If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you might remember that Spring to Summer 2018 I was working on a secret quilt for an unannounced exhibit.
Well the curator, Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, has recently announced the show and now I can share my secret quilt with you; and I will share the story behind it in a series of posts.
Yours for Race and Country
The Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) exhibit, curated by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, is called Yours For Race and Country: Reflections on the Life of Colonel Charles Young. The exhibit will run from March 16, 2019 through August 17, 2019 at the National Afro-American Museum in historic Wilberforce, Ohio.
Colonel Charles Young was the first African-American to reach the rank of Colonel is the United States Army (the first African American officer to command a Regular Army regiment, and the highest-ranking black officer in the Regular Army until his death). He was also the first African-American Superintendent of a U.S. National Park – Sequoia National Park.
Here is a wonderful overview of some of his accomplishment I found on The Trust for Public Land website (tpl.org):
I was extremely honored and excited to be invited to participate in this art quilt exhibit.
For the exhibit, Dr. Mazloomi gave us options to select from of pivotal moments and accomplishments in Colonel Young’s life as inspiration for a 40″ x 40″ quilt.
I selected his time as Superintendent of Sequoia National Park.
Then it was history time! I wanted to learn more about Colonel Young’s life than was available online, so I ordered this book and read it – Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment: The Military Career of Charles Youngby Brian G. Shellum:
After reading the book and studying images I found online of Sequoia National Park, I was ready to get to work on my quilt.
In the next post in the series, I will share the evolution of the quilt and my challenges to create something I felt honored the legacy of Colonel Young (oh the pressure!).
Here are more details on the exhibit, as posted on facebook by the show’s curator, Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi:
My latest curated exhibition opens March 16, 2019 at the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in historic Wilberforce, Ohio. The exhibition, Yours for Race and Country: Reflections on the Life of Colonel Charles Young, is a visual history of the life of Charles Young. Young’s life is triumph over tragedy. Charles Young was born in 1864 to former slaves, but went on to attend and graduate West Point. He mastered several languages, played and composed music for piano, violin and guitar, wrote poetry, was a master cartographer, military strategist, the first African American Colonel in the U.S. Army and first superintendent of Sequoia National Park. Young’s home in Wilberforce was designated by President Barack Obama as a National Monument of the United States Parks Service. The Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument is a testament to Young’s perseverance.
The international exhibition visually explores, using the medium of quilts, the life of Col. Charles Young from his birth, life at West Point, military career, experiences in Foreign Service and his time as a Superintendent for the National Park Service.The opening reception is March 16th from 11:00am to 2:00pm. Copies of the catalogue will be made available to the public at that time.
In case you are wondering, I would like to attend the opening of the exhibit, I am just looking into if I can make it work with traveling in Winter and my job commitments. There is also going to be a private tour for the artists in the show of Colonel Young’s home in Wilberforce, OH. That would be a wonderful added bonus to getting to attend.
Are you inspired by nature? If you are an artist, is your art inspired by nature?
As part of my ongoing series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration, I am sharing my latest nature-based inspiration: TREE BARK.
Wait. When you saw the post title, did you suspect I meant “dog bark” or the barking of dogs? I do love dogs, however their barking provides little source of creative inspiration (smile).
Studying Tree Bark
For the latest project I am working on (a secret project for a future exhibit not yet announced by the curator) I needed to study the texture of tree bark. A trip to a local park provided plenty of study subjects!
I was particularly taken by this tree:
And I took a couple B&W photos so I could study the lines of the bark texture for my piece in progress:
Although I did not take more photos, I studied the lines of several more trees in the park and on my daily walks I’ve paid closer attention to trees in my neighborhood.
Speaking of trees, next post I will share images from the Tree Quilt Show I attended last evening.
For the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. – Martin Luther
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.
I am feeling pleased as there is something on the design wall to talk about.
In my 09/23/2016 post, The Library Stack (and a little EPP), I mentioned that I was feeling a little stuck and had not done any creating lately (“tierneycreates” without the “creates” part…).
Well Monday I was feeling inspired and continued working on the piece I first shared in my post Make Do Quilt Challenge. Continuing my ongoing series: What’s on the Design Wall, I present where I am at on my piece, tentatively titled: Making-Do:
It’s not the best photo as I took it with low light. It is also still very much “in progress”.
I was feeling frustrated it at one point, not knowing where it was going. Then I remembered something one of my mentors, Jean Wells Keenan, said during one of her classes (paraphrased): – Even though you may not be happy with an art quilt and want to give up, you have to keep on pushing through and see where it takes you.
This is very true. The collaborative piece, Abandoned Water Structure, that was recently purchased by the City of Seattle (see post Seattle Public Utilities’ Portable Works Collection) was an art quilt that I actually gave up on and tossed aside. I later picked it back up and kept working on it starting with a late night marathon design and piecing session.
So I am hoping Making-Do turns out to be something interesting! Next time I share an update, I might even take a better photo…
Monday I went for another hike up Pilot Butte (see my Category “Pilot Butte Adventures” for previous posts on my adventures) and I started laughing as soon as I arrived at the start. They had this sign posted:
If you remember my post Monday, Again, my current time up Pilot Butte is not as good as the time for the record in the ages 95 & up category! So no I am not entering this year’s challenge…perhaps next year…
While walking up Pilot Butte, I took this panoramic photo of Bend Oregon and the surrounding area. If you are ever in Central Oregon, driving or hiking to the top of Pilot Butte for the 360 degree view of Central Oregon is a must!
I hope you do not mind that I frequently link to previous posts. I consider my blog an ongoing conversation.
Yes, this blog is called “tierneycreates” and Tierney should probably discuss…well…doing some creating…instead of her random rambles about her Minimalism Journey (Part II of her ramble will continue in the next post).
I am participating in Sherri Lynn Wood’s (author of The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters) recycled quilt challenge: Make Do Quilt Challenge – #makedoquilt. You can read about this challenge on Sherri Lynn’s blog – dainty time.net; or you can read a wonderful post by Kris R. about this challenge and “the skinny on trashing textiles” on one of the wonderful blogs I follow, Coloring Outside the Lines:
The Made Do Quilt Challenge asks you make a quilt out of recycled textiles using one of the “Scores” that Sherri Lynn Wood discusses in her book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters (for more about this book, see my postCreative Inspiration: Books I Own).
In her book, she helps guide the quilter, new to improvisational piecing, by providing “scores” to suggest the creation of an improv quilt. Ms. Wood likens these score to “musical scores” and shares the following:
In creating a musical score, a composer is making a record of how the music is to be performed. Yet each performance of the score will be unique. – Sherri Lynn Wood
For my challenge quilt, I am using the “Score” called Floating Squares. The score suggests to limit yourself to three fabrics (two used in small amounts and one used to “float” the improv squares). I am using 5 fabrics but treating four of the fabrics as pairs as they are loosely (very loosely) in the sort of same color way.
My fabrics are:
A recycled table runner from a thrift shop that is in stripped orange, greens, reds and purples.
Recycled orange corduroy pants (I only have a tiny bit left and it is the companion fabric to the #1 fabric above)
A recycled tweed jumper
Gold-ish recycled home decor fabric scraps (this is the companion fabric paired with the tweed in #3 – yes of course brown tweed and deep gold lame-ish fabric are in the same color way – ha!)
I began with cutting up squares with scissors (Sherri Lynn Wood is all about ruler free design) and ended up with these squares on my design wall:
Here is my “pile-o-denim” scraps on the floor to float my squares in:
And here is where I am with the piece so far:
I am very interested to see how it comes out. I am just making sections and when I feel I am ready, I will figure out the layout (the initial layout you see above may have nothing to do with the final piece).
So that is my current Tierney-creating!
Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer has taken a short hiatus from her SchnauzerSnips blog page but she will return soon with her story of “The Herd” (recently we babysat two other schnauzers for 5 days).
In my post,Seattle Public Utilities’ Portable Works Collection, I shared my elation of the piece Abandoned Water Structure (designed and pieced by myself and quilted by Guadalupe Designs) being purchased by the City of Seattle for its Seattle Public Utilities Portable Art Collection. Yesterday I mailed it off the framer in Seattle and I wanted to share the custom label I made for the back of the piece – I included the photo of the structure that inspired my creation of the piece:
I of course have more random rambles, but I am trying not to make my posts too long (so you do not fall asleep while reading!). More next time!
Feature image photo credit: Charles Novaes, free images.com
This post I continue my ongoing series on my latest stack of book borrowed from my local public library.
Here is my latest stack of library books:
I realize the photo is not very clear, but many of the books did not turn out to be very memorable or I have borrowed them before, except for The Nesting Place (2014) by Myquillyn Smith.
Myquillyn Smith is a popular blogger – Nesting Place (thenester.com). The tagline of the Nesting Place blog is “It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful. This tagline embraces the whole them of the book!
I am a little jaded about home decorating books after flipping through so many from past library stacks (I do enjoy them, they just all seem the same after a while). This book was a refreshing change – it is filled with photos of a home actually being used and enjoyed. The author focuses on creating a home that meets your real life needs; accepting imperfections and not trying to make your home perfect but cozy and fun.
The book is also peppered with wonderful and inspirational quotes and I wanted to share my favorites:
Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. – Epicurus
Where thou art, that is home. – Emily Dickinson
A beautiful thing is never perfect. – Ancient Proverb
Don’t scrub the soul out of your home. – Mary Randolph Carter
Everyone gets to decide how happy they want to be, because everyone gets to decide how grateful they are willing to be. – Ann Voskamp
Home interprets heaven. Home is heaven for beginners. – Charles Henry Parkhurst
It’s not about what is is, it’s about what is can become. – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
Imperfections put people at ease. – Myquillin Smith
One of the best things I got from the the book is the quote by Myquillin Smith that “imperfections put people at ease”. I have been guilty in the past of trying to have everything perfect, perhaps overdoing it, and I think that has impact in my relationships.
I have been learning to “chill out” and just let things be more natural (and not always spotlessly clean my house before someone comes over!)
I loved the Ann Voskamp quote so much I made a picture quote thingie:
Featured photo credit: “Blackbird Nest (abandoned)” by Rainer SXC Schmidt, freeimages.com
Continuing my series of posts about what is on my design wall with a visit to the studio of quilt & fiber artist, designer, teacher, book author, and all around “Renaissance Woman”, Wendy Hill (and the piece of fiber art that came from that visit).
I spent Monday 8/29/16 with Wendy Hill (wendyhill.net) , textile artist and author of quilting and fiber art books such as Creative Quilt Challenges (with Pat Pease), Easy Biased Curves, Two-for-One Foundation Piecing, On the Surface, and Fast Fun & Easy Incredible Thread-A-Bowls.
Wendy is a wonderful teacher and while I was visiting, she gave me an impromptu class on making a thread web/thread bowl from her book Fast Fun & Easy Incredible Thread-A-Bowls (2005).
The amazing thing about the thread-a-bowls (and thread-a-vases, etc.) are that they use scraps of thread and snippets of fabric scraps. I never thought about recycling thread snips! A lot of thread as made it into my trash over the years of sewing that could have become – FIBER ART!
Here are photos from creating my first “thread web” and shaping it into a bowl:
I took the bowl home with me while it was still wet from rinsing out the Solvy (Sulky brand) water-soluble stabilizer; and draped over a form to dry into a bowl shape.
Thread-a-Future Art Piece
After the bowl dried, I was not pleased with how I had shaped it. It was too shallow and misshapen. I did however like the concept and the look of all those fibers interlaced (I had scraps of thread, tiny snips of scrap shot cotton, and scraps of yarn), so I re-wet the piece and flattened it to dry again.
I ended up with this version of the piece, which I have on my design wall and I am playing with floating it in some type of orange background and making a small art quilt that I will likely put in some type of frame.
Here it is with a Moda Grunge fabric line, deep-reddish orange:
and here is it with a deep orange batik:
I cannot wait to play with making my next “thread web”. I have a little Solvy thanks to Wendy to play with at home as well as I have copy of her book Fast Fun & Easy Incredible Thread-A-Bowls to read through and learn more about making these webs.
Wendy Hill’s home was the home of a true artist – even her light switch covers were artistic and handmade! I was fascinated by them and I wish I had photographed every one (every light switch and outlet cover was artistically covered), but here is a sampling:
Of course every cozy artist’s home needs a furry creature or two to keep the creative person company!
Here is a little visual treat if I have not made you tired of photos from the 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (SOQS):
A very talented Central Oregon art quilter, Kristen Shields (kristinshieldsart.com), has a wonderful blog (she is a very good photographer!). A recent post on her blog has great photos from this year’s show; and includes additional photos from the show (of incredible quilts) that were not in the links in my July 2016 series of posts about SOQS – Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2016
I always struggle with writing an “Artist Statement”, the written description of my piece, for an art quilt for a show. It feels awkward and uncomfortable.
Even more daunting – someday I need to write an overall Artist Statement – a written description of my body of work. Once I participated in an exercise at our Central Oregon Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) where we worked on our overall Artist Statements. We worked on this exercise in small groups, with more experienced art quilters sharing their Artist Statements (which were quite impressive and rather intimidating) with the mere mortals like myself.
This was a very uncomfortable exercise and I could not wait for it to be over. My draft Artist Statement to me read like an essay on “What I did during my summer vacation” from 7th grade.
I think I need to first develop my “body of work” and where I want to go as an “Artist” before I can write my overall Artist Statement.
A RECENT ATTEMPT
Here is the Artist Statement I wrote today for the piece Ohio Shifted (2016) which will be in a show-within-a-show at the Pacific International Quilt Festival in October (see post Creative Quilt Challenges: Shape Shifting):
Ohio Shifted (2016) Tierney Davis Hogan 18” W x 14.25” L Recycled Silks
Ohio Shifted(2016) embraces the Creative Quilt Challenges, CHALLENGE #3: “Unlikely Materials”. It also and embraces the name of this exhibit-within-an-exhibit, “Shape Shifting”.
Made from recycled silk samples and scraps from garment manufacturing (“unlikely materials”), Ohio Shifted began its art quilt life as a very different piece.
It was originally created as part of a challenge with a friend to use up the scraps from her piece, a reinvented Ohio Star block, and was titled “Ohio”. The borders on the piece were dull brown garment silk and muddied the overall look.
I decided to “Shape Shift” it, and rework the piece and its borders. Instead of a dull brown silk border, I used bright fuchsia raw silk found at a thrift store (another “unlikely material”).
Shifting the dimensions and overall shape of the of the miniature square-within-a-square log cabin blocks in the center; and floating them brightly colored raw silk, I created a new version of the original piece “Ohio”. It is now “Shifted”.
I did find resources online on writing Artist Statements just by googling “Artist Statement” that I plan on reviewing and studying further.
Do any of you have insights to share on writing Artist Statements?
Featured image photo credit: Joseph Hart, free images.com
Stories My Father Told Me: The First Quilt in the Series
In my 04/23/16 post Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me, I shared how I want to translate some of the inspirational stories my father, Raoul Davis, Sr. told me as a child, that inspire who I am as a person, into textile stories.
Two things happened since this post: 1) I was invited to participate in a special exhibit where I could draw from my the inspirational stories and words I listened to from my father as a child; and 2) I watched an excellent presentation on “Working in a Series” through the art quilting organization I belong – Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) that further inspired me to work on this series.
I created my first quilt in my Stories My Father Told Me Series, and it is titled “The Lesson & The Equation“. At this time I cannot share details on the show that it will be a part of as the exhibit has not been announced yet. However, I did receive permission from the show’s curator to share a photo of the quilt on my tierneycreates blog.
Below are excerpts from my Artist Statement for this piece to provide some understanding of the inspiration for this piece:
My father grew up in the segregated South in the 1940s and embraced at an early age that change comes from respectful dialogue, not violence. He taught us that regardless of what adversity we faced in life, we must face it with grace; and treat others with respect, dignity, and brotherhood…. (THE LESSON).
In this quilt, a father (modeled after my own father in the 1970s) is teaching his children, on the main blackboard, THE EQUATION to achieving a world in which people are Free and Equal…I am from a family of educators, beginning with my great-grandfather. The blackboards in the quilt honor that legacy.
POSTSCRIPT: The Instagram Experiment
I have decided to experiment with the mysterious social networking app Instagram(yes, it is only mysterious to me). I mentioned in the “POSTSCRIPT” section of the post Back to the Buttehow clueless I am about Instagram. Experimenting with it might be the only way to become less clueless!
I have added an Instagram “widget” to my blog page and now you will see my Instagram feed on my Homepage. (Of course ow I need to add more than the 4 or so photos I had in Instagram when I first signed up a year or two ago, got very confused and stopped using it).
We have magnetic erasable board on our refrigerator. I write menu plans and grocery shopping lists on this board. I have a habit of taking a photo of my grocery list on my smartphone to take shopping (I figure that is “greener” than using paper to write it down). I was laughing to myself: wouldn’t that make a terribly dull Instagram feed – just photos of my messily scrawled food shopping lists?!?!
I promise to try to keep the feed a wee bit more interesting than that!
I was invited by Wendy Hill and Pat Pease, authors of Creative Quilt Challenges(C&T Publishing, 2016) to participate in their invitational exhibit: Shape Shifting.
Creative Quilt Challenges is a Special Exhibit at the Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) , October 13-16, in Santa Clara, California. Shape Shifting will be an exhibit within their Creative Challenges exhibit. Please be sure to stop by Pat Pease and Wendy Hill’s exhibit at PIQF if you are attending and tell my friends “hello”!
For my piece in this invitational exhibit, I had decided to actually do some “shape shifting” and transform an existing art quilt piece that I was not too sure about, into something that actually made me smile.
I began with this existing piece, Ohio, which I last discussed in the post Update: Ohio
Something about the piece was displeasing to me and the piece felt kind of “blah”. So I removed the borders using with some very careful seam ripping (the piece is made of recycled silks; and then sliced apart a couple sections of the piece.
Then I played around with a border of BRIGHT fuchsia-pink raw silk that a friend picked up from a thrift shop and shared with me:
The selvage of the bright fuchsia raw silk had the name “FOUWAH, HONG KONG”. Some “googling” revealed this piece was likely a vintage fabric from Fou Wah Fabrics of Hong Kong:
Here is the final design of the piece, which I am tentatively naming: Ohio Shifted (I will have to create quite the Artist Statement on this piece to explain to the viewer where I got the name from…I might rethink the name…we’ll see…)
I selected this fabric for the back of the piece:
The piece is now ready for quilting. I am going to “put my big girl panties on” and quilt this art quilt myself. I need to be able to give it to Wendy and Pat by September 15th and I need to keep challenging myself to go to places (my own art quilting) that I do not want to go, so I can grow.
Initially I was going to go buy some bright fuchsia thread to quilt it with but I have selected a soft gold thread (the one on the left) that mirrors the colors in some of the blocks. I might also another another thread color, still deciding.
(Note – I did do a 1/8 an inch stitch around the edge of the piece using a 2.0 stitch length to stop the raw silk from fraying any further than the edges).
I am going to practice what I want to do as far as quilting on the quilt on a scrap silk “quilt sandwich” before I quilt on my actual piece. A couple of months ago I did quilt an entire art quilt myself for a piece for another invitational exhibit that I will post about in the future.
In March, I did participate in a Blog Tour to celebrate the release of the art quilting book, Creative Quilt Challenges by Pat Pease and Wendy Hill.
If you would like to read my post for my part of the blog tour, where I discuss working with “unlikely materials” (recycled silks, denim, wool) in making quilts please see the link below:
I have some great news to share: My collaborative art quilt, Abandoned Water Structure has been selected for purchase by the City of Seattle for the Seattle Public Utilities’ Portable Works Collection. This collection is part of the City of Seattle’s Public Art Collection.
Abandoned Water Structure was created using recycled silk and linen garment manufacturing scraps and samples.
I subscribe to CAFE for Artists – callforentry.org, an online resource for locating “calls for entry” for juried shows; a portal for entering shows; and a platform to store your and art portfolio.
After entering a couple shows over the past year and being rejected (after previous success of being selected), I had stopped entering shows due to the costs. Entering juried shows can run $25 – $45 or more per show (I did have a limit of no more than $35 to enter a show).
After deciding to take a hiatus from entering shows, I continued to read the Call for Entries e-mail that came from CAFE every couple of weeks, just for fun (and daydreaming).
A couple of months ago I saw a Call for Entry from the City of Seattle for the Seattle Public Utilities’ Portable Works Collection. They wanted submissions (for consideration for purchase) of art related to water. If you read the post about the creation of Abandoned Water Structure(which was originally titled “Abandoned Structure”) you will see the piece is all about water!
Also the entry fee was only $10. I figured for $10 I could take a chance.
I had to complete quite the entry/application and basically write an essay. Of course I like writing, so that was okay.
I was notified a couple of weeks ago but needed to wait until their Public Art Advisory Committee met to finalize the decision. (I have been sitting on this exciting news!)
Their selection panel included three arts professionals from Washington State, and an advisor from Seattle Public Utilities. The panel reviewed the artworks from 307 applicants and selected 36 artworks by 34 artists. I am very honored that Abandoned Water Structurewas selected.
Although I doubt Abandoned Water Structure would ever be featured on the main page, I am honored to know it is part of a collection with the works of these real artists! Additionally, as a former Seattle, Washington resident, this honor gives me a special connection to the city I used to call home!
I will post further updates if I find out where the piece will be displayed in Seattle.
Currently I am waiting for the purchase order from the City of Seattle and then I have many, many, many forms to complete (including one on how they need to care and maintain the piece) before the purchase is finalized.
I am living the fantasy, just for a moment, of being a “Professional Artist” (smile)!
The process is complete and I sent the piece to the City of Seattle’s framer. I hope someday I can see a photo of it framed.
In my final communication with the City of Seattle’s Public Art Project Manager I received a formal synopsis of the program and what will happen to the artwork:
The artworks will be exhibitioned throughout the public spaces of Seattle Public Utilities in Seattle. These public spaces include lobbies, entry hallways, reception areas and conference rooms. In order to encourage involvement and understanding of the diversity of artwork in the collection, employees participate in the selection of artwork for their own areas. The artwork moves throughout the offices on a rotation basis, thereby increasing viewing opportunities of the art by employees and the general public. The collection is also occasionally borrowed by museums and galleries for exhibitions.
I realized it’s time for “Tierney” to return to “creating”…
This blog is not called:
The blog is called tierneycreates, so Tierney better get to creating! (I like the imaginary sense of accountability blogging gives me – like you all will be very disappointed if my blog does not live up to its name!)
I was excited to pull these items out of the “set aside to work on later” basket (set aside for 7+ months so far!) and turn them into pillows.
So far, I started with this one:
And turned it into this little pillow which I have named Textured Desert Canyon:
Textured Desert Canyon (2016) by Tierney Davis Hogan
I was excited to use my new “tierneycreates – smiles & textiles” tags (see post Embracing Orange) for the first time on this pillow (can you see the little tag in the photo?). I had to experiment to figure out exactly how to make the tag work but I think I like the outcome.
I experimented with quilting with a solid color thread and then a variegated thread to try and give a lot of depth to the quilting.
What surprised me was the dense quilting gave the hand dyed solid scraps pieced into this pillow a suede like texture and appearance. I am eager to experiment more with dense quilting.
Now onto to working on the next four (4) pillows!
I follow many wonderful blogs and recently one of the blogs I follow, Catbird Quilt Studio has begun an interesting series on The Future of Quilting.
Here are links below to the two enjoyable posts in this series so far:
I have accepted the color Orange is part of my creative life, as I discussed in my July 3rd post, Orange. As a matter of fact, I have done more than accepted Orange, I am embracing Orange!
This weekend I worked on restocking my tierneycreates Etsy shop. It is still far from the days when I had 90 items in my shop. My miniature kimonos continue to be popular and I recently sold 4 to a lovely person in Canada as well as 4 to various friends (I continue to fleece my friends in person, making them purchase my handmade items, ha! See the end of the post Quilt Retreat Weekend: The Projects)
Many of the miniature kimonos in the new batch I made feature the color Orange:
I have been building a nice button collection and I enjoyed selecting a button for each kimono.
My friend Dana gave me some wonderful buttons in May at our annual Jelly Rollers Quilting Retreat (she was my Secret Quilting Sister), I still have wonderful buttons from my friend Betty Anne’s mother’s antique button collection she shared. Additionally I used a couple of the buttons from my recent antique button acquisition during the 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (see post 2016 Sisters Outdoor Show Part I).
Now it is time to get each miniature kimono with its hanging chopstick and coordinating embroidery floss for hanging (though some people have put them in shadowboxes instead of hanging). Then it is time for their individual “photo shoots” for their Etsy shop listings.
Figuring in the cost of materials, time to make them, and Etsy seller fees, I figure I make like $3 – $4 per kimono. But my Etsy shop is a fun hobby and I enjoy knowing that my handmade creations are in peoples’ homes around the country (and Canada!).
If I tried to live off my Etsy shop I really would be foraging for free neighborhood fruit (like in prior post) for sustenance – ha!
MORE ORANGE (Orange Labels!)
Recently I decided I wanted my Etsy shop items to look a little more polished by adding a professional label to some items. I will not add the label to the miniature kimonos but I will to future art pillow and table runner creations.
I purchased the labels from another Etsy shop (Wunderlabel) and guess what color they are in? ORANGE!
Speaking of color, I have been following a wonderful blog by a painter, Laura’s Create art every day. A couple years ago while taking a Jean Wells class on art quilting, she suggested that we also seek inspiration from the work of other artists outside of fiber/textile arts – like painters. I have started following the blogs of several painters and I am so inspired by their use of color and their creatively (oh no I see a future “Creative Inspiration” series blog post coming…)
Here is a post from createarteveryday.com with some seriously inspirational use of my new color best friend, Orange:
Continuing my series on my sources of Creative Inspiration, I share in this post photos from a recent trip that inspire my creativity.
Let’s Begin with a Disclaimer
If you have followed my blog for a while or if you are new to my blog, it is apparent I am not a very good photographer. Reading books on improving my photographic skills has not helped. So I thank you in advance, for accepting me as I am, bad quality photos and all.
Traveling, and photos taken while traveling are sources of creative inspiration for me. They may not inspire a specific piece, but they do inspire to me to create – especially when they are photos of the works of other artists (if I dare refer to myself as an “artist”) that stimulate my creativity!
Recently I returned from a long weekend visiting a friend in Denver, Colorado. I took many photos, primarily with my smartphone camera. Below are photos from the Denver Chalk Festival, the Seattle Airport’s Ship in a Bottle Exhibit, and the Redmond-Bend Airport’s Chris Cole kinetic fish art exhibit.
Denver Chalk Festival
We attending on Saturday 06/04/16 and the sidewalk chalk art pieces were still in progress (my apologies to all the talented chalk artists who I am not individually crediting in the photos):
Here was my favorite piece: a canine interpretation of the famous painting American Gothic (which I once got to see in person at the Art Institute of Chicago). Poop scooper instead of pitch fork!
Although the one above was my favorite, the most impressive piece was the one below (imagine what it looked like completed!):
Seattle-Tacoma (SeaTac) Airport Ship in a Bottle Exhibit
As a kid I was fascinated with ship-in-a-bottles. I thought they were magical. Seeing the exhibit at SeaTac airport (a layover on my way back to Central Oregon) really inspired my imagination and creativity:
Redmond-Bend Airport’s Chris Cole Kinetic Fish Art Exhibit
Awaiting my flight to head to Denver, Colorado (via a connection at SeaTac), I enjoyed looking at Chris Cole’s Kinetic Fish Exhibit. The Redmond, Oregon City News website has information on this exhibit: Redmond Municipal Airport Adds New Art.
The two fish sculptures had motors and various parts of the fish moved inside the glass exhibit enclosure. Very cool!
Now it is time for an example of higher quality inspirational photography. You guess it – it is not by me, and it is not from my trip. My friend Miles quit his job and is traveling the world, going to all kinds of awesome exotic and historic locales.
He is a skilled photographer and here is one of his photos, from his travels to Dubrovnik, Croatia:
Now that is a truly beautiful photograph and the colors and composition may inspire a future quilt!
I just returned from a four day weekend visiting a friend in Denver, CO. Later this week I will share some photos I took during the trip which creatively inspired me.
I just wanted to share in this quick post the latest nonfiction audiobook I have started – Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes.
As you probably know, Shonda Rhimes is the creator and producer of TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. A couple months ago I watched her TED Talk: My year of saying yes to everything, and I found it deeply inspirational.
I am early in the audiobook and I am enjoying it; and it is read by the author (I love when audiobooks are read by the author!).
So far 2016 has been a year of serendipitous opportunities for me artistically and I am glad I keep going against my natural instinct to say “no, thank you” and instead say “yes, thank you”!
The book opens with a quote from Maya Angelou:
“The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.”
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.
Continuing my ongoing series of posts on sources of my creative inspiration, I would like to share how a simple pot of tea inspires me creatively.
Above is a pot a green tea being poured into my favorite mug. One side of the mug reads: “live in wellness” and the other side reads “the universe knows”. This mug reminds me to take care of myself and to trust my intuition and the flow of the universe. (Hope that did not sound too “new age” and scare away some readers, ha!)
Behind the mug in the photo is a teapot warmer I found 9 years ago at a Tea Shop in Sisters, Oregon (the shop is now closed/out of business).
Every morning, I make a pot of green tea, place it on the warmer and sit in the front window each morning before work, and on the weekends (when I can really linger) and daydream about current and future creative projects.
I keep my journal nearby to jot down any notes, thoughts, drawings, or other inspirations. (and yes, I have spilled tea on my journal…)
Sitting quietly with a pot a tea, even if for 10 – 15 minutes, really centers me and inspires me creatively. Many new ideas for fiber art pieces or blog posts have come from my time with the pot of tea.
In one of my profiles on a social media site, I describe myself as “an obsessive tea drinker”. I suspect there are worse things in life to be obsessive about, so I am happy with this obsession!
Overall, I thought the audiobook is worth a listen and many sections inspired deep contemplation as I walked and listened.
As shared in the previous post, the author is a Harvard professor and the book is filled with “scholarly” like discussions that are at times rather esoteric (but not tedious); however the wisdom and insights into human nature by the ancient Chinese philosophers are highly accessible and timeless.
In addition to addressing the key teachings of several seminal ancient Chinese philosophers, the authors discuss the cultural, social, economic and political climates during the time in which the different philosophers lived, which influenced their writings and teaching.
Words for thought from ancient Chinese philosophers:
The effect of life in society is to complicate and confuse our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not.
– Zhuangzi (Zhuang Zhou)
The person attempting to travel two roads at once will get nowhere.
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.
– Laozi (Lao Tzu)
The sole concern of learning is to seek one’s original heart.
Today a thought popped into my head: “tierneycreates is a quilter’s blog, perhaps I should post something about quilting!”
The Original Plan
I completed the binding on a “log jam” (free form log cabin block piecing) quilt I am putting the in the July 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (SOQS) called Modern Bedtime.
It measures 63″ x 72″ which is short of a Twin size quilt and more like a large Lap size quilt.
This quilt was meant to be a King size quilt. I originally made its dimensions 98″ x 100″. I worked within the limit of the dimensions of acceptable quilts for entry into the SOQS (a maximum of 104″ on any side).
Last year the quilt I sold at the 2015 SOQS was a large Queen size quilt and I thought I would have a better chance of selling another quilt in the show this year if it were also bed size. I thought: “Maybe there won’t be a lot of large Queen/King size quilts in the show; so if someone attending the show was looking for a large bed size quilt my quilt would be available for consideration!”
Below is a photo of how the quilt started out. The original design had the log jam pieced center floating in a large khaki border. It is draped over a King size bed and you can see there is a nice drape (which I trimmed down to meet the less than 104″ on each side limit for SOQS).
The Universe however did not want this quilt to be King size (or Queen size, or Full size, or Twin size…).
Something very bad occurred when I pieced the border, I am not sure what exactly as I have been piecing/sewing borders on quilts for many years.
The long-arm quilter discovered that the borders where extremely uneven when she loaded it on her professional quilting machine. Not just uneven, they were “majorly wonky”! She tried to fix it but the borders were so strangely pieced she could not fix it without disassembling a large amount of the quilt.
Additionally, there were several other strange and embarrassing quilt piecing errors (I am too embarrassed to mention these).
What the heck happened? I do not make mistakes like this! I do remember that I was in a hurry to finish up the quilt to get it to her to put it in her queue of customer quilts for the SOQS (she gets very backlogged with customer quilts prior to the SOQS). I was always working long hours on a challenging work project and very tired at the end of the workday.
Perhaps I should not have engaged in “Piecing While Tired” (PWT).
I had a painful phone conversation with the very kind and patient long-arm quilter as we tried to figure out what could be done about this quilt. She had tried removing one of my borders and trying to fix it for me. I kept thinking: “I am so disappointed in myself, I so wanted to sell this quilt at SOQS as a King size quilt”. I wanted so badly for this quilt to work out as I had planned.
Then suddenly I decided to just let it go. I asked the long-arm quilter to just cut off the offending borders and finish quilting the quilt.
I trimmed off the left over borders, put on the binding and have embraced the quilt as it. I am still showing it/listing it for sale at the SOQS.
Life is a balance of holding on and letting go – Rumi
Warning: Never work on a quilt while tired and stressed from work! Lesson learned!
I am working on something exciting right now but it is a secret. It is a piece for an invitation only special juried exhibit. More to come!
As you can see, I am playing with my blog template again. Why does WordPress give me so many interesting options for my blog template? How can I ever be happy just sticking with the same template, ha! I welcome your feedback on the latest look to the tierneycreates blog: “Chalkboard” template.
Happy Monday to you all! A couple photos and updates to share with you as follow ups to various previous posts:
The flowering crabapple tree is in full bloom in front of my house and unbelievably, deliciously, inspirationally fragrant. When I step out from front door I am immediately enveloped with this incredible scent of Spring and the sounds of busy bees buzzing around the crabapple tree blooms!
I walked Pilot Butte again today, this time it took me 46 minutes to go up to the summit and back down, 4 minutes off my time last Monday (when I returned hiking our “mini mountain” in town for the first time after an 8 month hiatus after my foot injury).
The 360 degree views of Bend, Oregon and Central, Oregon continue to be breathtaking on another impossibly blue sky day here (we have a lot of impossibly blue sky beautiful days).
In the post You Got to Start Somewhere I shared that I listened to the audiobook Become Who You Were Born to Beby Brian Souza while hiking Pilot Butte. Today I continued my listen of this inspirational audiobook while hiking the Butte.
I wanted to share a wonderful quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson from this book which brought a smile to my face and a small tear to my eye from its beauty and truth.
What is Success?
“To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Enjoy the rest of your week!
I am sure before the end of the week I will have more thoughts to share with you from all the thoughts that constantly swirl around in my head. Perhaps they will even have to do with quilting! (Smile).
Congratulations to Beth T. who won the free copy of Creative Quilt Challenges from the random drawing of names from those who left comments on my Creative Quilt Challenges Blog Tour post – BLOG TOUR DAY 4: Unlikely Materials. Thank you to every who visited the tierneycreates blog for Day 4 of the tour and thank you to those who commented. I so enjoyed reading the comments and they got me inspired to keep experimenting with “unlikely materials”!
What’s on the…Table: “Ohio”
This post is a continuation of my ongoing series: What’s on the Design Wall.
However, this time I am going to share what is laid out on the table in my Studio, instead of up on my Design Wall. This post also demonstrates another example of using “Unlikely Materials” (recycled silk garment scraps) discussed in my Blog Tour post on 03/31/16.
Here is the piece in progress, I am going to name it “Ohio“:
What do a bunch of miniature log cabin style patches (2″x2″ and 2.5″ x 2.5″) have to do with the State of Ohio? Absolutely nothing, but they are part of a story. An ongoing story. Here is a visual summary of that story:
1) The piece started out as my attempt to create an Ohio Star (a traditional quilt block) from recycled silk
2) I was very unhappy with the accuracy of the points on the star (although I interfaced the back of the silks, I had some challenges with accurately piecing the points). So I attempted to save the piece by reimagining the piece, slicing up the Ohio Star and sewing it into a new configuration. I was still not pleased with it.
3) I gave the piece and the coordinated recycled silk pieces I have selected to a friend. She reimagined it into a completely new piece, while integrating all the elements from the original Ohio Star into the piece.
4) My friend gave me the leftover scraps from this piece which included scraps from my original piecing and new scraps from additional recycled silks she used in the piece. She challenged me to make something from those scraps!
5) So, I started working on this piece over a month ago, and I am calling it “Ohio”
Right now I am just continuing to make tiny blocks (2″ x 2″ and 2.5″ x 2.5″) and enjoying the challenging of using up small pieces of recycled silk. I find it to be meditative to quietly work on small slow piecing.
Will post about this piece again when it is nearly complete.
At the end of this post I will pose a discussion question, please post a comment to automatically enter a drawing for a copy of Creative Quilt Challenges. The random winner will be selected and notified around 04/07/16.
CHALLENGE #3 – UNLIKELY MATERIALS
In Creative Challenges, Pat Pease and Wendy Hill invite readers to flex their quilt-making creative muscles by experimenting with different “Challenges”. In Challenge #3 – Unlikely Materials, Pat and Wendy invite readers to stretch their creative muscles by working with materials other than traditional quilting cottons!
Transitioning from Cotton Material to “Unlikely Materials”
Four years ago, I would have looked at you as if you were insane if you suggested I use anything other than high quality quilting cottons, purchased from a quilt shop, for my quilt-making. Then in 2012 my friend and mentor, Betty Anne Guadalupe of Guadalupe Designs invited me to work on a collaborative project involving making art quilts out of recycled silks and linen samples from garment manufacturing. These samples had been saved from the trash heap by someone working for an Italian silk manufacturer in the 1990s and stored away since then.
At first I was terrified of working with anything but cotton for quilting. Cotton is so crisp and stable. Silk is slippery, delicate, and…well…terrifying!
One of the first skills I learned when working with silk was how to back delicate silks with interfacing. The best interfacing I have used for backing silk is “French-Fuse“. I learned about French-Fuse from Betty Anne, who learned about it from another art quilter, Grace. This interfacing provides much needed stability to delicate silks and makes them easier to rotary cut and to piece.
Here is one of the early pieces I made with recycled silks – Silk Landscape:
The Wardrobe Meets the Wall
Betty Anne and I both became hooked on using the recycled silks and linens to create art quilts. We formed a collaboration which eventually became The Wardrobe Meets the Wall: A collection of art quilts created from recycled garments, manufacturing remnants, and samples.
We have a blog, The Wardrobe Meets the Wall (we are working on evolving this into a a website, “Art Quilts by Guadalupe & Hogan”). See our page The Collection if you would like to see a samples of art quilts all made with “Unlikely Materials”.
Our collection includes quilts made from mens ties, recycled silk and linen samples, scrap wool from clothing or blanket manufacturing, recycled denim, and general recycled clothing.
Once You Start Experimenting with Unlikely Materials, You Might Get Hooked!
Betty Anne already had many years experience working with “Unlikely Materials” and before I knew it, she had me experimenting with using recycled wools and denims to create art quilts.
Here is my first experiment with working with recycled wools (from wool mens suiting manufacturing scraps and wool blanket manufacturing scraps) and denims (recycled jeans) – He Dresses Up, He Dresses Down:
Basically – if you can sew with it, we will now try and make an art quilt with it. There are so many unlikely materials we have yet to try out. We enjoy recycling.
I was intrigued that in the Creative Quilt Challenge book, Pat Pease makes an adventurous art quilt with “hair canvas interfacing“. I bow my head to that level of creativity with “unlikely materials”!
(Disclaimer: We still love and support our local quilt shops and still make many quilts with traditional cottons. There are so many beautiful fabric collections to choose from and our new fabric stashes mysteriously continue to grow despite our obsession with recycled materials.)
Tips for Working with Unlikely Materials
I will not deny it – working with “unlikely materials” for the first time is scary. Here are some tips I have learned over the past 4 years. I am still learning and growing in my knowledge and comfort with using “unlikely materials”.
Do not be afraid to experiment and play: You do not have to create a great work of quilting art your first time working with a new “unlikely material”. I played with silk for a while before piecing it into an art quilt.
Check your sewing machine manufacturer’s website for tips on working with various materials and fibers.
Search for YouTube videos on working with a particular fabric and sewing tips on handling that type of fabric in your machine.
Network with other crafters that have experience working with a particular textile you are interested in trying. For example if you know a seamstress who has worked a lot with silk, you could ask her/him for tips.
Determine if a fabric/material needs to be interfaced in order to stabilize it for sewing. As I mentioned earlier, French-Fuse (which can be purchased at sites such as Annie’s Craft Store) is wonderful for backing delicate silks. It makes them so much easier to cut and piece. There are also YouTube videos on using French-Fuse.
If you are using heavy weight materials such as denim and some wools, consider pressing open your seams, and using 1/2 inch seams (like in making garments) as opposed to 1/4 inch seams. A trick that my mentor Betty Anne taught me is to run a tiny (1/8″ inch or less) seam along the front of the seams (front of your piece) to hold down the pressed down seams. This will be helpful if you have your piece professionally long-arm quilted so that the thick seams do not flip and catch the needle when being quilted.
If at first you don’t succeed, don’t give up! I have had several “unlikely materials” piecing/sewing disasters (bad words were said, not suitable for repeating). Some disasters were so bad I had to put them in the trash, I could not even recycle them into another project. Speaking of recycling a disaster into another project, see the post A Very Successful Rescue! about a piece made with recycled silk that was destined for the trash but was recycled by another quilter into a wonderful piece!
Warning – your other quilter friends who only enjoy using cottons, may at first give you a lukewarm response on your pieces made with “unlikely materials”. Do not be discouraged – art is a private and personal thing and you cannot control others reactions. (I love the saying: “It’s not my business what others think of me”…or my art!). I am sure I have quilter friends who thought at first I had lost my mind working with recycled silks and linens. As you grow in your experience with working with “unlikely materials”, your confidence will grow as will your adventurous spirit.
Working on My Latest Piece with Unlikely Materials
The timing of this blog tour post is great, as I am currently working on a new piece for a group exhibit I am participating in, called “Doors” for the local SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group I belong.
Designing the piece: Selecting the “Unlikely Materials”
I decided to use a photo of a door for inspiration, and located a wonderful collection of unique door photos on an Australian door and window manufacturer’s website Brisbane Timber .
I wanted to created a semi-realistic version of one of their doors, using recycled textiles (“unlikely materials”) and name the piece Recycled Door.
Here are the materials I selected:
Recycled Corduroy Shirt
Recycled Corduroy Pants
Recycled Tweed Wool Jumper
Bag of Recycled Jeans
Shiny Gold Home Decor Fabric
(List clockwise from top)
Recycled Corduroy Shirt
Recycled Corduroy Pants
Recycled Tweed Jumper
Unusual shiny gold home decor fabric (this fabric was given to me by the very talented art quilter, Dianne Browning, who primarily uses the unlikely materials of home decor fabrics and decorator samples in her art – you can check out her incredible art at her website Art Quilts by Dianne Browning)
Recycled Denim (from my bag of recycled jean sections)
The Piece in Progress
Below is a photo of Recycled Door in progress. If you like, for fun, you can go to the Australian door and window manufacturer’s website Brisbane Timber and see if you can figure out which door inspired this piece.
Are You Ready to Experiment or Have You Already Experimented?
Now it is time for you to weigh in on your experience with using “Unlikely Materials” or whether you are interested in experimenting with “Unlikely Materials” in the future in your quilting projects.
This post is a follow up to my February 2016 post Surrendering My Piece to “Rescue” in which I shared my frustration with an “Ohio Star” type block I was piecing with recycled silks. I abandoned the piece due to “major creative blockage” and my friend adopted it.
Betty Anne Guadalupe, who adopted my abandoned piece, took it apart and completely reimagined it!
I gasped (and nearly fainted) when I saw the wonderful reinvention she did with my humble beginnings!
Here is what I gave her:
Here is what she created:
The piece measures 18” x 23” and is made with recycled silks and wools. If you look closely you can see sections of my original piecing. Betty Anne integrated all of my original piece in her piece! This piece will be in our show at Twigs Gallery this Friday (see my post The Collaboration for more details on this show).