Chocolate Cake and Quilting

When you’re doing your work, when you’re creating an offering, there’s no more important question to answer than, “what sort of quality are we seeking here?” – Seth Godin Thinking clearly about quality.

20170619_202445The sunset last night was something to behold, leaving me wishing for more photos or a video, the color changed so quickly. Sunset is my favorite time of day, I enjoy, and am inspired by the ever changing color.

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Some sunsets, like this one, capture the imagination, leaving a yearning in my creative heart for the ability to produce such color in my own work. I’d be certain that going to the Pantone site this would be fairly simple, but what of the fabric and thread sites? That doesn’t really matter. What matters is the moment of incredible beauty that lives on in the photos and in the memory.

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This gazania needs no other explanation. Oh I do love color.

Then I got to thinking about character. Oh how I love quilts with character. I’ve been working on a small piece that I intend to give to Charles. I appreciated him a lot as a manager, and appreciate him as a friend even more.

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We bantered like siblings, and sometimes sounded like an old married couple (we’re both married to other people.) I love to explore thread, and what it will do. I worked with two different Tiara silk threads in this section to explore the color and to continue figuring out how to get the colors to land where I want them as I quilt. When practicing creating odd, organic, unusual shapes to fill in allows me to learn how to fill space, and modify the motif as the stitching progresses. These stitches aren’t perfect, but they’re getting me where I want to go on this piece.

Now that I have a good idea of how this thread plays in this style of stitching I know how I want to use it in a quilt later on.

Oh quilt brain is kicking into high gear! Keith sent me a piece to practice on. I’m going to do just that! Woot! Woot!

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Lucy’s Nickles
Teri Lucas Quilts

Happy Quilting!

Teri

it all started when

it all started when

20170614_190345 (1)my sweetie put the a/c in the window this morning. The last few days the desire to quilt several things has been held at bay while waiting for the a/c or the temperatures to cool down. Both happened today offering the opportunity to stitch. First up I made a postcard for the 1000 Postcards for Peace, which will be mailed tomorrow. The day was kind of icky news wise and had something of a big letdown so making the postcard was just perfect. I’m heading into the City to meet up with some friends and thought “hey, I’ll make one of them a little quilt!” Well, I didn’t quite finish but it’s giving me lots of ideas.

I chose a bit of gray Cherrywood as the front and back of the quilt; one layer of silk, and one layer of wool batting. This piece will be about 8” square, so no basting.

The quilting started with the pentagon in the center, just started stitching that to see what would happen when…per usual playing with thread was top priority. And then I have this thing for tiny stitching, though you may know that by now.

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Tiny bubbles are always a good choice in a quilt, after finding the right spot, and choosing the appropriate Tiara Silk (Superior). Wouldn’t you know it little bit of thought and watching the thread and getting the red where I wanted it was possible.

In the bobbin I have Kimono Silk from another quilt. Using the finer thread in the bobbin makes dense stitching possible.

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Opening the thread drawer I saw the Quilters Silk a 16/3 ply, grabbed the size 100 stop stitch needle because it’s thick stuff. This thread made an appearance on Shine Your Light. As this thread is very present it’s great for outlining, and allows from background stitching.

The fun part of stitching this, was hitting that creative quilting zone.

Remember I mentioned that my sweetie put the a/c in? Well, that sent the sewing room into a bit more of a tizz than necessary. Oh heck I need to tidy up again. Part of it is premarket prep when I tried making that skirt that turned out not to work so well and working on the Cherrywood Challenge, and working on a quilt for Pinwheels.  So Friday will be a bit of a tidy up before stitching.

All that’s left is binding, probably facing, and figuring out what to do with it.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

Oh! Join the fun on Lucy’s Nickles, we’re starting our next quilt very soon.

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Quilterly Writers Block

Quilterly Writers Block

I’m a quilter. And by that I love to free motion machine quilt. On and off I’ve had to work through the equivalent of writers block. I just. couldn’t. quilt. Those moments were tough but often led to something that would pleasantly surprise me. Whew.
Would it surprise you that, while I’ve been quilting on and off over the last few years,  I haven’t really done anything original, inspired, intentional for a long time. I’ve dabbled. Made a few small pieces. I’ve looked wistfully at the pile of quilts in need of time, attention, and breath.

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Cherrywood van Gogh Challenge

he last few years the need-to-dos have taken, necessary, priority over the gee-I-get-to-dos producing a level of fatigue not previously experienced.

I can assure you this has not been the most pleasant experience. Quilting is something akin to breathing. An exchange of oxygen, and carbon dioxide that gives life, helps clear the thoughts, work out whatever is going on in daily life. The need to do list has not changed, however the stress that built up from the need-to-do’s, has started to recede. I’m beginning to breathe deeply.

Overall quilt market was good, there’s still follow up to do. There were a few very difficult moments. Long about late Wednesday afternoon I stopped what I was doing, headed up to the sewing room and started the Cherrywood challenge. Cut, stitch. Cut, stitch. Cut, stitch. Rinse, repeat until this piece said, “I’m complete.” I’ve added a border bigger than currently needed because I have a habit of quilting densely and shrinking a quilt.2017-05-28 12.42.34

Well then this happened. A while back I had a give away on a post offering to quilt a small piece for one of the folks who commented. I knew it would take a little while and let the winner know that as finishing a quilt or two and getting ready for Market were the higher priorities. The winner said she likes red, so red Oakshott it is. Teeny tiny stitching makes me happy, so teeny tiny stitching all over this eight inch square quilt that needs trimming, facing, signing and sending.

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The back is as pretty as the front. This is making me think that trimming it up, and running a tight satin stitch along the edge might be a better plan.

As I’ve quilting a friend has repeatedly said, “the dam is broken!”, creativity has free reign. And these two pieces are evidence that the water is flowing, I’m breathing the air. My heart is full, and there are plans afoot for a couple of other projects.

I love quilting.

Teri

I’ve gone and done it now

I’ve gone and done it now

Serendipity As Well full viewI’ve added a Retreat to the list of classes. I’ve wanted to add a retreat for a very long time, now seemed as good a time as any. A three or five day retreat to explore the world of thread, batting, design, and color. Find the eclecticness of you, the freedom to explore and push the current boundaries of how quilting works every day.

In a directed retreat we’ll work on Moon Over Manhattan or Twilight in the Bronx as the base, we can also choose Serendipity letting the color and motif run amok with frivolity, and laughter.

Have you visited my RitDye Studio?
Check out Instagram because not everything that I post there, ends up here
what about facebook? oh and let’s not forget Lucy’s Nickles because exploring the boundaries of quilting never gets old.

Happy Quilting,

Teri

Character – Lots and lots of Character

Character – Lots and lots of Character

Today is a two quilt day, each has character.

dad-would-be-honored-full-view-2Dad Would be Honored is the first Feathered Star using Marsha McCloskey’s directions I ever made. Most of the quilt is made with dad’s ties. Dad himself was a bit of character writing rotten poetry, his preferred place behind the camera – always observing, listening. I brought his ties home with me shortly after his death. It took me a little while to work up the courage to cut into the ties, and make the quilt. Every once in a while I think about making changes, if I did this or that the overall look would be more pleasing, and effective. The most important thing about Dad Would be Honored, my stepmom loves it just as it is, flaws and all. The moment I gave this to her is priceless. There is one thing I would change though I’d add fusible stabilizer to the ties making some of the piecing a lot easier. Part of me wants to sit here and rip apart the quilting, however I won’t because at the time I know I stitched to the best of my ability. Memory quilts hold something more, they hold our hearts stitched with great love.

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If ever a quilt had a journey it’s this one. The fabrics are all Moda Marbles by Patrick Lose. The quilt itself is based on a Jinny Beyer pattern the setting corners should be 9 patches. It was a little bit beyond my skill level at the time so using solid pieces seemed the thing to do. The quilt was much larger at one point having squares in the corners and borders, it was quilted. I always like the quilt, didn’t like the quilting, so it sat in a UFO pile unfinished. An opportunity to make a quilt to donate came along, the seam ripper and I had a date, all of the quilting came out, I cut the quilt down, and re-quilted it. This may have been the first quilt I un-quilted, then re-quilted. The moon and stars seem to be a recurring them in my quilts. Oh sweet heavens inspire me!

Both of these quilts taught me so much. Trying something new is a good, using a seam ripper to take out something that isn’t working well is good, starting over is good.

Have a great quilterly day,

Teri

I’m copying Debby’s homework

 

20170226_133050Debby and I have a long standing joke wherein we copy each other’s homework. When Debby was working on going to teach in Russia she made a quilt with the words “Bang Head Here” .  Click on the link to read an interview and more on the quilt. Shortly after she posted the quilt we talked about the idea now whirling about my head and she couldn’t wait to see it. So, my own version of  “Bang Head Here” complete with  an arrow pointing to a brick wall (see yesterday’s blog post for the photo) came to life. Someone at a quilt show pointed this out to Debby, that I’d made this quilt using her idea. Shock! Horror! Debby assured her that this was fine.

I’ve been admiring Debby’s ribbon candy on quilts for a while. I like the effect, and the ease of stitching. So on the quilt I’m doing for SewBatik I am, once again, copying Debby’s homework by stitching ribbon candy into selected sections of this quilt.

Debby commented on one of the photos, “my work here is done.” Yep, she finally won me over to ribbon candy and I’m having fun. The space that I’m working in narrows and widens over the surface of the quilt so there is variation in the motif over the surface. That said, I’m loving the effect.

Of course, for me, the seam ripper was out in the first six inches of stitching. Trying to fill the space as it was the ribbon candy wasn’t having the desired effect. By visually dividing the space it’s easier to stitch, and looks better. I’m hoping to get a decent shot later today. productimage-picture-so-fine-50-438-mulberry-550-yds-polyester-thread-40304

This So Fine thread (50 wt) from Superior is doing exactly what I knew it would, it stands out just enough from the Indigo and blends in well. Weird right? It’s like I planned it. IMG_20170308_204343

I’m on the third bobbin. and ready to get more stitching done this morning. Last night as I stitched I had this amazing moment of “this quilt will be flat when I’m finished”. It’s one of those moments as a quilter that just, well, you know. It’s one of those moments. I’m off to revel in more of that moment.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

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A wee bit of a finish

On a sew day with friends I cut out the pieces for a new quilted purse, and started stitching them together. The idea floated around my head for a while as the quilting of the fat quarters progressed.

Here’s the finished front:

#bernina #brewersewing cork is beautiful

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Here’s the finished back:

Purse done #fronddesignstudios #brewersewing

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What I don’t have a picture of is the little zippered wallet I made to go with it. I like to have a little something to put in my pocket, and take with me when I go into the City.

I loved adding the cork for texture, and character. The cork takes stitching well and has many uses. It’s a bit spendy so adding detail, and creating a unique look works best for me. After getting home I changed the hardware on the adjustable strap.

Once I get through the first Lucy’s Nickles Project this will become either a class or a pattern.

Happy Quilting,

Teri