September Quilted Block of the Month

It’s Still Saturday! Ha! At least for a little while yet.

So I’ve been thinking about this kaleidoscope quilt, how to quilt it and what colors to use. Before I got there bear with me for a moment.

Shadowing = learning for me. There are things to do. so watch this space for things I’m doing to learn what I gotta learn to do the work of teaching. Yesterday as I sat in the back of the room the gal I was shadowing said something and my brain kicked into high gear. Finger in the air tracing out some thing that made sense. I still think I can do what I want to in the software. There will be some trying going on.

Superior Threads Tiara Silk threa setSo then for the quilt my brain has been thinking split the complement! split the complement. Woot! Woot! I love splitting complementary colors. So splitting the complement it is. I’m going to focus on the orange as it is the background and primary color of the quilt.

Blue complements orange beautifully.
Purple complements yellow.
Green complements red.

I could go on adding colors and sharing the complement of said color, and while this would be an exercise adding color names, shades, tones and lots of words, the point is that each color has a color that is it’s bff, that adds spark, and sizzle and wow. And then there’s the next door neighbors who are kind of, well…I’ll go there another day.

Tomorrow is the travel day so while waiting for planes there will be some messing about in the software.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

well, then there was the trip to Oak Ridge

But really I went to Knoxville.

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This so much because Bang Head Here.

Every once in a while, when I take a trip there is added adventure. Mysteriously my room was not available when I arrived at my hotel very late on Eclipse day. Knoxville was in the path of totality so many people added to the local economy staying in hotels, eating food, and being there. I’m sure the local quilt shops had a few more visitors. I like that part because employment is very, very good.

 

Every once in a while, when I take a trip there is added adventure. Mysteriously my room was not available when I arrived at my hotel very late on Eclipse day. Knoxville was in the path of totality so many people added to the local economy staying in hotels, eating food, and being there. I’m sure the local quilt shops had a few more visitors. I like that part because employment is very, very good.

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Quilters Select Thread 

So the very kind guy behind the desk found me a room in another related hotel chain, about one hour away in Oak Ridge, On the way to the new hotel, in something of a tired stupor, I’m trying to figure out how to get back to Knoxville in the morning. I had all kinds of things running through my brain including the 70’s on 7 music blaring so loudly I couldn’t hear the cab driver talk. Upon arriving in my room I scheduled a text to the educator picking me up and figured I’d deal with the rest of it in the morning. No…wait…in a few hours after a little bit of sleep. Because that kind of complex thinking needed a little something more than very tired Teri.

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Mat’s and Rulers Gotta Have ’em

The text went as scheduled, and I was picked up. Phew!! Hour long cab rides are um, long. The next two days of training went by quickly. I still have a lot to learn however, let’s just say that my mind was totally blown on stabilizer. Holy mother of all support goods! This is the stuff.

There’s more stuff to do before I start teaching on my own. I’m excited to get moving with this position. I’ll let you know where I’m going to be when I start team teaching and teaching.

Speaking of Teaching:

Sept 16th – Quilt Basket Pawling NY

October 7 & 8 – Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show

November 9 – 11 Connections Quilt Festival Nashua NH

See you soon.

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.

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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

 

An educational perspective

Shortly after I joined facebook Jean Ray Laury sent me a friend request. It took a little while to learn WHO she is in relation to the quilting world, one of our Quilt Mothers. Holy Wow! She worked towards laying the groundwork for where we are now in the vast, diverse world of quilt making, and education.

Here she talks about education, and learning:

img_20170125_135424Oh this is simply brilliant, and I’ll listen again, and again. At about 5 minutes Jean tells of an experience at a quilt show in Vermont that caught my attention completely. Quilters quilt for many reasons from keeping their family and friends warm and cozy, to creating art. In recognizing our own goals for quilt making perhaps we can then reconcile our internal feelings regarding our own identity as quilt makers. This offering us the opportunity to appreciate ever more deeply the types and styles of quilt making that the other engages in. We all do different things. We approach quilt making from our own life experience, giving our quilt making endless possibilities.

I like to teach. Shocking I know. This is the path of quilting that brings great joy and keeps me on my quilterly toes.

I like to do highly intense quilting. Shocking! I know. This is the path of quilting that exercises creativity.

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I like to write. Shocking! I know. This helps clarify the quilt making process, helps me think, and is fun. I have a long history of journal keeping so…there ya go.

I like to help quilters succeed. Shocking! I know. This brings great joy to my heart. Quilters succeeding means different things for different people. It’s also frustrating, when I can’t help someone. When something goes kaflooey and doesn’t work. I know I can’t help everyone, however this is frustrating.

I like to experiment with everything quilt related because it’s fun and allows me to help my students in their quilterly success. I don’t know everything so there’s always something to learn. I like that a lot.

While you’re quilting take about an  hour and listen to Jean speak. Let her words confirm your own direction in quilt making is the one to take. If I can help in any way, please email me and ask.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

 

 

 

Character Counts

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Sometimes I look at my quilts, see things I don’t like, and thoughts of sending the quilt to the great quilt yard in the sky, would be the best. thing. ever. Between teaching, and working with quilters in shops I know that quilters want perfection from the first stitch. Doing it “right” the first time, every time is the height of something. I haven’t figured out what yet, but it is.

While encouraging the learning process, letting new and not-so-new quilter know that mistakes happen sometimes it’s hard to experience and see how the mistakes add to the beauty and character of what we’re doing.

I’m on a journey to find the character around me, and taking you along.

"Twilight in the Bronx"

Twilight in the Bronx is a quilt with tons of character including a little bit of fullness in the circles. And it’s square but a good blocking would do the quilt a lot of good. It’ll stay just so as it is.

Most importantly it’s the quilt started in my 41st year of life that has led me down a path of great quilterly joy.

Giving Quilters Pemission

tiara silkAs I scrolled through my newsfeed the words “Quilt Police” with a familiar red line crossing out the words stopped me. It’s a conversation I have all the time with myself, with students, with other quilters. No Quilt Police. We might have an inner critic who provides great information. Alternately we might have an inner bitch that we need to deal with forthwith. I “met” my inner bitch this morning in a dream. I really need to learn not to eat peanut butter cookies before bed. Really. But my husband made them and they are soooooo good!

The dream encounter with the inner bitch ended with me waking myself up out of a bad dream. Thankfully it wasn’t 3 a.m.! In the dream the IB, as he shall now be called, was in another room quilting on a long arm. I could hear the quilting but, was in the process of cleaning, and clearing out another room. The room that needed cleaning was piled high with boxes of fabric and other stuff that needed my attention and a place to live in my home. All the while I could hear the IB quilting in the other room and the sound coming from there was loud. Annoyingly and frustratingly loud.

badge with author ribbonOnce finished with cleaning the room some friends and I were chatting. I went to close the door to the room where the IB quilted (because of the noise) and said to IB, “I’m tired of hearing this noise.” and closed the door behind me. Well, IB, indignant that I’d closed the door came out into the other room and started berating me, in front of my friends. Whoa! Really? That was wholly unnecessary. So, annoyed with the dream, I woke myself up and that was that.

Clearly that I’m writing this in a blog post says that the dream is still with me. I’m not so bothered by the dream. I get that in dreams each person represents a part of who we are…so why the heck I’m yelling at myself and berating myself isn’t so much beyond me as I see it as very much a part of our self-doubt. Considering too that Doubt, Fear, and Anger are all related to one another it’s no wonder that this crops up every now and again. The Self-Doubt cropped up yesterday for some reason. I’ll muddle through, always have, always will. There were, if I allow myself a little latitude, two conversations that led to this dream. The first included a bit on how a collective “we” views ourselves, and while it’s not true, it’s part of the Self-Doubt. The second included a little on how intense “we” can be. The intensity with which the IB unleashed the words is there. I remember being told once that I’m intense and I need to relax. Um, yeah, not happening. I will always be intense. Even when failing miserably, I’ll be intense. Clearly I’ve embraced this part of who I am…

variegated silk so prettyIt is my own personal intensity that makes me a damn good quilter. Yes, I’m owning this. It’s taken me a long time to get here. I’ve got the “Bang Head Here!” moments and memories where I roll my eyes and wonder how I managed to land here in this amazing world of quilting.
The intensity will carry me through to meeting a few more goals. Once I stop listening to the IB on such a regular basis. I see that the intensity of the IB has clear usefulness. If I’m working that hard to shut myself down, perhaps it’s time to listen and honor what the IB is saying and take that information to recognize the hard work I’ve done and am doing. I can see, sometimes really clearly, on the face of a student or customer how their face changes when I give them permission to explore. I see how things have changed in my own quilting world by giving myself that same permission.

We as a quilting community have not even begun to plumb the depths of quilt making. At. All. There is so much more we can do. We have specialists to help us do that from fabric designers to quilters. Specialists who all have their own inner critic that they’ve learned to dance with, to work with, to listen to, but not be ruled by. And we have our creative self.

There are no quilt police. Let’s go easy on ourselves. Let’s take the risks of making the quilts we’ve always wanted to make. Let’s remember we work 6″ from everything we do…so we see the “flaws” – that add character to our quilts. Let’s remember that most people won’t see them and if they do won’t point them out. And if they do, well, go ahead and cry in your hot chocolate for a moment. And then let’s move on. Let’s stop comparing our quilts and quilting to the work of others – remember they have their own IB to deal with.

And most of all

Let’s Quilt!

Teri

Go With the Flow

rock in burr grinderAs a quilter I know it’s important to listen to the needs of the quilts as I’m working piecing and quilting them. It takes time to learn how to listen and trust that the quilt is giving us good information. Reality is it’s learning and informing our brains to know what works and what doesn’t, a good bit of this is subjective (our own personal taste) and some is objective (developing and applying an understanding of color and other principles of art).
One of the simplest things is using the fabrics in the quilt, the shapes, textures, and colors to select colors and patterns for the quilting. I say it’s simple because it’s what I do. It’s what I showed quilters when they asked for help in the quilt shop. It’s what I share when I teach free motion machine quilting. The fabric designers have done some serious work and we can take what they’ve done and let it inspire us.

One of my biggest goals to listen to and meet the needs of my students and write this book.  As I’m listening to the members of the Clamshell Quilt Guild and the Warwick Valley Quilt Guild I’m hearing a lot that is informing how I move forward as a teacher and with this book. Earlier this year I put the book on hold for a few reasons, as I write this I’m beginning to see that I needed several experiences and conversations to wrap my head around a few concepts that were niggling at the back of my head and have recently become clear. As I’m writing this morning I’m having a strong urge to take a red pen to my introduction. Words that I thought were important are becoming less so.
JOURNEYAnd I’m going to be honest here: there is a level of fear. Kind of like entering my first quilt show and doing my first lecture and teaching my first machine quilting classes. Screwing this up is a total possibility and it’s a risk i’m going to move forward with taking. This morning my mind is reeling with possibilities in part because of the two lectures and class I just taught. I’m going to have that same class, with some tweaking with  the Warwick Guild.
I can not thank these quilters enough for allowing me to be part of their journey. More importantly I’m grateful for you all being part of my quilting journey. I love quilting and teaching and writing so much.

Happy Quilting!

Teri