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.
I am back to making a massive amount of little wallets inspired by Valori Wells’ pattern (which I modified), just as I discussed in this 2017 post Little Wallet Madness.
Some of you might remember the little wallets being part of my October 2017 and 2018 “Bloganniversary” giveaways. Well it is now October 2019 which means it is my blog’s 6th anniversary.
However, given the major change in my life over the last year, I may or may not do a 6th blog anniversary celebration like I did in the past…we’ll see how I feel later in the month.
It’s not like last year, where for my 5th blog anniversary I posted daily for 30 days and did a series of (what I thought was) awesome giveaways.
Honestly, thoughts of my blog anniversary makes me sad as it makes me think of how Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH), who passed in December 2018, used to help me do the blog anniversary giveaway drawings along with Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer (who passed in December 2017 and used to have her own blog, Schnauzerships) who ensured the integrity of the drawings (see post Announcing the Winners of the tierneycreates Blog’s 4th Anniversary Giveaway).
During previous blog anniversary Octobers, I would share links from favorite previous posts, like a “Best of tierneycreates”, but so many of those posts are loaded with memories of my previous wonderful (darn near perfect) life with TTQH.
But next year is my 7th year of blogging anniversary and my hope is I do a blowout sort of celebration for that one! Time does help ease the pain of loss a little at a time. So bear with me (smile).
Oh but back to little wallets, the original subject of this blog post…
I had a HUGE stash of little wallets after making so many like in this photo from September 2017:
Recently though I got down to only two wallets left:
Oh and if you are new to this blog and are curious what the little wallets look like on the inside, here is a photo:
I have a ridiculous amount of tierneycreates business cards and each little wallet comes with a business card tucked inside.
SIDEBAR: It’s the tierneycreates business card that gave it away when I discovered one of my little wallets in a thrift shop, that obvious someone I had given one to had donated it – see post Found! At the Thrift Shop!. I ended up buying the little wallet for 50 cents from the thrift shop and then regifting it.
So it was time to make another stash of little wallets, so I pulled out a bunch of fat quarters and fabric scraps and got busy designing little wallets:
The images above are just a couple of the combinations I am working on and in a future post I will share the plethora of wallets I made to replenish my little wallet stash!
A quick follow up to the September 27, 2019 post A New Way to Organize My Fabric, I finished refolding my ridiculous fat quarter collection and now have them organized (except for novelty fat quarters) in front of the yardage that I wrapped in the comic boards:
I have to admit sometimes I just walk in the room and smile as this colorful organization makes me happy!
By the way – this is not all the fabric (should I even admit this?) – I do have separate organization for my flannel, canvas, and novelty fabrics that I recently created. Perhaps I will share this in a future post (if I am ready for full disclosure of my ridiculous fabric stash).
Speaking of stuff that makes me happy – two weeks ago my little brother visited me in Denver along with his family. He had a “milestone” birthday and we celebrated by taking him to his first NFL game to see his favorite football team of all time – the Denver Broncos. Here I am below with my brother and my adorable 7 year old nephew who thoroughly enjoyed the game (and danced in the stands during the music breaks!)
Much to the chagrin of my Pacific NW friends, I’ve sort of defected from being a Seattle Seahawks fan to a Denver Broncos fan (though I still root for the Seahawks if they are not playing the Broncos).
In the first of the above images, my friend Dana used empty fabric bolts she got from quilt shops that had extras, which she cut in half.
In the second and third images, another quilter used recycled cardboard that she cut to size.
I loved the idea of vertical fabric yardage storage but did not want to go through the effort to collect empty bolts from fabric stores and cut them in half; nor did I want to cut recycled cardboard to uniform size.
I knew there must be another option (one I could buy) so I did a bit a googling and first I found what I would consider overpriced options such as “mini bolt board” on online fabric stores. etc. That was not going to work, at those prices, I would just keep my fabric yardage stored flat.
A bit more googling revealed less expensive options such as using comic backing boards for fabric storage!
Then I found this YouTube video on how to do it:
I ordered a couple hundred of these boards and got to folding! (I got them from Amazon.com and you can find them by searching “Comic Book Boards”. I ordered the Size 6 3/4 X 10 1/2 size because it fit well in my cubbies)
I decided to repurpose my IKEA cubby bookshelves in my home office to be a combination of books and fabric, and arranged my fabric yardage by color:
I am quite pleased, it is like having my own fabric shop – ha!
In case you are wondering, I was able to organize onto the comic backing boards fabric cuts from a quarter yard to five (5) yards!
Here are more photos with close ups of many of the cubbies filled with fabrics:
You will notice that many of the cubbies have stacks of fat quarters in front of the vertically arranged fabrics. Inspired by the YouTube video I shared earlier in the post, I’ve begun uniformly refolding some of my favorite fat quarters to place with yardage of the same color.
(Fat Quarter – a quarter yard of fabric cut into a rectangle that measures 18″ x 21″, commonly packaged with other fat quarters into a themed fat quarter pack.)
Mike the Miniature Schnauzer was very patient during my fabric reorganization project. He napped with various piles of fabric waiting to be folded as in the photo I shared in my previous post:
So here’s a question for the crafters reading this post: Do any of you store your fabric vertically like this; or do you store you fabric in flat folds?
So what became of the hanging shelves in the closet in my studio where I was storing my fabric?
Well I repurposed them to hold batting and interfacing:
These two topics – Oh, Scrap, Part II and New “Studio” Tour, were going to be two different posts but I decided to combine them into one post since they are sort of tied together.
I’ve been getting settled into my new apartment in the greater Denver metro area and I guess I’ve completed my series of posts “Colorado Bound” as now I am in Colorado!
I’ve never lived alone in my entire life, so it has been a huge transition now living alone, but I am trying to embrace it and enjoy that I can set up my apartment however I desire.
Those of you who’ve followed my blog for a long time (some of you for over 5+ years) might remember what my craft/quilt studio area looked like in my former Central Oregon home (which by the way has sold and is now someone else’s home). It was in a small back bedroom in my three-bedroom home, but it worked for me.
Now living in a two-bedroom apartment my best choice for a studio area was to turn my second bedroom into a guest room/studio area. I will give a little tour of that new space in this post, but first I want to share a follow up to post from January 2018 – “Oh Scrap“.
Oh Scrap, Part II
It is always an ongoing challenge to find the best way to organize my…extensive? ridiculous? pathologically large? fabric scrap collection. I’ve experimented with various iterations of fabric scrap organization including organizing them by color into boxes like these:
Or just throwing them all together into a large bag:
As you can imagine, unless you just want to work with random scraps, the “all in one bag” idea did not work for me.
However as I was packing up for my move to Colorado, I came up with an idea: why not use this old shelf unit I had in my sun room in my former house (which easily disassembles for moving) with the baskets I used to store magazines in, to organize and easily access my fabric scraps?
And here is the unit in the guest bedroom/studio of my new apartment:
I have my fabric scraps organized by color or theme (i.e. I have a basket of light batik scraps and a basket of dark batik scraps, etc.).
Now for the rest of the room.
New “Studio” Tour
I put the word “studio” in quotes because I am using this term loosely. It’s not really a studio per se but a place to sew in my guest bedroom, where I’ve used the guest bedroom closets to store my fabric and crafting supplies.
I embraced the concept of “Whole House Crafting” (which I previously discussed in the June 2016 post Whole House Crafting) and put a larger cutting area on my large kitchen island and an ironing station in my master bedroom.
Mike the Miniature Schnauzer wanted to share that he approves of the guest room/studio space as it meets his coziness standards!
He also appreciates the schnauzer themed decor!
Speaking of coziness (or “cosiness” for my friends on the other side of the pond), I thought I would share a little follow up to the February 2019 post From “Orphan Blocks” to Pillows.
A couple of months ago I made these two little pillows from leftover blocks from a quilt I made many years ago:
Well Mike is now enjoying one of the pillows as his napping pillow!
Not sure he wanted to be disturbed but I just had to take a photo!
If you make quilts, then you’ve probably dealt with “orphan blocks” – the extra blocks you either made accidentally while making your quilt or intentionally to give you options when you laid out your quilt and made final decisions on what blocks you want to use in the quilt.
For years I’ve had these two “orphan blocks” from a Connecting Threads Minnesota Stars Kit I made at least 8 years ago.
Here is what the quilt looks like (it is currently serving as a tablecloth on my table in the sunroom):
And here are the two “orphan blocks” that did not fit into the quilt (I think I accidentally made too many):
You may notice in the images above it looks like the blocks were hand-stitched. Well they were – I attempted to do something with the blocks years ago and added batting, backing and hand-stitched them.
And then they went to the place where all unfinished projects go – to the back of the closet.
Last night I decided rather than move them as unfinished blocks to my next residence, why not just FINISH them and make them into coordinating pillows?
So I did:
And now they are on the chairs in the sunroom with the tablecloth quilt that they are connected:
Alas, I am not sharing my studio and house tour. It is more like I am sharing my dream studio and house tour (smile). My house and studio are currently partially packed up and a mess as I sort my stuff out for my move to Colorado this Spring.
This post about another quilter’s studio and house tour.
My dear friend Marla Jo (and her wonderful husband Jason) have been incredibly supportive during this difficult period in my life (my new life as a recent widow) and to give me a distraction from my grief, a couple of weekends ago she invited me see the studio and home of one of her clients/friends (Jaime) who is a quilter.
I thought it would be fun to share some photos from that visit as I would guess many of you, like me, enjoy artist studio tour posts!
Here are images of Jaime’s yummy quilt studio:
She has beautiful custom designed cabinetry throughout her gorgeous home.
I was fascinated by how she organized her fabric:
She showed me that she used scrap thin cardboard cut to a uniform size to organize the fabric:
I love how her fabric stands upright like in a quilt shop.
Dana used recycled cardboard from fabric bolts that quilt shops gave to her. She cut them in half and wrapped her fabric around them:
Jaime had a wonderful wallhanging in her studio, made by her sister, celebrating her collection of decorative pins:
The studio was spectacular and the house was equally as spectacular. Here are a couple of my favorite areas of Jaime’s beautiful home:
The Entire Wall Bookcase in the Living Room
The Dream Soaking Tub
Jaime is an artful decorator and designed a nook in her bathroom to put a peaceful soaking tub:
The Grand Piano
At one point in my young life I studied piano and I have always been fascinated with pianos. Jaime had in her sitting room a custom made piano from Estonia that had an exquisite sound (she treated us to a mini concert):
There were many other magical rooms/areas of her home but I wanted to spend time visiting with her and Marla Jo and not be rude and just take photos.
But let’s close this post with a view that took my breath away (my photo does not do it justice) – the view from the upstairs balcony of her home with a view down to the living room:
Tree of No Hurry (2017) will be part of the Trees Exhibit at QuiltWorks Gallery which opens on Friday July 6, 2018. The show will run through July.
QuiltWorks is a Central Oregon quilt shop that has a gallery upstairs and supports the Central Oregon traditional and art quilting community through its monthly shows featuring the works of local quilters, quilting groups and guilds.
Here is more about the QuiltWorks Gallery from their website:
If you are new to my blog, Tree of No Hurry began in an appliqué class with the wonderful teacher Janet Shorten at the Stitchin’ Post quilt shop in Sisters, Oregon in May 2016. Here are the related posts about the beginning of the piece, it’s evolution, wrangling embroidery floss, etc.:
Tree of No Hurry is part of my “Nature Stories” series of quilts. You can view my current four series of art quilts on my Art Quilt Stories page.
Here is the Artist Statement/story behind it:
TREE OF NO HURRY (2017)
25.5” W x 27” L, cotton fabric, embroidery floss
Designed, pieced and quilted by Tierney Davis Hogan
THE STORY OF THIS PIECE:
How often do we hurry about in our lives attempting “to do” everything we feel we must accomplish?
This quote by ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu reminds us that a force as powerful as Nature (with a “to-do list” greater than we could imagine) does not hurry and still gets the important stuff accomplished.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. – Lao Tzu
My tiny studio is nothing to “write home about” but I share photos to encourage other crafters who have not yet created their own little crafting space in their abode to do so.
I’ve proven you can cram a lot into a tiny bedroom (and someday I will install decent lighting into it)!
My studio makes me smile even if is it missing the sense of crisp, coordinated, moderns, elegant, organized, etc. style that I’ve seen in other quilters/crafters/artists’ studio (you’ll never see it featured in magazines such as Where Women Create).
It is a little sanctuary where I have hung on the wall quilts by my Quilting Sisters Kathy R. and Judy D. reminding me of the beauty of life-long true friendships. It is where I enjoy my collection of little toy schnauzers and rabbits, my collection of fabric treats and delights, and a closet full of projects to be made!
From the book Your Creative Work Space: The Sweet Spot Style Guide to Home Office + Studio Decor by Desha Peacock:
A mother bird doesn’t complain that she doesn’t have time or space to create her nest, she just makes do with the resources available to her at the time…Her job is not finished when the nest is built. She still needs to protect it until her babies are strong enough to go out on their own…think of what would happen if the momma bird neglected to actually build the nest because she couldn’t find the perfect materials. Don’t let your creativity suffer or, worse, die because you can’t find the perfect lamp…don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Use the resources you have around you and allow them to blossom with age and use.
Once you create your space, do not abandon it. Protect it fiercely with that momma bird love… – Desha Peacock, Your Creative Work Space (2017)
I hope you all make a nest for the precious baby birds of your creations!
Continuing my series of posts about the annual May quilting retreat I attended with my Quilting Sisters in Vancouver, WA May 17 – 20. To read my previous posts about quilting retreats I’ve attended, see my post category – Retreats.
In the post ThePillow ProjectI mentioned that for this May’s annual quilting retreat I pulled out some old unfinished objects/projects (UFOs); or as my blogging buddy Shirley @ handmadehabit calls them – “stranded” projects.
Well another “stranded” project that I brought to the quilt retreat was the Tango Stripe(pattern by Jean Wells of the Stitchin‘ Post) project.
This quilt is made with Kaffe Fassett stripes fabric and coordinating solids. I’ve wanted to make this quilt for years after falling in love with the store sample when visiting the Stitchin’ Post.
I’ve nearly started it a couple times as evidenced by these posts:
A couple of months ago at the monthly art quilter group I attend, our group leader brought in her completed Tango Stripe quilt, set in olive green fabric instead of denim colored fabric, and it was fantastic. This reminded me how much I want to make my own.
So I brought my collection of Kaffe Fassett striped fabrics and solids to the retreat and finally started cutting the blocks with the templates from the pattern:
I got this far in my progress on the quilt top during the quilting retreat:
I know it does not seem like a lot but there is a lot of template work to create the effect of the quilt. You do not cut the whole quilt out at once per instructions but you design as you go.
I did not finish it as you can see but I made a lot more progress than I had in the 5+ years since buying the pattern!
For now it is put away as I need my large design wall to finish it up and currently my large design wall has a quilt in progress for a future WCQN exhibit that I cannot yet share. But once I finish that piece, Tango Stripe is going up on the design wall and is going to be finished!
It is a tale whose story needs to end (with a completed quilt!)
During the retreat, one of my quilting sisters gave me a sweet Moda fabrics Frivols quilt kit for my birthday:
This section of the insert inside the tin made me smile as I think it describes many of us well:
Hope you have a great week of “making” if you are a “Maker“!
More stories from the May quilt retreat are coming.
I’ve completed the Pillow Project – 5 pillows are made: 4 for my living room and one for my studio. Several of the pillows I began at the recent quilting retreat I attended (see post The Pillow Project).
If you are just joining us, this post is a follow up to these five posts (as well as various other older posts as I procrastinated through some of my projects):
Yikes Tierney, it sure takes you a lot of posts to stop talking about a project? Yes, true…and? (smile).
So here are the completed pillows.
Made from recycled 2.5 inch x 2.5 inch fabric scrap squares that were turned into half-square triangles (it took 196 half-square triangles to complete!), this pillow measures approximately 22 inches x 22 inches:
Living Room Pillows
These pillows measure appropriately 23 inches x 23 inches and were made from batik fabric scraps pieced into improvisational (“log jamming”) log cabin style blocks:
Here is what the back of the pillows looks like – made with recycled quilting fabric trimmed from a quilt after long-arm quilting:
We have two sofas in the living room that face each other – I usually hang out on one and Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) hangs out on the other.
My sofa with two of the cushions:
TTQH’s sofa with the other two cushions:
Yes, we have a crazy amount of color in our house (our house is not for the bold color faint-hearted!)
To close this post, here is a random gratuitous photo of a lovely purple iris from my walk yesterday:
I still have more stories to share from he annual May quilting retreat I attended with my Quilting Sisters in Vancouver, WA May 17 – 20, 2018. I just wanted to share the follow up on the whole pillow making saga 🙂
Continuing my series of posts about the annual May quilting retreat I attended with my Quilting Sisters in Vancouver, WA May 17 – 20. To read my previous posts about quilting retreats I’ve attended, see my post category – Retreats.
Pulling Out the Old UFOs
For this May’s annual quilting retreat I pulled out some old unfinished objects/projects (UFOs) or as my blogging buddy Shirley @ handmadehabit calls them – “STRANDED” projects.
In late October 2017 I completed a quilt from recycled materials (denim, home decor, clothings, etc.) called Additional Conversations. My original plan was to hand quilt the piece, then my plan was to machine quilt the piece, and then growing inpatient and nervous on quilting a 59″ x 55″ denim quilt I turned it over the the long-arm quilter for “quilting by check”.
Well here is the completed quilt, I finished it with facing rather than binding:
I’ve hung it my living/dining room area along with the other quilts that fill my living/dining room area:
I appreciate the work by the long-arm quilter and I’ve decided that I am going to be more fearless in the future and quilt all my own art quilts from this point forward.
I had a specific vision for the finished quilt and I feel I could have realized it if I had quilted it myself. It is difficult to direct someone else to quilt a quilt in your vision as each person brings their own eye and perspective to a project when it is collaborative.
This experience has encouraged me to take more risks in the future and believe more in my abilities (and give myself the opportunity to learn and grow in those abilities)!
My friend Judy got me into quilting (I have her to blame for all this…smile).
Recently she shared a couple photos of her re-organized sewing room and gave me permission to share on my blog. However, I cannot share her photos without briefly mentioning her “Jelly Roll Love” (notice I am using the term “Love” and not “Addiction”, ha!) and that perhaps this is a love that I also share…
I met Judy years ago when she was a colleague at a job that seems like a lifetime ago. She is one of my “Quilting Sisters“. You know how I refer to my husband Terry as Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) – well Judy is my Number One Quilting Sister (after all she got me into quilting) and her new moniker is the “#1QS“!
I appreciate that non-quilters follow my blog and out of respect for those who’ve never heard of fabric “jelly rolls” (other than a delicious bakery delight) here is an image of a fabric jelly roll:
A jelly roll is a 42 piece collection of pre-cut 2.5 inch quilting fabric strips and are very popular among quilters (and quite addicting to collect). The appeal for quilters to use “pre-cuts” (pre-cut fabric collections) is that they are time saving and the fabrics are already coordinated.
In the late 2000s to early 2010s jelly rolls pre-cuts were gaining huge popularity with quilters. Numerous jelly roll fabric collections and books with patterns on creating quilts made with jelly rolls were flooding the market. I am guilty of buying several of these books myself as you can see in the image from my bookshelf below:
Judy’s Sewing Space & Jelly Roll Love
Judy, aka the #1QS, used to sew in a corner of her family room.
A couple of years ago, she emptied out a spare bedroom and turned it into her “Sewing Retreat”. Recently re-organized her sewing space and below are a couple photos include one of her drawer of jelly rolls that she has been collecting for years.
Projects, so many projects:
As you can tell, she will never grow bored with all those glorious sewing projects in queue!
Fabric Organized on “Mini-Bolts”
Judy uses cardboard bolts that fabric yardage comes on (like you see in fabric shops), cuts them in half and then used them to wrap her yardage and organize her fabric like a miniature quilt shop!
Another Quilting Sister Dana has done the same thing in her studio/sewing space:
I’ve been with Judy and Dana, during a quilt retreat, when they’ve asked a quilt shop owner for any empty fabric bolts they can spare. Many quilt shops just recycle the cardboard bolts so they are happy to give them to a quilter to use (at least the shops I’ve seen Judy and Dana ask for empty bolts from).
I think the effect of the mini bolts, besides nicely organizing yardage of fabric, is it makes your sewing room look like a mini Quilt Shop!
And Now For the Jelly Rolls
Judy stated this is not her only drawer of jelly rolls but she did not share a photo of her other drawer (or drawers?!?!?).
Judy is not alone in her “Jelly Roll Love”, I’ve been guilty of it myself:
I won’t tell you the container’s dimensions or just how filled with jelly rolls my “Tub-o-Jelly-Rolls” is: a girl has to keep some things private….
I finished the piece made from recycled textiles (clothing, home decor, manufacturing samples, hand-dyed silk samples, etc.) for our local art group’s annual show with the theme “The Threads that Bind” – The Recycled Love. The 03/29/18 post provides details of the 8 types of recycled fibers that are contained in the piece and my musing on writing the Artist Statement for this piece.
Here is my finalized Artist Statement for the piece:
The first law of thermodynamics states that the total amount of energy in a system cannot be created nor destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another. A quilt is made from changing the existing “love energy” from the quilt maker’s heart into a pieced textile; ultimately recycling that love energy into the quilt’s recipient heart
I think this piece is a better option than those materials ending up in a landfill.
It’s no secret, especially if you’ve followed my blog for a while, that I am obsessed with fabric scraps. I won’t try to link any of my numerous previous posts on fabric scraps. If you are new to my blog, you will have to just trust me 🙂
Well one of my quilting friends, actually the one who got me into appreciating the value and opportunity for unlimited creativity provided by using fabric scraps, is coming over tomorrow for a SCRAP PARTY!
She had a birthday a couple of weeks ago and we are going to do a belated celebration by going to out to lunch and then coming back to my house and spending the afternoon playing in my fabric scrap pile:
I did not post about it (as those of you who’ve followed me for a while may have grown weary of my constantly talking about fabric scraps) but last weekend I thinned out my scrap pile. I pulled out any remaining old lower quality fabric and donated more to a local charity thrift shop.
During a previous donation, a volunteer at one of our local charity thrift shops (for our local Humane Society shelter), told me that fabric scraps sell very well at the thrift shop. They cannot keep fabric scrap bags in stock, they sell out immediately! (See there are more weird obsessed people like myself in Central Oregon).
So what are we going to do at a so called “Scrap Party”? Well I am going to dump the whole box onto a plastic tarp on the floor of my master bedroom (as not to take up precious space in my tiny studio space that we will be sharing) and let my friend go wild playing with my fabric scrap collection. She is really into improvisational piecing (she is the one who helped me move from traditional quilting to art/improvisational quilting) so fabric scraps are one of her favorite textile mediums!
I’ve set up my travel sewing machine for her in my studio so we can sew together. I have two design walls (a small one on the closet door in my studio and then the big one in the hall way) so we won’t have to battle for design wall space!
I’m not sure what she is going to work on, but I plan to work on some paper piecing. I’m trying to spend more time with my extensive (ridiculous) craft book collection and rediscovered in my craft book collection – 50 Little Paper-Pieced Blocks by Carol Doak. Playing with fabric scraps seems like a great time to work on my paper-piecing skills.
My friend is bringing over her miniature schnauzer so Mike will have a furry friend visiting.
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) made us chocolate chip cookies (to keep our sugar fueled energy level high for crafting!!!):
Of course I will share the outcomes of our Scrap Party!
This post is actually part of my ongoing series of posts, What’son the Design Wall, in which I share my latest project in progress.
Since I’ve been primarily focused on hand quilting this piece, I will call this “What’s on My Lap” instead.
In addition to sharing my latest art quilting project, I want to continue the discussion on writing Artist Statements that I began in the 8/25/16 post, ArtistStatementsand continued in the 04/17/17 post Artist Statements, Part II.
What’s On My Lap
Our local art quilting group, Central Oregon SAQA, has an annual themed art quilting exhibit (with a measurement requirement of 18″ x 40″) at the Sisters Outdoor QuiltShow, as well at several venues in Central Oregon.
This year’s theme is “The Threads That Bind“.
In response to that theme, and keeping with my series of art quilts made from recycled jeans (and other materials) I have a piece in progress called Recycled Love.
Keep in mind this piece is in progress and I have not yet evenly trimmed the sides (why it looks “wonky”), finished the hand quilting, or added the facing (or binding), etc. (I trimmed off the excess batting as I had finished hand quilting all edges/borders and wanted it to look semi-neat for the photo.)
I am still trying to decide if I will do a “facing” finish like I did for my piece The Recycled Road (the Central Oregon SAQA annual theme was “Pathways”) or bind it like I did for my piece Recycled Door (the Central Oregon SAQA annual theme was “Doors”). You can view these two pieces I reference at this link – tierneycreates.com/2017/04/11/the-recycled-road/)
But first I need to complete hand stitching the rest of the heart and the “folded quilts” in the piece.
Here are additional photos from the photo shoot I did in my backyard this afternoon:
In addition to recycled denim jeans, this piece is made from a whole lot of recycled textiles including:
Recycled upholstery fabric samples
Recycled couture silks
Various bits of recycled clothing
Recycled sample book of hand dyed silk strips
Recycled blocks (made with recycled clothing) from my piece Recycled Windows)
Recycled section from another art quilt (Color Story VII: Ohio Shifted) that I had trimmed while making the original piece
Like I mentioned above – a whole lot of recycled textiles went into this piece!
As an example, in the photos below are the bag of hand-dyed silk samples a friend gave me; and me piecing them together on muslin to create the first “folded quilt” at the top of the stack:
The “heart” in the piece (representing “love” in the statement: “Quilts are Love”) is made from the scraps of the “folded quilts” I pieced for this quilt! I am still working on the hand quilting in the heart.
The back of the piece is also made from recycled textiles: I used an old shirt and upholstery fabric samples (I will share the back in a future post as I forgot to take a photo – oops).
I even used recycled batting in the “quilt sandwich”! Below is a photo of me zigzagging together two smaller pieces of recycled batting (that my long-arm quilter friend gave me) to create a large piece for the quilt:
Did I carry the whole “recycling” concept too far?!?!? (smile)
Next time I share photos of the piece they will be of the completed piece!
In a recent issue of the SAQA Journal(2017, No. 4) I came across an excellent article by Allison Reker titled “Craft an amazing artist statement in less than 60 words”.
The article’s author emphasizes brevity in Artist Statements and her tips to achieve such brevity make a lot of sense to me. So my new thing is challenging myself on how meaningful a statement I can make in under 60 words.
Also I think brevity leaves more room for the viewers interpretation. I want to assist the viewer to get a feel of where I am going to (or coming from) on a piece but still give them room to draw their own conclusions/have their own private experience with the piece.
So with that in mind, here’s the draft Artist Statement I’ve written for this piece.
Recycled Love (2018)
18″ x 40″, recycled clothing, upholstery samples, hand-dyed silk samples, and other recycled textiles
The first law of thermodynamics states that the total amount of energy in a system cannot be created nor destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another. Quilts are made from recycling the existing “love energy” from the quilt maker’s heart and hands into the pieced textiles, transferring it to the quilt recipient.
I am at 58 words (just keeping it under 60) and I plan to revisit this draft Artist Statement when I actually finish the piece. I want to play more with the concept of energy not being create or destroyed, just transferred/changed. Also I am trying to decide if I want to fit in the words in the theme “The Threads That Bind” into the Artist Statement somewhere.
She demonstrated her brilliant method for piecing curves using pieces cut from The Clammy, her giant clamshell maker template. Below are photos from the class (including some yummy fabric she used for her demo):
Later that day I was fortunate enough to share a shuttle bus ride (EE Schencks provided a free shuttle to and from the hotel to the Trends show) with Latifah and hear more about her transition from scientist to quilting guru!
Kathy Cardiff: Wool Appliqué
Kathy Cardiff is a Washington state based designer, author and teacher who specializes in wool appliqué. Check out her website – The Cottageat Cardiff Farms.
She taught a hands on wool appliqué class in which she prepped our little wool appliqué pieces with fusible backed paper, we just needed to cut the little pieces out to make this (her sample):
She also prepared templates for us to use to press the pieces together onto freezer paper before peeling them off to place the fabric for the little pillow:
Her work is amazing, here are so additional photos from the class and her booth:
She definitely took the fear out of wool appliqué for me like Latifah Saafir took the fear out of curved piecing for me!
Here is my wool appliqué piece currently in progress from the class:
The funny thing is I’ve had a The Cottage at Cardiff Farms sunflower wool appliqué pillow pattern and supplies for many years but I was too intimidated to get started on it. It no longer seems scary – especially now that I have learned a quick way to put the appliqué pieces together and fuse them!
I told Kathy about the pattern I’ve had for years (purchased at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, OR); she knew which one I referenced and gave me tips after class on how to complete it!
There’s No Place Like Home
We had fun in Portland but I was also happy to return home again. My heart always soars when we drive from the Mount Hood pass area into Central Oregon. It is so interesting how the climate and the landscapes change from Portland to Mount Hood to Central Oregon.
The moment I saw my beloved “high desert” landscape, blue skies and Cascade Mountains everywhere – I knew I was home!
Recently I read an article online (oops I do not remember the website) that strongly recommended you do not store your thread out in the open because of dust, etc. In a previous post,Aurifilia, I discussed my beloved collection of AURIfil thread (actually obsession).
Well I decided to take down my mounted thread racks and store my thread collection instead in bins to protect the thread.
So I went from this:
Note the AURIfil is neatly stored in the top 4 containers and the “non-AURIfil” thread is casually strew about in the bottom container – ha!
I also decided to put up more quilted art/gifts from my Quilting Sisters in my Studio.
Here is a quilt made for me a couple years ago by my Quilting Sister Kathy when our group did a quilt exchange:
I’ve been waiting to share this with you for quite a while. First, I needed to wait until the show’s curator gave me permission to share, and then I needed to be ready to share.
I am ready to share!
This post is an overdue follow up to my post Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me, originally posted in April 2016. You are welcome to read the original post but here is a synopsis of some of this post and a little bit of additional information:
While browsing the magazine section at our local Barnes & Noble bookstore in March 2016, I came across this magazine that I’ve never seen before: American Craft Magazine:
In the April 2016 issue of American Craftthey had an article about an exhibit, And Still We Rise by the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN). I never heard of WCQN and immediately knew I wanted to join!
I reached out to Dr.Carolyn Mazloomi, founder of WCQN, shared my blog links with images of my work and asked if I could join and she said yes.
I then spent a lot of time looking through the WCQN website and was inspired to create a series based on the incredible stories my father, Raoul Davis, Sr., told me while growing up – Stories My Father Told Me.
I shared this with Dr. Mazloomi and she invited me to participate in the next WCQN show. (I was terrified and wanted to say “No” but I made myself say “Yes”)
The Lesson & The Equation
The WCQN show that I was incredibly lucky enough to be invited to participate, was based on the United Nations (U.N.) Universal Declaration ofHuman Rights. Participants had to select one of the thirty (30) Articles in this declaration and make a quilt inspired by the Article.
I selected Article 1 as it aligned with the lessons and values my father taught us as children:
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
I’ve shared partial images from the quilt I created, which is the first quilt in my series Stories My Father Told Me. Here is a full image of the quilt, courtesy of Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, and below the image is my Artist Statement.
The Lesson & The Equation (2016) 50 x 50 inches
Applique, cotton, batiks, quilted
“Article I: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” – U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article I of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights resonates the values that my father instilled in my siblings and me, as young children. My father grew up in the segregated South in the 1940s and embraced at an early age that change comes from respectful dialogue, not violence.
He taught us that regardless of what adversity we faced in life, we must face it with grace; and treat others with respect, dignity, and brotherhood. The foundation for a life lived embracing the values illustrated in Article I, begins at home, modeled and mentored by the adults in a child’s life. (THE LESSON)
In this quilt, a father (modeled after my own father in the 1970s) is teaching his children, on the main blackboard, THE EQUATION to achieving a world in which people are Free and Equal: Reason + Conscience = Spirit of Brotherhood
The two individual blackboards, “Dignity” and “Respect”, are the building blocks of the Free & Equal equation. I am from a family of educators, beginning with my great-grandfather. The blackboards in the quilt honor that legacy.
My father also taught us another key lesson, which is best expressed in the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet”.
This quilt will debut in the WCQN show, Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience, on August 17, 2018 at the FiltonCenterfor Creative Arts in Hamilton, OH.
Yes I will be attending the opening in August and there are no words I could type that would convey my excitement to be participating in this important exhibit. I am feeling very blessed to have been given this opportunity.
There will also be a book that accompanies the exhibit and Dr. Mazloomi’s books are incredible. Search “Carolyn Mazloomi” on Amazon to see a sample of books related to past exhibits. I own several of these books and to call them “inspirational” would be an understatement.
Below is an example of one of the books from a WCQN exhibit (which is currently touring):
And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversationsis on exhibit at the Freedom Center until September 1, 2018 – here is thelink if you would like to check out more information on this exhibit.
I had the opportunity to finally meet Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi in person this past September when I attended Quilters Take Manhattan (see post The “Dance Partner” – Michael Cummings at QTM 2017). I tried not to behave like too much of a “fan girl” but I was completely in awe of this amazing and accomplished woman.
What is Next?
I mentioned in my post Art& Fear, etc., I was struggling with two looming art quilt deadlines.
One of those quilts is for my local SAQA group annual show which I have started (will share in upcoming post); and the other one is a new art quilt for the next WCQN show I have been invited to participate in. I cannot share the details at the time, I need to wait until the curator is ready to officially announce the show – but it is another really exciting opportunity!
With the first quilt done in the Stories My Father Told Me series,I have mapped out the next 6 – 8 quilts in the series based on stories from my father’s life and lessons he taught me.
I just need to start making them (and if I win the lottery I plan to work full-time on completing this series)…
I think my whole experience demonstrates that you have to take risks in life and when an opportunity comes to your door – take it!
“Go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.” — Jimmy Carter
Imagine if I never contacted Dr. Mazloomi? (Of course imagine if I never randomly opened that magazine at my local Barnes & Noble…thank you Universe!)
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 AURIfilItalian Threads.
Quilter True Confessions
My “Aurifilia” began 5 – 6 years ago when another quilter introduced me to these addicting Italian threads.
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.
I went from this organization (by color):
To this organization (by brand):
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!
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 StudioTourpage 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?
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:
Inside was a stack of fabric scraps, fat quarters and yardage:
Here is what the gift looks like laid out:
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!
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.
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.):
This post is an addendum to yesterday’s post Prepping to Make Fabric Bowlsand 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!
After a while, Mike the miniature schnauzer came in the room to check on him and witness the abuse:
Mike gave me the “furry eye ball” for putting TTQH through such tedium!
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):
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!
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.
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:
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 HoffmanBali 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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
Here is what I have finished so far, not very much but I plan to work on it at a leisurely pace:
I will share a photo of my progress in a future post.
In yesterday’s post, OhScrap!, 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:
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!)
Recently a couple of my blogging buddies, Mary at ZippyQuiltsand Claire at knitNkwilt posted about starting projects from their fabric scrap piles and “fabric scrap wrangling” (organizing a crafter’s crazy scrap pile).
As fabric scraps are my secret (well..not so secret) obsession, I want to join the conversation!
Last time I posted about my fabric scrap organization, I shared this photo of my fabric scraps organized in windowed boxes by color:
Well this organization failed. Why? Because I was not using the scraps, I was just enjoying them as “decoration” in my studio!
I knew I needed to do something and rethought how I was create with scraps I realized it was too cumbersome to pull down individual boxes by color to access scraps (my studio is small and I could only pull down 1-2 boxes at a time without serious crowding!). So I did something crazy: I pulled all the scraps out of the boxes and put them into a bag:
Yes it is a giant bag! It measures 22″ in height and approximately 22″ in diameter…and it is packed (but not too tightly…just fairly tightly, ha!). I’ve named it “Giant-Bag-O-Scraps” and I love it!
In addition to moving the fabric scraps out of their boxes by color, I also thinned out my collection of “Challenge Bags” (see post Basket of Challenges) and moved many of the scraps from these bags into the Giant-Bag-O-Scraps. I narrowed by huge “Challenge Bag” collection down to this:
I did keep one type of fabric scraps separate from the others – batik scraps. They have their own organization into three baskets under my cutting table: 1) light and medium-light colors; 2) medium-dark to dark colors; and 3) thin strips:
The reason for this separation is I want to make some landscape quilts using batik strips. I recently bought a book on Landscape quilts that I will discuss in a future post (once I start an actual landscape quilt project).
During this entire “scrap wrangling” project I did pull out a lot of scraps to donate to our local Humane Society Thrift Store. The thrift store has a crafting section and packages of fabric scraps sell very quickly there (other weird people like me who are also obsessed I guess..). Check out my post from October 2016 – A “Humane” Way to Eliminate FabricScraps to see how I packed up a huge donation of fabric scraps during my purging in 2016. The packages of scraps shown in that post sold within a week at the thrift shop!
Although I am not seeking out any additional fabric scraps, currently I am embracing my fabric scrap obsession. I remind myself that my quilting studio area is “my playroom” and it is okay to go in there and just play with my scraps!
Happy MLK Day! When the political landscape feels challenging to me as a person of color and as a woman, I remember his words and I am re-inspired:
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 –
Became this once five (5) little scrappy batik heart pillows were added to make it the tierneycreates Basket of Love:
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.
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!
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:
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.