learning, lectures/trunk shows, quilting, teaching

Thinking, thinking and I would like your input, please

day trip 069Whenever I hear, “thinking, thinking” the voice in my head sounds like Elfred in my GPS.  Elfred is from the north pole and sometimes asks if anyone wants hot chocolate or fruitcake.  My answer to both is, “yes!”

I’ve been teaching machine quilting on a domestic for about 4 1/2 to 5 years now. I love it (as I’ve posted over and over again).   Over the last several months I’ve had this overwhelming understanding that something needs to change and while I think I know what that is I am asking for you help in clarifying what the changes may look like.

Over the last few days I’ve posted a few questions on facebook that I would appreciate your answers as well:

1) how would you describe what I do as a machine quilter?  Note I am not seeking compliments, how would you explain to someone else my style of quilting and what is it that draws you in or doesn’t draw you in?

2) would you rather take a whole cloth quilting class called, “There’s Fabric Under That Thread” or “Twisted Journey from Inspiration to Whole Cloth”?

3) Would you rather take a machine quilting class that is project oriented or process oriented?  Why?

twilight-quilting-closeup-lower-right-corner-2.jpg4) I am considering designing either a 15″ or 18″ structure for a whole cloth quilt that I would use in the class.  Would this be helpful?  Would you prefer something like, “Twilight in the Bronx” and “Moon Over Manhattan”, “Serendipity” or something a bit newer and fresher?

5) for the beginner class: I ask students to bring SOLID fat quarters so that their stitching can be seen and I’m considering revamping the class using SOLID 24″ or 27″ squares, do you have a preference?  Would you like to keep the fat quarters?  Final option is bringing a 36″ quilt made of a certain quilt blocks, would you be willing to make that prior to class?

6) for “Let Your Foot Loose, Be Fancy & Free” I’m considering designing a structure for this class it would be based on “Twilight in the Bronx”.  Would you prefer something pre-printed or drafting the design in the first part of the class?

Please feel free to answer in the comments or email me at

terilucas at gmx dot com.

Thanks for your help!

Happy quilting!


8 thoughts on “Thinking, thinking and I would like your input, please”

  1. This requires thought, and due to my verbosity, probably more room than should be used on a blog. Venturing out today on a field trip with my machine. I will answer in an email. Lots of good thought stimulus here. looking forward to reading others’ answers. V

  2. 1) I am sorry I really can’t answer that because I am not familiar enough with your work but will try to answer the other questions
    2)Probably the 2nd name – sounds more like you are offering the inspiration to design for yourself as opposed to following a set design
    3) defnitely process oriented because it seems that I am never totally thrilled with the finished project when I am in class but like to learn the techniques that I can perfect at home on a “good” project.
    5) if it was a requirement to make a quilt top that would not be a problem but because I like technique classes I would prefer just a solid (probably) square fabric that could be a canvas for what I was learning.
    6) If the class was that everyone was quilting the same design then definitely preprinted.
    Hope these answers are somewhat helpful.

  3. 1) You add a design layer. You create texture and new/enhanced color. Your flow and change draw people into the project in a way that’s both hypnotic and exciting.
    2) I’d rather go on an inspiration journey than hunt for fabric under thread.
    3) Process oriented – I don’t want to make projects that look just like the teachers projects, I want to use the teacher’s skills to create/enhance my projects.
    4) Some structure would be good, but not ‘fill this space with this pattern’. Twilight and Moon and Serendipity still seem fresh to me…
    5) Fat quarters are easy and readily available. I’d stay with those. I don’t think I’d want to piece a specific 36” quilt before class, but maybe.
    6) The ‘bones’ preprinted if it’s more about free flowing machine quilting than it is about drafting and marking.

  4. 1–layers of design that draw you and your eye closer and closer into the quilt. As you look, you wonder, “how does she do THAT????”
    2–bring on the inspiration. . .I do enough “hunting” on my own–which is not necessarily good! 🙂
    3–Process oriented, I don’t want to be locked in to a specific design and I want to make my own project using the teacher’s techniques that work for me.
    4–Some structure is good; but even better is learning how to stretch yourself to fill the space with a design you make your own. If I were a student, I want to be able to see all those quilts to help inspire me!
    5–Fat quarters all the way if I’m learning how to doodle. Specific quilt if I’m learning what to put into the space. Don’t go bigger than 36″ though!
    6–Drafting/designing if the goal of the class is to be able to doodle with thread. Preprinted if the goal of the class is to be able to stitch the design.

  5. 1. Adding texture to the quilt top, using a domestic sewing machine – an important distinction these days. There’s a big belief that heirloom quality machine quilting can only be done with a long arm, by someone else.
    2. Definitely “Twisted Journey.” Some students might be put off by the first description – too much quilting!
    3. Process oriented.
    4. Personally, I’d rather do my own thing with your guidance. Others will want the design given to them.
    5. I would be good with the fat quarters or the bigger square, but I wouldn’t want to put together a quilt top. I’m time challenged.
    6. I’d prefer to draft my own, but I bet there will be more quilters who want the preprinted top. I think there are a lot of quilters who are afraid of their own creativity.

  6. 1) You draw with your thread in a painterly way. You accent the whole with your quilting. It adds to the piece rather than taking a starring role. That is what I like. It draws me in because it induces a gee whiz response.
    2) I like #1. It is funny and makes me wonder what is under the thread. 🙂
    3)I am all about the process. I think I learn more freely if I am not worried about the finished product. You could show some things students could make from their sample work – totes, journal covers, etc.
    4)I would prefer the 18″ – more room to play. I like Twilight in the Bronx – it sounds like fun or Serendipity.
    5) I think having a 36″ quiltlet would intimidate beginners. I would go for the 27″ solid. It is easy to obtain and the time investment is minimal. If I had made blocks, I would want the quilting to be better than if I used a solid fabric.
    6)I love to draft my own, but I know that drafting strikes fear into some. What about having the option of both? If they prefer to use your design, they could still participate in the drafting and hopefully learn that it too can be exciting.
    Have fun!!!

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