Hello! Are you as warm as I am? We’ve been blessed with 95+ temperatures in Central Oregon. I am writing this on my porch (which is shaded) as our two little evaporative coolers are not keeping the house as cool as I would like it to be (someday we dream of installing central air conditioning…)
It’s dropped down to 92 degrees so it is now cool enough (ha!) for me to work on a blog post. I am continuing my series of posts about the 2018 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (SOQS), that began with this post: Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2018, Part I.
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH)’s sisters from New York, Sue and Diane, came to town for the show and to visit us for a week. We took them on a Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop (they are both quilters/crafters) on Thursday and Friday before the SOQS on Saturday.
As a result of all that quilt shop-hopping, new projects were purchased by my sister-in-laws and we’ve had many enjoyable evening sitting around my living room, backyard (when it cools down in the evening), or my dining room table crafting together:
They’ve been working on two different wool appliqué candle mat patterns by Bareroots Little Stitches. One is a cat themed candle mat and the other is this dog themed mat pattern called #195 Puppy Love.
Here is one sister-in-law’s progress on the kitty themed wool appliqué mat:
As you can see there are many little pieces. Luckily I had freezer paper, appliqué glue stick and of course basic sewing supplies on hand.
Here is the progress my other sister-in-law is making on her dog themed wool appliqué candle mat:
The mats are super adorable! One of my sister-in-laws taught me how to make french knots which I’ve never made before.
I will share on Instagram (@tierneycreates) the completed images of our pieces.
Next post, I will share images from the 2018 Sisters Outdoor Show (once I weed through the zillion of photos I took!) If you cannot wait until my next post, here are two Central Oregon quilting bloggers that are already sharing awesome photos and stories:
I actually finished (quilted, binding done and hung on the wall) the wallhanging I started in an appliqué class in May 2016, inspired by Lao Tzu’s quote:
“NATURE DOES NOT HURRY, YET EVERYTHING IS ACCOMPLISHED.” ~LAO TZU
I am not sure what came over me, as I really was going to continue following Nature’s example and not hurry – ha! I figured in another year or so I would get it finished. Instead I finished it under a week.
A couple of days ago I snapped this photo in my studio. I was laughing to myself at how many projects I had in progress, at the same time, in the same area.
I assigned numbers and below is a link to the most recent blog posts on each ongoing project. I am on a push to complete open projects!
At first I was only going to stitch the Lao Tzu quote going around the tree. However the right side did not seem balanced, with the left side having the acorn. Also I thought at first glance it might not be apparent what the odd thing on the left was (my loose interpretation of an acorn), so I decided to risk becoming “Captain Obvious” and stated that “The tiny acorn becomes the mighty oak tree”.
I am not going to win any “stitching words on quilts” awards, but I really enjoyed slow stitching the backstitching of the words on the piece and learned a lot as I progressed. I wimped out at the end and did not do the letter “i”s french knot top dots (or whatever the official word is for the dot/period on the top of the letter “i”), but maybe next time.
You may be curious about my fabric choices but let’s just say the whole piece is “multicultural”:
The saying/quote is from an ancient Chinese philosopher.
The piece was inspired by an African Bible Verses quilt and the original fabric for the acorn and the tree were from the teacher’s stash of African themed fabrics.
The border fabric is an Aboriginal style print.
Here is the fabric I have planned for the binding – it reminded me of a tree branch:
I plan to do a combination of machine and hand quilting on the piece, so by 2018 I should have it done (smile).
But then I am only following Nature’s example…and eventually the piece will be accomplished!
My blogging buddy Melanie at Catbird Studios, asked her readers in a recent post how they choose their next quilting project to work on. I responded that for me it is random, which is usually true, however I realize that lately I appear to be focused on working on unfinished projects (which is a very good thing) instead of starting something new when it catches my attention.
Continuing my theme of cleaning out the old UFOs (unfinished projects) from yesterday’s post, this weekend I also worked on an appliqué project that I began in a wonderful class a over year ago (Adventures in Appliqué).
To finish this wallhanging size quilt top, I needed to embroider the words that go with the image using a “backstitch”:
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished” – Lao Tzu
Hopefully it is obvious (fingers crossed) that my wallhanging contains an acorn which eventually becomes a large oak tree in time.
The concept of the wallhanging is based on the African Themed Bible Verses appliqué quilt that students had the option of making in the class.
I being the rebel, decided to use the words of an ancient Chinese philosopher as inspiration for my piece (also a rebel, I decided to make a smaller wallhanging with one block instead of a quilt with multiple blocks).
Although I have allegedly been quilting for 17+ years, sometimes I feel like a brand new quilter when I discover something else I do not know how to do: in order to stitch on the words, I needed to learn how to do the backstitch.
The wonderful instructor, Janet Storten (who is the Director of Sisters of the Heart Foundation) kindly offered to give me a refresher on the backstitch as she did cover it in her class (and I swear I did pay attention in class). I was tempted but I thought I would take a chance and try to learn the backstitch from YouTube.
YouTube is filled with awesome instructional crafting videos (and I have lost hours of time watching one right after the other). I discovered one by the talented crafter Lauren Fairweather:
As Janet had instructed in her appliqué class, I first lightly drew words in pencil on my fabric (see I did remember something). Following the video above, I slowly did my first backstitch letters!
This is another hand sewing meditative experience (slowing down and focusing appears good for the soul!)
In time I know I will get better, but here are photos of my progress so far (I had to put my work in a hoop to stabilize it until I get more experienced):
So Tierney, you stitch on TWO letters and then post photos? Why yes, I am very proud of those two letters – ha! Of course when the whole top is finished I will post an updated photo.
A Tale of Tangled Threads
Actually a tale of tangled embroidery floss, but the words “embroidery floss” did not not provide the alliteration that “threads” did in the header to this section!
Last May when I took Janet’s class on Appliqué I discovered embroidery floss cards (Tierney – have you been quilting under a rock all these years, why do you not know about basic crafting items?!?!) Janet was kind enough to share some of her huge collection of embroidery floss cards with her students. She gave me this one that coordinated with my piece:
I did not know such magical cards existed! I thought that she had discovered a mysterious and secret fountain of embroidery floss!
You see I have always purchased embroidery floss this way:
And turned these nice little packages of embroidery floss into TANGLED MESSES.
Prior to learning to stitch with them, I used embroidery floss in various colors as the “string” to hold the chopstick on the miniature kimonos I make so they can become a wallhanging.
Other crafters will likely cringe at this but I would just cut in the middle of a new package of embroidery floss in order to access a length of it for hanging the kimono. Then I would put the rest of the floss away in a small bag and it would turn into a tangled mess.
I would untangle the mess to try and cut more floss out for another kimono as needed.
Are you cringing, I mean really cringing? Do you want my “Crafter Card” revoked at this point?
Not able to find embroidery floss on these mysterious spool like cards, I just kept doing what I was doing until I discovered a large package of embroidery cards with floss and some EMPTY CARDS for $1.50 a couple of weeks ago at a thrift shop.
So…you buy the cards and then you wind your embroidery floss onto the cards!
This weekend I sorted my thrift shop find into an old small plastic container with dividers and wound all my floss packages onto their own spool cards!
I went from this (note the tangled floss in small packages):
When I ran out of the cards I got from the thrift store bag, I used one of them as a template and created my own with some recycled cardboard.
Just think how much more basic quilting/crafting stuff I will learn in my next 17 years of quilting!
Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s page Schnauzer Snips for her latest musings…
It was about more than just improving my appliqué skills
Yesterday I took at wonderful appliqué class at the Stitchin’ Post in Sister, Oregon. The class was more than an appliqué skills building class, the class was about creating stories with quilts. It was a day long class from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (with flexible time for lunch whenever we wanted).
The class was titled: Historic Story Quilt and was taught by the wonderful Janet Storton. The focus of the class was to work on blocks for story quilt (bible story blocks were used as an example) using various appliqué techniques for appliqué skill building.
I signed up for this class to build my appliqué skills for a future of series of quilts I want to make based on stories my father told us growing up (see post Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me). However I got way more out of the class than just improved appliqué techniques!
Sisters of the Heart Foundation‘s mission is bring hope, build a future, and empower a community in impoverished areas of the world such as Uganda. Janet spends part of the year teaching women in Uganda to create quilts and other crafts to sell in order to economically improve their lives and the lives of their communities.
Here is Janet with a heart quilt (Sisters of the Heart) where each one of her students in Uganda made a different heart. She just got it back from long-arm quilting by Barbara of the Stitchin’ Post and trimmed off the extra batting before I took the photo:
Two other quilts made by her students in the community in Uganda, these quilts are sold or raffled to raise money for the quilters’ community in Uganda:
Here is the Bible Stories appliquéd quilt made by her students in Uganda:
My Adventure in Appliqué (what I actually did in class)
Here is what I worked on as I brushed up on my needle-turn appliqué technique and learned buttonhole appliqué techniques:
So you now thinking: “Whaaaat?!?!?” You spent 7 hours in an appliqué class and made two elements on a beige piece of fabric? Well…yes!
It is actually a story quilt I am working on that has to do with an acorn and a tree. Janet helped me perfect my needle-turn appliqué on creating the acorn (and help me select the scrap fabrics I used); and she taught me how to do buttonhole appliqué for the beginning of the tree. I also learned how to stitch words onto fabric so when I am ready I can add the words that go with my piece.
For now it will be a UFO (Unfinished Object for the non quilters reading) until I finish some of my pending urgent projects (due dates zooming closer!)
The class was a joyous way to spend a Saturday and in addition to the teacher, I got to meet some other wonderful people – the fellow students. They had incredible stories to share during class too.
One other thing I learned in the appliqué class was just how meditative working on an appliqué project can be – I think I might fall in love with hand stitching.
I needed good light to do the needle-turn appliqué on the acorn section and found that sunlight worked best. I spent quiet meditative time sitting in the window of the classroom (it was a glorious sunny day in Sisters, Oregon) and just hand stitching.
Wow. Now I get it.
I plan to take more “techniques” classes. I have been quilting since 1999 or so but I am ready to spend more time “studying” quilting.