Aurifilia

This post is actually for me, but I will explain more about that later.

First I want to talk about Aurifilia. Yes, I completely made this term up, however, “Aurifilia” is an obsession, perhaps unhealthy perhaps not, with AURIfil Italian Threads.

Quilter True Confessions

My “Aurifilia” began 5 – 6 years ago when another quilter introduced me to these addicting Italian threads.

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Photo credit: aurifil.com

It started with purchasing multipurpose neutral colored threads: cream, white, light gray etc. It progressed into buying less multipurpose colored threads: blues, greens, purples, browns.

Finally, it evolved into buying quilt designer collections of AURIfil thread in unusual bright or strong colors, with no specific plan or purpose for these threads.

Realizing my “Aurifilia” has gotten a bit out of control, I decided to reorganize my threads by brand, instead of color, to see just how much AURIfil (and in what colors) I had on hand.

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I went from this organization (by color):

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To this organization (by brand):

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After organizing my Aurifil threads, I discovered I currently have no gray! Light gray is a great neutral color, in my opinion) for stitching; and medium and dark gray would look lovely as topstitching.

Why this post is for me

It is inevitable I am going to bring more AURIfil thread into my life (at least some gray!). The problem in the past is I could not remember what colors I had on hand when I was at shop and fell into an acute bout of Aurifilia.

Now I can whip out my smartphone, pull up this post and see what Aurifil I already have in my collection.

I might even update this post ever so often with the latest photo of my Aurifil collection!


Postscript

I decided to do the same thing with my fabric yardage collection – keep on my blog photos of my current fabric collection. I added these photos to my tierneycreates Studio Tour page at the bottom if you would like to take a peek.

Yes our blogs can be our online diaries, why can’t they be our online catalogues too?

 

 

 

An Unexpected Treat

I could not decide what to title this post. I started with “An Unexpected Surprise” but that sounded redundant as “surprises” are “unexpected”. Next title idea as “A Surprise Treat”. Finally I went with “An Unexpected Treat”. (Blog post naming, one of the great struggles in my world…)

This afternoon I attended our Central Oregon SAQA (Art quilters) group. A very awesome SAQA member, Marion, gave me a belated holiday gift – a stash of fabrics!

She wrapped the stash very sweetly in the Japanese fabric wrapping style with a handmade braided fabric ribbon. I opened it in front of her but I have attempted (poorly) to rewrap it to give you a feel of how it looked when she presented to me:

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A very subpar re-creation of a once beautifully fabric wrapped gift

Inside was a stack of fabric scraps, fat quarters and yardage:

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Yummy stack!

Here is what the gift looks like laid out:

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Yummy pile!

Did Marion randomly give me fabric from her stash? No. The story behind this is a while back one of the SAQA members who lives in Portland, Elizabeth, who is a prolific art quilter, was thinning her immense fabric stash. She posted to our Oregon SAQA facebook group that any SAQA member in the Portland area could drop and take away a haul of beautiful fabrics on a specific date.

Portland is a 4 hour drive for me and as much as I love free beautiful fabric selected by talented art quilters, an 8+ hour road trip was a bit much for free fabric.

What I did not realize is that Marion, who has a good feel for my taste in fabric, was picking me up a surprise stash!

It was a very thoughtful surprise!


Postscript

I so enjoyed the comments on my previous post, Prepping to Make Fabric Bowls, Continued, and so did Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH).

Believe it or not, he actually returned to my sewing area today (with a gentle suggestion) and worked on a couple more feet of the coil for the fabric baskets/bowls.

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He’s back!

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This time Mike the Mini Schnauzer settles into the chair in my studio to monitor TTQH

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Is Mike comfortably napping or fretting over when this whole TTQH sewing abuse will be over?

Now that we were getting some serious length on completed coil, we needed to do something to keep it organized and accessible (instead of become a twisted mess) for when it was time to make the fabric bowls. So I started wrapping it around an old piece of cardboard (I save cardboard from calendars, etc. to use as a surface when making cards, etc.):

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Prepping to Make Fabric Bowls, Continued

This post is an addendum to yesterday’s post Prepping to Make Fabric Bowls and contains a rare photo of Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) who usually avoids being photographed for my tierneycreates posts!

Alright, this is going to appear like major husband abuse, but somehow I convinced TTQH to work on tedious sewing the coil of batik strips and clothesline required as prep to eventually make more fabric bowls.

I set it all up on my machine, provided training, and he got to work!

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After a while, Mike the miniature schnauzer came in the room to check on him and witness the abuse:

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Mike: “What is she making you do?!?!?”

Mike gave me the “furry eye ball” for putting TTQH through such tedium!

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Mike: “I want to extract him from this room and bring him back to snuggle with me on the sofa”

TTQH finished about 12 – 15 feet of coil and then took a break for an underdetermined amount of time (though he promises to return to it in the future):

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I did take TTQH out to dinner to his favorite brewery this evening, so this makes up for the tedious task as well as upcoming tedium!


Postscript

I love real rainbows, they make me smile.

Our winter has been surprisingly mild in Central Oregon so far and last week we had rain instead of snow. We seem to always get rainbows after a rainstorm here and I took a couple photos while on a neighborhood walk.

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Prepping to Make Fabric Bowls

This is a follow up to my 12/30/17 post “Throwing Pottery” on the Sewing Machine in which I shared images from making this fabric bowl from batik strips sewn onto clothesline:

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In the post I mentioned that I do not make a lot of these baskets because the preparation to make these baskets is so time consuming.

Recently I was cleaning out old projects and found the start of a prep for another set of fabric bowls. I thought: “what the heck, let’s finish up the prep and maybe make some more bowls”.  This time I enlisted the help of Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) to help me with the prep.

Below I will share a summarized overview of the cumbersome prep and where I currently am on my journey to make more fabric baskets.

It Starts with Strips

The pattern I originally used, Bali Boxes pattern by Aunties Two, appears to have been designed/inspired by the famous (and addicting) Hoffman Bali Pops. I know not everyone reading this blog is a quilter, so let me share an image of the packages of 42 pre-cut 2.5″ color coordinated/themed batik fabric strips:

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image from eBay, photographer unknown

Did any of you who are quilters, get addicted to collecting sets of Bali Pops when they came out in the 2000s? Hoffman still makes them but for me the novelty wore off (as did the novelty of buying “jelly rolls” which are another configuration of 42 2.5″ coordinating fabric strips).

I still have 3 – 4 Bali Pops leftover from my Bali Pop days; and all the fabric baskets and bowls I have made are from Hoffman Bali Pop sets. One set actually makes a couple baskets – 2 or more depending on how deep you make each basket. I am thinking I could get 3 bowls out of a Bali Pop.

I do not know the name of the Bali Pop I am currently using (they all have cute names for their color combinations like “Green Tea” and “Citrus Grove”) but I think it had to something to do with the ocean as you can see the colors are blues and greens.

The Tedious Steps Begin

This post is not intended to discourage you from making a covered clothesline fabric bowl or basket, but I want to show that a bit of patience with tedious tasks is required to make these items via the Bali Boxes pattern method.

First you have to sew forty-two (42), 2.5″ strips which each measure 44″ long, end to end. Do the math – that is one mega long strip you are creating. Not accounting for all the 1/4″ seams you are creating sewing end to end, 42″ x 44″ = 1848 inches, or 154 feet (46.94 meters).

After that is done, you have to fold each strip in half and then fold into itself again, to create a pocket/tunnel to nestle the clothesline.

Now for the steps above, this time I enlisted (or would this be considered “abused”) TTQH. He amazingly created this ball of batik strips after much work:

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It is a large ball and tightly wound/packed. I am amazed at his patience to do this for me, especially to double fold like 140+ feet of sewn strips (I used some quick and suspicious math to subtract 42 quarter inch seams).

Creating the Coil

I am on the last part of the prep to make fabric bowls/baskets – and it is equally as tedious. I have to stitch cotton clothesline into the center of the 140+ feet of sewn strips to create the coil.

But first I had to decide what coordinating thread to use, so I put together some options:

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I let TTQH select the thread (he likes to make design choices like that) since he did all that work to create the “Ball-o-Batiks” for me. Here is the thread he selected from the options above:

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After winding coordinating bobbins (making a basket or bowl on the sewing machine used a lot of bobbin thread) I was ready to start making the coil on my sewing machine:

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I set the ball of clothesline and the “Ball-o-Batiks” on the floor side to side as I work them together through the sewing machine:

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Here is what I have finished so far, not very much but I plan to work on it at a leisurely pace:

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2 feet down, 138 feet more to go…

I will share a photo of my progress in a future post.


Postscript

In yesterday’s post, Oh Scrap!, I mentioned that I had moved the fabric scraps from their organization in color themed boxes to a large bag. Well after completing this process I also ended up re-arranging my tiny sewing room again and thought I would share a photo:

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I’ve added this photo as an update to my page tierneycreates Studio Tour, where you can see a tour of my entire studio.

Although I could use the space for something else, I always try to find a way to keep my old futon chair (it coverts to a bed for a very small person) in my studio to always have a cozy place to sit and think (about my next studio reorganization project, ha!)

Oh Scrap!

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

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

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

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Fabric scraps organized by color

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Postscript

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

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Basket of Love

I wanted to share a follow up to my previous post (Dec 30) “Throwing Pottery” on the Sewing Machine.

There are additional details on the fabric basket I recently “threw” on my sewing machine: It was part of a wedding gift for a dear friend. Now that my friend has received her gift I can share the additional photos/story!

What began as this –

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Became this once five (5) little scrappy batik heart pillows were added to make it the tierneycreates Basket of Love:

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My friend has a modified “Brady Bunch” situation going on. When she wed her wonderful finance they joined their families and became a blended family of five.

So I made each family member a little scrappy fabric heart and on the back of each heart I added a pocket so they could use the hearts to share little notes of love and appreciation to each other.

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For fun I even made up five generic “sample love notes” and placed them in the pocket of each heart.

Working on this piece and sewing in general was a nice bit of healing for me as I deal with the grief of the recent loss of my beloved mother-in-law and the loss of my Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer. As you all probably know, grief comes in waves and it seems better to be sewing than just sitting around when one of these waves hits.

My friend and her fiancé are wonderful loving parents and I know their joined family and new home is likely filled with lots of love, but it made me very happy to make a gift that does more than celebrates their marriage – it celebrates their new family!


Postscript

We had a couple days of warmth (up to 61 degrees F) in Central Oregon but now a deep chill has set in. Not as bad as parts of the US where a terrible Arctic freeze/chill is leading to record lows, so I will not complain.

We have quite a bit of “hoar frost” in Central Oregon. Every time I hear the words “hoar frost” I laugh to myself. I remember when I first moved to the Pacific NW in the late 1990s and heard the term “hoar frost” for the first time. I thought my friend was saying something else completely in regards to the frost (hint: sounds like wh___). And I thought: “Wow, in the Pacific NW they really hate frost!”

In case you have not heard of “hoar frost” before, according to the Google dictionary it is:

a grayish-white crystalline deposit of frozen water vapor formed in clear still weather on vegetation, fences, etc.

Here is a tree loaded with hoar frost from my morning walk:

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I want to close this post by mentioning how much I have enjoyed reading “end-of-year” summaries by my blogging buddies. I might write up one myself when I feel ready.

Hope you all are having a Happy New Year so far!

“Throwing Pottery” on the Sewing Machine

Are you familiar with the phrase “throwing pottery”? This phrase relates to creating some type of clay vessel/bowl on a pottery wheel.

Recently I made a fabric bowl by “throwing” it on my sewing machine!

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This bowl is made from batik fabric strips wrapped around clothesline using the instructions from the Bali Boxes pattern by Aunties Two.

It measures approximately 11.5″ in diameter and is 4″ deep.

Several years ago I was really into making batik fabric bowls and boxes and had a stash of cotton clothesline and 2.5″ pre-cut batik fabric strips (like Hoffman Bali Pops). Here are a couple of my baskets from that period:

I burned out on making these baskets, however I had enough wrapped clothesline to make one more small basket and set it aside for the day I wanted to make another basket (into my “abandoned project stash”).

Well that day arrived a week ago – I was ready to “throw” a new basket!

Here is the wrapped clotheslines and the fabric for the center:

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Making the basket begins with making a coiled foundation around a Timtex (heavy interfacing) filled center fabric pouch:

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Once the base is created, it is time to “throw” the basket and angle it around the sewing machine as you add rows of covered clothesline using a zig-zag stitch:

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The piece is finished off with a binding on top to cover the ends of the wrapped clothesline:

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And now a couple images of the completed bowl (I added a little tierneycreates tag to the top under the binding):

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I am pleased with my “thrown” fabric bowl and glad I pulled the remaining wrapped clothesline out of my abandoned project stash!

Follow up on “Recycled Windows of Conversation”

Update 01/14/18 – this piece is now named “Recycled Windows” and the Artist Statement and photos are posted on the Improvisational Textiles website on the Tierney Davis Hogan page. It was added to the Recycled Denim Stories series. 


This post is a follow up to my December 10th post What’s on the Design Wall where I shared my piece Recycled Windows of Conversation in progress.

I completed the machine quilting this art quilt made from all recycled materials (clothing, home decor, see previous post for more details). I took several quick photos for his post and later on plan to take higher quality photos:

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Here is a close up of the machine quilting. I used three different threads: orange, blue and variegated gold.

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This piece will join the Recycled Denim Stories series shown on the Improvisational Textiles website once I write the Artist Statement.


Postscript

Recently we lost Terry the Quilting Husband’s (TTQH) mom, our beloved Mom Hogan. She was my very beloved mother-in-law for many years and I fell in love with her as an awesome mother figure back when I was first dating TTQH a zillion years ago!

When my mother died while I was in my 20s, she said “Well now I will be your Mom now” (I know that sounds slightly strange as that would make TTQH and I siblings, but you understand the sentiment behind her statement I am sure!)

She was also a quilter, as are TTQH’s incredible two sisters.

I was so pleased when TTQH began quilting a couple of years ago, and one of the first quilts he made he sent to his Mom as a surprise gift. It was pretty awesome to know she was snuggled up in one of his quilts during the cold Upstate NY winter.

She passed at 98 and had a full and wonderful life filled with 7 loving children, grandchildren and a great  grandchild. However she will be so greatly missed. I may take a break from blogging on and off as I deal with my personal grief and of course support TTQH is his grief.

 

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

Have you ever purchased something for a future art/crafting project and you had absolutely no idea of what you were going to do with it at the time you purchased it?

It was just something you just knew you needed to have in your collection?

If you are an artist, crafter, quilter or any type of creative person, I am guessing the answer is “Yes” (at least for 95% of you – perhaps 5% of you only buy things for planned projects…)!

In previous posts I have shared My Minimalism Journey and my ongoing mission to curate my life. This curation involved not buying things I do not have a purpose for at the time. A recent experience is making me rethink some of the rules I have placed upon myself as I tried to embrace minimalism.

The perfect thing I needed for a recent craft project I purchased 16 – 17 years ago when I had not yet embraced minimalism (back then – if I liked it, I bought it!)

Cannon Beach Oregon

In the early 2000s, when Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I lived in Seattle, WA, we discovered the beautiful Oregon coast. We had no idea that someday we would be living in Oregon, but we knew the coast was beautiful and wanted to see the whole thing.

It took three vacation trips (the Oregon coast is long and there is much to see).  The first one focused on the northern Oregon coast (starting at the Washington State coast board); the second on the central Oregon coast; and the third was to see the southern Oregon coast (to the Northern California coast border).

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Image credit: Oregon Coast postcard

There are many beautiful places along the Oregon coast. I have so many wonderful memories from those Oregon coast road trips which we made with our two miniature schnauzer at the time – Fritz & Snickers:

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Fritz and Snickers on the Oregon Coast, 2000

Of all the Oregon coastal towns we visited, Cannon Beach, Oregon captured our hearts the most and remains our favorite place on the Oregon coast.

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Image credit: www.cannonbeachyogafestival.com

Cannon Beach has a charming downtown (we love to stroll it with the miniature schnauzers in their backpacks) with many quaint shops.

My favorite shop is of course the Center Diamond Fabrics Quilt Shop in Cannon Beach.

Our first trip to Cannon Beach was in 2000 and I was a new very new quilter. During my first visit to the amazing Center Diamond Fabrics quilt shop I purchased a Cannon Beach panel that I had no idea what I was going to do with it. 17 years later I figured out what to do with it – make a wallhanging for a friend of mine who loves Cannon Beach as much as I do!

By the way, my Central Oregon blogging buddy, Anna of the Woolie Mammoth blog, posted a recent video on her Quilt Roadies YouTube channel about this awesome quilt shop if you would like to get a first hand peek inside this shop:

The Wallhanging

Here is how I used the panel, 16 – 17 years later, I made a small quilted wall hanging for my friend Nancy who loves Cannon Beach. I used a folded log cabin technique to make the wallhanging, sewing folded strips of fabric in colors coordinating with the center panel.

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Cannon Beach wallhanging with a painted center panel featuring Haystack Rock

My friend Nancy likes blues and green so I tried to include as much blue and green as I could in the piece. Put a hanging sleeve on back for a hanging rod.

She received it yesterday in the mail as a surprise and she is quite pleased with her gift! She plans to use a piece of beach driftwood to hang it it on.

I am so thankful I was not a minimalist 16 – 17 years ago when I bought it and put it away with no clue on what I was going to make with it!


Postscript

I am very excited. I am treating myself to something special sometime after the holidays. I have ordered a custom tierneycreates CrawCrafts Beastie from my Ireland based blogging buddy Helen of CrawCraft Beasties: Adventurous Little Monsters Born in the Heart of Dublin City.

She knits these amazing creatures with adorable hand knitted sweaters and other paraphernalia. You should check out her blog and read some of her charming posts about the monster’s adventures or follow her on Instagram @crawcraftbeasties and see the sweet images of her creations and their adventures!

I cannot wait for my tierneycreates Beastie! I left it up to her to design what she thought a tierneycreates little knitted monster would look like 🙂

Pajama Sale and Finished Pieces

Annual “Pajama Sale” at the Stitchin’ Post

Saturday November 11th was the annual PJ Sale at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, Oregon. Each year I attend with quilting friends and last year I started bring Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) to the sale (as a bonus he drives there in the cold, dark and sometimes snowy weather as the sale starts early).

Each of our wonderful quilt shops in Central Oregon has their own special focus when it comes to fabric collection.  The Stitchin’ Post has the best selection of unique art quilter focused fabrics in the region. It also carries fabrics that would appeal to traditional quilters.

During the Pajama Sale, if you get there before 8:30 am (doors open at 6:30 am) AND you are in your PJs, you get 35% off nearly everything in the store!

I did not buy that much – a couple books and notions. My favorite part of the PJ Sale is hanging out with fellow quilters all in our PJs wandering around a quilt shop and then going out to breakfast afterwards – in our PJs! It is like the morning after a huge sleepover, ha!

I figured no one wanted to be on my blog photographed in their PJs so the photos below give you a feel but do not have any faces:

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One lady had an over the top robe from the 1970s. I asked her if I could take a photo and suggested she turn around unless she wanted to have herself in her robe featured on my blog, ha!

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The photo does not quite capture the brightness of the 1970s robe – it was over the top and of course made of some type of synthetic material

We went to the Gallery Restaurant in Sisters for breakfast after an hour wandering around the sale. It very quite fun with a group of us gathered around a large table in a restaurant, all in our PJs (except for my friend’s 96 year old Dad who lives in town and another husband who joined us in their regular clothes).

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Breakfast after early morning quilt shop shopping! (This was actually TTQH’s breakfast as I only like my eggs scrambled)

One of my friends had a spectacular set of PJs with the words “Queen Bee” all over them:

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I wore my traditional schnauzer themed PJs (they are actually Scotties in gray and black and I pretend like the gray ones are schnauzers).

Finished Pieces

Cozy Cobblestones came back from the long-arm quilter, Cindy of inastitchquilting.com   and this weekend I added the binding.

It is now hung in the living room above the TV:

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Cindy did wonderful job quilting the piece and here are some photos of her beautiful work:

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Her quilting really compliments the blocks made from Northcott Fabrics’ Stonehenge line! I am so glad I met her through blogging!

This weekend I also finished one of the table runners I discussed in posts such as “What’s on the Design…Ironing Board?” and “Can We Talk About Table Runners?. Here it is freshly ironed after I quilted and put on the binding:

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It measures 16.5″ x 44″ which seems to fall into a fairly standard table runner length.

I’ve not decided if I am going to quilt the other four (4) table runner tops I made or stick them away for now (oh no they will become “UFOs”!!!). I do not think I will re-open the tierneycreates Etsy shop at this time. I’ve had some recent art quilting related exciting news, that I will share at a later date, that makes me want to focus on my efforts on building my art quilt portfolio rather than trying to make stuff to sell on an Etsy shop.

There are only so many hours in the day!


Postscript

In my previous post, A Good Mess, I shared some statistics from a recent national survey (The Quilting in America 2017 survey) on how much money the average quilter spends a year on quilting related supplies and activities. The two numbers were $442 and $500 per year depending on how “dedicated” the quilter is.

I really enjoyed the comments some of you made on these figures; and wanted to share how I nearly FAR EXCEEDED this number during the Stitchin’ Post’s Pajama Sale on Saturday!

There was glitch in their cash register and my total came to $730,000! The Stitchin’s Post staff behind the register, a couple other customers and I had a huge laugh over this! I asked if my purchase also came with a new luxury home, a car, and an outfitted sewing studio with a stocked fabric closet?

They re-rang my purchase and with my 35% off discount (we arrived at 6:50 am and I was in my PJs) my purchase came to $73 instead of $730,000.

 

A Good Mess

My studio/sewing area is currently very messy, but it is a “good mess”!

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Here is what I have going on in the room:

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In addition to the recently quilted quilt and the table runner, also adding to the clutter is an awesome Sari a friend of my just sent me. I just laundered it and it is on the floor awaiting pressing (as the ironing board is currently busy as are the other surfaces…but the floor is relatively clean…)

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She got it second hand for a very good deal and originally I was thinking about using it in a future recycled clothing art quilt. It is however a lot of nice fabric and it coordinates with colors in my living room, so I am mulling over the idea of making it a valance for my front window.

Well I better start working on my mess!


Postscript

Recently I received a complimentary download of the publication – AMERICAN QUILT RETAILER fall market 2017. (While running my tierneycreates Etsy shop I had a wholesale license and I was on the mailing list to receive these types of promotions.)

Inside the issue was an interesting profile (for quilt shop owners) on the results of The Quilting in America 2017 survey (pg 48).

Those of you who are quilters might find these excerpts from the article on this survey interesting:

  • “There are an estimated 7 to 10 million quilters in the U.S. The total number of households with a quilter is 6 to 8.3 million, and that each quilting household spends an average of $442 annually – that’s a 48% increase since 2014.”
  • “Within that total group of U.S. quilters are “Dedicated Quilters” who spend $500 or more a year on their art form and hobby.”
  • “The average Dedicated Quilter is female, 63 years old, down by a year in age since 2014, and has been quilting for 19 years. She is well educated (70% attended college), affluent (average household income of $95,900), and leans toward a preference of traditional quilting styles (85%) over modern (37%) and art (20%).”

Interesting! Any demographics sound familiar (especially the spending $500 or more per year on our art form…)?

The $8 Quilt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Postscript

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

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

Additional on “Additional Conversations”

Follow up to yesterday’s post, What’s on the Design Wall.

Better Photos

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I did an outside photo shoot with Additional Conversations, the improvisational art quilt from recycled materials I completed yesterday.

Here are some better photos of the piece (as opposed to those from yesterday where I squished myself to the hallway wall to take photos…):

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Now the quilt sit on the ironing board awaiting batting, backing, and quilting.

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The Recycled Materials

In case you are curious, here is a list of the recycled materials used in this piece:

  1. Denim duvet cover
  2. Old jeans
  3. Curtain (valence scarf)
  4. Tweed jumper
  5. Old sweat pants
  6. Corduroy Shirt
  7. Gold home decorating fabric scraps (given to me by an interior decorator from her sample collection)
  8. The world’s ugliest orange corduroy pants

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All these items were destined for the landfill but instead they became this quilt!


Postscript

Tomorrow is the last day of October (and Halloween) and the end my month long 4th blog anniversary celebration (see post Blog Anniversary Celebration & Giveaway).

To close out the 4th anniversary I am putting together a post called “Random Follow-ups“. I am going to randomly follow up on posts over the past four years that are hopefully deserving of follow up!

 

 

What’s on the Design Wall

This post is a continuation of my ongoing series “What’s on the Design Wall”, featuring my latest project up on either the small design wall in my studio or the large design wall my hallway.

I spent this weekend working on a new improvisational art quilt made with recycle clothing and recycled home decor fabric – Additional Conversations.

On Instagram I shared a couple previews/peeks over the past week, like the example below:

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Well here are several initial images of the completed quilt top:

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Better photos to come – I was challenged with taking photos of my large design wall, at an angle, in our narrow hallway. Note: My enthusiasm to get the finally sewn together quilt top up on the design wall exceeded my enthusiasm to do a quality job of final pressing on the ironing board.

I am thinking of hand quilting this piece like I did The Recycled Road (made from many of the same fabrics).

Now what to do with the left over scraps from the piece – perhaps a smaller companion piece called “Additional Small Conversations“!

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Additional Conversations is the fourth piece in my series Recycled Denim Stories (see my Tierney Davis Hogan page on the Improvisational Textiles website).

 

Artists Statements, Part III (Telling Stories)

The Struggle to Make a “Statement”

In these two previous posts Artist Statements and Artist Statements, Part II, I shared my struggles with writing Artist Statements for a specific art quilt and the huge and intimidating challenge of writing an overall Artist Statement for my body of work as (a wannabe) an art quilter.

Here is an excerpt from the post Artist Statements, Part II, about my struggle:

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You can see above, underlined in red, my big concern: That I had not yet established what I felt was a solid and cohesive body of work. This is what I felt was keeping me from creating my overall/general Artist Statement.

A couple weeks ago I realized I now have a body of work in regards to art quilts (maybe it is imaginary but it seems like a body of work) – 16 “art quilts”. 15 of these art quilts are “improvisational” and one (1) is a combination of pictorial and improvisational. Now I had to determine what I am trying to “say” with my current body of work and where I want to go with it (i.e. make it COHESIVE).

Telling Stories

Above the front entrance to my beloved public library are quotes by authors and my favorite quote, by author Barry Lopez, is shown in the image below:

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It may be difficult to read from the photo, so here is the quote:

“The storyteller is the person who creates an atmosphere in which wisdom reveals itself” – Barry Lopez

I smile every time I visit the library and see that quote.

Thinking about that quote and where I want to go with my art quilting, I realized I want to be a storyteller.

So I’ve spent the past couple of weeks, as time allows, revisiting the Artist Statements on 15 of my 16 existing art quilts (1 of the quilts is part of an upcoming exhibit and the Artist Statement is already solid and cohesive with the them of the exhibit).

Out of this work (revisiting the specific Artist Statements for each piece), came a reorganization of my work into Six (6) Series of Stories:

  1. Color Stories
  2. Recycled Denim Stories
  3. Stories My Father Told Me
  4. Reinvented Stories
  5. Library Stories
  6. Other Stories

On the Tierney Davis Hogan page of the Improvisational Textiles website (the art quilting website I share with my friend Betty Anne Guadalupe) I’ve organized my art quilts into these six series and I provide an introductory paragraph/overview on each series.

Now that I organized my work into these series and decided where I want to go with my art quilting, I was able to finally write a general/overall Artist Statement.

My overall Artist Statement (which is also found on the Tierney Davis Hogan page) is:

“The storyteller is the person who creates an atmosphere in which wisdom reveals itself”, storyteller Barry Lopez noted.

My fiber/textile art is created with a single or ongoing story in mind. These stories originate from my life experiences, observations, struggles, dreams and hopes. The earth and its inhabitants are very precious to me and I want to do work that contributes to environmental conservation efforts. I primarily use recycled textiles in my art to include recycled clothing, textile manufacturing samples and scraps, and discards from others quilt-making. My focus on improvisational design: The fabric itself and creative inspiration guide me to allow the piece to evolve organically and become what it wants to become.

I am sure I will continue to refine this statement in the future, however I feel now like I have a map for the direction of where I want to go with my art quilting instead of just wandering aimlessly creating one new piece and wandering onto the next piece.

And Something Else

One more thing on Artist Statements – when you blog and post publicly, you never know who is reading. Well in the THOUGHTS (Comments) section of the Artist Statements, Part II post I was surprised and quite pleased to see a detailed comments/advice from someone who professionally works with and mentors artists.

In case you did not catch this comment from that post, I am sharing a screen shot of this helpful advice a professional posted:

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Postscript

I am currently working on a new piece for my “Recycled Denim Stories” series and here is a little peek at “What’s on the Ironing Board” (pulled from the Design Wall temporarily as I work out the layout):

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Here is a little section of one of the blocks I shared on Instagram:

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The recycled denim, recycled various clothing and recycled home decor fabric in this piece is the same fabric used in my other pieces The Recycled Door and The Recycled Road. 

Trust me you will never guess where I am going with this piece, it is going to have quite a bit of whimsy! Watch for more on this piece in a future What’s on the Design Wall series of posts…


Featured Image credit: Meredith B., free images.com

Can We Talk About Table Runners?

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

Table Runners Running Around in My Mind

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

Let’s back up a moment…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Length, Oh What Length?

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

Then I came across this webpage – Table Runner Dimensions

What I liked about this webpage was this statement:

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

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

Table Runner-ing

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

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

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


Postscript

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

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Little Wallet Madness

As mentioned in recent previous posts, I have been making little wallets from my fabric scraps.

Endless wallets. Cutting out fabric from templates in the evening while watching TV and then engaging in marathon assembling and sewing.

58+ wallets later, I am ready to share photos of the wallets.

First here are 55 of them (two I recently I gave away as gifts and one I kept for myself):

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An attempt at closer up photos of the wallets:

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I had so much fun rummaging through my boxes of fabric scraps and putting together various combinations. Here are photos of a couple of the insides of the little wallets to demonstrate some of the color and texture combinations I used for the inside pockets:

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Here are some of my favorite little wallets from my little wallet assembly madness:

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I plan to do a “Little Wallet” giveaway to celebrate the 4th anniversary of my blog in October so stay tuned. They are perfect for business cards, a place to keep punch cards (like frequent customer cards) or to use as a wallet.

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What’s on the Design Wall: Cozy Cobblestones

This morning’s post is a follow up What’s on the Design Wall…a “Hot Mess”?

Yesterday I worked to turn the “hot mess” and former unfinished object (UFO) into something resembling a quilt top. I’ve named the quilt “Cozy Cobblestones” as the fabric is the Northcott Stonehenge Cobblestones line.

I promised better photos, however I was unable to keep my promise. Still struggling with the narrowness of my hallway, I had to take entire layout photos at an angle. Alas, this is one of the “cons” of having a design wall in a narrow hallway!

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From the right side

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From the left side

Here is one “head on” photo taken by smooshing myself against the opposite wall:

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“Smooshed” against the wall!

You are probably wincing at the lighting on the photos. Once I sew the blocks together, I am going to take the quilt outside for a proper photo!

I am likely going to “float” the quilt top in additional Stonehenge fabric (I think I have enough yardage to put a “float” border around it). Here is the fabric I might use (it is my only choice unless I go out and try to find some more):

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Next to a section of the blocks layout:

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Try and use your imagination of how cool this will look…

I might use the same fabric for the binding too as I am trying to use what I have in my stash. A contrasting binding might be nice but I would have to purchase it new (and I am taking a hiatus from buying fabric right now).

Speaking of my “stash”, I put the scraps and the two remaining fat quarters that I did not use up, in a future “Challenge Bag” (see post Basket of Challenges):

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I’m gonna be a future “Challenge Bag” – yay!

Inside the scrap bag you will see the blue scraps that I loved (from another Stonehenge line that a quilting friend donated) but could not work into the piece. We’ll see what I make in the future with this small bag of scraps.

The remaining scraps are fairly small as I worked hard to harvest any piece I could turn into a 2.5″ x 2.5″ block:

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Little squares, cutting so many little squares! (42 x 9 = 378)

Quilters reading this may wince, but I did not have enough length of any of the scraps from piecing the original 12″ blocks to make the 6′ nine-patch blocks using the quick “strip-piecing” method. Instead I had to cut out individual 2.5″ x 2.5″ pieces and sew them together to make 42 6-inch nine-patch blocks!  I did “chain-piece” the heck out the pieces after a while became a nine-patch block factory!

It was definitely an old school traditional piecing!

I am feeling pleased with my progress on the “UFOs” in this photo, this quilt top is the #4 in the photo below:

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Once I get it all sewn together, I guess I need to work on the only remaining “UFO” – #3 (Medallion quilt) – but I am not feeling inspiration on that one yet!


Postscript

In addition to a push to complete my unfinished projects, I’ve recently experimented with a couple paper-crafting/card making projects in the paper-crafting/beading area I set up in my sunroom:

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Here are the two cards I made:

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I am not sure if the recipients of these cards actually liked them, but I had fun making them. I listened to a classical radio station on my new(ish) thrift shop radio and found card making very meditative.

Card making was actually my first official crafting hobby that I did with others.

My friend Michele got me started in the late 1990s. I think it opened my mind to starting quilting, which I learned shortly after. I still have many of my card making supplies from the late 1990s and early 2000s. I donated about 1/2 of those supplies to charity organizations but I still have some wonderful supplies to make more handmade cards (whether people want them or not – ha!)

What’s on the Design Wall…a “Hot Mess”?

On the large design wall in my hallway is something that resembles a “hot mess“.

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The hallway is narrow – it works great as a design wall, but is challenging for photography.

This “hot mess” actually represents quite a bit of progress. I struggled with what to do with the 20 blocks I made during a “traditional piecing” binge I went on October to November 2016 and discussed in the following series of posts:

A little background:

Prior to working these blocks, it seems like the last couple of years I was primarily focused on improvisational quilting. I was craving structure (and a break from designing my own quilts) and pulled out my old Ladies’ Art Company Block Tool by Connie Chunn (2007) and started making blocks using a jelly roll I found in my stash of Northcott Cobblestone Stonehenge; and some Stonehenge scraps another quilter gave me.

Unfortunately, I did not have enough of the blue Stonehenge scraps to use them in more than just one block so I had to return those to the fabric scrap basket.

(Now I could have titled this post “Revisiting Traditional Piecing…Part IV” but this binge of working on “traditional pieced blocks” has intermittently continued while I sporadically work on Farm Girl Vintage blocks.)

The dilemma – designing the final quilt layout

The reason why the 20 blocks pictured below got put aside after my “piecing binge” was that I could not find a pleasing way to lay them out. I auditioned many different ways of setting the blocks to include traditional ways such as lattice, putting them on pointing, floating them, and various ideas suggested by my readers (much appreciated!)

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I even thought about the unique and spectacular block layout that Martha Ginn shared in her Martha’s Blog post: Shapely Challenge Revealed.

(Martha and met through this quilt: She bought the green ombre setting fabric for this exquisite sampler quilt through my tierneycreates Etsy shop…glad I met her before I closed the shop!)

Alas, none of the numerous options I explored appealed to me.

Farm Girl Vintage Strikes!

My next venture into traditional-block-piecing-binging was with Lori Holt’s Farm Girl Vintage. In this book I discovered the perfect setting for my blocks! It is called the “Picnic Setting”

For copyright reasons I did not want to photograph the page in Farm Girl Vintage showing the setting, but I did find this photo on Pinterest, pinned by Deborah Thomas, of a quilt in the Picnic Setting:

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Photo credit: Deborah Thomas, Pinterest

The setting is a mixture of 12″ (finished) and 6″ (finished) blocks. The 6″ blocks are the setting for the 12″ blocks!

At first I thought of returning to the Ladies’ Art Company Block Tool and creating a bunch of different 6 inch pieced blocks. Thinking through this idea, I realized the quilt top would NEVER get done if headed down this path. How daunting to make 36 different 6″ blocks to set my 12″ blocks! I needed at least 36 of them to make the block setting work, and it would be 2020 before I posted about this quilt in progress again!.

Nine-Patch, an old stand-by

Finally I settled on making “old school” 6″ (finished) nine-patch blocks using up the scraps from the original jelly roll from piecing the 12″ blocks.

Here is the beginning of playing with the layout as I make the nine-patch blocks:

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There will not be a lot of contrast, and that is intentional. I want the quilt top to have the feel of looking at a stone floor and the patterns and the colors of the stones flowing into one another.

More to come as I progress on the quilt top (perhaps even better photos, but do not get your hopes up!)


Postscript

Decorating with Pillows

A quick follow up to my previous post – Petite Pillow Power! – here is a little vignette in my living room with one of the new pillow, a batik basket I made (the top one),  a lidded store bought basket, and a Longaberger basket someone gave me as a gift 20 years ago:

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Quilting Meets Couture

In case you’d like to learn more about the project that got me started on my art quilting journey, check out this post on the collaborative website I have with Betty Anne Guadalupe, Improvisational Textiles:  

Quilting Meets Couture

You can also check out the new page on Improvisational Textiles that showcases the entire Quilting Meets Couture collection:

QUILTING MEETS COUTURE


Check out the Improvisational Textiles blog if you would like to follow our collaborative improvisational art quilting journey.

Petite Pillow Power!

Last post I shared this photo of semi-simultaneous unfinished crafting project work:

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I recently finished #2 (see post I hurried); and this weekend I finished up #1 – little pillows made from scrap shot cottons, previously discussed in these posts:

Finishing out the Challenge Bag of shot cottons

Originally I had planned to hand quilt all the little pillows tops:

In reality, I only ended up hand quilting the paper pieced one (I finished this up a couple weeks ago while watching TV in the evening):

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Hand quilted (basic, basic, basic hand quilting!)

The rest of the little pillows I machine quilted this weekend:

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Petite Pillow Power Photoshoot!

When I remembered, I added in a tierneycreates label which I shared in post Embracing Orange. My tierneycreates Etsy shop is closed but I still have all these labels I might as well use them!

Except for the paper pieced pillow which has a solid light tan back, here is the fabric I used on the back of the pillows:

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This petite pillow for some reason is my favorite –  I stuck it in my bookcase:

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Tierney loves me best

Petite Pillow Power!

What’s next? Well I am going to start on #4 (Revisiting Traditional Piecing: The Blocks Part III) – I finally…9 months later…figured out the layout/setting for the blocks!


Postscript

Thank you so much for all the suggestions on my post  The Photoshoot Shed: Please Give Me Your Ideas– so many of you came through with some fantastic ideas!

It has been very warm in Central Oregon, and once it drops below skin-searing temperatures, I am going to fiddle around the back of the shed and decide which idea to implement.

I have a bunch of these from a failed small curtain hanging experiment and I am thinking of using these with some type of rod or heavy tension wire:

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Photo credit – Home Depot

Additionally, I appreciate the great photo tips provided in the comments!

I hurried.

No the feature photo is not of anyone I know, it is courtesy of freeimages.com and the photographer is Alex LA. 

Today I have a shocking update to my previous post on 07/31/17, Everything is Accomplished (What’s On the Design Wall) .

I actually finished (quilted, binding done and hung on the wall) the wallhanging I started in an appliqué class in May 2016, inspired by Lao Tzu’s quote:

“NATURE DOES NOT HURRY, YET EVERYTHING IS ACCOMPLISHED.” ~LAO TZU

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Finished, quilted, hanging on the wall!

I am not sure what came over me, as I really was going to continue following Nature’s example and not hurry – ha! I figured in another year or so I would get it finished. Instead I finished it under a week.

Shocking.


Postscript

A couple of days ago I snapped this photo in my studio. I was laughing to myself at how many projects I had in progress, at the same time, in the same area.

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I assigned numbers and below is a link to the most recent blog posts on each ongoing project. I am on a push to complete open projects!

  1. Decorative small pillows – Finishing out the Challenge Bag of shot cottons
  2. Applique Project (this post)
  3. Medallion wallhanging – What’s on the Design Wall: Scrappy Improvisational Medallion
  4. Traditional quilt block piecing with non traditional fabrics – Revisiting Traditional Piecing: The Blocks Part III

Well, as of today I am one down!

Everything is Accomplished (What’s On the Design Wall)

Yesterday I completed the quilt top for a wallhanging based on the following quote:

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~Lao Tzu

And like Nature, I did not hurry on completing this piece! It was started in May 2016 during a class at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, Oregon with the lovely Janet Shorten (see post Adventures in Appliqué ). I picked the piece back up again in June 2017 (see post Quilt Retreat Inspiration and Projects). I wrangled tangled floss and learned to backstitch (see post The Backstitch and the End of Tangled Floss) and finally completed the quilt top yesterday…July 2017!

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At first I was only going to stitch the Lao Tzu quote going around the tree. However the right side did not seem balanced, with the left side having the acorn. Also I thought at first glance it might not be apparent what the odd thing on the left was (my loose interpretation of an acorn), so I decided to risk becoming “Captain Obvious” and stated that “The tiny acorn becomes the mighty oak tree”.

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I am not going to win any “stitching words on quilts” awards, but I really enjoyed slow stitching the backstitching of the words on the piece and learned a lot as I progressed. I wimped out at the end and did not do the letter “i”s french knot top dots (or whatever the official word is for the dot/period on the top of the letter “i”), but maybe next time.

You may be curious about my fabric choices but let’s just say the whole piece is “multicultural”:

  • The saying/quote is from an ancient Chinese philosopher.
  • The piece was inspired by an African Bible Verses quilt and the original fabric for the acorn and the tree were from the teacher’s stash of African themed fabrics.
  • The border fabric is an Aboriginal style print.

Here is the fabric I have planned for the binding – it reminded me of a tree branch:

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I plan to do a combination of machine and hand quilting on the piece, so by 2018 I should have it done (smile).

But then I am only following Nature’s example…and eventually the piece will be accomplished!


Postscript

My blogging buddy Melanie at Catbird Studios, asked her readers in a recent post how they choose their next quilting project to work on. I responded that for me it is random, which is usually true, however I realize that lately I appear to be focused on working on unfinished projects (which is a very good thing) instead of starting something new when it catches my attention.

Tiny Studio Tips

I love seeing where people to create and in case you would like to see where I create, I have added a page to my blog tierneycreates Studio Tour where I will post photos of the latest version of my tiny little tierneycreates studio. More on this later in this post.

As part of my ongoing journey to curate my life (see post category: My Minimalism Journey ), I am working on letting go of more of my crafting related magazines.

Studios Magazine

I have a stash of Cloth Paper Scissors STUDIOS magazine from 2008 – 2014 (magazine is no longer in publication). This publication featured “artist studio porn”: essays and articles about professional and hobby artists’ studios, tips on designing and organizing your studio, and endless photos of studio layouts. The tagline for the magazine was “inspiration & ideas for your art and craft space”.

There are so many online resources (aka Pinterest) on studio organization ideas, I do not need these magazines. I can let them go, donate them to my beloved local Humane Society Thrift Shop and let them go to someone else to enjoy.

But, I wanted to read through each one, one more time, before donating them.

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Working though re-reading the pile with my tea each morning

When I got to the Winter 2010 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors STUDIOS magazine I noticed it featured a collection of tips by various crafters/artists on small space tips.

Recently I re-organized by studio to try and make the best of the small space. I thought I would share some of my favorite tips from this issue from the various studio tours in case my readers find them useful.

Small Studio Tips

In Her Shoes by Catherine Thursby

  1. Get a space of your own, even if it has to be small
  2. Make it personal to encourage your creativity
  3. Have a place “off-site” to keep bulky or seldom used materials

Snowman Season by Sue Pelletier

  1. In a narrow space, set up tables end to end so you can have several projects going at once
  2. A dartboard makes a graphic yet compact inspiration board
  3. Remember that if you want studio space badly enough, you will find a way

The Glitter Fairy by Laurie Davis

  1. Use shelves with cubbies to hold and display rubber stamps
  2. Use under-the-counter space as much as possible
  3. Use stackable containers to hold small items

In a Nutshell – A small space dedicated to creativity by Janice Avellana

  1. Keep supplies out in the open so the work is ready when you are
  2. Disguise a small, open studio behind a tall bookcase
  3. For flexible organization, use painted pegboard

Room of Requirement by Liza Julien

  1. Maximize small space by going vertical with ladder-style shelving
  2. Store papers suspended from pant hangers on a wooden dowel
  3. Install hooks on table legs, the sides of shelving – anywhere that’s handy and out of the way

Studio in the Sky by Victoria Grobels

  1. Store supplies in baskets hung from the ceiling
  2. Make your worktable an inspiration board, too, by slipping photos under a clear, plastic mat
  3. Make a small space seem bigger by positioning it near a beautiful view

The Love Shack by Roberta Philbrick

  1. Use “regular” furniture to hold art supplies
  2. Color-coordinated caddies keep small items organized, portable, and attractive
  3. A glass-topped table cleans up easily and looks polished in a small living/creating space

Strategic Design by Michelle Spaw

  1. For an eclectic approach to organizing, try using non-conventional items such as stackable trays, bento boxes, and takeout-style containers
  2. Removing the doors to your closet is as strong incentive to keep it tidy. Because the contents are always visible, you will be motivated to maintain order and curb the clutter
  3. When purchasing storage boxes, think of color and pattern as a way to identify what you’re storing

Beaddazzled by Linda Dolack

  1. Glue a sample of what’s in a drawer to the front so you can find and retrieve the object quickly
  2. Use simple skirting to hide clutter stored below counters
  3. Install shelving above windows to hold books and display art work out of the way

Where Whimsy Reigns by Elizabeth Holcombe Fedorko

  1. Use collectibles as storage containers that can be displayed
  2. Attach a folding table to the wall: pull it up to work, down to put it out of the way
  3. No matter how small your space, make room for pets!

As you will see on my page tierneycreates Studio Tour I followed Ms. Fedorko’s tip #3 and made room for pets (well actually my manager Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer):

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Sassy hanging out in “cave”

If you have a small studio like I do (or a dream larger studio) I hope you find some of these tips useful!

 

Update: Terry the Quilting Husband

So unless you live in Barrow, Alaska (1300 miles south of the North Pole/320 miles north of the Arctic Circle), you are probably not thinking about flannel, much less daydreaming of wrapping yourself in a flannel quilt right now.

We are currently sweltering in Central Oregon right but I am still going to share an update on Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH)’s latest quilt top: A flannel fishing themed quilt:

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He actually finished it a couple weeks ago but I am just now getting around to posting about it.

If you check out my 04/30/17 post  Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop 2017 you will see the fabric TTQH purchased during shop hop.

He finished the quilt top in late May when we happened to have some cool days, and I found him and our miniature schnauzers taking a nap under his new quilt top (the “cuteness factor” was very high when I walked into the room and I had to tip toe out and grab my camera!):

2017-06-14_18-43-31_0962017-06-14_18-45-27_831Here is Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer just waking up from her nap under the quilt:

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He has not worked on the back for the quilt as it is kind of warm right now to even think about looking at flannel in our fabric stash much less touching it. We might just put the top away for now until the weather gets out of the 90s and we can start to think about flannel quilts again.


Postscript

With the warmer weather TTQH is working on other things in his spare time besides flannel quilts – like taking Mike, one of our rescued miniature schnauzers on a bike ride. We have two doggy backpacks and Sassy rides with me (the girls together) and Mike rides with Terry. The photo below is from a week ago when we had a break from the heat as Terry and Mike head out on their bike ride:

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If you would like to see more photos of Mike (and Sassy) bike riding, see these posts on Sassy’s Schnauzer Snips blog:

What’s on the Design Wall: Scrappy Improvisational Medallion

This post is actually a continuation of my ongoing series What’s on the Design Wall, featuring my latest project up on either the small design wall in my studio or the large design wall my hallway.

Got Medallion?

Obviously I have been influenced by my quilting mentor Betty Anne Guadalupe (see post Improvisational Medallion Quilt) or by my fellow blogger buddy Melanie at Catbird Studio (see post The Six-Pointed Star and per page Medallion Lessons) but I have a burning need to make a Medallion Quilt.

I am also influenced by this page I tore from a Keepsake Quilting catalog for a medallion style Block of the Month (BOM) sampler. The only problem is that monthly participation in this BOM is $42.99 plus shipping! As lovely as this quilt is that would not be in my budget, so I just added the image to my magnet inspiration board on my studio closet door:

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Rummaging Through the “Challenge Bags”

For the 4th of July, we were “bunkered” in our house with loud movies or music playing in the background, all the windows shut and the air conditioner (actually we have 2 evaporative or “swamp” coolers) to try to keep our extremely fireworks terrified dogs calm. Each year we plan to get from the vet some anti-anxiety medications for them but we forget, so instead we distract them with other sounds. This works most of 4th while neighborhood kids are playing with their fireworks. It only stops working in the evening when there is a VERY LOUD fireworks display at local attraction near our house.

Since I was “bunkering” on the 4th, I decided to spend some time in my studio looking through my collection of “Challenge Bags” (see post Basket of Challenges). Inside one of the bags I found an old felt and tweed Schoolhouse block pillow top I had purchased 14 years ago for $1 in a clearance sale at the back of a quilt shop. Tucked in with the Schoolhouse block were several strips of “Pyramid” borders that my friend Betty Anne gave me either from an old project of hers, or an old project of another quilter.

With Medallion Quilts floating around in the back of my mind, I started playing with the pieces on the design wall:

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I had just enough of the Pyramid pieced strips to border the Schoolhouse block twice on each side and ended up with the beginning of a scrappy improvisational medallion quilt!

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My very first Medallion Quilt in progress. I plan to make it using only fabric scraps and recycled pieced items from my challenge bags. I am going to read through Melanie at Catbird Studio’s lessons on for making Medallion quilts as inspiration and then let myself get all improvisational once I understand any helpful concepts.

What Comes Next?

I pulled from my “Basket of Challenges” (my stash of challenge bags) a bag of scrap squares and a bag of scrap triangles.  I am going to just keep this piece up on my design wall and slowly add to it as I am inspired.

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I had fun “bunkering” on the 4th!