Tiny Studio Tips

I love seeing where people to create and in case you would like to see where I create, I have added a page to my blog tierneycreates Studio Tour where I will post photos of the latest version of my tiny little tierneycreates studio. More on this later in this post.

As part of my ongoing journey to curate my life (see post category: My Minimalism Journey ), I am working on letting go of more of my crafting related magazines.

Studios Magazine

I have a stash of Cloth Paper Scissors STUDIOS magazine from 2008 – 2014 (magazine is no longer in publication). This publication featured “artist studio porn”: essays and articles about professional and hobby artists’ studios, tips on designing and organizing your studio, and endless photos of studio layouts. The tagline for the magazine was “inspiration & ideas for your art and craft space”.

There are so many online resources (aka Pinterest) on studio organization ideas, I do not need these magazines. I can let them go, donate them to my beloved local Humane Society Thrift Shop and let them go to someone else to enjoy.

But, I wanted to read through each one, one more time, before donating them.

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Working though re-reading the pile with my tea each morning

When I got to the Winter 2010 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors STUDIOS magazine I noticed it featured a collection of tips by various crafters/artists on small space tips.

Recently I re-organized by studio to try and make the best of the small space. I thought I would share some of my favorite tips from this issue from the various studio tours in case my readers find them useful.

Small Studio Tips

In Her Shoes by Catherine Thursby

  1. Get a space of your own, even if it has to be small
  2. Make it personal to encourage your creativity
  3. Have a place “off-site” to keep bulky or seldom used materials

Snowman Season by Sue Pelletier

  1. In a narrow space, set up tables end to end so you can have several projects going at once
  2. A dartboard makes a graphic yet compact inspiration board
  3. Remember that if you want studio space badly enough, you will find a way

The Glitter Fairy by Laurie Davis

  1. Use shelves with cubbies to hold and display rubber stamps
  2. Use under-the-counter space as much as possible
  3. Use stackable containers to hold small items

In a Nutshell – A small space dedicated to creativity by Janice Avellana

  1. Keep supplies out in the open so the work is ready when you are
  2. Disguise a small, open studio behind a tall bookcase
  3. For flexible organization, use painted pegboard

Room of Requirement by Liza Julien

  1. Maximize small space by going vertical with ladder-style shelving
  2. Store papers suspended from pant hangers on a wooden dowel
  3. Install hooks on table legs, the sides of shelving – anywhere that’s handy and out of the way

Studio in the Sky by Victoria Grobels

  1. Store supplies in baskets hung from the ceiling
  2. Make your worktable an inspiration board, too, by slipping photos under a clear, plastic mat
  3. Make a small space seem bigger by positioning it near a beautiful view

The Love Shack by Roberta Philbrick

  1. Use “regular” furniture to hold art supplies
  2. Color-coordinated caddies keep small items organized, portable, and attractive
  3. A glass-topped table cleans up easily and looks polished in a small living/creating space

Strategic Design by Michelle Spaw

  1. For an eclectic approach to organizing, try using non-conventional items such as stackable trays, bento boxes, and takeout-style containers
  2. Removing the doors to your closet is as strong incentive to keep it tidy. Because the contents are always visible, you will be motivated to maintain order and curb the clutter
  3. When purchasing storage boxes, think of color and pattern as a way to identify what you’re storing

Beaddazzled by Linda Dolack

  1. Glue a sample of what’s in a drawer to the front so you can find and retrieve the object quickly
  2. Use simple skirting to hide clutter stored below counters
  3. Install shelving above windows to hold books and display art work out of the way

Where Whimsy Reigns by Elizabeth Holcombe Fedorko

  1. Use collectibles as storage containers that can be displayed
  2. Attach a folding table to the wall: pull it up to work, down to put it out of the way
  3. No matter how small your space, make room for pets!

As you will see on my page tierneycreates Studio Tour I followed Ms. Fedorko’s tip #3 and made room for pets (well actually my manager Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer):

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Sassy hanging out in “cave”

If you have a small studio like I do (or a dream larger studio) I hope you find some of these tips useful!

 

Update on “A Chicken Named Tierney”

Several months ago I posted that a friend of mine named her baby hen chicks after her close female friends. This is an update to that post – A Chicken Named “Tierney”.

A month or so ago I took photos of teenage “Tierney the Chicken” and her brand new chicken coop; and recently I took photos of young adult “Tierney the Chicken”.

The Teen Years Weeks

Here is the deluxe coop she and her hen sisters live in. It has an inside section and a sunroom:

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Chicken Cooping in style

Here is teenage “Tierney the Chicken” and her sister “Gabrielle the Chicken”:

 

Here is “Tierney” and the other teenage hens getting a snack:

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My friend Marla, mother to all the young hens, has a photo in her house of what “Tierney the Chicken” will look like when she grows up and becomes an adult Dominique chicken:

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Young Adult “Tierney the Chicken”

“Tierney” is now a young adult and getting closer to her egg laying days. No eggs yet but my friend Marla thinks in the upcoming weeks she and her sister hens will lay their first eggs.

Here is a current photo of “Tierney” and her sister “Gabrielle” (and some other chicken “photo bombing” the shot, ha!):

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My friend Marla reports that “Tierney” is the friendliest of all the chickens. She runs towards you first when you come into the coop and she likes to snuggle:

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Chicken Cuddles

Truthfully I’ve never cared about chickens beyond enjoying the eggs they lay or an occasionally tasty chicken dinner. This is the first time I have ever seen a chicken snuggle! (Is it my fate to eventually become vegan now that I suspect most farm animals will snuggle?)

Maybe it is slightly weird my friend named one of her hens after me (and her other close female friends) but how many people get to say they have a chicken with their namesake!??!

I will close this post with a photo of the cool wind vane inside Marla’s backyard:

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2017 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

For this year’s post on the 2017 Sister’s Outdoor Quilt Show (SOQS) I am going share my 2017 SOQS experience in one post instead of breaking it into a series of posts like I did last year. Warning: There are a lot of photos in this post!

For more background on the SOQS and for photos and stories from previous shows, see my blog category Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.  

Also watch for upcoming posts and videos from two other local bloggers Woolie Mammoth: wooliemammoth.blogspot.com and  Kristen Shields: kristinshieldsart.com/blog on the 2017 SOQS. There was an incredible Lion King Exhibit I did not get photos of and perhaps these bloggers will feature photos of this mind blowing photos to share on this traveling exhibit.

It was very hot yesterday (imagine the witch in the Wizard of Oz: “I’m melting, melting”)

in Central Oregon and this year I decided to go to the show in the afternoon instead of the early morning as previous years. I had plans to meet friends for dinner after the show and I thought I would be completely melted by the end of the day if I went early!

Pathways Exhibit

I shared the progress on my art quilt for the annual Central Oregon SAQA exhibit, Pathways, in several previous posts (most recent Artist Statements, Part II). It debuted on Saturday July 8, 2017 at the SOQS.

Below are photos from the exhibit which featured the works of some majorly talented art quilters in the SAQA group I belong:

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My SOQS Wandering Partner

My friend the NY Times Bestselling Author, Marie Bostwick, was in town for a book signing at Paulina Books (a wonderful indie bookstore, please support your local indie bookstore!).

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I retrieved her after the book signing to extract her from the comfort of an air conditioned bookstore so she could experience the sweltering heat and wander around and look at quilts!

Inside Sisters City Hall: Respite from the Heat

Here is a secret to SOQS: If it is sweltering hot, you can take break from the heat inside of Sisters City Hall and look at quilts (or pretend like you are looking at quilts and just sit inside and relax!)

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Inside City Hall, when you first enter, they had an incredible quilt on display by Jean Wells Keenan that is a tribute to the town of Sisters Oregon:

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Walking into the City Council meeting hall, there was an incredible display of art quilts, the Quilt for Two Rivers project, inspired by the Whychus Creek in Sisters:

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It was very empty in City Hall towards the end of the SOQS and Marie and I spent a leisurely 30 – 45 minutes or so sitting in the comfortable chairs of City Hall, in air conditioning, visiting. Finally the SOQS volunteers came in and kicked us out as they had to lock up City Hall.

More Around SOQS Photos

I did not take the volume of the photos I have taken in previous years attending SOQS. I hope I do not sound too jaded but it is a very nice show with a lot of very nice quilts, but I  no longer think I need photos of every spectacular quilt.

Instead I took photos of a sampling of sights to give a mini experience of attending this mind-blowing show. The entire downtown of Sisters, Oregon is closed to traffic and the entire downtown, every building (and seemingly every nook and cranny) is covered with quilts!

Here is a glimpse inside the Stitchin’ Post quilt shop (Jean Wells Keenan of the Stitchin’ Post started the show in 1975):

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 During SOQS it is pure madness inside this quilt shop as compared to the rest of the year for us locals. I do not attempt to shop there during SOQS (as I can shop there anytime the rest of the year) but I do like peeking in to see the craziness as quilters from all over the world try to take home a little of the magic.

One thing I have to say about the Stitchin’ Post, besides having a fantastic staff (which includes many talented fiber artists), is that it has a fantastically curated selection of fabrics and yarn. If you are an art or modern quilter this is definitely the place to buy unique and hard to find fabrics.

At the show I ran into Donna R., an extremely talented art quilter and long time SOQS volunteer. She had on a handmade and dyed dress created from previous SOQS volunteer T-shirts:

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The SOQS volunteers are quite an amazing group. I volunteered once in 2007 when I had my first quilt ever in quilt show at 2007 SOQS, but I have not been able to volunteer again since that time. Maybe in the future.

Speaking on volunteers, Jan T. another incredible art quilt and head of our Central Oregon SAQA group, presented a quilt story book in which each page of a giant book had a story on the right and a quilt on the left inspired by that story:

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How often do you get to see something like that? Only at the SOQS!

While at the show I ran into the wonderful teacher and incredible person, Janet Shorten the head of Sisters of the Heart Foundation which brings medical teams and community enrichment teams to struggling villages in Uganda. Janet teaches women in Uganda to do crafts, including quilting, then helps them sell those crafts to raise money for their communities.  Here she is with one of the quilts the women she works with in Uganda made:

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They focus on community empowerment and if you are looking for an organization to support with your donation, I recommend this wonderful organization!

So that is my reporting from the 2017 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. Check out the other blogs I mentioned early in this post for additional photos.


Postscript

While at the show, I did stop at the Sisters Habitat for Humanity Thrift shop and found this lovely sunflower fabric for $2:

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I do love sunflowers and if you have followed my blog for awhile you might remember my obsession with sunflowers, like in this July 2016 post Waiting for the Sunflowers.

It is July again and I am once again waiting…so I just had to buy this fabric!

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Sisters, Oregon Before the Madness

Saturday, a week before the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (SOQS), I met up with a couple friends to wander around Sisters, Oregon and have lunch.

A Little Bit About SOQS

SOQS, the world’s largest outdoor quilt show, is always the second Saturday in July. If you are a quilter or a person who loves quilts, I recommend you put it on your bucket list to see at least once in your life.

Per the website: “More than 10,000 visitors from all 50 states and 27 foreign countries” attend the show. We wanted to wander around Sisters before the madness of all those visitors descended upon the town!

While waiting on line to order lunch at The Depot Deli in Sisters, we chatted with a quilter from the UK that was in town for the SOQS and the week of classes prior to the show – the Quilters Affair.

At the Quilters Affair, renown quilters (Tula Pink, Joe Cunningham, Jean Wells, Rosalie Dace, Sue Spargo, Karla Alexander, Hilde Morin, Elizabeth Hartman, Rob Appell, etc.) teach classes.

My friend Susan created this year’s SOQS raffle quilt which will help raise funds to help cover the administrative costs of this free to the public event (the Saturday SOQS main event is free, all other events are not). The proceeds from the raffle also benefit various community programs such as the Sisters Food Bank.

While wandering around Sisters Saturday, Susan and my other friends stopped at the Stitchin’ Post quilt shop where her quilt was hanging out front (and of course we went into the quilt shop and wandered around):

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“A Story of Stars” designed and pieced by Susan Cobb and quilted by Laura Simmons.

Many of the quilts at SOQS are for sale. Last year I had 6 quilts in the SOQS (5 for sale and 1 in a special art quilt exhibit); and Terry the Quilting Husband had 5 quilts in the “Made by Men” Exhibit and he sold 2 quilts!

This year for the 2017 SOQS I will only have 1 quilt in a special show by the art quilting group I belong to, Central Oregon SAQA. I will post photos after next Saturday’s show.

If you would like to get a feel for what it is like to attend this amazing show checking out my Central Oregon blogging buddy, Anna and her blog Woolie Mammoth or her YouTube Channel – Quilt Roadies, where you will find videos from past SOQS and she will post videos about this year.

Additionally, I have added a category for my posts – Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, if you want to check my posts from previous years on the show.

The Drug Store Quilt Show

During the 2nd Saturday of July for the SOQS, the entire downtown of Sisters Oregon is shut down from traffic and quilts are hung from every building in the town. They are also hung inside all the downtown buildings!

A couple weeks prior to the SOQS, Sponsor Quilts are hung in many downtown shops as a prelude to the SOQS. Patrons of these shops have the opportunity to purchase the quilts on display prior to the SOQS.

When you go into a drugstore you never expect to also be walking into a quilt show (not something generally associated with drugstores!). While wandering around Sisters, we stopped in the Sisters Drug & Gift Shop to see another one of Susan’s quilts displayed. Here are photos from inside the this downtown drugstore (and awesome gift shop!) – note the first photo is an incredible paper pieced quilt by teacher Janet Storten who I have mentioned in previous posts (see Adventures in Appliqué):

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I bet you have never attended a Drugstore Quilt Show!

This drugstore is famous for its handmade chocolate counter, which will tempt visitors during the SOQS:

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I am looking forward to the 2017 SOQS next Saturday!


Postscript

While wandering around Sisters, we stopped at the Habitat for Humanity thrift shop and I picked up this Crosley radio for $12:

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These radios retail for $54 – $79 and look like antique radios. The sound is excellent and the only thing wrong with it was a couple cosmetic scratches.

I added this radio to my paper crafting and jewelry making station I created in my sunroom:

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I am determined to start card making and jewelry making again. So many crafts, so little time…

 

Seeds

In the mornings before work and before it gets too warm outside I try to go on a bike ride and listen to a podcast (no worries, I ride my bike in a safe low traffic section of my neighborhood and always watch for cars). 

Recently I have discovered The RobCast by Rob Bell (robbell.com), a former pastor turned author, coach, speaker. His podcasts focuses on minimalism, spirituality and quality of life. I discovered him through The Minimalists.

There are to date 157 episodes of his podcast, and I started with episode #1 after hearing him speak on an episode of The Minimalists Podcast. Although his message is based on his spiritual beliefs and he does share biblical quotes, the topics discussed in his podcast are not limited to/designed to appeal only to those with Judeo-Christian beliefs.

In my opinion they would appeal any spiritual belief whether what you consider “The Divine” is based on a higher being(s), a prophet, nature, science, or what lies within you. He discusses what I feel are universal truths that he makes accessible sharing the kind of real life situations and challenges we all face. There is no “bible-thumping” in this podcast (which personally would turn me off immediately).

The RobCast is now part of my morning bike ride routine and I today listened to Episode #3 in which Rob Bell explores being grateful for having employment to feed yourself/your family; and discusses the idea of an inedible seed turning into something that nurtures you:

“(A) seed contains within it the potentiality to keep you alive. It contains latent life-force, present but unrealized possibilities…you place a seed in the earth and you bury it and it somehow become something else…as it arises from the earth in a new form it is from that particular new form…provides you with what you need to live.

A seed only becomes the thing it could become…its potentials are only realized when it is buried…it is in the dark..it is under the earth, it appears lost to your sight…it is in the moment in which the seed is most gone that is actually when it is undergoing the most radical necessary transformation for it to be something that could give you life…” – Rob Bell, The RobCast, Episode 3|Receipts

Listening to the passage above got me thinking about something I created but have not shared on blog that has to do with SEEDS.

But let’s back up for a moment…

As a general rule I stay away from politics and religion as topics of discussion on my blog. I want to always respect my readers that may have different views on these very sensitive subjects. These are very personal types of beliefs.

I do however make a point to have people in my life who have different spiritual and political beliefs than I do. I like to be exposed to ideas and viewpoints that differ from mine. It is a basic requirement though to be my friend that you do have same general values about treating others with respect (sorry raging misanthropes we cannot be friends, ha!).

It is for this reason (staying away from politics) that I have not shared something I created for a certain march on issues that are meaningful to me as a Woman and as a Person of Color.  I am feeling inspired to now share and here a banner I created, all about seeds:

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This banner is based on a Mexican proverb and the banner is currently in a national traveling exhibit called Still They Persist: Protest Art of the 2017 Women’s Marches. It is featured in a book about the exhibit by the same title.

I think what Rob Bell says about seeds in his RobCast #3 and the general theme of my banner, could translate to any situation in which you feel buried, without hope and things are the darkest. If you have planted seeds,  although it is dark, there might be a period of incredible transformation happening underground that and will eventually bloom into something beautiful.


Postscript

Speaking of seeds and thus nature, I am definitely taking a cue from nature as I slowly work on hand stitching the letters on my Lao Tzu quotes themed wallhanging. As I shared in yesterday’s post, The Backstitch and the End of Tangled Floss, I am finishing up a wallhanging from an appliqué class I took in 2016.

I am in the process of stitching:

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished” – Lao Tzu

And it is obvious I am not hurrying (ha) but I have completed THREE WORDS (a significant improvement from TWO LETTERS I shared yesterday!

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It is a peaceful meditative process to carefully stitch on words, I like it! I plan to knock out another word or two this evening.

(Which will happen first: the acorn will turn into the oak tree or I will finish stitching the saying onto the quilt?)

Thanks for reading my ramblings…

 

Cabbage Rose Quilting & Fabrics, Ft. Worth TX

During our recent trip to Fort Worth, Texas, Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I stopped at a Fort Worth area quilt shop – Cabbage Rose Quilting & Fabrics.

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It is a lovely quilt shop with a great selection of fabrics, excellent prices (and a very nice sale section) and friendly/helpful staff. I got to chat with the owner a very nice lady.

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All around the shop were sweet little vignettes, here is one with a miniature antique sewing machine in the window, that I thought was darling:

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Quilt Shop Family Reunion

What made the visit to this quilt shop very special was it was also the location of a mini Hogan family reunion!

We picked up TTQH’s quilter sisters Susan and Diane from the airport and headed directly to this quilt shop from the DFW airport. Terry’s eldest brother Andy and his wife (also a quilter) who live in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, met up with us at the quilt shop!

TTQH had not seen Andy in many years and they spent a long time chatting and catching up in the quilt shop while TTQH’s sisters, sister-in-law and myself shopped! I have some adorable photos of Terry and his big brother in the quilt shop (sorry many of my photos from the Cabbage Rose Quilting & Fabrics shop contain TTQH’s family members and to respect their privacy I have not posted those photos).

If you are ever in the Fort Worth area I highly recommend their shop. They also have a great website:

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A blog page: cabbagecorner.blogspot.com

And a facebook page: Cabbage Rose Quilt Shop

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Of course I bought something! I have to support local quilt shops when I am traveling! I was rather well-behaved and bought a couple of modern fabrics from the 1/2 yard precut sale bin:

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Postscript

Really Hungry, Willing to Take Chances

We took a red-eye (overnight) flight from Central Oregon to DFW (via a stop in Portland, Oregon) and arrived at 5:00 am in the morning. After waiting around a couple hours in the DFW airport rental car center (yes the airport is so huge the rental cars have their own HUGE complex off site from the airport) and picking up our rental car, we were tired and hungry.

We do not know the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and we could not check into our hotel in Ft. Worth until the afternoon, so we had to figure out stuff to do till then AND find some breakfast. (The rest of Terry’s family was not coming into town until Friday, which we did not realize until after we bought our plane tickets).

We stumbled upon a little “hole-in-the-wall” diner in strip mall and were so hungry we thought we would take our chance and try it – Mom’s Cafe:

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We had our finger crossed that “Mom” would not give us any gastrointestinal distress. Instead we were pleasantly surprised with EXCEPTIONAL Tex-Mex breakfasts!

I had an incredible plate of migas with tortillas for breakfast and TTQH had some type of breakfast burrito.

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We were very quiet while we ate as we were each having our own private moments of total-food-yumminess! “Mom” did good!

TTQH loves even more than quilting, historical war-gaming. After breakfast we found a Ft. Worth area miniature historical war-gaming shop before finally getting to our hotel and passing out.

Later that evening, we went to the Movie Tavern for dinner and a movie (we saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2, a very fun movie!). The next day, while visiting with Terry’s brother Andy, had worked on the building of this theater!

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Blogging Awards

Recently I have been honored with a couple more blogging awards (thank you so much One Creative Family and Dewey Hop) and I will do future blog posts about those but I am backlogged with other blog post topic ideas. I guess I have to try and do daily posts when I can to catch up with all the random stuff floating around in my head (smile).

The Wedding Gift Quilt

Ah, this is a blog about a Quilter’s Life.

Quilters allegedly make quilts.

So occasionally I should probably feature a quilt in one of my posts (smile).

We recently returned from a visit to Fort Worth, Texas for a wedding. Terry the Quilting Husband’s nephew got married to a lovely woman. I gave them a quilt as a wedding present.

I do not know what I was thinking, but I did not take the best photos of the actual quilt before shipping it off. So before you get to my photos, I want to show you the official image of the quilt by the quilt designer.

The pattern is called JOY and the pattern designer is Whirligig Designs. The finished quilt measures approximately 89″ x 106″.

The pattern photo:

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Photo credit: Stitch ‘N Time Fabrics

And now my photos…

I used batik fabrics similar to those used in the sample for the pattern photo. The quilt was quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe. Unfortunately I did not take any photos with the details of the quilting (or any photos with decent image quality, ha).

The newlywed recipients are currently on their honeymoon and perhaps at a later date I will ask them to take a better photo of the quilt and send to me. I am a pretty sure they did not take the quilt on the honeymoon with them!

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I made a nice quilt label for the back of the quilt and emphasized that the name of the pattern is “JOY” and wished them much joy in their life together. I sort of miss the quilt but they seemed pretty happy about it (I shipped it to them before the wedding) so I hope the quilt has a happy life the lovely couple who received it!

My wonderful Sisters-in-laws and Mother-in-law, who are also quilters, helped finance the creation of and professional long-arm quilting of this quilt. I included their names in the label. I was “assigned” to be the one to make the wedding quilt for the newly wedded!


Postscript

Normally I travel with a medium or large backpack. I am not a formal suitcase kind of person and I like to travel as light as possible. However since I was going to a wedding and needed to bring dressier clothes and shoes, I had to pull out the traditional rolling suitcase.

My rolling suitcase is a black suitcase and looks like the zillion other suitcases traveling through airports. One of my Quilting Sisters (see posts Quilting Sisters, Part I and Quilting Sisters, Part II) Lisa, gave me an awesome luggage tag that made my standard plain black rolling suitcase stand out:

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My suitcase was easily to locate in the crowd…and I felt like a “Bad *ss” when I picked it off the luggage cart!

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It’s Never Too Late to Say “Thank You”

Today we are traveling home from Fort Worth, Texas. Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH)’s nephew got married in a beautiful ceremony at the Hyder House in Fort Worth. I will have photos and stories to share in an upcoming post(s) about the Hyder House and a tour of a Fort Worth area quilt shop. I got to go fabric shopping with three of my awesome quilter sister-in-laws – 2 from NY and 1 from Texas!

TTQH and I are sitting in PDX (Portland airport) awaiting our plane to take us back to Central Oregon and I happened to check my e-mail. I discovered a recent e-mail from an Etsy customer that made my heart very warm and happy.

I made my tierneycreates Etsy shop inactive in late 2016, nearly 3 years after opening it in December 2013. I miss the interactions with customers but it was too much to keep up with as I work full time (and I would be very hungry if I tried to live off my Etsy shop). So I was very surprised when I had an e-mail on an Etsy Conversation (how Etsy customers communicate with Etsy sellers) from a sale in January 2015!

I used to collect special edition Barbies and the vintage ones I occasionally sold on Etsy. The sale that the customer was contacting me about occurred nearly a year and a half later ago and was for this Little Debbie Barbie:

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Here is what the customer said in her Etsy Conversation:

This is a long overdue thank you – the doll was beautiful and the woman who received it loved it. Her husband, who had passed away drove for Little Debbie and so this was a wonderful keepsake. Thanks again!

What a fantastic surprise – I have a huge smile on my face knowing that something that no longer brought me joy was able to bring someone else some major joy!

This was a great lesson that: It is NEVER TOO LATE to say THANK YOU!


Feature photo credit: LittleDebbie.com

Make Your Bed

If you have followed my blog for a while you know how much I love nonfiction “self-help” and “self improvement” genre audiobooks. The last couple of months I took a break from nonfiction and listened to several science fiction audiobooks – Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem and The Dark Forest. These were excellent books/stories with excellent audiobook narrators, however I began to crave a little nonfiction audiobook in the mix.

I heard about the commencement speech by Naval Admiral William H. McRaven (retired) in which he shares life lessons from his Navy Seal training, beginning with “make you bed every morning”. When I saw my local library had his book on audiobook I had to reserve it.

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

10 Life Lessons from Basic SEAL Training

  1. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
  2. If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.
  3. If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers.
  4. If you want to change the world get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.
  5. If you want to change the world, don’t be afraid of the circuses.
  6. If you want to change the world sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first.
  7. If you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.
  8. If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment.
  9. If you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.
  10. If you want to change the world don’t ever, ever ring the bell.

Here is a link to the commencement speech he gave in 2014 at the University of Texas at Austin – University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Address – Admiral William H. McRaven, in which he addresses these 10 life lessons. In his speech he gives a very abbreviated version of each lesson – in the book he really fleshes out the story behind each lesson in a very engaging manner.  At the end of the book he shares the original commencement speech that led to the book but for me it did not compare to the richness and depth of stories in the book providing the background to each of his life lessons.

One of my favorites of his life lessons is: “If you want to change the world get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.” You will have to either read the book or watch the commencement speech to find out what he means by “sugar cookie”! I have so much respect for those who can endure Navy Seal training in order to serve our country. It seems impossibly grueling!

We already make our bed each morning, as it just looks better up, made but Admiral McRaven opened my eyes to the true power of making your bed each morning!

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Photo credit: Lars Jensen, freeimages.com


Postscript

My art quilt, Jiko’s Robe, is in a month long exhibit at QuiltWorks Gallery.  Here is a post about the show on our Improvisational Textiles blog: Jiko’s Robe at QuiltWorks Gallery June 2017.

I will do a future post with photos from the exhibit of the other Asian themed quilts.

 

Quilt Retreat Inspiration and Projects

2 weeks ago today, at this time, I was on a bus back to Central Oregon after a relaxing 4 day/3 night quilting retreat at Sew N Go Retreats.

So I think I better finish up my series of posts on the 2017 annual quilt retreat I attended with my Quilting Sisters. I have a backlog of other blog posts ideas in my head and unless I finish this series I will not get to them.

If you are starting here, below are the links to the previous four posts in this series:

Relaxation Can Lead to Inspiration

For me it was a mellow and laid back quilt retreat experience. I did not even bring my sewing machine, only hand sewing projects. I did not drive, I took the bus (see post The Road to Retreat (via Bus!).

And, I spent a bit of time here, instead of in the quilt retreat center:

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My special “quilting retreat seating”

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I can see the quilting retreat center from here, does that count?

Looking at this:

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Hello, impossibly blue sky with a couple fluffy clouds over Portland, Oregon region

Or this:

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Hello, beautiful sunset!

I also spent a lot of time going on walks (see post Quilt Retreat Animals) and found inspiration in nature, surrounding farms, and a stump with moss and fungi! (see post The Beauty of Moss and Fungi):

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Area farm

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Lovely little shed, tree and old bike vignette discovered on a walk

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The infamous NW slug

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The beauty of moss and fungi

Sewing did actually occur, primarily by my quilting retreat sisters, however I have a couple projects to report.

Quilting Sisters’ Projects

Before they were projects, they were this nest of sewing machine, fabric, patterns and supplies! (one of my quilting sister’s stations):

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Here is a montage of the projects the other quilt retreat attendees worked on:

One of my quilting sisters was working on a project she found on Pinterest and reverse engineered how to do it (she is mighty crafty!) The project involves scrappy log cabin piecing of roses, set in scrappy pieced green log cabins:

I got a kick out her workstation as she worked on the quilt, it was highly organized with scraps of various colors:

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Inspired by Others

One of my quilting sisters worked on this quilt, with a lovely collection of bee themed fabric:

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The fabric line of the fabric with the printed designs is Bee Inspired by Deb Strain for Moda Fabrics and it was very darling:

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Photo credit: Moda fabrics

She gave me her scraps, which I turned into English Paper Pieced (EPP) hexagons during the retreat:

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I had so much fun trying to “fussy cut” the scraps into hexagons with specific images. I have many more hexagons to make before this can become a future project; and I will do a future blog post on this project (like in 2018 when I get to working on these again?!?!).

The same quilting sister was working on another project that I got to benefit from, this time on an even larger scale. She brought several “UFOs” (unfinished objects) including one from a class she took many years ago involving a mixture of embroidered blocks and non embroidered blocks. She did not select the fabric for the class it was part of the class kit. Now revisiting it, years later, she was not sure she liked the fabric or the design of the quilt:

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Small sampling of the blocks, not all blocks put up on wall

The fabric did not match her home decor and she did not have someone in mind to make the quilt for as a gift. I offered to take it off her hands and she gave me the blocks already made and all the remaining fabric/scraps.

Now it has become a “Challenge Bag” (see post Basket of Challenges) and I will feature it in a future post when I finish redesigning it into a different piece:

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Challenge Bag added to the “basket of challenges”, hoping to become a quilt someday

Tierney’s Projects?

So Tierney, besides fleecing one of your quilting sisters for her scraps and even an entire project, did you work on anything??!?!

Why yes I did. I worked on my stack of EPP rosettes (getting the rows between each hexagon sewn together:

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And I worked on an appliqué wallhanging that I started in a class in 2016 (see post Adventures in Appliqué):

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I really enjoyed blanket stitching and the more I practice the better I get (at least in my mind). Blanket stitching and other hand stitching is very relaxing and even meditative.

I might be tied with another quilt sister (she knows who she is) for the title of “Least Productive” but I had an incredible and relaxing time. The quilting sister who shared my lack of productivity was also the one going on wonderful walks including the one in which a local farm invited us over for a visit!

Inspiration All Around the Quilt Retreat Center

The Sew N Go retreat now has two classrooms: 1) the original retreat center/classroom which is a separate building on the farm property; and 2) a brand new classroom which is the converted garage to the main quilt retreat house.

Throughout the quilt retreat house and in both classrooms are many quilts, quilted wallhanging and little sewn projects. Below is a montage of some of the inspiration that surrounds you while you are quilt retreating:

Nancy, the quilt retreat hostess, did a demo on how to make a gift wine bag from a pair of old jeans:

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In addition to quilted/sewn inspirations, there are also wood crafting inspirations (Nancy also holds class in her barn on making wood working crafts):

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She also had a very creative way to display Lori Holt’s Farm Girl Vintage blocks (one of my other someday to finish projects, see series of posts  Farm Girl Vintage Blocks)

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I did have material for a Postscript section but this has been a very long post and I am sure you are exhausted now from slogging through all these photos (but maybe you are inspired to go create something!)

Thanks for joining me as I recapped the annual May quilting retreat with my quilting sisters. For me this year’s retreat was a very laid back. There was no “Floor Show” this year or stand up comedy (see post Quilt Retreat May 2016: The Tools & The Stories) but it was still exquisite to hang out with my quilting sisters and enjoy the beautiful Vancouver, WA countryside.

I did learn about a “new tool” for quilters at the retreat and I will close this post with the adorable information I found on this tool posted on the edge of one of the design walls at retreat:

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Special thank you to Quilting Sisters Lisa and Kathy on providing additional photos for this post.

 

Quilt Retreat Animals

Continuing my series of posts on the annual Sew N Go Quilt Retreat in Vancouver, WA I recently attended. If you are starting with this post, here are links to the previous posts:

I am not sure if Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer would approve of this post as there were on dogs at the quilt retreat, only horses and cats.

The Horses

Sew N Go Quilt Retreat is located in a very rural area of Vancouver, WA. The retreat center itself is on acreage and is surrounded by farms. Several times a day some of the quilt retreaters, including myself,  would go on walks around the area – up to 4+ miles per day walking!

While walking we would visit with several groups of horses we discovered hanging out in pastures in area farms. The first day we ran into the horses, we were surprised how the boldly they came over to the edge of their fence to see us. So the next day we were ready with apples!

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(Several of my fellow quilt retreaters were on Weight Watchers and watching their “points”. We joked as we fed the horses apples: “No worries horseys, zero points!”)

A horse from the pasture/farm next to the one above:

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Next thing we knew, we had two horses, from two different pastures side by side visiting with us and greeting each other through their fences:

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The long walks and the visits with the horses were are delightful break from our sewing marathons at the quilt retreat!

The Cats

On one of our walks, we were invited by owners of a local farm to come onto their farm and chat. It turned out that several of them were originally from NY like my quilting sister Kathy and myself.

On their farm we met “Heshe” (he-she) – a cat of unknown gender. I do not remember the entire story but when they adopted Heshe as a barn kitty, they could not determine if it was a “he” or a “she”! Heshe was a very sweet a friendly orange tabby:

But the cat star of the 4-day retreat weekend was my beloved “Abbey the Quilt Retreat Kitty” (she should have her own blog!)

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During the retreat, Nancy the quilt retreat host, needed to give Abbey some medications.

Cats, as explained by one of my quilting sisters who is a veterinarian, are difficult to get to swallow pills. Cats do not fall for the tricks dogs fall for (hiding pills in peanut butter, cheese, etc.) and so you have to find a way to get the pill to the back of the cats throat so they will automatically swallow it.

So Abbey was made into a “kitty burrito” to restrain her paws as she was given meds. She calmly and quietly accepted her kitty burrito status but still found a way to spit out her pill! It might have been because a group of quilters were standing around cracking up laughing at how adorable Abbey looked as a burrito!

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Each year at the retreat I look forward to hanging out with Abbey, and she knows it. She knows I am “one of her people”. I always find time to snuggle with her and give her lots of attention.

Abbey and I took a lovely nap together, with her sleeping behind my pillow and quietly purring against my head. I could not believe how soothing and meditative it was to listen to her purring.

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Okay there was a dog

There was one dog at the quilt retreat, but it was not a live dog. It was a dog quilt – an adorable pattern – “Dogs in Sweaters” by Elizabeth Hartman:

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Next post, how about some evidence that actual sewing occurred during the quilt retreat? Maybe (smile).


Postscript

In yesterday’s post I shared about my purchases of a vintage Singer sewing machine while at a fundraising garage sale in Sisters, Oregon. Check our Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s post Saturday Schnouting (Schnauzer Outing)! for information about our outing this past Saturday in Sisters, Oregon.

Quilting Sisters, Part II

This post continues yesterday’s post Quilting Sisters, Part I, sharing the story of how I ended up part of a group of quilters based out of California, Oregon and Washington.

We left off with Judy and I meeting Linda and Lisa at the Oasis Resort Quilt and Cast retreat. Linda lives in Oregon is one of those people you meet and immediately love. She is a retired 2nd grade teacher and she must have been the most wonderful teacher imaginable. A truly warm, kind and authentic person. Lisa lives in California and is a brilliant woman, a veterinarian and Renaissance woman of many talents besides quilting. We immediately connected and became friends.

A couple years later we met Donna from Sequim, WA, another wonderful teacher-person and her sisters (who attended once) and her lovely mother Shirley (who we all fell in love with as the social media/blogger and web savvy 80-something year old). In addition to Linda, Lisa, Donna, and Shirley I met other cool quilters including my friend Joan, however only Lisa, Linda, Donna and her mother Shirley became part of our regular quilt retreat group.

The retreat was also open to quilters who did not bring their husband for the “cast” part of the retreat. Judy and I attended the retreat without our husbands once or twice also (the cost of the quilting part of the retreat was significantly less than the guided fly fishing part of the retreat).

Beyond “Quilt and Cast”

Eventually we stopped going to the Quilt & Cast retreat due to significant increasing fees for the husbands to participate in the guided Deschutes river fishing. Also interest in the quilting retreat part of the Quilt and Cast retreat was waning.

Peggy, who ran the quilting retreat part of the Quilt & Cast retreat started her own retreat with Linda and for a couple of years we attended those retreats.

Eventually Peggy and Linda gave up their quilt retreat business and we began attending a quilting retreat in Vancouver, WA run by a lovely woman Cathy and her husband:

At some point Lisa, who attended the new Peggy & Linda retreats, invited her close California friends Debra and Kathy. Kathy is originally from NY like myself and actually grew up in a town next to the town I grew up! So there was an automatic connection.

Since I had moved to Bend, Judy felt it was time to lure another friend into quilting and convince our mutual Seattle friend, Barb to start quilting (Judy is very convincing!)

Birth of the Jelly Rollers

A jelly roll is a 42 piece collection of pre-cut 2.5 inch quilting fabric strips and are very popular among quilters (for the non quilters reading this). In the late 2000s to early 2010s jelly rolls were gaining huge popularity with quilters. Numerous jelly roll fabric collections and books with patterns on creating quilts made with jelly rolls were flooding the market.

Our gathering of quilters at the retreat hosted by Cathy in Vancouver, WA were obsessed with jelly rolls in the late 2000s. At one of the retreats at Cathy’s we decided to develop a core closed retreating group that would always attend an annual quilt retreat in May each year. Additional members could only be added by group approval (several of us had past experiences with attending quilt retreats with quilters with “challenging personalities”). We would call our group the Jelly Rollers!

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A “Jelly Roll” (photo credit: Missouri Star Quilt Co.)

Cathy stopped hosting retreats and referred our group of retreaters to another woman in the Vancouver area, Nancy. Nancy’s Sew N Go Retreat became the new permanent home for our annual May retreat.

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Sew N Go Retreat Classroom (Photo credit: Sew N Go)

After moving to Nancy’s Sew N Go retreat, Dana started attending and became a regular member of the Jelly Rollers. Dana was voted in as she grew up with Judy’s daughter and is an unofficially adopted daughter of Judy’s. Like Linda, she is one of those people you meet and immediately adore.

Dana is another person like Barb and myself that Judy convinced to start quilting. We tease Judy that she makes her friends start quilting whether they wanted to or not – ha!

My friend and Central Oregon quilting mentor, Betty Anne joined us for a couple retreats and is an honorary member of the Jelly Rollers.

Near the time of creating the Jelly Rollers, “Jelly Roll Races” (a way to make a quick quilt top with one jelly roll in an hour or so) were popular and we used to jokingly make that the initiation requirement for joining – complete a “Jelly Roll Race”.

Other Retreats

Some of the Jelly Rollers attend other retreats together during the year in California and in Washington. I used to attend another retreat with most of the other Jelly Rollers in Monroe, Washington but the sleeping accommodations are like dorm rooms with thin walls and I have trouble sleeping. When I do not sleep, I do not enjoy retreats.

Also this retreat had a lot of additional people I did not know and occasionally there were quilting retreat attendees with “challenging personalities“.

I seem to be a beacon for strange people to want to befriend, so this is not always the best environment for me. I ended up trying to courteous to needy and strange people and they stick to me like glue for the whole retreat!  My quilting sister Lisa is also a beacon for strange people and has shared interesting stories of “unique” individuals who have unsolicitedly attached themselves to her at quilt retreats.

I truly enjoy attending quilt retreats with people I know, it is a safer and more comfortable experience for me.

For those of you with experience with attending quilt retreats, I would be interested to hear in the Comments section your thoughts on quilting retreats – meeting strangers vs. quilting with established friends.

Friends for Life

We are at least in our 4th or 5th year as a formal group. Keeping our core group of annual quilt retreaters together has strengthened our bonds and we do many thoughtful things for one another.

A couple years ago, we put names in a hat and whichever name you picked, you had a year to make that person a lap quilt. Many of the quilters in the group never had anyone make a quilt for them. This exchange  was a way to further connect us and to ensure every quilter has the experience of having someone make a quilt for them rather than they just make quilts for others.

It was very awesome during the following year’s retreat when we surprised the person whose named we picked the previous year with their lap quilt!

In addition to that special quilt exchange a couple years ago, Judy made a special quilt for Lisa last year and at this year’s retreat, Lisa surprised Judy with a machine embroidered “crazy quilt”, the featured photo on this post:

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Embroidered quilt by Lisa M.

Although we do not see each other we have a strong connection to each other and stay frequently in touch. We are like a family sewn together special threads!


Postscript

Oh my what have I done?

My Impulse Buy

Perhaps I was influenced by Elena’s Vintage Sewing Machine blog or by the fact that sewing of my Quilting Sisters have antique featherweight sewing machines that they bring to retreats.

Saturday I went with my friend Susan to the Kiwanis Club’s fundraising garage sale in Sisters, Oregon and ended up impulse buying at vintage Singer sewing machine:

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The machine was listed for $25. One of the volunteers at the fundraiser sale saw me looking at it and said: “You can have it for $10”. How could I turn it down (I know, I know, I could have said “no thank you” and walked away…)

It is not a featherweight and it is quite heavy but it still works and runs quite smoothly. I called Betty Anne, who knows about vintage sewing machines and she gave me the name of someone in Central Oregon who can check out the machine for safety, clean and service it. It is also missing part of the footplate. You can still sew with the section missing but the bobbin is exposed.

Today I researched the serial number using the Singer Sewing Machine Serial Number Database website.  and it was assigned in 1910 so I think that sort of dates the machine. I am going to do some further research and see if it really is that old. Also I need to watch some YouTube videos and check out some websites on how to thread the machine and do basic maintenance.

It seems like it would be really fun to use on a sewing project or two and would make an interesting piece of art in my studio.

What I did not buy

Next to the Singer were these two vintage sewing machine which I am sure the volunteer would have sold to be also for $10:

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If I had a large sewing studio, they would have made for an interesting display on a shelf, but I had no excuse to buy them. I had of course no excuse to buy the Singer but I suspect it was meant to be…

Before Susan and I went to the fundraiser garage sale in Sisters, we stopped at the Stitchin’ Post quilt shop and I bought this fabric:

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Yup those are vintage Singer sewing machines, a very similar looking model to the one I bought. Was it kismet that an hour later I ended up with an actual vintage Singer sewing machine?

What I tried to convince my friend to buy

Here was something hysterical I did not buy at the fundraiser garage sale, though I tried to convince my friend Susan to buy it – a PUG PURSE!

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Susan was kind enough to model the Pug Purse

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I do not understand how she left the garage sale without it?!?!

Next post I will continue with more stories from the 2017 annual quilt retreat I attended.

Quilting Sisters, Part I

Yesterday’s post The Road to Retreat (via Bus!) began my series of posts on the 2017 annual quilt retreat I attended with my quilting sisters at Sew N Go retreat center in Vancouver, WA.

For the past 10+ years I have attend quilting retreats with at least some of my quilting sisters (even before they were formally my quilting sisters). Before continuing to share stories from this year’s annual quilt retreat, I thought I would share the story of how we formed our quilting retreat group consisting of quilters living in California, Oregon and Washington and became “quilting sisters”.

My beloved quilting sisters range in ages from late 40s to late 80s and their names are Judy, Barb, Dana, Linda, Lisa, Kathy, Debra, Donna, Shirley and Betty Anne. Honorary quilting sisters are Dana’s daughter Kaitlin, our current annual quilting retreat host Nancy and our previous annual quilting retreat host Cathy.

It all began with Judy

My friend Judy, who have I known for 20 years is my “Quilt Momma”. She convinced me to start quilting in the late 1990s when I lived in Seattle, WA. I mention her my story “The Tierney” and an April 2015 post “Creative Inspiration: Quilting Mentors“, in addition to references in other various posts.

I owe the start of my quilting journey to her encouragement to take the first step and mentorship through my first quilt.

I would love if the quilters reading this post, would share in the Comments section who got them started in quilting (or any other type of crafting). It is the kind of gift you can never repay, you can only just keep appreciating it!

A couple of years ago Judy made me this sweet wallhanging with Jody Houghton fabric:

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I keep it in my studio and I get a kick out of the quilting related details in the photo – note one of the quilters has thread spools for earrings:

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So Judy was my first “quilt sister” and from there the family grew, thanks to a little place called Maupin, Oregon.

Quilting and Casting

I moved from Seattle to Central Oregon in 2005. We rented a townhouse before buying our house and near our temporary townhouse was a quilt shop called BJ’s Quilt Basket (I will feature BJ’s Quilt Basket in a future blog post on Central Oregon Quilt shops). BJ’s was where I participated in my first “block of the month” club and where I found a flyer in 2006 about the Quilt & Cast Retreat at the Oasis Resort in Maupin Oregon, on the Deschutes River.

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Photo credit: Adventures in Rafting

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH), who was not TTQH in 2006, is a fly fisherman. The Quilt & Cast Retreat features for the husbands guided fly fishing with a professional Deschutes River tour guide. For the wives, a quilt retreat! The accommodations are historic fishing cabins and all meals are included.

I immediately contacted Judy, who still lived in Seattle. Her husband is a fisherman too and it seemed like the perfect retreat for the four of us.

And it was. They even let us bring our two miniature schnauzers at the time Fritz and Snickers. The cabins were definitely “historic” fishing cabins (years later they renovated) and included bathrooms that were a shared shower/toilet area, but they were cozy and comfortable.

Below is a montage of photos from several of our Oasis Quilt and Cast Retreats:

In addition to quilt retreat activities for the wives and guided fly fishing actives for the husbands, we went on outings and picnics to enjoy the beauty of Central Oregon. One of those outings was to White Falls in which I took photos of the abandoned White Falls water power plant, which lead to the art quilt, Abandoned Water Structure.

The wives would giggle to themselves in the mornings: at “o-dark-hundred”, when the husbands would get out of bed to go on a guided fly fishing trip on the Deschutes River, while the wives stayed in their cozy beds. Later in the morning we would mosey out of our beds for breakfast and then start out day of sewing.

Judy and I, along with our husbands, attended this retreat annually for 3 – 4 years. At the retreat we met our future quilting sisters – Linda, Lisa and Donna.

Tomorrow I will continue the rest of the Quilting Sisters story but let me close this post with images of friendship themed decor from the Sew N Go quilt retreat:

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A very nice plaque at a quilt retreat

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The cup I had my tea in each morning at the retreat

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A very good reminder

The Road to Retreat (via Bus!)

The next series of posts will be about the annual quilt retreat I attended May 18 – 21 at Sew N Go in Vancouver, WA.


Each May I attend an annual quilt retreat in Vancouver, WA (outside of Portland, OR) with my “Quilting Sisters” from Washington, Oregon and California. I have shared my quilt retreat adventures in my series of post in the category Retreats which include my annual road trip experience getting to the quilting retreat.

This year I decided to do something different – take the bus, the Central Oregon Breeze from Central Oregon to Portland – to get to the retreat. It is approximately a 4 – 4.5 hour trip and totally worth the $95 roundtrip price!

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Photo credit: cobreeze.com

Yes by not driving I missed out on having “car buddies” (see 04/20/15 post “Road Trip“), but I traded that experience for a relaxing and productive trip to my retreat!

Listening to audiobooks and music, I worked on my English Paper Piecing (see series of posts Adventures in English Paper Piecing) and watched a pre-downloaded video on my iPad.

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My lap – making EPP rosettes on the road!

All while enjoying the beautiful scenery (well through UV coated window) of the drive from Central Oregon to Portland:

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The Central Oregon Breeze makes several stops for bathroom breaks to include one stop at a deluxe gas station convenience store. I wear a wrist pincushion when working on hand sewing projects while traveling. I forgot to take my pincushion off during one of the breaks so I looked pretty weird heading into the bathroom stop with pins/needles coming out of my wrist! Just some crazy quilter on the bus!

The bus has several stops for passengers and I got off at the Portland Airport (aka PDX). One of my quilt sisters picked me up from the airport and drove me to Vancouver, WA for the retreat at Sew N Go.

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Where Abbey the Quilt Retreat Kitty awaited to manage me for a couple days in place of Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer who stayed at home with Terry the Quilting Husband.

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I will take over managing you for the next 4 days

More on Abbey in a later post. If you would like to see previous photos of the Sew N Go Quilt Retreat in Vancover, WA check out this post – Sew N Go Retreat in Pictures.

Lots of photos and stories to come, hope you have a wonderful Saturday (yay it is the weekend!)


Postscript

Melancholy

My original plan was to start blogging about this year’s retreat last Monday after I returned from the retreat last Sunday. While the stories and experience were fresh.

However I had some struggle with a bout of melancholy. Initially over the sudden suicide of the musician Chris Cornell and then over the terrible tragedy in Manchester, UK.

I get so overwhelmed thinking about it but my heart completely goes out to the parents who lost their children at a concert in Manchester due to an unthinkable event.

As far as Chris Cornell, I was a huge fan of his music with the band Soundgarden and as solo act. We lived in Seattle, Washington during the tail end of the 90s Grunge music era. My husband Terry ran into several members of Pearl Jam hanging out in front of a house in the late 90s and said hi.

I ran into Chris Cornell at Cafe Minnie’s in the downtown Seattle area one day. He said hello and gave me a warm smile. He seemed down-to-earth. Luckily I remained calm an said hi back! I think it took awhile for the Seattle Grunge scene musicians to get used to their national and then international fame, and some did not do too well with it (Kurt Cobain, etc.)

Here is a link to great post by the blogger Rich Larson, thefirsttenwords, that sums up my shock and feelings about his suicide and provides an insight on why his sudden death is so rattling to those of us in Chris Cornell’s generation: It’s not what you think

Some Happier News

I discovered earlier this week that my collaborative piece with Betty Anne Guadalupe, Abandoned Water Structure,  which was purchased by the City of Seattle for their Portable Works Collection, is on display in a show in downtown Seattle (Seattle Municipal Tower Gallery, 700 Fifth Ave) called Your Body of Water, Part II. 

Check out this link from our collaborative website/blog, Improvisational Textiles for more on this story: Your Body of Water Exhibit, Seattle Municipal Tower Gallery. As you will see in the post, the exhibit’s curator with the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture was kind enough to e-mail me some photos of my piece hanging in the show.

Returning to a Wonderful Surprise!

I just returned from the 4-day annual May quilt retreat with my Washington, Oregon and California Quilt Sisters. The next series of blog posts will be about that retreat. When I walked in the house yesterday, suitcase laden with partially completed projects and some new fabric picked up during the retreat (oops), I had a package waiting.

Inside the package was my birthday gift from my Danish brother Torben (see 04/15/17 post The Library Stack and Hygge) from a quilt shop in his current country of residence, Austria!

The goodies inside included a “layer cake” (collection of 10″ precut coordinated fabric squares), information about the fabric line, information about the quilt shop, and other treats!

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The fabric line is Véro´s World by Gütermann and my wonderful Danish brother, picked up the fabric (and other goodies) at a quilt shop, Quilted, in Vienna.

Check out the link for the Quilted Quilt Shop website for a peek inside a Viennese quilt shop! Note – everything is in German on the website, but you can get a general feel for the website’s navigation if you do not speak/read German.

I have visited Torben a couple times in Denmark, but not in Austria. I guess since they have quilt shop, I will have to visit – ha!

In addition to the treats from the Austrian quilt shop, there was a birthday card in Danish (just to mess with my mind). Most of the words I recognize from absorbing Danish from 20 years of friendship.

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Just wanted to share my wonderful surprise, it was a nice way to return home from a wonderful relaxing 4-day quilt retreat (my next series of posts).


Postscript

Here is a card someone sent me years ago that I framed and keep on my studio wall. It is a good reminder when I get discouraged about the slow progress of my art quilting journey:

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I am still working on finding my “song”.


Feature photo credit: www.quilted.at

The Flags Outside My Window

Every morning I look out my kitchen window at a set of Tibetan-Prayer-like flags as I put on the kettle for my pot of tea.

These six (6) flags have Kanji (Japanese Chinese-inspired characters) symbols and an English language inspirational quote.

This morning I thought I would share with you the text the “flags outside my windows”  that I read to start my day. (Kanji character images from kanji-symbol.net).


HAPPINESS

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When one’s spiritual needs are met by an untroubled inner life. Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others.


LOVE

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An inspired form of giving, love breathes life into the heart and brings grace to the soul.


COURAGE

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Not the absence of fear or despair, but the strength to conquer them.


WISDOM

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Knowledge, intuition and experience combine to guide us in thought and deed.


PEACE

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To bring peace to the Earth, strive to make your own life peaceful.


TRANQUILITY

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The peace that comes when energies are in harmony, relationships are in balance.

 

 

 


Looking at these flags is a grounding way for me to start each day.

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Vegan Split Pea Soup

Tierney! You are not a food blogger and this is not a cooking blog, what are you thinking with this post?

Well I wanted to share one of my favorite food recipes (and what I am having for lunch today)  – Split Pea Soup with Cumin & Orange from the 01/19/11 online issue of Portland Monthly.

I am not vegan, though I do enjoy vegan cooking – it feels so “clean and pure“. I love a thick hearty traditional split pea soup simmered with a ham bone with tender ham meat simmering in the soup. I also love this vegan version and find the flavor equally as satisfying!

In the link above from Portland Monthly you can find the original recipe, but below I will share my version of the recipe and photos:

Split Pea Soup with Cumin & Orange

Adapted from Portland Monthly onlineSplit Pea Soup with Cumin & Orange

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and minced
  • 3 cups split peas, divided in half
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 tbsp orange zest, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • Your favorite hot sauce

COOKING DIRECTIONS:

(1) HEAT olive oil in a heavy saucepan on medium and add garlic, cumin, and black pepper. I have burned the garlic in the past, so I always make sure I do not overheat the olive oil before putting the garlic. cumin and pepper and then I stir them constantly on medium heat. 

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(2) SAUTÉ until garlic just begins to brown (about 5 minutes).

(3) ADD onion, carrot, celery, and jalapeños—stir well and cook until onions begin to soften (5–7 minutes). I also add the celery leaves and I always put in a little extra carrots and celery than the recipe calls for.

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(4) ADD water and half of the split peas, and bring to a simmer.  I do not add the water first, I add the split peas (1 1/2 cups/half of them) to the sautéed vegetables and sauté the peas a little in the vegetable/spice mix to add a little extra flavor to the dried pea. Then I add the water.

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Stirring occasionally, cook until peas are tender (about 45 minutes).

(5) ADD remaining split peas and orange zest and cook on a low simmer, uncovered, until all of the peas are tender (30–40 minutes), and season to taste with salt and pepper. I use my microplane to zest the skin of one orange. Usually what I will do is have an orange at breakfast and save the skins for orange zest. If you do not have a microplane (or you are terrified of this very sharp cooking instrument in which you can also zest off your skin, been there…) then you can just use a grater and lightly grate off the orange skin/zest (I know the culinary purists are cringing right now).

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After I add in the orange zest and remaining split peas, I also add a dash of hot sauce instead of just adding it as a garnish is step #6.

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(6) GARNISH with toasted cumin seeds, orange zest, and hot sauce.  I only garnish with a little extra hot sauce after serving into my bowl.

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This soup freezes beautifully and I think it makes more than 6 servings. I am a telecommuter so I am always trying to plan my lunches out ahead of time. I love just pulling out a serving of this soup in the morning to thaw before starting my workday.


Postscript

Being Stealth

I am getting ready to leave for the annual quilt retreat in the Vancouver, Washington area I go on with my quilt sisters from Washington, Oregon and California. Sassy, the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer, gets very stressed when one of her humans is leaving her sight/management for a while.

She becomes very anxious when she sees suitcases, so I am having to do stealth packing for the retreat. I pack a couple days early and keep them hidden (behind the sari curtain in my studio):

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Why yes, that is all I am bringing to a 4-day quilt retreat. I decided to just bring hand quilting projects. I did bring a small project I could use a borrowed sewing machine on if I suddenly become overwhelmed with the need to sit at a sewing machine.

Also I packed minimal coordinating clothes and figure I can repeat an outfit (if I start to smell, oh well, I am at a quilt retreat – ha!)

A Couple of Cool Blogs

I follow several non-crafting blogs and I wanted to share a couple very cool blogs I thought some of you might enjoy:

  • The Tiny Potager: Self Sufficiency and Sustainable Living – with a family of six – tinypotager.com – this blogger is out of the UK and posts wonderful photos of farming, farmlands, hikes, road trips, etc. I feel like I am on a relaxing virtual mini-holiday when I look at this blog.
  • I’ve Read This: Looking for something good to read? – ivereadthis.com – this blog is for people who love to read and love cats! The blogger posts adorable cat photos and great book reviews. The latest post is on a book called The Lion in the Living Room by Abigail Tucker; and has a great video on why cats love boxes!

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    Example of “kitty in a box”, my friend Wendy’s darling cat

A Chicken Named “Tierney”

Wishing you all a Happy Mothers Day whether you are raising/have raised little humans, or you care for furry creature! Check out my fur kid’s latest musings in her Schnauzer Snips blog.


How do you know you have really made it in life?

You know when a chicken has been named after you!

My friend Marla started raising hen chicks and she has named them after her close female friends and family members. She is raising several varieties and I have been honored with one of her Dominique Chickens being given my name.

Here is “Tierney” the Chicken:

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She and her husband began raising the chicks in their bathroom in a specially heated set up. Now the chickens are moved to a lovely outdoor coop her husband built (I hope to remember in the future to take a photo and share, maybe when little “Tierney” is all grown up). Here are a couple of photos of the chicks while they lived in the bathroom:

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So what do you feed chicks as snacks? Well you give them Happy Hen Treats: Mealworm Frenzy!

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It is both disgusting and hysterical. I think I will stick with dogs and dog biscuits, ha! I hope to remember to post another photo in the future when chick “Tierney” becomes full grown egg laying hen “Tierney”.


Postscript

One of the cool things about being a quilter is when many years later someone thanks you again for a quilt you made for them (that they have been enjoying for many years!).

Out of the blue I received a text from an old friend Colleen, thanking me for a quilt I made her 6 or so years ago after he husband passed. She sent me the photo below of the quilt, on her bed:

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What a wonderful treat it was to be reminded of this quilt and how much it meant to her!

Thoughts on Solitude

Recently I finished an audiobook, The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel (2017). This book tells the story of the North Pond Hermit (Christopher Knight) who lived alone in the Maine woods for 27 years.

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

Christopher Knight walked away from his life with the rest of humanity shortly after high school. He lived in isolation, in a hidden camp deep in the North Pond area of the Maine woods, without human interaction for 27 years.

Unfortunately, for 27 years, he pilfered summer camps for food, which eventually led to his capture. Until his arrest he was only known as a mysterious (and mythical) legend – the “North Pond Hermit”.

The book was fascinating – I listened to it nearly non-stop (anytime I could find a moment for a listen). Most of the book is Christopher Knight’s story told through the author, a journalist, who gained access to Knight during his incarceration. The other parts of the book are interviews with law enforcement, Knight’s childhood neighbors, and summer residents of North Pond who were tormented and terrorized for years of endless thefts of their summer camps.

The author also delves into the psychological aspects and impacts of isolation; and why some humans crave isolation while others would do anything to avoid it. He discusses the beauty experienced and wisdom/insight that can be gained from selected solitude (think of Henry David Thoreau). I found many of the author’s musings very profound.

There was something intriguing about the idea of living alone in the woods (I know, I know, it would be hard to using my electric sewing machine, but I could get a treadle machine…) and I spent a lot of time thinking about what it would be like to live alone in the woods and the peaceful beauty of solitude as I read the book.

I do enjoy my time alone – on a walk or reading in a quiet spot. However I enjoy an occasional DAY alone, not 27 years (or 9850+ days!) alone.

A couple of quotes from the book:

“Solitude increased my perception. But here’s the tricky thing: when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. There was no audience, no one to perform for. There was no need to define myself. I became irrelevant. (I)solation felt more like communion…To put it romantically, I was completely free.”

“Silence, it appears, is not the opposite of sound. It is another world altogether, literally offering a deeper level of thought, a journey to the bedrock of the self.”

“Modern life seems set up so that we can avoid loneliness at all costs, but maybe it’s worthwhile to face it occasionally. The further we push aloneness away, the less we are able to cope with it, and the more terrifying it gets. Some philosophers believe that loneliness is the only true feeling there is.”

― Michael Finkel, The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

I was fascinated how Christopher Knight learned to survive in the Maine woods, especially during the long exceptionally brutal winters. It is amazing the price he was willing to pay each winter to continue to live in isolation. You can check out videos on YouTube (just search “North Pond Hermit” or “Christopher Knight Hermit”) of the camp he created as his hidden home in the Maine woods, taken when law enforcement seized his camp contents after his arrest.

His story of surviving in the woods, made me think of a recent post by one of my favorite bloggers, Dewey Hop: Feisty Froggy Reads Through the LibraryNatural Disasters. Feisty Froggy discusses/reviews several books on how to survive disasters and what emergency supplies to have on hand. Christoper Knight went into the Maine woods as a young man without a “bug-out bag” or any standard/basic survival supplies. He just parked his car at the edge of the woods, got out and headed in to live the next 27 years of his life in isolation.


Postscript

In the Postscript section of my 04/12/17 post A Happy Ending for “Happy Ending”, I shared that I overdid it reserving a bunch of audiobooks all at once from my beloved public library and five (5) books came available at once!

Well the next day, a 6th book came availableThe Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit – the audiobook discusses in this post. Since the library only gives you 21 days to listen to the audiobooks and you cannot renew them if they have holds (and all the books had holds), I had to make some decisions.

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit obviously got priority, because I finished it! Here is what happened to the other audiobooks mentioned in the 04/12/17 post:

  • Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman – This audiobook is awesome, narrated by the author himself in his delightful British accent – my audiobook loan expired before I could finish it, so I have reserved it again…
  • For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men
    – Shaunti Feldhahn – Very interesting book – I think it should be required reading before you get married (there is a companion book for men on the Inner Lives of Women); it is faith-based but not too heavy handed in regards to biblical tie-ins. I considered myself successfully married for eons but I gained some new insights.
  • We: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere – Gillian Anderson & Jennifer Nadel (yup, Gillian Anderson of The X-Files fame) – I wanted to like this book but struggled to finish it. It seemed very inspirational but it was read by the authors and for some reason they, especially Gillian Anderson (who I loved in The X-Files). I might try it again the future as a paper book instead of audiobook.
  • Good Omens – Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett – Oh my goodness – I love this book – absolutely hysterical with lots of British style snarky humor. Unfortunately my loan expired before I finished it, so I am anxiously awaiting notification that I can download it again (our library uses the Overdrive app and your download automatically expires when the 21 days are up)
  • Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions – Neil Gaiman – Never got to it. Will try it again the the future.

Yes of course I reserved more audiobooks at the same time again. I do not want to be without an audiobook! I am currently listening to The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work by Yoni Freedhoff. I will chat about that in the future and what became of the Fast Metabolism Diet I shared in posts from mid February to early March 2017.

Christopher Knight, the North Pond Hermit, survived and thrived in isolation by reading books (that he stole from summer camps). If I had to, I guess I could survive in isolation for a couple years, as long as I had audiobooks!


Featured image credit: Gabor Szakacs, freeimages.com

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Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop 2017

Friday, a day after returning from our Oregon Roadtrip, Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I hit the road again – this time for the annual Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop.

We visited all seven (7) Central Oregon quilt shops in order to fill out our shop-hop passcards for a chance to win a dream Bernina sewing machine (and gift certificates to the local shops).

As much as I enjoy the annual quilt shop hop, I did offer to pass on it this year as TTQH had just done all that driving. But he insisted – he wanted to go and wanted to complete our shop-hop passcards (he likes a challenge).

Here are the seven (7) shops we visited:

Several of these shops were featured on previous posts. I have added a new Category for my posts – “Quilt Shop Tours” in case you want to find quilt shop photo tours I have posted (check out “My Topics” Menu).

Quilt Shop Hop is always fun: you run into the same people shop-hopping in the same order as you are; the quilt shops have tasty treats and one even served lunch; and you get to look at the wonderful displays and fabrics at each shop.

In addition, each shop you visit gives you a free fat 1/8th of fabric. Between TTQH and myself, we collected 14 fat 1/8ths. Here is the haul (note, I let TTQH select his own fat 1/8th and he went rogue and selected a black & grey one that did not match the rest of the brights palette!):

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Several fabrics are duplicates because we accidentally selected the same fat 1/8ths!

Last year I took our collection of fat 1/8th from the 2016 Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop and turned them into English Paper Piecing (EPP) hexagons (see post Adventures in English Paper Piecing, Part II). I plan to use the collection of fat 1/8ths from the 2017 shop hop for a project, this time I am thinking a standard paper piecing project.

I would like to use these free fabrics in a challenge project each year. I was intimidated by the thought of doing of EPP and now I absolutely love it!

I am completely aghast at the idea of traditional paper piecing (my sister-in-law Sue, the master quilter, once showed me how to do it as did my first quilting instructor Roxanne Carter, but it still fills my heart with terror), so why not challenge myself again?

So I nicely pressed and organized the 2017 free fat 1/8th in preparation for a future project:

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I did not buy anything at shop hop, but TTQH did! He decided he wanted to make a flannel fishing themed quilt (he is into fly fishing). Also he could not resist a couple animal themed prints. Here is his haul:

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For the fishing themed flannel quilt

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For his “stash” I guess…

Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer and her adopted brother Mike went on the road with us during Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop. We stopped for a nice lunch and lots of dog walks. Material Girl Fabrics in Redmond, Oregon is in a house in a quaint old neighborhood so we had a really nice long dog walk before heading into that quilt shop.

Here is Sassy on the road:

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Sassy has to sit on my lap in the front seat for the best views

Here is a sampling of the lovely Central Oregon views as we traveled around the area shop hopping!

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I would guess we did about a 100+ miles of driving on Friday; for example the distance between some of the farthest quilt shops (from my house) – Homestead Quilts in LaPine, Oregon and the Quilt Shack in Prineville, Oregon is 65 miles.


Postscript

In a future post I will feature more Central Oregon quilt shop photo tours.

If you enjoy quilt shop virtual tours, I highly recommend Anna of Woolie Mammoth’s YouTube channel – Quilt Roadies. She, her husband and their adorable dog, travel in their RV to quilt shops around the country as well as other interesting sights!

Oregon Roadtrip

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I just returned from an “Oregon Roadtrip”. I took this week off from work for a part “staycation” and a part explore a little more of the state of Oregon. We did a quick jaunt to Portland, Oregon and then went to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest  in Woodburn, Oregon.

On the Road

TTQH did the driving and I got to sightsee on the road trip and work on my English Paper Piecing (EPP). I am still working on my first series/stash of hexagons (hexies) last discussed in my 02/05/17 post, Adventures in English Paper Piecing (Part II).

I am so glad I got into EPP, it is a great traveling project and very addicting. In a future post I will reveal just how many little hexies I have completed. Here is my lap during the road trip:

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I have my coat on my lap. Why? Because of what you will see in the two images below: driving through the mountain passes (Mt. Hood area and Santiam Pass) there was snow. The photos below are from our drive back to Central Oregon, encountering snow in the Santiam Pass:

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This is the price you pay when you live in the Cascade Mountain range region. Central Oregon itself is at 3500 – 3600+ feet, and when you drive through the mountain range areas to get out of Central Oregon, you are going to see some snow in the higher elevations even into late May and possibly June (Santiam Pass is at 4800 feet elevation). In the late Fall and Winter there is major snow and I will not drive to Portland from November to March. But if you like Winter sports, this place is a dream.

When we got out of the mountain passes, the weather was fine.

An interesting fact: According to Wikipedia, there are 318 mountain passes in the state of Oregon (List of mountain passes in Oregon). Some passes are above 7000 feet elevation! When you drive around Central Oregon, all you can see is mountains, mountains, mountains!

Craft Book Heaven (and Overload)

While in Portland, Oregon we spent an afternoon in Powell’s Books: The World’s Largest Independent Bookstore. Their book inventory exceeds 2 million volumes and I cannot begin to describe how large a bookstore it is – there are many levels and sections, assigned different colors. There is a map to the store and you can definitely lose someone in the store if you are not browsing together (thank goodness for cellphones!)

Their craft book section is mind-blowing and I spent an hour in there browsing while TTQH spent who knows how long in the Military History book section.

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I could have spent days in this section, ha!

After my browsing, I took at stack of books to the coffee shop inside the bookstore and nested there with my cup of tea until TTQH joined me. I did not buy the all the books in my stack (because I did not need them, but they were fun to look at).

I did buy one book, used (Powell’s sells new and used books) as I thought I owned it but actually I had borrowed it from my friend Betty Anne:

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

TTQH left Powell’s with a military history book that had been on his radar for a while.

Tulip Festival & Tasty Meal

After our Portland visit, we headed to Woodburn, Oregon to stop at an outlet shopping area that TTQH likes to buy his favorite sneakers (Converse). While at the outlet mall, someone handed us a flyer on the Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest  in Woodburn, Oregon. We decided, spur of the moment, to head there next.

This was my first tulip festival. I took a ridiculous amount of photos and here are some of my favorites:

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The photo above, which I also used as a feature photo for this post, is my absolute favorite. This tulip variety was also my favorite of all the spectacular tulips we saw at the fest. I have many photos of individual tulips – I went a little overboard in taking photos, caught up in the moment of visual splendor overload!

While at the Tulip Fest, we went on a hayride around the festival and walked all the tulip fields (to be honest, after a couple hours we were burned out on tulips – ha!)

After the tulip festival, we went to eat at the Glockenspiel Restaurant in Mt. Angel, Oregon. It was mentioned in the Tulip Fest flyer and I had recently heard of it in the latest edition of Via Magazine (the AAA Travel Magazine for auto club members).

The Glockenspiel Restaurant is a German food eatery, which has a working glockenspiel mounted on it’s exterior which performs at various times during the day. We missed the most recent performance but I did find a YouTube video of what it looks like:

The Glockenspiel Restaurant 

The person who filmed the video has a narrative of the story/history behind what you are seeing in the Glockenspiel.

Here is our delicious lunch:

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I look forward to more exploration of our wonderful state of Oregon in the future!

For the Yarn Lovers

Or should the post title be: “For Lovers of Yarn”? Either way, here is a post for people who love yarn and/or knit, crochet, spin, weave or other fiber arts involving yarn.

Last Thursday I was at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters Oregon for our monthly art quilter group meeting. Before the meeting, I wandered around the shop “ooh-ing and ahh-ing” at all the treats for purchases (fabric, yarn, notions, art, books, etc.). The yarn department/section seemed exceptionally lovely this visit (I think they re-organized the shop), so I took photos to share with my yarn-loving readers!

Yarn Department, Stitchin’ Post

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My friend Pat was kind enough to be the hand model in several of the photos.

If you are every in Central Oregon and you are a quilter, knitter, crocheter, or any type of fiber arts crafter I highly recommended a visit to this shop!

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A Tiny Bit More on Hygge

A little follow up from yesterday’s post, The Library Stack and Hygge, on the Nordic concept of hygge (pronounced ‘hoo-ga’).

While continuing to read How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life by Signe Johansen, I came across this quote this morning that made me smile:

But just to keep alive is not enough. To live you must have sunshine and freedom, and a little flower to love.

– Hans Christian Andersen

The tulips are popping up in my garden and I thought I was share a “little flower” with you I have “to love”.

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Wishing you a glorious day of sunshine, freedom and flowers.

Marie Bostwick Book Tour/Book Signing

I met NY Times Bestselling Author, Marie Bostwick, through a mutual friend when I attend last Fall’s Trends Show (see the “Postscript” section of the 09/18/16 post The Ladies Friendship Circle (1931)). I had a great time hanging out with her and learned she was moving to my beloved Central Oregon! She is currently on a book tour and Terry the Quilting Husband and I went to see her speak on Saturday.

Marie is a quilter and her first major series of books, Cobbled Court Quilt Series, was strongly quilting/life of a quilter related. The series begins with the book A Single Thread.

In case you have read her books, I thought I would share photos from her Book Tour stop on Saturday April 1, 2017 in Bend, Oregon.

During this tour she is promoting her latest book, The Promise Girls, released at the end of March.

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Photo credit: mariebostwick.com

On Saturday Marie discussed her new book as well as some of the history on her other books and how she became a writer. She also did a little “trunk show” and showed us several quilts, many of which were based on quilts/themes in her books:

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Even the table she did her book signing featured one of her quilts!

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If you would like to see her on her US tour, here is a link with tour dates:

www.mariebostwick.com/calendar

The Love Ducks are Back!

No this post is not about our Oregon Ducks (University of Oregon) men’s basketball team who happens to be in the NCAA Tournament’s “Final Four: playoff today (the last time they won the tournament was 1939!). It is about the annual pair of a hen and drake ducks that wander around our neighborhood and seem to herald the start of Spring.

I do not know a lot about ducks and let’s assume it is not the same pair year after year (but maybe…), however, around this time every year (see my post from 04/02/16 – The Hen and the Drake) while walking the dogs, we come upon a “duck couple” hanging out or just walking about the neighborhood together:

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They seem oblivious to the goings on in the neighborhood and even ignore our slightly snarling miniature schnauzers as we walked by the pair. I remember the first time I saw them in the neighborhood, about 11 years ago, and saw my next door neighbor’s cat slowly stalk them down the middle of the street.

The ducks kept walking at their normal pace, despite there was a cat obviously lurking/stalking them 20 – 30 feet away. It was video worthy but I did not think about that at the time.

Ultimately the kitty turned around and went back home. I guess he figured if the duck couple was not afraid of him, maybe he should be afraid of them!

I love my neighborhood. It is just a regular working class neighborhood with primarily older single story houses and kind and friendly neighbors who look out for each other. I feel very safe and peaceful when I walk around my neighborhood.

I guess the ducks feel safe here too.