One day I’ll quilt this quilt

Iround robin quilt top don’t know when though.
When life was (ahem) normal, and I went to quilt guild meetings with regularity, and I participated in challenges…sigh…those were the days.
I signed up for the center of the Round Robin. The night this was due at the guild meeting I had a brief facebook conversation with Renee wondering what it looked like. “Me too!”, I said as I dashed off upstairs to make it.
Shocking no one reading, I’m sure. Having a limited amount of time, some already fused fabric, a hot iron, and a love for cutting the center portion of the block came together just in time for me to make it to guild.

Watching the quilt come together meeting by meeting was so much fun. Each person adding a bit of a personal touch. Renee has the last round adding all of those triangles in a flying geese style formation. When looking at this quilt there are two questions that come to mind: Do I want to leave the quilt round? and Do I want to do some trapunto work?
Leaving the quilt round is a distinct possibility, it’s a great shape, and unique. The thing then is figuring out the batting so that the quilt stays flat, allowing it to hang well. And by good golly I think I’ve found it! byannie.com Soft and Stable. And the cogs, gears, and synapses are firing. Watch out world here comes another quilt.

This still leaves the trapunto question. Faking trapunto seems a good option because I can fake it really well. The Soft and Stable will quilt give the trapunto look and allow the quilt to hang well. There’s a little bit more thinking before I dive in. I love it when a quilt plan starts coming together.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

Thinking!

what would you do

This words of this meme have been popping up all over the place the last few days. And I’ve seriously had to give these words consideration.

Would I write a book? Well, uh. Ummm. Ehrm. Tried this. Didn’t go so well. Life got uncomfortably in the way, so fail? Not sure but at some point I’ll try this again. Note to self: you do know this stuff, you can write, and quilt with the best of them.

Would I move to the big City and see a good life there. Did that. Life is good.

Would I take climb Mount St Helen or hike the Grand Canyon? Being the indoorsy person I am probably not. Mount St. Helen has already spewed hot, molten lava in my lifetime causing lots of problems. The Grand Canyon is deep and wide. Did I mention being the indoorsy type?

Run a marathon. I’ve actually given this some consideration, I do live in NY after all.

Of course being who I am I started giving consideration to what failure actually is, and what kind of role failure plays in our quilterly lives. Is failure not doing something, never attempting it? Or is failure something else entirely? Is failure permanent or is it a temporary place to regroup?

So my first book writing attempt wasn’t a failure, life intervened in ways never imagined when I set out on that journey. I can still do this however, at this moment I need to take care of some other immediate things. It’s still on the table, just slightly out of reach. I’m good with that at the moment.

I started thinking about a local inventor: Thomas Edison. Rumor has it that he made 1000 attempts at making the light bulb before it actually worked. Was it 1000 failures? Or are there 1000 ways to not make a light bulb and he had to try every single one of them? Since his invention we’ve been using the term “light bulb moment” to describe moments when things work well together and our goal is met. It’s kind of exciting, forget kind of, it’s really exciting when this happens. Kind of like yelling Eureka! when a vacuum cleaner sucks. . . well.

IMG_0820So what would I do if I couldn’t fail? Nothing. Really. I wouldn’t be doing anything. My quilt life, my life would be inert. I’d be going nowhere, on the couch, in the living room, watching television never taking a stitch.

Then I got to thinking – there is a perception that failure us shameful, always, and every single time. It’s not. Sometimes it takes trying something more than 1000 times to figure it out. Is it shameful to stop before that 1000th time? No. Is it failure? Maybe. That’s okay. “Failure” helps us build our character. Especially when we keep going. I’m still not going to climb Mount St Helen, hike the Grand Canyon or run a marathon. These things don’t speak to my heart.

So the original question is good, a better one might be, “what is that one thing to pursue with reckless abandon?”

Happy Quilting!

Teri

 

Character – Lots and lots of Character

Character – Lots and lots of Character

Today is a two quilt day, each has character.

dad-would-be-honored-full-view-2Dad Would be Honored is the first Feathered Star using Marsha McCloskey’s directions I ever made. Most of the quilt is made with dad’s ties. Dad himself was a bit of character writing rotten poetry, his preferred place behind the camera – always observing, listening. I brought his ties home with me shortly after his death. It took me a little while to work up the courage to cut into the ties, and make the quilt. Every once in a while I think about making changes, if I did this or that the overall look would be more pleasing, and effective. The most important thing about Dad Would be Honored, my stepmom loves it just as it is, flaws and all. The moment I gave this to her is priceless. There is one thing I would change though I’d add fusible stabilizer to the ties making some of the piecing a lot easier. Part of me wants to sit here and rip apart the quilting, however I won’t because at the time I know I stitched to the best of my ability. Memory quilts hold something more, they hold our hearts stitched with great love.

star-quilt-10-may-08

If ever a quilt had a journey it’s this one. The fabrics are all Moda Marbles by Patrick Lose. The quilt itself is based on a Jinny Beyer pattern the setting corners should be 9 patches. It was a little bit beyond my skill level at the time so using solid pieces seemed the thing to do. The quilt was much larger at one point having squares in the corners and borders, it was quilted. I always like the quilt, didn’t like the quilting, so it sat in a UFO pile unfinished. An opportunity to make a quilt to donate came along, the seam ripper and I had a date, all of the quilting came out, I cut the quilt down, and re-quilted it. This may have been the first quilt I un-quilted, then re-quilted. The moon and stars seem to be a recurring them in my quilts. Oh sweet heavens inspire me!

Both of these quilts taught me so much. Trying something new is a good, using a seam ripper to take out something that isn’t working well is good, starting over is good.

Have a great quilterly day,

Teri

Saying Good bye

To a HUGE MESS

Join me in a studio clean up?

Ponder 1I just spent the better part of the last week tearing apart my sewing room looking for something. I found a whole bunch of other stuff, like a shelf, and the equivalent of three reams of paper for recycling, maybe four.

There are magazines that need some attention, good ones to that feature adult beverages that bring great joy in limited quantities in the sewing room. There is fabric for quilts. My sweetie’s bed is in need of a new quilt. And I need to piece. While I do not currently have a day job I can focus on making a beautiful quilt for him.

Some time back I ordered the Cherrywood Vincent van Gogh challenge fabric, and the idea is whirling around my head singing sweet music, in need of an outlet.

My inspiration wall is full of clutter. Notes of future quilts that I thought I would do. Words of Inspiration, Art work, fabric…all that have a place in this space. But visually it’s now making me nutty.

20161127_074244And there’s the quilts in progress that need my attention. Oh, so many quilts, and friends and family waiting for years go get these things while I’ve tried building something out of teaching.

I’m going to take a page or six out of the Debby Brown organization tips, that she regularly shares with me. Not in a, “you must do everything my way and all will be well in your world”, but in a “here’s how I manage to keep myself meeting goals” kind of way.

And not driving myself crazy next February, March, and April getting my stuff together.

So I’m starting a tidy up. I’m going to do a little bit of a tidy up before I show you more of what I’m doing. Kind of like cleaning up before the housekeeper comes to clean.

Later this year I’m starting something new. I need to get my ducks in a row and that means reaching out to someone to help me make that happen. A few people have already liked the new fb page. When I get those ducks following me I’ll send you over to the new digs.

Have a very quilterly week!

Teri

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

hyacinth bloomsThis and next week are full of paperwork and very little, if any quilting. So very little to show. The sewing machine has been turned to the side to give me the space. I’d go down to my office however it’s still chilly down there, I’ll enjoy that cooler area during the summer.

I appreciate your indulgence until the stitching begins again. The Moon is Made of Cheese is sitting to my left whispering sweet nothings in my ear. And next to her is another project that I started that is as yet nameless. Is anyone shocked?

CAM00837So for now, here’s a gratuitous quilt that I worked on a while ago. It’s a sampler type that I’ll reprise as a quilt a long in about 5 weeks. Are you ready for some stitching?? If you’re interested comment on this post. This will be different than the one I’m currently running on Lucy’s Nickles, but it will be hosted there. If you’re on facebook please join the group.

See you soon!

Happy Quilting,

Teri

 

Building Up

Building Up

The best way for me to enjoy limoncello is like this:

20170325_084132

As the tag says, I love limoncello. I do. Limoncello goes down very easy. This seam ripper is the best way to enjoy this delightful lemony adult beverage.

20170325_084104This delightfully named, and brightly colored seam ripper is made by Shelley. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook and on her blog. All of which will take you to places to purchase these well balanced seam rippers, complete with stiletto.

Apparently I have a bit of a hand crafted seam ripper thing. There’s nothing like a sharp, well balanced seam ripper for taking out stuff that I’m not happy with. 20170325_084043

I figure if I’m going to have to take out icky stitching having something pretty, and inspiring to work with is a good idea.

20170325_084013

I’m know for saying, and for sharing photos of taking out quilting, or pieced seams. On the last pieced quilt I stitched in one unit backwards in several different places, one smack dab in the middle of the quilt. Rather than taking out everything, I took out that unit, and pieced it in the correct direction. The end result is a happy quilter.

So knowing that I like a good seam ripper, and that there are some really pretty, well balanced, and sharp ones available makes this quilter a wee bit giddy. In the next week or so I’m going to share with you a new tool by BERNINA Ambassador Kari Carr.

"Twilight in the Bronx"
Twilight in the Bronx, Twice quilted, wonky and gorgeous

Y’all know that I think about things a lot. Right now I’m thinking about seam rippers. Because character. Sometimes it’s important to take things out. Sometimes not so much. Using my seam ripper more when the work is for someone else. When the work is for me, I’m a lot more lenient. Doing good work is important to me, however there are times when doing good work interferes with great joy. Embracing the joy builds in the character to whatever I’m working on.
I’ve talked about this quilt more than once. I think I’m going to reprise the conversation.

There’s one more day to enter to win a quilted card. Simply comment on this post to enter.

Happy Quilting,

Teri

Character Builder: Enjoying my Work

Character Builder: Enjoying my Work

B 780 back inside of project

Every time I look at this piece of dupioni I see a dancer, depending on the distance sometimes there are two. Human imagination allows us to look at what is there, see something vastly different that what is intended, and develop our sense of play. This piece started with the feather motif in the middle, stitched out in Superior Twist. There is a certain style of feather that was eluding me, so this started life as a practice piece, and eventually became a clutch.

When exploring new quilt motifs using different weights, and types will help us develop a sense of what something will look like with whatever it is we want to use. This exploration adds to our library of knowledge in a way that develops our understanding of how things work. The more we allow ourselves to explore what this fabric, thread, batting, machine, needles will do, our quilting will become more consistent. We will be okay with the character of our quilts, and essentially the character of who we are as quilt makers.

Melanie quilting full view

I’m going to pause our normally scheduled blog and share this link to a CBS Sunday Morning website. Melanie Testa, and several other women share their breast cancer stories, the story of mastectomies, and opting to remain flat, unreconstructed after.
Cancer touches so many lives in so many ways.
Each person unique in how they deal with it. My uncle fought as long as he could, my dad gave over to it; Melanie  chose to remain flat, Jake will have reconstructive surgery later.

 

And now back to our regularly scheduled program:

metallic happiness

While quilting Tilde I had an epiphany: cotton thread is grabby. I had cotton thread in the bobbin, was stitching with metallic thread on the top. The tension problems were not resolving no matter what I did, so I changed the bobbin thread to polyester, readjusted the tension and voila! no more tension problems. The grabby nature of the cotton was pulling the metallic thread to the back.
This wee bit of knowledge was added to the classes as lots of us want to use and struggle with. Knowing that using polyester in the bobbin solves the tension issue is priceless. I generally use a non-cotton batting.

I’m certainly a quilty character. #charactercounts

Happy Quilting!

Teri