I decided it was time to redesign my tierneycreates logo which I had created originally back in 2013 when I first began blogging:
This time I wanted to do something more “organic”.
I’ve been addicted to the game/app Words with Friends for years and I play online Scrabble daily with friends such as my friend Kathy and my partner John:
Yup I lost in the game above.
I loved Scrabble since I was a kid. I actually have a collection of Scrabble letter collected from old games I picked up from garage sales or just the letters themselves.
I’ve crafted with them in the past making refrigerator magnet gifts with friends’ names done in Scrabble letters.
Also recently my partner John made me a photo platform to use for photographing items for my tierneycreates Etsy shop (which I hope to re-open this year). Combined with my new Ring Light (which I am still learning to use) I hope I will have decent photos for my Etsy listings!
So I came up with the idea of spelling out my company name (tierneycreates) with my tagline (a fusion of textiles and smiles) in Scrabble letters, and adding some textiles!
For the “textiles” I dug into my basket of fabric scrap strings:
Here is the photo shoot:
Here are two version of the resulting new logo I am thinking of trying out (and if you can’t tell any difference don’t worry it is subtle – they are each cropped slightly differently):
It’s definitely “organic”!
So what do you think? Does it look like I was Drinking While Designing (a “DWD”) a logo?
It’s been a while since I guest blogged. Hi there – it’s tierneycreates Beastie and I wanted to share some changes to my home (Tierney’s studio).
I’ve titled my post “From the Cutting Table…” because my dog Mikelet and I now live on the cutting table in Tierney’s studio:
In case you are new to this blog, here is a little background on me:
My name is tierneycreates Beastie and I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. I was made by Helen of CrawCrafts Beasties in Dublin, Ireland. You can read my story at I’m A Monster!!!. You can also check out the other posts I’ve had to guest blog on (i.e. when the human Tierney falls off the blogging-wagon and I have to help) in the series of posts: Beastie Adventures.
Can you see the look of sheer terror in my eyes??!?!
Whew, glad those days are over! Oh you might wonder what became of my fiancé John Beastie (see post Guest Blog Post: Mail Order Groom), well he spends most of his time in John the Human’s office downstairs. Tierney and John Human feel it is best not to let a couple of Beasties spend too much time together as mischief is certain to happen! (Just wait until we get married, they’ll never keep us apart!!!)
Oh I think I am getting off track on my post…
So yes my dog Mikelet and I spend most of our time on the cutting board in Tierney’s studio and we like it, though I have to keep an eye on Mikelet because sometimes he plays in the pincushion and I think that might be dangerous.
By the way my maker Helen of CrawCrafts Beasties made me my own sewing machine so I could help Tierney sew projects and once I figure out how to use it maybe I will have a guest post about my projects instead of Tierney’s!
Now what I was I originally planning to tell you? Beasties are easy distracted. Oh yes, I wanted to tell you about a recent change to my home the tierneycreates Studio.
John, Human John not Beastie John, Tierney’s partner, recently made an ironing board table for the studio. Before the new ironing board table, Tierney was using a traditional ironing board and iron.
What started this change was for Christmas John got Tierney a cordless iron:
Perhaps you wanted to see a full image of the iron but isn’t the iron much cuter with me in front of it?!!?!?
Okay here is the iron:
Now that Tierney had cordless iron she had more flexibility on where her iron could be located, so John (again I mean Human John as Beastie John could not have handled the tools involved which are bigger than him…) built her a 2 foot by 4 foot ironing table for her studio.
First John cut a piece of plywood the same size as the table base being used (an old counter height folding table). Then John and Tierney wrapped and stapled four (4) layers onto the plywood base:
Insul-Brite heat resistant batting
Heat resistant fabric (like the type used for old ironing board covers)
Tierney is really pleased with her new ironing table and she used it while making all those tote bags she talked about in her recent post (see post Tote, Tote, Tote Bags).
So that is the big change to the studio.
Somedays I get tired of the studio and miss the days when I used to go on adventures with Tierney. The pandemic has slowed down my adventures. Tierney promises that soon we will resume our adventures, I just need to be patient.
For now Mikelet and I will wistfully stare out the studio window…
I am going to close this guest post by sharing a secret: Tierney is sort of a slob in her studio.
Look at these mini Toblerone candy bar wrappers she left on the cutting table!
I caught Mikelet sniffing them, luckily there was no candy in them as chocolate is bad for dogs.
I hope she will be more respectful of my space and clean up her wrappers!
I currently have “Corona-virus Blues”, what about you? I was scheduled to go next week to a very exciting conference in Nashville, Tennessee with many fun events, but my employer cancelled all business/corporate travel for the next several weeks because of the virus outbreak.
Even though I am bummed, in the big picture this is not such a big issue as there are many people impacted on a greater scale. My heart goes out to those who are currently infected and recovering as well as to the families of those who’ve loss loved ones due to this outbreak.
And now onto lighter topics such as the awesome find I recently made at a local thrift shop.
Although it does not replace my beloved Humane Society Thrift Shop, I have discovered a fairly wonderful thrift shop in downtown Denver – Goodwill Denver– Broadway.
Last weekend, while browsing, I stumbled upon an amazing find – all this fabric marked at $12, which I got for 30% off $12 because of the tag color sale (Goodwill does a daily tag color discount that varies from day to day):
Inside this bag was a large collection of fabrics by a company called Boundless Fabricswhich appears to be primarily sold by Bluprint (formerly known as Craftsy).
The package included yardage, precuts (charm squares and fat quarters), a panel (a Moda Fabrics panel) and some odd size fabric scraps.
The pictures above do not do the package as there is enough fabric for several quilts (there are at least 10+ yards of fabric among the yardage).
The fabrics could not be used in one quilt (unless you liked an eclectic mix of styles and patterns) but they could be used for several different quilts.
I looked up reviews on Boundless Fabrics and they higher than the quality of fabrics sold at JOANN Fabrics and Craft Store but slightly below the quality of those sold at quilt shops. But for 30% of $12 (oh please do not make me do the math, ha!) they were not a bad deal!
In case you are wondering I have absolutely no idea of what I am going to do with them, but I put them away for now (smile).
Continuing with the theme of “interesting finds”…
For those of you who’ve been blogging for a while – do you remember when you were a new blogger? Remember trying to build your audience? I did it by following other blogs and commenting on posts.
Over the years (I’ve been blogging nearly 7 years) I’ve met a bunch of cool blogging buddies and regularly follow their blogs.
I noticed that many of us, especially those of us who are crafters, follow the same blogs and it fun to see for example Mary @zippyquilts commenting on a post by Chela @chela’s colchas y mas who just commenting on a post by Mariss @fabrications who had a comment from Laura @laurabrunolilly.com who had commented also on the blogs I just mentioned!
You get a real sense of community. (And there are many more bloggers in our community, like Claudia @claudiamcgillart, but I just listed a few as an example.)
Well I would like to occasionally introduce/suggest a new member to our crafter blogging community – an interesting blog find I discovered through this blogger commented on my posts:
Check out this interesting crafter blog if you get a chance and perhaps become a follower and make her part of our community. Her crafting and crafter’s life posts are well written, informative and engaging! This blog is an “Interesting Find”!
I brought a couple hand work projects from my basket of hand work (see post Inside the Basket ) and had EVERY INTENTION of only working on my hand work projects.
My dear quilting friend Dana brought an extra sewing machine (one her her Berninas, and I love Berninas) and a BAG OF GRAY FABRIC SCRAPS for me to play with – oh no!
As you saw in the “From the Basket” post, I did work on my English Paper Piecing rosettes, but after a while I put them aside and STARTING PLAYING WITH THE GRAY SCRAPS! (I could not resist the temptation to play with fabric scraps)
Before you know it, as I shared on @tierneycreates on Instagram, I began creating freeform pieced/improvisationally pieced log cabin blocks (also known as “log jamming”):
And before I knew it, I had a pile of 138 blocks I made!
Once I got home, I could not wait to play with them and see what interesting pattern I could make with the dark gray and light gray framed blocks, So I decided to use the “Design Carpet”:
I began with creating a pattern with the dark gray framed blocks:
Then I worked on framing them with the light gray blocks:
I like the effect with the dark gray floating in the lighter gray blocks.
Since I took these photos, I’ve made additional progress and pulled out my sewing machine from the storage room (where you hide everything when staging a house for sale)!
Let me make a bit more progress on the piece and I will share in a future post!
Let me know if you think I can patent the concept of the “Design Carpet” and make millions on my late-night infomercial selling “Design Carpets” and quit my day job and just sew all day!
“You can own your own Design Carpet for 5 easy payments of $99.99!
But wait, there’s more:
Buy one Design Carpet and get a second one for only $99.99 plus shipping and handling.”
The Christmas holidays are upon us and as one of my partner’s Christmas gifts, I decided to recycle several of his old T-shirts that no longer fit/were worn out into throw pillows for his “Man Cave” in our daylight basement.
Here is the first one I worked on – I used flannel to border the T-shirt (which I added fusible interfacing to first) and for the envelope back:
Here is the next pillow I worked on (my partner is a Whiskey connoisseur) and I had trouble focusing while making the pillow because it was so outrageously funny and so unlike his personality:
He was pleasantly surprised by the pillows (I gave them to him early so he could enjoy them for the holiday season). Here they are set up in the “Man Cave” (where we also like to sit and watch movies):
We also have our Schnauzer-themed Christmas tree up. I am lucky to have another Schnauzer-aficionado in my life. Yes we did include his ornaments too but the tree is “strongly Schnauzer” 🙂
Every tree needs a “Schnauzer Angel” topper, right?
Thursday evening we had a quiet evening by the tree wrapping presents, drinking hot cocoa and eating grilled cheese sandwiches before the holiday madness begins.
Now it is holiday parties, out of town family members arriving for a visit; and then hosting 25+ people at the house for Christmas eve (my partner is the oldest of 7 children and hosts Christmas eve dinner for his family and extended family).
Quite the different Christmas holiday than I had in 2018…and I am feeling very blessed and cozy.
A Hawaiian quilt is a distinctive quilting style of the Hawaiian Islands that uses large radially symmetric applique patterns. Motifs often work stylized botanical designs in bold colors on a white background.
Hawaiian quilt applique is made from a single cut on folded fabric.Quilting stitches normally follow the contours of the applique design
The other day I paid a visit to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado for the first time, and saw an incredible exhibit of Hawaiian Quilts.
Most of the quilts were from the 1930s and 1940s but there were several from the late 1800s.
Here are photos of many of the quilts in the exhibit. Most of them were Queen-bed sized, though a several appeared to be King-sized bed quilts and there were several wallhanging sized pieces.
The quilts were absolutely amazing!
After wandering around the exhibit, I stopped in the gift shop which was also a miniature quilt shop.
While browsing the gift shop, I discovered this book – an exhibition catalog for the show Rooted in Tradition: Art Quilts from the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum.
I ended up buying the book as not only did it contain amazing art quilts and profiles of quilters, but there were also at least three renown quilters in it that I’ve met and admired for a while:
Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi
Ed Johnetta Miller
I am so lucky in my art quilting journey so far I’ve had such fortunate brushes with greatness and inspirational talent in the quilting medium!
If you are a quilter, or someone who loves quilts, if you happen to be in the Denver area, I highly recommend a visit to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum!
If you make quilts, then you’ve probably dealt with “orphan blocks” – the extra blocks you either made accidentally while making your quilt or intentionally to give you options when you laid out your quilt and made final decisions on what blocks you want to use in the quilt.
For years I’ve had these two “orphan blocks” from a Connecting Threads Minnesota Stars Kit I made at least 8 years ago.
Here is what the quilt looks like (it is currently serving as a tablecloth on my table in the sunroom):
And here are the two “orphan blocks” that did not fit into the quilt (I think I accidentally made too many):
You may notice in the images above it looks like the blocks were hand-stitched. Well they were – I attempted to do something with the blocks years ago and added batting, backing and hand-stitched them.
And then they went to the place where all unfinished projects go – to the back of the closet.
Last night I decided rather than move them as unfinished blocks to my next residence, why not just FINISH them and make them into coordinating pillows?
So I did:
And now they are on the chairs in the sunroom with the tablecloth quilt that they are connected:
Today I have a guest post from Diana S. Clark of the Sewing Machine Club for anyone who is thinking about becoming a quilter but is not sure when to start.
Diana contacted me a week ago with the idea of a guest post and I love the information in her article and thought it would be fun to share with you!
What You Need to Know Before You Start Quilting
There’s nothing more heartwarming than receiving a novelty quilt handmade with love and care which is why quilts make such great gifts!
Although quilting seems tedious and takes a lot of time and effort, they’re actually pretty simple. As a matter of fact, anyone can start quilting in the comfort of their own home.
If you’re on the fence on how to begin quilting, we got you covered. We have some tips to help you start your quilting project to ensure you’re fully prepared.
Patterns, patterns, patterns!
Patterns are a crucial part of your quilt. It’s important to think about what patterns you want so you can prepare fabrics and equipment before quilting. Patterns come in different varieties and some may be a bit more complex than others hence, taking more time to create. So, keep in mind to choose a pattern that suits your taste and skill.
Preparation is Key
Before quilting, remember to gather all the equipment you need according to the instructions of the pattern since different patterns have different instructions. When searching for fabrics, opt for colorfast fabrics that don’t run when washed. Also, make sure to measure each block to figure out how much fabric will be needed.
Find a comfortable space and set up your equipment such as your fabrics, sewing machine, and tools. Start by carefully cutting your patchwork pieces with a rotary cutter before sewing them. Once you’ve got all the patchwork pieces prepared, start quilting the top as it takes a lot of time and precision. Finally, make sure to iron the patchwork to set it.
Next, baste the quilt by combining the top and bottom layer and placing batting in between like a sandwich. Use pins or temporary adhesive to hold the layers while you sew them so the layers stay in place. When you’re done with sewing the layers, add some final touches with some decorative binding to the edges of your quilt to seal the layers.
My blogging buddy in the Netherlands, Emmely @infectiousstitches gave me an amazing stitched card:
It was like a large fabric postcard with a wonderful handwritten note on back.
I so appreciate all the support from my blogging community including so many people who have never met me in person and only know me from my blog. I wish we could all get together for some tea and pastries at a nice cafe.
No Longer Dreading the Mail
I feel I turned a corner as I am no longer dreading sympathy/condolence cards in the mail. So many thoughtful people have sent their condolences over the loss of my husband but each card was like a gut wrenching stab reminding me of my profound loss. I dreaded getting the mail and making myself open the cards and their words of sympathy blurring before my tearing eyes. Perhaps in retrospect I should have put them aside and read them later. I felt compelled and obligated to open each card.
On Tuesday I began an 8 week Spousal Loss Grief Support Group. The first meeting was incredibly difficult especially at first but by the end of the meeting as we all started to share and connect it got so much better. The Grief Counselor facilitating the meeting is amazing. This support group is through our local hospice and is a free community service.
There is an educational component to each meeting and I learned a lot about grief and why I have struggled with some severe irritability. I am so happy to have a safe place to talk about complex feelings with others who have also experienced the profound loss of a life partner.
I now get the whole “support group” concept where people going through similar experiences can support each other and relate to each other struggles, especially with the help of an amazing group facilitator.
Back to Making
I knew I needed to return to sewing and the tactile experience of working with fabric as part of my healing. I was either struggling with low energy or lack of interest, but I kept trying to dive back in.
First I tried to return to the Tula in a Box quilt I was working on before Terry died (and Terry helped me lay out the blocks) – see post .Tula in a Box. I managed to get the quilt back up on the large design wall in the hallway (I had half of it sewn together) as I had removed it from the design wall after he died as it was upsetting me:
But I have not done any work on it.
Then I tried to work on taking out the stitching of a quilt I made into a tablecloth. I decided to turn it into a quilt. I did get the stitching out but got stalled on getting it ironed out so I could sent it out for long-arm quilting:
Finally I thought I would try some hand work – something I could sit in front of the TV (I’ve been watching endless Netflix in the evening) and work on – English Paper Piecing (EPP):
That worked. I’ve been working on making EPP hexies in the evening. Occasionally making the hexies feels bittersweet at Terry punched out the paper piecing templates for me. But I like to think that we are making them together.
I am continuing my series of posts about my new journey as a widow after losing my partner for more than half my life, Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH).
My first two posts in this series Stories from the Road, Part I, and Stories from the Road, Part II were literally about a journey – a road trip with my sister across 4 states to see family on the East Coast and to celebrate TTQH’s life. This post is focused on my figurative journey navigating the grieving process and moving forward with my new life after the loss of the love of my life.
Before I dive into that, I wanted to say thank you to those of you who left thoughtful comments on my previous posts with your condolences and support. I’ve read all of them. I also appreciate those who have reached out via e-mail and/or also sent cards.
I miss regularly blogging and interacting with my regular blogging community (to include reading and commenting on your blog posts, etc.) but the profound grief that comes with such a loss consumes mental and physical energy on a level I cannot put into words.
I will likely at moments ramble in this post, but hopefully I will stay fairly coherent (smile).
The Widow’s Walk
I’ve loss both my parents but I’ve never experienced grief on this level. I do take one day at a time and each day does get a little better and the walk to get through each day seems a little less long and painful.
I’ve been focusing on planning for my next journey in life, which I discuss in a moment, and this has made me hopeful.
I would say my current state of mind is “sad but hopeful“.
I’ve decided to sell my house and move out of Central Oregon this Spring. I am not ready to share yet on my blog where I have decided to move, but will in the future.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been cleaning and clearing out many items from TTQH’s life and my life. I think all the thrift shops and shelters in town are tired of my endless carloads of donations.
In addition to local charity thrift shops, I am pleased with the groups I’ve been able to help out by donating TTQH’s stuff. For example I was able to donate all of his historical gaming miniatures/figures to the Hobby University of the Historical Miniature Gaming Society. I was able to donate some cool stuff to a local Veterans Association. I know TTQH would have approved.
In preparation to sell the house and to move to a smaller space temporarily, I’ve been significantly downsizing my possessions. I’ve dabbled with Minimalism in the past (see my series of posts tagged with the category My Minimalism Journey) but I still had a lot of stuff.
It seems like now I am able to be “brutal” with downsizing my stuff and now able to let go more easily. When you experience such a significant loss, things just do not seem as important/precious as they did before.
For example, here is a growing pile of recycled fabric acquired over the years, that is headed to the local thrift shop:
Mike the Miniature Schnauzer and I will be on a road trip this Spring to our new home. I will of course bring my tierneycreates Beastie (see series of posts in the category Beastie Adventures) on the road with us and she might be guest blogging to share stories of our journey from Central Oregon to our new location in the U.S. (staying in the States).
I do plan to return to quilting and blogging about lighter topics. I plan to finish the Tula Pink All Star quilt I last wrote about in the post Tula in a Box; and to continue the story on Secret Quilt Revealed, Part I.
I’ve titled this post “Stories from the Road” because it is about my recent road trip across 4 states in the Eastern Coast of the United States as well as the new journey/road I am on as a widow after the recent loss of Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) my partner of many years.
First I want to thank everyone who left thoughtful comments on my previous post when I shared I would be taking a break from blogging. Please know I read and appreciate all the comments, I am not up to responding to them. I really appreciate my blogging community and I was feeling the love, thank you. Originally I planned to take an extended break from blogging (or perhaps stop blogging complete) but I really enjoy writing and the amazement that people actually read my musings!
No matter how terrible my grief is, I continually work on remembering two things: 1) how lucky I was to be married to my best friend for over half my life; and 2) that TTQH would want me to go forward in life and be happy.
Every day I also work on smiling through my tears such as in this recent photo taken from my brother-in-law’s kitchen in Upstate NY during the get together we had honoring Terry:
So Much Support
I am blessed to have a large supportive network of family, friends, and colleagues. My sister has been exceptionally supportive and I will talk more about that in the next section. My friends Marla Jo, Jason, Laurie, Michele, Judy, Kelly, Diane, Kathy, Dana and Lisa have also been exceptionally supportive.
Marla Jo and Jason were there on the worst day of my life, finding Terry after an aneurysm took his life. They took my dog Mike the Miniature Schnauzer and kept him for a week.
My friend Laurie was there on the second worse day of my life – going to the funeral home to make arrangements. I’ve mentioned outings with Laurie and her dog Luna in previous blog posts and on the second worse day of my life, Laurie took me to visit a horse property with horses she works with to give me a little equestrian therapy (see post Horsing Around).
My friends Michele, Judy, Kelly, and Lisa have continually checked on me as well as many other friends and coworkers who have reached out.
Terry’s family has been awesome and very supportive, especially his two amazing sisters, to include helping me with his end of life expenses. Friends have also reached out with financial support to help with travel and end of life expenses and I greatly appreciate that support. I learned how to set up a PayPal Me account so people could send money if they chose to support me in that way.
I received two creative ways of support that made me smile – a Whole Foods gift certificate from my boss (I love Whole Foods but it is usually too expensive to shop there regularly); and a huge gift card to my favorite restaurant in Central Oregon from some colleagues. I’ve already used them both as I have not been up to cooking.
Stories from the Road
My sister insisted that I immediately come to the East Coast of the U.S. to be with family when she learned of Terry’s passing. I was initially concerned about the huge cost of last minutes cross country flights; and that it was basically deep Winter in Upstate NY.
My wonderful brother bought me a roundtrip plane ticket to Baltimore after my sister found the best flight option. My incredible sister, who lives in Richmond, Virginia, picked me up from Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) and drove me across four states.
We stopped in Delaware to see my brother, his wife and their son (my adorable 6 year old nephew) and then headed to Tarrytown, NY to stay the night before going on to Upstate NY in the morning. My brother also covered our hotel reservation at a very nice Courtyard by Marriott using his frequent stay points (he travels a lot for business).
I am not sure how many miles my sister drove but I am pretty sure it was at least 800 – 900 miles roundtrip including her trip back home to Richmond. We crossed the following states: Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York. Part of our trip we had semi-scary inclement weather but my sister was an amazing driver. She insisted on doing all the driving.
They are both quilters and while we visited I got to see and play with their new long-arm quilting machine:
That is a practice panel on the machine as they want to do a lot of practice before they work on an actual important quilt.
Speaking of important quilts, they have a beautiful quilt in progress on their design wall as a belated wedding gift for a family member:
The live in the original family home and I got a kick out of seeing Terry’s old room turned into their quilt studio (still a work in progress):
He would most definitely approve!
Terry’s sisters have rescued a couple Shih Tzu dogs from a puppy mill and have a golden doodle, Tucker. My sister and I were treated one evening to a “floor show” put on by one of the Shih Tzus and Tucker as they played tug-a-war while he dragged her across the floor as she held fast on the edge of her dog bed:
All I could think during the show was how much Terry would have enjoyed this as he was a huge dog person (he actually liked dogs more than people).
More to Come
I will end this post here and continue the story in the next post. My energy is low as would be expected with profound grief. Please know I appreciate and read your comments but I may not be up to responding.
I am keeping the words of this old Chinese proverb in my mind:
You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair. – Old Chinese proverb
One of the best thing about having the tierneycreates blog for the past 5 years is connecting with other crafters, makers, artists around the world.
One of those people is Pennsylvania based artist extraordinaire, Claudia McGill. She is one of those “Renaissance Women” whose dabbles successfully in many arts – writing, painting, drawing, illustrations, poetry, ceramics/pottery and collage.
She has two blogs (that I know of, maybe she has more, ha!) – one for her art and one for her poetry:
A couple days ago, I was surprised in the mail with a lovely holiday card and some some little pieces of her art!
I know there are new bloggers now following my blog that might be looking for other maker blogs to follow and blogging communities to connect with, so I plan in the future to share more about the blogs I follow to help connect anyone interested.
Over the years, I’ve met so many other bloggers through following and commenting on blogs that capture my interest.
I’ve always fantasized about writing poetry and had dabbled but never had the confidence to share any of my writings.
In addition to Claudia’s blogs, I also follow other “artist poets” such as South African based artist and poet, Mariss Stevens. She shares her beautiful art quilts with accompanying poems!
You can check out her amazing art quilts and poetry on her blog:
What does the phrase “Soulful Simplicity” mean to you?
The last several months I’ve listening to some awesome audiobooks from my public library while I go on daily walks, sew, or do errands. I plan to share highlights from the audiobooks in upcoming posts and I thought I would begin with my current listen: Soulful Simplicity: How Living With Less Can Lead to So Much More by Courtney Carver.
Here is the summary of the book on on the Deschutes Public Library website:
Courtney Carver shows us the power of simplicity to improve our health, build more meaningful relationships, and relieve stress in our professional and personal lives. We are often on a quest for more, giving in to pressure every day to work more, own more, and do more. For Courtney Carver, this constant striving had to come to a stop when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Stress was like gasoline on the fire of her symptoms, and it became clear that she needed to root out the physical and psychological clutter that were the source of her debt and discontent.
In this book, Carver shows us how to pursue practical minimalism so we can create more with less-more space, more time, and even more love. She invites us to look at the big picture, discover what’s most important to us, and reclaim lightness and ease by getting rid of all the excess things.
The audiobook is read by the author (which always adds a high degree of authenticity to the listening for me) and focuses on “being more with less“.
I am 2/3rds through the audiobook and wanted share one of my favorite stories (that the author shares in her book) about what really matters in life. As the author states, there are many versions of this story. Here is the version from her website: Be More With Less.
The Mexican Fisherman
An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one Mexican fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The fisherman replied, “only a little while”. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”
The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”
“But what then?” asked the fisherman.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”
“Millions – then what?”
The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
In the version I heard many years ago, the Mexican fisherman states at the end of the story: “Why would I go through all that to get what I already have?”
The first time I heard this story it deeply resonated with me. As I have discussed in my series of posts on My Minimalism Journey, I’ve been working on appreciating and enjoying the life I have; taking care of my physical, emotional and spiritual health; and curating my possessions to only those things I truly love (but darn it, I love all my crafting books and magazines!)
In my pay-the-bills health care job, I’ve been offered the opportunity to attend my employer’s leadership track nine-month program to move into a leadership position. I declined the opportunity as although it would be more money, it would be much less time doing the things I love such as blogging, crafting, spending time with my husband and dog, enjoying nature, etc., etc., etc.
I am already happy with my job, salary and work schedule. I do not need to climb the “corporate ladder” to become happier.
Actually I think climbing the corporate ladder at this point in my life would be the path to less happiness as I remember a lot of stress in my life when I was previously in leadership for 8 – 9 years.
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) fully supports this decision as he remembers his very stressed wife during her years in a leadership role.
I am quite content in my life’s version of a “little fishing village”.
Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours! – Swedish Proverb
Are you inspired by nature? If you are an artist, is your art inspired by nature?
As part of my ongoing series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration, I am sharing my latest nature-based inspiration: TREE BARK.
Wait. When you saw the post title, did you suspect I meant “dog bark” or the barking of dogs? I do love dogs, however their barking provides little source of creative inspiration (smile).
Studying Tree Bark
For the latest project I am working on (a secret project for a future exhibit not yet announced by the curator) I needed to study the texture of tree bark. A trip to a local park provided plenty of study subjects!
I was particularly taken by this tree:
And I took a couple B&W photos so I could study the lines of the bark texture for my piece in progress:
Although I did not take more photos, I studied the lines of several more trees in the park and on my daily walks I’ve paid closer attention to trees in my neighborhood.
Speaking of trees, next post I will share images from the Tree Quilt Show I attended last evening.
For the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. – Martin Luther
This is all part of my pretending that I am an art quilter!
I still need to move some of the blog posts that relate to my art quilts over to my tierneycreates blog; and I want to update my “Tierneycreates Studio Tour” page (located in the “About Me” menu) with current photos.
I am self taught on WordPress (thank you WordPress for awesome reference materials and for people publishing YouTube videos with WordPress tips and tricks) and I will keep tweaking my tierneycreates site as I keep learning new tips and tricks!
Continuing my series of posts about the annual May quilting retreat I attended with my Quilting Sisters in Vancouver, WA May 17 – 20. To read my previous posts about quilting retreats I’ve attended, see my post category – Retreats.
A Different Way to Quilt Retreat
Each year when posting about the annual May quilting retreat I attend, I include a “road to retreat” post on my journey to the retreat at Sew N Go in Vancouver, WA.
A couple weeks before the retreat I was trying to decide whether to drive to the May quilt retreat or to take the bus again. Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) offered to drive me this time to the retreat with Mike the Miniature Schnauzer joining us for the road trip.
Instead of having him drive 4 hours to the retreat and then back, we came up with the idea of driving to Cannon Beach, Oregon the day before the retreat. We would spend a day in Cannon Beach, stay overnight and the TTQH would drive me to the retreat and head back home.
I Love Cannon Beach
We’ve been visiting Cannon Beach for many years – I think we visited the first time in the early 2000s. In my post ACase for Buying Tings You Have No Plans For At The Time, I share my love for Cannon Beach and a special Cannon Beach themed wallhanging I made for my friend at work Nancy.
Wandering Around Cannon Beach
Let’s begin with images of the beach, the sea, and the iconic Haystack rock at Cannon Beach. We enjoyed talking the coastline with Mike and here are images from Day which was fairly sunny.
The next day, before heading to retreat, it was overcast but the beach was still wonderful:
I love Central Oregon but it is far away from the sea. Every so often it is nice to be at the sea, smell the sea, and listen to the sea.
We’ve had a doggy backpacks for years that we carry our miniature schnauzers around in when traveling (most shops unless they are restaurants will allow a dog in a backpack in the shop) so we do not have to leave them in the car when sightseeing.
TTQH had Mike in his backpack as we wandered around Center Diamond Fabrics and Mike appears to be advising TTQH on fabric selections:
After the quilt shop, it was off to the yarn shop at Cannon Beach, Coastal Yarns, where Mike also advised from his backpack:
I was naughty at this shop and bought a skein of this ridiculously expensive variegated silk yarn that I fell hopelessly in love with it:
We stayed at the inviting and dog-friendly McBeeCottages where they had a welcome basket for Mike and a wonderful collection of handmade bird houses.
Wished I Lived in Cannon Beach, But Wait…
Every time we visit Cannon Beach, I daydream about moving there.
There are beautiful beach houses everywhere in the wonderful neighborhoods around the coastal area:
There are beautiful coastal gardens:
And of course there is this – the beach and the Pacific Ocean:
But then there is this:
We do not worry about Tsunamis in Central Oregon. So I will stick with just visiting Cannon Beach (hopefully never during a Tsunami) for now!
Thanks so much to everyone who voted on the setting triangle color for the fussy cut Tula Pink All Stars block my Quilting Sister Dana has been working on at our annual May Quilt Retreat!
Here were the options to vote on:
We cut off the voting at 10am so Dana could get the block assembled before I leave to take a bus back to Central Oregon.
Votes were tallied from the previous blog post comments, from people at the retreat and from my personal Facebook page.
It was very close but Teal won by two (2) votes!
So Dana made up the block with the winning color:
And here is the whole group of. blocks so far:
Dana plans to make 18 blocks from the 6 different animals in 3 colorways.
The six (6) animals that she will fussy cut are: bees, squirrels, owls, frogs, raccoons, and a fancy birds. According to Dana the fabric line is called Tula Pink All Stars because Tula Pink brought back her most popular retired lines and updates the colors.
Several of you suggested yellow and Dana said that would been a great idea but she did not have that as a fabric option in the Tula Pink solid fabric line.
Thanks for playing along 😀
Oh and I am super behind in blogging – I have a backlog of stories to share, stay tuned 😀
That’s a lot of topics for one post, well let’s get started!
The Toe Saga
I’ve been delinquent in blogging lately due to a very silly injury: a broken toe.
My sofa and I had an argument and I lost. I was rushing around, not paying attention and jammed my right foot/toes into the metal leg of my sofa at what felt like 80 miles an hour. It hurt, like really hurt but I thought it was just a sprain or an irritation to my toes and tried to care for itself (after all I am a RN).
A couple days later one of the toes was looking more purple and bruised so it was time to head over the Urgent Care, and yes, per the x-ray, the toe was fractured…in two places. They are hairline fractures and will take up to 6 weeks to heal; but my toe did not require surgery or fracture reduction/setting (so that is a good thing!).
(I know, I know, you all are so disappointed that I did not include a photo of my purplish bruised toe in this post, ha!)
I am mainly irritated with myself for such careless stupidity and that my daily walks are on hold for a week. The Physician Assistant I saw in Urgent Care said in a week my toe will be better to walk on, but I suspect I will have to take a hiatus from my hiking adventures.
I am trying to use this experience as a lesson that I need to slow down and be more mindful of my environment. I also rearranged my end tables to guard me against a future “sofa attack”.
Library Stack Catch Up
Before I decided to share “The Toe Saga”, the original purpose of this post was to continue my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my latest stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library.
Well I am two stacks behind! So let’s catch you up.
The Prior Stack
A couple of the books were books I’ve borrowed before such as Quilt Inspirations from Africa and Red & White Quilting. I like to think of my public library as “my other bookcase” and many of the older quilting/crafting books are always on the shelves whenever I want to read them again.
Two books that I’ve never borrowed before and really enjoyed in this stack were Fairy Tale Sewing: Whimsical Toys, Dolls and Softies by Heidi Boyd and Stitch Draw by Rosie James.
Of course I’ve been heavily influenced by the work of Helen@Crawcraftbeasties and Shirley @Handmade Habit – there are doing awesome things with “Softies” and I want to be part of this scene somedays too (along with the 10,000 other crafts I want to make).
I have commissioned Helen to make the tierneycreates Beastie and Shirley is doing some amazing new things with new stuffed animal creations! Be sure to check out their wonderful blogs if you have not already (I’ve linked their blogs in the text above and you should also check out their awesome Instagram pages).
I’ve also been influenced by Chela @Chela’s Colchas y Mas who retired from teaching and it now trying to become the “Renaissance Women of All Things Crafting”.
She started posting her stitching doodles and drawings on her blog and now I want to try that out someday also (yeah, yeah, future craft projects/techniques, get in line behind all the others). I thought the book Stitch Draw by Rosie James had many great ideas to get started.
A Single Stack
In between the library stack above, and my current stack, I had one solitary book: Living the Airstream Life by Karen Flett.
Lots of daydreaming went on while reading this book (but where would I put my sewing studio in the Airstream…and where would I store all my fabric scraps?!?!).
The physical book itself is pretty cool – the outside is framed in silver paper with simulated rivets like on an Airstream trailer!
Of course Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) had to tease me while I was reading the book. He kept asking: “So do we get a trailer to attach behind the Airstream for your fabric?”.
I’ve posted in the past about embracing Minimalism in my series of posts on MyMinimalism Journey but my craft hobbies are interfering with a full “embracement”!
My Current Stack: Your Sacred Nest
My current stack of library books is, in my opinion, quite yummy! This stack is about quality over quantity.
I am currently reading Your Creative Work Space: The Sweet Spot Style Guide to Home Office + Studio Decor by Desha Peacock, and so far this book is fantastic!
I’d like to share snippets from a passage from the book on “Your Sacred Nest: Everyone Needs a Creative Sweet Spot Space“:
A mother bird doesn’t complain that she doesn’t have time or space to create her nest, she just makes do with the resources available to her at the time…Her job is not finished when the nest is built. She still needs to protect it until her babies are strong enough to go out on their own…think of what would happen if the momma bird neglected to actually build the nest because she couldn’t find the perfect materials. Don’t let your creativity suffer or, worse, die because you can’t find the perfect lamp…don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Use the resources you have around you and allow them to blossom with age and use.
Once you create your space, do not abandon it. Protect it fiercely with that momma bird love… – Desha Peacock, Your Creative Work Space (2017)
I love thinking of my creative endeavors as my “baby birds”!
(But wait a minute, I could continue with this analogy and realize that the reason I get into trouble sometimes is I am trying to feed too many “baby birds” at one time!)
I love my neighborhood and I have some awesome neighbors who I just really like as people (they are good humans!). Here is a recent sweet public library story from one of my neighbors.
My neighbor and friend Jenny just returned from a three week trip to Australia to visit her in-laws. Her in-laws live suburb of Melbourne and after a week or so of just reading downloaded e-books, she and her young son were missing their regular trips to their our local public library (she is a Deschutes Public Library Cult-Member like I am, ha!). Jenny heard that the Melbourne area library system allows visitor passes and for visitors with ID to borrow up to two books.
So she and her son walked 10 minutes from where they were staying to the St. Kilda library. The librarian was so welcoming and after a chat she not only let them borrow more than 2 books (which is awesome as Jenny and her son did not have to go with one book each), she helped identify some great books (and loaded them up) in the children’s section and gave them a nice tote bag to get their huge stack of book back to where they were staying 10 minutes away!
So libraries are good places all over the world and librarians are some of the best people on earth (smile).
No, alas, not the Scottish Highlands. This post is about a hike on the Cascade HighlandsTrailin Central Oregon. Not as glorious as hiking in the Scottish Highlands but still quite lovely (and a significantly less expense trip – no airfare or accommodations required!)
I do not work on Mondays and once a month I’ve been going on a hike (followed by a yummy lunch) with my friend Laurie and her Bernese Mountain Dog Luna. I thought about creating a category for these posts called “Adventures with Laurie & Luna” but I decided to create a new blog category called OutsideAdventures! which includes my various solo Pilot Butte hikes and any other interesting outdoor adventures.
Laurie who is new-ish to Central Oregon (I think she has lived here between 1 – 2 years) thought it would be a great idea to explore Central Oregon together by going on hikes we have not been on before and trying out restaurants we have not dine at before (or at least one of us has not tried before). We plan one at least once a month.
Hiking the Cascade Highlands
Here are photos from the hike (which were more breathtaking in person than the photos capture):
I am also adding this post to my blog post category CreativeInspiration as there was much potential art quilt inspiration on this hike!
I spent a brief (it seemed too short) 3 day trip to visit friends in Gig Harbor, WA and go to the Sewing & Stitchery Expo(“Sew Expo“) in Puyallup, WA at the Washington State Fairgrounds with some of my WA based QuiltingSisters.
I took a zillion photos and in this post I will share some of the “zillion” photos and give you a taste of what it is like to attend Sew Expo.
The Flight to SeaTac Airport
When Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and Mike the Miniature Schnauzer dropped me off at our small Central Oregon airport (RDM), I thought of this old post from Sassy the Highly Miniature Schnauzer’s SchnauzerSnips blog: Human Storage?. From a dog’s point of view, as this post discusses, it appears that I am just staying at the airport for a couple of days – Mike sees me dropped off at the airport and then picked up at the airport!
Flying in small planes makes me slightly nervous. When we moved from Seattle to Central Oregon I had to acclimate to taking smaller planes. Our airport is small and cannot handle standard size planes/jets, just the Turboprop size planes, like the one in the image below:
But I discovered, years ago, thanks to my primary care doctor, the magic of a small dose of Ativan and a dose of Dramamine – it makes the flight awesome.
Alaska Airlines serves, for those 21 and over, a complimentary glass of wine or a Pacific NW Microbrew during these small plane flights between Central Oregon and Seattle. The flight is between 45 – 55 minutes and I enjoyed a blissful flight with my microbrew, a biscuit, my knitting and relaxing music on my smartphone (in airplane mode of course!):
I got quite a bit of knitting done on the scarf I mentioned in the post ACase Against Procrastination, during the trip between the flight, hanging out in the airport before flights, and hanging out visiting with my friends. I will share an update when the scarf is done (so you won’t lie awake at night wondering when I will get that scarf done – ha!)
Welcome to Washington State Fairgrounds
The Sasquatch is the unofficial mascot of the Pacific NW. I lived in Seattle for 8 years and did a lot of hiking but never saw a Sasquatch running around! But when you walk into the WA State Fairground there is a carved Sasquatch to greet you and it was decorated for Sew Expo!
Inside Sew Expo: The Crowds
There are two buildings housing vendors for Sew Expo and the space is HUGE! It took us 4 – 5 hours to walk around Sew Expo. Here are a couple photos of the crowds and some random vendors:
It’s Called “Sew Expo” But There Was a Lot of Yarn!
Sew Expo is really about most textile based crafts and there were many yarn vendors. I know many of you knit and crochet, so let me share some of the endless yarn-yumminess in the vendor booths at Sew Expo:
Special Booths: Pendleton Wool
Some vendors had special large booths, such as the large booth of Pendleton Woolen Mills. They had a large area in their booth in which they were selling Pendleton Woolen Mills selvages. I could not figure out why someone would want to buy a giant bag of these selvages until I noticed that there were shag rugs made from these selvages. Great recycling!
The Fabric, Oh The Fabric
Okay it is called “Sew Expo” and so the bulk (at least 60% or more) of the vendor booths were dedicated to fabric for sewing garment, making quilts, and other sewn crafts. Here is just a sampling of the fabric delights I browsed:
This booth had an exceptionally delicious offering of silks:
There were lot’s of fabric deals:
But the “craziest” fabric deals of all were the “trough-o-fabric” at $7.99 a pound section and the vendor selling yardage of high quality fabric at $5.99+ a yard.
A ridiculous amount of quilting fabric remnants, fat quarters and yardage were thrown in giant rolling tubs. You grab a large plastic bag and fill it up with what you want, they weigh it and you pay $7.99 a pound.
Yes this looks like total insanity, and it was but I had so much fun with the other quilters digging through the troughs. We were all helping each other and looking out for whatever someone asked for help looking for. for $14.00 I picked up about $40 – $50 in high quality quilting fabric (some Kaffe Fasset stripe fabric, etc).
This area was huge and took up a large section of the last aisle in one of the Pavilions at Sew Expo. One of my Quilting Sisters picked up some mind blowing fabric deals in this section but I had “Fabric Burnout” by the time I got to this section and only took photos, no serious shopping (which I regretted later when I saw the deals my friend got!)
Let’s end this post here, I will continue in the next post with the rest of the Sew Expo experience.
Thank goodness I spent a little time proofreading this post before posting it. It was not a “Freudian Slip”, just typing too quick, but I did type “Sex Expo” instead of “Sew Expo” in several area (including at first the post title, which I expanded to the official name of the event).
Trust me, if I went to “Sex Expo”, I would not be posting about it – ha! (And that would be a very strange thing to attend with one’s Quilting Sisters!)
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) is ready to make another quilt and this time he wants to make a quilt for our bed – and we have a king-size bed.
He has an ambitious plan, after raiding my stash of homespun fabrics (brushed cotton fabrics woven in a primitive home style weave, usually in plaids) for a very large quilt!
He discovered this book, Slash Your Stash Quilts, while I was thinning out my quilt booklets in November. I had this one slated for donation but he wanted to keep it and make the Twinklers pattern with homespuns in my stash (he was actually trying to slash my stash!).
We reviewed the original pattern he chose in depth which led to him changing his mind. He is going to make another pattern in the book that does not have all those “points”:
I helped him cut 225 6.5″ x 6.5″ squares and he has sorted them into 25 nine patch sets:
Here he is playing (spinning) with some designs with the pile-o-homespuns on the large design wall in the hallway:
And they now are waiting by his sewing machine for him to start sewing…
The alternate title to this post was “A Cautionary Tale About Using Low Quality Inexpensive Fabric”.
First let me make a disclaimer in case you are already cringing that I am about to get “preachy” about only buying high quality quilting fabric at quilt shops. I am only going to share my experience and my personal lesson, not make or imply any judgements on where you buy your fabric!
So let’s start at the beginning of my quilting journey, 17 – 18 years ago and see where this post goes from there…
My Early Days of Quilting: “I am not spending crazy money on fabric!”
I started quilting in 1999 or 2000 when my friend Judy, my now “Quilting Momma”, convinced me to make my first quilt. Being a seasoned quilter, she tried to guide me towards only buying fabric at quilt shops. I refused.
Sure, I enjoyed going to quilt shops with her and looking at all the pretty fabric. When I looked at the prices however at the shops I would exclaim: “I am not spending crazy money on fabric!”. To her dismay, I would only shop at JOANN Fabric for my quilting fabric.
Judy tried gently on numerous occasions to get me to reconsider my fabric purchasing location. She said: “You are spending all this time and energy making a quilt, don’t you want to invest in good fabric that will make the quilt last?” (Well she said something like that, I do not remember the exact statement).
In Love With JOANN Fabrics & Crafts
My first couple years of quilting, I was absolutely in love with JOANN fabric, I thought it was a magical place. I would always wait for their sales – especially on fat quarters (pre-cut 18″ x 21″ pieces of fabric for the non-quilters reading this post). The fancy-smancy quilt shops sold fat quarters for $2 each but I could get them at JOANN’s for 99 cents and when they were on sale, I could get them for 69 cents and occasionally 49 cents!
I remember walking out of JOANN Fabrics after a major sale with a huge bag of fat quarters.
Made with Inexpensive, Low Quality Fabric
My first couple years of quilting, every quilt I made was made with fabric from JOANN Fabrics, including a wedding quilt I made with all blue fabrics. The pattern was called “Around the World”.
I loved the quilt so much, and the fabric I used to make it was so inexpensive, that I made second one for myself.
This quilt has been well used over the years but around 5 years of moderate use, it began to wear in spots and even tear. I carefully stitched up the tears to fix the quilt. Until recently after many washings, the tears became more profound and I needed to do something else.
Before I share what I did to fix the tears, I want to discuss the lesson I feel I learned: my friend Judy was right – you want to use high quality fabric if you want a quilt to last and hold up over the years.
The fabric I used on this quilt was so incredibly flimsy, it obviously had a low thread count and did not wear well over the years. The picture may not fully capture it but the fabric has nearly the feel of paper, thin paper.
Yes this quilt is likely 15 – 16 years old but it should not have worn this way where the fabric feels like it is dissolving away!
Luckily, in my opinion, about 5 years into quilting, I stopped buying fabric for making quilts from JOANN Fabrics (I would still buy it for making gifts such as potholders, etc.) and “bit the bullet” and began only buying high quality fabric from quilt shops (and eventually also online resources that offered discounted high quality quilting fabrics).
“Spot Welding” a Quilt
After years of numerous hand stitched repairs to my beloved shabby blue quilt, I had to figure out another way to repair it or get rid of it (which seemed like a very sad option as I feel quite sentimental about this quilt).
I decided to patch the quilt with a fabric in my stash (yes high quality quilting fabric) that was the closest match I could find to the original JOANN Fabrics fabric.
The quilt looks quite crazy but I “spot welded” the torn areas all over the quilt and saved the quilt:
It is not pretty, but the quilt no longer has tears. I am sure I am going to have to continue to “spot weld” different areas of the quilt in the future.
I love this quilt and imagine if I had used high quality, high fiber count, quilting fabric from the start? As a new quilter, making an “Around the World” pattern quilt was fun but was also a lot of work and I should have invested in higher quality fabric.
What became of all the JOANN fabric I bought all those years ago? All gone from my stash – all donated to thrift shops. I donated most of it many years ago and got rid of the last of it over the past couple years during my purging related to embracing “semi-minimalism” (see posts in the category MyMinimalism Journey).
I am interested in your comments and please know I am not being preachy or judgmental about where you buy your fabric!
Curiously, when looking through my blog posts of 2017, I see I started a lot of projects (like FarmGirl Vintage blocks), but did not complete that many projects in 2017! I better get my act together in 2018…
Seven (7) Favorite Posts/Series of Posts of 2017
I selected these seven (7) posts (or series of posts) because I really enjoyed writing them:
However Mike is much more mellow and not as highly opinionated (and prefers to spend most his time napping in the back of Terry the Quilting Husband’s knees) so it would not make sense for him to want to take over the blog.
Eventually I would like to turn the blog into a memory photo and story book for Terry and I once I figure out what platform to do this on. For now the blog will stay live on the web in the “blogosphere” for whomever stumbles upon it.
Meet the Pups in the Feature Photo
I thought I will end this post on a silly note and introduce you to the pups in the feature photo for this post:
They are known as The Puppy Powers and they live in my sewing studio along with other furry creatures to keep me smiling while I sew. I found them years ago (I do not remember where) and they all have magnetic paws and can be posed it adorable poses and stuck on anything metal.
Their names are Pup, Puppy, Puppa, and Pups:
And here they are having fun on their photo shoot:
It’s challenging to keep a Radio Flyer full of puppies still during a photo shoot!
Recently a couple of my blogging buddies, Mary at ZippyQuiltsand Claire at knitNkwilt posted about starting projects from their fabric scrap piles and “fabric scrap wrangling” (organizing a crafter’s crazy scrap pile).
As fabric scraps are my secret (well..not so secret) obsession, I want to join the conversation!
Last time I posted about my fabric scrap organization, I shared this photo of my fabric scraps organized in windowed boxes by color:
Well this organization failed. Why? Because I was not using the scraps, I was just enjoying them as “decoration” in my studio!
I knew I needed to do something and rethought how I was create with scraps I realized it was too cumbersome to pull down individual boxes by color to access scraps (my studio is small and I could only pull down 1-2 boxes at a time without serious crowding!). So I did something crazy: I pulled all the scraps out of the boxes and put them into a bag:
Yes it is a giant bag! It measures 22″ in height and approximately 22″ in diameter…and it is packed (but not too tightly…just fairly tightly, ha!). I’ve named it “Giant-Bag-O-Scraps” and I love it!
In addition to moving the fabric scraps out of their boxes by color, I also thinned out my collection of “Challenge Bags” (see post Basket of Challenges) and moved many of the scraps from these bags into the Giant-Bag-O-Scraps. I narrowed by huge “Challenge Bag” collection down to this:
I did keep one type of fabric scraps separate from the others – batik scraps. They have their own organization into three baskets under my cutting table: 1) light and medium-light colors; 2) medium-dark to dark colors; and 3) thin strips:
The reason for this separation is I want to make some landscape quilts using batik strips. I recently bought a book on Landscape quilts that I will discuss in a future post (once I start an actual landscape quilt project).
During this entire “scrap wrangling” project I did pull out a lot of scraps to donate to our local Humane Society Thrift Store. The thrift store has a crafting section and packages of fabric scraps sell very quickly there (other weird people like me who are also obsessed I guess..). Check out my post from October 2016 – A “Humane” Way to Eliminate FabricScraps to see how I packed up a huge donation of fabric scraps during my purging in 2016. The packages of scraps shown in that post sold within a week at the thrift shop!
Although I am not seeking out any additional fabric scraps, currently I am embracing my fabric scrap obsession. I remind myself that my quilting studio area is “my playroom” and it is okay to go in there and just play with my scraps!
Happy MLK Day! When the political landscape feels challenging to me as a person of color and as a woman, I remember his words and I am re-inspired:
Are you familiar with the phrase “throwing pottery”? This phrase relates to creating some type of clay vessel/bowl on a pottery wheel.
Recently I made a fabric bowl by “throwing” it on my sewing machine!
This bowl is made from batik fabric strips wrapped around clothesline using the instructions from the Bali Boxes pattern by Aunties Two.
It measures approximately 11.5″ in diameter and is 4″ deep.
Several years ago I was really into making batik fabric bowls and boxes and had a stash of cotton clothesline and 2.5″ pre-cut batik fabric strips (like Hoffman Bali Pops). Here are a couple of my baskets from that period:
Bali Basket – lots of work
I burned out on making these baskets, however I had enough wrapped clothesline to make one more small basket and set it aside for the day I wanted to make another basket (into my “abandoned project stash”).
Well that day arrived a week ago – I was ready to “throw” a new basket!
Here is the wrapped clotheslines and the fabric for the center:
Making the basket begins with making a coiled foundation around a Timtex (heavy interfacing) filled center fabric pouch:
Once the base is created, it is time to “throw” the basket and angle it around the sewing machine as you add rows of covered clothesline using a zig-zag stitch:
The piece is finished off with a binding on top to cover the ends of the wrapped clothesline:
And now a couple images of the completed bowl (I added a little tierneycreates tag to the top under the binding):
I am pleased with my “thrown” fabric bowl and glad I pulled the remaining wrapped clothesline out of my abandoned project stash!