The end of last week I received a wonderful reminder of why I became a quilter and why I make quilts.
Many years ago I made my a baby quilt for my Danish Brother’s (longtime friend that I spent part of the summer in Denmark with him and his family in the late 90s, he now lives in Austria) first born son (14? years ago).
It was a fairly simple quilt as 14 years ago I still in my early days of quilting.
Little did I know this quilt would become sort of a family heirloom for them and is passed around family members as they have babies.
Last year I received an e-mail and photo from my Danish Brother with his sweet nearly 3 year old niece (his brother’s darling daughter) wrapped in the quilt when she was feeling under the weather to comfort her:
A very sweet face but must protect this little one’s privacy
And at the end of last week I received an e-mail with a photo of his new nephew (his brother-in-law’s son) using the quilt!
A very sweet looking baby but face obscured for his privacy, you’ll just have to trust me on his sweetness 🙂
It was one of those “my heart is going to explode” feelings, my eyes filled with tears, and I got to so overwhelmed and grateful (and surprised) that a simple baby quilt I made was bringing comfort to 14+ years of babies/children so far in one family!
Here is a quote from my Danish Brother from his e-mail with the photo of his niece wrapped in the quilt in 2022:
... you know what…is precious to me? The blankie that is comforting her! I am sure you recognised it immediately of course. I just wanted to put that smile on your face! Thank you for the fine gifts you have lovingly crafted for me. It warms my heart every time I look at them. Every one of them is my favorite!
Hey Universe, thanks for the reminder, I will keep making quilts.
You quilters out there reading this you understand!
Before I share the next 8 projects of the 24 total projects I had on my docket, I’d like to share some highlights from an article titled “The Ultimate Guide to Tackling Your UFOs” in the February 2022 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting (APQ) that I came across a couple weeks ago.
Why UFOs (unfinished objects) Can Be a Problem:
They take up space
They cause stress or guilt
They block your creativity
Steps to Tackling UFOs:
Set clear goals
Track your progress
Use the buddy system
Is social media creating new UFOs? Social media is a great tool for connecting with other quilters…but it can also be an overwhelming place where you are constantly bombarded with new patterns, fabrics, and quilt-along (QAL) opportunities. This can make your…UFO pile grow larger…
APQ, Vol. 30, No. 1, Issue 174 (Feb 2023)
It was a great article. My local public library has American Patchwork & Quilting as one of it’s online magazines that can be read through the apps Libby or Hoopla, so if you have this access you could read the full article in the February 2022 issue.
And now back to the continued audit…
THE PROJECT AUDIT (CONTINUED)
9) THE COASTERS
I’m not sure why I hold onto these…
Years ago at some quilt shop I found a panel of adorable blocks/prints of coffee drinks – Cafe du jour. I’ve made several sets of gift coasters from the original panel I bought and now I have around 10 random blocks left over. I made the coasters by putting Timtex, a really firm interfacing, inside between a cute backing fabric (like coffee beans). Here is a well used coaster (I made myself a set too) that I had for years:
No one that I have gifted the coasters has ever told me they were life changing (ha) and I am not too sure how many people want handmade coasters as gifts anymore.
AUDIT DECISION: In 2023 try turning one of the blocks into a pot holder (with a border to make a bit larger) and then decided after that experiment whether to make the remaining blocks into potholders (gifts? sell on Etsy shop?) or to donate.
10) THE LEFTOVER LIGHTHOUSE BLOCKS
Hmm…some of these are getting embarrassing to share…
I learned to quilt while living in Seattle, WA around 1999. After making a couple quilts (that are now embarrassing in regards to my lack of technical skills back then) I decided EVERYONE important to me in my life needed a handmade quilt from me (whether they wanted one or not).
My late husband Terry came from a large family (7 kids) and to handle all those people for Christmas, including their spouses, they decided to draw names and you only got a gift for your assigned family member. Well back in the early 2000s I pulled the name of a family member that loved lighthouses. So I made her a lighthouse themed quilt, which she loved (whew!).
Yes early 2000s. And I still have left over blocks/sections from the lighthouse prints panel I used to make her quilt. Why? Because I was going to make another lighthouse themed quilt someday…
AUDIT DECISION: Donate. No more to say about that obvious decision! (But I hope some crafter at the thrift store comes across them and exclaims: “Wow! I’ve been looking for these exact lighthouse prints to make into a quilt!” Hey – it could happen!)
11) BASKET OF FABRIC TO USE FOR MAKING BAGS
No, not more drawstring/project bags! Once I finish the stack of partially completed drawstring/project bags (see Part I), I don’t want to make any more of those for a long, long time.
This fabric is reserved for tote bags I want to make.
AUDIT DECISION: Keep, and I have to make at least one tote bag from the fabric in this basket in 2023!
12) ASIAN FABRIC SCRAPS FOR AN ORANGE PEEL STYLE QUILT
I was obsessed with Asian themed fabric in the mid to late 2000s and I still have a lot of it in my fabric stash I do not appear to be able to part with. I made a lot of quilts with Asian themed fabrics and I made a lot of miniature kimonos during my obsession with them (see my page Gallery page for examples of the zillions of miniature kimonos I made as gifts, for my home, and sold in the early days of my tierneycreates Etsy shop).
So I have a lot of Asian fabric scraps left over from all those projects. I decided I wanted to someday make an Orange Peel style quilt (see example below) from those scraps.
They actually sold very well on my tierneycreates Etsy shop and I sold out of them. I also made some as gifts which were well received. I used ombre fabric as the background which had a cool gradation. Here is what they looked like completed:
I made quilted versions and non quilted versions. These unfinished table runners are the non quilted versions.
AUDIT DECISION: As the three runners are nearly complete, finish them in 2023 and list them on my Textiles & Smiles Etsy shop when I open it again for business later this year.
14) COORDINATING FABRIC FROM AN OLD QUILT BACK
This fabric is from a friend who had an old pieced quilt back that no longer worked but it had some great fabric in it. I took the quilt back and dissembled it to recycle the high quality quilting cottons that were there.
AUDIT DECISION: Not really sure what I was thinking at the time, except “Oooh free nice fabric I can recycle”, as I do not have a project in mind for this collection of scraps. So I am giving myself 2023 to come up with something to make with them and if I do not I will re-evaluate…I could always just add them to my pile of blue fabric scraps…
15) DRAFT DRESS IN MUSLIN AND PATTERN
A friend who is the same dress size as me made a beautiful sheath dress for her son’s wedding. It was a casual wedding and the dress was not formal but something you could wear out to lunch or dinner. The pattern was very accessible for the casual/beginner clothes maker.
She offered to send it to me and I said yes. But it has been sitting around. I really want to make the dress I think it would look great on me as I am tall like her and she looks great in it. It would be a great step towards my dream of learning to make my own clothes.
AUDIT DECISION: Keep it for now but revisit in 2024 if I do not start making the dress in 2023. And as I mentioned in yesterday’s post – going forward do not accept any more projects from others in the future. No matter now appealing!
16) COLORFUL QUARTER CIRCLE QUILT
I actually assembled this quilt in 2020, see post What’s On the Design Wall: “Pride”, but fell short of actually sewing it together. I also posted the design wall photo of Instagram and someone asked if they could buy the quilt when it was completed/quilted.
I am not clear why I stopped working on it, but I really want to make it (this is another project given to me by a quilting friend who did most of the piecing of the blocks but did not want to finish it). It must have been one of those “squirrel” moments where my attention to it wavered and I was called towards the next appealing looking “nut”!
AUDIT DECISION: Get this quilt back up on the design wall in 2023 and get the blocks sewn together!
Whew that was exhausting to go through but I feel this process is making me accountable to do something with all the projects I have in queue (and are sort of weighing me down).
I keep mentioning that I want 2023 to be a “year of finishes” of existing projects. I realized to get there I need to first do an audit of my open projects awaiting finishing. I might as well look at projects that are awaiting starting too!
So I pulled them all out and took photos:
(Note: I did not include any existing knitting or crocheting projects, only sewing projects)
So I have 24 Projects in queue!
I should clarify so you can save yourself complete boredom and stop reading right here – this post is actually for me – to catalog my open projects and motivate me to complete (the ones I decide to keep after this audit) them this year. If this becomes a snoozer for you I understand (smile).
So I am going to go through each project shown above and share background on each project and whether I am keeping the project or not.
But first, I came across on YouTube (one of my favorite sources of random information and entertainment) this video on Why is Decluttering Your Sewing Space So Hard? by Just Get It Done Quilts:
I think this video is awesome in giving context and insight on why we struggle with decluttering our sewing spaces and letting go of sewing supplies and unfinished projects.
If you head over to around 8:20 minutes into the video, the 4th reason why decluttering your sewing space is so hard: Not Asking the Right Questions. Decluttering your sewing space is not like decluttering a kitchen or a bathroom.
Instead of asking ourselves:”Do we need it?” or “Can I make it?”, we should be asking ourselves DO I WANT TO MAKE IT?
This video really helped me with making decisions during my unfinished/not started sewing project audit as I asked myself on each project: “Do I want to make it?”
THE PROJECT AUDIT
1) DRAWSTRING/PROJECT BAGS
I have a lot of cut and interfaced sections for drawstring/project bags. I recently finished 9 from my pile (see post A Year of Finishes: 3rd to 11th Finish of 2023) and they are a great sewing project to work on while I am recovering from my broken ankle/surgical repair.
AUDIT DECISION: Keep this project and continue working on bags with plan to finish assembling all already cut bags in 2023.
2) FRIENDSHIP RING QUILT
A friend sent me this quilt in progress that she had designed. The first version of this quilt appeared publication. She started a second one and did not finish it. She offered it to me and I accepted it in 2020 – see post Project Adoption Challenge!
But it is now 2023 and I have not touched this project. It is a bit of work and I am struggling with if at this point I want to make it.
AUDIT DECISION: If I haven’t started this quilt by the end of 2023, I will ask my friend if she wants it returned, if not, I will donate it. I’ve also decided not to take on anyone’s unfinished projects in the future any longer, no matter how awesome and tempting they seem.
3) NEUTRAL COLORS/FABRIC PRINTING ART QUILT
I’ve blogged about this quilt several times, most recently in August 2022 –Starting an Art Quilt. I started it and got stalled again. I am struggling with the design on the quilt and I’ve tried several layouts that have not been working.
AUDIT DECISION: I really want to make this quilt. I’ve been thinking about it for years. I am holding onto to it and will revisit it when it feels right. Hopefully it will feel like putting it back up on the design wall in 2023, but I am not putting pressure on myself to finish it in 2023.
4) FARM GIRL QUILT
I think the last time I blogged about this quilt it was in July 2017 in this post – More Farm House Vintage Blocks. I’ve made enough blocks to make a lap sized quilt but there are more blocks I want to make before I made a “Farm Girl” quilt. But I do have a friend, who actually lives in farming country in Oregon who is interesting in buying the Farm Girl quilt when I finish it.
AUDIT DECISION: I really enjoy making the blocks from Lori Holt’s Farm Girl sampler books. I want to finish a quilt and either sell to my friend or sell on my Etsy shop when I reopen it someday. I am going to keep the 16 blocks I’ve made so far and turn them into a quilt. I am not putting pressure on myself to finish it in 2023 but in 2023 I do want to revisit the blocks, layout options, and strategize how many addition blocks I need to complete to make a decent sized quilt.
5) PANELS AND PATTERNS FROM THE 2021 ROCKY MOUNTAIN QUILT SHOP HOP
AUDIT DECISION: Keep and put away until ready to work on it. Do not schedule for 2023 finish but revisit during 2023.
6) FABRIC SCRAPS FROM ANOTHER QUILTER’S PROJECT
I’ve had this package of scraps for 9 or more years. Another quilter made a really cute Autumn themed table runner at a quilt retreat I attended. She gave me her scraps which were enough to make another table runner.
AUDIT DECISION: Let it go and donate the scraps. I haven’t made it in 9 years since I received the scraps and I’ve lost interest in making a table runner with these fabrics.
7) SASHISKO HAND SEWING PROJECT
I’ve had this project for a long time. I think I bought this “Learn Sashisko” panel during my first visit to Cannon Beach, Oregon which likely a year or so after I first moved to Central Oregon in 2005. So I probably had this project for a long time! I bought it at this wonderful quilt shop in Cannon Beach – Center Diamond Fabrics. Many wonderful memories of visit Cannon Beach, Oregon with my late husband Terry and I our various Miniature Schnauzers (here is one of those posts – The Road to Retreat (Via Cannon Beach))
AUDIT DECISION: Keep it and work on finishing up this hand sewing project in 2023.
8) THREE BLIND MICE PIN CUSHIONS
Another project I’ve had a long time. Not sure when I bought it!
AUDIT DECISION: Make the mice pincushions in 2023 and give as gifts.
I will finish up the audit of projects 9 – 24 in Part II and Part III of this series of posts.
The tierneycreates Beastie has already, in those posts, introduced you to J’s cat Oscar, quite the adorable kitty. Oscar wanted to be part of everything we were doing with unpacking and organizing J’s studio. He also wanted to be part of when J was trying to do a “quilt trunk show” for MJ and I.
J is a quilter but also does many other creative crafts. She is also a former architect and professional photographer. She is infused with creativity and I am fairly sure she got some of her creativity from her Mom who was a prolific quilter.
Here is J’s favorite quilt of her Mom’s which hangs in one of her guest bedrooms:
One evening J treated us to a trunk show of a collection of her late mother’s quilts and Oscar was all about being part of the show!
The quilts were wonderful but I was definitely distracted by Oscar’s mischievous cuteness!
J gifted me one of her mother’s quilts and I plan to hang it in my basement guest bedroom which has a nautical/beach theme (don’t laugh at me – I know I live in Colorado a “land locked” state, ha!):
In the previous post I mentioned my run in with the cat Oscar while I was taking my dog Mikelet for a walk in the backyard. Tierney moved Mikelet and I to a safe location, the porch swing, just in case Oscar decided we were cat toys.
Mikelet got pretty cozy on the porch swing and was ready for belly rubs:
Mikelet was a very good dog during our trip and mainly laid about and slept while we worked on the studio unpacking and organization project.
Here is what J’s studio looked like by day 3 of the project. Tierney had made it her mission to get J’s sewing machine area cleaned up so J could sit and it and sew!
I even found a clean spot on the cutting/worktable in the center of the room:
On Day, Tierney, Mikelet and I had to head back to Denver but our friend MJ sent us this photo of a completely cleaned off worktable!!!
By the time we left every box was unpacked and nearly all the boxes were broken down and moved to the garage for future recycling.
Early in our project, Tierney came across this plaque in one of J’s boxes and hung it on the wall of the studio for motivation:
I guess it worked! But what really worked was the untiring and persistent efforts of J, MJ, and Tierney (and me cheering them on) “kicking #ss and taking names” on those boxes! They were quite the RELENTLESS team!
They didn’t just unpack boxes and organize the studio, they also did some fun stuff, but Tierney forgot to bring me along so I’ll let her tell you about it in another post.
J’s new home was really beautiful. So I will just close my series of posts with some photos of her lovely home and her amazing collection of art from J’s world travels (for example the ancient Egyptian themed framed quilt is from her trip to Egypt) . Also Tierney made J a little hostess gift, one of her drawstring bags, and that is in the photos below:
Here I am in my observation tissue box taking notes for this blog post:
So after a day of unpacking boxes, J’s studio looked like this:
It might not look like it, but we were making great progress! Especially when we got the closet organized and set up for J’s WIPs (works in progress) to be stored out of the way (plus she could see all the projects she has to get done by the end of the year – ha, ha!):
Unpacking all those boxes we made a bit of mess between the boxes themselves (which we broke down) and the wrapping papers.
But we had a curious kitty Oscar who was fascinated with all our unpacking activities, especially the wrapping paper:
Oscar even tried to help us break down some of the boxes:
I’ll admit Oscar was cute, but I am not too sure of my comfort level around Oscar. When I tried to take my dog Mikelet for a walk around J’s backyard, Oscar came a little to close for comfort:
Tierney had to intervene and move Mikelet and me to another area as we weren’t sure if Oscar would think I was a cat toy!
After a long day of unpacking, J who is an accomplished pianist, treated us to an impromptu concert on her beautifulEstonia piano (which Tierney thought also looked beautiful in B&W):
Wow all those symbols on the page look complicated, not sure how J understood them all!
Well more progress to come in Part III of this series of posts…
Hello this is tierneycreates Beastie, filling in for Tierney who has just returned from a couple days in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Mikelet my miniature Miniature Schnauzer and I went with her, and we consulted/helped with the unpacking and organization of her friend J’s studio in Fayetteville.
Tierney and J’s Central Oregon based friend MJ also met up with us there (and Tierney and I got to fly on the same flight from Denver to Bentonville, AR as MJ had a connecting flight from Central Oregon).
J had moved from Central Oregon (where Tierney and I used to live) to Fayetteville, AR and then had a major life changes and did not have the time and chance to unpack and organize her quilting/art studio. She invited MJ and Tierney to visit her and MJ came up with the idea that we could also work on getting J’s studio to the point where she could do her art again.
Here I am on my way to Arkansas – Mikelet and I traveled in Tierney’s backpack:
After visiting with J and MJ a while when we first arrived in Arkansas, we headed upstairs to J’s studio to see what we were getting ourselves into…
Looking around, I realized we’ve got a bit of work to do.
Well I went ahead and set up a temporary desk in the tissue box so I could blog about our project!
Next guest post I will show our progress, but for now I will close out this post with a funny sign J had in her studio:
This post is not about starting a specific art quilt* (though I will share an art quilt I am in the progress of making), it about a little of the process I use to design a new art quilt.
*When I use the term “art quilt” I mean a quilt using an original design that you design/create; not based on an existing pattern (though a pattern could inspire it); and either improvisational or based on a specific idea/concept/photo that inspired the quilt.
What do you find successful when you are creating a design?
What is one thing you do that helps you focus and get rid of all the noise and clutter that come with color, design, prints, etc.?
There are so many complicated variables (in making an art quilt), how do you start?
I let her know I would answer her questions in a blog post in case anyone else finds my musing interesting and possible useful. (And at the end of this blog post I am going to invite you all to weigh in with your answers, so start thinking about them now as you read mine!)
What do you find successful when you are creating a design?
THE MEMORY QUILT
What I find successful in creating a design is to sit down and write out my general concept and what I want to accomplish with this quilt. For example on the memory quilt I made my friend I wanted to 1) make a quilt from as many of her mother’s favorite clothes that I could; 2) make something that feels like it is a hug from her late mother; 3) try and use some of the more challenging fabrics in the design.
In writing out my general concept, I consulted some traditional quilting books for ideas. I did not want to make it “improvisational” with a lot of little pieces placed randomly (or in a format such as a free form log cabin). I wanted it to have some defined structure.
During my research (looking through my collection of quilting books) I found a pattern that had hearts appliquéd over plaid (via four patches) squares. I thought – “yes that is it!” – the hearts could represent love from her late mother; and the plaid design (four patches) was doable with the challenging fabrics I needed to work with (like velour, a polyester scarf, etc.).
MY CURRENT ART QUILT IN PROGRESS
Recently I’ve started a new art quilt for a special show I am hoping to get into. It would be my first international show. I’ve been invited to submit a quilt for it but it has to be acceptable for the exhibit in order to make it into it. That’s all the details I’ll provide on the reason for the quilt for now, but more to come in the future.
Ideas about the quilt are not just focused on how the finished quilt might look. They are also about what I’d like a viewer of the quilt to see, experience, think about, etc. What feelings and thoughts so I want to evoke when someone looks at the quilt? What do I want the quilt to say (or try to say). What is the theme of the art quilt, what is it about. I might also start to write a draft Artist Statement for the quilt to really get me thinking what I want the quilt to “say”. See my little “side bar” below for more discussion on this concept.
*** SIDE BAR ***
For example, all of quilts I’ve made for the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) shows that I’ve been in had specific themes so I had a starting point. I knew what the quilt needed to in general “be about”and from there I had to narrow it down to what I wanted to share about that topic. Example below with the quilt I did for the WCQN show “Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience“ which was inspired by the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I was assigned (actually I got to select which Article from the Declaration I wanted to use) Article I: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
So that was my starting point. I knew what I needed to portray in the quilt, I just had to figure out how to get there.
Here is an early sketch from my journal as I was working on the quilt:
And here is the completed quilt:
I am not sure how to put in to words how I got from the sketch to the completed quilt but it was through trial and error, and lots of experimentation. But I knew I wanted it to be a classroom with a person who looked like my father in the 1970s teaching because he was the one who taught my two siblings and myself the values in Article I. Also I come from a long line of teachers and I wanted to honor education/teaching.
If you know what you want to accomplish with the art quilt, then it helps you have a clearer vision.
Okay that the end of the side bar, so back to the current art quilt in progress….
This time the quilt was inspired by a collection of machine embroidered blocks a friend gave me years ago along with coordinating 10 inch x 10 inch sections of coordinating fabric; as well as a group of fabric printed “trees” I designed and printed years ago in a fabric ink printing class.
What I want to accomplish with this quilt I am still working out. I am thinking through whether I want it to be a deeply personal piece about grief based on the somber colors of the quilt and the tree images, or it if I want it to be more uplifting (or some blend of both).
After I came up with my initial concept/idea/layout, I laid out all the fabrics I’d selected for the piece on my cutting table in my studio:
Then I put up a sample of each fabric and the special blocks (the embroidered blocks and the printed trees) up on my studio’s design wall:
Having the fabrics up on the wall helped me think about addition and subtraction (what I need to add to the design as far as fabrics, and what I need to take away) and I decided not to use the gold tinged fabrics in my design. I decided to just stick with muted grays, browns and taupes.
Here is a close up of some of the embroidered blocks I am using in the piece, one of the printed trees, and an example of the cool fabric my friend gave me:
If these fabrics looks familiar (and you’ve been following my blog a long time) I first shared them back in 2018 in a post called What’s Simmering on the Design Wall. But I abandoned the project as something else caught my attention (I guess I let it “simmer” too long and the inspiration evaporated away!).
Here I am with the quilt design right now – I am thinking of a medallion quilt layout…
Okay time to move on to the next question…
What is one thing you do that helps you focus and get rid of all the noise and clutter that come with color, design, prints, etc.?
Writing down my ideas on in my art journal, that is the number one thing that helps me focus. If my ideas change as I play with the fabrics on the design wall or the table I have them laid out upon, then I write down my new ideas.
As far as eliminating “the noise and clutter”, for me that is reduced by having a clear concept of what I want to accomplish (see “SIDE BAR” above).
I usually select a color palette early on in designing a piece. I’ve noticed that I am attracted towards “Southwest” and “Desert” type colors – rusts, beiges, greens, sky blues, etc. and I have repeated that palette in several art quilts. I read somewhere that if artists select a palette that they usually work from it can become a signature of their work.
Here is an example of an early art quilt I did called Central Oregon is Central to Me which uses that palette:
And then you can see I repeated this palette years later in a quilt I made for the WCQN show Yours for Race and Country: Reflections on the Life of Colonel Charles Young”. The name of this piece is Giant Among the Sequoias.
Color is very powerful and I’ve read a couple books about select coloring in the design of quilts. Two that I highly recommend were written by one of my teachers when I lived in Central Oregon – Jean Wells Keenan: Intuitive Color and Design and Journey to Inspired Art Quilting.
It was actually in her Journey to Inspired Art Quilting Workshop series that I took at the Stitchin’ Post in Sister, Oregon that I began the quilt Color Story V: Abandoned Water Structure, which was the first of my art quilts purchased by the City of Seattle for their Portable Works Collection (the City of Seattle now owns 4 of my art quilts made from recycled silks which they rotate through their municipal offices).
I might be rambling at this point, but I want to take a moment to share two additional major things that have helped me “get rid of all the noise”: 1) reading books about art quilting; and 2) taking classes with experienced art quilters (ongoing workshops are especially helpful – a series of classes with the same instructor helps you build upon concepts learned). You can also find a mentor and that can come from joining either a local or national art quilting group.
You cannot become an art quilter on your own (well maybe you can but I couldn’t) – you need mentors and teachers and it is very helpful to learn some formal art quilting concepts and techniques so you have them in your “tool bag”.
I know I need to take some more in person classes in the future. For now I just read art quilting journals, watch YouTube videos, and read books. So many awesome books have been written by some very talented art quilters!
Now on to the last question.
There are so many complicated variables (in making an art quilt), how do you start?
See above (smile).
So those were my answers to the three questions:
What do you find successful when you are creating a design?
What is one thing you do that helps you focus and get rid of all the noise and clutter that come with color, design, prints, etc.?
There are so many complicated variables (in making an art quilt), how do you start?
I INVITE YOU TO SHARE YOUR ANSWERS AND FEEL FREE TO RAMBLE AS I DID 😉
I decided to quilt is myself and did a combination of hand and machine quilting. I talk more about this (and share photos) on the previous post “Update on Memory Quilt “.
I used a floral fabric with the colors in the quilt top as the back and the binding.
Here’s the completed quilt (which is of course a rectangle, it just looks triangular from the camera angle) in my studio:
A couple more photos:
And yes that is me at the bottom of the photo above awkwardly trying to take a photo of the quilt on my cutting table in my studio while trying to use my ring light.
Something I did not mention in the previous post on this quilt – before I quilted it, we met my friend and her husband for dinner while my sister was visiting a couple of weeks ago. I brought the quilt top (not quilted yet) with me to show her.
At the restaurant I pulled out the quilt top and handed it to her to look at before our food arrived.
She started crying. She was so touched and overwhelmed with seeing her mother’s favorite clothes made into a quilt top she could not contain her emotions. My eyes started to get moist too and I was touch.
She was very happy with the final product which was delivered to her on Saturday. She wants to hang the quilt on the wall but I strongly encouraged to cuddle under it and let it be a “hug from her Mom”.
Thought I would give a little update on the memory quilt I am making for a grieving friend who lost her mother, with her mother’s favorite clothes. Here is a link to the previous post if you’d like some additional background – Update on “The Challenge”.
Here is the quilt top completed that I shared in that previous post:
Originally I was thinking of sending it out for professional long-arm quilting and my friend was going to pay for the professional quilting. Then I got concerned with there being issues over the unusual fabrics I had used in the quilt (acrylic sweater, polyester scarf, velour robe, etc) with the long arm quilting machine.
I discussed it with my friend and she was good with me quilting it myself (though it would not be nearly as lovely quilting as a professional long-arm) and she would give me money for the cost of the batting, etc. She is not a quilter and does not have expectations of super high quality machine quilting on my part – whew!
Last week I was trying to figure out the logistics of domestic machine quilting and thought I better hand stitch some of the blocks that have special logos, embroidery, etc. to secure them instead of trying to machine quilt around the logos. I found some heavy embroidery thread from my stash of thread of Sashiko* stitching and did some lap quilting (in the middle of the hot summer):
(*but wait a minute Tierney: I’ve followed your blog a long time and I do not remember any posts about Sashiko stitching…Why yes, I have the supplies and started a piece like 10 – 12 years ago…but someday I am really going to pick the piece up again and then blog about it..)
It was fun and for a moment (yes only a wee moment), I actually considered hand quilting the entire quilt. But I came to my senses as that would not be very fun in the hot summer and I would like to get this quilt to my friend, who is facing some other life challenges right now, sooner than in 6 months to a year! (Exhibit A – “Seattle Scrappy” which took me over a year to hand quilt – Seattle Scrappy is Done!)
Speaking of hot summer, I recently got my first full sized tomato (as opposed to the grape or cherry tomatoes I have successfully grown) in my little container garden on my upper back deck and I was so happy!
As I joked on my @tierneycreates Instagram account, I wanted to frame it! As of this writing, I now have two full sized tomatoes. Right now both tomatoes are sitting as decoration on my kitchen counter and I better use them before they go bad!
I am also celebrating the appearance of the first sunflower in my garden. I love love love sunflowers and I’ve blogged about them several times in the past especially when I lived in my house in Oregon where I grew sunflowers every year.
We are at that point in summer (August), where for me I am OVER summer and the heat, longing for Fall/Autumn.
I was so longing for Fall that I made one of my favorite colder weather dishes – chicken pot pie:
I made two because we help feed John’s recently widowed father (John’s stepmother suddenly passed at the end of 2021) who lives nearby and he loves my chicken pot pie!
Yes it was lovely (not) having the hot oven, in the heated up kitchen due to the hot oven, in the hot weather outside. Brilliant, eh?
Also just sitting around one evening with that memory quilt on my lap hand quilting it made me yearn for cooler weather.
But then I reminded myself that come early March, I am only dreaming of warm weather! I have to always remember to just embrace the current season I am in.
So back to relishing in my 2 full sized tomatoes and my sunflowers (smile).
Well I am tired of waiting around for Tierney to do a blog post, so once again I’ve had to take matters intomy own paws and do a guest blog post (if you are new to this blog, my story is on this post – I’m A Monster!!! and you can see all my posts at this link: Beastie Adventures).
Tierney was allegedly going to start writing blog posts again once she caught up on reading all her blogging buddies’ posts after her very busy summer (so far). But you haven’t seen a recent post from Tierney have you?
So I’ve pulled out my laptop and written a post to start to update you on our summer:
A week or so ago (not sure at this point, the summer is a blur…) Tierney, Mikelet (my dog) and I attended a quilt retreat at the Riptide Retreat in Shelton, Washington with some long time quilting friends (including the lady who originally got Tierney into quilting).
Tierney’s quilting friends who live in Washington state and drove to the retreat, brought her a sewing machine to use during the retreat so she wouldn’t have to bring hers on the plane from Denver to Seattle. Here I am supervising the start of her sewing on this loaner machine:
I am a little obsessed with rotary cutters since Tierney never let’s me play with them (see post Guest Blogger: October Quilt Retreat Part I), and I did try to get access to a rotary cutter one of the other quilters had lying around during the retreat but Tierney thwarted my efforts, sigh.
Not everyone was sewing at the retreat, one person was learning to crochet and I had to check it out:
As I am a Knitted Person (knitted by Helen of Crawcrafts Beasties – crawcraftsbeasties.com), I am not sure how I feel about crochet…
We had delicious food during the retreat, the Washington based quilters at the retreat pre-prepared a couple meals for the attendees including this homemade lasagne with from scratch tomorrow sauce and handmade meatballs:
In addition to eating and sewing (and lounging around on the deck overlooking the water), several of the quilters went on daily walks. I accompanied them on walks and here are a couple of photos from my walks with either the quilters or when I took my dog Mikelet (who was very well behaved at the retreat) on walks:
It was cool to be back in the Pacific NW and take Mikelet for a walk in the majestic wooded areas in the neighborhood of the retreat center!
My sewing “mojo” was hiding somewhere for a while and I had little desire to sew. I had a “sewing-block“. Turns out the best way to resolve it was to sew a block!
I’ve been distracted from time in my sewing studio by some recent travel, visits from out of town friends, and a couple challenging recent life events. A couple days ago I knew I needed to get my back to sewing (as there is just so much fun stuff to be made) and decided returning to working on my Tula Pink City Sampler (100 Modern Quilt Blocks)would be a good place to start.
In early 2018 before all of our lives would change, my quilting friends and I first discussed the idea of doing a cool “bucket list” thing: visiting the Missouri Star Quilt Company, also known as “MSQC”, in Hamilton, Missouri. It wasn’t until 2021 after a year and a half into the pandemic, we decided: “let’s do it, not just visit but attend a quilt retreat there!”. I have to thank my friend Judy (the one who got me into quilting back in 1999) for her amazing facilitation and coordination of our adventure.
If you are not a quilter, or just never heard of MSQC, there is a wonderful story behind it.
Basically a quilter moved to an economically depressed small rural town in Missouri, opened a quilt shop which evolved into a quilting empire, essentially a “Quilter’s Disneyland” and saved the town.
It’s a pretty amazing story and you can read more about how MSQC came to be on their website at this link: About Us; or read one of these stories below from other sources:
My long time quilting friends and I have ordered from the MSQC website over the years and have been familiar with their story for about six years. So it was pretty exciting when we arrived in town on the shuttle van we took from the Kansas City airport. Here is what we first saw from the shuttle van and then immediately walking around when we arrived in Hamilton, MO:
The “downtown” is filled with speciality quilting shops. Here is the map from the MSQC website page MSQC Quilt Shops:
There are 13 specialty quilt shops, plus a yarn shop and other little gift and boutique shops. We did a scavenger hunt the second day of the retreat which took us to all the shops (well we did explore most of them on our own the first day) as well as several local businesses.
Once you visit Hamilton, MO, you will see why it’s called Quilt Town, USA!
Well that is enough for this post (I think there will be a lot of posts in this series, ha!). Next post I will share photos from my adventures in the shops with my quilting friends.
II’ll also have a future post coming up on the Scrap Sale we attended (fill a bag for $11 to the brim with scraps…that were not really scraps – they were 1 yard to 3 yard pieces!!!); and how they will ship all your purchases (and anything else you can fit in the box they provide) home for you for free – OH TROUBLE FOR THE WALLET! (but good trouble…)
As I mentioned in the introduction in the past severals posts, I recently returned from a nearly week long quilting retreat with my long time quilting friends at the Missouri Star Quilt Companyin Hamilton Missouri. My next series of posts will be about that retreat. It was one of those “bucket list” experiences.
For this first post about the retreat, I thought I would do a follow up to my February 8, 2022 post Preparing for Quilt Retreatand show you what I actually worked on during the retreat – one thing – the first 20 blocks for the Tula Pink’s City Sampler 100 Modern Quilt Blocks quilt:
As I shared in the 02/08/2022 post Preparing for Quilt Retreat , I cut out the fabric from my scrap collection for the first 20 blocks and made them into little packets to take to the retreat:
I had so much fun at the retreat opening up each packet and working on it. Each packet was like a surprise as I forgot what specific fabrics and colors I cut for each one.
Here are the blocks in progress on the design wall I sat next to at the quilt retreat:
And here are the completed 20 blocks which took me a couple days to complete (because there was a lot of shopping and wandering around “Quilt Town USA“, but that is another post), and it was all that I worked on despite the other projects I had prepared and brought:
Now I have the blocks home and up on my design wall at home (each block measures 6.5 inches by 6.5 inches), and it will be time to try to make another 20 to get me closer to the 100 I need to complete for the quilt!
I am daydreaming about the day I complete all 100 blocks and then have to decide on my block setting options – the end of the book has so many awesome setting options!
We needed to return to Wilmington, NC for his work conference, but first we stopped for an evening and 1/2 a day in Raleigh, NC which I’ve never visited before. I will share a little about our trip to Raleigh in an upcoming post, but for this post I wanted to share photos of the quilt shop we stopped at during our drive from Raleigh to Wilmington, NC on Sunday January 30.
For a quilter, besides the thrill of returning home to fondle your new fabric purchases or completing a major quilting project, is there anything more awesome than wandering around a quilt shop you’ve never visited before? For me, it is one of life’s true pleasures!
I may not buy something at every quilt shop I visit but I love seeing the “creative potential” of the fabric, patterns, samples quilts, etc.
And here is the very patient partner John, waiting while I wandered about the shop:
Hope you enjoyed that virtual wander, sorry you could not fondle the fabric with me!
The staff was very friendly and the wonderful woman who rang up my purchases (I bought a pattern), gave me this wonderful pin as a gift to welcome me to the shop and to North Carolina:
It can be worth chatting with friendly people in quilt shops!
Before we went to the quilt shop, we stopped for an amazing seafood lunch at a Farmers Market in Raleigh called the State Farmers Market. We ate at this friendly and amazing fish fry/seafood fry place called N.C. Seafood Market.
Oh my goodness. We are “landlocked” in Colorado and do not get much access to fresh seafood (unless a Colorado restaurant has a system to fly in seafood fresh each day), so we were in “seafood heaven” at this place.
The food was very reasonably priced and tasty is an understatement. It was so good that on our way back to Raleigh (we flew home to Denver via Raleigh) we stopped there again for lunch (and they recognized us and welcomed us back)!
I did not take any photos, I was just too excited! But here is a photo that I downloaded from Google Images from the restaurant to give you an idea of what our platter looked like:
Hmm…suddenly I am very hungry…
Next couple of posts I will share more about our trip to North Carolina.
I continue with making project/drawstring bags (little obsessed) for my imaginary reopening of my tierneycreates Etsy shop. While making the latest group, I thought I would try something: making them “mass production” style. Okay well small scale mass production style. I would cut all the pieces out, fuse the interfacing, and sew them production style one step at a time.
The first three bags to come out of this experiment was three bags in different sizes (small, medium, large) made from Figo Fabric’s Harmony line, with the word “Harmony” from the selvage stitched onto the bags.
I decided to name this series of three bags – “Three Part Harmony”. Get it? Or perhaps the name is silly but it made me smile. I will sell them as a set on my Etsy shop.
I didn’t have enough of the word “Harmony” in the rest of the fabric’s selvage to continue to stitch it onto the rest of the bags, but I finished them up also “production style”. Here are the rest of the bags in progress:
What I learned from my “mass production” experiment:
And if you’ve ever seen the comedy TV show In Living Color you can hear the inflection in my voice in your mind, ha!
Something about the magic of completing a bag got taken away when I was doing each step production line style on 7 bags.
I guess I just enjoy making one bag at a time and being in the process of completing one bag. I would be very poor if I tried to live off the proceeds of selling on Etsy – ha!
But this is to be a hobby not the way I make a living. Unless I could sell each bag for $1000….ha!
My friend Judy (the one who got me in to quilting in the late 1990s) and her husband came for a long weekend visit this past weekend. We did a little Denver area “quilt shop hopping” during her visit and stopped at Treelotta Fabricswhich I discovered during the Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop. While at this shop we discovered a different take on the drawstring bag that we really liked:
Instead of ribbon or cord, they made the drawstring from the same fabric as the bottom of the bag. Also they added some rick-rack to the seam between the two coordinating fabrics – very creative!
This gives me future ideas for bags. Of course I do need to make other things for my Etsy shop besides bags! (I do actually have a stash of other things I’ve made that I will share in future posts).
Good Morning and here is part two of my story of the “Drawstring-bagalicious Retreat” I attended August 9 – 12, 2021 with my Washington based friends Judy and Dana. In Part I (A Drawstring-bagalicious Retreat, Part I) I shared that what began as a “bring your own project to work on quilting retreat” turned into a “let’s just make drawstring bags for 3 days obsession”!
We did do other things than make drawstring bags during our stay at the Riptide Retreaton the waterfront/beach in Shelton, Washington.
WE ENJOYED OUR COZY RETREAT CENTER
It was cluttered at times (this is what happens when you get a bunch of crafters together) but here are some scenes from the quilt retreat center (including while creativity was in progress):
In addition to the upstairs and its deck overlooking the water, the retreat center also had a downstairs with a cozy seating area, additional beds, and access to the downstairs deck.
There were only three of us at the retreat so we had plenty of space (the Riptide Retreat is set up for up to 10 attendees). Judy and Dana took the upstairs bedroom and I had the downstairs to myself – I had my own apartment! I would wake up each morning and look out on the water – it was pretty yummylicious (another fake English word like “bagalicious”, ha).
WE ENJOYED GORGEOUS VIEWS
One of the challenges of being at the Riptide Retreat (okay it was the only challenge) was not getting distracted by the gorgeous views. We keep being lured outside to sit on the upper deck and look at the water, instead of working on our drawstring bags.
I sat outside each morning with my tea and when I was not too distracted with the quiet peaceful views I worked on a blog post or two.
WE WENT SHOPPING!
The owners of the Riptide Retreat also own Annie’s Quilt Shoppea very reasonably priced quilt shop in Shelton, Washington. We got a discount on some items because we were staying at their retreat center.
All I can say is we might have visited this shop more than once during the retreat!
During one of our visits to this quilt shop (oops I just gave our secret away) I discovered that there is actually a National Sew A Jelly Roll Day on Sept 18, 2021. So quilters get your jelly rolls ready to participate – ha!
WE HAD YUMMY FOOD
The three of us are pretty laid back when it comes to our food selections and when we eat, so we had whatever/foraging for breakfast each morning among what Judy and Dana brought (I didn’t have to bring any food since I flew to the retreat). For lunches and dinners we either ate out, ate leftovers, or Judy/Dana made a wonderful meal.
We discovered this wonderful sort of “hole in the wall” place in downtown Shelton which was actually an awesome (and super delicious) family run eatery – T’s Cafe. There I discovered the most scrumptious meatball sub on the planet:
We enjoyed dining “al fresco” on the upper deck of the retreat for several meals:
And yes, those are homemade frozen margaritas in our glasses (and I am happy to report all three of us are of legal drinking age, ha!).
WE WALKED ON THE BEACH
From the downstairs deck you can walk down another level to the beach along the water. I had a nice solo walk and with my friends on the beach.
WE DID A LOT OF RELAXING
I think some people consider a quilt retreat (or a drawstring bag retreat, ha) time to get all those projects done you could not get done at home. Well we consider a quilt retreat time to actually “retreat” from the busy world and do some relaxing.
We spent a lot of time on the upper deck reading, blogging, playing iPad games, walks around the neighborhood, catching up with each other, and watching boats go by on the canal.
Sometimes I forget just how beautiful the Pacific NW is (and I lived there for over 20 years between Washington and Oregon) until I visit it again.
I visited 4 shops, trying to knock out more on the 11 quilt shop visit requirement to complete my shop hop passport in order to be entered to win the grand prize (and get the lovely pin for completing the shop hop):
The 4 shops I visited on my own have red boxes around them in the graphic below:
Two of the shops really impressed me with their fabric selections, interiors and friendliness of staff. Those are the ones I took photos inside. I spent a very long time at Treelotta – the staff was wonderful, I chatted with other quilters and they had an AMAZING selection of fabrics!
The Creative Needle, Littleton, CO
Treelotta, Englewood, CO
I also have this photo but I am not sure which shop it is from! It might be from one of the other two I visited, but is it is a lovely interpretation of how to make a quilt from the mini panels you collect from each shop and one of the larger panels you can purchase during the shop hop:
So that was “Day Two” of the shop hop. I have one more post to share with you about the shop hop and John and Mike join me again for “Day Three”.
Usually my blog post stories are running a couple weeks behind (at least) in what is currently going on in my life. My@tierneycreates Instagram is more up to date. Well this blog post is actually current with my life like my Instagram.
I returned home from nearly a week in Wilmington, North Carolina with my partner John (who was on a business trip) and guess what I had in the mail?
A YUMMY surprise all the way from South Africa!
My longtime blogging buddy Mariss (@fabrications) back in June sent me the goodies pictured above which included two of her handmade pin cushions, and 2 months later they arrived!
In addition to the pin cushions, I was surprised with some amazing Nelson Mandela fabric!
Bet you do not see this everyday!
Of course it is too precious to use, so maybe I will just frame it. Okay, okay, maybe I will use it in a project some day…maybe…
I’ve been blogging for nearly 8 years and I’ve met some pretty incredible and talented people from all over the world. Several of those people have been so generous in sending me treats in mail over the years. I’ve sent out treats also of course. You all know who you are and I so appreciate you!
And I am going to be putting together some special treats for Mariss in the near future (for their 2 months+ journey to South Africa)!
One of my blogging buddies @quiteayarnblog has an ongoing series called “Agriculture Report” whose title always cracks me up because it is an update of what is going on in her garden.
In the same vein, I thought I would share my own “Agriculture Report” and share what to me is some exciting news:
I was able to grow enough basil to make Pesto
I was able to grow enough tomatoes to make ONE dish
You might be wondering: “why is this exciting” or “why is this news”?!?!?
Well after living many years in places such as Seattle and Central Oregon where growing “crops” was not that challenging (especially not in Seattle where it seemed like you could just throw seeds on the ground in passing and you’d have a bumper crop of whatever), I’ve been living in Denver, Colorado where growing things is challenging. We have a short growing season.
Last year I tried my first patio garden on the upper deck with meager results. This year, and perhaps it was because we had an unseasonably large amount of rain, I had good (well for Denver) results!
Here is my “bumper crop” of basil (enough for ONE batch of Pesto):
And here is my “bumper crop” of Roma and Cherry tomatoes (enough to make ONE dish):
Now it could just be me because when I first moved to the Denver area I took Mike the Miniature Schnauzer to a groomer near Boulder, Colorado and she had an amazing garden. I might just need to learn how to garden here!
Then I can provide better “Agriculture Reports” in the future (smile).
Our first Colorado Quilt Shop Hop adventure began in Fountain, CO and in this post we have made it to Pueblo, Colorado for the second leg of our adventure.
But first let’s talk about this:
This is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer working a quilt shop staff member at Stitcher’s Gardenin Pueblo, CO for treats! Curiously they happen to have a bag of doggy treats in the back stockroom and Mike was fed many of them!
It was very warm during the shop hop and we wanted to bring Mike the Mini Schnauzer on the road trip but not leave him the car, so it was backpacking into the quilt shops for him!
All the shops were “dog-in-a-backpack-friendly” and I think he gained a couple pounds from treats during the shop hop!
Luckily there we some nice local town parks or scenic walks that my partner John could take him on if I needed some extended time in any quilt shop. Mike enjoyed riding around in the backseat of the car with this cozy blanket and the cooler filled with our sparkling waters, soda, and snacks for roadtripping. (He just wished he had opposable thumbs so he could open the cooler when he wanted and grab his own snack!)
The first quilt shop we visited in Pueblo was Stitcher’s Gardenand here are some photos from that shop so you can have a virtual shop hop experience:
Did you see the Batik fabric cowboy boots in one of the above photos? Those made me laugh! They were not wearable but they would be a funny decorative/storage item for your quilting room! And did you notice the giant bag of treats the quilt shop staff member had in her hand while she was petting her new friend Mike?!?!?!
So far our quilt shop hop was going well until….
After our visit to that first quilt shop in Pueblo, CO, my understanding was that we had one more quilt shop in Pueblo on the 2021 Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop but when my partner John put the shop’s name “First Stitches” into his Google Maps the directions said the shop was in Canon City, CO. So we listened to Google Maps instead of our COMMON SENSE and headed out 41 miles to Canon City (do you see where this is headed…not in the right direction…).
The staff at the First Stitches quilt shop were warm and friendly and when I asked for them to punch my Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop ticket (which gives you credit for visiting each shop) they said: “Oh we are not participating in the shop hop, our ORIGINAL SHOP in PUEBLO is participating”.
So we drove back to Pueblo, tried Google Maps again and found the correct shop.
But, I had a lovely time at the wrong shop and here are photos from the First Stitches quilt shop in Canon City, CO:
I even bought some beautiful Ruby Star Society butterfly fabric at the unnecessary-stop-quilt-shop. John felt bad about the accidental side trip but it was just as much my fault as his for not using that thing called COMMON SENSE and double checking the Rocky Mountain Shop Hop quilt shop list!
After going to the correct shop which I quickly ran into, go my shop hop “passport” stamped and ran out because at this point we were so hungry, we went to the Riverwalk in Pueblo lunch, which was more beautiful than I anticipated.
I’ll save that and our next quilt shop adventure along the shop hop for my next post.
Okay time to take a break from “tierneytravels” and get back to “tierneycreates” (smile).
It only took like a year+ but I’ve finally finished hand quilting a lap sized free form log cabin quilt I started back in January 2020 at a quilting retreat which I named “Seattle Scrappy”. Now I need your help to decide which fabric to use for the quilt binding.
I know crafters are opinionated and like helping other crafters with their design, so I am looking for your opinions.
But firsthere is a little quick background on the piece and some additional photos.
In January 2020 (before the pandemic was a reality) I attended a mini quilt retreat with a couple quilting friends in Poulsbo, Washington. I brought a couple hand work projects and had EVERY INTENTION of only working on my hand work projects. But, 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!
Out of that bag of scraps came a whole lots of free form pieces log cabin blocks and you can read about those in this post – What’s on the…Design Carpet.
Since February 2020 I’ve had a series of posts on the evolution of this quilt:
I’ve had an update or two on my @tierneycreates Instagram feed since these posts but basically I’ve just been plugging along (when I remember to work on it) hand stitching it with perle/pearl cotton thread.
Last night I finally finished stitching it; and this morning I trimmed off the extra batting on the edges!
I didn’t have the best light when I quickly took these photos this morning, but they give you a general idea of the hand quilted quilt.
Now it’s time to choose the binding (this is where you come in) and here are the four options I am considering:
As you can see they are all some shade of gray. You might be thinking: “Well Tierney, what about the turquoise, aqua, or the burnt orange in the piece?” I did think about those for a moment but first of all I do not have enough of any of those fabrics to create a binding; and second I do not want to frame it in a strong color. I want to frame it in a gray.
So here are the four gray fabrics up close up against the quilt for you to select from when you share your thoughts:
A – fabric with faux stitching pattern
B – medium-dark gray fabric
C– medium gray fabric
D – variegated gray fabric (the tone/shade of gray will change along the binding
Here is a poll below for you to vote and I will report back on the result of the poll and my final decision (which will likely be heavily influenced by your votes):
****If you’d like to participate in voting/respond to the poll, you have to go to my actual website. It will not show in the WordPress Reader, sorry (thanks @tammiepainter for making me aware). If you are in the WP Reader, click on “Visit Site”.****
I’d appreciate any additional thoughts you have in addition to your vote in the Comments section of this post.
Please note however, I will only tally votes through the poll above just to make sure I do not duplicate votes, thanks!
And now I am going to piece the back of the quilt. Nothing too fancy but I do want to include the tree I made from the leftover piecings from my friend Kathy’s quilt to honor where I got all the material from to make the quilt:
Then I need to find a local long-arm quilter to quilt it. Now that the pandemic is sort of subsiding I need to start connecting with my local quilting community.
I am going to pause working on this quilt for a bit as I have two things I really need to work on: 1) a sort of emotional piece that I need to make for two important people (more on a future post); and 2) an art quilt for a WCQN show I’ve been invited to participate in. The second one is time sensitive so I really need to get it started. Unfortunately I will not be able to share the quilt images until the show opens next year.
Oh but speaking of art quilts, one of my remaining recycled silk art quilts has been accepted into an upcoming show at a local gallery. I’ll post more about that in the future.
Tomorrow another out of town guest arrives, this time for a week’s visit. It is funny we went nearly a year during the pandemic with few visitors (just a set of out of town guests in October 2020) to what seems like a constant stream of (and vaccinated) visitors! (My sister comes to visit in June next).
I will close this post with an inspirational sign I recently picked up while thrifting at a local charity shop. I’ve put it on my bedroom wall so I can see it each morning when I wake up and be inspired!
Back in 2018 several of my quilting friends were working on Elizabeth Hartman’s Legendary pattern, which featured a Sasquatch (“Bigfoot”) wandering through the woods.
I did a blog post about those quilts in progress (and completed quilt) in the post Sasquatch Sightings.
Back in 2018 my friend Kathy gave me the leftover flannel scraps and yardage from her Legendary quilt, some of which came from our friend Dana who also made the quilt.
Nearly three years later I am finally making my own Sasquatch quilt and discovered that Kathy gave me enough flannel fabric to make the entire quilt! And I might even have enough to piece a back for the quilt!
First I made the flannel trees:
The tree on the far left is made from leftover piecings from the quilt Kathy made. I am going to put it on the pieced back of the quilt to honor her generosity!
Once I made 14 flannel trees it was time for the challenging part of the quilt – making the pieced Sasquatch which involves over 36+ pieced sections.
I worked on the hands first, which involved the smallest pieces, to get through that first:
It took a couple sessions to get Sasquatch done but finally he was complete!
And now he is on the design wall with the rest of the blocks awaiting for me to cut the sashing that goes between the blocks:
I am going to send this quilt out to be professionally quilted once I finish piecing the front and the back.
It will be awesome to have my own “Sasquatch Sighting”!
I am in my 8th year of blogging and I thought throughout this year I would occasionally and randomly share posts from my 7 years archives. Here are two posts combined into one for this post about attending the EE Schenck’s Trends show in Portland, Oregon in March 2018.
It is quite bittersweet to share this post (and any posts pre-December 2018) as my partner in life and crafting, Terry the Quilting Husband passed on December 2018. But we did not know that was going to happen and we were fully enjoying life together before his unexpected passing.
Trends Show Part I and II
Trends Show Part I: The Unexpected Roommate (originally posted March 21, 2018)
They Invited Me So I Went
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I attended EE Schenck’s Trends show this past weekend. This post is part one of my two-part series on my experience at the Spring 2018 Trends show.
I signed up for an EE Schenck wholesale account when I had the tierneycreates Etsy shop and for a brief time thought I would supplement my handmade items sales with some fabric sales.
My ‘adventures in retail” were challenging (see my old post from June 2015, Adventures in Retail) and I quickly discovered that I greatly disliked cutting yardage and making up fat quarter packs (I believe this is what you have to do all day in the “Underworld”, if you are bad in life and go there after you die; to me that is a big enough incentive to be good in life!).
I did however meet my lovely quilting friend Martha through one of my Etsy shop fabric sales so I figured that was the good thing that came out of that experience!
Additionally, as I discussed in previous posts, I did not want to compete against “brick & mortar” quilt shops (though absolutely no quilt shop could have been threatened by my meager attempts to sell fabric) and become part of the “online fabric sales world” that threatens our beloved community quilt shops.
I did eventually temporarily close my Etsy shop (it’s been over a year so it has been an extended “temporary” closure) to rethink my strategy and handmade offerings.
My Etsy shop is temporarily closed but EE Schenck still has me listed as a wholesaler and they continue invite me each year to their Spring and Fall Trends show for now.
I attended my first show in September 2016 (see the post Ladies Friendship Circle) and got to hang out with my friend Joan H. as well as the lovely Marie Bostwick (a mutual friend of my friend Joan) and Mary Fons (a friend of Marie’s).
So when I received the invite from EE Schenck to the Spring Trends show and saw what classes were offered, I asked TTQH if he would like to go to Portland, Oregon for the weekend (it is only a 4 hour drive from my house) and attend Trends.
Beside the opportunity for a nice weekend getaway to Portland, one of the reasons I attended the Trends show was for a very reasonable price I could take “Take n’ Teach” classes from wonderful authors/teachers/designers such as Latifah Saafir, Kathy Cardiff, and Jody Houghton.
I was especially excited to take Jody Houghton’s class, Fabric Art Panels, because her work holds a special place in my heart. As a matter of fact I gaze at one of her panels nearly everyday: my very dear friend Judy (who got me into quilting and I consider my “Quilt Momma”) made me this wall hanging a couple years ago from a Jody Houghton panel:
The Drive to Portland
There are generally two ways to get from Central Oregon to Portland: Santiam Pass or Mount Hood Pass. Until late April (or later) both are at mountain elevations, are ski areas, and both are usually covered in snow. Sometimes the snow is packed on the road and most times until late Spring, chains or traction tires can be required. You always see tractor trailers at the lowest part of the elevation pulled over and putting on their chains to make it through the pass in the late Fall, Winter and early-mid Spring.
We decided to take Santiam Pass to Portland and below are photos from our snowy drive (from inside the car with the windows rolled up). I was glad TTQH was driving! (Actually is wasn’t that bad, we only 30 minutes or so driving on pack snow, the rest of the drive was just wet/snow dusted highway).
The Unexpected Roommate
Arriving in Portland we first stopped at Powell’s Books, the mega independent bookstore and a mandatory stop so TTQH could load up on more military history books (his other hobby besides quilting).
After that we headed to our hotel and checked into our room.
It had been a long drive from Central Oregon to Portland and we had spent a long time in Powell’s books, and I was eager to get into comfy clothes and relax. TTQH was in the bathroom and I was getting undressed and suddenly the door opened to our hotel room and a woman was backing into our room with her suitcase!
I exclaimed: “Hello there!” and startled her as I quickly pulled my pants back up. She was a well dressed congenial woman who graciously stated: “Oops, the woman at the front desk was new and I think she assigned me the wrong room.” We briefly laughed about it (though I was in utter shock and yelled to TTQH not to come out of the bathroom unless he was fully dressed) and she said she would go downstairs and sort it out. She also said she was there for the Trends show so I knew she was likely a quilter/crafter and therefore a wonderful person (in general, crafters are wonderful people – smile)!
Shaken (and feeling rather vulnerable as they obviously we handing out card keys to our room to others!) I immediately called the front desk and told them what happened. I then went down to the front desk in person and requested to have a new card key made up. The front desk staff apologized profusely and got everything fixed. The nice woman who had backed into our room was also there getting things sorted out and we laughed about it again.
When I got back to the room, I had calmed down and TTQH were able to have a laugh about it. I said to TTQH, “Well she seemed nice and I guess she could have slept between us if the hotel is completely out of rooms, ha!”
I figured I would run into the “unexpected roommate” at some point at the Trends show on Saturday and we would have a more relaxed laugh about it.
The Unexpected Teacher
Saturday, September 17th, after the Trends keynote speaker’s, Amy Barickman of Indigo Junction, I headed to the “Take n’ Teach” series of classes, my first class being with Jody Houghton.
And guess who was Jody Houghton? My Unexpected Roommate!!!!
We had quite the laugh about it when I first arrived at her booth for the class! Jody and I also shared the story with the other class participants who got a laugh out of it too!
Her class was wonderful and we learned how to make quick tote bags using her panels. Here are photos from the class and photos of some of the cool samples she had on display:
Jody is an absolutely lovely woman and a very talented designer and teacher.
Check out her panels and notions on her Etsy Shop: Sisterhood of Quilters by Jody Houghton Designs. I hope you will support her shop (or convince your local quilt shop to carry her items) as in my opinion she really captures the heart of the friendships and bonds that come from quilting together. I hope I get to connect with her again the future (but perhaps not as an unexpected roommate…ha!).
It is sort of like the Universe brought us together – how random that the woman who created the panel in the wallhanging that means so much to me, “broke” into my room!
Next post I will continue with more stories from the Trends show (though none involving potential roommates!)
Our first time to Trends in September 2016 we took Mike and Sassy (who passed in December 2017). TTQH only briefly attend Trends (leaving the dogs in the car outside for 1/2 hour) as he was in charge of the dogs (who did not like to be left in a hotel room alone).
We decided to leave Mike with some fellow schnauzer people and be “child-free” in Portland this time so we could enjoy the weekend together. TTQH was not interested in taking any classes but he had fun wandering around EE Schenck looking for dog themed fabrics and talking to other husbands (usually the husbands of quilt shop owners, etc.) at the show.
Here is a photo of Mike with his schnauzer buddies Chopper and Frieda, taken by their people and texted to us during the weekend so we knew Mike was having a good time. They labeled this photo “The Three Amigos”.
Trends Show Part II: More Class (originally posted March 24, 2018)
Happy Saturday and here is part two of my two part posts on attending the EE Schenck’s Trends show last weekend in Portland, Oregon.
She demonstrated her brilliant method for piecing curves using pieces cut from The Clammy, her giant clamshell maker template. Below are photos from the class (including some yummy fabric she used for her demo):
Later that day I was fortunate enough to share a shuttle bus ride (EE Schencks provided a free shuttle to and from the hotel to the Trends show) with Latifah and hear more about her transition from scientist to quilting guru!
Kathy Cardiff: Wool Appliqué
Kathy Cardiff is a Washington state based designer, author and teacher who specializes in wool appliqué. Check out her website – The Cottage at Cardiff Farms.
She taught a hands on wool appliqué class in which she prepped our little wool appliqué pieces with fusible backed paper, we just needed to cut the little pieces out to make this (her sample):
She also prepared templates for us to use to press the pieces together onto freezer paper before peeling them off to place the fabric for the little pillow:
Her work is amazing, here are so additional photos from the class and her booth:
She definitely took the fear out of wool appliqué for me like Latifah Saafir took the fear out of curved piecing for me!
Here is my wool appliqué piece currently in progress from the class:
The funny thing is I’ve had a The Cottage at Cardiff Farms sunflower wool appliqué pillow pattern and supplies for many years but I was too intimidated to get started on it. It no longer seems scary – especially now that I have learned a quick way to put the appliqué pieces together and fuse them!
I told Kathy about the pattern I’ve had for years (purchased at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, OR); she knew which one I referenced and gave me tips after class on how to complete it!
There’s No Place Like Home
We had fun in Portland but I was also happy to return home again. My heart always soars when we drive from the Mount Hood pass area into Central Oregon. It is so interesting how the climate and the landscapes change from Portland to Mount Hood to Central Oregon.
The moment I saw my beloved “high desert” landscape, blue skies and Cascade Mountains everywhere – I knew I was home!
Recently I read an article online (oops I do not remember the website) that strongly recommended you do not store your thread out in the open because of dust, etc. In a previous post,Aurifilia, I discussed my beloved collection of AURIfil thread (actually obsession).
Well I decided to take down my mounted thread racks and store my thread collection instead in bins to protect the thread.
So I went from this:
Note the AURIfil is neatly stored in the top 4 containers and the “non-AURIfil” thread is casually strew about in the bottom container – ha!
I also decided to put up more quilted art/gifts from my Quilting Sisters in my Studio.
Here is a quilt made for me a couple years ago by my Quilting Sister Kathy when our group did a quilt exchange:
On my studio’s design wall is a colorful baby quilt in progress for a special baby who lives in Portland, Oregon, who has recently joined us on earth (new Earthling!)
As Spring is sort of here (at least it is teasing us in the Denver metro area with periodic snow vs. 60+ degrees F days) I decided not to make a flannel quilt with flannel backing quilt like I did with the previous baby quilt. Instead I searched through my ridiculous collection of jelly rolls and found this colorful jelly roll from Maywood Studios:
In case you are not a quilter, “jelly rolls” are collections of 40 precut 2.5 inch strips that run about 42 – 44 inches long, are color coordinated (usually from the same fabric line) and can be used to make a small to larger quilt (if you add additional fabrics).
For a while, in my earlier quilting days, I was obsessed with jelly rolls and amassed quite the collection. I also had a collection of quilting books with quilt patterns using jelly rolls.
I only have one of those books left from those days – Jelly Roll Quilts: The Perfect Guide to Making the Most of the Latest Strip Rolls by Pam and Nicky Lintott, and used this book for the pattern for the baby quilt.
Besides using a jelly roll to make a quilt which I have not done in years, I made “strata” (sewing strips together to then cut into sections) to create the pattern for the quilt – something I have not done since the early 2000s when I first began quilting.
I felt like I was in my early days of quilting as I pressed each section of strata and it felt kind of nostalgic and sweet!
I have the center of the quilt assembled now and I am going to put a lightweight denim colored fabric as the border and use the extra blocks as cornerstones.
I’ll have some better photos to share after I get it all assembled and quilted.