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.

Rosettes! (Adventures in EPP Continued)

This blog is about a Quilter’s Life and there is more in my life than just quilting. I have so many non-quilting blog post ideas floating in my head, but today is another quilting related post. I so appreciate my non-quilter readers in addition to my quilter/crafter readers!

Making Rosettes

So is an activity equally or perhaps more addicting than making little English Paper Pieced (EPP) hexagons (hexies) – making rosettes with the hexies!

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But first let’s recap (full stories in the series of posts Adventures in English Paper Piecing):

Here is what I started with (a collection of free 1/8th quarters from the 2016 Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop):

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Here is the book I used to teach myself EPP (All Points Patchwork by Diane Gilleland):

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I turned the fabric into 250+ hexies:

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In order to make something like this:

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Photo credit: Quiltfolk.com

And, so far I have made 18 of these – rosettes:

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But, now the (sort of) bad news

I counted and I only have enough hexies to make 36 rosettes and the quilt I want to make has 99 rosettes (9 x 11 row quilt). I used all the free fabric from the 2016 Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop and I wanted the hexies to only be made from that coordinated fabric (I will have to use other fabric from my stash for the background/setting fabrics).

So either I change my rules, or I accept that I am making a 36 block (6 x 6 row) quilt with my rosettes. I think that is what I am going to do, as it would be a huge commitment to make a zillion more hexies to turn into 63 more blocks!

Sometimes you got to be flexible and change your original plan…

Closing this post with my favorite rosette so far (I have 18 more rosettes to make so we’ll see if this one wins the Rosette Beauty Contest (soon to be an annual event held in Atlantic City, ha!):

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But I love all of them!

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Adventures in English Paper Piecing (Part III)

A recent post in a blog I follow, Coloring Outside the Lines (quiltingismything. wordpress.com), on English Paper Piecing (EPP) – “EPP – my tips and what I use” by Kris R., reminded me I should post an update on my adventures in EPP.

You can read my prior post, Adventures in English Paper Piecing (Part II), or you can check out my category Adventures in English Paper Piecing, for all previous posts related to my adventures in EPP.

Not sure if I would use the word addiction…but..

I started making EPP hexagons (aka “hexies”) to have something to do with my hands, other than play games on my iPad, while I watched TV in the evening with Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH). I seem to need to do something while watching TV, my mind is unable to just “veg-out” in front of a screen.

And EPP hexies I did make…and make…and make. I have made over 225 EPP hexies so far!

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So many hexies!

The fabrics are from the 2016 Central Oregon Shop Hop – a collection of fat 1/8th that TTQH and I got as gifts from each quilt shop we visited.

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The original collection of free fabrics

I used up all the fat 1/8ths (all 14 pieces) to make the 225+ hexies and then TTQH suggested I might need some white hexies in my grouping as some of the prints also have white in them. At first I was annoyed, as I wanted to be done with this collection of hexies and move onto making my next collection!

After a little grumbling, I realized he was right, and found this white fabric in my general fat quarter stash that I think will work:

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Making More Hexies

Now you might find this to be abusive, but I have trained TTQH to make my paper templates for my hexies. As mentioned in an earlier post on EPP, I found at a craft store, a paper punch that makes hexagons.

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TTQH making hexies with the paper punch

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A nice new pile of hexies!

TTQH likes a challenge and I caught him playing a game to see just how many hexies he could get out of a section of card stock. (I have a lot of card stock from my paper crafting days…I might return to make handmade cards someday…maybe…)

So what am I going to do with my first collection of hexies?

I fell in love with the EPP quilt on the cover of a new magazine, Quiltfolk:

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Photo credit: quiltfolk.com

I plan to make my EPP hexies into rosettes and make a quilt similar to the one on the cover.

The premiere issue of this advertisement-free publication features the state of Oregon and stories of quilters and quilt shops in Oregon.

The premiere issue of Quiltfolk magazine (01) goes on a road-trip around Oregon and when they get to Central Oregon, they feature a very talented art quilter, Shelia Finzer, who is in the SAQA art quilter group I belong.

Shelia and her art represented Central Oregon very well – this place (and Portland, Oregon) is a major nest of art quilters!

I know, I know, you are thinking: “Tierney, didn’t you post a while back about downsizing? Why are you buying more magazines?” I am not just downsizing my life to live as an extreme minimalist. I am CURATING my life to have only those things that truly make me happy. Quiltfolk magazine is one of those items.

The next issues (02) Quiltfolk magazine features quilter stories from the state of Iowa and I am looking forward to delving into that issue with a pot of tea!

The EPP Nest

I created a spot for my EPP activities (and any other portable crafting activities such as coloring or appliqué, etc.) in the living room in an old IKEA end table. Inside the end table are various crafting supplies for “crafting on demand” – ha!

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This is a continuation of my “whole house crafting” expansion that I discussed in the Jan 2016 post, Whole House Crafting,  when I realized that I did not have to confine my crafting activities to one room (3rd bedroom turned studio) in my house!

Well today is Monday, and I am going to try and get in another Pilot Butte walk, so I better stop blogging and go enjoy the sunshine and mountains.

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Adventures in English Paper Piecing (Part II)

Hi there!

Here is an update to my 10/03/16 post  Adventures in English Paper Piecing (Part I) – I’ve made quite a few EPP hexies:

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They have been the perfect portable project and now I understand the fun of EPP. All the fabrics are from the 2016 Central Oregon Shop Hop – fat eighths given out by area quilt shops (from a set collected by both Terry the Quilting Husband and myself).

This weekend I hung out with a couple quilting buddies and we opened up Pinterest and starting playing with some layout options on the kitchen counter:

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I still have many more hexies to make so I am not ready to decide on a final pattern yet but I am leaning towards the randomly placed design as opposed to a more traditional “Grandmother’s Flower Garden” design.

So more to come.

I will close this post with a lovely sign I saw recently at a shop:

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Adventures in English Paper Piecing (Part I)

Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s latest musings in her Schnauzer Snips page.


In my 09/23/16 post The Library Stack (and a little EPP) I mentioned that I was learning English Paper Piecing (EPP) using the book All Points Patchwork by Diane Gilleland.

So here is an update:

After purchasing a hexagon paper punch, I punched our a huge stack of hexagons using old cardstock from my handmade card making days.

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This past Spring, Terry the Quilting Husband and I went to the Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop. During the Shop Hop we each received a “fat 1/8th quarter” of coordinated fabric. I stuck this fabric away for a future project and it seems perfect for my EPP experimentation!

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I put together a plastic tote for my EPP supplies:

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And here is my beginning stack of EPP hexagons:

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So why EPP?

Well I had become addicted to playing games on my iPad in the evening as we watch evening TV shows (like NCIS on Tuesdays).

Playing these games were actually making me kind of frustrated and anxious as I moved into higher and higher levels. I had lost the sense of initial enjoyment that I experience when I first played. It became as if I had to keep playing and get to higher and higher levels  (but why, for what purpose?).

Although the games were a complete meaningless waste of time and no longer fun, I did not seem to be able to stop. I even tried deleting them from my iPad but in a moment of weakness the following evening, I would reinstall the app for evening TV watching.

I do not seem to be able to just sit and watch TV, I have to be doing something else. It was clear that I needed a productive alternative to playing these games and EPP seemed like the perfect solution.

So now I can do something productive with my hands in the evening while watching TV instead of playing iPad game apps! I am starting to find EPP kind of addicting – I like to keep cranking out EPP completed hexagons and it is becoming a game of how many hexagons I can rack up in an evening! (Oh no soon I will be strung out on hexagons!)

Next time I update you on my Adventures in EPP, hopefully I will have enough hexagons to start planning a small piece. Perhaps I will have even started assembling the hexagons into a piece!


POSTSCRIPT

If you are not familiar with English Paper Piecing (EPP), the online craft class site Craftsy has a nice little overview called Exploring English Paper Piecing.

Oh (random info) I recent reorganized my Gallery page into Art Quilts, Quilts, and Small Projects. I have a lot of old photos on this page and there are many old quilts I do not have digital photos on. Going forward I hope to only have high quality images of my work (but then I am taking the photos, so I am not promising – ha!)

The Library Stack (and a little EPP)

The “tierney” in tierneycreates, has not done a lot of creating lately. I wonder if I am stuck. I have been reading about creating and I have been preparing to create (does that count?) but more about that later in this post.


The (Sort of) Current Library Stack

I am continuing my series of posts on the latest stack of books borrowed from my local library. At the time of writing this post, my stack has dwindled and I only have a couple books left – primarily the Vegan cookbooks and the book Why Write by Mark Edmundson.

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I have enjoyed all the book except for the interior decorating book, Dreaming Small: Intimate Interiors by Douglas Woods. The book has a five-star rating on Amazon.com but I thought it was a snoozer (and yes I literally fell into a sweet little nap in my chair while reading/browsing through it).

The problem may not be the book, the problem may be that I am just completely burned out on home decorating books. They used to be a wonderful source of daydream but now many of them irritate me (except for the home decorating book The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith, which I discussed in my previous Library Stack post).

Terry the Quilting Husband, does not usually comment on my Library Stack sitting on the table next to my reading chair in the front window. He just accepts that his wife goes kind of wild on borrowing books from the library (there are worse habits to have in life). He did however tease me endlessly about a book called Mason Jar Nation (by JoAnn Moser).

Terry picked up the book and said: “Wow! A WHOLE BOOK about Mason Jars – WOW! Can I read it after you are done – it sounds SO exciting!” Through my laughter I heard him say something like: “No, no don’t tell me how it ends, I don’t want you to ruin it for me. I can’t wait to find out what the Mason Jars have been up to!”

I guess he does not fully appreciate all the options for craft related books and that yes, there are many people who enjoy making crafts with Mason Jars. The book was moderately interesting and did provide a nice history of Mason Jars. It did not inspire me to run out and buy some Mason jars and start crafting with them but it was fun to read while sipping my tea.

You might ask – why all the Vegan cookbooks? Are you Vegan or are you going Vegan? No to both questions. I love the idea of being Vegan, but there is one thing that keeps me from being Vegan, a little thing called B-A-C-O-N. Why live if you can never have bacon again? (Apologies to any Vegetarian or Vegan readers).

I work from home as a telecommuter for my pay-the-bills-job and so I eat lunch at home most days. Although I might be having meat and dairy with my dinner, I want to explore eating Vegan for lunch. I like the idea of “eating clean” for my mid-day meal. Terry the Quilting Husband has no interest in Vegan but you never know what I can slip into his diet (I have been very successful with slipping things years ago he said he would never eat like broccoli, spinach and kale! Oh wait, he reads my blog, now he will know what I am up to…)


Getting Ready to Create

Speaking of “library stacks”, I really enjoyed a book from my previous library stack (my August 23rd Library Stack posting) titled All Points Patchwork by Diane Gilleland. I enjoyed this book so much that I bought it. 

This book covers the fundamentals of English Paper Piecing (EPP) as well as options for creating cool pieces using EPP. I have been getting ready to EPP and will have a future post on my Adventures in EPP.

There is a reason why I wanted to pick up EPP and I will discuss that later when I do my post on EPP (it has to do with trying to break an evening addiction to playing iPad games).

In addition to the book from the library, I was also influenced/inspired by one of the blogs I follow – Alice Samuel Quilt Company and a post the blogger did on recycling her old wedding invitations into EPP templates – A Box Full of Junk. I love the idea of using unwanted paper for something creative!

So here is what I have put together so far – a whole lot of hexagon templates using my new punch:

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But more in a future post, first i need to make sure I do not completely embarrass myself trying to do EPP (if you never hear me mention those three words/three letters again you’ll know it did not work out…or I could post about “Misadventures in English Paper Piecing”!)


POSTSCRIPT

Someday I will follow up on all the other projects I have discussed and shared my start on. Right now I seem to just be building up my stash of “UFOs” (if you are not a quilter, refer to my post Lexicon of Quilters’ Acronyms).


Feature Photo Credit: Gary Tamin, free images.com