A Crafter's Life, Special Events

A Presidential Artistic Journey

This is not a political post, but this post is about a former political figure, now a private citizen – former U.S. President George W. Bush, Jr.

Suspend for a moment any political leanings you hold and let me share a very special opportunity I had to see a former U.S. President speak in person in early May and to learn of his artistic journey.

A Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity

April 30 – May 4th, I attended a national conference for the industry that I am employed , in Orlando, Florida. One of the keynote presentations at the conference was a conversation with former President George W. Bush, Jr. and the president of a national organization hosting the conference.

No photos were allowed and there was strict security so unfortunately I have no photos from the experience to share (when I first discovered that President Bush would be speaking I had hopes of a “selfie” with a former U.S. President!). I’ve never seen a U.S. President in person so just the experience to see a historical figure in person was very exciting to me.

To be honest, I was not a huge fan of President Bush during his Presidency, but I put those thoughts aside and approached the presentation with an open mind.

He was absolutely amazing and spoke with much wonderful humor, insight, inspiration and Texas twang! He shared the experience of recently losing his mother, Barbara Bush (who I always greatly respected). He also spoke candidly about 9/11 (September 11, 2001/World Trade Center bombings) and other challenges and his Presidency; and about what’s going on in the world and in the U.S. today.

As I do not want this to be a political post I will not share all the specifics of what he said but let’s just say he might not fully support the current choices and political environment of the current U.S. Presidential Administration. He said that the U.S. cannot become isolationists, we have to stay connected to the world and shared specific reasons, in his opinion, why it is important that the U.S. stay engaged.

He did encourage those of us who might feel currently discouraged not to give up on democracy; and that the office of U.S. President is greater than the behavior of any one individual.

He also talked about what he has seen in the world and that those that live in the U.S. should remember just how blessed we are to live in this country (in regards to all the freedoms and opportunities we have available to us that are not available in all parts of the world).

Interestingly during his talk I learned that he is  close friends the Dalai Llama and Bono (lead singer of the band U2 who is heavily involved in humanitarian causes) – who would have known?

Overall his talk was very inspirational, spiritual (he is a man of strong faith) and hopeful – he brought many of us to tears several times during his talk.

A Former President’s Artistic Journey

For me the best part of his talk was when he shared how he became a painter and his evolution as an artist/his artistic journey. He talked about the fear he had to overcome to start painting and bouts with self doubt of his painting ability.

He also talked about the moment when he realized he was not too bad at painting. I wish I could have taken notes as there were many gems in his discussion of his artistic journey and I could relate to many of those experiences in my journey.

He eventually combined his love of painting with his post-presidency humanitarian efforts, which include working with Veterans especially those dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He painted Veterans for his book Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors (if you click on the link you will see an image of former President Bush painting a portrait) and proceeds from book sales, according to the website, “helps post-9/11 veterans and their families make a successful transition to civilian life and addresses issues of veteran wellness, including post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury”.

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Image credit:  bushcenter.org

He shared a couple of amazing stories about the friendships he developed with several Veterans dealing with PTSD while working on their portraits. He tried to capture in their portrait painting not only their physical features but what the individual was dealing with internally at the time, he made an effort to get to know each Veteran he was painting.

I’m so thankful to my employer for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity they gave me in sending me to the conference in Orlando. I also appreciate the opportunity to share this experience with you all and ask for you to be moderate and thoughtful in your comments on this post as fellow readers have differing political views, thanks.


Postscript

The weather was beautiful in Orlando during my visit and I enjoyed 70 to 90 degree F. weather (21 – 32 C. for my readers outside the U.S.). I brought my work laptop and had to keep up on my work when not attending conference session so I did not get much time for fun in Florida.

Here is the view from my hotel room balcony where I bought my laptop out to work between conference sessions:

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I went on a walk around the hotel/conference center property each morning (early before it got too warm and before the conference sessions started) and I wondered why the air seemed to smell so good. Then I realized there were Magnolia trees everywhere! What an incredible fragrance!

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The climate, geography and flora is very different than Central Oregon (which is known as a “high desert” area and at 3500+ feet above sea level elevation). It was amazing to see palm trees everywhere!

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Although I did not get time to play while I was in Orlando, it was still wonderful to enjoy the warm and tropical climate!


Feature image credit: bushcenter.org

Special Events

Quilt Retreat Animals

This morning I thought it would be fun to share a post from the tierneycreates archives from my annual May Quilting Retreat with my Quilting Sisters from Oregon, Washington and California.

It is nearing the time again for the annual May Retreat and just realized I need to start preparing and thinking about what projects to bring!


QUILT RETREAT ANIMALS

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

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

THE HORSES

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE CATS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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OKAY THERE WAS A DOG

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

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


If you’d like to read the post that followed this one here is the link:

Quilt Inspiration and Projects

 

A Crafter's Life, Quilt Shop Tours, Special Events

Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop Day 2

Continuing my two-part series on participating in the Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop last weekend. If you are just joining us, check out Day One in this post: Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop Day 1.

Rather than worry about leaving Mike the Miniature Schnauzer at home all day while Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I drove around to the remaining four (4) Central Oregon Quilt Shops, we brought Mike with us:

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Mike started in the back seat but convinced me he needed to ride around in my lap

Mike started in the back seat but convinced me he needed to ride around in my lap.

We did the bulk of our driving (at least 130 miles) on Day Two of the Shop Hop and luckily my lap converted to a dog bed (with the addition of a fleece blanket in the backseat) when Mike grew tired of looking out the window!

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130 miles? Yes the remaining four (4) shops spanned from La Pine, Oregon (Homestead Quilts), lunch in Sunriver, Oregon (Sunriver Brewing) to Prineville, OR (The Quilt Shack), to Redmond, OR (Material Girl Fabrics), and finally to Sisters, OR (Stitchin’ Post) and then back home. Basically it was like a tour of Central Oregon!


Homestead Quilts (La Pine, Oregon)

Homestead Quilts is actually a lovely quilt shop with a wonderful collection of fabrics, however I only go there once a year (during shop hop) as it is about 35 – 40 miles from my house.

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They have some lines of fabrics that the other Central Oregon quilt shops do not have (or not as wide a selection of that line) such as Northcott’s Stonehenge fabric line:

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This is the same line I used for this quilt Cozy Cobblestones (which was quilted by one of my blogging buddies, Cindy @inastitchquilting.com):

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I had a little bit of a beautiful Stonehenge blue that I wanted to use in the piece but not enough to repeat the fabric in more than one block so I did not use it. If only I had thought to check out Homestead Quilts to pick up some more!


Sunriver Brewing (Sunriver, Oregon)

We needed to “fuel up” our shopping engines to make it to three more quilt shops so we stopped at Sunriver Brewing in Sunriver, Oregon on our way to our next quilt shop.

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I had a healthy delicious lunch of one of the best chef salads I’ve ever tasted:

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While TTQH had a delicious but very naughty lunch!

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Then it was onto The Quilt Shack in Prineville, Oregon.


The Quilt Shack (Prineville, OR)

The Quilt Shack is another Central Oregon quilt shop I rarely visit except during shop hop.

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As you can tell from several of the photos, it was a cloudy/overcast day for Day Two of Shop Hop. The end of April in Central Oregon can be hit or miss: we’ve done Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hops when it was 80 degrees and like a beautiful summer day; and we’ve done shop hop when it was cold and raining, etc.

The Quilt Shack specializes in novelty fabrics and if you are looking for special cowboy themed fabric, fishing themed fabric,  or the perfect fabric with farm animals, etc. – they have it:
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Next we took the 26+ mile drive from Prineville to Redmond, Oregon.


Material Girl Fabrics (Redmond, Oregon)

Material Girl Fabrics in Redmond is in an old house and the owner and her son who own the shop also live upstairs in the house. It is a very sweet shop and you feel like you are wandering around a house (because you ARE wandering downstairs in someone’s house!):

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TTQH searched for dog themed fabric at this quilt shop like he does at every quilt shop:

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Interestingly TTQH did not buy any fabric this year at shop hop, it was not like last year where he seemed to be “buying out” every shop we went to (see post Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop 2017).

Our Shop Hop passports were nearly filled as we headed to our last quilt shop of seven (7) – the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, Oregon:

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Stitchin’ Post (Sisters, Oregon)

We were flooded with relief when we arrived at the Stitchin’ Post as it had been a long day of driving and shop hopping and we were ready to be done.

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After turning in our Shop Hop passports we wandered around the quilt shop (which also has a lovely yarn shop) a bit before heading home.

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Mike outside the shop waiting to head home:

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The Haul

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, each quilt shop on the Shop Hop provided a block pattern for a mystery quilt. When you completed your Shop Hop passport after visiting all seven (7) shops then you got the final layout pattern and instructions:

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Each quilt shop also gave out a free fat 1/8th quarter of batik fabric. Below are my seven 1/8th quarters and TTQH’s (which he gave to me) – we made sure not to select the same colors:

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I usually try to support as many shops as possible by buying a little fabric at each shop during Shop Hop, but this year there was only two shops that I found fabric I had to have – Homestead Quilts and the Stitchin’ Post (and of course the scrap bag I found at QuiltWorks on Day One of the Shop Hop – see previous post for image):

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Thanks for joining us on Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop 2018!

A Crafter's Life, Quilt Shop Tours, Special Events, Terry the Quilting Husband

Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop Day 1

Last weekend over the course of two days, Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH), Mike the Miniature Schnauzer and I attended the Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop.

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We made it to all seven (7) Central Oregon Quilt Shops over a two day period which involved driving around 150+ miles:

Thought I would share a sort of “photo essay” of the two-day shop hop in a series of two posts.

Day One of the Central Oregon Shop Hop was completed after work on Friday 04/27/18 and included the three Bend, Oregon shops: QuiltWorksSew Many Quilts and Bernina Center, and BJ’s Quilt Basket


Sew Many Quilts and Bernina Center (Bend, Oregon)

Our Shop Hop began at Sew Many Quilts and Bernina Center.

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Each shop gave out a free fat 1/8th quarter (18″ x 11″) of coordinating batik fabric and a free block pattern for the Central Oregon Shop Hop Mystery Quilt. You get your Shop Hop Passport card stamped at each shop and if you completely fill it out, visiting all seven (7) shops, you can enter to win several prizes including a new Bernina sewing machine!

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Later in this post I will share my Shop Hop Passport stamps and my haul of free fat 1/8th quarters from day one (see section “The Haul“).

Sew Many Quilts and Bernina Center is where I bought my Bernina sewing machine many years ago and my breath always catches a bit when I walk into their shop and see all the dream Berninas:

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They appeared to be embracing as many holidays as possible, and here are a sampling of their displays which covered: Easter, Valentines Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Halloween!

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All the shops offered a delicious smorgasbord of snacks and treats for the shoppers. Here is an example from Sew Many Quilts and Bernina Center:

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In addition to the big prize drawing for those who completed their Shop Hop passports, each shop had their own individual drawing for shop gift certifications, etc:

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QuiltWorks (Bend, Oregon)

Next stop on Shop Hop was at QuiltWorks, where the lovely owner Marilyn Forestell greeted shop hoppers and stamped their cards.

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They also had delicious food including a huge chocolate birthday cake to celebrate the shop’s anniversary and the owner’s birthday (I forgot to take photos of the other shops’ snacks).

Here are photos from around the shop:

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They even have a Quilt Shop Dog (looks like a schnauzer mix to me!):

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I wonder if they intentionally coordinated the quilt shop’s carpet with the dog?

This is where my naughtiness started – they had a section I could not refuse (see the section “The Haul” for what I purchased…you know just to be polite to the shop, ha!):

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They also had a very timely display on the book Pillow Pop: 25 Quick-Sew Projects to Brighten Your Space Paperback by Heather Bostic. A couple weeks ago I decided to attack my pile of 2.5″ x 2.5″ scrap squares and enlist TTQH to help me make a huge pile of Half-Square Triangles (HSTs) to make several of the pillows in this book (future post). 

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Seeing several pillow patterns from the book displayed really inspired me to (eventually) continue working on the pillows (not sure though if TTQH is still speaking to me after trimming all those HSTs…)


BJ’s Quilt Basket (Bend, Oregon)

Our third and final stop for day one was BJ’s Quilt Basket. BJ’s hold a special place in my heart as it was the start of meeting many of my other Quilting Sisters besides Judy who got m into quilting (see post Quilting Sisters, Part I).

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Here are images from around BJ’s Quilt Basket:

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The Haul

First, here are the stamps on my Shop Hop passport for Day One:

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Only 4 more to go!

Here is my haul of free 1/8th fat quarters – six (6) fat 1/8th quarters (TTQH gave me his of course!) from Day One:

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Here is an example of the free block pattern given at each shop. You have to go to all seven (7) shops to get the final layout/instructions for the mystery quilt; but if you do not get to all the shops each pattern also has instructions on turning the block pattern into a table runner.

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And finally, here was the scrap bag I bought from QuiltWorks. It had several yards of large samples of fabrics!

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Thanks for joining me on Day One! Next post is Day Two of course 🙂

 

A Crafter's Life, Special Events

Speaking Engagement

Last Thursday (April 19, 2018) I was the featured speaker at our monthly Central Oregon SAQA (art quilting) group meeting.

What I Presented

I did a presentation (complete with “death by PowerPoint”…I did try to keep the PowerPoint slides as engaging as possible with primarily photos) on the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) and the 2017 Quilters Take Manhattan (QTM) event I attended in NYC in September 2017.

I used these previous tierneycreates and Improvisational Textiles blog posts as the basis for my presentation:

I used some of the key text from these posts but also included more photos than were in the posts (I have a crazy amount of photos from QTM 2017!). For fun I also snuck in some family photos (I met up with my sister, brother and two awesome nephews) from the trip, especially some of my highly adorable 5 year old and now 14 year old nephews!

I also brought a copy of all the WCQN Exhibit books by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi in my personal collection for the attendees to look through while I spoke (so they would not fall asleep during my presentation):

  • And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversation
  • Threads of Faith: Recent Works from the Women of Color Quilters Network
  • Journey of Hope: Quilts Inspired by President Barack Obama
  • Textural Rhythms: Quilting the Jazz Tradition
  • Quilting African American Women’s History

I also brought a copy of Sherri Lynn Woods’ book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously just in case there was any art quilter in our group that had not heard of this book.

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) attended the presentation also and helped me haul all those books to the speaking engagement.

No one appeared to fall asleep during my presentation and they actually appeared quite engaged (or faked it very well!)

The Venue

If you’ve followed my blog for a while you know my obsession with my public library. What was cool (at least to me) was that my presentation was done in the Conference room of the Sisters Branch of the Deschutes Public Library. So I got to speak at the library (huge smile)!

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Key to Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking: Be Delusional & Improvisational

One of my Central Oregon SAQA friends asked me before the presentation if I was nervous and I said “no”.

I am not sure if I should be nervous but I am never really nervous before a speaking engagement. I have this likely delusional belief, especially if I am speaking in front of a group that knows me, that they want me to succeed and are cheering me on (hopefully no one breaks my delusion!).

I used to do a lot of public speaking professionally when I was a trainer (before the days of telecommuting) at work and at professional conferences. If you’ve done corporate training, especially mandatory corporate training, you know about speaking to an audience that may not want to be there!

What broke me of any fear of public speaking (possibly creating my delusion that everyone is cheering for me) was an experience many, many years ago when I spoke at a conference that my employer put on for one our retail clients when I worked for a Workers’ Compensation Carrier.

It was a large group of managers for one of our retail clients (a national group) that looked like their souls had been sucked out of their bodies (please know I have nothing against who works in retail, this group of conference attendees were just very lifeless, they could have been in any industry). Also as you could imagine, managing work related injuries is not the most exciting all day conference topic!

During the conference, I watched one presenter after the other painfully struggle through their presentation with a highly “unengaged” and bored audience.

When it was my turn, I figured the crowd/audience could not dislike me anymore than they obviously already disliked the previous presenters, so what the heck – I was going to have fun.

So when I got up to the podium, I had an improvisational moment and I took the microphone off the podium stand and started walking through the crowd with it. I did my presentation as if I was performing a nite-club act: Walking through the crowd, speaking directly to audience members and being very animated.

Shockingly I got the first round of audible strong applause for the day! I even saw some actual smiles in the crowd (like their souls had briefly returned to their bodies!)

After that I had no fear of public speaking. Ultimately if the audience hates me, they hate me (but I always secretly know they are cheering for me – my insanity is so delicious!)


Postscript

A follow up to the post Additional Conversations – Completed , one of my blogging buddies asked me what was behind the nameAdditional Conversations”. This made me realize I better go write the Artist Statement.

I’ve posted about this piece on the Improvisational Textiles blog and if you are curious on the story behind the piece, here is the link: Additional Conversations.

(Note I do need to take the piece outside in the right light and take an even better photo – I am just being lazy as I already hung it up in the Living Room!)

A Crafter's Life, 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, Special Events, Studio

Trends Show Part II: More Classes

Happy Saturday and here is part two of my two part posts on attending the EE Schenck’s Trends show last weekend in Portland, Oregon.

Alas, in this post there will be no “unexpected roommates” (see Trends Show Part I: The Unexpected Roommate ) like the previous post; but for the rest of the show I continued to take two more great “Take n’ Teach” classes – from Latifah Saafir and Kathy Cardiff.

Latifah Saafir: Fear Curves No More

Latifah Saafir is amazing – she is an engineer turned quilt pattern and quilt tool designer based out of Los Angelas, CA. She is a also a great teacher. Check out her website – Latifah Saafir Studios: One Stitch, One Seam, One quilt at a time.

She demonstrated her brilliant method for piecing curves using pieces cut from The Clammy, her giant clamshell maker template. Below are photos from the class (including some yummy fabric she used for her demo):

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Later that day I was fortunate enough to share a shuttle bus ride (EE Schencks provided a free shuttle to and from the hotel to the Trends show) with Latifah and hear more about her transition from scientist to quilting guru!

Kathy Cardiff: Wool Appliqué

Kathy Cardiff is a Washington state based designer, author and teacher who specializes in wool appliqué. Check out her website – The Cottage at Cardiff Farms.

She taught a hands on wool appliqué class in which she prepped our little wool appliqué pieces with fusible backed paper, we just needed to cut the little pieces out to make this (her sample):

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She also prepared templates for us to use to press the pieces together onto freezer paper before peeling them off to place the fabric for the little pillow:

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Her work is amazing, here are so additional photos from the class and her booth:

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She definitely took the fear out of wool appliqué for me like Latifah Saafir took the fear out of curved piecing for me!

Here is my wool appliqué piece currently in progress from the class:

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The funny thing is I’ve had a The Cottage at Cardiff Farms sunflower wool appliqué pillow pattern and supplies for many years but I was too intimidated to get started on it. It no longer seems scary – especially now that I have learned a quick way to put the appliqué pieces together and fuse them!

I told Kathy about the pattern I’ve had for years (purchased at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, OR); she knew which one I referenced and gave me tips after class on how to complete it!

There’s No Place Like Home

We had fun in Portland but I was also happy to return home again. My heart always soars when we drive from the Mount Hood pass area into Central Oregon. It is so interesting how the climate and the landscapes change from Portland to Mount Hood to Central Oregon.

The moment I saw my beloved “high desert” landscape, blue skies and Cascade Mountains everywhere – I knew I was home!

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View from inside the car window before Madras Oregon (still too cold to roll the window down!)

Postscript

Recently I read an article online (oops I do not remember the website) that strongly recommended you do not store your thread out in the open because of dust, etc. In a previous post, Aurifilia, I discussed my beloved collection of AURIfil thread (actually obsession).

Well I decided to take down my mounted thread racks and store my thread collection instead in bins to protect the thread.

So I went from this:

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To this:

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Note the AURIfil is neatly stored in the top 4 containers and the “non-AURIfil” thread is casually strew about in the bottom container – ha!

I also decided to put up more quilted art/gifts from my Quilting Sisters in my Studio.

Here is a quilt made for me a couple years ago by my Quilting Sister Kathy when our group did a quilt exchange:

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And instead of the mounted thread racks, here is an art quilt made from recycled silks by my Quilting Sister and art quilting mentor, Betty Anne:

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I look around my studio and I feel very loved.

A Crafter's Life, Special Events, Terry the Quilting Husband

Trends Show Part I: The Unexpected Roommate

They Invited Me So I Went

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I attended EE Schenck’s Trends show this past weekend. This post is part one of my two-part series on my experience at the Spring 2018 Trends show.

I signed up for an EE Schenck wholesale account when I had the tierneycreates Etsy shop and for a brief time thought I would supplement my handmade items sales with some fabric sales.

My ‘adventures in retail” were challenging (see my old post from June 2015,  Adventures in Retail) and I quickly discovered that I greatly disliked cutting yardage and making up fat quarter packs (I believe this is what you have to do all day  in the “Underworld”, if you are bad in life and go there after you die; to me that is a big enough incentive to be good in life!).

I did however meet my lovely quilting friend Martha through one of my Etsy shop fabric sales so I figured that was the good thing that came out of that experience!

Additionally, as I discussed in previous posts, I did not want to compete against “brick & mortar” quilt shops (though absolutely no quilt shop could have been threatened by my meager attempts to sell fabric) and become part of the “online fabric sales world” that threatens our beloved community quilt shops.

I did eventually temporarily close my Etsy shop (it’s been over a year so it has been an extended “temporary” closure) to rethink my strategy and handmade offerings.

My Etsy shop is temporarily closed but EE Schenck still has me listed as a wholesaler and they continue invite me each year to their Spring and Fall Trends show for now.

I attended my first show in September 2016 (see the post Ladies Friendship Circle) and got to hang out with my friend Joan H. as well as the lovely Marie Bostwick (a mutual friend of my friend Joan) and Mary Fons (a friend of Marie’s).

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Mary Fons and Marie Bostwick, Trends September 2016

So when I received the invite from EE Schenck to the Spring Trends show and saw what classes were offered, I asked TTQH if he would like to go to Portland, Oregon for the weekend (it is only a 4 hour drive from my house) and attend Trends.

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image credit: eeschenck.com

Beside the opportunity for a nice weekend getaway to Portland, one of the reasons I attended the Trends show was for a very reasonable price I could take “Take n’ Teach” classes from wonderful authors/teachers/designers such as Latifah SaafirKathy Cardiff, and Jody Houghton.

I was especially excited to take Jody Houghton’s class, Fabric Art Panels, because her work holds a special place in my heart. As a matter of fact I gaze at one of her panels nearly everyday: my very dear friend Judy (who got me into quilting and I consider my “Quilt Momma”) made me this wall hanging a couple years ago from a Jody Houghton panel:

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The Drive to Portland

There are generally two ways to get from Central Oregon to Portland: Santiam Pass or Mount Hood Pass. Until late April (or later) both are at mountain elevations, are ski areas, and both are usually covered in snow. Sometimes the snow is packed on the road and most times until late Spring, chains or traction tires can be required. You always see tractor trailers at the lowest part of the elevation pulled over and putting on their chains to make it through the pass in the late Fall, Winter and early-mid Spring.

We decided to take Santiam Pass to Portland and below are photos from our snowy drive (from inside the car with the windows rolled up). I was glad TTQH was driving! (Actually is wasn’t that bad, we only 30 minutes or so driving on pack snow, the rest of the drive was just wet/snow dusted highway).

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The Unexpected Roommate

Arriving in Portland we first stopped at Powell’s Books, the mega independent bookstore and a mandatory stop so TTQH could load up on more military history books (his other hobby besides quilting).

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Image credit: powells.com

After that we headed to our hotel and checked into our room.

It had been a long drive from Central Oregon to Portland and we had spent a long time in Powell’s books, and I was eager to get into comfy clothes and relax. TTQH was in the bathroom and I was getting undressed and suddenly the door opened to our hotel room and a woman was backing into our room with her suitcase!

I exclaimed: “Hello there!” and startled her as I quickly pulled my pants back up. She was a well dressed congenial woman who graciously stated: “Oops, the woman at the front desk was new and I think she assigned me the wrong room.” We briefly laughed about it (though I was in utter shock and yelled to TTQH not to come out of the bathroom unless he was fully dressed) and she said she would go downstairs and sort it out. She also said she was there for the Trends show so I knew she was likely a quilter/crafter and therefore a wonderful person (in general, crafters are wonderful people – smile)!

Shaken (and feeling rather vulnerable as they obviously we handing out card keys to our room to others!) I immediately called the front desk and told them what happened. I then went down to the front desk in person and requested to have a new card key made up. The front desk staff apologized profusely and got everything fixed. The nice woman who had backed into our room was also there getting things sorted out and we laughed about it again.

When I got back to the room, I had calmed down and TTQH were able to have a laugh about it. I said to TTQH, “Well she seemed nice and I guess she could have slept between us if the hotel is completely out of rooms, ha!”

I figured I would run into the “unexpected roommate” at some point at the Trends show on Saturday and we would have a more relaxed laugh about it.

The Unexpected Teacher

Saturday, September 17th, after the Trends keynote speaker’s, Amy Barickman of Indigo Junction, I headed to the “Take n’ Teach” series of classes, my first class being with Jody Houghton.

And guess who was Jody Houghton? My Unexpected Roommate!!!!

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We had quite the laugh about it when I first arrived at her booth for the class! Jody and I also shared the story with the other class participants who got a laugh out of it too!

Her class was wonderful and we learned how to make quick tote bags using her panels. Here are photos from the class and photos of some of the cool samples she had on display:

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Jody is an absolutely lovely woman and a very talented designer and teacher.

Check out her panels and notions on her Etsy Shop: Sisterhood of Quilters by Jody Houghton Designs. I hope you will support her shop (or convince your local quilt shop to carry her items) as in my opinion she really captures the heart of the friendships and bonds that come from quilting together. I hope I get to connect with her again the future (but perhaps not as an unexpected roommate…ha!).

Speaking of quilting friendships and bonds, you can read my previous series of posts on my Quilting Sisters (Quilting Sisters, Part I and Quilting Sisters, Part II ).

It is sort of like the Universe brought us together – how random that the woman who created the panel in the wallhanging that means so much to me, “broke” into my room!

Next post I will continue with more stories from the Trends show (though none involving potential roommates!)


Postscript

Our first time to Trends in September 2016 we took Mike and Sassy (who passed in December 2017).  TTQH only briefly attend Trends (leaving the dogs in the car outside for 1/2 hour) as he was in charge of the dogs (who did not like to be left in a hotel room alone).

We decided to leave Mike with some fellow schnauzer people and be “child-free” in Portland this time so we could enjoy the weekend together. TTQH was not interested in taking any classes but he had fun wandering around EE Schenck looking for dog themed fabrics and talking to other husbands (usually the husbands of quilt shop owners, etc.) at the show.

Here is a photo of Mike with his schnauzer buddies Chopper and Frieda, taken by their people and texted to us during the weekend so we knew Mike was having a good time. They labeled this photo “The Three Amigos”.

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Feature image credit: eeschencks.com

Special Events, tierneycreates

Art Quilter Play Date

Last Thursday I took the day off from work to attend a SAQA “Play Date”. SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) is the art quilting group I’ve been part of since 2013.

One of our members, Helen, was generous enough to host the “play date” in her lovely studio. We got to play with fabric printing using fabric inks and here are a couple photos from the play date.

  • Helen encouraged us to bring drawings on freezer paper to transfer into our fabric printing designs. Below are some of the drawings other art quilters brought to the play date:

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  • Our host has a lot of experience with fabric printing and had all sorts of fun tool like the shape below which made an interesting design on fabric:

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  • Work in progress:

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  • There were lots of wonderful pieces made during the play date and here are some examples from my fellow “play-daters” (only sharing photos of works that I got permission from the arts to share):

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  •  Here are some of my pieces (I am not going to show you my first pieces that I tried to hide in the trash, ha!):

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I plan to turn this collection of tree like images into an art quilt.


Postscript

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I just returned from a weekend trip to Portland to attend the Trends show. The next post I will share photos and stories from my experience meeting and taking classes from Latifah Saafir, Jody Houghton, and Kathy Cardiff. Amy Barickman of Indigo Junction was the keynote speaker.

I will close this post with a photo from out the passenger window from our drive from Central Oregon to Portland, Oregon via Santiam Pass on Friday morning (TTQH was driving thank goodness):

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A Crafter's Life, Special Events

Sewing & Stitchery Expo 2018, Part II

Let’s dive into a continuation of yesterday’s post, Sewing & Stitchery Expo 2018, Part I.

Overload!

I appreciate the comments and as one commenter stated: “My brain would be on overload”. Yep, my brain was on major overload.

But at least I did not get this overloaded:

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Yes the paramedic arrived for a crafter who had passed out at Sew Expo and hit her head. She was okay and I am not sure if they had to take her out on the stretcher or no (I did not want to “rubberneck” around the scene (another attendee filled me in as I walked by).

Buttons, So Many Buttons

Here is a sampling of the numerous booths of buttons. I did not linger in these booths too long as I have enough buttons in my life right (even if the booths had “life-changingly-beautiful” buttons 🙂

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Need a Sewing Machine?

There were so many domestic sewing machine vendors: Bernina, Pfaff, Brother, Janome, Baby Lock, etc. There are also many long-arm machine vendors. They all had “show specials” and were willing to spend as much time as you needed to convince you to buy one of their machines!

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There were also sewing machine cabinet/sew room organization vendors; of course my dream Bernina machines.

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Yes most of the photos above have to do with my fantasy/dream Bernina sewing machines! As I am a “Berninaphile”, I spent time wandering around these booths. (If you ever win the lottery and want to get me something nice as you have really enjoyed my blog, I have a couple $10,000 + priced Berninas in mind!)

I even bought some awesome Bernina fabric at one of the Bernina booths:

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I do not know what I am going to make with it (I bought 2 yards of it) but it was one of those “I have to have it” moments 🙂

Serious Cuteness

Most of the vendors had beautiful and well thought out displays, but a couple really caught my attention:

Craft your own wool stitched treats (very low calories, ha!):

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This vendor made a covering for her booth so you entered a quilted house:

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Nothing to wear? Turn a quilt into a dress:

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A sampling of some of the cool quilts on display in vendor’s booths:

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The medallion one makes me think of Melanie @Catbird Studios!

A Touch of Home

My beloved Stitchin’ Post Quilt Shop from Sisters Oregon had a vendor booth at the show. They are there every year. I first learned about the Stitchin’ Post when I lived in Seattle, WA, had just started quilting and went to my first Sew Expo around 2000 or 2001. Little did I know a couple years later (2005) I would be moving to Central Oregon and they would become one of my favorite quilt shops!

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It was fun to say hi to local people I knew working the booth and believe or not, I actually purchased a couple items at the booth (although I can shop at the Stitchin’ Post anytime back home!)

Just Some Random Photos

Here are a couple random photos that did not fit into their own header section.

Endless displays of patterns and fabric bundles:

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Cool cork fabric:

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Very fancy handmade seam rippers! (Taking seam ripping to the next level…)

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And endless “bits and bobs” you want to add to your sewing/crafting room:

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Overstimulated and Hungry

We wandered ourselves near the point of fatigue with no break for eating. Finally about 2:00 pm we had enough and found a place to eat nearby.

We could have eaten inside the convention center/fairgrounds like many crafters did:

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But we seriously needed to escape Sew Expo (a new Science Fiction film idea: Escape from Sew Expo) and we ventured a couple block away to a New Orleans cuisine themed eatery and had amazing Po’ Boys sandwiches away from the maddening crowds!

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Mmmmmm catfish Po’ Boy sandwich and a microbrew

Our Haul!

When we returned to my Quilting Sisters home who was hosting us this weekend, we pulled out our individual hauls of goodies and did a “show & tell”.

Here’s a photo of some of our combined group haul:

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There is a lot more but we do not want a record of it – ha! (“What happens at Sew Expo, stays at Sew Expo”).


Postscript

My Quilting Sisters are a jovial group and we enjoy teasing each other.

For the rest of the evening, and the next day, we did a mini quilt retreat and each worked on small projects we brought with us. Well the hostess was working on a scrap quilt with half-square triangles and my other Quilting Sister was working on a wedding quilt with a lot of trimming.

To tease me about buying a bag of cool scraps at Sew Expo, they put together some additional scraps for me to take home:

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As you can see by the ruler, unless I was going to glue a tiny quilt together, these scraps are a little too small….

A Crafter's Life, Special Events

Sewing & Stitchery Expo 2018, Part I

I spent a brief (it seemed too short) 3 day trip to visit friends in Gig Harbor, WA and go to the Sewing & Stitchery Expo (“Sew Expo“) in Puyallup, WA at the Washington State Fairgrounds with some of my WA based Quilting Sisters.

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I took a zillion photos and in this post I will share some of the “zillion” photos and give you a taste of what it is like to attend Sew Expo.

The Flight to SeaTac Airport

When Terry the  Quilting Husband (TTQH) and Mike the Miniature Schnauzer dropped me off at our small Central Oregon airport (RDM), I thought of this old post from Sassy the Highly Miniature Schnauzer’s SchnauzerSnips blog: Human Storage?. From a dog’s point of view, as this post discusses, it appears that I am just staying at the airport for a couple of days – Mike sees me dropped off at the airport and then picked up at the airport!

Flying in small planes makes me slightly nervous. When we moved from Seattle to Central Oregon I had to acclimate to taking smaller planes. Our airport is small and cannot handle standard size planes/jets, just the Turboprop size planes, like the one in the image below:

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But I discovered, years ago, thanks to my primary care doctor, the magic of a small dose of Ativan and a dose of Dramamine – it makes the flight awesome.

Alaska Airlines serves, for those 21 and over, a complimentary glass of wine or a Pacific NW Microbrew during these small plane flights between Central Oregon and Seattle. The flight is between 45 – 55 minutes and I enjoyed a blissful flight with my microbrew, a biscuit, my knitting and relaxing music on my smartphone (in airplane mode of course!):

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Flying in small planes is better with a brew and biscuits!

I got quite a bit of knitting done on the scarf I mentioned in the post A Case Against Procrastination, during the trip between the flight, hanging out in the airport before flights, and hanging out visiting with my friends. I will share an update when the scarf is done (so you won’t lie awake at night wondering when I will get that scarf done – ha!)

Welcome to Washington State Fairgrounds

The Sasquatch is the unofficial mascot of the Pacific NW. I lived in Seattle for 8 years and did a lot of hiking but never saw a Sasquatch running around! But when you walk into the WA State Fairground there is a carved Sasquatch to greet you and it was decorated for Sew Expo!

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Inside Sew Expo: The Crowds

There are two buildings housing vendors for Sew Expo and the space is HUGE! It took us 4 – 5 hours to walk around Sew Expo. Here are a couple photos of the crowds and some random vendors:

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It’s Called “Sew Expo” But There Was a Lot of Yarn!

Sew Expo is really about most textile based crafts and there were many yarn vendors. I know many of you knit and crochet, so let me share some of the endless yarn-yumminess in the vendor booths at Sew Expo:

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Special Booths: Pendleton Wool

Some vendors had special large booths, such as the large booth of Pendleton Woolen Mills. They had a large area in their booth in which they were selling Pendleton Woolen Mills selvages. I could not figure out why someone would want to buy a giant bag of these selvages until I noticed that there were shag rugs made from these selvages. Great recycling!

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The Fabric, Oh The Fabric

Okay it is called “Sew Expo” and so the bulk (at least 60% or more) of the vendor booths were dedicated to fabric for sewing garment, making quilts, and other sewn crafts. Here is just a sampling of the fabric delights I browsed:

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This booth had an exceptionally delicious offering of silks:

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There were lot’s of fabric deals:

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But the “craziest” fabric deals of all were the “trough-o-fabric” at $7.99 a pound section and the vendor selling yardage of high quality fabric at $5.99+ a yard.

Trough-o-Fabric

A ridiculous amount of quilting fabric remnants, fat quarters and yardage were thrown in giant rolling tubs. You grab a large plastic bag and fill it up with what you want, they weigh it and you pay $7.99 a pound.

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Yes this looks like total insanity, and it was but I had so much fun with the other quilters digging through the troughs. We were all helping each other and looking out for whatever someone asked for help looking for. for $14.00 I picked up about $40 – $50 in high quality quilting fabric (some Kaffe Fasset stripe fabric, etc).

Fabric Roll-Land

This area was huge and took up a large section of the last aisle in one of the Pavilions at Sew Expo. One of my Quilting Sisters picked up some mind blowing fabric deals in this section but I had “Fabric Burnout” by the time I got to this section and only took photos, no serious shopping (which I regretted later when I saw the deals my friend got!)

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Let’s end this post here, I will continue in the next post with the rest of the Sew Expo experience.


Postscript

Thank goodness I spent a little time proofreading this post before posting it. It was not a “Freudian Slip”, just typing too quick, but I did type “Sex Expo” instead of “Sew Expo” in several area (including at first the post title, which I expanded to the official name of the event).

Trust me, if I went to “Sex Expo”, I would not be posting about it – ha! (And that would be a very strange thing to attend with one’s Quilting Sisters!)

 


Feature photo credit: sewexpo.com

A Crafter's Life, Special Events, tierneycreates

2017: A Blogging Year in Review

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


Seven (7) Favorite Projects of 2017

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

Additional Conversations

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

Cozy Cobblestones

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

Happy Ending

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

Little Wallets

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Little Wallet Madness

Basket of Love

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Recycled Windows

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Recycled Windows (2017) by Tierney Davis Hogan

The Recycled Road

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The Recycled Road (2017) by Tierney Davis Hogan

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


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

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

Quilting Studio Archaeology Series

Quilting Studio Archaeology

Quilt Studio Closet Purge

Quilt Studio Archeology and Purging, Part II

Quilt Studio Archaeology and Purge, Part III

Quilting Sisters Series

Quilting Sisters, Part I

Quilting Sisters, Part II

Quilters Take Manhattan Series

The “Dance Partner” – Michael Cummings at QTM 2017

Spiritual Quilting – Sherri Lynn Wood at QTM 2017

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

Wrap Up of QTM 2017 Weekend

The Expenditure

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

The Backstitch and the End of Tangled Floss

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


Schnauzer Snips Follow Up

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

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Sassy was highly opinionated and awesome

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

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

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


Postscript

Meet the Pups in the Feature Photo

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

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

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

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And here they are having fun on their photo shoot:

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

 

A Crafter's Life, Outside Adventures!, Special Events

Pilot Butte Posts

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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Special Events

Announcing the Winners of the tierneycreates Blog’s 4th Anniversary Giveaway

This morning Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) did the drawing of the names of the winners of the handmade Little Wallets to celebrate the tierneycreates Blog’s 4th anniversary. Names were selected from those who left comments on the post: Blog Anniversary Celebration & Giveaway.

In this post I promised we would select four (4) winners, well we decided at the last moment to up it to five (5) winners so more people could win (in my heart I wanted to just send a Little Wallet to everyone that commented!)

But before we get to the winners (be good, don’t scroll down yet, ha!) let me share the technical details of the drawing.

The Drawing

First the validity of the drawing was overseen and verified by Sassy & Mike of the prestigious firm Schnauzer Affiliates, Incorporated. Here is their corporate photo which hangs in their offices:

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A highly complex method was used to select the winner while the principles of Schnauzer Associates, Inc. observed and verified the results.

First the names of those who posted comments on the blog anniversary post were written down on a piece of paper, numbers were assigned and then numbers were written on a piece of paper:

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(I hope these technical details do not overwhelm anyone)

Then the numbers were placed in my recently knitted hat:

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Sassy of Schnauzer Affiliates, Inc., closely officiated the drawing which was made by TTQH:

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Here is Sassy providing TTQH with instructions prior to the beginning of the drawing:

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Sassy closely monitored the drawing of the five (5) numbers/winners:

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Sassy validated and verified the results of each number drawn:

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The Random Drawing Winners

I am happy to announce the five (5) winners below, please send me your mailing address using the Contact Form in the Questions page of this blog – thanks and CONGRATULATIONS!

  • Crawcraftbeasties
  • Susan Maasch
  • SandraNY
  • Handmade Habit
  • Chela’s Colchas Y Mas

Feature Image Credit: Krzysztof (Kriss) Szkurlatowski, freeimages.com

A Crafter's Life, Special Events

Wrap Up of QTM 2017 Weekend

This is my fourth and final installment on my 4-day weekend in NYC to visit my family and to attend the Quilt Alliance’s Quilters Take Manhattan (QTM) event.

Here are the links to the first three previous posts on my weekend:

To close out this series of posts I have a bunch of random photos and stories.

Small World!

I remembered that my blogging buddy, Mary of Zippy Quilts announced in one of her post \s that she won the Judge’s Choice Award in the Quilt Alliance’s small quilt challenge. for the QTM 2017 event. Here is a link to her post: Judge’s Choice! Woo!

So on Saturday at the main QTM 2017 event, I went searching for the exhibit. When I found the exhibit with Mary’s piece, I noted another attendee was taking photos of the piece.

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Turns out that attendee was Becca of Pretty Piney, another blogging buddy of Mary’s! It was great to chat with Becca and together we admired Mary’s piece in person:

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Congratulations Mary! Oh and here is Becca’s post from her blog on her experiences at QTM 2017: Quilters Take Manhattan 2017.

Go Ahead and Look Out the Window

Flying makes me slightly nervous. When I moved from Seattle to Central Oregon I had to acclimate to taking smaller planes. Our airport is small and cannot handle standard size planes/jets, just the Turboprop size planes, like the one in the image below:

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Photo credit: Alaska Airlines
These planes only climb to about 10,000 feet unlike jets which having cursing altitudes of 30,000 – 40,000 feet. So you have at many times a view of the ground when you are at cruising altitude in these planes as opposed to in the larger planes where all you see are clouds below you at cruising altitude.

In order to fly to the East Coast of the US, I had to first fly to Seattle (usually you have to fly to Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, LA or Salt Lake City to get anywhere beyond the West Coast from Central Oregon). Normally I do not look out of the window as a rule. I had a window seat during my flight from Central Oregon to Seattle. I felt peaceful and excited about my upcoming adventure and was brave and starred the window the entire flight! This was a very big thing for me to do and here are a couple photos of what I saw:

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I had incredible views of some of the Cascade Mountain range. We were sandwiched between layers of clouds and it was very beautiful (note the window was tinted and sort of cloudy so the photos are limited in their clarity).

Meeting a Quilting Hero

As I mentioned in the previous posts, I got to meet in person someone I greatly respect and admire, Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi, founder of the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN). 

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I joined WCQN in 2016 and my piece The Lesson & The Equation will be in an upcoming WCQN show. I will share details about that show once Dr. Mazloomi formally announced the show. I am very excited to have my piece in the upcoming book that will be published about this show. Check out Dr. Mazloomi’s amazon.com page for examples of books from other exhibits she has curated.

At QTM 2017 I had the opportunity to view one of her amazing B&W quilts in person. She draws/paints these images and turns them into quilts. The piece below is of her grandson looking through some of her exhibit books:

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Coming ‘Home’ to New York

I was born in Pittsburgh, PA but I grew up in Long Island and Update New Yorker. I consider myself a “native New York” and part of my heart will always live in New York. I have been in NYC many times. I remember when I was a teenager I would take the train from Long Island to Manhattan and wander around the City for the day and return home in the evening.

If you have never visited NYC, it is something you must put on your “bucket list”. I guess it is like however everyone should try and visit Paris or London if possible. New York is one of those cities you just have to experience in person.

While living in Seattle and a couple times since I have moved to Central Oregon, I meet up with my family in NYC (they live in other areas of the East Coast but they are only a train or bus ride away). We learned over the years where the best least expensive places are to stay, and for this trip my sister found us an AirBNB place in a Brooklyn neighborhood:

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Here are a couple photos from the neighborhood to include a branch of the Brooklyn Public Library which was near where we stayed and the iconic FDNY:

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And then there was the Mister Softie truck which my 13 year nephew and I got slightly addicted to (NY soft serve ice cream!!!)

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The funny thing is as many times as I have visited NYC as an adult, I have only attended a Broadway show a couple times. I think I saw a couple Broadway shows as a kid and as a teens but I have primarily only seen the less expensive off-Broadway shows. Still as I was wandering around Manhattan between events one day of my trip, I daydreamed of going to this show (I am not sure if you can even get tickets):

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More from the Met

In my previous post I shared some photos of my brief wander around the overwhelming Metropolitan Museum of Art . In addition to the Asian wing, I also wandered around the European paintings. Like the museum in Europe I have visited (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Uffizi, Florence, etc.) it is so amazing to see paintings from say the 12th century!

I spent a little time in the Medieval painting section of the Met:

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I also stumbled upon displays of amazing ancient and modern ceramics, which included this piece/pieces which I thought would be a great inspiration art quilt design inspiration:

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Trimmings Galore

If you are a crafter visiting NYC, I recommend a visit to the Fashion District. It is a magical place with shops with rare fabrics and trimmings.

While wandering around Manhattan with my sister and nephew, I dragged them into an amazing shop – M&J Trimmings. Any embellishment you could think of for a textile could be found in this shop. Whether you needed feathers, buttons, tassels, cord, or any other type of trim you could imagine, they had it.

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And this was the room that blew my mind (I only captured one wall in my photos) – a huge room of BUTTONS! Buttons everywhere! I wanted to buy them all, but I only admired them as I could not justify buying anymore buttons! (See my 2016 post Buttons for more on my button-obsession).

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Of course I have so many more photos and of course a lot of family photos (you will just have to take my word for it on how handsome my nephews) but hopefully over the past four posts I gave you a general feeling of what it was like to attend the QTM 2017!


Postscript

So you might be thinking: “Tierney if you love NY so much, why don’t you still live there?”

I love NY and it has a special place in my heart but it is not where my heart wants to live. My heart wants to live in the Pacific NW. Washington and Oregon are amazing and beautiful states. The cultures are quite different than the East Coast. I love the laid back vibe and spirit of the Pacific NW. I love all the trees, the mountains, the “hipster” and “hippy” people that live here. The green eco-conscious vibe. The focus on human rights and causes. Not to say this type of culture does not exist in other parts of our country, but it seems really concentrated in the Pacific NW.

Now I have a friend from my college days who lives in NYC and loves to tease me: “Can you braid your arm pit hair now from living in the Pacific NW so long?” She thinks I spend most my days tree-hugging lol between sips of coffee.

People in the Pacific NW sometimes go overboard being nice and thoughtful but I like it! Sometimes crosswalks are an issue as cars will stop in anticipation that you are approaching the crosswalk to cross the street, so you can back up traffic when you are just looking like you might eventually cross a street! In Central Oregon we do not in general honk our horns at people who do not start up right away from a light changing to green. We just patiently wait for them to see the light and go (this is VERY different than NY!) If you need to learn patience and become more peaceful, move to the Pacific NW.

But people smile a lot here, and their smiles seem genuine.

During my layover in Seattle before my flight (on a big plane!) across the country to JFK airport/NYC, I found this in the Seattle airport bathroom – in a bathroom stall where the purse hook is mounted. Maybe it was done by a traveler from somewhere else, but it feels so Pacific NW:

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Feature image credit: quiltalliance.com

A Crafter's Life, Special Events

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

Continuing my series of posts on my Quilters Take Manhattan 2017 event experience, this post I share my awe and wonder while attending a special behind the scenes tour of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

How I Ended Up Attending QTM 2017

Before I share that experience, let me back up a moment and talk about how I ended up attending the Quilt Alliance’s Quilters Take Manhattan event.

I first heard about the Quilters Take Manhattan event on a Facebook post of someone I follow who was attending the event.

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Image credit: quiltalliance.com

I was immediately tempted when I checked the event’s website and saw that Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi and Sherri Lynn Wood would be presenting but NYC is quite a plane ride from Central Oregon for a 1 day conference.

Next I saw that they were offering special add-on events such as a behind the scenes tour of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art .

The words “Antonio Ratti” hold a lot of meaning for me. In 2012 my friend Betty Anne and I came up with the idea of creating a collection of art quilts from gifted samples of Ratti textiles (renown house of Italian couture textiles) from the 1990’s NYC Fashion District. These samples would have been destroyed and we thought it would be amazing to create a collection of quilts from recycled materials meant for couture fabrics.

Betty Anne then invited other quilters to participate and we created Quilting Meets Couture. We showed this collection of 21 art quilts created by 14 women in 2013 at several venues to include a special exhibit at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. The Quilting Meets Couture group eventually disbanded, the collection did not go any further, and it eventually became The Wardrobe Meets the Wall containing only Betty Anne and my art quilts.

Recently, I created a page on the collaborative website Betty Anne and I have, Improvisational Textiles to honor the memory of this special time which was also my first venture into “art” quilting:

Quilting Meets Couture

(I will always been deeply grateful to my friend and mentor Betty Anne Guadalupe for encouraging me to move from traditional to art quilting, as well as all the art quilting inspiration from Jean Wells Keenan, see my post Creative Inspiration, Quilting Mentors).

Still the opportunity to meet Dr. Mazloomi, Sherri Lynn Wood, and to attend a behind the scenes tour of the textile center created/funded by the great Italian textile manufacturer/designer was not enough to fully justify in my mind a trip across the country (and associated expenses). I then realized I could also justify my trip by visiting with my family (who all live on the East Coast) while I was in NYC.

Of course this is where I ran into trouble – I tried to cram too much into a 4-day weekend. I ended up catching a bad cold from exhausting, long air travel, lack of sleep, etc. I ran my immune system into the ground, but I had a really wonderful time. I had an incredible visit with my sister, my brother and my two awesome nephews (ages 5 and 13).

Am I rambling? I always question at what point in my post I am just rambling. Okay, let’s return to the original purpose of this post – to share highlights from the behind the scenes tour of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center!

Behind the Scenes at the Antonio Textile and Reference Library

Our tour group was led/coordinated by the quite fabulous, Merikay Waldvogel, quilt historian. We met in the foyer of the mind blowing Metropolitan Museum of Art:

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The second photo you will see a very excited Tierney waiting with the tour group to go to the Antonio Ratti Textile Center. The last photo in the series above is an archway we passed under on our way to the Textile Center. I could barely breath at this point…

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I will be sharing limited photos that I took during the rest of this post on the tour. The curator requested that, in general, we only take photos for our own personal use. They would prefer we public shared only official images from the Met’s official collection. She also stated we could not take photos of how they store textiles at the center. There were other special rules of course – we could not touch any of the pieces and had to be careful not to let anything on our person touch the textiles.

But do not worry – they said we could note the catalog number of the quilt we viewed to access their public images of the work. So for the most part, I will share their images of the incredible historic quilts I viewed.

The staff at the Ratti Textile Center pre-selected a group of rare quilts, several which have never been on display because they are so fragile, for us to view. All the images below are property of and from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art Collection website.

A Selection of Some of The Quilts We Viewed:


Honeycomb Quilt, Elizabeth Van Home Clarkson, 1830

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image credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art

From the Met website:

Elizabeth Van Horne Clarkson made this quilt from hundreds of small hexagonal pieces of fabric. It is the earliest wholly pieced American quilt in the Museum’s collection. Although pieced quilts were popular in England in the eighteenth century, the technique did not catch on in America until the nineteenth century, as increased leisure time made quiltmaking more popular and small patterned printed cottons were less expensive to work with than English chintzes. The quilt was made in a pattern known as Honeycomb. The multicolored hexagons are sewn together with whipstitching. Elizabeth Clarkson probably made the quilt as a wedding present for her son Thomas in about 1830.

There are an amazing amount of very tiny hexagons. The photo of course does not compare to seeing all the exquisite and elaborate detail of his quilt in person – the border is a quite complex piecing.


Pictorial Quilt, Euphemia Kichlein, 1832

The Met does not have an official photo on their website, so I will share one of the images I took of this amazing quilt:

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This quilt is quite famous and has appeared in several quilting historical books.


Star of Bethlehem pattern variation, Ellen Morton Littlejohn,  1837–50

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Image credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art

This quilt is too fragile to ever be on display and we were given the rare, once in a lifetime opportunity to view it in person. This quilt was made by an African American woman while she was a slave for the family that owned her. It was an example that early African American quilting is not only improvisational/’make do” quilting like the Gees Bend Quilts. This was an elaborately pieced and trapunto quilted quilt. The photo above does not show you all the detail I saw in person. One of the quilt historians in our tour group (there were at least 3 including a curator from the American Folk Art Museum!) stated that many elaborate quilts were made by slaves however these quilts were kept by the families that owned them and the quilts were never credited with the work.


Tumbling Blocks with Signatures pattern, Adeline Harris Sears, 1856

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Image credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art

From the Met’s website:

In 1856, seventeen-year-old Adeline Harris, the daughter of a well-to-do Rhode Island mill owner, conceived of a unique quiltmaking project. She sent small diamond-shaped pieces of white silk worldwide to people she esteemed as the most important figures of her day, asking each to sign the silk and return it to her. By the time the signatures were all returned and ready to be stitched into a “tumbling-blocks” patterned quilt, Adeline had amassed an astonishing collection of autographs. Her quilt features the signatures of eight American presidents; luminaries from the worlds of science, religion, and education; heroes of the Civil War; such authors as Charles Dickens and Ralph Waldo Emerson; and an array of prominent artists. Today, the autographs displayed in this beautiful and immaculately constructed quilt provide an intriguing glimpse into the way an educated young woman of the mid-nineteenth century viewed her world.

It was amazing to see Abraham Lincoln’s signature on a quilt block. Hope I am not breaking the rules, but here is a close up image I took:

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Floral Applique Quilt, Emeline Travis Ludington, 1850

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Image credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art

From the Met website:

In the mid-nineteenth century, at the time this outstanding quilt was made in Carmel, New York, a town about fifty miles north of New York City, the florid and intricate Rococo Revival Style was in full bloom. The grapevines and appliquéd flowers entwined into wreaths stiched onto the surface are reminiscent of the decoration found carved into the rich rosewood backs of high-style New York furniture of the same era. While many bed quilts are quite modest objects meant for everyday use, this one would have been considered stylish and sophisticated when it was created. Its exceptionally good condition reinforces the notion that it was meant to be a “best” quilt, taken out only on special occasions to beautify its maker’s home.
Emeline Travis Ludington had an ambitious artistic vision for her quilt, laying out and stiching a stunning overall design and adding an unusual scalloped finishing detail to the edges. Ludington was married to a banker, George, and was the mother of six children. Her quilt-making skill is undocumented beyond this piece.

It was interesting to listen to several of the quilt historians on the tour in our group debating the source of fabrics (England vs. US) and other historical details. We had a group of brilliant women in our tour group!


Woman’s Rights Quilt, Emma Civey Stahl, 1875

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From the Met’s website:
This unique pictorial quilt tells two distinct stories. Three of the circular appliquéd vignettes depict soldiers who fought in the American Civil War, assuredly still a fresh memory when the quilt was made. Three other blocks feature dynamic scenes of social activism in the fight for women’s rights. In one vignette, the reformer leaves her husband and child, a “WOMAN’S RIGHTS” banner slung jauntily over her shoulder. In another she is driving a horse-drawn cart, undoubtedly going to the meeting depicted in a third circle, where she vociferously lectures the cowering audience. The quiltmaker’s comical take on one of the most serious issues of the late nineteenth century raises the question of her own viewpoint on the subject


There were several other quilts, however in this post I wanted to share examples of the incredible pieces of quilting history we had the chance to view. The staff at the Antonio Ratti Textile Center were extremely knowledgable and helpful and you could tell they were excited to share some of the collection with the tour group.

After the Textile Center Tour

I had an hour before I needed to meet up with my family after the behind the scenes of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center tour was complete. What do see in an hour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art?!!?

The Met has over 5000 years of art from around the world, according to their website. According to Wikipedia, it is the largest art museum in the United States and its permanent collection contains 2 million works!

I went to one of the docent/information desks and asked for an idea of what to see in an hour (it takes weeks or months to see the entire collection). We discussed what I was interested in and she suggested I go to the Asian Art Wing. In this wing they had an amazing exhibit – Cosmic Buddhas in the Himalayas which had some incredible textiles on display as well as iconic Buddha images.

Here is a little flavor of the amazing exhibit:

It was quite a serene and mediative experience to walk among the Buddhas in the exhibit. The lighting was amazing, perfectly dimmed and the exhibits rooms were fairly empty except a couple of others quietly wandering the exhibit like myself. There was a mystical feeling to the whole exhibit. Also I had a wonderful chat with one of the security guards/museum staff assigned to the exhibit. She was amazed herself with one of the tapestries and when I showed interest in it, she was so happy to have someone to discuss all the intricate details of the tapestry with (the exhibit was very empty of visitors so there was not much guarding for her to do!)

Of course the images do not do the pieces justice. The same for the quilts I saw in person, the images do not even come close to the experience of seeing them in person.

I would like to return to the Metropolitan Museum of Art again someday and spend more time looking through their amazing collection!


Postscript

There is so much more I wanted to share in this post but this post has grown rather long so I will save the rest of it for my next post.

A Crafter's Life, Creative Inspiration, Special Events

Spiritual Quilting – Sherri Lynn Wood at QTM 2017

Continuing my series of posts on the Quilters Take Manhattan (QTM) 2017 event I recently attended that began with the Sunday 09/17/17 post The “Dance Partner” – Michael Cummings at QTM 2017.

I could not decide whether to title this post “Spiritual Quilting”, “Quilting for the Spirit”, “Soul Quilting”, or “Quilting for the Soul” related to sharing highlights of Sherri Lynn Wood’s presentation at the QTM 2017.

Sherri Lynn Wood, author of The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously (2015) is not only an improvisational quilter but is also a former Divinity School student who I feel now practices a Ministry of Healing through Textile Arts. 

You might be familiar with Sherri Lynn Wood if you follow her blog, dainty time.net and/or if belong to her Facebook group The Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters. Here is Sherri at QTM 2017 in front of one of her iconic pieces; as well as her signing copies of her Improv Handbook:

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Here is another one of her iconic improvisational quilts:

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You might also be familiar with the Artist in Residence (AIR) residency she had a Recology in San Francisco where she and a group of other artists were given free reign of materials from a city’s dump to create art for a Modern Art exhibit of recycled art. Ms. Wood presented an excellent presentation on her Recology Residency and the amazing pieces of textile art she made from discarded items. Ms. Wood stated she even found a sewing machine, sewing supplies, thread, materials for batting, etc. in the city dump to use to create her art!

Below is an example of one of those pieces she had on display at QTM – a quilt made from discarded military uniform pants, using the length and lines of the pants as part of her quilt design.

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What you might not know about Sherri Lynn Wood, is that she has what I would consider a “Quilting Ministry” and part of that ministry is her Passage Quilting program where she helps individuals deal with grief and loss through creating a quilt (even if they have never quilted before) made from clothes of the deceased.

Ms. Wood shared this heart wrenching, amazing and beautiful story of a young woman who lost her fiancé due to a sudden tragedy. A short time after that loss, Ms. Wood helped this woman to make a Passage Quilt from her fiancé’s favorite clothing. It was an incredibly difficult process but the woman stated it had a tremendous impact on having her work through her grief. Ms. Wood had on display at QTM one of the Passage Quilts:

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She also has a project where she works with individuals and families who have lost a loved one in combat/while serving in the military to sew a coffin onto a remembrance quilt as part of their healing process. She shared several powerful stories and images of families who lost their military family members sewing together as part of their healing. Below is one of these quilts:

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She also works with communities to create community quilts where anyone no matter what level of sewing skill can participate.

The general themes of her presentation were:

  • Building community through craft
  • Honoring the earth through working with recycled materials; and by creating art from the discarded
  • Healing and grief work through tactile textile experiences

I was already a “super-fan” of Sherri Lynn Wood before meeting her and I have read Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously from cover to cover. I was deeply touched by Ms. Wood’s presentation (tears filled my eyes at times) – my spirit and my soul felt stirred and moved by her stories and images.

This is the reason for the title to this post – “Spiritual Quilting”. I am not referring to religious or a specific faith-based quilting. I am thinking of quilting, fabric, textiles, as a medium for hope, healing and community. For me, these are part of the foundation of spirituality.


Postscript

I did have my “fan-girl” moment and upon arriving at the QTM conference center in the morning and spotting Sherri Lynn Wood setting up her quilts for display, I thanked her for her wonderful book, the inspiration, and gave her a little wallet I had made from scraps specifically for her:

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Speaking of “fan-girl” moments for me at QTM 2017, I got a chance to meet in person Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi, founder of the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) . I of course made her a special little wallet too, just tiny tokens for great women who inspire me! Her little wallet was inspired by her incredible Black & White art quilts!

More on that in my next post and at some point I will share my experience going on a behind the scenes tour of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; seeing one of my blogging buddies pieces at QTM 2017 (Mary P. of Zippy Quilts!) and meeting a fellow blogging buddy of Mary’s at the event; and more (I have a lot to share but I not mapped out the organization of this series of posts, ha!)

(Plus I will share a valuable lesson of how you should not try to cram too much into one weekend…I am currently recovering from a wicked cold!)

 


Feature photo credit: Nadia Szopińska, free images.com

 

A Crafter's Life, Creative Inspiration, Special Events

The “Dance Partner” – Michael Cummings at QTM 2017

Sitting in an airport waiting for a flight seems like the perfect time to write a blog post.

I am flying back home to Central Oregon, to the other side of the country from where I have spent the past four days – New York, New York (aka NYC). I spent time with my family who lives on the East Coast and joined me in NewYork; I attended the Quilt Alliance’s 2017 Quilters Take Manhattan (QTM) event, which featured speakers Sherri Lynn Wood, Merikay Waldvogel, and Michael A. Cummings, interviewed by Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi; and I went on a behind the scenes tour of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art!

It was quite the four-day weekend (I am planning a series of blog posts to share various snippets from this inspirational weekend) and what is currently resonating in my mind (and my heart) is the inspirational interview Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi held with the NYC based art quilter, Michael A. Cummings.

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Mr. Cummings and Dr. Mazloomi in front of one his incredible pieces from his African Jazz series – African Jazz #10

The Dance Partner

During the interview, Mr. Cummings referred to his sewing machine as his “dance partner”.

The first time he mentioned this my heart smiled (I felt it in my chest!). What an exquisite and beautiful way to refer to one of the primary tools an art or traditional quilter’s uses to express their creativity.

Mr. Cummings stated he has been using the same sewing machine for 40+ years and if I remember correctly, it is just a standard department store sewing machine. Colleagues have suggested he upgrade to an industrial or more modern sewing machine, but he stays faithful to his “dance partner”.

Mr. Cummings and his “dance partner” tell stories through his art. He shared during the interview that he has been influenced by cinema and music to include musical storytellers such as Bob Dylan.

Here are some examples, on display during the Quilters Take Manhattan Event of the incredible dances that Mr. Cummings and his dance partner have performed (please check out his website michaelcummings.com for his official portfolio – he has exhibited his art quilts and sold works to public institutions and private collectors around the world and has work in the permanent Smithsonian Folk Art collection):

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These are very large quilts and Dr. Mazloomi (a longtime friend and colleague of Mr. Cummings) states that most of his pieces are around 8 x 9 feet. All of this huge quilts are pieced, appliquéd, and machine quilted on his 40+ year old “dance parter”.

Lesson: You do not need a fancy new sewing machine to create incredible art. You just need to have story to tell and a creative mind to translate that story in fabric!

Mr. Cummings had a bounty of inspirational answers to Dr. Mazloomi’s questions. Some other inspirational answers he provided included:

  • When asked when does he know a quilt is done, Mr.Cummings responded “I let the quilt tell me when it is done” (paraphrased).
  • Mr. Cummings shared that for years he worked full-time for the Department of Cultural Affairs for New York City and made himself find time every evening after work to work on his art quilts. At times he wanted to do something else in the evenings (relax after work, attend social events, etc.) but he knew that if he truly wanted to be an art quilter he would have to sacrifice and “do the work”.

Postscript

To say I was creatively inspired after the interview, would be an understatement.

I feel like I am ready to go home and continue working on my Stories My Father Told Me Series (see post Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me).

Sorry little wallets (Little Wallet Madness) it’s time to return to art quilting and tell some stories – I am ready to dance with my partner!

Well it is time to go get on my plane and return to quiet Central Oregon (quite different from NYC in so many ways) but I have much more to share in future posts from my trip and this incredible weekend!


Feature image (cropped) credit: Yan Moura, freeimages.com

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A Crafter's Life, Special Events, Terry the Quilting Husband

Deschutes County Fair

A couple weekends ago we went to the Deschutes County Fair (Deschutes County Fair & Rodeo) and this is a belated post to share some photos from the Fair.

The Deschutes County Fair is allegedly (according to their website) Oregon’s largest county fair and rodeo. We have attended a couple of times, and honestly we are always a little underwhelmed.

This could because we used to live in Seattle, WA and each year would go to the more impressive Pullayup Fair (Washington State Fair) or because we used to live in Houston, TX and would attend the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  So perhaps the bar was set a little high on what we expect from a Fair/Livestock Show/Rodeo.

Lured by the Promise of “Carnival Eats”

We would have passed on the Deschutes County Fair this year, but Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) got hooked on a show on the Cooking Channel called Carnival Eats.

Basically Carnival Eats is an extreme “food porn” show featuring the NAUGHTIEST fair/carnival food ever (we are talking bacon burgers stuffed with cheese set in a glazed Krispy Kreme donut bun) around the country. Some of the carnival food shown on the show makes you gasp and you imagine if you had one glorious bite you would just immediately drop dead of a heart attack from an extreme coronary blockage by fat. But you would die with a smile on your face!

TTQH and I in general eat fairly healthy but after binge watching a couple of the show with Terry, I thought it would be fun this year to go to the Deschutes County Fair and have one very naughty carnival food experience.

Alas, there was only the standard Fair/Carnival food at the Deschutes Country Fair (corn dogs, friend twinkies, elephant ears). Below is a photo of the most exciting offering they had, and we passed on it, It was just not naughty enough to spend the calories on:

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Wandering Around the Fair

Our coronary arteries probably thanked us, but we gave up on hopes of any naughty food experiences, grabbed a lemonade and wandered around the Fair. Here are some photos from the day.

The Livestock

The livestock was owned/managed by the adorable 4H and FFA (Future Farmers of America) kids. One kids asked me if I wanted to meet her goat,  how could I refuse?

The 4H or FFA kids had posted The Six Pillars of Character:

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The Quilts

What would a county fair be without the craft section? First here is a sampling of some the quilts:

And they had a room in which you could watch women hand quilt in various modified versions of quilting circles!

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The Fiber Arts

The also had knitting and weaving displays and juried winners:

The Rides (that there was no way in heck I was going on)

In case the signs were not enough to keep me away:

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Then the rides themselves accomplished that objective:

Yes, I am a wimp, and proud of it! (smile)

Leaving the Fair

Upon leaving the fair, I asked TTQH if he was less likely to eat meat after meeting all those farm animals. He replied: “That was very cute bacon and if I knew it’s name I would personally thank it while having breakfast”.

No vegetarianism in TTQH’s future!


Postscript

Returning to what originally drew us to the fair – the promise of naughty fair food, I looked around the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s website and discovered they had a list of their Fair Food – 2017 Carnival Food

Now, look at these delicacies we did not have access to at the Deschutes County Fair:

  • Flaming Hot Cheetos Roaster Corn & Flaming Hot Cheetos Corn in Cup
  • Nutella Funnel Cake & Oreo Churros with filling
  • Flaming Hot Cheetos Pizza
  • Deep Fried Tim Tams & Deep Fried Chocolate Covered Marshmallows
  • Bacon Nutella Pickle, Pickled Cheese-on-a-Stick, & Shrimp and Pickle Basket
  • Pork Chop-on-a-stick, Loaded Baked Potato Bites & Deep Fried Nachos

So right now your mouth is either watering or your stomach is turning!

We ended up having a nice late lunch after the fair at a local brewery.

A Crafter's Life, Special Events

Marie Bostwick Book Tour/Book Signing

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

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

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

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

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Photo credit: mariebostwick.com

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

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

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

www.mariebostwick.com/calendar

A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts, Special Events, Terry the Quilting Husband

WWII: The High Desert Home Front

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) is a military history buff and yesterday we went to see the exhibit “WWII: The High Desert Home Front” at the High Desert Museum.2017-02-25_12-52-16_242

This is exhibit, with many items donated by Oregon WWII veterans or their families, according the the exhibit’s page, “reveals the wartime activities that took place in the High Desert, including some of the most celebrated and tragic chapters in our country’s history”.

This exhibit honors those who served, those who gave the “ultimate sacrifice”, women workers during WWII, efforts by various ethic groups, the dark times of Japanese internment camps, and the development of and decision to drop the atomic bomb.

I took a zillion photos of this excellent exhibit and I thought I would share some of my favorites. (TTQH was in his element quietly wandering around this exhibit reading and looking at everything in awe and respect).

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The Vehicles

WWII Harley Davidson and Army Jeep

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The Uniforms

Of course being a nurse I had to include the Red Cross Volunteer uniform!

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Women and WWII

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I do not want World War to be a reason but I think more of us need our own “Victory Gardens” growing our own vegetables:

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Contributions by Specific Ethnic Groups

Native American, African American, and Mexican American (keep in mind this was the 1940s a much different America than we are now…)

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Japanese American Internment

A dark time in American history, hopefully we never forget.

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(and finally) The Beginning of the Atomic Age

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Postscript

After viewing the WWII: The High Desert Homefront, we needed something lighter before leaving the museum. So went wandered the rest of the museum and enjoyed some lighter “visual fare”:

Prehistoric Buzz Saw Sharks (Helicoprion)

Hysterical T-Shirt in the Gift Shop 

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A little High Desert humor!

Our Beloved High Desert Raptors

I enjoyed visiting with the museum volunteer holding the raptor in falconry style. We discussed Helen Macdonald’s book – H is for Hawk and the beautiful story of how falconry with a goshawk helps a woman deal with the loss of her beloved father. I listened to the audiobook and I thought it I was listening to beautiful poetry.

Looking through the Raptor exhibit made me think back to a weekend afternoon early last Fall. On a beautiful Central Oregon day with endless blue sky and a few fluffy cloud meandering across the sky, I took a “mini-vacation” in my backyard lying on a lounger and staring meditatively at the sky.

Suddenly my view appeared partially obscured by a large flying reptilian object and I thought for a moment I was in a scene from the movie Jurassic Park. No, it was not a Pterodactyl, it was one of our Central Oregon raptors, flying very low (likely it had spotted something tasty in a backyard…). As I had been intensively and hypnotically staring at the sky the object appeared larger than actual!

The whole moment took my breath away for a second. I guess if you are going to be eaten by a Pterodactyl at least have it happen after a relaxing afternoon…

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Image credit: dinosaurpictures.org

So there were so many more photos but I had to stop somewhere with my photo sharing. Thanks for virtually joining me at the High Desert Museum!

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A Crafter's Life, Special Events

New Years Blog Party 🎉

Something fun for New Years Day if you like – a Blog Party – from bernbakes.wordpress.com

The Little Flour Bed

Hi Guys, and welcome to my blog party! What better way to ring in the new year than to cuddle up in blankets, read new blogs, and meet new blogging friends?

Here are the rules:

1. Choose any one of your favorite blog posts from your own blog, all kinds of posts are welcome. (Anything inappropriate will be removed). You can share up to three links each day, but it’s best to wait some time between each one.

2. Paste your link in the comment section of this post and tell a little bit about yourself and/or your blog.

3. Reblog this post to let everyone know!!

4. Now grab a fuzzy blanket and get ready to read more blogs and meet new bloggers!!

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This event runs from today, New Years Eve, until the end of tomorrow, New Years Day. You’ll have lots of time to meet new people and…

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A Crafter's Life, Special Events

More Seattle Holiday Decorations

Thanks everyone who has voted and commented on my post,  New Business Card Options (please vote for your favorite) where I ask for your input on which of three new business cards I will order.

I will reveal the decision on Monday. 


Holiday Time in Seattle, WA

In my previous posts “All Aboard” the Winter Train Village and Gingerbread Village, 12/2/16, I shared photos from a recent trip to Seattle, WA to meet up with my brother and his family (who live on the East Coast but my brother had a business trip in Seattle).

To close out this series of posts, here are the rest of the interesting holiday themed decorations I encountered during my three-day weekend wandering around Seattle tourist spots with my family.

Four Points Sheraton

We stayed at the Four Points Sheraton hotel in the Queen Anne area (conveniently within walking distance of Seattle Center/Space Needle). The lobby of the hotel was wonderfully decorated:

The Space Needle

For the full “tourist” experience in Seattle, you must visit the Space Needle, which was built for the 1962 World’s Fair (google “Space Needle” and read its interesting history). We spent part of our morning on Saturday up on the Observation deck.

One of the lovely holiday themed decorations from the Space Needle:

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And here is the Space Needle itself, photographed at night as viewed through strings of holiday lights throughout the Seattle Center:

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It was difficult to capture in the photo, but there is a Christmas tree at the top of the Space Needle!

Walking Around Downtown Seattle

Friday night, on our way to Gameworks to play games with my nephew (and a rematching on the long standing “air-hockey-death-match” between my brother and myself), we wandered around downtown Seattle. In addition to checking out the Gingerbread Village mentioned in previous post, we enjoyed the holiday lights and decorations around downtown.

Here are a few samples to give you a little taste of the visual delights while we wandered:

The Nordstrom Flagship Store had lovely wreaths hanging from their ceilings:

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The tree at Westlake Center:

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The Streets of Downtown – here is the original photo I took and then the stylized photo that Google Photos (where I backup on my photo) created:

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Pretty cool, huh? And, here is one more photo from the streets of downtown Seattle:

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And finally, here is a scene from the interior window display at the Tiffany & Co. store in downtown Seattle’s Pacific Place (everything in miniature with a tiny signature blue Tiffany’s box and a diamond engagement ring sitting on top):

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I am sure what is inside this window display costs more than I make in year…maybe in 5 years…or more!

Alright, talk to you tomorrow when I reveal my business card selection and continue with my various ramblings…

A Crafter's Life, Special Events

“All Aboard” the Winter Train Village

Snow has fallen all day in Central Oregon. What began as a dusting of snow is now a couple inches of snowfall and the temperature has fallen to the 20s (yup Fahrenheit, wish I was talking Celsius!)

I call this time of year “Falinter” or “Wintal” (Fall meets Winter). It usually begins in November (we are after all a skiing area – Mount Bachelor); so I should not complain that the “Falinter”season did not begin until December (just a couple weeks before real Winter…)

However, the snow outside reinforces my holiday mood as I continue this week’s series of posts on Holiday Decorations.


Winter Train Village at Seattle Center

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post Gingerbread Village, 12/2/16, I spent a three-day weekend in Seattle with my brother and his family. As a former Seattle resident, I got to spend 3 days being a tourist and enjoying the town through the eyes of my delightful 4-year old nephew.

We focused the weekend on kid related activities and one of those activities involved going to the Armory at the Seattle Center to see the Winter Train Village.

Each year the Seattle Center, located next to the Space Needle, has Winterfest. Here is a link with more information (which contains a short video overview of the annual Winterfest and the Winter Train in action):

Seattle Center Winterfest 2016 Link

One of the main features at Winterfest, is the Winter Train Village and here is a collection of photos (none of which do justice to the detail and adorableness of the recreation of an old fashioned town during the holidays):

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