treatment. While in the hospital or in outpatient treatment rooms, she is cold and the blankets they provide never really keep her warm plus they are impersonal communal blankets.
What she wanted for her daughter is her own quilt to take with her to keep her warm and cozy while she endures extensive ongoing medical treatments and evaluations.
I wanted to help but I do not have the bandwidth or interest at this point to do a commission quilt and offered to refer her to one of my quilting friends who might be interested. Then I remembered that I had a quilt currently available. So I asked her did she need a custom quilt and she replied no – she just wanted a cozy quilt for daughter.
I texted her a photo of the quilt and offered it as a gift for her daughter to keep her cozy during her treatments. My colleague immediately said yes and was overwhelmed with my impromptu offer. The amazing thing was that the quilt is in her daughter’s favorite colors!
I sewed a special label on the back of the quilt with her daughter’s name to reinforce that this was her very own quilt and it is packaged up for shipping out today:
The cool thing about this quilt is I think it has a lot of “love energy” contained in it because it is made from scraps and leftover blocks from quilts made for people I love in my life.
I hope that positive energy is felt by my colleague’s daughter as she is wrapped up in the quilt.
This make me think of the Artist Statement I wrote for my art quilt, The Recycled Love (see post The Recycled Love) that summarizes how I generally feel about quilts:
The first law of thermodynamics states that the total amount of energy in a system cannot be created nor destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another. A quilt is made from changing the existing “love energy” from the quilt maker’s heart into a pieced textile; ultimately recycling that love energy into the quilt’s recipient heart
The moment felt right yesterday afternoon for some impromptu quilt gifting.
…shinrin-yoku is the practice of walking slowly through the woods, in no hurry, for a morning, an afternoon or a day.
I listened to this amazing audiobook each morning as I walked through the trees lines streets of surrounding neighborhoods.
I already love trees and this book made me love and appreciate trees even more. Dr. Li discusses their healing powers in depth and the science behind it. Here is a review on amazon.com that provides a wonderful overview of this book:
This book by Dr. Qing Li, Chairman of the Japanese Society of Forest Medicine, describes a medical technology landmark. The description starts with the natural pleasant sensation that many people have, while spending time in a forest. The five human senses can all come into play – sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. The book then turns to aspects of healing. These include; reduced blood pressure, improved cardiovascular and metabolic activity, lower blood sugar levels, increasing the count of natural killer cells, and increasing production of anti-cancer proteins. These have been scientifically observed by comparing the profiles of people who have engaged in forest therapy with the profiles of control groups. The former significantly outrank the latter. This leads to a fundamental question. Is there a physically identifiable emanation in a forest that carries the healing power? The answer suggested is “yes”. It is called phytoncide and is produced by trees to protect them from afflictions. Scientific studies have shown that phytoncides can be of benefit to humans as well. While research is ongoing we should regard available evidence as pointing to a medical technology landmark.
One of the most magical places I’ve ever visited is the Hoh Rain Forest on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state.
Dr. Li mentions the Hoh Rain Forest in his book and that it is one of the quietest places on earth. It contains One Square Inch, a sanctuary for silence. According to the website: “It is an independent research project located in the Hoh Rain Forest of Olympic National Park, which is one of the most pristine, untouched, and ecologically diverse environments in the United States”.
If you have a moment, “google” images of the Hoh Rain Forest and you will find them amazing.
I feel so lucky to have spent a day wandering around the Hoh Rain Forest many years ago when we lived in Seattle and went on an Olympic Peninsula adventure. Now after listening to this audiobook I am planning a return trip to do some “forest bathing”.
Although I do not have a rainforest or a beautiful Japanese forest to wander through for my “forest bathing”, I have many wonderful tree-lined streets as well as woods to walk in Central Oregon.
Each day I go for my morning meditative walk and audiobook listen among the trees. Here are some of closeups of some of the trees I “bathe in” each morning during my walk (photographs taken as I walked under them):Listening to this audiobook on my walks, I wanted to honor and even touch each tree I passed and thank it for what is brings to the environment.
Trees are so unbelievably important and this book will give you a deep appreciation for Nature’s natural nurturing healers.
Involuntary attention requires no mental effort, it just comes naturally. This is the kind of attention we use when we are in nature. The soothing sights and sounds give our mental resources a break. They allow our minds to wander and to reflect, and so restore our capacity to think more clearly. – Dr. Qing Li
This is what happens when you do not sew your blocks together right away – they start falling to the floor!
I woke up yesterday morning to find blocks strewn about the floor. This was a tad irritating as I had to start over figuring out the layout in several sections (the quilt fits together like a puzzle) – I needed a walk in the forest to calm down (smile)!
So after work today I worked on sewing the piece together (at least large sections so that if they fall of the design wall, they will fall as a unit!) and will post in the future the completed quilt top.