A Trip to PNQE

20170917_195204Yep, that’s what happened. I took the two plus hour trip to PNQE at the Oaks Sunday morning. I went just to go. Most shockingly of all – duhn duhn duh – I went by Myself. While this isn’t anything unusual, I went to visit with friends. That’s it. Visit. I didn’t buy anything. I didn’t take any pictures of quilts, though I walked the entire show floor. Many friends have quilts in the show, quilts that I love.

I enjoyed simply being there. I did have a lengthy conversation with Linda Pillion-Lease. Then chatted with Lisa Calle, and Sarah Bond. It was lovely. Lovely.

At the end of the day I did help Diane of SewBatik tear down, and load out. I was a wee bit too lazy to go change my into my sneakers. Note to self: change into your sneakers. Your toes will thank you later. No, no damage to toes, however a close call that was my fault. HA.

I arrived home around midnight having thoroughly enjoyed the day of simply being with friends.

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Happy Friday,

Teri

 

 

I couldn’t have taught Home Ec, and why it matters

I’m spending the day getting ready to go for training with RNK Distributing in Knoxville, TN. I’m excited. There’s a bit of paper work I need to fill out, I’m waiting for one bit of information that I should have later this afternoon. I need to print out what my schedule for the next several months will be – because exciting.

splat-with-binding

I’ve made a lot of crap over the years, and it’s all good. Seriously. This piece right here. Crap. Seriously. Aw-ful! Hang with me friends this whole thing is going to flip over!

I went looking for a specific picture or two of a quilt I made for my sweetie years ago as it has an example of really awful quilting. I take his quilt with me when I teach as it’s a good example of the work a beginner has to do in order to get to the quilting they want to do.

Every once in a while some form of this conversation happens:
National Amazing Author & Teacher (NAAT for short) who is learning how to quilt, “Here’s a photo of what I did. It’s really awful. I’ve been machine quilting for five whole months now and it should come out exactly the way I see it in my head every. single. time.”

Me, “Hey that looks really good. Consistent stitching and smooth curves.”

NAAT, “Most of the time my curves look like stick figures.”

Me, “Mine did too when I started learning quilting.”

NAAT, “I really should be better at this because blah, blah, blah.”

Me, “And what would you tell your students?”

NAAT, “You’re learning a new skill, be kind to yourself, be patient, and very forgiving.”

Me, “Huh. So how long have you been quilting and is being hard on yourself is working?”

NAAT, “Damn you Teri using my own words!”

Me, “Right?! Be kinder to yourself. Seriously this is good, keep going.”

Me, “PS you don’t want to hear the crap that runs through my head. I need to stop that.”

Be kind.

Like most of the kids of my generation I took home ec in Junior High, and High School. I loved it. Except for sewing clothing. Gah! There is part of me that wants to, but the learning I have to do to get to where I want to go. *See conversation above.*  Shhh don’t tell anyone I finally figure out the measurement for a good, appropriately supportive, upper foundational garment, that is comfortable.

cranberry almond muffinIn these classes we were learning how to cook, manage meal time, and so many other things. Baking, I’m all there I can go through that process and keep the kitchen in good order. Cooking however ick! When I concentrate really hard it’s okay. Will I ever make gourmet meals? Uh, no. Honestly I’m just not all that interested. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy eating good food, just all that prep work yick.

Now on the other hand. Prep work for making a quilt, I’m all in. Why? Because I’m really interested. I love quilting.

I knew in High School that I wanted to teach, thinking I’d be teaching Kindergarten or First Grade. Aren’t they so cute at that age? I’ve always loved little people. Over the years I’ve taught religious ed for first to fifth grades, and somewhere along the way I realized that while I love kids, I’m not a good teacher for them. How to explain that exactly? I’m not entirely sure, but I know this isn’t quite for me.

yvonne-porcella-quilt-e1472679184139.jpgAdults however, that’s a whole other ball game. The conversation with NAAT is one I have with a lot of adults. As kids we’re all caught up in the wonder of learning, and particularly when we’re younger, open to the idea of being Creative. Creativity is part of learning. It’s all one continuum. For adults we forget that Creativity, being creative is part of every day life. It’s one reason why we admire artists so much. They speak to our souls.

They light the path we want to take.

Often though, one thing we don’t see is a lot of the crap, and work that goes into making whatever it is that made your own heart go all twitterpated.

It’s why that conversation with NAAT is so essential.

It’s why I don’t teach home ec or early childhood years. There are people who find great joy in teaching these things. YAY! Thank YOU!!

It’s why I teach free motion machine quilting. This is where I find great joy.

Somewhere along the way quilting has become that thing, that creative outlet that feeds my soul, and in someway – when things are all working together – feeds yours as well.

Watching quilter, after quilter stop being so hard on themselves is such a beautiful thing.

I shared over on A Quilters Heart, that I’ve received some firm, “No’s” recently. They’ve been a bit challenging, however, they’ve also been very good. Why? Because I’m placing these “No’s” on the ground to use as stepping stones.

When things in our free motion quilting go all haywire, place them on the ground as stepping stones. Move forward. If you need a word of encouragement, you know where to find me.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

PS I still make a lot of crap. It just doesn’t always make it to my social media channels

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August Block of the Month An Original

August Block of the Month An Original

Technical difficulties sometimes present big problems. Other times they are opportunities for learning. Something went screwy a while back, causing something to happen to the version of Microsoft Office installed on my computer. I have an open source that I can use for documents, power point presentations, and graphics, it’s simply not as intuitive as Office. I could use the desktop but that requires a few back flips. I’m hoping by the time I get this posted I’ll at least have a line diagram that makes sense.

line draw d

Oh rejoice with me friends it worked!!! Hallelujah. You’ll notice later on that the line that is in the squares around the perimeter are not stitched. The motif that gets stitched in there is so fun. Want to see from the back?

Quilted Happiness Quilted Block of the Month #terilucasquilts #schmetzchrome #superiorthreads

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The outer box is 12 inches. I’m using the Quilters Select 12” x 6” ruler. I’m digging these as they grip the fabric so no shifting! I use the twelve inch side to draw the outer lines. The 6” side helps me to keep the ruler straight marking the next line. Why not use a 12” ruler? Well the ruler I currently own has a chip in one corner. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

drawing the outside square

drawing the block mark the center poings
Marking the center points on all four sides. I used a hash mark, a dot will suffice.

Measure in from each side 1 1/2 or 2 inches, this will create the inner square. See the diagram above.

drawing the outside square hold pen 45 angle
Tip: hold the marking pencil at an angle along the ruler. This will help keep your lines straight, and consistence.

Now to make the smaller squares: connect the dots. Place the ruler from hash mark to has mark on an angle. Draw a line from the dot, to the inside line.

drawing the inside triangle

Finally connect the inside lines. august quilted block of the month line pdf shows the start stop points.

finished block

For August we’re exploring how quilting looks on a highly patterned, very colored fabric. As a newer quilter I would often let the fabric do the work for me using simple motifs or stippling to accomplish the work of quilting, I daresay this is common among quilters, and it’s perfectly fine. Whatever gets the job done.

Batting
I’m using two layers of a cotton wool batting by Hobbs. I do love multiple layers of batting, this is something I started doing on competition quilts after Tilde won it’s ribbon. The first (back) later might be cotton, or bamboo to give stability to the quilt; the top layer is wool, or silk for great stitch definition. On the rare occasion that I make bed quilts one layer of wool or silk is perfect, as they breathe, and keep a body warm.

When Hobbs debuted this cotton/wool blend I thought I’d died and gone to heaven as it provides the stability I want with good stitch definition. Bonus!

Thread
The where and how will be over the next several weeks.
Superior Metallic – 40 wt. and shiny. Interestingly it’s quite subtle.
Superior MicroQuilter – 100 wt polyester this is a new must have in my thread collection for everything from stitch in the ditch, to the intense quilting I’m passionate about.

Backing
Is a striped batik from Robert Kaufman Fabrics. I’ll share that on Instagram later this week.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

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I got a Thank You note the other day

20170701_161450This note is an honest-to-goodness handwritten note card saying thank you for the postcards. I sent two, one to keep and one to give. And honestly, if someone chose to give the postcard I sent, that’d be fine with me. It’s a gift, no strings attached. Oh, perhaps I’d better rephrase that…no expectations of keeping. Getting the card this was an act of kindness that filled my cup just a little bit more mostly because it was unexpected.

Debby Brown, in her Tuesday Facebook Live vid, shared a new product from her website – A Postcard Kit a pack of six – 5” x 6” pieces of fusible peltex, with clear envelopes that will fit a 4.25 x 5.5. This works well for 1000 postcards for peace. This kit is a great thing to keep by the sewing machine to stitch after, or before, or in the middle.

twilight redux
This is the beginning of a journey that requires concentration, choices, and confidence. The next time the quilt make an appearance? Not sure yet.

Have a totally fab day!

Teri

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Quilted Block of the Month: New York Beauty

Welcome to the Quilted Block of the Month. In each issue I’ll post the block, and supplies – batting, thread, needles. I’ll show how the block is drawn on the fabric, with any rulers.
I will be using these blocks as class samples so each one will get it’s own binding. This wil make a good quilt as you go project.

This months supplies:
SewLine Pencil – this is my first time using this pencil, and so far I’m quite pleased.
Collins Quilt and Sew Ruler
45 mm rotary cutter
6” x 24” Ruler
12 1/2” square of hand dyed fabric from my stash
12 1/2″ to 15” square of a light gray solid from my stash
12 1/2” to 15”  square needle punched cotton batting – this is from my stash and I don’t know the brand
80 weight polyester thread for ditch work and bobbin (Superior MicroQuilter)
40 weight trilobal polyester (FabuLux by Wonderfil and Magnifico by Superior)

The first block: New York Beauty.  
I chose this as one of my first competition quilts is When Alex & Jinny met in NY Beauty Happened, and I love New York Beauty Blocks, as it’s a great reminder of home in both the Chrysler Building and the Statue of Liberty.

Block one quarter inch seam

Step one: cut a 12 1/2” square of cotton fabric. Using either the Quilt & Sew Ruler or the 6” x 24” ruler mark a line 1/4” in from each one of the edges. These lines serve the purpose of seam lines joining blocks together. I will use the ditch and the seam allowance to move to the next stitching place. Oh but I am getting ahead of myself here.

NYB corner curve

After the lines were drawn creating the seam allowance I chose to freehand the corner curves, then added dots about one inch apart along the length of the corner curve.

NYB Ruler Sew Line Marking pencil

Halfway between the dots I lined up the ruler, straight up from the inside curve to the outside curve and placed a dot at the top.
Using the Quilt & Sew Ruler I joined the lines, to create the spikes. This is where the SewLine marking pencil came in handy, the lines are consistent, and there’s not stopping to sharpen pencils.

NYB Drawing lines

After twenty four years of quilting I think I have the marking pencil that works long term.

NYB stitching in the ditch

Now it’s time to stitch in the ditch. First line of stitching: along the inside curve.
NYB 80 wt thread

Then along each one of the spikes. I stitch slowly, about 1/2 speed or less. This gives me great control as move over the surface of the quilt.

NYB around the block

Once I finished stitching the upper curve, next was the entire seam allowance around the piece.

NYB stitched in the ditch ready for quilting

Right now it looks all fluffy in places and ways that are entirely frustrating and inappropriate. However, this is good practice for stitching in the ditch. This is an important component of stabilizing a pieced quilt top.

Here’s a sneak peek of next weeks blog post:

NYB tension check

This is a tension issue that I’ll show you how we dealt with this.

I have a plan for the August Quilted Block of the Month, it’s a block that I’ve been wanting to make for a while.

Happy Quilting,

Teri

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Oh sweet memories

 

"Twilight in the Bronx"

Eight years ago I was actively working on this quilt, Twilight in the Bronx. While having dinner with my sisters, sweetie and a very good friend my sisters gave me the batik fabric (where the applique’s come from) and three spools of thread, which I used in the star. It was right after this that I started the quilt, designing, deciding on the trapunto, and making further thread choices.

Right about this time the seam ripper was actively engaged in the taking out of thousands of stitches. At a meeting of our mini-group one of the quilters, rightly said, “You’re hiding your quilting,” and I took that to heart, making big changes. Later that year (2009) I entered this in the Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show where it won a second place ribbon in its category. This October I am the Featured Speaker at this show. I am truly honored. Thank you to Trish and the selection committee, and the quilt show committee. I’m thinking about entering one or two quilts in the show. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to compete and this would be a great start again.

Right after I came home from Quilt Market I had the idea to remake this quilt. Well, not so much remake it because been there, done that but make another quilt with the Lone Star as the bones of the quilt. I’m going to do this twice once on Radiance (that silk/cotton blend from Robert Kaufman) and once on chartreuse Supernova. This morning I woke up for with the idea for how to mark the quilt top. I’ll be posting that tidbit of information in Lucy’s Nickles.

A beginning.

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The Radiance is hanging on the wall ready for me to mark it.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

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Towards Craftsmanship and story telling

Someone posted this Carhartt video of Jason Momoa crafting a story surrounding his life, craft, finding his life’s purpose, learning to enjoy life through acting. He speaks with

great love of his wife, and their children. Jason speaks with passion about his mom’s influence on his life, that she taught him to skateboard, and this is something he is passing onto his kids.

Jason speaks of craftsmanship. This caught my attention as it is a word I’d love to bring into the lexicon of quilt making. Merriam-Webster defines craftsmanship as: a worker who practices a trade or handcraft, and one who creates or performs with skill or dexterity especially in the manual arts. (Emphasis added.)The favorite word here is practice. Practice. Practice. Practice.
I have this thing for Craftsman houses, Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, Mondrian paintings, a well-done, and well curated fabric line, a well-made quilt, a well told story. What I can see underneath the thing is all of the work that went into getting to the point of creating the particular thing. I may not know each step, but more the level of effort and work. Make sense?

Nearly thirty years ago while serving as a volunteer at Habitat for Humanity I took a very basic clowning class offered by some of the other volunteers. Learning to clown, like quilt making, is something of a process wherein thought is given to your walk, your face including which features to exaggerate and de-emphasize. Perhaps in something of a telling way, I wanted to be a story telling clown. Clowning is not something I pursued with reckless abandon however, I could remake my clown face. The point of sharing this, is that clowning is something I tried. Story telling however, has stayed with me.

IMG_20170211_123309

When the opportunity arises to give the Trunk Show of Quilts I get to tell the stories of the quilts, the struggles making them, and which are my faves. Taking in progress pieces that will not ever be finished in any way to show how I practice that which is the craft that has chosen me.  Just as it took Jason years to find his passion, for acting to find him, it’s taken me, any quilter who quilts, writes, teaches, shows, competes to get to the moment they are in. It’s risky business putting our stuff out there, because like actors we leave ourselves open to rejection, criticism, and a lot of tears and pain. And then there is the great joy of a quilt done like we envisioned, students getting “it”, ribbons on our quilts, and the feel of fabric beneath our fingers. The designs that wake us up at two in the morning because they just have to become something real.

One day the quilting story will write itself in a way in which allows me to breathe deeply the satisfaction of a well told story, the next quilt will be the one that will let me put it out in public.

This leads me to some writing, and quilting that is calling my name, so I’m off to hone my craft of quilting, and all of the things that go with it.

Happy Quilting,

Teri

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