I just finished catching up on my blogging buddies blog post and I just read one by Mary @zippy quilts where she shares an awesomely scrappy quilt she made with her fabric scraps – Scraps Galore.
Well I am getting my scrappy on too recently, as the other day I decided to pull out a very dusty pattern (Bamboo Shade by Aardvark Quilts) that I bought a while ago (like maybe the mid 2000s?) and make a table-runner with my basket of batik fabric scraps.
My plan after putting my Etsy shop on hold (and endless project bag making for it), see post That darn grief, the Etsy shop saga, and a little grace , was to start working on a new body of work of art quilts. But I realized I needed to do something to “warm up” as I am feeling rusty creatively (if that makes sense).
So I thought working with my basket of batik fabric scraps would be a great way to start.
First I selected and sorted colors I want to use for the table-runner. I was drawn to Southwest-y colors:
Then I ironed the select scraps, cut them to size for the pattern and began to organize them:
And now I am sewing up a storm on them (lots of “chain-piecing” all those small strips!):
We’ll see how it progresses….
By the way, the bag/basket holding my batik fabric scrap collection was gifted to me years ago by my friend MJ and was made by her friend from recycled plastic shopping bags! I’d love to learn how to crochet bags from recycled plastic shopping bags someday!
Now that I am not working on my Etsy shop and making project bags, I am catching up on projects stuff I put aside. One of them is the Tula Pink 100 Modern Quilt Blocks/City Sampler quilt made from my fabric scrap collection (I think I last posted on this quilt in this post – Quilt Top Assembled!) which came back from the long-arm quilter in September.
A couple days ago I decided it was time finally put the binding on the quilt and finish it off. It was so relaxing to sit and meditatively sew down the binding:
After I got the binding on, I laundered the quilt and now it sits on my chair on the upstairs landing.
I also recently finished the “diamond painting” bookmark that started working on with a friend a couple weeks ago (see blog post Making a “Mark”):
Recently I’ve been hiding away in my sewing room to escape the world. I’ve been productive during my escape, and I’ve now completed 88 of the 100 blocks for Tula Pink’s City Sampler 100 Modern Quilt Blocks quilt I’ve been working on.
This is not the final layout for the quilt, I’ll decide that after I finish the 12 remaining blocks. It seems a little overwhelming to decide the perfect layout for 100 blocks, but I am going to just try to make them look as random as possible (and try not to let the same color touch…we’ll see…).
If you are just joining us and are interested in the progression of this quilt, check out the previous post about it which also has links to the other blog posts on it – And then there were 70….
For the remaining 12 blocks, I decided to stop trying to find pieces long enough to make each block (a lot of the remaining blocks need fabrics of at least 6.5 inches) from this pile:
Instead I cleaned up my cutting table, putting fabric scraps away by color in my fabric scrap storage system:
And I am going to be very deliberate about color choices (based on what I have too much or too little of in my quilt so far) and shop for fabric scraps from my collection of fabric scraps organized by color in my wine crate storage unit:
I am going to try and use these remaining fabrics, from the initial pile, that I did not put away with the rest:
I want to try and repeat those fabrics.
I’ve decided on how to finish the quilt – I am going to sew the blocks all together in a 10 by 10 row with no lattice, and no borders. Just plain and simple, allowing the blocks to just shine through without any clutter.
I realize this will make it only a lap size quilt instead of a Queen or King size which you could get by using some of the layouts in the back of the book Tula Pink’s City Sampler 100 Modern Quilt Blocks. Lap size works for me as I might actually just hang it on a wall and display it. I’ll decide after I get it back from the long-arm quilter.
Well back to hiding out in my sewing room and finishing up the 12 remaining blocks to get to 100 blocks, which at one point seemed so far away!
I developed a sort of production system to sew so many blocks.
I would pre-cut a large amount (15 or more) of blocks; and then sit down and sew them, trying to use chain piecing as much as possible, even working on two or more blocks at the same time.
Well my partner John took an old folding table and put a wooden table top on it for me to add to my existing work table to act as a “return” and give me space for ironing while piecing and any trimming needed.
This really added to my efficiency in block making!
And here is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer hanging out under my sewing table while I am at work:
Well Scraphenge is “done and hung“! I received it back from the longarm quilter last week (I used Missouri Star Quilting Company longarm quilting services).
I decided instead of a binding to put a “facing” on the quilt since I was going to hang it on the wall:
Instead of the cumbersome method I’ve used to put a facing on in the past, which I learned from an art quilting book, I searched YouTube to see if there was an easier method and voilà I found one:
And it worked perfectly! It was much easier than the previous method I was using!
So here is the quilt hung in the hallway next to the entryway to our home. I took a couple different photos as due to the stairways to upstairs and the basement it was challenging to photograph the quilt straight on:
Here is a close up of the quilting:
I love seeing the quilt as I descend the stairs from upstairs to the main floor:
The cool thing about this quilt is most of the quilt top is made from Stonehenge fabric scraps that friends have given me and some Stonehenge fabric scraps I had from a quilt I made. So the quilt top was primarily made from stuff that would have ended up in a landfill. I LOVE SCRAP QUILTS!
My sewing “mojo” was hiding somewhere for a while and I had little desire to sew. I had a “sewing-block“. Turns out the best way to resolve it was to sew a block!
I’ve been distracted from time in my sewing studio by some recent travel, visits from out of town friends, and a couple challenging recent life events. A couple days ago I knew I needed to get my back to sewing (as there is just so much fun stuff to be made) and decided returning to working on my Tula Pink City Sampler (100 Modern Quilt Blocks)would be a good place to start.
This post continues my series of posts on my trip to Quilt Town, USA to attend a Missouri Star Quilt Company (also known as “MSQC”) quilt retreat with my long time quilting friends. The previous three previous posts in the series are:
First of all, do not judge. I have a fetish for fabric scraps – ha! Okay that sounds a wee bit weird, but I would rather make things from fabric scraps than cut into yardage. I only buy fabric by the yard when I absolutely have to or the fabric is so amazing I cannot leave it in the shop (and it looks at me with puppy eyes saying “Tierney take me home…”).
So when I heard that while I was at the MSQC week long retreat there was a “Scrap Bag Sale” at the Penny’s Quilt Shop I shivered with excitement.
This not my first rodeo as they say, I’ve been to lots of fabric scrap sales where you fill a bag for a specific price, with as much fabric scraps as you can fit in (and yeah, I am ALWAYS up to the challenge to see how much I can fit in the bag they provide without it breaking).
But, I’ve NEVER been to a “scrap bag” sale where 1 yard, 2 yard, and even 3 yard pieces are considered scraps!!! Yes there were a couple pieces here and there that you might call “scraps” – like quarter and half yard pieces, but most of what was in their bins were larger pieces that I definitely would not classify as “scraps”.
What I heard from another quilter during the feeding frenzy (photo below) was that Missouri Star will pull pieces off the bolt that are 3 yards or less and put them away for the scrap sale.
What you are about to see was what could be considered a “super spreader event” as no one was wearing masks, but luckily the pandemic is tapering down in my part of the world.
Here is the FEEDING FRENZY:
And yes I was right in the middle of it. I stepped out to take photos.
Actually everyone was so patient, thoughtful and kind. It was the nicest frenzy you could imagine. Quilters would yell out what they were looking for and we would pull for them and toss to them what they were looking for. I got so much Kaffe Fassett fabric this way from the bins.
Also people would take a break from being in the bins and make way for other quilters waiting in queue. Actually you had to take a break for a while as it was sort of exhausting sifting through all those yard pieces of fabric and a bit claustrophobic.
You also needed a break to stuff your bag!
Besides finding AMAZING top quality quilting fabric (of like every fabric line you could imagine) one of the most fun parts of the whole experience was laughing with everyone there as you tried to stuff your bag as full as possible.
Here were the early stages of packing bags with “scraps”:
Notice how no fabric is reaching over the top of the bags.
Here is my pile of bags starting to grow (I did stop at 4 but later got one more) as I left them among the pile of coats (it was getting warm from all those people foraging through all those bins of fabric):
Then we heard that the shop did not really care how full you got the bag as long as all fabric was “touching” the inside of the bag. So things got creative…
Here are a series of photos on my quilting friends and I engaging in “creative scrap bag stuffing“:
We were laughing so hard! It got to be a real game of “what else can we fit in there?“
Here are a couple of my long time quilting friends and I resting after our scrap foraging. We were exhausted but happy! (Note, not all our group attended the scrap sale, some were back at the Retreat Center being productive working on their projects!)
And here I am with another expression of “pure joy” like in the previous post (and note it was not just because of the amazing deals but that I was hanging out with friends, lol):
When we returned to the Retreat Center, Jessica, one of the Retreat Coordinators, challenged us to see how much yardage we had inside one of our bags.
One person had 27 yards of fabric inside ONE of their scraps bag. Yes that was 27 yards of fabric for $10.95! Most people had between 20 and 26 yards of fabric packed into ONE scrap bag.
One of the attendees actually ironed and folded her finds (show off, ha!):
I did not. I took all my scraps from the sale to the Main Shop for packaging up to send home to me! As I mentioned in the first post in this series (I think), MSQC will ship whatever you bought or worked on for FREE to you if you are attending a retreat so you don’t have to figure out how to get it home. (Yes they are encouraging attendees to shop to their heart’s content).
So, a couple days after I returned home from the retreat I received two boxes in the mail:
And here are the “scraps” I got from the sale:
I won’t tell you the total amount of fabric, because I did not even count the yardage.
I just ironed the fabric and incorporated it into my stash…while giggling…
I loved how she was doing some very creative recycling with individual eye medicine vials that most people would have discarded into the trash.
Around the same time I was in the process of cleaning up my fabric scrap collection and pulling out the tiny pieces I was likely never to use. I started to discard the scraps into the trash bin (gasp) but then I realized they were the right size for Claudia’s eye medicine vial people (or other art projects she does with small fabric scraps).
So I sent her a package of small to tiny fabric scraps.
Then last week (or so…time is getting foggy at the end of the year) I received a wonderful surprise in the mail from Claudia – my own collection of little eye medicine vial people.
Here’s a close up of the little people in groupings of three:
For now I have them all hanging out on my white board ledge in the studio:
They definitely make the boring whiteboard more interesting!
Okay time to take a break from “tierneytravels” and get back to “tierneycreates” (smile).
It only took like a year+ but I’ve finally finished hand quilting a lap sized free form log cabin quilt I started back in January 2020 at a quilting retreat which I named “Seattle Scrappy”. Now I need your help to decide which fabric to use for the quilt binding.
I know crafters are opinionated and like helping other crafters with their design, so I am looking for your opinions.
But firsthere is a little quick background on the piece and some additional photos.
In January 2020 (before the pandemic was a reality) I attended a mini quilt retreat with a couple quilting friends in Poulsbo, Washington. I brought a couple hand work projects and had EVERY INTENTION of only working on my hand work projects. But, my dear quilting friend Dana brought an extra sewing machine (one her her Berninas, and I love Berninas) and a BAG OF GRAY FABRIC SCRAPS for me to play with – oh no!
Out of that bag of scraps came a whole lots of free form pieces log cabin blocks and you can read about those in this post – What’s on the…Design Carpet.
Since February 2020 I’ve had a series of posts on the evolution of this quilt:
I’ve had an update or two on my @tierneycreates Instagram feed since these posts but basically I’ve just been plugging along (when I remember to work on it) hand stitching it with perle/pearl cotton thread.
Last night I finally finished stitching it; and this morning I trimmed off the extra batting on the edges!
I didn’t have the best light when I quickly took these photos this morning, but they give you a general idea of the hand quilted quilt.
Now it’s time to choose the binding (this is where you come in) and here are the four options I am considering:
As you can see they are all some shade of gray. You might be thinking: “Well Tierney, what about the turquoise, aqua, or the burnt orange in the piece?” I did think about those for a moment but first of all I do not have enough of any of those fabrics to create a binding; and second I do not want to frame it in a strong color. I want to frame it in a gray.
So here are the four gray fabrics up close up against the quilt for you to select from when you share your thoughts:
A – fabric with faux stitching pattern
B – medium-dark gray fabric
C– medium gray fabric
D – variegated gray fabric (the tone/shade of gray will change along the binding
Here is a poll below for you to vote and I will report back on the result of the poll and my final decision (which will likely be heavily influenced by your votes):
****If you’d like to participate in voting/respond to the poll, you have to go to my actual website. It will not show in the WordPress Reader, sorry (thanks @tammiepainter for making me aware). If you are in the WP Reader, click on “Visit Site”.****
I’d appreciate any additional thoughts you have in addition to your vote in the Comments section of this post.
Please note however, I will only tally votes through the poll above just to make sure I do not duplicate votes, thanks!
I finished machine quilting my quilt created from a zillion half square triangles (HSTs), most of which were from scrap triangles collected over 15 years, most of which were triangles from the trimming of blocks by other quilters. Hence the name: All the Trimmings.
The quilt measures 57.5 inches by 72.5 inches (146 cm x 184 cm).
Here’s another photo with my partner John holding up All the Trimmings:
I was limited to 50 words, but here is the Artist Statement for the quilt I submitted:
Missing my Quilting Community during Quarantine and inspired by Amanda Jean Nyberg’s pattern “All Sizes”, I created a quilt from 15 years of scrap triangles collected from my quilting friends at quilt retreats and “sew dates”. Most of the scraps in this quilt are from the trimmings of blocks by many quilters as they made their quilts. Instead of going into the trash, scrap triangles compose this cozy quilt.
I am fairly sure some pretty spectacular quilts (and art quilts) have been submitted for this international call for entry and some of the quilts will go to the Houston International Quilt Show, one of the biggest quilt shows in the world.
I have doubts my little HST quilt will be selected but as they say: “You got to be in it to win it” – ha! (and it was free to enter).
The rules say the makers of the quilts selected will be notified no later than July 10th. I will let you know the outcome.
For now, the quilt is keeping me company on my favorite chair in the living room.
You might notice that the quilt Seattle Scrappy (see post Update on Seattle Scrappy) is sitting in the chair also – I am still working on hand quilting it (and wow hand quilting a lap size quilt takes MUCH LONGER than machine quilting it!).
Speaking of “Quarantine Quilts”, a friend of mine has been working on an incredible quilting collaboration project with some children in her neighborhood and I hope she will share with us this project in a future guest post. Every time I look at images of this quilt in progress I get a huge smile!
I completed all five sections of the quilt top made from fabric scrap triangles and scrap squares to create nearly 600 half square triangles (HSTs) in the following sizes:
2 inch x 2 inch
2.5 inch x 2.5 inch
3.5 inch x 3.5 inch
4.5 inch x 4.5 inch
5.5 inch x 5.5 inch
It was inspired by the pattern All Sizes by Amanda Jean Nyberg from her book, No Scrap Left Behind.
Here it is on the ironing board after I pinned it for quilting:
And here is it currently being machine quilted on my sewing machine:
I decided to machine quilt it myself rather than send it out to be professional long-arm machine quilted. Slowly I am making progress, I try to work on a section each day.
(You might notice some curious brightly colored half-circle blocks on my design wall behind my sewing area. I’ll talk about those in a future post. They are blocks a quilting friend gave me when she decided not to finish a piece. More to come.)
And of course when I finish machine quilting All the Trimmings I will share another update.
I am going to do an Artist Statement for this piece since there is a story behind it. Here is a very rough draft of that statement:
It’s more than just a half square triangle quilt. I miss going to Quilting Retreats and hanging out with Quilting friends so I made this quilt, based on Amanda Jean Nyberg’s pattern “All Sizes”, from scraps collected from my quilting friends during 15 years of quilting retreats and “Sew Dates”. Most of the scraps are triangle trimmings from their block piecing. Hundreds of scrap triangles went into this quilt top!
A friend of mine recently said that she was looking forward to hearing my thoughts on the tragic events and strife currently going on in the United States in a blog post.
For me it is just too deeply personal and sad issue to discuss in this forum, so I am going to just focus my blog posts on my creative projects and other lighter topics.
I will however share with you that I am currently taking a break from watching or reading the news as this was wearing down my soul.
Recently came across this quote by Fred (Mister) Rogers that made me feel some peace and I will close out this post with this quote:
I found this images on Pinterest, which I shared in that post, of what the quilt looks like finished:
I decided to name my version of this quilt “All the Trimmings”since most of the scrap triangles were donated by other quilters from their block trimmings. Most of the triangles I am using in my version of this quilt were once headed to the landfill (and now they get to be in a quilt!).
The quilt consist of sections of 2 inch x 2 inch half square triangles (HSTs); 2.5″ x 2.4″ HSTs, 3.5″ x 3.5″ HSTs, 4.5″ x 4’5″ HSTs, and finally 5.5″ x 5.5″ HSTs.
HSTs are usually made by some quick method such as placing two squares of fabric together, making a line down the middle, sewing a 1/4 on each side of the line and then cutting apart two completed HSTs.
However I made most of the HSTs the manual hard way by sewing two scrap triangles together and then trimming the block to the required size. But I used up hundreds and hundreds (nearly all of them) of my scrap triangle collection.
I’ve completed three sections of the quilt: 2″x2″, 2.5″x2.5″ and 3.5″x3.5″ and they are up on my design wall.
I thought I would start with my fabric scrap collection for my first non-mask project in my “new” studio.
I have long history of fabric scrap addiction (yes I am that person at a quilt retreat who stops people from throwing out their larger scraps in the trash and offers to “adopt” them) and so I have quite the collection of fabric scraps.
I keep them organized in bins at the bottom of the IKEA bookcases in my studio:
These bins contains scraps organized by color.
I also have them organized by themed collections of scraps in bags stored under my cutting table:
One of these collections, is a collection of scrap triangles, most given to me by other quilters when they trimmed these triangle when piecing blocks for their quilts. The triangles are in various sizes.
By sewing two scrap triangles together, I can created a scrappy “half square triangle” (HST) which provides many design opportunities. This is what I did with a bunch of scrappy fabric squares which I turned into HSTs back in Spring 2018 (see post Pillow Popping with the Untethered Soul), and created a pillow top:
I do have a basket of fabric scrap squares that I could have used to make HSTs for the project I am about to tell you about:
But I’ve decided I want to start using (and cleaning out) my ridiculous collection of themed bags of scraps (mainly given to me by other quilters) and my scrap triangle collection had gotten out of control.
So I dumped the entire collection of fabric scrap triangles onto my cutting table:
And pulled out this awesome book by Amanda Jean Nyberg, No Scrap Left Behind, for ideas.
I found a pattern in the book called All Sizes which uses several different sizes of HSTs to create a scrap quilt with smaller HSTs progressing to larger HSTs.
I did not want to violate copyright laws by photographing the quilt pattern inside the book but I did find an image of the quilt on Pinterest:
The pattern instructs you to create HSTs the standard way from two contrasting squares (if you’ve never made HSTs or are not quilter, here is a link by Blossom Heart Quilts explaining how HSTs are commonly made – HST Tutorial). However I decided to manually make HSTs by sewing two scrappy triangles together.
So to make this happen I had to sort my giant pile of scrap triangles into light and dark in order to manual create the HSTs (to get a nice contrast with a HST you use a light fabric and a darker fabric). The process was tedious but fun (I listened to great music while sorting, sewing, pressing/ironing. and trimming).
Eventually my “hot mess” of scrap triangles, turned into this on my design wall:
No it doesn’t look anything like the pattern of the Pinterest finished quilt image I shared above but it is in progress. Initially I placed the HSTs in size order on the design wall but my organization fell apart after a while of trying to just randomly get all the HSTs I’ve made onto the design wall (to get a sense of how many I’ve made so far).
Also, you might have noticed that the Pinterest finished quilt image has white as the light on the HSTs. I’ve was very loose in my interpretation of “light” to contrast with my darker triangles. I did not have many white/cream or other light colored scrap triangles. So I had to use medium fabrics often as “lights” and you will see some bold fabrics in the mix (like deep/strong yellows, etc.) as “lights”.
But hey – it’s going to be a very scrappy quilt!
When the quilt top is complete, I am going to toss any remaining scrappy triangles. They were originally headed to the trash bin before I rescued them. It is okay if some now make it to the trash.
I think there will be very few scrap triangles remaining when I am done; and I think this is a one time scrap quilt experiment with scrap triangles. (Next time I make HSTs it will be using contrasting squares)
And I plan to say “no thank you” when other quilters offer me their scrap triangles in the future!
I am still hand quilting Seattle Scrappy (see post Seattle Scrappy (What’s on the Design Wall)) in case you wondered what became of that piece. I keep it on the stairs railing next to the recliner I sit in when watching television in the living room, so it is always handy to work on:
One of my dear blogging buddies, Sandy, of the crafting sister duo Gray Barns Designs (Cindy and Sandy), is making an insane quilt – a postage stamp quilt made with 3,420 1.5″ x 1.5″ RED squares (that’s 3,420 3.81 cm x 3.18 cm squares for my blogging friends on the metric system)!
In this post she mentions she only has 1250 squares completed so far. Her sister Cindy is helping out with reds from her stash but I got the feeling Sandy would like more help, so I offered to send her red scraps from my stash (and she took me up on my offer).
So during my lunch break today (I am a telecommuter), I pulled out my stash of red scraps and started pulling scraps for her postage stamp quilt of scrappy madness:
That is just the beginning of the pile. I crammed as much as I could in a padded priority mailer (because it is near Christmas and no way was I returning to the post office again to mail anything – I just pre-printed my label at usps.com and gave it to my mail carrier):
I cannot show you what is inside because it is a surprise for Sandy to open!
I see from some of her other posts and comments that other blogging buddies are sending scraps too.
If you have red scraps to spare you can contact her at Gray Barns Designs by commenting on her post I linked above. And if you do not already follow their blog, I highly recommend you add it to your reading list – Gray Barns Designs: Real. Modern. Quiltingand see what the talented crafting sister Sandy and Cindy are up to!
Perhaps Sandy will share what is in the package I sent on her blog when she receives it in a couple days :-).
Now I have met the quilts in person of several of my other long-time quilting buddies. I met Mary of Zippy Quilts’s amazing quilt in person when I attended Quilters Take Manhattan in September 2017 (see post Wrap Up of QTM 2017 Weekend).
I do have plans to meet in person more long-time blogging buddies in 2020 which hopefully includes meeting Helen of CrawCrafts Beasties (my tierneycreates Beastie has to meet her maker in person!) when I go with friends to Ireland this summer; and meeting Martha of Martha’s Blog in Mississippi sometime this year. Fingers crossed!
Last week a curious package arrived from New Panvel, India:
Inside was a collection of samples of embroidered Indian silks in 5 – 6 inch squares:
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!
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):
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):
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 Batikscraps that she picked up at a quilt show!
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:
.Cindy also included a lovely handmade card by a fiber artist featuring the State of Wisconsin (her home):
I felt very very very lucky to have received such a thoughtful surprise.
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!
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.
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.
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:
But they are really intriguing in Black & White:
Wouldn’t those all make amazing art quilt inspirations!
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!
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).
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:
I’ve completed the Pillow Project – 5 pillows are made: 4 for my living room and one for my studio. Several of the pillows I began at the recent quilting retreat I attended (see post The Pillow Project).
If you are just joining us, this post is a follow up to these five posts (as well as various other older posts as I procrastinated through some of my projects):
Yikes Tierney, it sure takes you a lot of posts to stop talking about a project? Yes, true…and? (smile).
So here are the completed pillows.
Made from recycled 2.5 inch x 2.5 inch fabric scrap squares that were turned into half-square triangles (it took 196 half-square triangles to complete!), this pillow measures approximately 22 inches x 22 inches:
Living Room Pillows
These pillows measure appropriately 23 inches x 23 inches and were made from batik fabric scraps pieced into improvisational (“log jamming”) log cabin style blocks:
Here is what the back of the pillows looks like – made with recycled quilting fabric trimmed from a quilt after long-arm quilting:
We have two sofas in the living room that face each other – I usually hang out on one and Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) hangs out on the other.
My sofa with two of the cushions:
TTQH’s sofa with the other two cushions:
Yes, we have a crazy amount of color in our house (our house is not for the bold color faint-hearted!)
To close this post, here is a random gratuitous photo of a lovely purple iris from my walk yesterday:
I still have more stories to share from he annual May quilting retreat I attended with my Quilting Sisters in Vancouver, WA May 17 – 20, 2018. I just wanted to share the follow up on the whole pillow making saga 🙂
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.
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).
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):
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.
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.
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.”
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 quilting friend.
It started with this plastic bin of my fabric scraps:
Dumped onto my bed (the bed has a plastic sheet from packaging material covering it):
Before we dove into this delicious (or suspicious) pile of fabrics, first we needed to fortify ourselves:
After a few minutes of frolicking in the fabric scraps, my quilting friend pulled her initial stack and got to work on making improvisational blocks. As a challenge, in addition to access to my crazy fabric scrap collection, I assigned my friend these pieced block discards/trimmings to try and incorporate into her improvisational blocks:
During our fabric scrappy play day I thought I would also take the opportunity to practice paper-piecing (Not the fun “English Paper Piecing” type but the “flip and stitch” type of paper-piecing that I suspect is what you have to do all day in the “Underworld” if you are bad in life and go there after you die…um, I would like to choose the “fire & brimstone” instead please…).
I signed up to participate in the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show’s 2018 Wish Upon A Card Fundraiser & FabricChallengesponsored by Robert Kaufman Fabrics. I needed to make a 4′” x 6″ fabric postcard to donate to the fundraiser, incorporating the two feature fabrics provided by Robert Kaufman Fabrics.
In general I love Robert Kaufman fabrics, but I was completely underwhelmed by the fabric pieces they sent me to make the postcard:
Thank goodness my friend helped me pick out some coordinating fabric scraps for my postcard.
Here was my first (actually second, as the first was a legendary-paper-piecing-screw-up disaster) attempt at paper piecing a little house for the postcard:
Here is my second (okay actually third) attempt and the final version with my embellishments:
I mailed it off yesterday to Wish Upon a Card and I will not be offended if they say they “never got it in the mail” or they accidentally let it slip into the trash can – ha!
Now I bet you are curious: Did we make a dent in the pile of fabric scraps? Not really. Here is the tub of fabric scraps cleaned up from the bed and put back into the closet after my friend left:
It appears I have enough for another Fabric Scrap Party (or 200+ Scrap Parties)!
It’s no secret, especially if you’ve followed my blog for a while, that I am obsessed with fabric scraps. I won’t try to link any of my numerous previous posts on fabric scraps. If you are new to my blog, you will have to just trust me 🙂
Well one of my quilting friends, actually the one who got me into appreciating the value and opportunity for unlimited creativity provided by using fabric scraps, is coming over tomorrow for a SCRAP PARTY!
She had a birthday a couple of weeks ago and we are going to do a belated celebration by going to out to lunch and then coming back to my house and spending the afternoon playing in my fabric scrap pile:
I did not post about it (as those of you who’ve followed me for a while may have grown weary of my constantly talking about fabric scraps) but last weekend I thinned out my scrap pile. I pulled out any remaining old lower quality fabric and donated more to a local charity thrift shop.
During a previous donation, a volunteer at one of our local charity thrift shops (for our local Humane Society shelter), told me that fabric scraps sell very well at the thrift shop. They cannot keep fabric scrap bags in stock, they sell out immediately! (See there are more weird obsessed people like myself in Central Oregon).
So what are we going to do at a so called “Scrap Party”? Well I am going to dump the whole box onto a plastic tarp on the floor of my master bedroom (as not to take up precious space in my tiny studio space that we will be sharing) and let my friend go wild playing with my fabric scrap collection. She is really into improvisational piecing (she is the one who helped me move from traditional quilting to art/improvisational quilting) so fabric scraps are one of her favorite textile mediums!
I’ve set up my travel sewing machine for her in my studio so we can sew together. I have two design walls (a small one on the closet door in my studio and then the big one in the hall way) so we won’t have to battle for design wall space!
I’m not sure what she is going to work on, but I plan to work on some paper piecing. I’m trying to spend more time with my extensive (ridiculous) craft book collection and rediscovered in my craft book collection – 50 Little Paper-Pieced Blocks by Carol Doak. Playing with fabric scraps seems like a great time to work on my paper-piecing skills.
My friend is bringing over her miniature schnauzer so Mike will have a furry friend visiting.
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) made us chocolate chip cookies (to keep our sugar fueled energy level high for crafting!!!):
Of course I will share the outcomes of our Scrap Party!
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 CreativeInspiration.
Unlikely Materials for Quilt Making: Recycled Textiles
Nearly 2 years ago (March 2016) I did a post on “UnlikelyMaterials” 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”):
Recycled Door (2017) by Tierney Davis Hogan, quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe, photographed by Marion Shimoda
The Recycled Road (2017) by Tierney Davis Hogan
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, ImprovisationalTextiles.
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.
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.
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″).
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!
Dyed Silk Scraps
A friend gave me these scraps as samples from a hand dyed silk class she took years ago.
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:
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: QuiltingMeets Couture.
The photo does not do the fabrics justice. You can see on the QuiltingMeets Couturepage 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.
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
Recently a couple of my blogging buddies, Mary at ZippyQuiltsand 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:
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:
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:
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:
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 FabricScraps 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!
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: