Kaffe-philia

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.com if 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:

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A close up of some of her Kaffe Fassett fabric delights:

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And a peek inside one of her boxes, on top of her “rack-of-Kaffe”, with her shot cotton stripes collection:

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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:

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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:

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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:
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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!

Do any of you have a little bit of Kaffe-philia?


Postscript

Recently, one of the bloggers I follow, thecraftycreek, has been working on a lovely Kaffe Fassett quilt that you might want to check out if you love Kaffe Fassett like some of us do. See her post – Feel the Sunshine and Do a Happy Dance! 

Aurifilia

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 AURIfil Italian Threads.

Quilter True Confessions

My “Aurifilia” began 5 – 6 years ago when another quilter introduced me to these addicting Italian threads.

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Photo credit: aurifil.com

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.

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I went from this organization (by color):

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To this organization (by brand):

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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!


Postscript

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 Studio Tour page 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?

 

 

 

A Beautiful Monday

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.

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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!

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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!

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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!


Postscript

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:

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I also pulled out my recycled materials stash to start playing with fabrics based on the design I have sketched!

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Moving forward! Unstuck! (for now…)

 

Art & Fear, etc.

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.

Inspirational Book

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.

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Image credit: Amazon.com

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 Farm Girl Vintage Blocks)

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and made a couple more blocks:

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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”?


Postscript

A follow up to my previous post Spinning the Homespuns with TTQH, Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) has moved into my sewing studio to work on his piece.

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.

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Mike the Mini Schnauzer: “Now he will sew in here all the time?!?!?”

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TTQH enjoying the small design wall on the closet door right behind the sewing area

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TTQH working on his piece


Featured image: Dave Dyet, free images.com

Super Detox Soup

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.

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Natural Grocers’ Super Detox Soup simmering on the stove

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).

Here is the link to the recipe on the Natural Grocers’ website: https://www.naturalgrocers.com/recipe/super-detox-soup/

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Image credit: naturalgrocers.com

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 In Diane’s Kitchen

I did create a new Blog Post Category – A Crafter Needs to Eat , where you will find previous posts that have to do with cooking/provide recipes or links.


Postscript

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:

One Minute Office Magic (https://oneminuteofficemagic.com)

A Case for Buying Only High Quality Quilting Fabric

The alternate title to this post was “A Cautionary Tale About Using Low Quality Inexpensive Fabric”.

First let me make a disclaimer in case you are already cringing  that I am about to get “preachy” about only buying high quality quilting fabric at quilt shops. I am only going to share my experience and my personal lesson, not make or imply any judgements on where you buy your fabric!

So let’s start at the beginning of my quilting journey, 17 – 18 years ago and see where this post goes from there…

My Early Days of Quilting: “I am not spending crazy money on fabric!”

I started quilting in 1999 or 2000 when my friend Judy, my now “Quilting Momma”, convinced me to make my first quilt. Being a seasoned quilter, she tried to guide me towards only buying fabric at quilt shops. I refused.

Sure, I enjoyed going to quilt shops with her and looking at all the pretty fabric. When I looked at the prices however at the shops I would exclaim: “I am not spending crazy money on fabric!”. To her dismay, I would only shop at JOANN Fabric for my quilting fabric.

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Image credit: joann.com

Judy tried gently on numerous occasions to get me to reconsider my fabric purchasing location. She said: “You are spending all this time and energy making a quilt, don’t you want to invest in good fabric that will make the quilt last?” (Well she said something like that, I do not remember the exact statement).

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Our first miniature schnauzers Fritz and Snickers wrapped in the first quilt I made with all JOANN fabric.

In Love With JOANN Fabrics & Crafts

My first couple years of quilting, I was absolutely in love with JOANN fabric, I thought it was a magical place. I would always wait for their sales – especially on fat quarters (pre-cut 18″ x 21″ pieces of fabric for the non-quilters reading this post). The fancy-smancy quilt shops sold fat quarters for $2 each but I could get them at JOANN’s for 99 cents and when they were on sale, I could get them for 69 cents and occasionally 49 cents!

I remember walking out of JOANN Fabrics after a major sale with a huge bag of fat quarters.

Made with Inexpensive, Low Quality Fabric

My first couple years of quilting, every quilt I made was made with fabric from JOANN Fabrics, including a wedding quilt I made with all blue fabrics. The pattern was called “Around the World”.

I loved the quilt so much, and the fabric I used to make it was so inexpensive, that I made  second one for myself.

This quilt has been well used over the years but around 5 years of moderate use, it began to wear in spots and even tear. I carefully stitched up the tears to fix the quilt. Until recently after many washings, the tears became more profound and I needed to do something else.

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Here is an example of one of the tears as I prepare it under my sewing machine for repair

Before I share what I did to fix the tears, I want to discuss the lesson I feel I learned: my friend Judy was right – you want to use high quality fabric if you want a quilt to last and hold up over the years.

The fabric I used on this quilt was so incredibly flimsy, it obviously had a low thread count and did not wear well over the years. The picture may not fully capture it but the fabric has nearly the feel of paper, thin paper.

Yes this quilt is likely 15 – 16 years old but it should not have worn this way where the fabric feels like it is dissolving away!

Luckily, in my opinion, about 5 years into quilting, I stopped buying fabric for making quilts from JOANN Fabrics (I would still buy it for making gifts such as potholders, etc.) and “bit the bullet” and began only buying high quality fabric from quilt shops (and eventually also online resources that offered discounted high quality quilting fabrics).

“Spot Welding” a Quilt

After years of numerous hand stitched repairs to my beloved shabby blue quilt, I had to figure out another way to repair it or get rid of it (which seemed like a very sad option as I feel quite sentimental about this quilt).

I decided to patch the quilt with a fabric in my stash (yes high quality quilting fabric) that was the closest match I could find to the original JOANN Fabrics fabric.

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The quilt looks quite crazy but I “spot welded” the torn areas all over the quilt and saved the quilt:

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It is not pretty, but the quilt no longer has tears. I am sure I am going to have to continue to “spot weld” different areas of the quilt in the future.

I love this quilt and imagine if I had used high quality, high fiber count, quilting fabric from the start? As a new quilter, making an “Around the World” pattern quilt was fun but was also a lot of work and I should have invested in higher quality fabric.

What became of all the JOANN fabric I bought all those years ago? All gone from my stash – all donated to thrift shops. I donated most of it many years ago and got rid of the last of it over the past couple years during my purging related to embracing “semi-minimalism” (see posts in the category My Minimalism Journey).

I am interested in your comments and please know I am not being preachy or judgmental about where you buy your fabric!


Postscript

I finished the coil for batik fabric baskets and bowls that I discussed in posts: Prepping to Make Fabric Bowls  and Prepping to Make Fabric Bowls, Continued.

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Yay!

I am so glad to have it done and now I will put it away until I feel like making another basket…

I have other projects calling me!

2017: A Blogging Year in Review

I’ve enjoyed reading other “year-end” summaries and reviews by other bloggers. So as January 2018 is nearly over, I better post my year review!


Seven (7) Favorite Projects of 2017

In no particular order, here are severn (7) of my favorite projects of 2017. Click on the link in the project name to see the related post about the piece.

Additional Conversations

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Additional Conversations (2017) – in progress, by Tierney Davis Hogan

Cozy Cobblestones

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Cozy Cobblestones (2017) by Tierney Davis Hogan. Quilted by Cindy Anderson of A Quilters’s Corner (inastitchquilting.com)

Happy Ending

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Happy Endings (201) by Tierney Davis Hogan. Quilted by Cindy Anderson of A Quilters’s Corner (inastitchquilting.com)

Little Wallets

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Little Wallet Madness

Basket of Love

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Recycled Windows

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Recycled Windows (2017) by Tierney Davis Hogan

The Recycled Road

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The Recycled Road (2017) by Tierney Davis Hogan

Curiously, when looking through my blog posts of 2017, I see I started a lot of projects (like Farm Girl Vintage blocks), but did not complete that many projects in 2017! I better get my act together in 2018…


Seven (7) Favorite Posts/Series of Posts of 2017

I selected these seven (7) posts (or series of posts) because I really enjoyed writing them:

Quilting Studio Archaeology Series

Quilting Studio Archaeology

Quilt Studio Closet Purge

Quilt Studio Archeology and Purging, Part II

Quilt Studio Archaeology and Purge, Part III

Quilting Sisters Series

Quilting Sisters, Part I

Quilting Sisters, Part II

Quilters Take Manhattan Series

The “Dance Partner” – Michael Cummings at QTM 2017

Spiritual Quilting – Sherri Lynn Wood at QTM 2017

Behind the Scenes at the Antonio Ratti Textile Center – QTM 2017

Wrap Up of QTM 2017 Weekend

The Expenditure

Creative Inspiration: Just Cut Out the Bad Parts and Keep Going

The Backstitch and the End of Tangled Floss

A Case for Buying Things You Have No Plans for at the Time


Schnauzer Snips Follow Up

As many of you know, in December 2017 our beloved Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer and my fellow blogger passed.

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Sassy was highly opinionated and awesome

For a brief moment I did think about having Mike, our other miniature schnauzer, take over her blog Schnauzer Snips – Musings from a Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer, as “Sassy” had been writing in her blog since 2013 when I started my tierneycreates blog.

However Mike is much more mellow and not as highly opinionated (and prefers to spend most his time napping in the back of Terry the Quilting Husband’s knees) so it would not make sense for him to want to take over the blog.

Eventually I would like to turn the blog into a memory photo and story book for Terry and I once I figure out what platform to do this on. For now the blog will stay live on the web in the “blogosphere” for whomever stumbles upon it.


Postscript

Meet the Pups in the Feature Photo

I thought I will end this post on a silly note and introduce you to the pups in the feature photo for this post:

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They are known as The Puppy Powers and they live in my sewing studio along with other furry creatures to keep me smiling while I sew. I found them years ago (I do not remember where) and they all have magnetic paws and can be posed it adorable poses and stuck on anything metal.

Their names are Pup, Puppy, Puppa, and Pups:

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And here they are having fun on their photo shoot:

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It’s challenging to keep a Radio Flyer full of puppies still during a photo shoot!

 

An Unexpected Treat

I could not decide what to title this post. I started with “An Unexpected Surprise” but that sounded redundant as “surprises” are “unexpected”. Next title idea as “A Surprise Treat”. Finally I went with “An Unexpected Treat”. (Blog post naming, one of the great struggles in my world…)

This afternoon I attended our Central Oregon SAQA (Art quilters) group. A very awesome SAQA member, Marion, gave me a belated holiday gift – a stash of fabrics!

She wrapped the stash very sweetly in the Japanese fabric wrapping style with a handmade braided fabric ribbon. I opened it in front of her but I have attempted (poorly) to rewrap it to give you a feel of how it looked when she presented to me:

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A very subpar re-creation of a once beautifully fabric wrapped gift

Inside was a stack of fabric scraps, fat quarters and yardage:

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Yummy stack!

Here is what the gift looks like laid out:

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Yummy pile!

Did Marion randomly give me fabric from her stash? No. The story behind this is a while back one of the SAQA members who lives in Portland, Elizabeth, who is a prolific art quilter, was thinning her immense fabric stash. She posted to our Oregon SAQA facebook group that any SAQA member in the Portland area could drop and take away a haul of beautiful fabrics on a specific date.

Portland is a 4 hour drive for me and as much as I love free beautiful fabric selected by talented art quilters, an 8+ hour road trip was a bit much for free fabric.

What I did not realize is that Marion, who has a good feel for my taste in fabric, was picking me up a surprise stash!

It was a very thoughtful surprise!


Postscript

I so enjoyed the comments on my previous post, Prepping to Make Fabric Bowls, Continued, and so did Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH).

Believe it or not, he actually returned to my sewing area today (with a gentle suggestion) and worked on a couple more feet of the coil for the fabric baskets/bowls.

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He’s back!

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This time Mike the Mini Schnauzer settles into the chair in my studio to monitor TTQH

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Is Mike comfortably napping or fretting over when this whole TTQH sewing abuse will be over?

Now that we were getting some serious length on completed coil, we needed to do something to keep it organized and accessible (instead of become a twisted mess) for when it was time to make the fabric bowls. So I started wrapping it around an old piece of cardboard (I save cardboard from calendars, etc. to use as a surface when making cards, etc.):

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Oh Scrap!

Recently a couple of my blogging buddies, Mary at Zippy Quilts and Claire at knitNkwilt posted about starting projects from their fabric scrap piles and “fabric scrap wrangling” (organizing a crafter’s crazy scrap pile).

As fabric scraps are my secret (well..not so secret) obsession, I want to join the conversation!

Last time I posted about my fabric scrap organization, I shared this photo of my fabric scraps organized in windowed boxes by color:

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Fabric scraps organized by color

Well this organization failed. Why? Because I was not using the scraps, I was just enjoying them as “decoration” in my studio!

I knew I needed to do something and rethought how I was create with scraps I realized it was too cumbersome to pull down individual boxes by color to access scraps (my studio is small and I could only pull down 1-2 boxes at a time without serious crowding!). So I did something crazy: I pulled all the scraps out of the boxes and put them into a bag:

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Yes it is a giant bag! It measures 22″ in height and approximately 22″ in diameter…and it is packed (but not too tightly…just fairly tightly, ha!). I’ve named it “Giant-Bag-O-Scraps” and I love it!

In addition to moving the fabric scraps out of their boxes by color, I also thinned out my collection of “Challenge Bags” (see post Basket of Challenges) and moved many of the scraps from these bags into the Giant-Bag-O-Scraps. I narrowed by huge “Challenge Bag” collection down to this:

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Note the random “tailor ham” in this area, hoping someday to be used to make a fabric cap…

I did keep one type of fabric scraps separate from the others – batik scraps. They have their own organization into three baskets under my cutting table: 1) light and medium-light colors; 2) medium-dark to dark colors; and 3) thin strips:

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Note the red arrow – this is Mike the miniature schnauzer’s ball storage in my studio

The reason for this separation is I want to make some landscape quilts using batik strips. I recently bought a book on Landscape quilts that I will discuss in a future post (once I start an actual landscape quilt project).

During this entire “scrap wrangling” project I did pull out a lot of scraps to donate to our local Humane Society Thrift Store. The thrift store has a crafting section and packages of fabric scraps sell very quickly there (other weird people like me who are also obsessed I guess..). Check out my post from October 2016 – A “Humane” Way to Eliminate Fabric Scraps to see how I packed up a huge donation of fabric scraps during my purging in 2016. The packages of scraps shown in that post sold within a week at the thrift shop!

Although I am not seeking out any additional fabric scraps, currently I am embracing my fabric scrap obsession. I remind myself that my quilting studio area is “my playroom” and it is okay to go in there and just play with my scraps!


Postscript

Happy MLK Day! When the political landscape feels challenging to me as a person of color and as a woman, I remember his words and I am re-inspired:

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“Self-Help” From My Family

Curious title for this post, eh?

For the first several years of my tierneycreates blog I shared reviews and excerpts from an endless stream of audiobooks in the genre “self-help” or “self-improvement” (I was obsessed with this genre). This genre could also be called “personal motivation” and “personal growth”. (If you would like to read my reviews/discussions of some of these books, check out my blog post Category “Audiobooks and Podcasts“)

Recently my incredibly awesome younger brother, Raoul Davis, Jr., along with two colleagues, has published a book in this genre called Firestarters: How Innovators, Instigators, and Initiators Can Inspire You to Ignite Your Own Life (2018). 

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Yes – one of my family members has written a “self-help” book!

I was so excited when I received a copy last week (I ordered it from amazon to support the sales of this book rather than try to get a free copy from my brother) in the mail.

Yes, I wish it was an audiobook, but I plan to actually sit and read the hard copy version book! The book is currently available on amazon.com in Kindle and paperback version.

Oh and not meaning to violate any copyright laws, here is a little snapshot of my brother’s wonderful “Acknowledgements” section in the book:

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If you want to read a little more about our father, Raoul Davis, Sr., here is a blog post I did about him – Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me. Our parents have both passed but I am very lucky to have two amazing siblings!


Postscript

I plan to return to blogging about my crafting adventures in the near future.

In case you do not follow my other blog, Improvisational Textiles: A Collaborative Art Quilting Journey, here are a couple recent posts on the Improvisational Textiles blog about my art quilts and my addition to the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s Ethnic Artist Roster:

“Throwing Pottery” on the Sewing Machine

Are you familiar with the phrase “throwing pottery”? This phrase relates to creating some type of clay vessel/bowl on a pottery wheel.

Recently I made a fabric bowl by “throwing” it on my sewing machine!

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This bowl is made from batik fabric strips wrapped around clothesline using the instructions from the Bali Boxes pattern by Aunties Two.

It measures approximately 11.5″ in diameter and is 4″ deep.

Several years ago I was really into making batik fabric bowls and boxes and had a stash of cotton clothesline and 2.5″ pre-cut batik fabric strips (like Hoffman Bali Pops). Here are a couple of my baskets from that period:

I burned out on making these baskets, however I had enough wrapped clothesline to make one more small basket and set it aside for the day I wanted to make another basket (into my “abandoned project stash”).

Well that day arrived a week ago – I was ready to “throw” a new basket!

Here is the wrapped clotheslines and the fabric for the center:

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Making the basket begins with making a coiled foundation around a Timtex (heavy interfacing) filled center fabric pouch:

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Once the base is created, it is time to “throw” the basket and angle it around the sewing machine as you add rows of covered clothesline using a zig-zag stitch:

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The piece is finished off with a binding on top to cover the ends of the wrapped clothesline:

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And now a couple images of the completed bowl (I added a little tierneycreates tag to the top under the binding):

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I am pleased with my “thrown” fabric bowl and glad I pulled the remaining wrapped clothesline out of my abandoned project stash!

Library Stack Catch Up

Currently I am working on a small art quilt from recycled clothing but I am not ready to share it on my blog yet, so instead I am catching up on my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my latest* stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library.

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*This photo is actually from a couple weeks ago and I confess, this is not my current library stack. Currently I have NO LIBRARY STACK!

I am taking a break from stacks of crafting and home decorating books and I am actually reading ONE fiction book from the library – a classic science fiction book – Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear.

I am “stack-less”!


Postscript

Although I am not ready to share my latest art quilt, I can share another of my latest creations: a new knitted hat!

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Yes, it is the same pattern as the other knitted hats I have shared in other posts. I am a one trick pony when it comes to knitting hats. I have other patterns but I love this pattern – it is so comfortable to me!

I love to always have a knitted project going for knitting while watching TV or if I am attending an event and I need to keep my hands busy.

I have another skein of the same yarn for my hat and I am thinking of making a coordinating ribbed scarf.


Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s latest post on her Schnauzer Snips blog, (just in case you do not already follow her) Illuminated Schnauzers.

Independent Bookstores: Wonderful & Magical Places (repost)

Terry the Quilting Husband and I were scheduled to meet friends in downtown Bend, OR for lunch today at 11:30 am, however the Bend Christmas parade was scheduled to begin at 12 noon downtown today. 

So to avoid the impending parking challenges, we headed to downtown an hour early and wandered around until it was time to meet friends for lunch. Most of our wandering time was spent in the wonderful downtown indie bookstore – Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe. 

Armed with steaming mug of cocoa I browsed Dudley’s well curated collection; ran into a fellow art quilter from my SAQA group and had a lovely chat; and remembered a post I wrote about Dudley’s in December 2016.


INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORES (WONDERFUL & MAGICAL PLACES)

I won’t pretend I do not shop on Amazon.com for book deals or that I do not go to our local Barnes & Noble bookstore, but today I was reminded just how wonderful and magical Independent Bookstoresare to have in one’s community. I plan to spend more time at indie bookshops!

Today we went for a wander around and hot beverage at downtown Bend’s Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe.

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As the sign upstairs at Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe reads:

Independent Bookstores are wonderful & magical places because each book will have been hand selected, you know all of them are jewels just waiting to be discovered…

After the friendly shopkeepers filled darling ceramic mugs with our hot cocoa (for me) and mocha (for Terry the Quilting Husband), we had a leisurely and delicious wander about the shop browsing and their well curated selections.

Come wander the shop with us for a moment…

Downstairs, where you enter Dudley’s bookshop and immediately think – “well this would be a fine place to nest for awhile”:

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People were nesting – they have WiFi and some were on their laptops and some were sipping their hot beverages and reading a book (or previewing a book!).

Among the shelves of books are fun things and objects to look at, including this wickedly funny sign:

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Now head upstairs (carefully carry your mug of hot beverage with you!) and check out the painted stairs celebrating books:

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(I love the step that reads: “Fifty Shades of Dudley’s)

At the top of the landing you will find a shelf of books (in case it was too long a journey to go without being able to browse any books from the bottom of the stairs to the top).

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Now, turn the corner…and…WOW: Here is the cozy reading nook you might have searched for while browsing any bookstore (and maybe dreamed about in your own home):

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The secret OCD person inside of me wanted to go and fix the left side of the curtain, but I was here to browse books, not adjust decor so I left it alone – ha!

After walking by the cozy reading nook, you come upon the upstairs room with more books to browse – how about a Art/Film/Music book to add to your collection?

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Even the bathroom was delightful and had this great poster called A Plotting of Fiction Genres:

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If you would like to know more about this poster, I did find it online at Pop Chart Lab. I did not want to spend too long in the bathroom reading it, but I was very impressed with it in my brief time with it!  Here is a better overall photo from the seller’s website.

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I could not leave Dudley’s Bookshop without a little something. If you have followed my blog for a while, you know I love our local public library and lately I get most of my reading through borrowing from the library (as I have been very naughty at bookshops in the past and have a huge book collection). I am trying not to add more books permanently to my home but I did want a little something from the indie bookstore, so I bought a cool set of greeting cards that you color yourself!

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Two of my many favorite authors, Neil Gaiman and Ann Patchett are huge advocated for preserving independent bookstores (Ann Patchett even owns her own indie bookstore, Parnassus Books) and have lauded the value of preserving these shops in their writing.

I will close this post with a Neil Gaiman quote, which is also on the Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe website, from his wonderful and magical book American Gods:

What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore it knows it’s not fooling a soul. – Neil Gaiman


Dudley’s has a wonderful addition to the front of their shop – an antique typewriter! I had to take a photo to share!
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A Case for Buying Things You Have No Plans for at the Time

Have you ever purchased something for a future art/crafting project and you had absolutely no idea of what you were going to do with it at the time you purchased it?

It was just something you just knew you needed to have in your collection?

If you are an artist, crafter, quilter or any type of creative person, I am guessing the answer is “Yes” (at least for 95% of you – perhaps 5% of you only buy things for planned projects…)!

In previous posts I have shared My Minimalism Journey and my ongoing mission to curate my life. This curation involved not buying things I do not have a purpose for at the time. A recent experience is making me rethink some of the rules I have placed upon myself as I tried to embrace minimalism.

The perfect thing I needed for a recent craft project I purchased 16 – 17 years ago when I had not yet embraced minimalism (back then – if I liked it, I bought it!)

Cannon Beach Oregon

In the early 2000s, when Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I lived in Seattle, WA, we discovered the beautiful Oregon coast. We had no idea that someday we would be living in Oregon, but we knew the coast was beautiful and wanted to see the whole thing.

It took three vacation trips (the Oregon coast is long and there is much to see).  The first one focused on the northern Oregon coast (starting at the Washington State coast board); the second on the central Oregon coast; and the third was to see the southern Oregon coast (to the Northern California coast border).

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Image credit: Oregon Coast postcard

There are many beautiful places along the Oregon coast. I have so many wonderful memories from those Oregon coast road trips which we made with our two miniature schnauzer at the time – Fritz & Snickers:

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Fritz and Snickers on the Oregon Coast, 2000

Of all the Oregon coastal towns we visited, Cannon Beach, Oregon captured our hearts the most and remains our favorite place on the Oregon coast.

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Image credit: www.cannonbeachyogafestival.com

Cannon Beach has a charming downtown (we love to stroll it with the miniature schnauzers in their backpacks) with many quaint shops.

My favorite shop is of course the Center Diamond Fabrics Quilt Shop in Cannon Beach.

Our first trip to Cannon Beach was in 2000 and I was a new very new quilter. During my first visit to the amazing Center Diamond Fabrics quilt shop I purchased a Cannon Beach panel that I had no idea what I was going to do with it. 17 years later I figured out what to do with it – make a wallhanging for a friend of mine who loves Cannon Beach as much as I do!

By the way, my Central Oregon blogging buddy, Anna of the Woolie Mammoth blog, posted a recent video on her Quilt Roadies YouTube channel about this awesome quilt shop if you would like to get a first hand peek inside this shop:

The Wallhanging

Here is how I used the panel, 16 – 17 years later, I made a small quilted wall hanging for my friend Nancy who loves Cannon Beach. I used a folded log cabin technique to make the wallhanging, sewing folded strips of fabric in colors coordinating with the center panel.

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Cannon Beach wallhanging with a painted center panel featuring Haystack Rock

My friend Nancy likes blues and green so I tried to include as much blue and green as I could in the piece. Put a hanging sleeve on back for a hanging rod.

She received it yesterday in the mail as a surprise and she is quite pleased with her gift! She plans to use a piece of beach driftwood to hang it it on.

I am so thankful I was not a minimalist 16 – 17 years ago when I bought it and put it away with no clue on what I was going to make with it!


Postscript

I am very excited. I am treating myself to something special sometime after the holidays. I have ordered a custom tierneycreates CrawCrafts Beastie from my Ireland based blogging buddy Helen of CrawCraft Beasties: Adventurous Little Monsters Born in the Heart of Dublin City.

She knits these amazing creatures with adorable hand knitted sweaters and other paraphernalia. You should check out her blog and read some of her charming posts about the monster’s adventures or follow her on Instagram @crawcraftbeasties and see the sweet images of her creations and their adventures!

I cannot wait for my tierneycreates Beastie! I left it up to her to design what she thought a tierneycreates little knitted monster would look like 🙂

Pajama Sale and Finished Pieces

Annual “Pajama Sale” at the Stitchin’ Post

Saturday November 11th was the annual PJ Sale at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, Oregon. Each year I attend with quilting friends and last year I started bring Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) to the sale (as a bonus he drives there in the cold, dark and sometimes snowy weather as the sale starts early).

Each of our wonderful quilt shops in Central Oregon has their own special focus when it comes to fabric collection.  The Stitchin’ Post has the best selection of unique art quilter focused fabrics in the region. It also carries fabrics that would appeal to traditional quilters.

During the Pajama Sale, if you get there before 8:30 am (doors open at 6:30 am) AND you are in your PJs, you get 35% off nearly everything in the store!

I did not buy that much – a couple books and notions. My favorite part of the PJ Sale is hanging out with fellow quilters all in our PJs wandering around a quilt shop and then going out to breakfast afterwards – in our PJs! It is like the morning after a huge sleepover, ha!

I figured no one wanted to be on my blog photographed in their PJs so the photos below give you a feel but do not have any faces:

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One lady had an over the top robe from the 1970s. I asked her if I could take a photo and suggested she turn around unless she wanted to have herself in her robe featured on my blog, ha!

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The photo does not quite capture the brightness of the 1970s robe – it was over the top and of course made of some type of synthetic material

We went to the Gallery Restaurant in Sisters for breakfast after an hour wandering around the sale. It very quite fun with a group of us gathered around a large table in a restaurant, all in our PJs (except for my friend’s 96 year old Dad who lives in town and another husband who joined us in their regular clothes).

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Breakfast after early morning quilt shop shopping! (This was actually TTQH’s breakfast as I only like my eggs scrambled)

One of my friends had a spectacular set of PJs with the words “Queen Bee” all over them:

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I wore my traditional schnauzer themed PJs (they are actually Scotties in gray and black and I pretend like the gray ones are schnauzers).

Finished Pieces

Cozy Cobblestones came back from the long-arm quilter, Cindy of inastitchquilting.com   and this weekend I added the binding.

It is now hung in the living room above the TV:

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Cindy did wonderful job quilting the piece and here are some photos of her beautiful work:

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Her quilting really compliments the blocks made from Northcott Fabrics’ Stonehenge line! I am so glad I met her through blogging!

This weekend I also finished one of the table runners I discussed in posts such as “What’s on the Design…Ironing Board?” and “Can We Talk About Table Runners?. Here it is freshly ironed after I quilted and put on the binding:

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It measures 16.5″ x 44″ which seems to fall into a fairly standard table runner length.

I’ve not decided if I am going to quilt the other four (4) table runner tops I made or stick them away for now (oh no they will become “UFOs”!!!). I do not think I will re-open the tierneycreates Etsy shop at this time. I’ve had some recent art quilting related exciting news, that I will share at a later date, that makes me want to focus on my efforts on building my art quilt portfolio rather than trying to make stuff to sell on an Etsy shop.

There are only so many hours in the day!


Postscript

In my previous post, A Good Mess, I shared some statistics from a recent national survey (The Quilting in America 2017 survey) on how much money the average quilter spends a year on quilting related supplies and activities. The two numbers were $442 and $500 per year depending on how “dedicated” the quilter is.

I really enjoyed the comments some of you made on these figures; and wanted to share how I nearly FAR EXCEEDED this number during the Stitchin’ Post’s Pajama Sale on Saturday!

There was glitch in their cash register and my total came to $730,000! The Stitchin’s Post staff behind the register, a couple other customers and I had a huge laugh over this! I asked if my purchase also came with a new luxury home, a car, and an outfitted sewing studio with a stocked fabric closet?

They re-rang my purchase and with my 35% off discount (we arrived at 6:50 am and I was in my PJs) my purchase came to $73 instead of $730,000.

 

A Good Mess

My studio/sewing area is currently very messy, but it is a “good mess”!

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Here is what I have going on in the room:

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In addition to the recently quilted quilt and the table runner, also adding to the clutter is an awesome Sari a friend of my just sent me. I just laundered it and it is on the floor awaiting pressing (as the ironing board is currently busy as are the other surfaces…but the floor is relatively clean…)

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She got it second hand for a very good deal and originally I was thinking about using it in a future recycled clothing art quilt. It is however a lot of nice fabric and it coordinates with colors in my living room, so I am mulling over the idea of making it a valance for my front window.

Well I better start working on my mess!


Postscript

Recently I received a complimentary download of the publication – AMERICAN QUILT RETAILER fall market 2017. (While running my tierneycreates Etsy shop I had a wholesale license and I was on the mailing list to receive these types of promotions.)

Inside the issue was an interesting profile (for quilt shop owners) on the results of The Quilting in America 2017 survey (pg 48).

Those of you who are quilters might find these excerpts from the article on this survey interesting:

  • “There are an estimated 7 to 10 million quilters in the U.S. The total number of households with a quilter is 6 to 8.3 million, and that each quilting household spends an average of $442 annually – that’s a 48% increase since 2014.”
  • “Within that total group of U.S. quilters are “Dedicated Quilters” who spend $500 or more a year on their art form and hobby.”
  • “The average Dedicated Quilter is female, 63 years old, down by a year in age since 2014, and has been quilting for 19 years. She is well educated (70% attended college), affluent (average household income of $95,900), and leans toward a preference of traditional quilting styles (85%) over modern (37%) and art (20%).”

Interesting! Any demographics sound familiar (especially the spending $500 or more per year on our art form…)?

The $8 Quilt

Perhaps I should not let you in on a little secret: Occasionally one of our beloved Central Oregon quilt shops has spectacular Scrap Bags for sale for $8. I promised a couple quilting friends I would not reveal which shop (so that everyone does not suddenly get in their car or jump on a plane to rush to Central Oregon to get some of our Scrap Bags!).

A couple weeks ago, while wandering about a certain Central Oregon quilt shop with quilting friends, I found this bag of scraps for sale:

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I have plenty of fabric scraps (most are from my own quilt making or were donated by friends) and normally I do not buy these bags – but it was one of those deals not to be passed up!

The bag was jammed packed with coordinated scraps, apparently from the same fabric line:

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Each scrap was folded/pressed in half. I was curious how wide and long the scraps would be once opened.

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) helped me unfold, press and organize the coordinate scrap collection. Here are the photos of MY HAUL from the $8 scrap bag:

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TTQH was so patient as we sorted the scraps by color/pattern. They took up my entire cutting table and spilled onto my ironing board!

The average size scrap unfolded and pressed measured around 2.5″ x 5″:

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What to do with these scraps? (By the way: Does anyone know what fabric line for these scraps? I am guessing Cotton + Steel or Tula Pink)

Well on my Kindle is a copy of Tula Pink’s 100 Modern Quilt Blocks:

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I flipped through this book to get a feel for the dimensions of the pieces requires to complete the blocks for this sampler and in general they were within the dimensions of the scraps from my $8 bag. I just need a coordinating fabric to fill in when large pieces are needed.

Well I pulled out yardage of “Saffron” Peppered Cotton from my stash that I think will coordinate well with the palette of the scraps:

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It could also serve as a very bold setting fabric for the blocks!

I have so many projects in queue, I am not ready to start this one (for example I still need to finish up my Farm Girl Vintage sampler!). So I sorted the scraps into color stacks and packaged up the scraps and put them away in my Project Queue!

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It may be difficult to gauge by the photos but I think there are enough scraps to become a full sampler quilt with the Saffron Peppered Cotton fabric added to the pile! So it would be an $8 quilt (okay I am stretching this idea as I also paid for the Peppered Cotton but just play along, okay?)

Where did these scraps come from? My best guesses are they are either leftovers from a sampler quilt created for the quilt shop; or from cutting kits for the shop. I do not care where they came from, I am just so grateful for them!

(And thanks in advance if any of you recognize the fabric line and can share with the rest of us!)


Postscript

Look at these adorable socks one of my Quilting Sisters gave me.

Hopefully the salty word in the socks does not offend anyone, if so then my sincere apologies.

Random Follow-ups (Oct 2013 – Oct 2017)

To close out the tierneycreates 4th Year Blog Anniversary, I will randomly share random follows-ups on random posts from 2013 – 2017. It is not really a “the best of tierneycreates” it is more just “the random of tierneycreates”!

If you’ve followed my blog the past 4 years it is likely you’ve never thought about these posts again...but just in case you were wondering what happened with…or what became of…

The link to the original post is in the header of the section; and warning – this post is going to be very random.

Announcing the Winners of the tierneycreates Blog’s 4th

Over the past 4 years I have gone through various iterations of my tierneycreates business card. Here is my current business card:

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Some of you may remember this post in which I asked for your input on my new business card options – New Business Card Options (please vote for your favorite).

However, when I ordered these cards I still had many copies of my previous version of my business card (which had old URL addresses and listed my now closed Etsy shop):

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So what to do with these left over cards? Make them into custom “tierneycreates” cards to send those who won the Little Wallets in the tierneycreates 4th Blog Anniversary Celebration Giveaway!

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Making cards!

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Finished card (talented papercrafters reading this blog please look away – ha!)

Moving on to the next random update…

UPDATE ON “A CHICKEN NAMED TIERNEY”

I know you all are wondering what happened to the chicken named “Tierney”. If you are new to this blog you may think I’ve lost my mind now. You can read the linked post in the title of this section, but a dear friend named all her hens after women she values in her life. So one of her Dominique chickens (she has 3 different breeds of chickens) is my namesake.

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Tierney the Chicken (and another hen trying to “photo bomb”)

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Tierney and her fellow hens having fun in the compost pile

Well Tierney the Chicken is now a full grown hen and laying eggs! Tierney is still the friendliest (and likes to snuggle) of all the hens in the coop.

Will it be too strange to eat eggs laid by my namesake?!?!?!

More randomness…

LITTLE MISS MUFFET, MADE HER OWN TUFFET

I love to blog about attending quilt retreats and I love to read other bloggers stories and see their images from quilt retreats. Quilt retreats are magical!

In August 2016 I attended a quilt retreat at the Over the Rainbow Quilt Retreat Center in Camano Island, WA. In addition to making tuffets (hence the title of the post), quilters worked on various projects.

My quilting sister Dana (for more on Quilting Sisters, see posts Quilting Sisters, Part I and Part II) worked on her first improvisational quilt after being inspired by my “log jam” quilts (you can search “log jam” or “log jamming” in my blog’s Search tool if you would like more info on these types of quilts).

Here is her piece in progress during the retreat:

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And here are sections of her beautiful completed and quilted quilt (quilted by Krista Moser):

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No the randomness is not stopping, it continues below……

WHAT’S OFF THE DESIGN WALL: COZY COBBLESTONES

This quilt, Cozy Cobblestones is now with Cindy of inastitchquilting.com for long-arm quilting:

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So in the future I will have a reveal once the long-arm quilting is done!

Now on to the last bit of randomness updating you randomly on random previous posts.

LIVING WITH LESS?!?!?!

This was my first post related to my Minimalism journey (at the time I did not know what I was doing was “minimalism”). Eventually I developed a series of posts on my Minimalism Journey.

I have tapered off curating my life and getting rid of things. I did get rid of a couple things I wish I kept, but I figured that was going to happen eventually.

Now I am just careful what I bring into my life/my house; and I am no longer on the verge of “rabid” decluttering. Instead I am focused on appreciating little moments of joy found in the everyday.

So I am going to close out my this post and the month of October 4th Blog Anniversary with this reposting of this post from June 16, 2016 about finding little moments of joy:


AT THE CORNER OF JOY (AND SOME OTHER STREET)

Repost from June 2016

Yesterday I was at the corner of Joy, literally and metaphorically.

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A reader asked “so what happened to your Pilot Butte hikes?” Well it has been very hot in Central Oregon and I had no desire to hike in the heat. Also my knee was bothering me a bit so I thought perhaps I should try something else besides the Monday hikes for a while.

So I decided instead to start riding my bike, on a daily basis, in the early morning, instead of a Monday hike. It has been a year since I have been on my bike and I forgot the joy of bike riding!

I am riding a couple miles each morning up to 7 or more miles. Some days I can only fit in a couple miles but that is still wonderful!

Bike riding is great for my knees and I am feeling a tremendous sense of JOY when I ride my bike.

I am riding in the surrounding neighborhoods and in low traffic areas. Many times, it is like I have the road completely to myself.

A sense of peace washes over me and I would be in a complete meditative state if not needing to carefully watch for cars (as you never know when a car will come out of no where and many drivers do not seem to see cyclists – it is like we are invisible!)

The other morning I was having a glorious bike ride in a newer neighborhood area I had not noticed before and I came across a street called JOY WAY. This street name perfectly described what I was feeling biking on a beautiful morning!

I had to take photo (yes I did dismount from my bike to take the photo) as it made me smile even wider than I was already smiling!

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I hope you all find yourself at “the corner of Joy…”, metaphorically that is!

“One of the most important days of my life, was when I learned to ride a bicycle.”
– Michael Palin (English comedian of Monty Python fame)

“I’ll tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world. I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a bike. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes, the picture of untrammelled womanhood.”
– Susan B. Anthony, 1896

“Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia.”
– H.G. Wells


Featured image credit: Svilen Milev – free images.com

Fall Cooking

I always say this blog is about a “Crafter’s Life”, therefore this is how I am getting away with this post about Fall Cooking…and Crafters cook (Crafters also do laundry, wash dishes, floss their teeth, etc. but you would likely stop following my blog if I start posting about those Crafter life activities!)

Recently I was blessed with shared bounty of a friend’s Fall Harvest: Fuji apples and Heirloom-like tomatoes.

So far the apples have become an Apple Crisp and the tomatoes became Homemade Pasta Sauce.

The Apples

This past weekend, during a visit to a friend’s house, I was given a large bucket of Fuji apples from her apple tree harvest:

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Recently I’ve been playing with B&W photography

Arriving home, I gave many apples away to neighbors and friends. However I still had many apples left:

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I asked Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) what he thought I should do with them and I suggested making a couple apple pies (and freezing some). He replied off the top of his head: “Why don’t you make an Apple Crisp?”

I never made an Apple Crisp before but I found a wonderful recipe online at the. Tastes Better From Scratch website: Apple Crisp

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Screen shot of partial image from tastesbetterfromscratch.com/apple-crisp/

Peeling apples is not something I get excited about so I enlisted TTQH to help (he has to work for his “Crisp”):

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The recipe came out excellent and we ended up with a very delicious Apple Crisp, which I served warm with vanilla ice cream.

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The house smelled wonderful as it baked, very “Fall-like” with the smell of cinnamon and baking apples in the air.

Here is a close up of the baked topping (which was so delicious on top of the tender baked sliced apples):

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The Tomatoes

In addition to sharing her Fuji apple harvest, my friend also gave me 5 – 8 pounds of her spectacular heirloom type tomatoes in red and yellow varieties.

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I decided to make my first completely from scratch pasta sauce. I have made pasta sauce from “semi-scratch” using canned tomatoes. I have also made pasta sauce with fresh roasted tomatoes. However, I have never made pasta sauce with fresh peeled tomatoes!

I searched recipes online and found one I felt I could handle from Wellness Mama website – Authentic Homemade Pasta Sauce (Fresh or Canned Tomatoes).

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screen shot from wellnessmama.com/8907/pasta-sauce/

I learned a lot from this recipe including how to remove the skin from fresh tomatoes (dropping in hot water for 10 secs) and using an unsliced carrot to remove acidity from the sauce.

I won’t share photos of my first attempt of putting little Xs on the top of tomatoes, dropping them in boiling water, retrieving them, and then peeling them. Why? Because it looked like a tomato-slaughterhouse in my kitchen until I got the hang of it (several tomatoes sacrificed themselves for the sake of my learning curve on how to peel hot tomatoes).

Here is the sauce during its initial simmering before it spent time with my immersion blender:

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Okay so if you checked out the recipe link I provided and now you are looking at the image above, you are thinking: “Tierney what kind of brown round vegetables do you have simmering in the sauce? I did not see them mentioned in the recipe.”

Well…those are meatballs. I did not make this recipe vegan, I added meatballs and let the meatballs simmer for many hours in the sauce. As you can imagine, and if you like meat, the house smelled absolutely delicious most of the day while this simmering was going on.

Eventually I removed the meatballs:

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And I pureed the sauce using an immersion blender:

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You’ll notice the sauce does not look very red. Actually it is orange-red because the bulk of the tomatoes I used were yellow varieties.

I remembered a sauce tastes even better the next day after the flavors have time to “think about themselves’ overnight, so we waiting until tonight to have wonderful Spaghetti and Meatballs supper! (Now if I could have made my own pasta…)

I am always fascinated by the science of cooking and I loved this new trick I learned from this recipe to simmer a half peeled intact carrot to absorb acidity in the tomato sauce. The 1/2 carrot is removed and discarded at the end.

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Discarded fresh thyme sprig, bay leaf, and the 1/2 carrot used to absorb acidity

I also added a little honey at the end as the recipe’s author suggested to balance the acidity.

I made enough sauce to use for supper tonight and to freeze for a future meal (I froze it without the meatballs).

Okay, so next post, I will discuss and share photos of how I fold laundry (joke).

Pilot Butte Posts

As part of the 4th year Blog Anniversary Celebration for tierneycreates, I am re-posting some favorite blog posts over the past 4 years throughout the month of October. Originally I was going to post just those with the most views or the most comments but I have decided to also randomly repost and that just totally cracked me up while I wrote them.

Yesterday I went hiking up Pilot Butte with a friend and her adorable Bernese Mountain Dog. 

Central Oregon is a geological wonderland and one of its marvels is Pilot Butte. It is like having a “mini mountain” to hike in the middle of Bend, Oregon. At its summit is a splendid 360-degree view of nearly the entire Central Oregon region.

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Yesterday while hiking Pilot Butte I thought of my series of posts from 2015 – 2017 on my Pilot Butte hikes (Pilot Butte Adventures). Then at the end of our yesterday’s hike, a visit to the Pilot Butte Challenge Board made me think of a post from April 2016 (that cracked me up while I wrote it) on how my time up and down Pilot Butte, at my top pace, is still slower then the 95 year old’s record! (In case you did not know, I am quite younger than 95 years old)


MONDAY, AGAIN (original post 04/25/16)

I walked/climbed/hiked Pilot Butte (see previous post “Monday“) for the 3rd Monday in a row today.  I was fairly pleased with myself, as I again went up and back down Pilot Butte in 45 minutes.

However, on the way back to my car, I passed by the Pilot Butte Challenge board and noticed the records, by age group, of the fastest ascent/descent of Pilot Butte. I see in the 95 & up age range, someone walked up and down Pilot Butte in 26.51 minutes.

Yes, 95 & up. Now, my new goal is to be able to at least walk up and back down Pilot Butte in 26:51 minutes. Maybe I can even walk faster than that “95 & up” year old person someday and beat their record! Maybe someday I can even beat the time of the record holder in the “90 – 94” age group! (If I am going to dream, I might as well dream big! Ha!)

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Here are some photos from my Pilot Butte hike today to distract you from the fact that my time was nearly 20 minutes slower than someone “95 & up” (maybe they were a retired Olympian or something; or maybe a space alien…).

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Quilt Studio Archaeology and Purge, Part III (re-post)

As part of the 4th year Blog Anniversary Celebration for tierneycreates, I am re-posting the blog posts over the past 4 years that either had the most views or the most comments throughout the month of October 2017. This post had many views and the most comments of any post I had to date of this post (March 2017).

It is about my ongoing struggle to balance having the stuff I love around me, and not having too much stuff around me!


QUILT STUDIO ARCHAEOLOGY AND PURGE, PART III (originally post 03/06/2017)

This post is a continuation of yesterday’s post: Quilt Studio Archeology and Purging, Part II.

How well do we know each other? Are we at the point that I can bare my soul and share with you my deepest secrets? Can we talk about “Fat Quarter Pathology” (and can you try not to judge…okay you can judge a little..I deserve it…)

But before I bare my fat quarter hoarding soul here’s a couple definitions so we are all on the same page:

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.

Pathology – any deviation from a healthy, normal, or efficient condition (Dictionary.com)

Are you ready? Alright here is my darkest fabric hoarding secret…

Fat Quarter Pathology

When I started quilting around 1999/2000 and discovered the magic of fabric shopping, I also discovered my love of little “fabric samples”. I was not into collecting scraps yet (or making many scraps as I only had a quilt or two under my belt). I was intimidated to buy a bunch of yardage when I saw a fabric collection I liked, but I did like buying a fat quarter bundle of the fabric collection that gave me a sample of many of the different fabrics in a collection.

This attraction to fat quarter bundles (usually or 6 – 8 fabrics) morphed into an attraction of fat quarters in general, including individually fat quarters. Quilt shops would display baskets of individual fat quarters and sell them in “baker’s dozens” so if you bought 12 you got 1 free.

Perhaps I only need a couple fat quarters (or likely none) but how could I turn down getting ONE free. So I would buy 12 to get the 13th free (makes sense, huh?)

Fat quarter bundles for a future project, individual fat quarters, fat quarters given to me as gifts, fat quarters won at Quilter’s Bingo, fat quarter found at thrift shops, and more, and more and more fat quarters…

I kept them organized, I kept them…IN THE CLOSET:

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I knew as part of the Quilt Studio “Archaeological Dig” I needed to go beyond just looking through them in their containers, I needed to go through them, find the treasures I wanted to keep and let go of what I would never use. I always try to keep lessons from Marie Kondo’s book – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing in mind.

Marie Kondo says you have to actually look at and hold every single item you own in your hands and decide if it is brings you joy. Every single item.

I knew I needed to go through every fat quarter. Then I needed to create a better system to store them which encouraged me to use them, not just try to create the world’s first Fat Quarter Museum.

The big step first – go through every fat quarter – here is my secret revealed – it was all laid out in the huge pile on my floor:

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I am a fat quarter hoarder!

There it is, now you know. Watch for my story on a future episode of the American TV show Hoarders (there was a UK version of this show but I forgot the name of it). I will be the one sleeping in a mattress in the corner surrounded by piles and piles of fat quarters. The Health Department will send a public health worker for an intervention…

But seriously, I was shocked at the sheer volume of the amount of fat quarters I had in my collection. I just kept accumulating them. I had purged a little in the past but obviously not enough to make a dent.

The Intervention

Similar to what you might see on a reality show about hoarding, I had to get honest with myself, deal with this pile and then find a meaningful way to organize what I kept.

Previously I organized my scraps by color (see post When all else fails, reorganize your fabric scraps) and I tend to think in colors rather than in fabric lines or fabric collections when I am working on a textile project, so I decided to organize the fat quarters I was keeping into the following groups:

  • Black, white, black & white patterns, and gray
  • Creams and fabrics where cream to light beige is the predominant color
  • Browns
  • Yellows
  • Oranges
  • Reds
  • Purples
  • Greens
  • Blues
  • Teals & Turquoises (I struggle with sorting these into blues or greens so I decided to just let them be their own group)

Interesting, the colors I had the most of in fat quarters, also reflected the colors I had the most of in my fabric yardage:

  1. Green
  2. Blue
  3. Red & Orange (tied)

I cleared out another standing storage drawer set and arranged the fat quarters in drawer set so I could easily access them. I also had to use the bottom drawer of another drawer set for the Blues.

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When I dumped out the fat quarters from their previous containers, I pre-sorted them by color into piles on the floor (see photo above). When I put them away by color, I looked at EACH fat quarter and made a decision whether to keep or donate.

Here was my criteria:

  1. Do I love this fabric and do I find it visually pleasing?
  2. Is it high quality quilting cotton (when I first started quilting, I would only buy inexpensive fabric at chain craft stores)?
  3. Would I use it in a future project and is it still my style (our tastes change over the years)?

Using this criteria I was able to pull out many fat quarters for donation:

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At one point I likely loved all the fat quarters shown in the donation pile above but not any longer – there is no joy for me in that pile!

Epilogue

Now that this project is over, I know I do not need to add any more fat quarters to my life (as I appear to have enough for several lifetimes!)

If you have followed my blog for a while you likely know a little about my minimalism journey and my quest to curate my life with only those items that bring me joy. I have removed and donated so much from my life such as household items, trinkets and kitsch and clothing (I probably own only 25% of the clothes I used to own).

The challenge with my craft supplies is that they BRING ME JOY and I think this is why I have saved this deeper dive into my crafting related supplies for last.

Another bit of Marie Kondo always in the back of my mind:

The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.

So fat quarters I no longer love – be gone! I am not going to worry about the money lost for bringing you into my life. I hope via my local thrift shop you will find your way into some other crafter’s life who will appreciate you (or perhaps hoard you in their collection, oh no….).

Thanks for letting me share with you my true confessions and my ongoing journey to curate my life to only the things that are useful and bring me joy.

Music to Craft By

It’s time we get to know each other better. I mean some of us have been together nearly four (4) years with the tierneycreates blog.

It’s time I find out what type of music you like to listen to while you craft (for those of you who are Crafters)!

This weekend I spent time working on a new art improvisational art quilt using leftover clothing scraps from my pieces The Recycled Door and The Recycled Path, and I listened to a lot of music as a I designed and sewed from my Tierney Mix on my iPhone.

Frequently I listen to audiobooks or podcasts while crafting but I was really in the mood for just music while sewing.

My Tierney Mix is all over the place as far as musical genres. Here is a sampling of a run of songs that played from the mix while I crafted this weekend:

  • Beast of Burden, The Rolling Stones
  • My One and Only Love, John Coltrane
  • Pride (In The Name of Love), U2
  • Light My Fire, Jose Feliciano
  • Ode to My Family, The Cranberries
  • Waiting in Vain, Bob Marley & The Wailers
  • The Stone, Dave Matthews Band
  • Wichita Lineman, Glen Campbell
  • Lovesong, The Cure
  • Annie’s Song, John Denver
  • I’m Like a Bird, Nellie Furtado
  • Dust Bowl Dance, Mumford & Sons
  • Tin Pan Alley, Stevie Ray Vaughn
  • Desperado, Linda Ronstadt
  • Forever My Friend, Ray LaMontagne
  • All In Love is Fair, Stevie Wonder
  • The Logical Song, Supertramp
  • Lovesick Blues, Hank Williams
  • She’s Gone, Hall & Oates
  • Oh Yeah, Los Lobos
  • Nothing Even Matter, Lauryn Hill
  • Subdivisions, Rush
  • I’m Your Boogie Man, KC & The Sunshine Band
  • Reminiscing, Little River Band
  • Let Her Go, Passenger
  • Leave Me Here, Hem
  • Sweet Love, The Commodores
  • Mama, You Got A Daughter, John Lee Hooker
  • Angela, The Lumineers
  • The Girl from Ipanema, Joao Gilberto, Stan Getz, Astrid Gilberto
  • I’ll Take Care of You, Van Morrison
  • Let it Be, The Beatles

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As you can see, my musical tastes are all over the place! The only type of music I think I do not like is “Death Metal”. I also listen to Classical Music but I do not mix it in with contemporary music. I have a separate Classical Music Mix.

When I am not listening to my own mix, I love to listen to the online radio station – Radio Paradise (also available as a phone app). The Radio Paradise mix is even more eclectic than my personal mix. The gentleman and his wife that run Radio Paradise will mix in Tchaikovsky followed by a Rolling Stones song!

So – what type of music is on your playlist while you craft? Please share!

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Daniel Moore, free images.com


Postscript

Just a reminder – you have until Sunday 10/22/17 to comment on the post Blog Anniversary Celebration & Giveaway in order to enter the drawing (which was extended to 10/23/17) for a handmade Little Wallet!


Feature Image credit (musical score): Daniel Moore, free images.com

Holding On and Letting Go (November 2013)

As part of the 4th year Blog Anniversary Celebration for tierneycreates, I planned to re-post the blog posts over the past 4 years that either had the most views or the most comments throughout the month of October 2017. However I came across this post from my very early days of blogging (my second month, November 2013) when I was still trying to figure what to blog about (I now have a backlog of about 50 things I want to blog about, ha!) that I just want to share. I think there were only 2 comments on the original post and at this point I only have 5 followers to my blog!

This post makes me smile – not just for the Rumi quote that I love, but because it reminds me that soon it will be time again for the Stitchin’ Post‘s Annual Pajama Sale! This is always such a fun event that occurs each November. If you show up in your pajamas between 6:30 – 8:00 am you get 35% off your entire order! I love all our Central Oregon quilt shops but the Stitchin’ Post has a spectacular collection of fabric, especially if you are into modern quilting or you are an art quilter. It also has an amazing selection of yarn and gifts in its adjoining Twigs Store.

Yes it is pretty awesome to get access to this incredible fabric and yarn at 35% off once a year but the best part of the Pajama Sale is the silly camaraderie of a store crammed with quilters in their PJs! The whole small town of Sisters, Oregon ends of filled with quilters walking around in their PJs on their way to breakfast after the sale. I always meet up with a group of friends and we wandered around the sale, visiting with other local quilting buddies and then head to breakfast in our PJs. We always get a kick out of the tourists who are at breakfast and giving us all curious looks like – “Wow this town is really casual. On Saturdays no one changes into clothes to go to breakfast!??!”

Oh apologies if you are tired of me talking about table runners, they are also mentioned in the post below. 


Holding On and Letting Go (11/13/2013)

Saturday 11/9/13 I roused myself out of bed at 5:30 am, changed into my “good pajamas” and headed with friends to the the Stitchin’ Post quilt shop’s annual PJ sale. If you get there by some crazy hour, dressed in your pajamas (and it is crazy cold outside), you get a crazy discount on nearly everything in the store.

Naturally this is something for my hard-core-quilting-friends not to miss. After wandering around a packed quilt shop in the wee hours of the morning, with a sea of women (and an occasional son or husband that tagged along), with bolts of fabric stacked in your arms, it is time to go to breakfast. That is when the real fun begins – flocks of quilters in their pajamas wander the streets of Sisters, Oregon looking for the best place for post-shopping-frenzy breakfast.

There is something so pleasurable about sitting around in a local diner, having breakfast with your friends, in your PJs …with the occasional stare from an out-of-towner who is likely thinking “wow they are really casual in Central Oregon, they don’t even bother to get dressed to go out!”

While at the annual Pajama sale, I wandered over to the gift shop connected to the Stitchin’ Post – Twigs. Nested among artsy kitchen and home decor items, I found a small plaque that really spoke to me. I contained a quote by the 13th century Persian poet, Rumi: “life is a balance of holding and letting go”.

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This quote was very timely to me as I am struggling with creating pieces for my Etsy store that I end up wanting to keep for own home! I am fairly sure that the poet Rumi meant something much  deeper than struggling to let go of your hand made items, but this quote is helping me work through the process of let go to achieve my dream of selling to the public…maybe.

I just finished my first Modern Quilt Table Runner for my upcoming Etsy store and I wanted to keep it! The idea of doing table runners for my store came from my friend Marla Jo. I was struggling with the idea of making quilts to sell as they take a tremendous amount of work and you never know how they will sell online. Instead I can make modern and unique art quilt table runners that can be used as either table runners or hung as small narrow art quilts in someone’s home.

Not sure if I am going to sell the first “prototype” Modern Quilt Table Runner or only future iterations (still working through the “letting go” part). Below are a couple photos of it. It is my original design using a single piece of beautiful cream fabric with color variations from light to dark and inserting bands of pieced fabrics. I used an original quilting design.

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Let me end this post with a couple more Rumi quotes – they are always food for thought whether you apply them to quilting or to life in general:

“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?” ― Rumi

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”  – Rumi

“I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.” – Rumi

“Wherever you are, and whatever you do, be in love.” – Rumi

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” – Rumi


Feature image credit: socialmediapostclub.com

Creative Inspiration: Autumn in Central Oregon

Monday I went on a field trip to the Wintercreek Nursery with my friend Jenny. The Nursery was filled with glorious examples of the beauty of Autumn in Central Oregon.

I thought I would post a couple of those photos as part of my ongoing series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration. I think these photo compositions could be inspiration for an interesting art quilt. Feel free to use them for inspiration and if you repost the photos, please credit me as the photographer, thanks.

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Here is my absolute favorite of the photos I took:

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And here is a tiny little house that I think was covering some plumbing that looked like a real house tucked away in forest growth:

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Finally here are a couple photos of Autumn at my house in Central Oregon:

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We have a lot of reds, yellows, yellow-greens and greens. We do not have the purples of the Autumn in Vermont (when I lived in New York we used to drive to Vermont in the Fall to see the exquisitely beautiful palette of colors) but I think Autumn is an exceptionally lovely time of year with the Fall colors and the backdrop of an impossibly blue Central Oregon Autumn sky!

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Thanks for reading my photo essay of Autumn in Central Oregon!

One of the “non-Wordpress” blogs I love to follow is that of a fellow Central Oregon SAQA member, Kristin Shields. On her blog Kristin Shields: Artist & Quiltmaker, she has a visually beautiful post on Fall Color – October Color.


Postscript

I’ve made quite a bit of progress on the table runners I am working on (see recent posts) and will sharing a peek in a future post.

Now that the weather has changed (it has dipped into the 60s and 50s during the day and 20s – 30s at night!) it is time to start making knitted hats again in the evenings while watching TV.

I love to wear my knitted hats (yes I only know one pattern) on brisk Fall and Winter walks!

As I mentioned in the post Not Working On What I am Supposed to be Working On, I love to wear my nearly finished hat around the house with the double pointed needles sticking out of the top, as a tradition right before I finished off the hat.

So here is another silly picture of me with my nearly finished hat!

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Terry the Quilting Husband puts up with me weirdness!

Oh and here is the full image of the featured photo – I would like to find fabric in this color:

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Dark Cabinet of Mystery (October 2015)

As part of the tierneycreates Blog Anniversary Celebration, I will be featuring (sprinkled through out the month of October) my top posts of the past 4 years (i.e. most views and/or most comments). Kicking off the “Best of tierneycreates” with a sort of scary-Halloween-esque themed post from October 2015 (…don’t read it alone in dimmed lights….).


There is nothing on the Design Wall and the sewing machine is cold…

We all have those stretches on “non-creatvity” and I am hopefully on the tail end of one of those stretches right now. I have however continued with my side project of decluttering and scaling back my life as discussed in previous posts (see posts in category My Minimalism Journey ).

I decided to take on THE DARK CABINET OF MYSTERY

Don’t be afraid to peek in (and then reach inside)…

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I know I am not alone – many people have those drawers or cabinets “of mystery” in which you never peek unless you really, really, really need to find something (and you strongly suspect, unfortunately, it is in THERE).

Most of the time you just throw something in there and quickly close the door without looking too hard to see what has gathered inside.

I have started working on what I call my Dark Cabinet of Mystery in the corner of my kitchen.

It is an oddly shaped cabinet and has angle that reaches into…another dimension? A break in the “space-time continuum”? A wormhole?  I actually asked my husband to just reach into the cabinet and pull everything out.

(I figured if something grabbed him when he reached in, I could retrieve the dogs quickly and run out of the house)

Well everything got pulled out, and my husband survived emptying the cabinet. Below is what was inside and it is obvious that I kept thinking: “oh I need to save this glass jar”, “I probably really need to save this glass jar”, “not sure if I have enough glass jars”…

In addition to a large supply of empty glass jars I discovered I had a springform (aka cheesecake pan) which I have never used since buying it like 20 years ago; and I have an electric carving knife used once or twice in the 15+ years I have owned. I also have an entire extra set of flatware.

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Now I have to decide what to keep and what to recycle (hint the numerous glass jars) or donate. I also need to decide the future of the Dark Cabinet of Mystery…

Maybe I should just have the Dark Cabinet of Mystery professionally sealed up…especially if creatures from other dimensions find a way to slip in through a portal likely in one of its dark corners..


Featured image credit: Ryan Smart, free images.com