Whole Cloth Challenge

BERNINA 780 037About a year ago I had the privilege of interviewing Lisa Calle. (I have to tell you there is a cupcake place near her that I MUST go back to!)  She’s a delight in person and I love spending time with her. Lisa is a brand new BERNINA Ambassador, welcome to the family! She’s posting videos of learning how to machine quilt on her BERNINA 145 S called “Taming the Domestic”. Lisa did try to learn to quilt on a domestic years ago but quickly switched to quilting on a long arm. In one video she admits to being a fairly decent long arm quilter. Ahem. Decent is not the word I’d use to describe her quilting.
Lisa Calle Crown Jewels
This quilt on the right is Crown Jewels by Lisa…she has mad skills. Lisa and I participated in the same whole cloth challenge hosted by Machine Quilted Unlimited.

We’re challenging each other to create whole cloth quilts. Surprised? Probably not. We’ll be blogging our progress every other Friday even if we haven’t had a chance to work on our quilts, because you know, sometimes life happens. I think one of the weeks I’ll be in Minnesota teaching.
Our guidelines:

Quilt a 20 x 20 whole cloth quilt
Completion Date October 13th (just before Fall Market)
Fabric: Robert Kaufman’s Radiance
Thread: up to the quilter
Batting: up to the quilter

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll actually be designing the quilt. I know, I know not normal, not normal at all. At least for me it’s not normal.
Thread – my thread stash is just brimming with possibilities.
Batting – Hobbs has a new batting that I’m going to try and see how it stitches out.

You’re invited to play along! The whole cloth quilts we’re making aren’t terribly big, just big enough to be fun and reasonable to design and stitch out by mid-October. Lisa and I would love to share pictures of your work along the way.  If you’re blogging your whole cloth send me links to your posts and I’ll add them into my posts.

Happy Quilting!



An open letter to @play

CAM00315Dear @play,

Enjoy your journey to Portland for a visit to the Pacific Northwest Quilt Festival.  Portland is a great city (home of some amazing architecture, donuts, views and PEOPLE) and I think you’ll enjoy it.  From conception (thanks AEF) to finishing the binding the 2nd time Thursday morning at 2:43 AM you have been so important to me.  I am very grateful to Vicki Anderson of Machine Quilting Unlimited for inviting me to create you.  And to Gregory Case for photographing you and confirming for me that you are indeed square and revealing to me something more about who you are. Your design is something completely new to me and is a composite of so many ideas that I’ve wanted to use in a quilt for a very long time.
You helped me through a really rough moment in life bringing both great joy and some serious frustration.  Thank you for both.

Greet every one you meet with a smile.  There will be quilters who love you and will complement you – thank them.  Gratitude is important in the world of quilting and in life.  There will be quilters who don’t particularly care for you or don’t like you at all – thank them too, appreciate their honesty.  There will be quilters who don’t quite get you, draw them in let them look.  You will touch their hearts, you’ve touched mine very, very deeply.

Like every other quilter who has ever entered a show, my heart travels with you.  I send it with you freely and unreservedly.  Enjoy the ride dear quilt, enjoy the ride.



Machine Quilting Unlimited Whole Cloth Challenge Exhibit

hmqs 011

My gratitude to Sherry Reynolds for taking the time to visit the exhibit and take photos for me to use on my blog.  This is a gift for me as I was not able to attend HMQS.

hmqs 001hmqs 002












hmqs 003hmqs 004










hmqs2 005

hmqs2 003












hmqs 005hmqs 006












hmqs 007hmqs 008











hmqs 010

hmqs 009










hmqs 012








My gratitude to Vickie Anderson and Kit Robinson of Machine Quilting Unlimited for inviting me to participate in the wholecloth challenge.

I’m going to be somewhat brutally honest about my own quilt here, it needs to be blocked.  I can see it from here.  I’m passionately in love with this quilt and it’s generating all kinds of ideas in my for new ways to envision this.

Go quilt your world!


@play a bit behind the scenes and the full quilt

botanical gardens with Misty 177I’m going to make a bit of a confession here.  It’s challenging to admit this because although in thinking about it my facebook postings while I was in the middle of quilting “@play” gave a clear indication of where I was headed at the time.  I kept talking about the quilt as “the unruly teenager” and for a while that’s almost the name the quilt went with however I came to my senses and the quilt ventured into the world as “@play”.

The aftermath shocked me though.  I felt completely drained.  Drained in a way that I never, ever expected.  At first I thought if I’d only finished this sooner instead of just in time to get it to MQU.  Well actually with all the other things going on like: work, teaching in Portland and Houston, needing to get things done for Jeanie and a few other thing I just couldn’t.

dance bang head 1608
(c) Teri Lucas 2012 the bones of the quilt

For the first time in a long time I couldn’t just wing it.  This quilt demanded some planning and (shock horror) marking. As a general, personal rule, I do not mark quilt tops.  I just go for it. Wholecloth quilts over 15″ are a bit different for me.  I need to pay different attention to the design and quilting.

(c) Teri Lucas 2013 @play close up
(c) Teri Lucas 2013
@play close up

Not for nothing 36″ of quilting with mostly Kimono Silk is a lot of space to fill.  Between design and quilting I spent about 100 hours on this quilt in a relatively short amount of time.  I started the design work right after I got back from Houston.  Met with a friend of mine to talk about which two Ideas made more visual sense.  What I find interesting is that the strongest presence in the drawing is the flying geese, which are not quite as prominent in the quilt.

(c) Teri Lucas 2013 @play
(c) Teri Lucas 2013

The hours spent quilting were amazing in a great and not so good way.  For most of the quilt everything went fine. The red flying geese must have close to 500,000 teeny tiny pebbles.  If I’d been using anything other than silk the quilt would have been really bulky.  One thread I was using kept breaking ultimately meaning that I had to change something and the end result ended up better than I thought.

After all of this tight quilting the quilt shrunk – it’s to be expected but 1 1/2″ at the point where I realized it is a lot.  I must add here that I’m grateful for friends who quilt that offered me encouragement when I was ready to toss this into the corner and go cry.  I’m grateful for the commitment and due date on this quilt.  Going from @play to “the unruly teenager” and back again was a challenge.  And I’d do it again in a heartbeat.  Yes I would.  Even with this the aftermath of feeling like I’d given everything, just everything I had to this quilt.  This has been the strangest 3 months ever in my quilting life.

The creative funk I’ve been in over the last several months is finally starting to lift.  The ideas are starting to flow again.  I think spring has something to do with it, this renewal of life, color popping out here, there and everywhere is amazing.


botanical gardens with Misty 139Going to the NY Botanical Garden and the Cloisters help a lot.  Nature and architecture inspire me in so many ways. As did the piano concert I went to the other day.  As the pianist played I could see machine stitching in my minds eye being stitched out over the surface of a quilt.  Quilterly inspiration is filling up and I’ll have something to share with you soon!

Go quilt your world!


Machine Quilting Unlimited May/June Issue

MQU May June cover 001

So how does one begin to tell a tale?

Oh yes! Once upon a time there lived a quilter in the Bronx who received an invitation from Vickie Anderson and Kit Robinson to participate in a challenge….a whole cloth challenge arrived in my email in box. She said yes.   Sandra Leichner, Terri Doyle, Lisa H. Calle, Jessica Schick , Millie Sorrels and I each made a 36 x 36 whole cloth quilt.  They are all gorgeous.  And I do mean gorgeous and creative and oh I could just gush on and on.

We were sent Radiance by Robert Kaufman for the top and their cotton sateen for the back. Radiance is one of my favorite fabrics ever!  I swooned over the fabric when it arrived and promptly set it aside until after teaching in Houston.  Did I mention the quilt was due January 15th?

dance bang head 1714
Kaufman Radiance and Superior Silk

The Big Idea finally happened after a friend told me it’s time to quilt a spiral.  After several tries the thought of  incorporating spirals and flying geese into one quilt happened.  I had 2 different designed worked out and with a bit of help from the aforementioned friend decided on the design you’ll see in this issue of the magazine and a bit later here on the blog.  Somehow I knew the title of the quilt would be @play because when I sit at my machine, I’m playing.  I love to quilt.  I love the feel of the quilt in my hands as I manuever it under the needle stitching pebbles, feathers, spider webs and all sorts of other quilterly motifs.

All of the quilts will be on display at HMQS May 9 – 11, 2013.

During the process of stitching @play it became “the unruly teenager” as we didn’t get along very well for a while.  @play was determined to be the quilt she is and I needed to listen and *stamping my foot* I did NOT want to listen.  Well, as quilts do, @play had the final word and we get along well now. Gregory Case photographed all of our quilts and they are STUNNING!

I’ll post the full quilt during the week of the show.

Happy Quilting!


Machine Quilting Unlimited – 2 quilts

Januray 2011 cover

A while back I posted pics of “Moon Over Manhattan” on the blog.  It was right after the jury process for Quilt National and I could finally share this quilt that I’d completed just in time to enter the jury process.

At the time of the blog I’d finished working on “Fire & Ice” for Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero of Kaleidoscope Collections.  Jeanie does amazing things with the kaleidoscope software and occasionally asks me to quilt.  “Fire & Ice” is also in this issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited. Jeanie had the editor come over to the blog and take a look at more of my quilting after she’d received “Fire & Ice”.  Thanks Jeanie!

I’m working on getting “Moon Over Manhattan” into the AQS show in Lancaster & “Twilight in the Bronx” into MQX.  We’ll see what happens.

I’m also working on a very big teaching opportunity and will let you know all of the details when I have the signed contract in my hot little hands.  I’ve been working on the proposal and process since the early part of the summer.  I’m excited….and well…..just truly excited about the opportunity.

I’ll be updating the teaching schedule later this morning.  I’ll have a beginner class in January, an advanced class in February and more!

Happy Quilting!