quilting


wygilia several flowersWhen my mother-in-love Joy had her home in South Jersey, rather than grass, she had stones surrounding her home. This meant that the blower and occasionally weeding, were important at various times of the year. Every now and again she would plant things like rhododendrons and dogwoods. My sweetie and I would go help with whatever when we were there including blowing pine needles into the small patch of trees or pulling weeds left behind by the generous birds, dropping things here and there. So, this one time I pulled the dogwood stick she just planted. Good grief I felt ridiculous later. Thankfully I left the errant “weed” right where I pulled it, it was replanted and survived. A couple of years later we moved it to our current home and if I’m right it lives in our front yard.

purple flowerMy gut says that 2016 is going to be a defining year in the quilting industry. I’ll tell you that it’s fascinating to watch. I’ll also tell you that this is, like weeding the front garden, going to be good for our industry for a long time to come.

This week in the quilt world has been potentially unsettling. We’ve learned that  Quilter’s Newsletter will finish its publication with the October issue; American Quilter’s Society will no longer publishing books; IMQA, the professional association is dissolving, and closing the MQS show. Several big name quilters have announced their retirement this year, including and Gwen Marston and Judy Woodworth. There are quilt shops that are closing for a multitude of reasons including financial trouble, retirement, or quilt fatigue. Some weeks being in this industry is just simply challenging.

In all honesty it makes me think, a lot. This thinking then leads to questions. The questions lead to more questions. The questions this afternoon led to a conversation with Jake wherein I rapid fired questions at her that were vying for attention in my brain. So there will be more thinking, more questioning, more talking, more.

Speaking of thinking and talking – Jake Finch, Publisher of Generation Q Magazine, has written two Editorial pieces discussing some important factors of our q-niverse
Notions: Quilt Magazines Relevant or Not
and
Notions: What the Heck is Happening in our Q-niverse

As I try to think of a way to wrap this up, bring it in, pull these thoughts together the rapid fire thoughts are running amok in my head. Most of all I want to hear your thoughts here or on the GenQ blog. What do you see? What would you like to see? What are the choices you’re making in your q-niverse? What kinds of things do you want to see happening? What is your quilting happy place? Do you want to teach, write pattern, write books? Are you reading quilting books? magazines?

I’m looking forward to the rest of 2016, come what may.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

Drawing and coloring with the cousins @jacqui_r_h @cdeau2011 @red217 @farmgirl403

A photo posted by Teri Lucas (@terilucas) on

I spent the weekend with my sisters, and cousins. The place we were staying in upstate NY was out of range for the my cell provider, and the house we rented didn’t have wi-fi. For a person who works social media as part of her job being without internet access was really challenging. Really challenging.

One of the things that we discovered is that we all like to color. Sunday afternoon we needed to pick up a few things, including stuff to color. For me this included a simple Zentangle set, complete with the three inch tiles so commonly used. Three of the tiles in the above Instagram pic are those tiles, the fourth is an 8 1/2″ x 11″ drawing page, much more my preferred size. I do love the Pigma Micron pens that come with the set. There are two pencils as well, that remind me of the pencils that are given when you go play mini-golf. We found coloring books, and pens/pencils at a couple of different places. I went with yet another set of pencils, and will at some point make a carrying case for them.

We are already talking about where we might go next year. Coloring will be part of that.

And then (here’s where I really missed the social media) Jake Finch wrote Notions: Quilt Magazines – Relevant or Not. You may have heard that Quilter Newsletter Magazine will publish its final magazine in October. QNM is one of the magazines I subscribed to early on. What I really appreciated about it is that the editorial took quilt making seriously. There are so many words vying for attention in my brain right now that I’m having a hard time writing! I’m bothered by the thought of yet another magazine related to our industry shuttering their doors. There are PEOPLE involved here, and for me that is the crucial thing here. There are people who are losing their livelihood as a direct result of this.

And on top of it American Quilt Society announced that the will no longer be publishing books. Again there are PEOPLE involved here. People who work in the quilting industry. People who are involved in making quilts, writing patterns, writing copy, editing patterns, editing copy, taking pictures, editing pictures.

Again there are so many words vying for attention. My heart goes to the people who are a vital, vibrant part of quilt making. People who are now looking for work. Quilt professionals who will not have their books published by this well respected publisher. I’m not sure at this moment how AQS is going to manage this aspect of the book publishing division.

I can see that the future of quilt making is bright and vibrant. However this feels very heart rending. Because PEOPLE.

PEOPLE are at the heart of quilt making. That is the essential key here. PEOPLE.

I love the people I get to work with in this industry, you are my friends, students, and customers. You encourage, and support, and help shape who I am. You, as a person, are a vital, important part of this industry. And as we move forward we will need to exercise our creativity to figure out where we go from here

Happy Quilting,

Teri

 

20160721_055500I’m working on finishing an article this morning before going to work.
This is my desk in the midst of the writing a Test Drive for Generation Q Magazine.
I am happy.
I need coffee.
I am happy to be writing.
Cold brew is awesome.
Rejoice with me, something fun is happening in this place. Like the mug says, DREAM!

Happy Quilting!

Teri

PS In the years I’ve been blogging I’ve finally made it to 1000 posts. We will celebrate this soon.

snow dyed radiance donnaSunday seems like a good day to blog right now. While there is a lot going on in life that I’m not quite ready to share or can’t share. Some things are just hard. Knowwhadimean?

So this morning I read this blog by Kathy Sebright. It once again spoke to my heart, deeply and profoundly. As Kathy mentions sometimes we don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, so while we see one thing (someone’s put on weight) perhaps we’re missing something deeper going on. It’s hard to know.

13217260_1158824817510357_1177034002506419758_o

As Generation Q Magazine we’ve had the No Quilt Bullies campaign for nearly as long as I’ve been with the magazine. Deep down, this is all about being kind, lifting one another up, taking into account that we don’t know the details. We don’t know, I don’t know what’s driving it.

You may know that I work at a quilt shop. Working with customers all day can sometimes be a bit challenging. I often know when I need to get off the floor because the internal dialogue changes from really wanting to help someone to something not so kind. Sometimes this has to do with hunger and sometimes well, not so much. I am a person, with feelings that sometime get overwhelmed. And I have a face that has a habit of revealing way too much. Sigh.

One thing I struggle with personally is that feeling that somehow I am less than. You know I’m worth-less. Your quilts, your art, your career, your blah, blah, blah is way better than mine. Life is somehow easier for you. Because you’re simply amazing and talented. In those moments the thoughts of quitting all of this come forward. They land right on my doorstep knocking loudly, demanding an acquiescence to their will that leave me exhausted. Thankfully I have some fabulous friends and a Sweetie who remind me that this isn’t the time to end this whole quilting career. Nope it’s time to continue moving forward. (I’ll get to share part of that forward movement soon!!!!)

Because I know the struggle, deeply. I get that having someone lift us up in a moment of struggle, panic, or self-doubt can make a huge change for the better. When I hear the words of self-doubt, beginners being so hard on themselves I try to stop it. “You are a smart, intelligent woman, and you can do this” are the words that pour forth from my mouth. The negativity stopped we can then talk, and problem solve. The quilter or sewer can then, hopefully, see and view their own worth. When there is great resistance to this, when someone wants me to do the work for them I can assure you this hurts, almost physically. Helping you see that you can do the very thing that you want me to do for you is my goal as a teacher. Helping you stand on your own two quilty legs is important to me. You are worth it. You are Sew Worth it.

Kind words go far. They lift up, encourage, nurture. They are the opposite of bullying, putting down, stepping on. Kind words soothe hearts wounded by meanness.

If we’re ever together when I’m really tired, or hungry and not being my kindest self, please feel free to offer that word of encouragement that I need. I’ll do my best to offer that to you.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

A photo posted by Teri Lucas (@terilucas) on

but first some lilacs and they smell heavenly!

I’m teaching next week at HMQS. Here’s a link to my classes. I have a little room in a couple of them including, And Now What?! this is a design/doodling class. We’ll play with a lot of designs talking about the options for quilting our quilts. So if you’re going to be in SLC I’d love to see you. I’m really excited as it’s my first time teaching in this venue. 

I know I’ve been sharing about this on and off for a couple of years but the stuff is getting real now as I begin the major work on my book…so if I’m quiet…it’s all good. Pray for me and think good thoughts because this creative sort of person sometimes walks into her sewing room and walks right back out. I’m not sure if it’s a creative block or fear, though it could be a bit of both. I have ideas swirling around in my head. But in speaking with my editor I have some seriously good options.:)

Happy Quilting!

Teri

 

serendipity 3rd time with Bernina 1080Teaching people how to use their sewing machines is almost as fun as teaching quilters how to best use their machines for quilt making. It is in teaching Machine Guide Classes that new machine owners learn what they can do with their new machine from basic maintenance to making a blind hem and a buttonhole. It wasn’t until I started sewing in machines (sewing on them with several different stitches, sometimes they need a wee nip of oil) that I learned how (remembered how?) to do a buttonhole on the non-computerized machines. It must be remembered because I did make them on my old Singer, and in home ec class. For years though it did befuddle me, because – Quilting!
Most times these classes are pretty straightforward. Every now & again someone just gets excited about learning About their machine. What can it do? How can I do this? I want to do this again! How does that work? Oh my goodness this makes the classes so fun. I just love watching people “get it”!
diamond play quilting closeupGetting to know your machine is such a huge part of quilting – the better you know your machine the easier it is to quilt. A basic understanding of tension, and where to change it makes a huge difference when free motion machine quilting through all of the layers of a quilt. Knowing how to adjust the tension is necessary. For most sewing (piecing, garment construction, home dec) the machine tension should stay at the preset, whatever this is. Most machines are between 3 and 5, with most around a 4. On the more computerized machines the tension adjustment is in different, preset increments, however it’s still towards a higher or lower number. For quilting with a walking foot, the preset *should* be fine, however because stitching through the layers, with the interplay of batting and everything else, make sure to check now and again. For Free-Motion quilting this is where understanding machine tension is necessary.

BERNINA Ambassador bobbin work 2 bobbinsI’m going to pause here and tell you something very, very, important: You are smart, and intelligent, and can DO This.

If tension seems a problem when I get started making sure the machine is threaded properly is key, try re-threading first. When free-motion quilting basically if you’re seeing the bobbin thread come up to the top, the top tension is too tight – move the tension dial towards a lower number; if the top thread is showing on the back – move the tension dial towards a higher number. Towards is key here, the adjustment may not be a big move, frequently a small adjustment goes a long way. Sometimes adjusting the tension doesn’t work, that’s when we look at a couple of other things 1) needle and 2) speed. That’s a blog post for another day.

There is a lot of information in that class, particularly on the high end, computerized machines. One thing I realized a few weeks ago, when quilters are kind of uncomfortable with their machines, is that if you own a smart phone or some kind of tablet, you’ll be able to use your machine well. We don’t need to understand all of the features, we just need to be able to use them to our best advantage.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

Mississippi sunriseHowever, the words are not flowing as easily from my keyboard as they usually do. It’s kind of weird. Usually the words flow from my brain to the keyboard, not so much this morning about the intended topic. Instead I sent a private message and included a photo. Getting this particular quilt top complete became something of a mission as I’d been planning on passing it on to someone else to piece. Finishing it feels a major accomplishment.

Quilting #sewbatik #bernina #genqmag finding my happy

A photo posted by Teri Lucas (@terilucas) on

My quilting life has been consumed with commuting and work. Not having a whole lot of time to spend in my sewing room is making me a bit cranky. There are words to write and quilts to make and not necessarily in that order. And yet, for the most part my sewing machine is quiet, thread sits unstitched, batting is ready to be layered into quilts. This is hard. Things will change, at the right time, in the meantime I’m content to see quilts made by friends.
And I’m reflecting on my Word of the Year: Future…still embracing it and exploring it.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

 

 

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