BERNINA Ambassador Blog Tour Day 4

Today we bring you four BERNINA Ambassadors: Annie Smith, Lori Kennedy, Kari Carr and Catherine Redford who bring a wide variety of style to the quilting world. Annie is the original (and still my favorite) quilting podcaster; Lori just published a new book (more on that in a moment); Kari has a great angle on quilting, Clearly Perfect; and Catherine approaches quilt making with a modern flair.

Becoming BERNINA Ambassador is in 2013 one of the highlights of my work as a quilter. To say I longed for this would be an understatement, and worked hard to achieve this goal. Well, part of it was achieving this goal, part of this as developing my career as a free motion machine quilting teacher, with something of an art-y bent. Having a quilting career takes a lot of hard work, day by day, stitch by stitch, word by word. Making what I hope are the right choices to keep me doing what I love. Teaching and helping quilters grow in their own confidence.Growing in confidence as a quilter takes a lot of work.

Reviewing books, and hosting blog tours are part in parcel with my work as Blogger-in-Chief and Community Editor for Generation Q Magazine. Seeing people I’ve known for a while achieve success in writing, in getting the words and experiences from their head to the page thrills the soul. Often it is in reading the Intro where I find blog the words for the blog post. Lori mentions in her book Free-Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3 of the influence of Diane Gaudinski in her own work as a quilter. Diane is one of those quilters who influenced a lot of us of a certain quilterly age and by that I mean how long we’ve been quilters rather than our chronological age. The cool thing is that while Lori and I have both been influenced by Diane our quilterly paths are incredibly different. Like Diane, Lori is orderly and organized; I, on the other hand, not so much. Lori’s book is great for building skill, thinking through the stitching path, and chock full of motifs that will carry any quilter for years to come. Good work Lori!

And now it’s time for a quick visit to the other Ambassadors. Oh have fun with them. PS tomorrow I am going to post a give away, so stay tuned.

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

BERNINA Ambassadors: Telling our Stories Day 1

Through the efforts of Jenelle Montilone we’re taking the tour to Instagram and other social media using the hastags: #igquiltfest , and #berninaambassador. Today we get to meet Lynn Carson Harris, Kelly Ashton, Diane Doran, and Melody Crust.

Hosting a blog tour of great talent is humbling and that’s when Mandy Leins posted a link to this article, Why Writers are the Worst Procrastinators (Megan McArdle), commenting that subbing quilters for writers and there ya go. And this paragraph reminded me of a conversation with another quilter:

This fear of being unmasked as the incompetent you “really” are is so common that it actually has a clinical name: impostor syndrome. A shocking number of successful people (particularly women), believe that they haven’t really earned their spots, and are at risk of being unmasked as frauds at any moment. Many people deliberately seek out easy tests where they can shine, rather than tackling harder material that isn’t as comfortable.

Yeah we all thing good golly someday someone will realize I’m a fake and it’ll be all over.

Oh I imagine that no one is really surprised by our thoughts, as all of us have them. Each one of these quilters has muddled through, making quilts, developing technique, teaching, writing, planning, day by day to keep fresh, alive, and active in the quilting community.

Lynn is working on a series of quilts telling the story of domestic violence, is the author of Every Last Piece.

Kelly make challenging angles easy peasy with her techniques. And this woman can sing. Wow.

Diane holy mother of purple she can quilt with her work taking an artistic bent. Simply wow. After reading her blog, head over to her website to check out her gallery.

Melody well I just had a WOW! What?! I had no idea moment. (it’s not what I actually said but we’ll leave that there.) Look HERE.

When we get to Friday I’m going to post a giveaway. I’m not sure exactly what I’m doing yet so…hold on tight!

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
Joann Sharpe jzsharpe@yahoo.com
Cherry Guidry cherry@cherryblossomsquilting.com
Jenelle Montilone jenelle@trashn2tees.com

Gone Quilting, Day 2

gone-quiltingI finished one quilt yesterday. This morning my upper body is reminding me that I haven’t done this much quilting in one shot in a loooooooooooong time. Oh how I’ve missed this! The machine running, the bobbins running out. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (extended version – about 9 hours) marathon. I started watching disc 1 of The Return of the King, so about 7 hours of quilting

It’s the one that I’m starting today that needs to get finished. I will tell you when Diane sent pics, giddy just barely begins to describe it. Quilting ideas are rattling around my head, first, the quilt needs some in the ditch stitching. I may break out the walking foot. I’ that serious about this quilt.

I’ve hung the Gone Quilting sign, so…off I go.

Teri

PS – I have a “new to me” batting report coming soon. Stay tuned.

BERNINA Ambassador Reunion 2016 Edition

Always take an opportunity to learn something new about the stuff you love and are passionate about. This makes quilting an ever present learning process. Getting together with quilters, and professionals in a creative industry. I had the opportunity to stay with Tracy Mooney Generation Q Magazine Senior Editor and her family. We’ll have a few blog posts over on the GenQ blog very soon. Part of the fun was getting to meet her husband and older kids. Before I left on Friday I was able to try some Miskatonic Brewing Company craft brews, Grendl being my favorite, it’s deep, complex, rich and nicely dark. I’m kind of wishing we’d done a GenQ Happy Hour. But talking. Ha! Are you surprised?

Friday afternoon we did a facebook live:

Before that

Oh my goodness my face looks hilarious. I really enjoyed staying with her, paying a quick visit to her local quilt shop, Quilter’s Quest. Oh my goodness what a great shop. Lots of fabric, lots of BERNINA, a warm, welcoming staff.

I do have to say I think I’m kind of in love with the new BERNINA L 460 Serger. Oh. My. Goodness. This is a great piece of equipment. Who would have thought that some simple things like moving the cutting knife, installing the BERNINA foot pedal with the back kick, and learning how to use some different stitches. Those Swiss Engineers even put a little window where the needles go in so that you can see that they’re in the correct position. The right needle sits a little lower than the left. Whoop! Whoop!

One fun thing – even though I am no longer working in a quilt shop I still have a gift for enabling quilters to get the stuff they need. It was so fun.

So, stay tuned for more.

Happy Quilting,

Teri

. . . a time to tidy

img_20161122_161123Oh my goodness there is always a good time to tidy. Don’t you always find that it’s right in the middle of doing something else? Like 9 patches. I’ve been cutting up all these 9 patches, and the urge hit. No, no wait, no that’s not it. Not the urge. No. The necessity of it all hit me like a whole bunch of empty bobbins. Oh! The possibilities of a tidy (ha!) space. Or at least one that I can move around in a little bit better.
I found all of these bobbins in a punched metal basket. I love the basket but, like several others it’s not currently serving a good function so it’s going into the closet for a while. Along with a wide variety of books and magazines that I’m not quite willing to part with yet. This is giving me a whole shelf to store things like batting. Though my gut says the batting will end up somewhere else and the the quilts in progress will end up on that shelf.

In the cleaning I located a quilt I’d thought was long gone. The quilt went with me to be basted on a friend’s long arm, however the batting for said quilt was left at home. The quilt went back into the sewing room in the tote it left in. At some point in a tidy up it was placed on the bottom shelf where it would be, ahem, remembered.

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After a little bit of tidying I stop and stitch or cut 9 patches. In the background I’m playing with C&T’s Kraftex I’m practicing for something down the road and am having a lot of fun. And as I’m writing this I know what I’m going to do and I need to get busy doing and writing. This will be so much fun! I have a pattern to write, a test drive, two interviews and quilts I want to make. The creativity is coming alive.

Tidying up is magic apparently.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

Enjoying and Thankful

img_20161113_181828Starting with gratitude this morning. I’m grateful for batiks. (If you follow me on Instagram this, and all the photos in this post, may look familiar.) These one and a half inch strips are being stitched to orange and purple solid to create 9 patches, that may be set on point, though I’m not quite set on that yet.

With the exception of making the quilt for the Yvonne Porcella exhibit, this is the first quilt I’ve made in a really long time. Not quilting has been very hard on this quilter. Not having time and energy to be creative, to do the thing I love the most while promoting quilting and encouraging others…well that part has helped. I love quilting. I love writing about quilting, I love encouraging others to quilt, so my creative energy has had something of an outlet, not quite the one that feeds the quilterly energy and focus.

img_20161114_132939 Each stitch is made with intention. The feel of the fabric in my hands, the sound of the machine running, the stacking of the strips behind the needle. This is an experience that is renewing, refreshing, invigorating. Because of the lack of time to stitch over the last year or so I’ve experienced these moments of complete loss. Wanting very much to go spend some time in my studio but not having any energy to quilt, not knowing what to stitch, not having any clue how to move forward. Part of these moments of complete loss have included the whispers that perhaps I should sell off all of my quilting supplies and leave quilting as “this was once part of my life and is now not part of my life.” Yep. I’ve been there.

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My sweetie has firmly said, “No, you’re not giving up quilting.” The conversation is always way more intense, involving tears, and angst, and anxiety. I’m grateful for his patience as I’ve moved through all of this stuff. Much more than a lack of time contributed to this awfulness. It involved people whom I once respected, people whom I loved, and people whom I love deeply. Several things have sustained me – teaching people how to use their machines, helping quilters choose their own fabrics, new friendships, the moon, and the light at the end of the tunnel. Even now that light is at the end of the tunnel, while I’m not sure how close I am to exiting, I know deep down in my bones that the light is there, that I’m moving towards it and this movement is good.

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I’m reminded as I stitch that a little care goes a long way. Slowing down, being mindful, caring about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. When I race the machine (for me about 3/4 full speed) the strips aren’t as accurately pieced as I prefer. Right now I’m moving forward because of the great joy I’m experiencing while stitching. Sometimes the simpler things bring us back to, closer to a sense wholeness.

As I look at how this quilt is coming together, as I write these words, and get ready to write and post things for Generation Q Magazine I am reminded that the gift of quilting in my life extends far beyond my sewing studio. You are part of my quilting life. If I’m having a difficult time I’m sure some of you are as well. If I’m doing well, then some of you are as well. I’m reminded of how we, as a community sustain each other.

So, I’m off to write and stitch and be the quilter I’m intended to be!

Happy Quilting!

Teri

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Magical Moments

From Seth Godin Today is Pi day, the 14th day of the 3rd month of the fifteenth year… 3.1415

Pi is our most famous irrational number. Not irrational in the sense that it’s a foolish argument, a form of wishing for one thing while doing another. No, pi is irrational in a magical, beautiful sense. It can’t be cropped off and fit into a box. The closer you look at pi, the more you see, forever.

And that sort of irrational magic is at the heart of our best work. Meeting spec works fine as long as you’re the only person who has to meet spec. But in any competitive environment, fitting into a box does us little good.

To be transcendent and irrational is to always have a few more digits to spare, to demand that you not be rounded off and filed away. To be human.

sewing and day out 074I’ve had a couple of magical, beautiful moments in the last few days. These moments have me thinking inside and outside my box.
I got to stitch on the BERNINA Q20 yesterday. Oh I am smitten. (You knew I would be, right?!) The final cabinet design is the one I was hoping for that gives us the most flexibility in terms of space and storage. The cabinet has 4 panels, two are removable and reveal storage underneath (think thread and other supplies). If your space is smaller these panels can be left out still giving a lot of space to quilt. Something fascinating happened as I quilted in manual mode – I stitched much faster than I do on my B 780 or 1080 and kept a good consistent stitch.