Happy Monday, can you believe it is day 22 of daily blogging in October as part of my 5th blog anniversary celebration? Thanks so much to those of you who have been finding time each day to read my ramblings! Later this week I will do a post about my 5 years of blogging and then introduce the five giveaways to celebrate the tierneycreates blog anniversary!
This post I want to share an amazing $3 thrift shop find – a collection of beautiful high-end silk and premium fabric drapery samples.
The Giant Bag of “Upholstery Fabric”
Saturday I dropped off some donations at our local Humane Society Thrift Store. As long as I was there, I thought I would peek in and see what they had in the craft section. I found a large bag marked upholstery fabric for $3. I do not need more upholstery fabric in my life but I noticed some very nice looking pieces peeking through the pile of upholstery fabric.
Here is the bag when I got it home:
Unpacking it, I first discovered some very cool textured upholstery weight fabric:
Then to my surprise, under this fabric, was a collection of 4 large drapery swatches:
I was blown away with the beauty of the fabrics and removed the heavy duty staples and cardboard legend of the samples from the top of the swatch books.
The photos do not do the fabric swatches justice but here are photos of the fabric swatches after the individual samples were separated:
Here are some close ups of some of my favorites (though it was difficult to choose favorites):
Here is the whole stack:
Yes, are you thinking what I am thinking? Some of these fabrics will work in the piece I have simmering on my large design wall in the hallway (see post What’s Simmering on the Design Wall):
I need to focus on preparing for the quilt retreat I am attending later this week, so I am not going to play with the new fabrics and the design wall right now but it is something fun to look forward to add more to the “simmering”!
Did Not Keep It All
I did not keep all the fabric – a third of the larger pieces were not my style, so I put them back into the bag and I am going to donate them back to the thrift shop to sell again!
I think I got my money’s worth for $3!
I’ve posted about thrift shop finds over the past 5 years and I’ve created a new blog category in case you like to check those posts out – Thrift Shop Adventures.
If you would like to see what beautiful and amazing textile art can be made from upholstery/home decor fabric swatches and samples, check out the art of Dianne Browning, a member of the SAQA art quilting group I belong – Art Quilts by Dianne Browning (bendartquilts.com).
Check out her website and here is one of her amazing pieces made with home decor fabric swatches – Crossroads:
I finished the piece made from recycled textiles (clothing, home decor, manufacturing samples, hand-dyed silk samples, etc.) for our local art group’s annual show with the theme “The Threads that Bind” – The Recycled Love. The 03/29/18 post provides details of the 8 types of recycled fibers that are contained in the piece and my musing on writing the Artist Statement for this piece.
Here is my finalized Artist Statement for the piece:
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
I think this piece is a better option than those materials ending up in a landfill.
This post is actually part of my ongoing series of posts, What’son the Design Wall, in which I share my latest project in progress.
Since I’ve been primarily focused on hand quilting this piece, I will call this “What’s on My Lap” instead.
In addition to sharing my latest art quilting project, I want to continue the discussion on writing Artist Statements that I began in the 8/25/16 post, ArtistStatementsand continued in the 04/17/17 post Artist Statements, Part II.
What’s On My Lap
Our local art quilting group, Central Oregon SAQA, has an annual themed art quilting exhibit (with a measurement requirement of 18″ x 40″) at the Sisters Outdoor QuiltShow, as well at several venues in Central Oregon.
This year’s theme is “The Threads That Bind“.
In response to that theme, and keeping with my series of art quilts made from recycled jeans (and other materials) I have a piece in progress called Recycled Love.
Keep in mind this piece is in progress and I have not yet evenly trimmed the sides (why it looks “wonky”), finished the hand quilting, or added the facing (or binding), etc. (I trimmed off the excess batting as I had finished hand quilting all edges/borders and wanted it to look semi-neat for the photo.)
I am still trying to decide if I will do a “facing” finish like I did for my piece The Recycled Road (the Central Oregon SAQA annual theme was “Pathways”) or bind it like I did for my piece Recycled Door (the Central Oregon SAQA annual theme was “Doors”). You can view these two pieces I reference at this link – tierneycreates.com/2017/04/11/the-recycled-road/)
But first I need to complete hand stitching the rest of the heart and the “folded quilts” in the piece.
Here are additional photos from the photo shoot I did in my backyard this afternoon:
In addition to recycled denim jeans, this piece is made from a whole lot of recycled textiles including:
Recycled upholstery fabric samples
Recycled couture silks
Various bits of recycled clothing
Recycled sample book of hand dyed silk strips
Recycled blocks (made with recycled clothing) from my piece Recycled Windows)
Recycled section from another art quilt (Color Story VII: Ohio Shifted) that I had trimmed while making the original piece
Like I mentioned above – a whole lot of recycled textiles went into this piece!
As an example, in the photos below are the bag of hand-dyed silk samples a friend gave me; and me piecing them together on muslin to create the first “folded quilt” at the top of the stack:
The “heart” in the piece (representing “love” in the statement: “Quilts are Love”) is made from the scraps of the “folded quilts” I pieced for this quilt! I am still working on the hand quilting in the heart.
The back of the piece is also made from recycled textiles: I used an old shirt and upholstery fabric samples (I will share the back in a future post as I forgot to take a photo – oops).
I even used recycled batting in the “quilt sandwich”! Below is a photo of me zigzagging together two smaller pieces of recycled batting (that my long-arm quilter friend gave me) to create a large piece for the quilt:
Did I carry the whole “recycling” concept too far?!?!? (smile)
Next time I share photos of the piece they will be of the completed piece!
In a recent issue of the SAQA Journal(2017, No. 4) I came across an excellent article by Allison Reker titled “Craft an amazing artist statement in less than 60 words”.
The article’s author emphasizes brevity in Artist Statements and her tips to achieve such brevity make a lot of sense to me. So my new thing is challenging myself on how meaningful a statement I can make in under 60 words.
Also I think brevity leaves more room for the viewers interpretation. I want to assist the viewer to get a feel of where I am going to (or coming from) on a piece but still give them room to draw their own conclusions/have their own private experience with the piece.
So with that in mind, here’s the draft Artist Statement I’ve written for this piece.
Recycled Love (2018)
18″ x 40″, recycled clothing, upholstery samples, hand-dyed silk samples, and other recycled textiles
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. Quilts are made from recycling the existing “love energy” from the quilt maker’s heart and hands into the pieced textiles, transferring it to the quilt recipient.
I am at 58 words (just keeping it under 60) and I plan to revisit this draft Artist Statement when I actually finish the piece. I want to play more with the concept of energy not being create or destroyed, just transferred/changed. Also I am trying to decide if I want to fit in the words in the theme “The Threads That Bind” into the Artist Statement somewhere.
I thought I’d share a little about my love for recycled textiles as part of my ongoing series of posts on my sources of CreativeInspiration.
Unlikely Materials for Quilt Making: Recycled Textiles
Nearly 2 years ago (March 2016) I did a post on “UnlikelyMaterials” as part of the Blog Tour for my friends Wendy Hill and Pat Pease’s new book, Creative Quilt Challenges (C&T Publishing, 2016), and shared the story of how I transitioned from only using quilting cotton fabrics to experimenting with using recycled textiles in my quilt creations.
Since 2012 I have experimented with recycled textiles such as recycled clothing (not suitable for clothing donation) and recycled garment and home decor fabric samples – all items that were likely headed to the landfill. I feel a great sense of joy when I create art with those items that would have been discarded.
Recently I pulled out my entire collection of recycled textiles to work on my piece for our annual Central Oregon SAQA art quilting group exhibit which opens at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Shop in July. This year’s theme is “The Threads That Bind” and the piece like previous years, must meet the dimensions of 18″ x 40″.
For the past couple years I have made 18″ x 40″ pieces, based on the selected annual theme, from recycled materials such as “Recycled Door” (the theme was “Doors”) and “The Recycled Road” (the theme was “Pathways”):
Recycled Door (2017) by Tierney Davis Hogan, quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe, photographed by Marion Shimoda
The Recycled Road (2017) by Tierney Davis Hogan
If you would like to read about the development of these pieces, just search their names in the search box on my blog. You can also check out these pieces on my art quilting blog, ImprovisationalTextiles.
For this year’s piece I am again working with recycled textiles, but this time using different recycled textiles since I used up most of the recycled clothing in the above pieces.
My piece is in progress (it was one of the two art quilts with deadlines I mentioned in my post Art &Fear, etc., that I had yet to start) and it is called “Recycled Love“.
I am not ready to reveal my current piece while it is in progress, it feels private right now.
Interestingly in the book Art & Fear: Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking (1993) by David Bayles and Ted Orland, they discuss that the artist needs time to work on their work in private without feedback from the world.
(See the Postscript section for more on this book and the post Art & Fear, etc..)
Creative Inspiration From Playing with My Recycled Textiles
As I mentioned earlier in this post, I’ve pulled out my entire collection of recycled textiles while I work on my new piece, Recycled Love. Just having my entire collection laid out before me was a huge source of Creative Inspiration!
They were a little too huge a source of creative inspiration and I ended up designing in my mind 5 – 10 future art quilts until I finally calmed down and made my mind just focus on the art quilt with the deadline!
So I thought I would give you a peek into my recycled textiles collection, most of which were donated/given to me by others.
My collection of recycled wool includes manufacturing scraps from wool suit making and Pendleton blanket manufacturing scraps. It also include some felted wool scraps and various crafting wool scraps from other crafters’ projects.
This collection includes our old jeans and old denim shirts; jeans given to me by friends; and an old denim duvet cover. I also keep my denim scraps from previous projects using recycled denim (as long as they are bigger than 3″ x 3″).
Home Decor Samples
These were given to me by a couple who did remodeling work on our home. A client of theirs gave them a large box of home decorating upholstery samples and they shared the box with me! Some of the fabrics seem hideous for a sofa or chair but they would be awesome in an art quilt!
Dyed Silk Scraps
A friend gave me these scraps as samples from a hand dyed silk class she took years ago.
I took them out of the sample book there were in and discovered if I gently ironed them and then sewed them onto muslin I could use them in an art quilt! Below is an example as I have used them in my piece in progress, Recycled Love:
Couture Fabric Scraps (Silk, Linen and Wool)
These are my post precious scraps and to read the story behind these couture fabric samples and scraps from New York City Fashion District Circa 1990s, see this page on my Improvisational Textiles website: QuiltingMeets Couture.
The photo does not do the fabrics justice. You can see on the QuiltingMeets Couturepage the many art quilts made with these beautiful recycled fabrics (all of which were scheduled for destruction by the manufacturer had they not been rescued).
Below is an image of some of my art quilts that I made with these recycled couture fabrics which are in the book 1000 Quilting Inspirations: Colorful and Creative Designs for Traditional, Modern and Art Quilts by Sandra Sider (2015). They are all quilted by Guadalupe Designs.
I was going to do a follow up on the post Art & Fear, etc. that I mentioned in this post, and share/discuss some additional quotes/passages from the book that really resonated with me.
However, on further thought, I decided that this is a book you should experience on your own and read first hand the brilliant insights on the nature of creating art and dealing with the inherent fear and sense of vulnerability and risk that comes with putting your art “out there”.
So instead I will share one more quote from the book and then return to talking about recycled textiles:
“In the end it all comes down to this: you have a choice (or more accurately a rolling tangle of choices) between giving your work your best shot and risking that it will not make you happy, or not giving it your best shot — and thereby guaranteeing that it will not make you happy. It becomes a choice between certainty and uncertainty. And curiously, uncertainty is the comforting choice.”
― David Bayles & Ted Orland, Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
Update 01/14/18 – this piece is now named “Recycled Windows” and the Artist Statement and photos are posted on the Improvisational Textiles website on the Tierney Davis Hoganpage. It was added to the Recycled Denim Stories series.
This post is a follow up to my December 10th post What’son the Design Wall where I shared my piece Recycled Windows of Conversation in progress.
I completed the machine quilting this art quilt made from all recycled materials (clothing, home decor, see previous post for more details). I took several quick photos for his post and later on plan to take higher quality photos:
Here is a close up of the machine quilting. I used three different threads: orange, blue and variegated gold.
This post is a continuation of my ongoing series “What’son 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: RecycledWindows of Conversation. This piece will become part of my improvisational art quilt series: Recycled DenimStories.
Here is Recycled Windows of Conversation in progress on my small design wall in my studio:
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:
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):
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:
Curtain (valence scarf)
Old sweat pants
Gold home decorating fabric scraps (given to me by an interior decorator from her sample collection)
The world’s ugliest orange corduroy pants
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:
Here is the piecing hanging out on the iron board, awaiting quilting:
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!
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:
Her fabric used to be crammed into a dark back storage room – now it is easier to access!
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:
Well here are several initial images of the completed quilt top:
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“!
Additional Conversations is the fourth piece in my series Recycled Denim Stories(see my TierneyDavis Hogan page on the Improvisational Textiles website).
A series of words I never thought I would write in a blog post: “Foundation Paper Piecing”.
If you are not a quilter, foundation piecing is using pre-printed paper/specialty papers to sew precise shapes using a sort of “flip and stitch” method. Foundation piecing allows you to work with tiny pieces of fabric to get precise shapes.
Yes that sounds kind of complicated and I have avoided it for years for this reason. Of course I never thought I would attempted English Paper Piecing (EPP) but as you can see from my series of posts – Adventures in English Paper Piecing– I am addicted to it.
I had one previous experience with foundation piecing and I keep it in a tiny frame in my studio.
My extremely talented quilter sister-in-law Sue attempted in the early 2000s to teach me to foundation piece while visiting us when we lived in Seattle, WA.
We made a little sailboat block:
She was a very patient teacher and I keep the framed block as a special memory of our time together working on a project. However it is now 2017 and I am returning (like 15 years later?!??!) to trying foundation paper piecing again!
As a crafter, you learn through experimentation (sometimes it feels everything I work on is an experiment, ha!) and if you don’t push yourself to take risks you will not grow as a crafter. So experiment I did and here is the story.
Foundation Paper Piecing Experimentation
A couple blog posts ago (Basket of Challenges) I wrote about my “challenge bags” – collections of coordinate scraps given to me by other crafters. Since taking them out of closed storage containers and putting them into a large basket in my studio, I am inspired to open them up and do another “challenge” (see what I can make with them).
My friend and quilting-sister Dana made me the lovely bag for my yarn/portable knitting:
The picture does not do it justice. She reverse engineered a bag she saw on Pinterest (she is a crafting-goddess) to make this bag from a collection of shot cottons.
In addition to the bag, she also gave me her scraps from making the bag:
I had them of course sitting in a “challenge bag” and decided they would be perfect for my experimentation with foundation paper piecing.
Looking through my archives of patterns of “projects-I-am-really-going-to-make-someday”, I found this pattern with pre-printed pattern paper (sort of the texture of tissue paper but stronger, like used for clothing patterns):
You can tell how dated the pattern is – how many of us read small paperback books anymore (you could convert this pattern into a cute kindle cover though)? I think I bought it in the very early 2000s. The pattern comes with enough tissue foundation paper to make twenty-four 3″ blocks.
I began with cutting a bunch of the little foundation papers from the pattern; and ironing the scraps:
The next step was to watch several foundation piecing videos I found on YouTube. My favorite, and the one that really made things click in my mind, was Paper Piecing Made Easy Tutorialby the CraftyGemini.
I decided to work on the “Square on Square” pattern, so it was time to start the experiment. I am happy to report it worked, though I struggled a little with removing the paper from the back of the piece when I was done foundation piecing:
You can see just how small this little block is in this photo, imagine trying to traditionally piece (via sewing very tiny little pieces together) this block:
I bordered it with more of the scrap shot cottons from the challenge bag:
I plan to make a little pillow out of it, like the little pillows on this post – More Creating – More Art Pillows. I plan to hand quilt it and I am trying to decide between two quilting threads, but I am leaning towards the very light and thin DMC embroidery thread in brown:
Am I going to do another one (I do have 23 more blocks I can foundation piece with this pattern set)?
Not right now, I need to emotionally recover as honestly it was kind of stressful to make the tiny little block via foundation piecing. Also shot cotton might not have been the best fabric to work with for foundation piecing as it is thin and friable. I might make the rest of the blocks with batik scraps.
I think foundation piecing will be a great skill to have in my “quilting toolbelt” but for now I am happy to have made just one!
This weekend I completed the hand quilting on The Recycled Road, an 18″ x 40″ improvisational art quilt for our annual Central Oregon SAQA Art Quilting Group’s themed exhibit. Our 2017 theme is “Pathways”.
For more background on this piece, please see the posts What’s on My Lap, Slow Stitching, and What’s on the Design Wall. Someday, this art quilt is going to be part of a series of 18″ x 40″ art quilts from recycled materials using the same materials/adding in additional recycled materials as needed for the design.
Here is the other quilt in this series so far – Recycled Door (the 2016 theme was “Doors”):
The Recycled Road quilt was made completely with recycled materials: old jeans, sweat pants, corduroy pants, corduroy shirt, tweed jumper, curtains, and home decor fabric scraps. The jeans, shirt, pants, jumper and home decor fabric were reused from the first piece in the series, Recycled Door shown above (which is a much better photo).
All of the clothing or home decorating items used in this art quilt were destined for the landfill. There were all in poor condition, or scraps and not donate-able for reuse as their original purpose.
Currently I am working on the Artist Statement, and in a future post I will share the Artist Statement explaining the piece and share my research on writing an Artist Statement (one of the tierneycreates readers asked for more info on writing Artist Statements, something many of us struggle with!).
This art quilt will debut at the 2017 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show as part of the special exhibit for Central Oregon SAQA. Eventually become part of the Improvisational Textiles Collection – improvisationaltextiles.com.
I hope to share a better photo in the future of this piece.
I titled this post “What’s on My Lap” for two reasons: 1) The obvious: I am hand stitching the quilt, so it is on my lap of course; and 2) As a follow up to the hilarious comment from Sandy (or Cindy?) of Gray Barn Designs, (one of my favorite quilting blogs to follow) on my 03/21/17 Slow Stitching post:
Oh yes, I might do a future post titled “What’s in My Head” if Gray Barn Designs does not beat me to it! Of course that would be a very long post. Way too many design ideas going on in my head.
Update on ‘Recycled Road’
I decided to name to piece Recycled Road, even though I have not written the Artist Statement for it yet. I am having so much fun slow stitching it! (Notice in the photo below I included my shoe so you could see it really is on my lap!)
I am not looking to win any “hand quilting technique competitions” but I have fallen in love with the whole experience of hand quilting. All the fabrics in this art quilt, for our local SAQA group annual themed show, are recycled (jeans, corduroy pants, corduroy shirt, tweed jumper, curtains, home decor fabric sample, and sweat pants!) and they have a wonderful texture.
I especially love stitching through the sweat pants material. It is so soft and supple and I like to brush my hands along the fabric after stitching a section (ok Tierney are you getting weird now with your hand quilting?!?!?). Was that “oversharing”?
Interestingly, Terry the Quilting Husband’s two sisters and mother are quilters and one of his sisters is really into hand quilting. My sister-in-law Sue is a serious quilter. Like a paper piecing and hand quilting quilter. She is an expert hand quilter. I remember years ago watching her hand quilt while she was visiting us and thinking “yikes, why would anyone want to do that?”
Now I get it. I was teasing Terry the other evening as we sat in front of the TV and I hand stitched: “Terry, I have become your sister!” (In reality, the only thing I have in common with Terry’s very talented quilter sister, is that we both hand quilt now. My skills are light years from hers!)
I feel like I am on this cool ongoing journey related to my quilting, even after 17+ years of being a quilter.
(I will unveil a photo of the entire piece once I have it completed. I have to keep up the suspense…or at least the imaginary suspense…)
I do plan to return to more Farm Girl Vintage blocks in the future. Hopefully!
I decided to hand quilt the piece I am working on for our Central Oregon Art Quilting Group’s annual themed group exhibit. The previous post, What’s on the Design Wall, I shared images of this piece in progress.
I rarely hand quilt. As far as hand quilting an entire quilt, I think I tried that once or twice in my life and hated it. I grew inpatient. It seemed to go on forever…endless repetitive stitches.
I am that way with machine quilting and this is why in the past I have preferred to send my quilts for professional quilting. If I was patient, perhaps I could become a decent machine quilter (perhaps) but it just seems to take so long and i just want it to be done.
But, for some reason, I am really enjoying hand quilting this 18″ x 40″ art quilt made from all recycled materials (jeans, sweat pants, corduroy pants, tweed jumper, a curtain, etc.). It is very meditative and pleasurable. I love seeing the stitches sink into the fabric and relishing the slow process. I am loving: Slow Stitching.
Maybe it is the point I am in life. Maybe I have quieted down enough in my head and in my spirit to be able to enjoy slow meditative work. I am not going to overthink it, I am just going to embrace a potential new evolution.
More photos to come as I complete my hand quilting. The name is still up in the air but I am now thinking “Recycled Road” (keeping with this year’s theme of “Pathways). I still need to write my Artist Statement to know the final name. But that is a month or two away. No hurry. Just time to sit and stitch quietly in the evenings.*
*Why yes, of course I am going to sneak in a couple more projects – my mind won’t completely slow down enough to focus on just one project at a time!
Something funny (and perhaps only funny to me) just popped into my head:
Instead of this post being part of my “What on the Design Wall” series, it could be part of a new series “What’s on my Lap“!
Okay that was very lame hand quilting humor (but I cannot always control the talking hamster spinning about on the hamster wheel I call a mind).
Speaking of “hamster wheels in our heads”, recently I read a fantastic article by Quinn McDonald (quinncreative.com) in the latest SAQA Journal, titled “Fool your mind into doing art – instead of laundry” (SAQA Journal, 2017, No. 1).
In this article, the author shares an example of a familiar situation for us crafters: You plan a day (say a Saturday) dedicated to working on craft projects, however before getting started in your studio, you run a couple of errands, maybe throw in some laundry, all the time telling yourself you will still have plenty of time that day for crafting…
But, before you know it, your day entire day of planned time in your studio has ended.
In addition to discussing the challenges with having a lack of discipline – “the kind of discipline that helps you stay focused”, the author also discusses the problem of having too many choices.
I am closing this post with a quote from article that gave me something to about in regards to having too many choices (like which quilting/crafting project to work on):
“Having too many choice derails creativity. You’d think all those choices would be good for your creativity. At the brainstorming stage, it’s helpful to have many ideas. But when you get to execution, too many ideas are dangerous time-wasters. Getting to the studio and getting the creative work done requires fewer, not more, possibilities.” – Quinn McDonald
Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s musings on her blog Schnauzer Snips!
It’s time to continue my ongoing series, What’s on the Design Wall, on what I have on either the small design wall in my studio or the large design wall in my hallway.
I am taking a break from working on Farm Girl Vintage blocks, and began working on my art quilt for our annual Central Oregon SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) exhibit. Last year our theme was Doors, and here was my art quilt for the group exhibit – Recycled Door:
For 2017, our theme is “Pathways”. Inspired by a SAQA online workshop I attend on “Working in a Series” and Elizabeth Barton’s book Visual Guide to Working in a Series: Next Steps in Inspired Design (2014), I want to repeat most of the fabrics used in Recycled Door (2016) and developed the art quilts from my annual participation in our SAQA group’s annual exhibit, into a series.
Recycled Door (2016) was created with all recycled fabric – used clothing and recycled home decor fabric scraps. See the post Blog Tour Day 4: Unlikely Materials for a list of materials used.
I am repeating the same recycled materials for this year’s art quilt and adding two additional fabrics for the 2017 piece: 1) the fabric from a pair of recycled sweat pants; and 2) a recycled curtain. Tentatively I am naming it Recycled Pathway. (I will have to complete the piece and draft up my Artist Statement before I decide on the final title).
My 2017 piece will be truly “recycled” art – in addition to using recycled fabrics (including fabrics from the 2016 piece), this quilt is being created from recycling of blocks made for another art quilt I started for another project – Sherri Lynn Wood’s (The Improve Handbook for Modern Quilters) Make Do Challenge (#makedoquilt). Please see the 09/13/17 post Make Do Quilt Challenge for photos of the progress I made on the piece (which I eventually abandoned because I was stuck and honestly just did not like it).
Since my improvisational pieced blocks for the #makedoquilt were just not going anywhere (except to gather dust in back of the closet), I cut it apart to reimagine it for the 2017 Central Oregon SAQA exhibit.
Here are photos of my progress “Recycled Pathway” (tentative name), on the small design wall in my studio. I am using the dark gray recycled sweat pants fabric to border my “pathway”piecing of recycled denims, curtain, tweed jumper, gold home decor fabric and orange corduroy pants:
The completed piece will measure approximately 18″ x 40″. I plan to be bold and either machine quilt or hand quilt the piece myself.
Here are the basket of recycled clothing scraps I am working from:
I really like working with the recycled sweat pants and I want to incorporate the “wrong side” of the sweat pants fabric into the piece also as I love the texture:
More to come, I was happy to be visited by Inspiration today in order to start this new piece. Also it was fun to return to working on some improvisational art quilt making!
I finished the baby quilt I was making for a friend having her first baby. She has received it, and appears to really like it, so now I can post photos!
I named the baby quilt – Little Bits of Oregon Warmth – it made from recycled flannel pieces from flannel quilts I have made or my quilting friends have made. I selected flannel scraps that evoked a feeling of my beloved adopted state of Oregon (my friend lives in Oregon).
It is very “green” – it is made from fabric that some quilters would have discarded. Instead these pieces have a new home and purpose – to keep a baby warm this Winter! (I’d like to think that this recycled quilt is part of my efforts to be environmentally friendly and try to preserve the world the baby will be growing up in…)
It is so fun to work with scraps from other quilts and remember what quilt they came from (or if they are another quilter’s scraps, wondering what quilt they went into!).
I pieced the quilt using the “Log jam” technique (free-form log cabin style piecing). If you are new to my blog, here is a link to some previous posts on Log Jam/Log Jamming.
The quilt on the design wall prior to machine quilting:
The quilt freshly machine quilted (yes the quilting would not win any awards, but it worked for a baby quilt and I did it myself…):
A close up on the quilt to see some of the flannel scraps – all of which are somehow related to our beautiful state of Oregon:
The quilt is fully machine washable and I pre-washed it before sending it to the expectant Mom so she would know it can be washed and dried as much as needed! I also made clear it was a UTILITY quilt – to be used – not hung on a wall!
Speaking of “Oregon Warmth”, here is a gratuitous shot of my delicious cup of hot chocolate I got on Monday while running errands with my neighbor and her son (Winter errands must include a stop for a yummy hot beverage).
In my 11/6/16 post Pinwheel Piecing Party, I shared how I started making small pinwheels from a friend’s collection of trimmed triangles, that have otherwise been destined for the trash.
Here was my first load of pinwheels:
For the past week, as a way to escape from all the hate and unhappiness that seems to be seeping out of every corner of my country, I have been focusing on, during any spare moments, making more scrappy pinwheels.
In order to distract myself for awhile, I created a goal that I had to empty out the bag of pieced triangle scraps my friend gave me.
So I was busy at work “chain” sewing, or “chaining” little half square triangle blocks together. I was quite meditative.
As a result, I now have approximately (I counted quickly) – 72 pinwheel blocks, each measuring approximately 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches!
Also have two “oops” blocks, which I guess you might call – pieced “square within a square” blocks. My “pinwheeling” went awry during my piecing of these blocks!
So what am I going to do with 72 (or more) 2.5 inch x 2.5 inch pinwheel blocks? Well your guess is as good as mine!
For now I am going to put them into my new “Parts Department” I created in my stash after seeing a trunk show and presentation by the Australian quilt designer, Jen Kingwell (see my post Revisiting Traditional Piecing). During her trunk show presentation she talked about using blocks from her “Parts Department” (leftover blocks from other projects, etc.).
Another project I worked on this past week was to go through my stash of fabric scraps and pull out all the scrap triangles and scrap small squares. I put them in separate bags to use for future improvisational quilting projects.
I am feeling pleased as there is something on the design wall to talk about.
In my 09/23/2016 post, The Library Stack (and a little EPP), I mentioned that I was feeling a little stuck and had not done any creating lately (“tierneycreates” without the “creates” part…).
Well Monday I was feeling inspired and continued working on the piece I first shared in my post Make Do Quilt Challenge. Continuing my ongoing series: What’s on the Design Wall, I present where I am at on my piece, tentatively titled: Making-Do:
It’s not the best photo as I took it with low light. It is also still very much “in progress”.
I was feeling frustrated it at one point, not knowing where it was going. Then I remembered something one of my mentors, Jean Wells Keenan, said during one of her classes (paraphrased): – Even though you may not be happy with an art quilt and want to give up, you have to keep on pushing through and see where it takes you.
This is very true. The collaborative piece, Abandoned Water Structure, that was recently purchased by the City of Seattle (see post Seattle Public Utilities’ Portable Works Collection) was an art quilt that I actually gave up on and tossed aside. I later picked it back up and kept working on it starting with a late night marathon design and piecing session.
So I am hoping Making-Do turns out to be something interesting! Next time I share an update, I might even take a better photo…
Monday I went for another hike up Pilot Butte (see my Category “Pilot Butte Adventures” for previous posts on my adventures) and I started laughing as soon as I arrived at the start. They had this sign posted:
If you remember my post Monday, Again, my current time up Pilot Butte is not as good as the time for the record in the ages 95 & up category! So no I am not entering this year’s challenge…perhaps next year…
While walking up Pilot Butte, I took this panoramic photo of Bend Oregon and the surrounding area. If you are ever in Central Oregon, driving or hiking to the top of Pilot Butte for the 360 degree view of Central Oregon is a must!
I hope you do not mind that I frequently link to previous posts. I consider my blog an ongoing conversation.
The first Friday of each month, Downtown Bend, Oregon hosts a “First Friday Art Walk”. The downtown galleries and shops stay open late and host special art exhibits or show their ongoing exhibits. The local shops and galleries serve snacks and beverages including complimentary microbrews (Bend, OR is known for its numerous and excellent microbreweries) and wine.
Our Central Oregon SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group showed our Doorsexhibit at Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty. This show first opened at the 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show as a special exhibit (see the post 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show Part IIfor more of the story on this exhibit and for better photos of the art quilts).
My piece, Recycled Doorwas in the show. I was very honored to be in a show with these talented art quilters, several of whom are locally, nationally or internationally renown for their fiber art. Our Oregon SAQA reps, Jan Tetzlaff and Marion Shimoda did an impressive job hanging the art quilts in the gallery!
Here are more photos from the show (it was very crowded at the show and I had to take photos quickly as there were breaks between people viewing the show):
The show runs through September and is located at: Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty, 821 NW Wall Street, Bend, OR (Downtown)
I was invited by Wendy Hill and Pat Pease, authors of Creative Quilt Challenges(C&T Publishing, 2016) to participate in their invitational exhibit: Shape Shifting.
Creative Quilt Challenges is a Special Exhibit at the Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) , October 13-16, in Santa Clara, California. Shape Shifting will be an exhibit within their Creative Challenges exhibit. Please be sure to stop by Pat Pease and Wendy Hill’s exhibit at PIQF if you are attending and tell my friends “hello”!
For my piece in this invitational exhibit, I had decided to actually do some “shape shifting” and transform an existing art quilt piece that I was not too sure about, into something that actually made me smile.
I began with this existing piece, Ohio, which I last discussed in the post Update: Ohio
Something about the piece was displeasing to me and the piece felt kind of “blah”. So I removed the borders using with some very careful seam ripping (the piece is made of recycled silks; and then sliced apart a couple sections of the piece.
Then I played around with a border of BRIGHT fuchsia-pink raw silk that a friend picked up from a thrift shop and shared with me:
The selvage of the bright fuchsia raw silk had the name “FOUWAH, HONG KONG”. Some “googling” revealed this piece was likely a vintage fabric from Fou Wah Fabrics of Hong Kong:
Here is the final design of the piece, which I am tentatively naming: Ohio Shifted (I will have to create quite the Artist Statement on this piece to explain to the viewer where I got the name from…I might rethink the name…we’ll see…)
I selected this fabric for the back of the piece:
The piece is now ready for quilting. I am going to “put my big girl panties on” and quilt this art quilt myself. I need to be able to give it to Wendy and Pat by September 15th and I need to keep challenging myself to go to places (my own art quilting) that I do not want to go, so I can grow.
Initially I was going to go buy some bright fuchsia thread to quilt it with but I have selected a soft gold thread (the one on the left) that mirrors the colors in some of the blocks. I might also another another thread color, still deciding.
(Note – I did do a 1/8 an inch stitch around the edge of the piece using a 2.0 stitch length to stop the raw silk from fraying any further than the edges).
I am going to practice what I want to do as far as quilting on the quilt on a scrap silk “quilt sandwich” before I quilt on my actual piece. A couple of months ago I did quilt an entire art quilt myself for a piece for another invitational exhibit that I will post about in the future.
In March, I did participate in a Blog Tour to celebrate the release of the art quilting book, Creative Quilt Challenges by Pat Pease and Wendy Hill.
If you would like to read my post for my part of the blog tour, where I discuss working with “unlikely materials” (recycled silks, denim, wool) in making quilts please see the link below:
I realized it’s time for “Tierney” to return to “creating”…
This blog is not called:
The blog is called tierneycreates, so Tierney better get to creating! (I like the imaginary sense of accountability blogging gives me – like you all will be very disappointed if my blog does not live up to its name!)
I was excited to pull these items out of the “set aside to work on later” basket (set aside for 7+ months so far!) and turn them into pillows.
So far, I started with this one:
And turned it into this little pillow which I have named Textured Desert Canyon:
Textured Desert Canyon (2016) by Tierney Davis Hogan
I was excited to use my new “tierneycreates – smiles & textiles” tags (see post Embracing Orange) for the first time on this pillow (can you see the little tag in the photo?). I had to experiment to figure out exactly how to make the tag work but I think I like the outcome.
I experimented with quilting with a solid color thread and then a variegated thread to try and give a lot of depth to the quilting.
What surprised me was the dense quilting gave the hand dyed solid scraps pieced into this pillow a suede like texture and appearance. I am eager to experiment more with dense quilting.
Now onto to working on the next four (4) pillows!
I follow many wonderful blogs and recently one of the blogs I follow, Catbird Quilt Studio has begun an interesting series on The Future of Quilting.
Here are links below to the two enjoyable posts in this series so far:
This post is a follow up to the 07/14/16 post What’s on the Design Wall(as well as another post mentioned in the Postscript section)
Terry, “The Quilting Husband”, continues his “take over” the large temporary design wall in the hallway (temporary until we install a permanent large design wall in the hallway) with his piece in progress. Here is his current progress from the 07/14/16 post – he has now inserted strips of pieced recycled denim between the rows.
We love recycling denim. Did you know how much it takes to produce a pair of jeans and the impact on the environment to create one pair of denim jeans?
I read an interesting article in the Winter 2015 edition of Interweave’s Stitch magazine, “Denim; Shaping the World, One Pair at a Time” by Kathy Augustine (pages 16 – 17).
Here are some interesting numbers from this article to give you a perspective of what it “costs” environmentally to make a pair of jeans:
An estimated 2 billion pairs of blue jeans are produced each year. It takes one bale of cotton (approximately 480 pounds of cotton) to produced 215 pairs of jeans, or 2.23 pounds of cotton per pairs. One acre of farmland produced approximately 740 pounds of cotton and cotton requires about 1,000 gallons of water per pound of fiber, so it took 2230 gallons of water to make that pair of jeans you are wearing and the average American has 7 pairs of jeans.
So I get pretty happy when I am involved in denim recycling and letting the effort all that water go towards something that can keep someone warm and cozy or decorate their house after the denim is no longer wearable.
I will wait and see what Terry does with the rest of the fabric for this piece he is working on (like an interesting border?) and then I would like to make a table runner with smaller pieces of recycled denim and the scraps from his piece. I think it would make an interesting “Country” style table runner.
My sunflower obsession continues, as discussed in the post Waiting for the Sunflowers. This weekend I went over a friend’s house who had massive amounts of sunflowers in her front yard . Several of the sunflower plants had reached “Sunflower Tree” heights (nearly “house-size” sunflowers!).
Here are some of my photos (note the sunflowers were towards the end of their blooming):
Of course I took some cuttings home to put in my sunroom!
(Okay Tierney! Enough with the sunflowers already, move onto another topic.)
Maybe. I cannot promise sunflowers won’t be mentioned again in a future post (smile).
There is song from the 1980s by a British heavy metal rock band Judas Priest titled “Breaking the Law” where in the song, they repeatedly sing the chorus: “Breaking the law, breaking the law, breaking the law, breaking the law.”
When I lived in Seattle my friend Michele and I would enjoy singing choruses of this very campy 1980s song under our breath or at the top of lungs when we were not following standard rules of behavior or etiquette, etc.
This song was played my head when I made the decision to do a traditional quilt binding instead of a “facing”on the back of my art quilt Recycled Doors for the upcoming Central Oregon SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Art Quilt Associates) exhibit at the 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. Please see my post Update: Recycled Door for more information on this piece.
(If you are unfamiliar with “facing a quilt”, here is a link to the Quilting Daily’s page on Finishing a Quilt with a Facing. Facing creates clean edges to the quilt with no edge binding.)
Facing the back of an art quilt to create a smooth edge appears to be the expected and acceptable standard and is what I have always done in the past on any quilt I want to be classified as an “art quilt”.
I feel feeling very rebellious after talking to my friend Wendy who suggested, as an option to finishing the quilt, a binding to bring out the orange in the center of the piece. I was reading to do some “law breaking” and did a traditional binding instead of facing the quilt.
It felt good to be a rebel, ha!
Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being. – Albert Camus
You may notice my new blog template – quite different from the previous one. I really enjoyed the Chalkboard Template, but after reading that article on making blog pages easy for all readers to read and the feedback you all provided, I am going to try this new format for a while.
In the March 2016 post BLOG TOUR DAY 4: Unlikely Materials I shared a work in progress called Recycled Door. This art quilt is part of the Central Oregon SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group exhibit “Doors” that will debut at the 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt show.
We were challenged with making an 18″ x 40″ art quilt/wallhanging that represented our interpretation of a door. I found a door image I liked on Australian door and window manufacturer’s website Brisbane Timber . I created my interpretation of one of their doors, using recycled materials: jeans, corduroy shirts, a tweed jumper, and home decor fabric.
I just got this piece back from Betty Anne Guadalupe, my long-arm quilter and collaborative partner in The Wardrobe Meets the Wall Collection. She quilted it to represent the texture/grain of an wooden door.
Now I need put finish the facing for the back (finishing off an art quilt with a smooth edge instead of binding the edge) and it is ready for the July 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show!
As it was made with recycled materials, it will become part of The Wardrobe Meets the Wall Collection.
I am listening to a new non-fiction audiobook, The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves by Grosz, Stephen.
It is pretty DEEP. The author is a British psychoanalyst who shares 25 years of his client’s stories (confidentiality maintained of course!) in relation to baffling behavior based on hidden feelings.
The narrator also is British and I am enjoying the British English pronunciation of words such as “schedule” and “garage”!
One of the most interesting parts of the book so far, besides all the interesting stories, is the author sharing a very profound interpretation of Charles Dickens’ famous story, A Christmas Carol. He delves deep into what actually made Ebenezer Scrooge change his ways!
Congratulations to Beth T. who won the free copy of Creative Quilt Challenges from the random drawing of names from those who left comments on my Creative Quilt Challenges Blog Tour post – BLOG TOUR DAY 4: Unlikely Materials. Thank you to every who visited the tierneycreates blog for Day 4 of the tour and thank you to those who commented. I so enjoyed reading the comments and they got me inspired to keep experimenting with “unlikely materials”!
What’s on the…Table: “Ohio”
This post is a continuation of my ongoing series: What’s on the Design Wall.
However, this time I am going to share what is laid out on the table in my Studio, instead of up on my Design Wall. This post also demonstrates another example of using “Unlikely Materials” (recycled silk garment scraps) discussed in my Blog Tour post on 03/31/16.
Here is the piece in progress, I am going to name it “Ohio“:
What do a bunch of miniature log cabin style patches (2″x2″ and 2.5″ x 2.5″) have to do with the State of Ohio? Absolutely nothing, but they are part of a story. An ongoing story. Here is a visual summary of that story:
1) The piece started out as my attempt to create an Ohio Star (a traditional quilt block) from recycled silk
2) I was very unhappy with the accuracy of the points on the star (although I interfaced the back of the silks, I had some challenges with accurately piecing the points). So I attempted to save the piece by reimagining the piece, slicing up the Ohio Star and sewing it into a new configuration. I was still not pleased with it.
3) I gave the piece and the coordinated recycled silk pieces I have selected to a friend. She reimagined it into a completely new piece, while integrating all the elements from the original Ohio Star into the piece.
4) My friend gave me the leftover scraps from this piece which included scraps from my original piecing and new scraps from additional recycled silks she used in the piece. She challenged me to make something from those scraps!
5) So, I started working on this piece over a month ago, and I am calling it “Ohio”
Right now I am just continuing to make tiny blocks (2″ x 2″ and 2.5″ x 2.5″) and enjoying the challenging of using up small pieces of recycled silk. I find it to be meditative to quietly work on small slow piecing.
Will post about this piece again when it is nearly complete.
At the end of this post I will pose a discussion question, please post a comment to automatically enter a drawing for a copy of Creative Quilt Challenges. The random winner will be selected and notified around 04/07/16.
CHALLENGE #3 – UNLIKELY MATERIALS
In Creative Challenges, Pat Pease and Wendy Hill invite readers to flex their quilt-making creative muscles by experimenting with different “Challenges”. In Challenge #3 – Unlikely Materials, Pat and Wendy invite readers to stretch their creative muscles by working with materials other than traditional quilting cottons!
Transitioning from Cotton Material to “Unlikely Materials”
Four years ago, I would have looked at you as if you were insane if you suggested I use anything other than high quality quilting cottons, purchased from a quilt shop, for my quilt-making. Then in 2012 my friend and mentor, Betty Anne Guadalupe of Guadalupe Designs invited me to work on a collaborative project involving making art quilts out of recycled silks and linen samples from garment manufacturing. These samples had been saved from the trash heap by someone working for an Italian silk manufacturer in the 1990s and stored away since then.
At first I was terrified of working with anything but cotton for quilting. Cotton is so crisp and stable. Silk is slippery, delicate, and…well…terrifying!
One of the first skills I learned when working with silk was how to back delicate silks with interfacing. The best interfacing I have used for backing silk is “French-Fuse“. I learned about French-Fuse from Betty Anne, who learned about it from another art quilter, Grace. This interfacing provides much needed stability to delicate silks and makes them easier to rotary cut and to piece.
Here is one of the early pieces I made with recycled silks – Silk Landscape:
The Wardrobe Meets the Wall
Betty Anne and I both became hooked on using the recycled silks and linens to create art quilts. We formed a collaboration which eventually became The Wardrobe Meets the Wall: A collection of art quilts created from recycled garments, manufacturing remnants, and samples.
We have a blog, The Wardrobe Meets the Wall (we are working on evolving this into a a website, “Art Quilts by Guadalupe & Hogan”). See our page The Collection if you would like to see a samples of art quilts all made with “Unlikely Materials”.
Our collection includes quilts made from mens ties, recycled silk and linen samples, scrap wool from clothing or blanket manufacturing, recycled denim, and general recycled clothing.
Once You Start Experimenting with Unlikely Materials, You Might Get Hooked!
Betty Anne already had many years experience working with “Unlikely Materials” and before I knew it, she had me experimenting with using recycled wools and denims to create art quilts.
Here is my first experiment with working with recycled wools (from wool mens suiting manufacturing scraps and wool blanket manufacturing scraps) and denims (recycled jeans) – He Dresses Up, He Dresses Down:
Basically – if you can sew with it, we will now try and make an art quilt with it. There are so many unlikely materials we have yet to try out. We enjoy recycling.
I was intrigued that in the Creative Quilt Challenge book, Pat Pease makes an adventurous art quilt with “hair canvas interfacing“. I bow my head to that level of creativity with “unlikely materials”!
(Disclaimer: We still love and support our local quilt shops and still make many quilts with traditional cottons. There are so many beautiful fabric collections to choose from and our new fabric stashes mysteriously continue to grow despite our obsession with recycled materials.)
Tips for Working with Unlikely Materials
I will not deny it – working with “unlikely materials” for the first time is scary. Here are some tips I have learned over the past 4 years. I am still learning and growing in my knowledge and comfort with using “unlikely materials”.
Do not be afraid to experiment and play: You do not have to create a great work of quilting art your first time working with a new “unlikely material”. I played with silk for a while before piecing it into an art quilt.
Check your sewing machine manufacturer’s website for tips on working with various materials and fibers.
Search for YouTube videos on working with a particular fabric and sewing tips on handling that type of fabric in your machine.
Network with other crafters that have experience working with a particular textile you are interested in trying. For example if you know a seamstress who has worked a lot with silk, you could ask her/him for tips.
Determine if a fabric/material needs to be interfaced in order to stabilize it for sewing. As I mentioned earlier, French-Fuse (which can be purchased at sites such as Annie’s Craft Store) is wonderful for backing delicate silks. It makes them so much easier to cut and piece. There are also YouTube videos on using French-Fuse.
If you are using heavy weight materials such as denim and some wools, consider pressing open your seams, and using 1/2 inch seams (like in making garments) as opposed to 1/4 inch seams. A trick that my mentor Betty Anne taught me is to run a tiny (1/8″ inch or less) seam along the front of the seams (front of your piece) to hold down the pressed down seams. This will be helpful if you have your piece professionally long-arm quilted so that the thick seams do not flip and catch the needle when being quilted.
If at first you don’t succeed, don’t give up! I have had several “unlikely materials” piecing/sewing disasters (bad words were said, not suitable for repeating). Some disasters were so bad I had to put them in the trash, I could not even recycle them into another project. Speaking of recycling a disaster into another project, see the post A Very Successful Rescue! about a piece made with recycled silk that was destined for the trash but was recycled by another quilter into a wonderful piece!
Warning – your other quilter friends who only enjoy using cottons, may at first give you a lukewarm response on your pieces made with “unlikely materials”. Do not be discouraged – art is a private and personal thing and you cannot control others reactions. (I love the saying: “It’s not my business what others think of me”…or my art!). I am sure I have quilter friends who thought at first I had lost my mind working with recycled silks and linens. As you grow in your experience with working with “unlikely materials”, your confidence will grow as will your adventurous spirit.
Working on My Latest Piece with Unlikely Materials
The timing of this blog tour post is great, as I am currently working on a new piece for a group exhibit I am participating in, called “Doors” for the local SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group I belong.
Designing the piece: Selecting the “Unlikely Materials”
I decided to use a photo of a door for inspiration, and located a wonderful collection of unique door photos on an Australian door and window manufacturer’s website Brisbane Timber .
I wanted to created a semi-realistic version of one of their doors, using recycled textiles (“unlikely materials”) and name the piece Recycled Door.
Here are the materials I selected:
Recycled Corduroy Shirt
Recycled Corduroy Pants
Recycled Tweed Wool Jumper
Bag of Recycled Jeans
Shiny Gold Home Decor Fabric
(List clockwise from top)
Recycled Corduroy Shirt
Recycled Corduroy Pants
Recycled Tweed Jumper
Unusual shiny gold home decor fabric (this fabric was given to me by the very talented art quilter, Dianne Browning, who primarily uses the unlikely materials of home decor fabrics and decorator samples in her art – you can check out her incredible art at her website Art Quilts by Dianne Browning)
Recycled Denim (from my bag of recycled jean sections)
The Piece in Progress
Below is a photo of Recycled Door in progress. If you like, for fun, you can go to the Australian door and window manufacturer’s website Brisbane Timber and see if you can figure out which door inspired this piece.
Are You Ready to Experiment or Have You Already Experimented?
Now it is time for you to weigh in on your experience with using “Unlikely Materials” or whether you are interested in experimenting with “Unlikely Materials” in the future in your quilting projects.