image credit; amazon.com
tierneycreates

Making a “Mark”

Last Friday I went over my friend Michele’s house for an afternoon of crafting. She got me and herself a kit of “Diamond Painting” bookmarks and we worked on making our first diamond painting bookmark.

The kit has 4 bookmarks, one representing each season (Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn):

At first it was confusing to us on how to do the diamond painting and how it worked (no directions) but we figured it out. We decided since it was currently Autumn to work on the Autumn (the purple/pink one) bookmark.

Here are some photos:

Because of the tiny little beads you work with, we put plastic wrap on our work area to try and capture stray beads.

At time is was tedious to do diamond painting but it was fun to see the progress and of course fun to hang out with a friend.

Michele actually finished her bookmark and here is the lovely finished Autumn bookmark:

Special Events, tierneycreates

Recycled Windows Selected for NMA Public Art Program

Recycled Hope IV: Recycled Windows has been selected for the New Mexico Arts Art in Public Places Program.

RECYCLED HOPE IV: RECYCLED WINDOWS

The notification I received by e-mail from Public Art Program Coordinator stated:

“Your submission has been selected to be part of Prospectus #268 Southwest Artist Series Purchase Initiative. The submitted artworks will be made available for purchase through the Art in Public Places Program. Your work will be shown to various sites throughout New Mexico with available 1% for public art funds. If your work is selected for purchase, I will contact you directly to begin the purchase process. The work will be made available for purchase for two years…”

Fingers crossed my art quilt gets selected for purchase! If I does I will need to get the art quilt (which measures 18 inches by 39 inches) professionally framed and have it professionally installed at the location in New Mexico it was purchased for. An estimate of the cost to have this done was included in the price I proposed to New Mexico Arts. It would so fun to travel to our neighboring state and oversee the installation!

If you’d like to read the Artist Statement for this piece which was created for a Central Oregon SAQA show several years ago, here it is:

18” W x 39″ L, recycled clothing, recycled denim, and recycled home decorating fabric

THE STORY OF THIS PIECE:

If you peek inside the window to my creative heart you will see it filled with a desire to reuse, repurpose, and reimagine materials which otherwise would have been discarded. Part of my Recycled Denim Stories Series, this piece blends a corduroy shirt and pants, denim jeans, sweat pants, a tweed jumper, an old curtain, and home decorating fabric sample scraps into an assemblage of window-like structures.

This is the second piece I’ve had selected by the NMA for their Art in Public Places program. The first piece was Recycled Hope III: Windows of Conversation in 2020 (see post Recycled Hope and Acclaimed Artist Series). Recycled Hope III: Windows of Conversation however was sold to a private collector in 2021, so I had to pull it from New Mexico Arts’ catalogue of prospective art for purchase.

Feature photo credit: New Mexico Arts

tierneycreates, What's on the Design Wall

Starting an Art Quilt

This post is not about starting a specific art quilt* (though I will share an art quilt I am in the progress of making), it about a little of the process I use to design a new art quilt.

*When I use the term “art quilt” I mean a quilt using an original design that you design/create; not based on an existing pattern (though a pattern could inspire it); and either improvisational or based on a specific idea/concept/photo that inspired the quilt.

One of my long time blogging buddies sent me an e-mail with the questions below (some paraphrased) after she saw my completed memory quilt post (see posts Update on “The Challenge” , Update on Memory Quilt, and The Memory Quilt is Complete and Given):

  1. What do you find successful when you are creating a design? 
  2. What is one thing you do that helps you focus and get rid of all the noise and clutter that come with color, design, prints, etc.?
  3. There are so many complicated variables (in making an art quilt),  how do you start?

I let her know I would answer her questions in a blog post in case anyone else finds my musing interesting and possible useful. (And at the end of this blog post I am going to invite you all to weigh in with your answers, so start thinking about them now as you read mine!)

What do you find successful when you are creating a design?

THE MEMORY QUILT

What I find successful in creating a design is to sit down and write out my general concept and what I want to accomplish with this quilt. For example on the memory quilt I made my friend I wanted to 1) make a quilt from as many of her mother’s favorite clothes that I could; 2) make something that feels like it is a hug from her late mother; 3) try and use some of the more challenging fabrics in the design.

In writing out my general concept, I consulted some traditional quilting books for ideas. I did not want to make it “improvisational” with a lot of little pieces placed randomly (or in a format such as a free form log cabin). I wanted it to have some defined structure.

During my research (looking through my collection of quilting books) I found a pattern that had hearts appliquéd over plaid (via four patches) squares. I thought – “yes that is it!” – the hearts could represent love from her late mother; and the plaid design (four patches) was doable with the challenging fabrics I needed to work with (like velour, a polyester scarf, etc.).

MY CURRENT ART QUILT IN PROGRESS

Recently I’ve started a new art quilt for a special show I am hoping to get into. It would be my first international show. I’ve been invited to submit a quilt for it but it has to be acceptable for the exhibit in order to make it into it. That’s all the details I’ll provide on the reason for the quilt for now, but more to come in the future.

I followed the same initial process as I did with the Memory Quilt – I sat down and put my thoughts on paper. I used my art journal (see posts Creative Inspiration: Peek Inside My Journals and Creative Inspiration: My Journals) to jot down ideas and sketch out ideas for the layout of the quilt.

My art journal where I sketch out ideas, I made a cover for it to make it special

Ideas about the quilt are not just focused on how the finished quilt might look. They are also about what I’d like a viewer of the quilt to see, experience, think about, etc. What feelings and thoughts so I want to evoke when someone looks at the quilt? What do I want the quilt to say (or try to say). What is the theme of the art quilt, what is it about. I might also start to write a draft Artist Statement for the quilt to really get me thinking what I want the quilt to “say”. See my little “side bar” below for more discussion on this concept.

*** SIDE BAR ***

For example, all of quilts I’ve made for the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) shows that I’ve been in had specific themes so I had a starting point. I knew what the quilt needed to in general “be about” and from there I had to narrow it down to what I wanted to share about that topic. Example below with the quilt I did for the WCQN show “Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience“ which was inspired by the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I was assigned (actually I got to select which Article from the Declaration I wanted to use) Article I: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” 

So that was my starting point. I knew what I needed to portray in the quilt, I just had to figure out how to get there.

Here is an early sketch from my journal as I was working on the quilt:

And here is the completed quilt:

I am not sure how to put in to words how I got from the sketch to the completed quilt but it was through trial and error, and lots of experimentation. But I knew I wanted it to be a classroom with a person who looked like my father in the 1970s teaching because he was the one who taught my two siblings and myself the values in Article I. Also I come from a long line of teachers and I wanted to honor education/teaching.

If you know what you want to accomplish with the art quilt, then it helps you have a clearer vision.

Okay that the end of the side bar, so back to the current art quilt in progress….

This time the quilt was inspired by a collection of machine embroidered blocks a friend gave me years ago along with coordinating 10 inch x 10 inch sections of coordinating fabric; as well as a group of fabric printed “trees” I designed and printed years ago in a fabric ink printing class.

What I want to accomplish with this quilt I am still working out. I am thinking through whether I want it to be a deeply personal piece about grief based on the somber colors of the quilt and the tree images, or it if I want it to be more uplifting (or some blend of both).

After I came up with my initial concept/idea/layout, I laid out all the fabrics I’d selected for the piece on my cutting table in my studio:

All the fabrics I am considering laid out on the table

Then I put up a sample of each fabric and the special blocks (the embroidered blocks and the printed trees) up on my studio’s design wall:

One of each laid out on the design wall

Having the fabrics up on the wall helped me think about addition and subtraction (what I need to add to the design as far as fabrics, and what I need to take away) and I decided not to use the gold tinged fabrics in my design. I decided to just stick with muted grays, browns and taupes.

Here is a close up of some of the embroidered blocks I am using in the piece, one of the printed trees, and an example of the cool fabric my friend gave me:

If these fabrics looks familiar (and you’ve been following my blog a long time) I first shared them back in 2018 in a post called What’s Simmering on the Design Wall. But I abandoned the project as something else caught my attention (I guess I let it “simmer” too long and the inspiration evaporated away!).

Here I am with the quilt design right now – I am thinking of a medallion quilt layout…

Okay time to move on to the next question…

What is one thing you do that helps you focus and get rid of all the noise and clutter that come with color, design, prints, etc.?

Writing down my ideas on in my art journal, that is the number one thing that helps me focus. If my ideas change as I play with the fabrics on the design wall or the table I have them laid out upon, then I write down my new ideas.

As far as eliminating “the noise and clutter”, for me that is reduced by having a clear concept of what I want to accomplish (see “SIDE BAR” above).

I usually select a color palette early on in designing a piece. I’ve noticed that I am attracted towards “Southwest” and “Desert” type colors – rusts, beiges, greens, sky blues, etc. and I have repeated that palette in several art quilts. I read somewhere that if artists select a palette that they usually work from it can become a signature of their work.

Here is an example of an early art quilt I did called Central Oregon is Central to Me which uses that palette:

And then you can see I repeated this palette years later in a quilt I made for the WCQN show Yours for Race and Country: Reflections on the Life of Colonel Charles Young”. The name of this piece is Giant Among the Sequoias.

Color is very powerful and I’ve read a couple books about select coloring in the design of quilts. Two that I highly recommend were written by one of my teachers when I lived in Central Oregon – Jean Wells Keenan: Intuitive Color and Design and Journey to Inspired Art Quilting.

It was actually in her Journey to Inspired Art Quilting Workshop series that I took at the Stitchin’ Post in Sister, Oregon that I began the quilt Color Story V: Abandoned Water Structure, which was the first of my art quilts purchased by the City of Seattle for their Portable Works Collection (the City of Seattle now owns 4 of my art quilts made from recycled silks which they rotate through their municipal offices).

If you want to know more about this piece, see my post “Your Body of Water” Exhibit, Seattle Municipal Tower Gallery in which you will see the photo of an actual. abandoned water structure that inspired this piece.

I might be rambling at this point, but I want to take a moment to share two additional major things that have helped me “get rid of all the noise”: 1) reading books about art quilting; and 2) taking classes with experienced art quilters (ongoing workshops are especially helpful – a series of classes with the same instructor helps you build upon concepts learned). You can also find a mentor and that can come from joining either a local or national art quilting group.

You cannot become an art quilter on your own (well maybe you can but I couldn’t) – you need mentors and teachers and it is very helpful to learn some formal art quilting concepts and techniques so you have them in your “tool bag”.

I know I need to take some more in person classes in the future. For now I just read art quilting journals, watch YouTube videos, and read books. So many awesome books have been written by some very talented art quilters!

Now on to the last question.

There are so many complicated variables (in making an art quilt),  how do you start?

See above (smile).

So those were my answers to the three questions:

  1. What do you find successful when you are creating a design? 
  2. What is one thing you do that helps you focus and get rid of all the noise and clutter that come with color, design, prints, etc.?
  3. There are so many complicated variables (in making an art quilt),  how do you start?

I INVITE YOU TO SHARE YOUR ANSWERS AND FEEL FREE TO RAMBLE AS I DID 😉

tierneycreates

The Memory Quilt is Complete and Given

The Memory quilt I made my friend whose mother passed, using her mother’s favorite clothes, is completed/quilted and I’ve given it to her.

This is a follow up/end of the story for the following previous posts about this quilt:

I decided to quilt is myself and did a combination of hand and machine quilting. I talk more about this (and share photos) on the previous post “Update on Memory Quilt “.

Slogging through machine quilting
Mike the mini schnauzer providing emotional support under the table while I quilt

I used a floral fabric with the colors in the quilt top as the back and the binding.

Here’s the completed quilt (which is of course a rectangle, it just looks triangular from the camera angle) in my studio:

A couple more photos:

And yes that is me at the bottom of the photo above awkwardly trying to take a photo of the quilt on my cutting table in my studio while trying to use my ring light.

Something I did not mention in the previous post on this quilt – before I quilted it, we met my friend and her husband for dinner while my sister was visiting a couple of weeks ago. I brought the quilt top (not quilted yet) with me to show her.

At the restaurant I pulled out the quilt top and handed it to her to look at before our food arrived.

She started crying. She was so touched and overwhelmed with seeing her mother’s favorite clothes made into a quilt top she could not contain her emotions. My eyes started to get moist too and I was touch.

She was very happy with the final product which was delivered to her on Saturday. She wants to hang the quilt on the wall but I strongly encouraged to cuddle under it and let it be a “hug from her Mom”.

tierneycreates

Comfort Quilts Needed

My friend Chela let me know that the quilt group in Uvalde, Texas, called Quilts of Grace is looking for “comfort quilts“.

Here is the scrappy “postage stamp quilt” (but with 3.5 inch scrap squares used instead of the traditional 1.5 to 2 inch squares) that I packaged up this morning to send to the group:

I was ambitious on trying to save money to postage and tried to fit it into a smaller flat rate padded envelope…

Many different quilting folder strategies did not work, alas, and I had to put it in the larger flat rate envelope (which I should have done from the start):

I hope this quilt will comfort someone impacted by the devastating school shooting massacre.

Besides donating money to the victims fund and trying to make wise choices of who I vote for in elections, I’ve felt helpless in the face of so much devastation. This feels like something I can do to perhaps ease a tiny bit of suffering for those impacted. Hey even if someone give this quilt to their dog as a dog bed quilt, it will be something useful!

If you are a quilter interested in participating, here is the information that Chela sent me:

tierneycreates

2021 Crafts in Review

I better get this post out before the end of January! I’ve enjoyed seeing 2021 crafting retrospectives by my blogging buddies and thought I would do one myself.

So here is it is gallery format:

image credit – The James Museum

On one hand it seems like I made a lot of things in 2021, and on the other hand it seems like I definitely did not make all that I planned!

I am avoiding for some reason (unknown) any official New Year’s Resolutions this year but I would like to challenge myself to make more things in 2022 than I did in 2021.

I wish you an awesome year of creativity in 2022!

Give it up. Creativity, passion and a sense of purpose - The Digital  Transformation People
tierneycreates, What's on the Design Wall

A “Legendary” Christmas Gift and “Quilt Photo-bombing”

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)!

Mike: Hey what you doing?
Mike: Don’t mind if I sneak right on to the quilt while you try and photograph it!
Mike: Hi, I am cuter than this thing you are photographing!
Mike: Pay attention to me now!

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!


Postscript

Thanks for all your well wishes on my January 5th post Things to Do When You Have a Bad “Cold”

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”. 

Etsy shop, tierneycreates

Update on the Textiles and Smiles Etsy Shop

I am glad to be regularly blogging and reading posts again, it is actually one of my 2022 New Years Resolutions I am putting in place now. I miss my blogging buddies when I am away!

This post is a follow up to the post – My Etsy Shop is Now Reopened – tierneycreates is now TextilesandSmiles which discusses how in late November 2021 I had to close my former “tierneycreates” Etsy shop instead of reopening it due to technical issues, and instead create a new Etsy shop – Textiles and Smiles (“textiles and smiles” is part of my tagline: “tierneycreates: a fusion of textiles and smiles”).

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”:

CREATIVITY KITS

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.

LITTLE PILLOWS

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!


Postscript

This is a follow up to my post Adventures in Bag Making: Firefly Tote is done!

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!

Studio, tierneycreates, What's on the Design Wall

Another Bag Making Class and Another Project

Last evening I took another bag making class like I did a month ago (see posts Did something awesome – took an in person crafting class! and Adventures in Bag Making: Range Backpack DONE!) at a Denver quilt shop.

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:

Class sample photo 1
Class sample photo 2

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:

My partially finished Firefly Tote

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’s nearly finished project size Firefly Tote

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!)

Lots of Tula Pink All Stars line fabric scraps in my stash

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?

tierneycreates

Another Recycled Fabric Art Quilt Sold

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”!

2020-09-30_20-18-34_802

A month ago I was contacted through my tierneycreates Inquires page 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 Portfolio page:

  1. COLOR STORY I: FLYING TRIANGLES
  2. COLOR STORY II: SILK LANDSCAPE
  3. COLOR STORY IV: COLOR CHANGE
  4. COLOR STORY V: ABANDONED WATER STRUCTURE

And the rest of the seven (7) that have sold were purchased by private collectors:

  1. 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)
  2. RECYCLED HOPE I: RECYCLED ROAD
  3. RECYCLED HOPE II: RECYCLED DOOR
  4. RECYCLED HOPE III: WINDOWS OF CONVERSATION
  5. COLOR STORY III: RANDOM NOT SO RANDOM (see post The Great Art Quilt Oops!)
  6. COLOR STORY VI: ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIG – THE VESSEL
  7. COLOR STORY VIII: THE LOUD COLOR SHIFT

There is one more on my Portfolio page that states “owned by private collector” – COLOR STORY VII: IT’S GETTING WARM IN HERE – was actually a gift to my sister, I did not sell it.

Writing this post is serving two purposes for me:

  1. Providing me with an easy reference to see just how many I’ve sold; and
  2. Encouraging me to get back to making art quilts as my portfolio or available art quilts is dwindling!

Hope it did not put you to sleep (smile)!

tierneycreates

Charm Square Wreath

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!

photo credit – Robert Kaufman fabrics

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.

Shows and Exhibits, tierneycreates, WCQN, What's on the Design Wall

Secret Quilt and Design Wall Struggle

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:

2018-07-02_10-57-08_041.jpg
Working on “Giant Among the Sequoias” in Spring 2018

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.

Image credit: Firestone

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.

Feature image credit: Photo by Eric Murray on Unsplash

Studio, tierneycreates

Seattle Scrappy is Done!

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:

Of course you might be thinking: “Tierney maybe you would have had the quilt completed sooner if you weren’t blogging about it so much!” – ha!

So here is quilt with the binding on, fresh out of the dryer. I like to wash and dry utility quilts after I put the binding on (I do not wash art quilts):

I gave it little pressing and now it hung in our bedroom so I can look at it each morning when I wake up!

I better get another hand quilting project started before winter starts! I was definitely fun to sit under the quilt while I was hand quilting it in the colder months.

tierneycreates, What's on the Design Wall

Another Baby Quilt to a Baby!

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.

This post is a follow up to my March 30th post What’s on the Design Wall (Another Baby Quilt), where I shared a baby quilt in progress.

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).


Postscript

At the end of April I was honored to be featured on Maker Monday on the Instagram page of @blkmakersmatter.

Screen Shot 2021-05-05 at 10.34.38 AM

You can read more of my responses to the interview questions posted on the Instagram post at https://www.instagram.com/p/COIprqNlCDI/ or you can find all the screenshots on my Textile Adventures page.

tierneycreates, What's on the Design Wall

Recycled Denim Quilt Done and Hung!

Not sure what came over me but I somehow quickly finished the recycled denim quilt I shared in the post What’s On The Design Wall, and got it hung on the wall.

Here is the backing I selected for the quilt, I picked it up a couple of week ago at a thrift store:

Like the pattern designer/author of Wise Craft Quilts, Blair Stocker did, I wanted to hand tie the quilt (see cover of book in image below):

It’s been many years (maybe 16 or more?) since I hand tied a quilt – I forgot how meditative and pleasing it was to hand tie the three layers together with a large needle and yarn:

Once the hand tying was complete, I used the same fabric as the backing for the quilt’s binding.

And then it was ready to be hung above my bed!

On to the next project!

tierneycreates

Why I Quilt

Here’s a follow up to my post Baby Quilt for An Adventure Baby.

If I ever need to remember why I quilt, the photos in this post remind me.

My friends who were expecting their first baby had the baby and shared some photos of their newborn snuggled in the quilt I made him:

Yes, this is why I quilt! I’ve been quilting for over 20 years and these photos have convinced me to keep quilting for 20 – 40 more years!

Is there anything more awesome than seeing a brand new person sleeping in something you made?

Thanks to the new parents for sharing these photos!

Bags Bags Bags, tierneycreates

If at first you don’t succeed…

Try again!

This is a follow up to the post Misadventures in Bag Making.

There is No Such Thing as Failure, Only Learning E - tymoff

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.

tierneycreates

Baby Quilt for An Adventure Baby

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.

2019-03-05_16-28-44_834

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).

Amazon.com

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!


Postscript

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.

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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!).

Bags Bags Bags, From the Woodshop, tierneycreates

Misadventures in Bag Making

My friend Dana* (@chambersdalix) is always inspiring me to stretch my sewing/crafting skills and try new things. These new things in the past have included such techniques as English Paper Piecing (see post From the Basket – English Paper Piecing), and using fabrics I would usually never select on my own (see post The Tale of Three Tulas, Part I).

*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:

The elements of a wild Saturday night

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.

Ready to sew!

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.

Yummy scraps!

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:

Ugh

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):

Gasp

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?):

A little of me permanently ironed into the pouch…

At first I decided to just keep the pouch and use it to store the fabric scraps Dana sent me:

Trying to create a purpose for the abomination made

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.


Postscript

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:

Much more successful crafting

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.

Special Events, tierneycreates

Artists Teaching Students – Slide Deck Posted

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:

https://www.beaverton.k12.or.us/departments/student-programs/art-literacy

image credit – Beaverton School District

If you scroll down, past the smiling children image to the Artist Teaching Students Online Lessons and click on the arrow next to the text, it will open access to the artists’ lessons

image credit – Beaverton School District

If you scroll down to Tierney Davis Hogan, you will reach my slide deck:

image credit – Beaverton School District

Here is a sample of the presentation via a couple screenshots:

There are many more slides in the actual presentation/slide deck on the Beaverton School District Art Literacy Program website including a slide with my (terrible) 5th Grade school photo!

Here is the link again if you want to check out the full presentation:

https://www.beaverton.k12.or.us/departments/student-programs/art-literacy

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.


Postscript

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 keeps surprising me!

Special Events, tierneycreates

Artists Teaching Students

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.

image from beaverton.k12.or.us

She invited me to participate in the Beaverton School District’s Artists 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.

Thrift Shop Adventures, tierneycreates

Another Paper Pieced Pincushion & Amazing Thrift Shop Find

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.

image credit: tulapink.com

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).

tierneycreates

Paper Pieced Pincushion

Now how’s that for alliteration for a post title?

I mentioned in my post What I Did During My Blogging Vacation, that recently I’d been reading lots of crafting books to include Patchwork Please by Ayumi Takahashi.

Patchwork Please!: Colorful Zakka Projects to Stitch and Give - Takahashi, Ayumi

I am OBSESSED with the adorable pincushions on the front cover of this book. The pincushions are made from fabric scraps (a plus!) but they are (foundation) PAPER PIECED (a minus).

Here is how I feel about FOUNDATION paper piecing (not English Paper Piecing like fun type with hexies, but the other paper piecing):

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:

tierneycreates

Redesigning my logo

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?

tierneycreates

Pillow for a Kitty

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:

dscn3049littleheart

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.

2020-11-18_23-31-53_9452020-11-18_23-32-35_638

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).


Postscript

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)