I have the makings of an art quilt simmering on the large design wall in the hallway (see yesterday’s post What’s Simmering on the Design Wall), so on one of the smaller design walls I have in my studio, I’ve put up the blocks I made during the Tula Pink All Stars fabric retreat I had with my quilting friends a couple weeks ago:
Yesterday I pulled out my “box of Tula” with fat quarters and scraps from the retreat:
Now that I have the fourteen 12.5 inch x 12.5 inch blocks up on the design wall, I’ve decided I am going to create 36 blocks for a 6 blocks x 6 blocks quilt. My plan is to make 12 blocks of each of the 3 types of blocks I’ve made so far as shown below (all with “fussy cut” centers).
1) Square within a square within a square within a square with:
2) Square within a square within a square with a larger square in the middle:
3) Little boxes: 4 squares within a square block:
The Tula Pink All Stars collection has six creatures in the feature fabric collection:
Coordinating with the feature fabrics are coordinating stripes, dots and solids.
Here is my original stack of fat quarters before I started making the blocks:
I plan to set the blocks using the various blocks as sashing with some type of cornerstones like the example below:
Now that I have a plan on where I am going with the blocks, I am going to start cutting out blocks in preparation for a quilt retreat I am attending the latter part of next week.
If the quilt top works out, I might try my hand at writing a pattern for the quilt and offer it to my readers as a free download of something like that. It is going to be a very colorful quilt!
Before we go any further on the post I need to give you some background to explain the low light and less than stellar photos. In 2016 I decided to embrace “whole house crafting” where I decided to expand my crafting space beyond the little studio in the back of my little house. This included turning part of the only hallway in my house into a large design wall, The only problem is that the hallway is narrow and so I have to take photos at odd angles.
Okay now back to my ramblings about my what is on the design wall…
Art Quilter Play Date – Earlier this year I went to a fabric printing workshop held at the studio of one of the artists in the art quilting group I belong. Here are the 5 pieces I printed.
Quilt Retreat Inspiration and Projects. – Last year during the annual May retreat with my quilting friends, my friend Lisa was working on an old UFO from a machine embroidery class she took but was losing interest in finishing the piece. I offered to take it off her hands.
Her blocks looked like this:
I took them apart and along with the extra fabric end up with a nice package to become a challenge bag (see post Basket of Challenges):
I was rummaging around in my Basket of Challenges the other day and came across this bag. Looking at the fabrics in taupes, browns, golds, creams, and silvers, I realized they might look great with the fabric printed pieces I made earlier this year.
I decided to put everything up on the large design wall, and let them “simmer’ until I decided what type of piece I want to make (most likely some type of improvisational art quilt):
In addition to these fabrics, I put up on the wall this home decor remnant I picked up from Mood Fabrics during a trip to New York City:
I also have the 5 blocks that my friend Lisa did machine embroidery on, to work into the piece:
I am not going to work on designing the piece yet, I am just going to keep the fabric up on the design wall and let it “simmer”!
Yay! Tango Stripe (pattern by Jean Wells), is finally done!
It took a while to match all the seams of the rows in the diagonal/”on-point” setting:
But finally – it was done!
Okay it is not actually done as it still needs to be quilted. I will be giving it to my Washington state based quilting sisters I see at the end of the month to take to a long-arm quilter I met many years ago when I lived in Seattle – Krista Moser.
A couple of years ago I attended a quilt retreat with her and was reinforced on what a lovely and talented person she is (Little Miss Muffet, Made Her Own Tuffet). My quilting sisters Judy and Dana have used her services for years and she has done beautiful work on their quilts.
It is fun to see Krista who started as a teenager on a long-arm, move from making purses and long-arm quilting in her small garage to try and make a living, to building a quilting empire (her patterns are now sold in quilt shops are around the country as are her custom rulers)! She is like “local girl makes good”!
I’ve already put together the backing for the quilt and have it all packaged up to give my friends to take to Krista. I feel so free that this quilt (which was an old “UFO”) is done!
By the way, it was the imaginary pressure of you all expecting me to finish up the quilt soon since I kept sharing posts about its progress, that really pushed me to finish it. Living in a fantasy world can be really useful at times – ha!
This post is a continuation of my ongoing series “What’s on the Design Wall”, featuring my latest project up on either one of the small design walls in my studio or the large design wall my hallway.
After fun with Tula Pink fabric during a recent quilt retreat (see recent posts), I’ve returned to working on the Tango Stripe (by Jean Wells) quilt with Kaffe Fassett stripes and coordinating solids that I discussed in my 09/13/18 post What’s on the Design Wall: Tango Stripe.
As I shared in that post, here is an example of what Tango Stripe will look liked completed (except mine is set in denim):
I’ve completed all the small blocks (they were simple piecing) and now I am grouping some of them together in groups of 4 to create larger blocks per the pattern design:
Working on the larger blocks is going much slower as I am having to sew Y-seams (ick) but I’ve started to master them (if you are not a a quilter and are curious as to what Y-seams are, here is a link – Y-Seams – to read about something you will quickly discover you do not want to read about!!!).
My guess is if you are bad in life and go to the “Underworld” when you pass, you are forced to do Y-seams for eternity (either that or complex paper piecing…) for your punishment – so for goodness sake – live a good life!
I did finish cutting out all the large blocks and they are just lined up waiting to be Y-seamed:
At first I was doing one large block at a time and pressing it, hoping all the seams would lay flat and that I did not screw up my 1/4 inch calculations on the Y-seam. After a while I started to relax and I can do 3 – 4 before running over the the iron to see if they will press out okay!
But the piece is moving along and I’ve already cut out all the setting triangles which are made from a quilting weight recycled denim I found at a thrift shop (the liner of a high quality denim duvet).
Once I get the large blocks finished, I can start to lay the entire quilt out on my large design wall in the hallway.
If you’ve followed my blog for a while then you know about my obsession with fabric scraps (a near pathological level of obsession).
Well cutting/piecing this quilt has lead to a nice little bag so far of Kaffe Fassett stripes scraps that will be a fun future project to play with:
So where did we leave off? Ah, yes – a couple crazy quilting friends decided to create their own quilt retreat in a rented vacation townhome to focus on making Tula Pink All Star collection sampler quilts together.
But before we get to the endless images of quilt blocks we made (warning: it might get mind-numbing for non-quilters reading this post), let me share some of the non-sewing adventures we had during the retreat.
We did not just lock ourselves in a rented townhome for four days of non-stop quilting, we did do non-sewing activities…though some of these activities did involve fabric.
I took Judy and Dana on a mini Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop over two days. This was exceptionally fun because Dana had never been to Central Oregon before, much less our quilt shops. I took them to the following quilt shops:
At Sew Many Quilts we discovered a very cool antique sewing machine on display:
At QuiltWorks we had a wonderful time visiting with the owner Marilyn Forestell who I’ve known for a long time. We also congratulated her on her shop being featured in the Spring – Summer 2018 issue of Quilt Sampler:
We had a blast at BJ’s Quilt Basket, the third quilt shop we visited. They have a delightful and very friendly staff. While at BJ’s, OH NO – we discovered a new Tula Pink fabric line was just released: Zuma.
Judy and Dana could not leave BJ’s without the fat quarter collection (I was good as I currently have more Tula than I can handle right now!):
The next day we headed to Sisters, Oregon to go to the Stitchin’ Post.
While at the Stitchin’ Post, my quilting sister Dana and I did a “Hand-piecing Intervention“.
I overhead a woman tell her friend that she had recently retired and wanted to take up quilting but did not want to do machine quilting. Instead she was interested in hand quilting, but did not know how to get started on learning how to piece quilts by hand.
Her conversation was none of my business but I could not help myself, I had to be helpful. I introduced myself and told her all about English Paper Piecing (see my series of posts – Adventures in Paper Piecing). I grabbed Dana who was nearby wandering about and had her join me in sharing the joy of English Paper Piecing (EPP) as an option to create a quilt by hand.
We even brought over the store sample of a EPP hexagon pieced pillow to show her an example of the cool stuff she could make:
After our intervention, the woman gleefully left the shop with a package of EPP hexie templates in hand. She plans to begin by practicing with fabric scraps (and hopefully she was going to follow our suggestion to check out YouTube videos on EPP).
Dana and I felt pretty darn proud of ourselves (either we helped someone on their road to a fun retirement hobby, or we got her to totally waste her money, ha!)
In addition to our miniature Central Oregon quilt shop hop, we also dined at some wonderful restaurant in Sunriver, Oregon.
After shop hopping and dining adventures, it was time to buckle down and piece our samplers!
Blocks, Blocks, Blocks
We pieced a lot of blocks during our four day retreat from our Tula Pink All Stars fat quarter packs!
I’ve never fussy cut (selecting a specific section/motif in printed fabric) for a quilt block in my life, but inspired by Dana, I fussy cut the feature fabric for all my blocks.
BLOCKS BY DANA
Dana, who already pieced 10+ blocks so far since our annual Quilting Sister May Quilt Retreat (see posts Please Vote On The Color! and The Votes Are In!). She focused on piecing star blocks in honor of the name of the name of the fabric collection – All Stars (the title of the collection is based on the prints in the line are updated reproductions of some of Tula Pink’s most popular retired fabrics). Here are some samples of her blocks:
BLOCKS BY JUDY
My quilting sister Judy was very adventurous and did not follow any set type of block pattern. She had fun using an old quilt block sampler book and randomly selecting blocks to piece with her fabric. Below are some examples of her blocks:
BLOCKS BY ME
Now I did not want to do a quilt with a white background. Instead I wanted to only use the fabrics in the Tula Pink All Star collection. I decided to create a sampler called “Tula in a Box” and use two different block patterns that feature boxes or boxes inside of boxes.
Here are the first 12 blocks I completed using a “Box inside a box” block pattern:
Tentatively I am planning to set the blocks using the Tula Pink All Stars stripes fat quarters.
By the end of the retreat I completed 14 blocks including these two blocks in a different block pattern called Little Boxes:
I will feature more on my “Tula in a Box” quilt blocks in a future post after I complete additional blocks.
Again, here is the “design sofa” I mentioned in the first post, with all our blocks:
FUN WITH COMBINATIONS
A very fun part of making our blocks was deciding the color/fabric combinations:
Here is another one of Judy’s cool blocks that came out of fun with putting together fabrics:
We spent of a lot of time consulting with each other on combinations.
Okay, so dear readers, are you sick of looking at blocks and Tula Pink All Star collection fabric now? No worries, we are nearly at the end of this post series.
On the third day of the retreat we had a special guest stop by – my friend Marie Bostwick – New York Times bestselling author.
Marie’s bookThe Second Sister is an upcoming Hallmark Hall of Fame Christmas Movie: Christmas Everlasting that airs on the Hallmark Channel on November 24th and stars Patti LaBelle.
If you get the Hallmark Channel be sure to watch the movie based on the awesome book!
After the quilt retreat my friend Laurie (who owns the vacation rental) stated that Marie Bostwick was the first famous person to ever visit her vacation townhome rental. I teased that I should have had Marie autograph one of the walls – ha!
As if we were not already having an immersive Tula Pink experience, one afternoon we watched on YouTube Episode 1 of the series Tula’s House:
This episode provided some insight into the brilliant and creative mind of Tula Pink and you get a tour inside her awesome studio and sections of her home.
If you are a maker, you’ve likely heard of a “Design Wall”, but have you ever heard of a “Design Sofa“?
This is what happens when a couple quilters get together for a quilt retreat weekend at a rented vacation townhome that was not designed for quilt retreats: you improvise…
But let me back up and explain what the title of this post means and how a Tula Pink All Stars Quilt Retreat happened.
It’s All Dana’s Fault
I’ve seen Tula Pinkfabrics in the past and I’ve appreciated the designer’s creativity, use of color and quirky sense of humor. However, except for a couple fabric scraps given to me by other quilters, I’ve never had an interest in purchasing any of her fabric.
Until our May 2018 annual Quilting Sisters retreat and one of my quilting sisters, Dana, brought collections of Tula Pink All Stars fat quarters (coordinated collections of 18″ x 22″ cuts of fabric) to the retreat and began piecing a sampler quilt:
I had a couple posts about the fabric and her blocks during the retreat, including one in which Dana and I asked my readers to vote on which color combination to use when we were stuck:
When I returned home from retreat I could not get out of my mind the utterly deliciousTula Pink All Star fat quarter collections of main prints, dots, stripes and solids.
The next thing I knew (and I think it was a fabric-induced-out-of-my-mind-experience) I was ordering 4 sets of fat quarters from the DawnNeedhamQuilts Etsy shop that Dana recommended:
Honestly, I am not sure what happened, it was if I could not control myself. I’ve never bought 4 fat quarter sets of fabric at once, and I’ve never purchased Tula Pink fabric before!
I was not alone, Dana had infected another quilt sister with the Tula Pink All Stars bug, Judy (my original “Quilt Sister” who got me into quilting!) and before she knew it, she had also purchased all 4 sets of fat quarters in the Tula Pink All Stars collection!
So What Do We Do With All This Tula?
Dana has never visited Central Oregon and Judy came up with the idea of a road trip to Central Oregon to visit me. A group of quilters….coming together for a weekend…
Hmm…sounds like an excuse for a quilt retreat!
I have a small house which would not comfortably accommodate a quilt retreat, so I came up with the idea of renting my friend Laurie’s vacation townhouse in Sunriver, Oregon.
Dana, Judy or I (do not remember who) came up with the idea that since now we all had these Tula Pink All Star fat quarter sets why don’t we all work on piecing Tula Pink All Star sampler quilts?
Armed with my Stack-o-Tula I headed to the retreat!
Vacation Rental Townhome into Quilt Retreat
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) helped bring all the stuff over to the rental townhome to transform it to a quilt retreat including a folding table, iron board, etc.
With a little temporary furniture rearrangement, we had our quilt retreat center:
We even turned part of the kitchen into an ergonomic cutting table area and ironing station:
Luckily we still had some left over kitchen counter for preparing meals!
In the next post, I will show you details of what we made (more on the blocks on the “design sofa”), non-sewing adventures we had during the retreat, and the special guest that stopped by our retreat.
I continue to work on the Tango Stripe quilt and recently decided to make a change to my studio to give me more design wall space. I added another design wall next to my sewing machine.
The design wall was made by wrapping a large piece of poster board (from an office supply story) with Warm and Natural batting. I duct tapped it to the back and then screwed the whole thing into the wall.
I now have three design walls: a large one in the hallway; one on my closet door; and one close to my sewing machine.
This third design wall will make it easier to lay out piecing while sewing.
Although my secret project is done related to trees (an art quilt for a future Women of Color Quilting Network exhibit), I am still fascinated with trees and tree bark and continue to take photographs sources of creative inspiration.
They look wonderful in color:
But they are really intriguing in Black & White:
Wouldn’t those all make amazing art quilt inspirations!
A tierneycreates post about Tierney actually creating?
Yes it has been a long time since I’ve shared my current textile project and posted in my series , What’s on the Design Wall where I featured my latest work in progress. For the past couple of months I’ve been working on an art quilt for a future WCQN exhibit and could not share images of the work in progress (or completed work) as the curator has not announced the show yet.
But I’ve finished the piece and now I can start working on my backlog of projects.
The first project in queue is one I’ve had around for a while. You can read it’s story in this June 2018 post – .The Tale of Tango Stripe.
Here is where I left off – I worked on it during a May 2018 quilt retreat:
I am working in bring this tale to a conclusion!
It felt so good to pull it back out of its box and put it up on the large design wall in my hallway (yes if you are new to this blog, I use my whole house for crafting):
I’ve been using the smaller design wall on the closet door in my studio to make additional blocks:
Making the blocks is very fun, even though a template is involved (normally I hate templates). The designer, Jean Wells Keenan of the Stitchin Post did a wonderful job with the pattern.
At first I could not understand why she did not give instructions to just make up all the blocks at once. After playing with making a couple blocks during the quilt retreat I attended in May, I totally got why you design your blocks as you go.
The quilt is make with Kaffe Fassett stripes and those are fun to work with and create various pairing combination with solid colors:
I am using recycled denim (from a denim coverlet liner I picked up very cheap at a Thrift store) as the setting fabric. However, earlier this year I saw another amazing setting fabric option – olive green fabric:
If I ever make a second Tango Stripe quilt I think I am going with the olive or khaki green or even a tan setting fabric.
I will post an update as I progress – I have a lot of blocks to make!
Continuing my series of posts about the annual May quilting retreat I attended with my Quilting Sisters in Vancouver, WA May 17 – 20. To read my previous posts about quilting retreats I’ve attended, see my post category – Retreats.
Pulling Out the Old UFOs
For this May’s annual quilting retreat I pulled out some old unfinished objects/projects (UFOs) or as my blogging buddy Shirley @ handmadehabit calls them – “STRANDED” projects.
Continuing my latest binge of nonfiction self improvement audiobooks, I am currently listening to Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happinessby Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein.
In this book the authors discuss the concept of a “Planning Fallacy” in their section on “cognitive bias”.
Wikipedia defines a planning fallacy as “a phenomenon in which predictions about how much time will be needed to complete a future task display an optimism bias and underestimate the time needed.”
Using 2.5″ x 2.5″ scrap squares, I made an endless batch of half-square triangles (HSTs) to create a pillow top based on a pattern from the book Pillow Pop: 25 Quick-Sew Projects to Brighten Your Space by Heather Bostic.
I assembled the HSTs into this layout:
I thought I could sew all the half-square triangles together in an afternoon, no problem. Not just one pillow, I thought I might get a second pillow top done too (as I had a zillion HSTs).
However, as I began to sew them together, the pillow top started to significantly shrink and I had to add on more and more rows of HSTs to make the pillow top large enough for my intended pillow form:
This photo illustrates the difference of how wide I thought the pillow top would be compared to reality:
How my planning fallacy occurred: Based on the original pattern I thought I only needed 50 HSTs per pillow and I had nearly 200 HSTs – so I thought I could make FOUR pillow tops! However I discovered I needed like 196 HSTs for just ONE pillow and I spent most of the time I planned for sewing the HSTs together, to add on MANY more HSTs to make the pillow top wide enough.
What happened during my original planning? Well I never paid attention to the size of the original squares to create the HSTs in the original pattern (much larger than the squares I used, and if I was motivated I would get up from the sofa, find the book and give you the actual dimensions…).
As you can see from the photo above, I have half the pillow top pieced and I cannot believe how long it took me to just get half a pillow sewn together!
I will only be making ONE of these pillows. Next time I work with HSTs and a pattern, I will pay more attention and do better planning!
On a more pleasant note, my lilac bush/tree is full bloom and my backyard smells wonderful!
During an intense Spring weeding session in my backyard this weekend, I paused for a “lilac break” and stood in front of the lilac bush and inhaled the incredible fragrance.
The scent of lilacs reminds me of being in my grandmother’s backyard in Pennsylvania as a young child. Lilacs smell like sweet childhood memories.
Bear with me as I tie “Pillow Popping with the Untethered Soul” together!
Pillow Popping (What’s on the Design Wall)
I am working on my next art quilt for a future Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) exhibit but I cannot share photos on social media at this time. Unfortunately I am stalled in the progression of the piece but I want to keep myself sewing so I’ve decided to make a pillow with my collection of scraps 2.5″ x 2.5″ fabric squares.
I made a zillion (it actually seemed like a “zillion”) half-square triangles (HSTs) and Terry the Quilting Husband was nice enough to cut them apart, press and trim them (now that is true love!).
I pulled out this book from my craft book collection: Pillow Pop: 25 Quick-Sew Projects to Brighten Your Space by Heather Bostic and began laying out the pillow design per one of the patterns – Crystallized(on page 82 if you have the book).
This display made me want to eventually make all the pillows in the book!
Here it is on my small design wall (the larger design wall in the hallway has the art quilt in progress I mentioned earlier):
The beauty of a truly “scrappy” piece is you can have all sort of crazy fabrics together and somehow it works (at least in my deluded mind)!
The Untethered Soul (Audiobooks)
I’ve been listening to a wonderful audiobook I borrowed from the library, The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations by Oprah Winfrey. The audiobook is read by the author and features curated sections of the actual interviews with inspirational thought leaders from Oprah’s TV series Super Soul Sunday.
I listened to this book while I laid out the pieced half-square triangles for the Crystallized pillow patter and it was very meditative.
To lay out this specific pattern where you get the effect of concentric diamonds of light and dark, I really had to quiet my mind and focus. Listening to this book was the perfect medium to do just that.
In the middle of my pillow-piecing-meditation, Oprah’s interview with Michael Singer, author of The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, played.
I’ve read this book twice a couple years ago and I’ve listened to the audiobook. I’ve also given it as a gift. I was surprised to learn that it is one of Oprah’s favorite books and that she has also given as a gift (to many more people than I have).
I would say it is one of those MUST READS, especially if you are on a path of self-insight and growth with how you interact with the world.
It was amazing to listen to the author Michael Singer discuss the book with Oprah as I continued my pillow-piecing-meditation.
I will close out this post with a couple quotes from this amazing book by Michael Singer:
“You have to understand that it is your attempt to get special experiences from life that makes you miss the actual experience of life.”
“The only permanent solution to your problems is to go inside and let go of the part of you that seems to have so many problems with reality.”
“Your inner growth is completely dependent upon the realization that the only way to find peace and contentment is to stop thinking about yourself.”
“Billions of things are going on in this world. You can think about it all you want, but life is still going to keep on happening.”
“Do not let anything that happens in life be important enough that you’re willing to close your heart over it.”
“It is truly a great cosmic paradox that one of the best teachers in all of life turns out to be death. No person or situation could ever teach you as much as death has to teach you. While someone could tell you that you are not your body, death shows you. While someone could remind you of the insignificance of the things that you cling to, death takes them all away in a second. While people can teach you that men and women of all races are equal and that there is no difference between the rich and the poor, death instantly makes us all the same.”
“That which is holding you down can become a powerful force that raises you up.”
In late October 2017 I completed a quilt from recycled materials (denim, home decor, clothings, etc.) called Additional Conversations. My original plan was to hand quilt the piece, then my plan was to machine quilt the piece, and then growing inpatient and nervous on quilting a 59″ x 55″ denim quilt I turned it over the the long-arm quilter for “quilting by check”.
Well here is the completed quilt, I finished it with facing rather than binding:
I’ve hung it my living/dining room area along with the other quilts that fill my living/dining room area:
I appreciate the work by the long-arm quilter and I’ve decided that I am going to be more fearless in the future and quilt all my own art quilts from this point forward.
I had a specific vision for the finished quilt and I feel I could have realized it if I had quilted it myself. It is difficult to direct someone else to quilt a quilt in your vision as each person brings their own eye and perspective to a project when it is collaborative.
This experience has encouraged me to take more risks in the future and believe more in my abilities (and give myself the opportunity to learn and grow in those abilities)!
I finished the piece made from recycled textiles (clothing, home decor, manufacturing samples, hand-dyed silk samples, etc.) for our local art group’s annual show with the theme “The Threads that Bind” – The Recycled Love. The 03/29/18 post provides details of the 8 types of recycled fibers that are contained in the piece and my musing on writing the Artist Statement for this piece.
Here is my finalized Artist Statement for the piece:
The first law of thermodynamics states that the total amount of energy in a system cannot be created nor destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another. A quilt is made from changing the existing “love energy” from the quilt maker’s heart into a pieced textile; ultimately recycling that love energy into the quilt’s recipient heart
I think this piece is a better option than those materials ending up in a landfill.
This post is actually part of my ongoing series of posts, What’son the Design Wall, in which I share my latest project in progress.
Since I’ve been primarily focused on hand quilting this piece, I will call this “What’s on My Lap” instead.
In addition to sharing my latest art quilting project, I want to continue the discussion on writing Artist Statements that I began in the 8/25/16 post, ArtistStatementsand continued in the 04/17/17 post Artist Statements, Part II.
What’s On My Lap
Our local art quilting group, Central Oregon SAQA, has an annual themed art quilting exhibit (with a measurement requirement of 18″ x 40″) at the Sisters Outdoor QuiltShow, as well at several venues in Central Oregon.
This year’s theme is “The Threads That Bind“.
In response to that theme, and keeping with my series of art quilts made from recycled jeans (and other materials) I have a piece in progress called Recycled Love.
Keep in mind this piece is in progress and I have not yet evenly trimmed the sides (why it looks “wonky”), finished the hand quilting, or added the facing (or binding), etc. (I trimmed off the excess batting as I had finished hand quilting all edges/borders and wanted it to look semi-neat for the photo.)
I am still trying to decide if I will do a “facing” finish like I did for my piece The Recycled Road (the Central Oregon SAQA annual theme was “Pathways”) or bind it like I did for my piece Recycled Door (the Central Oregon SAQA annual theme was “Doors”). You can view these two pieces I reference at this link – tierneycreates.com/2017/04/11/the-recycled-road/)
But first I need to complete hand stitching the rest of the heart and the “folded quilts” in the piece.
Here are additional photos from the photo shoot I did in my backyard this afternoon:
In addition to recycled denim jeans, this piece is made from a whole lot of recycled textiles including:
Recycled upholstery fabric samples
Recycled couture silks
Various bits of recycled clothing
Recycled sample book of hand dyed silk strips
Recycled blocks (made with recycled clothing) from my piece Recycled Windows)
Recycled section from another art quilt (Color Story VII: Ohio Shifted) that I had trimmed while making the original piece
Like I mentioned above – a whole lot of recycled textiles went into this piece!
As an example, in the photos below are the bag of hand-dyed silk samples a friend gave me; and me piecing them together on muslin to create the first “folded quilt” at the top of the stack:
The “heart” in the piece (representing “love” in the statement: “Quilts are Love”) is made from the scraps of the “folded quilts” I pieced for this quilt! I am still working on the hand quilting in the heart.
The back of the piece is also made from recycled textiles: I used an old shirt and upholstery fabric samples (I will share the back in a future post as I forgot to take a photo – oops).
I even used recycled batting in the “quilt sandwich”! Below is a photo of me zigzagging together two smaller pieces of recycled batting (that my long-arm quilter friend gave me) to create a large piece for the quilt:
Did I carry the whole “recycling” concept too far?!?!? (smile)
Next time I share photos of the piece they will be of the completed piece!
In a recent issue of the SAQA Journal(2017, No. 4) I came across an excellent article by Allison Reker titled “Craft an amazing artist statement in less than 60 words”.
The article’s author emphasizes brevity in Artist Statements and her tips to achieve such brevity make a lot of sense to me. So my new thing is challenging myself on how meaningful a statement I can make in under 60 words.
Also I think brevity leaves more room for the viewers interpretation. I want to assist the viewer to get a feel of where I am going to (or coming from) on a piece but still give them room to draw their own conclusions/have their own private experience with the piece.
So with that in mind, here’s the draft Artist Statement I’ve written for this piece.
Recycled Love (2018)
18″ x 40″, recycled clothing, upholstery samples, hand-dyed silk samples, and other recycled textiles
The first law of thermodynamics states that the total amount of energy in a system cannot be created nor destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another. Quilts are made from recycling the existing “love energy” from the quilt maker’s heart and hands into the pieced textiles, transferring it to the quilt recipient.
I am at 58 words (just keeping it under 60) and I plan to revisit this draft Artist Statement when I actually finish the piece. I want to play more with the concept of energy not being create or destroyed, just transferred/changed. Also I am trying to decide if I want to fit in the words in the theme “The Threads That Bind” into the Artist Statement somewhere.
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) is ready to make another quilt and this time he wants to make a quilt for our bed – and we have a king-size bed.
He has an ambitious plan, after raiding my stash of homespun fabrics (brushed cotton fabrics woven in a primitive home style weave, usually in plaids) for a very large quilt!
He discovered this book, Slash Your Stash Quilts, while I was thinning out my quilt booklets in November. I had this one slated for donation but he wanted to keep it and make the Twinklers pattern with homespuns in my stash (he was actually trying to slash my stash!).
We reviewed the original pattern he chose in depth which led to him changing his mind. He is going to make another pattern in the book that does not have all those “points”:
I helped him cut 225 6.5″ x 6.5″ squares and he has sorted them into 25 nine patch sets:
Here he is playing (spinning) with some designs with the pile-o-homespuns on the large design wall in the hallway:
And they now are waiting by his sewing machine for him to start sewing…
Update 01/14/18 – this piece is now named “Recycled Windows” and the Artist Statement and photos are posted on the Improvisational Textiles website on the Tierney Davis Hoganpage. It was added to the Recycled Denim Stories series.
This post is a follow up to my December 10th post What’son the Design Wall where I shared my piece Recycled Windows of Conversation in progress.
I completed the machine quilting this art quilt made from all recycled materials (clothing, home decor, see previous post for more details). I took several quick photos for his post and later on plan to take higher quality photos:
Here is a close up of the machine quilting. I used three different threads: orange, blue and variegated gold.
Recently we lost Terry the Quilting Husband’s (TTQH) mom, our beloved Mom Hogan. She was my very beloved mother-in-law for many years and I fell in love with her as an awesome mother figure back when I was first dating TTQH a zillion years ago!
When my mother died while I was in my 20s, she said “Well now I will be your Mom now” (I know that sounds slightly strange as that would make TTQH and I siblings, but you understand the sentiment behind her statement I am sure!)
She was also a quilter, as are TTQH’s incredible two sisters.
I was so pleased when TTQH began quilting a couple of years ago, and one of the first quilts he made he sent to his Mom as a surprise gift. It was pretty awesome to know she was snuggled up in one of his quilts during the cold Upstate NY winter.
She passed at 98 and had a full and wonderful life filled with 7 loving children, grandchildren and a great grandchild. However she will be so greatly missed. I may take a break from blogging on and off as I deal with my personal grief and of course support TTQH is his grief.
This post is a continuation of my ongoing series “What’son the Design Wall”, featuring my latest project up on either the small design wall in my studio or the large design wall my hallway.
I am working on my fourth improvisational piece from a group of recycled clothing and home decor titled: RecycledWindows of Conversation. This piece will become part of my improvisational art quilt series: Recycled DenimStories.
Here is Recycled Windows of Conversation in progress on my small design wall in my studio:
This art quilt will measure approximately 18″ x 40″, the same size as these two other quilts in the Recycled Denim Stories series, The Recycled Road and Recycled Door:
You might ask why did I name the piece in progress, Recycled Windows of Conversation?
The “Recycled” part of the name is to tie it to the two other 18″ x 40″ pieces from the same recycled materials shown above; and the “Conversations” part of the name is to tie to Additional Conversations, a piece I recently finished the quilt top (but have not quilted yet):
Recycled Windows of Conversation is made from the leftover blocks (and additional blocks) from Additional Conversations (which is still laying on my larger hallway design wall awaiting quilting).
In case you are new to my blog and have not followed the development of these previous art quilts, here’s a list of the recycled materials used in these pieces:
Curtain (valence scarf)
Old sweat pants
Gold home decorating fabric scraps (given to me by an interior decorator from her sample collection)
The world’s ugliest orange corduroy pants
Denim duvet cover (used in Additional Conversations only)
I plan to quilt Recycled Windows of Conversation by machine and I have selected my thread colors – gold, blue and orange:
Here is the piecing hanging out on the iron board, awaiting quilting:
In case you are wondering, I have only a tiny pile of scraps left over from these four quilts. I might challenge myself and try to eek out a small piece to make it five total.
I continue to work on having a cohesive body of work when it comes to my delusional journey towards becoming an art quilter!
A quilting friend recently remodeled her studio area in her vintage home (circa early 1900s) and asked for help organizing her fabric in the reconfigured back room (that used to be where meat was stored in the early 1900s.
Here is a photo of an alcove with newly added shelves that I found especially pleasing during my time over her house yesterday helping her organize fabric:
Her fabric used to be crammed into a dark back storage room – now it is easier to access!
Saturday November 11th was the annual PJ Sale at the Stitchin’ Postin Sisters, Oregon. Each year I attend with quilting friends and last year I started bring Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) to the sale (as a bonus he drives there in the cold, dark and sometimes snowy weather as the sale starts early).
Each of our wonderful quilt shops in Central Oregon has their own special focus when it comes to fabric collection. The Stitchin’ Post has the best selection of unique art quilter focused fabrics in the region. It also carries fabrics that would appeal to traditional quilters.
During the Pajama Sale, if you get there before 8:30 am (doors open at 6:30 am) AND you are in your PJs, you get 35% off nearly everything in the store!
I did not buy that much – a couple books and notions. My favorite part of the PJ Sale is hanging out with fellow quilters all in our PJs wandering around a quilt shop and then going out to breakfast afterwards – in our PJs! It is like the morning after a huge sleepover, ha!
I figured no one wanted to be on my blog photographed in their PJs so the photos below give you a feel but do not have any faces:
One lady had an over the top robe from the 1970s. I asked her if I could take a photo and suggested she turn around unless she wanted to have herself in her robe featured on my blog, ha!
We went to the Gallery Restaurant in Sisters for breakfast after an hour wandering around the sale. It very quite fun with a group of us gathered around a large table in a restaurant, all in our PJs (except for my friend’s 96 year old Dad who lives in town and another husband who joined us in their regular clothes).
One of my friends had a spectacular set of PJs with the words “Queen Bee” all over them:
I wore my traditional schnauzer themed PJs (they are actually Scotties in gray and black and I pretend like the gray ones are schnauzers).
It measures 16.5″ x 44″ which seems to fall into a fairly standard table runner length.
I’ve not decided if I am going to quilt the other four (4) table runner tops I made or stick them away for now (oh no they will become “UFOs”!!!). I do not think I will re-open the tierneycreates Etsy shop at this time. I’ve had some recent art quilting related exciting news, that I will share at a later date, that makes me want to focus on my efforts on building my art quilt portfolio rather than trying to make stuff to sell on an Etsy shop.
There are only so many hours in the day!
In my previous post, AGood Mess, I shared some statistics from a recent national survey (The Quilting in America 2017 survey) on how much money the average quilter spends a year on quilting related supplies and activities. The two numbers were $442 and $500 per year depending on how “dedicated” the quilter is.
I really enjoyed the comments some of you made on these figures; and wanted to share how I nearly FAR EXCEEDED this number during the Stitchin’ Post’s Pajama Sale on Saturday!
There was glitch in their cash register and my total came to $730,000! The Stitchin’s Post staff behind the register, a couple other customers and I had a huge laugh over this! I asked if my purchase also came with a new luxury home, a car, and an outfitted sewing studio with a stocked fabric closet?
They re-rang my purchase and with my 35% off discount (we arrived at 6:50 am and I was in my PJs) my purchase came to $73 instead of $730,000.
This post is a continuation of my ongoing series “What’s on the Design Wall”, featuring my latest project up on either the small design wall in my studio or the large design wall my hallway.
I spent this weekend working on a new improvisational art quilt made with recycle clothing and recycled home decor fabric – Additional Conversations.
On Instagram I shared a couple previews/peeks over the past week, like the example below:
Well here are several initial images of the completed quilt top:
Better photos to come – I was challenged with taking photos of my large design wall, at an angle, in our narrow hallway. Note: My enthusiasm to get the finally sewn together quilt top up on the design wall exceeded my enthusiasm to do a quality job of final pressing on the ironing board.
I am thinking of hand quilting this piece like I did The Recycled Road (made from many of the same fabrics).
Now what to do with the left over scraps from the piece – perhaps a smaller companion piece called “Additional Small Conversations“!
Additional Conversations is the fourth piece in my series Recycled Denim Stories(see my TierneyDavis Hogan page on the Improvisational Textiles website).
This post is actually a continuation of my ongoing series “What’s on theDesign Wall”, featuring my latest project up on either the small design wall in my studio or the large design wall my hallway. It is also a follow up to my post Can We Talk About Table Runners? on the table runners I am working on.
I had the five (5), yes five (5) table runner tops that I finished on the large design wall in my hallways but I yesterday evening I started a new art quilt and took them down. Now they are all sitting on the ironing board waiting to be completed:
They all began as yardage of my collection of Ombre fabrics and my stash of pieced strips from brightly colored fabric scraps:
I have decided to quilt each one of them.
In the previous post on these table runners I discussed my challenge of how long to make them and several of you weighed in with ideas on both length and width.
The unfinished group of five table runner tops measure anyway from 17 – 19″ wide and 44″ – 53″ long. The dimensions will decrease after I quilt them and trimmed them down a bit to straighten their lines. So I think I will end up with table runners from 16″ x 42″ to 18″ x 52″ or something like that.
I just flowed with whatever length the design took me as I progressed!
I will reveal the runners in all their glory in a future post once I get some quilted!
The Natural Selection Convention
Whether you believe in Evolution, Intelligent Design, Creationism, or something else, you have likely heard the term coined by Charles Darwin – “Natural Selection”.
Dictionary.com defines it as “The process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring”.
Well last week I came across on my walk what I might call a Bird Natural Selection Convention!
First I noticed at the corner of an alley I turned into on my walk, an adorable cat sitting on a fence. Well that cat wasn’t just sitting on the fence, he was curled around a set of bird feeders!
I stopped a greeted the cat who let me take his photo (I actually took like 10 different photos to get the right shot and the kitty just stared at me while I did it). Then I completed turning the corner and here is what I found two feet from the “bird-feeder-cat” – another kitty just hanging out on the same fence:
And then, one more foot down the fence, another kitty:
This is why I am calling this a Bird Natural Selection Convention – any bird that attempts to use the bird feeder will most likely not be having any more offspring!!!
I laughed so hard at the trio of kitties waiting for very hungry and not too bright birds!
What the Heck is This?!?!?!
Have you ever been to Costco? It is a magical place I try to stay away from (see my post BreakUp Letter to My Warehouse Club). However there was something we really needed at Costco (what Tierney, an 180 count jar of olives, triple pack?) and so we went.
While strolling the aisles (okay even if you go there for just one thing, it is mandatory that while you are in Costco you stroll the aisles), Terry and I came across this:
It looked like someone had skinned a schnauzer! We do not know if it was synthetic or some poor animal but it was a very unusual pillow. It was quite soft to the touch (you could pet it for hours) but then that added to sort of a creepy feeling I got from it.
Also – how the heck would you wash it if you got a stain on it? We had quite the laugh over it (like we did in September when they had the Christmas decorations already out in Costco) but we somehow controlled ourselves and did not buy it.
(Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer would have been quite distressed if she thought we were bringing home a skinned schnauzer pillow!)
However, I was not feeling inspired to keep building the improvisational Medallion Quilt, even after I pulled out my copy of Gwen Marston’s book Liberated Medallion Quilts. (This book is about breaking the rules and making improvisational medallion quilts instead of traditional accurately pieced medallion quilts.)
I even found among my scraps a wonderful collection of coordinating fabrics. Still, I was not feeling inspired to make it into a quilt. I did however want to make it into something and to be done with this project, so I made it into a pillow for my sunroom:
This pillow joins my collection of handmade items on secondhand love-seat in my sunroom that my neighbor gave me. The love-seat is plaid and not really my style, so I covered it with homemade and other second hand items.
I am not giving up on my plan to make a medallion quilt someday! I tucked away some ideas from working on this piece.
So what is next? Well I have become obsessed with making little wallets using my collection of fabric scraps:
I am not sure what I am going to do with all the little wallets, but I am having fun playing in my different boxes of fabric scraps organized by color and finding pieces that working with the templates for the little wallets:
Here is a bag of turquoise and teal fabric scraps I cannot wait to play with next once I finish playing with orange and brown scraps:
I will share in a future post all the little wallets in fun color combinations I made from scraps!
So I moved it to the side of my house which was completely in shadow and got a better photo:
I decided not to put a border on it because I plan to put it into the rotation of quilts I rotate through my living room. A border would make it too large for the space I want to hang it. It coordinates well with the colors in my living room!
So I am working on piecing a backing together with various 1 -2 yard pieces of browns I have (trying to use my stash) and then send it to a long-arm quilter. I will likely bind it in the Stonehenge fabric I was going to use for the border.
I guess I need to work on the Medallion quilt in the photo below next as I have completed #1, #2, and #4!
Around this time last year I was posting about the sunflowers in my garden. Well they did not return this year and I did not plant sunflower seeds – so I am sunflowerless!
Luckily my neighbors on the corner have several raised bed boxes of sunflowers in their front yard for me to enjoy:
I will be more diligent next Spring on planting sunflower seeds!
Yesterday I worked to turn the “hot mess” and former unfinished object (UFO) into something resembling a quilt top. I’ve named the quilt “Cozy Cobblestones” as the fabric is the Northcott Stonehenge Cobblestones line.
I promised better photos, however I was unable to keep my promise. Still struggling with the narrowness of my hallway, I had to take entire layout photos at an angle. Alas, this is one of the “cons” of having a design wall in a narrow hallway!
Here is one “head on” photo taken by smooshing myself against the opposite wall:
You are probably wincing at the lighting on the photos. Once I sew the blocks together, I am going to take the quilt outside for a proper photo!
I am likely going to “float” the quilt top in additional Stonehenge fabric (I think I have enough yardage to put a “float” border around it). Here is the fabric I might use (it is my only choice unless I go out and try to find some more):
Next to a section of the blocks layout:
I might use the same fabric for the binding too as I am trying to use what I have in my stash. A contrasting binding might be nice but I would have to purchase it new (and I am taking a hiatus from buying fabric right now).
Speaking of my “stash”, I put the scraps and the two remaining fat quarters that I did not use up, in a future “Challenge Bag” (see post Basketof Challenges):
Inside the scrap bag you will see the blue scraps that I loved (from another Stonehenge line that a quilting friend donated) but could not work into the piece. We’ll see what I make in the future with this small bag of scraps.
The remaining scraps are fairly small as I worked hard to harvest any piece I could turn into a 2.5″ x 2.5″ block:
Quilters reading this may wince, but I did not have enough length of any of the scraps from piecing the original 12″ blocks to make the 6′ nine-patch blocks using the quick “strip-piecing” method. Instead I had to cut out individual 2.5″ x 2.5″ pieces and sew them together to make 42 6-inch nine-patch blocks! I did “chain-piece” the heck out the pieces after a while became a nine-patch block factory!
It was definitely an old school traditional piecing!
I am feeling pleased with my progress on the “UFOs” in this photo, this quilt top is the #4 in the photo below:
Once I get it all sewn together, I guess I need to work on the only remaining “UFO” – #3 (Medallion quilt) – but I am not feeling inspiration on that one yet!
In addition to a push to complete my unfinished projects, I’ve recently experimented with a couple paper-crafting/card making projects in the paper-crafting/beading area I set up in my sunroom:
Here are the two cards I made:
I am not sure if the recipients of these cards actually liked them, but I had fun making them. I listened to a classical radio station on my new(ish) thrift shop radio and found card making very meditative.
Card making was actually my first official crafting hobby that I did with others.
My friend Michele got me started in the late 1990s. I think it opened my mind to starting quilting, which I learned shortly after. I still have many of my card making supplies from the late 1990s and early 2000s. I donated about 1/2 of those supplies to charity organizations but I still have some wonderful supplies to make more handmade cards (whether people want them or not – ha!)