(I am interrupting my planned post to share someone really exciting that arrived in the mail.)
Yes, I am a Monster. Literally. A Beastie Monster!
Blogging for the past 4.5 years has given me the opportunity to connect with people all over the world. I actually now have readers in every continent except Antarctica (hey Antarctica blogger peeps where are ya?).
I have many blogging buddies in the U.K. including the awesome person who made me into a Monster – Helen of Crawcrafts Beasties (crawcraftsbeasties.com) in Dublin, Ireland. Helen makes amazing custom knitted monsters (the cutest monsters ever) known as “Beasties”.
After following her blog for a while and following the adventures of various Beasties, especially Paddy & Plunkett, I knew I needed my own tierneycreates Beastie.
Monday’s postal delivery brought the tierneycreates Beastie all the way from Ireland!
Here is one of the photos of me on my blog that obviously Helen used as inspiration:
Here was the original drawing Helen sent me to approve earlier this year:
And here is my dreadlocked tierneycreates Beastie, with her little knitted hat and her miniature schnauzer:
She is approximately 6 inches tall, nearly 6.5 inches with her hair and hat!
The tierneycreates Beastie has some serious dreadlocks, very creatively done with wool:
She also has a nifty QUILTED BAG with her laptop (so she is ready for blogging) and Beastie Library card inside (because if you have followed my blog for more than a couple weeks you know about my love of my local public library!):
Her miniature schnauzer “Mikelet” (the tiny version of Mike) is ready for his walk:
But first he has to check out the very cute little tierneycreates felted booties:
In addition to her adorable boots, the tierneycreates Beastie also has for colder weather a little hand knit cable Irish Aran sweater!
I must have giggled for an hour after opening the package on Monday not to mention the time playing with her and arranging her in various poses:
She is ready for her first outing: a trip to my public library to try out her library card (hopefully the bar code on her library card works).
This is not a political post, but this post is about a former political figure, now a private citizen – former U.S. President George W. Bush, Jr.
Suspend for a moment any political leanings you hold and let me share a very special opportunity I had to see a former U.S. President speak in person in early May and to learn of his artistic journey.
A Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity
April 30 – May 4th, I attended a national conference for the industry that I am employed , in Orlando, Florida. One of the keynote presentations at the conference was a conversation with former President George W. Bush, Jr. and the president of a national organization hosting the conference.
No photos were allowed and there was strict security so unfortunately I have no photos from the experience to share (when I first discovered that President Bush would be speaking I had hopes of a “selfie” with a former U.S. President!). I’ve never seen a U.S. President in person so just the experience to see a historical figure in person was very exciting to me.
To be honest, I was not a huge fan of President Bush during his Presidency, but I put those thoughts aside and approached the presentation with an open mind.
He was absolutely amazing and spoke with much wonderful humor, insight, inspiration and Texas twang! He shared the experience of recently losing his mother, Barbara Bush (who I always greatly respected). He also spoke candidly about 9/11 (September 11, 2001/World Trade Center bombings) and other challenges and his Presidency; and about what’s going on in the world and in the U.S. today.
As I do not want this to be a political post I will not share all the specifics of what he said but let’s just say he might not fully support the current choices and political environment of the current U.S. Presidential Administration. He said that the U.S. cannot become isolationists, we have to stay connected to the world and shared specific reasons, in his opinion, why it is important that the U.S. stay engaged.
He did encourage those of us who might feel currently discouraged not to give up on democracy; and that the office of U.S. President is greater than the behavior of any one individual.
He also talked about what he has seen in the world and that those that live in the U.S. should remember just how blessed we are to live in this country (in regards to all the freedoms and opportunities we have available to us that are not available in all parts of the world).
Interestingly during his talk I learned that he is close friends the Dalai Llama and Bono (lead singer of the band U2 who is heavily involved in humanitarian causes) – who would have known?
Overall his talk was very inspirational, spiritual (he is a man of strong faith) and hopeful – he brought many of us to tears several times during his talk.
A Former President’s Artistic Journey
For me the best part of his talk was when he shared how he became a painter and his evolution as an artist/his artistic journey. He talked about the fear he had to overcome to start painting and bouts with self doubt of his painting ability.
He also talked about the moment when he realized he was not too bad at painting. I wish I could have taken notes as there were many gems in his discussion of his artistic journey and I could relate to many of those experiences in my journey.
He eventually combined his love of painting with his post-presidency humanitarian efforts, which include working with Veterans especially those dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He painted Veterans for his book Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors (if you click on the link you will see an image of former President Bush painting a portrait) and proceeds from book sales, according to the website, “helps post-9/11 veterans and their families make a successful transition to civilian life and addresses issues of veteran wellness, including post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury”.
He shared a couple of amazing stories about the friendships he developed with several Veterans dealing with PTSD while working on their portraits. He tried to capture in their portrait painting not only their physical features but what the individual was dealing with internally at the time, he made an effort to get to know each Veteran he was painting.
I’m so thankful to my employer for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity they gave me in sending me to the conference in Orlando. I also appreciate the opportunity to share this experience with you all and ask for you to be moderate and thoughtful in your comments on this post as fellow readers have differing political views, thanks.
The weather was beautiful in Orlando during my visit and I enjoyed 70 to 90 degree F. weather (21 – 32 C. for my readers outside the U.S.). I brought my work laptop and had to keep up on my work when not attending conference session so I did not get much time for fun in Florida.
Here is the view from my hotel room balcony where I bought my laptop out to work between conference sessions:
I went on a walk around the hotel/conference center property each morning (early before it got too warm and before the conference sessions started) and I wondered why the air seemed to smell so good. Then I realized there were Magnolia trees everywhere! What an incredible fragrance!
The climate, geography and flora is very different than Central Oregon (which is known as a “high desert” area and at 3500+ feet above sea level elevation). It was amazing to see palm trees everywhere!
Although I did not get time to play while I was in Orlando, it was still wonderful to enjoy the warm and tropical climate!
I’ve completed the Pillow Project – 5 pillows are made: 4 for my living room and one for my studio. Several of the pillows I began at the recent quilting retreat I attended (see post The Pillow Project).
If you are just joining us, this post is a follow up to these five posts (as well as various other older posts as I procrastinated through some of my projects):
Yikes Tierney, it sure takes you a lot of posts to stop talking about a project? Yes, true…and? (smile).
So here are the completed pillows.
Made from recycled 2.5 inch x 2.5 inch fabric scrap squares that were turned into half-square triangles (it took 196 half-square triangles to complete!), this pillow measures approximately 22 inches x 22 inches:
Living Room Pillows
These pillows measure appropriately 23 inches x 23 inches and were made from batik fabric scraps pieced into improvisational (“log jamming”) log cabin style blocks:
Here is what the back of the pillows looks like – made with recycled quilting fabric trimmed from a quilt after long-arm quilting:
We have two sofas in the living room that face each other – I usually hang out on one and Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) hangs out on the other.
My sofa with two of the cushions:
TTQH’s sofa with the other two cushions:
Yes, we have a crazy amount of color in our house (our house is not for the bold color faint-hearted!)
To close this post, here is a random gratuitous photo of a lovely purple iris from my walk yesterday:
I still have more stories to share from he annual May quilting retreat I attended with my Quilting Sisters in Vancouver, WA May 17 – 20, 2018. I just wanted to share the follow up on the whole pillow making saga 🙂
Sunday evening I returned from the annual May Quilt Retreat in Vancouver, WA with my Quilting Sisters from Oregon, Washington and California.
I am so behind in blog posts (posting and reading the blogs I follow) as I had a partial “social media break” for four (4) days. The WiFi at the retreat was out and we only had the option of using our cellular phone data. I am a spendthrift and have a small cellular data plan (2G a month) so I sparingly used it for those couple of blog posts during the retreat (Please Vote On The Color!and The Votes Are In!); as well as visiting with Terry the Quilting Husband via FaceTime during the retreat.
I am not sure whether to start at the beginning of the backlog of stories I want to share or just randomly share them. This post is a random sharing to get me started back with posting.
A Very Thoughtful Surprise
A couple weeks ago I decided to separately post the “Postscript” section of a post from May 2017 about a $10 antique Singer sewing machine I purchased at a flea market – Impulse Buy: Antique Singer Sewing Machine. Although I back dated the post it still showed up as a new post for those who follow me.
Well the wonderful Sarah @ thecookmanlifecontacted me and said she wanted to send me a surprise. I was blown away when this awesome Robert Kaufman Fabrics panel of antique Singer sewing machines!
Is this not awesome! Now I have an antique Singer sewing machine and fabric with the same machine on it!
Please check out Sarah’s lovely crafter blog @ thecookmanlife. I was blown away by her kind thoughtfulness!
Couple other random follow ups.
Lost In Space
Luckily, as I ended up not having access to WiFi for four days, I downloaded the first couple episodes of the Netflix series Lost In Space. I am doing a “watch and stitch along” with Tracy @ itsatsweetsday.blog where we watch each others Netflix suggestions for hand stitching and binge-watching and compare notes!
I love how Netflix now lets you download some of their shows and movies for offline viewing on your smart phone or tablet (I watched on my iPad).
The series is awesome so far and is a different spin on the series I watched on TV as a kid (‘Danger Will Robinson!”).
Oh and if you do not already follow Tracy’s blog (It’s a T-Sweets Day) I highly recommend it, she is a Renaissance Woman of Crafting (baking, quilting, crochet, etc., etc.).
Well before I left the quilt retreat on Sunday to get my bus back to Central Oregon, my Quilting Sister Dana was working on another star block with the beautiful Tula Pink All Stars Fabric and the coordinating solids and dots fabrics. I thought you might like to see it:
Looks pretty yummy to me!
I will be sure to bug Dana to send me a photo of the completed quilt to share with you on this blog!
More random posts to come, if I post everyday for a couple weeks I will catch up with all the posts in my head 🙂
As I shared in “The Toe Saga” post, I had a quite careless mishap that led to a broken toe (my sofa and I are in “couples counseling” and working out our issues, ha!). A broken toe meant putting on hold my hiking adventures with my friend Laurie and my favorite Bernese Mountain Dog of all time – Luna.
Well this past Monday, I returned to hiking with “Laurie & Luna”! We did a reasonably easy hike – Farewell Bend Park along the Deschutes River. And as per our routine we had a delicious lunch afterwards in the Old Mill Shopping Center which is also along the Deschutes River.
Here are photos from our hike along the Deschutes River:
I’ve also tagged this post with my category/series “CreativeInspiration” on sources of creative/future art quilt inspiration, as I took a couple photos of trees/vignettes that I thought would make interesting art quilt compositions:
I did not take a photo of our lunch but here is Luna at lunch trying to convince Laurie and I that we really need to share our lunches with her:
I would not win any hiking competitions but I was quite pleased with myself that according to my Health tracker app on my smartphone I had these statistics for Monday May 7:
My toe is not fully healed and I was fairly sore the next day, but it was so wonderful to get outside and hike in my beautiful Central Oregon (with fun companions) again!
Continuing my two-part series on participating in the Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop last weekend. If you are just joining us, check out Day One in this post: Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop Day 1.
Rather than worry about leaving Mike the Miniature Schnauzer at home all day while Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I drove around to the remaining four (4) Central Oregon Quilt Shops, we brought Mike with us:
Mike started in the back seat but convinced me he needed to ride around in my lap.
We did the bulk of our driving (at least 130 miles) on Day Two of the Shop Hop and luckily my lap converted to a dog bed (with the addition of a fleece blanket in the backseat) when Mike grew tired of looking out the window!
130 miles? Yes the remaining four (4) shops spanned from La Pine, Oregon (Homestead Quilts), lunch in Sunriver, Oregon (Sunriver Brewing) to Prineville, OR (The Quilt Shack), to Redmond, OR (Material Girl Fabrics), and finally to Sisters, OR (Stitchin’ Post) and then back home. Basically it was like a tour of Central Oregon!
Homestead Quilts (La Pine, Oregon)
Homestead Quilts is actually a lovely quilt shop with a wonderful collection of fabrics, however I only go there once a year (during shop hop) as it is about 35 – 40 miles from my house.
They have some lines of fabrics that the other Central Oregon quilt shops do not have (or not as wide a selection of that line) such as Northcott’s Stonehenge fabric line:
This is the same line I used for this quilt Cozy Cobblestones (which was quilted by one of my blogging buddies, Cindy @inastitchquilting.com):
I had a little bit of a beautiful Stonehenge blue that I wanted to use in the piece but not enough to repeat the fabric in more than one block so I did not use it. If only I had thought to check out Homestead Quilts to pick up some more!
Sunriver Brewing (Sunriver, Oregon)
We needed to “fuel up” our shopping engines to make it to three more quilt shops so we stopped at Sunriver Brewing in Sunriver, Oregon on our way to our next quilt shop.
I had a healthy delicious lunch of one of the best chef salads I’ve ever tasted:
While TTQH had a delicious but very naughty lunch!
Then it was onto The Quilt Shack in Prineville, Oregon.
The Quilt Shack (Prineville, OR)
The Quilt Shack is another Central Oregon quilt shop I rarely visit except during shop hop.
As you can tell from several of the photos, it was a cloudy/overcast day for Day Two of Shop Hop. The end of April in Central Oregon can be hit or miss: we’ve done Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hops when it was 80 degrees and like a beautiful summer day; and we’ve done shop hop when it was cold and raining, etc.
The Quilt Shack specializes in novelty fabrics and if you are looking for special cowboy themed fabric, fishing themed fabric, or the perfect fabric with farm animals, etc. – they have it:
Next we took the 26+ mile drive from Prineville to Redmond, Oregon.
Material Girl Fabrics (Redmond, Oregon)
Material Girl Fabrics in Redmond is in an old house and the owner and her son who own the shop also live upstairs in the house. It is a very sweet shop and you feel like you are wandering around a house (because you ARE wandering downstairs in someone’s house!):
TTQH searched for dog themed fabric at this quilt shop like he does at every quilt shop:
Interestingly TTQH did not buy any fabric this year at shop hop, it was not like last year where he seemed to be “buying out” every shop we went to (see post CentralOregon Quilt Shop Hop 2017).
Our Shop Hop passports were nearly filled as we headed to our last quilt shop of seven (7) – the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, Oregon:
Stitchin’ Post (Sisters, Oregon)
We were flooded with relief when we arrived at the Stitchin’ Post as it had been a long day of driving and shop hopping and we were ready to be done.
After turning in our Shop Hop passports we wandered around the quilt shop (which also has a lovely yarn shop) a bit before heading home.
Mike outside the shop waiting to head home:
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, each quilt shop on the Shop Hop provided a block pattern for a mystery quilt. When you completed your Shop Hop passport after visiting all seven (7) shops then you got the final layout pattern and instructions:
Each quilt shop also gave out a free fat 1/8th quarter of batik fabric. Below are my seven 1/8th quarters and TTQH’s (which he gave to me) – we made sure not to select the same colors:
I usually try to support as many shops as possible by buying a little fabric at each shop during Shop Hop, but this year there was only two shops that I found fabric I had to have – Homestead Quilts and the Stitchin’ Post (and of course the scrap bag I found at QuiltWorks on Day One of the Shop Hop – see previous post for image):
Thanks for joining us on Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop 2018!
Our Shop Hop began at Sew Many Quilts and Bernina Center.
Each shop gave out a free fat 1/8th quarter (18″ x 11″) of coordinating batik fabric and a free block pattern for the Central Oregon Shop Hop Mystery Quilt. You get your Shop Hop Passport card stamped at each shop and if you completely fill it out, visiting all seven (7) shops, you can enter to win several prizes including a new Bernina sewing machine!
Later in this post I will share my Shop Hop Passport stamps and my haul of free fat 1/8th quarters from day one (see section “The Haul“).
Sew Many Quilts and Bernina Centeris where I bought my Bernina sewing machine many years ago and my breath always catches a bit when I walk into their shop and see all the dream Berninas:
They appeared to be embracing as many holidays as possible, and here are a sampling of their displays which covered: Easter, Valentines Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Halloween!
All the shops offered a delicious smorgasbord of snacks and treats for the shoppers. Here is an example from Sew Many Quilts and Bernina Center:
In addition to the big prize drawing for those who completed their Shop Hop passports, each shop had their own individual drawing for shop gift certifications, etc:
QuiltWorks (Bend, Oregon)
Next stop on Shop Hop was at QuiltWorks, where the lovely owner Marilyn Forestell greeted shop hoppers and stamped their cards.
They also had delicious food including a huge chocolate birthday cake to celebrate the shop’s anniversary and the owner’s birthday (I forgot to take photos of the other shops’ snacks).
Here are photos from around the shop:
They even have a Quilt Shop Dog (looks like a schnauzer mix to me!):
This is where my naughtiness started – they had a section I could not refuse (see the section “The Haul” for what I purchased…you know just to be polite to the shop, ha!):
They also had a very timely display on the book Pillow Pop: 25 Quick-Sew Projects to Brighten Your SpacePaperbackby Heather Bostic. A couple weeks ago I decided to attack my pile of 2.5″ x 2.5″ scrap squares and enlist TTQH to help me make a huge pile of Half-Square Triangles (HSTs) to make several of the pillows in this book (future post).
Seeing several pillow patterns from the book displayed really inspired me to (eventually) continue working on the pillows (not sure though if TTQH is still speaking to me after trimming all those HSTs…)
BJ’s Quilt Basket (Bend, Oregon)
Our third and final stop for day one was BJ’s Quilt Basket. BJ’s hold a special place in my heart as it was the start of meeting many of my other Quilting Sisters besides Judy who got m into quilting (see post Quilting Sisters, Part I).
Here are images from around BJ’s Quilt Basket:
First, here are the stamps on my Shop Hop passport for Day One:
Only 4 more to go!
Here is my haul of free 1/8th fat quarters – six (6) fat 1/8th quarters (TTQH gave me his of course!) from Day One:
Here is an example of the free block pattern given at each shop. You have to go to all seven (7) shops to get the final layout/instructions for the mystery quilt; but if you do not get to all the shops each pattern also has instructions on turning the block pattern into a table runner.
And finally, here was the scrap bag I bought from QuiltWorks. It had several yards of large samples of fabrics!
Thanks for joining me on Day One! Next post is Day Two of course 🙂
Last Thursday (April 19, 2018) I was the featured speaker at our monthly Central Oregon SAQA (art quilting) group meeting.
What I Presented
I did a presentation (complete with “death by PowerPoint”…I did try to keep the PowerPoint slides as engaging as possible with primarily photos) on the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) and the 2017 Quilters Take Manhattan (QTM) event I attended in NYC in September 2017.
I used some of the key text from these posts but also included more photos than were in the posts (I have a crazy amount of photos from QTM 2017!). For fun I also snuck in some family photos (I met up with my sister, brother and two awesome nephews) from the trip, especially some of my highly adorable 5 year old and now 14 year old nephews!
I also brought a copy of all the WCQN Exhibit books by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi in my personal collection for the attendees to look through while I spoke (so they would not fall asleep during my presentation):
And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversation
Threads of Faith: Recent Works from the Women of Color Quilters Network
Journey of Hope: Quilts Inspired by President Barack Obama
Textural Rhythms: Quilting the Jazz Tradition
Quilting African American Women’s History
I also brought a copy of Sherri Lynn Woods’ book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously just in case there was any art quilter in our group that had not heard of this book.
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) attended the presentation also and helped me haul all those books to the speaking engagement.
No one appeared to fall asleep during my presentation and they actually appeared quite engaged (or faked it very well!)
If you’ve followed my blog for a while you know my obsession with my public library. What was cool (at least to me) was that my presentation was done in the Conference room of the Sisters Branch of the Deschutes Public Library. So I got to speak at the library (huge smile)!
Key to Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking: Be Delusional & Improvisational
One of my Central Oregon SAQA friends asked me before the presentation if I was nervous and I said “no”.
I am not sure if I should be nervous but I am never really nervous before a speaking engagement. I have this likely delusional belief, especially if I am speaking in front of a group that knows me, that they want me to succeed and are cheering me on (hopefully no one breaks my delusion!).
I used to do a lot of public speaking professionally when I was a trainer (before the days of telecommuting) at work and at professional conferences. If you’ve done corporate training, especially mandatory corporate training, you know about speaking to an audience that may not want to be there!
What broke me of any fear of public speaking (possibly creating my delusion that everyone is cheering for me) was an experience many, many years ago when I spoke at a conference that my employer put on for one our retail clients when I worked for a Workers’ Compensation Carrier.
It was a large group of managers for one of our retail clients (a national group) that looked like their souls had been sucked out of their bodies (please know I have nothing against who works in retail, this group of conference attendees were just very lifeless, they could have been in any industry). Also as you could imagine, managing work related injuries is not the most exciting all day conference topic!
During the conference, I watched one presenter after the other painfully struggle through their presentation with a highly “unengaged” and bored audience.
When it was my turn, I figured the crowd/audience could not dislike me anymore than they obviously already disliked the previous presenters, so what the heck – I was going to have fun.
So when I got up to the podium, I had an improvisational moment and I took the microphone off the podium stand and started walking through the crowd with it. I did my presentation as if I was performing a nite-club act: Walking through the crowd, speaking directly to audience members and being very animated.
Shockingly I got the first round of audible strong applause for the day! I even saw some actual smiles in the crowd (like their souls had briefly returned to their bodies!)
After that I had no fear of public speaking. Ultimately if the audience hates me, they hate me (but I always secretly know they are cheering for me – my insanity is so delicious!)
A follow up to the post Additional Conversations – Completed , one of my blogging buddies asked me what was behind the name “Additional Conversations”. This made me realize I better go write the Artist Statement.
It’s April and time for the “Love Ducks” to wander our neighborhood!
The Love Ducks are annual pair of a hen and drake ducks that wander around our neighborhood and seem to herald the start of Spring. I checked my previous posts on this duo (maybe the same duo, maybe not) and I see both posts were in April: TheLove Ducks are Back (April 2017) and The Hen and the Drake (April 2016).
A week or so ago we saw them wandering around the neighborhood and even caught them roaming through our front yard!
Here they are wandering the neighborhood:
And here they are in my front yard – I was sitting in the front window sipping tea and reading through my Library Stack when I saw them!
It is difficult with my smartphone camera to get a quality zoom photo and I could not get too close to the ducks of course or they would fly away.
They make me smile when I see them wandering the neighborhood each Spring!
That’s a lot of topics for one post, well let’s get started!
The Toe Saga
I’ve been delinquent in blogging lately due to a very silly injury: a broken toe.
My sofa and I had an argument and I lost. I was rushing around, not paying attention and jammed my right foot/toes into the metal leg of my sofa at what felt like 80 miles an hour. It hurt, like really hurt but I thought it was just a sprain or an irritation to my toes and tried to care for itself (after all I am a RN).
A couple days later one of the toes was looking more purple and bruised so it was time to head over the Urgent Care, and yes, per the x-ray, the toe was fractured…in two places. They are hairline fractures and will take up to 6 weeks to heal; but my toe did not require surgery or fracture reduction/setting (so that is a good thing!).
(I know, I know, you all are so disappointed that I did not include a photo of my purplish bruised toe in this post, ha!)
I am mainly irritated with myself for such careless stupidity and that my daily walks are on hold for a week. The Physician Assistant I saw in Urgent Care said in a week my toe will be better to walk on, but I suspect I will have to take a hiatus from my hiking adventures.
I am trying to use this experience as a lesson that I need to slow down and be more mindful of my environment. I also rearranged my end tables to guard me against a future “sofa attack”.
Library Stack Catch Up
Before I decided to share “The Toe Saga”, the original purpose of this post was to continue my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my latest stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library.
Well I am two stacks behind! So let’s catch you up.
The Prior Stack
A couple of the books were books I’ve borrowed before such as Quilt Inspirations from Africa and Red & White Quilting. I like to think of my public library as “my other bookcase” and many of the older quilting/crafting books are always on the shelves whenever I want to read them again.
Two books that I’ve never borrowed before and really enjoyed in this stack were Fairy Tale Sewing: Whimsical Toys, Dolls and Softies by Heidi Boyd and Stitch Draw by Rosie James.
Of course I’ve been heavily influenced by the work of Helen@Crawcraftbeasties and Shirley @Handmade Habit – there are doing awesome things with “Softies” and I want to be part of this scene somedays too (along with the 10,000 other crafts I want to make).
I have commissioned Helen to make the tierneycreates Beastie and Shirley is doing some amazing new things with new stuffed animal creations! Be sure to check out their wonderful blogs if you have not already (I’ve linked their blogs in the text above and you should also check out their awesome Instagram pages).
I’ve also been influenced by Chela @Chela’s Colchas y Mas who retired from teaching and it now trying to become the “Renaissance Women of All Things Crafting”.
She started posting her stitching doodles and drawings on her blog and now I want to try that out someday also (yeah, yeah, future craft projects/techniques, get in line behind all the others). I thought the book Stitch Draw by Rosie James had many great ideas to get started.
A Single Stack
In between the library stack above, and my current stack, I had one solitary book: Living the Airstream Life by Karen Flett.
Lots of daydreaming went on while reading this book (but where would I put my sewing studio in the Airstream…and where would I store all my fabric scraps?!?!).
The physical book itself is pretty cool – the outside is framed in silver paper with simulated rivets like on an Airstream trailer!
Of course Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) had to tease me while I was reading the book. He kept asking: “So do we get a trailer to attach behind the Airstream for your fabric?”.
I’ve posted in the past about embracing Minimalism in my series of posts on MyMinimalism Journey but my craft hobbies are interfering with a full “embracement”!
My Current Stack: Your Sacred Nest
My current stack of library books is, in my opinion, quite yummy! This stack is about quality over quantity.
I am currently reading Your Creative Work Space: The Sweet Spot Style Guide to Home Office + Studio Decor by Desha Peacock, and so far this book is fantastic!
I’d like to share snippets from a passage from the book on “Your Sacred Nest: Everyone Needs a Creative Sweet Spot Space“:
A mother bird doesn’t complain that she doesn’t have time or space to create her nest, she just makes do with the resources available to her at the time…Her job is not finished when the nest is built. She still needs to protect it until her babies are strong enough to go out on their own…think of what would happen if the momma bird neglected to actually build the nest because she couldn’t find the perfect materials. Don’t let your creativity suffer or, worse, die because you can’t find the perfect lamp…don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Use the resources you have around you and allow them to blossom with age and use.
Once you create your space, do not abandon it. Protect it fiercely with that momma bird love… – Desha Peacock, Your Creative Work Space (2017)
I love thinking of my creative endeavors as my “baby birds”!
(But wait a minute, I could continue with this analogy and realize that the reason I get into trouble sometimes is I am trying to feed too many “baby birds” at one time!)
I love my neighborhood and I have some awesome neighbors who I just really like as people (they are good humans!). Here is a recent sweet public library story from one of my neighbors.
My neighbor and friend Jenny just returned from a three week trip to Australia to visit her in-laws. Her in-laws live suburb of Melbourne and after a week or so of just reading downloaded e-books, she and her young son were missing their regular trips to their our local public library (she is a Deschutes Public Library Cult-Member like I am, ha!). Jenny heard that the Melbourne area library system allows visitor passes and for visitors with ID to borrow up to two books.
So she and her son walked 10 minutes from where they were staying to the St. Kilda library. The librarian was so welcoming and after a chat she not only let them borrow more than 2 books (which is awesome as Jenny and her son did not have to go with one book each), she helped identify some great books (and loaded them up) in the children’s section and gave them a nice tote bag to get their huge stack of book back to where they were staying 10 minutes away!
So libraries are good places all over the world and librarians are some of the best people on earth (smile).
No, alas, not the Scottish Highlands. This post is about a hike on the Cascade HighlandsTrailin Central Oregon. Not as glorious as hiking in the Scottish Highlands but still quite lovely (and a significantly less expense trip – no airfare or accommodations required!)
I do not work on Mondays and once a month I’ve been going on a hike (followed by a yummy lunch) with my friend Laurie and her Bernese Mountain Dog Luna. I thought about creating a category for these posts called “Adventures with Laurie & Luna” but I decided to create a new blog category called OutsideAdventures! which includes my various solo Pilot Butte hikes and any other interesting outdoor adventures.
Laurie who is new-ish to Central Oregon (I think she has lived here between 1 – 2 years) thought it would be a great idea to explore Central Oregon together by going on hikes we have not been on before and trying out restaurants we have not dine at before (or at least one of us has not tried before). We plan one at least once a month.
Hiking the Cascade Highlands
Here are photos from the hike (which were more breathtaking in person than the photos capture):
I am also adding this post to my blog post category CreativeInspiration as there was much potential art quilt inspiration on this hike!
I know you’ve been waiting…and here is the follow up to my 03/30/18 post Scrap Party! , where I had a special birthday celebration play-date with my fabric-scrap-loving friend.
It started with this plastic bin of my fabric scraps:
Dumped onto my bed (the bed has a plastic sheet from packaging material covering it):
Before we dove into this delicious (or suspicious) pile of fabrics, first we took Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and our miniature schnauzers to Whole Foods for lunch (okay the dogs stayed in the car as it was a wee bit too cold to sit outside and eat with them).
After lunch we headed back to my house to dive into the “bed-o-scraps”!
But first we needed to fortify ourselves:
After a few minutes of frolicking in the fabric scraps, my friend pulled her initial stack and got to work on making improvisational blocks.
As a challenge, in addition to access to my crazy fabric scrap collection, I assigned my friend these pieced block discards/trimmings to try and incorporate into her improvisational blocks:
Here are a couple of her blocks laid out on the design wall in my hallway:
And here is her “to-go” bag of fabric scraps to finish up her piece at home:
Sadie passed out on the pillow in my studio due to all the fabric scrap excitement:
I did get a little blue seeing Sadie sleeping on the pillow in my studio as my beloved Sassy the Highly OpinionatedMiniature Schnauzer used to sleep like that on the pillow before she passed in December 2018. But I did enjoy having a girl mini schnauzer in the house again and so did TTQH.
Here is TTQH hanging out in the living room with Sadie and Mike while watching the College Basketball semi-finals:
So what did I work on? Well I thought I would take the opportunity to practice paper-piecing (Not the fun “English Paper Piecing” type but the “flip and stitch” type of paper-piecing that I suspect is what you have to do all day in the “Underworld” if you are bad in life and go there after you die…um, I would like to choose the “fire & brimstone” instead please…).
I signed up to participate in the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show’s 2018 Wish Upon A Card Fundraiser & FabricChallengesponsored by Robert Kaufman Fabrics. I needed to make a 4′” x 6″ fabric postcard to donate to the fundraiser, incorporating the two feature fabrics provided by Robert Kaufman Fabrics.
In general I love Robert Kaufman fabrics, but I was completely underwhelmed by the fabric pieces they sent me to make the postcard:
Thank goodness my friend helped me pick out some coordinating fabric scraps for my postcard.
Here was my first (actually second, as the first was a legendary-paper-piecing-screw-up disaster) attempt at paper piecing a little house for the postcard:
Here is my second (okay actually third) attempt and the final version with my embellishments:
I mailed it off yesterday to Wish Upon a Card and I will not be offended if they say they “never got it in the mail” or they accidentally let it slip into the trash can – ha!
Now I bet you are curious: Did we make a dent in the pile of fabric scraps? Not really. Here is the tub of fabric scraps cleaned up from the bed and put back into the closet after my friend left:
It appears I have enough for another Fabric Scrap Party (or 200+ Scrap Parties)!
It’s no secret, especially if you’ve followed my blog for a while, that I am obsessed with fabric scraps. I won’t try to link any of my numerous previous posts on fabric scraps. If you are new to my blog, you will have to just trust me 🙂
Well one of my quilting friends, actually the one who got me into appreciating the value and opportunity for unlimited creativity provided by using fabric scraps, is coming over tomorrow for a SCRAP PARTY!
She had a birthday a couple of weeks ago and we are going to do a belated celebration by going to out to lunch and then coming back to my house and spending the afternoon playing in my fabric scrap pile:
I did not post about it (as those of you who’ve followed me for a while may have grown weary of my constantly talking about fabric scraps) but last weekend I thinned out my scrap pile. I pulled out any remaining old lower quality fabric and donated more to a local charity thrift shop.
During a previous donation, a volunteer at one of our local charity thrift shops (for our local Humane Society shelter), told me that fabric scraps sell very well at the thrift shop. They cannot keep fabric scrap bags in stock, they sell out immediately! (See there are more weird obsessed people like myself in Central Oregon).
So what are we going to do at a so called “Scrap Party”? Well I am going to dump the whole box onto a plastic tarp on the floor of my master bedroom (as not to take up precious space in my tiny studio space that we will be sharing) and let my friend go wild playing with my fabric scrap collection. She is really into improvisational piecing (she is the one who helped me move from traditional quilting to art/improvisational quilting) so fabric scraps are one of her favorite textile mediums!
I’ve set up my travel sewing machine for her in my studio so we can sew together. I have two design walls (a small one on the closet door in my studio and then the big one in the hall way) so we won’t have to battle for design wall space!
I’m not sure what she is going to work on, but I plan to work on some paper piecing. I’m trying to spend more time with my extensive (ridiculous) craft book collection and rediscovered in my craft book collection – 50 Little Paper-Pieced Blocks by Carol Doak. Playing with fabric scraps seems like a great time to work on my paper-piecing skills.
My friend is bringing over her miniature schnauzer so Mike will have a furry friend visiting.
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) made us chocolate chip cookies (to keep our sugar fueled energy level high for crafting!!!):
Of course I will share the outcomes of our Scrap Party!
As it is nearly Monday again, I thought I should share photos from the beautiful Pilot Butte hike I took on Monday. I have shared numerous photos of Pilot Butte, our miniature mountain with a wonderful 360 degree view of Central Oregon and its surrounding Cascade Mountains, in previous posts in my series Pilot ButteAdventures.
Our weather in Central Oregon is all over the place – somedays snowy and cold, other days beautiful Spring weather. Monday was the latter and I went on a solo hike on Pilot Butte and listened to a wonderful audiobook. More on the audiobook and my other recent audiobooks a little later.
I’ve shared like a zillion photos of Pilot Butte in previous posts on my hikes, so I will just share a couple more below to give you a little taste of my experience.
When I got to the top of the Butte, I took a break at the summit and spent time cloud gazing. While cloud gazing I noticed something I’ve never seen before – a prism of color in the sky (like a little section of rainbow. I captured it as best I could with my smartphone camera:
It was quite magical!
I’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks lately (I borrow them from my local library and download them directly to my smartphone using the Overdrive app).
Here are the 6 habits which the author discusses in depth:
You can Google “High Performance Habits” or “Brendon Burchard” and find lots of information as well as YouTube videos such as the one below:
There are many gems in this book, here is one of them:
“Often, the journey to greatness begins the moment our preferences for comfort and certainty are overruled by a greater purpose that requires challenge and contribution” – Brendon Burchard
Now here is a list of the other audiobooks I have recently listened or am currently listening to:
Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks – a collection of short stories written by the actor Tom Hanks. I have listened to two stories so far (narrated by the author!) and so far it is AMAZING! Who knew this awesome actor is also an awesome writer?
Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman. This intriguing book is by the Pulitzer Prize winning author who also wrote The World is Flat and Hot, Flat and Crowded which explore the rapid changes to the world in the 21st century. His current book explores the extremely rapid technological changes and how we can survive them. I am only in the first section of the book but the author shares an awesome analogy (paraphased): If a car from the 1960s had advanced in technological development like the computer chip did, then cars of today would get 200,000 miles to the gallon and cost 4 cents.
Living an Examined Life: Wisdom for the Second Half of the Journeyby James Hollis. This is a complex but beautiful book and reads like poetry. Here is a nice summary of the book on the Sound True website: Livingan Examined Life.
Waking Gods, and Sleeping Giantsby Sylvain Neuvel. These two books are part of a trilogy (I think it is a trilogy as I am currently anxiously awaiting the third book due to be released in May 2018). Unusual and exceptional science fiction presented in a very creative method: through a series of interviews. The audiobook performance is exceptional as it is done by a series of actors and they perform it in a way that you feel like you are listening to actual conversations. One of the best audiobook performances I’ve even listened to and a great engaging story!
Nine Women, One Dress by Jane Rosen. This was a fun “chick-lit” romantic comedy – predictable but fairly well written. The story is exactly as the title implies but very engaging!
You can follow me on Goodreads (I am “Tierneycreates” on Goodreads) if you want to follow what I am reading.
She demonstrated her brilliant method for piecing curves using pieces cut from The Clammy, her giant clamshell maker template. Below are photos from the class (including some yummy fabric she used for her demo):
Later that day I was fortunate enough to share a shuttle bus ride (EE Schencks provided a free shuttle to and from the hotel to the Trends show) with Latifah and hear more about her transition from scientist to quilting guru!
Kathy Cardiff: Wool Appliqué
Kathy Cardiff is a Washington state based designer, author and teacher who specializes in wool appliqué. Check out her website – The Cottageat Cardiff Farms.
She taught a hands on wool appliqué class in which she prepped our little wool appliqué pieces with fusible backed paper, we just needed to cut the little pieces out to make this (her sample):
She also prepared templates for us to use to press the pieces together onto freezer paper before peeling them off to place the fabric for the little pillow:
Her work is amazing, here are so additional photos from the class and her booth:
She definitely took the fear out of wool appliqué for me like Latifah Saafir took the fear out of curved piecing for me!
Here is my wool appliqué piece currently in progress from the class:
The funny thing is I’ve had a The Cottage at Cardiff Farms sunflower wool appliqué pillow pattern and supplies for many years but I was too intimidated to get started on it. It no longer seems scary – especially now that I have learned a quick way to put the appliqué pieces together and fuse them!
I told Kathy about the pattern I’ve had for years (purchased at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, OR); she knew which one I referenced and gave me tips after class on how to complete it!
There’s No Place Like Home
We had fun in Portland but I was also happy to return home again. My heart always soars when we drive from the Mount Hood pass area into Central Oregon. It is so interesting how the climate and the landscapes change from Portland to Mount Hood to Central Oregon.
The moment I saw my beloved “high desert” landscape, blue skies and Cascade Mountains everywhere – I knew I was home!
Recently I read an article online (oops I do not remember the website) that strongly recommended you do not store your thread out in the open because of dust, etc. In a previous post,Aurifilia, I discussed my beloved collection of AURIfil thread (actually obsession).
Well I decided to take down my mounted thread racks and store my thread collection instead in bins to protect the thread.
So I went from this:
Note the AURIfil is neatly stored in the top 4 containers and the “non-AURIfil” thread is casually strew about in the bottom container – ha!
I also decided to put up more quilted art/gifts from my Quilting Sisters in my Studio.
Here is a quilt made for me a couple years ago by my Quilting Sister Kathy when our group did a quilt exchange:
And instead of the mounted thread racks, here is an art quilt made from recycled silks by my Quilting Sister and art quilting mentor, Betty Anne:
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I attended EE Schenck’s Trends show this past weekend. This post is part one of my two-part series on my experience at the Spring 2018 Trends show.
I signed up for an EE Schenck wholesale account when I had the tierneycreates Etsy shop and for a brief time thought I would supplement my handmade items sales with some fabric sales.
My ‘adventures in retail” were challenging (see my old post from June 2015, Adventures inRetail) and I quickly discovered that I greatly disliked cutting yardage and making up fat quarter packs (I believe this is what you have to do all day in the “Underworld”, if you are bad in life and go there after you die; to me that is a big enough incentive to be good in life!).
I did however meet my lovely quilting friend Martha through one of my Etsy shop fabric sales so I figured that was the good thing that came out of that experience!
Additionally, as I discussed in previous posts, I did not want to compete against “brick & mortar” quilt shops (though absolutely no quilt shop could have been threatened by my meager attempts to sell fabric) and become part of the “online fabric sales world” that threatens our beloved community quilt shops.
I did eventually temporarily close my Etsy shop (it’s been over a year so it has been an extended “temporary” closure) to rethink my strategy and handmade offerings.
My Etsy shop is temporarily closed but EE Schenck still has me listed as a wholesaler and they continue invite me each year to their Spring and Fall Trends show for now.
I attended my first show in September 2016 (see the post Ladies FriendshipCircle) and got to hang out with my friend Joan H. as well as the lovely MarieBostwick (a mutual friend of my friend Joan) and Mary Fons (a friend of Marie’s).
So when I received the invite from EE Schenck to the Spring Trends show and saw what classes were offered, I asked TTQH if he would like to go to Portland, Oregon for the weekend (it is only a 4 hour drive from my house) and attend Trends.
Beside the opportunity for a nice weekend getaway to Portland, one of the reasons I attended the Trends show was for a very reasonable price I could take “Take n’ Teach” classes from wonderful authors/teachers/designers such as Latifah Saafir, Kathy Cardiff, and Jody Houghton.
I was especially excited to take Jody Houghton’s class, Fabric Art Panels, because her work holds a special place in my heart. As a matter of fact I gaze at one of her panels nearly everyday: my very dear friend Judy (who got me into quilting and I consider my “Quilt Momma”) made me this wall hanging a couple years ago from a Jody Houghton panel:
The Drive to Portland
There are generally two ways to get from Central Oregon to Portland: SantiamPassor MountHood Pass. Until late April (or later) both are at mountain elevations, are ski areas, and both are usually covered in snow. Sometimes the snow is packed on the road and most times until late Spring, chains or traction tires can be required. You always see tractor trailers at the lowest part of the elevation pulled over and putting on their chains to make it through the pass in the late Fall, Winter and early-mid Spring.
We decided to take Santiam Pass to Portland and below are photos from our snowy drive (from inside the car with the windows rolled up). I was glad TTQH was driving! (Actually is wasn’t that bad, we only 30 minutes or so driving on pack snow, the rest of the drive was just wet/snow dusted highway).
The Unexpected Roommate
Arriving in Portland we first stopped at Powell’s Books, the mega independent bookstore and a mandatory stop so TTQH could load up on more military history books (his other hobby besides quilting).
After that we headed to our hotel and checked into our room.
It had been a long drive from Central Oregon to Portland and we had spent a long time in Powell’s books, and I was eager to get into comfy clothes and relax. TTQH was in the bathroom and I was getting undressed and suddenly the door opened to our hotel room and a woman was backing into our room with her suitcase!
I exclaimed: “Hello there!” and startled her as I quickly pulled my pants back up. She was a well dressed congenial woman who graciously stated: “Oops, the woman at the front desk was new and I think she assigned me the wrong room.” We briefly laughed about it (though I was in utter shock and yelled to TTQH not to come out of the bathroom unless he was fully dressed) and she said she would go downstairs and sort it out. She also said she was there for the Trends show so I knew she was likely a quilter/crafter and therefore a wonderful person (in general, crafters are wonderful people – smile)!
Shaken (and feeling rather vulnerable as they obviously we handing out card keys to our room to others!) I immediately called the front desk and told them what happened. I then went down to the front desk in person and requested to have a new card key made up. The front desk staff apologized profusely and got everything fixed. The nice woman who had backed into our room was also there getting things sorted out and we laughed about it again.
When I got back to the room, I had calmed down and TTQH were able to have a laugh about it. I said to TTQH, “Well she seemed nice and I guess she could have slept between us if the hotel is completely out of rooms, ha!”
I figured I would run into the “unexpected roommate” at some point at the Trends show on Saturday and we would have a more relaxed laugh about it.
The Unexpected Teacher
Saturday, September 17th, after the Trends keynote speaker’s, Amy Barickman of Indigo Junction, I headed to the “Take n’ Teach” series of classes, my first class being with Jody Houghton.
And guess who was Jody Houghton? My Unexpected Roommate!!!!
We had quite the laugh about it when I first arrived at her booth for the class! Jody and I also shared the story with the other class participants who got a laugh out of it too!
Her class was wonderful and we learned how to make quick tote bags using her panels. Here are photos from the class and photos of some of the cool samples she had on display:
Jody is an absolutely lovely woman and a very talented designer and teacher.
Check out her panels and notions on her Etsy Shop: Sisterhood of Quilters by Jody Houghton Designs. I hope you will support her shop (or convince your local quilt shop to carry her items) as in my opinion she really captures the heart of the friendships and bonds that come from quilting together. I hope I get to connect with her again the future (but perhaps not as an unexpected roommate…ha!).
It is sort of like the Universe brought us together – how random that the woman who created the panel in the wallhanging that means so much to me, “broke” into my room!
Next post I will continue with more stories from the Trends show (though none involving potential roommates!)
Our first time to Trends in September 2016 we took Mike and Sassy (who passed in December 2017). TTQH only briefly attend Trends (leaving the dogs in the car outside for 1/2 hour) as he was in charge of the dogs (who did not like to be left in a hotel room alone).
We decided to leave Mike with some fellow schnauzer people and be “child-free” in Portland this time so we could enjoy the weekend together. TTQH was not interested in taking any classes but he had fun wandering around EE Schenck looking for dog themed fabrics and talking to other husbands (usually the husbands of quilt shop owners, etc.) at the show.
Here is a photo of Mike with his schnauzer buddies Chopper and Frieda, taken by their people and texted to us during the weekend so we knew Mike was having a good time. They labeled this photo “The Three Amigos”.
I appreciate the comments and as one commenter stated: “My brain would be on overload”. Yep, my brain was on major overload.
But at least I did not get this overloaded:
Yes the paramedic arrived for a crafter who had passed out at Sew Expo and hit her head. She was okay and I am not sure if they had to take her out on the stretcher or no (I did not want to “rubberneck” around the scene (another attendee filled me in as I walked by).
Buttons, So Many Buttons
Here is a sampling of the numerous booths of buttons. I did not linger in these booths too long as I have enough buttons in my life right (even if the booths had “life-changingly-beautiful” buttons 🙂
Need a Sewing Machine?
There were so many domestic sewing machine vendors: Bernina, Pfaff, Brother, Janome, Baby Lock, etc. There are also many long-arm machine vendors. They all had “show specials” and were willing to spend as much time as you needed to convince you to buy one of their machines!
There were also sewing machine cabinet/sew room organization vendors; of course my dream Bernina machines.
Yes most of the photos above have to do with my fantasy/dream Bernina sewing machines! As I am a “Berninaphile”, I spent time wandering around these booths. (If you ever win the lottery and want to get me something nice as you have really enjoyed my blog, I have a couple $10,000 + priced Berninas in mind!)
I even bought some awesome Bernina fabric at one of the Bernina booths:
I do not know what I am going to make with it (I bought 2 yards of it) but it was one of those “I have to have it” moments 🙂
Most of the vendors had beautiful and well thought out displays, but a couple really caught my attention:
Craft your own wool stitched treats (very low calories, ha!):
This vendor made a covering for her booth so you entered a quilted house:
Nothing to wear? Turn a quilt into a dress:
A sampling of some of the cool quilts on display in vendor’s booths:
My beloved Stitchin’ PostQuilt Shop from Sisters Oregon had a vendor booth at the show. They are there every year. I first learned about the Stitchin’ Post when I lived in Seattle, WA, had just started quilting and went to my first Sew Expo around 2000 or 2001. Little did I know a couple years later (2005) I would be moving to Central Oregon and they would become one of my favorite quilt shops!
It was fun to say hi to local people I knew working the booth and believe or not, I actually purchased a couple items at the booth (although I can shop at the Stitchin’ Post anytime back home!)
Just Some Random Photos
Here are a couple random photos that did not fit into their own header section.
Endless displays of patterns and fabric bundles:
Cool cork fabric:
Very fancy handmade seam rippers! (Taking seam ripping to the next level…)
And endless “bits and bobs” you want to add to your sewing/crafting room:
Overstimulated and Hungry
We wandered ourselves near the point of fatigue with no break for eating. Finally about 2:00 pm we had enough and found a place to eat nearby.
We could have eaten inside the convention center/fairgrounds like many crafters did:
But we seriously needed to escape Sew Expo (a new Science Fiction film idea: Escape from Sew Expo) and we ventured a couple block away to a New Orleans cuisine themed eatery and had amazing Po’ Boys sandwiches away from the maddening crowds!
When we returned to my Quilting Sisters home who was hosting us this weekend, we pulled out our individual hauls of goodies and did a “show & tell”.
Here’s a photo of some of our combined group haul:
There is a lot more but we do not want a record of it – ha! (“What happens at Sew Expo, stays at Sew Expo”).
My Quilting Sisters are a jovial group and we enjoy teasing each other.
For the rest of the evening, and the next day, we did a mini quilt retreat and each worked on small projects we brought with us. Well the hostess was working on a scrap quilt with half-square triangles and my other Quilting Sister was working on a wedding quilt with a lot of trimming.
To tease me about buying a bag of cool scraps at Sew Expo, they put together some additional scraps for me to take home:
As you can see by the ruler, unless I was going to glue a tiny quilt together, these scraps are a little too small….
I spent a brief (it seemed too short) 3 day trip to visit friends in Gig Harbor, WA and go to the Sewing & Stitchery Expo(“Sew Expo“) in Puyallup, WA at the Washington State Fairgrounds with some of my WA based QuiltingSisters.
I took a zillion photos and in this post I will share some of the “zillion” photos and give you a taste of what it is like to attend Sew Expo.
The Flight to SeaTac Airport
When Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and Mike the Miniature Schnauzer dropped me off at our small Central Oregon airport (RDM), I thought of this old post from Sassy the Highly Miniature Schnauzer’s SchnauzerSnips blog: Human Storage?. From a dog’s point of view, as this post discusses, it appears that I am just staying at the airport for a couple of days – Mike sees me dropped off at the airport and then picked up at the airport!
Flying in small planes makes me slightly nervous. When we moved from Seattle to Central Oregon I had to acclimate to taking smaller planes. Our airport is small and cannot handle standard size planes/jets, just the Turboprop size planes, like the one in the image below:
But I discovered, years ago, thanks to my primary care doctor, the magic of a small dose of Ativan and a dose of Dramamine – it makes the flight awesome.
Alaska Airlines serves, for those 21 and over, a complimentary glass of wine or a Pacific NW Microbrew during these small plane flights between Central Oregon and Seattle. The flight is between 45 – 55 minutes and I enjoyed a blissful flight with my microbrew, a biscuit, my knitting and relaxing music on my smartphone (in airplane mode of course!):
I got quite a bit of knitting done on the scarf I mentioned in the post ACase Against Procrastination, during the trip between the flight, hanging out in the airport before flights, and hanging out visiting with my friends. I will share an update when the scarf is done (so you won’t lie awake at night wondering when I will get that scarf done – ha!)
Welcome to Washington State Fairgrounds
The Sasquatch is the unofficial mascot of the Pacific NW. I lived in Seattle for 8 years and did a lot of hiking but never saw a Sasquatch running around! But when you walk into the WA State Fairground there is a carved Sasquatch to greet you and it was decorated for Sew Expo!
Inside Sew Expo: The Crowds
There are two buildings housing vendors for Sew Expo and the space is HUGE! It took us 4 – 5 hours to walk around Sew Expo. Here are a couple photos of the crowds and some random vendors:
It’s Called “Sew Expo” But There Was a Lot of Yarn!
Sew Expo is really about most textile based crafts and there were many yarn vendors. I know many of you knit and crochet, so let me share some of the endless yarn-yumminess in the vendor booths at Sew Expo:
Special Booths: Pendleton Wool
Some vendors had special large booths, such as the large booth of Pendleton Woolen Mills. They had a large area in their booth in which they were selling Pendleton Woolen Mills selvages. I could not figure out why someone would want to buy a giant bag of these selvages until I noticed that there were shag rugs made from these selvages. Great recycling!
The Fabric, Oh The Fabric
Okay it is called “Sew Expo” and so the bulk (at least 60% or more) of the vendor booths were dedicated to fabric for sewing garment, making quilts, and other sewn crafts. Here is just a sampling of the fabric delights I browsed:
This booth had an exceptionally delicious offering of silks:
There were lot’s of fabric deals:
But the “craziest” fabric deals of all were the “trough-o-fabric” at $7.99 a pound section and the vendor selling yardage of high quality fabric at $5.99+ a yard.
A ridiculous amount of quilting fabric remnants, fat quarters and yardage were thrown in giant rolling tubs. You grab a large plastic bag and fill it up with what you want, they weigh it and you pay $7.99 a pound.
Yes this looks like total insanity, and it was but I had so much fun with the other quilters digging through the troughs. We were all helping each other and looking out for whatever someone asked for help looking for. for $14.00 I picked up about $40 – $50 in high quality quilting fabric (some Kaffe Fasset stripe fabric, etc).
This area was huge and took up a large section of the last aisle in one of the Pavilions at Sew Expo. One of my Quilting Sisters picked up some mind blowing fabric deals in this section but I had “Fabric Burnout” by the time I got to this section and only took photos, no serious shopping (which I regretted later when I saw the deals my friend got!)
Let’s end this post here, I will continue in the next post with the rest of the Sew Expo experience.
Thank goodness I spent a little time proofreading this post before posting it. It was not a “Freudian Slip”, just typing too quick, but I did type “Sex Expo” instead of “Sew Expo” in several area (including at first the post title, which I expanded to the official name of the event).
Trust me, if I went to “Sex Expo”, I would not be posting about it – ha! (And that would be a very strange thing to attend with one’s Quilting Sisters!)
I also stated in this post: “I have another skein of the same yarn for my hat and I am thinking of making a coordinating ribbed scarf.”
I did start knitting a coordinating scarf. I was feeling lazy and decided to do a mindless knit a row/purl a row pattern (even though it tends to curl on the ends) instead of a ribbed pattern which required more thought. My plan was to finish up the scarf while watching television in the evening.
However as we moved from December into January in Central Oregon the weather was not too bad. No snow and on and off in January we had that “Sprinter” (Spring-like in Winter) weather I’ve mentioned in previous posts (see recent post ABeautiful Mondaywhere were are on a hike in 60 degree weather).
So I procrastinated.
I did get nearly 13.5″ of scarf knitted but it is not enough to wrap around the neck of Mike the Miniature Schnauzer much less a human:
Then…Bam – Snowmageddon is back in Central Oregon! Sprinter is OVER! Winter is here, for real (heavy snow and frigid temperatures)!
And because I procrastinated, I had no scarf to match my hat! I had to face the elements “less coordinated” as I could have been (smile):
I am now trying to finish the scarf, no more procrastination, I have learned my lesson!
In my series of posts, TheLibrary Stack, it is apparent that I love to borrow a huge stack of library books at one time.
In case you ever wonder how I manage the borrowed library books I have finished that are ready for return to the library (okay you likely have never wondered this but I will share anyway), I wanted to share my system.
We have an old IKEA shoe rack that we keep under the coat rack by the front door. On top of that shoe rack I have a wire basket that holds all library books ready for return:
We also keep a tray with a box of tissues (for runny noses during winter walks), earphones for audiobook listening, and keys for easy access. Yes I guess I could have tidied the area up before taking the photo but I decided to “keep it real”!
I started this library wire basket system years ago after hearing a cautionary tale from a friend:
Her husband was trying to be helpful and returned a stack of books for her to the library. Turns out these books were expensive new art books she just purchased, not library books!
Her husband went back to the library to plead his case and ask for the books back but the library had already given them to the Friends of the Library Group for the next fund raising sale. They were integrated with the other donations stored off site and not retrievable (they don’t give back donations or have the staff to search for “oops” donations). So my friend never saw her lovely stack of new art books again! (I think she tried to find them at the annual fundraiser book sale but they were gone).
So I can safely ask my husband to return my library books for me as they are only kept in one place!
Recently I’ve gained a bunch of new tierneycreates blog followers! Welcome new followers/readers, thanks for joining this random discussion of a crafter’s life!
I guess with all the new followers, I should actually write a new post (what a novel idea!) so they have something to actually “follow” (smile).
Last post I shared with you my “Aurifilia” – my obsession with the beautiful Italian AURIfil thread. This post I want to share with you someone else’s obsession: Kaffe-philia.
(“-philia” = denoting fondness, especially an abnormal love for a specified thing – dictionary.com).
Saturday I visited the home of a quilting friend who is obsessed with Kaffe Fassett fabric.
In case you have never heard of Kaffe, especially if you are not a quilter, he is a U.S. born designer who moved to the U.K. when he was a young man. He first made it big in embroidery needlepoint and knitting and then moved into quilt and fabric design. Here is a link to his website: www.kaffefassett.comif you would like to read more about Kaffe Fassett.
My friend has been collecting Kaffe Fassett fabric for many years and here is a peek inside her stash:
A close up of some of her Kaffe Fassett fabric delights:
And a peek inside one of her boxes, on top of her “rack-of-Kaffe”, with her shot cotton stripes collection:
It is even more yummy in person but hopefully the photos give you a taste of her collection.
She has made many quilts with Kaffe Fassett fabrics over the years and here is a commission quilt she is currently putting the binding on, made exclusively with Kaffe Fassett fabrics using a pattern from a Kaffe Fassett book:
Here is the cool fabric on the back which is a sateen and you can see a close up of some of the quilting she did on the quilt:
So you might be thinking: “Tierney, those fabric are lovely, do you own some?” I own a tiny bit of Kaffe Fassett fabric yardage. What I do have quite a bit of are Kaffe Fassett FABRIC SCRAPS! If you have followed my blog for a while you know of my love of fabric scraps (bordering on pathology).
You will never guess where I got the fabric scraps…(hint: from my friend with the Kaffe-philia).
Although I have not invested in a lot of Kaffe Fassett yardage, I am guilty of my own Kaffe-philia (true confession time). I was (last year I finally stopped) obsessed with owning the latest Kaffe Fassett book, and here is my bookshelf to prove it:
Question: So Tierney, just how many quilts have you made from all these Kaffe Fassett books you own?
Answer: (Sheepish grin) None. But I plan to in the future, I really do!
My friend with the Kaffe fabric obsession, and I with the Kaffe book obsession, got to meet the fabulous Kaffe Fassett a couple of years ago at a book signing at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, Oregon. I tried not to go to all “fan girl” on him when I got him to sign one of my books.
There are many wonderful fabric designers, do not know why his fabric and books are so addicting!
This post is actually for me, but I will explain more about that later.
First I want to talk about Aurifilia. Yes, I completely made this term up, however, “Aurifilia” is an obsession, perhaps unhealthy perhaps not, with AURIfilItalian Threads.
Quilter True Confessions
My “Aurifilia” began 5 – 6 years ago when another quilter introduced me to these addicting Italian threads.
It started with purchasing multipurpose neutral colored threads: cream, white, light gray etc. It progressed into buying less multipurpose colored threads: blues, greens, purples, browns.
Finally, it evolved into buying quilt designer collections of AURIfil thread in unusual bright or strong colors, with no specific plan or purpose for these threads.
Realizing my “Aurifilia” has gotten a bit out of control, I decided to reorganize my threads by brand, instead of color, to see just how much AURIfil (and in what colors) I had on hand.
I went from this organization (by color):
To this organization (by brand):
After organizing my Aurifil threads, I discovered I currently have no gray! Light gray is a great neutral color, in my opinion) for stitching; and medium and dark gray would look lovely as topstitching.
Why this post is for me
It is inevitable I am going to bring more AURIfil thread into my life (at least some gray!). The problem in the past is I could not remember what colors I had on hand when I was at shop and fell into an acute bout of Aurifilia.
Now I can whip out my smartphone, pull up this post and see what Aurifil I already have in my collection.
I might even update this post ever so often with the latest photo of my Aurifil collection!
I decided to do the same thing with my fabric yardage collection – keep on my blog photos of my current fabric collection. I added these photos to my tierneycreates StudioTourpage at the bottom if you would like to take a peek.
Yes our blogs can be our online diaries, why can’t they be our online catalogues too?
I meant to post this yesterday but the day got away from me (where does time go? do the minutes slip away to the same place missing socks go?).
I do not work on Mondays and this past Monday I went for a lovely hike with my friend Laurie and her Bernese Mountain Dog, Luna along the Deschutes River Trail off of Farewell Bend Park.
We are having “Sprinter” (Spring-like Winter, yes I totally made that up) in Central Oregon. Monday was in the late 50s to early 60s degrees F (14 – 15 degrees C for my blogging friends outside the US). It was truly like a sunny blue sky Spring day (minus the Spring foliage).
We had a wonderful hike along the Deschutes River. Luna got to play in the river so she really happy and as a bonus for her and the humans, we ran in the puppy/”mini-me” version of Luna – an adorable Bernese Mountain Dog puppy named Willow.
Well, instead of me telling you about the hike, why don’t I just share photos and let the photos speak for themselves!
The Deschutes River Trail and Farewell Bend Park connect you back into the Old Mill District, an outdoor shopping and dining area built around an old lumbar mill, hence the name (www.oldmilldistrict.com/about/history/).
Laurie and I got a kick out of the app-based rental bikes parked at the Old Mill. You sign up and pay for the rental using a smartphone app!
We plan to rent them someday to explore the surrounding area by bike without having to haul our bikes down to the area!
Actually we are planning monthly hikes to explore our town. I have lived in Central Oregon 12 years and there is so much I have not yet explored, or I just want to explore again!
I so appreciate the comments, insights and encouragement on my 02/04/18 post Art & Fear, etc..
I got less stuck (or got over my “inertia” an awesome word my blogging buddy Claire of knitNkwilt commented) and mapped out the required dimensions of one of the art quilts with a looming deadline:
I also pulled out my recycled materials stash to start playing with fabrics based on the design I have sketched!
I am feeling stuck. I have two looming deadlines for art quilts for two upcoming shows and I have not started either pieces.
I am dealing with feeling stuck in two ways: 1) reading an inspirational book; and 2) sewing some traditional blocks.
At the January meeting of the art quilting group I belong to (Central Oregon SAQA) our group leader shared that she was reading Art & Fear: Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking (1993) by David Bayles and Ted Orland.
After the meeting, I immediately reserved the book at my public library and just picked in up from the library on Friday. Diving into this awesome book I discovered a couple great quotes about the reality of creating/making art:
“Making art is dangerous and revealing. Making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be.”
“…fears arise in those entirely appropriate (and frequently occurring) moments when vision races ahead of execution. Consider the story of a young student…who began piano studies with a Master. After a few months’ practice (the student) lamented to his teacher ‘but I can hear the music so much better in my head than I can get out of my fingers’. To which the Master replied, ‘What makes you think that ever changes?'”
“The materials of art…seduce us with their potential.”
(This last quote made me think of stumbling upon that incredible textile that you know will be perfect in a future piece)
I am only on page 20 and so far there are many gems in this book. Currently I highly recommend it if you are struggling with creating art or moving forward on your artistic journey.
At the beginning of this post I mentioned I have not started two art quilts with looming deadlines. I have actually designed and mapped out both pieces on paper but have not begun to the process of transferring my vision to fabric. That is where I am stuck (likely because of fear).
Stitching Myself Unstuck
I knew I needed to do something to become “unstuck” but I could not force myself to start working on either art quilt when I am not feeling inspired. I could however get myself in a creating mood by sewing something.
So I pulled out my bag of scraps from working on Farm Girl Vintage blocks (see series of posts FarmGirl Vintage Blocks)
and made a couple more blocks:
These blocks are about as far as you can get from art quilting but they got me sewing again and it was fun to try to be limited by what was in the scrap bag (from Farm Girl Vintage blocks already made).
I will likely make a couple more blocks and then I will do a post showing all my completed Farm Girl Vintage blocks to date.
I will continue reading the Art & Fear book and look at starting my art quilts.
Have you ever felt creatively stuck and what do you do to get “unstuck”?
We have decided to sell his Baby Lock sewing machine and he is going to use my Bernina. I can better support him on technical issues if he is using the same brand of machine (I can trouble shoot my Bernina in my sleep).
Plus he likes working in my sewing area, it has a better set up with my latest room rearrangement.
This post has nothing to do with quilting or crafting! However my blog is about a “Crafter’s Life” and crafters have to eat right? So I want to share a recipe for a very delicious “detox” soup I recently made.
We have local health food store called Natural Grocers. I received their sale flyer in the mail a week ago and it contained a recipe for Super Detox Soup.
I love making soups but normally I would be suspicious of such as soup (i.e. it sounds too healthy and not yummy) but after reviewing the recipe I decided to make it.
It was MAJOR tasty! Surprisingly tasty! I had it for lunch each day for 4 days in a row and did not tire of it. The fresh ginger in it has a nice zing and it has pseudo-Thai soup flavors (without the lemongrass and basil).
I would paste the entire recipe into this post but it might be easier for you to just access and save the link to the original recipe. If you do end up making it note in my opinion you do not need to add all the red chili pepper flakes the recipe calls for – I added only 1/2 and the spice level seemed perfect!
Now this is not a cooking blog so there are no step by step instructions – ha! If you would like to check out a real cooking blog I enjoy, check out InDiane’s Kitchen
I did create a new Blog Post Category – ACrafter Needs to Eat , where you will find previous posts that have to do with cooking/provide recipes or links.
This might seem random, but a Crafter also needs to use MS Office (MS Word, MS Excel, MS Powerpoint, etc.) and I discovered this wonderful sight with great tips on MS Office products: