My 18′ x 40″ quilt from recycled materials, The Recycled Love (2018) is part of the – Threads That Bind Central Oregon SAQA exhibit at Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty Gallery, downtown Bend, Oregon that opened August 3, 2018 and is running through August 2018.
I did not get to attend the opening but luckily I met a friend for lunch the morning of the show’s opening. After our lunch we peeked into the gallery and luckily the pieces were already hung in preparation for the evening’s opening.
I took photos quickly as I needed to return to work – here are images from the show (apologies to the artists for the less than stellar photo images of their amazing quilts – the quilts were all perfect rectangles unlike my camera image portrays!):
Each art quilt had a placard with the name of the piece and the artist’s name, but I wish the Artist Statements were also displayed. Our SAQA group met in June at one of the member’s gorgeous homes (the house was a piece of art itself!) and we took turns unveiling our pieces and sharing our Artist Statements/the background on each piece.
The art quilts in this show each have an amazing story and I am sorry I cannot share those stories with you (I should have taken notes at the unveiling). I do remember part of one story, a piece by the incredibly talented Jan Tetzlaff – it was inspired her trip to South Africa and seeing the prison where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for for 27 years:
In case you are new to my blog, you can read more about my piece The Recycled Love in this post – The Recycled Love.
I mentioned in this post that I had two pieces in the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (July 14, 2018) this year. Originally I was only going to have one piece, my 18″ x 40″ quilt for our annual Central Oregon SAQA themed show: The Threads That Bind
The Recycled Love
However a couple weeks ago I got an e-mail from Jeannette Pilak asking for additional quilts for Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (SOQS) Sponsors. The “Sponsor Quilts” are hung in the local businesses that financially support the show a week before the show. “Sponsor Quilts” help support sponsors by encouraging SOQS attendees to visit their shops and businesses to see additional quilts.
I was honored to be included in the list of those invited to help out, so I decided to also put this quilt in SOQS as a “Sponsor Quilt”:
I am listing Additional Conversations for sale as the show as I’ve been invited to create another quilt with the same inspired design for a very special show, that of course is secret and I cannot share information on yet.
Speaking of secret shows, if you are wondering why lately I have not posted photos of any works in progress it is because I am working on a secret quilt for a future Women of Color Quilting Network Show and I cannot share images until the show is announced.
I know several of you have worked or are currently working on secret quilts too for special shows/books/events. It will be fun when we can all reveal them!
Other SOQS Stuff
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) does not have any quilts in the show this year. It is not like 2016 when he had FIVE quilts in the show and SOLD TWO! I also had five quilts in the show and SOLD NONE. He teased me quite a bit about that as he was a very new quilter and I am a long-time quilter. He was in the special Man Made exhibit so that might have given him more exposure (or his quilts were just more appealing than mine).
For this SOQS one of my blogging buddies, Becca @Pretty Piney who lives on the East Coast of the U.S. has a quilt in the show this year and I am going to take photos for her and send them on to her. I met Becca in person in NYC September 2017 while we were both attending Quilters Take Manhattan and we were both trying to photography our mutual blogging buddy, Mary @Zippy Quilts piece! It was one of those “talk about a small world” moments!
I have a bunch of blog posts on previous Sisters Outdoor Shows and if you would like to read those stories and see some of the amazing quilts people display at the show, check out this series of posts: Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show
And I will likely do a series of posts on this years show. I am especially excited about this years show as my two beloved Sister-in-Laws, who are both quilters, are coming for a visit to see the show and to hang out with TTQH (their brother) and me!
For next year there are rumors that some of my California-based Quilting Sisters might come for a visit during the show! We had a blast a couple of years ago when they visited and I might need to check with them before I share some of the hysterical shenanigans that occurred during their visit…something to do with a quilter’s cutting mat and I can say no more at this time – ha!
For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. – Audrey Hepburn
Last Thursday (April 19, 2018) I was the featured speaker at our monthly Central Oregon SAQA (art quilting) group meeting.
What I Presented
I did a presentation (complete with “death by PowerPoint”…I did try to keep the PowerPoint slides as engaging as possible with primarily photos) on the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) and the 2017 Quilters Take Manhattan (QTM) event I attended in NYC in September 2017.
I used some of the key text from these posts but also included more photos than were in the posts (I have a crazy amount of photos from QTM 2017!). For fun I also snuck in some family photos (I met up with my sister, brother and two awesome nephews) from the trip, especially some of my highly adorable 5 year old and now 14 year old nephews!
I also brought a copy of all the WCQN Exhibit books by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi in my personal collection for the attendees to look through while I spoke (so they would not fall asleep during my presentation):
And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversation
Threads of Faith: Recent Works from the Women of Color Quilters Network
Journey of Hope: Quilts Inspired by President Barack Obama
Textural Rhythms: Quilting the Jazz Tradition
Quilting African American Women’s History
I also brought a copy of Sherri Lynn Woods’ book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously just in case there was any art quilter in our group that had not heard of this book.
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) attended the presentation also and helped me haul all those books to the speaking engagement.
No one appeared to fall asleep during my presentation and they actually appeared quite engaged (or faked it very well!)
If you’ve followed my blog for a while you know my obsession with my public library. What was cool (at least to me) was that my presentation was done in the Conference room of the Sisters Branch of the Deschutes Public Library. So I got to speak at the library (huge smile)!
Key to Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking: Be Delusional & Improvisational
One of my Central Oregon SAQA friends asked me before the presentation if I was nervous and I said “no”.
I am not sure if I should be nervous but I am never really nervous before a speaking engagement. I have this likely delusional belief, especially if I am speaking in front of a group that knows me, that they want me to succeed and are cheering me on (hopefully no one breaks my delusion!).
I used to do a lot of public speaking professionally when I was a trainer (before the days of telecommuting) at work and at professional conferences. If you’ve done corporate training, especially mandatory corporate training, you know about speaking to an audience that may not want to be there!
What broke me of any fear of public speaking (possibly creating my delusion that everyone is cheering for me) was an experience many, many years ago when I spoke at a conference that my employer put on for one our retail clients when I worked for a Workers’ Compensation Carrier.
It was a large group of managers for one of our retail clients (a national group) that looked like their souls had been sucked out of their bodies (please know I have nothing against who works in retail, this group of conference attendees were just very lifeless, they could have been in any industry). Also as you could imagine, managing work related injuries is not the most exciting all day conference topic!
During the conference, I watched one presenter after the other painfully struggle through their presentation with a highly “unengaged” and bored audience.
When it was my turn, I figured the crowd/audience could not dislike me anymore than they obviously already disliked the previous presenters, so what the heck – I was going to have fun.
So when I got up to the podium, I had an improvisational moment and I took the microphone off the podium stand and started walking through the crowd with it. I did my presentation as if I was performing a nite-club act: Walking through the crowd, speaking directly to audience members and being very animated.
Shockingly I got the first round of audible strong applause for the day! I even saw some actual smiles in the crowd (like their souls had briefly returned to their bodies!)
After that I had no fear of public speaking. Ultimately if the audience hates me, they hate me (but I always secretly know they are cheering for me – my insanity is so delicious!)
A follow up to the post Additional Conversations – Completed , one of my blogging buddies asked me what was behind the name “Additional Conversations”. This made me realize I better go write the Artist Statement.
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.
For this year’s post on the 2017 Sister’s Outdoor Quilt Show (SOQS) I am going share my 2017 SOQS experience in one post instead of breaking it into a series of posts like I did last year. Warning: There are a lot of photos in this post!
It was very hot yesterday (imagine the witch in the Wizard of Oz: “I’m melting, melting”)
in Central Oregon and this year I decided to go to the show in the afternoon instead of the early morning as previous years. I had plans to meet friends for dinner after the show and I thought I would be completely melted by the end of the day if I went early!
I shared the progress on my art quilt for the annual Central Oregon SAQA exhibit, Pathways, in several previous posts (most recent Artist Statements, PartII). It debuted on Saturday July 8, 2017 at the SOQS.
Below are photos from the exhibit which featured the works of some majorly talented art quilters in the SAQA group I belong:
My SOQS Wandering Partner
My friend the NY Times Bestselling Author, Marie Bostwick, was in town for a book signing at Paulina Books (a wonderful indie bookstore, please support your local indie bookstore!).
I retrieved her after the book signing to extract her from the comfort of an air conditioned bookstore so she could experience the sweltering heat and wander around and look at quilts!
Inside Sisters City Hall: Respite from the Heat
Here is a secret to SOQS: If it is sweltering hot, you can take break from the heat inside of Sisters City Hall and look at quilts (or pretend like you are looking at quilts and just sit inside and relax!)
Inside City Hall, when you first enter, they had an incredible quilt on display by Jean Wells Keenan that is a tribute to the town of Sisters Oregon:
Walking into the City Council meeting hall, there was an incredible display of art quilts, the Quilt for TwoRivers project, inspired by the Whychus Creek in Sisters:
It was very empty in City Hall towards the end of the SOQS and Marie and I spent a leisurely 30 – 45 minutes or so sitting in the comfortable chairs of City Hall, in air conditioning, visiting. Finally the SOQS volunteers came in and kicked us out as they had to lock up City Hall.
More Around SOQS Photos
I did not take the volume of the photos I have taken in previous years attending SOQS. I hope I do not sound too jaded but it is a very nice show with a lot of very nice quilts, but I no longer think I need photos of every spectacular quilt.
Instead I took photos of a sampling of sights to give a mini experience of attending this mind-blowing show. The entire downtown of Sisters, Oregon is closed to traffic and the entire downtown, every building (and seemingly every nook and cranny) is covered with quilts!
Here is a glimpse inside the Stitchin’ Postquilt shop (Jean Wells Keenan of the Stitchin’ Post started the show in 1975):
During SOQS it is pure madness inside this quilt shop as compared to the rest of the year for us locals. I do not attempt to shop there during SOQS (as I can shop there anytime the rest of the year) but I do like peeking in to see the craziness as quilters from all over the world try to take home a little of the magic.
One thing I have to say about the Stitchin’ Post, besides having a fantastic staff (which includes many talented fiber artists), is that it has a fantastically curated selection of fabrics and yarn. If you are an art or modern quilter this is definitely the place to buy unique and hard to find fabrics.
At the show I ran into Donna R., an extremely talented art quilter and long time SOQS volunteer. She had on a handmade and dyed dress created from previous SOQS volunteer T-shirts:
The SOQS volunteers are quite an amazing group. I volunteered once in 2007 when I had my first quilt ever in quilt show at 2007 SOQS, but I have not been able to volunteer again since that time. Maybe in the future.
Speaking on volunteers, Jan T. another incredible art quilt and head of our Central Oregon SAQA group, presented a quilt story book in which each page of a giant book had a story on the right and a quilt on the left inspired by that story:
How often do you get to see something like that? Only at the SOQS!
While at the show I ran into the wonderful teacher and incredible person, Janet Shorten the head of Sisters of the Heart Foundation which brings medical teams and community enrichment teams to struggling villages in Uganda. Janet teaches women in Uganda to do crafts, including quilting, then helps them sell those crafts to raise money for their communities. Here she is with one of the quilts the women she works with in Uganda made:
They focus on community empowerment and if you are looking for an organization to support with your donation, I recommend this wonderful organization!
So that is my reporting from the 2017 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. Check out the other blogs I mentioned early in this post for additional photos.
While at the show, I did stop at the Sisters Habitat for Humanity Thrift shop and found this lovely sunflower fabric for $2:
I do love sunflowers and if you have followed my blog for awhile you might remember my obsession with sunflowers, like in this July 2016 post Waiting for the Sunflowers.
It is July again and I am once again waiting…so I just had to buy this fabric!
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.
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!
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)
In my 04/23/16 post Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me, I shared how I want to translate some of the inspirational stories my father, Raoul Davis, Sr. told me as a child, that inspire who I am as a person, into textile stories.
Two things happened since this post: 1) I was invited to participate in a special exhibit where I could draw from my the inspirational stories and words I listened to from my father as a child; and 2) I watched an excellent presentation on “Working in a Series” through the art quilting organization I belong – Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) that further inspired me to work on this series.
I created my first quilt inspired by stories my father told me, and it is titled “The Lesson & The Equation“. At this time I cannot share details on the show that it will be a part of as the exhibit has not been announced yet. However, I did receive permission from the show’s curator to share a photo of the quilt on my tierneycreates blog.
Below are excerpts from my Artist Statement for this piece to provide some understanding of the inspiration for this piece:
My father grew up in the segregated South in the 1940s and embraced at an early age that change comes from respectful dialogue, not violence. He taught us that regardless of what adversity we faced in life, we must face it with grace; and treat others with respect, dignity, and brotherhood…. (THE LESSON).
In this quilt, a father (modeled after my own father in the 1970s) is teaching his children, on the main blackboard, THE EQUATION to achieving a world in which people are Free and Equal…I am from a family of educators, beginning with my great-grandfather. The blackboards in the quilt honor that legacy.
POSTSCRIPT: The Instagram Experiment
I have decided to experiment with the mysterious social networking app Instagram(yes, it is only mysterious to me). I mentioned in the “POSTSCRIPT” section of the post Back to the Buttehow clueless I am about Instagram. Experimenting with it might be the only way to become less clueless!
I have added an Instagram “widget” to my blog page and now you will see my Instagram feed on my Homepage. (Of course ow I need to add more than the 4 or so photos I had in Instagram when I first signed up a year or two ago, got very confused and stopped using it).
We have magnetic erasable board on our refrigerator. I write menu plans and grocery shopping lists on this board. I have a habit of taking a photo of my grocery list on my smartphone to take shopping (I figure that is “greener” than using paper to write it down). I was laughing to myself: wouldn’t that make a terribly dull Instagram feed – just photos of my messily scrawled food shopping lists?!?!
I promise to try to keep the feed a wee bit more interesting than that!
I am a member of SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Quilt Associates), and in the most recent edition of the SAQA Journal there was a separate insert/form included in the mailing, inviting SAQA members to fill out (what I thought was a survey) a form related to their “Wild About SAQA” campaign and e-mail a photo of yourself, your completed form, and a photo of your artwork.
I thought it was part of a SAQA member registry where other SAQA members could see your survey responses, your photos and a sample of your quilt art. I e-mailed the completed and scanned form; the Tierney photo I use on my blog; and a recent piece Archaeological Dig: The Vessel.
A couple weeks after e-mailing the form and photos, I received an e-mail from a SAQA media representative informing me that my photo, responses and quilt would be featured in the December 2015 issues of Fiber Art Now magazine as an ad for SAQA. She included the pdf mock up of the ad already sent to the magazine for publication.
I am surprised and excited to be featured in an ad in Fiber Art Now.
(Fiber Art Now is a quarterly magazine for contemporary fiber arts and textiles. The ad is on page 30 of the Winter 2015, Vol. 5., Issue 2 edition of Fiber Art Now)
I was invited to speak on Blogging for Art Quilters at our October SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) meeting, as the featured presenter.
In my “pay the bills” career in the health care industry, for the past 20+ years I have done numerous training and workshops for those in staff and in leadership positions. So my first thought when accepting the invitation to speak was: “No problem, I have done like a zillion presentations and I can give any group ‘Death by PowerPoint'”.
I once even did a presentation for “the dead”. Or people I thought were dead (I mean a long time dead, they just hadn’t started to smell yet). I was the head of Medical Management for a Worker’s Compensation carrier and I had to do a presentation for the management group of a large retail organization.
When I got up to the podium and saw a sea of very blank and disengaged faces (basically they all looked “dead inside”), instead of having stage fright, I thought “Screw it, I am going to have fun”!
I removed the microphone from the podium, walked into the glassy-eyed audience and began to work the crowd with my presentation like I was a nightclub act. They suddenly came back to life and I had a blast (and maybe they did too) giving the presentation!
So I have little fear of public speaking as I have overcome some challenging audiences…that is, little fear in the health care industry…
Fear Creeps In…
So our local SAQA group contains nationally and internationally known quilters, teachers, published book authors, and some seriously talented (like mind blowing-ly talented) art quilters. This was my first time ever presenting/speaking in the art quilting industry (I am usually thinking at each SAQA meeting “so what I am doing here with these people?”).
One of my friends in the health care industry said to me when I told her about the upcoming presentation: “Well Tierney, if you lose them you during your talk on blogging for art quilters, you could always start wowing them with your knowledge of medical cost management!”
Additionally I am no expert on blogging. I started in 2013 and I have been learning as I go and continually reading tips from other bloggers. My only saving grace was I knew I could put together a nice “Death by PowerPoint” for the group!
The Actual Speaking Engagement
The SAQA group was wonderful and it was easy to engage them, I had no need to be worried.
Highlights from my presentation “Blogging for Art Quilters”:
WHY BLOG? To have an online presence; to showcase your art; to connect with other quilters & artists; to connect with potential customers.
COMMON BLOGGING PLATFORMS: WordPress.com; Blogger.com; and Typepad.com
WRTING BLOGGING CONTENT: Engage your readers and get them coming back with interesting posts, “cliff-hangers”, and ongoing series; learn the blog hosting platform’s tips to make navigate your site easy for readers; brainstorm on ideas for posts and keep a journal of ideas; find your own voice and be true to yourself.
BLOGGING ETIQUETTE: (adapted from Idiot’s Guide Blogging Rules & Etiquette): Respond to and appreciate your readers they took the time to read your posts and comment; stay away from “hard sales” and controversial topics (religion, politics, etc.) unless that is the purpose of your blog; respect copyright laws.
SPELL CHECKING IS IMPORTANT (okay so sometimes I fail at this…but it is still important…): A tip I use (or try to use) is to read aloud my posts before posting to see if they are close to resembling standard English usage! (So Tierney, are you actually a “native English speaker” or did you just recently learn via online instruction?)
PUBLICATIONS: Before I started blogging or starting my tierneycreates Etsy shop I did a lot of reading. Here are some of my favorites and I thank all the wonderful authors who wrote either the books or articles I enjoyed!
• Artful Blogging Magazine, Stampington
Blogging for Creatives: How Designers, Artists, Crafters and Writers Can Blog to Make Contacts, Win Business, and Build Success (Robin Houghton, 2012)
Writers Can Blog to Make Contacts, Win Business, and Build Success (Robin Houghton, 2012)
Blogging for Dummies (Susannah Gardner, 2011)
How to Sell Your Crafts Online(Derrick Sutton, 2011)
The Handmade Marketplace (Kari Chapin, 2010)
Grow Your Handmade Business (Kari Chapin, 2012)
The Real Reason I Blog
At the end of my presentation, I shared why personally I blog: Connection.
At first my blog was to be a vehicle to gain potential customers for my Etsy shop, but then it became more than that – it became a vehicle to connect with other individuals with shared interests and discover other blogger and their blogs.
I so appreciate my readers and I now follow many blogs myself (trying to keep up with them all as best I can). I love reading the life adventures of other individuals and the experiences and lessons their share!
In my posts Look Look I am in a Book and Oh Wow! I shared my excitement of having several of my quilts selected to be in a book about quilting inspiration called 1000 Quilt Inspirations: Colorful and Creative Designs for Traditional, Modern, and Art Quilts by Sandra Sider. Well the other day my copy of the book arrived in the mail and I was…overwhelmed. Quilt images from 300 artists from 20 countries were selected for this book – and I am one of them!
I am a wanna-be art quilter and I dream someday of “quitting my day job” or at least moving to a part-time version of my health care industry day job and focusing most my energies on tierneycreates and creating. Being in this book feels like a step towards that dream. One of important things I did to advance on this path is to join SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates). Through SAQA I found about the call for entries for this book as well as call for entries for other shows I have entered (and been accepted to). I was also very inspired by an article in the SAQA Journal by Carol Ann Waugh on “Becoming a Professional Artist”. I wrote Ms. Waugh to thank her for this incredible article which outlines the steps to become a professional art quilter!
After the initial “intense floating” around the house (and around town on my errands) over seeing sections from five of my quilts in this book in person, I settled back to earth and thought about: “why am I really excited to be in this book?”
I am fortunate to know and interact with several real professional art quilters who have authored their own art quilting and/or traditional quilting books, been in endless shows as well as featured in many books. I greatly admire them and their art, however I realized that is not my goal and not why I was primarily excited about being in this book.
What is most exciting about being in this book is that something that I created might inspire someone else to create. A quilter in Des Moines, Iowa who is looking for color or design inspiration might be leafing through the book and come across my pieces in the book and go – “Aha – that is it!”. What an honor to provide inspiration to someone you never met and will likely never met. I am fortunate to have been inspired by so many talented people I have never met. It is all about sharing our inspiration and hopefully inspiring someone else to take chances, risks and be bold & fearless in their quilt creations!
Below are photos of the quilts that are in the 1000 Quilt Inspirations book. Much thanks to Betty Anne Guadalupe of Guadalupe Designs for her wonderful professional long arm quilting on four of the five quilts that got accepted!
Random not so Random, Flying Triangles, Silk Landscape and Color Changes – images from these quilts (#0246 – #0249) are featured in the book 1000 Quilt Inspirations