What's on the Design Wall

What’s on the…Design Carpet

It’s been a while since I’ve added anything to my series of posts:   “What’s on the Design Wall”, about my current project up on my design wall.

However as my tierneycreates Beastie shared in the post Guest Blogger: What the heck is going on here? , my studio is packed up and turned back into a bedroom for staging the house I currently live in for sale.

Not having a design wall up on the wall has not stopped me – I’ve discovered: The Design Carpet (patent pending, ha!).

2020-01-16_13-21-04_854But let’s back-up a moment, and tell you how this piece began and got to this point…

As I mentioned in my post From the Basket – English Paper Piecing, a couple weekends ago I attended a mini quilt retreat with a couple quilting friends in Poulsbo, Washington.

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.

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!

2020-01-10_18-11-38_9152020-01-11_15-35-55_903As 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”):

2020-01-10_18-11-34_186And before I knew it, I had a pile of 138 blocks I made!

2020-01-12_08-01-18_2382020-01-12_08-00-38_602Once 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”:

2020-01-16_13-07-40_412I began with creating a pattern with the dark gray framed blocks:

2020-01-16_13-07-51_784Then I worked on framing them with the light gray blocks:

2020-01-16_13-21-12_628I 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!


Postscript

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.”

– TIERNCO, DISTRIBUTOR OF THE DESIGN CARPET

Adventures in Paper Piecing, Quilt Retreats

From the Basket – English Paper Piecing

This is a follow up to my previous post Inside the Basket. I realized I should try and catch my blog up to what I have been posting on @tierneycreates on Instagram!

One of the projects inside my basket of hand work is an ongoing English Paper Piecing (EPP) rosette quilt project.

My plan is to make this quilt from the cover of Quiltfolk Magazine, Issue 1:

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Image credit: Quiltfolk.com

As you can see from the image above, this quilt is comprised of 99 EPP hexie rosettes appliquéd onto 99 squares for a 9 x 11 quilt.

Last weekend I joined 3 quilting friends for a mini quilting retreat in Poulsbo, Washington.

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Image credit: vacation ideas.com

While at the retreat, I worked on my EEP project and completed stitching together 38 rosettes of the 99 I need to make:

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If you do the math, I have 61 more rosettes to make, and my sweet friend Dana, organized my remaining EPP hexies into groups of 6 for the outside hexies on the left side of my “box of hexies” and the solid color center options on the right side:

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“True friends will organize your EPP hexies for you at a quilt retreat” – Tierney

I have enough matching hexies to make about 30 more rosettes, so it is going to be time soon to create more EPP hexies.

The hexies I currently on hand have a lot of sentimental meaning/value, as they were all created by my late husband Terry (aka “Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH)“) who used to be my assistant on crafting projects. So I am also finishing this project in his honor.

My partner John and I are moving along in getting his house ready for sale and have been actively house hunting. So it might not be too long until my studio gets unpacked and I am no longer limited to only hand projects.

Over the next several posts I will share more projects and stories from the mini quilt retreat I attended in Poulsbo!


Postscript

I had to relocate my “Basket of Hand Work” that I discussed in my previous post.

Our real estate agent wanted us to move my comfy leather chair in the living room up to the master bedroom, so I also relocated my basket of hand work. Additionally I tried to tastefully arrange some craft related reading I want to do and several projects into a bookcase in the bedroom.

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Studio, tierneycreates

Inside the Basket

Here is a follow up to the Guest Blogger’s post 01/08/2020 from Guest Blogger: What the heck is going on here? .

The tierneycreates Beastie stated: “…she has set up this basket of hand craft projects in the living room and allegedly she will show you what is inside of this basket in her next post”. So I am now obligated to do just that, otherwise my Beastie will give me grief about  it!


A Peek Inside the Basket of Hand Crafting

So we are staging the house for sale and had to pack up my studio and my sewing machine.

I am not sure how long it will take to sell the house, and find another house, and then to move into that new house. It could be several months and I cannot go that long without crafting, so I set up a basket in the living room of crafts I can do by hand.

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I am also in the process of setting up a sewing basket, found at a thrift shop, with my commonly used tools for hand crafting.

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Here’s what is inside the basket – a lot of old hand work projects, and some new ones, that I would like to finish.

English Paper Piecing (EPP)

Ssee my series of post Adventures in Paper Piecing for some background on this project. I made the zipped bag I am storing the project in.

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In addition to the EPP project above, I also have this EPP project which I have not started (and do not know what I am doing with these hexies which I made from a friend’s scraps during a quilt retreat several years ago:

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The Yo-Yo Project 

Someday I might blog about this old mysterious project…

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Sashiko

Another project(s) I should blog about someday…if I get any further on my dabble with Sashiko stitching.

It was an impulse buy (twice) at at a quilt shop…

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Knitting

A hat in progress and a ribbed (or seed stitch scarf) to go with the hat I made a friend that I discussed in this post – The Ball of Yarn (which eventually became a hat).

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The hat in progress has a story behind it that I will share in a future post.

Miscellaneous Projects

If I ever get working on them, I will explain what they are in a future post (smile).

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So that’s what is in the basket! I think I have enough projects to keep my busy a couple months.


Postscript

I am writing this post from the airport as I am returning from a small informal quilt retreat with 3 quilting friends. At this retreat I brought my EPP and made some progress! And I did some freeform log cabin block piecing with a borrowed sewing machine and a bag of a friend’s scraps. More of my next post.

Beastie Adventures

Guest Blogger: What the heck is going on here?

It is time for a Guest Blogger entry by a brilliant, adorable and talented guest blogger (me, me, me!).

2018-11-18_05-59-08_264In case you are new to this blog, my name is tierneycreates Beastie and I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. 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 Tierney fell off the blogging-wagon) in the series of posts: Beastie Adventures.

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My dog Mikelet might be made of felted wool but he is very affectionate

In my previous brilliant Guest Blogger post (by the way, Beasties are brilliant and you can check out more of my kind at the website of our maker in Ireland – CrawCrafts Beasties/Beastie HQ) Beastie Guest Blogger: Checking in on her progress, I shared that Mikelet and I had a cozy new area of Tierney’s new studio:

2019-10-22_08-11-13_5712019-10-22_08-11-05_364Well it is all GONE! The studio is gone and our cozy spot is gone!!!!

Tierney and her partner are getting ready to sell his house and buy their own house, and they have to do something stupid called “staging the house for sale”.

That means that her whole studio got packed up and put away, and they are painting over the beautiful turquoise color in the room to make it a boring neutral color like the rest of the house (humans are so silly!).

2020-01-04_10-31-02_4192020-01-04_13-55-08_2502020-01-04_13-55-17_8882020-01-04_13-55-21_0232020-01-04_10-30-47_806I am highly irritated over this (and Mikelet is none too happy either) and what has made it even worse is that Mikelet and I were relocated to Tierney’s home office to hang out with her creepy collection of giant stuffed animal schnauzers (well they are giant compared to Mikelet and me):

2020-01-04_12-22-47_030.jpegMikelet and I are kind of disturbed by the giant schnauzer head we are pushed up against as well as the super creepy schnauzer hanging over the basket next to us!

2020-01-04_12-25-31_061.jpegHe is just a little too close for comfort, I can feel him breathing down my neck!

Once you recover from the shocking images above of Mikelet and I thrust into a “schnauzer slum”, you might start to wonder: “well what is Tierney going to do for crafting with all her stuff put away?”

Well she has set up this basket of hand craft projects in the living room and allegedly she will show you what is inside of this basket in her next post.

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Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH), What's on the Design Wall

The Last Quilt

Sometimes the best way to deal with the depth your grief is to step outside yourself and do something for someone else. I first truly learned this in February 2019 when I faced my first Valentines Day without my Valentine and decided to make the members of my Spousal Loss Grief Support Group my Valentines (see post Valenties).

With the 1 year anniversary of Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH)‘s sudden passing approaching I knew the only way to face it was to step outside myself again.

The Last Quilt

The last quilt that Terry created the blocks for was a homespun quilt in 2018. I wrote a post about the progress of that quilt in February 2018 – Spinning the Homespuns with TTQH.

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Terry never finished this quilt (but he had so much fun working on it) and I had the 25 blocks he made tucked away in my UFO (unfinished objects) stash.

My incredibly awesome, talented and generous friend Wendy Hill (@wendyquilter) offered after Terry passed to finish the quilt for me. I so appreciated her generous offer but at the time (early 2019) I could not even imagine pulling out those blocks and looking at them. Just waking up each morning and facing the day was so incredibly painful and I knew I needed to protect myself from complete psychological collapse which always seemed just around the corner.

For those of you who’ve had long time partners, after many years with a person (especially if you’ve been with them since you were young), your identity can get enmeshed and integrated with that person. So when you lose that person you lose part of your identity.

In my 8-week spousal loss grief support group, we frequently discussed the “secondary losses” that come with losing a spouse. After losing Terry just to be around other married people or hear other married people talk about their spouses was gut wrenching on a level I cannot even put into words.

Friends and family attempted to relate to my experience by sharing their stories of losses of their parents, etc. I too have loss my parents and as close you are to your parents, losing your life partner is a completely different experience.

Why? Because (unless you have a very strange relationship), you do not wake up each morning next to your parent, share your hopes and dreams, share day to day household and financial issues, have an intimate relationship, have a romantic relationship, etc.

Humorously (but not necessarily humorously at the time) some people even shared stories of losing a beloved pet to try and relate. I dearly loved all my dogs who have passed but I can tell you first hand that this does not compare to losing a spouse on any level.

I do not mean to diminish anyone’s personal grief experience or journey from losing someone beloved in their life, but experts have said the two greatest losses you can experience are loss of a child or loss of a life partner.

Here is some unsolicited advice to anyone who has not experienced one of these types tremendous losses but is trying to comfort a friend who is experiencing such as loss:

Consider not trying to connect their experience to your loss of a parent, pet, etc. Instead consider just supporting and listening to them with no agenda or judgement. Just be be there for them. If it feels right, you can also suggest they join a grief support group (when they are ready) so they connect with people who truly understand what they are going through. 

The best advice I was given came from the caring Sheriff Department Champlain in Central Oregon who arrived at my house with the police on the worse day of my life. He strongly suggested I get into a grief support group as soon as I was ready.

In addition to the amazing grief support group I attend for 8-weeks in Central Oregon, I have been lucky enough to have some incredible people in my life who have done exactly what I suggested above – they just supported me without judgement and accepted all the ups and downs of my journey as an unexpected widow.

Now grief can be thought of as a “spiral staircase” and after a year of discovering that I am stronger than I ever thought I was, I am at a good spot on that “staircase”, and I was ready to pull out those blocks from storage and make them into a quilt for someone special in Terry’s life.

For His Brother

Terry was the youngest of 7 children. When he passed I gave away many of his quilts to his siblings. A year or two before he passed we had also given several quilts to some of his nieces and I made a lovely quilt for his nephew who got married.

However I did not give a quilt made by Terry to his oldest brother Andy, who Terry adored. A couple years ago, while we were in Fort Worth, Texas for Andy’s son’s wedding, we stopped at quilt shop and I have an awesome photo of Terry and his big brother standing around a quilt shop while Andy’s wife and Terry’s sisters and I were shopping. I did a post about this quilt shop in June 2017 – Cabbage Rose Quilting & Fabrics, Ft. Worth TX.

I knew Andy loved quilts because many years ago I made him a quilt in my early days of quilting when I was his Secret Santa (with so many adults in the family, Terry’s family used to do an annual Secret Santa drawing and I always made a quilt for the person whose name I drew) and made him a quilt. I made the quilt in the early 2000s but any time I would talk to Andy he would mention how much he loved the quilt (and it was in my early days of quilting and nothing to “write home about”).

I just knew that Terry would approve of Andy being the recipient of his last quilt.

Making the Quilt

The first step to making the quilt was pulling out the 25 blocks and sitting on the floor and sobbing uncontrollably for an hour (not a pretty sight).

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Once that was over, it was time to get off my butt and “put my big girl panties on” and get to work on the quilt.

Terry created quilts with love but not necessarily with accuracy (smile) so I had to trim all 25 blocks to a uniform size.

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Originally the pattern made a king-sized quilt and had sashing around all the blocks. I decided to make a lap size quilt and just piece the blocks together.

2019-11-27_13-52-03_0942019-11-27_13-52-11_532Making a lap size quilt (each block was approximately 18″ x 18″), I did not need all the blocks for the front of the quilt, so I pieced the rest of the blocks for the back of the quilt.

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I decided to machine quilt it myself as there was no time to send off to a professional long-arm quilter before Christmas. So I had to spread it out on the floor and pin it all down for quilting.

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Surprisingly I finished quilting it faster than I expected and put on the binding around the edge of the quilt.

While sitting around the living room, with the quilt on my lap, hand sewing down the binding, Mike my miniature schnauzer kept snuggling with the quilt. When I got up to take a break from sewing down the binding, Mike would fully snuggle in the quilt.

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Mike loved Terry so much and he seemed to know that this was Terry’s last quilt. I know that pets grieve also and I know Mike himself has had a journey over the past year too. He was stuck with Terry’s body for 3 hours before I arrived home and discovered him, and I wondered for a while if Mike would ever recover from that terrible experience.

Mike is now thriving in his new life in the Denver Metro area.

Here is the label I created for the quilt, I put it was from Terry and me.

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I thought this was the right sentiment to write on the label:

Sending love from this life and the next.

The quilt arrived yesterday to Andy in Texas and I hope he finds comfort in that quilt, the last quilt Terry the Quilting Husband will ever make.


Postscript

I feel like I’ve shared enough of my grief story and journey and now, on the 1 year anniversary of Terry’s passing, I’ve decided my blog will no longer talk about my grief journey. I am just going to focus on what my life is moving forward in its new iteration, in its new identity.

I came across this wonderful quote that at first I thought sounded harsh (like you are just forgetting about the past) but then I totally connected with it:

Your future needs you. Your past does not.

I tried to figure out who to attribute the quote but came across too many sources when googling, but thank you to whomever said it.

So with this quote in mind, I am spending today with my partner John and later on today with his darling 10 year old granddaughter who totally loves Mike my dog.

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We are going to make dinner together, go see the movie Frozen 2, and then have a PJ Party (she is staying overnight) and decorate the Christmas tree. What better way to honor Terry than to go forth and be happy (and present) in my new life?

I am so thankful for the amazing past I had and now am going to be fully in the present and the future.

A Crafter's Life, Quilt Shop Tours

The Fabric Incident

Recently, I’ve been traveling a lot. I’ve become very familiar with the Denver International Airport (DIA). This post is about one of those recent travels and how I got into trouble at a fabric shop that had a ridiculously low price on Moda Grunge.

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Mid-November I traveled to Washington State to visit two of my “Quilting SistersJudy and Dana. You may remember their names from previous posts including two recent posts (The Tale of Three Tulas, Part I and The Tale of Three Tulas, Part II).

We had a little quilting retreat at Dana’s house and you know when you get a group of quilters together for a long weekend, the chances are high that there will be an outing to a quilt shop or two…

There are NUMEROUS quilt shops in Washington State, so we visited a curated collection of beloved shops selected by Judy and Dana.

The first shop we visited, Calico Creations in Mount Vernon, Washington, did not allow photos inside their shop, so the only photo I have to share is of the outside.

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It was a lovely shop but I was well behaved in that shop.

The next shop we visited, Gossypium Quilt Shop in Issaquah, WA. They were photo friendly and the interior was beautiful and inviting.

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I bought a couple yards of fabric there and felt proud of how little damage I’d done to my pocketbook.

But then they took me to Annie’s Quilt Shoppe in Shelton, Washington!

Annie’s Quilt Shoppe is home of the $7.99 a yard fabric deals. High quality, major fabric brands at $7.99 a yard (that’s U.S. dollars and for my readers outside the U.S. if you check the conversion to your currency and yards to meters/metres, I think you will all join me in a communal “Wow!”).

I have a secret weakness for Moda Fabrics’ “Grunge” line of fabrics and when I spotted an extensive offering of Grunge fabrics in an extensive palette, I lost my mind and started pulling bolts for cutting.

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Hopefully you can see from the photos above that the Grunge line of fabrics are beautiful  textured solids. They are printed in Japan and come in 200+ amazing colors, textures, and shadings (according to The Fat Quarter Shop).

We had a delightful time with the store owners as they tag teamed cutting my huge pile of fabric. Here I am with my Quilting Sisters Dana and Judy with the delightful shop owners in the background (who were happy for the large sale but likely quite exhausted from cutting all that yardage):

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Forty-five (45) 1 -2 yard cuts later, my pocketbook was damaged but my dream was realized – to have an extensive collection of Moda Grunge fabrics!

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I wasn’t the only one who went a little crazy with the $7.99 a yard fabric offerings. For example, my friend Dana bought yardage from this beautiful selection of fabrics:

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When I got home I had to make room in new fabric storage area for them. Initially I though I could fit them all in one cubby of my IKEA cubby bookcase:

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Alas, they needed two cubbies but I did add in any other Grunge fabric I had already in my collection. In front of the Grunge, I placed my beloved Marcia Derse yardage (see post Fabric Fangirl Frenzy).

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We did not spend our entire long weekend together just shopping, we also spent time sewing together (actually I brought knitting), having wonderful meals, and catching up. Long weekends with good friends are wonderful for the spirit!


Postscript

So you might be thinking: “Okay Tierney, that is a lot of fabric shopping, where are your recent posts about making things with fabric?!?!”

Well I have not posted about my current quilting project because it is emotionally difficult. I am finishing up the last quilt my husband who unexpectedly died last December, started; and it is a gift for one of his family members. But once it is complete and that person receives their gift, I will blog about it.

I do have a follow up to my previous post The (Ridiculously Large) Library Stack.

Even more library books came in! So my stack got even larger! It would have been unwieldy to add the additional books to the stack for a photo, so here is a photo of those additional books on their own:

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Believe it or not, I’ve made a significant dent in my very large pile of library books. Lots of pots of tea and early mornings browsing through the wonderful books!

Beastie Adventures

Beastie Guest Blogger: Checking in on her progress

Well Tierney on the road (well in the air) again, this time for a quick business trip to Portland, Oregon for a meeting. So I am going to be the guest blogger on this post.

Do you all miss me? It’s been a long since you heard from me. I was packed away along with Mikelet (I know, I know, you are thinking of reporting Tierney for Beastie-neglect but we should give her a break since she been through a lot this past year…).

Now we have a nice home in Tierney’s new studio:

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It now Autumn in the Denver, Colorado area and getting kind of cold so it is sweater time!

Oh, but if you are new to this blog, I guess I should first introduce myself:

My name is tierneycreates Beastie and I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. 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 Tierney fell off the blogging-wagon) in the series of posts: Beastie Adventures.

I think the last time I guest blogged, I was complaining about the physical spot (in a box in the closet!) where she had me living in her first studio after moving to the Denver greater metropolitan area.

Here is that post if you want to be shocked and appalled like I was: Another Beastie Blogging Intervention: New Studio Tour, Part III.

I must warn you, Beasties are notorious for making things all about themselves (just check out the blogs Crawcrafts Beasties  and Tammie Painter and you will see what I mean!) but I am going to try to focus on the primary subject on this post – an update on Tierney’s post from 10/13/19 –  The “Madness” Returns (though a post just about me would be much more interesting!)

So Tierney has finished about 14 little wallets so far. It is not a very impressive number but at least she’s gotten off to some sort of start in replacing her previous stash:

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Only 13 in the photo because she already gave one recently as a gift

I inspected her work and provided feedback that she needs a lot more color and fabric combinations:

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Do like the fact that I could use one of the little wallets as a suitcase?

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Of course I only have one other article of clothing – my warm weather shirt. Eventually I need Tierney to place an order at crawcraftsbeasties.com to expand my wardrobe!

Tierney does have other additional color/fabric combinations in progress:

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I guess if she wasn’t flying around everywhere all the time she could buckle down and get a larger variety of little wallets done!

She won’t allow me to use the rotary cutter or scissors so I cannot help her. We won’t talk about the time one of her quilting friends loaned me a rotary cutter at a quilt retreat…(Guest Blogger: October Quilt Retreat Part I).

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Perhaps not the best idea…

Postscript

As long as I am guest blogging, I might as well also give you a follow up to Tierney’s 08/30/19 post New Studio.

Tierney’s been moving things around and playing with a slightly different layout.

Most importantly, she put me and Mikelet on top of this “pre-cut bookcase” so that we are prominently displayed in her studio (where we can closely watch over her crafting):

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She also moved some stuff around after sewing in the room a couple weeks, to make it work better for her.

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So many precuts…maybe they are breeding when Tierney not looking…

Tierney loves this colorful display of books and recently found one of the books she was missing from the “Pretty Little” series, Pretty Little Pillows, at a charity yard sale.

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Perhaps she’ll do something crazy one day and actually MAKE crafts and quilts from these books on display!

Oh one more thing – remember how Tierney mentioned in her 09/27/19 post A New Way to Organize My Fabric, that she had more fabric to organize?

Well she finally did: she organized her flannels, canvas, novelty prints and panels in the shelves in her studio.

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So with the fabric above, plus the pre-cuts, plus the fabric below in this photo, Tierney should give up sleeping and starting crafting/quilting 24/7 (and we will not even mention her collection of fabric scraps at this point).

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And I will supervise her!

Studio

The “Madness” Returns

The madness has returned.

Little Wallet Making Madness!

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I am back to making a massive amount of little wallets inspired by Valori Wells’ pattern (which I modified), just as I discussed in this 2017 post Little Wallet Madness.

Some of you might remember the little wallets being part of my October 2017 and 2018 “Bloganniversary” giveaways. Well it is now October 2019 which means it is my blog’s 6th anniversary.

However, given the major change in my life over the last year, I may or may not do a 6th blog anniversary celebration like I did in the past…we’ll see how I feel later in the month.

It’s not like last year, where for my 5th blog anniversary I posted daily for 30 days and did a series of (what I thought was) awesome giveaways.

Honestly, thoughts of my blog anniversary makes me sad as it makes me think of how Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH), who passed in December 2018, used to help me do the blog anniversary giveaway drawings along with Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer (who passed in December 2017 and used to have her own blog, Schnauzerships) who ensured the integrity of the drawings (see post Announcing the Winners of the tierneycreates Blog’s 4th Anniversary Giveaway).

During previous blog anniversary Octobers, I would share links from favorite previous posts, like a “Best of tierneycreates”, but so many of those posts are loaded with memories of my previous wonderful (darn near perfect) life with TTQH.

But next year is my 7th year of blogging anniversary and my hope is I do a blowout sort of celebration for that one! Time does help ease the pain of loss a little at a time. So bear with me (smile).

Oh but back to little wallets, the original subject of this blog post…

I had a HUGE stash of little wallets after making so many like in this photo from September 2017:

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Recently though I got down to only two wallets left:

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Oh and if you are new to this blog and are curious what the little wallets look like on the inside, here is a photo:

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I have a ridiculous amount of tierneycreates business cards and each little wallet comes with a business card tucked inside.

SIDEBAR: It’s the tierneycreates business card that gave it away when I discovered one of my little wallets in a thrift shop, that obvious someone I had given one to had donated it – see post Found! At the Thrift Shop!. I ended up buying the little wallet for 50 cents from the thrift shop and then regifting it.

So it was time to make another stash of little wallets, so I pulled out a bunch of fat quarters and fabric scraps and got busy designing little wallets:

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The images above are just a couple of the combinations I am working on and in a future post I will share the plethora of wallets I made to replenish my little wallet stash!


Postscript

A quick follow up to the September 27, 2019 post A New Way to Organize My Fabric, I finished refolding my ridiculous fat quarter collection and now have them organized (except for novelty fat quarters) in front of the yardage that I wrapped in the comic boards:

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I have to admit sometimes I just walk in the room and smile as this colorful organization makes me happy!

By the way – this is not all the fabric (should I even admit this?) – I do have separate organization for my flannel, canvas, and novelty fabrics that I recently created. Perhaps I will share this in a future post (if I am ready for full disclosure of my ridiculous fabric stash).

Speaking of stuff that makes me happy – two weeks ago my little brother visited me in Denver along with his family. He had a “milestone” birthday and we celebrated by taking him to his first NFL game to see his favorite football team of all time – the Denver Broncos. Here I am below with my brother and my adorable 7 year old nephew who thoroughly enjoyed the game (and danced in the stands during the music breaks!)

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Much to the chagrin of my Pacific NW friends, I’ve sort of defected from being a Seattle Seahawks fan to a Denver Broncos fan (though I still root for the Seahawks if they are not playing the Broncos).

Studio

A New Way to Organize My Fabric

As I mentioned in the Postscript section of my previous post, The Tale of Three Tulas, Part III, I’ve been working on a new fabric organization system.

For years in my the studio in my previous residence as well as my current residence, I’ve stored my fabric flat like this:

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However for years I’ve been inspired by people who store their fabric like this:

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My quilting sister Dana’s studio

Or like this (from the post Feb 2019 post Quilter’s Studio and House Tour):

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In the first of the above images, my friend Dana used empty fabric bolts she got from quilt shops that had extras, which she cut in half.

In the second and third images, another quilter used recycled cardboard that she cut to size.

I loved the idea of vertical fabric yardage storage but did not want to go through the effort to collect empty bolts from fabric stores and cut them in half; nor did I want to cut recycled cardboard to uniform size.

I knew there must be another option (one I could buy) so I did a bit a googling and first I found what I would consider overpriced options such as “mini bolt board” on online fabric stores. etc. That was not going to work, at those prices, I would just keep my fabric yardage stored flat.

A bit more googling revealed less expensive options such as using comic backing boards for fabric storage!

Then I found this YouTube video on how to do it:

Brilliant!

I ordered a couple hundred of these boards and got to folding! (I got them from Amazon.com and you can find them by searching “Comic Book Boards”. I ordered the Size 6 3/4 X 10 1/2 size because it fit well in my cubbies) 

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I decided to repurpose my IKEA cubby bookshelves in my home office to be a combination of books and fabric, and arranged my fabric yardage by color:
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I am quite pleased, it is like having my own fabric shop – ha!

In case you are wondering, I was able to organize onto the comic backing boards fabric cuts from a quarter yard to five (5) yards!

Here are more photos with close ups of many of the cubbies filled with fabrics:

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You will notice that many of the cubbies have stacks of fat quarters in front of the vertically arranged fabrics. Inspired by the YouTube video I shared earlier in the post, I’ve begun uniformly refolding some of my favorite fat quarters to place with yardage of the same color.

(Fat Quarter – a quarter yard of fabric cut into a rectangle that measures 18″ x 21″, commonly packaged with other fat quarters into a themed fat quarter pack.)

Mike the Miniature Schnauzer was very patient during my fabric reorganization project. He napped with various piles of fabric waiting to be folded as in the photo I shared in my previous post:

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So here’s a question for the crafters reading this post: Do any of you store your fabric vertically like this; or do you store you fabric in flat folds?


Postscript

So what became of the hanging shelves in the closet in my studio where I was storing my fabric?

Well I repurposed them to hold batting and interfacing:

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A Crafter's Life, Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH), Tula Time!

The Tale of Three Tulas, Part III

Now you will truly be able to sleep through the night and have an actual restful slumber, as this post will complete my series of posts following up on the three Tula Pink All Stars fabric line inspired quilts my two quilting sisters (Judy and Dana) and I began in 2018.

If you are just starting with this post, the two recent previous posts are:

The Tale of Three Tulas, Part I (Dana’s quilt)

The Tale of Three Tulas, Part II (Judy’s quilt)

In this third post, I will share my Tula Pink All Stars fabric inspired quilt, Tula in the Box, and why it took me so long to finish it.


Tierney’s Quilt: Tula in the Box

The last time I blogged about the creation of this quilt was back in December 6, 2018, in this post: Tula in a Box.

This was 7 days before my husband Terry, who was known as “Terry the Quilting Husband” or “TTQH” on this blog, suddenly and unexpectedly died.

Here is TTQH from that post helping me lay out the quilt on the large design wall in the hallway of my former home in Central Oregon:

2018-12-04_13-18-37_054And here he is helping me layout the stripped fabric used as the sashing between the 36 blocks I created:

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The night that Terry died, this quilt in progress was still up on the design wall.

A couple days after he passed I took the quilt blocks and sashing down and put it away as with this shocking, actually devastating, change to my previoulsy wonderful life, I had no desire to finish this quilt (or any quilt ever again at that point).

In the depth of my grief during January 2019, I convinced myself to finish the quilt top in his honor (Tula in a Box Quilt Top Finished):

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I also got myself to send it off to the long-arm quilter, Krista Moser (who quilted all three of our Tula Pink All Stars fabric quilts).

In late Winter 2019 I made a brief visit to the Seattle, Washington area to visit with my quilting sisters Judy and Dana and to attend the 2019 Sewing & Stitchery Expo (Sew Expo). While at the Expo we ran into Krista Moser who had a booth promoting her new line of quilting rulers and patterns:

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Unfortunately she was backlogged with long-arm quilting orders and so it would be another month or so before mine was finished but she would mail it to my new home in Colorado (if you are new to this blog you can check out the story of my move from Oregon to Colorado in this series of posts – Colorado Bound)

Krista is such a brilliant young entrepreneur who began long-arm quilting around 14. You can check out her blog at The Quilted Life.

By the way, I did blog a little bit about the 2019 Sew Expo on this post – .Fabric Fangirl Frenzy

Now where were we in my story, I got distracted remembering the fun I had during Sew Expo 2019.

Oh yes, so I finished the Tula in the Box quilt in honor of TTQH and shipped the quilt top and backing (which I purchased in Washington State while visiting Judy and Dana during Sew Expo 2019) to the long-arm quilter.

In May 2019 I got the quilt back from the long-arm quilter but it took me until the end of June 2019 to put the binding on it and finish it.

Here is the quilt on the wall of my Colorado studio with the euro lounger I used to have in the studio:

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And here is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer lounging in the studio:

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The euro lounger is now out of my studio (it took up too much space) and was moved to the upstairs guest room/home office, but the finished quilt is still up on the wall:

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I’ve made a couple changes/updates to my quilt studio since my post New Studio, and I will share updated photos in a future post.

So that is my story of the quilt. Thanks for reading these three posts to close out the story!


Postscript

Speaking of Mike the Miniature Schnauzer on a euro lounger – here is a recent photo of Mike napping with a pile of purple fabrics in my home office/upstairs guest room:

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Why is he napping on a pile of fabrics? Well those fabrics are about to be put into my new fabric organization system! That will be a future blog post once I get my project complete. I am excited to share as I feel like I now have the best system of fabric yardage organization since I began quilting in 1999!

Tula Time!

The Tale of Three Tulas, Part II

Hello – I am continuing my posts on the completed Tula Pink All Stars fabric line inspired three quilts my two quilting sisters and I completed.

Sunday’s post began this series of three posts – The Tale of Three Tulas, Part I.

Let me back up – I forgot to share out original plan for these three quilts. We formulated the idea during our May 2018 quilt retreat with the plan to submit our quilts to be shown together at the 2019 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (we imagined them hanging side by side flapping in the wind at this amazing outdoor show held annual in Sisters, Oregon).

We came up with this plan while I still lived in Central Oregon and before my beloved husband Terry (Terry the Quilting Husband) unexpectedly passed away in December 2018. With my major life changes and the fact I did not complete the quilt until a couple months ago, that did not happen (but it still could someday!)

Although we were using the same sets of Tula Pink All Stars fat quarters, and agreed to each create 36 blocks, we decided to each have a different theme for our quilts:

  • Tula All Stars – Dana
  • Tula In the Box – Tierney
  • Tula Outside the Box – Judy

Sunday’s post was about Dana’s Tula All Stars quilt featuring only star blocks. Today’s post features Judy’s quilt Tula Outside the Box in which she not only used the Tula Pink All Stars fabric line but she also used fabric from other Tula Pink fabric lines.

Additionally, to really keep it “out of the box”, Judy used random block patterns with no block similar (even if she used the same pattern, she completed changed the color and the layout).


Judy’s Quilt: Tula Outside the Box

Here are photos which include the standard “quilt with feet” photo where you have someone hold up the quilt so you can photograph it!

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If you look closely at the photo above, you can see the top of Judy’s awesome husband Bob’s head peeking out. This quilt has no feet but it does have a top of the head!

Judy is my original “quilting sister” as she is the one who got me into quilting in the late 1990s! I have a lovely core group of quilting friends, even if they live in other states.

On my to-do list someday is to begin making quilting friends in Colorado.

Judy’s quilt was also beautifully quilted by Krista Moser (who quilted all three of our Tula Pink All Stars fabric quilts).

Next post I will share my Tula In the Box quilt and share little bit on why it was so difficult to complete my quilt – but I finally did it!

Tula Time!

The Tale of Three Tulas, Part I

It’s the middle of the night. Suddenly you bolt up in bed, your sheets drenched with your cold sweat…unable to return to sleep.

Why?

Because, you are still anxiously waiting for the conclusion to my series of posts Tula Time!

So for the three of you reading this blog who remember this series of posts (smile), I thought I would close out this series with three posts about the three quilts that my quilting friends Dana, Judy and I made from our collection of Tula Pink All Stars Fat Quarters.

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A year ago at my friend Laurie’s vacation property in Sunriver, Oregon, I had a weekend quilt retreat with two of my Washington based quilting sisters. At this retreat Judy, Dana and I worked on our quilt blocks created from the Tula Pink All Stars fabric line.

I wrote several blog posts about this retreat in case you would like read them

Tula Pink “All Stars” Retreat (Part I)

Tula Pink “All Stars” Retreat (Part II)

Well we’ve all finished the quilts and they have been professionally long-arm quilted and in this series of posts I will share some images.


Dana’s Quilt: Tula All Stars

Dana named her quilt Tula All Stars and created 36 star pattern blocks for her quilt.

Dana was the first to finish her quilt top – as a matter of fact, she began making her star block at our Quilting Sister Retreat in Vancouver Washington in May 2018 as I shared in these posts:

Please Vote On The Color!

The Votes Are In!

Here is photo of her initial blocks she made during the May 2018 retreat:

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Dana was the first to finish her quilt top but the last to sew down her binding after she got it back from the long-arm quilter. I kept harassing her for photos so I could feature her quilt in a series of posts to close out the story.

She texted me a photo a couple weeks ago of her working hard to get the binding sewn down to complete the quilt and take photos for me:

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Recently Dana sent me the photos of the photoshoot she did for me of her completed quilt, which was beautifully quilted by Krista Moser (who quilted all three of our Tula Pink All Stars fabric quilts).

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Beautiful, huh?

Next post I will share images of Judy’s quilt, Tula Outside the Box. 

Aren’t you glad you are finally going to get a decent night sleep now that you know what became of the three quilts from our Tula Pink themed retreat last September? (I am addressing the three people who remember my series of posts from last year, ha!)


Postscript

Just in case you’ve never heard of Tula Pink, she is a popular quilting fabric designer and teacher. I was fortunate enough to meet her a couple of years ago at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 40th Anniversary event when I lived in Central Oregon.

My friend Dana is a huge Tula Pink fan and has worked with her fabrics for years. She even has a collection of early/”vintage”/rare Tula Pink fabrics and belongs to a Tula Pink aficionado online group.

Through friends she met in this group, several weeks ago, she was able to attend a Tula Pink quilt retreat in Alaska – with Tula Pink herself! She took her daughter Kaite with her and Dana was kind enough to provide me with this collage of photos from that event to share in this post:

2019-09-07_18-58-26_272.jpegFor a long time Tula Pink fan this was an incredible experience for Dana!

A Crafter's Life, tierneycreates

New Studio

As a follow up to my previous post Morning Walk in Black and White, where I mentioned that I am now living in a house and have a new quilting studio, in this post I am sharing photos of my new studio.

When I moved into my new housing situation earlier this summer, the first thing my new roommate did was build a design wall in the back bedroom he offered to me as my studio:

2019-06-24_16-57-15_034.jpegOne of his hobbies is wood working and he also offered to build me a center cutting table. I said “let me use what I brought with me for now (fold up tables) and see how the rooms develops”.

The rest of this post is a photo tour of my new studio. You may notice the strong turquoise like color on the wall. The room came with that color and since someday my roommate is thinking of selling his home and us possibly moving to a new home together, I declined his offer to paint the room a neutral color at this time.

To embrace the turquoise color for now, I hung my Tula Pink All Stars fabric quilt (which has a LOT of turquoise and aqua in it) on the wall as you will see in the images below. If you are new to this blog, the saga of its quilt is in this series of posts – Tula Time!. By the way – my friends Judy and Dana have also finished their Tula Pink quilts and I will share images in a future post. 

So here is the photo tour of my “temporary” new studio. If we end up moving to a new home together someday, I am going to design my new studio to be my dream studio this time (if I learned anything from the tragic and sudden loss of my husband in 2018, it is that life is short and you need to live your dreams, do not wait!). Since my roommate, who I should actually start referring to as “my partner”, loves to build things, I plan to take full advantage of his skills for my dream studio design!

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As you can see in several of the photos above, I repurposed an old armoire into crafting and fat quarter storage. I also repurposed an old card table found in the basement’s storage room into a center table.

That table also serves as a Mike the Miniature Schnauzer nesting space!

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You might also remember in the photos above (but I am posting it below also), a short long black bookcase looking thing. This was an old CD/DVD storage bookshelf I found in my partner’s basement storage room that I repurposed to hold my favorite fat quarters (I have an obscenely large collection of fat quarters as I confessed in the post Quilt Studio Archaeology and Purge, Part III (re-post))

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Postscript

In my preceding photos, you might have noticed a work in progress on the design wall. I will discuss it in a future post as I continue my series of posts What’s on the Design Wall.

Here is an additional photo I took during my photo shoot for this post of some of the recycled home decor fabrics I am considering for this piece (actually a series of pieces):

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If you’ve been following my blog for a long time and have a scary supernatural level of memory, you might remember these pieces from this post – What’s Simmering on the Design Wall.

Quilt Shop Tours

Hawaiian Quilt Exhibit: Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum

According to Wikipedia:

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.

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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.

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The quilts were absolutely amazing!

After wandering around the exhibit, I stopped in the gift shop which was also a miniature quilt shop.

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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.

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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
  • Wendy Hill

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!

 

Beastie Adventures, Special Events

Solo Show, Part IV – Pieces Sold

I have some wonderful news to share and a follow up to my series of posts about my current solo show at the Seattle Municipal Tower in downtown Seattle, Washington (most recent post Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower, Part III).

The City of Seattle is purchasing three of my pieces made from recycled silks:

COLOR STORY I: FLYING TRIANGLES

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COLOR STORY II: SILK LANDSCAPE

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COLOR STORY IV: COLOR CHANGE

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These pieces will become part of the City of Seattle’s permanent rotating art collection, like my piece that they purchased in 2016 – COLOR STORY V: ABANDONED WATER STRUCTURE:

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Since 2016 this piece has rotated display through the City of Seattle’s offices. I was informed that currently it is on display at the City of Seattle Courthouse.

There are no words that would capture my excitement and the honor I feel that my pieces were selected for purchase. The whole experience has been magical. The City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture reached out to me about the solo show (which at first I misunderstood that they were inviting me to be part of a show with other artists).

I am so incredibly grateful to the coordinator of the Ethnic Heritage Arts Gallery, the Curator for the Office of Arts of Culture, and the talented person who hung my art quilts so beautifully at the Seattle Municipal Tower.

In addition to the three pieces being purchased by the City of Seattle, I also have two private collector purchases pending/in the works for these two pieces:

RECYCLED DENIM STORY III: RECYCLED ROAD

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COLOR STORY VI: ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIG – THE VESSEL

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I am also very honored that several friends of mine want to have my art in their homes!!!!

Now I need to make more art as my available collection is dwindling (and that is a good thing!)


Postscript

This is a follow up to yesterday’s post Another Beastie Blogging Intervention: New Studio Tour, Part III.

No need for any petitions, tierneycreates Beastie and I have been in negotiations for a new space for her and Mikelet to hang out.

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Free from the plastic box

I’ve moved them to the cutting area in my sewing area to hang out. Though this sounds like a potentially dangerous idea in case she begins playing with my rotary cutter – see post Guest Blogger: October Quilt Retreat Part II

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A friend at a quilt retreat handing a Beastie a rotary cutter…not the best idea…

Now I am just using the plastic box to store her off season clothes (her Aran sweater and hat beautiful knitted by Helen @Crawcrafts Beasties!)

 

Beastie Adventures

Another Beastie Blogging Intervention: New Studio Tour, Part III

Yes I know in her post New Studio Tour, Part II, Tierney threatened to post daily until she  caught up on posts. Her friend Martha (@marthaginn.blogspot.com) rightly doubted her, but Tierney was convinced it was going to happen.

Well she fell off the “blogging wagon” again so it is time for me to intervene AGAIN.

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Most of you know me, but if you are new to this blog, my name is tierneycreates Beastie and I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. 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 (when Tierney fell off the wagon) in the series of posts: Beastie Adventures.

I thought I would continue her series of posts about her new Studio (also known as her guest room with the dangerous carpeting potentially filled with sewing pins and needles) in her new Colorado apartment.

The reason why I am continuing this series as I want you to see where she has me living – you will likely be appalled!

Okay, since I want most of this post to be about me (because that is how Beasties are – it is all about us – just check out the blogs Crawcrafts Beasties  and Tammie Painter and you will see what I mean!) I am going to begin with where I live in her studio: IN A BOX!

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Yes, and I know you are shocked, she has Mikelet my miniature Miniature Schnauzer and I living in a plastic shoe box!

Most of the time I am standing up looking out like this:

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But sometimes she just has me stored like this in the closet:

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I hope you all won’t stop reading/following her blog in disgust! No worries, I am going to keep trying to convince her to let me (and Mikelet) wander free around her apartment as well as go on as many Beastie adventures in Colorado as possible.

I recently discovered she went to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum and did not take me! If I can get Tierney back on track with blogging, she will share photos from her tour of the current amazing exhibit of Hawaiian quilts.

In case you are interested in other stuff in her studio besides me and Mikelet, here are details of some other things she has done to organize her studio.

Organizing Scraps

Tierney did tie on a color scraps to the handle of the baskets holding scraps to indicate the colors inside, thanks to an awesome suggestion from one of her readers.

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Due to limited space, she had to group colors of scraps together and here is the organization scheme she went with:

  • Black and Gray
  • White and Cream
  • Black & White fabric scraps
  • Yellow, Brown and Orange
  • Purple, Pink and Red
  • Green (interestingly the largest volume of scraps she has are green scraps)
  • Blue, Teal and Aqua

She also created tags for the baskets which contain multiple colors of scraps such as her collections of Batik scraps, art fabric scraps (like Marcia Derse fabrics – see post Fabric Fangirl Frenzy) and shot cottons/linens scraps.

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And here is a peek inside one of her crazy scrap baskets (her art fabrics scraps):

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Yardage Fabrics and Coordinating Smaller Pieces

Tierney has limited space in her new apartment and is storing her fabric in tubs by color or theme in her two guest room closets. She does not really have the space at the time to pull out all her fabrics and organize them like she did in her Central Oregon home.

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Project in Queue

She did buy some hanging wire shelves to keep her “projects in queue” organized:

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I will try to get Tierney back on track as she still has a huge backlog of stuff to post about. I am just glad I got to take a break from being stuck in the closet!

(Not to mention she has a LOT of “projects in queue”…)


Postscript

The real reason Tierney has not been blogging as she has been goofing off and exploring the greater Denver metro area she now lives. Here she is last weekend taking big Mike on a bike ride in his backpack around the area.

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I had to ask her for this photo since Mikelet and I were not invited!!!!

Studio

“Oh Scrap”, Part II and New “Studio” Tour

These two topics – Oh, Scrap, Part II and New “Studio” Tour, were going to be two different posts but I decided to combine them into one post since they are sort of tied together.

I’ve been getting settled into my new apartment in the greater Denver metro area and I guess I’ve completed my series of posts “Colorado Bound” as now I am in Colorado!

I’ve never lived alone in my entire life, so it has been a huge transition now living alone, but I am trying to embrace it and enjoy that I can set up my apartment however I desire.

Those of you who’ve followed my blog for a long time (some of you for over 5+ years) might remember what my craft/quilt studio area looked like in my former Central Oregon home (which by the way has sold and is now someone else’s home). It was in a small back bedroom in my three-bedroom home, but it worked for me.

Now living in a two-bedroom apartment my best choice for a studio area was to turn my second bedroom into a guest room/studio area. I will give a little tour of that new space in this post, but first I want to share a follow up to post from January 2018 – “Oh Scrap“.

Oh Scrap, Part II

It is always an ongoing challenge to find the best way to organize my…extensive? ridiculous? pathologically large? fabric scrap collection. I’ve experimented with various iterations of fabric scrap organization including organizing them by color into boxes like these:

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Or just throwing them all together into a large bag:

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As you can imagine, unless you just want to work with random scraps, the “all in one bag” idea did not work for me.

However as I was packing up for my move to Colorado, I came up with an idea: why not use this old shelf unit I had in my sun room in my former house (which easily disassembles for moving) with the baskets I used to store magazines in, to organize and easily access my fabric scraps?

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And here is the unit in the guest bedroom/studio of my new apartment:

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I have my fabric scraps organized by color or theme (i.e. I have a basket of light batik scraps and a basket of dark batik scraps, etc.).

Now for the rest of the room.

New “Studio” Tour

I put the word “studio” in quotes because I am using this term loosely. It’s not really a studio per se but a place to sew in my guest bedroom, where I’ve used the guest bedroom closets to store my fabric and crafting supplies.

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I embraced the concept of “Whole House Crafting” (which I previously discussed in the June 2016 post Whole House Crafting) and put a larger cutting area on my large kitchen island and an ironing station in my master bedroom.

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Mike the Miniature Schnauzer wanted to share that he approves of the guest room/studio space as it meets his coziness standards!

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He also appreciates the schnauzer themed decor!


Postscript 

Speaking of coziness (or “cosiness” for my friends on the other side of the pond), I thought I would share a little follow up to the February 2019 post From “Orphan Blocks” to Pillows.

A couple of months ago I made these two little pillows from leftover blocks from a quilt I made many years ago:

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Well Mike is now enjoying one of the pillows as his napping pillow!

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Not sure he wanted to be disturbed but I just had to take a photo!

A Crafter's Life, Quality of Life, Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH)

A Quilt for the Road…

This post is sort of a follow up to my previous post Love Wears it Out (Repost). I ordered someone to WEAR OUT a quilt!

Very Special Occasion Required

My original “Quilting Sister” (the woman who got me quilting) Judy always stated in response to people who would say to her “oh I wish you would make me a quilt“, is that you need to have a very special occasion to get a quilt: you have a baby, you get married, or you have some other very special occasion.

As quilts are a lot of work/time to make, not to mention a lot of money to make (more than non-quilters realize – see the TheQuiltShow’s July 2018 post – How Much Does It Cost to Make a Quilt? ), I’ve generally stuck to this rule.

Now, of course I’ve made quilts for special people in my life just because they are special. And as I’ve learned over the years, not everyone appreciates handmade items or appreciates the time and effort that went into it (I always remember the awful story a friend shared of discovering that a beautiful quilt she made for someone was being used to clean up an oil spill in recipient’s garage!).

But for the most part it is pretty darn exciting to give someone a quilt for a special occasion or because they are a special person.

Ordered to “Wear Out” a Quilt

Well my friends Cody and Cici are getting married this summer (a qualifying reason to get a quilt!), and although I have not known them a long time, I consider them special people and they really appreciate handmade items, so I sent them an early wedding gift – a quilt that I made with my late husband (who passed in December 2018), Terry the Quilting Husband.

I sent it to them with one very important stipulation: THEY MUST USE IT AND WEAR IT OUT.

Cody is an avid fly fisherman and so was my husband Terry. A couple years ago Terry selected a collection of fishing themed flannels and designed this quilt which I helped him assemble. Here are photos of the front of the quilt (which was so busy with fishing prints I sort of cringed when he designed it – ha!) and the back of the quilt (which was my idea to calm down the front!):

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One for the Road

So I knew Cody would love the quilt but I was a little worried his Cici might cringe. But I thought I would take a chance and send it to them as a their wedding gift.

They are super active outdoors people and have a cool Sprinter van that they use for long distance camping adventures, so I suggested that this very warm heavy flannel quilt be used for those adventures.

Well they both love the quilt and they complied! The quilt has already gone on its first van adventure:

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Photo courtesy of Cody G.

Cody and Cici sent me photos of them wrapped in their favorite sides of the quilt!

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I am working on a move to Colorado (see my series of posts Colorado Bound) and I need to lighten my load and this was a great way to do it. I know Terry would approve the quilt going to people who will love it and use it well!

I hope this quilt gets completely worn out to the point of being threadbare from a lifetime of adventures and road trips!

It is “one for the road”.


Postscript

I’m so honored my friend, author Marie Bostwick, reposted one of my blog posts (Valentines) on her blog Fierce Beyond 50, (which has a MUCH larger readership than my blog):

Coping with Grief by Helping Others

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fiercebeyond50.com

I really appreciate the opportunity to share my musings with a larger audience.

A Crafter's Life

Love Wears it Out (Repost)

Yesterday, during the weekly Spousal Loss Grief Support Group I attend, the book The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams was mentioned. 

This made me think of a post I wrote in 2013 answering the question: “How do you know a quilt has been loved?” in which I quote this beautiful book.

Thought I would repost this post today.


How do you know a quilt has been loved?

It is worn, frayed, maybe even threadbare.

In my early days of quilting this would make me cringe. I put all that work into a quilt and now it is all worn out?

Now the thought of one my quilts being so loved (just think of that glorious book The Velveteen Rabbit) brings a huge smile to my face.

While talking to my sister (she has many quilts from me) she mentioned that most of the quilts I have made her are very worn out, some are just “hanging on by thread” about to fall apart.

I take quilt construction seriously and for a second I thought “wow shoddy workmanship on my part” and “why did they not take better care of the quilts”? I came to my senses several seconds later and realized: Wow! Those quilts have been truly loved – I am so lucky and so honored!

I think of what my first quilting mentor and dear friend, Judy D, once told me:

“If a quilt is falling apart, all worn out, then it has been truly loved…I never mind repairing a quilt that has been loved”.

Excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

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image credit: amazon.com

“Real isn’t how you are made, it’s a thing that happens to you… When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes…When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up..or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once..You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Thank you to all the people I have made quilts for over the years, who have truly loved them, and made them REAL.


Postscript

Re-posting this post also made me think of an art quilt I finished in April 2018 titled Recycled Denim Story V: Recycled Love (2018)This piece is part of my Recycled Denim Story Series of art quilts (see my page Art Quilt Stories for more of the series).

Recycled Love (see post The Recycled Lovehonors all the love that goes into making and giving a quilt to someone.

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Here is the Artist Statement that explains the story behind this quilt made from all recycled materials:

The first law of thermodynamics states that the total amount of energy in a system cannot be created nor destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another. A quilt is made from changing the existing “love energy” from the quilt maker’s heart into a pieced textile; ultimately recycling that love energy into the quilt’s recipient heart.

Quilt are Love!


Feature Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash

 

Adventures in Paper Piecing, tierneycreates

Pup Pillow

I must be on this pillow kick (see 02/21/19 post From “Orphan Blocks” to Pillows) as I’ve made another little pillow.

Saturday, before “Snowmageddon” descended upon Central Oregon, I went over my friend Marie’s house for a Sew Day.

I did not want to arrive empty handed so I whipped up the evening before a little pillow, from a dog faces panel (Dogs of Many Breeds by Elizabeth Studio) I had in my stash, of her beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Pup Pillow Making

After cutting from the panel the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel block, I worked to find fabrics in my stash to pair with it:

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I decided to go with a gold shot cotton inner border and a gold small print floral outer border.

I used the “quilt-as-you-go” technique to assemble the pillow, piecing the pillow directly to a piece of batting.

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After trimming excess fabric to even up the borders, I had a completed pillow top:

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I give the pillow enough weigh in the back as the front was quilted with batting, I used a double layer of coordinated backing fabric.

After pinning the two right sides together, I stitched around the edge of the pillow, leave a couple inches opening for turning right sides out and for stuffing.

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I like to stuff the corners first when stuffing a pillow to make sure they get enough stuffing. I used which I like because it is made from recycled materials:

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Once the pillow was stuffed to my liking, I pinned the section I left open and whip stitched it closed with coordinating thread.

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I figured out a couple years ago that pinning the open section of a pillow (or other stuffed item) before you whip stitch it close gives you a better chance of an even closure.

Pup Pillow Reveal and a Very Cute Model

Here is the completed pillow:

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But here is something EVEN CUTER, my friend’s Cavalier King Charles Spaniel doing a photoshoot with the pillow!

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Of course she was thinking: “I am way cuter than that dog in the pillow!”; or “Lady, hurry and get this photoshoot done, I want a biscuit!”


Postscript

In case you were wondering what I worked on during the Sew Day at my friend’s house – I worked on my ongoing English Paper Piecing project and actually made a little progress:

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You can check out posts about this ongoing project in my series of posts Adventures in Paper Piecing – (scroll through to see older posts after you click on the link).

Oh and if you would like to see my friend Marie’s lovely quilt studio that I got to hang out in on Saturday, you can check it out on her June 2018 post in her blog Fierce Beyond 50A (Craft) Room of One’s Own: Craft Room Ideas, Inspiration, and Eye Candy.

This post also includes a photo of her writing desk where she writes her amazing Women’s Fiction novels! (Marie is New York Times Bestseller Author, Marie Bostwick).

Studio, tierneycreates

From “Orphan Blocks” to Pillows

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):

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And here are the two “orphan blocks” that did not fit into the quilt (I think I accidentally made too many):

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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:

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And now they are on the chairs in the sunroom with the tablecloth quilt that they are connected:

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Ah, it feels so good to finish an old project!

Studio

Quilter’s Studio and House Tour

Alas, I am not sharing my studio and house tour. It is more like I am sharing my dream studio and house tour (smile). My house and studio are currently partially packed up and a mess as I sort my stuff out for my move to Colorado this Spring.

This post about another quilter’s studio and house tour.

My dear friend Marla Jo (and her wonderful husband Jason) have been incredibly supportive during this difficult period in my life (my new life as a recent widow) and to give me a distraction from my grief, a couple of weekends ago she invited me see the studio and home of one of her clients/friends (Jaime) who is a quilter.

I thought it would be fun to share some photos from that visit as I would guess many of you, like me, enjoy artist studio tour posts!

The Studio

Here are images of Jaime’s yummy quilt studio:

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She has beautiful custom designed cabinetry throughout her gorgeous home.

I was fascinated by how she organized her fabric:

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She showed me that she used scrap thin cardboard cut to a uniform size to organize the fabric:

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I love how her fabric stands upright like in a quilt shop.

Her organizationreminded me of the studio of my friend Dana which I shared on this post – Ultimate Studio Fabric Organization and the way Dana organized her fabric yardage.

Dana used recycled cardboard from fabric bolts that quilt shops gave to her. She cut them in half and wrapped her fabric around them:

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Jaime had a wonderful wallhanging in her studio, made by her sister, celebrating her collection of decorative pins:

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The House

The studio was spectacular and the house was equally as spectacular. Here are a couple of my favorite areas of Jaime’s beautiful home:

The Entire Wall Bookcase in the Living Room

My dream!

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The Dream Soaking Tub

Jaime is an artful decorator and designed a nook in her bathroom to put a peaceful soaking tub:

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The Grand Piano

At one point in my young life I studied piano and I have always been fascinated with pianos. Jaime had in her sitting room a custom made piano from Estonia that had an exquisite sound (she treated us to a mini concert):

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There were many other magical rooms/areas of her home but I wanted to spend time visiting with her and Marla Jo and not be rude and just take photos.

But let’s close this post with a view that took my breath away (my photo does not do it justice) – the view from the upstairs balcony of her home with a view down to the living room:

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A Crafter's Life, Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

A Fish Tale

Making a Fish

Around 2010 or 2011 my friend Judy (my original “quilting sister” who taught me how to quilt, see post Quilting Sisters, Part I) visited me in Central Oregon for the annual Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (SOQS).

Each year the week before the actual SOQS, which is always the second Saturday in July, the Stitchin’ Post and other local Central Oregon quilt shops have a week of classes by nationally known instructors called Quilters Affair“.

Officially “Quilters Affair” is managed by the Stitchin’s Post and the SOQS but many other local quilt shops have their unofficial version by offering classes to out of town quilters during this time.

While Judy was visiting, one of those quilt shops offering classes the week before SOQS was BJ’s Quilt Basket. They offered a class by Donna Cherry, an extremely talented young appliqué quilt designer and quilter. Judy and I decided to take the class to make the her wallhanging – “Mountain Trout“.

Here is her original version from her website Donna Cherry Designs:

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Image credit: donnacherrydesigns.com

Judy and I both had husbands who were into fishing, my Terry was a fly fisherman. We thought these wallhanging would be a wonderful gift for them.

Here is the version I made in class:

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Releasing a Fish

Well as most of you know, I lost my beloved husband suddenly in December 2018. Over the past could of months I’ve been donating and downsizing my life in preparation to move from Central Oregon to Colorado in the late Spring (see posts Colorado Bound (Part I)  and Colorado Bound (Part II)). Downsizing is especially important as I am moving from a three-bedroom house to a one-bedroom apartment.

I’ve made a lot of quilts over the years and many I’ve given away; however many I’ve kept. I know I needed to thin out my collection of quilts a little bit prior to the move.

My husband Terry (who I used to refer to as “Terry the Quilting Husband”/”TTQH” on my blog) was a quilter. I tried to make sure that many of his quilts were given to his family members, but I kept a couple special ones for myself.

I’ve made him many quilts over the years, including the Mountain Trout wallhanging quilt but my heart was telling me that it needed a new home – to go to another fly fisherman.

Fish Giving

I’ve been with my employer for 14 years and I’ve met some pretty awesome people at my job. I am fortunate enough to be a telecommuter (though I did work a year in the office when I lived in Seattle, WA when I first started my job) and will be taking my job with me to Colorado.

I’ve met a couple people at work that are so special I kind of consider them “work family members”. One of them is my friend Nancy who I refer to as my “Work Sister” and I made her a little quilted wallhanging for her cubicle of her beloved Cannon Beach Oregon (see post A Case for Buying Things You Have No Plans for at the time) in 2017.

Another work family member is my friend Cody who I consider my “Work Brother”. He is actually around the same age as my biological little brother and similarly as awesome. Although I was a fan of his work from afar, I met him in person for the first time at a national conference we attended in May 2018 (see post A Presidential Artistic Journey) and knew he was “my people” – especially when I discovered he is a crafter!

He is an avid fly fisherman and while we were at the conference he was busy in the evenings, with the supplies he brought from home, making/tying his own flies in his hotel room. I was kind of envious as I wished I had brought a quilting project to work on in the evening after each conference session in my hotel room!

A couple months ago I got to meet his beautiful and brilliant fiancée Cici and was totally smitten with her (does that make her my “work sister-in-law” when they marry?).

So I knew Cody was the perfect person to send this special Mountain Trout quilt and here is a photo taken by Cici of him with his new quilt (even if he did not iron the crease out in the middle from shipping before taking a photo – ha!):

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He was very happy with his new quilt and I received a wonderful phone call from him and Cici that made me smile.

It was a good “release” of a fish I once held.


Feature Photo by Sticker Mule on Unsplash

A Crafter's Life

Getting Started with Quilting: What You Need to Know (Guest Post)

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

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Sewing Machine Club

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.

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Sewing Machine Club

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.

Quilt Away

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.

Final Touches

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.

For more details and images, check out this infographic about quilting!


Feature Photo by Jeff Wade on Unsplash

What's on the Design Wall

“Tula in a Box” Quilt Top Finished

This weekend I moved forward on one of my stalled quilting projects: I finished my Tula in a Box quilt. If you check out this category of posts you will see the story behind this quilt and stages of progress in a series of previous posts – Tula Time!.

This weekend I went from this on the large design wall in the hallway:
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To this:

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This quilt top measures approximately 82 inch x 82 inches (208 cm x 208 cm) and is comprised of 36 – 12 inch x 12 inch (finished) blocks.

I love the brightly colored fabrics in this quilt, especially the fabulous prints of 6 animals (frog, owl, fancy bird, squirrel, raccoon, and bee) in 3 different color ways, such as this one of the owl:

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Originally I thought about piecing the leftover fat quarters and scraps into the backing for the quilt, but I’ve decided to save those for another project.

Instead I am going to search for a backing when I visit a couple quilting friends in Washington state in February (any excuse to go shopping with quilting friends!)