WCQN

Secret Quilt Revealed, Part I

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):

charles young.jpgTo read more about Colonel Charles Young and his historic accomplishments, check out the Arlington National Cemetery website – Charles Young, Colonel, United States Army.


The Art Quilt Assignment

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 Young by Brian G. Shellum:

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image credit: amazon.com

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!).


Postscript

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.

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National Park Service website, courtesy of Library of Congress

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.

I will know more in 2019.


Feature photo credit – Change.org

tierneycreates

Art Quilt Cards

I made my first four (4) recycled silk art quilts in 2012 and in 2013 I had them professional photographed. For the past 5 years I had the high quality files of these photos and have only used them for images on my blog.

A couple of months ago one of my art quilting buddies, Kristin Shields of Kristin Shields Art and @kristinshields on Instagram shared images of professional printed cards of some of her art quilts and she began selling her cards at Dudley’s Bookstore (a bookstore featured on my December 2016 post Independent Bookstores (wonderful & magical places)) and I was very inspired!

After consulting with Kristin on resources I decided to have 5″ x 7″ blank cards of my first four art quilts professionally printed!

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Kristin also shared the clear plastic envelopes to individually package the cards that she buys in bulk with me so I could have a professional finish to packaging the cards and their envelopes:

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On the back of each card is “The Story of This Piece” (Artist Statement) and details on the piece.

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I do not have plans to sell these cards but to give them as gifts; and I’ve given out a couple sets already.

Here is how I am packaging up the sets:

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You can view images of these first four art quilts, part of my Color Story collection, and their Artist Statement on my Art Quilt Stories page.

It is pretty exciting to be share these cards with special people in my life!


Postscript

Guess what? It is time for my Fifth Anniversary Blog Celebration!

This year I will be offering a set of these cards in my blogging anniversary giveaway in addition to two handmade items.

More details to come in a future post as well as what I am doing in the month of October to celebrate completing my 5th year of blogging!

Special Events, WCQN

Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part IV

This is the final post in the series of four posts on the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) and Friends Show Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience, curated By Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, and inspired by the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

As I mentioned in the first post, Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part I show opening at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton, OH, was only the “soft opening”, featuring half of the quilts. At a future date the full show will debut and in Spring 2019 the book will be published featuring all the quilts in the exhibit as well as the story behind the exhibit.

This post features one more installment of a sample selection of powerful quilts from the show. (If you are just joining us you can click on this link – WCQN – to view the three previous posts – Part I, Part II, and Part III.)


Carolyn Crump – Waiting to Have My Say

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Gloria Kellon – Freedom of Expression over the Water

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Gwendolyn Brooks – On This Special Day

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Julius Bremer – Let’s Gather Peacefully

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Deanna Tyson – Black Lives Matter

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Ifa Felix – The Green Book

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James Mardis – Cruelty Comes for Us All

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The photo does not capture how amazing and powerful this quilt is! The artist is one of the long-time male quilters in the WCQN. I had a chance to chat with him during the show and listen to him talk about this multi-textured piece made from a multitude of materials besides cotton fabric.

I wish I had taken some close up photos of the piece. I think I was so overwhelmed by the whole show and trying to meet and chat with the amazing artists that I got distracted from my photography!  When Dr. Mazloomi’s book on the show comes out in Spring 2019 it will have professionally photographed detailed images of these quilts.


L’Merchie Frazier – Going Beyond the Self: Lale and the Omo Children

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Helen Murrell – Capital Punishment

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Lauren Austin – Parole Denied

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Ed Johnetta Miller – So What Skeltons Are in Your Closet?

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Sandra Noble – Detainment

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It was an honor to be part of this show and an honor to be able to share some of the amazing quilts from this show with you all.

I have to say of course, the most exciting moment of attending the show was walking into the exhibit area and seeing my quilt on the wall:

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The second most exciting moment, was seeing an image of my quilt projected up on the screen in the auditorium before the panel discussion began:

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Before the panel discussion, Dr. Mazloomi gave a powerful talk on the power of art. Here is a quote from her talk (which I have on video but could not figure out how to upload onto YouTube to share, perhaps at a later time):

For me as an artist I strongly believe that art has the capacity to touch the spirit, engage people, educate and heal in ways that words cannot.

Dr. Mazloomi stated that the show was inspired by the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and that she is long-time admirer of Eleanor Roosevelt who was instrumental in getting this declaration done.


Postscript

I had a bit of adventure getting to Hamilton, OH for the show. Central Oregon is a long way from Hamilton, OH! 

Since I was going to be in the Eastern part of the country (well Ohio could be considered Midwest) I thought I should also visit with my family and I met up with my family in Washington, DC for a couple of days before flying onto Cincinnati, OH.

While in DC I went with my brother, sister, sister-in-law and 5 and 14 year old nephews to the National Geographic Museum and saw two amazing exhibits on the Tomb of Christ and the Titanic. 

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I may share additional photos from those exhibits in a future post.

From Cincinnati I rented a car and drove 45 minutes or so to Hamilton (which is not within a reasonable distance to a major airport).

While in Hamilton I stayed in sweet Victorian Airbnb rental (only $56 for the night) 6 blocks from the Fitton Center where the opening show was held. Here are some photos of where I stayed which was built in the late 1800s and had cool architecture and period related decor (and handmade antique quilts on the bed!):

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I will not share my airline travel saga but it did involve spending two nights sleeping in an airport (on the way there and on the way back) because of severe thunderstorms that grounded planes. But I did make the most of my time stuck in airports and will have a future posts on the cool exhibits and sights at the various airports along my journey!

Special Events, WCQN

Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part III

Yesterday’s post with quilts from the Women of Color Quilting Network and Friends Show Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience (Curated By Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi) were just to whet your appetite.

This post features more powerful quilts from the show. If you are just joining us you can click on this link – WCQN – to view the two previous posts (Part I and Part II).

As I mentioned in the previous post, some of these quilts made me want to just step away from my sewing machine and find a new hobby.

I’ve seen many beautiful art quilts over the years – at shows and online – but I’ve never seen in person such a collection of powerful inspirational quilt all in one venue.


Sandra Scott – Bloodties

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The photos do not do this quilt justice. This is definitely one of the quilts in the show that made me want to just give away my sew machine because now I see how art quilts “are done”. It is an absolute masterpiece and reading the Artist Statement and viewing this quilt in person can bring you to tears.


Speaking of quilts that can bring you to tears, this one had me quietly sobbing…

Dorothy Burge – Stop Killing Us

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And now the piece that attempted to completely blow out my tear ducts – a piece inspired by news story of a young Syrian refugee child discovered washed up on the shore.

April Shipp – The Waters Returned Him: In Honor of Aylan Kurdi, Age 3

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This quilt was a 3D quilt with a large set of hands coming forward holding a handmade doll representing the drowned Syrian refugee child. If seeing this quilt in person did not stir someone, then they were emotionally dead inside.

I got to chat with the amazing artist who passionately shared the story behind her inspiration. While listening to her I was desperately trying to keep it together (the tear ducts were starting to crumple) as she shared her beautiful compassion and intense feelings of heartbreak over hearing the news story (okay so I am getting weepy just trying to write this…).

Yes I kept having that “imposter syndrome” feeling being at this show with these significant pieces of work and these amazing artists (some of who are professional artists).

Here are a couple more quilts in the show to close out this post with a little less intense topics.


Carolyn Crump – Deeds, Not Words

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Sharon Ray – Hamtramck, My Home

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I hope you found these pieces as stirring and amazing as I did. In the next post I will share the rest of the sampling of pieces from the show.

Special Events, WCQN

Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part II

If you are an artist/crafter have you ever attended an exhibit that made you want to just put away your art/craft supplies and find a new hobby?

This is what happened to me (no worries, it was only for a moment), when I saw the art quilts in the opening night of Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton, Ohio on Friday August 17, 2018.

This post is a continuation of the post Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part I  and rather than ramble on about how many of these inspirational, provocative, powerful, creative, masterpieces made me want to shut down my sewing machine and walk away, I will just share a sample of images of the amazing quilts in the show.

I’ve included the Artist Statements that explain these amazing art quilts inspired by United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Note I am going to share images of quilts from the show over several posts.


Earamicha Brown – A Woman’s Worth

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Behrooz Assani – The Dawn of Human Rights

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This quilt was not by a “Woman of Color” but by a Persian man, originally from Iran who wanted to show that although this part of the world has a reputation for the violation of human rights, Persia was in ancient times a forerunner on the concept of human rights.


Barbara McCraw – Every Man, Woman, and Child

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Cynthia Lockhart – Created to Be Me

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Beverly Smith – Plant a Seed

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Glenda Richardson – Article 25

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I will leave you with these 6 quilts to think about and next post I will continue with more quilts from the show.

Special Events, Stories My Father Told Me, WCQN

Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part I

Over a week ago I attended the opening of the show Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton, Ohio.

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This show is curated by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, founder of the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN). It is inspired by the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

According to the United Nations’ website (un.org):

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.

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Dr. Mazloomi invited members of WCQN and friends to design a quilt inspired by one of the 30 Articles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

As those of you who’ve followed my blog for a while know, I designed a 50″ x 50″ quilt inspired by Article 1 and Stories My Father Told Me (this is a new category on my blog which contains all related posts about the first quilt in a series of quilts I plan to make inspired by stories/lessons my father told me as a child), titled The Lesson and The Equation. 

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The Lesson and the Equation (2016) by Tierney Davis Hogan. Photo by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi.

The Lesson and The Equation debuted at this show along with many mind-blowing and inspirational quilts.

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Friday August 17, 2018 was the “soft opening” of the show and contained about 25 – 30 quilts, half the entire show. The entire show will be opening in the future at a larger venue and there will be a book that accompanies the show.

Here are some examples of books from other WCQN shows that can be found on amazon.com (just search “Carolyn Mazloomi”):

In addition the soft opening of the show, Friday 17, 2018 was also the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Fitton Center for Creative Arts.

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Around the exhibited quilts, there were placards with the Preamble and the corresponding Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, below are a couple examples:

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I was very overwhelmed to be part of the this amazing show and here I am absolutely amazed that I got to be an “Exhibiting Artist”:
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I was also overwhelmed and very honored that two of my long-time blogging buddies Sandy and Cindy of graybarndesigns.com came from Ohio and Western NY to meet me and see the show!

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Tierney and the GrayBarns Sisters!

Next post I will share images from the amazing and inspirational pieces in the show!

“Our hopes for a more just, safe, and peaceful world can only be achieved when there is universal respect for the inherent dignity and equal rights of all members of the human family.” – UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

 

 

Special Events

Threads That Bind – Show at Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty Gallery

My 18′ x 40″ quilt from recycled materials, The Recycled Love (2018) is part of the  – Threads That Bind Central Oregon SAQA exhibit at Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty Gallery, downtown Bend, Oregon that opened August 3, 2018 and is running through August 2018.

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Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty, downtown Bend, Oregon

I did not get to attend the opening but luckily I met a friend for lunch the morning of the show’s opening. After our lunch we peeked into the gallery and luckily the pieces were already hung in preparation for the evening’s opening.

I took photos quickly as I needed to return to work – here are images from the show (apologies to the artists for the less than stellar photo images of their amazing quilts – the quilts were all perfect rectangles unlike my camera image portrays!):

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Each art quilt had a placard with the name of the piece and the artist’s name, but I wish the Artist Statements were also displayed. Our SAQA group met in June at one of the member’s gorgeous homes (the house was a piece of art itself!) and we took turns unveiling our pieces and sharing our Artist Statements/the background on each piece.

The art quilts in this show each have an amazing story and I am sorry I cannot share those stories with you (I should have taken notes at the unveiling). I do remember part of one story, a piece by the incredibly talented Jan Tetzlaff – it was inspired her trip to South Africa and seeing the prison where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for for 27 years:

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In case you are new to my blog, you can read more about my piece The Recycled Love in this post – The Recycled Love.

Creativity takes courage.

– Henri Matisse

Creative Inspiration, Special Events

QuiltWorks Gallery July 2018, Part II

Are you ever intimidated by the work of other artists? I struggle at times between feelings of inspiration and intimidation but I try to focus on INSPIRATION.

This post is part two of the posts on the July 2018 QuiltWorks Gallery exhibits. In the previous post, QuiltWorks Gallery July 2018, Part I , and in this post I will share images from the other side of the gallery – the show of the Featured Quilter Betty Gientke.

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Betty is a member of my SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group and an unbelievably talented art quilter. Her use of color and her color palettes are amazing and very inspirational (note I am focusing on “inspiration” not “intimidation”, ha!)

Betty gave me permission to share the images from the show and here she is at her show:

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Here are some of my favorite pieces from the show – enjoy!

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And then there was this piece. Mind blown. The photos do not capture how spectacular it is:2018-07-06_17-26-49_4182018-07-06_18-02-29_5992018-07-06_18-02-41_896

Turquoise and Orange – what an incredibly yummy color combination. In addition to the impressive palette, she had many different fabric textures in her pieces.

I took photos of the Artist Statement of several of her pieces but forgot to tie them with the piece, so I am just going to share some of her Artist Statements below alone. Even without the piece to directly connect them to it is still interesting to read about her inspiration for each piece:

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I am fascinated by Artist Statements, especially since I realize the work/thought that goes into writing them (see post Recycled Love (“What’s On My Lap” and Artist Statements, Part III)).

Well the weekend grows near and I hope you all have summer fun or summer crafting planned.

My beloved sister in laws (both quilters) are in town for the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (Saturday July 14) and I took time off work to go play with them. Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I are taking them quilt shop hopping around Central Oregon!


The important thing for you is to be alert, to question, to find out, so that your own initiative may be awakened. – Bruce Lee

Creative Inspiration, Special Events

QuiltWorks Gallery July 2018, Part I

Are you inspired by the work of other artists like I am?

Last Friday was filled with inspiration as I attended the QuiltWorks Gallery opening of two shows: Tree Quilts and Featured Quilter Betty Gientke.

Here is a view of the downstairs QuiltWorks quilt shop from upstairs in the gallery:

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This post I will share some of images from the Tree Quilt Show, held on one side of the upstairs QuiltWorks gallery, that my piece Tree of No Hurry was in (see my post “Tree of No Hurry” at QuiltWorks Gallery).

Next post I will share images of mind-blowing art quilts (including orange and turquoise together in inspirational and spectacular combinations) of Betty Gientke, who also belongs to my local SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group.

Note – the July QuiltWorks show was crowded and I did my best to take photos quickly between groups viewing the quilts – so apologies on the less than stellar photos…

Tree Quilt Show

Central Oregon Winter by Joan Fox

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Her Majesty by Bonnie Tomsheck

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Pretty amazing or should I say “majestic”, huh?

Leaves All Around by Mary Stiewig

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Hope by Martha Phair Sanders

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Okay this one took my breath away (the piece itself and the Artist Statement) but then I know Martha from the SAQA group I belong to – and she is incredibly talented.

There were also these two wonderful pieces in the show that I forgot to photograph their Artist Statements, so I have no talented artists to credit:

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I like the modern quilt interpretation of trees set in a bold red-orange background!

And then there was my piece, with it’s simple message to slow down as all will be accomplished:

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Yes my piece was not as “artsy” as the other pieces in the show but the message in it makes me smile!

As I mentioned in the post “Tree of No Hurry” at QuiltWorks Gallery, QuiltWorks hosts monthly fiber art shows in their upstairs gallery. The shows open the first Friday evening of the month and includes appetizers and drinks for opening attendees. There is also drawings for fat quarters and other treats. The shop/gallery owner, Marilyn Forestell, always makes opening night fun and is usually showcasing one of her eclectic outfits!

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Marilyn Forestell, QuiltWorks owner, modeling the cool vintage skirt she wore at the opening

As a bonus, Marilyn’s dog Piper can usually be found wandering around the shop:

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One of the things I love about the QuiltWorks shop (besides Marilyn and her dog) is the inspirational words in the windows about the shop (one of them is the feature image for this post).

Here are the word posted in the windows around the shop:

  • Create
  • Inspire
  • Dream

I think those are very good words!

Next post: Serious art quilt masterpieces by Betty Gientke at the QuiltWorks Gallery July 2018 show (the other side of the gallery from the Trees Quilts Show).


Postscript

Speaking of trees, here is a follow up to the 07/07/18 post Creative Inspiration: Bark, with a couple more B&W photos of tree bark that I took yesterday while wandering around a local park:

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Okay I think I have collected enough inspiration for the piece I am working on. Enough with the tree bark for now (smile).

Creative Inspiration

Creative Inspiration: Bark

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:

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And I took a couple B&W photos so I could study the lines of the bark texture for my piece in progress:

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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

Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2018, Part I

This is a follow up to the post Beastie Adventures: Sisters, Oregon.

I mentioned in this post that I had two pieces in the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (July 14, 2018) this year. Originally I was only going to have one piece, my 18″ x 40″ quilt for our annual Central Oregon SAQA themed show: The Threads That Bind

 The Recycled Love

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The Recycled Love (2018)

However a couple weeks ago I got an e-mail from Jeannette Pilak asking for additional quilts for Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (SOQS) Sponsors. The “Sponsor Quilts” are hung in the local businesses that financially support the show a week before the show. “Sponsor Quilts” help support sponsors by encouraging SOQS attendees to visit their shops and businesses to see additional quilts.

I was honored to be included in the list of those invited to help out, so I decided to also put this quilt in SOQS as a “Sponsor Quilt”:

Additional Conversations

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Additional Conversations (2018)

I am listing Additional Conversations for sale as the show as I’ve been invited to create another quilt with the same inspired design for a very special show, that of course is secret and I cannot share information on yet.

Speaking of secret shows, if you are wondering why lately I have not posted photos of any works in progress it is because I am working on a secret quilt for a future Women of Color Quilting Network Show and I cannot share images until the show is announced.

I know several of you have worked or are currently working on secret quilts too for special shows/books/events. It will be fun when we can all reveal them!

Other SOQS Stuff

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) does not have any quilts in the show this year. It is not like 2016 when he had FIVE quilts in the show and SOLD TWO! I also had five quilts in the show and SOLD NONE. He teased me quite a bit about that as he was a very new quilter and I am a long-time quilter. He was in the special Man Made exhibit so that might have given him more exposure (or his quilts were just more appealing than mine).

For this SOQS one of my blogging buddies, Becca @Pretty Piney who lives on the East Coast of the U.S. has a quilt in the show this year and I am going to take photos for her and send them on to her.  I met Becca in person in NYC September 2017 while we were both attending Quilters Take Manhattan and we were both trying to photography our mutual blogging buddy, Mary @Zippy Quilts piece! It was one of those “talk about a small world” moments!

I have a bunch of blog posts on previous Sisters Outdoor Shows and if you would like to read those stories and see some of the amazing quilts people display at the show, check out this series of posts: Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

And I will likely do a series of posts on this years show. I am especially excited about this years show as my two beloved Sister-in-Laws, who are both quilters, are coming for a visit to see the show and to hang out with TTQH (their brother) and me!

For next year there are rumors that some of my California-based Quilting Sisters might come for a visit during the show! We had a blast a couple of years ago when they visited and I might need to check with them before I share some of the hysterical shenanigans that occurred during their visit…something to do with a quilter’s cutting mat and I can say no more at this time – ha!


For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. – Audrey Hepburn

 

Creative Inspiration

Creative Inspiration: The Moth

On our morning walk yesterday, I came upon a moth sitting in the middle of the sidewalk. A very large and surprisingly quite beautiful moth. As I approached closer it did not move so I thought I would be a wonderful photo opportunity.

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I got a little bold as the moth was just sitting there, and gently prodded it to open its wings and it complied. Usually I dislike moths and would not have anything to do with a moth, but I was intrigued with this one.

I thought I would post a couple of my photos as part of my ongoing series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration. I think these color palette in the moth is sublime as well is the speckled sidewalk background – it would make a wonderful future art quilt!

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Much thanks to the moth who participated in the photo shoot!

 

tierneycreates

tierneycreates has a new look

Every so often I enjoying changing out my WordPress blog template and trying something new.

Previously I had two blogs I managed: 1) my personal blog, tierneycreates; and 2) a collaborative blog, Improvisational Textiles where I kept my art quilt portfolio.

Improvisational Textiles is now inactive and I’ve transitioned my art quilting portfolio over to my tierneycreates blog.

I also added a “landing page”/Welcome Page (“Home“) when you first arrive at tierneycreates.com to make it more like a “artists website” and not only a blog.

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I added a new menu “Tierney Creates” which contains the pages for my Artist Statement, my art quilt portfolio (Art Quilt Stories), and a listing of Exhibits/Shows I’ve participated in.

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This is all part of my pretending that I am an art quilter!

I still need to move some of the blog posts that relate to my art quilts over to my tierneycreates blog; and I want to update my “Tierneycreates Studio Tour” page (located in the “About Me” menu) with current photos.

I am self taught on WordPress (thank you WordPress for awesome reference materials and for people publishing YouTube videos with WordPress tips and tricks) and I will keep tweaking my tierneycreates site as I keep learning new tips and tricks!

A Crafter's Life, Quilters Take Manhattan, Special Events, WCQN

Speaking Engagement

Last Thursday (April 19, 2018) I was the featured speaker at our monthly Central Oregon SAQA (art quilting) group meeting.

What I Presented

I did a presentation (complete with “death by PowerPoint”…I did try to keep the PowerPoint slides as engaging as possible with primarily photos) on the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) and the 2017 Quilters Take Manhattan (QTM) event I attended in NYC in September 2017.

I used these previous tierneycreates and Improvisational Textiles blog posts as the basis for my presentation:

I used some of the key text from these posts but also included more photos than were in the posts (I have a crazy amount of photos from QTM 2017!). For fun I also snuck in some family photos (I met up with my sister, brother and two awesome nephews) from the trip, especially some of my highly adorable 5 year old and now 14 year old nephews!

I also brought a copy of all the WCQN Exhibit books by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi in my personal collection for the attendees to look through while I spoke (so they would not fall asleep during my presentation):

  • And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversation
  • Threads of Faith: Recent Works from the Women of Color Quilters Network
  • Journey of Hope: Quilts Inspired by President Barack Obama
  • Textural Rhythms: Quilting the Jazz Tradition
  • Quilting African American Women’s History

I also brought a copy of Sherri Lynn Woods’ book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously just in case there was any art quilter in our group that had not heard of this book.

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) attended the presentation also and helped me haul all those books to the speaking engagement.

No one appeared to fall asleep during my presentation and they actually appeared quite engaged (or faked it very well!)

The Venue

If you’ve followed my blog for a while you know my obsession with my public library. What was cool (at least to me) was that my presentation was done in the Conference room of the Sisters Branch of the Deschutes Public Library. So I got to speak at the library (huge smile)!

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Key to Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking: Be Delusional & Improvisational

One of my Central Oregon SAQA friends asked me before the presentation if I was nervous and I said “no”.

I am not sure if I should be nervous but I am never really nervous before a speaking engagement. I have this likely delusional belief, especially if I am speaking in front of a group that knows me, that they want me to succeed and are cheering me on (hopefully no one breaks my delusion!).

I used to do a lot of public speaking professionally when I was a trainer (before the days of telecommuting) at work and at professional conferences. If you’ve done corporate training, especially mandatory corporate training, you know about speaking to an audience that may not want to be there!

What broke me of any fear of public speaking (possibly creating my delusion that everyone is cheering for me) was an experience many, many years ago when I spoke at a conference that my employer put on for one our retail clients when I worked for a Workers’ Compensation Carrier.

It was a large group of managers for one of our retail clients (a national group) that looked like their souls had been sucked out of their bodies (please know I have nothing against who works in retail, this group of conference attendees were just very lifeless, they could have been in any industry). Also as you could imagine, managing work related injuries is not the most exciting all day conference topic!

During the conference, I watched one presenter after the other painfully struggle through their presentation with a highly “unengaged” and bored audience.

When it was my turn, I figured the crowd/audience could not dislike me anymore than they obviously already disliked the previous presenters, so what the heck – I was going to have fun.

So when I got up to the podium, I had an improvisational moment and I took the microphone off the podium stand and started walking through the crowd with it. I did my presentation as if I was performing a nite-club act: Walking through the crowd, speaking directly to audience members and being very animated.

Shockingly I got the first round of audible strong applause for the day! I even saw some actual smiles in the crowd (like their souls had briefly returned to their bodies!)

After that I had no fear of public speaking. Ultimately if the audience hates me, they hate me (but I always secretly know they are cheering for me – my insanity is so delicious!)


Postscript

A follow up to the post Additional Conversations – Completed , one of my blogging buddies asked me what was behind the nameAdditional Conversations”. This made me realize I better go write the Artist Statement.

I’ve posted about this piece on the Improvisational Textiles blog and if you are curious on the story behind the piece, here is the link: Additional Conversations.

(Note I do need to take the piece outside in the right light and take an even better photo – I am just being lazy as I already hung it up in the Living Room!)

Studio, What's on the Design Wall

The Recycled Love

Good Morning to you all, here is an update to the 03/29/18 post Recycled Love (“What’s On My Lap” and Artist Statements, Part III) .

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.

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The Recycled Love (2018) by Tierney Davis Hogan

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.


Postscript

My long time blogging buddies really inspire me such as Claire @knitNkwilt with her social justice and charity works, Cindy @inastitchquilting (A Quilter’s Corner) with the inspirational quotes she posts, and Melanie @catbirdquilts with her insightful musings.

I’ve been thinking a lot about kindness lately. With all that is going on in our world, each day I think about intentionally filling my heart with as much kindness and empathy as it can hold.

I came across this simple quote a week or so ago. I do not know who to credit with it so I will just post it as I found it:

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I cannot give everyone in the world who is hurting a quilt but I can send them some virtual “recycled love” from my heart.

 

Creative Inspiration

Creative Inspiration: Peek Inside My Journals

As part of my ongoing series of posts on my sources of Creative InspirationI thought I would continue the discussion begun a couple of weeks ago by Melanie @ Catbird Quilt Studio and Chela @ Chela’s Colchas y Mas on Creativity, by sharing how I work out my creative ideas – using my two journals (and give you a peek inside!)

First here are the two posts that inspired this post:

Catbird Quilt Studio (I love her tagline: “Be powerful. CREATE!”): Creativity Tips from Experts — and Me

Chela’s Colchas y MasCreativity

If you have an interesting post on Creativity/the Creative Process, please share the link to your post in the Comments section to this post. I know I’ve read such posts on other blogs I follow, however these are the posts that recently come to mind.

I’ve posted about on of my journals previously, in my 01/16/2016 post Creative Inspiration: My Journals, but I thought it would be fun in this post to share a peek inside these journals (a glimpse inside the madness…smile).

As I shared in the 01/16/2016 post, I originally got the idea of keep an art quilt ideas/inspiration journal from Jean Wells Keenan‘s brilliant books Intuitive Color and Design: Adventures in Art Quilting and Journey to Inspired Art Quilting. I was also fortunate enough to take her series of classes, Journey to Art Inspired Quilting, twice and see in person her wonderful inspirational art quilting journal.

Journal One: Art Quilt Sketchbook (Windows to My Creativity)

My journal for sketching out quilt ideas and keep clipped images (like from magazines) or photos of inspirational ideas, has a handmade cover:

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It is called “Window to My Creativity” (thus the window like pieces images on the cover); and here is the inside page:

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Before we go any further, I need to warn you that you might be underwhelmed with my drawing/sketching abilities and as a bonus I have terrible, difficult to read handwriting – but it works for me!

Here are examples of some of the images pasted into my journal to inspire future art quilt projects:

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I sketch out and write notes on any art quilt idea.

Example #1 – from The Recycled Door

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The original sketch
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The finished piece: The Recycled Door (2017) by Tierney Davis Hogan, quilted by Guadalupe Designs, photographed by Marion Shimoda

Example #2 – The Lesson & The Equation

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The initial sketch and working out the concept of the piece and the draft Artist Statement
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Individual page 1
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Individual page
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The final version: The Lesson & The Equation (2016) by Tierney Davis Hogan. Image courtesy of Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi

Example #3 – Recycled Love

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The initial sketch
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Current progress

As you can see originally I had quite ambitious plans – I was going to stitch or appliqué the following words onto each of the “folded quilts” in the piece: kindness, empathy, integrity, compassion, joy, respect, honesty or unity (I was going to have to get rid of one of those words to get to 7). Instead I decided to just do a different piecing of recycled materials to create each “folded quilt”.

There was a great quote (in the book Art & Fear: Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking (1993) by David Bayles and Ted Orland about ideas being larger than ability or desire to execute. I forgot the specific words to, so I will just very loosely summarize: Your ideas for a piece and might be greater than your ability or desire to execute the piece.

After reading that book I accept that how I initially conceptualize, visualize, dream about a piece is likely going to be larger and more ambitious than how I can translate it into an physical quilt. This leads to much less frustration.

Recycled Love is still in progress and you can see it in progress in this recent post – Recycled Love (“What’s On My Lap” and Artist Statements, Part III).

By the way, I did decide to do a “facing” to finish the piece. I am nearly done with the hand quilting and hope to finish this piece soon (and share complete photos)

Journal Two: The tierneycreates Journal

I use my other journal, which does not have a handmade cover, for writing down ideas for my tierneycreates blog posts, and planning of my artistic journal.When I had an Etsy shop I wrote out the original ideas and planning for the shop in this journal. I also keep  inspirational quotes I come across, and notes from self-improvement books or small business/craft business books for future reference and inspiration.

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Below are some journal page examples:

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Fun with Sharpies

Finally, I love Sharpies pens/markers, I think I have them in nearly every color made and keep them in a pouch by my journals.

I use Sharpies to write in my journals and the fun of using these markers (and other cool colored markers I’ve picked up over the years) is also a source of creative inspiration for me!

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Sharpie Marker/Pen Collection

So – what about your journaling practice: do you keep a journal to work out your creative ideas? Pleas share!

Studio, What's on the Design Wall

Recycled Love (“What’s On My Lap” and Artist Statements, Part III)

This post is actually part of my ongoing series of posts, What’s on 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, Artist Statements and 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 Quilt Show, 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.

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Recycled Love by Tierney Davis Hogan, in progress

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:

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Still working on hand quilting the heart and the rest of the “folded quilts”

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In addition to recycled denim jeans, this piece is made from a whole lot of recycled textiles including:

  • Recycled jeans
  • Recycled upholstery fabric samples
  • Recycled couture silks
  • Recycled wool
  • 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:

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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.

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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:

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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!


Artist Statement (Artist Statements: Part III)

In the previous posts on writing Artist Statements (Artist Statements and  Artist Statements, Part II.) I shared my struggles writing Artist Statements on individual pieces and my general/overall Artist Statement.

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.

Once completed, this piece will become part of my Recycled Denim Stories Series. If you would like to view the other pieces in this series (or my other series of art quilts) check out my Tierney Davis Hogan page on the Improvisational Textiles website.


Postscript

Finally some real signs of Spring in Central Oregon – the crocus have appeared (and the tulips are popping up their leaves everywhere).

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This evening on our walk we saw a rainbow providing a halo to the setting sun – it was quite magical!

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Special Events, tierneycreates

Art Quilter Play Date

Last Thursday I took the day off from work to attend a SAQA “Play Date”. SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) is the art quilting group I’ve been part of since 2013.

One of our members, Helen, was generous enough to host the “play date” in her lovely studio. We got to play with fabric printing using fabric inks and here are a couple photos from the play date.

  • Helen encouraged us to bring drawings on freezer paper to transfer into our fabric printing designs. Below are some of the drawings other art quilters brought to the play date:

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  • Our host has a lot of experience with fabric printing and had all sorts of fun tool like the shape below which made an interesting design on fabric:

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  • Work in progress:

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  • There were lots of wonderful pieces made during the play date and here are some examples from my fellow “play-daters” (only sharing photos of works that I got permission from the arts to share):

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  •  Here are some of my pieces (I am not going to show you my first pieces that I tried to hide in the trash, ha!):

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I plan to turn this collection of tree like images into an art quilt.


Postscript

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I just returned from a weekend trip to Portland to attend the Trends show. The next post I will share photos and stories from my experience meeting and taking classes from Latifah Saafir, Jody Houghton, and Kathy Cardiff. Amy Barickman of Indigo Junction was the keynote speaker.

I will close this post with a photo from out the passenger window from our drive from Central Oregon to Portland, Oregon via Santiam Pass on Friday morning (TTQH was driving thank goodness):

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tierneycreates

Ethnic Artist Roster

This post was originally published on the Improvisational Textiles blog on 01/14/18 and is now being moved to the tierneycreates blog


I am now part of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s Ethnic Artist Roster.

www.seattle.gov/arts/ethnic-artist-roster

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image from seattle.gov
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image from seattle.gov

I was juried into this roster by Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture panel and received notification on 11/1/17. The following information was provided by the City of Seattle about the Office of Arts & Culture panel’s decision:

Their decision was based on the following criteria:
• strength and artistic vision of past artworks
• creativity of approach
• resume
• experience with previous art exhibitions or projects

According to the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture the Ethnic Artist Roster “is a resource to anyone who is looking for artwork by artists of color or who wants to host a culturally relevant art exhibition. To contact an artist, please refer to their resume.”


Feature Image – Photo by Ian Williams on Unsplash

Studio, What's on the Design Wall

Follow up on “Recycled Windows of Conversation”

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 Hogan page. It was added to the Recycled Denim Stories series. 


This post is a follow up to my December 10th post What’s on 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:

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Here is a close up of the machine quilting. I used three different threads: orange, blue and variegated gold.

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This piece will join the Recycled Denim Stories series shown on the Improvisational Textiles website once I write the Artist Statement.


Postscript

Update 1/6/19 – moving images from the no longer active Improvisational Textiles blog. Here are additional images of the piece:

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Studio, What's on the Design Wall

Additional on “Additional Conversations”

Follow up to yesterday’s post, What’s on the Design Wall.

Better Photos

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I did an outside photo shoot with Additional Conversations, the improvisational art quilt from recycled materials I completed yesterday.

Here are some better photos of the piece (as opposed to those from yesterday where I squished myself to the hallway wall to take photos…):

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Now the quilt sit on the ironing board awaiting batting, backing, and quilting.

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The Recycled Materials

In case you are curious, here is a list of the recycled materials used in this piece:

  1. Denim duvet cover
  2. Old jeans
  3. Curtain (valence scarf)
  4. Tweed jumper
  5. Old sweat pants
  6. Corduroy Shirt
  7. Gold home decorating fabric scraps (given to me by an interior decorator from her sample collection)
  8. The world’s ugliest orange corduroy pants

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All these items were destined for the landfill but instead they became this quilt!


Postscript

Tomorrow is the last day of October (and Halloween) and the end my month long 4th blog anniversary celebration (see post Blog Anniversary Celebration & Giveaway).

To close out the 4th anniversary I am putting together a post called “Random Follow-ups“. I am going to randomly follow up on posts over the past four years that are hopefully deserving of follow up!

 

 

Studio, What's on the Design Wall

What’s on the Design Wall

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:

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Well here are several initial images of the completed quilt top:

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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“!

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Additional Conversations is the fourth piece in my series Recycled Denim Stories (see my Tierney Davis Hogan page on the Improvisational Textiles website).

 

Stories My Father Told Me, Studio, tierneycreates

Artists Statements, Part III (Telling Stories)

The Struggle to Make a “Statement”

In these two previous posts Artist Statements and Artist Statements, Part II, I shared my struggles with writing Artist Statements for a specific art quilt and the huge and intimidating challenge of writing an overall Artist Statement for my body of work as (a wannabe) an art quilter.

Here is an excerpt from the post Artist Statements, Part II, about my struggle:

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You can see above, underlined in red, my big concern: That I had not yet established what I felt was a solid and cohesive body of work. This is what I felt was keeping me from creating my overall/general Artist Statement.

A couple weeks ago I realized I now have a body of work in regards to art quilts (maybe it is imaginary but it seems like a body of work) – 16 “art quilts”. 15 of these art quilts are “improvisational” and one (1) is a combination of pictorial and improvisational. Now I had to determine what I am trying to “say” with my current body of work and where I want to go with it (i.e. make it COHESIVE).

Telling Stories

Above the front entrance to my beloved public library are quotes by authors and my favorite quote, by author Barry Lopez, is shown in the image below:

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It may be difficult to read from the photo, so here is the quote:

“The storyteller is the person who creates an atmosphere in which wisdom reveals itself” – Barry Lopez

I smile every time I visit the library and see that quote.

Thinking about that quote and where I want to go with my art quilting, I realized I want to be a storyteller.

So I’ve spent the past couple of weeks, as time allows, revisiting the Artist Statements on 15 of my 16 existing art quilts (1 of the quilts is part of an upcoming exhibit and the Artist Statement is already solid and cohesive with the them of the exhibit).

Out of this work (revisiting the specific Artist Statements for each piece), came a reorganization of my work into Six (6) Series of Stories:

  1. Color Stories
  2. Recycled Denim Stories
  3. Stories My Father Told Me
  4. Reinvented Stories
  5. Library Stories
  6. Other Stories

On the Tierney Davis Hogan page of the Improvisational Textiles website I’ve organized my art quilts into these six series and I provide an introductory paragraph/overview on each series.

Now that I organized my work into these series and decided where I want to go with my art quilting, I was able to finally write a general/overall Artist Statement.

My overall Artist Statement (which is also found on the Tierney Davis Hogan page) is:

“The storyteller is the person who creates an atmosphere in which wisdom reveals itself”, storyteller Barry Lopez noted.

My fiber/textile art is created with a single or ongoing story in mind. These stories originate from my life experiences, observations, struggles, dreams and hopes. The earth and its inhabitants are very precious to me and I want to do work that contributes to environmental conservation efforts. I primarily use recycled textiles in my art to include recycled clothing, textile manufacturing samples and scraps, and discards from others quilt-making. My focus on improvisational design: The fabric itself and creative inspiration guide me to allow the piece to evolve organically and become what it wants to become.

I am sure I will continue to refine this statement in the future, however I feel now like I have a map for the direction of where I want to go with my art quilting instead of just wandering aimlessly creating one new piece and wandering onto the next piece.

And Something Else

One more thing on Artist Statements – when you blog and post publicly, you never know who is reading. Well in the THOUGHTS (Comments) section of the Artist Statements, Part II post I was surprised and quite pleased to see a detailed comments/advice from someone who professionally works with and mentors artists.

In case you did not catch this comment from that post, I am sharing a screen shot of this helpful advice a professional posted:

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Postscript

I am currently working on a new piece for my “Recycled Denim Stories” series and here is a little peek at “What’s on the Ironing Board” (pulled from the Design Wall temporarily as I work out the layout):

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Here is a little section of one of the blocks I shared on Instagram:

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The recycled denim, recycled various clothing and recycled home decor fabric in this piece is the same fabric used in my other pieces The Recycled Door and The Recycled Road. 

Trust me you will never guess where I am going with this piece, it is going to have quite a bit of whimsy! Watch for more on this piece in a future What’s on the Design Wall series of posts…


Featured Image credit: Meredith B., free images.com

Creative Inspiration, Quilters Take Manhattan, Special Events

Spiritual Quilting – Sherri Lynn Wood at QTM 2017

Continuing my series of posts on the Quilters Take Manhattan (QTM) 2017 event I recently attended that began with the Sunday 09/17/17 post The “Dance Partner” – Michael Cummings at QTM 2017.

I could not decide whether to title this post “Spiritual Quilting”, “Quilting for the Spirit”, “Soul Quilting”, or “Quilting for the Soul” related to sharing highlights of Sherri Lynn Wood’s presentation at the QTM 2017.

Sherri Lynn Wood, author of The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously (2015) is not only an improvisational quilter but is also a former Divinity School student who I feel now practices a Ministry of Healing through Textile Arts. 

You might be familiar with Sherri Lynn Wood if you follow her blog, dainty time.net and/or if belong to her Facebook group The Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters. Here is Sherri at QTM 2017 in front of one of her iconic pieces; as well as her signing copies of her Improv Handbook:

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Here is another one of her iconic improvisational quilts:

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You might also be familiar with the Artist in Residence (AIR) residency she had a Recology in San Francisco where she and a group of other artists were given free reign of materials from a city’s dump to create art for a Modern Art exhibit of recycled art. Ms. Wood presented an excellent presentation on her Recology Residency and the amazing pieces of textile art she made from discarded items. Ms. Wood stated she even found a sewing machine, sewing supplies, thread, materials for batting, etc. in the city dump to use to create her art!

Below is an example of one of those pieces she had on display at QTM – a quilt made from discarded military uniform pants, using the length and lines of the pants as part of her quilt design.

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What you might not know about Sherri Lynn Wood, is that she has what I would consider a “Quilting Ministry” and part of that ministry is her Passage Quilting program where she helps individuals deal with grief and loss through creating a quilt (even if they have never quilted before) made from clothes of the deceased.

Ms. Wood shared this heart wrenching, amazing and beautiful story of a young woman who lost her fiancé due to a sudden tragedy. A short time after that loss, Ms. Wood helped this woman to make a Passage Quilt from her fiancé’s favorite clothing. It was an incredibly difficult process but the woman stated it had a tremendous impact on having her work through her grief. Ms. Wood had on display at QTM one of the Passage Quilts:

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She also has a project where she works with individuals and families who have lost a loved one in combat/while serving in the military to sew a coffin onto a remembrance quilt as part of their healing process. She shared several powerful stories and images of families who lost their military family members sewing together as part of their healing. Below is one of these quilts:

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She also works with communities to create community quilts where anyone no matter what level of sewing skill can participate.

The general themes of her presentation were:

  • Building community through craft
  • Honoring the earth through working with recycled materials; and by creating art from the discarded
  • Healing and grief work through tactile textile experiences

I was already a “super-fan” of Sherri Lynn Wood before meeting her and I have read Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously from cover to cover. I was deeply touched by Ms. Wood’s presentation (tears filled my eyes at times) – my spirit and my soul felt stirred and moved by her stories and images.

This is the reason for the title to this post – “Spiritual Quilting”. I am not referring to religious or a specific faith-based quilting. I am thinking of quilting, fabric, textiles, as a medium for hope, healing and community. For me, these are part of the foundation of spirituality.


Postscript

I did have my “fan-girl” moment and upon arriving at the QTM conference center in the morning and spotting Sherri Lynn Wood setting up her quilts for display, I thanked her for her wonderful book, the inspiration, and gave her a little wallet I had made from scraps specifically for her:

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Speaking of “fan-girl” moments for me at QTM 2017, I got a chance to meet in person Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi, founder of the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) . I of course made her a special little wallet too, just tiny tokens for great women who inspire me! Her little wallet was inspired by her incredible Black & White art quilts!

More on that in my next post and at some point I will share my experience going on a behind the scenes tour of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; seeing one of my blogging buddies pieces at QTM 2017 (Mary P. of Zippy Quilts!) and meeting a fellow blogging buddy of Mary’s at the event; and more (I have a lot to share but I not mapped out the organization of this series of posts, ha!)

(Plus I will share a valuable lesson of how you should not try to cram too much into one weekend…I am currently recovering from a wicked cold!)

 


Feature photo credit: Nadia Szopińska, free images.com

 

Creative Inspiration, Quilters Take Manhattan, Special Events, WCQN

The “Dance Partner” – Michael Cummings at QTM 2017

Sitting in an airport waiting for a flight seems like the perfect time to write a blog post.

I am flying back home to Central Oregon, to the other side of the country from where I have spent the past four days – New York, New York (aka NYC). I spent time with my family who lives on the East Coast and joined me in NewYork; I attended the Quilt Alliance’s 2017 Quilters Take Manhattan (QTM) event, which featured speakers Sherri Lynn Wood, Merikay Waldvogel, and Michael A. Cummings, interviewed by Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi; and I went on a behind the scenes tour of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art!

It was quite the four-day weekend (I am planning a series of blog posts to share various snippets from this inspirational weekend) and what is currently resonating in my mind (and my heart) is the inspirational interview Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi held with the NYC based art quilter, Michael A. Cummings.

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Mr. Cummings and Dr. Mazloomi in front of one his incredible pieces from his African Jazz series – African Jazz #10

The Dance Partner

During the interview, Mr. Cummings referred to his sewing machine as his “dance partner”.

The first time he mentioned this my heart smiled (I felt it in my chest!). What an exquisite and beautiful way to refer to one of the primary tools an art or traditional quilter’s uses to express their creativity.

Mr. Cummings stated he has been using the same sewing machine for 40+ years and if I remember correctly, it is just a standard department store sewing machine. Colleagues have suggested he upgrade to an industrial or more modern sewing machine, but he stays faithful to his “dance partner”.

Mr. Cummings and his “dance partner” tell stories through his art. He shared during the interview that he has been influenced by cinema and music to include musical storytellers such as Bob Dylan.

Here are some examples, on display during the Quilters Take Manhattan Event of the incredible dances that Mr. Cummings and his dance partner have performed (please check out his website michaelcummings.com for his official portfolio – he has exhibited his art quilts and sold works to public institutions and private collectors around the world and has work in the permanent Smithsonian Folk Art collection):

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These are very large quilts and Dr. Mazloomi (a longtime friend and colleague of Mr. Cummings) states that most of his pieces are around 8 x 9 feet. All of this huge quilts are pieced, appliquéd, and machine quilted on his 40+ year old “dance parter”.

Lesson: You do not need a fancy new sewing machine to create incredible art. You just need to have story to tell and a creative mind to translate that story in fabric!

Mr. Cummings had a bounty of inspirational answers to Dr. Mazloomi’s questions. Some other inspirational answers he provided included:

  • When asked when does he know a quilt is done, Mr.Cummings responded “I let the quilt tell me when it is done” (paraphrased).
  • Mr. Cummings shared that for years he worked full-time for the Department of Cultural Affairs for New York City and made himself find time every evening after work to work on his art quilts. At times he wanted to do something else in the evenings (relax after work, attend social events, etc.) but he knew that if he truly wanted to be an art quilter he would have to sacrifice and “do the work”.

Postscript

To say I was creatively inspired after the interview, would be an understatement.

I feel like I am ready to go home and continue working on my Stories My Father Told Me Series (see post Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me).

Sorry little wallets (Little Wallet Madness) it’s time to return to art quilting and tell some stories – I am ready to dance with my partner!

Well it is time to go get on my plane and return to quiet Central Oregon (quite different from NYC in so many ways) but I have much more to share in future posts from my trip and this incredible weekend!


Feature image (cropped) credit: Yan Moura, freeimages.com

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