Blog

The Library Stack

The (Ridiculously Large) Library Stack

Hmmm…

I might have overdone it this time with my public library stack:

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Last time I had an entry my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my stack of borrowed books from my local public library was May 2019, 6 months ago.

As I shared in my August 19th post, Morning Walk in Black and White, this summer I moved from my apartment to a house sharing situation – 35 miles away but still in the greater Denver metropolitan area.

When I moved, I had to change libraries as I moved to a new county. I really liked my public library in the first area of Denver, Colorado in which I lived (see post New Library in My Life!) and I was bummed to leave the sweet little library I could walk to.

My current library at my new housing situation is not too bad (and I can walk to it), the only thing is they do not have a good selection of crafting or home decor books (two of my favorite genres to borrow from the library).

However I discovered their online interlibrary loan system across the entire Denver metro area (numerous counties) and BAM – I now have access to lots of great titles.

Unfortunately I went a little “online-borrowing-request-crazy” and put too many books on hold at the same time through the online interlibrary loan system.

And they all came in at once…

Here is the new stack of the interlibrary loan books (they were quite the cumbersome stack to carry out of the library after check out):

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And here is the existing stack I already had at the house of library books:

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So when you combine them together you get this: The Ridiculously Large Library Stack!

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I was not even sure when to store all 18 books I have out on library loan.

Storing them in the sitting/reading room seemed like the best idea:

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Library books everywhere!

This morning I attacked the stack over breakfast…

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Lesson learned – I will not be so enthusiastic in reserving a large number online interlibrary book loans at once!

(Or I could just quit my job and read library books for a living…)

Life in B&W

Life in B&W: El Paso, Tx and Mesilla, NM

Continuing my series of posts Life in B&W, I thought I was share images from a trip to El Paso, Texas and a day trip to Mesilla, New Mexico with old friends. In El Paso we stayed downtown at a lovely hotel called Hotel Indigo.

Let’s consider this post a “photo essay” and I will just share the images without a lot of text.

El Paso, Texas

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Mesilla, New Mexico

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Yes I have a thing for doorways and windows in B&W.  The last photo is one of my favorites – I love the contrast of the white adobe structure to the wooden door.


Postscript

Only in El Paso…

Why drive to Starbucks when you can take your horse? Yes this is downtown El Paso, Texas.

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A Crafter's Life

The Ball of Yarn (which eventually became a hat)

Did you ever need or want to finish a craft project but the project itself had a great emotional weight?

Such is the case with a ball of variegated turquoise yarn in my yarn stash.

Last year near this time I was on a trip with friends to Santa Fe, New Mexico (see posts Santa Fe in Black and White and Creative Inspiration: Georgia O’Keeffe Museum). Sante Fe has many wonderful shops and we did a little winter hat shopping in the shops for my friend Michele who was looking for the perfect turquoise hat to compliment her turquoise winter coat.

After trying on several hats in several shops that did not work, I offered to knit her a hat using turquoise yarn.

When I returned to my home in Central Oregon, my late husband Terry and I went shopping for the perfect yarn and we found it – variegated turquoise yarn.

Terry was taking a break from making quilts and was just enjoying being my “crafting assistant” so he rolled the skein of yarn into a ball to make my hat knitting easier.

This was one of the last crafting things he worked on before he unexpectedly and suddenly died on 12/13/18.

So I had this ball of yarn, that he had wound into a ball.

I could barely touch it much less even think of knitting that hat.

However, as I’ve discovered during my first year journey of widowhood: crafting and making things are good for your spirit. Sometimes it seems like doing something with my hands is healing to my heart.

I began working on the hat in late Winter 2019 as I prepared for my move to Colorado (see series of posts Colorado Bound) to begin a new life adventure.

But it was difficult to work on and I put it away. Every time I picked up the ball of yarn I could picture Terry sitting on the sofa across from me rolling the ball of yarn, watching a TV show with me, and laughing. Some days I still cannot believe my beautiful life with him suddenly ended.

In early October on an unexpectedly snowy day in Denver, I realized that “Winter is Coming” and if my friend Michele was to have that turquoise hat for this winter, I needed to work on it.

And so I did.

Here is my favorite part of knitting a hat – when you switch to the double pointed needles:

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Here is the completed hat:

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And here is my lovely friend Michele in her new hat (which I gave her this weekend):

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I feel very peaceful after completing the hat. Terry was also a friend of Michele’s and he would be very pleased to see the hat completed. His work rolling the ball of yarn was not wasted!


Postscript

To close out this post, here is another inspirational sign from the collection of signs sprinkled about the restaurant I mentioned in yesterday’s post’s Postscript section:

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A Crafter's Life

A Lovely Surprise in the Mail

One of my blogging buddies, Sandra McCall of sandramccall.com sent me a lovely and thoughtful surprise in the mail earlier this week!

Sandra (Sandy) is a published craft book author (check out examples of some of her books on this link – amazon.com) and has a wonderful website/blog filled with home decorating, crafting and cooking ideas – sandramccall.com.

I forgot how I originally discovered her blog but I’ve especially enjoyed her posts on dollhouse miniatures such as this one: Dollhouse Closet,Fabric and RUGS!

I’ve always been fascinated by dollhouses and miniatures and it is amazing what she makes on a small scale!

The lovely and thoughtful surprise I received from Sandy earlier this week was a stack of some of her books (and a couple bonus books by other authors) and a handmade wrap bracelet!

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I’m really enjoying the bracelet, I’ve been wearing it everywhere!

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Postscript

I continue to explore Denver, my home of now of nearly 8 months. This weekend I had lunch at the JUST BE KITCHEN in the South Platte River front area.

Sprinkled about the restaurant was awesome inspirational signs and I wanted to share two of my favorites (the latter one was in the restroom):

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Beastie Adventures

Beastie Guest Blogger: Checking in on her progress

Well Tierney on the road (well in the air) again, this time for a quick business trip to Portland, Oregon for a meeting. So I am going to be the guest blogger on this post.

Do you all miss me? It’s been a long since you heard from me. I was packed away along with Mikelet (I know, I know, you are thinking of reporting Tierney for Beastie-neglect but we should give her a break since she been through a lot this past year…).

Now we have a nice home in Tierney’s new studio:

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It now Autumn in the Denver, Colorado area and getting kind of cold so it is sweater time!

Oh, but if you are new to this blog, I guess I should first introduce myself:

My name is tierneycreates Beastie and I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. You can read my story at I’m A Monster!!!. You can also check out the other posts I’ve had to guest blog on (i.e. when Tierney fell off the blogging-wagon) in the series of posts: Beastie Adventures.

I think the last time I guest blogged, I was complaining about the physical spot (in a box in the closet!) where she had me living in her first studio after moving to the Denver greater metropolitan area.

Here is that post if you want to be shocked and appalled like I was: Another Beastie Blogging Intervention: New Studio Tour, Part III.

I must warn you, Beasties are notorious for making things all about themselves (just check out the blogs Crawcrafts Beasties  and Tammie Painter and you will see what I mean!) but I am going to try to focus on the primary subject on this post – an update on Tierney’s post from 10/13/19 –  The “Madness” Returns (though a post just about me would be much more interesting!)

So Tierney has finished about 14 little wallets so far. It is not a very impressive number but at least she’s gotten off to some sort of start in replacing her previous stash:

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Only 13 in the photo because she already gave one recently as a gift

I inspected her work and provided feedback that she needs a lot more color and fabric combinations:

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Do like the fact that I could use one of the little wallets as a suitcase?

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Of course I only have one other article of clothing – my warm weather shirt. Eventually I need Tierney to place an order at crawcraftsbeasties.com to expand my wardrobe!

Tierney does have other additional color/fabric combinations in progress:

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I guess if she wasn’t flying around everywhere all the time she could buckle down and get a larger variety of little wallets done!

She won’t allow me to use the rotary cutter or scissors so I cannot help her. We won’t talk about the time one of her quilting friends loaned me a rotary cutter at a quilt retreat…(Guest Blogger: October Quilt Retreat Part I).

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Perhaps not the best idea…

Postscript

As long as I am guest blogging, I might as well also give you a follow up to Tierney’s 08/30/19 post New Studio.

Tierney’s been moving things around and playing with a slightly different layout.

Most importantly, she put me and Mikelet on top of this “pre-cut bookcase” so that we are prominently displayed in her studio (where we can closely watch over her crafting):

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She also moved some stuff around after sewing in the room a couple weeks, to make it work better for her.

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So many precuts…maybe they are breeding when Tierney not looking…

Tierney loves this colorful display of books and recently found one of the books she was missing from the “Pretty Little” series, Pretty Little Pillows, at a charity yard sale.

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Perhaps she’ll do something crazy one day and actually MAKE crafts and quilts from these books on display!

Oh one more thing – remember how Tierney mentioned in her 09/27/19 post A New Way to Organize My Fabric, that she had more fabric to organize?

Well she finally did: she organized her flannels, canvas, novelty prints and panels in the shelves in her studio.

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So with the fabric above, plus the pre-cuts, plus the fabric below in this photo, Tierney should give up sleeping and starting crafting/quilting 24/7 (and we will not even mention her collection of fabric scraps at this point).

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And I will supervise her!

Special Events, Stories My Father Told Me

The “Dad Quilt” Has Come Home

I am working on this post from 40,000 feet, at least I think that is what the pilot said over the intercom a little while ago. I thought I would treat myself and pay for the flight WiFi service as I travel from Denver to El Paso Texas to visit old friends.

Unfortunately the in flight WiFi appears not have the bandwidth to handle adding images to this post, so I will have to return to the post when I land and add in images.

Speaking of traveling, my quilt The Lesson & The Equation which toured in the traveling exhibit Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’ Conscience, has been returned to me as the show has completed its schedule tour.

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The show’s curator, Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, did an excellent job of packaging up the quilt for return to me and I learned a lot about how a quilt should actually be packaged for mailing. Thinking about mailing quilts, reminds me of a post I did early in my blogging adventures (September 2014) in which I share a near disaster the first time I mailed a quilt into a show –True Tale of Shipping Terror (and Packaging Obsessions).

I so appreciate my friend and the amazing art quilter Wendy Hill (Instagram – @wendyquilter) who mentored me on mailing quilts to shows.

The “Dad Quilt” Comes Home

I nicknamed the art quilt I made for the show Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’ Conscience The Dad Quilt. The quilt was inspired by the lessons I learned from my father Raoul A. Davis, Sr.

If you are new to this blog, the links below can catch you up to speed on creation of this quilt and the amazing show it got to be in if you check out this series of posts: Stories My Father Told Me.

Here are the series of posts about the Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’ Conscience show opening:

And here is the post from April 2016 that inspired the journey of this quilt: Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me

Now the quilt is back with me and I hung it in what used to be sort of a formal living room or parlor in the house I now live in. I “Tierney-fied” the room.

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I turned it into a reading room where my partner and I now like to sit and read.

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The room is perfect for sitting with a pot of tea and a book, or snuggling with a miniature schnauzer (Mike the Miniature Schnauzer is awaiting his snuggles):

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Why are you taking photos? Why are you not snuggling with me? – Mike

The quilt is featured in the book from the exhibit, which is available on amazon.com:

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I repurposed a cookbook stand to feature the book in the room near the quilt:

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Sometimes I talk to the quilt and say hello to my father. I sort of feel like the quilt watches over me!


Postscript

You’ve likely figured it out that I’ve now landed as there are images now in this post. Not only have I landed but it is actually the next day and I am sitting in the hotel lobby finishing this post.

I am staying in a lovely hotel in downtown El Paso and guess what images they have on the wall of the hotel rooms:

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It was awesome to sleep under antique sewing machines!

 

Studio

The “Madness” Returns

The madness has returned.

Little Wallet Making Madness!

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I am back to making a massive amount of little wallets inspired by Valori Wells’ pattern (which I modified), just as I discussed in this 2017 post Little Wallet Madness.

Some of you might remember the little wallets being part of my October 2017 and 2018 “Bloganniversary” giveaways. Well it is now October 2019 which means it is my blog’s 6th anniversary.

However, given the major change in my life over the last year, I may or may not do a 6th blog anniversary celebration like I did in the past…we’ll see how I feel later in the month.

It’s not like last year, where for my 5th blog anniversary I posted daily for 30 days and did a series of (what I thought was) awesome giveaways.

Honestly, thoughts of my blog anniversary makes me sad as it makes me think of how Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH), who passed in December 2018, used to help me do the blog anniversary giveaway drawings along with Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer (who passed in December 2017 and used to have her own blog, Schnauzerships) who ensured the integrity of the drawings (see post Announcing the Winners of the tierneycreates Blog’s 4th Anniversary Giveaway).

During previous blog anniversary Octobers, I would share links from favorite previous posts, like a “Best of tierneycreates”, but so many of those posts are loaded with memories of my previous wonderful (darn near perfect) life with TTQH.

But next year is my 7th year of blogging anniversary and my hope is I do a blowout sort of celebration for that one! Time does help ease the pain of loss a little at a time. So bear with me (smile).

Oh but back to little wallets, the original subject of this blog post…

I had a HUGE stash of little wallets after making so many like in this photo from September 2017:

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Recently though I got down to only two wallets left:

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Oh and if you are new to this blog and are curious what the little wallets look like on the inside, here is a photo:

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I have a ridiculous amount of tierneycreates business cards and each little wallet comes with a business card tucked inside.

SIDEBAR: It’s the tierneycreates business card that gave it away when I discovered one of my little wallets in a thrift shop, that obvious someone I had given one to had donated it – see post Found! At the Thrift Shop!. I ended up buying the little wallet for 50 cents from the thrift shop and then regifting it.

So it was time to make another stash of little wallets, so I pulled out a bunch of fat quarters and fabric scraps and got busy designing little wallets:

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The images above are just a couple of the combinations I am working on and in a future post I will share the plethora of wallets I made to replenish my little wallet stash!


Postscript

A quick follow up to the September 27, 2019 post A New Way to Organize My Fabric, I finished refolding my ridiculous fat quarter collection and now have them organized (except for novelty fat quarters) in front of the yardage that I wrapped in the comic boards:

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I have to admit sometimes I just walk in the room and smile as this colorful organization makes me happy!

By the way – this is not all the fabric (should I even admit this?) – I do have separate organization for my flannel, canvas, and novelty fabrics that I recently created. Perhaps I will share this in a future post (if I am ready for full disclosure of my ridiculous fabric stash).

Speaking of stuff that makes me happy – two weeks ago my little brother visited me in Denver along with his family. He had a “milestone” birthday and we celebrated by taking him to his first NFL game to see his favorite football team of all time – the Denver Broncos. Here I am below with my brother and my adorable 7 year old nephew who thoroughly enjoyed the game (and danced in the stands during the music breaks!)

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Much to the chagrin of my Pacific NW friends, I’ve sort of defected from being a Seattle Seahawks fan to a Denver Broncos fan (though I still root for the Seahawks if they are not playing the Broncos).

Sunflowers!

Savoring the Sunflowers

I love sunflowers so much I have a series of posts about them – Sunflowers!.

In late summer 2019, I added some sunflowers to my new life for two reasons: 1) in honor of the beauty of my previous life; and 2) in gratitude that I have been able to experience beauty in my life again despite my ongoing grieving of the loss of my husband last December.

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In April this year I left my life in Central Oregon behind and moved to the greater Denver metropolitan area (see series of posts Colorado Bound). My house sold in May and for the first time in my life I lived alone in an apartment.

As I shared in my post 08/18/19 post Morning Walk in Black and White, my dog Mike and I moved this summer from my apartment into a house. Living in a house now gave me access to a garden again.

I have been careful not to try and recreate the life I previously had in Central Oregon while my husband was alive, but I did want to bring a little special beauty into it and I planted sunflower seeds early in the summer in the front and back yards.

And they grew.

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And they made my smile and brought some joy into my life.

We decided to harvest the seeds (the sunflowers are all done flowering now) and replant them next Spring – they are currently drying in the garage:

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I hope next summer to enjoy sunflowers from these seeds. These sunflowers were special because they reminded me that I can still enjoy beauty in my life.


Postscript

Fall is here in the greater Denver metro area and the summer flowers are dying off but there is still so much beauty all around.

I went for a walk this weekend on the hiking trails behind where I live and had a lovely walk through marshlands:

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And visited with a butterfly:

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Studio

A New Way to Organize My Fabric

As I mentioned in the Postscript section of my previous post, The Tale of Three Tulas, Part III, I’ve been working on a new fabric organization system.

For years in my the studio in my previous residence as well as my current residence, I’ve stored my fabric flat like this:

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However for years I’ve been inspired by people who store their fabric like this:

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My quilting sister Dana’s studio

Or like this (from the post Feb 2019 post Quilter’s Studio and House Tour):

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In the first of the above images, my friend Dana used empty fabric bolts she got from quilt shops that had extras, which she cut in half.

In the second and third images, another quilter used recycled cardboard that she cut to size.

I loved the idea of vertical fabric yardage storage but did not want to go through the effort to collect empty bolts from fabric stores and cut them in half; nor did I want to cut recycled cardboard to uniform size.

I knew there must be another option (one I could buy) so I did a bit a googling and first I found what I would consider overpriced options such as “mini bolt board” on online fabric stores. etc. That was not going to work, at those prices, I would just keep my fabric yardage stored flat.

A bit more googling revealed less expensive options such as using comic backing boards for fabric storage!

Then I found this YouTube video on how to do it:

Brilliant!

I ordered a couple hundred of these boards and got to folding! (I got them from Amazon.com and you can find them by searching “Comic Book Boards”. I ordered the Size 6 3/4 X 10 1/2 size because it fit well in my cubbies) 

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I decided to repurpose my IKEA cubby bookshelves in my home office to be a combination of books and fabric, and arranged my fabric yardage by color:
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I am quite pleased, it is like having my own fabric shop – ha!

In case you are wondering, I was able to organize onto the comic backing boards fabric cuts from a quarter yard to five (5) yards!

Here are more photos with close ups of many of the cubbies filled with fabrics:

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You will notice that many of the cubbies have stacks of fat quarters in front of the vertically arranged fabrics. Inspired by the YouTube video I shared earlier in the post, I’ve begun uniformly refolding some of my favorite fat quarters to place with yardage of the same color.

(Fat Quarter – a quarter yard of fabric cut into a rectangle that measures 18″ x 21″, commonly packaged with other fat quarters into a themed fat quarter pack.)

Mike the Miniature Schnauzer was very patient during my fabric reorganization project. He napped with various piles of fabric waiting to be folded as in the photo I shared in my previous post:

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So here’s a question for the crafters reading this post: Do any of you store your fabric vertically like this; or do you store you fabric in flat folds?


Postscript

So what became of the hanging shelves in the closet in my studio where I was storing my fabric?

Well I repurposed them to hold batting and interfacing:

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A Crafter's Life, Tula Time!

The Tale of Three Tulas, Part III

Now you will truly be able to sleep through the night and have an actual restful slumber, as this post will complete my series of posts following up on the three Tula Pink All Stars fabric line inspired quilts my two quilting sisters (Judy and Dana) and I began in 2018.

If you are just starting with this post, the two recent previous posts are:

The Tale of Three Tulas, Part I (Dana’s quilt)

The Tale of Three Tulas, Part II (Judy’s quilt)

In this third post, I will share my Tula Pink All Stars fabric inspired quilt, Tula in the Box, and why it took me so long to finish it.


Tierney’s Quilt: Tula in the Box

The last time I blogged about the creation of this quilt was back in December 6, 2018, in this post: Tula in a Box.

This was 7 days before my husband Terry, who was known as “Terry the Quilting Husband” or “TTQH” on this blog, suddenly and unexpectedly died.

Here is TTQH from that post helping me lay out the quilt on the large design wall in the hallway of my former home in Central Oregon:

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The night that Terry died, this quilt in progress was still up on the design wall.

A couple days after he passed I took the quilt blocks and sashing down and put it away as with this shocking, actually devastating, change to my previoulsy wonderful life, I had no desire to finish this quilt (or any quilt ever again at that point).

In the depth of my grief during January 2019, I convinced myself to finish the quilt top in his honor (Tula in a Box Quilt Top Finished):

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I also got myself to send it off to the long-arm quilter, Krista Moser (who quilted all three of our Tula Pink All Stars fabric quilts).

In late Winter 2019 I made a brief visit to the Seattle, Washington area to visit with my quilting sisters Judy and Dana and to attend the 2019 Sewing & Stitchery Expo (Sew Expo). While at the Expo we ran into Krista Moser who had a booth promoting her new line of quilting rulers and patterns:

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Unfortunately she was backlogged with long-arm quilting orders and so it would be another month or so before mine was finished but she would mail it to my new home in Colorado (if you are new to this blog you can check out the story of my move from Oregon to Colorado in this series of posts – Colorado Bound)

Krista is such a brilliant young entrepreneur who began long-arm quilting around 14. You can check out her blog at The Quilted Life.

By the way, I did blog a little bit about the 2019 Sew Expo on this post – .Fabric Fangirl Frenzy

Now where were we in my story, I got distracted remembering the fun I had during Sew Expo 2019.

Oh yes, so I finished the Tula in the Box quilt in honor of TTQH and shipped the quilt top and backing (which I purchased in Washington State while visiting Judy and Dana during Sew Expo 2019) to the long-arm quilter.

In May 2019 I got the quilt back from the long-arm quilter but it took me until the end of June 2019 to put the binding on it and finish it.

Here is the quilt on the wall of my Colorado studio with the euro lounger I used to have in the studio:

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And here is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer lounging in the studio:

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The euro lounger is now out of my studio (it took up too much space) and was moved to the upstairs guest room/home office, but the finished quilt is still up on the wall:

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I’ve made a couple changes/updates to my quilt studio since my post New Studio, and I will share updated photos in a future post.

So that is my story of the quilt. Thanks for reading these three posts to close out the story!


Postscript

Speaking of Mike the Miniature Schnauzer on a euro lounger – here is a recent photo of Mike napping with a pile of purple fabrics in my home office/upstairs guest room:

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Why is he napping on a pile of fabrics? Well those fabrics are about to be put into my new fabric organization system! That will be a future blog post once I get my project complete. I am excited to share as I feel like I now have the best system of fabric yardage organization since I began quilting in 1999!

Tula Time!

The Tale of Three Tulas, Part II

Hello – I am continuing my posts on the completed Tula Pink All Stars fabric line inspired three quilts my two quilting sisters and I completed.

Sunday’s post began this series of three posts – The Tale of Three Tulas, Part I.

Let me back up – I forgot to share out original plan for these three quilts. We formulated the idea during our May 2018 quilt retreat with the plan to submit our quilts to be shown together at the 2019 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (we imagined them hanging side by side flapping in the wind at this amazing outdoor show held annual in Sisters, Oregon).

We came up with this plan while I still lived in Central Oregon and before my beloved husband Terry (Terry the Quilting Husband) unexpectedly passed away in December 2018. With my major life changes and the fact I did not complete the quilt until a couple months ago, that did not happen (but it still could someday!)

Although we were using the same sets of Tula Pink All Stars fat quarters, and agreed to each create 36 blocks, we decided to each have a different theme for our quilts:

  • Tula All Stars – Dana
  • Tula In the Box – Tierney
  • Tula Outside the Box – Judy

Sunday’s post was about Dana’s Tula All Stars quilt featuring only star blocks. Today’s post features Judy’s quilt Tula Outside the Box in which she not only used the Tula Pink All Stars fabric line but she also used fabric from other Tula Pink fabric lines.

Additionally, to really keep it “out of the box”, Judy used random block patterns with no block similar (even if she used the same pattern, she completed changed the color and the layout).


Judy’s Quilt: Tula Outside the Box

Here are photos which include the standard “quilt with feet” photo where you have someone hold up the quilt so you can photograph it!

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If you look closely at the photo above, you can see the top of Judy’s awesome husband Bob’s head peeking out. This quilt has no feet but it does have a top of the head!

Judy is my original “quilting sister” as she is the one who got me into quilting in the late 1990s! I have a lovely core group of quilting friends, even if they live in other states.

On my to-do list someday is to begin making quilting friends in Colorado.

Judy’s quilt was also beautifully quilted by Krista Moser (who quilted all three of our Tula Pink All Stars fabric quilts).

Next post I will share my Tula In the Box quilt and share little bit on why it was so difficult to complete my quilt – but I finally did it!

Tula Time!

The Tale of Three Tulas, Part I

It’s the middle of the night. Suddenly you bolt up in bed, your sheets drenched with your cold sweat…unable to return to sleep.

Why?

Because, you are still anxiously waiting for the conclusion to my series of posts Tula Time!

So for the three of you reading this blog who remember this series of posts (smile), I thought I would close out this series with three posts about the three quilts that my quilting friends Dana, Judy and I made from our collection of Tula Pink All Stars Fat Quarters.

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A year ago at my friend Laurie’s vacation property in Sunriver, Oregon, I had a weekend quilt retreat with two of my Washington based quilting sisters. At this retreat Judy, Dana and I worked on our quilt blocks created from the Tula Pink All Stars fabric line.

I wrote several blog posts about this retreat in case you would like read them

Tula Pink “All Stars” Retreat (Part I)

Tula Pink “All Stars” Retreat (Part II)

Well we’ve all finished the quilts and they have been professionally long-arm quilted and in this series of posts I will share some images.


Dana’s Quilt: Tula All Stars

Dana named her quilt Tula All Stars and created 36 star pattern blocks for her quilt.

Dana was the first to finish her quilt top – as a matter of fact, she began making her star block at our Quilting Sister Retreat in Vancouver Washington in May 2018 as I shared in these posts:

Please Vote On The Color!

The Votes Are In!

Here is photo of her initial blocks she made during the May 2018 retreat:

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Dana was the first to finish her quilt top but the last to sew down her binding after she got it back from the long-arm quilter. I kept harassing her for photos so I could feature her quilt in a series of posts to close out the story.

She texted me a photo a couple weeks ago of her working hard to get the binding sewn down to complete the quilt and take photos for me:

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Recently Dana sent me the photos of the photoshoot she did for me of her completed quilt, which was beautifully quilted by Krista Moser (who quilted all three of our Tula Pink All Stars fabric quilts).

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Beautiful, huh?

Next post I will share images of Judy’s quilt, Tula Outside the Box. 

Aren’t you glad you are finally going to get a decent night sleep now that you know what became of the three quilts from our Tula Pink themed retreat last September? (I am addressing the three people who remember my series of posts from last year, ha!)


Postscript

Just in case you’ve never heard of Tula Pink, she is a popular quilting fabric designer and teacher. I was fortunate enough to meet her a couple of years ago at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 40th Anniversary event when I lived in Central Oregon.

My friend Dana is a huge Tula Pink fan and has worked with her fabrics for years. She even has a collection of early/”vintage”/rare Tula Pink fabrics and belongs to a Tula Pink aficionado online group.

Through friends she met in this group, several weeks ago, she was able to attend a Tula Pink quilt retreat in Alaska – with Tula Pink herself! She took her daughter Kaite with her and Dana was kind enough to provide me with this collage of photos from that event to share in this post:

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A Crafter's Life, tierneycreates

New Studio

As a follow up to my previous post Morning Walk in Black and White, where I mentioned that I am now living in a house and have a new quilting studio, in this post I am sharing photos of my new studio.

When I moved into my new housing situation earlier this summer, the first thing my new roommate did was build a design wall in the back bedroom he offered to me as my studio:

2019-06-24_16-57-15_034.jpegOne of his hobbies is wood working and he also offered to build me a center cutting table. I said “let me use what I brought with me for now (fold up tables) and see how the rooms develops”.

The rest of this post is a photo tour of my new studio. You may notice the strong turquoise like color on the wall. The room came with that color and since someday my roommate is thinking of selling his home and us possibly moving to a new home together, I declined his offer to paint the room a neutral color at this time.

To embrace the turquoise color for now, I hung my Tula Pink All Stars fabric quilt (which has a LOT of turquoise and aqua in it) on the wall as you will see in the images below. If you are new to this blog, the saga of its quilt is in this series of posts – Tula Time!. By the way – my friends Judy and Dana have also finished their Tula Pink quilts and I will share images in a future post. 

So here is the photo tour of my “temporary” new studio. If we end up moving to a new home together someday, I am going to design my new studio to be my dream studio this time (if I learned anything from the tragic and sudden loss of my husband in 2018, it is that life is short and you need to live your dreams, do not wait!). Since my roommate, who I should actually start referring to as “my partner”, loves to build things, I plan to take full advantage of his skills for my dream studio design!

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As you can see in several of the photos above, I repurposed an old armoire into crafting and fat quarter storage. I also repurposed an old card table found in the basement’s storage room into a center table.

That table also serves as a Mike the Miniature Schnauzer nesting space!

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You might also remember in the photos above (but I am posting it below also), a short long black bookcase looking thing. This was an old CD/DVD storage bookshelf I found in my partner’s basement storage room that I repurposed to hold my favorite fat quarters (I have an obscenely large collection of fat quarters as I confessed in the post Quilt Studio Archaeology and Purge, Part III (re-post))

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Postscript

In my preceding photos, you might have noticed a work in progress on the design wall. I will discuss it in a future post as I continue my series of posts What’s on the Design Wall.

Here is an additional photo I took during my photo shoot for this post of some of the recycled home decor fabrics I am considering for this piece (actually a series of pieces):

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If you’ve been following my blog for a long time and have a scary supernatural level of memory, you might remember these pieces from this post – What’s Simmering on the Design Wall.

Life in B&W, Sunflowers!

Morning Walk in Black and White

Continuing my series of posts Life in B&W, I thought I was share some images from a recent morning walk near where I am now living in the Denver Greater Metropolitan area.

But first I thought I would share some news/update you on my life…

I’ve Moved – from Urban to Suburban

Those of you who followed my blog for a while know that earlier this year (April 2019) I moved from Central Oregon to the greater Denver Metropolitan area, after my husband Terry suddenly passed in December 2018.

I moved from a home in Central Oregon to a two-bedroom apartment in the Denver area. and tried to stay positive about a new “living on my own apartment adventure” (the first time I’ve lived on my own in my life). However, little did I know how much I would dislike apartment living after living in a home most of my life. As well as how much I would dislike living without another human in my residence.

Mike my miniature schnauzer disliked apartment living also – he missed having a backyard to play ball in. Early morning, during the day and late in the evening, I had to take him on either a quick or longer walk for him to “do his business” and this became tedious. Additionally there were sketchy areas and a large homeless population near where I was living. Mike and I had one scary experience where a homeless man from the park near my apartment followed us for several blocks in a stalking manner.

In May I met a friend at the new Spousal Loss Grief Support group I was attending in the Denver area who also loss his spouse and was interested in having a roommate for his large house. He had a nice backyard that backed up onto a green space and walking trail and he really liked Miniature Schnauzers (his favorite dog breed)!

So a couple months ago I left my apartment in an urban area and moved to the suburbs and I am very happy (and so is Mike).

Plus it is wonderful to have a roommate who understands the depth of the grief of losing their spouse/lifetime partner and we’ve been a great support to each other. It is not something I want anyone to experience in order to understand. As I’ve discussed with numerous other widows and widowers, unless you’ve personally experienced this unique and devastating loss, you absolutely do not have a clue (and you are not in any position to offer any life advice to someone who has lost their spouse, all you can do is support and respect them on their journey) or can even imagine what they are dealing with.

You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.Anne Lamott

With that background, I can now share with you some images in B&W I took with my smartphone on a morning walk near my new residence (by the way, I thought I was going to live an edgier urban life but I am a suburban girl at heart.)

Morning Walk in Black & White

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As part of my walk I had to go through a tunnel under the road to cross from one side of a busy street to the other. I was absolutely fascinated with the tunnel in B&W:

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Postscript

Now that I live in a house, I also have a yard in order to plant things. One of the early thing I planted was sunflower seeds. If you are a longtime follower of my blog you might remember my obsession with sunflowers (see series of posts – Sunflowers!)

Recently the first sunflower from three large pots of sunflowers I planted has begun to bloom:
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I suspect I might have a future post about sunflowers when all three pots of sunflowers are in bloom!

And speaking of future posts – I have a new studio in my new residence.

If you remember my posts from May 2019 (“Oh Scrap”, Part II and New “Studio” Tour and New Studio Tour, Part II) I shared images from my new apartment “Studio/Guest Bedroom”:

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I now have a dedicated Studio – a room for creating that I do not have to share with any guest – ha! So I will do a future post about my Studio, but here is a sneak peak with an image of the design wall my roommate built me and a work in progress:

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A Crafter's Life, Quilt Shop Tours

Fancy Tiger Crafts, Denver CO

As promised in my previous post, this post will be about TEXTILES!

A couple of months ago, my dear quilting sister Dana was visiting the Denver, Colorado area (see post Greetings from Colorado) and we got together with her and her daughter Kaite (and darling grandchild) and went to a magical crafting shop in downtown Denver – Fancy Tiger Crafts.

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This was my first visit to this shop as I am new to the Denver Metropolitan area.

Upon entering the shop, I quickly realized that if your needs are related to the textile arts – they have it: spinning, knitting, needlework, other needle arts, dressmaking, quilting, bag making, etc.

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Here detailed look inside their shop (which we suspect is outside the normal space-time continuum because we spent a lot longer in the shop that we thought we did…).

Knitting, Spinning, Crocheting, Felting, Wool Craft

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And don’t forget the spinning wheel!

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Dressmaking & Garment Sewing

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Quilting

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Other Fun Stuff in the Shop

The shop also had all sort of fun things – like cool tote bags:

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And Crafter Merit Badges!

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I bought this one:

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I loved the decor – here are a couple images of the fun and funky decorations in the shop:

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Photos of Friends Shopping

Here are a couple photos of my friend Dana delightfully shopping at Fancy Tiger Crafts for the first time:

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Her talented crafter daughter Kaite and Kaite’s delightful 4 year old daughter selected this fabric during our shopping adventure for matching outfits:

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We tried to leave the shop after we made our initial purchases several times. Something kept drawing us back as we tried to leave the shop. I think we revisited the counter/register at least twice!

A Return Visit

After my initial visit, which I did post some photos from on my @tierneycreates Instagram account, my Central Oregon friends Wendy and Pat sent me gift cards for Fancy Tiger Crafts!

So a couple of weeks ago I returned on my own and bought some goodies:

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All pieces are canvas weight and I am thinking about some cool pouches or tote bags with these remnants.


Postscript

If you’ve following my blog for a while and Dana’s name sounds familiar, she has been featured in several other posts include the series of posts – Tula Time! (someday I need to post her completed Tula Pink All Stars quilt as well as my friend Judy’s completed quilt); and more recently Fabric Fangirl Frenzy.

A Crafter's Life

Salt of the Earth

I began drafting this post prior to the recent series of deadly mass shootings across the United States. I am eager to return to blogging, however I thought this was too an upbeat a post to make in light of the recent somber events.

Then I thought – perhaps during these dark times it is good to post a reminder about the good people in the world we meet in our daily lives…


Dictionary.com defines the term “salt of the earth” as follows:

“An individual or group considered as representative of the best or noblest elements of society.”

This term wonderfully describes the kind of people I’ve met and keep meeting since moving to Colorado.

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Colorado State Flag, zumper.com

If you are new to my blog, I moved to the greater Denver metropolitan area in April 2019 to start a new life after the sudden death of my husband (Terry the Quilting Husband)      and over the past several months I’ve been settling into my new life and exploring the region (see post Greetings from Colorado and the series of posts Colorado Bound).

I knew Colorado was an awesome state with lots to do, little did I know just how warm, friendly and helpful many of its residents are!

Let me share an example (actually multiple examples).

Schnauzerfest!

Moving to Colorado meant leaving my beloved veterinary office and finding a new vet for my Miniature Schnauzer, Mike. I selected a vet based on Google reviews and comments and I was not disappointed.

During Mike’s first visit to his new vet. she connected me with a group of local Miniature Schnauzer aficionados which included one of her best friends. Mike and I got invited to the annual Miniature Schnauzer Club picnic which was like attending “Miniature Schnauzer Fest”! 

The photos below will illustrate this better than I could describe and Mike enjoyed hanging out with his new friends, after he recovered from the shock of so many furry people that looked like him in one place!

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A Proper Grooming

I’ve struggled with finding a good dog groomer for my dog Mike. If you want a Miniature Schnauzer to look like a traditional Miniature Schnauzer, you need groom your dog regularly.

A couple months ago, I tried out a mobile groomer and unfortunately Mike was groomed more like a Bichon Frise instead of a Miniature Schnauzer:

Bichon Frise:

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Photo by Viktor Talashuk on Unsplash

Miniature Schnauzer:

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Wikipedia

I tried to fix the disappointing grooming myself but Mike ended up looking like a blindfolded, highly sedated dog groomer did the grooming!

Luckily at the Miniature Schnauzer Picnic, I met Carol, a highly seasoned dog groomer with extensive experience in grooming Miniature Schnauzers including competitive show dogs. She even showed a couple dogs herself at the Westminster Dog Show years ago.

We tried to schedule an appointment but had one challenge – she only  had spots open in the middle of the week and she lives 32 miles away from me. I telecommute for my work in the health care industry and my middle of the week is peppered with conference calls.

She has a dog grooming station inside her home and she suggested that I come telecommute at her house for the morning/day while she groomed Mike!

And so I did! Not only did she let me telecommute from her house while she lovingly and meticulously groomed Mike, but she even gave me beverages and snacks – homemade lemon poppyseed cake!

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I had so much fun telecommuting from her kitchen table while we discussed life and miniature schnauzers! Here are some photos of Mike transforming into a properly groomed Miniature Schnauzer!

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In addition to great conversation, exceptional dog grooming, and wonderful snacks – she also gave me a tour of her lovely garden and gave me a bag of fresh garlic from her garden to take home!

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She hand washed Mike’s collar before she began grooming him and had me hang it on the clothesline in the garden to dry!

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Finally, as an added bonus, she has 4 or so of her own Miniature Schnauzers, so there was lots of Miniature Schnauzer cuteness going on at her home!

I got three of them to stand still for a photo:

2019-07-17_13-02-54_764.jpegOf course every proper Miniature Schnauzer Aficionado has lots of Schnauzer related decorations in their home and she was no exception:

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I know this post was likely “Schnauzer Overload” and hopefully you will quickly recover (smile).

My telecommuting visit with my new dog groomer and the opportunity to hang out with other Miniature Schnauzer Aficionados (or perhaps “Obsessives” in a more accurate term) has only increased my feeling of being so “welcomed” to Colorado.

Every day I continue to meet warm, friendly, kind, generous, and welcoming, “salt of the earth” people in this state.

But these few are the salt of the earth; without them, human life would become a stagnant pool. Not only is it they who introduce good things which did not before exist, it is they who keep the life in those which already existed. – John Stuart Mill


Postscript

I promise my next post will be crafting/quilting related!

The tagline of my blog for tierneycreates is “a fusion of textiles and smiles“. I hope this post induced a little smile across your face. The “textiles” part will return next post!


Feature Photo by Jason Tuinstra on Unsplash

A Crafter's Life, Outside Adventures!

Greetings from Colorado

Hello Blogging Buddies! Long time no hear, right?

Well I’ve been busy settling into my home in the Greater Denver Metropolitan Area (if you are new to this blog see my series of post “Colorado Bound“). Now I am ready to return to blogging about my Colorado, crafting and other adventures.

First Visitors

So far I’ve had four visitors since I’ve moved to Colorado.

My first visitor was my brother Raoul, who was in Denver for a business meeting the same day I moved into my apartment! So along with my friends Jason, Michele and Blair, he helped unpack me! I forgot to take photos during his brief one day visit, so none to share.

My second visitor was my sister and we had fun taking my miniature Mike in his backpack into downtown Denver via the light rail and wander around sightseeing. Here is my sister Rianna with Mike her back:

2019-05-02_11-53-15_0872019-05-01_16-59-03_034My sister (by the way I have one sister and one brother and we are all very close) is exceptionally fun and we had a blast during her visit.

She enjoys shopping adventures and we even took Mike with us to a store called Nordstroms Rack and made him go shoe shopping with us!

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We also both enjoy going to thrift shops (see my series of posts Thrift Shop Adventures) and had a laugh at these shoes we found at a thrift shop chain store called Buffalo Exchange:

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These shoes would be perfect for running, don’t you agree??!?!?!

My sister is exceptionally more glamorous than me, and here we are attending Trivia Night at a local pub (we came in last place in trivia but had a blast):

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My sister on left, me on right (note we’ve been drinking adult beverages all evening, ha!)

My third visitor was my “Quilting Sister” Dana who was visiting her daughter who also lives in the Greater Denver Metro area. I will have a separate post about that visit as we had a wonderful outing to a very cool crafting shop!

But here is a preview (Dana craft shop shopping):

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My fourth visitor was my friend Jenny who came for a long weekend. She is very outdoor adventurous so we went for a short hike in the Flatiron mountain area of Boulder, Colorado as well as explored downtown Boulder.

Here are photos from our hike/wander about Chautauqua Park:

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I love this series of photos I took as Jenny took in the amazing views:

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Here we are wandering around the Pearl Street Mall area in Boulder, Colorado:

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My next visitor will be my original “Quilting Sister” Judy – the woman who taught me how to quilt. She visits in August.

I will be busy traveling a bit in July but I am going to plan to attempt (that sounds so committed doesn’t it?) to keep up with my blog and also catch up on the blogs I follow.


Postscript

Are you surprised that my tierneycreates Beastie (see Beastie Adventures) has not stepped in and written a post? She has been busy herself and she will have a future post of her adventures in the future.

Oh and yes, this is primarily a quilting/crafting blog and perhaps someday I will share a post about such topics (smile).

Quilt Shop Tours

Hawaiian Quilt Exhibit: Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum

According to Wikipedia:

A Hawaiian quilt is a distinctive quilting style of the Hawaiian Islands that uses large radially symmetric applique patterns. Motifs often work stylized botanical designs in bold colors on a white background.

Hawaiian quilt applique is made from a single cut on folded fabric.Quilting stitches normally follow the contours of the applique design

The other day I paid a visit to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado for the first time, and saw an incredible exhibit of Hawaiian Quilts.

Most of the quilts were from the 1930s and 1940s but there were several from the late 1800s.

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Here are photos of many of the quilts in the exhibit. Most of them were Queen-bed sized, though a several appeared to be King-sized bed quilts and there were several wallhanging sized pieces.

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The quilts were absolutely amazing!

After wandering around the exhibit, I stopped in the gift shop which was also a miniature quilt shop.

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While browsing the gift shop, I discovered this book – an exhibition catalog for the show Rooted in Tradition: Art Quilts from the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum.

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I ended up buying the book as not only did it contain amazing art quilts and profiles of quilters, but there were also at least three renown quilters in it that I’ve met and admired for a while:

  • Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi
  • Ed Johnetta Miller
  • Wendy Hill

I am so lucky in my art quilting journey so far I’ve had such fortunate brushes with greatness and inspirational talent in the quilting medium!

If you are a quilter, or someone who loves quilts, if you happen to be in the Denver area, I highly recommend a visit to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum!

 

Beastie Adventures, Special Events

Solo Show, Part IV – Pieces Sold

I have some wonderful news to share and a follow up to my series of posts about my current solo show at the Seattle Municipal Tower in downtown Seattle, Washington (most recent post Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower, Part III).

The City of Seattle is purchasing three of my pieces made from recycled silks:

COLOR STORY I: FLYING TRIANGLES

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COLOR STORY II: SILK LANDSCAPE

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COLOR STORY IV: COLOR CHANGE

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These pieces will become part of the City of Seattle’s permanent rotating art collection, like my piece that they purchased in 2016 – COLOR STORY V: ABANDONED WATER STRUCTURE:

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Since 2016 this piece has rotated display through the City of Seattle’s offices. I was informed that currently it is on display at the City of Seattle Courthouse.

There are no words that would capture my excitement and the honor I feel that my pieces were selected for purchase. The whole experience has been magical. The City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture reached out to me about the solo show (which at first I misunderstood that they were inviting me to be part of a show with other artists).

I am so incredibly grateful to the coordinator of the Ethnic Heritage Arts Gallery, the Curator for the Office of Arts of Culture, and the talented person who hung my art quilts so beautifully at the Seattle Municipal Tower.

In addition to the three pieces being purchased by the City of Seattle, I also have two private collector purchases pending/in the works for these two pieces:

RECYCLED DENIM STORY III: RECYCLED ROAD

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COLOR STORY VI: ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIG – THE VESSEL

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I am also very honored that several friends of mine want to have my art in their homes!!!!

Now I need to make more art as my available collection is dwindling (and that is a good thing!)


Postscript

This is a follow up to yesterday’s post Another Beastie Blogging Intervention: New Studio Tour, Part III.

No need for any petitions, tierneycreates Beastie and I have been in negotiations for a new space for her and Mikelet to hang out.

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Free from the plastic box

I’ve moved them to the cutting area in my sewing area to hang out. Though this sounds like a potentially dangerous idea in case she begins playing with my rotary cutter – see post Guest Blogger: October Quilt Retreat Part II

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A friend at a quilt retreat handing a Beastie a rotary cutter…not the best idea…

Now I am just using the plastic box to store her off season clothes (her Aran sweater and hat beautiful knitted by Helen @Crawcrafts Beasties!)

 

Beastie Adventures

Another Beastie Blogging Intervention: New Studio Tour, Part III

Yes I know in her post New Studio Tour, Part II, Tierney threatened to post daily until she  caught up on posts. Her friend Martha (@marthaginn.blogspot.com) rightly doubted her, but Tierney was convinced it was going to happen.

Well she fell off the “blogging wagon” again so it is time for me to intervene AGAIN.

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Most of you know me, but if you are new to this blog, my name is tierneycreates Beastie and I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. You can read my story at I’m A Monster!!!. You can also check out the other posts I’ve had to guest blog on (when Tierney fell off the wagon) in the series of posts: Beastie Adventures.

I thought I would continue her series of posts about her new Studio (also known as her guest room with the dangerous carpeting potentially filled with sewing pins and needles) in her new Colorado apartment.

The reason why I am continuing this series as I want you to see where she has me living – you will likely be appalled!

Okay, since I want most of this post to be about me (because that is how Beasties are – it is all about us – just check out the blogs Crawcrafts Beasties  and Tammie Painter and you will see what I mean!) I am going to begin with where I live in her studio: IN A BOX!

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Yes, and I know you are shocked, she has Mikelet my miniature Miniature Schnauzer and I living in a plastic shoe box!

Most of the time I am standing up looking out like this:

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But sometimes she just has me stored like this in the closet:

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I hope you all won’t stop reading/following her blog in disgust! No worries, I am going to keep trying to convince her to let me (and Mikelet) wander free around her apartment as well as go on as many Beastie adventures in Colorado as possible.

I recently discovered she went to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum and did not take me! If I can get Tierney back on track with blogging, she will share photos from her tour of the current amazing exhibit of Hawaiian quilts.

In case you are interested in other stuff in her studio besides me and Mikelet, here are details of some other things she has done to organize her studio.

Organizing Scraps

Tierney did tie on a color scraps to the handle of the baskets holding scraps to indicate the colors inside, thanks to an awesome suggestion from one of her readers.

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Due to limited space, she had to group colors of scraps together and here is the organization scheme she went with:

  • Black and Gray
  • White and Cream
  • Black & White fabric scraps
  • Yellow, Brown and Orange
  • Purple, Pink and Red
  • Green (interestingly the largest volume of scraps she has are green scraps)
  • Blue, Teal and Aqua

She also created tags for the baskets which contain multiple colors of scraps such as her collections of Batik scraps, art fabric scraps (like Marcia Derse fabrics – see post Fabric Fangirl Frenzy) and shot cottons/linens scraps.

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And here is a peek inside one of her crazy scrap baskets (her art fabrics scraps):

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Yardage Fabrics and Coordinating Smaller Pieces

Tierney has limited space in her new apartment and is storing her fabric in tubs by color or theme in her two guest room closets. She does not really have the space at the time to pull out all her fabrics and organize them like she did in her Central Oregon home.

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Project in Queue

She did buy some hanging wire shelves to keep her “projects in queue” organized:

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I will try to get Tierney back on track as she still has a huge backlog of stuff to post about. I am just glad I got to take a break from being stuck in the closet!

(Not to mention she has a LOT of “projects in queue”…)


Postscript

The real reason Tierney has not been blogging as she has been goofing off and exploring the greater Denver metro area she now lives. Here she is last weekend taking big Mike on a bike ride in his backpack around the area.

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I had to ask her for this photo since Mikelet and I were not invited!!!!

Audiobooks and Podcasts, The Library Stack

New Library Stack and Option B

NEW Library Stack

I am ready to continue my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my stack of borrowed books from my local public library. This is my first stack from my NEW local library in the Denver greater metro area!

I live within walking distance of a public library branch and last week I wandered over and selected my first stack! It was so fun to walk back home with my stack:

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So far I’ve finished browsing through the books The Quilting Arts Idea Book by Vivika Hansen Denegre and Global Bohemian by Fifi O’Neill. I enjoyed both of these books immensely! Lots of art quilt and decorating inspiration!

As my library is so close, I will probably keep my library stacks small instead of the mega library stacks I used to borrow from previous Central Oregon public library (which I transported home by car). I love the idea of being able to quickly walk to the library!

Option B

It’s been a while since I shared a recent audiobook listen and I am currently listening to a fantastic audiobook (borrowed from the library of course) – Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resistance, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant.

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If Sheryl Sandberg’s name sounds familiar, she is the former Google executive and Facebook Chief Operations Officer who wrote the wildly popular book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Several years following her success from that book and becoming an internationally known speaker, writer and business mogul, her beloved husband suddenly and unexpectedly passed, just like how I lost my husband in December 2018.

This book is about how she faced her grief, rebuilt her life and achieved “post-traumatic growth”. The interesting thing is I tried to read this book over a year ago (before my loss) and lost interest in it after a couple chapters. Now I am devouring it and gaining a lot of insight.

I can relate on so many level to what Sheryl Sandberg shares in her first hand account of experiencing one of the most awful things that can happen to you – losing your life partner. I do not think I was ready to read/listen to this book until now. I like to think that the Universe is helping give me what I need when I am ready for it.

What is Option B? Well Option A would be for your loved one to still be alive. But Option A is not available. So you have to find your Option B.

“Option A is not available. so let’s just kick the sh*t out of Option B.”
“Life is never perfect. We all live some form of Option B.”

I will close out this post with a couple additional quotes from this powerful book.

“Resilience comes from deep within us and from support outside us. It comes from gratitude for what’s good in our lives and from leaning in to the suck. It comes from analyzing how we process grief and from simply accepting that grief. Sometimes we have less control than we think. Other times we have more. I learned that when life pulls you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface, and breathe again.”

“…post-traumatic growth could take five different forms: finding personal strength, gaining appreciation, forming deeper relationships, discovering more meaning in life, and seeing new possibilities.”

“Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.”

Finally, here is one of my favorite quotes from the book so far:

“I am more vulnerable than I thought, but much stronger than I ever imagined.”

A Crafter's Life

Apartment Quilt Tour

As many of you know who have followed my blog for a while, in December 2018 my husband, my life-partner, and best friend who was also known on this blog as “Terry the Quilting Husband” (he was a quilter also) suddenly and unexpectedly passed.

Shortly after his passing I made the big life decision to relocate and a couple of weeks ago I moved (along with Mike my Miniature Schnauzer) from Central Oregon to the greater Denver metro area to start my new life.

Another major life change that occurred at the time of this move was to move from a house into an apartment. I’ve not lived in an apartment since I was in nursing school. Wait, I take that back, Terry and I did live in an apartment for a year when we first moved to Houston, Texas while he was in the military but as soon as we could we bought a house.

But that was still back in my 20s. And I am a wee bit older now than 20 – ha! Let’s just say I’ve lived in houses significantly longer than I lived in apartments.

I’m considering “apartment living” a year experiment. I did sign a year’s lease and during my year in the apartment I can decide what will be next in my living situation. I might buy a house on my own, I might stay in my apartment, I might rent a house instead of an apartment. We’ll see! (Your guess is as good as mine at this point).

I am rambling and you are probably waiting for the quilt tour that I promised. Let me just continue with a tiny bit more introduction to the tour.

To make my new apartment feel homey, I decorated it with many of the quilts I had on my walls at my house. As my apartment is smaller than my house, it might appear to some that I have an “intense concentration of quilts” on my walls and strewn about the house. I say “get over it, it makes me happy!”

So finally, here is the Apartment Quilt Tour:

MY ENTRYWAY/HALLWAY

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The wood piece to the left of the quilt pictured above, was made by my friend Cody G. out of recycled pallet wood. What is extra cool about this piece, besides it is a lovely gift from a friend, is that he had no idea of the colors in the quilt next to it. He just took a guess on a palette that would work with the pallet piece (yes, you likely guessed I had to Google the spelling of palette as in a color palette vs. the spelling of wooden pallet – English is so complicated!)

In addition to quilts, I have some handmade small items in my entryway – one of my miniature kimonos and a collection of my miniature pillows. I used to sell these on my now closed tierneycreates Etsy shop.

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HALLWAY TO THE KITCHEN AND HOME OFFICE AREA

On the way into the kitchen and in my home office area (I am a telecommuter), I have a couple quilts hung:

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THE KITCHEN

In the small dining area attached to the kitchen I have a quilted wallhanging:

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THE LIVING ROOM

There are layers of quilts in the living room as well as a couple on the wall.

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The quilt pictured above was the first quilt that I had in book. Several of the blocks were featured in the book 1000 Quilting Inspirations by Sandra  Sider, along with several of my first recycled silk art quilts.

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THE MASTER BEDROOM

I discovered something very exciting: the Sunflower quilt wallhanging I thought I had accidentally donated to a Central Oregon charity thrift shop was actually just packed away in a strange place. When I finally full unpacked I found it! So I put it up using Command Strips on the door to my bedroom!

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I have what some might consider a ridiculous amount of quilts up on the wall of my bedroom, but them make me happy!

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Oh I should mention – you might gasp that some of the quilts are not hung properly. Some have wooden hangers (which use a marble inside to hold the quilt in place), while some are hung up with…gasp…thumb tacks!

Do not worry, the thumb tack hangings are only temporary, I just wanted to make sure I liked where they were hung before I mounted the wooden hangers.

And finally the space I’ve shared already in a previous post – the guest room/studio.

GUEST ROOM/STUDIO

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In addition to quilts I’ve made, I also have some special quilts that friends have made up on the walls. I completely forgot to photographed those for this post, but I figured I have shown you enough quilts up on my wall for now (smile).

Special Events

Fabric Fangirl Frenzy

Time to step back and catch up you up on some of my adventures from the past several months.

At the end of February I joined my Seattle area based friends Judy and Dana at the 2019 Sew & Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, Washington.

I will share photos from the 2019 Expo in a future post but this post about how I became a crazed FABRIC FANGIRL when I got to meet my favorite fabric designer Marcia Derse at   the Expo!

2019-03-01_12-43-45_967.jpegI’ve loved Marcia Derse fabrics for many years and first discovered them at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, Oregon when I lived in Central Oregon.

I’ve made several quilts with her fabrics, such as this one below:

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I also have a ridiculous collection of fat quarters of her fabrics (collected over the years from the Stitchin’ Post) and some yardage including prints and solids:

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So when I saw that she had a booth at the 2019 Sew & Stitchery Expo I had to go introduce myself as her “biggest fabric fan” and generally embarrass myself with my fabric fangirl frenzy. I did not even know she was going to be at Expo – what an incredible surprise as I wandered through all the booths with my friends.

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She was very humble and gracious and showed me her new fabric line as well as existing fabric lines (which I was quite familiar):

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She also had on display some of her amazing quilts made with her fabrics:

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I dragged my friend Dana over to introduce her to Marcia Derse and her fabric line and before you know it, Marcia was helping Dana select fabrics for an impromptu quilt idea:

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Dana left the booth with a nice collection of Marcia Derse fabrics:

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Of course I left the booth with fabrics – including Marcia Derse’s new spectacular art prints:

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It was very exciting to have Marcia herself packaging up my fabric!

Here are my new acquisitions with my existing collection of Marcia Derse fabrics:

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Postscript

We ran into my friend, New York Times Best Selling Author Marie Bostwick at Sew Expo and had her autograph a book for my friend Lisa, who is one of her biggest fans.

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Judy, Dana and I spent time with Marie at our Tula Pink Quilt Retreat in September 2018 (see post Tula Pink “All Stars” Retreat (Part II))

By the way if you’d like to see my series of posts from the 2018 Sew & Stitchery Expo, see the links below:

Sewing & Stitchery Expo 2018, Part I

Sewing & Stitchery Expo 2018, Part II

Studio

New Studio Tour, Part II

Quick follow up to my May 7th post – “Oh Scrap”, Part II and New “Studio” Tour.

Thanks everyone for their comments!

I took the advice of @KNITNKWILT and removed the quotes from around the word “Studio” in the title of this follow up post – I am just going to accept it is my STUDIO.

I am still giggling over the advice and comments from @CEDAR51:

I would remove “guest room” and say outright to a guest “yes, I have space in my workroom for you to stay…but tread carefully there maybe the odd pin on the floor (or similar)”

Additionally I took the awesome advice of @ANNE54 and tied a scrap of the color of the fabric scraps in the basket to the little basket handle on front to quickly identify what color is in the basket:

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After my previous post, I began working on the cleaning up the edges of the quilt I got professional long-arm quilted before I moved from Central Oregon to Colorado in my new kitchen cutting station:

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I really like my kitchen cutting station (and my master bedroom ironing station I shared in the previous post).

I have the binding machine stitched to the quilt now and now I am working on sewing down the binding by hand in the evenings while watching TV with Mike the Miniature Schnauzer.

One thing that is pretty clear – I have a lot of quilts, afghans and pillows in my apartment.  What used to be spread about a three-bedroom home is now condensed into my smaller apartment!

For example – here is the bench at the back of my sofa in my living room. You can see the quilt that I am currently hand sewing the binding down in the middle of the back of the sofa.

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Postscript

Be warned – I am going to try to post daily for a while to try and catch up on all the posts I have in my head (quite the backlog!)

Studio

“Oh Scrap”, Part II and New “Studio” Tour

These two topics – Oh, Scrap, Part II and New “Studio” Tour, were going to be two different posts but I decided to combine them into one post since they are sort of tied together.

I’ve been getting settled into my new apartment in the greater Denver metro area and I guess I’ve completed my series of posts “Colorado Bound” as now I am in Colorado!

I’ve never lived alone in my entire life, so it has been a huge transition now living alone, but I am trying to embrace it and enjoy that I can set up my apartment however I desire.

Those of you who’ve followed my blog for a long time (some of you for over 5+ years) might remember what my craft/quilt studio area looked like in my former Central Oregon home (which by the way has sold and is now someone else’s home). It was in a small back bedroom in my three-bedroom home, but it worked for me.

Now living in a two-bedroom apartment my best choice for a studio area was to turn my second bedroom into a guest room/studio area. I will give a little tour of that new space in this post, but first I want to share a follow up to post from January 2018 – “Oh Scrap“.

Oh Scrap, Part II

It is always an ongoing challenge to find the best way to organize my…extensive? ridiculous? pathologically large? fabric scrap collection. I’ve experimented with various iterations of fabric scrap organization including organizing them by color into boxes like these:

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Or just throwing them all together into a large bag:

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As you can imagine, unless you just want to work with random scraps, the “all in one bag” idea did not work for me.

However as I was packing up for my move to Colorado, I came up with an idea: why not use this old shelf unit I had in my sun room in my former house (which easily disassembles for moving) with the baskets I used to store magazines in, to organize and easily access my fabric scraps?

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And here is the unit in the guest bedroom/studio of my new apartment:

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I have my fabric scraps organized by color or theme (i.e. I have a basket of light batik scraps and a basket of dark batik scraps, etc.).

Now for the rest of the room.

New “Studio” Tour

I put the word “studio” in quotes because I am using this term loosely. It’s not really a studio per se but a place to sew in my guest bedroom, where I’ve used the guest bedroom closets to store my fabric and crafting supplies.

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I embraced the concept of “Whole House Crafting” (which I previously discussed in the June 2016 post Whole House Crafting) and put a larger cutting area on my large kitchen island and an ironing station in my master bedroom.

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Mike the Miniature Schnauzer wanted to share that he approves of the guest room/studio space as it meets his coziness standards!

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He also appreciates the schnauzer themed decor!


Postscript 

Speaking of coziness (or “cosiness” for my friends on the other side of the pond), I thought I would share a little follow up to the February 2019 post From “Orphan Blocks” to Pillows.

A couple of months ago I made these two little pillows from leftover blocks from a quilt I made many years ago:

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Well Mike is now enjoying one of the pillows as his napping pillow!

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Not sure he wanted to be disturbed but I just had to take a photo!