2018 Word of the Year

As a word of the year Gratitude was a good one. I am grateful for the experience of 2017. Creativity is slowly returning. The Quilted Block of the Month Started (with big plans to continue in 2018). A few teaching opportunities. Learning about embroidery. Having a spouse who loves me deeply.

One of the considerations for 2017 was Focus, which had goals attached, a few still attainable:
like truly updating class names and descriptions –
focus on making art
tidy up the studio so it’s functional (in progress) stay tuned for photos

Over the last two weeks I’ve started looking at 2017 as it comes speeding like a race car to the end of the year. Here we are on December 14th.
Where on earth has this year gone?!
What did I like about this year?
What didn’t I like?
Have goals been met?
Are there new goals in place?
Am I actively taking part in the quilting career in meaningful ways?
What about my creative life, is it being nurtured?

In the middle of all of this thinking I started thinking about 2018.
What will be the Word of the Year?
What are the quilt related goals?
Life goals?

The other day I chatted with a very good friend wondering what 2018 would hold. The Word of the Year was part of the conversation as looking at 2018 is a bit of a puzzlement. Kind of like looking at the collected work of fabric on the shelves, wondering what delightful quilt will be made from the color and texture contained therein. I started thinking about stitching fabric together, it is connected with needle and thread, ideas, and a willingness to cut into it. The thoughts continued with the machine quilting, how the top, batting(s) and back are connected, once again, with needle and thread. One stitch connecting to the next.

As our conversation continued thoughts of how we as quilters are connected with needle and thread, with shared and varied ideas, how what one quilter does helps connect the dots for another quilter. We connect through sharing our life stories, our quilting ideas, our love of fabric, thread, and batting. And there it is, as obvious as the nose on my face, my 2018 Word of the Year:

Connect

It’s a great word. And with the Word now in Focus the ideas for the next several Quilted Block of the Month came into focus. One block I cannot remember the name for the life of me will make an appearance in January or February. Then I started thinking of a Double 9 Patch, and a Double Wedding Ring, they are on the list, and we’ll see what happens as the list goes up on the Wall of Inspiration.

Connecting with You is as important to me. If you have a favorite block please let me know the name, allowing me to add it to the list of possibilities. And let me know if there is a thread you would like me to talk about, sharing the way I’d set up my machine to use that particular thread.

I saw this video produced by Wonderfil that explains thread weight in a really nifty way:

I’m off to Connect with tidying up my sewing room. Watch Instagram later for some pics.

I’m teaching at the Quilt Basket in Pawling, NY Saturday January 20th. The class fee includes a kit. Just bring your machine, and be ready for a day of getting the stitchy stuff from your brain to your quilt top. I think we’ll start out with the bones for a tree.

Your Quilt, Your Rules!

Teri

Stay Tuned: a Trip Report

I’ve traveled to two events for Floriani one about an hour outside of Philly, and the other about an hour from Knoxville. The next Hands on Sewing School is in Binghampton, NY January 5 – 7. These events are amazing from the word go. Kay Brooks teaches so much about stabilizers and how to use them. It’s really cool to know that baby onesies can be embroidered using Floriani No Show Mesh, Wet N Gone Tacky or Perfect Stick, Embroidery Perfection Tape, and either Heat N Gone or Water Soluble Topping. Follow this up by covering the embroidery with Dream Weave Ultra to protect baby’s skin and voila! The stabilizer Guide helps a lot!

There are software classes, embroidery lessons, digital cutters, and so much fun. If you’ve ever considered switching mats and rulers to Quilters Select, this is the best time.

While helping one of the students with something I did this:

further proof that keeping your hands away from moving needles (and needle bars) is a good thing. And it’s healing better than I thought.

I’m home now to work on making samples to show at events down the road.

Lucas Moon Over Manhattan 39 x 34

I’ll be teaching Brain Dump: Stitch the Scary Stuff in Your Brain at the Quilt Basket in Pawling, NY on Saturday January 20th. Later this week I’m sending @play to hang in the quilt shop. Brain Dump: Stitch the Scary Stuff is a play on Go With the Flow – there will be a full description up on the Lectures/Workshop page shortly.

I’ve shared coffee woes over the years. This morning, in a pre-coffee stupor I failed to realize that the coffee pot itself was not located on the warmer. I heard the beep beep beep alert letting me know the coffee was finished. Well, the coffee ended up all over the counter. Sigh. When I was looking for one of the previous coffee posts I happened upon the best and worst hot chocolate I ever made. The hot chocolate hangover…well, let’s just say I never made that hot chocolate like that again. But it tasted so very good.

Time to make this day happen!

Enjoy every single stitch,

Teri

The Quiet Quilter

at play greg caseIt’s been a quiet weekish here on the blog. I wanted to blog last night because on Saturday January 20th I’m teaching at the Quilt Basket in Pawling NY, it’ll be a variation on Go With the Flow called “Brain Dump: Stitch the Scary Stuff in Your Brain” the class fee includes a kit. I’ll list the deet’s next week. Why the delay?

Well, I’m so glad you asked: I’m currently in Pigeon Forge TN for a Hands on Sewing School. If you’ve never been it’s so worth going. This three and one half day event is chock full of opportunities to learn about stabilizers, embroidery, tools, techniques, and electronic cutters. This is amazing. As an educator I’m learning so very much, and immediately learning, and sharing stuff I know.

Before students arrive tomorrow we have work to finish. But we’ll be ready.

Stay tuned for the next installment of the Quilted Block of the month.

Happy Stitching,

Teri

 

Quilted Block of the Month Kaleidoscope Arcs

double-irish-chain-full-viewButternut, Pumpkin Seeds, Pepitas, curves, arcs whatever you call them they soften up hard lines on any quilt. But did you know they might lead to

dancing?

Well perhaps not dancing, but rather a source for adding texture to create visual interest. When I’m working on these blocks I’m going for fun, and done. Because for everything that we do in our daily lives quilting is fun, brings pleasure, releases stress, gives us time away from daily life things. So nothing I show you will be perfect, it’s quite possible it’ll be more detailed than necessary but hey, using thread is so fun.

IMG_20171112_115646_resizedI’m showing the back first. This center stitching is all based on the butternut/pumpkin seed stitching. Simple. Remember this is NOT perfect, and it is that imperfection that give this quilt some of the visual interest.

As you know I’m not much of a planner when it comes to quilting. I do admire quilters who plan, like Lisa Calle, her Divide and Design gives quilters a way to, layer by layer, see how their quilts will look when the quilting is finished. The surprise makes me kind of giddy. So as I got started on the center I thought, I’ll use this butternut/pepita motif as curvy lines soften straight lines. So off I go stitching, stitching!

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Look closely, you can see the pink line running through? That’s the “bones” or stitching in the ditch. It is around these lines that the arcs are stitched, from corner to corner, around the center “square” where the corners of the blocks would meet, if there were blocks, but there aren’t any, so…
I stitched up toward the peak of the triangle in between the feathers, when I got about half-way up I started heading up into the peak of the triangle. This helps create that deeper line heading out toward that peak.

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Once this was finished I moved into the center making the arcs along side where the seams of the blocks would meet up.

You can see it a bit better from the front:

 

 

 

 

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This changes the shape, the visual shape of the kaleidoscope blocks. Seams that were once easily noticed, are now hidden in the stitching. This takes a little doing, and a bit of time. It’s right after this that “Brain Dump: Stitch the Stuff of your Dreams, Release the Kraken” came to be. This shows, and represents a shift in thinking about what can be stitched, a letting go of the “should” and stitching the stuff that is just waiting to be stitched out. You know the stuff, we see it on a quilt, and yet hesitate because it won’t be perfect, or it might not turn out exactly as we think it should.

I’m heading out on Wednesday for back to back Hands on Sewing Schools with Floriani. The first is in Pennsylvania so Road Trip! The second is in Pigeon Forge TN. Check back on Wednesday for links to the facebook pages, a finished quilt top (see a sneak peek below) for one of the other educators, and a couple of in-the-hoop cosmetic bags designed by Pickle Pie designs.

Enjoy your stitching,

Teri

Floriani Micro Thread @Florianiembroidery

A post shared by Teri Lucas (@terilucas) on

Quilted Block of the Month: Kaleidoscope Feathers

IMG_20171112_101913_resizedSo here’s the second installment of the Kaleidoscope Quilted Block of the Month. I’m posting on Friday because I have a commitment tomorrow.

Let’s start with how much fun I had stitching this one out. I figured there’d be feathers, and bubbles, and swirls, something simple. Well. I did start out with feathers.

First step: stitching in the ditch, I used a pink Floriani Micro Thread (60 weight) embroidery thread with a size 70/10 Chrome needle. Why the pink? To show the seam lines in a pieced block. If this were going to be more than a sample for showing what the thread can do then a thread similar in color to the background would work.

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This quilt is something of a two-fer: the back is this orange batik, I used the same bobbin thread throughout – the same pink to stitch in the bones of the block. I used cotton batting on this side of the quilt (orange), and wool batting on the oatmeal (cream) side of the quilt. This gives a sense of how the thread will look with different batting. I do prefer two batting on stuff that I’ll be taking to show.

Once the stitching in the ditch was complete I sat back to think about the motifs. Feathers around the center, waxing and waning with the shape of a diamond would create visual movement around the block that shows itself in the block.

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Starting with a pearl at one end, I stitched along the top of the feather to give this finer thread a bit of weight and presence, and to help create the spine. As the feathers grew in length I’d switch to the opposite side, to continue filling the space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To get to the next diamond shape I stitched through where the (seam) lines meet up. Anytime you’re working on a pieced quilt using the ditch to move from here to there is a great option rather than having a lot of stops and starts.

Tip: when starting or ending a new thread color, take the time to bury the threads at that moment to lessen the risk of stitching over them, or creating birds nests.

Next up: the center “star”, creating texture with the stitching that is simple, yet will create something that is visually dynamic.

Enjoy your stitching,

Teri

Something Shifted, When “no” is good

Rayna Gillman has a new book: Create Your own Improv: Modern Quilts With No Rules and No Rulers published by C&T. Rayna has been part of my quilt world forever. As the Community Editor for Generation Q Magazine reviewing books is part of the work. Head on over to the blog, read the review, and enter for an opportunity to win a copy of her book.

Now onto today’s post:

I started stitching the feathers on this Quilted Block of the Month Sunday morning. I only had one plan: use Quilters Select battings, and Floriani Micro Thread for the blog and take when I teach to show off the micro thread and batting.

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It is a rare occasion that I speak of my private life, and even then most of the details are left unwritten, or unpublished as I choose to have a public life, and my Sweetie does not. I respect that private space.

That said the last few years have been personally challenging, where the “have-to-do’s” outweighed the “I want to do this” and even the “I need to do this”. I’ve wanted to finish a few quilts – both personal, and professionally that are still waiting for time and attention.

I’ve wanted to teach machine quilting more, write at least one book, and some of the things that naturally flow from doing that work. Not being able to delve much more deeply has been, well, challenging (gut wrenching) at best because the Quilting World stuff is home. With the personal machine quilting, I haven’t stopped, however it’s not been quite as creative as needed, as though I’ve been phoning it in. Okay, I have, I’ve been phoning it in. There have been moments where I’ve found the zone, quilting with reckless abandon, those experience few and far between.

Something shifted Sunday while stitching out the feathers for the current Quilted Block of the Month. The last few years have felt a lot like, “NO, Teri this isn’t for you” and “Who do you think you are?” and “No, just no” 2017 has had quite a few, “No’s” One was a huge surprise, however it freed me to let go of something that I’d been holding onto for dear life, thinking this was the best thing for me, and in letting go, in honoring the words I’m hearing, there’s a deeper sense of freedom to explore.

Another, “No” led to an experience of disappointment. BUT it’s okay, I don’t mind being disappointed. Disappointed means that I’m invested in, and yearn for this. This can either be a goal for another time, or an indication to move in another direction. Either way it’s minor, and all is well.

When the quilting started to happen on Sunday in the organic, let’s create texture, and use all the color way that is the personal quilting style. I breathed deeply that fresh air. Whatever comes next, I’m game.

Sneak peeks of the block of the month are on Instagram. Saturday will be why the feathers were chosen, why the 60 weight thread, and other decisions.

Join me. And more importantly:

Thank YOU 

for being part of my quilt world.

Enjoy your stitching,

Teri

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.