Gah!

dance bang head 1975

I’m not sure what happened however, all of the sudden Microsoft Office isn’t working on my laptop. So early this afternoon I handed this thing off to the in-house tech support. It’s still not working. Gah! I’m going to have to give it back to him tomorrow. He says there’s an app I downloaded and I don’t think so. The only thing I opened is a document from someone I know, that I need. It needs some work. I have an alternate plan but the look isn’t quite as nice as Word. Oh have mercy.

Tomorrow the in-house tech sets up the air conditioning in the sewing room. This will be one happy quilter. I am jonesing to sew. I need to quilt. My quilting person is deeply unsettled and has some things she wants to stitch out. But first the a/c then a wee bit of a tidy up so that I can once again function. I mean I started this tidy up then I started sewing, then I went to Quilt Market. It’s a common experience among quilters. I could bake cake and go to Debby’s for the day. I don’t really need the cake. It’s more the mental space.

My sweetie (aka the in-house tech) made dinner today. In the few minutes before I turned on the tv to see this:

Well done Ford for the commercial featuring, promoting and supporting sewing, and well done Egypt “Ify” Ufele. A little more looking around and my sweetie found this Times Ledger article on how Chubiiline was created. Gotta give it to Gramma for teaching Ify to sew, navigate some tough social interactions, and her mom for creating a space for the sewing to happen. I love that she sews for at least two hours every day. I love that she loves her body just as it is.

This is timely as I listened to This American Life podcast 589 Tell Me I’m Fat. I can’t stop thinking about the experience shared by one woman in her crusade to be thin, because from her description she’s not healthy physically, and more importantly emotionally.

2017-05-28 12.42.34After all the angst of trying to figure out who I am in the quilting world I think that craftsman (yeah, yeah language but what the heck it’s my blog) is the best fit. I get how this machine quilting works, though there is still much to learn, explore, dream, and think about. And even more to do, the ideas keep floating through my brain so quickly I wonder if I’ll ever have time to stitch them all out. Probably not, and not the point. And no, I’m not going to go around telling people I’m a craftsman this is simply personal clarity, a gift to me.

And as soon as that a/c is installed I’m quilting baby! First up a post card #1000postcardsforpeace!

PS – did you see this on Instagram today?

Working on a little wall hanging. All precuts! Simple! #sewbatik #itsallaboutbatik #precuts #precutbatiks

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Sew stinkin’ cute!! Diane (or Bruce) will be at the Vermont Quilt Festival.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

PS

Things that make a quilter giddy

Things that make a quilter giddy

Eighteen years, or pert near close to it we moved into this place, purchasing a high efficiency, stacked washer/dryer. Loved it. Dealt with a few issues over the years, yanno, stuff happens. Sometime in the last 12 months it started sounding like rocks took up residence in the washer. Getting louder, and louder, and louder. When the machine went into a high speed spin hearing ourselves think became a challenge. In February, early February, before the fabric for the Indigo & Oatmeal fabric arrived from SewBatik. The fabric needed to be washed before the quilt could be made. Not just washed but run through with Retayne and Synthrapol. My sweetie pulled out an unused, clean tall plastic bucket for laundry in the meantime. I’ve been doing laundry for nearly 2 months in a bucket. Yeah, there’s a laundromat near the house but hauling everything over there blah, blah, blah. img_20170219_174825

So imagine a fun-sized quilter, at a sink that’s a wee nip too tall, filling the bucket with water (lots of water). I can hear a rather purple dinosaur saying, “fill it up one, fill it up two.” Pick up the bucket, dump it, rinse, repeat.

We had such great success purchasing our first washer/dryer from Appliance Driven (was Appliance Connection when we were first introduced to them) that we went back to them for a new one. After looking around a bit my sweetie found something that will fit our space, and meet our needs. We’re getting this Speed Queen.

So now I’ll be able to wash all that yardage waiting patiently in my basement. Yeah, that’s right. Yardage. ha!

I might have a bridge to sell ya.

And so off to launder, get the hair cut, look for work (still need that day job), and get ready to go to the AQS show in Lancaster.

Happy Quilting!

HMQS a brief

My sweetie brought the lilacs in for me. They smell so lovely.

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It’s hard to believe I’ve been home for 24 hours already arriving home late yesterday afternoon. My sweetie brought these in for me so I thought I’d share them around a bit.

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I got to have dinner with Claudia Pfeil and Laurie Tigner. And spend a little bit of time with Paula Reid. I’ve wanted to meet Renae Haddadin for a long time, and after a few times of walking by, I finally did introduce myself. I was totally inspired by a line in Marie Bostwick’s book, “she puts her girdle on one leg at a time.” It was so worth it.

And then there were these folks, my first group of students…they were  eager and willing to learn. 20160504_130610

 

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This particular group was learning to Go With the Flow. And go with the flow they did. Each student making choices about color, and texture. In these pics they’re learning one very important thing – most machines thread the same way on the top. Did you know that? The biggest difference is the bobbin and that is a simple thing. Really. Truly it is. A big thank you to Nutall’s BERNINA Sewing Center for providing BERNINA 7 Series and brother sewing machines.

and then I took the “And Now What?!” class on a group tour of the teacher quilts…specifically mine. These gals and I had a great time talking about words, idea’s, thoughts, and theme’s that can inspire a quilt.

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And that leads me here to Melissa Averino’s quilt, “My Brothers Jeans”. I just stood and took it in. You know sometimes a quilt has a deeper meaning than the surface implies. The name begins to give you a clue. And when you look beyond (this is key) the reason this won Best of Show at Quilt Con 2016 is apparent. The width of the aisles prevented me from getting a full shot however I’m not sure it’s necessary. There is an unassuming quality about this quilt, it tells a story that grabs the heart. I can’t imagine dumpster diving for jeans. I.just.can’t. Yes, there’s way more to the story…

20160505_144024And then I got to award my teacher ribbon to Deborah Poole for her whole cloth, “Wickedly Green” An acid green quilt is simply amazing. It caught my attention because, like cheddar orange, it stood out in the field of whole cloth quilts. It’s kind of awesome.

I love the quilting community. I love the uniqueness. I love the differences. I love the stories that bring us together. What’s your story?

Happy Quilting!

Teri

The best hot chocolate I ever made! or Did I ever tell you about my chocolate hangover?

coffee mugs 002Last winter was cold, and as such hot chocolate an occasional necessity. One particularly chilly evening I pulled out all of the chocolate stops. Demerara sugar, cocoa powder, left over dark chocolate (yes, I know, what the heck!), vanilla, milk, and some cream leftover from making some holiday dessert.
Into the sauce pan goes the sugar, cocoa and a bit of water to help the sugar to melt and prevent it from turning into caramel. Though that would be a great bit of fun. Once the mixture is hot, and thoroughly blended the milk and cream are slowly added, whisking the whole way to blend and froth. There’s nothing quite as decadent as a little bit of froth on the surface of the hot chocolate. If I’d just left it alone here the hot chocolate would be good, warming all the way through and quite pleasant. I found the leftover chocolate in the fridge, adding it in and whisking, whisking, whisking. Oh this is going to be good I thought. Oh so tasty.
chocolate 001For a little added something extra, as if the chocolate wasn’t enough, I added a wee bit of cayenne pepper, because yes, a little heat does a body good.
And then I drank the whole thing.
All of it.
Rich, thick, chocolaty goodness.
There wasn’t a drop left. I’m sure that some was left in the mug after I consumed it…not quite sure. Did I mention how tasty this particular mug of hot chocolate was?
The next day, wasn’t so great. I was grateful that I didn’t need to go to work. A lot of water was consumed, a few naps taken. By the end of the day I felt better. I won’t do that again, that’s for sure. Oh yes, I’ll drink hot chocolate, either not quite so much or not so rich.

Now, back to our regular quilting station,

Teri

 

Giving Quilters Pemission

tiara silkAs I scrolled through my newsfeed the words “Quilt Police” with a familiar red line crossing out the words stopped me. It’s a conversation I have all the time with myself, with students, with other quilters. No Quilt Police. We might have an inner critic who provides great information. Alternately we might have an inner bitch that we need to deal with forthwith. I “met” my inner bitch this morning in a dream. I really need to learn not to eat peanut butter cookies before bed. Really. But my husband made them and they are soooooo good!

The dream encounter with the inner bitch ended with me waking myself up out of a bad dream. Thankfully it wasn’t 3 a.m.! In the dream the IB, as he shall now be called, was in another room quilting on a long arm. I could hear the quilting but, was in the process of cleaning, and clearing out another room. The room that needed cleaning was piled high with boxes of fabric and other stuff that needed my attention and a place to live in my home. All the while I could hear the IB quilting in the other room and the sound coming from there was loud. Annoyingly and frustratingly loud.

badge with author ribbonOnce finished with cleaning the room some friends and I were chatting. I went to close the door to the room where the IB quilted (because of the noise) and said to IB, “I’m tired of hearing this noise.” and closed the door behind me. Well, IB, indignant that I’d closed the door came out into the other room and started berating me, in front of my friends. Whoa! Really? That was wholly unnecessary. So, annoyed with the dream, I woke myself up and that was that.

Clearly that I’m writing this in a blog post says that the dream is still with me. I’m not so bothered by the dream. I get that in dreams each person represents a part of who we are…so why the heck I’m yelling at myself and berating myself isn’t so much beyond me as I see it as very much a part of our self-doubt. Considering too that Doubt, Fear, and Anger are all related to one another it’s no wonder that this crops up every now and again. The Self-Doubt cropped up yesterday for some reason. I’ll muddle through, always have, always will. There were, if I allow myself a little latitude, two conversations that led to this dream. The first included a bit on how a collective “we” views ourselves, and while it’s not true, it’s part of the Self-Doubt. The second included a little on how intense “we” can be. The intensity with which the IB unleashed the words is there. I remember being told once that I’m intense and I need to relax. Um, yeah, not happening. I will always be intense. Even when failing miserably, I’ll be intense. Clearly I’ve embraced this part of who I am…

variegated silk so prettyIt is my own personal intensity that makes me a damn good quilter. Yes, I’m owning this. It’s taken me a long time to get here. I’ve got the “Bang Head Here!” moments and memories where I roll my eyes and wonder how I managed to land here in this amazing world of quilting.
The intensity will carry me through to meeting a few more goals. Once I stop listening to the IB on such a regular basis. I see that the intensity of the IB has clear usefulness. If I’m working that hard to shut myself down, perhaps it’s time to listen and honor what the IB is saying and take that information to recognize the hard work I’ve done and am doing. I can see, sometimes really clearly, on the face of a student or customer how their face changes when I give them permission to explore. I see how things have changed in my own quilting world by giving myself that same permission.

We as a quilting community have not even begun to plumb the depths of quilt making. At. All. There is so much more we can do. We have specialists to help us do that from fabric designers to quilters. Specialists who all have their own inner critic that they’ve learned to dance with, to work with, to listen to, but not be ruled by. And we have our creative self.

There are no quilt police. Let’s go easy on ourselves. Let’s take the risks of making the quilts we’ve always wanted to make. Let’s remember we work 6″ from everything we do…so we see the “flaws” – that add character to our quilts. Let’s remember that most people won’t see them and if they do won’t point them out. And if they do, well, go ahead and cry in your hot chocolate for a moment. And then let’s move on. Let’s stop comparing our quilts and quilting to the work of others – remember they have their own IB to deal with.

And most of all

Let’s Quilt!

Teri

Starting our 24th year

my favorite shot of the eclipseI’ve been fascinated with the moon forever. Why I even resisted when my Sweetie suggested he get one of his tripods out to put my camera on and shoot the moon I will never know. Going out and watching this beauty happen, being able to capture this moment, and share it: priceless. This shot here is one of my faves of the evening, as the stars shine around the moon. I’m tickled silly that I got the shot I wanted. I have a Canon PowerShot SX520 HS, essentially a point and shoot, however the features of the camera allow for much more. I started playing with Manual and Av mode which allowed me to change the settings and get this shot.

cloudy eclipse 1
I nearly went in when the clouds covered the moon. I figured I wouldn’t get another really good shot. Taking a few moments to see how quickly the clouds were moving and how thick I decided to stay for a bit and see what happened. Right about the middle an opening happened allowing a sneak peek, then a wide open shot surrounded by the clouds.
I’ll pause in the action and say that mosquitoes love me. I’m not sure why but they do and were enjoying dinner last night as I’m watching the eclipse through the lens of the camera.
I’m going to pause and mourn the loss of my PowerShot A650 IS. I really loved that camera and miss the flip out screen on that one. I wish I could easily get that one fixed. Don’t get me wrong I love the one I’m using but that flip out screen was just the best!

lunar eclipse blood moon

The beauty of the eclipse is that it fell on my 23rd wedding anniversary. And I’m twice my age. It’s been a great 23 years and I’m ready for more. To say I love this guy would be an understatement. I love spending time with him and am grateful that God brought him into my life. This day also is twinged with a bit of sadness as my Grandma (dad’s mom) passed away on this date 2 years ago. And that was the 50th anniversary of the passing of my mom’s mom. They will each be remembered on that day.
roses in the light of the eclipseIt’s subtle very subtle but there are images of blooming roses lighted by the eclipse. I’m certain that had I been able to figure out the exposure differently the roses would be much more visible. I like learning new things. I’m not sure if you’ll be able to click on the image to see it fully. I’m going to look at the settings and see if I need to change something.

I’m off to do some quilterly things for the day. There are blog posts to write for GenQ, tutorials to write for BERNINA, a quilt to finish for Jeanie – Kaleidoscope collections and so much more.

PS – there is still time to enter to win a copy of Machine Quilting with Style, I’ll close entries September 30th and Draw a winner on October first.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

Don’t get caught

piecing basketWith your hand in the cookie jar.
With your pants down.
Oh I could go on and on with this.

Quilting is fun. When the fun stops it’s time to think about what’s going on.
Usually when the quilting stops being fun for me I’m in the middle of learning something new and am banging my head against the nearest wall wondering if things with this quilt could possibly get any worse. And sometimes yes it can get worse because there is more to learn and I’m not there yet.

A good friend once said: we don’t need new teaching, we need reminders. Another good friend is an organization geek. She freely admits this and I can see a direct correlation between her organization and her success. It’s a beautiful thing to watch. She’s very respectful of her own time, giving her full attention to the project she is working on in that moment be it a contract for a quilt related gig, writing patterns, paperwork, making a quilt. She will often set a time limit to work on that particular project, work completely on that project for that time. Once the timer goes she’ll move onto the next, again giving her full attention. This allows her to touch many of her projects during the course of the day and meet and/or exceed goals. She does give herself some flexibility in that.
dance bang head 1975This is inspiring me in my own work in ways that I’ve never thought possible. I’m starting check lists for projects not only to keep the organized but to keep me on task. There’s a good article in this issue of Gen Q – a follow up to an article in the previous issue. Note taking isn’t working for me right now. And I’ve found myself doing something that I find really, really annoying. Bang. Head. Here!

In creating the check list I’m finding that I do indeed understand but what’s happening is I’m moving ahead without checking the next step and sometimes making sure I’ve done the first step correctly.
bendy bag the other sideI did that with the Bendy Bag too, just plowed ahead without going back to read the directions and just confirm the next part of the process. And these are projects where it’s all in the details. With quilt making – it’s all in the details.
What I’m seeing is, this is stuff I’ve known all along. I’ve just needed good reminders. That when I give over to using check lists, and following processes the work flow all the way around is better, there is a good order and I function better.

What are the things that you do that help you function better?
Do you give yourself permission to be flexible?
What are your best organization tips?

Happy Quilting!

Teri