I like coffee. A lot. I’m not a morning person, which will probably not come as a shock to my Sweetie, but may come as a bit of a shock to students or roommates. I can be irritatingly perky, sometimes even before coffee. Coffee helps me deal with things like this:
Yeah, sometimes this happens. And look! I left it there. I’ll deal with it a little bit later. As I stitched there was a little bit of a tug. There are several things that may have happened here:
I may have tugged too hard – this happens occasionally.
The needle may have had a burr – this happens, is unlikely here as the problems would have continued
There may be a burr in the stitch plate or bobbin case – again unlikely as the problems would have persisted
The thread may have had a weak spot or snag – this has happened
These kinds of things are why “a seam ripper is a quilters best friend”.
Now quilters, listen closely: this isn’t a competition level quilt, if it were a lot of things would be different on the quilt from the stitching to the thread choices. And the seam ripper and a sometimes wildly colorful vocabulary or tears would make a regular appearance. Originally this piece was going to be a study in a variety of metallic colors. Oh look! Shiny! As often happens I found a new thread, and by found I mean I bought some new thread, Superior’s MicroQuilter. Not only did I have to have it, it had to have me. Can you imagine all the tiny bubbles I’ll be able to make with this? Suwheet!
For now I’m finishing this quilt with great gusto, knowing that the character of this quilt is of the teaching/learning variety and simply makes me happy.
What I don’t have a picture of is the little zippered wallet I made to go with it. I like to have a little something to put in my pocket, and take with me when I go into the City.
I loved adding the cork for texture, and character. The cork takes stitching well and has many uses. It’s a bit spendy so adding detail, and creating a unique look works best for me. After getting home I changed the hardware on the adjustable strap.
Once I get through the first Lucy’s Nickles Project this will become either a class or a pattern.
I read “Compared to. . .” by Seth Godin and said, “there’s a quilt related blog if I’ve ever read one.” More than likely there were different words and it’s barely 6 AM here, and I’m just taking my very first sips of my morning Joe I seek your indulgence for a few moments.
Comparison is, as a human being, rather natural. A mom of a toddler aged boy shared the story of her boy and another same aged boy comparing anatomical differences at 3. Comparisons start early in life, and probably continue through until our days of dwelling in the local bone orchard. There are places where comparing is good, comparing thread is good. I like comparing thread. There are quilters who do not agree with my thread choices and that’s okay. I know why prefer the threads I prefer. Because I’ve compared them, on the machines I use and they work. And the threads I don’t prefer, some people do prefer them. Because they’ve compared them, on their machines and they work, for them.
Comparing thread, machines, needles, rulers, cutting mats, storage ideas is great. These are useful TOOLS. They are inanimate objects where some comparison is necessary. In the quilt world this comparison has something of a subjective air about it, and it’s important that it does, as what we are doing is highly personal. I like my current cutting mats and have been eyeing another brand but seriously do not want to invest money in a new cutting mat right now so there will be no cutting mat comparisons anytime soon. Though I want to compare them. And Rulers. I’ve been flirting with new rulers for a long time. Again, the investment for comparison is higher than I’d like at the moment, so no comparison there. I have compared seam rippers and know my preferred brands. Yes, brands.
In an effort to find a particular blog post I found “I figure I’m about 1/2 way there” and had an idea for a quilt at the same time. And in my mind flashed a quilt I’ve been working on and why it’s working. And “You are enough” is whispered in my ear.
The thing about comparing is learning to know what to compare and when to compare it. Remember too, that Masters were once Novices. A novice comparing themselves to a Master is a good thing only when they are looking for the places to improve their own skill, looking for the right questions to ask, seeking direction. A Master will not compare their work to a Novices, they will be reminded of the learning curve, how hard things were at one time, and how they learned along the way. The Master will offer insight and encourage.
There is a further level to this, if we want to acknowledge clear differences between our work and a Master’s work, that’s fine. This is an appreciation of hard work, and skill, that is not in any way to diminish our own work. Acknowledging someone’s hard work, and effort, that’s good. Saying our work is crap because it doesn’t meet the skill level we see, eh, not so much. Wanna compare time invested in developing said skill? Great! I’m all for it. Time invested is objective, not subjective.
The quilting I did 6 years ago is very different from the quilting I do now. I can compare my work and appreciate how different the quilting is now. I can see growth and changes. I can see the quilting taking a direction.
Where were you 5 years ago?
How has your quilting changed?
Is there anything that surprises you?
What’s the most significant change?
Write yourself a note to take stock of your work and see how it’s changed.
And give yourself the reminder that comparisons belong to the things we use, not our person.
The other night my friend and I had a discussion about value. Color value. She is an artist who takes actual classes, paints, quilts, plays viola, you get the drift. Part of the conversation drifted to the new job and one component that I am struggling with, less and less, but still struggling. There is a learning curve with every new thing we take on, this is mine at this moment.
While I don’t have formal training as an artist I get color intuitively, I know the basics: the color wheel, how to use it, how to show others how to use it; I know what works for me and how to help new quilters select fabric and thread for quilts. This is what’s irritating about this particular struggle, I feel like I *should* get this, easily. Surprise! I don’t.
After a bit of conversation over dinner what I’m having a difficult time with is separating out the value. So we have a solution that I’m going to try out soon. The fascinating thing though is that while I’m struggling with this it’s what I’m working on right now for the book. And the funny things is that I get it! So you can see why this makes no sense. Ha!
Aside: we had dinner at The Bayou in Mt. Vernon, such good Cajun food!
I’m off to work for the day at the day job. Have a quilterly day!
I don’t remember if I ever showed the full piece. A little taupe Radiance, a little silk batting, a little Superior Tiara Silk. Oh my. Have you seen this gorgeous variegated 50 weight silk thread? When they have the Tiara in the booth there will be a good chance that this little piece is in the booth. I am SMITTEN
I’m going to quilt to my hearts content because last night I purchased one of each. I ordered more thread however this one was so fun. 24 spools of Tiara silk will be here soon and the Big Quilt Idea.
Well the Big Quilt Idea I can’t show you but let me just say it’s going to be pretty.
Yesterday I finished the quilting on Moon Set, the name of my nearly completed whole cloth challenge quilt. Binding or facing will be completed, probably on the plane to Chicago later this week. The determining factor for binding or facing will be when I trim it down, the quilt will let me know what it wants. I’m leaning toward facing. Susan Brubaker Knapp has a method I’d like to try so we’ll see what my time over the next couple of days brings. As the day progressed I posted photos on Instagram – @terilucas.
It’s been a while since I stitched with metallic thread, I wanted to see how it would play on my B 780. I did not have to drop my tension down to zero as I did on my 1080. In the star I have a couple of raised stitches however the needle needed to be changed and I was doing some serious stitch over.
Lisa Calle has a line of rulers that I’ve been wanting to play with for weeks to see if they can be used on a domestic sewing machine. And with some work yes they can. I took a moment to read the directions Lisa includes with the ruler sets. Shocking I know! She does give good, clear and pithy directions. When I commented on fb that there is a learning curve with the rulers Lisa’s response that longarm quilters have a learning curve as well. Reality: with any new tool or skill there is a learning curve.
I will blog more about this sometime soon – like within the next few weeks. You may remember I tried Angela Huffman’s ruler (read the interview here and about the ruler here) and like it so I had a good idea of how to handle the rulers before sitting down to stitch.
I used the ruler along the entire top of the quilt having some decent success once I switched to an appropriate size for the space being stitched. I started out with a 3” ruler and sized up to a 5” ruler and it made a huge difference. We all know that using the right tool for the job makes a huge difference.
For the ruler work I used black Kimono Silk thread because I wanted the quilting to be there but not be a major focus and I wanted to be able to backtrack without thread build up. On this grape Radiance the fine thread does recede to the background of the quilt.
And the completed quilt:
Some quilt notes: Lisa H
Batting: two layers Hobbs Tuscany Silk batting
Thread: Superior Kimono Silk, King Tut and Magnifico; Weeks Dye Works 40 wt and 12 wt hand dye
Needles: top stitch 70/10 and 90/14
Hours: 40 ish
I am thrilled to have completed this quilt and will be happy to deliver it later this week. One final major job complete as I head full tilt into the book project.
There is nothing quite so comforting as listening to the sewing machine as I quilt. It’s a beautiful sound.
As I look at this update and think about the comments on facebook and think about another project I’m working on (I think a lot!). So the question I get a lot is, “what comes next?” or “do you plan your quilting?”
Photo aside: This is the same quilt taken in different light.
I probably do know what comes next and I probably plan however there is nothing on paper. How’s that for an answer? Priceless eh?!
I am sharing process on here with this quilt as it’s part of the Whole Cloth Challenge with Lisa Calle. Thinking that Chocolate Swirl was it – I worked on that for a while (and will finish that eventually) Nope. That wasn’t it. Then I started quilting the dupioni silk. Nope that’s not it. This grape Radiance that Olde City Quilts sent me with an order I placed a while ago kept whispering to me. It’s the same color I used for Moon Over Manhattan. You know, Little Miss Sassy Pants. I got to thinking about Olde City Quilts. How Judy lived in Montana (if I remember correctly). My image of Montana is big sky, mountains and wide open spaces. And the Big Sky reminds me of the moon. And I love the moon. The moon reflects the light of the sun, Radiance reflects light. Hmm I see a correlation here. The more I thought and stared at this fabric the more the idea settled that I wanted to do a play on Moon.
From Moon Over Manhattan I have the fabric, moon shape and the lone star (it is intentionally wonky)
From Montana I have the mountains and big, open sky.
From my thread drawer I have the silk thread and color
From my imagination I have the quilting.
So when someone asked what comes next? My answer, “Lime green” may have seemed a little odd. In my mind it made perfect sense. It’s one of my favorite colors and it will pop against the grape. I finished with the lime green last night and moved onto black. I am so thrilled that Superior makes silk in a variety of colors. I won’t know what the finished quilt will look like until the quilting is finished.
Ellen McBurney, one of my readers and a member of The Quilt Show, is auctioning this quilt titled: Libby and Ricky Converging to raise money for Libby Lehmans ongoing medical expenses.
Here is a link to the ebay auction.