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,


Whole Cloth Update

whole cloth challenge circle completeThere is nothing quite so comforting as listening to the sewing machine as I quilt. It’s a beautiful sound.

As I look at this update and think about the comments on facebook and think about another project I’m working on (I think a lot!). So the question I get a lot is, “what comes next?” or “do you plan your quilting?”

CAM01719Photo aside: This is the same quilt taken in different light.

I probably do know what comes next and I probably plan however there is nothing on paper. How’s that for an answer? Priceless eh?!
I am sharing process on here with this quilt as it’s part of the Whole Cloth Challenge with Lisa Calle. Thinking that Chocolate Swirl was it – I worked on that for a while (and will finish that eventually) Nope. That wasn’t it. Then I started quilting the dupioni silk. Nope that’s not it. This grape Radiance that Olde City Quilts sent me with an order I placed a while ago kept whispering to me. It’s the same color I used for Moon Over Manhattan. You know, Little Miss Sassy Pants. I got to thinking about Olde City Quilts. How Judy lived in Montana (if I remember correctly). My image of Montana is big sky, mountains and wide open spaces. And the Big Sky reminds me of the moon. And I love the moon. The moon reflects the light of the sun, Radiance reflects light. Hmm I see a correlation here. The more I thought and stared at this fabric the more the idea settled that I wanted to do a play on Moon.

From Moon Over Manhattan I have the fabric, moon shape and the lone star (it is intentionally wonky)
From Montana I have the mountains and big, open sky.
From my thread drawer I have the silk thread and color
From my imagination I have the quilting.

So when someone asked what comes next? My answer, “Lime green” may have seemed a little odd. In my mind it made perfect sense. It’s one of my favorite colors and it will pop against the grape. I finished with the lime green last night and moved onto black. I am so thrilled that Superior makes silk in a variety of colors. I won’t know what the finished quilt will look like until the quilting is finished.


Ellen McBurney, one of my readers and a member of The Quilt Show, is auctioning this quilt titled: Libby and Ricky Converging to raise money for Libby Lehmans ongoing medical expenses.
Here is a link to the ebay auction.

The quilt is lovely.


One Day Free Motion Class

happy days 121While searching my photos for a particular quilt I happened upon this beauty. I love the Moon.

Teaching alert:
One Day Free Motion Quilting – Friday June 27, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hartsdale Fabrics

We just put this class on the schedule!

Happy Quilting!


I’m participating in Melanie Testa’s blog hop. Her new line Meadowlark by Windham Fabrics debuted at Quilt Market, will be in Quilt Shops sometime in October.

Moon Over Manhattan 4.5 – we’re talking thread here

I saw this blog Owen’s Olivia: Your Sewing Thread Under a Microscope reposted by Generation Q Magazine this morning and thought you’d enjoy it. Seeing your thread under a microscope (photos taken by her husband) is pretty cool. Head on over and check it out. PS – she has no idea I’m doing this.

And now back to our regularly scheduled program:

back of Moon Over ManhattanWhen I look at Moon Over Manhattan from the back I am in awe of the quilt itself and of how differently quilts can look from the front to the back. Yes, yes, I know this is my own quilt and humility should rule. Bah!
As I look at Moon from the back I think I should remake this quilt. There is something about the subtlety of the star color that makes this quilters heart sing. The color of the thread really does change the overall appearance of the solid lime green. As I’m thinking about the thread, the visual impact and the moon I’m thinking that the inside part of the circle would be gray and the star would have more color to it.  This would allow me to quilt right to the edge of the star allowing the moon and the star to be the individual components. I’m also thinking that I’d complete the star shape – thinking but not 100% sure.  Or move it down and to the right a bit. Thread-wise I’d want to have the same type of visual subtlety that I have going on here. I can see the silk thread adding up now! Yes I’d use silk, it’s really fine and would allow me to do that crazy micro stitching that I do.

I would not trapunto the comet. That extra layer of batting is not doing anything for it. I’d like to see how the metallic of the comet looks on the lime. I’m thinking I’d stitch the comet differently giving it a bit of a different feel, more visual movement, drawing the eye away from the larger circle, I’d probably use red metallic in it as well.
On the peacock-blue the silver metallic is quite striking. On the lime green I’d bet it would be a lot more subtle and I’m thinking I’d stitch that right around the edge of the star or around the circular edge of the moon. Oh my mind is really going now.

Ahem, there are rules! Rules! And I should follow them.

its-bigger-than-i-thought-feathersToday’s earworm Harry Chapin’s Flowers are Red.
You see, dear quilter, there are principles and there are rules. Rules are things you have to follow. Like the speed limit. In spite of the fact that our vehicles can go 100+ mph we really should follow the rules of the speed limit for the safety of those around us. We do need to keep quilting peeps and if we’re in the hospital we can not quilt. Principles are basic tenets that give you the freedom to explore and do. In quilt making choose to follow principles and break whatever rules I can along the way.  Despite popular opinion there are no quilt police. And no, quilt judges are not members of the quilt police, they are following principles and rules set forth by the quilt shows.
Rules have their place and I appreciate them. It’s kind of like the quilting on “It’s Bigger Than I Thought” – the general rule would be: “the quilt is really busy keep the quilting simple”. Apparently I’m not a rule follower.
I’m the quilter who went to one
yes you read that correctly


machine quilting class and has proceeded to do whatever I’ve wanted ever since.
I learned the principles in that class: it’s okay to change the tension on  your machine, practice, there’s more than one way to quilt, using the right needle makes a difference – there are different opinions about needles, don’t show other people your “flaws”, be careful with marking implements, help other quilters it reinforces what you’ve learned
I do have a few rules
Rules like:
Don’t stitch body parts – this is an excellent rule and yes, I have broken it
though we do know that blood comes out with our own spit – something about the enzymes

Don’t use brown and black in the same quilt?
why not? Mother Nature does and who am I to argue with her?

Always use cotton batting and cotton thread.
yeah, uhm no. Just no.

Always use a motif that complements the quilt top.
Here’s my rule: a quilt is a canvas to play, explore and have FUN!

I’m sure there are more rules but I’ve forgotten them it’s been so long since I’ve tried to follow them.

Happy Quilting!


Choosing Quilt Motifs – Part 4.21

Lucas Moon Over Manhattan 39 x 34Moon Over Manhattan
This quilt has an alternate title “Little Miss Sassy Pants” for she was sassy (sass-eh) indeed!
The original color of “Moon” was

drum roll please

lime green.

This still makes me giggle.
What makes me giggle a wee bit louder: I submitted this to Quilt National. I know that my very dear quilting friends are polite and will giggle with me.
Because I was submitting this to an “art” show and “Little Miss Sassy Pants” was very vocal. Very.Vocal. Oh let me back up for a second. Lime is a great color, bright and vibrant. This peacock-blue Radiance has a bit of a shimmer and is much calmer and much more reminiscent of an evening sky. As I quilt I do tension checks: stop, look at the back checking for troubles then go back to quilting. This peacock Radiance started telling me very quickly that this was going to be the top not the lime green. I’m saying, no! Nope! Not happening.
Next color: check, that “voice” is becoming much clearer. And I’m still saying, no! No! Nope! I can’t hear you (fingers in ears singing lalalalalalalala)
By the 3rd color I gave in. Dammit.
The quilt was right. Bleep! I had to keep working from the lime green side on the star because I’d marked that side. No problem. Along the way because of the impending due date I made some design decisions: The silver metallic and the blue star points were intended to be individual diamonds like the others. And I’d intended on filling all of the diamonds. Time constraints necessitated some changes and who am I to argue with a quilt? I’d only lose anyway.
The only plan I had was that lone star and to keep the color of the moon subtle and allow the star to stand out. As I changed thread color I chose the motif. And once again there was no specific plan other than knowing that each color needed to be able to stand alone, to feel as though it was a different piece of fabric that’s been pieced to the next piece.
Once the star was done it was play time. And play I did changing thread color and motif a little bit more intentionally wanting less color at the top and more color at the bottom. The bottom section is my favorite part of the quilt. I like all of the different motifs, the color changes and the use of metallic to create the comet. I like that the colors are getting much warmer along the bottom.
back of Moon Over ManhattanBecause Moon Over Manhattan was intended as an art piece it once had a false back on it. At MQX in Portland I has some down time and took it off. The photo is here immediately after I’d finished taking it off. I can not tell you how freeing it was to do this. You can still see some of the remnants here. I covered it up not because I was embarrassed but because there as a little bit of puckering. I took it off because I no longer cared. I like this quilt. Right now Moon is on an extended visit to The Village Fabric Shoppe in Red Hook, NY.

One of the reasons the quilt was speaking so loudly to me is that the color and motifs are so much more striking on the Radiance. It was a good decision all the way around. I do like the look of the stitching.

As I’ve mention ad nauseam I don’t do a lot of planning in advance. It’s How I work as a quilter.
I choose motifs based on what I like, how I think it will look and more than likely what I’ve been playing with in one of my sketchbooks. I doodle quilting motifs any time I can. It’s fun and I can get through the fear of what-if-I-mess-this-up without much thought. It’s also less likely that I’ll have to dig out my handy-dandy seam ripper later on. As we all know a seam ripper is a quilters best friend! Bang!Head!Here!

Happy Quilting!


Color Me

Serendipity gone huge pebblesBeautiful.  I don’t often share stories from “the office” whether that be the quilt shop/BERNINA dealer or stories from the road teaching.

Yesterday 18 students gathered to have their “colors” done.  I covered the shop floor while my coworkers attended the workshop.  However I asked my boss last week, knowing I couldn’t attend the class.  The process involves each person sitting in front of a mirror and color swatches being draped in front of them to see how that color makes you look and feel.

Most people fall into a particular season winter, spring, summer or fall (bet you’ve got the Carol King/James Taylor song running through your head now don’t you).  The “warm” seasons being spring & fall and the “cool” seasons being winter & summer.

quilt on wall

While the color class was going on in the classroom I had a color class of my own.  A gal came in with a beautiful, quite subtle print she’s using for curtains and wanted to bring out one particular color.  She didn’t particularly care for the background color and wanted to knock it back or more to the point she wanted to bring another color forward.  The fun part for me?  Watching her face light up as a number of swatches did what she wanted.  Even more fun, one of those swatches was her scarf.  Even more fun, the look on her face when she learned that the color of her scarf, or another color of the same shade could be used on her walls.  Party in the quilt shop (home dec really)


Wanna guess where I land seasonally?  spring & fall.  I bridge two seasons.  Surprised?  I’m not cause I just can’t be “normal”.  When I walked into work yesterday I wore a teal shirt and a chocolate brown sweater and the gal who teaches most of our fashion sewing classes came over to me and said,  “yes!  You’re right, you’re spring and fall with this particular blue and chocolate, I see your face!”  The blue is a spring color, the chocolate brown is a fall color and voila!  Truthfully more often than not I dress rather plainly.

And one of these days I’ll do what I’ve wanted to do for a very long time.

Are you ready?

I’m going to paint part of my studio orange.

I’ll post pics when I get brave enough to do it.

Happy quilting!


Thinking, thinking and I would like your input, please

day trip 069Whenever I hear, “thinking, thinking” the voice in my head sounds like Elfred in my GPS.  Elfred is from the north pole and sometimes asks if anyone wants hot chocolate or fruitcake.  My answer to both is, “yes!”

I’ve been teaching machine quilting on a domestic for about 4 1/2 to 5 years now. I love it (as I’ve posted over and over again).   Over the last several months I’ve had this overwhelming understanding that something needs to change and while I think I know what that is I am asking for you help in clarifying what the changes may look like.

Over the last few days I’ve posted a few questions on facebook that I would appreciate your answers as well:

1) how would you describe what I do as a machine quilter?  Note I am not seeking compliments, how would you explain to someone else my style of quilting and what is it that draws you in or doesn’t draw you in?

2) would you rather take a whole cloth quilting class called, “There’s Fabric Under That Thread” or “Twisted Journey from Inspiration to Whole Cloth”?

3) Would you rather take a machine quilting class that is project oriented or process oriented?  Why?

twilight-quilting-closeup-lower-right-corner-2.jpg4) I am considering designing either a 15″ or 18″ structure for a whole cloth quilt that I would use in the class.  Would this be helpful?  Would you prefer something like, “Twilight in the Bronx” and “Moon Over Manhattan”, “Serendipity” or something a bit newer and fresher?

5) for the beginner class: I ask students to bring SOLID fat quarters so that their stitching can be seen and I’m considering revamping the class using SOLID 24″ or 27″ squares, do you have a preference?  Would you like to keep the fat quarters?  Final option is bringing a 36″ quilt made of a certain quilt blocks, would you be willing to make that prior to class?

6) for “Let Your Foot Loose, Be Fancy & Free” I’m considering designing a structure for this class it would be based on “Twilight in the Bronx”.  Would you prefer something pre-printed or drafting the design in the first part of the class?

Please feel free to answer in the comments or email me at

terilucas at gmx dot com.

Thanks for your help!

Happy quilting!