Hello this is tierneycreates Beastie, filling in for Tierney who has just returned from a couple days in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Mikelet my miniature Miniature Schnauzer and I went with her, and we consulted/helped with the unpacking and organization of her friend J’s studio in Fayetteville.
Tierney and J’s Central Oregon based friend MJ also met up with us there (and Tierney and I got to fly on the same flight from Denver to Bentonville, AR as MJ had a connecting flight from Central Oregon).
J had moved from Central Oregon (where Tierney and I used to live) to Fayetteville, AR and then had a major life changes and did not have the time and chance to unpack and organize her quilting/art studio. She invited MJ and Tierney to visit her and MJ came up with the idea that we could also work on getting J’s studio to the point where she could do her art again.
Here I am on my way to Arkansas – Mikelet and I traveled in Tierney’s backpack:
After visiting with J and MJ a while when we first arrived in Arkansas, we headed upstairs to J’s studio to see what we were getting ourselves into…
Looking around, I realized we’ve got a bit of work to do.
Well I went ahead and set up a temporary desk in the tissue box so I could blog about our project!
Next guest post I will show our progress, but for now I will close out this post with a funny sign J had in her studio:
Yesterday I discovered treasures in my fabric stash: a collection of what I believe to be South African Shweshwe fabrics.
Many years ago, an art quilting mentor in Oregon had shared with me some of the bounty of fabrics she inherited from her friend’s aunt who had died, who was a world traveler, and had collected fabrics fromall over the world during her travels (primarily small samples and pieces, rarely yardage/metres).
I was able to select a sampling of fabrics from the huge stash of fabrics and I was attracted to a collection of blue and white fabric fabrics, that had a lot of texture to them, that I thought were Japanese textiles.
I end up shoving this collection of blue and white fabrics away with my collection of Asian fabrics and I did use a some of them to make this simple blue and white quilt years ago, along with a large collection of Japanese blue and white fabrics I got from the inherited stash:
I was just trying to put to use a bunch of the awesome fabrics I got from the late aunt’s stash, little did I understand the treasures I was using up….
So, as I shared in the August 2021 post Awesome Surprise Treats in the Mail!, my South African based long time blogging friend Mariss (@fabrications) sent me some treats in the mail all the way from the other side of the world, which included these awesome Nelson Mandela fabric pieces:
At the time I received these fabrics (June 2021), I did not make the connection to the similar other fabric in my stash, which I had mistakenly labeled as “Japanese”.
But yesterday a light bulb went on in my head (oh how dim my brain has been sometimes) and when I came across that stash of blue and white fabrics again, I took a close look at the label most of them had on the back:
3 Leopards fabric by the Da Gama Textile Companyin South Africa! A little further research and the fabrics appear (and please correct me if my brain bulb is being dim) to be South African Shweshwe fabrics.
From the Da Gama Textile company’s website, here is some background on Shweshwefabrics if you are not familiar with Shweshwe:
Shweshwe has a history going back thousands of years, with the shweshwe we know and love today making its way to SA for the first time in the early 1840s. Today, we produce shweshwe by the traditional processes, using a weak acid solution to bleach out distinctive designs. This gives the fabric an authentic look and feel, as well as the distinctive smell that consumers know and love. Shweshwe is a unique Eastern Cape fabric and Da Gama Textiles is aptly referred to as the “home of the original shweshwe”. It is not uncommon to see patrons taste, smell and feel the fabric before committing to a sale, to ensure the cloth is authentic. Shweshwe is sold by folded bolt and not on a cardboard core in roll form, staying as close as possible to its roots of origin. All of these unique characteristics date back to the long sea voyages from the UK to South Africa, which formed the original transport route for this cloth. A strong starch is used to preserve the fabric, resulting in the hard handle and distinctive smell, which disappear after washing.
The Shweshwe fabrics I am lucky to have in my fabric stash are so beautiful and have an amazing texture and feel to them. Here is a sampling of some of the fabrics I have:
All the backs are marked with either a full or partial version of the Da Gama Textile Co. label.
And here is the whole pile including the Nelson Mandela fabric that Mariss sent me:
I revisited that blue and white quilt I made many years ago and winced to see fabrics such as this example below in the quilt:
I was thinking: “I should have saved that fabric for something really special.” But then I remembered that I look at/enjoy this quilt every day as it at the foot of my bed on my partner John’s grandmother’s antique chest. So the Shweshwe I’ve already used in my stash has gone to good use!
I found this awesome blog post from 2018 by Urbanstax called What is Shweshwe, that is worth a read:
Did you see that blue and white wedding dress photo in the blog post made from Shweshwe fabrics – WOW!
Thought I would give a little update on the memory quilt I am making for a grieving friend who lost her mother, with her mother’s favorite clothes. Here is a link to the previous post if you’d like some additional background – Update on “The Challenge”.
Here is the quilt top completed that I shared in that previous post:
Originally I was thinking of sending it out for professional long-arm quilting and my friend was going to pay for the professional quilting. Then I got concerned with there being issues over the unusual fabrics I had used in the quilt (acrylic sweater, polyester scarf, velour robe, etc) with the long arm quilting machine.
I discussed it with my friend and she was good with me quilting it myself (though it would not be nearly as lovely quilting as a professional long-arm) and she would give me money for the cost of the batting, etc. She is not a quilter and does not have expectations of super high quality machine quilting on my part – whew!
Last week I was trying to figure out the logistics of domestic machine quilting and thought I better hand stitch some of the blocks that have special logos, embroidery, etc. to secure them instead of trying to machine quilt around the logos. I found some heavy embroidery thread from my stash of thread of Sashiko* stitching and did some lap quilting (in the middle of the hot summer):
(*but wait a minute Tierney: I’ve followed your blog a long time and I do not remember any posts about Sashiko stitching…Why yes, I have the supplies and started a piece like 10 – 12 years ago…but someday I am really going to pick the piece up again and then blog about it..)
It was fun and for a moment (yes only a wee moment), I actually considered hand quilting the entire quilt. But I came to my senses as that would not be very fun in the hot summer and I would like to get this quilt to my friend, who is facing some other life challenges right now, sooner than in 6 months to a year! (Exhibit A – “Seattle Scrappy” which took me over a year to hand quilt – Seattle Scrappy is Done!)
Speaking of hot summer, I recently got my first full sized tomato (as opposed to the grape or cherry tomatoes I have successfully grown) in my little container garden on my upper back deck and I was so happy!
As I joked on my @tierneycreates Instagram account, I wanted to frame it! As of this writing, I now have two full sized tomatoes. Right now both tomatoes are sitting as decoration on my kitchen counter and I better use them before they go bad!
I am also celebrating the appearance of the first sunflower in my garden. I love love love sunflowers and I’ve blogged about them several times in the past especially when I lived in my house in Oregon where I grew sunflowers every year.
We are at that point in summer (August), where for me I am OVER summer and the heat, longing for Fall/Autumn.
I was so longing for Fall that I made one of my favorite colder weather dishes – chicken pot pie:
I made two because we help feed John’s recently widowed father (John’s stepmother suddenly passed at the end of 2021) who lives nearby and he loves my chicken pot pie!
Yes it was lovely (not) having the hot oven, in the heated up kitchen due to the hot oven, in the hot weather outside. Brilliant, eh?
Also just sitting around one evening with that memory quilt on my lap hand quilting it made me yearn for cooler weather.
But then I reminded myself that come early March, I am only dreaming of warm weather! I have to always remember to just embrace the current season I am in.
So back to relishing in my 2 full sized tomatoes and my sunflowers (smile).
I keep getting away from blogging as I seem to be having a very busy summer. We just returned from Chicago where we met up with my brother and his family for the weekend. Tomorrow my sister arrives and we go on a road trip to celebrate her birthday for a couple days and I show her a little of Colorado. Then the following week I head to a quilt retreat on the Washington coast.
I did in between traveling, get the quilt top done on the quilt I discussed in the post The Challenge… , of my friend’s late mother’s favorite clothes that she asked if I could turn into a quilt. As I shared in that post, here is what I started with:
The sweatshirt, T-shirt, jean jacket, jeans and shirts did not scare me. The sweaters, scarf and the velour robe did!
I bought woven interfacing (like 12 yards of it) and fused it to all the deconstructed clothing (my first step was to deconstruct the clothing).
I was able to pull out the logos on the t-shirt and sweatshirts; and embroidery on the jean jacket. After fusing all the non denim fabrics to the woven interfacing, I was able to cut them into 5.5 inch x 5.5 inch blocks and create 10.5 inch by 10.5 inch 4-patch blocks.
Solvy is a little on the messy side and I decided to just try using the woven interfacing on a section of one of the sweaters as a test. It worked, not perfectly, but good enough. I was able to cut some hearts out of one of the sweaters, and then fuse the heart to a 10.5 inch by 10.5 inch block and satin stitch it down:
I did not use the other two sweaters, I am returning them to my friend.
So here is the completed quilt top which I will machine quilt myself to batting and backing fabric; and then figure out what to use for binding.
It’s not my greatest work as the fabrics were very challenging to work with and I cannot believe I added a thin polyester scarf to a quilt, but I did it! Don’t even get me started on the velour robe – the deconstructed fabric shed everywhere and was a disaster when I tried to press the blocks with it in it. But I made it work also…
It does look better in person, you’ll just have to trust me (smile).
When I get it quilted and the binding sewn down, I will give you all the final photo as well as what ended up being the measurements on the quilt.
My friend lost her Mom, who she was very close to, and she is having a difficult time with grief.
She’s kept some of her Mom’s favorite clothes and she asked if I would make a quilt out of them.
I agreed to making the quilt, without knowing what the clothes looked like as she planned to snuggle under the quilt and feel comforted by her Mom’s beloved clothing.
When she dropped off the clothing, I realized I had a challenge ahead:
I’ve made art quilts from recycled clothing; and when my Father passed, I made my brother and sister each a quilt from the T-shirts he used to wear, so I was comfortable with the idea of deconstructing clothing and turning them into fabric for a quilt.
However, I’ve never worked with knitted fabrics such as these in a quilt:
I think I can work the first two sweaters on the left into the design, but I might have to return the black and white sweater to my friend to just keep. I bought some special interfacing (and softer one, not the Pellon SF 101 I usually use that I think would be too stiff). I am sitting outside (lovely day) writing this blog post and sorry I do not feel like running upstairs and seeing exactly what interfacing it is – ha!
I also have this challenge – a scarf, but I think I can just use interfacing for it also and work it into the design:
I have found a pattern that I want to use (I think) that I will share in a future post. Right now I have deconstructed the clothing and sorted them.
I am looking forward to working her Mom’s favorite T-shirt and sweatshirts into the design, as well as her beloved velour robe:
And the embroidery from her Mom’s favorite jean jacket should be fun to incorporate also:
I’ve deconstructed the jean jacket, saving the embroidered flower separately and saving any salvageable denim as fabric for the quilt.
I’ll update you as I make progress on this challenge!
I welcome ANY THOUGHTS on how to best interface the sweaters to incorporate them into a quilt.
My friend the quilt artist, quilt book author, and quilting teacher, Wendy Hill (@wendyquilter) was generous enough to send me a package of good mail the other week.
Inside the package were fabric scraps (small and large to very large) and completed blocks from when she was fascinated with making “Taupe” quilts.
She had an article in the July/August 2007 publication Quilters Newsletter Magazine which discussed Taupe quilts and featured her amazing Taupe quilt – Isotaupe.
Here is an image of it from her website (she now uses Instagram as her primary social media) Wendy Hill Quilt Artist:
This image does not do it justice, it is amazing in person; and I first saw either this quilt or another Taupe quilt of Wendy’s at an art quilting show when I lived in Central Oregon. It was before I knew Wendy as a friend, she was an amazing local artist and quilt book author.
I got to know Wendy through running in to her at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, Oregon. I believe it was at the annual Pajama Sale (see this old post of mine for information about the annual Stitchin’ Post Pajama Sale where you would get huge discounts on fabric if you showed up in the PJs before 8:00 am – Pajama Sale and Finished Pieces, a lot of great memories of attending that each year…), when I was working on my first Taupe quilt and Wendy consulted on fabrics and admired my blocks in progress (I cannot find a picture of that quilt which I gave as a gift to someone long time ago…)
So Wendy knew of my love for Taupe quilts and how much I was blown away with her Taupe quilts; and recently she was Spring Cleaning and sent me the lovely package of Taupe fabrics and blocks from quilts in progress that she decided not to complete.
Example of some of the blocks she sent:
Included in the package was also this pile of blocks:
I wasn’t sure of what pattern these blocks were supposed to be until I laid them out on my design wall:
Wow! The picture I took does not do these blocks justice as they are in a collection of amazing Taupe fabrics.
I knew I wanted to finish this quilt and I thought I could disassemble one of the blocks to create a pattern. Then I discovered from Wendy that this was a quilt she designed called SuperSymmetry and it was published in the October 2010 edition of The Quilt Life.
Here is a picture of the quilt SuperSymmetry from Wendy’s gallery page on her website wendyhill.net:
Isn’t it breathtaking?
I think I have enough Taupe scraps to finish the quilt as well as some Taupe in my collection such as these Japanese Taupe fabrics in my stash:
HOWEVER I am supposed to be focusing on working on my Tula Pink’s City Sampler 100 Modern Quilt Blocks quilt (see post And then there were 88), but I’ve become very distracted by the contents of the package Wendy sent me!
I also came across this pattern recently, which would look wonderful with Taupe fabrics, in the January/February 2003 issue of Quilters Newsletter Magazine I picked up at a thrift store for 50 cents:
But I made myself put the contents of the package Wendy sent me away, so I can get back to finishing the quilt I am working on.
You know us creative types, we can be subject to easily distractible “squirrel’ moments like the dog Dug in the movie Up:
“I have just met you, and I love you” – one of my all-time favorite movies lines, as well as one of my all-time favorite animated movie!
I must focus on my current project.
I must focus on my current project.
I must focus on my current project.
If you would like to learn more about “Taupe” as a color/concept, here overview of Taupe, from Colorpsychology.org:
Taupe is considered to be intermediate shade between dark brown and gray, which shares similar attributes of both colors. However, taupe does not describe a single color, rather, it is used to describe a vast range of colors from dark tan to brownish gray. Taupe is a neutral hue — neutrals are created by combining complementary colors (colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel) which results in desaturated brownish colors or mutes — likewise, taupe hues are achieved by mixing together umber and white pigment.
The word, taupe, originates from the French word, taupe, and the Latin word, Talpa, which translates to “mole,” as it was primarily used to describe moleskin. Notably, variations of taupe have appeared on the Pantone Color Trend Reports over the years. Recently, ‘Warm Taupe’ was featured on the Fall 2016 color palette. Taupe provides the perfect backdrop to complement and offset brighter colors.
A week or so ago my partner John and I came up with a crazy idea: We have a large master bedroom and only use about 1/2 of it (the other 1/2 I used for occasional yoga and daily stretches) – why don’t we switch my sewing/quilting studio to the master bedroom and we move our bedroom to a smaller guest bedroom down the hall?
Yes, we’d have to access the master bathroom through my studio but we could keep the closets the same as our clothes are inside the master bathroom in a walk in closet at one end. So all we’d have to do (well it is a BIG “ALL”) is move a couple rooms of furniture around…
THE OLD STUDIO (IN A SMALL BEDROOM)
First, here is what my OLD studio looked like in one of the smaller bedrooms upstairs in my house:
Here is a little video tour of my old studio I posted to Instagram last year. I uploaded it to YouTube:
As you can see I had it jammed packed with stuff, but I made it work!
So over the past 3 – 4 days, doing a little here and there and then doing some big moves, we got rooms switched around. It took another day to get art, etc. hung and finishing touches.
THE NEW STUDIO (IN THE FORMER MASTER BEDROOM)
Here is the reveal of my NEW master bedroom tierneycreates studio:
I really like the table placed in the alcove (where I used to do yoga) with the windows on three sides. During the day it gets a lot of natural light to craft by and I have a nice view of a wooded area.
As far as our “new” small master bedroom, everything is going well so far. All our furniture fit and it feels rather cozy.
I cannot wait to get back to working on projects in my new big studio space!
In my sort of recent post, Preparing for Quilt Retreat, I shared that I was preparing for an upcoming quilt retreat with my long time quilting friends by pre-cutting blocks from the book Tula Pink’s City Sampler 100 Modern Quilt Blocks for a quilt, and saving them in individual packets so I’d be ready to work on each block at the retreat:
Well, cutting the fabric for 20 – 6.5 inch by 6.5 inch blocks made a lot of tiny scraps, especially since many pieces/parts of the blocks were 1.5 inch x 1.5 inch or a little larger.
Here is my little bucket of scraps:
Most of the pieces were too small to use in anything, and I already have a collection of “leaders and enders” for sewing on my machine and did not need more.
This time we worked on the Firefly Tote by Noodlehead. A month ago I shared photos of the quilt shop’s class sample of the tote:
The pattern has instructions for two sizes – a smaller “project” size; and a larger “tote” size. I figured I would make the tote size.
I decided to make it in the same fabrics as the Range backpack also by Noodlehead that I made in the previous class and here are photos in progress during the class last night:
That was as far as I got (photo above) during class and I still need to make the lining and the drawstring topper. I found the “blingy” gold handles at the quilt shop and they go with the shiny gold zipper I used also in my coordinating backpack, also found at the quilt shop.
One class attendee got way farther than I did, and she was making the “project” size tote bag. Here is her nearly finished adorable project size bag being held up by our wonderful instructor:
Another student in the class brought her finished Range backpack to class and it was so cool I had to photograph it – she has it lined with a custom Yellowstone map fabric she found on Spoonflower:
If you are just joining us, here is the Range backpack I finished a couple weeks ago from the class I took a month ago. As you can see my Firefly Tote will coordinate with it:
And speaking of backpacks, I am currently working on a commission project of a scrappy Tula Pink Range backpack for a gift for someone who is a Tula Pink aficionado. The family member who commissioned it as a surprise gift asked me to include lots of Tula Pink fabrics. I am trying my best but I have a limited range of her fabric lines (but lots of scraps!)
Here is my design wall in progress as I work on piecing together/creating my own “fabric” to start cutting the sections for the backpack:
This is just a little bit of the fabrics I am using, it will be super scrappy. I am going to first make “fabric” from the scraps and do some simple quilting on it to reinforce it before I start cutting sections for the backpack pieces. I will share a photo when it is done!
I have to set finishing my Firefly Tote from last night’s class aside for now as I need to get the backpack done and shipped so they can surprise their sister for Christmas!
Are you working on any last minute December projects?
I loved how she was doing some very creative recycling with individual eye medicine vials that most people would have discarded into the trash.
Around the same time I was in the process of cleaning up my fabric scrap collection and pulling out the tiny pieces I was likely never to use. I started to discard the scraps into the trash bin (gasp) but then I realized they were the right size for Claudia’s eye medicine vial people (or other art projects she does with small fabric scraps).
So I sent her a package of small to tiny fabric scraps.
Then last week (or so…time is getting foggy at the end of the year) I received a wonderful surprise in the mail from Claudia – my own collection of little eye medicine vial people.
Here’s a close up of the little people in groupings of three:
For now I have them all hanging out on my white board ledge in the studio:
They definitely make the boring whiteboard more interesting!
I was going to give you the last post in the series of posts on my first Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop but I thought I would just do a quick post and tell you all that “Seattle Scrappy” is done!
If you are just joining us – “Seattle Scrappy” is a quilt I pieced from my friend Dana’s scraps at a quilt retreat in early 2020 (pre-Covid pandemic) in a free form log cabin quilt style. Then I took over a year to hand quilt it. After I finished hand quilting it, I had the tierneycreates blog readers help me select the binding.
If you happen to be curious on the full story on this quilt and its journey to completion, here are all the posts:
First a couple questions related to the initial sewing on of the binding to the quilt:
Are You a Peeker?
When you first sew the binding onto to the quilt (before you hand stitch or machine stitch it down), do you peek after your first couple inches or so to see how the binding is going to look finished?
I do! I am a proud peeker! As soon as I have enough binding sewn on to the quilt I flip the edge it over to the backside so I can see how it is going to look:
It is just so pleasing to me and like instant gratification to see a preview of how the finishing quilt binding will look!
Do You Measure or Eyeball?
When it comes to turning a corner on a quilt when initially sewing on the binding, do you eyeball the quarter inch (or whatever measurement you use), or do you whip out the ruler and measure?
I am an “eyeballer” and so far it has served me well (but I have screwed up a couple times). Occasionally, as you can see in the image above, I do also pin it in place before sewing down the next section after turning the corner.
Now a couple questions related to hand stitching the binding to the back of the quilt after you’ve initially sewn it on:
How Do You Do Your Corners?
After you finish initially sewing on the binding, do you sew all the corners of the binding first and then sew down the rest along the quilt; or do you just start at one section and work your way around the quilt?
What I do is preview the corners, that they are sitting correctly and sometimes leave some pins or some clips in the corner, and then I randomly select a place to start to sew down the binding and work my way around the quilt.
And the most private and personal question of all (smile):
How Do You Select Thread Color to Sew Down to Back?
I’ve always struggled with this – do you go with trying to match the color of the binding or the color of the backing/back of the quilt?
I went with what was in my sewing machine – a medium-ish gray and I hope it works between the medium-dark binding color and the light gray backing!
I think that is enough probing questions.
Okay, so in the comments below feel free to share your most personal binding related secrets – it’s OK you’re among friends (smile)!
I was also going to ask how do you initially measure how much binding you need to bind a quilt? I eyeball it by holding up my fabrics strips, that will be made into the binding, up to the quilt. But many times I end up with this situation: too much leftover binding…
Okay we are doing this in sort of “real time” as I have not looked at the final poll results yet, and I am going to do it while I type this post!
Wait to back up in case you are just joining us – in my July 30, 2021 post Help Me Pick the Binding for Seattle Scrappy! I asked for my blogging buddies to vote on which binding fabric I should use for the quilt Seattle Scrappy which I recently finished hand quilting.
Thanks so much to those of you who voted, and the winner is (drumroll as I am about to peek at the results myself)…
A TIE BETWEEN FABRIC B AND FABRIC D!
Okay it is up to me to break the tie.
As much as I love fabric D, I have thought about several of the comments that were left on the post about framing the quilt in a darker fabric and I am going to go with Fabric B for the binding.
So I will start assembling the Fabric B binding and share photos when I get the quilt binded…bound…when I finish attaching the binding (smile).
Okay time to take a break from “tierneytravels” and get back to “tierneycreates” (smile).
It only took like a year+ but I’ve finally finished hand quilting a lap sized free form log cabin quilt I started back in January 2020 at a quilting retreat which I named “Seattle Scrappy”. Now I need your help to decide which fabric to use for the quilt binding.
I know crafters are opinionated and like helping other crafters with their design, so I am looking for your opinions.
But firsthere is a little quick background on the piece and some additional photos.
In January 2020 (before the pandemic was a reality) I attended a mini quilt retreat with a couple quilting friends in Poulsbo, Washington. I brought a couple hand work projects and had EVERY INTENTION of only working on my hand work projects. But, my dear quilting friend Dana brought an extra sewing machine (one her her Berninas, and I love Berninas) and a BAG OF GRAY FABRIC SCRAPS for me to play with – oh no!
Out of that bag of scraps came a whole lots of free form pieces log cabin blocks and you can read about those in this post – What’s on the…Design Carpet.
Since February 2020 I’ve had a series of posts on the evolution of this quilt:
I’ve had an update or two on my @tierneycreates Instagram feed since these posts but basically I’ve just been plugging along (when I remember to work on it) hand stitching it with perle/pearl cotton thread.
Last night I finally finished stitching it; and this morning I trimmed off the extra batting on the edges!
I didn’t have the best light when I quickly took these photos this morning, but they give you a general idea of the hand quilted quilt.
Now it’s time to choose the binding (this is where you come in) and here are the four options I am considering:
As you can see they are all some shade of gray. You might be thinking: “Well Tierney, what about the turquoise, aqua, or the burnt orange in the piece?” I did think about those for a moment but first of all I do not have enough of any of those fabrics to create a binding; and second I do not want to frame it in a strong color. I want to frame it in a gray.
So here are the four gray fabrics up close up against the quilt for you to select from when you share your thoughts:
A – fabric with faux stitching pattern
B – medium-dark gray fabric
C– medium gray fabric
D – variegated gray fabric (the tone/shade of gray will change along the binding
Here is a poll below for you to vote and I will report back on the result of the poll and my final decision (which will likely be heavily influenced by your votes):
****If you’d like to participate in voting/respond to the poll, you have to go to my actual website. It will not show in the WordPress Reader, sorry (thanks @tammiepainter for making me aware). If you are in the WP Reader, click on “Visit Site”.****
I’d appreciate any additional thoughts you have in addition to your vote in the Comments section of this post.
Please note however, I will only tally votes through the poll above just to make sure I do not duplicate votes, thanks!
Tierney is on vacation and she’ll tell you about her trip when she gets back. So I am going to step in and be the guest blogger so she does not go too long without having a new post on her blog (I know, I know, I am so awesome for helping her!).
Oh in case you are new to this blog: my name is tierneycreates Beastie and I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. I was made by Helen of CrawCrafts Beasties in Dublin, Ireland. You can read my story at I’m A Monster!!!. You can also check out the other posts I’ve had to guest blog on (i.e. when the human Tierney falls off the blogging-wagon and I have to help) in the series of posts: Beastie Adventures.
When I am not guest blogger posting, then Mike the Miniature Schnauzer has to guest blog post:
Oh and now the subject of this post (which is not to just show how Tierney falls of the blogging wagon and we have to rescue her…) – I wanted to show you the recent updates to my home, which is also Tierney’s crafting studio.
Tierney’s partner John (human John, not to be confused with my Beastie fiancé “John Beastie”, see post Guest Blog Post: Mail Order Groom) has been busy in his Woodshop making things for her studio.
MY NEW “HIGH RISE“
Human John built Tierney a storage unit for her fat quarter collection and fabric scraps which she keeps in wine crates:
She’s also been known to store a Miniature Schnauzer in there:
Last year from her local community board for free stuff, Tierney picked up a large black table to use for crafting. It was scuffed up but it worked:
Tierney was “making-do” with the table and covered up the scuffs with an old table cloth but John wanted her to have a decent looking table in her studio so he created a new tabletop for it! John created a pattern with wood like a “nine-patch” quilting block.
A month ago Tierney bought herself a used Juki sewing machine which is in the image above.
Alas, she did not buy ME another sewing machine, I have to just be happy with my Beastnina:
So those are the changes to my home, the tierneycreates studio!
Tierney will be back on the next post telling you about her trip and she might even catch up with reading her blogging buddies posts and responding to comments.
Until then, here is a sign she saw a couple months ago to give you some inspiration:
Yup. So much for my plans to do daily postings to my blog. I even asked Mike the Miniature Schnauzer, who guest blog posted on Sunday 2/21/21, to fill in like he did in the post Guest Blogger: Obsession with Making Crocheted Dishcloths, but he was busy napping and still seems irritated over some dishcloth-crocheting-while-riding-in-the-car incident… (I have a hashtag I use on Instagram sometimes for posted pictures of Mike: #miniatureschnauzerfirstworldproblems).
Rulers Gone Awry
This is probably not unusual but as a quilter I have a lot of different rulers and templates. I have the standard cutting rulers and then I have special rulers and templates I’ve collected over the years for various projects (or being lured by a demo at a quilt shop into buying a ruler/template I thought I might need someday!).
My organization of these rulers and templates was sort of haphazard and irritating to me. I thought that adding pegboard to my crafting studio would help resolve this – so I consulted with my partner John, aka “Mr. Woodworker” and he figured out a solution.
First he installed a floating shelf he built above where the pegboard was to be placed:
Then he cut the pegboard to fit the area of wall; and painted the pegboard to match the wall:
And then he installed the pegboard. Here is my original set up with the pegboard hooks and pegboard baskets were bought:
At first I tried giving tierneycreates Beastie and her dog Mikelet (see series of post Beastie Adventures) their own little balcony on the pegboard wall but they did not like it.
So I moved her to another area on my studio (she will probably do a guest post in the future to show you her new home and other changes to my studio) and repurposed that “balcony”:
The pegboard has been wonderful to organize my commonly used and miscellaneous rulers. For now I still keep my very large rulers (like my 15″ x 15″ ruler) on my cutting table:
“Mr. Woodworker” is building me a new cutting table in the future which will have slots for my large rulers underneath the cutting surface!
My friend Dana was inspired by my new pegboard and recently she had her husband install one in her studio!
At first she was going to have the pegboard painted a neutral color like the color of her studio walls, but then she decided she wanted a pop of color:
I think she did an amazing job organizing her pegboard! Thanks to Dana for sharing images of her new pegboard.
It’s been a while since I guest blogged. Hi there – it’s tierneycreates Beastie and I wanted to share some changes to my home (Tierney’s studio).
I’ve titled my post “From the Cutting Table…” because my dog Mikelet and I now live on the cutting table in Tierney’s studio:
In case you are new to this blog, here is a little background on me:
My name is tierneycreates Beastie and I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. I was made by Helen of CrawCrafts Beasties in Dublin, Ireland. You can read my story at I’m A Monster!!!. You can also check out the other posts I’ve had to guest blog on (i.e. when the human Tierney falls off the blogging-wagon and I have to help) in the series of posts: Beastie Adventures.
Can you see the look of sheer terror in my eyes??!?!
Whew, glad those days are over! Oh you might wonder what became of my fiancé John Beastie (see post Guest Blog Post: Mail Order Groom), well he spends most of his time in John the Human’s office downstairs. Tierney and John Human feel it is best not to let a couple of Beasties spend too much time together as mischief is certain to happen! (Just wait until we get married, they’ll never keep us apart!!!)
Oh I think I am getting off track on my post…
So yes my dog Mikelet and I spend most of our time on the cutting board in Tierney’s studio and we like it, though I have to keep an eye on Mikelet because sometimes he plays in the pincushion and I think that might be dangerous.
By the way my maker Helen of CrawCrafts Beasties made me my own sewing machine so I could help Tierney sew projects and once I figure out how to use it maybe I will have a guest post about my projects instead of Tierney’s!
Now what I was I originally planning to tell you? Beasties are easy distracted. Oh yes, I wanted to tell you about a recent change to my home the tierneycreates Studio.
John, Human John not Beastie John, Tierney’s partner, recently made an ironing board table for the studio. Before the new ironing board table, Tierney was using a traditional ironing board and iron.
What started this change was for Christmas John got Tierney a cordless iron:
Perhaps you wanted to see a full image of the iron but isn’t the iron much cuter with me in front of it?!!?!?
Okay here is the iron:
Now that Tierney had cordless iron she had more flexibility on where her iron could be located, so John (again I mean Human John as Beastie John could not have handled the tools involved which are bigger than him…) built her a 2 foot by 4 foot ironing table for her studio.
First John cut a piece of plywood the same size as the table base being used (an old counter height folding table). Then John and Tierney wrapped and stapled four (4) layers onto the plywood base:
Insul-Brite heat resistant batting
Heat resistant fabric (like the type used for old ironing board covers)
Tierney is really pleased with her new ironing table and she used it while making all those tote bags she talked about in her recent post (see post Tote, Tote, Tote Bags).
So that is the big change to the studio.
Somedays I get tired of the studio and miss the days when I used to go on adventures with Tierney. The pandemic has slowed down my adventures. Tierney promises that soon we will resume our adventures, I just need to be patient.
For now Mikelet and I will wistfully stare out the studio window…
I am going to close this guest post by sharing a secret: Tierney is sort of a slob in her studio.
Look at these mini Toblerone candy bar wrappers she left on the cutting table!
I caught Mikelet sniffing them, luckily there was no candy in them as chocolate is bad for dogs.
I hope she will be more respectful of my space and clean up her wrappers!
Just a quick(ish) post as I try to catch up on reading all my dear blogging buddies’ posts that happened while I was away from blogging for a little while.
This is an unexpected continuation of my previous post – In the Studio.
“Mr. Woodworker” (my new nickname for my partner John) is a little obsessed with getting my sewing studio in shape for maximum-creativity-efficiency (or he is just looking for more pandemic projects and we continue to primarily be stuck at home).
He and I came up with the idea of adding some shelving on each end of my new floating shelf he just installed:
Here are the new shelves (just installed yesterday) – one on each side of the window in my sewing studio!
I cannot begin to tell you how pleased I am with my two new bookcases/shelving on each end of the new floating shelf. These bookcases are things I did not even realize I needed until we spontaneously came up with the idea and Mr. Woodworker whipped them up!
I now feel really organized!
What does Mr. Woodworker have planned next for my sewing studio? Well he wants to build me a matching cutting table, a sewing table and one additional bookshelf area. I asked him to hold off for now as I need to focus on using my studio to keep making stuff for my tierneycreates Etsy shop I hope to reopen in January 2021.
Mr. Woodworker has been working on his own studio too, which is located in the basement. He built himself a clamp stand for his woodworking clamps:
Functional – yes. As cute as my sewing studio area – no – ha!
It seems like it’s been a bit of a while since I posted.
To get myself through December (see Postscript section of the post Pillow for a Kitty) I’ve been spending a lot of time in my sewing studio working on various projects. I will share these projects over the next several posts.
Some of the projects have to do with preparing to re-open my tierneycreates Etsy shop after taking a hiatus for 4 (?) years (it appears I last sold something in my shop in 2016).
I’ll talk more about my decision to re-open my shop and the offerings I am working in some future post, but my studio currently shows evidence of my progress to eventually stock my shop.
My sewing studio has really been an oasis and making things has made me feel centered and peaceful. My partner John has been supporting my studio time and progressing with his new hobby woodworking by sprucing up my studio with some new handmade furniture.
He made a bookcase for my studio (his first bookcase). The first image is of the bookcase being built in his studio in the basement:
New Floating Shelf
He also built a floating shelf across the wall of windows in my studio to add extra storage:
(By the way, my studio is a mess because I’ve been busy making things and not always tidying up between projects…)
In addition to making many things over the past several weeks, I’ve also added in some additional organizational touches to include re-organized my fabric scraps into baskets in my sewing studio’s closet and getting additional wine crates to organize fat quarters.
Re-organizing Fabric Scraps
Here is what I did with the fabric scraps:
It looks messy but it is a much better way for me to access my fabric scraps which are organized by color groups:
Black, white and gray
Cream and yellow
Orange and brown
Red and purple
Green, blue, and all the blue-greens
I have batik scraps in their own separate bucket and I have speciality fabric scraps in their own basket.
The plastic bags are scraps for special projects.
While organizing my scraps I purged a lot of small pieces. I decided to finally let go of the small/tiny pieces as well as any scraps that “did not bring me joy”.
Fat Quarter Wrangling
I’ve collected a lot of fat quarters over the years and it feels like I am always searching for the best way to store them. A couple months ago I came up with the idea to organize them in wine crates that I got from local liquor stores. Some stores will give you 1 or 2 for free while others charge $5 a wine crate.
Using an old bookshelf (that I’ve had for like 20 years), I organized the fat quarters by color groups into crates, which I keep next to my cutting table:
A week ago I added one more crate – the prettiest crate I’ve picked up to date and it was given to me for free by a local liquor store. It even came with a lid:
I keep my beloved collection of Asian and Japanese woven fat quarters as well as a couple other special fat quarter fabric sets (like my Marcia Derse fat quarter collection, see post Fabric Fangirl Frenzy for the story of when I met Marcia and went a little “fabric designer fan girl” on her… ) on the top of the bookshelf with the wine crates:
I love the sign I found at a thrift shop: “Happiness is homemade”. It feels like a lot of my recent happiness (or at least breaks from grief) is tied to working on handmade items!
As I mentioned earlier in the post, my next group of posts will be what I’ve been working on in my studio over the past couple of weeks.
In case you are wandering what Mike the Miniature Schnauzer has been up to – he is back riding the aisles of home improvement stories and his continues to provide emotional support to his male human working on woodworking projects!
He actually loves going to home improvement stores and does not like John to leave the house without him!
Recently I made a patriotic themed quilt for my partner John to go next to his framed U.S. flag from a mission in Iraq his adopted son Kyle, who serves in the U.S. Air Force, dedicated in his honor.
When I purchased the panel a month or so ago from Missouri Star Quilt Company I was feeling strangely patriotic. Now I have mixed feelings but I like the way the quilt came out and how it looks next to the mission flag, which I will show you later in this post.
Here is the panel with the piecing in progress:
I made a lot of “flying geese” using the quick method for flying geese and had a lot of little trimmings to throw out but it was better then the slower way to may flying geese!
Here is the finished quilt next to the framed mission flag:
As you can tell, I machine quilted it myself (smile).
I mentioned earlier in this post, when I purchased this panel (thanks to a lovely birthday Missouri Star Quilt Company gift certificate from my friend Michele) I was feeling strangely patriotic.
I think I am still feeling patriotic but I am also feeling fairly discouraged and a little sad about the state of my country. However, I am trying to focus on all the good people here and not the “less good” (and I am not talking politics as I am fairly disillusioned by both sides of the U.S. political parties).
My parents raised us to be patriotic, my father was even born on the 4th of July (Independence Day) and served his country is the U.S. Army.
Even though as people of African decent our ancestors were brought to the country against their will, I came from a family who tried to make the best they could of a not so good situation (Stories My Father Told Me). We focused on education (I come from a long line of teachers) and did not let racial discrimination hold us down. I was taught to keep moving forward and to focus on raising others up (for example my father worked as a social worker with gangs in New York City after finishing his Masters Degree in the early 1960s and then was the head of the Urban League in several major cities; and my mother worked as a Director of a Head Start Program).
The 4th of July used to be an important holiday for me, always celebrated (plus it was my father’s birthday!). I loved wearing red, white and blue in honor of the U.S. flag. As a kid I loved standing and reciting the Pledge of Allegianceeach morning at school; and I loved to sing the National Anthem at the top of my lungs.
But I’ve been struggling over the past 4 years and I’ve been embarrassed by this country’s leadership (both sides of the political spectrum) who seem to be overall very “self-serving”, intentionally polarizing this country, and spending most of their time “pointing fingers”. I feel like my heart is broken…at times actually shattered.
However, this is the only country I have, and to hate it just makes me even sadder and more heart broken. So I’ve decided despite all the strife and unhappy stuff going on in the U.S. to remain patriotic and still believe in my country.
I am just sharing my feelings and I am not making any particular political point. I respect that others may feel quite different and thanks for reading my musings.
Last week I rotated the quilts hanging in my entry hall from several of my recycled silk art quilts to a quilt I made in the early 2010s (perhaps 2010 or 2011) that was one of my first attempts of experimenting with bold colors.
Rotated from this:
This quilt, which I will call Asian Fabric Slide Show, is from the pattern Slide Show by Atkinson Designs. If you are a quilter, and I have been to a quilt shop in the past 15 years, then likely you’ve seen this pattern – either available for purchase, or as a sample quilt, or as both.
It is a very common quilt pattern and before I made the quilt I’d seen many version of it, many which looked similar to the quilt in the image above from Atkinson Design’s website.
Before making this quilt I had begun to experiment a little with color, especially with batiks, which I had recently discovered. And before that I was making quilts with traditional looking quilting fabrics and colors. My original palette (especially when I began quilting around 1999/2000) was blue, red, green, cream, purple, white, mauve.
I found this image on twobeesfabric.com and it looks like my old fabric palette:
Somewhere in the late 2000s as I began to make quilts with batik fabrics, I became attracted to strong/bold colors.
When I decided to make the Slide Show quilt, I decided to make unconventional choices including using a “featured fabric”/main fabric with a non-repeat pattern (which was more like a panel than traditional fabric yardage).
For the little blocks surrounding the larger squares, I decided to experiment with adding a fabric that WAS NOT in the featured fabric but added a pop of color that appeared to go well with the other fabrics which were coordinated.
I used a light and iridescent bluish gray fabric for this experiment with “non-matching the featured fabric” (see arrow in image below):
Then I got really crazy with the quilt and added a very strong deep orange as the border. I’d never used this much orange in a quilt before. In the past I would have used the green I used in lattice or a black as the border. I am not sure what got into me but I decided to make the border really pop!
It wasn’t until I recently rotated the quilts in the hallway that I remembered this part of my quilt journey.
After this quilt, bold color became part of my design/quilt journey as evidenced by my series of recycled silk quilts – the Color Story Series.
Here is one from that series with a crazy amount of bold color:
If you like, please share in the comments, a little about your color/colour journey in your art (whether you are a quilter, knitter, painter, ceramicist, etc.)!
In case you are curious about the kimono quilt to the right of the quilt discussed in this post:
You can read about that quilt in an old post from June 2017:
I changed the layout of the table I have on risers that serves as my cutting table. This is the table I got for free from my community’s for sale/for free online boards.
After (gave the Eurolounger next to the window to the pre-teen next door for her room remodel):
I had a feeling when I first re-did my studio after moving back into it after we decided in the early COVID days not to sell the house and to stay put (see post Perspective), that I would make tweaks to the layout as I used the studio and got a sense of what worked and what could be better.
I shifted the iron board and re-did the area on top of the bookcases in the room. I also added in additional storage drawers in the cubby bookcases.
One of the biggest changes is that my partner John removed the original wire shelf and built me nice shelves in the closet. Previously I had the original wire shelf where clothes would have hung with hanging wire shelves added.
I love my new closet and had so much fun organizing it!
Tierneycreates Beastie’s New Home
I relocated the Tierneycreates Beastie from a basket to the top of a bookcase next to a delicious basket of fabric string scraps (well delicious to me):
Project That is Sort of In Progress
I am will share more on this project in a future post in my series What’s on the Design Wall, but one of my quilting friends gave me a project she decided to give up on after taking a class. Right now I am sorting out the pieces she has sewn together, the pieces she has cut out, the leftover fabric, the pattern and the templates.
I am also still working on machine quilting my piece All the Trimmings which I last discussed in the post Update on “All the Trimmings”. I had to take it off my sewing machine to roll the section I completed quilting to make room in the machine:
I am really enjoying my Tierney’s Woman Cave, it is my “happy place”!
A quick follow up to the post Proud of My Maker (Guest Blogger Post) in which the guest blogger, Tierneycreates Beastie mentions that I lost her t-shirt during packing for my move that did not happen.
Well her t-shirt has been found!
Turns out I had shoved it into this antique box when I was packing up:
I originally put the box in my cubby bookcase without even checking the contents, but took a closer look the other day.
So now she has her t-shirt for the warmer weather instead of having to wear her sweater all the time!
As Tierney promised in her previous post Perspective, I am going to be your guest blogger for this post and give you a tour of my “new” home, which is also Tierney’s “new” studio.
But first, in case you are new to this blog, my name is tierneycreates Beastie and I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. You can read my story at I’m A Monster!!!. You can also check out the other posts I’ve had to guest blog on (i.e. when Tierney fell off the blogging-wagon) in the series of posts: Beastie Adventures.
Here is what my dog Mikelet and I look like outside our basket (before we were homebound…):
We were created by the very, very, very talented Helen of Crawcrafts Beasties in Dublin, Ireland.
Here I am working from my makeshift desk to bring you this guest blog post:
Well enough about me (even though I am very interesting) and let’s get to the tour of Tierney’s “new” studio.
Oh – first I should address why I keep putting the word “new” in quotes. It’s because, as she shared in her previous post, she did not move into the new house she and John were going to buy. Instead they decided to stay at their current house which was pretty much completely packed up except for basic items to stage the house for sale and to live day to day. Her studio had been painted and converted into a bedroom:
So when they decided not to buy the new house/not to move, Tierney had to unpack her studio and in unpacking her studio, she decided to reimagine the layout.
So she has sort of created a “new” studio!
tierneycreates Studio Tour
Tierney decided to first bring in the IKEA bookcases she had previously in her home office (she has been a full-time telecommuter for the past 14 years, before I was even a ball of yarn…). From there she figured out with her partner John on the best way to layout the room.
Over the next several days she unpacked her boxes (which seemed like they would never end), hung up some art and quilts on the studio wall and found a place for the large design wall her partner John built her.
Here are photos of the completed studio from various angles:
So Tierney is ready to create (she can be tierneycreates again) in her new studio! She is so happy to have her sewing machine unpacked!
The tierneycreates Beastie stated: “…she has set up this basket of hand craft projects in the living room and allegedly she will show you what is inside of this basket in her next post”. So I am now obligated to do just that, otherwise my Beastie will give me grief about it!
A Peek Inside the Basket of Hand Crafting
So we are staging the house for sale and had to pack up my studio and my sewing machine.
I am not sure how long it will take to sell the house, and find another house, and then to move into that new house. It could be several months and I cannot go that long without crafting, so I set up a basket in the living room of crafts I can do by hand.
I am also in the process of setting up a sewing basket, found at a thrift shop, with my commonly used tools for hand crafting.
Here’s what is inside the basket – a lot of old hand work projects, and some new ones, that I would like to finish.
English Paper Piecing (EPP)
Ssee my series of post Adventures in Paper Piecing for some background on this project. I made the zipped bag I am storing the project in.
In addition to the EPP project above, I also have this EPP project which I have not started (and do not know what I am doing with these hexies which I made from a friend’s scraps during a quilt retreat several years ago:
The Yo-Yo Project
Someday I might blog about this old mysterious project…
Another project(s) I should blog about someday…if I get any further on my dabble with Sashiko stitching.
The hat in progress has a story behind it that I will share in a future post.
If I ever get working on them, I will explain what they are in a future post (smile).
So that’s what is in the basket! I think I have enough projects to keep my busy a couple months.
I am writing this post from the airport as I am returning from a small informal quilt retreat with 3 quilting friends. At this retreat I brought my EPP and made some progress! And I did some freeform log cabin block piecing with a borrowed sewing machine and a bag of a friend’s scraps. More of my next post.