and then there’s another character builder

Jury Duty Summons arrived in the mail today for service in mid-March. It’s hard to make a good decision at the moment as I have a couple of deadlines, and am looking for work.

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Click on the link (photo above) to Stashed! in a few days we’ll be hosting a giveaway with Famore Cutlery. Details will be in the newsletter when it goes out.

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I’m heading to QuiltCon later today working in the Pinwheels booth. I’m going to try and blog from there and maybe do some walking around on Monday. I haven’t been to Savannah in years!

Happy Quilting,

Teri

Well this is pretty darned awesome-sauce

 

A wee little bit ago I heard noise coming from the general vicinity of my sweetie’s computer. He’s not a fan of my Sunday evening television viewing, that’s blog fodder for another day. So, he turns his computer in my general direction, showing me:

Well just wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Just watch the whole thing. This woman clearly spent more than six minutes playing the drums. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Oh did I mention practice?

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Pardon the overexposure here. In the late afternoon the sun seems to live in front of the window, bathing the room in glorious (sometimes migraine inducing) light. This late afternoon bathing improves the mood, and strengthens the resolve to keep stitching, not so great for pics though.

I finished the strip sets for the Kings Puzzle Quilt. Which meant time to cut the aforementioned strips into individual units for the blocks. Wahoo! Progress.

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Part way through the cutting, and labeling I messaged a fellow quilter, dear friend, and teller of truth about a mistake in the pattern*. Grumble. She says, “the math is correct.” I send her a photo of the directions. “The pattern is correct.” She says.

The pattern* was indeed correct. I missed one key thing. It says “make 2 strip sets”. That would indeed mean that I could cut all of the necessary pieces. I took a deep breath. Made one more strip set, cut the necessary pieces and kept going.

That’s when I got ready to start stitching the blocks. 20170219_164416

First up, arranging the units in the correct order, and direction to make one block.Sixteen total are required but this step to be certain I’ve got it all together.

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It is now pinned to the swatches of Radiance that live on the wall in front of the sewing table. To the left of the machine are the units all laid out all ready for me to stitch. The next 15 blocks will be chain pieced.

So this quilt has reminded me of the need to double check everything. And ask my friends for help. Well, more to the point, grumble to friends, but be open to the possibility that I’ve done something wrong. In this case, I did.And even better, I had what I needed ready to stitch for the final strip set I needed.

Amusingly I’d been rejoicing over this:

because piecing is fun, and clearly develops character.

Happy Quilting,

Teri

Character = Depth

coffee mugsDo you remember the Best Hot Chocolate I Ever Made? Oh sweet memories of imbibing. The memory of making that hot chocolate is as fresh as the day I made it. The after affects are as present. A chocolate hangover, who knew? Now I do, and won’t do that again. While we’re having a rather mild winter the hot chocolate consumption is limited to once or twice a week. Rather than the length and breadth of making it slowly on the stove, the favorite coffee mug gets filled with milk, popped in the microwave til hot, then hot chocolate powder is stirred in. On the odd occasion cinnamon, nutmeg or chipotle powder are mixed in, adding depth and character to the normal, every day hot chocolate.

Chocolate is proof that God loves us, and wants to see us happy.

Over the years my taste in chocolate has changed, in a manner similar to wine, and beer. As I get to know the flavors, the depth, the terroir, the distinctiveness I learn what appeals to my personal palate. Once upon a time chocolate purchased at big box stores satisfied that longing, and will do in a pinch. Now I spend a little more and savor each morsel, chocolate lasts much longer now. (Shocking, I know.)

chocolate 001Now I make Craft Hot Chocolate using cocoa powder, sugar in the raw, vanilla bean paste when I have it or vanilla from Tahiti, a wee nip of alcohol, milk, and half & half. Occasionally I’ll add chipotle, a little heat goes a long way. The recipe is never the same, like baking it’s an understanding of how things work, and proportions. Each steaming mug has it’s own depth, and character. Changing up the ingredients from the cocoa powder to the sugars and spices makes each cup unique. Using milk or half & half adds a creamy richness, making me want to curl up on the sofa with a good book, getting lost in both for hours on end.

The other option is bring that hot steaming mug of chocolate to the sewing studio for another level of hand crafted, creative inspiration.

With that, off I go to the kitchen, then the studio.

Happy Quilting,

Teri

Piecing

20170217_130840Piecing. I’m in the middle of making this quilt:

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It’ll be in Indigo.

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clicking on the picture will take you to SewBatik where you can get this.It’s coming along beautifully. These batiks have a beautiful hand, press beautifully, and take stitching well. I’m using Superior MasterPiece black for the piecing. As I finish seams they get pressed to set the thread into the seam, then pressed toward the Indigo. Yes, that’s pressed twice. As the piecing moves forward the seams will all receive the same treatment.

I’ll post on Instagram as the quilt progresses.

Happy Quilting,

Teri

Trees are perfect: character grows

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Way back when my dear mother-in-love lived in South Jersey she planted two Dogwood trees.One afternoon as we worked on cleaning up the property I pulled one of them up. It looked like a twig. The baby tree was replanted and thrived. The dogwood still lives in my front yard now, in spite of my efforts to hasten it’s demise. Its limbs a safe haven for the mocking birds that hatch in our arbor. Well, actually, they’re after the birds the berries on the branches, but that’s a story for another day.

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The branches of trees add interest to their overall shape. Visually the twisting and turning, this way and that, growing.

Parrots in treeTrees do bend. Though straight and tall.

Trees grow, and change. Branches strengthen and new branches grow from them. Each adds character. The branches strengthen in the wind, and rain, and snow. These forces in their lives help build the trees.

Nature provides us with interesting things to look at. I’ve never criticized her for sunsets, tree shapes, flower shapes, leaves, bees. When I look at wrought iron, which is a passion of mine, I see character rather than flaws. This is about unique rather than an idealized perfection.

Happy Quilting,

Teri

A wee bit of a finish

On a sew day with friends I cut out the pieces for a new quilted purse, and started stitching them together. The idea floated around my head for a while as the quilting of the fat quarters progressed.

Here’s the finished front:

#bernina #brewersewing cork is beautiful

A post shared by Teri Lucas (@terilucas) on

Here’s the finished back:

Purse done #fronddesignstudios #brewersewing

A post shared by Teri Lucas (@terilucas) on

What I don’t have a picture of is the little zippered wallet I made to go with it. I like to have a little something to put in my pocket, and take with me when I go into the City.

I loved adding the cork for texture, and character. The cork takes stitching well and has many uses. It’s a bit spendy so adding detail, and creating a unique look works best for me. After getting home I changed the hardware on the adjustable strap.

Once I get through the first Lucy’s Nickles Project this will become either a class or a pattern.

Happy Quilting,

Teri

 

 

Character: explored beauty

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Melanie Testa is by far one of the most joyful, and thoughtful quilters I’ve ever met. A beautiful, creative soul. One of my most treasured memories is having lunch with her and Elizabeth, we were on the receiving end of some seriously disapproving looks from because we were laughing so much. This still brings a smile. Melanie creates unique, interesting squares of hand printed cloth. These are among some of my greatest treasures.

Melly has shared some of her process for making and printing cloth. Watching her demo in a booth a few years ago, this is messy business indeed.

 

She had stuff all over her hands. Her exuberance, though, quite catching.

What I see though in her process is a lot of work, thought, preparation, experimentation. There’s a lot of “this isn’t going to work” until “hey this is magic”. When Meadowlark (Windham Fabrics) came out I designed a few quilts for her including several seen in her booth.

Melly has recently published a new book with Carol Soderlund that I’ll share more about sometime very soon. It’s a beautiful book. I’ll share this…for now, the it is very much the result of working, trying, things working, things not working, things almost working. A lot of practice getting things just the way you want.

And so, I go looking for more character. Which is often found in the mirror.

Happy Quilting

Teri