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

 

A patchwork of posts

Today I’m starting with links to Mandy Leins interview of quilter and quilt show judge Scott Murkin. While the focus is Modern Quilting, Scott’s answers apply across the board
Interview part 1

Interview part 2

On the Generation Q blog a traveling quilt teacher (me) opens her diary for all to read.

#NoMeanGirls Over the last few days, oh to be honest it’s been a long time, I’ve been watching some really ugly posts on fb directly related to the quilt world comments about quilts winning awards that in someone’s mind shouldn’t have, or how shows or magazines choose to do their work or run the show. Sometimes I slip and make comments that perhaps I shouldn’t, however over the last few years I’ve tried to take the posture that if I can not say something kind or productive or constructive then I should keep my mouth shut and my words not written. WE are all human, with our beautiful and unique qualities. We all quilt in a different and unique way. We can appreciate what other quilters do. We can approach things we disagree with in a manner that is respectful and kind. It does take work, it takes effort. And it takes work and effort to not be trampled over either.

While the hashtag is no mean girls this applies to all quilters. All of us. If we need to vent (and sometimes we do) then do it in an appropriate place, with a good trusted friend.

So every post for the next few weeks will express gratitude for quilters who have influenced me over the years in one way or another. First up: Kim Brunner. And then there is Renee, Sandra, Mary Anne, Cathy, Donna and Susan. Thank you all.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

 

Winter Sunset

???????????????????????????????Today was a full day. Lots of things going on in a behind the scenes kind of way. It happens. Some days I just have to wait to share with you what’s going on around here. Part of my day will be revealed tomorrow on the Gen Q website, and it’ll be worth it.
I’m going to pause just to let you know that my knee is just fine and dandy.

Part of my day I stitched up a block for a block hop that’s happening very soon. All will be revealed March 3rd. Ooh double fun that day.

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As I stitched this afternoon I was alternately in awe and groaning. In awe because of the beautiful, ethereal sunset and groaning because of the snow squalls. Snow. Yes, yes it’s winter snow and cold are bound to happen. I’m so over it all ready. Really. Over. It.
But this was worth it.???????????????????????????????

Every time I looked out the window I had to snap a photo. The sky, cloud, light color captivated my attention. ???????????????????????????????

Have a great quilterly day!

Teri

I found it! I found it!

photo_1Okay that’s not it. I knew I’d seen a piece of fabric that I wanted.  It was right there. You know in the safe place where we keep all of the important stuff. Right in front of us? Yep, right there.
And I was not only happy, but productive. And now I’m writing a bit before I go to work this morning.

Now I’m going to be a bit more productive so that when I leave on Wednesday morning to go to Quilt Market to meet these folks – from Generation Q Magazine – I’ll have everything I need.

This will be the first time I’m at Quilt Market and I am prepared with the good shoes (Dansko clogs thank you very much).

If you’re at Market please stop in the Generation Q booth and say hello.

Happy quilting!

Teri