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.
A Different Way to Quilt Retreat
Each year when posting about the annual May quilting retreat I attend, I include a “road to retreat” post on my journey to the retreat at Sew N Go in Vancouver, WA.
A couple weeks before the retreat I was trying to decide whether to drive to the May quilt retreat or to take the bus again. Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) offered to drive me this time to the retreat with Mike the Miniature Schnauzer joining us for the road trip.
Instead of having him drive 4 hours to the retreat and then back, we came up with the idea of driving to Cannon Beach, Oregon the day before the retreat. We would spend a day in Cannon Beach, stay overnight and the TTQH would drive me to the retreat and head back home.
I Love Cannon Beach
We’ve been visiting Cannon Beach for many years – I think we visited the first time in the early 2000s. In my post ACase for Buying Tings You Have No Plans For At The Time, I share my love for Cannon Beach and a special Cannon Beach themed wallhanging I made for my friend at work Nancy.
Wandering Around Cannon Beach
Let’s begin with images of the beach, the sea, and the iconic Haystack rock at Cannon Beach. We enjoyed talking the coastline with Mike and here are images from Day which was fairly sunny.
The next day, before heading to retreat, it was overcast but the beach was still wonderful:
I love Central Oregon but it is far away from the sea. Every so often it is nice to be at the sea, smell the sea, and listen to the sea.
We’ve had a doggy backpacks for years that we carry our miniature schnauzers around in when traveling (most shops unless they are restaurants will allow a dog in a backpack in the shop) so we do not have to leave them in the car when sightseeing.
TTQH had Mike in his backpack as we wandered around Center Diamond Fabrics and Mike appears to be advising TTQH on fabric selections:
After the quilt shop, it was off to the yarn shop at Cannon Beach, Coastal Yarns, where Mike also advised from his backpack:
I was naughty at this shop and bought a skein of this ridiculously expensive variegated silk yarn that I fell hopelessly in love with it:
We stayed at the inviting and dog-friendly McBeeCottages where they had a welcome basket for Mike and a wonderful collection of handmade bird houses.
Wished I Lived in Cannon Beach, But Wait…
Every time we visit Cannon Beach, I daydream about moving there.
There are beautiful beach houses everywhere in the wonderful neighborhoods around the coastal area:
There are beautiful coastal gardens:
And of course there is this – the beach and the Pacific Ocean:
But then there is this:
We do not worry about Tsunamis in Central Oregon. So I will stick with just visiting Cannon Beach (hopefully never during a Tsunami) for now!
Our Shop Hop began at Sew Many Quilts and Bernina Center.
Each shop gave out a free fat 1/8th quarter (18″ x 11″) of coordinating batik fabric and a free block pattern for the Central Oregon Shop Hop Mystery Quilt. You get your Shop Hop Passport card stamped at each shop and if you completely fill it out, visiting all seven (7) shops, you can enter to win several prizes including a new Bernina sewing machine!
Later in this post I will share my Shop Hop Passport stamps and my haul of free fat 1/8th quarters from day one (see section “The Haul“).
Sew Many Quilts and Bernina Centeris where I bought my Bernina sewing machine many years ago and my breath always catches a bit when I walk into their shop and see all the dream Berninas:
They appeared to be embracing as many holidays as possible, and here are a sampling of their displays which covered: Easter, Valentines Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Halloween!
All the shops offered a delicious smorgasbord of snacks and treats for the shoppers. Here is an example from Sew Many Quilts and Bernina Center:
In addition to the big prize drawing for those who completed their Shop Hop passports, each shop had their own individual drawing for shop gift certifications, etc:
QuiltWorks (Bend, Oregon)
Next stop on Shop Hop was at QuiltWorks, where the lovely owner Marilyn Forestell greeted shop hoppers and stamped their cards.
They also had delicious food including a huge chocolate birthday cake to celebrate the shop’s anniversary and the owner’s birthday (I forgot to take photos of the other shops’ snacks).
Here are photos from around the shop:
They even have a Quilt Shop Dog (looks like a schnauzer mix to me!):
This is where my naughtiness started – they had a section I could not refuse (see the section “The Haul” for what I purchased…you know just to be polite to the shop, ha!):
They also had a very timely display on the book Pillow Pop: 25 Quick-Sew Projects to Brighten Your SpacePaperbackby Heather Bostic. A couple weeks ago I decided to attack my pile of 2.5″ x 2.5″ scrap squares and enlist TTQH to help me make a huge pile of Half-Square Triangles (HSTs) to make several of the pillows in this book (future post).
Seeing several pillow patterns from the book displayed really inspired me to (eventually) continue working on the pillows (not sure though if TTQH is still speaking to me after trimming all those HSTs…)
BJ’s Quilt Basket (Bend, Oregon)
Our third and final stop for day one was BJ’s Quilt Basket. BJ’s hold a special place in my heart as it was the start of meeting many of my other Quilting Sisters besides Judy who got m into quilting (see post Quilting Sisters, Part I).
Here are images from around BJ’s Quilt Basket:
First, here are the stamps on my Shop Hop passport for Day One:
Only 4 more to go!
Here is my haul of free 1/8th fat quarters – six (6) fat 1/8th quarters (TTQH gave me his of course!) from Day One:
Here is an example of the free block pattern given at each shop. You have to go to all seven (7) shops to get the final layout/instructions for the mystery quilt; but if you do not get to all the shops each pattern also has instructions on turning the block pattern into a table runner.
And finally, here was the scrap bag I bought from QuiltWorks. It had several yards of large samples of fabrics!
Thanks for joining me on Day One! Next post is Day Two of course 🙂
That’s a lot of topics for one post, well let’s get started!
The Toe Saga
I’ve been delinquent in blogging lately due to a very silly injury: a broken toe.
My sofa and I had an argument and I lost. I was rushing around, not paying attention and jammed my right foot/toes into the metal leg of my sofa at what felt like 80 miles an hour. It hurt, like really hurt but I thought it was just a sprain or an irritation to my toes and tried to care for itself (after all I am a RN).
A couple days later one of the toes was looking more purple and bruised so it was time to head over the Urgent Care, and yes, per the x-ray, the toe was fractured…in two places. They are hairline fractures and will take up to 6 weeks to heal; but my toe did not require surgery or fracture reduction/setting (so that is a good thing!).
(I know, I know, you all are so disappointed that I did not include a photo of my purplish bruised toe in this post, ha!)
I am mainly irritated with myself for such careless stupidity and that my daily walks are on hold for a week. The Physician Assistant I saw in Urgent Care said in a week my toe will be better to walk on, but I suspect I will have to take a hiatus from my hiking adventures.
I am trying to use this experience as a lesson that I need to slow down and be more mindful of my environment. I also rearranged my end tables to guard me against a future “sofa attack”.
Library Stack Catch Up
Before I decided to share “The Toe Saga”, the original purpose of this post was to continue my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my latest stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library.
Well I am two stacks behind! So let’s catch you up.
The Prior Stack
A couple of the books were books I’ve borrowed before such as Quilt Inspirations from Africa and Red & White Quilting. I like to think of my public library as “my other bookcase” and many of the older quilting/crafting books are always on the shelves whenever I want to read them again.
Two books that I’ve never borrowed before and really enjoyed in this stack were Fairy Tale Sewing: Whimsical Toys, Dolls and Softies by Heidi Boyd and Stitch Draw by Rosie James.
Of course I’ve been heavily influenced by the work of Helen@Crawcraftbeasties and Shirley @Handmade Habit – there are doing awesome things with “Softies” and I want to be part of this scene somedays too (along with the 10,000 other crafts I want to make).
I have commissioned Helen to make the tierneycreates Beastie and Shirley is doing some amazing new things with new stuffed animal creations! Be sure to check out their wonderful blogs if you have not already (I’ve linked their blogs in the text above and you should also check out their awesome Instagram pages).
I’ve also been influenced by Chela @Chela’s Colchas y Mas who retired from teaching and it now trying to become the “Renaissance Women of All Things Crafting”.
She started posting her stitching doodles and drawings on her blog and now I want to try that out someday also (yeah, yeah, future craft projects/techniques, get in line behind all the others). I thought the book Stitch Draw by Rosie James had many great ideas to get started.
A Single Stack
In between the library stack above, and my current stack, I had one solitary book: Living the Airstream Life by Karen Flett.
Lots of daydreaming went on while reading this book (but where would I put my sewing studio in the Airstream…and where would I store all my fabric scraps?!?!).
The physical book itself is pretty cool – the outside is framed in silver paper with simulated rivets like on an Airstream trailer!
Of course Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) had to tease me while I was reading the book. He kept asking: “So do we get a trailer to attach behind the Airstream for your fabric?”.
I’ve posted in the past about embracing Minimalism in my series of posts on MyMinimalism Journey but my craft hobbies are interfering with a full “embracement”!
My Current Stack: Your Sacred Nest
My current stack of library books is, in my opinion, quite yummy! This stack is about quality over quantity.
I am currently reading Your Creative Work Space: The Sweet Spot Style Guide to Home Office + Studio Decor by Desha Peacock, and so far this book is fantastic!
I’d like to share snippets from a passage from the book on “Your Sacred Nest: Everyone Needs a Creative Sweet Spot Space“:
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 love thinking of my creative endeavors as my “baby birds”!
(But wait a minute, I could continue with this analogy and realize that the reason I get into trouble sometimes is I am trying to feed too many “baby birds” at one time!)
I love my neighborhood and I have some awesome neighbors who I just really like as people (they are good humans!). Here is a recent sweet public library story from one of my neighbors.
My neighbor and friend Jenny just returned from a three week trip to Australia to visit her in-laws. Her in-laws live suburb of Melbourne and after a week or so of just reading downloaded e-books, she and her young son were missing their regular trips to their our local public library (she is a Deschutes Public Library Cult-Member like I am, ha!). Jenny heard that the Melbourne area library system allows visitor passes and for visitors with ID to borrow up to two books.
So she and her son walked 10 minutes from where they were staying to the St. Kilda library. The librarian was so welcoming and after a chat she not only let them borrow more than 2 books (which is awesome as Jenny and her son did not have to go with one book each), she helped identify some great books (and loaded them up) in the children’s section and gave them a nice tote bag to get their huge stack of book back to where they were staying 10 minutes away!
So libraries are good places all over the world and librarians are some of the best people on earth (smile).
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I attended EE Schenck’s Trends show this past weekend. This post is part one of my two-part series on my experience at the Spring 2018 Trends show.
I signed up for an EE Schenck wholesale account when I had the tierneycreates Etsy shop and for a brief time thought I would supplement my handmade items sales with some fabric sales.
My ‘adventures in retail” were challenging (see my old post from June 2015, Adventures inRetail) and I quickly discovered that I greatly disliked cutting yardage and making up fat quarter packs (I believe this is what you have to do all day in the “Underworld”, if you are bad in life and go there after you die; to me that is a big enough incentive to be good in life!).
I did however meet my lovely quilting friend Martha through one of my Etsy shop fabric sales so I figured that was the good thing that came out of that experience!
Additionally, as I discussed in previous posts, I did not want to compete against “brick & mortar” quilt shops (though absolutely no quilt shop could have been threatened by my meager attempts to sell fabric) and become part of the “online fabric sales world” that threatens our beloved community quilt shops.
I did eventually temporarily close my Etsy shop (it’s been over a year so it has been an extended “temporary” closure) to rethink my strategy and handmade offerings.
My Etsy shop is temporarily closed but EE Schenck still has me listed as a wholesaler and they continue invite me each year to their Spring and Fall Trends show for now.
I attended my first show in September 2016 (see the post Ladies FriendshipCircle) and got to hang out with my friend Joan H. as well as the lovely MarieBostwick (a mutual friend of my friend Joan) and Mary Fons (a friend of Marie’s).
So when I received the invite from EE Schenck to the Spring Trends show and saw what classes were offered, I asked TTQH if he would like to go to Portland, Oregon for the weekend (it is only a 4 hour drive from my house) and attend Trends.
Beside the opportunity for a nice weekend getaway to Portland, one of the reasons I attended the Trends show was for a very reasonable price I could take “Take n’ Teach” classes from wonderful authors/teachers/designers such as Latifah Saafir, Kathy Cardiff, and Jody Houghton.
I was especially excited to take Jody Houghton’s class, Fabric Art Panels, because her work holds a special place in my heart. As a matter of fact I gaze at one of her panels nearly everyday: my very dear friend Judy (who got me into quilting and I consider my “Quilt Momma”) made me this wall hanging a couple years ago from a Jody Houghton panel:
The Drive to Portland
There are generally two ways to get from Central Oregon to Portland: SantiamPassor MountHood Pass. Until late April (or later) both are at mountain elevations, are ski areas, and both are usually covered in snow. Sometimes the snow is packed on the road and most times until late Spring, chains or traction tires can be required. You always see tractor trailers at the lowest part of the elevation pulled over and putting on their chains to make it through the pass in the late Fall, Winter and early-mid Spring.
We decided to take Santiam Pass to Portland and below are photos from our snowy drive (from inside the car with the windows rolled up). I was glad TTQH was driving! (Actually is wasn’t that bad, we only 30 minutes or so driving on pack snow, the rest of the drive was just wet/snow dusted highway).
The Unexpected Roommate
Arriving in Portland we first stopped at Powell’s Books, the mega independent bookstore and a mandatory stop so TTQH could load up on more military history books (his other hobby besides quilting).
After that we headed to our hotel and checked into our room.
It had been a long drive from Central Oregon to Portland and we had spent a long time in Powell’s books, and I was eager to get into comfy clothes and relax. TTQH was in the bathroom and I was getting undressed and suddenly the door opened to our hotel room and a woman was backing into our room with her suitcase!
I exclaimed: “Hello there!” and startled her as I quickly pulled my pants back up. She was a well dressed congenial woman who graciously stated: “Oops, the woman at the front desk was new and I think she assigned me the wrong room.” We briefly laughed about it (though I was in utter shock and yelled to TTQH not to come out of the bathroom unless he was fully dressed) and she said she would go downstairs and sort it out. She also said she was there for the Trends show so I knew she was likely a quilter/crafter and therefore a wonderful person (in general, crafters are wonderful people – smile)!
Shaken (and feeling rather vulnerable as they obviously we handing out card keys to our room to others!) I immediately called the front desk and told them what happened. I then went down to the front desk in person and requested to have a new card key made up. The front desk staff apologized profusely and got everything fixed. The nice woman who had backed into our room was also there getting things sorted out and we laughed about it again.
When I got back to the room, I had calmed down and TTQH were able to have a laugh about it. I said to TTQH, “Well she seemed nice and I guess she could have slept between us if the hotel is completely out of rooms, ha!”
I figured I would run into the “unexpected roommate” at some point at the Trends show on Saturday and we would have a more relaxed laugh about it.
The Unexpected Teacher
Saturday, September 17th, after the Trends keynote speaker’s, Amy Barickman of Indigo Junction, I headed to the “Take n’ Teach” series of classes, my first class being with Jody Houghton.
And guess who was Jody Houghton? My Unexpected Roommate!!!!
We had quite the laugh about it when I first arrived at her booth for the class! Jody and I also shared the story with the other class participants who got a laugh out of it too!
Her class was wonderful and we learned how to make quick tote bags using her panels. Here are photos from the class and photos of some of the cool samples she had on display:
Jody is an absolutely lovely woman and a very talented designer and teacher.
Check out her panels and notions on her Etsy Shop: Sisterhood of Quilters by Jody Houghton Designs. I hope you will support her shop (or convince your local quilt shop to carry her items) as in my opinion she really captures the heart of the friendships and bonds that come from quilting together. I hope I get to connect with her again the future (but perhaps not as an unexpected roommate…ha!).
It is sort of like the Universe brought us together – how random that the woman who created the panel in the wallhanging that means so much to me, “broke” into my room!
Next post I will continue with more stories from the Trends show (though none involving potential roommates!)
Our first time to Trends in September 2016 we took Mike and Sassy (who passed in December 2017). TTQH only briefly attend Trends (leaving the dogs in the car outside for 1/2 hour) as he was in charge of the dogs (who did not like to be left in a hotel room alone).
We decided to leave Mike with some fellow schnauzer people and be “child-free” in Portland this time so we could enjoy the weekend together. TTQH was not interested in taking any classes but he had fun wandering around EE Schenck looking for dog themed fabrics and talking to other husbands (usually the husbands of quilt shop owners, etc.) at the show.
Here is a photo of Mike with his schnauzer buddies Chopper and Frieda, taken by their people and texted to us during the weekend so we knew Mike was having a good time. They labeled this photo “The Three Amigos”.
TTQH recently finished 25large nine-patch blocks (each square of fabric used in each block was originally a 6.5″ square) made from my stash of homespuns:
We’ve decided not to piece the lattice between the blocks (the original pattern calls for 2.5″ inch blocks pieced as a border on two side of each block to create the lattice):
Instead we are going use a single 2.5″ strip of different homespuns for the lattice. It will still give it a “scrappy” feel without all that piecing. I gave TTQH the option of piecing (and first cutting!) all those 2.5″ squares and he liked the solid strip idea instead!
Inspired by my friend Wendy and the book I borrowed from the library – Quilt As-You-Go Made Vintage by Jera Brandwig, I am going to “quilt-as-you-go” this king-size quilt.
I am very tempted to buy this book, I really enjoyed it and it has great instructions on three (3) ways to join blocks in the “quit-as-you-go” method.
Alas, as I am still working on my two art quilts with deadlines, quilting-as-you-go on TTQH’s quilt is on the back-burner for now.
I will share updated photos when he gets the borders on each block; and show a simulation of what the quilt will look like once it is completed (using the “design bed” a phrase I stole from my blogging buddy Claire @ knitNkwilt).
So what else has TTQH worked on recently? Well he was involved with what some people might call “Crafter-Spouse-Misuse” (I thought the word “abuse” was too strong).
In my previous post, ACase Against Procrastination, I shared that I had only completed 13.5″ of a knitted scarf that I was making to coordinate with a knitted hat I made in December 2017:
One of the reasons, besides obvious procrastination, that I have not progressed on knitting this scarf is that I ran out of the ball of yarn I was working from (the remnant the original ball of yarn I used for the hat).
So last evening, in support of me moving forward on my scarf (so I can coordinate with the hat from the same yarn and stay warm now that Snowmageddon is back in Central Oregon!), TTQH agreed to wind a new ball of yarn for me from my waiting skein.
As you will see below, Mike the Miniature Schnauzer (who is overdue for a grooming) is giving me the furry eyeball for taking up TTQH’s time with this task.
Mike’s irritation and Crafter-Spousal-Misuse aside, I now have a nice wound ball of yarn and it’s time to return to knitting in front of the TV again!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted my latest library stack like in my series of posts TheLibrary Stack . Why? Because I took a break from “library stacks” and limited myself to one book at a time or actually reading books/periodical from my own stash!
But I could not stay away from my beloved library stack from my beloved public library, and yesterday I picked up a new stack:
The first book I am working through is Quilt As-You-Go Made Vintage by Jera Brandwig – a Pacific NW Authors (she lives in Seattle where I used to live!)
I discovered this book in the Non-Fiction New Releases section (first place I check out when headed upstairs at the library). Borrowing this is perfect timing, as my friend and quilting mentor Wendy H. has been advising me on how Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I can do “quilt-as-you-go” on the king-size quilt TTQH is currently working on. This book lays out three methods for quilt as-you-go in a very easy format.
I am tempted to buy the book but I am trying to take a break from adding any more books to my obscene craft book collection (I have an old post about my craft book collection, Craft Book Hoarder?!?!?, but maybe someday I will do an updated post of the current levels of craft book obsession..).
TTQH continues to work on his quilt on my sewing machine and Mike continues to keep him company in the chair in my sewing room!
I am feeling stuck. I have two looming deadlines for art quilts for two upcoming shows and I have not started either pieces.
I am dealing with feeling stuck in two ways: 1) reading an inspirational book; and 2) sewing some traditional blocks.
At the January meeting of the art quilting group I belong to (Central Oregon SAQA) our group leader shared that she was reading Art & Fear: Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking (1993) by David Bayles and Ted Orland.
After the meeting, I immediately reserved the book at my public library and just picked in up from the library on Friday. Diving into this awesome book I discovered a couple great quotes about the reality of creating/making art:
“Making art is dangerous and revealing. Making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be.”
“…fears arise in those entirely appropriate (and frequently occurring) moments when vision races ahead of execution. Consider the story of a young student…who began piano studies with a Master. After a few months’ practice (the student) lamented to his teacher ‘but I can hear the music so much better in my head than I can get out of my fingers’. To which the Master replied, ‘What makes you think that ever changes?'”
“The materials of art…seduce us with their potential.”
(This last quote made me think of stumbling upon that incredible textile that you know will be perfect in a future piece)
I am only on page 20 and so far there are many gems in this book. Currently I highly recommend it if you are struggling with creating art or moving forward on your artistic journey.
At the beginning of this post I mentioned I have not started two art quilts with looming deadlines. I have actually designed and mapped out both pieces on paper but have not begun to the process of transferring my vision to fabric. That is where I am stuck (likely because of fear).
Stitching Myself Unstuck
I knew I needed to do something to become “unstuck” but I could not force myself to start working on either art quilt when I am not feeling inspired. I could however get myself in a creating mood by sewing something.
So I pulled out my bag of scraps from working on Farm Girl Vintage blocks (see series of posts FarmGirl Vintage Blocks)
and made a couple more blocks:
These blocks are about as far as you can get from art quilting but they got me sewing again and it was fun to try to be limited by what was in the scrap bag (from Farm Girl Vintage blocks already made).
I will likely make a couple more blocks and then I will do a post showing all my completed Farm Girl Vintage blocks to date.
I will continue reading the Art & Fear book and look at starting my art quilts.
Have you ever felt creatively stuck and what do you do to get “unstuck”?
We have decided to sell his Baby Lock sewing machine and he is going to use my Bernina. I can better support him on technical issues if he is using the same brand of machine (I can trouble shoot my Bernina in my sleep).
Plus he likes working in my sewing area, it has a better set up with my latest room rearrangement.
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) is ready to make another quilt and this time he wants to make a quilt for our bed – and we have a king-size bed.
He has an ambitious plan, after raiding my stash of homespun fabrics (brushed cotton fabrics woven in a primitive home style weave, usually in plaids) for a very large quilt!
He discovered this book, Slash Your Stash Quilts, while I was thinning out my quilt booklets in November. I had this one slated for donation but he wanted to keep it and make the Twinklers pattern with homespuns in my stash (he was actually trying to slash my stash!).
We reviewed the original pattern he chose in depth which led to him changing his mind. He is going to make another pattern in the book that does not have all those “points”:
I helped him cut 225 6.5″ x 6.5″ squares and he has sorted them into 25 nine patch sets:
Here he is playing (spinning) with some designs with the pile-o-homespuns on the large design wall in the hallway:
And they now are waiting by his sewing machine for him to start sewing…
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!)
TTQH got his latest quilt – Flannel Fishing – back from the long-arm quilter and “field tested” it on Sunday (I was a nice wife and put the binding on for him, then laundered and put the quilt in the dryer to make it super yummy). He was joined by professional quilt field testers – Sassy and Mike (our miniature schnauzers).
The “field” was the living room sofa and the test involved falling asleep in the quilt while watching Sunday afternoon football.
As you can see above, I accidentally woke up Sassy and Mike from their snuggly flannel dreams when I took photos.
Mike was able to quickly fall back asleep under the quilt nestled behind TTQH:
TTQH is not into being photographed for the blog, you will just have to trust me he is field testing the quilt on the sofa (hey maybe he is Witness Protection, you never know…)
The fabric for the quilt was purchased during Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop earlier this year and you can read more about this quilt in the 07/06/17 post Update: Terry theQuilting Husband.
The long-arm quilter was not quite sure what do with it. It is a very busy quilt. She ended up doing a meandering stitch.
TTQH stitched together a bunch of flannel squares (9″ I think) of fishing and hunting themed fabrics he liked to create the quilt. The quilt was originally all PRINTS and I delicately suggested (I did not want to interfere with his creativity) that he add some solid flannels from my stash to help tone down all the prints:
I pieced the back of the quilt for him from an old collection of outdoorsy mountain wildlife fabric panels and kit I had collected 10+ years ago and never used – but it worked for the back of the quilt:
TTQH is very pleased with the quilt (and it provided a great nap during field testing).
The quilt joins the other TTQH flannel quilts strewn about the living room for the Central Oregon late Fall to Winter (to early Spring) season. In the evening we each grab a TTQH flannel quilt and start nesting!
If you are curious, TTQH doesn’t just make flannel quilts for himself – his very first flannel quilt he sent to his Mom and he has also made on for his sister Diane. He made his sister Susan a non-flannel quilt.
In case you are curious what Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) is up to, he is going to be “Slashing my Stash” of homespuns (fabric).
Recently I pulled from a bookcase a stack of quilting books and booklets that I have neglected for years. The plan was to donate any book I could not find at least one pattern in the book I would definitely make.
TTQH was eyeing the stack of old quilting books for donation I assembled, so I asked him if he wanted to flip through the pile and see if he wanted to make any quilts from books in this pile.
He pulled out this book: Slash your Stash Quilts: 8 Recipes to Reduce Your Stash by Leisure Arts/Designs by Claudia Plett.
He showed me the pattern for the quilt he wanted to make – Twinklers.
The version of the Twinklers quilt depicted in the book was made from homespuns; and I realized I have a whole stash of homespuns in my fabric stash that I have not played with for years. So I pulled out all my homespuns and laid them before TTQH for his quilt “fabric shopping”!
He currently has the entire stash of homespuns in his sewing area and I will share an update on his progress in a future post. I plan to help him with the pattern as it has a couple new techniques for him.
TTQH’s recently finished quilt is with the long-arm quilter right now – below are photos of the fishing themed flannel quilt top and the nap TTQH and the dogs took under his completed quilt top:
In between working on quilts he has helped me with English Paper Piecing (EPP) and I will share my questionable EPP-husband-abuse in a future post in my Adventuresin English Paper Piecing series.
I am quite excited he is “slashing my stash”!
If you are new to my blog, just a heads up that I have two additional affiliated blogs:
SchnauzerSnips– Musings from Sassy, a Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer
A couple weekends ago we went to the Deschutes County Fair (Deschutes County Fair &Rodeo) and this is a belated post to share some photos from the Fair.
The Deschutes County Fair is allegedly (according to their website) Oregon’s largest county fair and rodeo. We have attended a couple of times, and honestly we are always a little underwhelmed.
This could because we used to live in Seattle, WA and each year would go to the more impressive Pullayup Fair (Washington State Fair) or because we used to live in Houston, TX and would attend the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. So perhaps the bar was set a little high on what we expect from a Fair/Livestock Show/Rodeo.
Lured by the Promise of “Carnival Eats”
We would have passed on the Deschutes County Fair this year, but Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) got hooked on a show on the Cooking Channel called Carnival Eats.
Basically Carnival Eats is an extreme “food porn” show featuring the NAUGHTIESTfair/carnival food ever (we are talking bacon burgers stuffed with cheese set in a glazed Krispy Kreme donut bun) around the country. Some of the carnival food shown on the show makes you gasp and you imagine if you had one glorious bite you would just immediately drop dead of a heart attack from an extreme coronary blockage by fat. But you would die with a smile on your face!
TTQH and I in general eat fairly healthy but after binge watching a couple of the show with Terry, I thought it would be fun this year to go to the Deschutes County Fair and have one very naughty carnival food experience.
Alas, there was only the standard Fair/Carnival food at the Deschutes Country Fair (corn dogs, friend twinkies, elephant ears). Below is a photo of the most exciting offering they had, and we passed on it, It was just not naughty enough to spend the calories on:
Wandering Around the Fair
Our coronary arteries probably thanked us, but we gave up on hopes of any naughty food experiences, grabbed a lemonade and wandered around the Fair. Here are some photos from the day.
The livestock was owned/managed by the adorable 4H and FFA (Future Farmers of America) kids. One kids asked me if I wanted to meet her goat, how could I refuse?
The 4H or FFA kids had posted The Six Pillars of Character:
What would a county fair be without the craft section? First here is a sampling of some the quilts:
And they had a room in which you could watch women hand quilt in various modified versions of quilting circles!
The Fiber Arts
The also had knitting and weaving displays and juried winners:
The Rides (that there was no way in heck I was going on)
In case the signs were not enough to keep me away:
Then the rides themselves accomplished that objective:
Yes, I am a wimp, and proud of it! (smile)
Leaving the Fair
Upon leaving the fair, I asked TTQH if he was less likely to eat meat after meeting all those farm animals. He replied: “That was very cute bacon and if I knew it’s name I would personally thank it while having breakfast”.
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:
He actually finished it a couple weeks ago but I am just now getting around to posting about it.
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!):
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.
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:
If you would like to see more photos of Mike (and Sassy) bike riding, see these posts on Sassy’s Schnauzer Snips blog:
“Once in a while, you just have to let loose and HOWL” is one of the dog themed sayings on the wallhanging sized quilt I just finished on Saturday and hung in Terry the Quilting Husband’s (TTQH) studio (aka the Guest Room).
No More Just Gathering Dust
My friend Lisa gave me dog themed wallhanging sized quilt top (unfinished quilt) a couple years ago. Since then it has in my closet (after sitting in hers) as an un-finished object (UFO), just gathering dust (yes quilters like to transfer their UFOs from one quilter to another to keep in storage at someone else’s house!).
Saturday I was rummaging through my UFOs and came across this quilt top; and spur of the moment decided to JUST FINISH IT.
Lisa was very generous to give me this completed wallhanging quilt top. All I had to do in order to finish the quilt was to prepare the backing; machine quilt it; and bind it.
A quilting colleague who is a professional long-arm quilter has quilting batting leftovers from her customers’ quilts that the customers do not want. She saves some of the pieces for me to use for table runners or small projects. (I rarely buy package batting as for smaller pieces I have her discards and for larger quilts I get them professionally quilted which include the batting in the cost)
She also taught me how to piece smaller batting together to make a larger batting for a project – either by zig zagging the batting together or using a special tape to join them.
I did not have pieces of scrap batting to finish the dog themed wallhanging quilt. So I zig zagged two smaller pieces together:
Not only did I make the batting, quilt it and bind it all in one day, I also got it hung in TTQH’s sewing area (the entire Guest Room is dog…primarily schnauzer…themed)!
Summoning TTQH to the Guest Room…I mean his “studio”, to reveal the latest addition, I asked him which saying on the wallhanging was his favorite. He selected this one:
During our recent trip to Fort Worth, Texas, Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I stopped at a Fort Worth area quilt shop – Cabbage Rose Quilting & Fabrics.
It is a lovely quilt shop with a great selection of fabrics, excellent prices (and a very nice sale section) and friendly/helpful staff. I got to chat with the owner a very nice lady.
All around the shop were sweet little vignettes, here is one with a miniature antique sewing machine in the window, that I thought was darling:
Quilt Shop Family Reunion
What made the visit to this quilt shop very special was it was also the location of a mini Hogan family reunion!
We picked up TTQH’s quilter sisters Susan and Diane from the airport and headed directly to this quilt shop from the DFW airport. Terry’s eldest brother Andy and his wife (also a quilter) who live in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, met up with us at the quilt shop!
TTQH had not seen Andy in many years and they spent a long time chatting and catching up in the quilt shop while TTQH’s sisters, sister-in-law and myself shopped! I have some adorable photos of Terry and his big brother in the quilt shop (sorry many of my photos from the Cabbage Rose Quilting & Fabrics shop contain TTQH’s family members and to respect their privacy I have not posted those photos).
If you are ever in the Fort Worth area I highly recommend their shop. They also have a great website:
Of course I bought something! I have to support local quilt shops when I am traveling! I was rather well-behaved and bought a couple of modern fabrics from the 1/2 yard precut sale bin:
Really Hungry, Willing to Take Chances
We took a red-eye (overnight) flight from Central Oregon to DFW (via a stop in Portland, Oregon) and arrived at 5:00 am in the morning. After waiting around a couple hours in the DFW airport rental car center (yes the airport is so huge the rental cars have their own HUGE complex off site from the airport) and picking up our rental car, we were tired and hungry.
We do not know the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and we could not check into our hotel in Ft. Worth until the afternoon, so we had to figure out stuff to do till then AND find some breakfast. (The rest of Terry’s family was not coming into town until Friday, which we did not realize until after we bought our plane tickets).
We stumbled upon a little “hole-in-the-wall” diner in strip mall and were so hungry we thought we would take our chance and try it – Mom’s Cafe:
We had our finger crossed that “Mom” would not give us any gastrointestinal distress. Instead we were pleasantly surprised with EXCEPTIONAL Tex-Mex breakfasts!
I had an incredible plate of migas with tortillas for breakfast and TTQH had some type of breakfast burrito.
We were very quiet while we ate as we were each having our own private moments of total-food-yumminess! “Mom” did good!
TTQH loves even more than quilting, historical war-gaming. After breakfast we found a Ft. Worth area miniature historical war-gaming shop before finally getting to our hotel and passing out.
Later that evening, we went to the Movie Tavern for dinner and a movie (we saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2, a very fun movie!). The next day, while visiting with Terry’s brother Andy, had worked on the building of this theater!
Recently I have been honored with a couple more blogging awards (thank you so muchOne Creative Family and DeweyHop) and I will do future blog posts about those but I am backlogged with other blog post topic ideas. I guess I have to try and do daily posts when I can to catch up with all the random stuff floating around in my head (smile).
I started making EPP hexagons (aka “hexies”) to have something to do with my hands, other than play games on my iPad, while I watched TV in the evening with Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH). I seem to need to do something while watching TV, my mind is unable to just “veg-out” in front of a screen.
And EPP hexies I did make…and make…and make. I have made over 225 EPP hexies so far!
The fabrics are from the 2016 Central Oregon Shop Hop – a collection of fat 1/8th that TTQH and I got as gifts from each quilt shop we visited.
I used up all the fat 1/8ths (all 14 pieces) to make the 225+ hexies and then TTQH suggested I might need some white hexies in my grouping as some of the prints also have white in them. At first I was annoyed, as I wanted to be done with this collection of hexies and move onto making my next collection!
After a little grumbling, I realized he was right, and found this white fabric in my general fat quarter stash that I think will work:
Making More Hexies
Now you might find this to be abusive, but I have trained TTQH to make my paper templates for my hexies. As mentioned in an earlier post on EPP, I found at a craft store, a paper punch that makes hexagons.
TTQH likes a challenge and I caught him playing a game to see just how many hexies he could get out of a section of card stock. (I have a lot of card stock from my paper crafting days…I might return to make handmade cards someday…maybe…)
So what am I going to do with my first collection of hexies?
I fell in love with the EPP quilt on the cover of a new magazine, Quiltfolk:
I plan to make my EPP hexies into rosettes and make a quilt similar to the one on the cover.
The premiere issue of this advertisement-free publication features the state of Oregon and stories of quilters and quilt shops in Oregon.
The premiere issue of Quiltfolkmagazine (01) goes on a road-trip around Oregon and when they get to Central Oregon, they feature a very talented art quilter, Shelia Finzer, who is in the SAQA art quilter group I belong.
Shelia and her art represented Central Oregon very well – this place (and Portland, Oregon) is a major nest of art quilters!
I know, I know, you are thinking: “Tierney, didn’t you post a while back about downsizing? Why are you buying more magazines?” I am not just downsizing my life to live as an extreme minimalist. I am CURATING my life to have only those things that truly make me happy. Quiltfolk magazine is one of those items.
The next issues (02) Quiltfolk magazine features quilter stories from the state of Iowa and I am looking forward to delving into that issue with a pot of tea!
The EPP Nest
I created a spot for my EPP activities (and any other portable crafting activities such as coloring or appliqué, etc.) in the living room in an old IKEA end table. Inside the end table are various crafting supplies for “crafting on demand” – ha!
This is a continuation of my “whole house crafting” expansion that I discussed in the Jan 2016 post, Whole House Crafting, when I realized that I did not have to confine my crafting activities to one room (3rd bedroom turned studio) in my house!
Well today is Monday, and I am going to try and get in another Pilot Butte walk, so I better stop blogging and go enjoy the sunshine and mountains.
Friday, a day after returning from our Oregon Roadtrip, Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I hit the road again – this time for the annual Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop.
We visited all seven (7) Central Oregon quilt shops in order to fill out our shop-hop passcards for a chance to win a dream Bernina sewing machine (and gift certificates to the local shops).
As much as I enjoy the annual quilt shop hop, I did offer to pass on it this year as TTQH had just done all that driving. But he insisted – he wanted to go and wanted to complete our shop-hop passcards (he likes a challenge).
Here are the seven (7) shops we visited:
Several of these shops were featured on previous posts. I have added a new Category for my posts – “Quilt Shop Tours” in case you want to find quilt shop photo tours I have posted (check out “My Topics” Menu).
Quilt Shop Hop is always fun: you run into the same people shop-hopping in the same order as you are; the quilt shops have tasty treats and one even served lunch; and you get to look at the wonderful displays and fabrics at each shop.
In addition, each shop you visit gives you a free fat 1/8th of fabric. Between TTQH and myself, we collected 14 fat 1/8ths. Here is the haul (note, I let TTQH select his own fat 1/8th and he went rogue and selected a black & grey one that did not match the rest of the brights palette!):
Last year I took our collection of fat 1/8th from the 2016 Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop and turned them into English Paper Piecing (EPP) hexagons (see post Adventures in English Paper Piecing, Part II). I plan to use the collection of fat 1/8ths from the 2017 shop hop for a project, this time I am thinking a standard paper piecing project.
I would like to use these free fabrics in a challenge project each year. I was intimidated by the thought of doing of EPP and now I absolutely love it!
I am completely aghast at the idea of traditional paper piecing (my sister-in-law Sue, the master quilter, once showed me how to do it as did my first quilting instructor Roxanne Carter, but it still fills my heart with terror), so why not challenge myself again?
So I nicely pressed and organized the 2017 free fat 1/8th in preparation for a future project:
I did not buy anything at shop hop, but TTQH did! He decided he wanted to make a flannel fishing themed quilt (he is into fly fishing). Also he could not resist a couple animal themed prints. Here is his haul:
Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer and her adopted brother Mike went on the road with us during Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop. We stopped for a nice lunch and lots of dog walks. Material Girl Fabrics in Redmond, Oregon is in a house in a quaint old neighborhood so we had a really nice long dog walk before heading into that quilt shop.
Here is Sassy on the road:
Here is a sampling of the lovely Central Oregon views as we traveled around the area shop hopping!
I would guess we did about a 100+ miles of driving on Friday; for example the distance between some of the farthest quilt shops (from my house) – Homestead Quilts in LaPine, Oregon and the Quilt Shack in Prineville, Oregon is 65 miles.
In a future post I will feature more Central Oregon quilt shop photo tours.
If you enjoy quilt shop virtual tours, I highly recommend Anna of Woolie Mammoth’s YouTube channel – Quilt Roadies. She, her husband and their adorable dog, travel in their RV to quilt shops around the country as well as other interesting sights!
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) is a military history buff and yesterday we went to see the exhibit “WWII: The High Desert Home Front” at the High Desert Museum.
This is exhibit, with many items donated by Oregon WWII veterans or their families, according the the exhibit’s page, “reveals the wartime activities that took place in the High Desert, including some of the most celebrated and tragic chapters in our country’s history”.
This exhibit honors those who served, those who gave the “ultimate sacrifice”, women workers during WWII, efforts by various ethic groups, the dark times of Japanese internment camps, and the development of and decision to drop the atomic bomb.
I took a zillion photos of this excellent exhibit and I thought I would share some of my favorites. (TTQH was in his element quietly wandering around this exhibit reading and looking at everything in awe and respect).
WWII Harley Davidson and Army Jeep
Of course being a nurse I had to include the Red Cross Volunteer uniform!
Women and WWII
I do not want World War to be a reason but I think more of us need our own “Victory Gardens” growing our own vegetables:
Contributions by Specific Ethnic Groups
Native American, African American, and Mexican American (keep in mind this was the 1940s a much different America than we are now…)
Japanese American Internment
A dark time in American history, hopefully we never forget.
(and finally) The Beginning of the Atomic Age
After viewing the WWII: The High Desert Homefront, we needed something lighter before leaving the museum. So went wandered the rest of the museum and enjoyed some lighter “visual fare”:
Prehistoric Buzz Saw Sharks (Helicoprion)
Hysterical T-Shirt in the Gift Shop
Our Beloved High Desert Raptors
I enjoyed visiting with the museum volunteer holding the raptor in falconry style. We discussed Helen Macdonald’s book – H is for Hawk and the beautiful story of how falconry with a goshawk helps a woman deal with the loss of her beloved father. I listened to the audiobook and I thought it I was listening to beautiful poetry.
Looking through the Raptor exhibit made me think back to a weekend afternoon early last Fall. On a beautiful Central Oregon day with endless blue sky and a few fluffy cloud meandering across the sky, I took a “mini-vacation” in my backyard lying on a lounger and staring meditatively at the sky.
Suddenly my view appeared partially obscured by a large flying reptilian object and I thought for a moment I was in a scene from the movie Jurassic Park. No, it was not a Pterodactyl, it was one of our Central Oregon raptors, flying very low (likely it had spotted something tasty in a backyard…). As I had been intensively and hypnotically staring at the sky the object appeared larger than actual!
The whole moment took my breath away for a second. I guess if you are going to be eaten by a Pterodactyl at least have it happen after a relaxing afternoon…
So there were so many more photos but I had to stop somewhere with my photo sharing. Thanks for virtually joining me at the High Desert Museum!
Terry the Quilting Husband got his cozy flannel quilt back from the long-arm quilter and finally we have put the denim binding on (I say “we” because Terry sewed the binding strips together but I sewed them down on the quilt as he hates that part!) and completed the quilt.
Here is Terry under the quilt (he does not like his photo posted, and no, he is not in a witness protection program):
A close up of the denim binding (Terry’s idea) and the pieced :
Here is the chair with the quilt “sans Terry”. This chair is actually my favorite chair for reading in front of the window, but Terry has hijacked it and has his quilt and his book (Military History not crafting) in my spot:
Terry selected the fabric (a fat quarter stack of Woolies flannel), designed the quilt, and pieced the quilt…and assembled the binding then handed it off to his wife to sew onto the quilted quilt!
Non-Stop Self-Help Audiobook Listening
Those of you who have followed my blog for a while know of my obsession with self-help audiobooks. I do try and sprinkle a little fiction into my book consumption whether it be a Neil Gaiman audiobook or my recent read (via a hardback book!) of Paula Hawkin’s The Girl on the Train (which I really liked, it was a page turner, but the main character did irritate me…).
Recently from my local library, I have listened to three “self-help” genre audiobooks back to back:
Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Lifeby Susan David
I am still reading/listening to Emotional Agility and it might end up being one of my most favorite “self-improvement”/”self-help” audiobooks of all time. It is narrated by the author who has a lovely South African accent (early in the book she shared some of the horrors witnessed growing up in South Africa during the Apartheid and how they influenced her; she now lives in the US).
I greatly enjoyed The Subtle Art… and it was not about being indifferent or becoming a sociopath – it was about embracing your life struggles and viewing your struggles from a different perspective. The book also focused on deciding what is important to you in life, based on your values, and focusing your energies there instead of getting lost in the meaningless details in life.
I gave up halfway through the book Present Over Perfect as I found the narrator and the book sort of tedious and repetitious; however the author did make some good points and perhaps I would have enjoyed it better as a print book.
Here are some quotes from each of the books that I found inspirational:
Present Over Perfect (Shauna Niequist)
“What kills a soul? Exhaustion, secret keeping, image management. And what brings a soul back from the dead? Honesty, connection, grace”
“How we live matters, and what you choose to own will shape your life, whether you choose to admit it or not. Let’s live lightly, freely, courageously, surrounded only by what brings joy, simplicity, and beauty.”
“But you can’t have yes without no. Another way to say it: if you’re not careful with your yeses, you start to say no to some very important things without even realizing it. In my rampant yes-yes-yes-ing, I said no, without intending to, to rest, to peace, to groundedness, to listening, to deep and slow connection, built over years instead of moments.”
The Subtle Art… (Mark Manson)
“We suffer for the simple reason that suffering is biologically useful. It is nature’s preferred agent for inspiring change. We have evolved to always live with a certain degree of dissatisfaction and insecurity, because it’s the mildly dissatisfied and insecure creature that’s going to do the most work to innovate and survive.”
“Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.”
“We are so materially well off, yet so psychologically tormented in so many low-level and shallow ways. People relinquish all responsibility, demanding that society cater to their feelings and sensibilities. People hold on to arbitrary certainties and try to enforce them on others, often violently, in the name of some made-up righteous cause. People, high on a sense of false superiority, fall into inaction and lethargy for fear of trying something worthwhile and failing at it.”
Emotional Agility (Susan David)
“People frequently die in fires or crash landings because they try to escape through the same door they used when they entered.”
“Your Values will bring you freedom from Social Comparisons.”
“Bottling and brooding are short-term emotional aspirin we reach for, yet these habits don’t deal with what’s causing our distress.”
This quote by Susan David from the interview sums up the theme of this wonderful book:
“(Emotional Agility is) the ability to be able to be with your thoughts, your emotions and your stories. We all have thousands of these every day in a way that enables us not to be derailed by them, but rather brings us intentionally and with purpose towards what we value in our live.”
I keep thinking I will eventually tire of or just get completely sick of “self-help” books but then I stumble across a couple of gems like The Subtle Art… and Emotional Agility!
I backup my photos on Google Photos and occasionally it will automatically add a special effect to one of my photos that I can choose to save or discard (not affecting the original photo). Here are two photos that were first featured on the 01/15/17 post Creative Inspiration: Winter Trees that Google added special effects.
I wanted to share these photos as they look really cool (well at least to me):
Wanna go fabric shopping with me? Shall we wander around a quilt shop together?
Yes, yes, I know that unless I was to fly you all to Central Oregon (and that could get really expensive when it comes to bringing my readers in Australia over to Oregon…), our only option is to virtually go fabric shopping together!
Today I will to take you one of our wonderful Central Oregon Quilt Shops – Material Girl Fabrics in Redmond, Oregon.
Terry the Quilting Husband and I met a couple friends for brunch today in Redmond and then headed for a wander about Material Girl Fabrics. The wonderful owner Leslie was having a quiet afternoon when we arrived (because of the weather/snow), though it picked up while we were there. Luckily before it go busier, we did get time to visit with Leslie who always makes her visitors feel welcome.
The quilt shop is very sweet – it is inside a former house and it is very cozy!
Let’s start our wander around this shop together:
(Click on a photo to open a slideshow)
A Sweet Little Play Area
Tucked away in the shop is a sweet little play area for small children among the juvenile themed prints:
As I mentioned, the quilt shop is a former house, and has a functioning kitchen which also serves as the counter/cash register area:
I was well behaved and I bought a remnant piece of gold Asian fabric. One of my friends, Susan, bought a nice little stash of fabric and was quite pleased with her purchase:
Material Girl Fabric may be considered a “smaller quilt shop” but it is very well curated. There are many high quality delicious quilting fabrics inside the cozy house.
For those of you familiar with the Row by Row Experience, where quilt shops around the US offer an annual free pattern of a row for a quilt (usually themed for their shop), here is the Material Girl Fabrics’ Row by Row:
Thanks for virtually wandering around the quilt shop with me! (If you would like to check out the our other lovely Central Oregon shops, I have links to all the shops in the right sidebar of my blog.)
Usually I am a “nice wife” and I trim the excessive batting and backing off the quilt, but this evening I let him do it himself. He wants to put a denim border on it and I am trying to figure out if I have some light weight denim in my stash that will work. I will post a photo of the complete quilt once the binding is added and sewn down.
Have you made a T-shirt quilt? They are a great way to recycle old T-shirts.
I realized yesterday that we have three (3) T-shirt Quilts in our home:
A king-size T-shirt quilt made from 49 of Terry the Quilting Husband’s old t-shirts and a couple of mine. It is super warm (it has flannel shirt flannel fabric on back) so we use it in the winter:
A lap-size T-shirt quilt made from our collection of Schnauzer-themed t-shirts (and yes many of the t-shirts below were worn by Terry – he is a man who unabashedly loves dogs!). We have it as a wall-hanging in our bedroom:
Several of the schnauzer T-shirts are from when we used to attend the annual “Schnauzer Walk” in Portland Oregon, which we fondly call “Schnauzer Fest” as a huge group of miniature, standard and giant schnauzers take over one of the parks in the Portland area for a day!
A T-shirt quilt made from our collection of microbrewery themed T-shirts (primarily Terry’s except for the “Central Oregon Beer Angels” one). Terry keeps this one in his sewing studio/guest room area:
The two books I own that I use as resources on T-shirt quilts are Memory Quilts: Using T-Shirts, Autographs, and photos by Meredith Corporation (2007); and T-Shirt Quilts Made Easyby Martha Deleonardis (2012)
Photo credit: Amazon.com
Photo credit: Amazon.com
We have a stash of more T-shirts to make eventually into another quilt. I love the idea of T-shirt quilts and the recycling of old T-shirts.
When my father passed, I made my brother and sister each a T-shirt quilt of his old T-shirts (our father loved his collection of humorous T-shirts, I got my quirky sense of humor from my Dad). Now my brother and sister have a piece/memory of my Dad to wrap around them!
Terry the Quilting Husband, also has a very quirky sense of humor. One of his favorite t-shirts, which I incorporated into the king-size bed quilt, is from when we lived in Texas from the late 1980s to late 1990s. The humor in Terry wearing this t-shirt is that we are originally from NY and except for NE England, you can’t get more “Yankee” than that!
We went for a wander around Barnes & Nobles Bookstore earlier this afternoon and I spent an extended time browsing the magazine/periodical section. While browsing, I located a publication a friend of mine was looking for – the Nov/Dec 2016 issue of Poet & Writers magazine. Upon returning home I decided to flip through this magazine before setting it aside to give to my friend.
On page 25 I discovered a feature called “The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises“. This section had writing prompts for Poetry, Fiction and Nonfiction.
The “Nonfiction” prompt was “A Great Act of Generosity” and it encouraged the reader to “write a personal essay about a time when you have been the giver or receiver of a great act of generosity.” This was proceeded be a discussion on how the holiday season is often associated with generosity and giving.
I am not going to share a whole personal essay on an act of generosity but I do want to share how today I was overwhelmed with a feeling, let’s say “from the Universe”, that I needed to be generous:
After leaving our extended browsing through Barnes & Nobles bookstore, Terry the Quilting Husband suggested that we have lunch at our local Whole Foods Market as a treat. Whole Foods was packed with Sunday shoppers and Sunday diners in the food court section. We grabbed a couple slices of pizza and searched for an open place to sit. The only available seating was a shared table with a homeless-looking man sitting at one end.
I started to hesitate and find another place to sit, but I thought “no, we need to sit here”. We sat at one end and the homeless-looking gentleman, who appeared to have all his worldly possession stuffed into an very old and falling apart backpack, sat at the other end of the table.
But he did not appear to be just sitting, he appeared to be cowering at the other end and was eating from a small can of beans. He was up against a window and he appeared to be trying to making himself appear to be as small as possible and a feeling a great sadness was emanating from him. Around us tables of other shoppers were chatting and laughing as they enjoyed their Whole Foods culinary delights.
I tried to ignore the homeless-looking gentleman at first, I wanted to just eat my pizza and leave as quickly as possible. His sadness was palpable and ruining in my mind my good feelings from my recent fun browsing at the bookstore. Then I was overcome with a feeling that I needed to be generous and give this man some money. It was a very strong feeling as if I could not even leave Whole Foods without showing this man some generosity. (Usually we do not give money directly to homeless individuals but we donate to locate homeless shelters so that we know that the money is used for food and lodging and not “recreational uses”.)
So upon finishing my pizza, I stood up, gave the gentleman sitting in the corner $10 and wished him “Happy Holidays” and that I hoped he could get something else to eat beside the beans. He looked at me in complete surprise, and then the most incredible smile came upon his face. It was one of those smiles that emanates from someone’s soul – what I call a “deep smile”. It was as if I had given him $1000.
As we left the store and went to our car, we had to pass by the window in which he was sitting and I turned to see him profusely waving to me through the window, still with that huge and “deep smile” on his face.
To me it was only $10, but I suspect to him it was a lot more.
Thank you for reading my about my experience with generosity today.
I now invite you to share a brief story if you like of an experience where you were a giver or receiver of an act of generosity.
You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. ― John Bunyan
We finished both quilt tops and they are now with the long-arm quilter! Next time I post on them, it will be to show you the finished quilts. Yay! (The feeling of actually finishing something is so wonderful, ha!)
Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s blog page Schnauzer Snips, for her later musings.
It’s Thanksgiving, so a post about a “harvest” is very appropriate, right?
But Tierney, have you lost your mind? How can you harvest glasses? Are you growing glasses in your garden? Do you have a Glass Farm!??!?! (Yes I know that would be both physically and chemically impossible!)
No, this post is about recycling the glass from nice candles into drinking glasses.
I LOVE nice candles. High quality candles. As they can be rather expensive, I only purchased them occasionally as a special treat. In addition to the scent, I select a high quality scented candle based on the “reusability” of the candle’s glass holder.
My love of high quality candles started 8 years ago when I happened upon a garage sale in which someone was selling brand new Votivo candle for $1. All I knew was that the candle smelled wonderful and I paid the $1 and left the garage sale with my find. Little did I know these “designer” candles retail for $25!
When the candle was burned down I realized I did not want to part with the high quality glass that it came with. The glass had a nice weight and would make a lovely juice glass.
So I figured out a way to “harvest” the glass and get rid of the wax and wick inside.
Here is collection of harvested ex-candle glasses that we use as our daily glasses:
Here is the “harvesting” process I have refined over the years (recently I harvested a new ex-candle glass):
First, I let the candle burn all the way to the bottom:
Next, I boil water and then place the candle in a metal bowl with boiled water, to soften the wax and the glued/anchored wick at the bottom:
Then, when the wax is soft, I use an old spoon and scoop out the wax and the wick and it’s based (with many high quality candles the wick in anchored to the bottom of the glass):
Once the wax is removed (or as much as I can remove it), I use hot soapy water (dish soap) and an old sponge and scrub out the glass; I also remove any labels by scrubbing/peeling them off:
Finally, I run it through the dishwasher and Voila – a new glass:
My newly “harvested” glass and a couple other former candle glasses (note my new glass is filled with my favorite beverage – Blood Orange Organic Soda):
Sure I could recycle these glasses via the Glass Recycling service provided by our municipal garbage company, but this way I get to keep on enjoying them after the candle is gone!
Terry the Quilting Husband has been helping with setting up my hexagons for EPP. I cut the fabric into 3 inch x 3 inch squares, he lightly glues (with glue stick) the hexagons to the fabric and I trim them down a bit before doing the EPP.
He also now helps punch the holes into the paper punched hexagons that will make it easy to remove the paper templates once the hexagons are sewn together.
He seems to enjoy these type of projects while he watches football (or he is just one very nice and helpful husband!)
I’ve made a lot of EPP hexagons (aka “hexies”) so far, but that is another post….