So…do you know?

teri lucas qad gen q amenAbout Pinwheels and Friends in Mt. Kisco the weekend of February 3 and 4? Location: Holiday Inn, One Holiday Dr. The Generation Q Magazine Quilt as Desired exhibit will be there. The same block, quilted by different quilters, in different ways, by hand, home sewing machine, sit-down longarm, and long arm. Exhibiting this will be a lot of fun, as I’ll get to chat with quilters for the weekend. Working on this exhibit is one of the more memorable experiences working with Generation Q. So many quilters so little time. Sometime later this year we will do this again with a whole new set of quilters. This ought to be so much fun. We have a few people in mind.

I’m also going to go to Quilt Con later in February working in the Pinwheels booth. And at some point I’ll get photos and write a blog post or two for the magazine.

And now…

2090981602Here it is! remember all those sneak peeks on Instagram and facebook I posted. This is the finished quilt hanging in the booth. Diane and Bruce have kitted it with the pattern. If you’re at Road to California this weekend you can see the quilt in person and get the kit. The cream is called oatmeal. Who doesn’t love oatmeal? I mean I’m sure there are a few people but, the color is gorgeous.

This week has seen the stitching fly with a couple of pieces for the magazine. A lot of fun in the sewing room for sure. One will appear in our pages, the other will appear on our website. Must. Write. Patterns.

So, see you soon, somewhere out there!


Happy Hour

But before I get to the happy hour bit. I did a bit of a tidy up in my sewing room yesterday. Oh my goodness was I ever over due for that! A while back someone gave me thread stands for both Superior and Aurifil. These very useful stands were sitting in the middle of my sewing room floor taking up valuable floor space, making moving around challenging.

thread stand one

Until now the thread has lived in drawers, and that’s been okay.

thread stand two

The drawers have functioned okay, however having them free for other things like cones, patterns, and notions is such a good thing. Being able to see my thread is such a fun thing because thread. Now you may notice that there is a lot of non-Aurifil thread on this stand, and you would be correct, this is because most of the Aurifil that I have is in cones. There is more thread in one other place, as soon as I can get that situated I’ll share the space. I’m adding one more table to that space in the next couple of weeks. My sweetie has suggested a set up that just might make this space more functional, and will allow me to take better shots for the magazine and for me.
The fun thing is that I brought a project out that I haven’t worked on in a while. The quilt was started for a friends book and I pulled it because quite frankly it wasn’t going well. I hated to do do it as I didn’t want to let said friend down, however it was necessary. I will make some changes as I go, and do my best to mask the areas I’m not particularly happy with. The person who will end up with the quilt will love it.

So speaking of the magazine Tracy Mooney and I had our first GenQ Happy Hour last week!

We’re planning another Wednesday night and hope to be able to add our Editor-in-Chief Melissa Thompson Maher to the video as well. Timing wise it should be 9:30 eastern, 8:30 central, 7:30 mountain time. Watch our fb page for details.

Have a fabulous quilting day!


Couple of projects done and checked off my list

B 780 back inside of projectI’ve been sneak peeking this on what this project might be. I posted it here as the back of the quilt.

Well after some very careful consideration it made sense to make this the front of the quilt.BERNINA Ambassador clutch marking the clasp

As my quilts often do this one surprised me. what I once thought was the back has once again become the front. This time I didn’t argue.
I didn’t even want to. this side is far prettier than the linen side and makes much more sense than I thought.
I have one more piece of quilted linen that will become a zippered tote to hold pens and pencils.

I’ll show you that when it gets done.

I know, I know it feels like I’m teasing you when I say I’ll show the finished project when I can. Just to entice you to keep coming back. Well I’d like you to come back and read the blog because you like it, the bonus and teasers are just part of the fun.

happy quilting!


What do I do with all my practice pieces?

Aurifi LinoEach blog I write gets posted on facebook through Networked blogs allowing the simplicity of posting. Sometimes quilters post comments here on the blog and sometimes on facebook. Every once in a while a quilter will comment and I know a wider response is needed and this is one of those days.
SI: I so appreciate your encouragement in regards to fmq. I too enjoy this process greatly but I struggle with what to do with the practice pieces. The utilitarian side of me wonders how to make this useful. What do you do? How do you reconcile using fabric and batting for practice? I too have a STRONG desire to create…going to follow your lead and just do it, and leave the result/purpose to the Lord. Thanks for the idea..what do you do with your pieces?

NOTE: I will be doing a blog post on how to end free motion stitching soon. I just need about 30 to 40 minutes with aef so I can take pictures of the process.

example of awful machine quilting
actually i did this on purpose for an article in Quilting Arts Magazine
It was a challenge to do this

These are great questions and deserving of some good answers. When I first started machine quilting I made totes of varying sizes. Wanting designs of my own I used the various rulers to cut the shapes of the pieces and when I make totes now I follow the same process. I still have one that gets shows in class as an example of  how awful I was when I started learning how to machine quilt. I was awful, awful.
Did I mention it was awful?

Practice pieces have multiple purposes.

quilt demo 2 colorPractice pieces are usually fat quarter size with pieced batting and the good thread. These often start life as a way to see how thread, fabric, and batting will work together. And truthfully as a practice piece sometimes the quilting is just not all that good. I’m okay with that as I’m trying to figure out what will work and what won’t or how to stitch out a new motif.
As I got more and more comfortable with machine quilting and really started developing an understanding of how to change tension, pair needles and thread the practice pieces became class samples. I have a few of these.  I realized two weeks ago that I lost somewhere along the way. Gina Perkes demonstrated this curve technique on The Quilt show and I had fun showing my guild members how to do this and a few variations on that theme. I’ll tell you what – I see a huge difference in my quilting from then (2010) til now.

Sometimes the practice pieces just sit in my sewing room with no purpose or intention other than being a practice piece. And please, please do not freak out. Sometimes they go bye-bye. I only have so much space in my quilt room and go they must.  I recently added binding to one piece because it was quite large, and as soon as I see Victoria Findlay Wolfe it will be given to a charity she supports in a neighborhood in the Bronx where I worked for nearly 15 years.
I can see the possibility of making quilt as you go quilts. Goodness knows I have enough bias binding. But there is no will. I had thought of making a book with samples showing thread weight/brand/type, needles used, tension setting, if there was a particular fabric line and I may still do that. Maybe. We’ll just have to see.
The practice piece at the top will eventually wend it’s way to Aurifil when I get it bound as a Thank You to Alex Veronelli for sending me the Lino (linen) thread to test.

Happy Quilting!


Aurifil Lino

Aurifil Lino 100 18 needleAurifil Lino 100 16 needleWhen I heard that Aurifil was working on a linen thread I was excited. I like natural fibers, they’re kinda cool.  Donna from Follow that Thread sent me a spool to check out and I liked it. You can read more about it here. Alex Veronelli sent out a general call for people to test this thread and sent me some to try.
In my original test I used a 90/14 top stitch needle and had some thread shred so for this decided to size up at least one size to a 100/16. From the previous stitch out I already knew the Lino tends to be slubby which can present a bit of a problem. The slub gets caught in the eye of the needle causing the thread shred and the popped stitches.  For this test I’m stitching on decorator weight linen on top, Echino cotton on the back and silk batting.
Aurifil Lino slub thread shredWhen it was stitching for the most part it was stitching well. Note: the I have Superior Magnifico in the bobbin – a 40 wt. Whenever I have a fibery thread (like wool or sometimes even cotton) a polyester in the bobbin solves a lot of problems because of it’s smooth. I also reduced the tension to 1.5 to 1.25. Seeing the back I could have raised the tension a little bit however the thread was already shredding so raising it was not a good option.

Aurifil Lino pokiesAs evidenced by the pokies on the back here.

Aurifil Lino change to bobbinI know that there are threads on the market that work best in the bobbin (i.e. Ricky Tims Razzle Dazzle) while the Lino is not quite as thick as the Razzle Dazzle it made sense with the slubs to go ahead and try it out in the bobbin. The regular bobbin for the B 780 would be on the tight side so I grabbed the red bobbin for heavier thread/bobbin work. Wound a bobbin, popped the bobbin into the machine and started stitching. Voila Success!!!

Aurifil Lino pretty stitchingI did need to adjust the tension a little bit up to 2.0. It’s stitching beautifully.For the project I’m working on and how I’m quilting it does not matter one bit that I’m quilting upside down. For projects in the future if I need to mark the quilt I’d follow the whole Ricky Tims mark it by stitching it with water soluble thread first to create the designs I need. Then doing the bobbin work following the lines I’ve already stitched out.

I’d use Aurifil Lino again in a heart beat I’d use either Aurifil’s new Polyester Thread or their Invisible thread on the top (back of the quilt) and the Lino in the bobbin. I know, I know most of us do not have the BERNINA Red Bobbin or even the BERNINA Black Latch Bobbin (both of which have room to allow heavier weight threads to go through easily) I will be able to finish this project. Easily.

And no, I’m not going to tell you more about that project. Reasons dear friends Reasons.  I’ll tell you all about it when I can.

happy quilting!


An Interview with Susan Sato of Easy Piecing

Susan Sato photo
I met Susan Sato of Easy Piecing a few years ago, we catch up with each other in a variety of places. . .quilt shows, guild meetings. Susan carries some neat things in her booth, like dupioni silk (the good colors bright and fun like hot pink!) and some cool thread.  I’ve heard great things about her Sashiko Classes. I love that Susan keeps handwork alive and kicking in the quilting community.
TC: Hi Susan! Thanks so much for taking the time for an interview. Can you tell me a little bit about Easy Piecing?
Susan: Easy Piecing was created by filling a need for my mother. We were at a quilting retreat and I noticed that she was having a hard time putting pressure on the rotary cutter. I was thinking of starting a business using precut fabrics in kits and my mom confirmed that there was a need. It makes it easier for quilters who have arthritis and hand restrictions. My kits are also great for beginner quilters or if you need to make a quilt and you just don’t feel like cutting out the fabric. I have branched into selling Sashiko supplies, funky ribbons and silk fabric. You could say the my business is eclectic. You never know what you will find!
TC: Tell me a little bit about the new studio. What about the classes quilters can take?
Susan: I teach Sashiko, hand piecing and do private lessons out of my house in Brooklyn. *See the list of classes below.*
TC: How did you start quilting/how long have you been quilting?
Susan: My mom started quilting first, then I got started. And was hooked. I started working at a shop called The Sewing Circle in 1994. They hired me to help customers with clothing pattern questions. They asked me to take quilting lessons so I could also help their quilting customers. One of my fellow co-workers told me there was a book on Japanese quilting (which is part of my heritage) and once I saw that book I knew I wanted to go in that direction. I also joined the Quilters’ Guild of Brooklyn in 1995 and have been a member ever since.
Susan Sato Japanese Design 9957 copy
TC: Machine(s)?
Susan: My first machine was a small Brother that I used for sewing clothing. When it started to sew sideways it was time for me to get a BERNINA 1000 special. This is a basic machine but a large step-up for me at the time. Now that I’m a professional I sew with a Pfaff Expression 2046. I love the built-in walking foot.
TC: Do you quilt on a domestic or long arm?
Susan: domestic
TC: Fave fabric line and colors?
Susan: I don’t have one fave fabric line. I always go for anything Asian, Kaffe Fassett shot cottons & stripes and of course silks. I also don’t have one favorite color. I do learn to the cool colors. I don’t use a lot of orange, yellow or brown. Brown and orange remind me of the 70’s kitchen I had growing up and I have never gotten over that color combination
TC: Do you have particular threads you enjoy for piecing and quilting?
Susan: I always sewed with Mettler and then I tried Aurifil and I’m now changing  over all my threads to Aurifil. I’m using the Mako 12 for machine Sashiko.
It does have a different look than hand Sashiko, but I know some quilter’s don’t like to do any hand work so this is an option for them.
TC: Is there a particular class you’d like to highlight?
Susan: Yes, I love to teach Sashiko.  *A description for the class is below

TC: Do you have presentations for guilds?slope sawtooth quilt_Susan Sato

Susan: Japanese Fabrics in Quilts trunk show and Sashiko workshop
Susan will be discussing different types of Japanese fabrics along with shibori, katazome and sashiko techniques and how they are incorporated into quilts. Following the trunk show you can also book a 2 hour sashiko lessons so students can get started on their own projects.

Sashiko Workshop

Students will learn the traditional Japanese technique of sashiko, (hand-sewn quilting) and its history.Beautiful samples will be shown to give students an idea of other ways to use the technique. Sashiko books, threads, stencils and patterns will also be discussed. Basic stitching techniques will be covered
for the whole class. Individual attention will be given to each student so that you emerge with confidence in your stitching. This class is great for beginners and
works well as a wonderful take along project.
Asian Quilt Design Class
Do you have beautiful Japanese fabrics sitting in a drawer because you’re not sure how to use them in a quilt? Take the first step to getting those fabrics out of
your closet and into your own unique design. I will show you how to combine Japanese fabrics into a quilt. Yes, we will be cutting up your fabric that you
just can’t cut!
Susan Sato Japan by Way of Randall_3025Arashi Fabric Dyeing
This Japanese technique of wrapping cloth around a pole and compressing it into folds is fun and easy to learn. Each piece you create will remind you of the rain blown  by the wind. Each student will be in charge of their own dye vat and will take home yardages of fabric at the end of the workshop.

TC: What has been the most personally exciting experience as a quilt maker?
Susan: Just this past October my mom (who has been treated for cancer) and my daughter went to the quilting retreat that the Quilters’ Guild of Brooklyn holds every fall. My mom started me quilting and she got back into it and my daughter is a beginner. So I got to teach my mother and daughter at the same time while we had a fun, loving weekend.

Thanks Susan! I’ll see you soon.
You can reach Susan at her website.