Studio

Inside the Studio

(Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s latest musing on her Schnauzer Snips page)

The title of this post makes it sound like a thrilling exposé of what really goes on behind the scenes at tierneycreates: drama, intrigue, maybe even a little scandal…

No not that exciting – just recent photos of my studio where I do my tierney-creating!

The back wall where I keep my fabric scraps by color, and my cutting table where I  hide underneath those things that-are-not-finished (that brightly colored batik quilt it meant to distract the viewer from what is beneath…).

To the lower right of the photo you will see my mini design wall. I learned from a quilting friend that it is handy to have a smaller portable design wall.

IMG_1290.jpg

My sewing machine and ironing board (two very essential items!) I got the idea from another quilter to cover my ironing board with a towel to make ironing smoother and easier. Sometimes I also use a cotton dishtowel to iron small pieces on.

My wonderful brother gave me the sewing table for my birthday last year and the leaf folds down and the table becomes a small cabinet if I need more room).

IMG_1294.jpg

My IKEA Billy Bookcase of fabric! This organization came out of my massive fabric purge in 2015 (see post The Fabric Purge!). The curtains in the room are made from a sari my friend Jenny brought back from her trip to India for me.

IMG_1296.jpg

My storage closet with custom made sliding doors which I first discussed in the post Rethinking a Closet. One door has sheet metal mounted to serve as a magnetic idea board. The other has batting attached to serve as a design wall (refer to all my posts on “What’s on the Design Wall). 

IMG_1298.jpg

I am not sure why I selected the color yellow when I painted this room 8 or so years ago. Somedays I think: “I am going to paint it white or some other neutral color”. Yellow can be overstimulating, but I simply embrace the over stimulation and decorate the room with brightly colored things – like this lovely quilt my friend Judy made me and several silk screen prints from an artist friend in my youth (the other silk screen is in the first photo).

I like to watch “quilting movies” (movies you don’t really have to pay close attention to) and documentaries while I am quilting on the screen below.

IMG_1301.jpg

Another brightly colored piece of art in my studio – a wallhanging from my friend Betty Anne. 

IMG_1283.jpg

Well back to creating in the tierneycreates Studio – I better not keep that Design Wall empty for too long!

Audiobooks and Podcasts, Studio, What's on the Design Wall

What’s on the Design Wall: “Ohio Star” (a taste of “Big Magic”)

This post is really the “Part II” of the previous post: “Creative Inspiration: Where I Started…” in which I discuss my inspiration to create series of small recycled clothing quilts based on the first quilt book I owned: Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! (McClun & Nownes, 1998).

The “Big Magic” of Creativity

I am currently listening to a wonderful audiobook by Elizabeth Gilbert, read by the author – Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (2015). In the inspirational book Gilbert proposes that Ideas are entities unto themselves that move among us searching for a home/host to bring them fully into existence.

If an idea visits you and you do not grab onto it, it will move to someone else. She also discusses the concept “multiple discovery” (simultaneous inventions by different individuals not aware of what the other is working on). She proposes that when an Idea is ready to “be born”, it will visit numerous people to find someone who is going to bring it into existence. This is all part of the “Big Magic” and mystery of creativity and the creative process.

The Ohio Star Idea (magical “multiple discoveries”?)

In the previous post, “Creative Inspiration: Where I Started…“, I share my  recent experience of being in a thrift store with friends and having the idea to do some traditional pattern small quilts using recycled clothing for The Wardrobe Meets the Wall collection.

The traditional quilt pattern “Ohio Star” popped into my head. I mentioned to my creative partner on The Wardrobe Meets the Wall my idea of making some recycled clothing/garment manufacturing samples quilts based on the Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! book. I did not mention that the traditional pattern, “Ohio Star” had popped into my head.

At first she hesitated on the concept and then remarked: “An Ohio Star done with the recycled silks would be interesting”.

The Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! book does not contain the Ohio Star pattern. It was like we both just came up with the same idea at the same time!  I was completely overwhelmed that she randomly mentioned “Ohio Star” when I was thinking it at the same time. There are so many traditional quilt block patterns – why did “Ohio Star” pop into both of our minds.

The Ohio Star Silk Experiment

Of course, I had to try and make a small recycled clothing quilt with the Ohio Star quilt block pattern! I found an image of an “Ohio Star” on the web and reverse engineered it.

My challenge: The quilts I have made so far from recycled clothing materials, such as silk garment manufacturing samples, have been using free form, intuitive piecing techniques. In order to create a traditional Ohio Star block, I had to use more accurate piecing techniques.

Using a special interfacing, I backed on the thinner silk pieces to stabilize them for cutting into specific small shapes (such as triangles). Silk is not as forgiving as cotton when piecing a block and it was a new experience to try and make a traditional block with silks!

On the design wall photo below, you will see I have completed the basic Ohio Star block. I am working on an inner border and outer border for this piece. I will post the completed small quilt top in the future.

Ohio Star, recycled silks (in progress)
Ohio Star, recycled silks (in progress on the Design Wall)

I consider this experiment a warm up for the project to make a series of small quilts from recycled clothing inspired by traditional quilt patterns from Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!!

Studio

Rethinking a Closet

I am addicted to “Studio Porn” – photos of artists’ and crafters’ studios. At least once a week I settle in with a cup of tea, in a cozy chair, and leaf through publications such as Studios and Where Women Create or various books on craft/art studio organization. These publications are filled inspirations on how to organize, design, and decorate your studio.

My studio is small, but I feel lucky to have a place in my home that I can dedicate to my crafting. It was designed as a bedroom and I removed the traditional bifold closet doors to open the space to organize and store supplies. I thought: “who needs closet doors when you can have more open space?”

Then I saw the studio of Jean Wells in the Better Homes and Gardens book Studio Spaces: Projects, Inspiration & Ideas for Your Creative Place (2011) and I saw what a closet can be in a studio! Ms. Wells turned one side of a closet door into an inspiration board and the other into a design wall. Her closet doors became my dream closet doors! Thanks to a generous gift from my mother-in-law, my dream studio closet doors have become a reality!

Cindi and Rob of CR Construction did an excellent job designing my new closet doors based on the photos from the book. They put sheet metal on the left door and wrapped Warm & Natural cotton batting on the right door. They designed a unique floating track system that allowed the doors to float over each other without touching when opened. This allows pieces on the design wall side not to be disturbed (who wants to redo their design wall every time they open their closet?). Cindi and Rob added strong bright lighting inside the closet – previously I had no light and would aim a lamp in the studio towards the closet to illuminate it in the evening.

My home studio is very simple and a mishmash of furniture and shelves thrown together, but my closet feels really special and inspires my creativity!

Check out the Textiles Adventures page for other updates.