A Crafter's Life, Quality of Life

A Quilt for the Road…

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

Very Special Occasion Required

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

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

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

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

Ordered to “Wear Out” a Quilt

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

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

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

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One for the Road

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

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

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

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Photo courtesy of Cody G.

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

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

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

It is “one for the road”.


Postscript

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

Coping with Grief by Helping Others

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fiercebeyond50.com

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

A Crafter's Life

Love Wears it Out (Repost)

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

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

Thought I would repost this post today.


How do you know a quilt has been loved?

It is worn, frayed, maybe even threadbare.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

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image credit: amazon.com

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

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

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

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

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

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


Postscript

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

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

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

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

Quilt are Love!


Feature Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash

 

Adventures in Paper Piecing, tierneycreates

Pup Pillow

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

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

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

Pup Pillow Making

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pup Pillow Reveal and a Very Cute Model

Here is the completed pillow:

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

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


Postscript

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

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

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

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

Studio, tierneycreates

From “Orphan Blocks” to Pillows

If you make quilts, then you’ve probably dealt with “orphan blocks” – the extra blocks you either made accidentally while making your quilt or intentionally to give you options when you laid out your quilt and made final decisions on what blocks you want to use in the quilt.

For years I’ve had these two “orphan blocks” from a Connecting Threads Minnesota Stars Kit I made at least 8 years ago.

Here is what the quilt looks like (it is currently serving as a tablecloth on my table in the sunroom):

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

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You may notice in the images above it looks like the blocks were hand-stitched. Well they were – I attempted to do something with the blocks years ago and added batting, backing and hand-stitched them.

And then they went to the place where all unfinished projects go – to the back of the closet.

Last night I decided rather than move them as unfinished blocks to my next residence, why not just FINISH them and make them into coordinating pillows?

So I did:

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

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

Studio

Quilter’s Studio and House Tour

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

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

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

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

The Studio

Here are images of Jaime’s yummy quilt studio:

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She has beautiful custom designed cabinetry throughout her gorgeous home.

I was fascinated by how she organized her fabric:

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

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

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

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

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

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The House

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

The Entire Wall Bookcase in the Living Room

My dream!

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The Dream Soaking Tub

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

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The Grand Piano

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

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

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

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A Crafter's Life, Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

A Fish Tale

Making a Fish

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

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

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

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

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

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Image credit: donnacherrydesigns.com

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

Here is the version I made in class:

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Releasing a Fish

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

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

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

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

Fish Giving

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Feature Photo by Sticker Mule on Unsplash

A Crafter's Life

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

Today I have a guest post from Diana S. Clark of the Sewing Machine Club for anyone who is thinking about becoming a quilter but is not sure when to start.

Diana contacted me a week ago with the idea of a guest post and I love the information in her article and thought it would be fun to share with you!


What You Need to Know Before You Start Quilting

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Sewing Machine Club

There’s nothing more heartwarming than receiving a novelty quilt handmade with love and care which is why quilts make such great gifts!

Although quilting seems tedious and takes a lot of time and effort, they’re actually pretty simple. As a matter of fact, anyone can start quilting in the comfort of their own home.

If you’re on the fence on how to begin quilting, we got you covered. We have some tips to help you start your quilting project to ensure you’re fully prepared.

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Sewing Machine Club

Patterns, patterns, patterns!

Patterns are a crucial part of your quilt. It’s important to think about what patterns you want so you can prepare fabrics and equipment before quilting. Patterns come in different varieties and some may be a bit more complex than others hence, taking more time to create. So, keep in mind to choose a pattern that suits your taste and skill.

Preparation is Key

Before quilting, remember to gather all the equipment you need according to the instructions of the pattern since different patterns have different instructions. When searching for fabrics, opt for colorfast fabrics that don’t run when washed. Also, make sure to measure each block to figure out how much fabric will be needed.

Quilt Away

Find a comfortable space and set up your equipment such as your fabrics, sewing machine, and tools. Start by carefully cutting your patchwork pieces with a rotary cutter before sewing them. Once you’ve got all the patchwork pieces prepared, start quilting the top as it takes a lot of time and precision. Finally, make sure to iron the patchwork to set it.

Final Touches

Next, baste the quilt by combining the top and bottom layer and placing batting in between like a sandwich. Use pins or temporary adhesive to hold the layers while you sew them so the layers stay in place. When you’re done with sewing the layers, add some final touches with some decorative binding to the edges of your quilt to seal the layers.

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


Feature Photo by Jeff Wade on Unsplash

What's on the Design Wall

“Tula in a Box” Quilt Top Finished

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Crafter's Life

Stories from the Road, Part II

This post is a continuation of my post Stories from the Road, Part I, about my recent road trip across 4 states in the Eastern Coast of the United States as well as the new journey/road I am on as a widow after the recent loss of Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) my partner of many years.

Thanks for all your comments on my previous post and here is a continuation of the story.

Stories from the Road Continued

If you remember from the previous post, my awesome sister drove me across 4 states on the Eastern Coast of the U.S. to visit family. In Upstate NY, we hung out with Terry’s family including his two sisters who are quilters.

It was heart-warming seeing the quilts that Terry and I have made his sisters and mother (who passed last year) over the years. Here is an example of one on the back of a recliner in the their living room:

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Sunday 12/16, one of Terry’s older brother (TTQH was the youngest of 7 children) and his wife had a wonderful get together at their home to celebrate Terry’s life. It was an evening filled with much memories and laughter. It was a bittersweet family reunion and I kept thinking how much Terry would have enjoyed it but my sister kept reminding me he was there in spirit.

Always Time for a Quilt Shop Visit

On Monday 12/17/18 my sister and I went with Terry’s sisters, who are quilters, to lunch and then to their favorite quilt shop – the Joyful Quilter in Glenville, NY.

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Image credit: joyful quilter.com

My sister, who is not a quilter, was a good sport and hung out in the quilt shop, sitting in front of one of the gorgeous high-end Baby Lock sewing machines on display and working on her graduate school coursework.

The Inspirational Airbnb

My sister loves Airbnb and found us a delightful place to stay in Troy, NY while we were in Upstate NY. It was near downtown Troy which is actually quite charming and each morning we went to this wonderful little coffee shop for breakfast (and I had avocado toast for the first time which is actually quite delightful!).

All about the 2 bedroom Airbnb apartment we rented were inspirational quotes and signs. Here are a few examples:

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It was a perfect place to stay, very comforting, cozy and charming. It was fun to be sharing an apartment with my sister for a couple of days and just hanging out in the evening chatting about life over tea.

And speaking of tea, the apartment also had a little humor we discovered as we looked through the cupboards for our tea cups:

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Exploring Tarrytown

On the way back to Baltimore (I was flying back home out of BWI Airport), my sister and I stopped for the day in Tarrytown, NY.

Tarrytown is a charming town on the Hudson River and was ranked by Forbes as Among To 10 Prettiest Towns in America.

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We had a fun wander around Tarrytown and when I needed to go to the bathroom a local shopkeeper recommended I walk over to the library.

The library! If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know how I feel about libraries – I love them! My sister was enjoying chatting with a shopkeeper and she encouraged me to take my time and wander about the local library.

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Tarrytown NY is a historic area and the library was filled with historical art and sculptures. It had an amazing main room where patrons were sitting and reading. If you look closely in the photo below you will see one of the library patrons so comfortable he is napping!

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I wanted to go hang out with a book (and maybe sneak in a little nap) at this delightful library!

My family and TTQH’s family would love me to move back to the East Coast to be closer to them and if it was not so expensive, Tarrytown might be an option. Once I get further down the road in my new journey as a widow and dealing with my grief, I will evaluate where I want to live my new life.

The Flight Home

The flight home was sad at first as I left the comfort of time with my families (my biological and my adopted Hogan family) and knew what waited for me back home was the reality of my loss and my new life as a grieving widow.

However about half way into the flight I gazed out my window seat and really looked at the beautiful landscapes of the earth below and somehow felt hopeful and peaceful and that I could make it through this.

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Postscript

For those of you who celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a Merry Christmas (or Happy Christmas as some countries say) with family and friends. I have a dear old friend staying with me right now for 5 days and she, I and Mike the Miniature Schnauzer spent a wonderful Christmas evening at a mutual friend’s house. We had a wonderful board game playing night with her children and Mike got to be worn around in his backpack by my friend’s 12 year old daughter.

Mike loves to be in his backpack, here is a photo from my May 2018 post, The Road to Retreat (Via Cannon Beach)  , with Mike riding around on TTQH’s back, happy as can be!

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Feature Photo by Jaromír Kavan on Unsplash

A Crafter's Life

Stories from the Road, Part I

I’ve titled this post “Stories from the Road” because it is about my recent road trip across 4 states in the Eastern Coast of the United States as well as the new journey/road I am on as a widow after the recent loss of Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) my partner of many years.

First I want to thank everyone who left thoughtful comments on my previous post when I shared I would be taking a break from blogging. Please know I read and appreciate all the comments, I am not up to responding to them. I really appreciate my blogging community and I was feeling the love, thank you.  Originally I planned to take an extended break from blogging (or perhaps stop blogging complete) but I really enjoy writing and the amazement that people actually read my musings!

No matter how terrible my grief is, I continually work on remembering two things: 1) how lucky I was to be married to my best friend for over half my life; and 2) that TTQH would want me to go forward in life and be happy.

Every day I also work on smiling through my tears such as in this recent photo taken from my brother-in-law’s kitchen in Upstate NY during the get together we had honoring Terry:

2018-12-16_13-25-19_877.jpegSo Much Support

I am blessed to have a large supportive network of family, friends, and colleagues. My sister has been exceptionally supportive and I will talk more about that in the next section. My friends Marla Jo, Jason, Laurie, Michele, Judy, Kelly, Diane, Kathy, Dana and Lisa have also been exceptionally supportive.

Marla Jo and Jason were there on the worst day of my life, finding Terry after an aneurysm took his life. They took my dog Mike the Miniature Schnauzer and kept him for a week.

My friend Laurie was there on the second worse day of my life – going to the funeral home to make arrangements. I’ve mentioned outings with Laurie and her dog Luna in previous blog posts and on the second worse day of my life, Laurie took me to visit a horse property with horses she works with to give me a little equestrian therapy (see post Horsing Around).

My friends Michele, Judy, Kelly, and Lisa have continually checked on me as well as many other friends and coworkers who have reached out.

Terry’s family has been awesome and very supportive, especially his two amazing sisters, to include helping me with his end of life expenses. Friends have also reached out with financial support to help with travel and end of life expenses and I greatly appreciate that support. I learned how to set up a PayPal Me account so people could send money if they chose to support me in that way.

I received two creative ways of support that made me smile – a Whole Foods gift certificate from my boss (I love Whole Foods but it is usually too expensive to shop there regularly); and a huge gift card to my favorite restaurant in Central Oregon from some colleagues. I’ve already used them both as I have not been up to cooking.

Stories from the Road

My sister insisted that I immediately come to the East Coast of the U.S. to be with family when she learned of Terry’s passing. I was initially concerned about the huge cost of last minutes cross country flights; and that it was basically deep Winter in Upstate NY.

My wonderful brother bought me a roundtrip plane ticket to Baltimore after my sister found the best flight option. My incredible sister, who lives in Richmond, Virginia, picked me up from Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) and drove me across four states.

We stopped in Delaware to see my brother, his wife and their son (my adorable 6 year old nephew) and then headed to Tarrytown, NY to stay the night before going on to Upstate NY in the morning. My brother also covered our hotel reservation at a very nice Courtyard by Marriott using his frequent stay points (he travels a lot for business).

I am not sure how many miles my sister drove but I am pretty sure it was at least 800 – 900 miles roundtrip including her trip back home to Richmond. We crossed the following states: Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York. Part of our trip we had semi-scary inclement weather but my sister was an amazing driver. She insisted on doing all the driving.

We drove to the home of Terry’s sisters, Sue and Diane. You might remember their names from my blog posts about their visits this summer to attend the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (see post Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2018, Part II: Visiting Crafters).

They are both quilters and while we visited I got to see and play with their new long-arm quilting machine:

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That is a practice panel on the machine as they want to do a lot of practice before they work on an actual important quilt.

Speaking of important quilts, they have a beautiful quilt in progress on their design wall as a belated wedding gift for a family member:

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The live in the original family home and I got a kick out of seeing Terry’s old room turned into their quilt studio (still a work in progress):

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He would most definitely approve!

Terry’s sisters have rescued a couple Shih Tzu dogs from a puppy mill and have a golden doodle, Tucker. My sister and I were treated one evening to a “floor show” put on by one of the Shih Tzus and Tucker as they played tug-a-war while he dragged her across the floor as she held fast on the edge of her dog bed:

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All I could think during the show was how much Terry would have enjoyed this as he was a huge dog person (he actually liked dogs more than people).

More to Come

I will end this post here and continue the story in the next post. My energy is low as would be expected with profound grief. Please know I appreciate and read your comments but I may not be up to responding.

I am keeping the words of this old Chinese proverb in my mind:

You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair. – Old Chinese proverb


Feature Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Tula Time!, What's on the Design Wall

Tula in a Box

Follow up on my post earlier this week on the quilt, I am working on Tula in a Box – What’s On the Design Wall: Tula in a Box. This quilt is my own design and it is inspired by the colorful fabrics in Tula Pink’s All Stars fabric collection.

After completing thirty-six (36) 12.5″ x 12.5″ blocks, and having Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) lay them out on my large design wall in my hallway, it was time to cut the fat quarter collection of stripes from the Tula Pink All Stars fabric collection for the 2 inch lattice between the blocks:

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It was a lot of cutting (like endless cutting), but finally I got a “pile-o-stripes” cut:

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Then it was time to abuse…um, I mean enlist the help of TTQH again and ask him to lay out the lattice on the design wall:

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He is a very nice and patient husband!

As I mentioned in the post earlier this week, my hallway is narrow and I can only take photos at an angle, but here is what the design wall looked like after TTQH laid out the stripes for the lattice:

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After TTQH laid out the lattice, I cut 2″ x 2″ squares from the feature fabrics for the cornerstones between the lattice. For now I have them set on the edge of the design wall (TTQH’s idea) to pull them as I sew the lattice and blocks together:

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It is certainly going to be a colorful quilt!

As I get it sewn together, I will probably move it from the “design wall” to the “design bed” so I can share better photos of it.

I have a lot of scraps leftover from the Tula Pink All Stars fabric fat quarters collection I made the quilt from. I organized the scraps in smaller bags into dots, stripes, solid and feature fabrics (the Tula Pink animal prints) and then into a large bag.

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Some I of the scraps might use for the binding but I have enough to make at least a small lap quilt!


Postscript

It has been very cold in Central Oregon. TTQH took Mike the miniature schnauzer coat shopping the other day and TTQH thought I should share with you all Mike in his new coat to close out this post:

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After TTQH and Mike returned home from coat shopping, I realized I could have made Mike a coat myself as it was a simple design. But then Mike would have likely had to wait until Winter was fully here by the time I got the coat made…

 

A Crafter's Life, Tula Time!, What's on the Design Wall

What’s On the Design Wall: Tula in a Box

First I’d like to apologize for any less than stellar photography. My design wall is in a narrow hallway in my home and I can only photograph it from an angle.

Now that you have that disclaimer and you have lowered your expectations on the quality of the photography on this post, I can continue my series of posts “What’s on the Design Wall”, featuring my latest project up on either one of the small design walls in my studio or the large design wall my hallway.

Up on my large design wall are thirty-six (36) 12.5 inch x 12.5 inch blocks for my quilt I am calling Tula in a Box

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I have Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) to thank for arranging the blocks on the design wall. I had looked at them so many times I did not know where to start in laying out the quilt blocks on the design wall!

There is a bit of story behind this quilt if you are new to my blog. You can check out my series of posts Tula Time! if you want to check out the back story.

The quilt did begin as an impulse purchase of Tula Pink Allstar fabric fat quarter packs (feature fabrics, stripes, solids, and dots) after seeing my friend Dana’s collection at a quilt retreat:

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I’ve now made quite a dent in that stack above while piecing the 36 blocks.

My  next step is to create the lattice and cornerstones from this pile (fat quarter collection of the stripes, and scraps from the feature fabric);

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I am going to “fussy cut” the scraps of the feature fabric (the 6 different animal prints in 3 different color ways) for the cornerstone between the lattice.

More to come as it progresses, for now I am just so happy to have finished the 36 blocks!


Postscript

My friend Dana who started my Tula Pink fabric obsession, has made great progress on her quilt which is made of pieced stars with the same collection of fat quarters from the Tula Pink All Stars line.

Here quilt got too big for the design wall so she has it laid out on a bed in her studio (every maker/crafter needs a bed in their studio in case they suddenly need a nap while creating, right?).

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She is working on figuring out what to do for a border around the blocks.

Our friend Judy who is also making a Tula Pink quilt, is still working on piecing her 36 blocks.

As I mentioned earlier, if you are new to this blog and would like to know the story behind our quilts, check out the series of posts – Tula Time! (this link contains all the posts tagged as related to Tula Pink fabrics, you will have to scroll through the posts to see the other posts).

 

Beastie Adventures, Quilt Retreats, Tula Time!

Guest Blogger: October Quilt Retreat Part II

This post is a continuation of the post Guest Blogger: October Quilt Retreat .

I have returned today as the Guest Blogger after I was interrupted by Halloween and then Tierney announcing the winners of the tierneycreates 5th anniversary giveaways in yesterday’s post.

Do I need to introduce myself again? This is tierneycreates Beastie. I am a monster, but the good kind of monster. You can learn all about me and catch up on my adventures in the series of posts Beastie Adventures.

Okay so now that the introduction is over, let’s return to how I was left to wander around the Quilt Retreat because Tierney would not let me help the other quilters cut their fabric, sigh.

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Not allowed to actually use the rotary cutter, only teased with it!

Wandering Around the Retreat (continued)

In the last post I shared the Penguin Party blocks that 3 of the quilters were working on. Here are some other works in progress and a completed jelly roll rug:

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There was also some major Tula Pink All Stars action that is a follow up to this post – Tula Pink “All Stars” Retreat (Part II), but Tierney want to milk stories from this retreat for as many blog posts as possible so that will be covered on another post (Beastie eye roll).


Quilt Retreat Food

There was all sort of interesting foods served at the retreat, a quilter could never go hungry! There was also a birthday celebration for some of the quilters and birthday cake:

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And what’s under this dome?

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Well it’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake! (No worries it was not served on the same evening as the birthday cake – ha!)

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Inside the Quilt Retreat Center Main House

The Sew N Go Retreat in Vancouver, Washington has a quilt retreat center where all the sewing happens; it also has the main house with the sleep accommodations, living and dining rooms and a classroom.  Here are some images from inside the main house which is decorated with…you guessed it – quilts!

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Tierney always brings the host, Nancy a handmade gift each time she attends the retreat and here are a couple of her gifts from previous years displayed – a miniature kimono and sets of coasters:

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Road Trip!

During the quilt retreat, we had to do a little road trip to a quilt shop! We went to the quilt shop Country Manor in Battleground WA.

I got to wander around the aisle of the quilt shop.

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I like yarn shops better as they can lead to more Beas

The best part though was the road trip to the quilt shop, I got to ride for a while in the front on one of the quilter’s shoulders!

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Road Trippin’!

Take a Hike!

You can’t just sit around and sew and eat. You have to get some exercise! Sew N Go is located in the country with lots of farms around and the quilters went for daily walks. Here are some photos from their walks:

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Abbey the Quilt Retreat Kitty

As with previous retreats, Tierney visited with Abbey the Quilt Retreat Kitty.

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Abbey was chewing on one of her “hot spots” on her tummy and did have to wear a “collar of comfort” for part of the quilt retreat:

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That did not slow her down from trying to get pets from Tierney (I could not pet her with my limited Beastie arm motion, plus she might have thought I was a toy!)


Inside the Classroom

The large garage of the Sew N Go Retreat main house was converted into a classroom a couple of years ago. It is an impressive garage conversion! Here are a couple project going on in the classroom.

Quilts of Honor

Nancy the owner of Sew N Go and her friends have a Quilts of Honor (like Quilts of Valor) where they make quilts for Veterans and then present them in a special ceremony. One of the quilters volunteering on this project makes incredible embroidered labels for each Veteran’s quilt that is customized with their name. Here is a section of one of those labels:

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Cool Carry All

Not sure what you would officially call this, but in the classroom were examples of an awesome carrier for quilting or other supplies that were recently made. Tierney bought the pattern to make one herself:

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Back Home

I was exhausted when we got back home, it was a long weekend for a Beastie! Tierney and I took the Central Oregon Breeze bus to Portland for the retreat and back home, and it is about a 4 hour bus ride (why does she live in the middle of nowhere?!?!).

But the best part of returning back home for me, was being reunited with my dog Mikelet who was so happy to see me!

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I can feel the love!

Postscript

There are more posts to come about the retreat, this time by Tierney, but she and I are going to take a little break from blogging after 31+ days straight (and you can get a break from reading these crazy musings!).

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Beastie Adventures, Quilt Retreats

Guest Blogger: October Quilt Retreat Part I

Wow we made it through 5 days of giveaways – seems like that would never end! Now finally I can tell you about my first quilt retreat.

Oh, hi there – this is tierneycreates Beastie, the guest blogger for this post. Tierney took me on my first quilting retreat last weekend and I have been patiently waiting for all those boring 5th Blog Anniversary Giveaway Posts to be done so I could tell you about my time at the retreat!

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Checking out one of the quilter’s featherweight machine

So if you remember from the post, Guest Blogger: tierneycreates 5th Anniversary Celebration Giveaway, I had to travel to the retreat in a baggie, or as Helen @crawcraftsbeasties.com calls it – my “Space Suit”:

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Me in my “Space Suit”

First a little background if you are new to this blog:

Yes, I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. You can read my story and see some of my adventures so far in the series of posts – Beastie Adventures. I was born in Dublin, Ireland and moved (well was shipped) to Central Oregon to join Tierney of tierneycreates in June 2018.

Since today is Halloween in the U.S., how appropriate for a “monster” to be a guest blogger, right?


A Beastie At A Quilt Retreat

This October Quilt Retreat is at the same place in Vancouver, Washington, as the annual May Retreat that Tierney attends. If you’d like to see her posts about previous retreats, check out her blog post category – Quilt Retreats.

As soon as I arrived at the quilt retreat, Tierney’s quilting friends encouraged me to get into some mischief – they handed me a rotary cutter:

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Is this really the best idea?

I was already ready to cut something, but Tierney ran over to see what was going on and told me to wait right there and not to proceed with helping one of the quilters cut their fabric:

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I can cut your fabric for you!

Then she convinced the nice quilter who gave me the rotary cutter not to let me cut anything, sigh. She did let me hang out with another rotary cutter for a while (she quilter took back her rotary cutter to use) and watch the other quilters work on cutting their fabric.

She said it was better for me to just observe for now (I think Tierney has some type of trust and control issues…)

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Only a wallflower cutter, never invited to the rotary cutter dance, sigh

I got bored and started wandering around to see what the other quilters had been working on (NOTE: The quilt retreat started on Wednesday but since Tierney had to work we did not arrive to the retreat until Thursday).


Wandering Around the Retreat

Here are some of the cool projects the quilters were working on.

Elizabeth Hartman’s Penguin Party

Several quilters were working on their own version of the Elizabeth Hartman pattern – Penguin Party. They were all using flannels to make their quilts so the quilts were not only going to be cute but also cozy!

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To be continued…

Oh – I just realized it is Halloween evening, and I have to go get ready to hand out candy to the tricker treaters! I hope I do not scare them, being a monster and everything (should I really scare the kids by meeting them at the door with my rotary cutter?!?!).

I will continue this post later this week as I have much more to share, and Tierney wants to do a post of her own about the retreat at some point (we are really going to milk it – maybe we’ll stretch it out to like 10 – 20 posts about the retreat..just teasing!).

Tomorrow’s post announces the winners of the 5 days of giveaways for the tierneycreates blog 5th anniversary!


Postscript

Thanks to everyone who has entered the drawings by commenting on the 5 posts:

If you have not entered – reminder you have until 11:59 tonight (10/31/18) Pacific Standard Time to enter per the instructions on each post.

Here is the post that started it all before the 5 days of giveaways were announced (and it was by me the awesome Guest Blogger!):

Guest Blogger: tierneycreates 5th Anniversary Celebration Giveaway

Tula Time!, What's on the Design Wall

Tula Time!

This post is a follow up to my posts from the end of September – Tula Pink “All Stars” Retreat (Part I) and Tula Pink “All Stars” Retreat (Part II).

I have the makings of an art quilt simmering on the large design wall in the hallway (see yesterday’s post What’s Simmering on the Design Wall), so on one of the smaller design walls I have in my studio, I’ve put up the blocks I made during the Tula Pink All Stars fabric retreat I had with my quilting friends a couple weeks ago:
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Yesterday I pulled out my “box of Tula” with fat quarters and scraps from the retreat:

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Now that I have the fourteen 12.5 inch x 12.5 inch blocks up on the design wall, I’ve decided I am going to create 36 blocks for a 6 blocks x 6 blocks quilt. My plan is to make 12 blocks of each of the 3 types of blocks I’ve made so far as shown below (all with “fussy cut” centers).

1) Square within a square within a square within a square with:

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2) Square within a square within a square with a larger square in the middle:

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3) Little boxes: 4 squares within a square block:

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The Tula Pink All Stars collection has six creatures in the feature fabric collection:

  • Racoon
  • Squirrel
  • Owl
  • Bee
  • Frog
  • Fancy Bird

Coordinating with the feature fabrics are coordinating stripes, dots and solids.

Here is my original stack of fat quarters before I started making the blocks:

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I plan to set the blocks using the various blocks as sashing with some type of cornerstones like the example below:

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Image credit: The Martingale Blog

Now that I have a plan on where I am going with the blocks, I am going to start cutting out blocks in preparation for a quilt retreat I am attending the latter part of next week.

If the quilt top works out, I might try my hand at writing a pattern for the quilt and offer it to my readers as a free download of something like that. It is going to be a very colorful quilt!

 

What's on the Design Wall

What is OFF the Design Wall: Tango Stripe is Done (yay!)

Yay! Tango Stripe (pattern by Jean Wells), is finally done!

It took a while to match all the seams of the rows in the diagonal/”on-point” setting:

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But finally – it was done!

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Okay it is not actually done as it still needs to be quilted. I will be giving it to my Washington state based quilting sisters I see at the end of the month to take to a long-arm quilter I met many years ago when I lived in Seattle – Krista Moser.

A couple of years ago I attended a quilt retreat with her and was reinforced on what a lovely and talented person she is (Little Miss Muffet, Made Her Own Tuffet). My quilting sisters Judy and Dana have used her services for years and she has done beautiful work on their quilts.

It is fun to see Krista who started as a teenager on a long-arm, move from making purses and long-arm quilting in her small garage to try and make a living, to building a quilting empire (her patterns are now sold in quilt shops are around the country as are her custom rulers)!  She is like “local girl makes good”!

I had alway been hesitant about using out of town long-arm quilters, but I had a wonderful experience sending a couple quilts to my talented blogging buddy, Cindy (inastitchquilting.com) – see these posts: A Happy Ending for “Happy Ending” and Pajama Sale and Finished Pieces.

I’ve already put together the backing for the quilt and have it all packaged up to give my friends to take to Krista. I feel so free that this quilt (which was an old “UFO”) is done!

By the way, it was the imaginary pressure of you all expecting me to finish up the quilt soon since I kept sharing posts about its progress, that really pushed me to finish it. Living in a fantasy world can be really useful at times – ha!

I’ve already started working/planning/playing with my next UFO to work on but that will be a future post. But here is a preview/tease – it involves pieces from these two posts: Art Quilter Play Date and Quilt Retreat Inspiration and Projects.

I will leave you guessing for now…

A Crafter's Life

Impromptu Quilt Gifting

I am on Day 12 of daily posts as part of the challenge I set for myself for the month of October in celebration of my blog’s 5th anniversary to post everyday for the 31 days of October.

If you count the post I made on Sept. 30th then I am actually at 13 days straight of daily posts!

So far I haven’t had to pull from my 5 years of post archives as I thought I might have to by now. Today I originally planned a semi-follow-up to yesterday’s post Shinrin-Yoku: The Japanese Art and Science of Forest Bathing, but then something cool happened yesterday afternoon that I wanted to share: Impromptu Quilt Gifting.

When the Moment Feels Right…

6 or so years ago I made this quilt from scraps and leftover blocks from flannel quilts I made during my early years of quilting:

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2 years ago I took it out of “quilt rotation” at my house and put it away in the closet. You see after 18 years of quilting I have a lot of quilts in rotation at my house!

Earlier this year I took the quilt out of the closet to decide what to do with it – I did not want it to just live in the closet – it is a nice cozy quilt that someone could enjoy. It was not the style of any of my family members or close friends. So I put it back in the closet.

Well yesterday this quilt discovered its new forever home at the spur of the moment.

I am a full-time telecommuter for my pay-the-bills-job. Yesterday afternoon I had a virtual meeting with a new colleague (the unit I work on recently transferred into her department). She mentioned during our meeting that she heard I was a quilter and wondered if I she could commission me to make a quilt for her daughter.

Her 12 year old daughter has a complex illness and is continually in and out of the hospital or extensive ongoing outpatient visits and treatment. While in the hospital or in outpatient treatment rooms, she is cold and the blankets they provide never really keep her warm plus they are impersonal communal blankets.

What she wanted for her daughter is her own quilt to take with her to keep her warm and cozy while she endures extensive ongoing medical treatments and evaluations.

I wanted to help but I do not have the bandwidth or interest at this point to do a commission quilt and offered to refer her to one of my quilting friends who might be interested. Then I remembered that I had a quilt currently available. So I asked her did she need a custom quilt and she replied no – she just wanted a cozy quilt for daughter.

I texted her a photo of the quilt and offered it as a gift for her daughter to keep her cozy during her treatments. My colleague immediately said yes and was overwhelmed with my impromptu offer. The amazing thing was that the quilt is in her daughter’s favorite colors!

I sewed a special label on the back of the quilt with her daughter’s name to reinforce that this was her very own quilt and it is packaged up for shipping out today:

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The cool thing about this quilt is I think it has a lot of “love energy” contained in it because it is made from scraps and leftover blocks from quilts made for people I love in my life.

I hope that positive energy is felt by my colleague’s daughter as she is wrapped up in the quilt.

This make me think of the Artist Statement I wrote for my art quilt, The Recycled Love (see post The Recycled Love) that summarizes how I generally feel about quilts:

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

The moment felt right yesterday afternoon for some impromptu quilt gifting.

What's on the Design Wall

What’s on the Design Wall: Update on Tango Stripe

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

After fun with Tula Pink fabric during a recent quilt retreat (see recent posts), I’ve returned to working on the Tango Stripe (by Jean Wells) quilt with Kaffe Fassett stripes and coordinating solids that I discussed in my 09/13/18 post What’s on the Design Wall: Tango Stripe.

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As I shared in that post, here is an example of what Tango Stripe will look liked completed (except mine is set in denim):

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Kristin C.’s Tango Stripe

I’ve completed all the small blocks (they were simple piecing) and now I am grouping some of them together in groups of 4 to create larger blocks per the pattern design:

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Working on the larger blocks is going much slower as I am having to sew Y-seams (ick) but I’ve started to master them (if you are not a a quilter and are curious as to what Y-seams are, here is a link – Y-Seams – to read about something you will quickly discover you do not want to read about!!!).

My guess is if you are bad in life and go to the “Underworld” when you pass, you are forced to do Y-seams for eternity (either that or complex paper piecing…) for your punishment – so for goodness sake – live a good life!

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A pile of larger blocks and their Y-seam party

I did finish cutting out all the large blocks and they are just lined up waiting to be Y-seamed:

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At first I was doing one large block at a time and pressing it, hoping all the seams would lay flat and that I did not screw up my 1/4 inch calculations on the Y-seam. After a while I started to relax and I can do 3 – 4 before running over the the iron to see if they will press out okay!

But the piece is moving along and I’ve already cut out all the setting triangles which are made from a quilting weight recycled denim I found at a thrift shop (the liner of a high quality denim duvet).

Once I get the large blocks finished, I can start to lay the entire quilt out on my large design wall in the hallway.


Postscript

If you’ve followed my blog for a while then you know about my obsession with fabric scraps (a near pathological level of obsession).

Well cutting/piecing this quilt has lead to a nice little bag so far of Kaffe Fassett stripes scraps that will be a fun future project to play with:

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This could become a future “challenge bag” (see post Basket of Challenges)!

Quilt Retreats, Tula Time!, What's on the Design Wall

Tula Pink “All Stars” Retreat (Part II)

Are you ready for more Tula? Here is the continuation of yesterday’s post Tula Pink “All Stars” Retreat (Part I).

So where did we leave off? Ah, yes – a couple crazy quilting friends decided to create their own quilt retreat in a rented vacation townhome to focus on making Tula Pink All Star collection sampler quilts together.

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One of my quilting sisters fondling her Tula Pink All Stars collection

But before we get to the endless images of quilt blocks we made (warning: it might get mind-numbing for non-quilters reading this post), let me share some of the non-sewing adventures we had during the retreat.


Non-Sewing Adventures

We did not just lock ourselves in a rented townhome for four days of non-stop quilting, we did do non-sewing activities…though some of these activities did involve fabric.

I took Judy and Dana on a mini Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop over two days. This was exceptionally fun because Dana had never been to Central Oregon before, much less our quilt shops. I took them to the following quilt shops:

At Sew Many Quilts we discovered a very cool antique sewing machine on display:

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At QuiltWorks we had a wonderful time visiting with the owner Marilyn Forestell who I’ve known for a long time. We also congratulated her on her shop being featured in the Spring – Summer 2018 issue of Quilt Sampler:

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If you’d like to watch a video interview with the owner and more about one of my favorite Central Oregon quilt shops, here is the link on allpeoplequilt.com – www.allpeoplequilt.com/magazines-more/quilt-sampler/quiltworks. This behind the scenes video has a nice walk through of the shop.

We had a blast at BJ’s Quilt Basket, the third quilt shop we visited. They have a delightful and very friendly staff. While at BJ’s, OH NO – we discovered a new Tula Pink fabric line was just released: Zuma.

Judy and Dana could not leave BJ’s without the fat quarter collection (I was good as I currently have more Tula than I can handle right now!):

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As if some of us did not already have enough Tula…

The next day we headed to Sisters, Oregon to go to the Stitchin’ Post. 

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I never tire of wandering around the Stitchin’ Post

While at the Stitchin’ Post, my quilting sister Dana and I did a “Hand-piecing Intervention“.

I overhead a woman tell her friend that she had recently retired and wanted to take up quilting but did not want to do machine quilting. Instead she was interested in hand quilting, but did not know how to get started on learning how to piece quilts by hand.

Her conversation was none of my business but I could not help myself, I had to be helpful. I introduced myself and told her all about English Paper Piecing (see my series of  posts – Adventures in Paper Piecing). I grabbed Dana who was nearby wandering about and had her join me in sharing the joy of English Paper Piecing (EPP) as an option to create a quilt by hand.

We even brought over the store sample of a EPP hexagon pieced pillow to show her an example of the cool stuff she could make:

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Luring innocent victims into EPP

After our intervention, the woman gleefully left the shop with a package of EPP hexie templates in hand. She plans to begin by practicing with fabric scraps (and hopefully she was going to follow our suggestion to check out YouTube videos on EPP).

Dana and I felt pretty darn proud of ourselves (either we helped someone on their road to a fun retirement hobby, or we got her to totally waste her money, ha!)

In addition to our miniature Central Oregon quilt shop hop, we also dined at some wonderful restaurant in Sunriver, Oregon.

After shop hopping and dining adventures, it was time to buckle down and piece our samplers!


Blocks, Blocks, Blocks

We pieced a lot of blocks during our four day retreat from our Tula Pink All Stars fat quarter packs!

I’ve never fussy cut (selecting a specific section/motif in printed fabric) for a quilt block in my life, but inspired by Dana, I fussy cut the feature fabric for all my blocks.

BLOCKS BY DANA

Dana, who already pieced 10+ blocks so far since our annual Quilting Sister May Quilt Retreat (see posts Please Vote On The Color! and The Votes Are In!). She focused on piecing star blocks in honor of the name of the name of the fabric collection – All Stars (the title of the collection is based on the prints in the line are updated reproductions of some of Tula Pink’s most popular retired fabrics). Here are some samples of her blocks:

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BLOCKS BY JUDY

My quilting sister Judy was very adventurous and did not follow any set type of block pattern. She had fun using an old quilt block sampler book and randomly selecting blocks to piece with her fabric. Below are some examples of her blocks:

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BLOCKS BY ME

Now I did not want to do a quilt with a white background. Instead I wanted to only use the fabrics in the Tula Pink All Star collection. I decided to create a sampler called “Tula in a Box” and use two different block patterns that feature boxes or boxes inside of boxes.

Here are the first 12 blocks I completed using a “Box inside a box” block pattern:

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Tentatively I am planning to set the blocks using the Tula Pink All Stars stripes fat quarters.

By the end of the retreat I completed 14 blocks including these two blocks in a different block pattern called Little Boxes:

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The upper right and left hand corners have the “Little Boxes” blocks

I will feature more on my “Tula in a Box” quilt blocks in a future post after I complete additional blocks.

Again, here is the “design sofa” I mentioned in the first post, with all our blocks:

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FUN WITH COMBINATIONS

A very fun part of making our blocks was deciding the color/fabric combinations:

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Here is another one of Judy’s cool blocks that came out of fun with putting together fabrics:

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We spent of a lot of time consulting with each other on combinations.

Okay, so dear readers, are you sick of looking at blocks and Tula Pink All Star collection fabric now? No worries, we are nearly at the end of this post series.


Special Guest

On the third day of the retreat we had a special guest stop by – my friend Marie Bostwick – New York Times bestselling author.

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Marie Bostwick next to a Pile-o-Tula

Marie’s book The Second Sister is an upcoming Hallmark Hall of Fame Christmas Movie:  Christmas Everlasting that airs on the Hallmark Channel on November 24th and stars Patti LaBelle.

Here is more information on Marie’s blog Fierce Beyond 50: The Best News Ever.

If you get the Hallmark Channel be sure to watch the movie based on the awesome book!

After the quilt retreat my friend Laurie (who owns the vacation rental) stated that Marie Bostwick was the first famous person to ever visit her vacation townhome rental. I teased that I should have had Marie autograph one of the walls – ha!


Postscript

As if we were not already having an immersive Tula Pink experience, one afternoon we watched on YouTube Episode 1 of the series Tula’s House:

This episode provided some insight into the brilliant and creative mind of Tula Pink and you get a tour inside her awesome studio and sections of her home.

 

Quilt Retreats, Tula Time!, What's on the Design Wall

Tula Pink “All Stars” Retreat (Part I)

If you are a maker, you’ve likely heard of a “Design Wall”, but have you ever heard of a “Design Sofa“?

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This is what happens when a couple quilters get together for a quilt retreat weekend at a rented vacation townhome that was not designed for quilt retreats: you improvise

But let me back up and explain what the title of this post means and how a Tula Pink All Stars Quilt Retreat happened.


It’s All Dana’s Fault

I’ve seen Tula Pink fabrics in the past and I’ve appreciated the designer’s creativity, use of color and quirky sense of humor. However, except for a couple fabric scraps given to me by other quilters, I’ve never had an interest in purchasing any of her fabric.

Until our May 2018 annual Quilting Sisters retreat and one of my quilting sisters, Dana, brought collections of Tula Pink All Stars fat quarters (coordinated collections of 18″ x 22″ cuts of fabric) to the retreat and began piecing a sampler quilt:

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I had a couple posts about the fabric and her blocks during the retreat, including one in which Dana and I asked my readers to vote on which color combination to use when we were stuck:

Please Vote On The Color!

The Votes Are In!

When I returned home from retreat I could not get out of my mind the utterly delicious Tula Pink All Star fat quarter collections of main prints, dots, stripes and solids.

The next thing I knew (and I think it was a fabric-induced-out-of-my-mind-experience) I was ordering 4 sets of fat quarters from the DawnNeedhamQuilts Etsy shop that Dana recommended:

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Honestly, I am not sure what happened, it was if I could not control myself. I’ve never bought 4 fat quarter sets of fabric at once, and I’ve never purchased Tula Pink fabric before!

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Still cannot believe I bought all this at once!

I was not alone, Dana had infected another quilt sister with the Tula Pink All Stars bug, Judy (my original “Quilt Sister” who got me into quilting!) and before she knew it, she had also purchased all 4 sets of fat quarters in the Tula Pink All Stars collection!


So What Do We Do With All This Tula?

Dana has never visited Central Oregon and Judy came up with the idea of a road trip to Central Oregon to visit me. A group of quilters….coming together for a weekend…

Hmm…sounds like an excuse for a quilt retreat!

I have a small house which would not comfortably accommodate a quilt retreat, so I came up with the idea of renting my friend Laurie’s vacation townhouse in Sunriver, Oregon.

Dana, Judy or I (do not remember who) came up with the idea that since now we all had these Tula Pink All Star fat quarter sets why don’t we all work on piecing Tula Pink All Star sampler quilts?

Armed with my Stack-o-Tula I headed to the retreat!

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Vacation Rental Townhome into Quilt Retreat

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) helped bring all the stuff over to the rental townhome to transform it to a quilt retreat including a folding table, iron board, etc.

With a little temporary furniture rearrangement, we had our quilt retreat center:

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We even turned part of the kitchen into an ergonomic cutting table area and ironing station:

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Luckily we still had some left over kitchen counter for preparing meals!

In the next post, I will show you details of what we made (more on the blocks on the “design sofa”), non-sewing adventures we had during the retreat, and the special guest that stopped by our retreat.

Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

Sisters Outdoor Show Part III: The Show

Do you attend quilt, craft or art shows? While attending these show do to you take WAY too many photos…of like EVERYTHING that catches you eye?

Once again this was my situation when I attended the 2018 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (SOQS), as it is ever year that I attend.

This year I’ve decided instead doing a series of posts on photos from the show, I am going to share my favorites from the show in ONE POST. This post is about quilts that captured my eye or captured my heart.

If you would like a more extensive virtual tour of the 2018 SOQS, there are three (3) Central Oregon bloggers that have extensive photos, stories from SOQS and even videos of SOQS – check out their sites:

They have excellent high quality photos and/or video on their sites above and I recommend you visit their sites for a deeper feel for the 2018 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.

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Main Street (Cascade Ave) closed to traffic and open to SOQS attendees

Now onto my favorites from the 2018 SOQS show…

Blogging Buddy at Quilt Show

It is so awesome to see in person a quilt made by a quilter whose blogs I follow. In 2016, I got to see a modern quilt by Claire of knitnkwilt.wordpress.com at the SOQS (see the 07/17/16 post Return to Sisters). This year I got to see in person an amazing quilt by Becca of Pretty Piney:

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The quilt is titled: “I Didn’t Want to Make This Quilt” and above I share an image of the tag on the quilt from the show so you can appreciate the story behind it!

If you stand back a slight distance from the quilt, the illusion of movement and depth was very impressive. Plus there was a slight breeze gently moving the quilt so the rippling effect was more pronounced. It was fun to stand near it while I took photos and listen to all the great comments by onlookers. I told them that I knew the quilter and several onlookers said to tell the quilter: “She did an awesome job!”.

Ode to Beloved Retrievers

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This quilt absolutely captured my heart and the woman who made it was standing nearby talking to her friend about her quilt so I got to chat with her about her inspiration.

She had many retrievers throughout her life – yellow, black and brown labs and golden retrievers. She honored all her retrievers with this quilt filled with images of her beloved dogs. She pointed to some specific retrievers in the quilt and told some stories.

It was very touching and I wanted to hear more of her stories but I needed to move on as I was showing my Sister-in-Laws visiting from NY around SOQS.

The Quilts I am Really Going to Make Someday

At the show were several quilts that I either have the patterns for, have already started the blocks or just really want to make someday. Below are images of some of those quilts:

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The first image is a Farm Girl Vintage Quilt and you can check out my series of post Farm Girl Vintage Blocks to see the blocks I have completed so far.

Perhaps seeing images of these completed quilts will inspire me to finish making them someday…perhaps…

Quilts with Words

I love quilts with words/messages and the SOQS had many on display. The ones below were my favorites:

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Teachers’ Tent

Each year at the SOQS internationally renown quilt teachers teach classes at the show. It is rare you get a opportunity to take classes from Master quilt makers during the Quilters’ Affair the week before the show all in one place.

Instructors and presenters at the 2018 SOQS Quilters’ Affair included:

  • Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company
  • Rob Appell of Man Sewing
  • Violet Craft (queen of modern paper piecing)
  • Kathy Doughty from Australia of Material Obsession
  • Sue Spargo (queen of appliqué)
  • Resident nationally known instructors such as Jean Wells Keenan and Valori Wells (owners of the Stichin’ Post); and Anna Bates of Quilt Roadies
  • Joe Cunningham
  • Rosalie Dace from South Africa (amazing art quilter!)

As well as many more big names in quilting. In previous years Tula Pink has taught classes at the show (I tried to take one last year but did not register in time) as has Angela Walters. If there is a big name in quilting, then likely they’ve been an instructor at SOQS!

Living in Central Oregon, I do have the opportunity during the year to take classes from the big names in quilting during the year when they visit the area. Someday I am going to take advantage of this! The classes are not cheap but I think they would be worth it!

The visiting instructors show their work in the Teachers Tent at SOQS. Here are images of a couple of my favorite pieces on display in the Teachers Tent:

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Violet Craft
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Rosalie Dace
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Rob Appell
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Sue Spargo
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Anna Bates

The Threads that Bind

The Central Oregon SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group has an annual exhibit at SOQS. In several previous post I’ve discussed the evolution of my piece Recycled Love which is part of this exhibit.

Here is is at the Threads that Bind Special Exhibit at SOQS:

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Please check out Kristin Shields’ post Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show Part 7 for high quality images of the entire exhibit (Kristin is an excellent photographer in addition to being a very talented art and modern quilters).

Vincent Van Gough Quilt Exhibit

Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics has an annual Challenge and Exhibit. This year it was Vincent Van Gough Themed small quilts. The exhibit was mind blowing and below are a couple images of my favorite pieces:

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For more photos (and much better photos), see Kristin Shields’ post Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show Part 6.

The Stitchin’ Post

No Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show visit is complete without a stop at the shop that started it all the Stitchin’ Post.

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I get to visit the shop all year long since I live in Central Oregon, but it is fun to peek inside during the craziness that is the Stitchin’ Post on SOQS Day!

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You can barely move in the shop and they convert the classroom in back into an awesome shopping area. Here is an example of some of the treasures to be found:

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Finally, let me close this post with an image of a quote, rather than a written quote. It was on the billboard of the local flower nursery in Sisters, Oregon:

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Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2018, Part II: Visiting Crafters

Hello! Are you as warm as I am? We’ve been blessed with 95+ temperatures in Central Oregon. I am writing this on my porch (which is shaded) as our two little evaporative coolers are not keeping the house as cool as I would like it to be (someday we dream of installing central air conditioning…)

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Photo credit: “The Sun” by William Picard, free images.com

It’s dropped down to 92 degrees so it is now cool enough (ha!) for me to work on a blog post. I am continuing my series of posts about the 2018 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (SOQS), that began with this post: Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2018, Part I.

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH)’s sisters from New York, Sue and Diane, came to town for the show and to visit us for a week. We took them on a Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop (they are both quilters/crafters) on Thursday and Friday before the SOQS on Saturday.

As a result of all that quilt shop-hopping, new projects were purchased by my sister-in-laws and we’ve had many enjoyable evening sitting around my living room, backyard (when it cools down in the evening), or my dining room table crafting together:

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They’ve been working on two different wool appliqué candle mat patterns by Bareroots Little Stitches. One is a cat themed candle mat and the other is this dog themed mat pattern called #195 Puppy Love.

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Here is one sister-in-law’s progress on the kitty themed wool appliqué mat:

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As you can see there are many little pieces. Luckily I had freezer paper, appliqué glue stick and of course basic sewing supplies on hand.

Here is the progress my other sister-in-law is making on her dog themed wool appliqué candle mat:

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The mats are super adorable! One of my sister-in-laws taught me how to make french knots which I’ve never made before.

Oh you wonder – what I am working on during our crafting sessions? I am working on a wool appliqué miniature pillow that I started in March during a class with Kathy Cardiff (see post Trends Show Part II: More Classes).

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I will share on Instagram (@tierneycreates) the completed images of our pieces.

Next post, I will share images from the 2018 Sisters Outdoor Show (once I weed through the zillion of photos I took!) If you cannot wait until my next post, here are two Central Oregon quilting bloggers that are already sharing awesome photos and stories:

Kristen Shields (kristeinshieldart.com):

SISTERS OUTDOOR QUILT SHOW 2018 :: PART 1

Anna Bates (wooliemammoth.blogspot.com & Quilt Roadies YouTube Channel):

Surround yourself with people you can always learn something from. Always work with people that are better at their craft than you are. – Tony Vincent

Creative Inspiration, Special Events

QuiltWorks Gallery July 2018, Part I

Are you inspired by the work of other artists like I am?

Last Friday was filled with inspiration as I attended the QuiltWorks Gallery opening of two shows: Tree Quilts and Featured Quilter Betty Gientke.

Here is a view of the downstairs QuiltWorks quilt shop from upstairs in the gallery:

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This post I will share some of images from the Tree Quilt Show, held on one side of the upstairs QuiltWorks gallery, that my piece Tree of No Hurry was in (see my post “Tree of No Hurry” at QuiltWorks Gallery).

Next post I will share images of mind-blowing art quilts (including orange and turquoise together in inspirational and spectacular combinations) of Betty Gientke, who also belongs to my local SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group.

Note – the July QuiltWorks show was crowded and I did my best to take photos quickly between groups viewing the quilts – so apologies on the less than stellar photos…

Tree Quilt Show

Central Oregon Winter by Joan Fox

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Her Majesty by Bonnie Tomsheck

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Pretty amazing or should I say “majestic”, huh?

Leaves All Around by Mary Stiewig

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Hope by Martha Phair Sanders

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Okay this one took my breath away (the piece itself and the Artist Statement) but then I know Martha from the SAQA group I belong to – and she is incredibly talented.

There were also these two wonderful pieces in the show that I forgot to photograph their Artist Statements, so I have no talented artists to credit:

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I like the modern quilt interpretation of trees set in a bold red-orange background!

And then there was my piece, with it’s simple message to slow down as all will be accomplished:

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Yes my piece was not as “artsy” as the other pieces in the show but the message in it makes me smile!

As I mentioned in the post “Tree of No Hurry” at QuiltWorks Gallery, QuiltWorks hosts monthly fiber art shows in their upstairs gallery. The shows open the first Friday evening of the month and includes appetizers and drinks for opening attendees. There is also drawings for fat quarters and other treats. The shop/gallery owner, Marilyn Forestell, always makes opening night fun and is usually showcasing one of her eclectic outfits!

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Marilyn Forestell, QuiltWorks owner, modeling the cool vintage skirt she wore at the opening

As a bonus, Marilyn’s dog Piper can usually be found wandering around the shop:

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One of the things I love about the QuiltWorks shop (besides Marilyn and her dog) is the inspirational words in the windows about the shop (one of them is the feature image for this post).

Here are the word posted in the windows around the shop:

  • Create
  • Inspire
  • Dream

I think those are very good words!

Next post: Serious art quilt masterpieces by Betty Gientke at the QuiltWorks Gallery July 2018 show (the other side of the gallery from the Trees Quilts Show).


Postscript

Speaking of trees, here is a follow up to the 07/07/18 post Creative Inspiration: Bark, with a couple more B&W photos of tree bark that I took yesterday while wandering around a local park:

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Okay I think I have collected enough inspiration for the piece I am working on. Enough with the tree bark for now (smile).

Studio

Updated tierneycreates Studio Tour

I’ve updated the studio tour on my page tierneycreates Studio Tour.

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When you first walk into my studio

My tiny studio is nothing to “write home about” but I share photos to encourage other crafters who have not yet created their own little crafting space in their abode to do so.

I’ve proven you can cram a lot into a tiny bedroom (and someday I will install decent lighting into it)!

My studio makes me smile even if is it missing the sense of crisp, coordinated, moderns, elegant, organized, etc. style that I’ve seen in other quilters/crafters/artists’ studio (you’ll never see it featured in magazines such as Where Women Create).

It is a little sanctuary where I have hung on the wall quilts by my Quilting Sisters Kathy R. and Judy D. reminding me of the beauty of life-long true friendships. It is where I enjoy my collection of little toy schnauzers and rabbits, my collection of fabric treats and delights, and a closet full of projects to be made!

From the book Your Creative Work Space: The Sweet Spot Style Guide to Home Office + Studio Decor by Desha Peacock:

A mother bird doesn’t complain that she doesn’t have time or space to create her nest, she just makes do with the resources available to her at the time…Her job is not finished when the nest is built. She still needs to protect it until her babies are strong enough to go out on their own…think of what would happen if the momma bird neglected to actually build the nest because she couldn’t find the perfect materials. Don’t let your creativity suffer or, worse, die because you can’t find the perfect lamp…don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Use the resources you have around you and allow them to blossom with age and use. 

Once you create your space, do not abandon it. Protect it fiercely with that momma bird love…  – Desha Peacock, Your Creative Work Space  (2017)

I hope you all make a nest for the precious baby birds of your creations!

tierneycreates

tierneycreates has a new look

Every so often I enjoying changing out my WordPress blog template and trying something new.

Previously I had two blogs I managed: 1) my personal blog, tierneycreates; and 2) a collaborative blog, Improvisational Textiles where I kept my art quilt portfolio.

Improvisational Textiles is now inactive and I’ve transitioned my art quilting portfolio over to my tierneycreates blog.

I also added a “landing page”/Welcome Page (“Home“) when you first arrive at tierneycreates.com to make it more like a “artists website” and not only a blog.

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I added a new menu “Tierney Creates” which contains the pages for my Artist Statement, my art quilt portfolio (Art Quilt Stories), and a listing of Exhibits/Shows I’ve participated in.

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This is all part of my pretending that I am an art quilter!

I still need to move some of the blog posts that relate to my art quilts over to my tierneycreates blog; and I want to update my “Tierneycreates Studio Tour” page (located in the “About Me” menu) with current photos.

I am self taught on WordPress (thank you WordPress for awesome reference materials and for people publishing YouTube videos with WordPress tips and tricks) and I will keep tweaking my tierneycreates site as I keep learning new tips and tricks!