I realized I had not shared a follow up to the August 2021 post Creating a back for a “Legendary” quilt. I received the quilt back from the long arm quilter just before Christmas and shared the finished quilt on my @tierneycreates Instagram, but not on my blog where I had talked about it in several posts over the years.
I was able to get the binding on right before Christmas and I gave it to my partner John for Christmas. Below are photos of the quilted quilt including where John keeps it on the sofa in the basement where his “man cave” is:
I was trying to take pictures of the back of the quilt and a miniature schnauzer slowly snuck into the photo (photo-bombing)!
This was taken before he got his haircut at the beginning of January. He got a bit furry through the holidays!
Oh the the extra tree block you see on the back of the quilt is by my friend Kathy, who gave me the scraps to make the quilt (plus scraps she got from our friend Dana). It was an extra she had when she made her quilt. That block reminds me/connects me to the love and generosity I constantly get from my long time quilting sisters!
I am feeling SO MUCH BETTER! Unfortunately now John has my “cold” but it seems to be milder for him.
I’ve been making quite a bit of progress on the quilt I showed you I started while self-isolating due to me “cold”. I should be able to share on my next post what it is looking like on the “design wall”.
I started the shop with around 31 listings, added 2 more after opening and I’ve sold in a month’s time 11 items.
Most of my sales were from wonderful people I’ve connected with via social media platforms such as my blog, Instagram and Facebook. I also did a little e-mail marketing (just a one-time thing) to friends who are not on social media.
FROM THE WOODSHOP
My partner John made a couple items for my Etsy shop from his woodshop and we’ve sold two packages of them so far – Wooden Spools:
He even did a custom order when someone reached out and requested an inch longer set of spools. He’s going to make some other items for the Etsy shop someday and he has his own section – “From the Woodshop”:
One of the fun things I came up for my shop was to sell “Creativity Kits” when I include the book (from my craft book collection) and the fabric (like a jelly roll or other pre-cut) to make something. I pulled “used” books from my crazy existing craft book collection and was able to package them with fabric at a reasonable price since it was a “used” book.
These sold pretty well and here are some examples:
The photos above are “raw” photos, and I did some clean up and photo editing for then Etsy listings…trying to look as professional as possible (or imaginarily professional – ha!).
There is one Creativity Kit I am surprised has not sold yet, I even have it packed up for shipping as I thought it would “fly off then shelf” – one with then book Scrap Republic and 2 pounds of a rainbow of colors of scraps from my personal scrap pile. Perhaps no one trusts my scrap pile – ha!
This is not a book I would part with because I want to make everything in it, but I had accidentally bought a second copy so I was able to part with one. I had trouble putting up the listing for this creativity kit because I kept setting aside the yummy looking package of scraps I put together to use for my own project. Finally I made myself list it as I have so many more scraps to play with in my stash!
I am sure it will sell eventually when the person it is meant for sees it.
I’ve only made one set and it sold – I love little pillows!
I made the above set of 5 little pillows from recycled Pendleton Wool blanket scraps. I plan to make another set in the future. I don’t have anymore of the black and gray wool scraps but I do have some other Pendleton blanket wool scraps. It isn fun recycling!
When I had my first Etsy shop open, tierneycreates, I was selling a pillow I made from Pendleton Wool scraps and put the word “Pendleton” in the title of the listing. I was contacted by the legal department of the Pendleton Wool company for potential “copyright infringement”. I was totally freaked out as a new seller. The paralegal I dealt with at the company was very nice and provided me with education and of course allowed me to fix my error. I definitely remembered that lesson and when I listed these pillows I wrote for my Etsy listing:
Recycled Wool Little Pillow Set – Five (5) 5 1/2 inch x 5 1/2 inch x 2 inch decorative wool pillows
I love working with recycled materials. This set of 5 small pillows measuring 5 1/2 inches by 5 1/2 inches by 2 inches was made with recycled wool from a well known Oregon based wool manufacturing company. These little pillows would be perfect to decorate your bookshelf!
PROJECT BAGS/DRAWSTRING BAGS
My biggest seller was the project bags/drawstring bags I made.
I sold a couple sets of these:
As well as a couple other project/drawstring bags.
In addition to all the items shown above, I also sold a couple other items, including a set of fat quarters and one miniature kimono but I do not want to bore you with a complete listing of my sales.
I really appreciate all the customers who left reviews, and I’ve received 5 star reviews (huge smiles), which really helps since I am considered a “new seller” on Etsy with my new shop!
WHAT IS NEXT
I am pretty sure I am going to make some more project bags for the shop and I am working on a strategy of what to make and list next. One of my blogging buddies asked about messenger bags so I am thinking of those.
I noticed that many successful Etsy shops focus on like one thing but there are so many things I enjoy making, and I want to keep the shop a fun hobby, so I do not see myself narrowing to just one type of item.
I will share another update on my Textiles and Smiles Etsy shop if I come up with some fun new items in the future!
I posted the Firefly Tote on Instagram, and as standard etiquette I tagged the pattern designer – Anna Graham of Noodlehead when I credited her patter on my IG post. She has like 90,000 Instagram followers and I was pretty sure she wasn’t going to pay any attention to my tag.
Well next thing I know, she comments on my post and then the next day (I think, or perhaps later the same day), she adds it to her Instagram story!
In addition to tagging me, she also tagged the fabric designer Sarah Golden of that amazing “Maker” fabric that I love so much!
I was blown away on having such exposure as I’ve loved (and purchased) Noodlehead patterns for years; and she is a very well known pattern maker.
What an honor when the pattern designer likes your bag!
This time we worked on the Firefly Tote by Noodlehead. A month ago I shared photos of the quilt shop’s class sample of the tote:
The pattern has instructions for two sizes – a smaller “project” size; and a larger “tote” size. I figured I would make the tote size.
I decided to make it in the same fabrics as the Range backpack also by Noodlehead that I made in the previous class and here are photos in progress during the class last night:
That was as far as I got (photo above) during class and I still need to make the lining and the drawstring topper. I found the “blingy” gold handles at the quilt shop and they go with the shiny gold zipper I used also in my coordinating backpack, also found at the quilt shop.
One class attendee got way farther than I did, and she was making the “project” size tote bag. Here is her nearly finished adorable project size bag being held up by our wonderful instructor:
Another student in the class brought her finished Range backpack to class and it was so cool I had to photograph it – she has it lined with a custom Yellowstone map fabric she found on Spoonflower:
If you are just joining us, here is the Range backpack I finished a couple weeks ago from the class I took a month ago. As you can see my Firefly Tote will coordinate with it:
And speaking of backpacks, I am currently working on a commission project of a scrappy Tula Pink Range backpack for a gift for someone who is a Tula Pink aficionado. The family member who commissioned it as a surprise gift asked me to include lots of Tula Pink fabrics. I am trying my best but I have a limited range of her fabric lines (but lots of scraps!)
Here is my design wall in progress as I work on piecing together/creating my own “fabric” to start cutting the sections for the backpack:
This is just a little bit of the fabrics I am using, it will be super scrappy. I am going to first make “fabric” from the scraps and do some simple quilting on it to reinforce it before I start cutting sections for the backpack pieces. I will share a photo when it is done!
I have to set finishing my Firefly Tote from last night’s class aside for now as I need to get the backpack done and shipped so they can surprise their sister for Christmas!
Are you working on any last minute December projects?
Some great news: I was able update the art quilt RECYCLED HOPE III: WINDOWS OF CONVERSATION on my Portfolio page as: “OWNED BY PRIVATE COLLECTOR”!
A month ago I was contacted through my tierneycreates Inquirespage by an art consultant in Seattle, Washington who was interested in purchasing this piece for her client.
We worked out the details, I created an invoice and they purchased the piece!
So with this sale, I’ve now sold 11 of my art quilts over the past 5 years (and yes I would be very hungry if I’d tried to live off the sale of art quilts as that averages to 2.2 quilts sold per year – ha!).
The City of Seattle owns four (4) of my art quilts which you can check out on my Portfoliopage:
COLOR STORY I: FLYING TRIANGLES
COLOR STORY II: SILK LANDSCAPE
COLOR STORY IV: COLOR CHANGE
COLOR STORY V: ABANDONED WATER STRUCTURE
And the rest of the seven (7) that have sold were purchased by private collectors:
WE WILL NOT BE DISCARDED (not in my Portfolio but you can see a post on it – We Will Not Be Discarded’s Debut; it sold at a show at Twig’s Gallery in Sisters Oregon in 2016)
If you are a quilter, and you are trying to figure out what to you with your ridiculous collection of charm squares then I have a project for you (except I have not tried it yet myself).
My friend Judy (the one who originally got me into quilting) came for a visit the other weekend and she brought me this amazing Autumn wreath that she made with 5 inch charm squares:
It looks very delicious in person, the photo does not quite capture it’s yumminess. I love how the stuffed little tubes feel. She made it all from fabric scraps from her scrap pile; and found the wreath frame at the “dollar store”.
I asked her for her instructions and here they are:
Cut 5” square with pinked rotary cutter. Fold square in half wrong sides together. See 2 sides. Stuff. Sew closed. Tie 12” piece of ribbon with knot to center. Now tie this to the wired wreath with or without tying around the little “pillow” again I found tying around the pillow a second time stabilizes it’s placement but it is not always necessary.
Now I have not made it myself yet. When I do make one I will do a post showing step by step how I created it. I’d like to make one with Christmas fabric scraps.
And in case you’ve never heard of the term “charm squares”, here is a description of them from Robert Kaufman Fabrics:
A classic 5″ square cut, as a pack, perfect for charm quilts, including a variety of colors and/or prints with which to play!
You can buy charm packs of precut 5″ in squares (of which I have way too many in my stash) or you can just make them.
Lately my blog has primarily focused on my recent travels and I’ve joked I should change the name from “tierneycreates” to “tierneytravels”. Well over the past 6 months I’ve been tierney-creating a lot (when not traveling!) working on a “secret quilt” for a Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) show that opens next year.
The name of the show is Black Pioneers: Legacy of the America West and it opens next spring at the The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art in St. Petersburg, Florida. After a stint at The James Museum it will tour nationally (museums across the U.S. have already contacted the curator and head of the WCQN, Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi to request that the exhibit show at their museum).
Recently I put the final touches on my quilt for the show and sent it off to the curator to be professionally photographed for the book, etc.
We were provided with a list of Black Pioneers that contributed to the growth of the American West and my quilt is about one of those pioneers.
You’ll have to wait until Spring 2022 to find out more as the museum asked for no social media images of our quilts prior to the opening.
I am pretty excited about participating in this show; and this will be my third WCQN exhibit (see posts Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part I and “Giant Among the Sequoias” Returns Home). I’ve had the opportunity to participate in several other WCQN exhibits since Yours for Race and Country: Reflections on the Life of Colonel Charles Young (“Giant Among the Sequoias”) but I’ve had artist block when it comes to art quilts for a show over the past several years since my husband Terry died in December 2018.
I finally figured out what it was (beyond part of grieving) – I used to, in my previous home I shared with Terry for 14 years, work on art quilts in the giant design wall that spanned our small hallway of our home:
I loved creating textile art in that hallway and I would always have Terry down the hall watching TV, playing a computer game, or reading a book while I worked. Occasionally he would walk by on his way to the bathroom and give me an approving nod.
In my current home in the Denver metro area, I have a large design wall inside my lovely studio that my partner John put together but for me creating art quilts was about being in that hallway.
So I had to overcome that, and it was more difficult than I thought, to be able to work on the quilt for this show. I knew I did not want to pass up on any more WCQN exhibit opportunities (nor did I want to give up making art quilts) so I had to overcome this hurdle to my creativity.
All I can say is widowhood is a long road filled with potholes (some you think will kill you or at least break both your legs) and pits of muck getting you stuck.
But then ever so often the road smooths out and you can travel peacefully for a while. You can also learn to avoid some of the potholes and pull yourself quickly out of the muck when you slip in.
You keep learning that you are stronger than you think you are.
Glad I got unstuck from the muck to create this quilt. I will update you in the future on the creation of the quilt, the finished quilt, and more information about the show.
I was going to give you the last post in the series of posts on my first Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop but I thought I would just do a quick post and tell you all that “Seattle Scrappy” is done!
If you are just joining us – “Seattle Scrappy” is a quilt I pieced from my friend Dana’s scraps at a quilt retreat in early 2020 (pre-Covid pandemic) in a free form log cabin quilt style. Then I took over a year to hand quilt it. After I finished hand quilting it, I had the tierneycreates blog readers help me select the binding.
If you happen to be curious on the full story on this quilt and its journey to completion, here are all the posts:
There is something so satisfying as a quilter in seeing a quilt you made being used by a baby (a new person on earth!). Like in the post Baby Quilt for An Adventure Baby, I was fortunate enough to be provided with photos of a new person in a quilt I made.
Well the baby quilt got completed and given to my friend Marla during her visit a couple of weeks ago and she delivered the quilt to the new parents in Portland, Oregon. Marla was kind enough to take photos for me of the new baby, Azzy, in his new quilt!
First here is the completed quilt in my studioafter I did basic straight line quilting and pre-washed it for the new parents:
And now here is little Azzy in his new quilt (thanks Marla for the photo!):
I think I just want to make baby quilts as my new career and have a wall of photos of babies snuggled in the quilts I made (smile).
At the end of April I was honored to be featured on Maker Mondayon the Instagram page of @blkmakersmatter.
I was not going to give up, zipper foot issues be darned, I re-attempted making the Devon Pouch by s.o.t.a.k. handmade last night, and made a second one this morning.
This time I kept my dastardly zipper foot tucked away and just used my normal sewing foot.
Here is the first pouch redone with different center fabric:
I was so pleased with it, compared to my first attempt, I gave it its own section in my studio!
Sort of an homage to trying again and not giving up (smile).
This morning I decided to make the second one as my friend Dana had sent me enough supplies to make two:
In the third image above you will see there are trains at the bottom of the pouch. I plan to take this pouch with me when I do one of my “Bucket List” items in the future and take the transcontinental train across Canada (someday when they allow us Americans with cooties back into Canada…).
I am so happy with my two pouches! They are not perfect of course but they are MUCH better than my first attempt!
Oh and thanks to everyone who provided kind comments on the post of my first attempt as well as resources for learning how to use a zipper foot.
My friends Cody and Cici are expecting their first baby. They are two adventurers and world travelers, and many of their adventures involve traveling around the U.S. in their awesome Sprinter van which they customized for travel.
For their wedding gift in 2019 I gave them one of my late husband Terry’s flannel fishing and outdoor adventure themed quilts (see post A Quilt for the Road…) to keep them warm while adventuring in their van.
So I figured their baby is going to need their own flannel blanket for adventures!
Cody and Cici live in the Pacific Northwest and I made a Pacific NW themed outdoor adventure baby quilt from flannel scraps and fat quarters I had in my stash:
I put flannel fish themed fabric on the back as the new baby’s father is an avid flyfisherman.
Here it is all packaged up and ready to be sent off (they have since received it):
In case you are curious I used one of the patterns from the booklet – Three Times the Charm!-7 Quilt Patterns by Me and My Sister Designs Using Precut Charm Packs (2011).
My friend Judy (who got me into quilting) introduced this book to me years ago at a quilt retreat. It is a great book for quick small quilts made out of charm (5″) square packs, like baby quilts! I modified one of the patterns to make it work for how I wanted to design this quilt.
I pre-washed the quilt after I quilted it. I usually do that for baby quilts so the parents know the quilt is easily machine washable and should not be treated like some “precious thing”. It is not an heirloom – it is a utility quilt meant to be (hopefully) heavily used.
I am hoping the quilt I made them will get lots of use, go on many adventures, and get many washings in the future!
A humorous blurb on Mike the Miniature Schnauzer (though it was not immediately humorous at the moment it happened):
Last weekend we had Starbucks for breakfast one morning (my partner John went and picked it up for us). Starbucks gave John the wrong hot beverage for me (a Chai Tea instead of a Green Tea Latte) and he went back to our local Starbucks to exchange it.
While he was doing that I left half my breakfast sandwich on the coffee table to check on something. When I returned my sandwich was missing and a very guilty looking miniature schnauzer was staring at me.
When I exclaimed: “Mike did you eat my sandwich!??!” He immediately put himself in a “time out” in the corner of the room! I laughed so hard I could not be mad and any longer, grabbed my phone and took this photo below.
He stayed in the “time out” for a couple minutes until I summoned him out for a cuddle (his cuteness led to instant forgiveness for stealing 1/2 my sandwich!).
*Note – Dana is one of those people who can merely look at an image of a handmade item on Pinterest and figure out how to make it from the image…and then make it perfectly!
So when she talked her daughter, me, and our mutual friend Kathy into working on an Instagram based “bag of the month” project to build our bag making skills I was excited. For February the bag was the Devon Pouch by s.o.t.a.k. handmade. You make the pouch and then post the image to Instagram.
If you go to the hashtag #devonpouch on on Instagram you will see some GORGEOUS versions of the pouch:
I was like: “Wow! I want to make this pouch!”. Sure I have not made very many things with zippers but I can follow a pattern; and the designer has a time lapsed YouTube video of her making the bag so you can see all the steps demonstrated in addition to have the pattern.
So I thought I was safe.
Plus Dana was so sweet and sent me cute fabric from her stash and some zippers to make 2 of the pouches. So what could go wrong….?
Excited to get started, this past Saturday I cut out the pattern pieces, applied the interfacing and prepared to make two pouches:
I put on some yummy music (my favorite Denver radio station KUVO which is also a streamable Public Radio Station from kuvo.org), opened my laptop to the video of the designer making the pouch, sat down at my sewing machine and got to work.
In addition to materials to make the pouch, my friend Dana had also sent me scraps from when she made me a quilt (see post Mind Blowing Mail) and I incorporated some of these scraps into the front zipper pocket for my first pouch that I worked on.
I was feeling very clever.
A couple hours later, I was not feeling so clever.
The written pattern stated to change to a “zipper foot” whenever you were working on the two zippers in the pouch. I found the zipper foot to my Bernina, which I’ve only used once before and I think that was in 2006 in a class when I first bough my Bernina sewing machine.
The pattern told me to switch between my regular foot and my zipper foot. Problem: I am very inexperienced using a zipper foot. Wait let’s just say it plainly: I did not know what the heck I was doing.
I will spare you the full saga, but my seams were off and once multiple seams are off in a pattern you know you are in the middle of a serious freaking sewing misadventure!
Here is my quite ugly version of the finished pouch:
Here’s an even better image that might make you suspect I was under the influence of mind altering drugs while sewing (Nope, the bottom of the pouch is NOT supposed to look like that):
Please look away if the image above is too grotesque. My version of the pouch does not appear to even be remotely related to the examples of the beautiful pouches on #devonpouch that I shared earlier in this post.
I did post the completed bag to Instagram and people were very kind but I was quite embarrassed over how lopsided and poorly constructed it was (the photo actually does not do justice to the sewing abomination!)
As a bonus, I accidentally stuck myself with pin (yay, that is always so pleasant) during final construction and bled on the back of the bag. I did not catch the spot of blood of course until I pressed/ironed in the blood (is this pouch doomed or what?):
At first I decided to just keep the pouch and use it to store the fabric scraps Dana sent me:
But finally I decided to un-assemble it and salvage the nice zippers that Dana sent me; and reuse the zippers in my next attempt.
So when I feel up to it, I am going to start over again and make my first pouch again, before moving on to the second one. I am going to stay away from the zipper foot this time as I discovered towards the end I could sew the zipper just fine with a standard foot.
In more successful crafting news, Mr. Woodworker (my partner John) recently finished a remodel of one of our basement closets to become an entertaining supply storage closet with cabinet and coordinating shelves:
This was the first real cabinetry he’s made. He also made a butcher block style counter top of the cabinet!
Oh and John is going to take the advice several of you left in the comment section of the post Handmade Spools, and make more wooden spools for me to sell on either my Etsy shop (if I ever get it reopened) or a craft fair or something.
This is a follow up to the post – Artists Teaching Students. As I shared in that post, Beaverton School District in Beaverton, Oregon invited me to participate in their Art Literacy Program – Artist Teaching Students, by working with their Art Literacy Program Coordinator, Cathy Lamb, to create a slide deck presentation for kindergarten to eighth grade students (ages 5 – 14).
The slide deck is now posted on the Beaverton School District’s Art Literacy website:
You’ll have to see the full presentation if you want to check out awkward 11 year old Tierney (I was years from becoming the babe I became at 19 – 20 years old when I met my late husband Terry while I was in nursing school, ha!).
I have to give most of the credit for the awesome slide deck to the work of the wonderful Beaverton School District Art Literacy Program Coordinator, Cathy Lamb. Cathy and I used Google Sheets to collaborate over the phone to develop the slide deck and Cathy selected most of the quilts/images from my tierneycreates.com site that she thought would fit with the presentation.
I so enjoyed my collaboration with Cathy and how she helped me tailor concepts, such as my overall Artist Statement on my Artist Statement page on tierneycreates.com, and the artist statements for the quilts in the slide deck, into words and concepts that would be meaningful to kids. She had me just talk about how I felt about developing different quilts in plain language and she translated that into text for elementary and middle school students. It was a memorable and poignant conversation.
I hope you get the chance to check out the full presentation on the Beaverton School District Art Literacy website to see Cathy’s amazing work and the results of our collaboration!
I’ve added this to my Textile Adventures page which is a chronological summary of the highlights of my artistic journey to date.
After the slide deck was posted, a teacher/advisor at one of the schools (Arts & Communication Magnet Academy, ACMA) in the Beaverton School District reached out to me and invited me to meet with a group of students in the National Art Honors Society (NAHS) via Zoom video call.
So sometime in the near future I will be meeting with students via video to talk about textile art.
The Universe never fails to surprise me. Last week I received an inquiry through my website/blog from the Program Coordinator for the Art Literacy Program, Beaverton School District, in Beaverton, Oregon.
She invited me to participate in the Beaverton School District’sArtists Teaching Students Program by working with her to develop a slide deck to teach students about my art and becoming an artist.
Here is an excerpt from her original inquiry to me:
I coordinate Art Literacy for the Beaverton School District. Art Literacy is a program that brings artists and art lessons to our students. A few of our artists – Faith Ringgold, Monet, Lois Mailou Jones, Romare Bearden, Picasso, Deborah Butterfield, Michelangelo, Grandma Moses, Vermeer, etc. When schools closed in March, I began writing a new curriculum called Artists Teaching Students. I feature local artists and their work, lives, studios, childhoods, etc. through a slide deck. The slide deck is sent out to all of our elementary and middle school students. I wanted to bring art to our kids during a really hard time.
– Program Coordinator Art Literacy, Beaverton School District
If you look at the Beaverton School District Art Literacy page – Art Literacy Beaverton Schools, and scroll down to the section “Artist Teaching Students Online Lessons” you will see examples of the presentations by other artists, geared towards elementary and middle school students, who have participated in this program.
Last evening I worked with the Program Coordinator to draft up a slide deck for the middle school students and she is adapting that for elementary school students. I will share the link to this slide deck in the future once it is complete if you’d like to see my online program for students.
The Program Coordinator does any amazing job developing these decks in collaboration with featured artists.
I am very honored to be invited to participate in this program.
I smile because although I no longer live in Oregon or Washington State, these states keep reaching out to me in some way, whether it is through the City of Seattle inviting me to have a solo show and purchasing my art for their Portable Works Collection; or an Oregon school district reaching out to participate in their Art Literacy program.
Before I begin on the topic of this post, I wanted to send WARM THOUGHTS out to my blogging buddies in Texas and other parts of the U.S. where a winter storm is hitting hard. A recent post by @Sleepy Beagle will give you some perspective – Day 4 Still Rolling.
Another Paper Pieced Pincushion
Well after making the paper pieced (foundation piecing) pincushion I discussed in the post Paper Pieced Pincushion, I decided to make another pincushion, this time for my friend Dana who had sent me the incredible quilt I shared in my previous post Mind Blowing Mail.
Dana loves fabric by the designer Tula Pink (you can see some of her Tula Pink fabric adventures in my series of posts – Tula Time!, and she even attended a retreat with Tula Pink herself!). I decided to make her a pincushion, as part of a “thank you” package, with some scraps of Tula Pink’s All Stars fabric line I had in my stash.
Instead of canvas for the background, I used recycled denim as I thought it would go nicely with the colors and designs in the Tula Pink fabric.
It was actually easier working with the denim for the paper piecing instead of the heavy weight canvas scraps I had used in the tote bags I made (see post Tote, Tote, Tote Bags ).
Amazing Thrift Shop Find
Oh and speaking of the fabric designer Tula Pink, do you see that fabric underneath the pincushion in the image above? Well it was part of an amazing thrift shop score from a couple weeks ago. I gave Dana a little bit of the huge stash of Tula Pink’s Homemade fabric line fabric I discovered at a thrift shop.
All the fabric was in brand new condition!
There was about 12 – 14 yards of fabric in total spread out in three package bundles for $4.99 each and I bought them all.
I cannot believe this find! For now I have the fabric packaged up and put away for a future project:
So as I close this post I just wanted to mention that I know I’ve been posting a lot (well every day) since I returned to blogging, but I have a lot to catch you up on (smile).
If you are bad in life and go to the “Underworld” when you die, as your punishment you will be made to do foundation paper piecing all day (so live a good life as that is way too terrible an eternal torture)…
Did I mention I do not like foundation paper piecing?
But I really want to make the pin cushion, so I put my “big girl panties on” and proceeded with the pattern.
I had fun rifling through my modern prints fabric scraps to find some coordinated scraps as well as some interesting selvage pieces for the sides of the pin cushion:
After watching a tutorial on foundation paper piecing, and rewinding like 100 times (okay maybe a little less) to learn every nuance of the torturous technique, I successfully paper pieced the top of the pincushion:
And voila – a pincushion was born!
I used leftover bits of canvas from making tote bags (see post Tote, Tote, Tote Bags) as the background fabric for the top of the pincushion. I loved making the fabric covered button for the pincushion – I think it is adorable!
As much as I wanted to keep it, I decided to send it as a surprise to my friend Wendy (the one who wrote the series of posts last year as a guest blogger on the Quarantine Quilt she made with her neighbors 4 boys ages 2 – 8 – Quarantine Quilts).
She sent me a photo of the pincushion in it’s new home in her sewing room:
I decided it was time to redesign my tierneycreates logo which I had created originally back in 2013 when I first began blogging:
This time I wanted to do something more “organic”.
I’ve been addicted to the game/app Words with Friends for years and I play online Scrabble daily with friends such as my friend Kathy and my partner John:
Yup I lost in the game above.
I loved Scrabble since I was a kid. I actually have a collection of Scrabble letter collected from old games I picked up from garage sales or just the letters themselves.
I’ve crafted with them in the past making refrigerator magnet gifts with friends’ names done in Scrabble letters.
Also recently my partner John made me a photo platform to use for photographing items for my tierneycreates Etsy shop (which I hope to re-open this year). Combined with my new Ring Light (which I am still learning to use) I hope I will have decent photos for my Etsy listings!
So I came up with the idea of spelling out my company name (tierneycreates) with my tagline (a fusion of textiles and smiles) in Scrabble letters, and adding some textiles!
For the “textiles” I dug into my basket of fabric scrap strings:
Here is the photo shoot:
Here are two version of the resulting new logo I am thinking of trying out (and if you can’t tell any difference don’t worry it is subtle – they are each cropped slightly differently):
It’s definitely “organic”!
So what do you think? Does it look like I was Drinking While Designing (a “DWD”) a logo?
The title of this post might confuse you and lead you to wonder: “Is Tierney now focusing on making pillows for cats and how does Mike the Miniature Schnauzer feel about this?!?!?”
What is post is actually about it how as a crafter we make a lot of crafts and give a lot as gifts; and sometimes we forget what happens to those gifts over the years. It is a sweet and special blessing to hear how a gift is still being used years later.
Such in the case of an unexpected “kitty pillow“.
I have a post from February 2015, 2015 Goals, in which I shared that I had made Little Love Note Pillows for my then open Etsy Shop (aptly named tierneycreates). Around the same time as selling these pillows on my tierneycreates shop, I gave some as gifts to family and friends. Here are some images of these pillow sets I sold and gifted:
I sort of forgot about these pillows made 5 years ago, especially with all that has transpired in my life the past 5 years (and especially the past nearly 2 years…).
Well a couple days ago, I received a text and images from my brother-in-law Sean (my late husband Terry’s brother), sharing some photos of how his cat is enjoying the little pillows I sent him so many years ago. His kitty thought they were the perfect “cat sized pillows”!
He meant to tell me long time ago but kept forgetting.
What a huge smile his text and photos put on my face! It was a nice pick me up as I’ve been feeling quite blue of late (see the Postscript section below).
Today is December 1st and I think I’ve come to accept that December is a very rough month for me.
December used to be my favorite month with my late husband Terry’s birthday (Dec 2), Christmas (Dec 25) and my wedding anniversary (Dec 29).
Now December also holds the anniversary of Terry’s (known to this blog as “Terry the Quilting Husband”) sudden passing (12/13) who had been my partner since I was 20 years old.
December also holds the anniversaries of the passing of my beloved mother-in-law “Mimi” that I had in my life longer than my biological mother; and Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer the greatest canine love of my life. The passed within a week of each other in December 2017.
I was numb during Christmas 2018; I made it through Christmas 2019 but I am thinking that this year I probably won’t do a Christmas tree as it is makes me even sadder. Unfortunately, on 12/13/18, a couple days after decorating our tree together, I discovered the love of my life deceased next to the Christmas tree.
I will get through December; and appreciate all the love and support from friends and family and I am so thankful for my partner John and our dog Mike.
Also I am always trying to remember this wonderful quote I stumbled upon early in my grief journey:
Some days it seems like every moment of the day is a battle to keep the nests out of my hair at least during the month of December…
(okay Tierney you just won the “Most Depressing Blog Post” award…I promise future posts will not be as glum)
Here is what the representative from New Mexico Arts informed me in the acceptance letter:
Photos/videos that you submitted of your artwork will be placed in a slideshow presentation. This presentation will be shown to potential buyers across the state of New Mexico over the next two years. These sites can include: amphitheaters, animal shelters, community centers, courthouses, educational institutions, fire stations, healthcare facilities, recreation complexes, rest areas, senior centers, etc. Participating sites will have a total budget equal to 1% of recent capital outlay funds appropriated for new construction or major renovation projects. If your artwork is selected by a site I will contact you to begin the purchasing process.
So I am hoping one of the New Mexico public institutions feel that my piece is a match for them. If selected I have to go to New Mexico and oversee the installation of the art quilt under plexiglass (I am responsible for all costs related to installation it is included in the fee they will give me if selected).
Windows of Conversation used to be part of my Recycled Denim Series (all my art quilt series are listed with images and Artist Statements on my page Art Quilt Stories). Recently I reimagined by Recycled Denim series into the Recycled Hope series. It seemed to me that “hope” was something many people needed with all that is going on in the world.
I added in newer non-denim quilts into this series I’ve made such as All the Trimmings (see post “All the Trimmings” is all done) which is made from recycled materials. If you scroll on my Art Quilt Stories page to Recycled Hope VII: All the Trimmings you will see it listed.
Here is what I put on the Art Quilt Stories page as an overview about the Recycled Hope series:
The Recycled Hope an ongoing series of improvisational art quilts using recycled materials to include denim as the primary fabric on many of the pieces, combined with other recycled materials. “Hope” and the interpretation of the word “hope” is the primary theme of infused into these pieces.
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 hopeful 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.
Below is the updated Artist Statement for Recycled Hope III: Windows of Conversation
Photographed by Tierney Davis Hogan
55” W x 59” L, recycled jeans, various recycled clothing, and recycled home decor fabric
THE STORY OF THIS PIECE:
This textile creation in the RecycledHope series, was inspired my hope that in order to move forward as country we need to foster open windows of conversation and respectful dialogue between peoples of different cultures, socioeconomic statuses, ages, identities and life experiences.
My friend Wendy Hill (yes Wendy of the Quarantine Quilts series of posts where she made a quilt with the 4 rambunctious boys next door ages 4 – 8 as a diversion for them during the height of the pandemic) has been “KonMari-ing” her house. Using Marie Kondo’s methods she’s been going through her home organizing and letting go of that which does not give her joy.
I’ve recently benefited from her “KonMari-fication” (totally made up word, not endorsed by Marie Kondo, ha) when I received in the mail a project challenge.
She sent me the pattern she wrote and all the material (pre-cut including bias tape) to make a quilt called Friendship Ringfrom her book Easy Bias-Covered Curves (Wendy Hill, 2006).
When I mean all the fabrics, I mean ALL THE FABRICS, to include pre-sewn blocks and examples of how to attached the bias tape…and the already created bias tape!
I was overwhelmed by her generosity. She decided she was not interested in making another one of these quilts (one had been made as a sample for the book), so it was just taking up space in her home (and not bringing her joy).
Here is what, in a perfect world (of me perfectly putting it together as instructed), the quilt will look like when done (thanks Wendy Hill for the photo):
I already have a copy of her book Easy Bias-Covered Curves to help me with the technical aspects of assembling this quilt and finishing up the bias covered curves with all the pre-made bias tape she sent me:
The fabrics are lovely, they are a collection of 1930s type of prints collected by Wendy and donated by her friends who collected these types of fabrics.
So I’ve excitedly added this project to my project queue! I will of course blog about its progress when I start working on it. Thanks so much to Wendy for her generosity and for trusting me with carrying this project forward!
Let me close this post with my favorite Marie Kondo quote which I’ve referenced in previous posts in my old life (before my husband passed) such as The Space in Which We Live; and now in current life in which I had to let go of a lot from my wonderful old life to make space for this new reality and existence.
The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.
– Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
Seattle is where I originally learned to quilt and it continues to be connected to my quilting journey (and not just because the awesome person, Judy D., who got me into quilting still lives there). I lived in Seattle, Washington from 1997 to 2005 before moving to Bend, Oregon in 2005 and then to Colorado (Denver Metro area) in 2019.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while you might remember that the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture invited me to have my first solo show in 2019 (see post Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower (re-post) ), and ended up purchasing 3 pieces of the 12 pieces in my solo show for their permanent collection (see section on City of Seattle’s Portable Works Collection later in this post).
Surprisingly opportunities like the above keep happening for me tied to Seattle, WA. This year several amazing things have happened tied to Seattle and my (art) quilting journey and I am going to share them in the rest of this post.
Scream: 2020 CoCA Gala and Auction
A couple of months ago I was contacted by the Curator for the Center on Contemporary Art in downtown/Pioneer Square Seattle, and invited to submit work to be juried into an invitation participate in their annual Gala and Art Auction. I was juried into the show that opens Saturday September 19, 2020 and three of my pieces (Random Not So Random, Archaeological Dig – The Vessel, and The Loud Color Shift) are part of the event, which this year due to the pandemic, is being held virtually – SCREAM: COCA’S ANNUAL GALA & AUCTION).
Here are some images from the social media promotion of the show which is the annual fundraiser for the gallery (note the artist and gallery split the auction proceeds on the artist’s piece that sells in case you are curious):
So Saturday I will find out if my pieces get purchased in the auction and if so if they fetch a decent price (smile). If we were not in the midst of a pandemic, the event would have been live in person and I would have been invited to attend the Gala in person (and play dress up!) while visiting my friends in Seattle.
The crazy thing about this is that 1) I did not seek out this opportunity, it came to me; and 2) back when I lived in Seattle (and before I ever dreamed of “art quilting”) I used to visit this gallery during the First Thursday Gallery Walkin downtown/Pioneer Square. I never imagined I would make art that would be part of a show associated with this gallery!
If you’d like to see images of and read my Artist Statement on any of the art quilts mentioned above check out my page – Art Quilt Stories.
Request from Seattle Art Teacher
In December 2019 I received a request from Deborah Kapoor an artist and art teacher in Seattle, WA to use an image of my piece Random Not So Randomas inspiration for her art students.
Hi Tierney, I teach painting and drawing at South Seattle College, and wanted to share your beautiful work with students. If you are open to the idea, I would just need a high res image sent to me, and I plan to print on 11 x 17 inch paper and laminate, sort of like a mini-poster, for the art room. I think it would really inspire the students! The piece I am interested in is Color Story III: Random, Not so Random
I sent her a high resolution image which she printed into a poster and put on her “wall of fame” in her classroom.
Here is a partial image she sent me of that wall (other artists work edited out of image) in early 2020:
She said her students are inspired by my piece!
City of Seattle’s Ethnic Artist Roster
In November 2017 I was juried into the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s Ethnic Artist Roster (see postEthnic Artist Roster). The Office of Arts & Culture updated their Ethnic Artist Roster website and now each artist has their own page.
I was contacted in July 2020 by artist @salmakingstuff (Sally Lavengod) who was asked to create a mural in Capitol Hill, Seattle supporting the Black Lives Matters (BLM) movement. She asked if she could list my @tierneycreates Instagram handle in the part of the mural listing inspirational Artists of Color. I was honored and said yes.
She created a 4 sided mural of Colin Kaepernick, Fred Hampton, Malcom X, and Afeni Shakur on the corner of 12th and Spring in Capitol Hill in response to the BLM movement. To the mural she added Instagram handles of Black Artists who inspired her to include mine – @tierneycreates:
City of Seattle’s Portable Works Collection
According to the Seattle.gov, the City of Seattle’s Portable Works Collection is a rotating collection of over 3,200 artworks in all media, representing hundreds of artists collected by the city since 1973. The collection includes sculpture, painting, mixed media, prints, photography and textiles.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, 4 of my pieces are now part of the City of Seattle’s Portable Works collection. Recently I discovered the updated listing of my pieces on the Portable Works website.
I am so honored that several of my art quilts circulate around City of Seattle offices (of course during the pandemic they might be hanging out alone in offices with no one to view them right now!)
Although I haven’t lived in Seattle for 15 years but I continue to be connected to this city through my art quilting. It’s mysterious and magical to me.
I am learning how to use the new WordPress Editor and it is not intuitive (it is actually downright painful…). I think I am going to have to find a tutorial.
Last week I rotated the quilts hanging in my entry hall from several of my recycled silk art quilts to a quilt I made in the early 2010s (perhaps 2010 or 2011) that was one of my first attempts of experimenting with bold colors.
Rotated from this:
This quilt, which I will call Asian Fabric Slide Show, is from the pattern Slide Show by Atkinson Designs. If you are a quilter, and I have been to a quilt shop in the past 15 years, then likely you’ve seen this pattern – either available for purchase, or as a sample quilt, or as both.
It is a very common quilt pattern and before I made the quilt I’d seen many version of it, many which looked similar to the quilt in the image above from Atkinson Design’s website.
Before making this quilt I had begun to experiment a little with color, especially with batiks, which I had recently discovered. And before that I was making quilts with traditional looking quilting fabrics and colors. My original palette (especially when I began quilting around 1999/2000) was blue, red, green, cream, purple, white, mauve.
I found this image on twobeesfabric.com and it looks like my old fabric palette:
Somewhere in the late 2000s as I began to make quilts with batik fabrics, I became attracted to strong/bold colors.
When I decided to make the Slide Show quilt, I decided to make unconventional choices including using a “featured fabric”/main fabric with a non-repeat pattern (which was more like a panel than traditional fabric yardage).
For the little blocks surrounding the larger squares, I decided to experiment with adding a fabric that WAS NOT in the featured fabric but added a pop of color that appeared to go well with the other fabrics which were coordinated.
I used a light and iridescent bluish gray fabric for this experiment with “non-matching the featured fabric” (see arrow in image below):
Then I got really crazy with the quilt and added a very strong deep orange as the border. I’d never used this much orange in a quilt before. In the past I would have used the green I used in lattice or a black as the border. I am not sure what got into me but I decided to make the border really pop!
It wasn’t until I recently rotated the quilts in the hallway that I remembered this part of my quilt journey.
After this quilt, bold color became part of my design/quilt journey as evidenced by my series of recycled silk quilts – the Color Story Series.
Here is one from that series with a crazy amount of bold color:
If you like, please share in the comments, a little about your color/colour journey in your art (whether you are a quilter, knitter, painter, ceramicist, etc.)!
In case you are curious about the kimono quilt to the right of the quilt discussed in this post:
You can read about that quilt in an old post from June 2017:
A couple weeks ago I did a photoshoot of a quilt I made with African textile inspired fabrics for a project I have been invited to participate in (more details in the future) and I thought I would share a couple images of this quilt, African Windows, I made in 2014.
Back in 2014, I was gifted a collection of African textiles (not sure if they were originals or reproductions) from someone’s Aunt who had passed who was an avid world traveler and collector of textiles on her travels. (I was also gifted a collection of Japanese and Dutch textiles, which I used to make the quilt I will share in a future blog post).
Here is the Artist Statement I recently wrote on this quilt for the project I was invited to participate:
African Windows (2014)
I was gifted a collection of African textiles and created a piece to display the beautiful patterns of these spectacular fabrics. The design of this piece was inspired by an old Patchwork Studio pattern called “Aussie”. I adapted this pattern to work with the African textiles.
The quilt measures 56 inches wide by 64.5 inches long.
Here are a couple close up photos of the fabrics used in this quilt:
Recently my partner and I remodeled our garage and painted it white. We discovered that an empty section of wall in the garage is a great place to photograph a quilt. So we set up a shop light on a ladder for better lighting.
Of course it took a while to figure out the best way to mount the quilt so it did not keep sliding down (we used Command Strips) right before we snapped the photo – ha!
A couple more Command Strips and finally it worked!
Around the same time as a photoshoot, I decided I needed a new journal to write thoughts and plans. I came across this lovely journal which I felt had a very inspiring cover and added it to my life:
I completed all five sections of the quilt top made from fabric scrap triangles and scrap squares to create nearly 600 half square triangles (HSTs) in the following sizes:
2 inch x 2 inch
2.5 inch x 2.5 inch
3.5 inch x 3.5 inch
4.5 inch x 4.5 inch
5.5 inch x 5.5 inch
It was inspired by the pattern All Sizes by Amanda Jean Nyberg from her book, No Scrap Left Behind.
Here it is on the ironing board after I pinned it for quilting:
And here is it currently being machine quilted on my sewing machine:
I decided to machine quilt it myself rather than send it out to be professional long-arm machine quilted. Slowly I am making progress, I try to work on a section each day.
(You might notice some curious brightly colored half-circle blocks on my design wall behind my sewing area. I’ll talk about those in a future post. They are blocks a quilting friend gave me when she decided not to finish a piece. More to come.)
And of course when I finish machine quilting All the Trimmings I will share another update.
I am going to do an Artist Statement for this piece since there is a story behind it. Here is a very rough draft of that statement:
It’s more than just a half square triangle quilt. I miss going to Quilting Retreats and hanging out with Quilting friends so I made this quilt, based on Amanda Jean Nyberg’s pattern “All Sizes”, from scraps collected from my quilting friends during 15 years of quilting retreats and “Sew Dates”. Most of the scraps are triangle trimmings from their block piecing. Hundreds of scrap triangles went into this quilt top!
A friend of mine recently said that she was looking forward to hearing my thoughts on the tragic events and strife currently going on in the United States in a blog post.
For me it is just too deeply personal and sad issue to discuss in this forum, so I am going to just focus my blog posts on my creative projects and other lighter topics.
I will however share with you that I am currently taking a break from watching or reading the news as this was wearing down my soul.
Recently came across this quote by Fred (Mister) Rogers that made me feel some peace and I will close out this post with this quote: