Thrift Shop Adventures

Awesome $2 Thrift Shop Find

Howdy.

It’s time to return to blogging after taking a week or so off after 31 days straight of posting to celebrate the tierneycreates blog 5th anniversary for the month of October.

I am going to return to sharing more photos/stories from the quilt retreat I attended the near end of October; and I recently returned from a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico and I have photos and stories to share.

But first, I wanted to share another very cool thrift store find! It’s another entry in my series of posts Thrift Shop Adventures. This post is sort of a follow up to my October 22 post, Awesome $3 Thrift Shop Find. However this time it was an awesome $2 thrift shop find!

A Trip to a Local Charity Thrift Shop

Why I ended up on Saturday at a local thrift shop: I was dropping off a donation of yarn skeins after clearing out my excess yarn stash.

In my master bedroom closet I had two tubs of yarn tucked away. Poor forgotten yarn. 

A couple of years ago I made a commitment to only keep the craft items/materials that I loved and used (see my series of posts My Minimalism Journey) except I appeared to have forgotten about my yarn.

I pulled out the two large tubs of yarn, dumping all the skeins onto the floor and discovered I had yarn that I purchased over 15 years ago, never used, and likely would never use (especially the faux fur type of yarn that was popular for making those furry looking scarves 15 years ago!). I was able to put together a large package of yarn skeins to donate to a local charity thrift shop.

After pulling out all the yarn I would never use, I decided to put the yarn I would like to make something with (someday) somewhere besides tucked away in tubs in the back of my master bedroom closet.

So I organized (and I use that term loosely) the yarn skeins in the closet of my studio which I keep open most of the time:

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So with my remaining yarn organized, I headed off to a local thrift shop to donate the yarn I did not need.

A Yummy Find

After dropping off my donation at the donation area in the back of the thrift shop, I figured it would not hurt to just peek inside, quickly (smile), the thrift shop.

Once inside I immediately headed to the crafts section and what did I find – a large bag of beautiful home decorating samples:

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I could barely contain my excitement when I saw the price on the bag – two dollars! So the bag and I headed up to the counter to pay and I gleefully left the thrift shop with my prize!

Inside the $2 Bag

It was difficult not to open the bag and look inside in my car, but I knew I should wait until I got home and could fully enjoy the discovery of what waited inside.

Inside were many beautiful home decor fabric samples, like these ones below that were from New York City:

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And here are photos of a sampling of the other samples, as I was putting them away in the container where I keep home decor samples (which is now full…):

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Included in the package were beautiful swatches of raw silk, gorgeous embroidered fabrics, velvets and other wonderful textures.

Who knows what I will do with these fabrics, for now I am just happy to have them in my recycled fabrics collection and appreciate that someone donated them for someone else to enjoy rather than having them end up in the landfill.

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Studio, What's on the Design Wall

Recycled Love (“What’s On My Lap” and Artist Statements, Part III)

This post is actually part of my ongoing series of posts, What’s on 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, Artist Statements and 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 Quilt Show, 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.

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Recycled Love by Tierney Davis Hogan, in progress

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:

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Still working on hand quilting the heart and the rest of the “folded quilts”

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In addition to recycled denim jeans, this piece is made from a whole lot of recycled textiles including:

  • Recycled jeans
  • Recycled upholstery fabric samples
  • Recycled couture silks
  • Recycled wool
  • 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:

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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.

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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:

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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!


Artist Statement (Artist Statements: Part III)

In the previous posts on writing Artist Statements (Artist Statements and  Artist Statements, Part II.) I shared my struggles writing Artist Statements on individual pieces and my general/overall Artist Statement.

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.

Once completed, this piece will become part of my Recycled Denim Stories Series. If you would like to view the other pieces in this series (or my other series of art quilts) check out my Tierney Davis Hogan page on the Improvisational Textiles website.


Postscript

Finally some real signs of Spring in Central Oregon – the crocus have appeared (and the tulips are popping up their leaves everywhere).

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This evening on our walk we saw a rainbow providing a halo to the setting sun – it was quite magical!

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Creative Inspiration, Fabric Scraps Obsession

Creative Inspiration: Recycled Textiles

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 Creative Inspiration.

Unlikely Materials for Quilt Making: Recycled Textiles

Nearly 2 years ago (March 2016) I did a post on “Unlikely Materials” 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”):

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, Improvisational Textiles.

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.

Recycled Wool

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.

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Recycled Denim

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″).

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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!

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Dyed Silk Scraps

A friend gave me these scraps as samples from a hand dyed silk class she took years ago.

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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:

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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: Quilting Meets Couture.

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The photo does not do the fabrics justice. You can see on the Quilting Meets Couture page 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.

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Postscript

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

Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio, tierneycreates

Can We Talk About Table Runners?

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

Table Runners Running Around in My Mind

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

Let’s back up a moment…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Length, Oh What Length?

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

Then I came across this webpage – Table Runner Dimensions

What I liked about this webpage was this statement:

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

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

Table Runner-ing

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

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

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


Postscript

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

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