A needed detour

received_10214861315154854_resizedLately upon entering the sewing room there is a strong sense of being overwhelmed with ideas. Lots of ideas tumbling over, and over each seeking the deserved attention. While writing that sentence an idea to make a whole cloth using 60 weight thread in the top and bobbin popped into my head. I think I’m going to make a three-fer out of that one to feature the Floriani 60 weight thread, Quilters Select Wool batting, and for the Quilted Block of the Month for the blog. If I get really ambitious I might make more than one to share with a at least one other Educator.

The day started looking for a USB stick to transfer embroidery designs to the machine. While looking I found sample packs of fabric lines by Leslie Jenison – Urban Artifacts, and Alex Anderson – Mirage. So using them in the same quilt seems the only thing to do. Now a disclaimer, I’m not in love with using precuts, I know there are a lot of people who love them very much, and I see their value in the quilting world. And I would not ever tell anyone not to use them. They’re simply not my fave. So using them is a bit of a challenge for me.

After pairing them up, stitching and pressing I looked at the fabric stash, finding a line of striped batiks that I adore. I cut 9 1/2” strips, and 5” squares. Piecing for a good bit of the day yesterday was cathartic. That also meant that I didn’t do the Quilted Block of the Month, for good reason…I had no idea what fabric I wanted to stitch it out on. Gah! Quilters Block! Calgon take me away!

This morning I decided that the SewBatik Oatmeal is the way to go. It’ll show the color of the thread well, and marking it will be fairly easy.  Sometimes sitting on a project for an extra day or two is completely worth it, for me, and for the Quilted Block of the Month Project in part to show you that I struggle with determining designs, and colors. What has come to seem intuitive is actually a lot of thought.

After a bit more looking I did find the USB stick that I needed, and have transferred a few Pickle Pie Designs embroidery designs that I want to stitch out as samples. I’ll get going on each of these projects after a few home projects. I’ll post now and again to Instagram…so keep an eye there.

On Making a Quilt for Market

part one sewmuchPlease pardon the angle of the photo, the layout is on my ironing board as I’m using a product that is still in the design phase and I can’t show it just yet. This is the beginning of a second quilt for the Sew Much Cosplay booth at International Quilt Market. I had an idea, a color wash of sorts with light batik dots, and Plaster of Paris from Frond Design Studio. and it was kind of working but I knew last night it wasn’t quite right. So I set it aside to get some rest.

Quilt in progress

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Diane Magidson of SewBatik saw the fabric I’d originally cut for the quilt and asked if it was Tequila Sunrise Gradation. She knows her product. Diane’s question got me thinking about my two fave times of the day: sunrise, and sunset. (Queue Music!) I got started listening to the idea of the color wash but limiting the number of fabrics being used to Tequila Sunrise. I’m happy to let the fabric do the work for me.

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So much better. The dot fabrics are there just in case.

Once I got a few more pieces filled in I grabbed a silicone pressing sheet from C&T and got started pressing. The Teflon sheet I have is just a little too heavy to transfer the heat well. The silicon release sheet allowed the heat to transfer and released the fusible product without any problem.

Shh don’t tell anyone I need an new ironing board cover. I’m going to Market next week and I have my eye on a couple of places to look.

The quilt top is ready to be stitched.

sunrise

I’ll post an update on Instagram later once the top is pieced and ready for quilting.

Catch ya later,

Teri

Cotton Cuts Charity Mystery Hop

Mystery Quilter logo

There is nothing like multiple deadlines all rolling into one really busy six weeks that says let’s get everything done all on the same day. Yesterday I mentioned I’d been sick, and sleeping was about all I could manage for the entire weekend. So, I slept.

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You may remember a while back I wrote “caution opening box may lead to…”  I had the opportunity to meet up with Kim at spring market. T’was a delightful conversation filled with a few ideas. Including something like this blog hop/Mystery Quilt. Kim is something of a go-getter, took the fabric by the selvage, and started plotting  how this could work for Cotton Cuts – and here we are. I get the privilege of being Clue 3! Woot!

The clue arrived on time, as did a few other things in the works. Like a new job, things to learn, quilts to make for Market, my twenty fifth anniversary and getting ready for a quilt show where I have a boatload of work to prep. I took the aforementioned clue out of the packaging with pencils that have great quilterly sayings. What I didn’t plan on was getting sick right when the clue is due. Whoever expects the Spanish Inquisition._TeamZinnia (2)

With a few projects being worked on at the same time, the pieces were buried under a layer and a half of 2 1/2” squares for one quilt, and fabric ready to be cut into 2 1/2” squares for another project. After finding and sorting them, assigning the appropriate numbers for the fabric, the stitching began in earnest

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Oh, did I mention the epiphany I had while starting this project? No, hang onto your seam rippers, I’ll get there soon.

The first part of the clue has 2 segments, after sorting that precut pieces out I started stitching. Cool tidbit: no bunny ears on the triangles.

I’m using Superior MicroQuilter, a 100 wt (very fine) polyester thread for microquilting and applique, and I love it for piecing using a size 70/10 microtex needle, and shortened the stitch length to 2.25 mm.

Using a polyester thread also means I’m going to reduce the heat of the iron for setting the seam and pressing. This reduced heat means I’m not going to burn my fingers. I’m not particularly worried about the thread because I’ve been ironing cotton clothes made with polyester thread for years with no problems at all. What I do love about the 60, 80, and 100 wt threads, is the no bulk in the seam allowance.  cotton cuts 2

After piecing pressing with the finger pressing end of any multi-tool I have. Pictured here is the stiletto from byannie.com one of my faves! cotton-cuts-4-e1507162815600.jpg

I’ll be interested to see how the quilt comes together at the end of all of the clues.cotton cuts 3Because the color way is delightful.
So this Mystery Quilt has a purpose, it will be raffled off once it’s pieced and quilted, to benefit Valley Industries, the company that fulfills Cotton Cuts Boxes, this holds a special place in my heart for oh so many reasons. The raffle will remain open through the entire blogging event, tickets are $5.

Don’t forget to visit Cotton Cuts and read about their Mission.

July – Sheila Christensen (www.mysteryquilter.com) with guest blogger Kim Moos
August – Yvonne Fuchs (www.quiltingjetgirl.com)
September – Teri Lucas (www.terificreations.com)
October – Wendy Welsh (www.wendysquiltsandmore.blogspot.com)
November – Nicole Young (www.lillyella.com)
December – Chris Dodsley (www.madebychrissied.blogspot.com)
January – Amy Smart (www.diaryofaquilter.com)
February – Sam Hunter (www.huntersdesignstudio.com)
March – Cheryl Sleboda (www.muppin.com)

Where have you been all my life?

I have fallen in love.

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The Sizzix Big Shot Pro arrived on my doorstep a few weeks ago. After taking it out of the box, and opening the box with the dies, changing locations twice, it sat there humming a little tune looking for my attention. Well, it’s mechanical, it doesn’t really hum. You’re a quilter you know what I mean. We get a new tool to make our quilting life easier, get it home, and have zero minutes to piece.

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There’s a project for the magazine I’m doing that requires hexagons, big ones. I am quite adept at cutting these on my own. I can read a ruler, find the correct angle. Cutting twenty four hexagons? Queue procrastination. I am aware that the sooner this gets done, the sooner it goes where it needs to, then things happen in the correct order, and I can turn in copy to Melissa & Jake on time. It’s really weird, they like that kind of thing.

I digress.

After taking the plastic off the die, setting aside the paper wrapper that Sizzix carefully designed to show said hexagon off in fine fashion. After pressing the Hoffman Indah Solids, doing a wee bit of preparatory rotary cutting to the size needed for the die, layered things up, I took a deep breath and turned the handle. And voila! hexagons in a matter of seconds.

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Can I just tell you what would normally have taken a couple of hours, took under thirty from pressing to finished hexagons. Oh my word, die cutters where have you been all my quilting life? This is one happy quilter.

Once the hexagons were done, a bit more prep work so that when all this gets to Melissa it’s ready to go.

With a bit more time before making dinner I pressed a few SewBatik bits in preparation for some piecing.

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I’ll share progress on that later, when I get to do some piecing. In the meantime…there are articles to write, fabric and quilts to ship, and a day job to find.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

 

Arsenic & Old Lace, Chocolate cake and a long arm

Arsenic & Old Lace, Chocolate cake and a long arm

 

Debby Brown has a Handi Quilter Avante in her studio, and on occasion when needed she lets me use it to baste my larger quilts. Yesterday I basted two quilts Arsenic & Old Lace pieced by Keith Dommer and Supernova in Chartreuse designed by none other than Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero. A&O L has lived in my studio for a while as life has happened. As I basted yesterday thoughts of quilting came to mind – which is such a good thing oh the thinks you think when you think quilting. Keith uses elements including hexagons, circles, and old linen, well leaving me with great blank space to work in. When he sent the quilt I looked up the color of arsenic gray, yellow, and black all come up and then there are shades of blue and acid green leaving me a lot of room for interpretation here.

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Now when I get to Supernova I don’t have a particular plan in mind however as I write decision made, whew. I need more fabric. She says, shocking no one reading this missive.

Kindness and gratitude matter. Both are a balm to wounded souls. They are a cup of cold water to someone who is in need of refreshment. A cup of coffee with and a good chat with good friend. Lemonade on a hot summer day. These things are all refreshing.

Sometimes we have challenges in life, challenges in our communities. Friends have troubles. Things are going all icky in the greater world and the events trigger awful memories. Things at work go all haywire in so many ways and we need a word of encouragement and support.  We might see all this happening and want to do something about it. We may not be able to fix it, but we can be there through our words.

While I was at Debby’s we had a facebook live with Joliene Williams. Joliene supplied me with Girl Scout Cookies. First I’ve had in a looooooooooooooong time.

Debby Brown and I are starting a project called 1000 postcards for peace.

In the next week or so I’m starting a facebook page that will be a place to offer ideas, share experiences and support those in our life who might need a little support or a little something because we can. I’ll post again here once the page is up, and directions are available.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

This might be fun!

IMG_20170529_144837_780A few weeks ago I offered to make a quilt for Maria from Pinwheels, you see she has some new Oakshott cottons of the striped variety. Before I get there Pinwheels is now open in Hurleyville, NY. Check out this facebook video. Congratulations Maria I will get there soon and oh I have an idea!

The stripe makes me quite giddy. The tone-on-tone stripes and the texture of the Oakshott have the potential for adding so much to a quilt top, and in a way that will prove so much fun.

20170529_160044-1I started stitching Monday afternoon using a layering and free-form cutting technique that I used to make the quilt for the Cherrywood Challenge. Cutting, stitching, layering, cutting, stitching, rinse repeat. Just the beginning stitching is producing some lovely results. Layering the fabrics and cutting the curve to produce this drunkards path block…not bad at’all.
I’m using Superior’s MicroQuilter for the piecing of this project and am rather chuffed with the results. But wait! There’s more. I currently have 7 other blocks stitched together, and a few more pieces of the stripe, there will be more cutting, stitching in a curvilinear kind of way.  I can hardly wait to see how this works. It’s so lovely finding joy in quilting once again, enjoying the boundless opportunities to explore piecing, shape, and adding quilting later.

When I started writing this post, the idea for the quilt came into full-view, getting me all giddy and excited. A smile on my face, hands going a mile a minute, bringing the quilt into focus. This is the stuff of the quilting world that I love.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

Beginning Again

 

20170411_131224A while back I started working on the Cherrywood Van Gogh Challenge. I thought that I’d piece diamonds, and either set them into a Starry Night type of background or applique them down. Well, something went all wonky and I set those pieced aside to use them in a different project at some other time, because who doesn’t like teeny, tiny pieces?

And yet, niggling in the back of my brain, whispering sweet nothings to me was something else entirely. I do love The Starry Night with it’s whirling, swirling stars, sweeping across the night sky, forever in motion.

I wonder what's going on here. @cherrywoodfabrics

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So I took a new rotary cutter, a 14 mm designed by Rob Appell

@mansewing new tool from the brilliant mind of Rob Appell. Applique and other uses.

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stacked two pieces of the Cherrywood on top of each other to make long, gentle curves.

I wonder what's going on here. @cherrywoodfabrics

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The fun thing about this is there is no right, or wrong. You may be wondering where that purple came from as it is not part of the Van Gogh fat quarter pack that Karla bundled together for the Challenge. We can incorporate other colors that make sense to us and that might help achieve the feel of what we’re going for.

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I’m making progress stitch by stitch, pressing by pressing. Once the top is done and I get started on the quilting ooo, I can hardly wait to get started, that’s totally my gig. No wait, there’s more than one gig.

Catch ya later,

Teri