What’s on the Design Wall

This post is a continuation of my ongoing series “What’s on the Design Wall”, featuring my latest project up on either the small design wall in my studio or the large design wall my hallway.

I am working on my fourth improvisational piece from a group of recycled clothing and home decor titled: Recycled Windows of Conversation. This piece will become part of my improvisational art quilt series: Recycled Denim Stories.

Here is Recycled Windows of Conversation in progress on my small design wall in my studio:

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Recycled Windows of Conversation (2017) – in progress

This art quilt will measure approximately 18″ x 40″, the same size as these two other quilts in the Recycled Denim Stories series, The Recycled Road and Recycled Door:

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The Recycled Road (2017) by Tierney Davis Hogan

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Recycled Door (2017) by Tierney Davis Hogan, quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe, photographed by Marion Shimoda

You might ask why did I name the piece in progress, Recycled Windows of Conversation?

The “Recycled” part of the name is to tie it to the two other 18″ x 40″ pieces from the same recycled materials shown above; and the “Conversations” part of the name is to tie to Additional Conversations, a piece I recently finished the quilt top (but have not quilted yet):

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Recycled Windows of Conversation is made from the leftover blocks (and additional blocks) from Additional Conversations (which is still laying on my larger hallway design wall awaiting quilting).

In case you are new to my blog and have not followed the development of these previous art quilts, here’s a list of the recycled materials used in these pieces:

  1. Old jeans
  2. Curtain (valence scarf)
  3. Tweed jumper
  4. Old sweat pants
  5. Corduroy Shirt
  6. Gold home decorating fabric scraps (given to me by an interior decorator from her sample collection)
  7. The world’s ugliest orange corduroy pants
  8. Denim duvet cover (used in Additional Conversations only)

I plan to quilt Recycled Windows of Conversation by machine and I have selected my thread colors – gold, blue and orange:

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Here is the piecing hanging out on the iron board, awaiting quilting:

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In case you are wondering, I have only a tiny pile of scraps left over from these four quilts. I might challenge myself and try to eek out a small piece to make it five total.

I continue to work on having a cohesive body of work when it comes to my delusional journey towards becoming an art quilter!


Postscript

A quilting friend recently remodeled her studio area in her vintage home (circa early 1900s) and asked for help organizing her fabric in the reconfigured back room (that used to be where meat was stored in the early 1900s.

Here is a photo of an alcove with newly added shelves that I found especially pleasing during my time over her house yesterday helping her organize fabric:

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Her fabric used to be crammed into a dark back storage room – now it is easier to access!

 

“Field Testing” a TTQH Quilt

Welcome to another entry in the Terry the Quilting Husband (aka “TTQH”) series of tierneycreates blog posts.

TTQH got his latest quilt – Flannel Fishing  – back from the long-arm quilter and “field tested” it on Sunday (I was a nice wife and put the binding on for him, then laundered and put the quilt in the dryer to make it super yummy). He was joined by professional quilt field testers – Sassy and Mike (our miniature schnauzers).

The “field” was the living room sofa and the test involved falling asleep in the quilt while watching Sunday afternoon football.

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Sassy, TTQH and Mike

As you can see above, I accidentally woke up Sassy and Mike from their snuggly flannel dreams when I took photos.

Mike was able to quickly fall back asleep under the quilt nestled behind TTQH:

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His eyes might appear open but he was passed out cold

TTQH is not into being photographed for the blog, you will just have to trust me he is field testing the quilt on the sofa (hey maybe he is Witness Protection, you never know…)

The fabric for the quilt was purchased during Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop earlier this year and you can read more about this quilt in the 07/06/17 post Update: Terry the Quilting Husband.

The long-arm quilter was not quite sure what do with it. It is a very busy quilt. She ended up doing a meandering stitch.

TTQH stitched together a bunch of flannel squares (9″ I think) of fishing and hunting themed fabrics he liked to create the quilt. The quilt was originally all PRINTS and I delicately suggested (I did not want to interfere with his creativity) that he add some solid flannels from my stash to help tone down all the prints:

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Hey TTQH likes the design and it is his quilt 😉

I pieced the back of the quilt for him from an old collection of outdoorsy mountain wildlife fabric panels and kit I had collected 10+ years ago and never used – but it worked for the back of the quilt:

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TTQH is very pleased with the quilt (and it provided a great nap during field testing).

The quilt joins the other TTQH flannel quilts strewn about the living room for the Central Oregon late Fall to Winter (to early Spring) season. In the evening we each grab a TTQH flannel quilt and start nesting!

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If you are curious, TTQH doesn’t just make flannel quilts for himself – his very first flannel quilt he sent to his Mom and he has also made on for his sister Diane. He made his sister Susan a non-flannel quilt.

A Case for Buying Things You Have No Plans for at the Time

Have you ever purchased something for a future art/crafting project and you had absolutely no idea of what you were going to do with it at the time you purchased it?

It was just something you just knew you needed to have in your collection?

If you are an artist, crafter, quilter or any type of creative person, I am guessing the answer is “Yes” (at least for 95% of you – perhaps 5% of you only buy things for planned projects…)!

In previous posts I have shared My Minimalism Journey and my ongoing mission to curate my life. This curation involved not buying things I do not have a purpose for at the time. A recent experience is making me rethink some of the rules I have placed upon myself as I tried to embrace minimalism.

The perfect thing I needed for a recent craft project I purchased 16 – 17 years ago when I had not yet embraced minimalism (back then – if I liked it, I bought it!)

Cannon Beach Oregon

In the early 2000s, when Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I lived in Seattle, WA, we discovered the beautiful Oregon coast. We had no idea that someday we would be living in Oregon, but we knew the coast was beautiful and wanted to see the whole thing.

It took three vacation trips (the Oregon coast is long and there is much to see).  The first one focused on the northern Oregon coast (starting at the Washington State coast board); the second on the central Oregon coast; and the third was to see the southern Oregon coast (to the Northern California coast border).

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Image credit: Oregon Coast postcard

There are many beautiful places along the Oregon coast. I have so many wonderful memories from those Oregon coast road trips which we made with our two miniature schnauzer at the time – Fritz & Snickers:

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Fritz and Snickers on the Oregon Coast, 2000

Of all the Oregon coastal towns we visited, Cannon Beach, Oregon captured our hearts the most and remains our favorite place on the Oregon coast.

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Image credit: www.cannonbeachyogafestival.com

Cannon Beach has a charming downtown (we love to stroll it with the miniature schnauzers in their backpacks) with many quaint shops.

My favorite shop is of course the Center Diamond Fabrics Quilt Shop in Cannon Beach.

Our first trip to Cannon Beach was in 2000 and I was a new very new quilter. During my first visit to the amazing Center Diamond Fabrics quilt shop I purchased a Cannon Beach panel that I had no idea what I was going to do with it. 17 years later I figured out what to do with it – make a wallhanging for a friend of mine who loves Cannon Beach as much as I do!

By the way, my Central Oregon blogging buddy, Anna of the Woolie Mammoth blog, posted a recent video on her Quilt Roadies YouTube channel about this awesome quilt shop if you would like to get a first hand peek inside this shop:

The Wallhanging

Here is how I used the panel, 16 – 17 years later, I made a small quilted wall hanging for my friend Nancy who loves Cannon Beach. I used a folded log cabin technique to make the wallhanging, sewing folded strips of fabric in colors coordinating with the center panel.

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Cannon Beach wallhanging with a painted center panel featuring Haystack Rock

My friend Nancy likes blues and green so I tried to include as much blue and green as I could in the piece. Put a hanging sleeve on back for a hanging rod.

She received it yesterday in the mail as a surprise and she is quite pleased with her gift! She plans to use a piece of beach driftwood to hang it it on.

I am so thankful I was not a minimalist 16 – 17 years ago when I bought it and put it away with no clue on what I was going to make with it!


Postscript

I am very excited. I am treating myself to something special sometime after the holidays. I have ordered a custom tierneycreates CrawCrafts Beastie from my Ireland based blogging buddy Helen of CrawCraft Beasties: Adventurous Little Monsters Born in the Heart of Dublin City.

She knits these amazing creatures with adorable hand knitted sweaters and other paraphernalia. You should check out her blog and read some of her charming posts about the monster’s adventures or follow her on Instagram @crawcraftbeasties and see the sweet images of her creations and their adventures!

I cannot wait for my tierneycreates Beastie! I left it up to her to design what she thought a tierneycreates little knitted monster would look like 🙂

The Library Stack

Continuing my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my latest* stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library.

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*To be completely honest, this is not my current library stack, this is my previous library stack but I am behind in this ongoing series!

If you’ve followed my blog for more any period of time, you’ve likely figured out my bordering pathology public library obsession. Visiting my public library makes me very happy.

Here is where the magic starts – in the Holds Pick Up section that spans a large part of the library entry lobby:

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I might be “over sharing” but it is so exciting to make my way over to the “H” section of the Holds and see what is waiting for me! (I reserve books and movies online.)

As much as I love the library’s Holds Pick Up section, upstairs there is a seriously magical section of the library – the “books available now section” (I am unsure of the official name of this section):

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This section contains recent novels that cannot be put on hold – they are only available if you come into the library and pick them up from this section. This section usually contains a couple copies of the NY Times Bestseller books and other recently published books.

My fantasy someday is to take a hiatus from work and just bring home stacks (and stacks) of these books and leisurely read novel after novel! (Usually the people browsing these sections appears to be retired individuals.)

There never seems to be time to just sit and read a novel. This is why my library stacks mainly contain the kind of books I can just browse/flip through for information or to enjoy with a pot of tea (like the home decor and crafting books).

This is also why I enjoy audiobooks so much – they allow me to enjoy a novel while getting other stuff done. (I am currently listening to a science fiction novel, The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin).

Or maybe I need to learn more “stillness” and less “multi-tasking” and try and sit still and read novels again.

I remember as a pre-teen, during summer break, bringing home stacks and stacks of novels to read – and reading them all. There is something completely delicious about being completely lost in a physical book.

Funny, my sister and I were just discussing multi-tasking and its pitfalls the other day. I think this will be my “New Year’s Resolution” for 2018: Less multitasking!

“NATURE DOES NOT HURRY, YET EVERYTHING IS ACCOMPLISHED.” ~LAO TZU

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Wallhanging I completed in July 2017 in honor of my favorite quote!


Postscript

In my November 8th post A Good Mess, I shared an image of a crumpled sari a friend picked up for me at a thrift shop.

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I’d just laundered it and the floor was the safest place in my messy sewing room at time time.

Now it is pressed (it took forever as saris are very long!) and hangs as a valance in my front living room window (where I read my Library Stack):

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It is a lovely shade of “umber” – a color that to me is a mixture of clay, burnt orange and coppery brown. It coordinates very well with my Cozy Cobblestones quilt on the adjoining wall:

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And coordinates with the quilt and tablecloth next to the opposite wall (which I plan to repaint someday in a more neutral palette as my “strong-color-on-walls” period is over!):

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And yes my decorating still could be labeled: Random or “Very Random”.

Slashing the Stash with TTQH

In case you are curious what Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) is up to, he is going to be “Slashing my Stash” of homespuns (fabric).

Recently I pulled from a bookcase a stack of quilting books and booklets that I have neglected for years. The plan was to donate any book I could not find at least one pattern in the book I would definitely make.

TTQH was eyeing the stack of old quilting books for donation I assembled, so I asked him if he wanted to flip through the pile and see if he wanted to make any quilts from books in this pile.

He pulled out this book: Slash your Stash Quilts: 8 Recipes to Reduce Your Stash by Leisure Arts/Designs by Claudia Plett.

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He showed me the pattern for the quilt he wanted to make – Twinklers.

The version of the Twinklers quilt depicted in the book was made from homespuns; and I realized I have a whole stash of homespuns in my fabric stash that I have not played with for years. So I pulled out all my homespuns and laid them before TTQH for his quilt “fabric shopping”!

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He currently has the entire stash of homespuns in his sewing area and I will share an update on his progress in a future post. I plan to help him with the pattern as it has a couple new techniques for him.

TTQH’s recently finished quilt is with the long-arm quilter right now – below are photos of the fishing themed flannel quilt top and the nap TTQH and the dogs took under his completed quilt top:

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In between working on quilts he has helped me with English Paper Piecing (EPP) and I will share my questionable EPP-husband-abuse in a future post in my Adventures in English Paper Piecing series.

I am quite excited he is “slashing my stash”!


Postscript

If you are new to my blog, just a heads up that I have two additional affiliated blogs:

 

 

Pajama Sale and Finished Pieces

Annual “Pajama Sale” at the Stitchin’ Post

Saturday November 11th was the annual PJ Sale at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, Oregon. Each year I attend with quilting friends and last year I started bring Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) to the sale (as a bonus he drives there in the cold, dark and sometimes snowy weather as the sale starts early).

Each of our wonderful quilt shops in Central Oregon has their own special focus when it comes to fabric collection.  The Stitchin’ Post has the best selection of unique art quilter focused fabrics in the region. It also carries fabrics that would appeal to traditional quilters.

During the Pajama Sale, if you get there before 8:30 am (doors open at 6:30 am) AND you are in your PJs, you get 35% off nearly everything in the store!

I did not buy that much – a couple books and notions. My favorite part of the PJ Sale is hanging out with fellow quilters all in our PJs wandering around a quilt shop and then going out to breakfast afterwards – in our PJs! It is like the morning after a huge sleepover, ha!

I figured no one wanted to be on my blog photographed in their PJs so the photos below give you a feel but do not have any faces:

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One lady had an over the top robe from the 1970s. I asked her if I could take a photo and suggested she turn around unless she wanted to have herself in her robe featured on my blog, ha!

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The photo does not quite capture the brightness of the 1970s robe – it was over the top and of course made of some type of synthetic material

We went to the Gallery Restaurant in Sisters for breakfast after an hour wandering around the sale. It very quite fun with a group of us gathered around a large table in a restaurant, all in our PJs (except for my friend’s 96 year old Dad who lives in town and another husband who joined us in their regular clothes).

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Breakfast after early morning quilt shop shopping! (This was actually TTQH’s breakfast as I only like my eggs scrambled)

One of my friends had a spectacular set of PJs with the words “Queen Bee” all over them:

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I wore my traditional schnauzer themed PJs (they are actually Scotties in gray and black and I pretend like the gray ones are schnauzers).

Finished Pieces

Cozy Cobblestones came back from the long-arm quilter, Cindy of inastitchquilting.com   and this weekend I added the binding.

It is now hung in the living room above the TV:

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Cindy did wonderful job quilting the piece and here are some photos of her beautiful work:

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Her quilting really compliments the blocks made from Northcott Fabrics’ Stonehenge line! I am so glad I met her through blogging!

This weekend I also finished one of the table runners I discussed in posts such as “What’s on the Design…Ironing Board?” and “Can We Talk About Table Runners?. Here it is freshly ironed after I quilted and put on the binding:

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It measures 16.5″ x 44″ which seems to fall into a fairly standard table runner length.

I’ve not decided if I am going to quilt the other four (4) table runner tops I made or stick them away for now (oh no they will become “UFOs”!!!). I do not think I will re-open the tierneycreates Etsy shop at this time. I’ve had some recent art quilting related exciting news, that I will share at a later date, that makes me want to focus on my efforts on building my art quilt portfolio rather than trying to make stuff to sell on an Etsy shop.

There are only so many hours in the day!


Postscript

In my previous post, A Good Mess, I shared some statistics from a recent national survey (The Quilting in America 2017 survey) on how much money the average quilter spends a year on quilting related supplies and activities. The two numbers were $442 and $500 per year depending on how “dedicated” the quilter is.

I really enjoyed the comments some of you made on these figures; and wanted to share how I nearly FAR EXCEEDED this number during the Stitchin’ Post’s Pajama Sale on Saturday!

There was glitch in their cash register and my total came to $730,000! The Stitchin’s Post staff behind the register, a couple other customers and I had a huge laugh over this! I asked if my purchase also came with a new luxury home, a car, and an outfitted sewing studio with a stocked fabric closet?

They re-rang my purchase and with my 35% off discount (we arrived at 6:50 am and I was in my PJs) my purchase came to $73 instead of $730,000.

 

A Good Mess

My studio/sewing area is currently very messy, but it is a “good mess”!

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Here is what I have going on in the room:

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In addition to the recently quilted quilt and the table runner, also adding to the clutter is an awesome Sari a friend of my just sent me. I just laundered it and it is on the floor awaiting pressing (as the ironing board is currently busy as are the other surfaces…but the floor is relatively clean…)

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She got it second hand for a very good deal and originally I was thinking about using it in a future recycled clothing art quilt. It is however a lot of nice fabric and it coordinates with colors in my living room, so I am mulling over the idea of making it a valance for my front window.

Well I better start working on my mess!


Postscript

Recently I received a complimentary download of the publication – AMERICAN QUILT RETAILER fall market 2017. (While running my tierneycreates Etsy shop I had a wholesale license and I was on the mailing list to receive these types of promotions.)

Inside the issue was an interesting profile (for quilt shop owners) on the results of The Quilting in America 2017 survey (pg 48).

Those of you who are quilters might find these excerpts from the article on this survey interesting:

  • “There are an estimated 7 to 10 million quilters in the U.S. The total number of households with a quilter is 6 to 8.3 million, and that each quilting household spends an average of $442 annually – that’s a 48% increase since 2014.”
  • “Within that total group of U.S. quilters are “Dedicated Quilters” who spend $500 or more a year on their art form and hobby.”
  • “The average Dedicated Quilter is female, 63 years old, down by a year in age since 2014, and has been quilting for 19 years. She is well educated (70% attended college), affluent (average household income of $95,900), and leans toward a preference of traditional quilting styles (85%) over modern (37%) and art (20%).”

Interesting! Any demographics sound familiar (especially the spending $500 or more per year on our art form…)?

The $8 Quilt

Perhaps I should not let you in on a little secret: Occasionally one of our beloved Central Oregon quilt shops has spectacular Scrap Bags for sale for $8. I promised a couple quilting friends I would not reveal which shop (so that everyone does not suddenly get in their car or jump on a plane to rush to Central Oregon to get some of our Scrap Bags!).

A couple weeks ago, while wandering about a certain Central Oregon quilt shop with quilting friends, I found this bag of scraps for sale:

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I have plenty of fabric scraps (most are from my own quilt making or were donated by friends) and normally I do not buy these bags – but it was one of those deals not to be passed up!

The bag was jammed packed with coordinated scraps, apparently from the same fabric line:

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Each scrap was folded/pressed in half. I was curious how wide and long the scraps would be once opened.

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) helped me unfold, press and organize the coordinate scrap collection. Here are the photos of MY HAUL from the $8 scrap bag:

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TTQH was so patient as we sorted the scraps by color/pattern. They took up my entire cutting table and spilled onto my ironing board!

The average size scrap unfolded and pressed measured around 2.5″ x 5″:

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What to do with these scraps? (By the way: Does anyone know what fabric line for these scraps? I am guessing Cotton + Steel or Tula Pink)

Well on my Kindle is a copy of Tula Pink’s 100 Modern Quilt Blocks:

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I flipped through this book to get a feel for the dimensions of the pieces requires to complete the blocks for this sampler and in general they were within the dimensions of the scraps from my $8 bag. I just need a coordinating fabric to fill in when large pieces are needed.

Well I pulled out yardage of “Saffron” Peppered Cotton from my stash that I think will coordinate well with the palette of the scraps:

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It could also serve as a very bold setting fabric for the blocks!

I have so many projects in queue, I am not ready to start this one (for example I still need to finish up my Farm Girl Vintage sampler!). So I sorted the scraps into color stacks and packaged up the scraps and put them away in my Project Queue!

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It may be difficult to gauge by the photos but I think there are enough scraps to become a full sampler quilt with the Saffron Peppered Cotton fabric added to the pile! So it would be an $8 quilt (okay I am stretching this idea as I also paid for the Peppered Cotton but just play along, okay?)

Where did these scraps come from? My best guesses are they are either leftovers from a sampler quilt created for the quilt shop; or from cutting kits for the shop. I do not care where they came from, I am just so grateful for them!

(And thanks in advance if any of you recognize the fabric line and can share with the rest of us!)


Postscript

Look at these adorable socks one of my Quilting Sisters gave me.

Hopefully the salty word in the socks does not offend anyone, if so then my sincere apologies.

What’s on the Design Wall

This post is a continuation of my ongoing series “What’s on the Design Wall”, featuring my latest project up on either the small design wall in my studio or the large design wall my hallway.

I spent this weekend working on a new improvisational art quilt made with recycle clothing and recycled home decor fabric – Additional Conversations.

On Instagram I shared a couple previews/peeks over the past week, like the example below:

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Well here are several initial images of the completed quilt top:

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Better photos to come – I was challenged with taking photos of my large design wall, at an angle, in our narrow hallway. Note: My enthusiasm to get the finally sewn together quilt top up on the design wall exceeded my enthusiasm to do a quality job of final pressing on the ironing board.

I am thinking of hand quilting this piece like I did The Recycled Road (made from many of the same fabrics).

Now what to do with the left over scraps from the piece – perhaps a smaller companion piece called “Additional Small Conversations“!

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Additional Conversations is the fourth piece in my series Recycled Denim Stories (see my Tierney Davis Hogan page on the Improvisational Textiles website).

 

Artists Statements, Part III (Telling Stories)

The Struggle to Make a “Statement”

In these two previous posts Artist Statements and Artist Statements, Part II, I shared my struggles with writing Artist Statements for a specific art quilt and the huge and intimidating challenge of writing an overall Artist Statement for my body of work as (a wannabe) an art quilter.

Here is an excerpt from the post Artist Statements, Part II, about my struggle:

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You can see above, underlined in red, my big concern: That I had not yet established what I felt was a solid and cohesive body of work. This is what I felt was keeping me from creating my overall/general Artist Statement.

A couple weeks ago I realized I now have a body of work in regards to art quilts (maybe it is imaginary but it seems like a body of work) – 16 “art quilts”. 15 of these art quilts are “improvisational” and one (1) is a combination of pictorial and improvisational. Now I had to determine what I am trying to “say” with my current body of work and where I want to go with it (i.e. make it COHESIVE).

Telling Stories

Above the front entrance to my beloved public library are quotes by authors and my favorite quote, by author Barry Lopez, is shown in the image below:

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It may be difficult to read from the photo, so here is the quote:

“The storyteller is the person who creates an atmosphere in which wisdom reveals itself” – Barry Lopez

I smile every time I visit the library and see that quote.

Thinking about that quote and where I want to go with my art quilting, I realized I want to be a storyteller.

So I’ve spent the past couple of weeks, as time allows, revisiting the Artist Statements on 15 of my 16 existing art quilts (1 of the quilts is part of an upcoming exhibit and the Artist Statement is already solid and cohesive with the them of the exhibit).

Out of this work (revisiting the specific Artist Statements for each piece), came a reorganization of my work into Six (6) Series of Stories:

  1. Color Stories
  2. Recycled Denim Stories
  3. Stories My Father Told Me
  4. Reinvented Stories
  5. Library Stories
  6. Other Stories

On the Tierney Davis Hogan page of the Improvisational Textiles website (the art quilting website I share with my friend Betty Anne Guadalupe) I’ve organized my art quilts into these six series and I provide an introductory paragraph/overview on each series.

Now that I organized my work into these series and decided where I want to go with my art quilting, I was able to finally write a general/overall Artist Statement.

My overall Artist Statement (which is also found on the Tierney Davis Hogan page) is:

“The storyteller is the person who creates an atmosphere in which wisdom reveals itself”, storyteller Barry Lopez noted.

My fiber/textile art is created with a single or ongoing story in mind. These stories originate from my life experiences, observations, struggles, dreams and hopes. The earth and its inhabitants are very precious to me and I want to do work that contributes to environmental conservation efforts. I primarily use recycled textiles in my art to include recycled clothing, textile manufacturing samples and scraps, and discards from others quilt-making. My focus on improvisational design: The fabric itself and creative inspiration guide me to allow the piece to evolve organically and become what it wants to become.

I am sure I will continue to refine this statement in the future, however I feel now like I have a map for the direction of where I want to go with my art quilting instead of just wandering aimlessly creating one new piece and wandering onto the next piece.

And Something Else

One more thing on Artist Statements – when you blog and post publicly, you never know who is reading. Well in the THOUGHTS (Comments) section of the Artist Statements, Part II post I was surprised and quite pleased to see a detailed comments/advice from someone who professionally works with and mentors artists.

In case you did not catch this comment from that post, I am sharing a screen shot of this helpful advice a professional posted:

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Postscript

I am currently working on a new piece for my “Recycled Denim Stories” series and here is a little peek at “What’s on the Ironing Board” (pulled from the Design Wall temporarily as I work out the layout):

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Here is a little section of one of the blocks I shared on Instagram:

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The recycled denim, recycled various clothing and recycled home decor fabric in this piece is the same fabric used in my other pieces The Recycled Door and The Recycled Road. 

Trust me you will never guess where I am going with this piece, it is going to have quite a bit of whimsy! Watch for more on this piece in a future What’s on the Design Wall series of posts…


Featured Image credit: Meredith B., free images.com

Music to Craft By

It’s time we get to know each other better. I mean some of us have been together nearly four (4) years with the tierneycreates blog.

It’s time I find out what type of music you like to listen to while you craft (for those of you who are Crafters)!

This weekend I spent time working on a new art improvisational art quilt using leftover clothing scraps from my pieces The Recycled Door and The Recycled Path, and I listened to a lot of music as a I designed and sewed from my Tierney Mix on my iPhone.

Frequently I listen to audiobooks or podcasts while crafting but I was really in the mood for just music while sewing.

My Tierney Mix is all over the place as far as musical genres. Here is a sampling of a run of songs that played from the mix while I crafted this weekend:

  • Beast of Burden, The Rolling Stones
  • My One and Only Love, John Coltrane
  • Pride (In The Name of Love), U2
  • Light My Fire, Jose Feliciano
  • Ode to My Family, The Cranberries
  • Waiting in Vain, Bob Marley & The Wailers
  • The Stone, Dave Matthews Band
  • Wichita Lineman, Glen Campbell
  • Lovesong, The Cure
  • Annie’s Song, John Denver
  • I’m Like a Bird, Nellie Furtado
  • Dust Bowl Dance, Mumford & Sons
  • Tin Pan Alley, Stevie Ray Vaughn
  • Desperado, Linda Ronstadt
  • Forever My Friend, Ray LaMontagne
  • All In Love is Fair, Stevie Wonder
  • The Logical Song, Supertramp
  • Lovesick Blues, Hank Williams
  • She’s Gone, Hall & Oates
  • Oh Yeah, Los Lobos
  • Nothing Even Matter, Lauryn Hill
  • Subdivisions, Rush
  • I’m Your Boogie Man, KC & The Sunshine Band
  • Reminiscing, Little River Band
  • Let Her Go, Passenger
  • Leave Me Here, Hem
  • Sweet Love, The Commodores
  • Mama, You Got A Daughter, John Lee Hooker
  • Angela, The Lumineers
  • The Girl from Ipanema, Joao Gilberto, Stan Getz, Astrid Gilberto
  • I’ll Take Care of You, Van Morrison
  • Let it Be, The Beatles

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As you can see, my musical tastes are all over the place! The only type of music I think I do not like is “Death Metal”. I also listen to Classical Music but I do not mix it in with contemporary music. I have a separate Classical Music Mix.

When I am not listening to my own mix, I love to listen to the online radio station – Radio Paradise (also available as a phone app). The Radio Paradise mix is even more eclectic than my personal mix. The gentleman and his wife that run Radio Paradise will mix in Tchaikovsky followed by a Rolling Stones song!

So – what type of music is on your playlist while you craft? Please share!

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Daniel Moore, free images.com


Postscript

Just a reminder – you have until Sunday 10/22/17 to comment on the post Blog Anniversary Celebration & Giveaway in order to enter the drawing (which was extended to 10/23/17) for a handmade Little Wallet!


Feature Image credit (musical score): Daniel Moore, free images.com

What’s on the Design…Ironing Board?

This post is actually a continuation of my ongoing series “What’s on the Design Wall”, featuring my latest project up on either the small design wall in my studio or the large design wall my hallway. It is also a follow up to my post Can We Talk About Table Runners?  on the table runners I am working on.

I had the five (5), yes five (5) table runner tops that I finished on the large design wall in my hallways but I yesterday evening I started a new art quilt and took them down. Now they are all sitting on the ironing board waiting to be completed:

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They all began as yardage of my collection of Ombre fabrics and my stash of pieced strips from brightly colored fabric scraps:

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I have decided to quilt each one of them.

In the previous post on these table runners I discussed my challenge of how long to make them and several of you weighed in with ideas on both length and width.

The unfinished group of five table runner tops measure anyway from 17 – 19″ wide and 44″ – 53″ long. The dimensions will decrease after I quilt them and trimmed them down a bit to straighten their lines. So I think I will end up with table runners from 16″ x 42″ to 18″ x 52″ or something like that.

I just flowed with whatever length the design took me as I progressed!

I will reveal the runners in all their glory in a future post once I get some quilted!


Postscript

The Natural Selection Convention

Whether you believe in Evolution, Intelligent Design, Creationism, or something else, you have likely heard the term coined by Charles Darwin – “Natural Selection”. 

Dictionary.com defines it as “The process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring”.

Well last week I came across on my walk what I might call a Bird Natural Selection Convention!

First I noticed at the corner of an alley I turned into on my walk, an adorable cat sitting on a fence. Well that cat wasn’t just sitting on the fence, he was curled around a set of bird feeders!

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“Here birdy, birdy, some nice yummy food is waiting for you…”

I stopped a greeted the cat who let me take his photo (I actually took like 10 different photos to get the right shot and the kitty just stared at me while I did it). Then I completed turning the corner and here is what I found two feet from the “bird-feeder-cat” – another kitty just hanging out on the same fence:

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And then, one more foot down the fence, another kitty:

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This is why I am calling this a Bird Natural Selection Convention any bird that attempts to use the bird feeder will most likely not be having any more offspring!!!

I laughed so hard at the trio of kitties waiting for very hungry and not too bright birds!

What the Heck is This?!?!?!

Have you ever been to Costco? It is a magical place I try to stay away from (see my post Break Up Letter to My Warehouse Club). However there was something we really needed at Costco (what Tierney, an 180 count jar of olives, triple pack?) and so we went.

While strolling the aisles (okay even if you go there for just one thing, it is mandatory that while you are in Costco you stroll the aisles), Terry and I came across this:

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It looked like someone had skinned a schnauzer! We do not know if it was synthetic or some poor animal but it was a very unusual pillow. It was quite soft to the touch (you could pet it for hours) but then that added to sort of a creepy feeling I got from it.

Also – how the heck would you wash it if you got a stain on it? We had quite the laugh over it (like we did in September when they had the Christmas decorations already out in Costco) but we somehow controlled ourselves and did not buy it.

(Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer would have been quite distressed if she thought we were bringing home a skinned schnauzer pillow!)

Creative Inspiration: Autumn in Central Oregon

Monday I went on a field trip to the Wintercreek Nursery with my friend Jenny. The Nursery was filled with glorious examples of the beauty of Autumn in Central Oregon.

I thought I would post a couple of those photos as part of my ongoing series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration. I think these photo compositions could be inspiration for an interesting art quilt. Feel free to use them for inspiration and if you repost the photos, please credit me as the photographer, thanks.

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Here is my absolute favorite of the photos I took:

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And here is a tiny little house that I think was covering some plumbing that looked like a real house tucked away in forest growth:

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Finally here are a couple photos of Autumn at my house in Central Oregon:

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We have a lot of reds, yellows, yellow-greens and greens. We do not have the purples of the Autumn in Vermont (when I lived in New York we used to drive to Vermont in the Fall to see the exquisitely beautiful palette of colors) but I think Autumn is an exceptionally lovely time of year with the Fall colors and the backdrop of an impossibly blue Central Oregon Autumn sky!

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Thanks for reading my photo essay of Autumn in Central Oregon!

One of the “non-Wordpress” blogs I love to follow is that of a fellow Central Oregon SAQA member, Kristin Shields. On her blog Kristin Shields: Artist & Quiltmaker, she has a visually beautiful post on Fall Color – October Color.


Postscript

I’ve made quite a bit of progress on the table runners I am working on (see recent posts) and will sharing a peek in a future post.

Now that the weather has changed (it has dipped into the 60s and 50s during the day and 20s – 30s at night!) it is time to start making knitted hats again in the evenings while watching TV.

I love to wear my knitted hats (yes I only know one pattern) on brisk Fall and Winter walks!

As I mentioned in the post Not Working On What I am Supposed to be Working On, I love to wear my nearly finished hat around the house with the double pointed needles sticking out of the top, as a tradition right before I finished off the hat.

So here is another silly picture of me with my nearly finished hat!

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Terry the Quilting Husband puts up with me weirdness!

Oh and here is the full image of the featured photo – I would like to find fabric in this color:

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Blog Anniversary Celebration & Giveaway

October heralds the 4th anniversary of the tierneycreates blog. Although a 4th anniversary it not traditionally a milestone anniversary, I did not want to wait until the 5th anniversary to start my first annual Blog Anniversary Giveaway!

Whether you are a new reader/follower or have been with me since the beginning (like perhaps the friends and family that were browbeaten into signing up to follow my blog in the early days?!?!) I so appreciate you taking time from your day to read my tierneycreates musings.

So let’s first talk about the “celebration” and then I will give you the details on the “giveaway”. (and of course I will ramble on more afterwards…)

The Celebration

Throughout the month of October, along with new posts, I am going to feature “the best of tierneycreates” from the past 4 years – those posts which got the most views and/or the most comments.

We’ll kick it off tomorrow with a sort of October/Halloween-esque post from October 2015 Dark Cabinet of Mystery.

The Giveaway

As I hinted in the Postscript section of the September post Limitless Library Love I am going to giveaway FOUR (4) of the Little Wallets I was obsessed with making in September 2017. You can view the whole lot of them in this post – Little Wallet Madness.

So here is what you need to do to ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

Write a comment in the Comments/Leave a Reply section of this post with a minimum of the following three pieces of information:

Question #1 – What is your favorite color? (or “favourite colour” if you live outside the US!)

Questions #2 – What is your second favorite color (in case you’re selected & your 1st choice is gone)

Question #3 – If you are a blogger, what is your favorite thing about blogging; or if you are not a blogger – what is your favorite thing about reading/following blogs?

 Oh my goodness Tierney you are asking me to write a freaking essay to try and get one of your Little Wallets (yup I know what you are thinking).

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Hope this photo gets you excited about essay writing – ha!

But I think it will be fun to read people’s comments about why they blog or enjoy reading blogs. The last question is meant to celebrate blogging and our blogging community!

You have until Sunday, October 22nd to add your comment to enter the giveaway. I will have Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) randomly select 4 winners on Monday October 23, 2017. No, no, no don’t try and write cute comments to TTQH in your entry, I am going to just give him a blinded list of who responded on the post with assigned numbers! He won’t even see the names to be influenced by any cute blogger names (smile).

Do not worry if you live in other countries such as Canada, UK, Australia, South Africa, India, Texas, etc., I am going to mail the Little Wallet to you wherever you live (unless of course you are an extraterrestrial – unfortunately interspace postal services are not an option at this point).

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Image credit: BSK, free images.com

I will privately contact the winners, within our solar system, for their mailing addresses.

Speaking of Community

What is my answer to Question #3? What I love about blogging and reading/following blogs is the sense of community. It makes me smile that there seems to be a little tribe of crafters who follow each other blogs. When I use the word “crafter” I mean all creative types – whether you have a cooking blog, a paper crafting blog, a needlepoint blog, sewing blog, creative writing or poetry blog, drawing/painting blog, quilting blog, etc., etc. I love being exposed to all this darn creativity floating around the ethernet!

I started blogging, heavily encouraged by my awesome sister, in October 2013 as a vehicle for my now closed tierneycreates Etsy shop. I discovered I like blogging way more than trying to sell handmade items online.

Much thanks for my longtime readers/followers and to my newer readers! 

I hope to keep “fusing textiles and smiles” (my tierneycreates tagline) on this blog for many more years!


Postscript

Las Vegas

I had to take a little break from blogging as I dealt emotionally with sad stuff going on in the world. I could not bring myself to write for a couple of days.

I did come across something very awesome – the blogger Christa Quilts (christaquilts.com) lives in Las Vegas and her local guild, Las Vegas MQG is collecting quilts to pass out to those impacted by the shooting. You can check out her post link below for more information:

CATCHING MY BREATH AND CALL FOR #QUILTSFORVEGAS

Table Runners

This is a quick follow up to my previous post Can We Talk About Table Runners? – I have been working on table runners and have completed 5 tops so far! I am going to quilt them and will reveal the table runners and their sizes/dimensions in a future post.

Here is a little tease – stacks of strips of pieced brightly colored fabric scraps for the table runners:

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Feature photo credit: “fire in the sky” by Lucretious, free images.com

Can We Talk About Table Runners?

I might ramble a bit in this post, bear with me. I am trying to figure out standard lengths for table runners. I know, I know, this is a shocking and controversial topic to take on in a blog post. If you can stay awake while reading this post, I will try not to bring up too many sensitive issues about table runners, ha!

Table Runners Running Around in My Mind

Why am I thinking about table runner lengths – have I simply run out of things to think about?

Let’s back up a moment…

Recently I sold the last of my tierneycreates table runners from when I had my tierneycreates Etsy shop, to a work colleague. She remembered the table runners I had offered in my shop and wanted one. I explained I only had one left and I had laundered it as I had used it on my table. She still wanted it.

So we worked out a deal, I mailed it to her, and here is a photo of it on her table:

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The photo made me smile. I love the idea of something I made being useful in someone else’s home and making them smile. This is aligned with the tierneycreates tagline of “a fusion of textiles and smiles”.

Here is the original style of table runner (quilted) I made for my Etsy shop that I could not keep in stock:

Here is one in green ombre that is not quilted that sold out in my shop also:

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The one in the photo above is does not look very exciting, so you will have to just trust me that it looks better in person (and the women who bought it gave it a 5-star review on Etsy).

So this leads us back to why I am thinking about table runners lengths – because I am thinking about making up a new batch of quilted table runners (and maybe selling them on Etsy); and I am not sure what length to make them!

Do I just make up a couple in different standard lengths?!?!?

What Length, Oh What Length?

I did a lot of “googling” to try and find a guide to standard table runner lengths. I found several pages which listed info on standard table runner sizes.

Then I came across this webpage – Table Runner Dimensions

What I liked about this webpage was this statement:

“A table runner should be long enough to overhang the end of your table by approximately 6 to 10 inches on each end.”

Why did this statement appeal to me? Because it means there is no way to anticipate all the different table sizes potential customers will have and that I just need to decide one standard length I will offer as well as offer a custom table size option. I am going to aim around 42″ as my standard length.

Table Runner-ing

I have spent the last couple of days working on creating the strata for my scrappy table runners from a bag of Kaffe Fassett-type of fabric scraps from my collection of Challenge Bags (see post Basket of Challenges ):

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I welcome your thoughts on this oh so controversial topic – table runner lengths>

If you were going to make up table runners for unknown tables, what length would you make? 


Postscript

One of my miniature schnauzers, Mike, was trying to take a nap with the book I was reading and I thought it was a very sweet photo:

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The Library Stack

Continuing my ongoing series, The Library Stack,  and sharing my latest stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library.

Before I left for my trip to NYC for Quilters Take Manhattan (see my recent posts), a HUGE stack of library books from my library holds all became available at once:

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Okay, they didn’t all become available at once from my books on hold, there were a couple I happened to pick off the New Releases Non Fiction shelves while I was at the library…I can’t help it if they deliberately tempt me when I visit my local public library!

I am nearly done with this stack and several were a good “flip-the-pages-look-book” while working on a pot of tea. The interiors in The Kinfolk Home (which I borrowed a second time from the library) and Hidden Paris were just dreamy!

There were so many cute quilts to make in the book Charm School and I have many sets of 5″ charm squares just begging to become a quilt, but I have so many projects on the burner I couldn’t be tempted to make any quilts from the book. But it will be waiting for me at the library when I am ready!

The Crafters Market and How to Make It are  great resource books for people trying to start or running a craft business. The Fussy Cut Sampler had adorable ideas for fussy cut pieced blocks.

Kaffe Fassett’s Quilts in Ireland was visual colorful candy; but I own a bunch of Kaffe Fassett books and I have yet to make a quilt from one of them. I did meet Kaffe Fassett a couple of years ago when he came to speak at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters Oregon. So I had him autograph one of  my ‘Kaffe’ books, but I did not confess that I have never made a quilt from one of his books! His fabrics are so beautiful and I actually have a huge collection of Kaffe Fassett fabric scraps that quilting friends have given me.

I still have a couple books to finish looking through (those I have not mentioned) and then back to the library for everyone!


Postscript

No work on my next art quilt yet, but I did have a colleague inquire about purchasing one of my tierneycreates table runners from when I had my tierneycreates Etsy shop. I had one more left and sold it to her.

This prompted me to play with the idea in my mind of re-opening my tierneycreates Etsy shop for the holiday season, but I have not decided yet. I did though decide to work on a couple new table runners, beginning with one I had started but never finished  – now it is finished.

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I have a stash of tierneycreates sew on labels from when I had my Etsy shop, so it was great to use them again:

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My employer is having a holiday craft fair in Portland in November and I am also sort of toying with the idea of participating in that. It would be my first time to sell at a craft fair.

Till next time,

Fusing Textiles & Smiles

 

Wrap Up of QTM 2017 Weekend

This is my fourth and final installment on my 4-day weekend in NYC to visit my family and to attend the Quilt Alliance’s Quilters Take Manhattan (QTM) event.

Here are the links to the first three previous posts on my weekend:

To close out this series of posts I have a bunch of random photos and stories.

Small World!

I remembered that my blogging buddy, Mary of Zippy Quilts announced in one of her post \s that she won the Judge’s Choice Award in the Quilt Alliance’s small quilt challenge. for the QTM 2017 event. Here is a link to her post: Judge’s Choice! Woo!

So on Saturday at the main QTM 2017 event, I went searching for the exhibit. When I found the exhibit with Mary’s piece, I noted another attendee was taking photos of the piece.

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Turns out that attendee was Becca of Pretty Piney, another blogging buddy of Mary’s! It was great to chat with Becca and together we admired Mary’s piece in person:

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Congratulations Mary! Oh and here is Becca’s post from her blog on her experiences at QTM 2017: Quilters Take Manhattan 2017.

Go Ahead and Look Out the Window

Flying makes me slightly nervous. When I moved from Seattle to Central Oregon I had to acclimate to taking smaller planes. Our airport is small and cannot handle standard size planes/jets, just the Turboprop size planes, like the one in the image below:

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Photo credit: Alaska Airlines

These planes only climb to about 10,000 feet unlike jets which having cursing altitudes of 30,000 – 40,000 feet. So you have at many times a view of the ground when you are at cruising altitude in these planes as opposed to in the larger planes where all you see are clouds below you at cruising altitude.

In order to fly to the East Coast of the US, I had to first fly to Seattle (usually you have to fly to Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, LA or Salt Lake City to get anywhere beyond the West Coast from Central Oregon). Normally I do not look out of the window as a rule. I had a window seat during my flight from Central Oregon to Seattle. I felt peaceful and excited about my upcoming adventure and was brave and starred the window the entire flight! This was a very big thing for me to do and here are a couple photos of what I saw:

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I had incredible views of some of the Cascade Mountain range. We were sandwiched between layers of clouds and it was very beautiful (note the window was tinted and sort of cloudy so the photos are limited in their clarity).

Meeting a Quilting Hero

As I mentioned in the previous posts, I got to meet in person someone I greatly respect and admire, Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi, founder of the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN). 

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I joined WCQN in 2016 and my piece The Lesson & The Equation will be in an upcoming WCQN show. I will share details about that show once Dr. Mazloomi formally announced the show. I am very excited to have my piece in the upcoming book that will be published about this show. Check out Dr. Mazloomi’s amazon.com page for examples of books from other exhibits she has curated.

At QTM 2017 I had the opportunity to view one of her amazing B&W quilts in person. She draws/paints these images and turns them into quilts. The piece below is of her grandson looking through some of her exhibit books:

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Coming ‘Home’ to New York

I was born in Pittsburgh, PA but I grew up in Long Island and Update New Yorker. I consider myself a “native New York” and part of my heart will always live in New York. I have been in NYC many times. I remember when I was a teenager I would take the train from Long Island to Manhattan and wander around the City for the day and return home in the evening.

If you have never visited NYC, it is something you must put on your “bucket list”. I guess it is like however everyone should try and visit Paris or London if possible. New York is one of those cities you just have to experience in person.

While living in Seattle and a couple times since I have moved to Central Oregon, I meet up with my family in NYC (they live in other areas of the East Coast but they are only a train or bus ride away). We learned over the years where the best least expensive places are to stay, and for this trip my sister found us an AirBNB place in a Brooklyn neighborhood:

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Here are a couple photos from the neighborhood to include a branch of the Brooklyn Public Library which was near where we stayed and the iconic FDNY:

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And then there was the Mister Softie truck which my 13 year nephew and I got slightly addicted to (NY soft serve ice cream!!!)

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The funny thing is as many times as I have visited NYC as an adult, I have only attended a Broadway show a couple times. I think I saw a couple Broadway shows as a kid and as a teens but I have primarily only seen the less expensive off-Broadway shows. Still as I was wandering around Manhattan between events one day of my trip, I daydreamed of going to this show (I am not sure if you can even get tickets):

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More from the Met

In my previous post I shared some photos of my brief wander around the overwhelming Metropolitan Museum of Art . In addition to the Asian wing, I also wandered around the European paintings. Like the museum in Europe I have visited (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Uffizi, Florence, etc.) it is so amazing to see paintings from say the 12th century!

I spent a little time in the Medieval painting section of the Met:

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I also stumbled upon displays of amazing ancient and modern ceramics, which included this piece/pieces which I thought would be a great inspiration art quilt design inspiration:

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Trimmings Galore

If you are a crafter visiting NYC, I recommend a visit to the Fashion District. It is a magical place with shops with rare fabrics and trimmings.

While wandering around Manhattan with my sister and nephew, I dragged them into an amazing shop – M&J Trimmings. Any embellishment you could think of for a textile could be found in this shop. Whether you needed feathers, buttons, tassels, cord, or any other type of trim you could imagine, they had it.

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And this was the room that blew my mind (I only captured one wall in my photos) – a huge room of BUTTONS! Buttons everywhere! I wanted to buy them all, but I only admired them as I could not justify buying anymore buttons! (See my 2016 post Buttons for more on my button-obsession).

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Of course I have so many more photos and of course a lot of family photos (you will just have to take my word for it on how handsome my nephews) but hopefully over the past four posts I gave you a general feeling of what it was like to attend the QTM 2017!


Postscript

So you might be thinking: “Tierney if you love NY so much, why don’t you still live there?”

I love NY and it has a special place in my heart but it is not where my heart wants to live. My heart wants to live in the Pacific NW. Washington and Oregon are amazing and beautiful states. The cultures are quite different than the East Coast. I love the laid back vibe and spirit of the Pacific NW. I love all the trees, the mountains, the “hipster” and “hippy” people that live here. The green eco-conscious vibe. The focus on human rights and causes. Not to say this type of culture does not exist in other parts of our country, but it seems really concentrated in the Pacific NW.

Now I have a friend from my college days who lives in NYC and loves to tease me: “Can you braid your arm pit hair now from living in the Pacific NW so long?” She thinks I spend most my days tree-hugging lol between sips of coffee.

People in the Pacific NW sometimes go overboard being nice and thoughtful but I like it! Sometimes crosswalks are an issue as cars will stop in anticipation that you are approaching the crosswalk to cross the street, so you can back up traffic when you are just looking like you might eventually cross a street! In Central Oregon we do not in general honk our horns at people who do not start up right away from a light changing to green. We just patiently wait for them to see the light and go (this is VERY different than NY!) If you need to learn patience and become more peaceful, move to the Pacific NW.

But people smile a lot here, and their smiles seem genuine.

During my layover in Seattle before my flight (on a big plane!) across the country to JFK airport/NYC, I found this in the Seattle airport bathroom – in a bathroom stall where the purse hook is mounted. Maybe it was done by a traveler from somewhere else, but it feels so Pacific NW:

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Feature image credit: quiltalliance.com

Behind the Scenes at the Antonio Ratti Textile Center – QTM 2017

Continuing my series of posts on my Quilters Take Manhattan 2017 event experience, this post I share my awe and wonder while attending a special behind the scenes tour of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

How I Ended Up Attending QTM 2017

Before I share that experience, let me back up a moment and talk about how I ended up attending the Quilt Alliance’s Quilters Take Manhattan event.

I first heard about the Quilters Take Manhattan event on a Facebook post of someone I follow who was attending the event.

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Image credit: quiltalliance.com

I was immediately tempted when I checked the event’s website and saw that Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi and Sherri Lynn Wood would be presenting but NYC is quite a plane ride from Central Oregon for a 1 day conference.

Next I saw that they were offering special add-on events such as a behind the scenes tour of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art .

The words “Antonio Ratti” hold a lot of meaning for me. In 2012 my friend Betty Anne and I came up with the idea of creating a collection of art quilts from gifted samples of Ratti textiles (renown house of Italian couture textiles) from the 1990’s NYC Fashion District. These samples would have been destroyed and we thought it would be amazing to create a collection of quilts from recycled materials meant for couture fabrics.

Betty Anne then invited other quilters to participate and we created Quilting Meets Couture. We showed this collection of 21 art quilts created by 14 women in 2013 at several venues to include a special exhibit at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. The Quilting Meets Couture group eventually disbanded, the collection did not go any further, and it eventually became The Wardrobe Meets the Wall containing only Betty Anne and my art quilts.

Recently, I created a page on the collaborative website Betty Anne and I have, Improvisational Textiles to honor the memory of this special time which was also my first venture into “art” quilting:

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(I will always been deeply grateful to my friend and mentor Betty Anne Guadalupe for encouraging me to move from traditional to art quilting, as well as all the art quilting inspiration from Jean Wells Keenan, see my post Creative Inspiration, Quilting Mentors).

Still the opportunity to meet Dr. Mazloomi, Sherri Lynn Wood, and to attend a behind the scenes tour of the textile center created/funded by the great Italian textile manufacturer/designer was not enough to fully justify in my mind a trip across the country (and associated expenses). I then realized I could also justify my trip by visiting with my family (who all live on the East Coast) while I was in NYC.

Of course this is where I ran into trouble – I tried to cram too much into a 4-day weekend. I ended up catching a bad cold from exhausting, long air travel, lack of sleep, etc. I ran my immune system into the ground, but I had a really wonderful time. I had an incredible visit with my sister, my brother and my two awesome nephews (ages 5 and 13).

Am I rambling? I always question at what point in my post I am just rambling. Okay, let’s return to the original purpose of this post – to share highlights from the behind the scenes tour of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center!

Behind the Scenes at the Antonio Textile and Reference Library

Our tour group was led/coordinated by the quite fabulous, Merikay Waldvogel, quilt historian. We met in the foyer of the mind blowing Metropolitan Museum of Art:

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The second photo you will see a very excited Tierney waiting with the tour group to go to the Antonio Ratti Textile Center. The last photo in the series above is an archway we passed under on our way to the Textile Center. I could barely breath at this point…

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I will be sharing limited photos that I took during the rest of this post on the tour. The curator requested that, in general, we only take photos for our own personal use. They would prefer we public shared only official images from the Met’s official collection. She also stated we could not take photos of how they store textiles at the center. There were other special rules of course – we could not touch any of the pieces and had to be careful not to let anything on our person touch the textiles.

But do not worry – they said we could note the catalog number of the quilt we viewed to access their public images of the work. So for the most part, I will share their images of the incredible historic quilts I viewed.

The staff at the Ratti Textile Center pre-selected a group of rare quilts, several which have never been on display because they are so fragile, for us to view. All the images below are property of and from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art Collection website.

A Selection of Some of The Quilts We Viewed:


Honeycomb Quilt, Elizabeth Van Home Clarkson, 1830

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image credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art

From the Met website:

Elizabeth Van Horne Clarkson made this quilt from hundreds of small hexagonal pieces of fabric. It is the earliest wholly pieced American quilt in the Museum’s collection. Although pieced quilts were popular in England in the eighteenth century, the technique did not catch on in America until the nineteenth century, as increased leisure time made quiltmaking more popular and small patterned printed cottons were less expensive to work with than English chintzes. The quilt was made in a pattern known as Honeycomb. The multicolored hexagons are sewn together with whipstitching. Elizabeth Clarkson probably made the quilt as a wedding present for her son Thomas in about 1830.

There are an amazing amount of very tiny hexagons. The photo of course does not compare to seeing all the exquisite and elaborate detail of his quilt in person – the border is a quite complex piecing.


Pictorial Quilt, Euphemia Kichlein, 1832

The Met does not have an official photo on their website, so I will share one of the images I took of this amazing quilt:

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This quilt is quite famous and has appeared in several quilting historical books.


Star of Bethlehem pattern variation, Ellen Morton Littlejohn,  1837–50

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Image credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art

This quilt is too fragile to ever be on display and we were given the rare, once in a lifetime opportunity to view it in person. This quilt was made by an African American woman while she was a slave for the family that owned her. It was an example that early African American quilting is not only improvisational/’make do” quilting like the Gees Bend Quilts. This was an elaborately pieced and trapunto quilted quilt. The photo above does not show you all the detail I saw in person. One of the quilt historians in our tour group (there were at least 3 including a curator from the American Folk Art Museum!) stated that many elaborate quilts were made by slaves however these quilts were kept by the families that owned them and the quilts were never credited with the work.


Tumbling Blocks with Signatures pattern, Adeline Harris Sears, 1856

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Image credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art

From the Met’s website:

In 1856, seventeen-year-old Adeline Harris, the daughter of a well-to-do Rhode Island mill owner, conceived of a unique quiltmaking project. She sent small diamond-shaped pieces of white silk worldwide to people she esteemed as the most important figures of her day, asking each to sign the silk and return it to her. By the time the signatures were all returned and ready to be stitched into a “tumbling-blocks” patterned quilt, Adeline had amassed an astonishing collection of autographs. Her quilt features the signatures of eight American presidents; luminaries from the worlds of science, religion, and education; heroes of the Civil War; such authors as Charles Dickens and Ralph Waldo Emerson; and an array of prominent artists. Today, the autographs displayed in this beautiful and immaculately constructed quilt provide an intriguing glimpse into the way an educated young woman of the mid-nineteenth century viewed her world.

It was amazing to see Abraham Lincoln’s signature on a quilt block. Hope I am not breaking the rules, but here is a close up image I took:

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Floral Applique Quilt, Emeline Travis Ludington, 1850

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Image credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art

From the Met website:

In the mid-nineteenth century, at the time this outstanding quilt was made in Carmel, New York, a town about fifty miles north of New York City, the florid and intricate Rococo Revival Style was in full bloom. The grapevines and appliquéd flowers entwined into wreaths stiched onto the surface are reminiscent of the decoration found carved into the rich rosewood backs of high-style New York furniture of the same era. While many bed quilts are quite modest objects meant for everyday use, this one would have been considered stylish and sophisticated when it was created. Its exceptionally good condition reinforces the notion that it was meant to be a “best” quilt, taken out only on special occasions to beautify its maker’s home.
Emeline Travis Ludington had an ambitious artistic vision for her quilt, laying out and stiching a stunning overall design and adding an unusual scalloped finishing detail to the edges. Ludington was married to a banker, George, and was the mother of six children. Her quilt-making skill is undocumented beyond this piece.

It was interesting to listen to several of the quilt historians on the tour in our group debating the source of fabrics (England vs. US) and other historical details. We had a group of brilliant women in our tour group!


Woman’s Rights Quilt, Emma Civey Stahl, 1875

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From the Met’s website:
This unique pictorial quilt tells two distinct stories. Three of the circular appliquéd vignettes depict soldiers who fought in the American Civil War, assuredly still a fresh memory when the quilt was made. Three other blocks feature dynamic scenes of social activism in the fight for women’s rights. In one vignette, the reformer leaves her husband and child, a “WOMAN’S RIGHTS” banner slung jauntily over her shoulder. In another she is driving a horse-drawn cart, undoubtedly going to the meeting depicted in a third circle, where she vociferously lectures the cowering audience. The quiltmaker’s comical take on one of the most serious issues of the late nineteenth century raises the question of her own viewpoint on the subject


There were several other quilts, however in this post I wanted to share examples of the incredible pieces of quilting history we had the chance to view. The staff at the Antonio Ratti Textile Center were extremely knowledgable and helpful and you could tell they were excited to share some of the collection with the tour group.

After the Textile Center Tour

I had an hour before I needed to meet up with my family after the behind the scenes of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center tour was complete. What do see in an hour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art?!!?

The Met has over 5000 years of art from around the world, according to their website. According to Wikipedia, it is the largest art museum in the United States and its permanent collection contains 2 million works!

I went to one of the docent/information desks and asked for an idea of what to see in an hour (it takes weeks or months to see the entire collection). We discussed what I was interested in and she suggested I go to the Asian Art Wing. In this wing they had an amazing exhibit – Cosmic Buddhas in the Himalayas which had some incredible textiles on display as well as iconic Buddha images.

Here is a little flavor of the amazing exhibit:

It was quite a serene and mediative experience to walk among the Buddhas in the exhibit. The lighting was amazing, perfectly dimmed and the exhibits rooms were fairly empty except a couple of others quietly wandering the exhibit like myself. There was a mystical feeling to the whole exhibit. Also I had a wonderful chat with one of the security guards/museum staff assigned to the exhibit. She was amazed herself with one of the tapestries and when I showed interest in it, she was so happy to have someone to discuss all the intricate details of the tapestry with (the exhibit was very empty of visitors so there was not much guarding for her to do!)

Of course the images do not do the pieces justice. The same for the quilts I saw in person, the images do not even come close to the experience of seeing them in person.

I would like to return to the Metropolitan Museum of Art again someday and spend more time looking through their amazing collection!


Postscript

There is so much more I wanted to share in this post but this post has grown rather long so I will save the rest of it for my next post.

Little Wallet Madness

As mentioned in recent previous posts, I have been making little wallets from my fabric scraps.

Endless wallets. Cutting out fabric from templates in the evening while watching TV and then engaging in marathon assembling and sewing.

58+ wallets later, I am ready to share photos of the wallets.

First here are 55 of them (two I recently I gave away as gifts and one I kept for myself):

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An attempt at closer up photos of the wallets:

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I had so much fun rummaging through my boxes of fabric scraps and putting together various combinations. Here are photos of a couple of the insides of the little wallets to demonstrate some of the color and texture combinations I used for the inside pockets:

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Here are some of my favorite little wallets from my little wallet assembly madness:

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I plan to do a “Little Wallet” giveaway to celebrate the 4th anniversary of my blog in October so stay tuned. They are perfect for business cards, a place to keep punch cards (like frequent customer cards) or to use as a wallet.

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Update on “Scrappy Improvisational Medallion”…Pillow

The last of the four old projects (#3) I laid out in my my studio in the photo below, is now completed:

2017-08-01_19-03-27_630I first posted about this project in the post What’s on the Design Wall: Scrappy Improvisational Medallion and the plan was to make it into a Medallion Quilt.

However, I was not feeling inspired to keep building the improvisational Medallion Quilt, even after I pulled out my copy of Gwen Marston’s book Liberated Medallion Quilts. (This book is about breaking the rules and making improvisational medallion quilts instead of traditional accurately pieced medallion quilts.)

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I even found among my scraps a wonderful collection of coordinating fabrics. Still, I was not feeling inspired to make it into a quilt. I did however want to make it into something and to be done with this project, so I made it into a pillow for my sunroom:

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This pillow joins my collection of handmade items on secondhand love-seat in my sunroom that my neighbor gave me. The love-seat is plaid and not really my style, so I covered it with homemade and other second hand items.

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I am not giving up on my plan to make a medallion quilt someday! I tucked away some ideas from working on this piece.


Postscript

So what is next? Well I have become obsessed with making little wallets using my collection of fabric scraps:

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I am not sure what I am going to do with all the little wallets, but I am having fun playing in my different boxes of fabric scraps organized by color and finding pieces that working with the templates for the little wallets:

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Fabric scraps organized by color

Here is a bag of turquoise and teal fabric scraps I cannot wait to play with next once I finish playing with orange and brown scraps:

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I will share in a future post all the little wallets in fun color combinations I made from scraps!

 

The Library Stack

It has been a long time since I contributed an entry to my ongoing series The Library Stack.

I took a hiatus from slogging home huge piles of books from my beloved Public Library and cozying up with a pot of tea. Instead I’ve been reading from my collection of craft magazines and books with my pot of tea.

But I could not stay away too long from my library and recently I slogged home a new pile of borrowed tomes:

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The 700s is my favorite Dewey Decimal section!

Novel Interiors

I’ve greatly enjoyed one of the books in the stack so far – Novel Interiors: Living in Enchanted Rooms Inspired by Literature, by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti (2014).

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Photo credit: amazon.com

I thought I would share a couple quotes from the book that made my smile:

“We don’t just read a great story, we inhabit it.” – Lisa Borgnes Giramonti

“Jo hurried to this quiet place, and curling herself up in the easy chair, devoured poetry, romance, history, travels, and pictures like a regular bookworm.” – Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

“If people do but know how to set about it, every comfort may be enjoyed in a cottage as in the most spacious dwelling.” – Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Yes this morning, I am enjoying the comfort of reading with my pot of tea in my cottage (we nicknamed our 1300 square foot abode “The Cottage”)!


Postscript

After going to the Deschutes County Fair (see post Deschutes County Fair) and finishing 3 of my 4 crafting project laid out in my studio, I thought I might revisit my Farm Girl Vintage blocks again. I  put them all up on the design wall in the hallway:

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But I am just not “feeling them” right now and I am going to take them back down. Watch for a future post to see what I’ve stuck up on the design wall instead!

Speaking of “Farm Girl” my little farm (backyard raised bed garden) had the most curious harvest: ONE zucchini. Yes you read correctly – only ONE zucchini. I might be the first person in history to have just ONE zucchini in their zucchini harvest.

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Usually people are trying to give away their zucchini harvest (a friend told me story of “zucchini drive-bys” where you drop bags of zucchini at the front porches of unsuspecting friends and neighbors) and I have only ONE.

So what did I do with my ONE zucchini (yes there are no more zucchinis on the horizon in my garden, I checked 4-5 times) – well, I made two loaves of zucchini bread!

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I stretched that ONE precious zucchini!


Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s latest musings on her blog Schnauzer Snips. 

 

 

Deschutes County Fair

A couple weekends ago we went to the Deschutes County Fair (Deschutes County Fair & Rodeo) and this is a belated post to share some photos from the Fair.

The Deschutes County Fair is allegedly (according to their website) Oregon’s largest county fair and rodeo. We have attended a couple of times, and honestly we are always a little underwhelmed.

This could because we used to live in Seattle, WA and each year would go to the more impressive Pullayup Fair (Washington State Fair) or because we used to live in Houston, TX and would attend the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  So perhaps the bar was set a little high on what we expect from a Fair/Livestock Show/Rodeo.

Lured by the Promise of “Carnival Eats”

We would have passed on the Deschutes County Fair this year, but Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) got hooked on a show on the Cooking Channel called Carnival Eats.

Basically Carnival Eats is an extreme “food porn” show featuring the NAUGHTIEST fair/carnival food ever (we are talking bacon burgers stuffed with cheese set in a glazed Krispy Kreme donut bun) around the country. Some of the carnival food shown on the show makes you gasp and you imagine if you had one glorious bite you would just immediately drop dead of a heart attack from an extreme coronary blockage by fat. But you would die with a smile on your face!

TTQH and I in general eat fairly healthy but after binge watching a couple of the show with Terry, I thought it would be fun this year to go to the Deschutes County Fair and have one very naughty carnival food experience.

Alas, there was only the standard Fair/Carnival food at the Deschutes Country Fair (corn dogs, friend twinkies, elephant ears). Below is a photo of the most exciting offering they had, and we passed on it, It was just not naughty enough to spend the calories on:

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Wandering Around the Fair

Our coronary arteries probably thanked us, but we gave up on hopes of any naughty food experiences, grabbed a lemonade and wandered around the Fair. Here are some photos from the day.

The Livestock

The livestock was owned/managed by the adorable 4H and FFA (Future Farmers of America) kids. One kids asked me if I wanted to meet her goat,  how could I refuse?

The 4H or FFA kids had posted The Six Pillars of Character:

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The Quilts

What would a county fair be without the craft section? First here is a sampling of some the quilts:

And they had a room in which you could watch women hand quilt in various modified versions of quilting circles!

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The Fiber Arts

The also had knitting and weaving displays and juried winners:

The Rides (that there was no way in heck I was going on)

In case the signs were not enough to keep me away:

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Then the rides themselves accomplished that objective:

Yes, I am a wimp, and proud of it! (smile)

Leaving the Fair

Upon leaving the fair, I asked TTQH if he was less likely to eat meat after meeting all those farm animals. He replied: “That was very cute bacon and if I knew it’s name I would personally thank it while having breakfast”.

No vegetarianism in TTQH’s future!


Postscript

Returning to what originally drew us to the fair – the promise of naughty fair food, I looked around the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s website and discovered they had a list of their Fair Food – 2017 Carnival Food

Now, look at these delicacies we did not have access to at the Deschutes County Fair:

  • Flaming Hot Cheetos Roaster Corn & Flaming Hot Cheetos Corn in Cup
  • Nutella Funnel Cake & Oreo Churros with filling
  • Flaming Hot Cheetos Pizza
  • Deep Fried Tim Tams & Deep Fried Chocolate Covered Marshmallows
  • Bacon Nutella Pickle, Pickled Cheese-on-a-Stick, & Shrimp and Pickle Basket
  • Pork Chop-on-a-stick, Loaded Baked Potato Bites & Deep Fried Nachos

So right now your mouth is either watering or your stomach is turning!

We ended up having a nice late lunch after the fair at a local brewery.

What’s Off the Design Wall: Cozy Cobblestones

Finally the follow up post to What’s on the Design Wall: Cozy Cobblestones with the completed quilt top!

It is a quilt top measures approximately 60″ x 72″ and made with traditional piecing but not a with a traditional vibe.

I tried to photograph it using the back of my shed discussed in the post The Photoshoot Shed: Please Give Me Your Ideas, but I had a shadow from the top of my gate due to the position of the sun:

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So I moved it to the side of my house which was completely in shadow and got a better photo:

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I decided not to put a border on it because I plan to put it into the rotation of quilts I rotate through my living room. A border would make it too large for the space I want to hang it. It coordinates well with the colors in my living room!

So I am working on piecing a backing together with various 1 -2 yard pieces of browns I have (trying to use my stash) and then send it to a long-arm quilter. I will likely bind it in the Stonehenge fabric I was going to use for the border.

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I guess I need to work on the Medallion quilt in the photo below next as I have completed  #1, #2, and #4!

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Postscript 

Around this time last year I was posting about the sunflowers in my garden. Well they did not return this year and I did not plant sunflower seeds – so I am sunflowerless!

Luckily my neighbors on the corner have several raised bed boxes of sunflowers in their front yard for me to enjoy:

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I will be more diligent next Spring on planting sunflower seeds!

The Expenditure Tracking Experiment

I am still working on piecing together Cozy Cobblestones that I discussed in my previous post. The “Picnic Setting” is no picnic, and has several “Y” seams and must be pieced in a methodical way (or you are screwed!) Hopefully the next post will be to share my completed quilt top (unless I decided to throw in a post about our visit to the Deschutes County Fair a couple weekends ago…)

This post I wanted to share an interesting experiment I have committed to doing for a year and wondered if any of you have ever tried something like this – I am tracking ALL my expenditures for 1 year. Everything, even if I buy a $2 ice cream cone, etc.

I created a spreadsheet at the end of 2016, broken into as many categories as I could think of (though I had to keep adding categories as the year progressed) and starting January 1, 2017, I began recording anything I spent money on – from food to utilities.

Here is a screenshot of a section of my spreadsheet to date:

Screen Shot 2017-08-19 at 12.24.23 PM.pngOne of the most enlightening (actually shocking) things, was how much we spend on food (and there are only two humans in the household)!  Not to mention how many trips to the grocery store (and several different grocery stores) we make each month.

For example in July 2017, we went to one grocery store EIGHT (8) times! I am starting to wonder if my hobby is not quilting/crafting, but actually going to grocery stores! I wince at the $1.38 purchase listed above – whatever that was, why didn’t I get it during the grocery store visit in the $52.90 purchase above?

Well making a change can only come after gaining awareness that a change is needed. I thought I was a very thrifty “demi-minimalist” but my spreadsheet says I am an out of control food hoarder!

Besides the shocking amount of grocery store spending/visits I have made so far this year, I have learned a lot of valuable stuff about our spending habits and several positive changes have been made. Also it has become a game, where I will not buy something that I do not really need because I want to see if I can get the current month’s expenditures lower than the others.

One more cool thing about this (sometimes painful) spreadsheet, is I have a tool to use to discuss with Terry the Quilting Husband strategies to manages our expenses. We discussed the disaster that was July 2017 and made a conscious effort to keep the August grocery expenses under control!

I would love to hear if any of you have tried something like this.

Well that’s all for now, I got to go head out to the grocery store and pick something up 😉


Feature image photo credit: Sufi Nawaz, free images.com

 

 

What’s on the Design Wall: Cozy Cobblestones

This morning’s post is a follow up What’s on the Design Wall…a “Hot Mess”?

Yesterday I worked to turn the “hot mess” and former unfinished object (UFO) into something resembling a quilt top. I’ve named the quilt “Cozy Cobblestones” as the fabric is the Northcott Stonehenge Cobblestones line.

I promised better photos, however I was unable to keep my promise. Still struggling with the narrowness of my hallway, I had to take entire layout photos at an angle. Alas, this is one of the “cons” of having a design wall in a narrow hallway!

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From the right side

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From the left side

Here is one “head on” photo taken by smooshing myself against the opposite wall:

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“Smooshed” against the wall!

You are probably wincing at the lighting on the photos. Once I sew the blocks together, I am going to take the quilt outside for a proper photo!

I am likely going to “float” the quilt top in additional Stonehenge fabric (I think I have enough yardage to put a “float” border around it). Here is the fabric I might use (it is my only choice unless I go out and try to find some more):

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Next to a section of the blocks layout:

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Try and use your imagination of how cool this will look…

I might use the same fabric for the binding too as I am trying to use what I have in my stash. A contrasting binding might be nice but I would have to purchase it new (and I am taking a hiatus from buying fabric right now).

Speaking of my “stash”, I put the scraps and the two remaining fat quarters that I did not use up, in a future “Challenge Bag” (see post Basket of Challenges):

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I’m gonna be a future “Challenge Bag” – yay!

Inside the scrap bag you will see the blue scraps that I loved (from another Stonehenge line that a quilting friend donated) but could not work into the piece. We’ll see what I make in the future with this small bag of scraps.

The remaining scraps are fairly small as I worked hard to harvest any piece I could turn into a 2.5″ x 2.5″ block:

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Little squares, cutting so many little squares! (42 x 9 = 378)

Quilters reading this may wince, but I did not have enough length of any of the scraps from piecing the original 12″ blocks to make the 6′ nine-patch blocks using the quick “strip-piecing” method. Instead I had to cut out individual 2.5″ x 2.5″ pieces and sew them together to make 42 6-inch nine-patch blocks!  I did “chain-piece” the heck out the pieces after a while became a nine-patch block factory!

It was definitely an old school traditional piecing!

I am feeling pleased with my progress on the “UFOs” in this photo, this quilt top is the #4 in the photo below:

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Once I get it all sewn together, I guess I need to work on the only remaining “UFO” – #3 (Medallion quilt) – but I am not feeling inspiration on that one yet!


Postscript

In addition to a push to complete my unfinished projects, I’ve recently experimented with a couple paper-crafting/card making projects in the paper-crafting/beading area I set up in my sunroom:

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Here are the two cards I made:

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I am not sure if the recipients of these cards actually liked them, but I had fun making them. I listened to a classical radio station on my new(ish) thrift shop radio and found card making very meditative.

Card making was actually my first official crafting hobby that I did with others.

My friend Michele got me started in the late 1990s. I think it opened my mind to starting quilting, which I learned shortly after. I still have many of my card making supplies from the late 1990s and early 2000s. I donated about 1/2 of those supplies to charity organizations but I still have some wonderful supplies to make more handmade cards (whether people want them or not – ha!)