Creative Inspiration

Creative Inspiration: Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Continuing my series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration, I am sharing images from a museum I’ve waited a lifetime time to visit – the Georgia O’Keeffee Museum.

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After a 4-day quilt retreat in Vancouver, Washington October 25 – 29, I headed the following Thursday to Santa Fe, New Mexico (via Albuquerque, NM) for a 4-day trip to celebrate the “milestone” birthdays of 3 of my friends.

My friend Laurie and I flew from Central Oregon to Albuquerque, NM, met up with our Seattle based friend Wendy, rented a car and drove to Santa Fe, NM to eventually meet up with our Denver based friend Michele.

For most of us, except Michele, it was our first visit to Santa Fe, NM, a place rich in history, culture and ART!

In addition to exploring Santa Fe, we spent a morning at a place I’ve always wanted to visit – the Georgia O’Keeffee Museum.

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Ultimately we would have loved to also visit Georgia O’Keeffe’s renown Ghost Ranch, where she lived in New Mexico and was inspired to paint her iconic animal skulls painting, but we did not have a long enough visit in New Mexico to fit that in (plus I have to save something for next time!)

I’ve loved Georgia O’Keeffe’s painting for many years. When I had my first apartment in college (with 3 roommates of course) one of the first posters I bought to decorate it was one of Georgia O’Keeffe’s iconic lily paintings.

At the museum, we watched an amazing short documentary about her life. Then it was time to immerse myself in creative inspiration as I wandered around the rooms of the museums, gazing at her painting and her amazing use of line and color.

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Look at those color palettes!

On display at the museum they also had Georgia O’Keeffe’s paint box:

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A lot of magic came out of this box!

In addition to the incredible paintings, they also had exhibits by some of O’Keeffe’s contemporary painters and exhibits of Black and White photographs of O’Keeffe such as the one below:

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(and you know about my recent obsession with B&W photography – Life in B&W)

I was familiar with Georgia O’Keeffe’s general biography, but I did not know she spent time painting/living in Lake George, New York. That was very cool to discover this as I lived in Albany, NY from about age 16 – 23 (it is where I met Terry the Quilting Husband!) and I’ve been to Lake George, NY many times (Terry’s family even had a family reunion there years ago).

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Naturally after wandering around the museum with my friends for quite some time (hours?) it was time to visit the museum gift shop! Here are some of the goodies I took home:

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If you’ve followed my blog for a while you know about another one of my obsessions –  sunflowers (see my series of posts Sunflowers!), so imagine my delight to find these notecards that combine my love of sunflowers and my admiration for the work of Georgia O’Keeffe!

When I got home, I put on my inspiration board on my magnetic closet door panel in my studio, postcards from the gift shop. I want to make an art quilt in these palettes.

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I have more photos to share from my Santa Fe, NM trip (including of course “Santa Fe in Black and White) in a future post (maybe two?).


Postscript

More creative inspiration occurred on our road trip back to Albuquerque, NM to fly home. On the way to the airport, we took a detour to visit a colleague of Laurie’s at an amazing horse ranch/equestrian center.

The detour road trip gave me an opportunity to see many amazing vistas of the New Mexico countrysides as we drove by, few of which I got to photograph as hanging your smart photo out a moving car is not the best idea. I did capture a little flavor of the general landscape:

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You definitely had the flavor of being in the American Southwest.

The route also took us through the very quaint town of Madrid, New Mexico. which if you check out the link I’ve provided, you will see it is a “Ghost Town Reborn”. We stopped there for coffee and wandered around a bit. Here are a couple photos from that wandering:

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Creative Inspiration

Creative Inspiration: Fall Colors

Today I am continuing my series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration with a focus on the beauty of Fall/Autumn – my favorite season. This post is also a sort of follow up to Thursday’s post Shinrin-Yoku: The Japanese Art and Science of Forest Bathing, as this post is primarily focused on trees!

2018-10-11_11-42-00_511.jpegI love all seasons in Central Oregon and I feel blessed to live in a place where I can experience all four seasons.

Our mid-summers are often hot and for the past couple of years we’ve had to deal with residual smoke from forest fires from Northern California, Washington state, British Columbia or even Oregon forests. Usually by late summer and early summer, the forest fire smoke has cleared and the weather has suddenly cooled.

As the weather cools, suddenly the beautiful colors of Autumn appear as the leaves Central Oregon deciduous trees change into spectacular shades of green, gold, yellow, orange, red, and purple!2018-09-28_08-50-03_179.jpegThis is not the first time I posted about Autumn in Central Oregon and how it inspires me. Here are a couple previous posts for you to check out, filled with images of the beauty of our Fall:

I even love the falling leaves, strewn about everywhere:

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Of course Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) is not a huge fan of Fall leaves as he is the one who spends time gathering them together to put into our yard waste recycling!

I could ramble on at this point about the beauty of Autumn, but let’s turn the rest of this post into a “photo essay” and let the photos speak for themselves…

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As you can see in the photo above, I appreciate the beauty of the bare trees once all their leaves have fallen. Autumn is glorious and full of color inspiration!


Postscript

I knew I loved trees but recently I realized just how much I love trees – the “Welcome” sign at my front door is even tree themed:

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I ordered it online and there were many “Welcome” signs to select from. I guess subliminally I was attracted to the one that had to do with trees!

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you. – Frank Lloyd Wright

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

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!

A Crafter's Life, Creative Inspiration, Outside Adventures!

Creative Inspiration: A Surprisingly Beautiful Monday

We have a break in our Winter weather and I went on a beautiful hike at Shevlin Park this past Monday with my friend and her Bernese Mountain Dog.

I thought I’d share photos from my hike as part ongoing series of posts on my sources of Creative InspirationMy blogging buddy Mary @Zippy Quilts had a recent post about Inspiration from Nature, and her post inspired this post!

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I think several of the photos above would make awesome art quilt compositions! Especially the one of Luna the Bernese Mountain Dog!


Postscript

After our hike we went to a lovely bakery for lunch (salad and sandwiches, not pastries for lunch!) and then wandered a well curated small indie bookstore nearby, Roundabout Books.

I have an old post about the joy of spending time in an Indie bookstore Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe – Independent Bookstores; Wonderful & Magical Places, and I also enjoyed wandering around Roundabout Books.

Here are a couple photos from my visit:

Like Dudley’s, Roundabout Books has an antique typewriter on display:

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They have a wreath made from recycled book pages:

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The entire shop is peppered with Staff Suggestions of great books to read (I did purchase the science fiction book The Fifth Season to read after discussing with one of the staff):

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Their counter was made from books (I did not want to bother the patron to move so I could take the photo):

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And they had a great quote above their backdoor:

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Creative Inspiration

Creative Inspiration: Just Cut Out the Bad Parts and Keep Going

This post continues my series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration.

One of my quilting mentors, Jean Wells Keenan, once said in a class (paraphrased): When you are really stuck on a piece and you want to give up, don’t give up. Just push through your discomfort or unhappiness with the piece; keep going and you will be surprised how it evolves.

So what does this have to do with my featured image for this post – a pile of sweet potatoes?

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Well, at lunch today (I am a telecommuter), I pulled out the remains of a bag of several weeks old sweet potatoes. I forgot about them in the veggie drawer in my fridge and I hoped I could possibly use them (I hate wasting food) in a salad or veggie bowl if I boiled them.

As I washed the sweet potatoes, a first glance, they looked kind of icky and their only future was compost. However on closer inspection, I realized there were good viable parts to each sweet potato – all I had to do was cut out the bad parts.

While trimming each sweet potato to remove the “bad parts”, I thought how this relates to creating a piece of art. I have worked on several art quilting project when I wanted to just give up, crumple the piece into a ball (and burn it) and discard it.

Occasionally I did just this, throw away the piece and try to forgot the time I spent on expending my creativity on the piece. This was until I took a series of art quilting classes with Jean Wells Keenan and heard her statement about not giving up – it resonated with me.

I learned to work or rework what I have created already, cut the bad parts out, and keep going with creating the piece.

An example of an art quilt that I wanted to throw into the trash pile (or burn as an effigy of what-not-to-do-when-creating-an-art-quilt) was my piece Abandoned Water Structure.  This piece, which was eventually sold to the City of Seattle/Seattle Public Utilities for their Portable Works Collection  nearly made it to the trash or fabric recycling pile several times (or as potential kindling).

It began as an art quilt project based on a photo of a beach structure for a series of classes I was taking with Jean Wells Keenan, called Journey to Inspired Art Quilting. I absolutely hated the piece and it seemed like to would never go anywhere (I felt like I was stopped in my journey anywhere, much less to inspired art quilting).

The series of classes ended, and I took the unfinished piece back home with me to sit in the abandoned project pile (where projects go to die..).

Randomly rummaging through my abandoned project pile a couple months later, I rediscovered the piece and I was suddenly struck with the feeling that I was not using the correct inspiration for the piece. The piece WANTED TO BE SOMETHING ELSE.

I had a photo on my inspiration board of an abandoned/closed water power facility in Central Oregon and I knew this is what the piece was to become (or at least be inspired by)!

After reworking the piece for a couple hours, I was tempted to return it to the abandon project pile (or just soak it in lighter fluid) but luckily I heard Jean in the back of my head to “just push through, keep going“. I cut out the bad parts, the parts that were not working in the piece, and eventually it became the Abandoned Water Structure art quilt.

If I were to summarize my thoughts and advice from this experience (and my ramblings above) for my fellow crafters and artists, it would be:

Creating can be like working with a partially rotted sweet potato. 
You know there is yumminess still there but you don't want to eat 
"the bad parts".

So cut out the "bad parts" and keep the good/viable parts!

Keep going, don't give up, be patient with yourself and the piece.
Let it become the yumminess it eventually wants to become.

Well I have stretched that analogy as far as it will stretch, thanks for reading to see where the heck I was going with my sweet potato story.

Oh and in case you were curious, my trimmed and boiled sweet potatoes were delicious (full of yumminess) in my salad at lunch!


Feature image credit: khongrithSV, free images.com

Creative Inspiration

The Beauty of Moss and Fungi

Scrolling though my digital photos yesterday, I came across a group of photos I took last year during a rainy Portland, Oregon trip of several fence posts and tree stumps covered with interesting moss and fungi.

I thought I would post a couple of those photos as part of my ongoing series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration. I think these compositions could be inspiration for an interesting art quilt:

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Nature is beautiful and magical and an endless source of inspiration, eh?

I took several photos of fence posts in B&W and here is one of those photos:

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“Nature doth thus kindly heal every wound. By the mediation of a thousand little mosses and fungi, the most unsightly objects become radiant of beauty. There seem to be two sides of this world, presented us at different times, as we see things in growth or dissolution, in life or death. And seen with the eye of the poet, as God sees them, all things are alive and beautiful.” – Henry David Thoreau

Speaking of nature as inspiration, I am currently toying with the idea of creating an art quilt for a local nature-themed exhibit based on some photos of the Central Oregon. More to come on that project, along with more details.

Audiobooks and Podcasts, Creative Inspiration, Outside Adventures!

Creative Inspiration: Pilot Butte Hike

This post is a continuation of two series of posts:

Monday, I went on my first 2017 Pilot Butte hike! Nearly a year ago, last Spring, I started back hiking our local “mini mountain”, Pilot Butte.

Every Pilot Butte hike I take photos, it is like I cannot control myself, even if I am taking the same photos over and over again!

Monday’s hike I experimented with taking both color and B&W photos of the same scenes. I shared one of my B&W photos with some friends, and my friend Lisa mentioned the photo below would be a great inspiration for a quilt:

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The steps to the viewpoint at the summit of Pilot Butte.

A light bulb appeared above my head: my Pilot Butte photos could serve as inspiration for a future art quilt.

So I thought I would share some of the photos from Monday’s hike that I would consider “creative inspiration”:

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You likely noticed, except for the photos of the steps, the photos above feature trees.

Hiking up Pilot Butte affords 360 degrees views of Central Oregon; and I took many photos that looked like this featuring the wonderful Cascade Mountain Range:

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However I am not attracted to mountain landscape scenes for art quilting inspiration as I am to structures such as trees. I think trees are among the most magical organic structures on earth! (Check out previous posts featuring trees such as Creative Inspiration: Winter Trees and Creative Inspiration: Fall Foliage).

As much as I love the trees, I will likely give the steps photo priority as creative inspiration for a future art quilt, I love the composition:

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To see more photos of the Pilot Butte hike in B&W check out my post from 09/04/16 – Friday at the ‘Butte’ in B&W.

Postscript

Listen While I Walk

I always listen to an audiobook or podcast while I hike Pilot Butte.

On Monday I finished the last two episodes of a six-episode podcast – Missing Richard Simmons. This podcast explores the story behind the fitness guru and eccentric celebrity Richard Simmons’ disappearance in 2014. It is very interesting, I was completely drawn into the story by the middle of the first podcast.

Richard Simmons, whether you loved or hated him, helped and inspired a lot of people. This podcast gives you insight into his world from interviews from clients and friends.

“No tricks, gimmicks, special pills, special potions, special equipment. All it takes is desire and will.”  — Richard Simmons

I love podcasts, I cannot believe how many free podcasts there are to download off of iTunes – on so many topics!

Watch for the Wildlife

One more photo to close out this post – I love this sign at the base of Pilot Butte:

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I have hiked Pilot Butte for nearly 12 years and luckily no cougar sightings for me. I hope my record of 0 cougar sightings stands.

I wonder if any new hiker to Pilot Butte sees this sign, turns around and gets back in the car!

Creative Inspiration

Creative Inspiration: Temperature

This post was originally published on the Improvisational Textiles website in February 2017, moving to my tierneycreates blog.


As part of my ongoing series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration,  I am sharing my latest inspiration: Temperature.

In 2015 I created this piece: Color Story VII: It’s Getting Warm In Here:

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Color Study VII: It’s Getting Warm in Here by Tierney Davis Hogan. Quilted by Guadalupe Designs.

In 2015 a fellow quilter  invited me over for a “Sew Day” at her home after she took a “Liberated Quiltmaking” class from Gwen Marston. She shared with me several of Gwen Marston’s techniques of freeform triangle piecing into borders and ‘flying geese’ style blocks. She also shared her stash of fabric scraps, filled with reds, oranges and yellows.

I created an improvisational piece that for me evoked a sense of rising temperature to potentially be the start of a Temperature-themed art quilt series. I added in some blues and purples to “cool down” the piece. I added red beads to the piece after it was quilting to add an additional element of interest for the viewer’s eye.


Feature Photo by Moja Msanii on Unsplash

Audiobooks and Podcasts, Creative Inspiration

Creative Inspiration: Winter Trees

A bit of time has passed since I continued my ongoing series on sources of Creative Inspiration.

I cannot promise I am going to create an art quilt based on every inspiration I have shared in the Creative Inspiration series of posts, but I use this series of posts as an online catalogue/resource for future art quilt ideas!

In January 2016, I posted about the beauty of Winter Trees. If you peek at this post, from nearly a year ago, you will see bare trees against a blue sky. January 2017 looks much different – the trees are bare of leaves, but they are filled with snow!

Here are a couple of photos from my daily walks (recently I upgraded from an iPhone 4S to an iPhone 7 so my photo quality has improved…at least in my mind):

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A snapped a couple photos of birds in the snowy Winter Trees:

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If any of my photos inspire you to create please feel free to use them!

It has been a beautiful Winter Wonderland in Central Oregon, even if I refer to it as “Snowmageddon”. I do have proof we have had serious snow – the Bend Bulletin recently published this story: “Central Oregon sees historic snow depths”. (See I am not being a drama queen over this snow, ha!)

Postscript

Follow up to my recent post Diving into a quilt (and other stuff) – I have made 192 half square triangles and in the near future I will have a “What’s on the Design Wall” post with my progress!

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Today I finished two books – an audiobook (Scrappy Little Nobody) and a paper novel (Girl on the Train).

Anna Kendrick’s Scrappy Little Nobody was delightful! It is narrated by the author and filled with charming and very funny stories from her days as a child actor, awkward adolescent, and struggling young adult. The end of her book contains a hysterically funny “Book Club Discussion Questions” written by the author and making fun of herself as a celebrity who writes a memoir.

Scrappy Little Nobody ranged from PG to an occasional PG-13 rating in my opinion. It was quite different than Amy Schumer’s The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo which was R to NC-17 rated (but absolutely hysterically funny).

Just to give you a sense of the difference, Amy Schumer opens her book with a graphic letter of apology to her “lady parts”. Anna Kendrick on the other hand kept acknowledging that her mother would be reading her book so she had to leave some stuff out of her book…

I realized I have now listened to many memoirs by current pop culture female celebrities. Here is my ranking of these books:

  1. Scrappy Little Nobody – Anne Kendrick
  2. The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo – Amy Schumer (Amy Schumer’s book was the funniest – like stop my walk to bend over laughing funny – but Anne Kendrick was more endearing)
  3. Bossypants – Tina Fey
  4. Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman – Lindy West
  5. You’ll Grow Out of It – Jesse Klein (this would have had a higher ranking if not for the unnecessary Triple XXX chapter that took oversharing to a whole new level)

Am I rambling? There was something else I was going to add to the Postscript section but it left my mind. (Hope I have not been “oversharing”…)

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At least we have blue skies…

If you would like to see what Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer thinks of all the Central Oregon snow, check out her blog at schnauzersnips.wordpress.com/blog/

A Crafter's Life, Studio

Follow up on Creative Quilt Challenges Webinar

Link to Webinar & Handouts

Good Morning! I realized I forgot to follow up on my post from 11/9/16: Free Webinar: CREATIVE QUILT CHALLENGES and provide to those of you who did not get to attend, the link to the presentation and handouts.

My friends Pat Pease and Wendy Hill provided a wonderful presentation based on their book, Creative Quilt Challenges, published earlier this year, that will spark your creative art quilting fire. If you are not a quilter you might find something interesting it in it also. In a future post I am going to talk about how non-quilting related books and resources inspire my ideas for art quilt design.

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

Ah, I am starting to ramble without providing you the link, so here you go:

Sulky Creative Quilt Challenges

In addition to the video of the slideshow and presentation and the class handout, the link above also provides the answers from the Webinar Q&A.

Postscript

Today I begin a 5-day holiday break from my pay-the-bills-job (two of those days are courtesy of my employer, one is a vacation day and two are the weekend!). I am so excited I am not sure what to do with myself…oh wait, I should probably start working on my backlog of projects…

Some of the backlog that awaits…

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Tierney, please help us become something…

 

Creative Inspiration, Stories My Father Told Me, WCQN

Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me (re-post)

I am re-posting a blog post from April 2016 from my ongoing series on on my sources of Creative Inspiration. I am dealing with the “strife” that fills the television news and social media by  remembering the inspirational stories my father told me as a child.

His stories, words and lessons keep me centered and focused. 


Friday Night at Barnes & Noble Bookstore: A Discovery (April 2016)

Life is filled with serendipitous events. Several Fridays ago such an event occurred.

wild Friday night in Central Oregon involves hanging out at the local Barnes & Noble bookstore. I love browsing in bookstores. I love bookstores, period. They are nearly as magical as libraries (except the discoveries at bookstores are not free to take home!)

While browsing the magazine section of Barnes & Noble, I came across a magazine I had not seen before – American Craft Magazine (and I thought I knew all the magazines in the “crafting” magazine section). This magazine is published by the American Craft Council.

Flipping through this magazine I found an article on an exhibit by the WCQN (Women of Color Quilting Network). I did not know, as a woman of color, that there was a Women of Color Quilting Network! I made a mental note of the acronym and immediately upon returning home I googled the WCQN.

The WCQN , according to their website “is a non-profit organization founded in 1985 by Carolyn L. Mazloomi, a nationally-acclaimed quilt artist and lecturer, to foster and preserve the art of quilt making among women of color.”

Wow. What a discovery for me!

I contacted the Director of WCQN, Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi, to find out how I could join.


WCQN Inspiration

After several wonderful exchanges with Dr. Mazloomi, I am now a member of the WCQN. I had the opportunity to view her website, www.carolynlmazloomi.com and view her amazing art. I also spent a considerable amount of time looking at the the WCQN website, www.wcqn.org, and viewing their past exhibitions (www.wcqn.org/exhibit.html).

I was overwhelmed with inspiration to explore an additional direction in my art quilting – telling stories with my art quilt.

The WCQN art quilts poignantly share stories from a people of color’s perspective and shared experience.

Wanting to explore this theme in the future, I am inspired to create a future series of art quilts called Stories My Father Told Me.


Stories My Father Told Me

My father, Raoul A. Davis, Sr. was an amazing man. He passed in 2008, and left behind a legacy of stories and inspiration.

Born of the 4th of July, he was the son of two teachers and grew up the segregated South (Charleston, West Virginia) in the 1930s. He faced many hardships and challenges but always forged ahead to achieve his goals and dreams. He was the first black to attend Kiski School in Pennsylvania, received a bachelor’s degree from Central State University, and obtained his master’s degree from Columbia University. He also served his country in the US Army.

He served as a leader in the nonprofit sector for over 40 years. His service included working with gangs and underprivileged youth as a Social Worker in NYC; founding the Urban League of Long Island, NY; and creating the first Empire State Black Arts and Cultural Festival (today known as the African American Family Day Art Festival).

He retired as the Deputy Commissioner for the Office of General Services for the State of NY. In his retirement he volunteered and consulted for local nonprofits and community agencies.

His resume was impressive, but what I remember most about him is his stories.

Starting from my earliest memories as a child, I remember him telling me stories of his challenges growing up in the segregated South, stories of his athletic pursuits (he was an accomplished multi-sport athlete), stories about the intense hazing he received as the first black to attend Kiski Prep School, stories of overcoming shocking physical and psychological abuse in the US Army in the 1950 by his drill sergeant, and many other inspirational stories from his life.

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A couple of years before he passed he decided to write his autobiography and I offered to help him by transcribing his handwritten notes and pulling them into a rough draft. It was so wonderful to read the stories I knew well from hearing in my youth; and I was honored to help him with this project.

Unfortunately my father passed before finishing his autobiography. I did take what I had and make it into a book for my sister and brother (two incredible individuals who continue my father’s legacy and inspire me daily); and for his grandchildren (one of which he did not get to meet before he passed).

I am still left with all his stories in my head and in my heart, and I think I want to share them in another medium beyond the verbal and written word: in my art quilts.


His Stories into My Quilts

I am in the early stages of thinking of how I want to translate some of my favorite stories into a textile story – will I do something abstract, or will I do a pictorial quilt (time to brush up my appliqué skills!).

An ongoing theme in all his stories is: Here is a challenge, it may seem impossible, but you can overcome it!

One of my favorite stories that my father told me, is a story from his growing up in the segregated South and a bus ride experience that embodied his outlook on dealing with racial prejudices:

As a teenage in the 1940s, I was riding on the bus and a white guy was forced to sit next to me because no other seats were available. He turned to me and growled – “I hate you, you  #%%$%%!”  

I calmly replied to him “Well, you would like me if you got to know me”. 

We ended up having a great conversation and when we got to his bus stop, he exclaimed as he exited the bus: “Raoul, you are alright”.

My father likely did not change this man’s racist outlook on people of color, but he may have left an imprint in this man’s mind and heart to evaluate people based on their character not their color.

My father, who was also active in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s and fortunate to have met Martin Luther King, Jr., believed in focusing on getting to know each other as individuals and not judging an entire group or population.

He believed change came through dialogue not violence. He taught his three children to be brave, no matter what adversity life threw at them; and to as Mahatma Gandhi said “…be the change you wish to see in the world”.

He also taught us to be proud of who we are as individuals, as a people and of our heritage, and not to listen to those who tell you otherwise.

“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” – Gandhi

I would be honored to share his stories through my quilts.


Postscript (11/16/16)

In Spring 2016, I  begin the Stories My Father Told Me series with quilt #1 – The Lesson & The Equation, discussed in the post Stories My Father Told Me: Quilt #1 

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The Lesson & The Equation (2016) by Tierney Davis Hogan

This quilt is now with the curator for a future exhibit (not yet announced, so more later…and in the future I will include a photo of the entire quilt, this is a partial photo)

Right now I am sketching out the next quilt in the series.

Audiobooks and Podcasts, Creative Inspiration

Creative Inspiration: Fall Foliage

Continuing my ongoing series on sources of creative inspiration, I want to share my love for the colors of Fall and the beautiful fall foliage of Central Oregon.

In January 2016, I posted about the austere beauty of Winter Trees –  Well, before they become “Winter Trees” first, they are beautiful “Fall Trees“!

I love the deep oranges, reds, yellow and browns of the turning leaves. I took a series of photos over the past couple weeks for future quilt palette inspiration:img_5335img_5345img_5342img_2740img_5346img_5399img_5397img_5339

And speaking of creative inspiration – I came across an interesting quote in the book Inspired: how creative people think work and find inspiration by Dorte Nielsen and Kiki Hartman:

When creativity kicks in, a large amount of resistance inevitably also comes with it.

– Carouschka Streijffert

Inspire is one of the books from my The Library (Mega) Stack that I shared in an October 2016 post. I am about halfway through that stack of library books!

That is an interesting quote to mull over, eh? I would love to hear what you think that quote means in the Comments section.


Postscript

A couple of random follow up items…

  • In my post Fabulous Thrifting Fabric Find! I shared how I took down from the wall and donated a framed poster about Solitude, as I was ready to move on. Well, I did not share what I put up in its place. Business Casual (originally titled He Dresses Up, He Dresses Down is now hanging in my entryway. It is a recycled fabric art quilt made from old denim jeans, wool scraps (Pendleton® Wool clothing and blankets) and scraps from mens suiting manufacturing.

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  • In several recent posts, I shared that I listened to the audiobook, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. The first time I listened to this audiobook it was an emotional experience as there were a lot of truths I was hearing and trying to absorb. I listened with tears running down my cheeks for several sections of this audiobook. Well I decided to listen to it again (it is only a couple hours long) and this time there were no tears, there was only a great sense of peace and deeper understanding of The Four Agreements. On my second listen, I discovered that I had not fully grasped the First Agreement: “Be Impeccable with Your Word”. I thought this agreement was focused on keeping your word, being true to your word. It is actually focused on being careful with the words that come out of your mouth and the power of words – to hurt and to heal.

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  • In the post When all else fails, reorganize your fabric scraps I shared an interesting except from the audiobook – Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by  Bill Burnett and Dave Evans on “Gravity Problems”. Later in the audiobook, the authors discuss another type of problem that gets you in the way of moving forward – “Anchor Problems“. As the authors describe – “Anchor Problems are like a physical anchor, they hold us in one place and prevent motion…” I am really enjoying this book and nearly at the end of this inspiring listen! Here is another gem (quote) from this book:

Anchor problems keep us stuck because we can only see one solution – the one we already have that doesn’t work. Anchor problems…are really about the fear that, no matter what else we try, that won’t work either…

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Anchor Photo credit – Nicholas Sales, free images.com

Creative Inspiration

Creative Inspiration: Fiery Orange & Red Clouds

Continuing my ongoing series of sources of creative inspiration…


Last evening I wished I was a painter.

We had a glorious sky in Central Oregon as the sun set yesterday. During our evening dog walk, all I could do is stare at the sky filled with fiery orange and then red tinged clouds, dappled with the light from the fading sun.

I wished I was a painter and could paint what I saw – I would have run outside, set up my easel and start putting images upon my canvas.

But I am not a painter, I am a quilter (and maybe a budding textile artist), so I took the photos below to save for future creative inspiration for a quilt’s palette.

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These photos were taken on my smartphone and of course not the quality of professional photography. I could just imagine the photos a professional…or amateur photographer would have taken…okay anyone who know how to take decent photos (I am not in this group, ha!)

Even with professional photography, I am not sure the camera still could not capture the beauty of viewing it in real life. I think I stopped breathing for a moment while I stared at the sky!


POSTSCRIPT

Mini Vacation In My Mind

I have always loved staring at clouds, imagining various shapes in the clouds and daydreaming.

In my backyard I have an old outdoor bench with weather resistant cushions and pillow that is sort of an “outside love seat” type of two person seating. During late Spring, early Summer and early Fall, I like to go on “mini vacations in my mind” in it.

I will lay on the bench with my head propped up on one of the pillows and my leg bent and feet resting on the end, and stare at the clouds floating by in the endless blue Central Oregon sky.

I love how slowly clouds change shape while you watch them, but if you look away or get distracted for a moment, it seems like a quick change. I love to watch “raptors” – hawks and eagles soar overhead, riding the thermals. I love to see small private planes fly by and occasionally a jet far overhead and wonder where it is headed.

It seems like nothing else at the moment matters, but the sky….

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time. – John Lubbock

Outside Adventures!, What's on the Design Wall

What’s on the Design Wall

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:

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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…


POSTSCRIPT

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:

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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!

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I hope you do not mind that I frequently link to previous posts. I consider my blog an ongoing conversation. 

A Crafter's Life, My Minimalism Journey, Quality of Life

My Minimalism Journey: Part III

I am fortunate to have been nominated for two different blogging awards – recently the Black Cat Blue Sea Award by the blogger of  Of Tales & Dreams; and earlier this summer for a One Lovely Blog Award by the blogger of  Dewey Hop. I will share more about these awards in a future post. I am very honored and appreciative that my blog was recognized!


“Downsizing” vs. “Rightsizing”

You may be familiar with the euphemism “right-sizing” related to corporate lay-offs or the dreaded term – “downsizing”. As I continue on my discussion of my Minimalism Journey, I think of these two terms and I think what I have been working on over the past 15 years is not “downsizing” my life but “rightsizing” it.

So far in my posts on my Minimalism Journey (see posts My Minimalism Journey: Part I and My Minimalism Journey: Part II) I have shared how 9/11 shook me up and led me to desiring a change in my life, leading to our move to Central Oregon; and discovering I did not need all the “stuff” I had in my life.

Our move to Central Oregon also involved a decision to move from a 2800 square foot house to a 1340 square foot house. It is amazing how full we had our 2800 square foot house (including every closet stuffed). Now I live in a home where I know where everything is (believe me this is a big accomplishment to me) and when something new comes into the house, something old gets donated (and our closets and garage are actually relatively empty).

Speaking of closets – we went from a home of 6+ huge closets and an entire storage room, to a couple small closets including a small walk in closet that our clothes share with some storage. Below is a photo of our closet today.

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From a house full of closets and closets full of clothes, to sharing a closet for our small wardrobe of clothes (and it is not full)

It seems like this smaller house was the “rightsizing” we needed in our lives. I can clean it in a couple of hours (or if I put on really good and loud music I can have the whole house sparkling clean in 60 minutes!)

After moving to Central Oregon, becoming a full-time telecommuter (which impacted my clothing and travel expenses), and donating likely thousands of dollars of stuff to charity , it was time to move onto more than just “rightsizing” the space I lived in and the amount of stuff I had. It was time to begin truly improving the quality of my life.


Quality over Quantity

I noticed the less clutter I had in my life the more room I had to live and to think. I eventually realized some brutal truths that I was using the accumulation stuff to avoid dealing with the life issues I needed to deal with. Some of these issues were overeating, not taking care of my health, not having good boundaries in my friendships, and being too much a “people pleaser” (which also tied into my work-a-holic-ism).

So I began working on improving my overall health and quality of life through listening to self-help audiobooks and podcasts. I wonder if I hold some sort of world record for listening to the most self-help/self-improvement audiobooks. If you check out my post Life is Nonfiction Revisited you will see a listing of many of the books I listened to.

Everyone has a different learning style, for me listening to the experience and wisdom of others helps me learn and grow.

And what did I learn? I learned to meditate, to slow down and appreciate life, to believe in myself, that I am enough, that I am stronger than I can imagine, to be in the present moment, not to be afraid to take risks and chances, and what I think is most important – to live life filled with gratitude to all the wonders I experience daily in life.

Speaking of gratitude, there is a wonderful short animated video – Be Grateful for What You Have (by Igor Kalashnikov) – that I watched a couple months ago that really reinforced this to me.

It seemed the more I focused on appreciating and being present in each moment of my life, the less I desired to go buy stuff to make me happy. I also decided to just “be happy” and not look outside myself for happiness. Not all this happened overnight, it was a process but I feel it was part of my journey.


A Real Minimalist?

A couple of years ago learned about the Minimalism movement. My friend Torben introduced me the website of The Minimalists and I started reading books like The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.

I also for a while became obsessed with Tiny Houses; and for a while the idea of selling everything and traveling around the country in a RV or even a van. I still occasionally on the weekend watch “Living in a Van” videos on YouTube and daydream. It seems so freeing to live with just what you need, have little responsibilities and to feel free just to go on adventures and experience the simple uncomplicated life.

But I write this as I sit in a cozy chair in my living room with a quilt on my lap and Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer curled up at my feet (and a nice cup of tea); and I having stayed in a tiny house (when we stayed at the Tiny House Caravan Hotel in Portland once) I can confirm that it does not compare in coziness to my huge (comparatively) 1300 sq. ft. home!  (I refer to my house as “the mansion” after binge watching Tiny House and RV or Van Living videos).

Occasionally I have “incidents” (true confession time) – late night on Amazon.com purchases of MORE craft books (ok, they do bring me joy!) and impulse fabric purchases…and then more “stuff” sneaks into my life.

I watch videos of people living what I would consider true or even extreme Minimalism lifestyles. I am not truly a full textbook Minimalist. I am however, someone who has learned (through a many year journey and process) what is truly important in life and what makes me feel peace, happy, centered and joyful.

Now to  close this series of post with a disclaimer. I’ve shared the story of My Minimalism Journey. There is no judgement implied on anyone who is not on the same journey or who has with a lot of “stuff” in their lives (and no interest in living with less).

I wanted to share my journey and the path that worked for me. Everyone must find their own path to what brings them joy in life. For me, it it is living with less and appreciating each moment of life more.

The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past. – Marie Kondo


POSTSCRIPT

Sharing my story makes me think of my favorite quote of all time. It is a quote I have written on the white board on the door to the garage so that I always see it when existing my house this way (to go on a bike ride or a drive):

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. ~Lao Tzu

I used to be hurry, hurry, hurry – got to get it all done. I realized many of the things I am trying to get done are either not that important or not as important as taking the time to take my dogs on walk.

Speaking of dog walking, writing about my transition from busy life in Seattle to quiet life in Central Oregon, reminds me of my transition from working in an office to becoming a telecommuter. While I was in an office, I was very focused but I had other people around who would like to talk and go to lunch, etc. and I wanted to be social so I played along.

When I first became a telecommuter I was in a more “production” type of job than I am now. Without the distractions of other people I had laser-focus on my work and doubled my production. The only problem was that I was sort of making my co-workers who were not telecommuters (and perhaps not as focused) look bad in their production numbers. My boss gently suggested that I might want to take it a little easier on my numbers/production.

The old Tierney would have ignored this and have kept cranking out the production. The new me asked myself: “what are you trying to prove?” I knew because of the way I work and think I could not just slow down so I came up with another solution: I continued to work at my normal pace BUT I took 2 – 2.5 hours in the middle of my workday, nearly each day, to take my dogs on very long walks around Central Oregon and explore my new beautiful surroundings. This was the beginning of my taste of a deeper happiness and new found sense of peace.

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The early days living in Central Oregon and taking my Miniature Schnauzers, Fritz & Snickers on long walks each day

Recently I told my current boss this story – of how 11 years ago when I first began telecommuting and in order not to be too much an overachiever I would take these long walks each day for hours with my dogs. She laughed and said: “Those days are certainly gone!” She is partially right – for the past 8 years my job has been too busy for 2 hour walks, however I still find time in my day to go on a dog walk or even occasionally a bike ride during the workday. 


Feature photo credit: Nevit Dilmen, free images.com

Studio, Thrift Shop Adventures, tierneycreates

Make Do Quilt Challenge

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:

Make Do Quilt Challenge

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 post Creative 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:

  1. A recycled table runner from a thrift shop that is in stripped orange, greens, reds and purples.
  2. Recycled orange corduroy pants (I only have a tiny bit left and it is the companion fabric to the #1 fabric above)
  3. A recycled tweed jumper
  4. 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!)

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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:

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Here is my “pile-o-denim” scraps on the floor to float my squares in:

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And here is where I am with the piece so far:

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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!


POSTSCRIPT

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:

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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

A Crafter's Life, The Library Stack

The Library Stack: The Nesting Place

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:

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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.

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photo credit: Amazon.com

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!)


POSTSCRIPT

I loved the Ann Voskamp quote so much I made a picture quote thingie:

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Featured photo credit: “Blackbird Nest (abandoned)” by Rainer SXC Schmidt, freeimages.com

What's on the Design Wall

What’s on the Design Wall…Thread?

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).


Thread-a-Bowls

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).

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

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:

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and here is it with a deep orange batik:

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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.


POSTSCRIPT

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!

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Kitty in a box!

POST POSTSCRIPT

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

The Library Stack

The Library Stack

Just a short post this morning, after yesterday’s long post about fruit liberation (smile).

I am continuing my ongoing series of sharing the stack of books I am currently borrowing from my public library. As you can see by the photo below, I went a little crazy on quilting books this time:

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Normally I will have a self-improvement book, perhaps a home decorating book and maybe even a cookbook mixed in the pile. Not this time!  My most recent “power browse” at the public library ended with an arm full (I could barely make it to self check out without dropping any) of quilting books.

My favorite 746 section of the library was full of books clamoring for my attention (“pick me”, “pick me”, “no, pick me”!)

The first one I read/browsed was the Sue Spargo book – Stitches to Savor. Sue Spargo is very popular in Central Oregon and has a “cult-following”. I did not know very much about her work. After reading/browsing this book, all I can say is WOW. She is the queen of stitching and appliqué. I highly recommend this book for a browse (or purchase if you follow the work of Sue Spargo).

As far as the other books, several of them I have borrowed before from the library but want to revisit.


POSTSCRIPT

I finished quilting the recycled silk art quilt, Ohio Shifted, I discussed in the post Creative Quilt Challenges: Shape Shifting.

A photo of the completed piece is on my tierneycreates Instagram feed and here is the link: https://www.instagram.com/p/BJY-SCaB7HW/?taken-by=tierneycreates

Creative Inspiration, Stories My Father Told Me, Studio

Stories My Father Told Me: Quilt #1

 


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.

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The Lesson & The Equation (2016). Designed, pieced and quilted by Tierney Davis Hogan

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 Butte how 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 Home page. (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!

Studio

Creative Quilt Challenges: Shape Shifting

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.


SHAPE SHIFTING

I began with this existing piece, Ohio, which I last discussed in the post Update: Ohio

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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:

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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:

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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…)

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I selected this fabric for the back of the piece:

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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.

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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.


POSTSCRIPT

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:

BLOG TOUR DAY 4: Unlikely Materials

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Photo credit: Amazon.com
A Crafter's Life, Quilt Retreats

Little Miss Muffet, Made Her Own Tuffet

Feature photo: one of the chalkboard wall art decorations in my room at the Over the Rainbow Retreat Lodge.


TUFFETS!

You remember that nursery rhyme:

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet, eating her curds and whey…

I never really knew what the “tuffet” was in the nursery rhyme other than something to sit upon. That was until the recent tuffet making craze that seems to have taken the crafting world by storm (at least in the Pacific NW).

While attending a four-day quilt retreat at the beginning of August, I sat in the same room as a Tuffet Making Class by the very talented professional long-arm quilter and teacher, Krista the Kwilt Queen.

Several of my quilting friends (both old and new) were taking this class and I wanted to share some photos of their completed tuffets!

Here is Krista, the teacher, with nearly all the tuffets made in class:

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Here are the various beautiful tuffets made by the students. They used a variety of fabrics – from Kaffe Fasset and Hoffman Batik pre-cuts to RECYCLED DENIM JEANS!

One quilter, my friend Joan, made a tuffet from her husband’s old jeans as a gift to her husband for their RV!

It was very fun watching them assemble the tuffets (sewing the tuffets onto the the special template looked very tedious) and seeing their joy with the final project. Krista was a wonderful teacher and I wished I was taking the class (except how would I gotten the tuffet home on the plane ride?!?!)


OTHER PROJECTS

Several of us attending the retreat did not take the Tuffet Class, instead we worked on our own projects. You saw my project from the retreat in my post What’s on the Design Wall (Need Your Help)Here is a sampling of the other projects “retreaters” worked on during the retreat:

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Intuitive log cabin square-in-a-square art quilt by Dana
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Sasquatch themed flannel quilt by Judy – very Pacific NW!
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Tiny paper pieced block by Diana – it was amazing!

THE RETREAT

The retreat itself was held at Over the Rainbow Lodge Retreat in Camano Island, Washington. I first heard about this retreat during our annual May, Jelly Rollers Quilt Group Retreat. I was not going to attend as I would have to fly to the retreat and I was watching my budget.

However, as I mentioned in my post Distracted, I was feeling a little out of sorts with all the sad stuff going on in the world and needed something fun to lighten my mood. I discovered I had enough airline miles to purchase a discounted Alaska Airlines ticket (Alaska Airlines lets you combine miles and money to buy tickets if you do not have enough miles).

In addition to sewing, I made time to go on twice daily walks on the beautiful property and neighborhood where the retreat is located (it is a former private home in a private neighborhood). Sometimes I went on a solitary walks listening to an audiobook and other walks were spent with my fellow retreat attendees – both old and new friends. It is so fun to go on a long walk with a new or old friend during a retreat and “discuss life”.

Here are photos of the retreat center, the view of the water from the lounge area of the retreat and the road I walked on.

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Photo credit: Over the Rainbow Lodge
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Beautiful views of the water from the porch/deck of the retreat center
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Exquisite walks

The beds at the lodge were premium/high quality and I had great delicious sleep in the cool Pacific NW nights. I struggle occasionally with not sleeping well at quilt retreats due to uncomfortable beds and unfamiliar sounds. I sleep really well in a nice double bed to myself and had a great roommate Dana!

The Over the Rainbow Retreat Lodge is filled with art with inspirational messages. One of them is shown as the feature photo for this post.

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I will close this post with one of the inspirational messages stenciled onto the stair risers leading connecting the downstairs sewing area and the upstairs lounge and dining areas at the retreat.

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Studio, What's on the Design Wall

What’s on Design Wall: Your Ideas

My next post was going to be about the cool projects other quilters were working on at the retreat (tuffets!) I attended last weekend. However, I do not want to lose the momentum from the project discussed in my Thursday 08/11/16 post –What’s on the Design Wall (Need Your Help).

I so appreciate all the enthusiastic responses, votes, and ideas. I have to tell those of you who commented: You made a MESS of my studio (smile)!

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You should have seen my little studio – various fabrics pulled out from my stash in many different colors, from your suggestions, strewn about everywhere. It was like a tornado of fabric options had blown through.

Reading all the comments was very fun – it was like you all were crammed into my tiny studio (where would I fit you all?!??!) and we were looking through my stash together and throwing around ideas (and fabric).

Of course, I would have to plan a snack and beverage for all my studio guests crammed into the tiny room…but where would I set out the plates and cups? (Maybe I could go scavenge some more fruit from my neighborhood to serve as snacks…but that is an upcoming post: Fruits of My Neighborhood Part III!)


THE RECAP

  • This project began with a bag of colorful Batik scraps (that I embarrassingly actually purchased…in a moment of weakness from the Stitchin’ Post quilt shop’s basket of scrap bags for sale..that shop is loaded with temptation!)

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  • I turned many of those scraps into 24 6′ x 6″ blocks:
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(BTW – I moved these blocks to my new hallway design wall which we created this weekend – but that is another post…)
  • I presented four (4) options for the layout on the blocks and here are the votes by Option:
    • OPTION 1A – Float the blocks individually in a neutral background: 2 Votes
    • OPTION 1B – Group the blocks together and then float the whole grouping in a neutral background: 0 Votes
    • OPTION 2A – Float the blocks individually in a gray background: 4 Votes
    • OPTION 2B – Group the blocks together and then float the whole grouping in a gray background: 2 Votes
  • In addition to voting on options I presented, many of you in your comments suggested different options (I hope I captured the essence of all the comments to date, my apologies if I left a summary of your comment out below):
    • Group them together on a neutral background not trying to make them perfectly square, use Misty Fuse to attach them
    • Stitch the blocks together, use a pieced binding to enclose them, they speak so well on their own!
    • Group them together on the grey but make sure all blue sides are facing opposite of the grey fabric and placed up against another block rather than up against the grey fabric not allowing a blue side to but up against another blue.
    • Float each block individually, with a PURPLE or RED background- keep the color going! And maybe put a yellow square at each “intersection”
    • Golden brown would be nice also (to float blocks).
    • I agree with some others are dark brown, plum, dark red, I’d be inclined to try them on different ones and see which calls loudest.I start to wonder if it’s be even better on the dark brown.
    • I think a chocolate brown would be so cool.
    • I would make more blocks, group them without sashing or a border, and bind with a pieced binding (NOTE: I did make more blocks, see below!)
    •  If you do want separation, don’t set them straight, in rows and columns. Use your separator in more random sizing — perhaps framing each one with the same fabric but in wonky widths. It might be easiest to pull off with a fabric that has some pattern so the seams between newly framed blocks disappear a bit.
    • If you really want to set them apart on a different background, what about looking at either a gold dupioni or a deep purple dupioni?
    • (from a text to my phone, not posted to the blog) What came to mind was floating blocks in a round of neutral logs then a round of gray logs – maybe alternate with the reverse – round of gray first then neutral – then you float and have blocks side by side – and I’m thinking of a neutral acid yellow or lime green or maybe an acid yellow orange – a crisp bright marigold color – all would look good with the blocks and gray.
    • Option Z: I love love love the blocks, but am partial to flashy colors mounted on a white background. I also like sashing between the blocks because it makes each one pop.
    • While I like both versions of placing all the blocks together and placing with sashing, I would need to try the sashing version using a variety of sizes and different shades of either the light or the grey.
  • One fellow blogger, Melanie @ Catbird Quilt Studio  was kind enough to e-mail me a photo of one of her lovely scrappy log cabin quilts, “Broken Pains” as an example of a layout she used:
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Photo courtesy of Melanie McNeil, Catbird Quilt Studio. Used with permission; all rights reserved.
  • In addition to showing you the scraps I started with, in the previous post I shared the pile of scraps I had left over from trimming the original set of blocks down to a 6″ x 6″ size:

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  • In the evening on Friday and Saturday, I turned the trimmings from those scraps and some of the remaining scraps into 23 more 6″ x 6″ blocks:
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(Now why didn’t I make 24 more instead of 23 more? I guess I lost count while piecing!) As you can see, these blocks are somewhat darker and have more piecing. I tried to use all the scraps from the trimmings which had piecing within the scraps.
  • I now have scraps left over from trimming the latest blocks and the remaining original scraps that started it all…and yes, I am going to make more blocks out of them!  (Besides 47,  24 + 23, is an usual odd number of blocks. )

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THE EXPERIMENTS

I tried out many of your color suggestions. To save time, I had a “pocket full of scrappy blocks” as I experimented. I never imagined walking around my house with a pocket full of quilt blocks!

Now, try and use your imagination as you look at my experiments. Although I tried to put strong lighting on the design wall, if you have been following my blog for a while, you know I am not the best photographer (if I tried to make photography a career I would be very hungry).

I provide two layouts on each test background fabric: 1) floated and 2) grouped together with a border.

More disclaimers (soon you will be frightened to even scroll down and look…): I did not iron the fabric I used as the test background and I randomly selected the blocks to go onto the test fabric. (If this were a real quilt layout, I would have given more thought to the block placement and order.)

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RED – I loved this!
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Brown – sort of a “milk chocolate” brown – could take it or leave it…
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Dark Brown – I guess the “dark chocolate” brown – I liked it!
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Gold – this is a new Moda fabric I picked up – I love it!
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Different shades of gray using an ombre fabric – could take it or leave it
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Purple – lovely!
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White – in concept sounded nice put I do not use large amounts of white in my pieces
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Blue-gray – sort of denim like – I liked it! This is one of the Peppered Cottons I have on my Etsy shop
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MARIGOLD! Well as close as I could get to marigold – this is a Moda Grunge line fabric and this is my favorite!
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Looked for an “acid green” in my stash but this bright lime green was the best I could find. I like it!

THE DECISION

Thank you so much for all the great ideas. I also appreciated all the layout and general design ideas.

My decision is as follows:

  1. Make more blocks, trying to use up nearly all the remaining scraps.
  2. Do not make a quilt with these blocks, instead make a SERIES of artsy table runners for my tierneycreates Etsy shop using various combinations and layouts of these blocks and my favorites of the backgrounds above (red, marigold, gold, purple, dark brown, and lime/acid green).

Thanks for coming with me on this color and design adventure! I will update you all as I complete the table runners!


POSTSCRIPT

Here is a follow up on the post Mysterious Thrift Store Fabric Find: One of my blogger buddies, Claire @ knitnkwilt.wordpress.com, tapped into her resources and got a translation for the words on the selvage of my mysterious Asian fabric thrift store find:

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ll the characters on the left say is ‘manufacturer/maker’.  I’m guessing the ones just to the right of Watex are the company’s Japanese name. The handwritten characters say ‘Golden Age’

Thanks so much Claire for helping solve the mystery.

I had more ramblings for this Postscript, but you are likely exhausted after reading this very long post!

Studio, tierneycreates

Embracing Orange

MORE KIMONOS (Loaded with Orange!)

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:

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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!

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POSTSCRIPT

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:

MY FIRST 8 X 10″ ! (FOR D)