There’s just so much

Several months ago this blog by Seth Godin resonated deeply. Each one of us has a unique lived experience, and that lived experience informs our quilt making experience. Here’s the post (follow the link for more Seth!)

The foggy mirror

Most people can’t resist a mirror. It makes the wait for an elevator more palatable, and we can’t help checking–how do I look?

In many ways, though, this is futile, because we can never know how we look through other people’s eyes.

No one else has lived your life, heard all of your jokes, experienced your disappointments, listened to the noise in your head. As a result, no one else sees you (and your actions) quite the way you do.

And, to magnify the disconnect, every single person has their own narrative, so even when two people see you at the same time, they have different interpretations of what just happened, what was just said.

The same goes for brands and organizations. No one has experienced your brand or your product the way you have. They don’t know about the compromises and choices that went into it. They don’t understand the competitive pressures or the mis-steps either.

Even the best quality mirror tells you very little. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to focus on this sort of grooming if you want to understand what customers or friends are going to see. Far better to watch what they do.

(But yes, you do have a little green thing stuck in your teeth). – Seth Godin

15965362_10154327272057984_5276096952384327281_nSo, there are moments when, as we look at our work (that’s the quilting) and recognize it’s absolute crap. The backing looks as though it sucked lemons; the tension isn’t right on the stitching – making it easy to pull it all out; the composition or color is wrong. This is a piece that a lot of hard work, and heart have poured forth and just yuck. For many the thought process totally changes and our internal conversation begins to let us know how awful we are. When we embrace the lie that “I’m awful” simply because a quilt, wall-hanging or fiber art piece, didn’t turn out as expected or there were problems we miss a deeper truth: we are good, and the work had something to teach us, maybe. Not every icky piece we turn out will teach us something, nor do we need every lesson our “art”, or “quilt” decides to teach us. Yes, there seems to be a personification of the object.

cropped-live-your-brightest-life-11-e14726550775461.jpgBuying the Lie

Purchasing and keeping the Lie limits our ability to make changes in our quilting. We’re not good enough, our skills will never improve, the list goes on ad infinitum. Since we’ve purchased the lie there is a sense that we must keep, and use this Lie, until it is no more. The thing is with this particular Lie, the more we use it, the more it grows. The more it grows, the more we believe…see where I’m going here?

Once the purchase is made, it’s hard to return the Lie. It whispers in our ear reminding us of and pointing out those things which, on the surface, look like failures, though in all reality they are not failures. While whatever we’re working on might indeed be crap, it does not mean that we are crap, and does not further mean that everything we create is crap.

Letting go of the Lie

IMG_1041Letting go is a little bit more difficult as we need to see the lie for what it is, a falsehood. Our mind is playing tricks on us, trying desperately to retreat to a safe place of knowing where we are and what we’re doing. And it is in this place where we experience a deeps sense of knowing and comfort, like old tennis shoes that have formed well to our feet. They’re no longer giving us the support we need, but we can walk around in them for hours.

Letting go takes time, and commitment. It requires a gentleness. Here in our house my sweetie got a cactus from a neighbor. This neighbor warned my sweetie that there are very fine spines and they are sharp and hurt like a paper cut. The cactus needs to be treated gently and with respect. I don’t put my hands near it, as I use my hands for quilting and getting pricked with one of these things, I can’t even. So the Lie has these spines that are sharp and lodge in painful places. When dealing with them it’s important to be kind, cautious and caring. The spines will show up in places we don’t expect.


IMG_0811Back to Seth, our quilts mirror us in some way. When they go out into the world they speak of who we are, and represent us. When we look at them we see everything we’ve poured into them, and all of the “flaws”, flaws that give our quilts character. Things that most people won’t notice. If they do notice let’s hope they’re polite enough not to tell us. Unless of course, we have lettuce in our teeth, or are dragging toilet paper on our shoe then yes by all means.

Let’s be kinder

To ourselves. This is, particularly after the last few weeks, one of my big missions both personally and professionally. Kindness matters. Treat yourself with great kindness, this leads to so many great places.

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Happy Quilting!

Avoidance Therapy

radiance options fixDid you ever do almost anything else, even cleaning, to avoid getting some kind of work done? I’m sitting in front of my machine, looking at all of the stuff that’s magically appeared on the flat surfaces over the last few days. This is all quilt and knitting related stuff so it belongs in this room. I just need to put it somewhere other than on the flat surfaces so that cutting, and pressing can happen.
What needs to be done? Well, there are two projects and a couple of articles for the magazine I need to write very soon. A couple of these things will appear on the blog, a couple in our pages. Look for sneak peeks on either my Instagram @terilucas or Generation Q Magazine’s Instagram @genqmag. What doesn’t help at the moment is that I’m looking for something that should be with all of this other stuff. Some of this stuff is out as a reminder of what needs to be accomplished. It’s not taunting me or anything.
IMG_1041I will tell you that as it sits there whispering sweet nothings to me my brain kicks into high gear with ideas for how to do something that I really want to do. Let the mulling begin until an idea that will work presents itself and must be explored to the exclusion of everything else that I’m working on.
As I work I think. I think about tension, thread, color, motif’s, how will this become a blog post, am I taking the right photos for step outs. Oh shoot I need to go get the camera! Where is it? Where did I leave the camera…oh yeah *runs to my office and gets camera*. Should I move all of my quilting accouterments to the basement where my office is located? No, just no. It’s cold down there. What color should I paint the dining room.

overthinkerSometimes the thoughts lead to projects down the road. making a competition quilt, where am I teaching next, how can I love my husband more. Life. I think about life. Quilting is life.

So yeah, sometimes I avoid quilting to think about a lot of things that make sense in my head. It’s in those moments that the tiara is adjusted and I get moving with the rest of my day.

Happy Quilting!


Whew! I finished

So, I’ve been quiet the last few days. I’ve been quilting! And quilting, and quilting, and quilting.

@sewbatik #bernina #quilting #terilucasquilts So excited to be where I am in this moment

A photo posted by Teri Lucas (@terilucas) on

This quilt is fun. Diane did a great job piecing this.
This quilt game me a few tinsel highlights. I’ll talk more about that at another time, in another place. Yes, I’ll tell you when.
This quilt reminds me of the possibilities. And there are many.

This quilt will hang at Road to California in the SewBatik booth, along with another one that I used as a warm up exercise. 20170105_223003It’s been a while since I’ve done a larger quilt on the 1080. Part of me loved it. I was starting to hear when the bobbin was running out. To say that having cones of thread made this whole project easier would be an understatement.


If you’re at Road…take a selfie in the booth and tag me either on instagram: @terilucas or #terilucasquilts

Happy Quilting!

Expressing Gratitude

For quite a while now I’ve been trying to thank people, quilters most specifically, who are just special to me in some kind of way. People who have waited on me, checked out my groceries, answered phone calls, any kind of customer service experience. Gratitude, like kindness, an affordable luxury. Taking time for gratitude and kindness, even when faced with some icky things, is worthy of time and talent. It’s so easy in a retail environment (not that I’m in one right this very moment) to overlook gratitude and kindness when things all around us are busy, frenetic, hectic, or we’re tired, or overwhelmed. And yet these very traits will help to see us through those moments.

“Thank you, I don’t often hear this. I appreciate the feed back” she responded when I expressed gratitude and appreciation.

Expressing gratitude with this particular person only took three minutes. Three minutes that would gladly be given again. Three minutes that genuinely made her day.

Now to go back to quilting. I started this yesterday

@sewbatik my view right now. #bernina #quilting #terilucasquilts

A photo posted by Teri Lucas (@terilucas) on

and had to spend a couple of hours ripping out stitches.

Idance bang head 1975‘ll be posting  on instagram @terilucas later this today.

Happy Quilting!



Gone Quilting, Day 2

gone-quiltingI finished one quilt yesterday. This morning my upper body is reminding me that I haven’t done this much quilting in one shot in a loooooooooooong time. Oh how I’ve missed this! The machine running, the bobbins running out. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (extended version – about 9 hours) marathon. I started watching disc 1 of The Return of the King, so about 7 hours of quilting

It’s the one that I’m starting today that needs to get finished. I will tell you when Diane sent pics, giddy just barely begins to describe it. Quilting ideas are rattling around my head, first, the quilt needs some in the ditch stitching. I may break out the walking foot. I’ that serious about this quilt.

I’ve hung the Gone Quilting sign, so…off I go.


PS – I have a “new to me” batting report coming soon. Stay tuned.