2018 Word of the Year

As a word of the year Gratitude was a good one. I am grateful for the experience of 2017. Creativity is slowly returning. The Quilted Block of the Month Started (with big plans to continue in 2018). A few teaching opportunities. Learning about embroidery. Having a spouse who loves me deeply.

One of the considerations for 2017 was Focus, which had goals attached, a few still attainable:
like truly updating class names and descriptions –
focus on making art
tidy up the studio so it’s functional (in progress) stay tuned for photos

Over the last two weeks I’ve started looking at 2017 as it comes speeding like a race car to the end of the year. Here we are on December 14th.
Where on earth has this year gone?!
What did I like about this year?
What didn’t I like?
Have goals been met?
Are there new goals in place?
Am I actively taking part in the quilting career in meaningful ways?
What about my creative life, is it being nurtured?

In the middle of all of this thinking I started thinking about 2018.
What will be the Word of the Year?
What are the quilt related goals?
Life goals?

The other day I chatted with a very good friend wondering what 2018 would hold. The Word of the Year was part of the conversation as looking at 2018 is a bit of a puzzlement. Kind of like looking at the collected work of fabric on the shelves, wondering what delightful quilt will be made from the color and texture contained therein. I started thinking about stitching fabric together, it is connected with needle and thread, ideas, and a willingness to cut into it. The thoughts continued with the machine quilting, how the top, batting(s) and back are connected, once again, with needle and thread. One stitch connecting to the next.

As our conversation continued thoughts of how we as quilters are connected with needle and thread, with shared and varied ideas, how what one quilter does helps connect the dots for another quilter. We connect through sharing our life stories, our quilting ideas, our love of fabric, thread, and batting. And there it is, as obvious as the nose on my face, my 2018 Word of the Year:

Connect

It’s a great word. And with the Word now in Focus the ideas for the next several Quilted Block of the Month came into focus. One block I cannot remember the name for the life of me will make an appearance in January or February. Then I started thinking of a Double 9 Patch, and a Double Wedding Ring, they are on the list, and we’ll see what happens as the list goes up on the Wall of Inspiration.

Connecting with You is as important to me. If you have a favorite block please let me know the name, allowing me to add it to the list of possibilities. And let me know if there is a thread you would like me to talk about, sharing the way I’d set up my machine to use that particular thread.

I saw this video produced by Wonderfil that explains thread weight in a really nifty way:

I’m off to Connect with tidying up my sewing room. Watch Instagram later for some pics.

I’m teaching at the Quilt Basket in Pawling, NY Saturday January 20th. The class fee includes a kit. Just bring your machine, and be ready for a day of getting the stitchy stuff from your brain to your quilt top. I think we’ll start out with the bones for a tree.

Your Quilt, Your Rules!

Teri

Celebrate Your Gifts

IMG_20171111_145534Have you ever had that moment when you’re reading something, but misread it? Scrolling through facebook this morning I misread an ad that said, “Create Your Gifts” as “Celebrate Your Gifts”.

Creating your gifts, the things you give to others in celebration of the person whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or Kermit the Frog day is a good thing, an investment of time, the hard work you’ve put into learning how to make the thing, and the tools (thread, fabric, stabilizer, batting) you have. Creating gifts celebrates the others in our lives.

When I read Celebrate Your Gifts I thought that is the coolest advertisement EVER! After all having a gift is one thing, using it, exploring it, growing the gift, is quite another. Often we have more than one gift and they’re related. Intertwined is more like it. In using one, often something we’re thinking about for another gets thought through, resolved, or we have some kind of insight that grows these gifts together.

20171112_150918_resizedI quilt. (I’ll bet you’re shocked by that statement, not. at. all.) I teach, love this so much. I make stuff. I’ve tested, and written patterns, though this isn’t my favorite thing. The thing is, if someone said this to me I’d say you’re inexperienced. And this is true. The more you do a thing, the better you get at it.

Today I’m going to celebrate the gift of quilting in my life by: finishing a quilt I started last week, and starting to write a pattern.

CELEBRATE!

Enjoy your stitching,

Teri

Embracing Quirkiness & Connections Quilt Festival

and a Reality Check

Live your brightest life 1One of the reminders from my time at the Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show is that I’m quirky. Shocking! I love being quirky.

Embrace quirk, let go of seriousness. Seriously.

So, this weekend during the lecture “Surprise I’m a Free Motion Quilter” the end of the lecture came, as I made decisions about quilts to share I picked up Shine Your Light, my tribute Quilt to Yvonne Porcella as the last quilt. I started talking about Yvonne, SAQA, the inspiration for the quilt, and how Donna ice dyed the fabric that year that Eastern MA got over 100” of snow. There came a moment when I got choked up, heart in throat, tears welling in my eyes. I didn’t realize how much this quilt means to me.

color fix 3

In just a few short weeks from now the Connections Quilt Festival will take place in Nashua, NH November 9 – 11. The Generation Q Magazine Quilt as Desired Exhibit will be there on display with all of the information on each one of the quilts.

I get to teach three different classes:

Thursday – Beginner Free Motion Quilting/Permission to Free Motion Quilt.

Friday – Let Your Foot Loose be Fancy & Free/Intermediate/Advanced Machine Quilting

Saturday – Go Mini or Go Home – Lone Star

this outta be so much fun, and I’m can hardly wait to see you there.

I’ll be participating in a facebook live on the Connections Quilt Festival fb page at 10:00 Eastern this morning. Come join us! Here’s a link to the video 

Happy Quilting

 

Connections Quilt Festival

Remember a few weeks ago that I mentioned I had some news. I’m teaching at Connections Quilt Festival November 9, 10, and 11. And! Bonus! The Generation Q Magazine Quilt as Desired Exhibit will be there!

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Melinda Bula, Judy Damon, Lynn Wheatley, Tracy Zimmerman Szanto, Margaret Mew, Lynn Thibault and Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill are all headlining this event. Check out each teacher and sign up for classes as soon as humanly possible.

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When you have a chance, go take a look at the image in this article. It’s an optical illusion and is so freaking cool.

Visit the Birmingham UK Festival of Quilts through Luana Rubin‘s eyes. Magnificent!

I’m working on the next step in the Quilted Block of the Month. It’s going to be fun!

For my Lucy’s Nickles Quilters – thanks for  your patience. I’m working on several quilts on deadlines right now. Eke!

Happy Quilting,

Teri

 

 

Quilted Block of the Month August week 2

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
The congratulatory messages on my new position with Floriani are simply awe inspiring.

Now onto our regularly scheduled program:center square

 

Oh I do remember giving  you this update sometime during the week in Instagram. Debby was stitching this motif on a postcard, and I was inspired by it. I’m not entirely certain that Debby posted this anywhere publicly so just know that I have permission to copy her homework at any time. Cool, eh? With this project you have permission to copy my homework. If you’re playing along please feel free to send me pictures and I’ll share them here on the blog.
Remember I tend to show all the stuff that I’m not happy with because I’m still learning how to machine quilt. 2017-08-11 19.29.52

Bernina 24 foot on ruler

 

 

The free-hand embroidery foot is aboutt 1/4” from needle center to the outer edge of the foot. I chose a spot roughly in the center of the square to start stitching a circle. Once the circle closed I very slowly started curving out until the edge of the foot was on the center circle. I kept stitching around, and around, and around, and around, and around and around. Once I reached the edge the ditch helped me keep the curves consistent. Using 80 weight thread in the bobbin means that there is little thready build up, and the fabric doesn’t distort.

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I’m going to show this one in a very quick vid.

This should give you an idea of how this motif is stitched out. This one looks like a wonky log cabin block, however it’s stitched from the outside in. On the quilt itself I simply winged it. In the video I used a ruler to make the lines. Going from the outside in is what helps create the visual twist.

in block stitching square 2
It’s interesting how thread looks on different color. 80 weight thread is the best!
in block stitching square 3
I like the different texture with the straight lines in the square and the ribbon candy in the border.
in block stitching square
This is the first square I stitched in. While I’ve done this before I wasn’t quite remembering the rhythm of the stitching. It came back after the first full round.

square ribbon candy

Stay tuned next week for the next installment of the Quilted Block of the Month.
Quilted Block of the Month August week one

Happy Quilting,

Teri

 

 

 

 

 

July Quilted Block of the month part 2

Last week we focused on the “bones” also known as stitching in the ditch. When you’re working on a quilt it’s not a “have to do” rather, it’s a good thing to do. When working on something like @play the bones get stitched as these would be the ditch in a pieced quilt top. Finer thread makes this stitching almost disappear into the batting, which is the goal.

NYB tension check

Our post ended with this delightful conundrum, makes you kind of tense doesn’t it. Changing thread weight and color means that the needle, and tension need some kind of adjustment. For the top Wonderfil FabuLux Hush a 40 wt. trilobal polyester (means shiny!) designed by Debby Brown, for the MicroQuilter by Superior, an 80 weight polyester. Finer threads in the bobbin take up less room in the stitch, allowing tighter, closer stitching without skewing the quilt.
Clearly the tension was off in the first few stitches. This is a simple adjustment of the tension.
– lift the presser foot lever
– increase the tension (move dial to a higher number)
– take a few stitches, stop and check
– if the tension is good, keep stitching
– if the tension isn’t good, tweak it

Using the Sewline Marking pencil I placed a dot, about an inch up from the arc, about in the middle. I stitched from the peak of the spikes to the dot, then from the dot to the next peak. Using the same thread, I arced back. Just a small curve from the top of the peak, to the same dot.

NYB corner making thread choices
What choice thread? Lime Green or Orange?

Next up the big expanse, other wise known as the corner. The options are limitless. A long time ago this would have completely freaked me out. Now either there’s something on my brain. Sometimes I wait. This is a time to doodle, write blog posts, articles, walk up and down the stairs for the heck of it. Then there’s the old phone a friend, and the send friend a picture of the quilt.

The thinking led me to straight lines. It’s a basic principle – opposites attract. Straight lines highlight, and help define curves; curves soften the feel of straight lines. General rule. Lots of straight lines can do something dynamic to a geometric, square, block style quilt. Straight lines chosen, because why not.

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Purple and orange are my favorite colors so I chose the orange Magnifico, another 40 weight, trilobal polyester thread. Stitch, stitch, stitch. Using the edge of the #24 Free Motion Embroidery foot, which measures 1/4 inch from needle center to the outside edge of the foot.

NYB straight lines

I started in the ditch (seam allowance) Next week I’ll show you the finished straight line quilting, including a wee bit of unplanned stitching, and what happened in the corner.

A wee nip o’character

This one section of the Quilted Block of the Month that starts on Saturday.

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I just want to point out that my lines aren’t perfect. Sometimes when quilting I get to thinking about things, or looking through the wrong part of my lenses. If, and only IF this were a competition quilt I’d rip that stuff out. It’s not a competition quilt, so it’s staying. There’s another little bit that happens later in the block that lends a little bit of “ooops what happened here” but ends up being something I like.

Saturday I’ll give all the information from fabric, thread, batting, and needles used, where I used them, and why I made those decisions.

How’s that for a tease?

PS After an email conversation with a friend last night I went over to the Road to California website. I don’t know when it got an makeover but Wow! I have a goal to get two quilts ready, and October 2nd seems almost reasonable for me. As long as life doesn’t throw me any more left-hooks!

Happy Quilting!

Teri