Something Shifted, When “no” is good

Rayna Gillman has a new book: Create Your own Improv: Modern Quilts With No Rules and No Rulers published by C&T. Rayna has been part of my quilt world forever. As the Community Editor for Generation Q Magazine reviewing books is part of the work. Head on over to the blog, read the review, and enter for an opportunity to win a copy of her book.

Now onto today’s post:

I started stitching the feathers on this Quilted Block of the Month Sunday morning. I only had one plan: use Quilters Select battings, and Floriani Micro Thread for the blog and take when I teach to show off the micro thread and batting.

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It is a rare occasion that I speak of my private life, and even then most of the details are left unwritten, or unpublished as I choose to have a public life, and my Sweetie does not. I respect that private space.

That said the last few years have been personally challenging, where the “have-to-do’s” outweighed the “I want to do this” and even the “I need to do this”. I’ve wanted to finish a few quilts – both personal, and professionally that are still waiting for time and attention.

I’ve wanted to teach machine quilting more, write at least one book, and some of the things that naturally flow from doing that work. Not being able to delve much more deeply has been, well, challenging (gut wrenching) at best because the Quilting World stuff is home. With the personal machine quilting, I haven’t stopped, however it’s not been quite as creative as needed, as though I’ve been phoning it in. Okay, I have, I’ve been phoning it in. There have been moments where I’ve found the zone, quilting with reckless abandon, those experience few and far between.

Something shifted Sunday while stitching out the feathers for the current Quilted Block of the Month. The last few years have felt a lot like, “NO, Teri this isn’t for you” and “Who do you think you are?” and “No, just no” 2017 has had quite a few, “No’s” One was a huge surprise, however it freed me to let go of something that I’d been holding onto for dear life, thinking this was the best thing for me, and in letting go, in honoring the words I’m hearing, there’s a deeper sense of freedom to explore.

Another, “No” led to an experience of disappointment. BUT it’s okay, I don’t mind being disappointed. Disappointed means that I’m invested in, and yearn for this. This can either be a goal for another time, or an indication to move in another direction. Either way it’s minor, and all is well.

When the quilting started to happen on Sunday in the organic, let’s create texture, and use all the color way that is the personal quilting style. I breathed deeply that fresh air. Whatever comes next, I’m game.

Sneak peeks of the block of the month are on Instagram. Saturday will be why the feathers were chosen, why the 60 weight thread, and other decisions.

Join me. And more importantly:

Thank YOU 

for being part of my quilt world.

Enjoy your stitching,

Teri

Lesson Learned:

Don’t mess with Debby’s Chocolate Cake.
This is by far the most important thing learned at Spring Quilt Market.

 

Needless to say I handed over the fork in my hand.

My bandaid after trying Debby's chocolate cake @debbybrownquilts

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Luckily I had a bandage in my purse. I was really wanting a Hello Kitty bandage, sadly none was readily available when the need was most pressing.

The rest of this week will be Market follow-up and some quilting.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

Today’s a GenQ day

GenerationQ LogoIt’s a weekly meeting kind of day. We talk business, and catch up with each other. We do this during the week as well, however this is focused.

After the meeting there are more emails, and phone calls to follow up with much of what we talk about. There are some big things we’re working towards.

I’m attending Quilt Market next month to see what’s new, look for trends, support friends in their Schoolhouse presentations. If you’re going and will have a booth with new product or would like to chat for a bit please let me know teri@generationqmagazine.com

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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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

First Week on the Job and some info

not all who wander are lostThere is something lovely and exciting about the first week on any job. The new smells, the new bells, the shiny things. Nancy and I were chatting the other day she said it’ll take 6 months for me to really learn my job and I’m saying 9. Either way I’m beginning. And i like it. One of the greatest things is the constant encouragement, “if you have a question, please ask” or “if you mess something up, because it’s going to happen, just tell us”. There is a strong emphasis on supporting and having a safety net in place. I just had a chat with one of the big guys and found out that he loves Lord of the Rings. Sweet! I love to quilt to the extended versions of the movies. In my world there is nothing better. Except baseball. Yes, listening to the Yankee’s play baseball. Oh. Uh. Hmmmm. Oh…..that’s just a toss up, now isn’t it!

So I did say I’d do a post for my local peeps listing places to go for fabric, notions and sewing machine repair in our area. I reached out to my friend Amanda at Mariner’s Compass in Bath ME for a little help. Amanda is a brother dealer a has a fine quilt shop. If you’re in the area stop in for a bit of shopping and tell her Teri sent you. I called her the other day to chat with her about something else, she was laughing as she picked up the phone. Amanda was chatting with one of her friends about toilet paper rolls and whether or not her friend should use them for a project. My answer was absolutely! I use them to hold bias binding waiting for a quilt. Amanda’s friend still wasn’t convinced that toilet paper tubes were appropriate.

The district manager sent the following information:

PARAMUS SEWING CENTER – machines, notions
175 WEST ROUTE 4
PARAMUS, NJ 07652-1271
201-843-5003

SEW TIME quilt fabric, notions, machines
78-35B SPRINGFIELD BLVD
OAKLAND GARDENS, NY 11364-3628
718-776-1900

CONSOLIDATED VACUUM CLEANER CO INC machines and embroidery
40 48 82ND STREET
ELMHURST, NY 11373
718-899-1900

 

for BERNINA

The City Quilter quilt fabrics
133 W 25th St
New York, NY 10001
(212) 807-0390

Sew Right quilt fabric
223-20 Union Turnpike
Queens, NY 11364
(718) 468-5858

Pins & Needles quilt fabric
159 Lexington Ave.
Mt. Kisco, NY
(914) 666-0824

Happy Quilter quilt fabric7 Lake Ridge Plaza
Valley Cottage NY 10989
(845) 268-8744

 

For yarn and solid quilt fabrics

Etui
2106 Boston Post Road
Larchmont, NY 10538
(914) 341-1426

Our friend Donna Chambers has a fabulous exhibit there right now.

As for my teaching locally I’m going to talk with several of the local stores and see what I can work out. As soon as I have dates and times I’ll post.

And this morning I’m headed to The Quilt Spot to help them celebrate their anniversary! I get to hang out with Melissa K, one of the dynamic duo of Ad Sales Managers from Generation Q Magazine. This will be so much fun.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

Show us Your Undies!

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Tracy and me at the BERNINA Creative Center

Show us your undies frontOn Friday Tracy Mooney, Associate Editor and Kitten Wrangler with Generation Q Magazine is hosting Show us Your Undies Days for Girls Sew in at the BERNINA Creative Center in Aurora, IL from 8:00 to 12:30. There is still time to RSVP on our event page you can get there by clicking on the Show Us Your Undies post card on the left.

Days for Girls gives women their lives back. Yes, I feel that strongly about it. It gives women their lives by allowing them to continue to go to school (if they’re in their teens) and go to work or take care of their family (if adults.) It’s a simple, achievable thing.

There is still time to sign up for this event or participate in any number of ways from sewing to donating wash cloths, small bars of soap and fabric to make kit bags for the girls. You can read our feature article here.

Happy Quilting!

Teri