Character Builder: Enjoying my Work

Character Builder: Enjoying my Work

B 780 back inside of project

Every time I look at this piece of dupioni I see a dancer, depending on the distance sometimes there are two. Human imagination allows us to look at what is there, see something vastly different that what is intended, and develop our sense of play. This piece started with the feather motif in the middle, stitched out in Superior Twist. There is a certain style of feather that was eluding me, so this started life as a practice piece, and eventually became a clutch.

When exploring new quilt motifs using different weights, and types will help us develop a sense of what something will look like with whatever it is we want to use. This exploration adds to our library of knowledge in a way that develops our understanding of how things work. The more we allow ourselves to explore what this fabric, thread, batting, machine, needles will do, our quilting will become more consistent. We will be okay with the character of our quilts, and essentially the character of who we are as quilt makers.

Melanie quilting full view

I’m going to pause our normally scheduled blog and share this link to a CBS Sunday Morning website. Melanie Testa, and several other women share their breast cancer stories, the story of mastectomies, and opting to remain flat, unreconstructed after.
Cancer touches so many lives in so many ways.
Each person unique in how they deal with it. My uncle fought as long as he could, my dad gave over to it; Melanie  chose to remain flat, Jake will have reconstructive surgery later.

 

And now back to our regularly scheduled program:

metallic happiness

While quilting Tilde I had an epiphany: cotton thread is grabby. I had cotton thread in the bobbin, was stitching with metallic thread on the top. The tension problems were not resolving no matter what I did, so I changed the bobbin thread to polyester, readjusted the tension and voila! no more tension problems. The grabby nature of the cotton was pulling the metallic thread to the back.
This wee bit of knowledge was added to the classes as lots of us want to use and struggle with. Knowing that using polyester in the bobbin solves the tension issue is priceless. I generally use a non-cotton batting.

I’m certainly a quilty character. #charactercounts

Happy Quilting!

Teri

Character: explored beauty

Melly prints 002

Melanie Testa is by far one of the most joyful, and thoughtful quilters I’ve ever met. A beautiful, creative soul. One of my most treasured memories is having lunch with her and Elizabeth, we were on the receiving end of some seriously disapproving looks from because we were laughing so much. This still brings a smile. Melanie creates unique, interesting squares of hand printed cloth. These are among some of my greatest treasures.

Melly has shared some of her process for making and printing cloth. Watching her demo in a booth a few years ago, this is messy business indeed.

 

She had stuff all over her hands. Her exuberance, though, quite catching.

What I see though in her process is a lot of work, thought, preparation, experimentation. There’s a lot of “this isn’t going to work” until “hey this is magic”. When Meadowlark (Windham Fabrics) came out I designed a few quilts for her including several seen in her booth.

Melly has recently published a new book with Carol Soderlund that I’ll share more about sometime very soon. It’s a beautiful book. I’ll share this…for now, the it is very much the result of working, trying, things working, things not working, things almost working. A lot of practice getting things just the way you want.

And so, I go looking for more character. Which is often found in the mirror.

Happy Quilting

Teri

Quilterati

Lisa Calle OCQ eventI’m not usually at a loss for words related to quilting for this blog. I’m not really at a loss at the moment it’s just that the quilting world as it is in my life at this moment is refocusing and I’m slowly wending my way around the quilting world as it is for me right now. I’m starting week two with Missouri Star, which I’m loving. With new work, full-time, everything changes, including the rhythm of the quilting routine.

So the other night I posed the question on facebook, “who are the quilterati in your life?” Quilterati is a play on the word, literati, with the meaning of “well educated”, “literate”, “in the know”. Then, as the play continues, there is glitterati with a meaning of “famous, wealthy, and attractive”. I,  personally, was going for a combination of the two meaning who are the important quilt people in your life. The first time I posed the question several people said me. I thank them so very much because that means a lot.

jake laughs againPosing the question the second time yielded a richer and deeper conversation that leads me to this post. Many of the names I knew:

Kim Brunner, Jamie Wallen, Karlee Porter, Sherry Rogers-Harrison, Alex Anderson, Ricky Tims, Sue McCarty, Janet Stone, Jackie Kunkle, Marilyn Badger, Karen McTavish, Linda V. Taylor, Lizzy House, Linda M. Poole, Maddie Kertay, Joe Cunningham, Ruth McDowell, Mickey DePre, Jim Salinas, Shelia Frampton-Cooper, Jake Finch, Melissa Thompson Maher, Mary Ellen Hopkins, Gwen Marston, Doreen Speckmann, Linda Hahn, Marianne Burr, Pokey Bolton, Dee Fox Cornell, Pamela Allen, Sue Brenner, Judi Madsen, Claudia Pfeil, Claudia Myers, Lisa H Calle, Mary Wilson Kerr, Ruth Powers, Cheryl Sleboda, Lynn Krawczyk, Susan Brubaker Knapp, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Sherry Reynolds, Stephanie Forsythe, Luke Haynes, Melanie Testa, Lisa Sipes, Alex Veronelli, Bob Purcell, Debby Brown, Barb Persing, John Kubinec, Joe Callaham, Holice Turnbow, Bruce Magidson, Diane Magidson, Hollis Chatelaine, Paula Reid, Paula Nadelstern, Judy Niemeyer, Kristin Girod Rodriquez, Lesley Riley, Frances Holiday Alford, Jean Ray Luray, Pat Barry, Angela Walters, Margaret Solomon Gunn, Judy Coates Perez, Tula Pink, Amy Butler, David Butler, Bonnie Browning, Pepper Cory, Diane Gaudynski, Sue Nichols, Pat Holly, Phillip Jacobs, Kaffe Fasset, Renee Brown Haddadin, Caryl Bryer Fallert, Laurie Tigner, Mandy Leins, Marybeth Krapil, Brenda Groelz, Jane Dunnewold, Shannon Hicks, Sarah Ann Smith, Karen K Stone, Myrna Ficken, Patrick Lose, Brandy Lee, Jessica Darling, Jo Leichte, Jeanne Cook Delpit, Gayle Schleimann, Bill Volkening, Roderick Kiracofe, Kim Niedzwicki, Michael Dunn, Karen Cunagin, Bert Klimas, Renee Fleuranges-Valdes, Mary Anne Ciccotelli, Anne Frascarelli, Donna Chambers, Sandra Parrott, Barbara Brackman, Pat Campbell, Tracy Mooney, Jamie Mueller, Denise DeSantis, Melissa Kanovsky, Scott Hansen, Bev Mabry, Susan Schrott, Elizabeth Rosenberg, Nancy Rosenberger, Sally Bramald, Jane Monk, Kela Weathers, Chana Charles, Rob Appell, Jenny Doan, Donna Thomas, Christa Watson, my sweetie. . . .

Debby HandiQuilter Teri BERNINAOkay so this list…it’s just a beginning. I’m not even sure I grabbed all the names listed on the fb post. Part of the point is to take a moment and recognize the people in our life who have influenced our quilting world in some way.

One of the things I see is the breadth of the quilting world right there spanning the quilting world, it’s inclusive of all types of quilting, and those in the “business” of quilting from fabric designers to editors and the “behind the scenes” people. This list includes people who aren’t in the business directly but still support and encourage.

And who are the quilterati in your life?

I’m off to work here shortly, have a great! quilterly day.

Teri

 

 

Focusing on the goal

I regularly read Seth Godin’s blog with something always capturing my attention. This one captured my attention a while ago, with a blog draft waiting for me to have the time to write. Shortly after this I chose to limit the blog in favor of writing my book and trying to keep blogging commitments with Generation Q Magazine, after all that’s why I was hired.
PS the strand that binds: machine thread test! is mine with local quilters Renee, Cathy, Susan and Anne testing thread for piecing and quilting.

And then I read The Difference between Commitment and Technique and have started wondering if what I teach and how I teach are working. In one case I’d say yes and in another I’d say a firm no. Interestingly this class and the book are linked, at least in my mind, in a way that I think will improve both. This has me thinking a lot about how I improved as a quilter on my home sewing machine. Other than spending a lot of time at the sewing machine figuring out what worked and what didn’t. That part I teach in the beginner class: needles, thread and tension. What was it that changed in the machine quilting?

Serendiptity
Serendiptity

Is it the machine quilting that changed or is it something else that changed? Is it how I see and view color? Is it how I decided to throw caution to the wind and play, simply play with thread in the same way that I would play with crayons? Is it the understanding of thread weight and how it will play across the surface of the quilt?
With each quilt over the last few years I’ve opened the thread drawers picked up a spool of thread, changed the needle appropriately and continued to stitch. Sometimes this means changing quilting motifs at the same time, sometimes not. Sometimes it means looking at the variegation and wondering how it will play. How do I share with you, with my students, in a book format that I just sit and quilt? How do I share with you that I gave up being afraid of making mistakes and failing? How do I share in a meaningful way that the only way to really get to know color well is to sit at the machine and learn to trust your judgement? That what I think of your quilting doesn’t matter?
If there are actual problems i.e. tension or eyelashing or batting troubles I can help you problem solve.
I can share with you where I find inspiration: spring and fall and sunrises and sunsets and wrought iron and really cool architectureJoe Cunningham at Somers.
That I’m totally inspired by some of the coolest people and the range is quite eclectic and random from Joe Cunningham and Melanie Testa, to Elizabeth Rosenberg and Renee Fleuranges-Valdes, to Karen McTavis and Stephanie Forsythe, Lynn Krawczyk and Cheryl Sleboda and my students. Oh I am so inspired by my students! I love becoming fb friends with my students and watching them develop skill as quilters. I love seeing the move from “a quilt has to look like this” to “my quilts look like this”. Melanie quilting full view
This is the best moment ever! Oh dear me that just gets me all giddy.
The list here is so incomplete.
And I’m back to: how do I change things up in classes and write so that this all works as a class and a book and each student is left with a sense that the hard work that they invest in quilting will be worth it in the end? How do I figure out how to really inspire my students in a meaningful way?

I’m off to think.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

 

It’s Top Ten Friday

Books! Books! Books

Melly 004
Melanie Testa

Dreaming from the Journal Page – Melanie Testa
– “What is this obsession with finishing?” is my fave Melly line ever and no it’s not in the book

The Lord of the Ring Trilogy – J. R. R. Tolkein

The Chronicles of Narnia – C. S. Lewis

Science Fiction by Isaac Asimov – particularly loved the short stories

Breath of Snow and Ashes – Diana Gabaldon

Radiant New York Beauties – Valori Wells

Tom Clancy

Jinny Beyer – Quilt Making by Hand

Marie Bostwick – Cobbled Court Series

books and buttons
Partial book shelf

Earlene Fowler – Benni Harper Series

Clare O’Donohue – Someday Quilts Series

Jennifer Chiaverini – Elm Creek Quilt Series

Surprisingly this list is quilt heavy. I’m shocked, simply shocked. Well not really. There is a series of sci/fi mystery books that I can not remember the titles of right now. They were all timey wimey and fascinating, keeping me up late at night until I finished them all. I binge read the entire series.

What are you fave books?

Happy Quilting!

Teri

Meadowlark

Meadowlark chevron version 2 hstsIt’s been a long time coming.
I love love love giving away fabric.
Especially fabric I love.
if you commented on this post

I finally get to reveal the winner of the Melanie Testa – Meadowlark by Windham tower of fabric:

Congratulations Kat Scott! Commenter #15.

 

blog winnerKat you’ve been emailed.
And I can hardly wait to see what you do with the fabric.

 

Happy Quilting!

Teri

Monday, Monday

Meadowlark play date squaresMonday will be the last day to enter

to win some of Melanie’s fabric
Meadowlark by Windham.

Then you get to make a quilt.

or a bag

or a purse

or a wall hanging

or a. . .

 

 

PS – I’ve updated the lecture/workshop page… I added a presentation – If the Foot Fits, Use it! a BERNINA specific presentation on feet & accessories.
I’ll be adding another class when I can figure out a name for it, a combination of And Now What and Let Your Foot Loose, be Fancy & Free.

Happy Quilting!

Teri