Fabric Scraps Obsession

Fabric Samples from the Other Side of the World

This is a follow up to yesterday’s post, Heirloom Batik Scraps in the Mail! , where I mentioned I recently received a 4th craft related surprise in the mail.

Last week a curious package arrived from New Panvel, India:
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Inside was a collection of samples of embroidered Indian silks in 5 – 6 inch squares:
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I was completely blown away by this surprise!

I do not recognize the name of the person who sent it so I assume it is a thoughtful follower of my blog who lives in India (I have readers on every continent except Antartica!) but I did mail them a thank you card as the package contained their return address.

I have not decided what to do with these wonderful fabric samples, for now I will just put them on display in my studio!

 

Fabric Scraps Obsession

Heirloom Batik Scraps in the Mail!

It is day 7 of my fifth blog anniversary celebration goal to post daily for the 31 days of October. So far I still have new material and have not resorted to reposting old posts…yet…


Surprise Goodies in the Mail

During the past couple of months, crafting related treats/surprises keep appearing in my mail (it’s a pattern, and I like it!).

First there was yarn from Iceland and Ireland from my friend Michele from her honeymoon in Iceland and Ireland (see post Small World with Awesome Yarn):

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Then in the mail appeared a surprise of a collection of wool scraps from the Isle of Harris from my friend Kathy’s trip to Scotland (see post Scraps from Scotland):

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Well a couple weeks ago, my longtime blogging buddy, Cindy of A Quilter’s Corner with Cindy Anderson (inastitchquilting.com) surprised me with a collection of Heirloom Batik scraps that she picked up at a quilt show!

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Heirloom Batik

As it mentioned on their website handloombatik.com, Heirloom Batik batiks are exquisitely handmade batik fabrics. They are exotic and beautiful fabric that begin with ,with Indian block prints; and many are one of a kind.

They are only available at craft shows/festivals, you cannot purchase them directly online.

I first learned about them when Cindy was using them in her amazing improvisational quilts such as in her piece Bits & Pieces which you can view on her 09/13/18 post FUZZY, AP # 62.

I’ve admired the fabrics she uses in her pieces for a long time and asked her what specific fabrics she was using and she told me about Heirloom Batik.

I was so disappointed when I learned I could not order them online and they did not appear to come to quilting shows/festivals in Oregon. So you could imagine my surprise and utter delight when a collection of Heirloom Batik scraps showed up in my mailbox!

The scraps are amazing and I unfolded each scrap and pressed it out, then reorganized it by color into the bag. Here is a photo of all the scraps laid out for me to admire and daydream about using in a future project:

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.Cindy also included a lovely handmade card by a fiber artist featuring the State of Wisconsin (her home):

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I felt very very very lucky to have received such a thoughtful surprise.

Surprises Continue!

The surprises in the mail are not over, tomorrow I will share the 4th mind blowing craft related surprise that arrived in the mail earlier last week!

Creative Inspiration, Fabric Scraps Obsession, Life in B&W, What's on the Design Wall

Random Blog Posts Follow-ups

Originally I had another post in mind but got distracted and decided to instead share some random follow-ups on previous blog posts (the links to the original posts are linked in the headers).

Scraps from Scotland (09/23/18)

My friend Kathy brought me wool scraps from the Isle of Harris during her trip to Scotland. Today she texted me a photo of what she did with her scraps:

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She cut them into hearts using some type of fabric die-cutter and plans to use them in a picture frame. I am inspired by this idea as I have not decided what to do with my Scottish wool scraps yet!

Apple Rescue and Pre-Fall Cooking (09/16/18)

Today was another glorious Autumn day in Central Oregon and during my morning walk I came upon another neglected apple tree, this time at an empty home for sale in the neighborhood.

Hanging and falling from the tree were Nature’s Neglected Bounty of delicious looking red apples.

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I grabbed one to eat on the rest of my walk and one to take home and join the rest of left over rescued apples that did not make it into the apple pie I discussed in the post.

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It will join its new friends in becoming an apple cake (I plan to try out this Fresh Apple Cake Recipe from allrecipes.com)

What’s on the Design Wall: Tango Stripe (09/13/18)

I continue to work on the Tango Stripe quilt and recently decided to make a change to my studio to give me more design wall space. I added another design wall next to my sewing machine.

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The design wall was made by wrapping a large piece of poster board (from an office supply story) with Warm and Natural batting. I duct tapped it to the back and then screwed the whole thing into the wall.

I now have three design walls: a large one in the hallway; one on my closet door; and one close to my sewing machine.

This third design wall will make it easier to lay out piecing while sewing.

Creative Inspiration: Bark (07/07/2018)

Although my secret project is done related to trees (an art quilt for a future Women of Color Quilting Network exhibit), I am still fascinated with trees and tree bark and continue to take photographs sources of creative inspiration.

They look wonderful in color:

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But they are really intriguing in Black & White:

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Wouldn’t those all make amazing art quilt inspirations!

Taking Chances: The Mike Hogan Chronicles (11/27/15)

September marks the 4th anniversary of our adopting our miniature schnauzer Mike from a rescue organization in September 2014.

Funny he was the dog I said “no way I am adopting him” when I met him due to severe behavioral issues, and now he is one of the great loves of my life.

Here is a recent photo of him, now at 8.5 years old, with his beloved ball!

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Well that is enough random following up for one post, talk to you all later, T


Feature Photo by Terri Bleeker on Unsplash

Fabric Scraps Obsession

Scraps from Scotland

Just a quick post today as I am currently on a quilt retreat with some Quilting Sisters who came down to Central Oregon for a mini retreat to work on our Tula Pink All Stars fabric inspired samplers (yes future blog post to come on that). 

I wanted to say how much I appreciate all the supportive, inspirational and thoughtful comments on my previous post Found! At the Thrift Shop!  – I feel like I am totally over it now! Who knew blogging could be such therapy to work out your issues – ha!


Treat from the Isle of Harris

My Quilting Sister Kathy visited Scotland this summer and while in Scotland they explored the Isle of Harris (Harris, Scotland) and she brought me back some Scottish wool samples from a wool mill they visited!

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If you are unfamiliar with the Isle of Harris here is a link to a Wikipedia article for more information – Harris, Scotland. Visiting Scotland is on my list of things to do someday!

When this delightful surprise arrived in the mail a couple weeks ago and I immediately began day dreaming of the cool piece I could make with the scraps! (But for now they have to wait in my backlog of other interesting projects).


Postscript

The other day I received another surprise package of delightful fabric scraps in the mail, this time from one of my longtime blogging buddies. That will be a future post, but here is a tease:

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Fabric Scraps Obsession, Quilt Retreats, Studio

Pillow Power!

I’ve completed the Pillow Project – 5 pillows are made: 4 for my living room and one for my studio. Several of the pillows I began at the recent quilting retreat I attended (see post The Pillow Project).

If you are just joining us, this post is a follow up to these five posts (as well as various other older posts as I procrastinated through some of my projects):

Yikes Tierney, it sure takes you a lot of posts to stop talking about a project? Yes, true…and? (smile).

So here are the completed pillows.

Studio/Office Pillow

Made from recycled 2.5 inch x 2.5 inch fabric scrap squares that were turned into half-square triangles (it took 196 half-square triangles to complete!), this pillow measures approximately 22 inches x 22 inches:

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Living Room Pillows

These pillows measure appropriately 23 inches x 23 inches and were made from batik fabric scraps pieced into improvisational (“log jamming”) log cabin style blocks:

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Photo shoot on the porch swing
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One of my favorite of the four pillows

Here is what the back of the pillows looks like – made with recycled quilting fabric trimmed from a quilt after long-arm quilting:

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We have two sofas in the living room that face each other – I usually hang out on one and Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) hangs out on the other.

My sofa with two of the cushions:

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TTQH’s sofa with the other two cushions:

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Yes, we have a crazy amount of color in our house (our house is not for the bold color faint-hearted!)

To close this post, here is a random gratuitous photo of a lovely purple iris from my walk yesterday:

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I still have more stories to share from he annual May quilting retreat I attended with my Quilting Sisters in Vancouver, WA May 17 – 20, 2018. I just wanted to share the follow up on the whole pillow making saga 🙂

Fabric Scraps Obsession, Quilt Retreats, Studio, What's on the Design Wall

The Pillow Project

Continuing my series of posts about the annual May quilting retreat I attended with my Quilting Sisters in Vancouver, WA May 17 – 20. To read my previous posts about quilting retreats I’ve attended, see my post category – Retreats.

Pulling Out the Old UFOs

For this May’s annual quilting retreat I pulled out some old unfinished objects/projects (UFOs) or as my blogging buddy Shirley @ handmadehabit calls them – “STRANDED” projects.

Those of you who have followed my blog a long time (I mean a long time) – do you remember this project and post from August 2016 “What’s on the Design Wall (Need Your Help)“:

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As well as the follow up post: “What’s on the Design Wall: Your Ideas“.

So many readers provided great suggestions on the color of setting fabric for these “log jam” (freestyle log cabin) blocks. Alas, I could not make up my mind and eventually put the blocks away.

I bought the blocks to the retreat to make them into pillow covers!

In Need of Pillow Covers

We have four (4) cozy fleece pillows in the living room that we used in the late Fall, Winter and early Spring but they would be strange to use in the late Spring and Summer:

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I decided to use the log jam blocks to create Summer pillow colors for the four pillows and started assembling the pillow tops at the retreat:

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Between the retreat and last week, I completed four pillow tops:

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Next step is to quilt the pillows tops and then add envelope backs.

I have some already quilted fabric left over from another project to use in the back:

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Here is one of the pillow tops awaiting quilting:

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I used up all my already pieced blocks from 2016 and used the rest of the remaining batik fabric scraps from the project to make additional blocks for the four pillows, each made with 16 blocks.

I will of course share photos in a future post of the completed pillow covers, covering the existing fleece pillows!

UPDATE 05/29/18 – one reader asked the size of the pillows – they are approximately 23″ x 23″ each


Postscript

Another pillow in the “Pillow Projects” – here is a follow up to the posts Pillow Popping with the Untethered Soul  and  The “Planning Fallacy”.

I completed the pillow top from scrap 2.5″ squares:

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I decided not to quilt the pillow top but instead added fusible interfacing. I made an envelope style back and here is the completed pillow on my studio chair:

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Audiobooks and Podcasts, Fabric Scraps Obsession, What's on the Design Wall

Pillow Popping with the Untethered Soul

I know, I know, this is the craziest tierneycreates post title ever, eh?

This post is actually a continuation of two ongoing tierneycreates series: 1) What’s on the Design Wall, and 2) Audiobooks and Podcasts.

Bear with me as I tie “Pillow Popping with the Untethered Soul” together!

Pillow Popping (What’s on the Design Wall)

I am working on my next art quilt for a future Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) exhibit but I cannot share photos on social media at this time. Unfortunately I am stalled in the progression of the piece but I want to keep myself sewing so I’ve decided to make a pillow with my collection of scraps 2.5″ x 2.5″ fabric squares.

I made a zillion (it actually seemed like a “zillion”) half-square triangles (HSTs) and Terry the Quilting Husband was nice enough to cut them apart, press and trim them (now that is true love!).

I pulled out this book from my craft book collection: Pillow Pop: 25 Quick-Sew Projects to Brighten Your Space by Heather Bostic and began laying out the pillow design per one of the patterns – Crystallized (on page 82 if you have the book).

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Image credit: Amazon.com

If you remember from my post Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop Day 1 QuiltWorks quilt shop had a wonderful Pillow Pop display with several completed pillows:

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This display made me want to eventually make all the pillows in the book!

Here it is on my small design wall (the larger design wall in the hallway has the art quilt in progress I mentioned earlier):

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The beauty of a truly “scrappy” piece is you can have all sort of crazy fabrics together and somehow it works (at least in my deluded mind)!

The Untethered Soul (Audiobooks)

I’ve been listening to a wonderful audiobook I borrowed from the library, The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations by Oprah Winfrey. The audiobook is read by the author and features curated sections of the actual interviews with inspirational thought leaders from Oprah’s TV series Super Soul Sunday.

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Image credit: Amazon.com

I listened to this book while I laid out the pieced half-square triangles for the Crystallized pillow patter and it was very meditative. 

To lay out this specific pattern where you get the effect of concentric diamonds of light and dark, I really had to quiet my mind and focus. Listening to this book was the perfect medium to do just that.

In the middle of my pillow-piecing-meditation, Oprah’s interview with Michael Singer, author of The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, played.

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Image credit: Amazon.com

I’ve read this book twice a couple years ago and I’ve listened to the audiobook. I’ve also given it as a gift. I was surprised to learn that it is one of Oprah’s favorite books and that she has also given as a gift (to many more people than I have).

I would say it is one of those MUST READS, especially if you are on a path of self-insight and growth with how you interact with the world.

It was amazing to listen to the author Michael Singer discuss the book with Oprah as I continued my pillow-piecing-meditation.

I will close out this post with a couple quotes from this amazing book by Michael Singer:

“You have to understand that it is your attempt to get special experiences from life that makes you miss the actual experience of life.”

“The only permanent solution to your problems is to go inside and let go of the part of you that seems to have so many problems with reality.”

“Your inner growth is completely dependent upon the realization that the only way to find peace and contentment is to stop thinking about yourself.”

“Billions of things are going on in this world. You can think about it all you want, but life is still going to keep on happening.”

“Do not let anything that happens in life be important enough that you’re willing to close your heart over it.”

“It is truly a great cosmic paradox that one of the best teachers in all of life turns out to be death. No person or situation could ever teach you as much as death has to teach you. While someone could tell you that you are not your body, death shows you. While someone could remind you of the insignificance of the things that you cling to, death takes them all away in a second. While people can teach you that men and women of all races are equal and that there is no difference between the rich and the poor, death instantly makes us all the same.”

“That which is holding you down can become a powerful force that raises you up.”

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A Crafter's Life, Fabric Scraps Obsession, Special Events

Two Quilters and a Bed Full of Fabric Scraps

I know you’ve been waiting…and here is the follow up to my 03/30/18 post  Scrap Party! , where I had a special birthday celebration play-date with my fabric-scrap-loving friend.

It started with this plastic bin of my fabric scraps:

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More fabric scraps crammed in here than I realized…

Dumped onto my bed (the bed has a plastic sheet from packaging material covering it):

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A king size bed filled with fabric scraps (awesome or terrifying?)

Before we dove into this delicious (or suspicious) pile of fabrics, first we took Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and our miniature schnauzers to Whole Foods for lunch (okay the dogs stayed in the car as it was a wee bit too cold to sit outside and eat with them).

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Mike and Sadie riding in style in the back of my vintage* 2001 car! (*hey someday it could be collectable…)

After lunch we headed back to my house to dive into the “bed-o-scraps”!

But first we needed to fortify ourselves:

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I might have a small studio but I can always make room for tea and cookies (made by TTQH!). Note we sipped our tea from schnauzer themed mugs!

After a few minutes of frolicking in the fabric scraps, my friend pulled her initial stack and got to work on making improvisational blocks.

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I set up my travel sewing machine for her to use at the desk in my studio
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Her miniature schnauzer Sadie kept an eye on her while she sewed

As a challenge, in addition to access to my crazy fabric scrap collection, I assigned my friend these pieced block discards/trimmings to try and incorporate into her improvisational blocks:

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Here are a couple of her blocks laid out on the design wall in my hallway:

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And here is her “to-go” bag of fabric scraps to finish up her piece at home:

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Note the expression on Sadie’s face like: “Are you really going to take ALL those home with us?!?!”

Sadie passed out on the pillow in my studio due to all the fabric scrap excitement:

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Fabric Scrap Parties are so exciting!

I did get a little blue seeing Sadie sleeping on the pillow in my studio as my beloved Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer used to sleep like that on the pillow before she passed in December 2018. But I did enjoy having a girl mini schnauzer in the house again and so did TTQH.

Here is TTQH hanging out in the living room with Sadie and Mike while watching the College Basketball semi-finals:

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We thought we’d let the ladies have their fabric scrap frolicking to themselves

So what did I work on? Well I thought I would take the opportunity to practice paper-piecing (Not the fun “English Paper Piecing” type but the “flip and stitch” type of paper-piecing that I suspect is what you have to do all day in the “Underworld” if you are bad in life and go there after you die…um, I would like to choose the “fire & brimstone” instead please…).

I signed up to participate in the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show’s 2018 Wish Upon A Card Fundraiser & Fabric Challenge sponsored by Robert Kaufman Fabrics. I needed to make a 4′” x 6″ fabric postcard to donate to the fundraiser, incorporating the two feature fabrics provided by Robert Kaufman Fabrics.

In general I love Robert Kaufman fabrics, but I was completely underwhelmed by the fabric pieces they sent me to make the postcard:

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Um…what am I gonna make with these?!??!

Thank goodness my friend helped me pick out some coordinating fabric scraps for my postcard.

Here was my first (actually second, as the first was a legendary-paper-piecing-screw-up disaster) attempt at paper piecing a little house for the postcard:

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Hated it!

Here is my second (okay actually third) attempt and the final version with my embellishments:

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“Visitor Arrives” by tierneycreates 2018 (note the back of the postcard is fused blank muslin covering the stitching so that it can be used as a postcard)

I mailed it off yesterday to Wish Upon a Card and I will not be offended if they say they “never got it in the mail” or they accidentally let it slip into the trash can – ha!

Now I bet you are curious: Did we make a dent in the pile of fabric scraps? Not really. Here is the tub of fabric scraps cleaned up from the bed and put back into the closet after my friend left:

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It appears I have enough for another Fabric Scrap Party (or 200+ Scrap Parties)!

A Crafter's Life, Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio

Scrap Party!

It’s no secret, especially if you’ve followed my blog for a while, that I am obsessed with fabric scraps. I won’t try to link any of my numerous previous posts on fabric scraps. If you are new to my blog, you will have to just trust me 🙂

Well one of my quilting friends, actually the one who got me into appreciating the value and opportunity for unlimited creativity provided by using fabric scraps, is coming over tomorrow for a SCRAP PARTY!

She had a birthday a couple of weeks ago and we are going to do a belated celebration by going to out to lunch and then coming back to my house and spending the afternoon playing in my fabric scrap pile:

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I did not post about it (as those of you who’ve followed me for a while may have grown weary of my constantly talking about fabric scraps) but last weekend I thinned out my scrap pile. I pulled out any remaining old lower quality fabric and donated more to a local charity thrift shop.

During a previous donation, a volunteer at one of our local charity thrift shops (for our local Humane Society shelter), told me that fabric scraps sell very well at the thrift shop. They cannot keep fabric scrap bags in stock, they sell out immediately! (See there are more weird obsessed people like myself in Central Oregon).

So what are we going to do at a so called “Scrap Party”? Well I am going to dump the whole box onto a plastic tarp on the floor of my master bedroom (as not to take up precious space in my tiny studio space that we will be sharing) and let my friend go wild playing with my fabric scrap collection. She is really into improvisational piecing (she is the one who helped me move from traditional quilting to art/improvisational quilting) so fabric scraps are one of her favorite textile mediums!

I’ve set up my travel sewing machine for her in my studio so we can sew together. I have two design walls (a small one on the closet door in my studio and then the big one in the hall way) so we won’t have to battle for design wall space!

I’m not sure what she is going to work on, but I plan to work on some paper piecing. I’m trying to spend more time with my extensive (ridiculous) craft book collection and rediscovered in my craft book collection – 50 Little Paper-Pieced Blocks by Carol Doak. Playing with fabric scraps seems like a great time to work on my paper-piecing skills.

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My friend is bringing over her miniature schnauzer so Mike will have a furry friend visiting.

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) made us chocolate chip cookies (to keep our sugar fueled energy level high for crafting!!!):

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Of course I will share the outcomes of our Scrap Party!

Creative Inspiration, Fabric Scraps Obsession

Creative Inspiration: Recycled Textiles

I thought I’d share a little about my love for recycled textiles as part of my ongoing series of posts on my sources of Creative Inspiration.

Unlikely Materials for Quilt Making: Recycled Textiles

Nearly 2 years ago (March 2016) I did a post on “Unlikely Materials” as part of the Blog Tour for my friends Wendy Hill and Pat Pease’s new book,  Creative Quilt Challenges (C&T Publishing, 2016), and shared the story of how I transitioned from only using quilting cotton fabrics to experimenting with using recycled textiles in my quilt creations.

Since 2012 I have experimented with recycled textiles such as recycled clothing (not suitable for clothing donation) and recycled garment and home decor fabric samples – all items that were likely headed to the landfill. I feel a great sense of joy when I create art with those items that would have been discarded.

Recently I pulled out my entire collection of recycled textiles to work on my piece for our annual Central Oregon SAQA art quilting group exhibit which opens at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Shop in July. This year’s theme is “The Threads That Bind” and the piece like previous years, must meet the dimensions of 18″ x 40″.

For the past couple years I have made 18″ x 40″ pieces, based on the selected annual theme, from recycled materials such as “Recycled Door” (the theme was “Doors”) and “The Recycled Road” (the theme was “Pathways”):

If you would like to read about the development of these pieces, just search their names in the search box on my blog. You can also check out these pieces on my art quilting blog, Improvisational Textiles.

For this year’s piece I am again working with recycled textiles, but this time using different recycled textiles since I used up most of the recycled clothing in the above pieces.

My piece is in progress (it was one of the two art quilts with deadlines I mentioned in my post Art & Fear, etc., that I had yet to start) and it is called Recycled Love.

I am not ready to reveal my current piece while it is in progress, it feels private right now.

Interestingly in the book Art & Fear: Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking (1993) by David Bayles and Ted Orland, they discuss that the artist needs time to work on their work in private without feedback from the world.

(See the Postscript section for more on this book and the post Art & Fear, etc..)

Creative Inspiration From Playing with My Recycled Textiles

As I mentioned earlier in this post, I’ve pulled out my entire collection of recycled textiles while I work on my new piece, Recycled Love. Just having my entire collection laid out before me was a huge source of Creative Inspiration!

They were a little too huge a source of creative inspiration and I ended up designing in my mind 5 – 10 future art quilts until I finally calmed down and made my mind just focus on the art quilt with the deadline!

So I thought I would give you a peek into my recycled textiles collection, most of which were donated/given to me by others.

Recycled Wool

My collection of recycled wool includes manufacturing scraps from wool suit making and Pendleton blanket manufacturing scraps. It also include some felted wool scraps and  various crafting wool scraps from other crafters’ projects.

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Recycled Denim

This collection includes our old jeans and old denim shirts; jeans given to me by friends; and an old denim duvet cover. I also keep my denim scraps from previous projects using recycled denim (as long as they are bigger than 3″ x 3″).

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Home Decor Samples

These were given to me by a couple who did remodeling work on our home. A client of theirs gave them a large box of home decorating upholstery samples and they shared the box with me! Some of the fabrics seem hideous for a sofa or chair but they would be awesome in an art quilt!

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Dyed Silk Scraps

A friend gave me these scraps as samples from a hand dyed silk class she took years ago.

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I took them out of the sample book there were in and discovered if I gently ironed them and then sewed them onto muslin I could use them in an art quilt! Below is an example as I have used them in my piece in progress, Recycled Love:

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Couture Fabric Scraps (Silk, Linen and Wool)

These are my post precious scraps and to read the story behind these couture fabric samples and scraps from New York City Fashion District Circa 1990s, see this page on my Improvisational Textiles website: Quilting Meets Couture.

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The photo does not do the fabrics justice. You can see on the Quilting Meets Couture page the many art quilts made with these beautiful recycled fabrics (all of which were scheduled for destruction by the manufacturer had they not been rescued).

Below is an image of some of my art quilts that I made with these recycled couture fabrics which are in the book 1000 Quilting Inspirations: Colorful and Creative Designs for Traditional, Modern and Art Quilts by Sandra Sider (2015). They are all quilted by Guadalupe Designs.

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Postscript

I was going to do a follow up on the post Art & Fear, etc. that I mentioned in this post, and share/discuss some additional quotes/passages from the book that really resonated with me.

However, on further thought, I decided that this is a book you should experience on your own and read first hand the brilliant insights on the nature of creating art and dealing with the inherent fear and sense of vulnerability and risk that comes with putting your art “out there”.

So instead I will share one more quote from the book and then return to talking about recycled textiles:

“In the end it all comes down to this: you have a choice (or more accurately a rolling tangle of choices) between giving your work your best shot and risking that it will not make you happy, or not giving it your best shot — and thereby guaranteeing that it will not make you happy. It becomes a choice between certainty and uncertainty. And curiously, uncertainty is the comforting choice.”

― David Bayles & Ted Orland, Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

A Crafter's Life, Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio

Oh Scrap!

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

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

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

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Fabric scraps organized by color

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Postscript

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

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A Crafter's Life, Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio

The $8 Quilt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Postscript

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

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

Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio, tierneycreates

Can We Talk About Table Runners?

I might ramble a bit in this post, bear with me. I am trying to figure out standard lengths for table runners. I know, I know, this is a shocking and controversial topic to take on in a blog post. If you can stay awake while reading this post, I will try not to bring up too many sensitive issues about table runners, ha!

Table Runners Running Around in My Mind

Why am I thinking about table runner lengths – have I simply run out of things to think about?

Let’s back up a moment…

Recently I sold the last of my tierneycreates table runners from when I had my tierneycreates Etsy shop, to a work colleague. She remembered the table runners I had offered in my shop and wanted one. I explained I only had one left and I had laundered it as I had used it on my table. She still wanted it.

So we worked out a deal, I mailed it to her, and here is a photo of it on her table:

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The photo made me smile. I love the idea of something I made being useful in someone else’s home and making them smile. This is aligned with the tierneycreates tagline of “a fusion of textiles and smiles”.

Here is the original style of table runner (quilted) I made for my Etsy shop that I could not keep in stock:

Here is one in green ombre that is not quilted that sold out in my shop also:

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The one in the photo above is does not look very exciting, so you will have to just trust me that it looks better in person (and the women who bought it gave it a 5-star review on Etsy).

So this leads us back to why I am thinking about table runners lengths – because I am thinking about making up a new batch of quilted table runners (and maybe selling them on Etsy); and I am not sure what length to make them!

Do I just make up a couple in different standard lengths?!?!?

What Length, Oh What Length?

I did a lot of “googling” to try and find a guide to standard table runner lengths. I found several pages which listed info on standard table runner sizes.

Then I came across this webpage – Table Runner Dimensions

What I liked about this webpage was this statement:

“A table runner should be long enough to overhang the end of your table by approximately 6 to 10 inches on each end.”

Why did this statement appeal to me? Because it means there is no way to anticipate all the different table sizes potential customers will have and that I just need to decide one standard length I will offer as well as offer a custom table size option. I am going to aim around 42″ as my standard length.

Table Runner-ing

I have spent the last couple of days working on creating the strata for my scrappy table runners from a bag of Kaffe Fassett-type of fabric scraps from my collection of Challenge Bags (see post Basket of Challenges ):

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I welcome your thoughts on this oh so controversial topic – table runner lengths>

If you were going to make up table runners for unknown tables, what length would you make? 


Postscript

One of my miniature schnauzers, Mike, was trying to take a nap with the book I was reading and I thought it was a very sweet photo:

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Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio

Finishing out the Challenge Bag of shot cottons

This post is a continuation of the recent posts – Basket of Challenges and Experimenting with Foundation Paper Piecing.

Mondays am I off from work so last night I decided to do a “Late Night Sewing Session”. I sent Terry the Quilting Husband, Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer, and her adopted brother Mike off to bed; put on a Nova documentary on YouTube; and settled in for a late night sewing marathon.

I decided to just finish out the “challenge bag” of shot cotton scraps from my friend Dana (see post Experimenting with Foundation Paper Piecing) and continue making little pillow tops that I plan to hand quilt.

Here is what I started with from the “challenge bag” of shot cotton scraps:

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So here was the first piece I had made the other day with the scraps, experimenting with foundation piecing:

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And here are the improvisational pieces I made with the rest of the scraps last night during my Late Night Sew:

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Here is all I have left from the “challenge bag”:

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These are fairly small scraps, so those that were larger than 2″ x 2″ I put into general circulation, by color, in my fabric scrap collection. The rest (not very many) had to unfortunately head for the landfill…sigh…can’t save them all!

So what am I going to do with the little pillows I make? Well I am thinking about participating in my first Craft Fair in late Fall 2017. My employer has an annual Holiday Craft Fair in the Portland, Oregon office. I am thinking about taking my leftover items from my former tierneycreates Etsy shop and new items I have made and selling them at the craft fair. More to come on that in the future, still mulling it over.


Postscript

I think Smart Cars/mini electric cars are adorable! I enjoyed looking at them when I was in Europe years ago and I have sighted several when visiting Portland, Oregon. Yesterday on our dog walk, we came across an adorable Smart Car in one of the neighborhoods next to ours. I was so cute I wanted to put it in my pocket – ha! (They are like toy cars!)

So I will close out this post with the photo of this darling eco-vehicle:

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Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio

Experimenting with Foundation Paper Piecing

A series of words I never thought I would write in a blog post: “Foundation Paper Piecing”.

If you are not a quilter, foundation piecing is using pre-printed paper/specialty papers to sew precise shapes using a sort of “flip and stitch” method. Foundation piecing allows you to work with tiny pieces of fabric to get precise shapes.

Yes that sounds kind of complicated and I have avoided it for years for this reason. Of course I never thought I would attempted English Paper Piecing (EPP) but as you can see from my series of posts – Adventures in English Paper Piecing – I am addicted to it.

I had one previous experience with foundation piecing and I keep it in a tiny frame in my studio.

My extremely talented quilter sister-in-law Sue attempted in the early 2000s to teach me to foundation piece while visiting us when we lived in Seattle, WA.

We made a little sailboat block:

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Tiny little sailboat block in a tiny frame in my studio

She was a very patient teacher and I keep the framed block as a special memory of our time together working on a project. However it is now 2017 and I am returning (like 15 years later?!??!) to trying foundation paper piecing again!

As a crafter, you learn through experimentation (sometimes it feels everything I work on is an experiment, ha!) and if you don’t push yourself to take risks you will not grow as a crafter. So experiment I did and here is the story.

Foundation Paper Piecing Experimentation

A couple blog posts ago (Basket of Challenges) I wrote about my “challenge bags” – collections of coordinate scraps given to me by other crafters. Since taking them out of closed storage containers and putting them into a large basket in my studio, I am inspired to open them up and do another “challenge” (see what I can make with them).

My friend and quilting-sister Dana made me the lovely bag for my yarn/portable knitting:

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Photo does not do it justice, it is lovely!

The picture does not do it justice. She reverse engineered a bag she saw on Pinterest (she is a crafting-goddess) to make this bag from a collection of shot cottons.

In addition to the bag, she also gave me her scraps from making the bag:

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Fresh out of the challenge bag

I had them of course sitting in a “challenge bag” and decided they would be perfect for my experimentation with foundation paper piecing.

Looking through my archives of patterns of “projects-I-am-really-going-to-make-someday”, I found this pattern with pre-printed pattern paper (sort of the texture of tissue paper but stronger, like used for clothing patterns):

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The copyright is 2001 on this pattern

You can tell how dated the pattern is  – how many of us read small paperback books anymore (you could convert this pattern into a cute kindle cover though)? I think I bought it in the very early 2000s. The pattern comes with enough tissue foundation paper to make twenty-four 3″ blocks.

I began with cutting a bunch of the little foundation papers from the pattern; and ironing the scraps:

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There are 6 different patterns: Odd Fellow’s Star, Mosaic, Pinwheel, Starry Path, Square on Square, and Dutchman’s Puzzle
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All nicely pressed and ready for experimentation!

The next step was to watch several foundation piecing videos I found on YouTube. My favorite, and the one that really made things click in my mind, was Paper Piecing Made Easy Tutorial by the CraftyGemini.

I decided to work on the “Square on Square” pattern, so it was time to start the experiment. I am happy to report it worked, though I struggled a little with removing the paper from the back of the piece when I was done foundation piecing:

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I used tiny stitches as the videos instructed in order to perforated the template paper to make it easier to remove, but still it took a while to get all those tiny pieces off the back
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The completed block – I added a little border to it as I was not too sure about the stability of the edges of the paper pieced block

You can see just how small this little block is in this photo, imagine trying to traditionally piece (via sewing very tiny little pieces together) this block:

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I bordered it with more of the scrap shot cottons from the challenge bag:

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With a 1.5″ border added

I plan to make a little pillow out of it, like the little pillows on this post – More Creating – More Art Pillows. I plan to hand quilt it and I am trying to decide between two quilting threads, but I am leaning towards the very light and thin DMC embroidery thread in brown:

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Likely going with the DMC thread on the left instead of the Aurifil

Am I going to do another one (I do have 23 more blocks I can foundation piece with this pattern set)?

Not right now, I need to emotionally recover as honestly it was kind of stressful to make the tiny little block via foundation piecing. Also shot cotton might not have been the best fabric to work with for foundation piecing as it is thin and friable. I might make the rest of the blocks with batik scraps.

I think foundation piecing will be a great skill to have in my “quilting toolbelt” but for now I am happy to have made just one!

Fabric Scraps Obsession, Outside Adventures!, Studio

Basket of Challenges

One the years I’ve grown to appreciate fabric scraps, especially coordinated fabrics scraps shared from other quilters’ projects.

I have gathered a collection of coordinated fabric scraps donated by quilting friends.

Each collection of scraps is organized in a plastic bag, which I call a “challenge bag“. Each bag is a challenge to create something from a fabric scrap collection otherwise destined for the trash.

I had these challenge bags stored in two storage containers:

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I decided to move them into a large basket in my studio where I could see them all the time and be reminded of the fun challenges to work on:

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While going through the challenge bags to move them from the storage containers to the open basket, I figured it was time to work on one of them.

My friend gave me a collection of brown batik scraps and partial fat quarters that she had started making little wallets out of – she also gave me the pattern and the templates she had cut. I think she thought I would just use the fabrics/scraps as part of a scrappy quilt. Instead I used nearly all the fabric/scraps she gave me to make a collection of little wallets:

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Little Wallets, pattern by Valori Wells
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Perfect size to hold business cards

I am looking forward in the future playing with another “challenge bag”. We’ll see what I make next…


Postscript

Yesterday I hiked Pilot Butte (miniature mountain with 360 degree views of Central Oregon and surrounding region) and nearing the summit I took a photo of a controlled burn off in the distance. The US Department of Agriculture Forest Service has to do controlled burns in the Deschutes National Forest to control forest fires.

Prescribed Fire in Central Oregon

I used the zoom on my iPhone and although it is not the clearest photo it gives you a sense of the scope of the controlled burn:

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If you are new to my blog and wanted to read more about my Pilot Butte adventures, check out this link: Pilot Butte Adventures.

For those of you who have followed me for a while – yes, on my hike yesterday, another Senior Citizen dusted me on Pilot Butte. At least the 80+ year old (maybe even 90) was kind enough to wish me a “good day” as he effortlessly walked around me on the hike back down the Butte!

Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio

Little Bits of Oregon Warmth

I finished the baby quilt I was making for a friend having her first baby. She has received it, and appears to really like it, so now I can post photos!

I named the baby quilt – Little Bits of Oregon Warmth – it made from recycled flannel pieces from flannel quilts I have made or my quilting friends have made. I selected flannel scraps that evoked a feeling of my beloved adopted state of Oregon (my friend lives in Oregon).

It is very “green” – it is made from fabric that some quilters would have discarded. Instead these pieces have a new home and purpose – to keep a baby warm this Winter! (I’d like to  think that this recycled quilt is part of my efforts to be environmentally friendly and try to preserve the world the baby will be growing up in…) 

It is so fun to work with scraps from other quilts and remember what quilt they came from (or if they are another quilter’s scraps, wondering what quilt they went into!).

I pieced the quilt using the “Log jam” technique (free-form log cabin style piecing). If you are new to my blog, here is a link to some previous posts on Log Jam/Log Jamming.

Photos

The quilt on the design wall prior to machine quilting:

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The quilt freshly machine quilted (yes the quilting would not win any awards, but it worked for a baby quilt and I did it myself…):

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A close up on the quilt to see some of the flannel scraps – all of which are somehow related to our beautiful state of Oregon:

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The quilt is fully machine washable and I pre-washed it before sending it to the expectant Mom so she would know it can be washed and dried as much as needed!  I also made clear it was a UTILITY quilt – to be used – not hung on a wall!

Postscript

Speaking of “Oregon Warmth”, here is a gratuitous shot of my delicious cup of hot chocolate I got on Monday while running errands with my neighbor and her son (Winter errands must include a stop for a yummy hot beverage).

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Stay Warm!

A Crafter's Life, Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio

Pinwheel Therapy

In my 11/6/16 post Pinwheel Piecing Party, I shared how I started making small pinwheels from a friend’s collection of trimmed triangles, that have otherwise been destined for the trash.

Here was my first load of pinwheels:

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For the past week, as a way to escape from all the hate and unhappiness that seems to be seeping out of every corner of my country, I have been focusing on, during any spare moments, making more scrappy pinwheels.

In order to distract myself for awhile, I created a goal that I had to empty out the bag of pieced triangle scraps my friend gave me.

So I was busy at work “chain” sewing, or “chaining” little half square triangle blocks together. I was quite meditative.

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As a result, I now have approximately (I counted quickly) – 72 pinwheel blocks, each measuring approximately 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches!

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Also have two “oops” blocks, which I guess you might call – pieced “square within a square” blocks. My “pinwheeling” went awry during my piecing of these blocks!

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So what am I going to do with 72 (or more) 2.5 inch x 2.5 inch pinwheel blocks? Well your guess is as good as mine!

For now I am going to put them into my new “Parts Department” I created in my stash after seeing a trunk show and presentation by the Australian quilt designer, Jen Kingwell (see my post Revisiting Traditional Piecing). During her trunk show presentation she talked about using blocks from her “Parts Department” (leftover blocks from other projects, etc.).

Another project I worked on this past week was to go through my stash of fabric scraps and pull out all the scrap triangles and scrap small squares. I put them in separate bags to use for future improvisational quilting projects.

What’s next on the horizon for my crafting therapy? I am going to return to work on the traditionally pieced blocks last discussed in my post Revisiting Traditional Piecing: The Blocks Part II.


Postscript

A dear old friend in NYC, who has also being feeling blue about current events, sent me this photo to cheer me up a little – a photo of her sweet rescued kitty – Chummy – on a quilt I made her.

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Kitty cozy on a quilt! It is hard to resist smiling at that!

 

What timing !  The quilt that inspired me to start scrappy pinwheeling (which provided a therapeutic distraction) is connected to the photo a friend recently sent me to cheer me up!

Maybe the Universe at work, you never know (smile).

Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio

Pinwheel Piecing Party

Saturday I hung out with a quilting colleague and we had a “Pinwheel Piecing Party” in her home studio.

I was handed a bag of Moda triangle scraps that were already pieced into 1.5 inch blocks, so I could make them into pinwheel blocks.

Sitting on the floor, I laid them out on the rug to play with:

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I turned them into a Pile-o-Pinwheels!

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They are kind of addicting to make and I have more in the works:

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No, I do not know what I am going to do with all those pinwheels but I will have them available for when the design for the piece they would be perfect for appears in my mind!

 

 

Audiobooks and Podcasts, Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio

When all else fails, reorganize your fabric scraps

As I shared in previous posts, a month or so ago I was in the midst of a creative block. I first picked up English Paper Piecing and then revisited traditional quilt piecing to get myself creating again.

Before I got to this point however, I was trying to figure out a way, short of forcing myself to sew something, that I could “get my creative energies flowing”. On a whim I decided to reorganize my fabric scraps.

I first shared my fabric scrap organization in the 01/01/2016 post Inside the StudioMy fabric scraps were organized by individual color – Red, Blue, Green, Orange, Cream, Black/Gray/Black & White, Brown, and Yellow. Each color had its own bucket.

Reorganizing my fabric scraps I decided to group colors together that sometimes I have trouble telling apart and to make it easier to work with by having less individual buckets.

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As you can see by the photo above, the new groupings are:

  • Orange & Brown
  • Black, Gray, and Black & White
  • Red & Purple
  • Blue & Green (interestingly this was my largest group of scraps)
  • White, Cream and Yellow

While I was regrouping the scraps, I got to revisit my fabric scraps and I could feel creative energies start to percolate!

Interestingly, one of the books from my latest library stack (The Library (Mega) Stack) – Living the Creative Life by Rice Freeman-Zachary – addresses creative block. The author interviewed a group of artists for this book and their wisdom and experiences are peppered throughout this inspiring read.

One of the artists  the author interviewed, Bean Gilsdorf, an art quilter out of Portland, Oregon (www.beangildorf.com), shares the following tip for dealing with creative block:

When it starts to stress me out that I’m not doing anything in my studio, I try to make myself do something to get my hands busy again. The ideas will come back eventually…Clean out your files, rearrange your paints,  or clean everything so that when you’re ready, everything is in order. – Bean Gilsdorf

I read this book after I reorganized my scraps, but this book reinforced that I was headed in the right direction!


Postscript

I am currently listening to a wonderful nonfiction audiobook – Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. In this book the authors discuss “Gravity Problems” and how we get mired in “Gravity Problems”.

What are “gravity problems”? They are problems that are not actionable to resolve.

The authors share a great example (paraphrased):

A friend asks you what is wrong. You reply “I am having a hard time in life, I just cannot make it up hills as easily as I want to due to this thing called gravity. If I just did not have gravity in my life pulling me down, I would be fine and I could run up any hill I want”.

The authors humorously share that unless you are able to change how the earth spins on its axis and its rotation around the sun, you are not going to be able to resolve your “gravity problem”.

Now perhaps the real problem is you are not at your ideal fitness level and/or you need to improve your cardiovascular health, so you can more easily climb up a hill. That is an actionable problem.

Here is a wonderful quote from the book that I will leave you to ponder:

If it’s not actionable, it’s not a problem. It’s a situation, a circumstance, a fact of life. It may be a drag (so to speak), but, like gravity, it’s not a problem that can be solved. – Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

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That pesky thing called gravity…

Photo credit – Michael Lorenzo, free images.com

A Crafter's Life, Fabric Scraps Obsession, My Minimalism Journey, Thrift Shop Adventures

A “Humane” Way to Eliminate Fabric Scraps (re-post)

Every so often I like to re-post something from the tierneycreates archives. Here is a post from October 2015. As an update to this post – it appears the fabrics scraps I bagged up for donation sold immediately at the Humane Society thrift shop. It seems my part of the country is infested with fabric scrap obsessed crafters!


If you have followed my blog for awhile, then you know about my addiction to fabric scraps. This addiction seems to be incompatible with my desire to downsize and minimize my possessions.

The fabric scrap addiction began innocently enough – friends would give me their fabric scraps at quilting retreats. I would go for a “sew day” at a fellow quilter’s house and leave with some of her fabric scraps. As if that was not enough, I began to actually BUY scraps.

Yes, BUY FABRIC SCRAPS, you read correctly. There is a wonderful quilt shop in Central Oregon called The Stitchin’ Post and occasionally they would sell scraps bags of their beautiful high-end quilting fabrics.  I bought numerous bags from them.

Beautiful scraps or not, still I was buying fabric scraps.

In my post “Creative Inspiration: Organization???” I shared my new organization of my favorite fabric scraps by color. Although I had organized scraps by color I still had a GIANT box of remaining fabric scraps.

I knew I had to do something. I needed to let go of the fabric scraps I did not completely and absolutely love. However, I did not want to throw them away or try to convince another quilter to adopt them.

So I packaged them up into 30 bags and organized them into two baskets and DONATED them to our local Humane Society Thrift Store to sell! (How do I know that the Humane Society Thrift Store sells fabric scraps? Do you want to take a guess? Yes, because I have bought fabric scraps also from several thrift stores include the Humane Society Thrift Store in the past).

The Humane Society Thrift Store Volunteer accepting my donation seemed pleased that I had packaged them up for sale. I like to imagine if they sell each bag for a couple dollars or more each that could be over $90 – $150+ profit for a wonderful local animal shelter! Some of the bags are packaged by color and some are random – so many options for the Humane Society Thrift Shops’ customers!

A
A “Humane” way to let go of excess fabric scraps!

When I buy fabric from quilt shops in the future, it will be actual whole fabric (fat quarters or yardage). I still have plenty of fabric scraps and my fabric scrap collection contains only scraps I truly love and plan to use…eventually.

POSTSCRIPT

I am still working through the lessons from the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo that I discussed in the post “The Space in Which We Live“. 

Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio, tierneycreates

Flannel “Yum-Yum” Quilts! (re-post)

Bear with me. I am doing a little clean up on my blog and posting a couple old stories that I had in my Textiles Adventures page that I would prefer to have as blog posts. When I first began blogging in October 2013 I was not sure what to write about in my blog or how to organize it. Three years later I am not sure how much expertise I have gained, but I know that I appreciate my blog as a journal/record of my journey. So I want to make this story a blog post instead of sitting at the bottom of my Textiles Adventures page (keep in mind this story is from January 2014 and I had only been blogging a couple of months…)


FLANNEL YUM-YUM QUILTS!  January 2014

Although I am making table runner size quilts for the tierneycreates Etsy shop  I kept feeling that I should make some traditional quilts for the shop – something that someone could snuggle under. I noticed in my stash I have a lot of flannel. A lot of flannel. I sometimes suspect the flannel has been secretly breeding and making more flannel when I am not watching. I do not even know when I bought some of the flannel in my stash.

A couple years ago I donated a bunch of early-in-my-quilting-career-flannel that was not purchased at a quilt shop but was purchased at a chain store (side note: when I first started quilting, despite the excellent advice from my original quilting mentor Judy, I insisted on buying as inexpensive fabric as possible from chain stores; later I learned that if you are going to spend all that time to make a quilt, you want to use good quality fabric…).

However even after the donation, I still had plenty of 1, 2, and 3 yard pieces of flannel. In addition I had quite a stash of flannel fat quarters (from my “fat quarter addiction” period in the early-mid 2000’s). In a plastic tub next to the “tub-o-flannel-fat-quarters” I also had large stash of flannel scraps from various flannel quilts.

That’s a lot of flannel! An idea came to me – why not (okay here is a radical idea) – USE IT? Why not use it to make a series of cozy and cuddly quilts for my Etsy shop? So the Flannel Yum-Yum Quilt line was born!

What are Flannel Yum-Yum Quilts? Have you ever snuggled under a flannel quilt made with a flannel pieced top and flannel backing? Have you ever snuggled under such a quilt after it has been washed a couple times and has gotten softer and cozier? Only two words describe that feeling: YUM YUM!

The first Flannel Yum-Yum quilt I made for the etsy shop is made from a stack of flannel triangles I had in my stash and several fat quarters. I was able to use up some smaller flannel yardage for the back. I washed and dried the quilt after it was quilted and the binding sewn down to make it even softer. The second Flannel Yum-Yum quilt I will post on the shop will be one made from the flannel scraps a friend gave to me.

The next series of YUM-YUM quilts will be made from a stash of 2.5 inch strips I have cut up from ALL my flannel fat quarters and tub of flannel scraps and will be in the log cabin pattern style. I figure whenever I get time for crafting I can kick out a couple log cabin blocks here and there since the strips a already cut.

Box full of pre-cut 2 1/2 inch flannel strips ready for a log cabin quilt pattern!
Box full of pre-cut 2 1/2 inch flannel strips ready for a log cabin quilt pattern!

In case you wondered, I already have my own Flannel Yum-Yum quilts around the house – here is one that is my favorite that I nap under all the time:

nov 09 003

Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio, tierneycreates

Creating…

I realized it’s time for “Tierney” to return to “creating”…

This blog is not called:

  • tierneywritesaudiobookreviews;
  • tierneyshowsterrythequiltinghusband’sprogress;
  • tierneysharesherrandomthoughts; or
  • tierneyobsessesaboutsunflowers

The blog is called tierneycreates, so Tierney better get to creating! (I like the imaginary sense of accountability blogging gives me – like you all will be very disappointed if my blog does not live up to its name!)

So last evening, I returned to “creating” and pulled out the “art pillow experimentations” tops I started last year and discussed in the 12/24/15 post   What’s On the Design Wall: Playing with Solids.

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I was excited to pull these items out of the “set aside to work on later” basket (set aside for 7+ months so far!) and turn them into pillows.

So far, I started with this one:

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And turned it into this little pillow which I have named Textured Desert Canyon:

 

I was excited to use my new “tierneycreates – smiles & textiles” tags (see post Embracing Orange) for the first time on this pillow (can you see the little tag in the photo?). I had to experiment to figure out exactly how to make the tag work but I think I like the outcome.

I experimented with quilting with a solid color thread and then a variegated thread to try and give a lot of depth to the quilting.

What surprised me was the dense quilting gave the hand dyed solid scraps pieced into this pillow a suede like texture and appearance. I am eager to experiment more with dense quilting.

Now onto to working on the next four (4) pillows!


Postscript

I follow many wonderful blogs and recently one of the blogs I follow, Catbird Quilt Studio has begun an interesting series on The Future of Quilting.

Here are links below to the two enjoyable posts in this series so far:

The Future of Quilting, Part 1

The Future of Quilting, Part 2

Melanie, the talented blogger, invites engaging discussion in these posts! Enjoy!

Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio, What's on the Design Wall

What’s on the Design Wall: “We Will Not Be Discarded!”

My collaborative partner on The Wardrobe Meets the Wall, Betty Anne Guadalupe and I have been fascinated with the idea of “Rescuing Blocks” that other quilters have discarded and we have an ongoing obsession with fabric scraps given to us by other quilters.

A quilting friend of ours (we think it was our friend Judy?) gave Betty Anne “Trimmed Block Discards” a while back (a couple years ago at a quilt retreat?).

What do I mean by by “Trimmed Block Discards”? I mean the ends of sections or blocks pieced for a quilt that trimmed off to make the quilt fit together. These are usually tossed in the trash by quilters (except those pathologically obsessed with scraps).

Betty Anne recently gave me these discards and challenged me to make an art quilt piece out of them. I could not turn down such a challenge: The ends of someone else’s blocks meant for the trash – recycled into a quilt!

I have already named the piece: “We Will Not Be Discarded!”

I started with figuring out a uniform way to make the discards work. I decided to float them in a  coordinating solid:

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Trimming the discards into triangle shapes:

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The discards all trimmed into various sizes triangles and ready for the design wall:

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On the Design Wall – waiting for what happens next…

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To be continued…

 

Postscript 

Here are several other posts on playing with rescued blocks and discards from other quilters:

What’s on the Design Wall: The Tree Outside My Window

What Was On the Design Wall: Rescued Blocks

 

 

 

Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio, Thrift Shop Adventures

A “Humane” Way to Eliminate Fabric Scraps

If you have followed my blog for awhile, then you know about my addiction to fabric scraps. This addiction seems to be incompatible with my desire to downsize and minimize my possessions.

The fabric scrap addiction began innocently enough – friends would give me their fabric scraps at quilting retreats. I would go for a “sew day” at a fellow quilter’s house and leave with some of her fabric scraps. As if that was not enough, I began to actually BUY scraps.

Yes, BUY FABRIC SCRAPS, you read correctly. There is a wonderful quilt shop in Central Oregon called The Stitchin’ Post and occasionally they would sell scraps bags of their beautiful high-end quilting fabrics.  I bought numerous bags from them.

Beautiful scraps or not, still I was buying fabric scraps.

In my post “Creative Inspiration: Organization???” I shared my new organization of my favorite fabric scraps by color. Although I had organized scraps by color I still had a GIANT box of remaining fabric scraps.

I knew I had to do something. I needed to let go of the fabric scraps I did not completely and absolutely love. However, I did not want to throw them away or try to convince another quilter to adopt them.

So I packaged them up into 30 bags and organized them into two baskets and DONATED them to our local Humane Society Thrift Store to sell! (How do I know that the Humane Society Thrift Store sells fabric scraps? Do you want to take a guess? Yes, because I have bought fabric scraps also from several thrift stores include the Humane Society Thrift Store in the past).

The Humane Society Thrift Store Volunteer accepting my donation seemed pleased that I had packaged them up for sale. I like to imagine if they sell each bag for a couple dollars or more each that could be over $90 – $150+ profit for a wonderful local animal shelter! Some of the bags are packaged by color and some are random – so many options for the Humane Society Thrift Shops’ customers!

A
A “Humane” way to let go of excess fabric scraps!

When I buy fabric from quilt shops in the future, it will be actual whole fabric (fat quarters or yardage). I still have plenty of fabric scraps and my fabric scrap collection contains only scraps I truly love and plan to use…eventually.

POSTSCRIPT

I am still working through the lessons from the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo that I discussed in the post “The Space in Which We Live“.