Artist Statements, Part II

In my 08/25/16 post, Artist Statements, I shared my struggle with writing Artist Statements for art quilts. In my more recent (03/30/17) post, What’s on My Lap, I again mentioned my struggle with writing Artist Statements, and  Mary of Zippy Quilts shared the following:

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I could not turn down a suggestion for a blog post!

In my first post in August 2016 on Artist Statements I only whined about having to write an Artist Statement and then shared my completed statement for a piece that was being shown at the 2016 Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF).

This time I thought I would do something more than whining!

So I spent time researching information about writing Artist Statements and used that information to write the Artist Statement for this piece below – The Recycled Road:

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The Recycled Road (2017) by Tierney Davis Hogan

Here are the basic details on The Recycled Road, I will use these later in the post to write my Artist Statement for this piece:

  • It is made from recycled materials: denim jeans, corduroy pants, corduroy shirt, curtains, sweat pants, home decor fabric scraps, and a tweed jumper
  • The art quilt is the second in quilt in my series The Recyclings (yesterday I decided the name of my series)
  • I hand quilted this quilt to give it an organic feel
  • This quilt was inspired by the Central Oregon SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group annual exhibit theme “Pathways”.
  • The piece measures 18″ x 40″
  • I hand quilted the quilt to give it an organic feel

General Artist Statement vs. Artist Statement About A Work

A bit of research reinforced what I heard in the art quilting community  – that there are basically two types of Artist Statements: 1) A general statement about you as an Artist; or 2) a statement about a specific piece of artwork.

General Artist Statement

A couple of years ago at one of our Central Oregon SAQA group meetings, we broke into small groups to do an exercise to work on our (General) Artist Statements, the about our art and ourselves as an artist.

I was overwhelmed by this exercise for several reasons: 1) Our Central Oregon SAQA group contains many real textile artists and art quilters – I mean nationally and internationally known artists – I was completely intimidated; 2) I was a new art quilter, recently transitioned from traditional quilting to dabbling in improvisational art; and 3) I was not sure if I could really consider myself an “Artist”.

Several experienced art quilters in the group shared with me examples of their professional artist Artist Statements, which I politely accepted and graciously thanked them for sharing, but it only intimidated me more (it was a “deer in headlights” experience).

A couple months later, I realized I was just not ready to write my General Artist Statement, and that was okay. I had not established what I feel is a solid and cohesive body of textile art. Currently I am working towards this and in the near future I hope to write my General Artist Statement.

I found some great resources online for writing General Artist Statements that I will use in the future, here are the links:

ArtStudy.org Sample Artist Statement

Creativity in Action Art League Blog – 8 Artist Statement We Love

ArtBusiness.com – Your Artist Statement: Explaining the Unexplainable

Agora Gallery – How to Write An Artist Statement: Tips From The Art Experts

“How To Write An Artist’s Statement”, Contemporary Quilt Art Association

10 tips for writing your artist statement, TextileArtist.org

One of my favorite discoveries on advice on writing General Artist Statements was the article “The Artist Statement & Why They Mostly Suck” on the website bmoreart.com. I loved this quote:

“A good artist statement should enhance what a viewer sees in your work and provide a concise handle to approach a visual piece. It should be accurate, well-written, and correctly punctuated. It also should be specific to your work and offer unique insight into your process.”

Jean Wells Keenan, textile artist, has a wonderful example of a General Artist Statement on her website jeanwellsquilts.com:

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Artist Statement About A Specific Work

It is my goal/dream someday to write a well-crafted General Statement about my body of work and how I approach my art, someday. For now I am just trying to write an Artist Statement about a specific art quilt.

So I searched online for inspiration on writing Artist Statements specific to a piece of work. At ArtsyShark.com I found these helpful tips in the article: “How to Write an Amazing Artist Statement” that could be applied to either General Artist Statements or an Artist Statement on a specific piece of art:

Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing your artist statement:

  • The ideal length is one to three paragraphs.
  • It should be in first-person.
  • You should not tell your audience how to feel or what to look at.
  • You want to inform your viewer but not overly explain things – leave room for the viewer to make his or her own connections.
  • Ask yourself: Is this writing specific to my work or can it be about anyone’s?
  • Don’t use phrases like: I hope, My work aspires to, My goal is, The Viewer will, These paintings (do something).

Remember: The key to an amazing statement is to write A LOT, then edit, edit, edit. You should go through at least 3 drafts. This is not something you can do in an evening – it’s going to take time, so find the best time of day that works for you to write, such as over morning coffee. Write in a way that feels comfortable – type or write long hand.

My favorite guideline I discovered online for writing an artist statement for a specific piece of art, was from the website hysterically named – Getting Your Sh*t Together: making life better for artists (gyst-ink.com). Here are highlights from this websites had the following Artist Statement Guidelines:

  • An Artist Statement is a general introduction to your work, a body of work, or a specific project.
  • It should open with the work’s basic ideas in an overview of two or three sentences or a short paragraph and then go into detail about how these issues or ideas are presented in the work.
  • You can include some of the following points:
    • Why you have created the work and its history.
    • Your overall vision.
    • What you expect from your audience and how they will react.
    • How your current work relates to your previous work.
    • Where your work fits in with current contemporary art.
    • How your work fits in with the history of art practice.
    • How your work fits into a group exhibition, or a series of projects you have done.
    • Sources and inspiration for your images.
    • Artists you have been influenced by or how your work relates to other artists’ work. Other influences.
    • How this work fits into a series or longer body of work.
    • How a certain technique is important to the work.
    • Your philosophy of art making or of the work’s origin.
  • The final paragraph should recapitulate the most important points in the statement.
  • Ask yourself “What are you trying to say in the work?” “What influences my work?” “How do my methods of working (techniques, style, formal decisions) support the content of my work?” “What are specific examples of this in my work” “Does this statement conjure up any images?”
  • Consider – Who is your audience? What level are you writing for? What will your statement be used for? What does your statement say about you as an artist and a professional?

Okay, Ready, Write (The Draft)

I could have spent all day online looking at examples of Artist Statements, but now it is time to write my draft statement for the piece The Recycled Road:

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The Recycled Road (2017)

18″ W x 40″ L

Recycled denim, corduroy, cotton jersey, wool and rayon.

Designed, pieced and hand quilted by Tierney Davis Hogan

Artist Statement (draft)

The Recycled Road is the second piece in my series The Recyclings, small art quilts from recycled materials.

Inspired by the theme of “Pathways” for the 2017 Central Oregon SAQA group annual art quilt exhibit, this “pathway” begins at the orange corduroy boundary between the multicolor “road” and the plain gray “road”. This “road” continues beyond the top edge of the quilt; as it has no boundaries beyond the limits we set on our own imagination.  The pathway in this quilt represents one of many roads traveled by our creative spirit.

Using improvisational piecing techniques, I created this piece from all recycled materials (denim jeans, corduroy shirt, corduroy pants, tweed jumper, sweat pants, curtains and home decor fabric scraps. Seeking a bit of adventure in working with recycled clothing, I used an old pair of faded and threadbare gray sweat pants to create the edges of the road. I hand quilted the piece to give it an organic feel. Hand quilting the recycled fabrics was an unique multilayered and meditative tactile experience.

Most of the fabrics were not reusable as clothing or home decor and were destined to end up in a landfill. Reimagining recycled clothing and other materials into art quilts satisfies my desire to honor the environment and make art that is eco-conscious. Ending up in an art quilt is a better outcome than ending up in a landfill.

Okay, so now that I have written my draft Artist Statement for The Recycled Road, I am going to let it simmer overnight and see how I feel about it in the morning.


Feature image credit: BSK, free images.com 

Favorite tierneycreates posts of 2016

I am inspired by several year end summaries on other blogs I follow, to share a list of the of the posts I most enjoyed writing in 2016 on my tierneycreates blog.

It turns out the top three, are really three series of posts on different topics:

  • My Minimalism Journey
  • Fruits of My Neighborhood
  • Quilt Retreat Weekend May 2016

Here are those series of posts.

My Minimalism Journey

  1. My Minimalism Journey: Part I
  2. My Minimalism Journey: Part II
  3. My Minimalism Journey: Part III

Fruits of My Neighborhood

  1. The Fruits of My Neighborhood
  2. The Fruits of My Neighborhood, Part II
  3. The Fruits of My Neighborhood, Part III

Quilt Retreat Weekend May 2016

  1. The Road to the Retreat
  2. Sew N Go Quilt Retreat, in Pictures
  3. Quilt Retreat Weekend: The Projects
  4. Quilt Retreat May 2016: The Tools & The Stories

(Thank goodness I have one favorite series that is quilting related, especially when this is allegedly a quilter’s blog…)

I remember a sense of joy and whimsy as I wrote the posts related to the “Fruits of My Neighborhood” and “Quilt Retreat Weekend 2016”. I remember much reflection on where I used to be and where I am now in my life journey, when I wrote the series of posts on “My Minimalism Journey”.

Honorable Mention

Shameless “Thrifting”

When writing a blog post occasionally I wonder just how much to reveal about myself, to put out there in a public forum. Perhaps the readers of the “Shameless Thrifting” post are still reeling from the discovery of my childhood obsession with Barry Manilow!

Onward to 2017!

To those who followed me in 2016 (or 2015, 2014, 2013), thanks for reading my musings! Hoping to keep it interesting in 2017 (or to continue to be something you can read before bed to make you pleasantly drowsy!)

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And the winner is…

As promised, today I will reveal my decision on which of three new business card finalists I was considering; and asked for your votes on in the post New Business Card Options (please vote for your favorite).


The Options

To recap, there were the three options:

Option #1

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Option #2

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Option #3

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The Poll Results

Here are the results from the poll:

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As you can see above, with 16 votes of the 28 total votes, Option #1 was the winner of the poll.


The Decision

Option #1 won the poll, but alas, it was not the winner of my heart. As much as I loved the graphics on card #1 it kept feeling like that business card for a tailor or seamstress.

I so appreciated all the comments and votes, but I really connected with several comments in regards to Option #3 and decided to go with the vertical business card.

I am only ordering the smallest order (100 cards) as I love the idea from several comments to eventually go with a business card that features my art.

2017 I am going to focus on creating more of my textile art so I have a large selection of works to choose from someday – ha!


Postscript

I am currently listening to the audiobook Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck (2006).

Although some of the material seems dated (the book was published in 2006), I am really enjoying the audiobook. A lot of it reminds me of the audiobook, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth (2016) that I discussed in several posts, most recently in the 7/22/2016 post A “Gritty Bad#ss”?

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

The book focuses on a discussion of the “Fixed Mindset” vs. the “Growth Mindset”.

I am about a 1/3rd way through listening to the audiobook and I came across a great quote by the author on how some people need to feel praised, “worshipped”, and admired by others:

If you feel a need to be surrounded by worshippers, go to church. – Carol S. Dweck

I must admit at times in my life I sought praise from others, a lot. I cannot change how I behaved in the past but it is giving me a lot to think about for the future!


Feature photo credit: dchappel, free images.com

New Business Card Options (please vote for your favorite)

Let’s take a break from my series of posts on holiday decorations and my recent visit to Seattle. I would love your vote on three new business card options I am considering from Vistaprint (yup, the well marketed/advertised inexpensive business card option).

Since we have transitioned from The Wardrobe Meets the Wall to Inspirational Textiles (see post Improvisational Textiles) I need an updated business card. After playing with endless templates, I have narrowed it my options down to three finalists.

Take a look at the three options below and please cast your vote in the poll below. You don’t need to post a comment to vote but you are welcome of course to also comment.

Please note: 1) The final fonts I am going to use, and how the text is spaced, are not finalized; 2) Since there could always be spammers out there in “blogging-land” I have left off my phone number and e-mail address but they will be in place in the final version; and 3) Ignore the dashed lines at the edge of each card, these are from the Vistaprint template editing and will not appear on the final card.)

I will review the final numbers on Sunday and let you know the top vote and my final decision – thank you!


Option 1

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Option 2

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Option 3

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Please select one of the options below – thanks!

What’s on the Design…Bed

As sort of a follow up to yesterday’s post Terry the Quilting Husband – Update – as I mentioned – Terry the Quilting Husband is hogging the design wall in the hallway.

I like one of my blogging buddies, Claire of knitNkwilt, I had to use the “Design Bed”, and lay out my latest quilt on our bed.

I admit, I am spoiled. I am friends with an incredible inspirational textile artist and generous person, Betty Anne. When we got together for a sew day (see post Pinwheel Piecing Party), she was cleaning out her UFOs (if you are not a quilter, please see the post Lexicon of Quilters’ Acronyms) and she gave me 12 – 12.5 x 12.5 inch blocks she pieced with beautiful Kaffe Fassett fabrics. They were from a “Block-of-the-Month” club she belonged to and she was not interested in making them into a quilt.

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example of one of the 12 blocks I was gifted, on the background fabric they were to be set in

At first I put these block in my “UFO” pile but yesterday I felt suddenly motivated to just make them into a quilt.

I used one of the sampler quilt layouts in the book The Quilt Block Cookbook by Amy Gibson (yep, this was one of the books from my posting The Library (Mega) Stack, I returned the book to the library but borrowed it again…when I can justify another book purchase, I am probably going to buy it…)

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Photo credit: amazon.com

Here are the 12 blocks on the “Design Bed” waiting for me to sew the rows together. Then I will bring the quilt to Betty Anne on our next Sew Day for her to do the long-arm quilting on the quilt (hope she does not get any ideas and suddenly want her blocks back, ha!).

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all bad photography/bad lighting disclaimers apply

I set the fabric in a gold Peppered Cotton (a shot cotton type fabric). Peppered Cottons by Pepper Cory, Studio E Fabrics are a lovely line of fabrics.

I used to sell 8 beautiful fabric selections from this line in my tierneycreates Etsy shop. However, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to stop selling fabric and pulled the yardage, fat quarter sets and jelly rolls from my Etsy shop.

My decision was based on that I did not enjoy cutting yardage for people (I will never own a quilt shop) and I do not want to compete with quilt shops. (You can read from the tierneycreates archives, my first attempt to cut “fat quarter sets” – Adventures in Retail).

So, no judgement on people who sell fabric online, it was just not something I wanted to do any longer.

My plan is to focus my Etsy shop on handmade items. It is called “tierneycreates” after all. Recently, however, Tierney has not been doing any creating for the Etsy shop but has some ideas for 2017 and beyond.

For now Tierney will keep working through her personal UFO backlog (and obviously accept donations from other quilters’ UFO backlogs, ha!).

From the Archives: “Getting Ready to Etsy”

Currently I am working on a traditionally-pieced quilt (a sampler) for a wedding gift, in a less traditional palette. I will share my “adventures in traditional quilt making” on my next post. 

Today, I am doing some clean up on my Textile Adventures page of my blog and wanted to remove this series of updates from 2013 on starting my tierneycreates Etsy shop (GETTING READ TO ETSY PART I AND PART II) and move then instead into a blog post.

I am considering making my tierneycreates Etsy shop inactive as I have not put a lot of energy into it and not sure if I want to keep renewing my listings (I have stopped renewing any currently expiring listings). I will share more about this in a future post, I am finding my heart is not completely into retail (especially since I work a busy and intense full-time job in the healthcare industry). 


Getting Ready to Etsy: Part I – October 2013

My journey on my “Textile Adventure” takes me closer to my dream – a tierneycreates store on Etsy, the online handmade marketplace.  This part of my journey feels scary as I have never sold my creations before. I have done a couple commission quilts but I have never sold to strangers. Of course those I sell to will no longer be “strangers”, the will be people who have a little bit of Tierney in their life or their friends life through owning one of my creations.  This is very exciting. I have made quilts and other textile gifts for close friends and family over the years, and the thought of the opportunity to share what I love with an extended group is exciting. Of course I have to charge them to support the cost of materials and continued creations!

As a road map to my journey’s destination, I am reading a wonderful book: How to Sell Your Crafts Online by Derrick Sutton, St.. Martin’s Press, 2011.

I am going to start with offering two category of items: 1) my handmade mini kimonos; and 2) my international Barbie collection (which I can sell under the Vintage category of Etsy). Below are some photos of the kimonos which measure approximately 6 inches x 7 inches, are made from my cotton Asian fabric collection, and will come with a chopsticks and string for hanging.


Getting Ready to Etsy: Part II – November 2013

Here an update on my tierneycreates Etsy shop adventure:

My sister encouraged me to have my Etsy store up by Thanksgiving weekend. I was very excited about the original logo I designed until I tried to make it work as my Etsy store – “tierneycreates” logo. It did not work, like not at all! I have redesigned my logo in a “late-night-logo-session” (see below) and I have uploaded it to Etsy for my store banner – yah!

Now if I could just get my items posted onto the shop. What has been holding me back is PHOTOGRAPHY. I am coming to grips with the fact I suspect I am the world’s worse photographer. Even with the assistance of a guide on digital photography, I am still struggling. I want potential buyers to have a clear, true to life image of my store items. I have already re-photographed the kimonos twice. If I were to try to make my living off photography, I would starve to death.

The tierneycreates logo has been created

I needed a logo for my upcoming Etsy Store and for my tierneycreates business cards. It looks a while but I finally came up with a logo that I like.

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 Recovering from a “business card disaster”

A couple of months ago I tried to design tierneycreates business cards. I thought they looked awesome online as I ordered them from Vistaprint. I anxiously awaited my shipment in the mail. When they arrived, my excitement was quickly deflated – I had made a bad decision in regards to text color and backgound and except for the “tierneycreates” part, they were unreadable.  So I was stuck with a box of 250 useless cards. I did give some to friends as a joke, asking them “now what’s wrong with this business card?”  (Answer: you cannot read my name or any of the contact information!)

I am an avid recycler and I recently found a way to reuse my disaster – turn them into tags for products I sell at my Etsy store! They have been cropped, holes added, and turned into tags!

from business card disaster to handy tag!
From business card disaster to handy tags!

 

Knitting!

And now for something completely different…  – Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Let’s take a break from quilting and sewing and talk about KNITTING!

I have always wanted to learn to knit, I thought it was magical. My grandmother taught me how to crochet and crocheting is cool but there was something more austere and glamorous about knitting, not quite sure how to put it into words. Maybe it was because I did not know how to do it and it seemed so difficult that made it so ethereal…

15 years ago a I learned how to knit but I only learned how to make knitted scarves, I was scared to try anything beyond a scarf. After learning how to knit I became completely enamored with wool yarns. As a crocheter I had made numerous afghans with inexpensive acrylic blend yarns. I could not imagine buying expensive yarn for crocheting.

One of my first exposures to “high-end” yarns was at a yarn shop in British Columbia on a trip to Victoria. When we lived in Seattle, WA, Canada was not that far away and we would frequently go to Vancouver, BC. Every couple of years we would take the ferry from Northern Washington State to Victoria, BC for the weekend.

One trip to Victoria, we stopped at the Beehive Wool Shop. My first time to a yarn speciality shop, I was overwhelmed – so many colors and textures, and yarn options, and patterns, and, and, and (I nearly get short of breath and dizzy just thinking of that first experience).

They were so friendly and welcoming at the Beehive Wool Shop, especially when I told them I was a new knitter. It was as if I had joined a new family – The Knitting Family.

Displayed at the shop I saw the most beautiful scarf – a ribbed knit scarf made with this beautiful burnt orange yarn (I seem to have always had a thing for orange, see my posts Embracing Orange and Orange). I figured this scarf was way too advanced for me – I had only mastered straight knitting and straight purling, no combinations!

The kind and very encouraging shopkeeper at the Beehive Wool Shop told me that I could do it, found me the yarn, then gave me an impromptu lesson on how to create ribbing. She also wrote down the simple pattern for me.

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Here is the completed scarf – it is my most favorite scarf of all time (and I made it – yay)!

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Having conquered a semi difficult scarf, I set my dreams on someday knitting my own cap/hat.

Then 9 years later, while living in Central Oregon, my friend who is a very experienced knitter, knitted me my first handmade cap! Oh my goodness – I was so in love with this hat that his hat became my “security blanket” (remember when you were young and you had a “bankie” that you took everywhere with you?) and once the weather got slightly cold enough it was time to wear my hat!

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Me in my “security blanket”

My love for my hat grew to the point that I had to learn how to make such a hat, even if this sounded scary and beyond my reach. My friend Pam agreed to teach me how to knit a hat and she was very patient (very patient) as I made it through my first hat.

There are no photos to share of my first hat. It was wonderful to make a hat but it was rather small for my head, not sure what I was thinking.

I did not give up, the best thing after learning to do something is to try again, especially on your own, to cement your learning. I have made two more knitted hats since that time (same pattern) and I am currently working on a third. Eventually I would like one in every color of my wardrobe!

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My knitted hat collection (from the top): I made the olive green hat, my friend Pam made the purple variegated one, I made the blue one, the maroon one is in progress.

I may not work on it all the time but my knitting is very special to me. I like to take it on trips or to events where I will just be sitting around. I carry my knitting in a special bag – one that I picked up when I went on a trip with my father (who is no longer with us) to Williamsburg, VA. This bag reminds of the fun day I had, about 18 years ago, wandering around Colonial Williamsburg with my Dad.

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Every time I go to knit it reconnects me with that special trip.

Happy Crafting!

 

Adventures in English Paper Piecing (Part I)

Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s latest musings in her Schnauzer Snips page.


In my 09/23/16 post The Library Stack (and a little EPP) I mentioned that I was learning English Paper Piecing (EPP) using the book All Points Patchwork by Diane Gilleland.

So here is an update:

After purchasing a hexagon paper punch, I punched our a huge stack of hexagons using old cardstock from my handmade card making days.

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This past Spring, Terry the Quilting Husband and I went to the Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop. During the Shop Hop we each received a “fat 1/8th quarter” of coordinated fabric. I stuck this fabric away for a future project and it seems perfect for my EPP experimentation!

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I put together a plastic tote for my EPP supplies:

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And here is my beginning stack of EPP hexagons:

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So why EPP?

Well I had become addicted to playing games on my iPad in the evening as we watch evening TV shows (like NCIS on Tuesdays).

Playing these games were actually making me kind of frustrated and anxious as I moved into higher and higher levels. I had lost the sense of initial enjoyment that I experience when I first played. It became as if I had to keep playing and get to higher and higher levels  (but why, for what purpose?).

Although the games were a complete meaningless waste of time and no longer fun, I did not seem to be able to stop. I even tried deleting them from my iPad but in a moment of weakness the following evening, I would reinstall the app for evening TV watching.

I do not seem to be able to just sit and watch TV, I have to be doing something else. It was clear that I needed a productive alternative to playing these games and EPP seemed like the perfect solution.

So now I can do something productive with my hands in the evening while watching TV instead of playing iPad game apps! I am starting to find EPP kind of addicting – I like to keep cranking out EPP completed hexagons and it is becoming a game of how many hexagons I can rack up in an evening! (Oh no soon I will be strung out on hexagons!)

Next time I update you on my Adventures in EPP, hopefully I will have enough hexagons to start planning a small piece. Perhaps I will have even started assembling the hexagons into a piece!


POSTSCRIPT

If you are not familiar with English Paper Piecing (EPP), the online craft class site Craftsy has a nice little overview called Exploring English Paper Piecing.

Oh (random info) I recent reorganized my Gallery page into Art Quilts, Quilts, and Small Projects. I have a lot of old photos on this page and there are many old quilts I do not have digital photos on. Going forward I hope to only have high quality images of my work (but then I am taking the photos, so I am not promising – ha!)

The Library Stack (and a little EPP)

The “tierney” in tierneycreates, has not done a lot of creating lately. I wonder if I am stuck. I have been reading about creating and I have been preparing to create (does that count?) but more about that later in this post.


The (Sort of) Current Library Stack

I am continuing my series of posts on the latest stack of books borrowed from my local library. At the time of writing this post, my stack has dwindled and I only have a couple books left – primarily the Vegan cookbooks and the book Why Write by Mark Edmundson.

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I have enjoyed all the book except for the interior decorating book, Dreaming Small: Intimate Interiors by Douglas Woods. The book has a five-star rating on Amazon.com but I thought it was a snoozer (and yes I literally fell into a sweet little nap in my chair while reading/browsing through it).

The problem may not be the book, the problem may be that I am just completely burned out on home decorating books. They used to be a wonderful source of daydream but now many of them irritate me (except for the home decorating book The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith, which I discussed in my previous Library Stack post).

Terry the Quilting Husband, does not usually comment on my Library Stack sitting on the table next to my reading chair in the front window. He just accepts that his wife goes kind of wild on borrowing books from the library (there are worse habits to have in life). He did however tease me endlessly about a book called Mason Jar Nation (by JoAnn Moser).

Terry picked up the book and said: “Wow! A WHOLE BOOK about Mason Jars – WOW! Can I read it after you are done – it sounds SO exciting!” Through my laughter I heard him say something like: “No, no don’t tell me how it ends, I don’t want you to ruin it for me. I can’t wait to find out what the Mason Jars have been up to!”

I guess he does not fully appreciate all the options for craft related books and that yes, there are many people who enjoy making crafts with Mason Jars. The book was moderately interesting and did provide a nice history of Mason Jars. It did not inspire me to run out and buy some Mason jars and start crafting with them but it was fun to read while sipping my tea.

You might ask – why all the Vegan cookbooks? Are you Vegan or are you going Vegan? No to both questions. I love the idea of being Vegan, but there is one thing that keeps me from being Vegan, a little thing called B-A-C-O-N. Why live if you can never have bacon again? (Apologies to any Vegetarian or Vegan readers).

I work from home as a telecommuter for my pay-the-bills-job and so I eat lunch at home most days. Although I might be having meat and dairy with my dinner, I want to explore eating Vegan for lunch. I like the idea of “eating clean” for my mid-day meal. Terry the Quilting Husband has no interest in Vegan but you never know what I can slip into his diet (I have been very successful with slipping things years ago he said he would never eat like broccoli, spinach and kale! Oh wait, he reads my blog, now he will know what I am up to…)


Getting Ready to Create

Speaking of “library stacks”, I really enjoyed a book from my previous library stack (my August 23rd Library Stack posting) titled All Points Patchwork by Diane Gilleland. I enjoyed this book so much that I bought it. 

This book covers the fundamentals of English Paper Piecing (EPP) as well as options for creating cool pieces using EPP. I have been getting ready to EPP and will have a future post on my Adventures in EPP.

There is a reason why I wanted to pick up EPP and I will discuss that later when I do my post on EPP (it has to do with trying to break an evening addiction to playing iPad games).

In addition to the book from the library, I was also influenced/inspired by one of the blogs I follow – Alice Samuel Quilt Company and a post the blogger did on recycling her old wedding invitations into EPP templates – A Box Full of Junk. I love the idea of using unwanted paper for something creative!

So here is what I have put together so far – a whole lot of hexagon templates using my new punch:

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But more in a future post, first i need to make sure I do not completely embarrass myself trying to do EPP (if you never hear me mention those three words/three letters again you’ll know it did not work out…or I could post about “Misadventures in English Paper Piecing”!)


POSTSCRIPT

Someday I will follow up on all the other projects I have discussed and shared my start on. Right now I seem to just be building up my stash of “UFOs” (if you are not a quilter, refer to my post Lexicon of Quilters’ Acronyms).


Feature Photo Credit: Gary Tamin, free images.com

Flannel “Yum-Yum” Quilts! (re-post)

Bear with me. I am doing a little clean up on my blog and posting a couple old stories that I had in my Textiles Adventures page that I would prefer to have as blog posts. When I first began blogging in October 2013 I was not sure what to write about in my blog or how to organize it. Three years later I am not sure how much expertise I have gained, but I know that I appreciate my blog as a journal/record of my journey. So I want to make this story a blog post instead of sitting at the bottom of my Textiles Adventures page (keep in mind this story is from January 2014 and I had only been blogging a couple of months…)


FLANNEL YUM-YUM QUILTS!  January 2014

Although I am making table runner size quilts for the tierneycreates Etsy shop  I kept feeling that I should make some traditional quilts for the shop – something that someone could snuggle under. I noticed in my stash I have a lot of flannel. A lot of flannel. I sometimes suspect the flannel has been secretly breeding and making more flannel when I am not watching. I do not even know when I bought some of the flannel in my stash.

A couple years ago I donated a bunch of early-in-my-quilting-career-flannel that was not purchased at a quilt shop but was purchased at a chain store (side note: when I first started quilting, despite the excellent advice from my original quilting mentor Judy, I insisted on buying as inexpensive fabric as possible from chain stores; later I learned that if you are going to spend all that time to make a quilt, you want to use good quality fabric…).

However even after the donation, I still had plenty of 1, 2, and 3 yard pieces of flannel. In addition I had quite a stash of flannel fat quarters (from my “fat quarter addiction” period in the early-mid 2000’s). In a plastic tub next to the “tub-o-flannel-fat-quarters” I also had large stash of flannel scraps from various flannel quilts.

That’s a lot of flannel! An idea came to me – why not (okay here is a radical idea) – USE IT? Why not use it to make a series of cozy and cuddly quilts for my Etsy shop? So the Flannel Yum-Yum Quilt line was born!

What are Flannel Yum-Yum Quilts? Have you ever snuggled under a flannel quilt made with a flannel pieced top and flannel backing? Have you ever snuggled under such a quilt after it has been washed a couple times and has gotten softer and cozier? Only two words describe that feeling: YUM YUM!

The first Flannel Yum-Yum quilt I made for the etsy shop is made from a stack of flannel triangles I had in my stash and several fat quarters. I was able to use up some smaller flannel yardage for the back. I washed and dried the quilt after it was quilted and the binding sewn down to make it even softer. The second Flannel Yum-Yum quilt I will post on the shop will be one made from the flannel scraps a friend gave to me.

The next series of YUM-YUM quilts will be made from a stash of 2.5 inch strips I have cut up from ALL my flannel fat quarters and tub of flannel scraps and will be in the log cabin pattern style. I figure whenever I get time for crafting I can kick out a couple log cabin blocks here and there since the strips a already cut.

Box full of pre-cut 2 1/2 inch flannel strips ready for a log cabin quilt pattern!
Box full of pre-cut 2 1/2 inch flannel strips ready for a log cabin quilt pattern!

In case you wondered, I already have my own Flannel Yum-Yum quilts around the house – here is one that is my favorite that I nap under all the time:

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Make Do Quilt Challenge

Yes, this blog is called “tierneycreates” and Tierney should probably discuss…well…doing some creating…instead of her random rambles about her Minimalism Journey (Part II of her ramble will continue in the next post).

I am participating in Sherri Lynn Wood’s (author of The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters) recycled quilt challenge: Make Do Quilt Challenge – #makedoquilt.  You can read about this challenge on Sherri Lynn’s blog – dainty time.net; or you can read a wonderful post by Kris R. about this challenge and “the skinny on trashing textiles” on one of the wonderful blogs I follow, Coloring Outside the Lines:

Make Do Quilt Challenge

The Made Do Quilt Challenge asks you make a quilt out of recycled textiles using one of the “Scores” that Sherri Lynn Wood discusses in her book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters (for more about this book, see my post Creative Inspiration: Books I Own).

In her book, she helps guide the quilter, new to improvisational piecing, by providing “scores” to suggest the creation of an improv quilt. Ms. Wood likens these score to “musical scores” and shares the following:

In creating a musical score, a composer is making a record of how the music is to be performed. Yet each performance of the score will be unique. – Sherri Lynn Wood

For my challenge quilt, I am using the “Score” called Floating Squares. The score suggests to limit yourself to three fabrics (two used in small amounts and one used to “float” the improv squares). I am using 5 fabrics but treating four of the fabrics as pairs as they are loosely (very loosely) in the sort of same color way.

My fabrics are:

  1. A recycled table runner from a thrift shop that is in stripped orange, greens, reds and purples.
  2. Recycled orange corduroy pants (I only have a tiny bit left and it is the companion fabric to the #1 fabric above)
  3. A recycled tweed jumper
  4. Gold-ish recycled home decor fabric scraps (this is the companion fabric paired with the tweed in #3 – yes of course brown tweed and deep gold lame-ish fabric are in the same color way – ha!)

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I began with cutting up squares with scissors (Sherri Lynn Wood is all about ruler free design) and ended up with these squares on my design wall:

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Here is my “pile-o-denim” scraps on the floor to float my squares in:

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And here is where I am with the piece so far:

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I am very interested to see how it comes out. I am just making sections and when I feel I am ready, I will figure out the layout (the initial layout you see above may have nothing to do with the final piece).

So that is my current Tierney-creating!


POSTSCRIPT

Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer has taken a short hiatus from her SchnauzerSnips blog page but she will return soon with her story of “The Herd” (recently we babysat two other schnauzers for 5 days).

In my post, Seattle Public Utilities’ Portable Works Collection, I shared my elation of the piece Abandoned Water Structure (designed and pieced by myself and quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe) being purchased by the City of Seattle for its Seattle Public Utilities Portable Art Collection. Yesterday I mailed it off the framer in Seattle and I wanted to share the custom label I made for the back of the piece – I included the photo of the structure that inspired my creation of the piece and Betty Anne’s quilting:

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I of course have more random rambles, but I am trying not to make my posts too long (so you do not fall asleep while reading!). More next time!


Feature image photo credit: Charles Novaes, free images.com

First Friday Art Walk 09/02/16

The first Friday of each month, Downtown Bend, Oregon hosts a “First Friday Art Walk”. The downtown galleries and shops stay open late and host special art exhibits or show their ongoing exhibits. The local shops and galleries serve snacks and beverages including complimentary microbrews (Bend, OR is known for its numerous and excellent microbreweries) and wine.

Our Central Oregon SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group showed our Doors exhibit at Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty. This show first opened at the 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show as a special exhibit (see the post 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show Part II for more of the story on this exhibit and for better photos of the art quilts).

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My piece, Recycled Door (quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe) was in the show. I was very honored to be in a show with these talented art quilters, several of whom are locally, nationally or internationally renown for their fiber art. Our Oregon SAQA reps, Jan Tetzlaff and Marion Shimoda did an impressive job hanging the art quilts in the gallery!

Here are more photos from the show (it was very crowded at the show and I had to take photos quickly as there were breaks between people viewing the show):

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The show runs through September and is located at: Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty, 821 NW Wall Street, Bend, OR (Downtown)


POSTSCRIPT (follow up to the post Waiting for the Sunflowers)

The giant sunflowers did finally bloom in my yard – I have 4 total and they are all over 8 feet tall!

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More Creating – More Art Pillows

This post is a quick follow up to the post Creating… on 07/27/16 where I discussed pulling out from my project pile and completing a set of “art pillow experimentations”.

I spent part of this weekend finishing up the rest of the little art pillows (they range from around 6 x 6 inches to 8 x8 inches for the large one).

Here is the full set of the finished pillows (notice my new tierneycreates labels on each pillow):

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Here are the backs of the smaller pillows (made with hand dyed fabric found at a thrift store (it was quite the score!)

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I was going list these three pillows on my tierneycreates Etsy shop as a set but I decided to just list them separately (they do look cute together though): 

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Here are close ups of some of the pillows:

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I am posting this on Sunday night but you will likely read this on Monday, so I wish you all a wonderful week, and talk to you later!


Postscript

My blogging buddy, Laura of Create Art Every Day, posted a lovely painting of a quilt block, inspired by my blog on her post GEOMETRIC ABSTRACT CALL TO AUTUMN IN WATERCOLOR AND ACRYLIC (WORLD WATERCOLOR MONTH, 29/31)

I am inspired by her paintings! I might do a little quilt piece inspired by her work.

In Central Oregon we actually have a famous quilter and a well-known painter collaborating on art projects – Jean Wells Keenan (quilter) and Judy Hoiness (painter).

Here is a link to examples of their wonderful collaborations: Twist from Tradition Series.

Creating…

I realized it’s time for “Tierney” to return to “creating”…

This blog is not called:

  • tierneywritesaudiobookreviews;
  • tierneyshowsterrythequiltinghusband’sprogress;
  • tierneysharesherrandomthoughts; or
  • tierneyobsessesaboutsunflowers

The blog is called tierneycreates, so Tierney better get to creating! (I like the imaginary sense of accountability blogging gives me – like you all will be very disappointed if my blog does not live up to its name!)

So last evening, I returned to “creating” and pulled out the “art pillow experimentations” tops I started last year and discussed in the 12/24/15 post   What’s On the Design Wall: Playing with Solids.

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I was excited to pull these items out of the “set aside to work on later” basket (set aside for 7+ months so far!) and turn them into pillows.

So far, I started with this one:

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And turned it into this little pillow which I have named Textured Desert Canyon:

 

I was excited to use my new “tierneycreates – smiles & textiles” tags (see post Embracing Orange) for the first time on this pillow (can you see the little tag in the photo?). I had to experiment to figure out exactly how to make the tag work but I think I like the outcome.

I experimented with quilting with a solid color thread and then a variegated thread to try and give a lot of depth to the quilting.

What surprised me was the dense quilting gave the hand dyed solid scraps pieced into this pillow a suede like texture and appearance. I am eager to experiment more with dense quilting.

Now onto to working on the next four (4) pillows!


Postscript

I follow many wonderful blogs and recently one of the blogs I follow, Catbird Quilt Studio has begun an interesting series on The Future of Quilting.

Here are links below to the two enjoyable posts in this series so far:

The Future of Quilting, Part 1

The Future of Quilting, Part 2

Melanie, the talented blogger, invites engaging discussion in these posts! Enjoy!

Embracing Orange

MORE KIMONOS (Loaded with Orange!)

I have accepted the color Orange is part of my creative life, as I discussed in my July 3rd post, Orange. As a matter of fact, I have done more than accepted Orange, I am embracing Orange!

This weekend I worked on restocking my tierneycreates Etsy shop. It is still far from the days when I had 90 items in my shop. My miniature kimonos continue to be popular and I recently sold 4 to a lovely person in Canada as well as 4 to various friends (I continue to fleece my friends in person, making them purchase my handmade items, ha! See the end of the post Quilt Retreat Weekend: The Projects)

Many of the miniature kimonos in the new batch I made feature the color Orange:

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I have been building a nice button collection and I enjoyed selecting a button for each kimono.

My friend Dana gave me some wonderful buttons in May at our annual Jelly Rollers Quilting Retreat (she was my Secret Quilting Sister), I still have wonderful buttons from my friend Betty Anne’s mother’s antique button collection she shared. Additionally I used a couple of the buttons from my recent antique button acquisition during the 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (see post 2016 Sisters Outdoor Show Part I).

Now it is time to get each miniature kimono with its hanging chopstick and coordinating embroidery floss for hanging (though some people have put them in shadowboxes instead of hanging). Then it is time for their individual “photo shoots” for their Etsy shop listings.

Figuring in the cost of materials, time to make them, and Etsy seller fees, I figure I make like $3 – $4 per kimono. But my Etsy shop is a fun hobby and I enjoy knowing that my handmade creations are in peoples’ homes around the country (and Canada!).

If I tried to live off my Etsy shop I really would be foraging for free neighborhood fruit (like in prior post) for sustenance – ha!


MORE ORANGE (Orange Labels!)

Recently I decided I wanted my Etsy shop items to look a little more polished by adding a professional label to some items. I will not add the label to the miniature kimonos but I will to future art pillow and table runner creations.

I purchased the labels from another Etsy shop (Wunderlabel) and guess what color they are in?  ORANGE!

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POSTSCRIPT

Speaking of color, I have been following a wonderful blog by a painter, Laura’s Create art every day. A couple years ago while taking a Jean Wells class on art quilting, she suggested that we also seek inspiration from the work of other artists outside of fiber/textile arts – like painters. I have started following the blogs of several painters and I am so inspired by their use of color and their creatively (oh no I see a future “Creative Inspiration” series blog post coming…)

Here is a post from createarteveryday.com with some seriously inspirational use of my new color best friend, Orange:

MY FIRST 8 X 10″ ! (FOR D)

Getting Gritty (Coasting with the Coasters)

Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s blog on her SchnauzerSnips page for her latest musings…


Showing Some “Grit”

After posting on Saturday about having “Grit” (powerful motivation to achieve an objective) I figured I better get “Gritty” and work on getting my tierneycreates Etsy shop restocked.

So I had a “power crafting holiday weekend” and made 17 sets of vintage beer coasters.

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I was “coasting” with making coasters!

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Tied up with a beer ribbon and ready to gift to the craft beer enthusiast

They are now listed on my tierneycreates Etsy shop and I am very pleased and relieved.  Now onto the stack of other projects for the shop. Perhaps someday I can return to having 90+ items listed on my shop instead of my recent low of 25 items.

I have been working on better photography on my Etsy shop items. Below is an example from my “photo shoot” for the vintage beer coaster listing:

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Coasters in action!

Once I get some additional smaller items onto the shop, I would like to focus on building my collection of modern quilt table runner offerings.

I have decided to no longer try to sell quilts on my Etsy shop and instead focus on offering reasonably priced smaller items. I removed all the listings for quilts made by me or by “Terry the Quilting Husband” on the tierneycreates Etsy shop. We plan to show and offer those quilts at the 2016 Sisters Outdoor Show.

It is challenging to sell quilts online. If you are a quilter you know how much work goes into making a quilt – time, effort and financial investment. It is difficult (at least for me with my questionable photography skills) to show online how lovely a quilt is in person. A great example is I sold a quilt at the 2015 Sisters Outdoor Show that I struggled for a year to sell on my Etsy shop – which was listed for quite a lower price on the Etsy shop. In person the quilt was spectacular (based on feedback I received) but you cannot always capture the specialness of a quilt with an online photo.

Interestingly potentially customers have contacted me on an Etsy quilt listings to ask me if I am willing to negotiate on the price of a quilt. It appeared they were looking for mass produced department store prices on my quilts. 

Additionally, and this might be a topic for a future blog post, I am temporarily burned out on making lap and bed size quilts. I am interested in focusing on making table runners or small wall hanging size quilts instead.

Naturally I have more ideas in my mind that hours I have available to work on projects (don’t we all?) and I still have that pesky pay-the-bills full-time job in the healthcare industry (and they don’t let me quilt while working – ha!)

I continue to enjoy the audiobook Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth (2016) and I am finding lots of inspiration to keep moving forward on my goals!


POSTSCRIPT: VARIOUS RAMBLINGS 

When I ride my bike or go on a walk a million ideas seem to pop into my head of things I want to share on my blog. I thought I would do a mini “brain dump” in the “Postscript” section of this post:

  • In a previous post, Good Listens, I shared my favorite podcasts. Recently I have added several new favorites to my list:
    • While She Naps with Abby Glassensberg – a crafter and craft business focused podcast by blogger Abby Glassenberg who has a wonderful blog by the same name. I am currently listening to podcast episode #53 which features an excellent interview with Sherri Lynn Wood (author of my beloved The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously).  
    • Let’s Know Things – an engaging podcast by Colin Wright exploring and discussing different topics. He has a very relaxing voice and his topics are well researched and presented.
    • Chris Hogan’s Retire Inspired – I occasionally listen to Dave Ramsey’s podcasts on managing your finances and Chris Hogan is a protege of Dave Ramsey. Chris Hogan’s style is more appealing – he is warm and hysterically funny financial coach.

All of these podcasts are available for free on iTunes. I might discuss them in more depth in a future post.

  • You may wonder what become of my “Pilot Butte Walks” that I posted about in several posts in April and May. Well they are still on hold for now (first due to my knees, then due to hot days) but I am going bike riding several days a week now in the am before work. I bike ride in the back of an adjoining neighborhood where I discovered an empty block (new house construction that was halted) in which I can safely ride around and around the block listening to podcasts. I try to ride for at least the length of a 30 or 40 minutes podcast before heading home.
  • The Here and Now Habit by Hugh Byrne – I discussed this audiobook in several previous posts (see Listening and Reading and The Guest House). Well I felt that I got all I could get out of it and did not finish it. That of course is the beauty of free public library audiobook downloads. It grew repetitive after a while and I felt like it was time to move on.

I think that is enough “brain dump” for now. Thanks for reading my ramblings. It is time to go to bed and hope I continue to be infused with “Grit” to attack all the awaiting fiber projects!

Grit

Just started listening to a fantastic audiobook (well fantastic so far) – Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth (2016).

The audiobook is read by the author (I love when an author reads their own audiobook) and explores the role of GRIT in the journey to success (however you define success).

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

Wikipedia describes “grit” as:

…a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s passion for a particular long-term goal or end state, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective. This perseverance of effort promotes the overcoming of obstacles or challenges that lie within a gritty individual’s path to accomplishment, and serves as a driving force in achievement realization.

Whenever I think of the word “grit”, I think of the movie True Grit (original 1969 and remake 2010).

This movie was based on a novel by Charles Portis (1968). This movie was about a teenage girl hiring a man with “true grit” to capture the man who killed her father. It  is a story of dogged retribution for a wrong, as well as a story of valor and courage.

In the audiobook Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, the author does not discuss hunting down people who do you wrong (could you imagine reading a self-improvement book that focused on that topic, ha!) but explores “natural talent” vs. “hard work and perseverance”.

I am early in the audiobook but I am fascinated by the author’s anecdotal examples of individuals who society or schools wrote off as low aptitude and low achievers who went on to achieve great things due to their efforts, hard work, and perseverance. The author also shares how one teacher believing in one child that no one else believed in can make a huge impact on that child’s life and future. Teachers are higher life forms in my opinion and the lives they positively impact have an impact on society as a whole.

More later on this audiobook as I continue my listen…


Postscript

Speaking of “grit” (or my imaginary grit), I have been hard at work making items for the tierneycreates Etsy shop. I am taking a break from working on art quilts and instead focusing on making fun items for people to enjoy in their homes or give as gifts. I am working on make a bunch of the Vintage Beer Coasters (see the post Quilt Retreat Weekend: The Projects for the story of how I made 9 sets at a quilt retreat and left with retreat with 0 sets as the other quilters bought them all as gifts!)


Postscript Postscript

Do you remember the days of writing letters (on paper!) and adding a “P.S. P.S” after your initial “P.S.”? Well here is one more thought before I close this post:

I continue to enjoy all the blogs I follow by other creative individuals. I wanted to mention one blog post I recently really enjoyed from the blog Dewey Hop in which the blogger discusses interesting finds in the Economics section of the library, discussion of those finds and some wonderful humor:

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The blogger, Feisty Froggy, is blogging through the entire Dewey Decimal system of the local public library in order; and shares favorite finds in each section. If you have followed my blog for a little while, you know about my love of and obsession with the public library.

I look forward to Feisty Froggy’s next post on the next library section!

Saved by the Internet

A friend of mine and I have an ongoing joke that we are going to write a book called “An Idiot’s Guide to Being an Idiot”. Over the years we have shared and collected humorous mistakes, miniature disasters and cosmic foibles.

Today I created a new chapter in our imaginary book. The chapter would be titled “How to screw up your iron when you really need it work”.

In addition to handmade items on my tierneycreates Etsy shop I also sell some carefully curated fabric (fabric I want to use but needed an excuse to buy the entire bolt…hey – I can share it with my customers!).

I created a fat quarter set from the collection of the solid color Peppered Cotton (“shot cotton”)  yardage that I sell.

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The fat quarter packs have been a great seller, and yesterday I sold another set and today I needed to prepare it to send to my customer. However, what I did not realize was that I was one set short and needed to cut new  fat quarter sets.

Luckily, I recently replaced some of the yardage/bolts I ran out of (the blue, grey, green and tan were very popular). So I needed to open new bolts wrapped in plastic and cut some yardage into fat quarters (18″ x 22″ sections of fabric).

Trying to work efficiently, I warmed up the iron and put it on the floor in the corner so it would be ready for me to nicely iron each fat quarter before packaging them into sets.

The new bolts were wrapped in plastic and here is where my complete “Idiot Moment” began – I accidentally threw the plastic covers for the new bolts on top of the hot iron on the floor.

Are you ready for a huge life lesson (this will be life changing, hold onto your seats):

HOT IRONS AND PLASTIC ARE NOT FRIENDS. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MAKE THEM FRIENDS. KEEP IRONS AND PLASTIC SEPARATE AND AS FAR AWAY FROM EACH OTHER AS POSSIBLE. 

So here I am needing to package up a fat quarter set to mail to an Etsy customer and my iron is now completely out of commission.

I yelled down the hall to “Terry the Quilting Husband”, and he immediately ran in (as he thought perhaps I had sewn through my hand or had rotary cut off several fingers by the way I screamed for help) and we began to troubleshoot the disaster.

I will not review the painfully ineffective steps we tried. Then I thought: it is likely that someone else has made such a silly mistake in the past and maybe there is something on the internet about how they fixed it.

Yes the internet came through for me. A brief search revealed many tips on how to remove plastic from irons (there must be whole communities of people accidentally melting plastic on their irons everyday!). We thought this one was the best resource on removing plastic from the doityourself.com website:

How to Remove Melted Plastic from a Clothes Iron

We are now at the step of placing the plate of iron in ice water (yes, of course we unplugged the iron first, we do not want to create an additional chapter to the “Idiot’s Guide”, ha!) after scraping off the plastic with a metal spatula. Wish me luck. I must now return to my disaster..

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Postscript

It worked! (HAPPY DANCE). I am now ironing the fat quarters and making them into bundles.

While working on these fat quarter sets/bundles I remembered I had posted about my adventures in starting to sell fabric in 2015 in this post: Adventures in Retail. If you read that post you will wonder why I am still making up these fat quarter sets. The answer is I love this fabric and I am happy to share it at a reasonable price with  my fellow crafters out there (so I can justify buying more bolts of it…).

Request for Feedback on My Blog Template

06/17/16 – I updated my blog template to the format you see now, thanks everyone for your input!


The blog template I use is called Chalkboard and it is sort of a tribute to my family of teachers.

Beginning with my great grandfather, I come from a line of teachers. I even got my trainer certification and used to be a trainer/teach for many years in my profession.

However,  recently I was reading a publication on blogging tips and it said to NEVER use white text on a dark background – this is difficult on your readers.

I would appreciate your honest feedback on my blog format and if you would prefer dark text on a white background as is standard with most blogs.

Thanks for your input and readership!

Tierney 🙂

BLOG TOUR DAY 4: Unlikely Materials

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Photo credit: C&T Publishing

Welcome to Day 4 of the Blog Tour in support of Pat Pease & Wendy Hill’s new book Creative Quilt Challenges (C&T Publishing, 2016).

If you are just joining the tour today on my blog, you can see the full list of the 10 participating blogs on this tour at the C&T Publishing blog post: Creative Quilt Challenges Blog Tour Kickoff.

At the end of this post I will pose a discussion question, please post a comment to automatically enter a drawing for a copy of Creative Quilt Challenges. The random winner will be selected and notified around 04/07/16.

 


CHALLENGE #3 – UNLIKELY MATERIALS

In Creative Challenges, Pat Pease and Wendy Hill invite readers to flex their quilt-making creative muscles by experimenting with different “Challenges”. In Challenge #3 – Unlikely Materials, Pat and Wendy invite readers to stretch their creative muscles by working with materials other than traditional quilting cottons!


Transitioning from Cotton Material to “Unlikely Materials”

Four years ago, I would have looked at you as if you were insane if you suggested I use anything other than high quality quilting cottons, purchased from a quilt shop, for my quilt-making. Then in 2012 my friend and mentor, Betty Anne Guadalupe of Guadalupe Designs invited me to work on a collaborative project involving making art quilts out of recycled silks and linen samples from garment manufacturing. These samples had been saved from the trash heap by someone working for an Italian silk manufacturer in the 1990s and stored away since then.

At first I was terrified of working with anything but cotton for quilting. Cotton is so crisp and stable. Silk is slippery, delicate, and…well…terrifying!

One of the first skills I learned when working with silk was how to back delicate silks with interfacing. The best interfacing I have used for backing silk is “French-Fuse“. I learned about French-Fuse from Betty Anne, who learned about it from another art quilter, Grace. This interfacing provides much needed stability to delicate silks and makes them easier to rotary cut and to piece.

Here is one of the early pieces I made with recycled silksSilk Landscape:

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Silk Landscape (2012). Designed and pieced by Tierney Davis Hogan. Quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe. Photography by Jeremy Koons.


The Wardrobe Meets the Wall

Betty Anne and I both became hooked on using the recycled silks and linens to create art quilts. We formed a collaboration which eventually became The Wardrobe Meets the WallA collection of art quilts created from recycled garments, manufacturing remnants, and samples.

We have a blog, The Wardrobe Meets the Wall (we are working on evolving this into a a website, “Art Quilts by Guadalupe & Hogan”). See our page The Collection if you would like to see a samples of art quilts all made with “Unlikely Materials”.

Our collection includes quilts made from mens ties, recycled silk and linen samples, scrap wool from clothing or blanket manufacturing, recycled denim, and general recycled clothing.


Once You Start Experimenting with Unlikely Materials, You Might Get Hooked!

Betty Anne already had many years experience working with “Unlikely Materials” and before I knew it, she had me experimenting with using recycled wools and denims to create art quilts.

Here is my first experiment with working with recycled wools (from wool mens suiting manufacturing scraps and wool blanket manufacturing scraps) and denims (recycled jeans) – He Dresses Up, He Dresses Down:

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He Dresses Up, He Dresses Down (2014). Designed and pieced by Tierney Davis Hogan. Quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe

Basically – if you can sew with it, we will now try and make an art quilt with it. There are so many unlikely materials we have yet to try out. We enjoy recycling.

I was intrigued that in the Creative Quilt Challenge book, Pat Pease makes an adventurous art quilt with “hair canvas interfacing“. I bow my head to that level of creativity with “unlikely materials”!

(Disclaimer: We still love and support our local quilt shops and still make many quilts with traditional cottons. There are so many beautiful fabric collections to choose from and our new fabric stashes mysteriously continue to grow despite our obsession with recycled materials.)


Tips for Working with Unlikely Materials

I will not deny it – working with “unlikely materials” for the first time is scary. Here are some tips I have learned over the past 4 years. I am still learning and growing in my knowledge and comfort with using “unlikely materials”.

  • Do not be afraid to experiment and play: You do not have to create a great work of quilting art your first time working with a new “unlikely material”. I played with silk for a while before piecing it into an art quilt.
  • Check your sewing machine manufacturer’s website for tips on working with various materials and fibers.
  • Search for YouTube videos on working with a particular fabric and sewing tips on handling that type of fabric in your machine.
  • Network with other crafters that have experience working with a particular textile you are interested in trying. For example if you know a seamstress who has worked a lot with silk, you could ask her/him for tips.
  • Determine if a fabric/material needs to be interfaced in order to stabilize it for sewing. As I mentioned earlier, French-Fuse (which can be purchased at sites such as Annie’s Craft Store) is wonderful for backing delicate silks. It makes them so much easier to cut and piece. There are also YouTube videos on using French-Fuse.
  • If you are using heavy weight materials such as denim and some wools, consider pressing open your seams, and using 1/2 inch seams (like in making garments) as opposed to 1/4 inch seams. A trick that my mentor Betty Anne taught me is to run a tiny (1/8″ inch or less) seam along the front of the seams (front of your piece) to hold down the pressed down seams. This will be helpful if you have your piece professionally long-arm quilted so that the thick seams do not flip and catch the needle when being quilted.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, don’t give up! I have had several “unlikely materials” piecing/sewing disasters (bad words were said, not suitable for repeating). Some disasters were so bad I had to put them in the trash, I could not even recycle them into another project. Speaking of recycling a disaster into another project, see the post A Very Successful Rescue! about a piece made with recycled silk that was destined for the trash but was recycled by another quilter into a wonderful piece!
  • Warning – your other quilter friends who only enjoy using cottons, may at first give you a lukewarm response on your pieces made with “unlikely materials”. Do not be discouraged – art is a private and personal thing and you cannot control others reactions. (I love the saying: “It’s not my business what others think of me”…or my art!). I am sure I have quilter friends who thought at first I had lost my mind working with recycled silks and linens. As you grow in your experience with working with “unlikely materials”, your confidence will grow as will your adventurous spirit.

Working on My Latest Piece with Unlikely Materials

The timing of this blog tour post is great, as I am currently working on a new piece for a group exhibit I am participating in, called “Doors” for the local SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group I belong.

Designing the piece: Selecting the “Unlikely Materials”

I decided to use a photo of a door for inspiration, and located a wonderful collection of unique door photos on an Australian door and window manufacturer’s website Brisbane Timber .

I wanted to created a semi-realistic version of one of their doors, using recycled textiles (“unlikely materials”) and name the piece Recycled Door.

Here are the materials I selected:

(List clockwise from top)

  1. Recycled Corduroy Shirt
  2. Recycled Corduroy Pants
  3. Recycled Tweed Jumper
  4. Unusual shiny gold home decor fabric (this fabric was given to me by the very talented art quilter, Dianne Browning, who primarily uses the unlikely materials of home decor fabrics and decorator samples in her art – you can check out her incredible art at her website Art Quilts by Dianne Browning)
  5. Recycled Denim (from my bag of recycled jean sections)

The Piece in Progress

Below is a photo of Recycled Door in progress. If you like, for fun, you can go to the Australian door and window manufacturer’s website Brisbane Timber  and see if you can figure out which door inspired this piece.

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(The thread at the lower right hand of the piece is orange thread – I think it needs to be quilted with orange thread to repeat the strong orange accent in the piece.)


Are You Ready to Experiment or Have You Already Experimented? 

Now it is time for you to weigh in on your experience with using “Unlikely Materials” or whether you are interested in experimenting with “Unlikely Materials” in the future in your quilting projects.

Please comment below and all comments will be automatically entered into a drawing for a copy of Creative Quilt Challenges.

The random winner will be selected and notified around 04/07/16.

The Creative Quilt Challenges Blog Tour continues tomorrow, Friday April 1, at BOLT Fabric Boutique, boltneighborhood.com. Thanks for joining me on the blog tour today!

“When you are scared but still do it anyway, that’s BRAVE.” – Neil Gaiman

Getting Ready for My “Blog Tour Stop”

Tomorrow the tierneycreates blog is a stop on the “Blog Tour” for Pat Pease and Wendy Hill’s new book Creative Quilt Challenges (2016).

When I join the tour on 3/31/16, I will discuss Challenge #3: Unlikely Materials from this wonderful book.

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The Blog Tour opened on Monday 3/28/16 and here are the other “blog tour stops” posts to date (if you would like to read them prior to the tierneycreates Blog Tour stop tomorrow 3/31/16).


Blog Tour Stops to Date:

C&T Publishing – Creative Challenges Blog Tour Kick Off

Tales of a Stitcher – Creative Quilt Challenges by Pat Pease and Wendy Hill 

Sandra Clemons – Book Review Creative Quilt Challenges

Upcoming Posts:

Thursday, March 31: Tierney Hogan, tierneycreates.wordpress.com

Friday, April 1: Gina at BOLT Fabric Boutique, boltneighborhood.com

Monday, April 4: Yvonne, quiltingjetgirl.com

Tuesday, April 5: Kristin Shields, kristinshieldsart.com/blog

Wednesday, April 6: Paula Marie, paulamariedaughter.com

Thursday, April 7: Teri Lucas, generationqmagazine.com

Friday, April 8: Wendy Hill, wendyhill.net/blog

 You can enter to win a free copy of Creative Quilt Challenges at the C&T Publishing blog  (a Rafflecopter giveaway)! Giveaway ends 4/4, and winner will be announced on the C&T Publishing blog.


See you tomorrow for the tour stop at tierneycreates!

Here is a little something lovely I found in the garden today: my first opened tulip (Spring arrives a little later in Central Oregon)!

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Twigs Gallery Show: Photos

Here is the post from our The Wardrobe Meets the Wall blog with photos from our show that opened on Friday.

This show featured several of my pieces I have discussed or shared in progress photos and stories on the tierneycreates blog, such as We Will Not Be Discarded, made from my dear quilting friend Judy’s scrap discards from trimming blocks in a quilt she was making at a quilt retreat (yes I am that person who says: “are you going to throw that out?”  

Please click on the link at the end of the preview to read the full post at The Wardrobe Meets the Wall blog. 

The Wardrobe Meets the Wall

Betty Anne Guadalupe and Tierney Davis Hogan’s show The Collaborationopened at Twigs Gallery Friday March 25 and will run through April 2016.

Although this show did not feature only pieces from The Wardrobe Meets the Wall Collection, it was aligned with our mission of “Re-use, Re-cycle and Re-invent”.

For this show we featured art quilts made from rescued and abandoned blocks shared by other quilters or found items (such as those at thrift stores or garage sales).

Ivy at Twigs Gallery did a wonderful job hanging and arranging our pieces for the show. Paige at Twigs did an incredible job with promotional materials.

The wonderful sign for the show created by Paige V.:

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PHOTOS FROM THE GALLERY’S WALL (and our Artist Statements)


Ohio Star: 18” X 23” Silks and Wools
Designed and quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe

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The Collaboration – Show Opening

Our show opens tomorrow at Twigs Gallery during the 4th Friday Art Walk, in Sisters, Oregon.

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My collaborative art quilt partner, Betty Anne Guadalupe and I will have a show, “The Collaboration”, opening at Twigs Gallery during the 4th Friday Art Walk, in Sisters, Oregon on Friday, March 25, 2016. The show will run through April 2016 and will feature art quilts we created from “rescued” quilt blocks (projects discarded by other quilters and reinvented/reimagined by us), and recycled materials.

Several of the pieces I have discussed on the tierneycreates blog, including We Will Not Be Discarded! and Tree Outside My Window, will debut at this show.

Below are images from the March 2016 issues of Cascade A&E Magazine (Central Oregon’s Arts & Entertainment Magazine):

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iCase

In yesterday’s post “When Studios Attack” I mentioned I was taking a class at a local quilt shop.

The class I took was called “iCases”. It was taught by a wonderful teacher Lavelle, and was held at BJ’s Quilt Basket (Central Oregon’s largest quilt shop).

I made my first iPad case and I had a blast in class. This is just a quick post to share the photos. The pattern is called iCase and is by Patterns by Annie.

Why Etsy?

Why do I have the tierneycreates Etsy shop? In this post I share what motivated me to originally open the tierneycreates: a fusion of textiles and smiles Etsy shop; and what motivates me now.

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Original Motivations

I originally opened the shop as a part-time business in December 2013 to:

  • Justify all the money I had spent over the years on fabric and sewing/quilting supplies.
  • Motivate myself to spend more consistent time creating and sewing with the fabric and supplies I  own (to decrease my fabric stash).
  • Provide support (and justification) for future fabric and supplies purchases.

As you will see later in this post, my current motivations for having an Etsy shop now expand beyond those original reasons.

I selected Etsy over selling on eBay as a selling venue, as Etsy appeared to be a friendly venue and forum for connecting those who have handmade items to sell with individuals who are seeking handmade items!

Etsy Shop Challenges

One of the challenges I faced when opening the shop, was that I work full-time.

I read in one or two of the Etsy Seller Forums, that you need to have an adequate selection of items in your shop to attract and interest customers. For example – if you only have like 10 items in your shop, potential customers will look briefly at your shop and move on.

So I decided that until I could find the time to make more handmade items, I would supplement my handmade items with selling a small selection of fabric yardage and pre-cut fabrics (like “jelly rolls” and “fat quarters”). Then plan was to “bulk up” my Etsy shop with additional offerings, so potential customers would not just pass me by (as a sad empty looking shop, ha!)

Well, If you want to see why I would never open a quilt shop (much respect to those who do) see my post from June 2015 –  Adventures in Retail. I could not believe how cumbersome and stressful it is to try and cut fabric yardage for a customer; or to create sets of fat quarters.

I always panic that I will “short” a customer on yardage, so I have been very generous in my cutting. I would likely have very low profit margins as a quilt shop owner – ha!

Additionally, I never fully appreciated those sweet little sets of fat quarters I see in quilt shops, until I tried to make them myself. I now bow in respect to those who work in quilt shops!

Learning to properly package and ship items when they sold was another learning curve I had as a new Etsy shop owner. I can now package and ship items in my sleep (I did develop a process and have a section of my laundry room set up for packaging). Eventually I taught “Terry the Quilting Husband” how to handle packaging and shipping and he helps with the least fun part about an Etsy sale.

Current Motivations & Inspirations

It is now 2016, and my motivations for having  the tierneycreates Etsy shop are different from my original motivations.

One of my primary reasons I continue to manage my shop on Etsy (as it is still not a “quit your day job” kind of business) are the CONNECTIONS I have with customers. I have enjoyed many Etsy conversations with fellow quilters who have purchased fabric and with customers who have purchased my handmade items.

It is very exciting to me that fabric I sold someone gets to go into their project, or that something I made is going into someone’s home or as a gift to someone they care about. As a bonus,  a positive review on Etsy from a customer is such a huge treat! I feel like I am living my tierneycreates tagline, “fusing textiles and smiles”.

I have considered from time to time – “why continue with the Etsy shop, it is extra work and you already work many hours in your full-time health care job?” Then I remind myself it is a fun hobby and the non-monetary rewards I receive from having the shop.

Speaking of customers – I met this wonderful woman through an Etsy transaction and I now follow her blog and consider her a new long distance friend – Martha’s Blog.

Here is the fabric she purchased from my shop (the entire remaining bolt, it is now sold out):

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AND – here is what she did with it (which blows my mind and makes me so glad I had the fabric available to sell her!):

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Here is a link to the post about this amazing quilt which was part of a her quilting guild challenge – Shapely Challenge Revealed.

I would have never imagined using that fabric in such a creative way. I am very inspired!

The Future

I am debating if in the future, once my current selection of fabrics are sold from my shop, whether to keep selling special fabrics.

On one hand, I really enjoy seeing what people make with the fabric they purchase from my shop and connecting with other crafters. On the other hand I am too small an operation to purchase fabric at the wholesale rates that a quilt shop would and there is a very small profit margin on the fabric I sell (it covers the gas to get it to the post office to ship, ha!).

However buying fabric to resell, does help finance any fabric I keep for myself from a beautiful bolt of fabric. If I do continue to sell fabric, I will only sell fabrics I want to use in my own projects.

Another option would be to sell fabric already in my personal fabric stash, but I have worked hard over the past couple of years to donate to charity thrift shops any fabric I do not absolutely love or do not have planned for any future project (see my post The Fabric Purge).

Also, I would not want to sell on my Etsy shop any fabric that I would now pause and think: “what the heck was I planning when I bought that?!!?!”  I bet all quilters have fabrics in their stash that look like they were on hallucinogens (or other mind altering substances) when making their original purchase.

So that is the current story on this Etsy shop journey, thanks for reading.  So far being an Etsy shop owner has been a fun, challenging and wonderful experience!