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.
I’ve been on hiatus from blogging for a couple weeks to temporarily remove any “artificial” obligations in my life in order to have some time to “reset”.
Now feeling “reset”, I thought I would jump back into blogging with a little essay “primary/elementary” school style like the infamous “What I Did on My Summer Vacation“.
By the way I was not hanging out with the fabulous looking women at the beach during my hiatus, like those in the feature photo of this post (photo by Vitae London on Unsplash), I just thought it was a fun beach photo to use in the middle of semi-freezing winter in Denver!
Okay so now it is time to imagine me standing in front of our 4th grade class presenting this essay below (and perhaps my parents helped me make a slide deck for my images/photos)…
Listening to audiobooks and turning the pages of actual physical books, I’ve done a lot of reading during the past several weeks.
I’ve finished the book City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty, that I read for my virtual book club with my friend Michele (see post Virtual Book Clubs):
Last Friday Michele and I had another card-making playdate like the one I shared in the post Card Making Playdate from last October and discussed City of Brass. In tomorrow’s post (why yes, I am going to now post frequently…hope you don’t grow tired of me) I will share what we made.
I recently finished the next book in our “Virtual Book Group” (but wait is it “virtual” if we are meeting in person, socially distancing of course, to discuss the book?) and it was quite the awesome page turner – The Guest List by Lucy Foley:
It’s been a long time since I’ve read (actually I listened to the audiobook) the kind of book I absolutely could not put down. If you’d like to read a synopsis of the book – here is the link to the one on Publishers Weekly (no worries, there are no spoilers) – The Guest List.
Currently I am listening to an excellent (so far) Science Fiction/space novel – To Sleep Under a Sea of Stars by Christoper Paolini. I love it so much I’ve already bought the hard copy of the book as my library loan of the audiobook is about to expire and there are a zillion other library patrons waiting in line to listen to it next.
It not just fiction books I’ve been inhaling, I’ve also read several new crafting books I picked up over the past couple of months.
I’ve been obsessed lately with making non-quilt items such as tote bags (see post Tote, Tote, Tote Bags) and pincushions (a future post); and love my new book by Ayumi Takahashi – Patchwork Please which features lots of fun things to make:
I am sort of obsessed with “zakka” and Japanese author craft patterns. I love the aesthetics of their designs as well as the function. Here are many of the books in my home library collection of Japanese author craft patterns:
For a while in the Denver metro area, our restaurants closed down again to inside dining during the pandemic. Finally they opened to 25% capacity and now I think they are starting to reopen to even 50% capacity (or perhaps I am hallucinating at this point as I have complete pandemic fatigue at this point).
While they were closed again, like in the early days of the pandemic, we tried to make fun meals at home and not get home cooking fatigue. Here are a couple photos of the delicious meals my partner John (a very good cook who used to actually cook professionally) and I made.
Delicious Irish Stew and Homemade Biscuits
Salmon Fried Rice
Pizza (with dough made from “scratch”)
Orzo Pasta Salad
Are you hungry yet?
One of my favorites that I could not locate easily locate a photo for was the handmade gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce and scallops that John made one night. I thought I was at a high-end restaurant!
Yes, I will not lie, I had packed on a couple “pandemic pounds” from all this good eating, but we do not eat like this every night. We do try and have salads for dinner a couple nights a week.
To combat the effects of all those delicious home cooked meals, I’ve been going on a lot of very long walks. It is always a great way to listening to my audiobooks. Most of the times I take Mike my Miniature Schnauzer with me but many times I just go walking alone (then I do not have to stop for the “frequent signing in on bushes” that Mike loves to do on his walk).
Here are a couple Black & White images I took on a wintry walk, in which someone had left a found glove on a branch for its owner to hopefully someday find. I got a kick out of the “composition” in the stark landscape created by the glove.
If you enjoy B&W images, I do have a series of posts where I feature B&W images – Life in B&W.
In case you are wondering – either the glove blew away or was reunited with its partner by the owner as the next day it was gone.
During my break from blogging, I spent a lot of time reflecting and trying to figure out my life. As many of you know, I am in my second year of widowhood caused by the very sudden and very expected death of my life partner, Terry the Quilting Husband (see post Remembering Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH)).
I’d been with Terry since I was in my early 20s and I am now on a journey to “reinvent” myself in my middle years of life as “Tierney minus Terry”, after what seems like a lifetime of “Tierney +Terry”.
In previous posts, I’ve discussed re-opening my tierneycreates Etsy shop and my original plan when I took a hiatus from blogging was to start blogging again in about a month when I was ready to re-open my Etsy shop.
Over the past several months, I’ve made a lot of items in preparation to re-open the shop but still could not move forward with re-opening the shop. I was struggling to figure out what the big block was for me.
Then while looking at some old photos on my Google Photos account which I rarely use, I found an old image of the joint tierneycreates business card Terry and I had together when he was helping me with my Etsy shop. He was listed as a “Maker” on my Etsy shop as he helped me with many of the items I produced by cutting out patterns and doing preliminary sewing, especially on items like Miniature Kimonos, which were very popular on my shop.
I realized that my tierneycreates Etsy shop is just too closely tied to memories of crafting with Terry and I am just not ready.
Part of my “widowhood journey” is trying to figure out what to do with what is basically a lifetime’s worth of memories with someone who is now gone.
After losing your spouse you are expected to go on with your life but what do you do with all those memories (and mementos) of a life previously lived? I think that is the $64,000 Question which I have yet to answer for myself (I’ve done a lot of reading on grief and the answers of other people’s journey but I still have to find my own answer).
But I have figured out that unless it is something critical, not push myself to do anything I am not ready to do, even if it seems like a good thing to do (like re-opening my Etsy shop).
(The above images are of Terry, Sassy, who passed in Dec 2017 a year before Terry, and I vacationing in Cannon Beach, Oregon; and of Terry modeling a quilt he helped me make)
There’s been a whole lot of crafting over the past couple of weeks. I’ve found a lot of peace in making things. I feel very lucky to be a “Maker”.
Many of the items I’ve shared on my tierneycreates Instagram account but many I have not. I am going to save a discussion of what I’ve been working on for future blogs posts but I will share that I’ve been making more tote bags like I discussed in the post Tote, Tote, Tote Bags.
Here are some of my latest tote bags:
I look forward to diving into more about what I’ve been making in my future posts!
WAKE UP, THE ESSAY IS FINALLY OVER!
So that concludes my essay and I can safely assume the whole class is asleep now at their desks!
Oh wait, I see the teacher is also asleep at their desk! Maybe I won’t get a “A” on this presentation…
Just a quick follow up to my post Redesigning my logo. I decided not to change my logo at this time and just figure it out at a later date.
Seattle is where I originally learned to quilt and it continues to be connected to my quilting journey (and not just because the awesome person, Judy D., who got me into quilting still lives there). I lived in Seattle, Washington from 1997 to 2005 before moving to Bend, Oregon in 2005 and then to Colorado (Denver Metro area) in 2019.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while you might remember that the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture invited me to have my first solo show in 2019 (see post Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower (re-post) ), and ended up purchasing 3 pieces of the 12 pieces in my solo show for their permanent collection (see section on City of Seattle’s Portable Works Collection later in this post).
Surprisingly opportunities like the above keep happening for me tied to Seattle, WA. This year several amazing things have happened tied to Seattle and my (art) quilting journey and I am going to share them in the rest of this post.
Scream: 2020 CoCA Gala and Auction
A couple of months ago I was contacted by the Curator for the Center on Contemporary Art in downtown/Pioneer Square Seattle, and invited to submit work to be juried into an invitation participate in their annual Gala and Art Auction. I was juried into the show that opens Saturday September 19, 2020 and three of my pieces (Random Not So Random, Archaeological Dig – The Vessel, and The Loud Color Shift) are part of the event, which this year due to the pandemic, is being held virtually – SCREAM: COCA’S ANNUAL GALA & AUCTION).
Here are some images from the social media promotion of the show which is the annual fundraiser for the gallery (note the artist and gallery split the auction proceeds on the artist’s piece that sells in case you are curious):
So Saturday I will find out if my pieces get purchased in the auction and if so if they fetch a decent price (smile). If we were not in the midst of a pandemic, the event would have been live in person and I would have been invited to attend the Gala in person (and play dress up!) while visiting my friends in Seattle.
The crazy thing about this is that 1) I did not seek out this opportunity, it came to me; and 2) back when I lived in Seattle (and before I ever dreamed of “art quilting”) I used to visit this gallery during the First Thursday Gallery Walkin downtown/Pioneer Square. I never imagined I would make art that would be part of a show associated with this gallery!
If you’d like to see images of and read my Artist Statement on any of the art quilts mentioned above check out my page – Art Quilt Stories.
Request from Seattle Art Teacher
In December 2019 I received a request from Deborah Kapoor an artist and art teacher in Seattle, WA to use an image of my piece Random Not So Randomas inspiration for her art students.
Hi Tierney, I teach painting and drawing at South Seattle College, and wanted to share your beautiful work with students. If you are open to the idea, I would just need a high res image sent to me, and I plan to print on 11 x 17 inch paper and laminate, sort of like a mini-poster, for the art room. I think it would really inspire the students! The piece I am interested in is Color Story III: Random, Not so Random
I sent her a high resolution image which she printed into a poster and put on her “wall of fame” in her classroom.
Here is a partial image she sent me of that wall (other artists work edited out of image) in early 2020:
She said her students are inspired by my piece!
City of Seattle’s Ethnic Artist Roster
In November 2017 I was juried into the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s Ethnic Artist Roster (see postEthnic Artist Roster). The Office of Arts & Culture updated their Ethnic Artist Roster website and now each artist has their own page.
I was contacted in July 2020 by artist @salmakingstuff (Sally Lavengod) who was asked to create a mural in Capitol Hill, Seattle supporting the Black Lives Matters (BLM) movement. She asked if she could list my @tierneycreates Instagram handle in the part of the mural listing inspirational Artists of Color. I was honored and said yes.
She created a 4 sided mural of Colin Kaepernick, Fred Hampton, Malcom X, and Afeni Shakur on the corner of 12th and Spring in Capitol Hill in response to the BLM movement. To the mural she added Instagram handles of Black Artists who inspired her to include mine – @tierneycreates:
City of Seattle’s Portable Works Collection
According to the Seattle.gov, the City of Seattle’s Portable Works Collection is a rotating collection of over 3,200 artworks in all media, representing hundreds of artists collected by the city since 1973. The collection includes sculpture, painting, mixed media, prints, photography and textiles.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, 4 of my pieces are now part of the City of Seattle’s Portable Works collection. Recently I discovered the updated listing of my pieces on the Portable Works website.
I am so honored that several of my art quilts circulate around City of Seattle offices (of course during the pandemic they might be hanging out alone in offices with no one to view them right now!)
Although I haven’t lived in Seattle for 15 years but I continue to be connected to this city through my art quilting. It’s mysterious and magical to me.
I am learning how to use the new WordPress Editor and it is not intuitive (it is actually downright painful…). I think I am going to have to find a tutorial.
All good things must come to an end as they say, and here is the 5th and final installment of the guest blog post series by my talented friend Wendy Hill on the awesome quilt she made during quarantine with the four rambunctious boys next door (aka “The Boys”) ages 2 – 8.
Thanks for reading this series along with me (I was so excited to receive each installment via e-mail and read it myself for the first time while posting it!)
And if you are just joining us, see these posts for Parts I, II, III and IV of the story by Wendy Hill:
You can follow Wendy Hill on Instagram @wendyquilter
Quarantine Quilt Project: Life in the Time of Coronavirus
Part V: The Big Giveaway
I’m eager to show off the Quarantine Quilt and The Big Giveaway where “The Boys” and their parents see the quilt for the first time.
Here are the full view photographs of the front and the back. (The quilt, with no sleeve, wiggled a bit being clamped to a bar for the photos.)
At home, I took some detail photographs. Of course, the cats found the quilt in no time….The Quarantine Quilt is officially cat approved!!
Let’s start with the appliquéd hand blocks. I put The Boys’ hands in the middle, with the adults’ hands on the four corners. It’s symbolic on purpose: the adults are looking after the kids.
Here are a few more detail photographs of the quilt front:
The quilt back is fun too, with the assortment of found fabrics and leftovers. A friend sent me her found robot boy yardage for the center; she thought it perfect for The Boys.
I’m so pleased I took the time to embroider the labels. These labels will last as long as the quilt.
It had been a long time since “The Boys” had seen the blocks, and I wondered what they would remember about their creations. But the 3 older boys wasted no time in finding their hand and favorite blocks.
One of “The Boys” found his favorite block, saying it was the weirdest block ever. I told him I’d never seen anything like it and in fact, it was ‘genius’. He had a big grin.
Another favorite of The Boys was this block. I think it’s graphic and moody, in a good way.
Finally the day for the Big Giveaway came. David and I spread out several sheets on our back deck. As we watched the kids scramble around the quilt (while staying 10’ apart), some of us burst into tears while the rest became teary. This project was definitely a good thing.
In the beginning, we were two neighbors who banded together when the state government ordered a month-long lockdown. At first, we joined forces to add something special to the daily life of “The Boys”, whose routines had changed suddenly with the Pandemic.
Then we started helping each other out. We even celebrated shared birthdays in the open yard between our houses. “The Boys” were growing up in front of our eyes, going from ages 2-8 to ages 2-9. We became closer while we had to live separately.
I can’t help but feel there is a larger story here during this Pandemic. There must be a patchwork of stories unfolding all over the United States and the World, as we find ways to connect and help each other out.
Here is the 4th installment of the guest blog post series by my talented friend Wendy Hill on the awesome quilt she made during quarantine with the four rambunctious boys next door (aka “The Boys”) ages 2 – 8. Wendy has a background in teaching (and quilt book writing) and in this post she provides details on her process of basting, quilting and binding one GIGANTIC Quarantine Quilt!
If you are just joining us, see these posts for Parts I, II and III of the story by Wendy:
Quarantine Quilt Project: Life in the Time of Coronavirus
Part IV: Basting, Quilting & Binding The Gigantic Quilt
If you’ve been following along, you know that my collaboration with The Boys next door led to a gigantic quilt top measuring 82” by 104”, and a quilt back 84” by 106”. Time to baste and quilt this monster-sized quilt!!
Basting is a two-step process for me: spray baste first with Odif 505 Temporary Adhesive followed by stitching a large grid with water soluble thread by Superior (Vanish Lite). This foolproof method lets me quilt without any problems.
But first, I have to clear the sewing room. After ironing the batting to smooth out any creases, I tape the batting to the floor to hold it in place.
We had to navigate the crowded hallway for a day or two, but the cats loved exploring this new-to-them space.
With the quilt back centered on the batting, the window open, the ceiling fan on low, and paper around the edge to catch any over spray, I’m ready to baste.
I can baste any size quilt with my “assistant”: a swim noodle. (My assistant never complains but getting up off the floor is another story!)
Roll up half the quilt onto the swim noodle. Spray a light coat from side to side, covering about 15” from the rolled up quilt towards you. Unroll the quilt over the sprayed area, smoothing as you go. Here is a photo of a different quilt ready to spray, unroll, and smooth.
Repeat to spray baste both halves of the quilt. Trim the excess batting along the fabric edge. Allow to dry for a few hours or overnight before turning over and taping the quilt to the floor.
With the quilt front centered on the batting, repeat the steps above to spray baste. Allow to dry.
With both ends of the quilt rolled up to the middle, I stitched lines about 3”-4” apart with the water soluble thread, from the middle to the edge. Repeat with the other half. Re-roll the quilt in the other direction, stitching perpendicular lines about 3”-4” apart.
A bonus benefit is the way these stitching lines change how the quilt handles, making it easier to do the actual quilting lines.
Tips for Using Any Spray Baste
Ventilate the room.
Cover up to prevent overspray on unwanted places.
Hold the can at least 12” away from the surface.
Keep the can moving from side to side- do not soak the batting.
After the layers are basted, allow time for the spray baste to dry & set.
It will evaporate out, especially in dry climates. Another reason for stitching a water soluble thread grid is to buy time before you start quilting.
I like using roughly parallel quilting lines, but with a quilt this size, this will be the easiest thing for me to do on my home sewing machine.
But first, thread choices. I selected Aurifil 50 wt cotton for the front (yellow) and back (blue).
With the quilt rolled up from both ends to the middle, I started stitching the roughly parallel lines, using the pressor foot as a guide. Ignore the water soluble thread lines.
I accordion folded the quilt in my lap, but with big quilts, you can get some drag from the rolled up quilt coming out behind the sewing machine. When you start to feel some drag, accordion fold the quilt behind the sewing machine, which will reduce or eliminate the dead weight.
Keep quilting! The lines are actually unequal distances apart and not perfectly straight, but I like this look on a scrappy quilt.
I used the seam lines between the rows to “square up” my parallel lines.
In the last couple of inches before the seam line, I start my course correction strategy. I start stitching parallel to the seam line, so that the next row/section starts over with an accurate straight line. The stitching lines can get way off line without some kind of course correction fix.
Celebration! The very last line of stitching!! I zigzagged the edges and trimmed the batting before tossing the quilt into the washer and dryer. I like to let the quilt shrink at this stage, before sewing on the binding.
Remove the quilt from the dryer while still slightly damp and allow to air dry the rest of the way.
I’m always searching for alternative techniques. I invented a way to machine topstitch binding that is easy and looks great. For quilts that will be loved, used, and washed & dried, this method is also makes for a sturdy binding.
I started with a double French fold binding. A 3/8” seam allowance gives me the wide binding I like so much. I flattened the seam allowance with my faux serge stitch (or zigzag works too) to get a flatter looking binding.
After folding over and pinning (or clipping) the binding in place, I hand sewed the mitered corners, about 1” in each direction from the corner.
Next, I basted along the very edge of the binding, from the back of the quilt. This big stitch goes fast.
Flip over. From the front, you can see the basting thread: this shows you exactly where the fold is on the other side.
I machine topstitched the binding from the front, by stitching just to the right of the basting line. (You can stitch anywhere between the basting line and the ditch of the binding seam.)
I removed the basting thread and checked the back to make sure the stitching line is along the edge of the binding. Finished!!!
Last week I rotated the quilts hanging in my entry hall from several of my recycled silk art quilts to a quilt I made in the early 2010s (perhaps 2010 or 2011) that was one of my first attempts of experimenting with bold colors.
Rotated from this:
This quilt, which I will call Asian Fabric Slide Show, is from the pattern Slide Show by Atkinson Designs. If you are a quilter, and I have been to a quilt shop in the past 15 years, then likely you’ve seen this pattern – either available for purchase, or as a sample quilt, or as both.
It is a very common quilt pattern and before I made the quilt I’d seen many version of it, many which looked similar to the quilt in the image above from Atkinson Design’s website.
Before making this quilt I had begun to experiment a little with color, especially with batiks, which I had recently discovered. And before that I was making quilts with traditional looking quilting fabrics and colors. My original palette (especially when I began quilting around 1999/2000) was blue, red, green, cream, purple, white, mauve.
I found this image on twobeesfabric.com and it looks like my old fabric palette:
Somewhere in the late 2000s as I began to make quilts with batik fabrics, I became attracted to strong/bold colors.
When I decided to make the Slide Show quilt, I decided to make unconventional choices including using a “featured fabric”/main fabric with a non-repeat pattern (which was more like a panel than traditional fabric yardage).
For the little blocks surrounding the larger squares, I decided to experiment with adding a fabric that WAS NOT in the featured fabric but added a pop of color that appeared to go well with the other fabrics which were coordinated.
I used a light and iridescent bluish gray fabric for this experiment with “non-matching the featured fabric” (see arrow in image below):
Then I got really crazy with the quilt and added a very strong deep orange as the border. I’d never used this much orange in a quilt before. In the past I would have used the green I used in lattice or a black as the border. I am not sure what got into me but I decided to make the border really pop!
It wasn’t until I recently rotated the quilts in the hallway that I remembered this part of my quilt journey.
After this quilt, bold color became part of my design/quilt journey as evidenced by my series of recycled silk quilts – the Color Story Series.
Here is one from that series with a crazy amount of bold color:
If you like, please share in the comments, a little about your color/colour journey in your art (whether you are a quilter, knitter, painter, ceramicist, etc.)!
In case you are curious about the kimono quilt to the right of the quilt discussed in this post:
You can read about that quilt in an old post from June 2017:
In my June 11th post Tweaks to the Tierneycreates Studio, I shared that one of my quilting friends (Dana) had gifted me fabric, the pattern, the templates and pieces she already cut of a quilt she decided not to make:
As you can see above, Dana had already made 20 or so of the 7″ template quarter circle blocks.
One of the template sets had this quilt on it’s cover:
I decided not to make any of the 3.5″ quarter circle blocks but instead to start assembling the 7″ circle blocks Dana already cut and to arrange them like the pattern that came with the 3.5″ template.
Here is where I am with the piece to date:
I’ve decided to name the piece “Pride” because it is bold and colorful and not afraid to be what it wants to be!
I still have a lot more 7″ quarter circle blocks to put together in additional color combinations which will provide more variety to the block options than I have above.
You might not see an update on this quilt for a while because I had to take it off the design wall to work on another piece for a show I’ve been invited to (the curator will still have to make the final decision whether I get into the show after they see my piece) participate. I won’t be sharing images of that piece for the show until it is complete and I find out if I got into the show!
My partner John recently stripped/sanded an old chair he had for years from his maternal grandmother. The chair is approximately 80 years old. I forgot to take a “before” photo (but trust me the chair looked terrible – it was covered in paint and grime), but here are photos after it was sanded and refinished:
We made the chair into a bedside table in our upstairs guest room (which is also my home office) by clipping on a lamp. I got this idea from one of the many home decorating books I’ve borrowed recently from the library (see post Beastie goes to the library (and gets a Library Stack)).
And an update to the recent “library stacks” I’ve borrowed: I am enjoying reading the books sitting on the front porch during our warm weather in the Denver metro area. Here is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer attempting to distract me from my reading:
A couple weeks ago I did a photoshoot of a quilt I made with African textile inspired fabrics for a project I have been invited to participate in (more details in the future) and I thought I would share a couple images of this quilt, African Windows, I made in 2014.
Back in 2014, I was gifted a collection of African textiles (not sure if they were originals or reproductions) from someone’s Aunt who had passed who was an avid world traveler and collector of textiles on her travels. (I was also gifted a collection of Japanese and Dutch textiles, which I used to make the quilt I will share in a future blog post).
Here is the Artist Statement I recently wrote on this quilt for the project I was invited to participate:
African Windows (2014)
I was gifted a collection of African textiles and created a piece to display the beautiful patterns of these spectacular fabrics. The design of this piece was inspired by an old Patchwork Studio pattern called “Aussie”. I adapted this pattern to work with the African textiles.
The quilt measures 56 inches wide by 64.5 inches long.
Here are a couple close up photos of the fabrics used in this quilt:
Recently my partner and I remodeled our garage and painted it white. We discovered that an empty section of wall in the garage is a great place to photograph a quilt. So we set up a shop light on a ladder for better lighting.
Of course it took a while to figure out the best way to mount the quilt so it did not keep sliding down (we used Command Strips) right before we snapped the photo – ha!
A couple more Command Strips and finally it worked!
Around the same time as a photoshoot, I decided I needed a new journal to write thoughts and plans. I came across this lovely journal which I felt had a very inspiring cover and added it to my life:
I found this images on Pinterest, which I shared in that post, of what the quilt looks like finished:
I decided to name my version of this quilt “All the Trimmings”since most of the scrap triangles were donated by other quilters from their block trimmings. Most of the triangles I am using in my version of this quilt were once headed to the landfill (and now they get to be in a quilt!).
The quilt consist of sections of 2 inch x 2 inch half square triangles (HSTs); 2.5″ x 2.4″ HSTs, 3.5″ x 3.5″ HSTs, 4.5″ x 4’5″ HSTs, and finally 5.5″ x 5.5″ HSTs.
HSTs are usually made by some quick method such as placing two squares of fabric together, making a line down the middle, sewing a 1/4 on each side of the line and then cutting apart two completed HSTs.
However I made most of the HSTs the manual hard way by sewing two scrap triangles together and then trimming the block to the required size. But I used up hundreds and hundreds (nearly all of them) of my scrap triangle collection.
I’ve completed three sections of the quilt: 2″x2″, 2.5″x2.5″ and 3.5″x3.5″ and they are up on my design wall.
I’ve decided to name the freeform log cabin scrappy quilt I’ve created from my friend Dana’s scraps (see post What’s on the…Design Carpet) – “Seattle Scrappy”.
The name was inspired by the scraps coming from the Seattle area and that it is gray and in Winter it is fairly gray in the Seattle area.
Above you can see my current progress on the piece. I am nearly done with the top, I just need to frame the whole thing in rows of dark framed blocks.
This was my original concept – a center dark shape, created by freeform log cabin blocks with dark gray outside borders:
Then I would add lighter gray bordered freeform log cabin blocks around these blocks to float the center shape. However, as the black and white image I took of the quilt, the concept got a little muddled:
But you can still sort of see the concept and make out a darker shape floating in the lights blocks (I hope!)
I am hoping adding in a border all around of dark gray framed blocks will help my center pop a little more. A quilting friend said the piece looks like an aerial view of a city – I hadn’t thought of that!
More to come on “Seattle Scrappy” and I am currently trying to decide when I finish it, whether to:
Have it professionally quilted (a.k.a. “quilting by check”)
Do you remember the free large table I got from a community for sale board? Well I put risers (to make it “counter height”) on it and turned it into a large cutting and project table in my temporary studio (until I move to the new house in progress of being built some time in April):
I then snugged my sewing machine against the table to create a yummy temporary “Creation-Station” (patent pending? can I market that!??!):
Now I can comfortably watch the telly (well Netflix, ha!) while I sew.
I also added some quilts about the house. As I mentioned in a previous post, the house became sort of minimalist (and kind of sterile) when we staged it for the real estate sale photos that a professional photography came and took for the future real estate listing.
Since have delayed putting the house on the market until mid/late March, I was getting weary of living in basically a “model home”.
So I pulled out some of the quilts I had stored away and put them up on the wall with Command Strips!
And I placed an old quilt at the end of the bed where Mike my dog hangs out in my temporary studio while I sew:
My partner and I were working on buying a house together and he is selling his house. So my quilting studio got packed up and my former studio became a staged bedroom for the realtor house listing photo shoot.
Then I went to a mini quilt retreat a couple weeks ago and created freeform log cabin blocks from a friend’s scraps. Upon returning home I laid them out on the “design carpet” in my bedroom since I no longer had a design wall, much less a studio:
So nearly two weeks ago, my partner and I decided to buy a new house, that is in the process of being built, and will not be ready until the end of April. So we cannot put his house on the market for a couple months – until we get closer to when our new house will close, otherwise we could end up between homes!
Since the house I currently live in was not going on the market for a couple of months, I negotiated that I set up a modified version of a studio that can be easily returned to a staged bedroom for house showing.
Around the same time of this decision, I discovered listed on our community website a free large table being offered.
With new large (free) table in hand, I have a makeshift studio:
And to go with my makeshift studio, I made a makeshift design wall:
On Superbowl Sunday (last Sunday), I had a “Stitching Bowl” and worked on getting the center of the piece sewn together:
I am pretty happy with my makeshift studio and will share more photos of the piece as it evolves.
By the way, Mike my Miniature Schnauzer is enjoying hanging out on the bed (from the staging) in my makeshift studio while I sew!
As promised, here are some stories and photos from my adventures outside of the quilt retreat, in Poulsbo.
Ferry to Poulsbo
Wikipedia has a nice little write up about Poulsbo, Washington (Washington State in the Pacific Northwestern coast of the U.S. for my international blogging friends, not Washington D.C. which is on the Eastern coast of the the U.S.): Poulsbo, Washington.
As explained in the link above, Poulsbo is located in northern Kitsap County atat the north end of Liberty Bay, a sheltered arm of Puget Sound (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean) and one of the common ways to get there is by ferry.
Washington State has an extensive ferry system. I lived in Seattle, Washington for 8 years (1997 – 2005) and rode many ferries to the peninsulas and islands that are part of the Pacific Northwest.
It really is an exceptionally beautiful part of the U.S. with the Olympic Mountains in the background, except it rains all the time and can be very gray in the Winter (for example one winter a friend reported they went 60+ days without sunshine, this friend eventually moved to Denver, Colorado to get more sun in her life; I moved to Bend, Oregon in 2005 to get sun in my life).
Living in Denver, Colorado, I am now “land locked” and I do miss the Pacific ocean. So it was very exciting to take a ferry ride to Poulsbo on my way to the retreat. Although it was chilly, I spent most of the ferry ride on the upstairs outer deck at the bow (or maybe it was the stern as the ferry just moves back and forth on its route) watching the water and the approaching land.
I spent a brief time inside the ferry passenger cabin, which is HUGE! There are plenty of commuters that take the ferry every day. It was outside commuting hours, so the inside the ferry was fairly empty (or most people were sitting in their cars, as it is also a car ferry).
Inside the ferry they had wonderful topographical maps of the area and the ferry routes:
We had a wonderful wander about the quilt shop with its friendly staff and inviting atmosphere. During my wander I was tempted by the line of fabric (whose name I have now forgotten) that one of my fellow retreaters, Karen, used in her wonderful piece I shared in the previous post.
But I did not buy any as I am getting ready in the next couple of months to move (an update on that in a future post) and I need to control my fabric purchases! Perhaps as a housewarming (or new studio warming) gift to myself I will contact Karen and asking her what that awesome fabric line was…
We did have several delightful indulgences during our mini quilt retreat time, and they came from a stop at Deliberate Chocolate.
The chocolate was so good it was a mystical experience to eat it!
As we wandered about shops in Port Gamble, I came across this sign that made me smile:
Well it’s time to share what the other quilters worked on at the retreat!
But first let me share a little about the venue.
We stayed at Quilter’s Cottage in Poulsbo, Washington. It is a house turned into a quilt retreat venue. You provide your own food and supplies (but some basics are provided like an ironing area, cutting tables and work spaces). It is a three bedroom home and you can fit up to 6 quilters.
There are images on the website (linked above) but here are some of my photos of the venue:
I got myself settled right in (sorry I am talking about me just a little in this post) and unpacked my most important quilt retreat accessory: my comfy fleecy ROBE!
I happily wore my robe most of the retreat...except when we went outside and to visit quaint little historic downtown Poulsbo!
Getting to Quilting!
There were only 4 of us at the retreat, but the retreat center looked like there were 20 of us with our projects and supplies strewn everywhere!
And here is what the other quilters worked on…
Judy and Dana
You might remember my quilting friends Judy (who got me into quilting) and Dana (another one of Judy’s quilting recruits!). Well they were each working on a Moda Fabrics C.O.L.O.R. Cuts Dessert Sampler, using different palettes
Here is Judy’s in progress:
And here is Dana’s
Looking through the Dessert Sampler book and their fabrics, made me want to make this sampler also, but I do not need another backlogged project in queue – ha!
The fourth quilter at the retreat, Karen, is a newer quilting friend. I met her through Dana and Judy. She is very creative and likes to start with a pattern and then put her own spin on it.
During the retreat she worked on an amazing quilt, originally from a pattern, that she improvised the design on.
Pretty cool, huh? It looks quite different (and more vibrant) than the original pattern (which I forgot to take a photo of, oops!)
Next post I will share a little about my travel to Poulsbo (ferry ride!) and the sweet afternoon we had wandering around old town/historic Poulsbo when we needed a break from stitching (which included a visit to a quilt shop of course)!
There was some very interesting art hung at the quilt retreat, my favorite were the pet portraits.
My understanding is the mother of the woman who now owns the quilt retreat (it was formerly her parents home before they passed), painted the paintings about the retreat.
Here is a sampling of my favorites for your enjoyment:
I brought a couple hand work projects from my basket of hand work (see post Inside the Basket ) and had EVERY INTENTION of only working on my hand work projects.
My dear quilting friend Dana brought an extra sewing machine (one her her Berninas, and I love Berninas) and a BAG OF GRAY FABRIC SCRAPS for me to play with – oh no!
As you saw in the “From the Basket” post, I did work on my English Paper Piecing rosettes, but after a while I put them aside and STARTING PLAYING WITH THE GRAY SCRAPS! (I could not resist the temptation to play with fabric scraps)
Before you know it, as I shared on @tierneycreates on Instagram, I began creating freeform pieced/improvisationally pieced log cabin blocks (also known as “log jamming”):
And before I knew it, I had a pile of 138 blocks I made!
Once I got home, I could not wait to play with them and see what interesting pattern I could make with the dark gray and light gray framed blocks, So I decided to use the “Design Carpet”:
I began with creating a pattern with the dark gray framed blocks:
Then I worked on framing them with the light gray blocks:
I like the effect with the dark gray floating in the lighter gray blocks.
Since I took these photos, I’ve made additional progress and pulled out my sewing machine from the storage room (where you hide everything when staging a house for sale)!
Let me make a bit more progress on the piece and I will share in a future post!
Let me know if you think I can patent the concept of the “Design Carpet” and make millions on my late-night infomercial selling “Design Carpets” and quit my day job and just sew all day!
“You can own your own Design Carpet for 5 easy payments of $99.99!
But wait, there’s more:
Buy one Design Carpet and get a second one for only $99.99 plus shipping and handling.”
While at the retreat, I worked on my EEP project and completed stitching together 38 rosettes of the 99 I need to make:
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:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
The Yo-Yo Project
Someday I might blog about this old mysterious project…
Another project(s) I should blog about someday…if I get any further on my dabble with Sashiko stitching.
The hat in progress has a story behind it that I will share in a future post.
If I ever get working on them, I will explain what they are in a future post (smile).
So that’s what is in the basket! I think I have enough projects to keep my busy a couple months.
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.
It is time for a Guest Blogger entry by a brilliant, adorable and talented guest blogger (me, me, me!).
In 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.
Well 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!).
I 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 collectionof giant stuffed animal schnauzers (well they are giant compared to Mikelet and me):
Mikelet 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!
He 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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.
Making 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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):
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!
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:
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:
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).
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!
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.
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:
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!