Quilted Block of the Month August 2017

Bonus Edition

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This is one of the blocks I quilted when I was trying to write a book on free motion machine quilting.

Step 1: Cut two 10” squares of cotton fabric, layer with batting.

Step 2: Quilt. This sounds wildly simplistic and rather annoying. I get it. But, it’s what I did, and do.

Please allow me to back up a bit. A long time ago, in another galaxy, I was inspired by the Color Fixes on Linda M Poole’s blog. My finger would start making the general shape of the image while gazing upon the loveliness. Often these images swirled around in my brain for days, the color whirling and swirling to and fro like the ocean waves, or the concentric circles resulting from a stone thrown in a pond.

When sitting down to stitch something like this I’d grab those square, add batting – whatever I have on hand – and get started stitching. They never look like the images on Linda’s site. Nope. These are always in the form of whatever my brain is thinking in that moment. I pick a thread that inspires me in that moment, pick a spot along the edge and start stitching across somewhere. Along the way the line will bend, and curve, sometimes ending on the right or left side rather than directly across. Then I’ll echo back about 1/8th of an inch away from the previous line. Back and forth, back and forth until I like how it looks.

There is no worrying about perfection on these pieces. There is simply doing.

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Later on adding words started happening. Because quilting is a lot like hand writing.

So when you have a moment make a 10” quilt sandwich, grab your favorite spool of thread, put in a fresh needles that goes with your favorite thread, and get started stitching. “Don’t worry if its not good enough for anyone else to hear, just sing, sing a song.” Or in this case, quilt, quilt a quilt.

August Quilted Block of the Month
Quilted Block of the Month August Week 2
Quilted block of the Month August Week 3

Happy Quilting!

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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Lucy’s Nickles a quilting experience

 

Quilted Block of the Month August week 2

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
The congratulatory messages on my new position with Floriani are simply awe inspiring.

Now onto our regularly scheduled program:center square

 

Oh I do remember giving  you this update sometime during the week in Instagram. Debby was stitching this motif on a postcard, and I was inspired by it. I’m not entirely certain that Debby posted this anywhere publicly so just know that I have permission to copy her homework at any time. Cool, eh? With this project you have permission to copy my homework. If you’re playing along please feel free to send me pictures and I’ll share them here on the blog.
Remember I tend to show all the stuff that I’m not happy with because I’m still learning how to machine quilt. 2017-08-11 19.29.52

Bernina 24 foot on ruler

 

 

The free-hand embroidery foot is aboutt 1/4” from needle center to the outer edge of the foot. I chose a spot roughly in the center of the square to start stitching a circle. Once the circle closed I very slowly started curving out until the edge of the foot was on the center circle. I kept stitching around, and around, and around, and around, and around and around. Once I reached the edge the ditch helped me keep the curves consistent. Using 80 weight thread in the bobbin means that there is little thready build up, and the fabric doesn’t distort.

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I’m going to show this one in a very quick vid.

This should give you an idea of how this motif is stitched out. This one looks like a wonky log cabin block, however it’s stitched from the outside in. On the quilt itself I simply winged it. In the video I used a ruler to make the lines. Going from the outside in is what helps create the visual twist.

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It’s interesting how thread looks on different color. 80 weight thread is the best!
in block stitching square 3
I like the different texture with the straight lines in the square and the ribbon candy in the border.
in block stitching square
This is the first square I stitched in. While I’ve done this before I wasn’t quite remembering the rhythm of the stitching. It came back after the first full round.

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Stay tuned next week for the next installment of the Quilted Block of the Month.
Quilted Block of the Month August week one

Happy Quilting,

Teri

 

 

 

 

 

An invitation

cropped-live-your-brightest-life-11-e14726550775461.jpgTeaching free motion machine quilting is one of the greatest pleasures in my life. When a quilter relaxes into quilting, the breathing changes, the focus changes, the rest of the group fades from the room. There is a very distinct memory of a quilter doing just this, in the middle of a very busy shop, what a beautiful moment. The over-thinking part of us, in that moment, becomes quiet as the stitching takes place. Being in that moment is so amazing. I’ve been there, in the middle of a busy place, simply enjoying the restorative, creative energy.

20161127_074359A few years ago I started a group on facebook called Lucy’s Nickles to work with a few quilters answering questions and helping them grow. The name is from the Peanuts character Lucy, who sets up a lemonade type stand and gives advice for five cents. A few years ago I mentored a quilter for a quite a while, his quilting changed over this time. So much so that his partner asked him what happened, “it’s like the lights are on now” (this is the gist of what he said.) Often through this process I asked more questions, than gave advice.

One of the gals in the group recently asked for a directed project. I’m game, so on Friday February 3, 2017 we’re starting a whole cloth project, which I’m currently in the process of designing. Once I have the bones designed I’ll post a pdf on the site, and part two of the discussion will start. We’re going to work fat quarter size as we all have fat quarters, and it’s a nice size for something of a piece of art.

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You are welcome to join us on the facebook group. Click on the link above, I’ll approve membership. Please introduce you, tell us a little about your quilting. And let’s have some fun. Along the way I’ll ask questions, offer some suggestions, and give permission for you to use your seam ripper as you choose.

Happy New Year,

Teri

I love it when my friends have exciting news – Update

and Wow! does Debby Brown have exciting news.  She has a new Craftsy Class “Free-Motion Quilting with lines, curves, and loops” The techniques Debby presents are suitable for long arm, mid-arm (like the HandiQuilter Sweet 16) and the home sewing machine.  

There is an opportunity to win a free class, sign up for Debby’s newsletter – there will be a coupon code. See Debby’s blog for details.

Congratulations Debby

Happy Quilting!

 

Teri

Happiest of Friday’s

talenti jar stops and starts*Note I started writing this early Friday morning and had the realization, “OhMiGosh I have to get to work” and made a mad dash to actually do that! Yes, I made it on time. No I did not finish this blog post. Surprise. The day was as busy as a bee hive. With NY City Traffic, dinner and an edit meeting with Melissa…well you can see how there was no Friday blog.

Thursday evening I met one of the gals taking my One Day Free Motion Quilting class at Hartsdale Fabrics. She’s a total newbie and by newbie I mean has never used a machine before. I can hardly wait to teach her. Yep you read that right I can hardly wait to teach her how to use the machine and how to play on said machine. I can hear the quilt police thoughts, “she’s learning quilting in the wrong way…piecing first, then machine quilting” And as I write that a Harry Chapin tune begins worming its way through my head, “Flowers are Red”.

As a quilter and a teacher I want to view quilting with fresh eyes and be inspired. I want to learn how to teach better and give my students the gift of being open to learning. I recently read a teachers bio (not sure if it’s a book review I’ve done recently or a blog so forgive the lack of a source) where she stated that she considers herself an Advanced Beginner. This gives her the freedom to continue learning, to make mistakes and be self-forgiving with them, to explore and play and have fun with her quilting. That’s inspiring! That’s giving  yourself permission, that’s saying it’s okay to make mistakes. Mistakes are the best opportunities!

Have a quilterly day,

Teri

Road to California…here I come!

at play greg caseTeaching alert!

Teaching Alert!!

I’m teaching at Road to California! (This is a dream come true!)

Wednesday Beginning Free Motion Quilting

Thursday Let Your Foot Loose, Be Fancy Free

Friday Go Mini or Go Home

Saturday Beginning Free Motion Quilting

I’m in BERNINA rooms each day!!!

 

Happy Quilting!

Teri