Experimenting with Foundation Paper Piecing

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:

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Tiny little sailboat block in a tiny frame in my studio

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:

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Photo does not do it justice, it is lovely!

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:

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Fresh out of the challenge 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):

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The copyright is 2001 on this pattern

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:

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There are 6 different patterns: Odd Fellow’s Star, Mosaic, Pinwheel, Starry Path, Square on Square, and Dutchman’s Puzzle

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All nicely pressed and ready for experimentation!

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 Tutorial by 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:

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I used tiny stitches as the videos instructed in order to perforated the template paper to make it easier to remove, but still it took a while to get all those tiny pieces off the back

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The completed block – I added a little border to it as I was not too sure about the stability of the edges of the paper pieced block

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:

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I bordered it with more of the scrap shot cottons from the challenge bag:

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With a 1.5″ border added

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:

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Likely going with the DMC thread on the left instead of the Aurifil

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!

The Recycled Road

Hi there! Here is a quick update on the 03/30/17 post What’s on My Lap.

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”.

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The Recycled Road (2017) by Tierney Davis Hogan

For more background on this piece, please see the posts What’s on My LapSlow 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”):

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Recycled Door (2016). Designed and pieced by Tierney Davis Hogan; quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe. Photograph by Marion Shimoda.

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.

What’s on My Lap

This is a follow up to my post Slow Stitching and a part of my continuing series: What’s on the Design Wall, featuring my latest projects in progress. 

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:

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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!)

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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…)

Postscript

I do plan to return to more Farm Girl Vintage blocks in the future. Hopefully!

 

Slow Stitching

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.

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Slow-Stitching in progress

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!


Postscript

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!

What’s on the Design Wall

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:

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Recycled Door (2016). Designed and pieced by Tierney Davis Hogan, quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe

For more on the group exhibit see the posts 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show Part II and First Friday Art Walk 09/02/16.

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:

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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:

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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:

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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!

 

Little Bits of Oregon Warmth

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.

Photos

The quilt on the design wall prior to machine quilting:

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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…):

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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:

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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!

Postscript

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).

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Stay Warm!

Pinwheel Therapy

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:

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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.

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As a result, I now have approximately (I counted quickly) – 72 pinwheel blocks, each measuring approximately 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches!

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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!

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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.). I was also inspired by the huge “Parts Department” my friend Betty Anne has in her scrap collection.

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.

The quilt below, by Betty Anne Guadalupe, is made from her “Parts Department” (collection of already pieced blocks, discards from other quilters, fabric scraps, and new pieced blocks from scraps):

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Scrap quilt by Betty Anne Guadalupe

As I mentioned in the original post related to this piece, Pinwheel Piecing Partyseveral of my leftover pieced blocks from a quilt project that I gave to Betty Anne, are in this quilt! It is very fun to see your unwanted blocks put to good use!

What’s next on the horizon for my crafting therapy? I am going to return to work on the traditionally pieced blocks last discussed in my post Revisiting Traditional Piecing: The Blocks Part II.


Postscript

A dear old friend in NYC, who has also being feeling blue about current events, sent me this photo to cheer me up a little – a photo of her sweet rescued kitty – Chummy – on a quilt I made her.

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Kitty cozy on a quilt! It is hard to resist smiling at that!

Look carefully at the blocks in the quilt! Do any of them look familiar?!?! They are in Betty’s Anne quilt! So you do not have to scroll up and try to find it, here you go:

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What timing !  The quilt that inspired me to start scrappy pinwheeling (which provided a therapeutic distraction) is connected to the photo a friend recently sent me to cheer me up!

Maybe the Universe at work, you never know (smile).

What’s on the Design Wall

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:

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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…


POSTSCRIPT

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:

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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!

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I hope you do not mind that I frequently link to previous posts. I consider my blog an ongoing conversation. 

First Friday Art Walk 09/02/16

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 Doors exhibit 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 II for more of the story on this exhibit and for better photos of the art quilts).

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My piece, Recycled Door (quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe) was 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):

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The show runs through September and is located at: Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty, 821 NW Wall Street, Bend, OR (Downtown)


POSTSCRIPT (follow up to the post Waiting for the Sunflowers)

The giant sunflowers did finally bloom in my yard – I have 4 total and they are all over 8 feet tall!

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Creative Quilt Challenges: Shape Shifting

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.


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I began with this existing piece, Ohio, which I last discussed in the post Update: Ohio

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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:

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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:

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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…)

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I selected this fabric for the back of the piece:

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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.

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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.


POSTSCRIPT

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:

BLOG TOUR DAY 4: Unlikely Materials

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

Creating…

I realized it’s time for “Tierney” to return to “creating”…

This blog is not called:

  • tierneywritesaudiobookreviews;
  • tierneyshowsterrythequiltinghusband’sprogress;
  • tierneysharesherrandomthoughts; or
  • tierneyobsessesaboutsunflowers

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!)

So last evening, I returned to “creating” and pulled out the “art pillow experimentations” tops I started last year and discussed in the 12/24/15 post   What’s On the Design Wall: Playing with Solids.

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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:

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And turned it into this little pillow which I have named Textured Desert Canyon:

 

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!


Postscript

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:

The Future of Quilting, Part 1

The Future of Quilting, Part 2

Melanie, the talented blogger, invites engaging discussion in these posts! Enjoy!

What’s on the Design Wall

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.

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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.


Postscript

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):

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Of course I took some cuttings home to put in my sunroom!

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(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).

Breaking the Law! (Update on Recycled Door)

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.

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“Breaking the law, breaking the law…”  Recycled Door (2016)  – designed and pieced by Tierney Davis Hogan; quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe.

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


Postscript

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.

Update: Recycled Door

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.

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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.


Postscript

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.

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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!

Update: Ohio

This is a quick follow up to my post from earlier this week: In Progress: Ohio.

My new recycled silk garment scrap piece is done and ready to go to Betty Anne Guadalupe  to work her art quilting magic. It measures approximately 24″ x 14″.

I have not decide if I want the piece to orientate this way:

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Or this way:

 

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I welcome any thoughts and comments you have on the orientation – thanks!

What’s on the…Table

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.

Yesterday I posted about being inspired to create after a walk on a beautiful Spring day and inhaling the delightful fragrances of neighborhood Dogwood trees (Creative Inspiration: The Scents of Spring). Well later that day I pulled out the piece had I started a month or so ago (see post What’s on the Design Wall: Silk Squares) and got creating!

Here is the piece in progress, I am going to name it “Ohio“:

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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

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Ohio Star, recycled silks (in progress)


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.

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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.

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Ohio Star (2016). Designed, pieced and quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe.

 


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!

 

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5) So, I started working on this piece over a month ago, and I am calling it “Ohio”

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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.

BLOG TOUR DAY 4: Unlikely Materials

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Photo credit: C&T Publishing

Welcome to Day 4 of the Blog Tour in support of Pat Pease & Wendy Hill’s new book Creative Quilt Challenges (C&T Publishing, 2016).

If you are just joining the tour today on my blog, you can see the full list of the 10 participating blogs on this tour at the C&T Publishing blog post: Creative Quilt Challenges Blog Tour Kickoff.

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 silksSilk Landscape:

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Silk Landscape (2012). Designed and pieced by Tierney Davis Hogan. Quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe. Photography by Jeremy Koons.


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 WallA 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:

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He Dresses Up, He Dresses Down (2014). Designed and pieced by Tierney Davis Hogan. Quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe

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:

(List clockwise from top)

  1. Recycled Corduroy Shirt
  2. Recycled Corduroy Pants
  3. Recycled Tweed Jumper
  4. 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)
  5. 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.

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(The thread at the lower right hand of the piece is orange thread – I think it needs to be quilted with orange thread to repeat the strong orange accent in the 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.

Please comment below and all comments will be automatically entered into a drawing for a copy of Creative Quilt Challenges.

The random winner will be selected and notified around 04/07/16.

The Creative Quilt Challenges Blog Tour continues tomorrow, Friday April 1, at BOLT Fabric Boutique, boltneighborhood.com. Thanks for joining me on the blog tour today!

“When you are scared but still do it anyway, that’s BRAVE.” – Neil Gaiman

A Very Successful Rescue!

This post is a follow up to my February 2016 post Surrendering My Piece to “Rescue” in which I shared my frustration with an “Ohio Star” type block I was piecing with recycled silks. I abandoned the piece due to “major creative blockage” and my friend adopted it.

Betty Anne Guadalupe, who adopted my abandoned piece, took it apart and completely reimagined it!

I gasped (and nearly fainted) when I saw the wonderful reinvention she did with my humble beginnings!

Here is what I gave her:

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A “hot mess” by Tierney Davis Hogan (ha!)

Here is what she created:

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Ohio Star (2016) by Betty Anne Guadalupe

The piece measures 18” x 23” and is made with recycled silks and wools. If you look closely you can see sections of my original piecing. Betty Anne integrated all of my original piece in her piece!  This piece will be in our show at Twigs Gallery this Friday (see my post The Collaboration for more details on this show).

I think this is a very successful rescue! 

As I discussed in the post What’s on the Design Wall: Silk Squares, I am now working on a piece made from her leftovers from her piece! More to come as this new piece develops…

What’s on the Design Wall: Silk Squares

This post continues my ongoing series on “What’s on the Design Wall”?

In my previous post We Will Not Be Discarded’s Debut, I shared:

Also debuting in this show will be the piece that Betty Anne created from my abandoned recycled silk Ohio Star project she rescued (see post Surrendering My Piece to “Rescue”).The piece is amazing – she used all my original piecing and reworked it, with additional recycled silks and linens, into a completely new and deliciously intuitive design. I will post a photo after it debuts at the show. We were so inspired by this “handing off of the start of a piece” to another person to reimagine the piece, that Betty Anne gave me her start of another piece based on the same group of recycled silk and linens scraps. This will be a new challenge – I will create a piece based on her leftovers from her work on my piece that I abandoned …but that is another post…

Well, I have started on the piece inspired by the scraps my friend Betty Anne gave me (from her reworking of a piece I had started and then abandoned). She also gave me a small “square within a square log cabin style block” she had made from the scraps.  I used this block as the starting point for my challenge.

It is now in progress on the Design Wall.

Here is the story of it’s evolution to date, in photos:

The stash of recycled silk and linen scraps that Betty Anne gave me from her silk piece (which was a reworking of a piece I started, then abandoned)

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I made approximately 56 – 58, 2 x 2 inch and 2.5 x 2.5 inch free form “log cabin” style blocks. (I do not remember exactly which one of the blocks is the one Betty Anne originally gave me to start the challenge; but I know it is one of the black silk blocks with a bright center.) 

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I played around with potential layouts (like floating them in a solid silk like you see above photo) and I am leaning towards grouping them all together. I love the intensity of all the colors together.

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Here is a close up of one of my favorite 2.5 x 2.5 inch blocks – I am having so much fun coming up with combinations from the limited fabric options I was given. I enjoyed the tiny piecing challenge and many of the silks had to be backed with interfacing to stabilize their delicate weaves.

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Now the blocks are on the Design Wall.

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Now I can decide, from the remaining fabrics, what additional blocks I need to add and their color combinations.

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It is a work in progress!

What’s on the Design Wall: “Ohio Star” (a taste of “Big Magic”)

This post is really the “Part II” of the previous post: “Creative Inspiration: Where I Started…” in which I discuss my inspiration to create series of small recycled clothing quilts based on the first quilt book I owned: Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! (McClun & Nownes, 1998).

The “Big Magic” of Creativity

I am currently listening to a wonderful audiobook by Elizabeth Gilbert, read by the author – Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (2015). In the inspirational book Gilbert proposes that Ideas are entities unto themselves that move among us searching for a home/host to bring them fully into existence.

If an idea visits you and you do not grab onto it, it will move to someone else. She also discusses the concept “multiple discovery” (simultaneous inventions by different individuals not aware of what the other is working on). She proposes that when an Idea is ready to “be born”, it will visit numerous people to find someone who is going to bring it into existence. This is all part of the “Big Magic” and mystery of creativity and the creative process.

The Ohio Star Idea (magical “multiple discoveries”?)

In the previous post, “Creative Inspiration: Where I Started…“, I share my  recent experience of being in a thrift store with friends and having the idea to do some traditional pattern small quilts using recycled clothing for The Wardrobe Meets the Wall collection.

The traditional quilt pattern “Ohio Star” popped into my head. I mentioned to my creative partner on The Wardrobe Meets the Wall my idea of making some recycled clothing/garment manufacturing samples quilts based on the Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! book. I did not mention that the traditional pattern, “Ohio Star” had popped into my head.

At first she hesitated on the concept and then remarked: “An Ohio Star done with the recycled silks would be interesting”.

The Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! book does not contain the Ohio Star pattern. It was like we both just came up with the same idea at the same time!  I was completely overwhelmed that she randomly mentioned “Ohio Star” when I was thinking it at the same time. There are so many traditional quilt block patterns – why did “Ohio Star” pop into both of our minds.

The Ohio Star Silk Experiment

Of course, I had to try and make a small recycled clothing quilt with the Ohio Star quilt block pattern! I found an image of an “Ohio Star” on the web and reverse engineered it.

My challenge: The quilts I have made so far from recycled clothing materials, such as silk garment manufacturing samples, have been using free form, intuitive piecing techniques. In order to create a traditional Ohio Star block, I had to use more accurate piecing techniques.

Using a special interfacing, I backed on the thinner silk pieces to stabilize them for cutting into specific small shapes (such as triangles). Silk is not as forgiving as cotton when piecing a block and it was a new experience to try and make a traditional block with silks!

On the design wall photo below, you will see I have completed the basic Ohio Star block. I am working on an inner border and outer border for this piece. I will post the completed small quilt top in the future.

Ohio Star, recycled silks (in progress)

Ohio Star, recycled silks (in progress on the Design Wall)

I consider this experiment a warm up for the project to make a series of small quilts from recycled clothing inspired by traditional quilt patterns from Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!!

What’s On the Design Wall: A Homecoming

Yesterday my collaborating colleague and long-arm quilter on The Wardrobe Meets the Wall Collection, Betty Anne Guadalupe, unveiled the beautiful work she did on my piece Abandoned Structure, which is based on an abandoned power plant in Central Oregon that I photographed many years ago.

For more on the development of this piece, the story behind it, and the original photo that inspired it, please see the post What’s On the Design Wall: Working Through a New Art Quilt Piece.

Once I got it home I stuck it up on the Design Wall (a sort of homecoming from where it originally was born).  I have not yet trimmed the batting from the edges or put the finish  on the edges, but I am enjoying just looking at the piece as it came off the long-arm quilting machine.

I will post some photo details of the quilting artistry by Betty Anne once I get the edges finished. Betty Anne used the original photo I took of the abandoned power plant to inspired her quilting – she included water textures and structure textures that mimic those in the original photo.

I am excited to add it to our The Wardrobe Meets the Wall Collection of art quilts made from recycled clothing and garment manufacturing scraps.

Abandoned Structure (2015, in progress). Designed and pieced by Tierney Davis Hogan, Quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe.

Abandoned Structure (2015, in progress). Designed and pieced by Tierney Davis Hogan, Quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe.