Inspired, Character

???????????????????????????????

There are habits in life that well worth cultivating, an affinity for quirky literature is a good thing. The details of discovering Jasper Fforde escape me, however the long lasting memory of the telling of the life and times of Thursday Next, and the twists and turns of her life bring a smile to the heart and mind. This week two long standing items on the to-do list were accomplished the renewal of the library card, and checking out e-books from the library. The discovery of the lapsed library card brought some consternation, irritation and something of an annoyance as I tried logging into the library on more than one occasion getting nowhere, because lapsed card. In the meantime the purchase of a kindle added to the reading options.

Several times in the last months I’ve tried going to the local library with a city dweller problem, all the street parking spaces were taken. Mind you there’s a school, several restaurants, and businesses within walking distance but, seriously every single time. No parking. With a wee bit of persuasion the house Sweetie that taking me was a great idea. There is the matter of the book he needed to pick up but yeah, whatever. So the library card obtained I accomplished task two, borrowing e-books for the kindle. Both authored by the aforementioned Jasper Fforde. Just in time for a quick trip to Las Vegas to help a friend at a trade show.

???????????????????????????????

Yeah there’s a repeat on the picture, when you talk a lot there has to be a return to the original conversation. This sunset is one that occurred outside my studio window. These kinds of visual treats happen with enough frequency that I look for them as each one is different. The clouds are different, the light is different, the leaves change from day to day. Like the moon, sunsets enthrall me, capture my attention. Sunsets are moments of rest. Sunsets are moments to enjoy the beauty.

And they are characters. When I hunted for a photo for this post memories of first grade drawings popped up. Clouds, mountains, trees, people all have a certain feel, stylized in a child like way, open to the possibilities and mindful of how others in life might think of them. This is a good thing, in so many ways! I can see how these things that I’ve drawn since childhood are making into the quilting I do now:

tree-1
Moonset in process

While working on Moonset there was a moment that adding a squirrel hole somewhere near the area of the major boughs, it’s something I remember doing in a few of the childhood drawings. The funny thing is that I don’t remember seeing a single tree with a squirrel hole, and yet, there they were. The imagination kicked in somewhere along the way. The roots of the tree in the foreground remind me of the old pine on the big hill where we would play in summer, and sled in winter.

The fun thing is bringing the character of those moments into the quilting in these moments, adding interest and character to the stitching.

The beautiful thing about character is that it shows up, does the work, doesn’t worry about perfection, is interested in exploring, and goes places.

Happy Quilting!

Character Building

lily-pond-nybg

As I started thinking about character, texture, and thread a character from about 25 years ago popped up in my thoughts. He and his wife both volunteered with local school students after school. One afternoon he demonstrated asymmetry through showing the students how his eyes, ears, arms, etc were asymmetrical. Most of this someone wouldn’t notice by simply glancing at him, one would have to really look.

Scrolling through photos for a different blog I came across the photo I took at the Bronx Botanical Gardens about 6 years ago. I’m pretty sure I changed the photo to black and white to get a feel for the texture, and tones. What struck me this morning, because I was looking, is all the great texture of the lily pad. The veining is similar and different, the texture on the left is remarkably different than the texture on the right. The lily pad is such a beauty in and of itself. The asymmetry adds to the overall visual appearance of both the photo and the lily pad.

Let’s take this to quilting. its-bigger-than-i-thought-border

Here on the border of It’s Bigger than I Thought the curve of the border made the perfect spine for the feathers. Each side a little different as I stitched along. The full quilt is below.

its-bigger-than-i-thought

I quilted this on my BERNINA 1080 shortly after a Ricky Tims Super Seminar. Ricky reminded us that we, as quilters could do anything we want. He showed us how to do some feather work on the machine, and when I got home, off I went, stitching feathers all over the surface of the quilt. I can guarantee the level of character in the quilt is at a high level. However the overall result is amazing.

Happy Quilting,

Teri

 

Totally worth the wait

Way back at Quilt Market in Houston Tracy Mooney (Generation Q Magazine) did a quick interview with Bruce Magidson of SewBatik

Bruce showed us these gorgeous 108″ Indigo batiks. Sitting in a box next to me, that our package delivery system left at the front door of my home in a timely manner, are these batiks. They arrived with Oatmeal and synthrapol and retayne.

2090981602

I’m remaking this quilt in Indigo and Oatmeal for the booth in Lancaster.Once the fabric is washed I’ll get started.

Monday night was so much fun. After not being able to spend a whole lot of time with the Pelham Quilters it was good to be home. The meetings have moved from the first Monday to the third Monday of the month at 7 PM. They are taking a day trip to the AQS Show in Lancaster on Saturday April First it’s $55 for bus trip and then about $25 (give or take) for dinner. If you’re interested please leave me a comment and I’ll get you in touch with the coordinator of the trip. You can also comment through the facebook page.

Speaking of character IMG_0430

Roses, gazanias, mums and pansies are among my favorite flowers. Each petal is slightly different, some edges have little dips in from the edge, some of the petals are more rounded at the top, while others have something of a triangular peak. Not to mention the veining in each petal. In this photo the veining is subtle however it’s there and it’s kind of random and branches out here and there. The veining reminds me of the quilting we add to our pieced tops. Imperfect stitching is perfect, adds visual interest. Stay tuned for more character, pictures that I’ve taken over the years are flashing before my eyes. Character Counts

Character Counts

835a00fb0d05c8cd66bd4574ff0715c1

Sometimes I look at my quilts, see things I don’t like, and thoughts of sending the quilt to the great quilt yard in the sky, would be the best. thing. ever. Between teaching, and working with quilters in shops I know that quilters want perfection from the first stitch. Doing it “right” the first time, every time is the height of something. I haven’t figured out what yet, but it is.

While encouraging the learning process, letting new and not-so-new quilter know that mistakes happen sometimes it’s hard to experience and see how the mistakes add to the beauty and character of what we’re doing.

I’m on a journey to find the character around me, and taking you along.

"Twilight in the Bronx"

Twilight in the Bronx is a quilt with tons of character including a little bit of fullness in the circles. And it’s square but a good blocking would do the quilt a lot of good. It’ll stay just so as it is.

Most importantly it’s the quilt started in my 41st year of life that has led me down a path of great quilterly joy.

I love it when a plan comes together

And then I said to her, “I’m really good at this stuff.”

Then she said to me, “Yes, you are.”

But today it got even better because finishing and photography were involved. There will be directions forthcoming at an appropriate moment. Fun and frivolity are involved.

#stencilgirls sneak peek

A post shared by Generation Q Magazine (@genqmag) on

stencils, color pencils, and thread! oh my. I can hardly wait to reveal this delight.

invitation-with-hashtagAs you read this the Generation Q Magazine Quilt as Desired exhibit is going up at the Pinwheels and Friends Mt. Kisco event. I will be there both days so feel free to stop by and chat about the quilts.

Happy Quilting,

Teri

 

 

Sour

Sour is good.
I baked the other day. It wasn’t my worst baking hour, and not my best either. The other day we picked up yeast, King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, and King Arthur Bread Flour. About a year ago I got rid of a sour I’d been holding onto that was long neglected and gone. At the same time I made cinnamon rolls. And now I’m going to make sourdough cinnamon rolls because the depth of flavor is just gorgeous. I’m going to be patient and wait a few days before making them. I want to give the sour a chance to do it’s thing.cake-decorating This. is. hard. because sourdough.
I’d forgotten how much I enjoy baking. How much I’ve enjoyed baking since I was seven. When you forget how much you enjoy something it’s been a long time, and the experience has me giddy with excitement. As I kneaded dough yesterday my sweetie and I had a funny conversation.
Him, “you can go use the table if it would be easier.
Me, “the table is higher than the counter.”
Him, “but it might be easier on the table.”
Me, “the counter is too high for me as it is.”
Me, “our next house will have a counter that is comfortable for me to chop and knead at (read lower than the height of our current counter)”
Him, “our next house will have two different cutting/working stations, one for you and one for me.”
Now that we know the beginnings of our next kitchen.

20170127_170854When teaching machine quilting students frequently hear, “your shoulders and ears are not one body part.” In kneading and rolling dough those words flitted through my consciousness. The shoulders kept creeping up to my ears. In part due to the height of the counter, and in part due to putting my whole self into kneading that dough. But oh my goodness the garlic knots and pizza were so good. Food, like a quilt, is a physical, enjoyable moment. Quilts last longer. Eating something I’ve made well is so good. Food is made for sustenance, and for pleasure.
Quilters and food pair well together. There is something amazing about the communal aspect of both, there is a generosity inherent in both. Any gathering of more than a few hours will have some kind of food involved. I love to bake so often I’ll bring something sweet to the party.

I’ll be heading into my studio today to work on a purse and wallet for me. It’s so fun. I hope to finish and get photos today, as tomorrow I’m going to AEF’s concert with the Yonkers Philharmonic. It’s Aria day, this is a first as far as I know. I’m looking forward to participating in the concert.

In working on both the baking and the stuff for Generation Q Magazine the idea of the show quilt is coming into focus. To have these ideas whizzing and whirling around my brain is kind of fantastic. It’s been a long drought and the flowing creativity is refreshing and renewing. Creativity sometimes lands you right in a desert for many reasons. I do love deserts, there is so much life there.

So, now that I’ve covered quilting, food, and touched on creative deserts the studio is calling and I must answer.

I’ll be back with more on the creative desert and the great joy in creating now.

Happy Quilting,

Teri

 

 

Puddle Jumping

img_20170124_163916Every now and again in front of my machine I sit and stitch. That’s it. There’s no plan or purpose other than reconnecting with the machine and the rhythm of stitching. The stitching leads to thinking, that’s sometimes a good thing, and sometimes not so much. Either way the level of enjoyment is increased with each stitch. That is, after all, the purpose of quilting, enjoyment.
img_20170125_135424

As one fat quarter filled and the next begun the weather influenced the choice of motif a bit. Thoughts of puddle jumping filled the space between. I can do puddle jump with the best of them, and have fond memories of doing so while dating my sweetie. The center circle is where the rain drop lands causing ripples. There is something calming and meditative with rain drops landing on water, each ripple just a little different, influenced by the effect of the other drops and ripples. When I started quilting the intent was one full spiral, about the fifth round out it became apparent that wasn’t happening. Uh-uh. Nope. Because the reminder of rain drops is simply beautiful.

img_20170125_173408-1And going with the rain drops seemed the only way to continue. At first overlapping and connecting. Then going a little rogue not necessarily connecting them, or having them overlap more than one other rain drop.

Puddles are glorious. Puddles give happiness for such a short time. Puddles are there for jumping, and rain drops, and worms, and inspiration. Puddles are delightful. Like rain drops sliding down a window, wandering hither and yon until they reach the intended destination. Rainy days in the summer beckon me outside, rainy days in the winter drive me to the studio with all the lights on. *The fabric used for the project is Sumi-é by Frond Design Studios.

Once all the quilting is complete the two pieces are destined for greatness! Yes, dear ones, they will be made into a new bag and wallets for me.I’m going to remove the hardware and strap from another bag that has completely fulfilled it’s obligation and use it for the strap on this one. What a great way to repurpose a well loved bag. There will be cork involved in some detail work, how I’m not entirely certain at the moment but a plan is forming in my head that will come together at the right moment. This one is just for happiness as I work on a few other things. One I have to get a mosey on and finish this weekend. I’ll be posting that “need to finish and write about it” on the Gen Q blog. It’s something different and kind of fun.

In a few days I’ll reveal the quilt design for the Lucy’s Nickles – Creating Confident Quilters one Stitch at a Time group. After some serious contemplation we’re going to work on a piece based on a couple of quilts and tease out the stitching and design from there. The thing that makes drawing out the design easier for everyone, that is the great hope anyway. You’re welcome to join the group and play along for as long as you’d like.

Happy Quilting!

Teri