BERNINA Ambassador Blog Tour It’s a Wrap

BERNINA Ambassador Blog Tour It’s a Wrap

WASAmbassadorIcon_205x205 (1)It’s a wrap! The BERNINA Ambassador Blog tour is complete. Getting to know more about the people you work with is always a good idea. So here’s a quote from each one:

From Cherry Guidry: I took my first quilting class summer of 2004 and wanted to learn to applique, but my sewing machine didn’t feature the right stitches suggested for the technique, so I needed a new sewing machine! I bought one that didn’t work as hoped, so on my way back from returning it, spotted the BERNINA dealer and you can just imagine what happened next… I brought home a sweet Activa 220… well, today I am so blessed to sew with the awesome B880

Jenelle Montilone: The universe sends us the greatest gifts- and being a part of the BERNINA family has truly been one of them. I am lucky to work alongside and learn from some of the most talented men and women in this industry. I’ve shared intimately what it means to me to be a brand ambassador for BERNINA.  While that original post was written more than 2 years ago- it is still true today.

Catherine Redford: It wouldn’t take very long at all to realize that having the right tool and materials for the job is very important to me. I like first quality fabric, thread, needles… you name it and I probably have it… or really want it! So no surprise at all that I sew on a BERNINA machine (or two).

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Kari Carr: Basically, it’s the most common-sense method of trimming and creating half-square triangles there is. Like it says; One Alignments, Two Cuts and you trim all four sides of your block. The exclusive edge slots allow you to remove the dog ears at the same time. Simple, but effective….at least that’s what I’m hearing in the reviews. It’s also the perfect companion to the popular notion, Clearly Perfect Angles (an Amazon “Best Seller”).

Lori Kennedy: There has been a lot of excitement at The Inbox Jaunt lately, because a collection of the Tuesday Tutorials (along with Skill Building Exercises and more) was just published by Martingale!

Annie Smith: Gran gave a sewing machine to my sister and me for Christmas when we were in high school. It was the only thing that we could mutually share and get along with. We had a calendar on the wall in the laundry room, where our Dad set up a desk for us to sew. We scheduled our “week to sew”– one week on, one week off. We made all of our clothes (except Levi jeans – who could improve on perfection?), including prom dresses. I made clothes on the weekends, wore them to school and took orders from my school mates. Repeat. Soon I was making clothes for their moms and my hairdresser’s girlfriend. It was a pretty cool way to support myself through school, doing something I loved to do.

Cheryl Sleboda: Whether it’s heirloom dimensional fabric manipulations like smocking, pleating, or tucking, or cutting edge technology like LEDs, microprocessors, or circuitry, my work combines design and innovation for unique fabric art.

Beth Ferrier: That I needed a new sewing machine was clear. Instead of bringing me joy, I fought with and cried over that stupid Kenmore, the one that I’d paid good money for (more than $200 in 1990, a lot for the time) and expected so much from. Sewing was my haven from the insanity of raising four hyper boys, my quilts were the only thing I did that stayed done.

at play greg case

Sandy Fitzpatrick: It didn’t take long for me to realize that I enjoyed creating my own appliqué patterns. When friends started asking me to create patterns of my designs, I realized that perhaps I could turn my fun little hobby into a business, and Hissyfitz Designs became a reality.

Mandy Leins: I was taking one of those quizzes the other day that promises to tell you *all about* yourself using on colors/appealing pictures/cat photos and the like, and I realized I already had a pretty good idea of what it would tell me: I love to learn, I love to find human connections in everything, and I love to share. I’m never happier than when all of these things combine. Making things with the work of our hands is a deep part of what defines the human experience, from our earliest origins. We have always found and made meaning in the material objects of our lives, adding art to our craft.

Christa Watson: In fact I have a funny story to tell about mothers and daughters quilting. Although my daughter made a quilt when she was about 8 years old, she has since decided to pursue other creative interests like writing and drawing. She was 12 when I was writing the book with Angela. When she learned that Angela had written a book with her daughter, she came up to me and said, “Mom – is it okay that I don’t want to write a book with you?” I answered, “Of course! Most quilting moms DON’T write actually write books with their daughters, so that’s perfectly fine!”

@sewbatik #bernina #quilting #terilucasquilts #superiorthreads When you like the back!

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Kathy Delaney: I will admit to being a frustrated machine quilter.  Well, I can’t even call myself a machine quilter, just frustrated.  I can’t recall how many machine quilting workshops I’ve taken, trying to master this technique, but it has been many.  I feel like I know the mechanics very well and I have even been known to machine quilt a project or two using my BERNINA #50 Walking Foot, but I have never felt like I could call myself a Machine Quilter.

Melody Crust: Don’t stress with the process, remember to breath! I like the look of lines that aren’t perfect. I do try to keep them from looking too messy. Depending on how densely you quilt it can be time quite consuming (take breaks! You don’t have to finish quilting all at one time!). The end results are wonderful. Have fun playing with straight lines!

Diane Doran: When I think back over all the years I’ve been sewing, and then quilting, the word “magic” keeps popping into my head. That’s how I think of sewing; as a form of everyday magic.

Kelly Ashton: We are all multi-faceted individuals, and there are many words that help to describe who we are.  Some words that will give you a glimpse into who I am:  woman, mother, daughter, wife, friend, Nana.  A few others:  Quirky.  Simple and complex Loyal.  Compassionate.  Curious.  Stubborn (sometimes).  Independent (always).

@sewbatik #sewbatik #bernina #superiorthreads #piecing

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Lynn Harris: My parents bought me my first sewing machine, a portable singer, back when I was in high school. Years later, in 1989, my husband surprised me on my birthday with a BERNINA 1230. He even called my boss and arranged for me to have the day off of work  so I could stay home and sew on the brand new machine!  To this day it’s one of the best and most used gifts I’ve ever gotten and speaks to how well he knows me.

Joanne SharpeMY FIRST BERNINA:  My first BERNINA machine is a B350 that I purchased while teaching at an art retreat in California in 2011.   I live in upstate NY.  I wasn’t leaving without my new treasure, my machine, so I took all my clothes from my suitcase and packed them in the BERNINA box and shipped them home.  My new BERNINA “baby” went with me on the plane instead, fitting perfectly inside my extended carry-on.  But the bad was just a tad too wide for the over head, so the flight attendant graciously placed it in the captain’s closet for the trip home.  My machine was already a spoiled child, nice ride!

And please remember to visit the Lectures and Workshops Page. My big adventure later this year is being the featured quilter at the Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show. I’m available to come speak at your quilt, host a workshop or a retreat. Comment here if you’d like me to send you a quilted card.

Monday March 20
Lynn Carson Harris harrislc@gmail.com
Kelly Ashton kelly@kellyquilter.com
Diane Doran info@dianedoran.com
Melody Crust melody@melodycrust.com

Tuesday March 21
Kathy Delaney kathy@kathydelaney.com
Christa Watson christa@christaquilts.com
Mandy Leins mandalei@gmail.com

Wednesday March 22
Sandy Fitzpatrick hissyfitz@earthlink.net
Beth Ferrier beth@applewd.com
Cheryl Sleboda cherylsleboda@gmail.com

Thursday March 23
Annie Smith annie@anniesmith.net
Lori Kennedy lckennedy@hotmail.com
Kari Carr kari@newleafstitches.com
Catherine Redford catherine@catherineredford.com

Friday March 24
Joanne Sharpe jzsharpe@yahoo.com
Cherry Guidry cherry@cherryblossomsquilting.com
Jenelle Montilone jenelle@trashn2tees.com

 

I’m copying Debby’s homework

 

20170226_133050Debby and I have a long standing joke wherein we copy each other’s homework. When Debby was working on going to teach in Russia she made a quilt with the words “Bang Head Here” .  Click on the link to read an interview and more on the quilt. Shortly after she posted the quilt we talked about the idea now whirling about my head and she couldn’t wait to see it. So, my own version of  “Bang Head Here” complete with  an arrow pointing to a brick wall (see yesterday’s blog post for the photo) came to life. Someone at a quilt show pointed this out to Debby, that I’d made this quilt using her idea. Shock! Horror! Debby assured her that this was fine.

I’ve been admiring Debby’s ribbon candy on quilts for a while. I like the effect, and the ease of stitching. So on the quilt I’m doing for SewBatik I am, once again, copying Debby’s homework by stitching ribbon candy into selected sections of this quilt.

Debby commented on one of the photos, “my work here is done.” Yep, she finally won me over to ribbon candy and I’m having fun. The space that I’m working in narrows and widens over the surface of the quilt so there is variation in the motif over the surface. That said, I’m loving the effect.

Of course, for me, the seam ripper was out in the first six inches of stitching. Trying to fill the space as it was the ribbon candy wasn’t having the desired effect. By visually dividing the space it’s easier to stitch, and looks better. I’m hoping to get a decent shot later today. productimage-picture-so-fine-50-438-mulberry-550-yds-polyester-thread-40304

This So Fine thread (50 wt) from Superior is doing exactly what I knew it would, it stands out just enough from the Indigo and blends in well. Weird right? It’s like I planned it. IMG_20170308_204343

I’m on the third bobbin. and ready to get more stitching done this morning. Last night as I stitched I had this amazing moment of “this quilt will be flat when I’m finished”. It’s one of those moments as a quilter that just, well, you know. It’s one of those moments. I’m off to revel in more of that moment.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

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if at first you don’t succeed

 

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Outside my front window the Mockingbird is chasing the Blue Jay away from the berries on the Dogwood. The Mockingbird’s nest is towards the top of the tree so apparently the tree belongs to it. (I don’t know the difference between the males and females.) Spring happens in just about fourteen days, to say I’m eager, though this winter is amazingly mild, is something of an understatement. I’ve been enjoying the days filled with more light, the sunsets through the studio window inspiring. One of our hyacinths has bloomed, so we’ll see what happens with the rest.

Back to our regularly scheduled post:

Keep stitching until it makes sense, pull out the seam ripper if you’re not happy, play until your heart is content.

I made this stitch sample a few years ago and gave it away. I think I’m going to make another one using this as inspiration.

This piece is one way of practicing, and keeping a library of stitching motifs.
A piece like this helps explore stitching motifs until you’re really good at it.
A piece like this can grace your studio walls giving you inspiration.
Perhaps done quarterly, a piece like this can show your progress as a free motion machine quilter.

Stitching different motifs across the surface of the quilt is something that speaks to my quilterly soul. As the words flit from my brain to my fingers I can see three quilts in my head that I want to work on, okay 5…okay it’s an unending roll of visuals. By keeping the quilts smaller I can make more of these.

For now off I go to start quilting this beauty:

Oh it worked! @sewbatik #sewbatik #bernina #piecing

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Oh should I tell you the character building secret about this quilt?

I will,  another day.

 

Building Character in a teeny tiny way

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It’s so cool to find the right tools to work on piecing quilt tops. This ByAnnie stiletto is different than others in that the metal stiletto has some texture to it, giving just a little bit of extra grip. There are a few flat spots along the wooden shaft giving a comfortable grip.

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This morning I finished piecing all of the components of the Kings Puzzle for SewBatik. This is one lovely quilt. Along the way a few challenges have cropped up. This piece should look a wee bit different. It should look like:

sewbatik-kings-puzzle-correct-bar-pieceThis is a two color quilt and we’re placing the colors in different positions. So an error or three on the way is to be expected. So error fixed and I’m working on piecing the main body of the quilt. I’ll have that completed tomorrow morning. Then on to basting and quilting. I can hardly wait. In the mean time the piecing, pressing, and spritzing continue til I get this baby done.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

 

Well this is pretty darned awesome-sauce

 

A wee little bit ago I heard noise coming from the general vicinity of my sweetie’s computer. He’s not a fan of my Sunday evening television viewing, that’s blog fodder for another day. So, he turns his computer in my general direction, showing me:

Well just wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Just watch the whole thing. This woman clearly spent more than six minutes playing the drums. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Oh did I mention practice?

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Pardon the overexposure here. In the late afternoon the sun seems to live in front of the window, bathing the room in glorious (sometimes migraine inducing) light. This late afternoon bathing improves the mood, and strengthens the resolve to keep stitching, not so great for pics though.

I finished the strip sets for the Kings Puzzle Quilt. Which meant time to cut the aforementioned strips into individual units for the blocks. Wahoo! Progress.

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Part way through the cutting, and labeling I messaged a fellow quilter, dear friend, and teller of truth about a mistake in the pattern*. Grumble. She says, “the math is correct.” I send her a photo of the directions. “The pattern is correct.” She says.

The pattern* was indeed correct. I missed one key thing. It says “make 2 strip sets”. That would indeed mean that I could cut all of the necessary pieces. I took a deep breath. Made one more strip set, cut the necessary pieces and kept going.

That’s when I got ready to start stitching the blocks. 20170219_164416

First up, arranging the units in the correct order, and direction to make one block.Sixteen total are required but this step to be certain I’ve got it all together.

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It is now pinned to the swatches of Radiance that live on the wall in front of the sewing table. To the left of the machine are the units all laid out all ready for me to stitch. The next 15 blocks will be chain pieced.

So this quilt has reminded me of the need to double check everything. And ask my friends for help. Well, more to the point, grumble to friends, but be open to the possibility that I’ve done something wrong. In this case, I did.And even better, I had what I needed ready to stitch for the final strip set I needed.

Amusingly I’d been rejoicing over this:

because piecing is fun, and clearly develops character.

Happy Quilting,

Teri

Character = Depth

coffee mugsDo you remember the Best Hot Chocolate I Ever Made? Oh sweet memories of imbibing. The memory of making that hot chocolate is as fresh as the day I made it. The after affects are as present. A chocolate hangover, who knew? Now I do, and won’t do that again. While we’re having a rather mild winter the hot chocolate consumption is limited to once or twice a week. Rather than the length and breadth of making it slowly on the stove, the favorite coffee mug gets filled with milk, popped in the microwave til hot, then hot chocolate powder is stirred in. On the odd occasion cinnamon, nutmeg or chipotle powder are mixed in, adding depth and character to the normal, every day hot chocolate.

Chocolate is proof that God loves us, and wants to see us happy.

Over the years my taste in chocolate has changed, in a manner similar to wine, and beer. As I get to know the flavors, the depth, the terroir, the distinctiveness I learn what appeals to my personal palate. Once upon a time chocolate purchased at big box stores satisfied that longing, and will do in a pinch. Now I spend a little more and savor each morsel, chocolate lasts much longer now. (Shocking, I know.)

chocolate 001Now I make Craft Hot Chocolate using cocoa powder, sugar in the raw, vanilla bean paste when I have it or vanilla from Tahiti, a wee nip of alcohol, milk, and half & half. Occasionally I’ll add chipotle, a little heat goes a long way. The recipe is never the same, like baking it’s an understanding of how things work, and proportions. Each steaming mug has it’s own depth, and character. Changing up the ingredients from the cocoa powder to the sugars and spices makes each cup unique. Using milk or half & half adds a creamy richness, making me want to curl up on the sofa with a good book, getting lost in both for hours on end.

The other option is bring that hot steaming mug of chocolate to the sewing studio for another level of hand crafted, creative inspiration.

With that, off I go to the kitchen, then the studio.

Happy Quilting,

Teri

Piecing

20170217_130840Piecing. I’m in the middle of making this quilt:

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It’ll be in Indigo.

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clicking on the picture will take you to SewBatik where you can get this.It’s coming along beautifully. These batiks have a beautiful hand, press beautifully, and take stitching well. I’m using Superior MasterPiece black for the piecing. As I finish seams they get pressed to set the thread into the seam, then pressed toward the Indigo. Yes, that’s pressed twice. As the piecing moves forward the seams will all receive the same treatment.

I’ll post on Instagram as the quilt progresses.

Happy Quilting,

Teri