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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Village Fabric Shoppe

setting up for classOn a chilly Saturday morning I packed quilts, Jeannie (B 790) and myself into the car and headed off to the Village Fabric Shop in Red Hook, NY. The Hudson Valley, rich in history and beauty, feels so much like home, it’s always a pleasure to have an excuse to go there. Really I don’t need one however TEACHING is a great reason.
@play, Machine Quilting is a variation on Go With the Flow, we do some doodling/drawing first then onto the machines. Quilters were asked to take a couple of minutes with the “quilt” they chose from the handout and write words, thoughts, and images that come to mind. This leads into doing a little drawing on the quilt.

wonder woman pencil puchThe quilters all come up with something very different for each quilt. Each quilter is different, it’s so fun to watch what happens. Next up, the same process with one of the other quilts and let them draw this time. The whole goal is to see the possibilities. That the limits are merely their imagination. When the imagination is set free these quilters can do whatever they want.

It’s so fun to listen to the quiet as they think. The final part before stitching is to have them draw a bit on blank paper. At the end of each bit of time we share. The sharing then is to help spark their own creative process to see possibilities.drawing at the machines

Then get them stitching on the machines. The quilters can take one of the blocks they’re working on, or something completely different. One gal drew a butterfly block, based on a quilt she’d recently made. Then drew a butterfly. I had her transfer the free hand butterfly onto fabric and get stitching…it’s going to be pretty when it’s complete.

Another student started with a stencil…I totally flipped it on her. Flipped the quilt sandwich over and told her to just go for it. Once we got her machine stitching well her happy camper level went right up. And the look of joy on her face – priceless.

students hard at work

Shop owner Diana was playing along as she could. I’d given her a copy of Generation Q Magazine to peruse. Inspired by one quit she started drawing the block and filling in with some quilting motifs.

diana gen q inspiration

diana drawing
She has some interesting bits and pieces around the shop including an octopus tentacle pen. I got the shot because the texture is way cool. Can’t you just see this quilted out?village fabric shop pen cool texture

as soon as we can set a new date we’ll plan another class date. I am available to come teach at your guild or show.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

Something about Autumn

Every home office should have one

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I posted this on instagram commenting all quilters should have one in their off/studio. The fb comments were great. You might notice the Pistachio green right behind the machine. I am so happy with the Showstopper Purple and the Pistachio. Once things are more settled I’ll get some pics.

There is something about autumn, the hints of autumn that are invigorating. Renewing. Refreshing. The energy level begins returning, creativity starts flowing in an exciting way. This renewed energy started off with the beginnings of a tidy up in my sewing room, a work in progress still so no pictures of the room itself. There will be a furniture shuffle sometime soon for better work flow and to set up a little photography area. The machine will stay where it is but the table will turn. Just thinking out loud here.

In and among the ideas flowing are actual work being accomplished: 

Stitching on my B 790 for a book review or two @christaquilts

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I’m working on some piecing for a book tour for that visits here and visits GenQ in a couple of weeks. I’m doing a little piecing for one visit and a full on book review for the other visit. A couple of blog posts written for GenQ in the last few days.

Within the next few weeks there will be product review here on the blog. The other day I’d started quilting, experiencing skipped stitches. I was thinking there was something wrong with the product. I’ve mentioned before that I turn off the bobbin sensor on the B 780 and now the B 790, the bobbin was getting low, combine that with a thread mismatch and not thinking about the settings on the machine and skipped stitches it is! What did I do you might wonder? I left the feed dogs up, with the stitch length set at 2.5, so essentially I was fighting the machine. Clearly I need sleep. Changed the settings back to no feed dogs and a zero stitch length and no more skipped stitches. I can tell you right now that I’m jazzed about both products.

The above photo is Jamie Fingal‘s coloring book from her Instagram account. Oh my goodness I’m having so much fun. I’ve also been coloring a lot as a kick starter to creativity. Thankfully this coloring has reminded of something I would do when a new quilter would come to the quilt shop needing help to choose fabrics. I had a process that, generally worked. I’m remembering one time it didn’t but it’s okay…I learned more from that moment than first realized. And Anne if you’r reading this we need to chat.

Ready for some quilting

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And finally you see where this coloring is leading. Eventually it would lead to coloring in fabric. This is an unfinished piece that will, eventually, be quilted in some way. I’ve finally used the Derwent Inktense pencils. Now I need to heat set it or use that Liquifix? if that’s what it’s called  so I can stitch it. IMG_0430

I can almost smell autumn in the air. I can certainly feel it’s energizing effects on my soul.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

She has a name!

#bernina #berninausa #b790

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Jeannie it is!

Oh yes, I remember this quilt. #Quilting #quilt #superiorthreads

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We’ve had some fun stitching this weekend.

Love the back. Silk thread rocks!

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This is the back. Yes, it is Dupioni Silk. Yes, that is some seriously tiny stitching.

On the top I’m using Superior Tiara 50 wt, variegated silk thread. In the bobbin it’s Superior Kimono 100 wt silk.

I love quilting.

I love teaching too, so I’m actively working on applying to teach at shows next year.
The teaching part is going to, somehow, include a retreat. This is something that’s been on my mind for a few years now and I have a group of quilters to figure this out with. If you’re interested in a 3 day retreat please feel free to contact me and we can get this on the schedule.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

A Sneak Peek and a PS on the Ruler Foot

B790_StandardThe B 790 and all its amazing features will be adorning my sewing table sometime this weekend.
There are New Features to explore, such as the stitch creator, and that new bobbin system.

There is a new stitch count to raise.

And, she needs a name.

Stay tuned!

Happy Quilting!

Teri

PS – Now you all know that I love working with rulers on my home sewing machine. I’ve seen their potential in the domestic sewing machine world for years.
There’s been a lot of chatter about the BERNINA Ruler Foot, #96. BERNINA is not officially releasing it yet, they are redesigning it for the home sewing machine user. There’s a problem with the height of the foot and potential for the needle bar to hit it, with some force, when the foot is in the highest position. If you’re like me, and I know a lot of you are, instead of using the hand wheel to drop the needle into the quilt to pick up the thread, I tap the heel of the foot pedal. This sends the needle down with some force, that has the potential to cause some damage. This damage will not be covered under warranty.
It’s for this reason that I, personally, wouldn’t purchase and use an aftermarket foot for the machine.
The further chatter has included the question, “why would BERNINA be worried about my machine?” Well there are so many reasons. The one I’m going to focus on for now is two-fold: one on the business end, the other on the consumer relationship end. First the business end: they know that the consumer is wanting to use rulers on the home sewing machine and they have taken the time to do the testing with the foot for all possible outcomes. The possibility for real damage to the machine exists and BERNINA, therefore is taking the proactive approach to saying we don’t recommend this, and here’s why.
The second part is relational, if BERNINA chose not to make us aware of the potential damage to the machine, we then, as the consumers would be really ticked off with the company should a whole lot of us purchase the Ruler Foot, use it and then, in some weird, freakish way, damage the machine. As much as they can, BERNINA wants to maintain a good relationship with its consumer base.
It’s never easy for any business to maintain a good relationship with its consumer base however, in this case the company is trying to do so. I have to give them kudos for taking the time to do the testing before hand. For my part as the consumer, this little bit of education and a little personal experience are going a long way to Waiting for a ruler foot that will work with the domestic sewing machines. The personal experience comes in the form of sitting at my machine and going through the steps to bring the bobbin thread up. I had the #24 foot attached, and used the hand wheel to drop the needle down to pick up the bobbin thread. I did this on purpose to see where the needle bar stops and why there would be any concern at all. With the foot was in the highest position, the needle bar comes right to the top of the #24 foot. If I’d used the foot pedal with the #96 foot, the needle bar would have hit the top of the foot with some force.
So, I’m waiting. Impatiently, but I’m waiting.

 

there was some quilting happening here

quill valori wells twisted stackValori Wells gave me this fabric line at Fall Market in Houston. I’ve finally made something. stitching in the ditch 97 dual feedI like making things, useful things.
This included lovely matching corners, stitch-in-the-ditch with the dual feed and the 97 D foot.

 

Once I understood where to look and how to use it well, my patchwork improved greatly. I never knew how much better patchwork would be with the dual feed. To say that I’m excited is an understatement.serendipity 3rd time with Bernina 1080

The finished product will be at some point and I’ll link over when it is. For right now these sneak peeks are rather satisfying.

And this machine…my sister may borrow for a while and I’m happy to share it with her. When it goes to her place I’ll be sending it off with some thread, the book and some seriously cool feet.

Sunday will be a split day, some sewing/quilting and some other work.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

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.