Thankful Thursday

So I’m pausing today to be thankful for all of the amazing people in my life:
autumn in the bronx 003My sweetie, for saying, “Yes” every single day.

Bruce and Diane, for making and creating beautiful fabric, and loads of encouragement.

Paula Reid who’s been a friend since my first teaching gig in Knoxville, TN. Her batt scooters are the best for quilters with hot hands!

The Generation Q Magazine Crew

I’m grateful for postcards

2017-08-07 14.02.22 (1)


Quilted Blocks

qbom full

Die Cutters




Muffins fresh out of the oven

cranberry almond muffins

The moon:

Moon Set

Mostly I’m thankful for the amazing quilting world.

An Interview with Paula Reid

TDVDB101_outhere are people in your life that you just admire for one reason or another. I “met” Paula Reid on Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson 100 years ago. Her comment, “Oh Alex!” in answer to Alex’s, “Do you ever do handwork?” question still makes me giggle. At my very first teaching gig Paula took me under her experienced teacherly wing, having dinner with me and listening when I was struggling for a moment. Having dinner with herself, Karen Stone and a few other teachers is still one of the highlights of that teaching gig in Knoxville. I love meeting up with Paula any chance I get.
It was Paula’s fluff and stuff technique that helped me break through the whole, “I can’t quilt this on my home sewing machine” fear. She did. I did. I can. I teach it now. Paula and  I still have different approaches to that, and this shows there’s plenty of ways to machine quilt. And plenty of reasons to take classes with a variety of teachers.

A while back I got to review Paula’s Craftsy Class. (her class is here)

NeopolitanTeri:  How did you get started quilting?
Paula: A good friend of mine was a quilter; I was not knowledgeable about sewing, but really liked what she was making and was fascinated by some of the tools – mainly, rotary cutter and rulers.  Both of us with our husbands attended a quilt show in Glendale CA in March 1990. While Mary and I were looking at the quilts, my husband bought me a rotary cutter, a 6”x24” Omnigrid ruler and a big self-healing mat.  A few weeks later, I locked my keys in the trunk, stayed home from work for the day and made a very simple quilt on an old machine that I had been given 20-some-odd years before. Decided I loved this! Now that I am traveling 30 weeks a year teaching people how to quilt big quilts on their home machines, I wonder if Dan ever regrets that initial purchase.

Teri: Do you do anything on your quilts by hand?
Paula: The only thing I do by hand is attach the binding to the back. I’ve tried various “by machine” methods, but just don’t like the look. I’ve also done a little beading by hand, although I try to do most of that by machine.

Teri: What is the most controversial quilt you’ve ever made?
Paula: The Rodney King beating incident was one of the first police actions that was videotaped and broadcast across the country.  The acquittal of the officers involved was such a huge thing in Los Angeles – many fires were set, cars overturned, stores looted, rioting in the streets. I made a quilt that was composed of strips of “hot” colors as my background, then shadow appliqued a silhouette from the video and put a LAPD badge made of organdy over that. Quilted the badge and the silhouette in monofilament and then quilted flames in orange, red and yellow rayon threads over the entire background. This was shown quite a lot when it was still politically relevant. I live in a very conservative area in a pretty darn liberal state so this was not the most popular quilt I’ve ever made, although probably the most shown.Bead Embellishment Close-up - Small

Teri: I’ve seen on your blog that you love kits can you share why and what’s the best kit you’ve ever made?
Paula: I do love kits and I know you think I’m crazy, but sometimes I don’t want to design or have to think about what I’m sewing. My favorite part of the whole process is the actual machine quilting, so the originality of the piecing is much less important to me. The best kit I’ve ever made is difficult for me because I like so many of them! I do a lot of the Cozy Quilts patterns because they’re made from pre-cuts which makes getting to the good stuff even faster! Right now, my favorite is “Spooky Ride” from Tiffany Hayes of Needle in a Hayes Stack. (I’ll send you a pic) Haven’t decided how to quilt it yet, but it’s so fun and I love all the fabrics.

Teri: What’s the most enjoyable part of the process for you?
Paula: Definitely the most enjoyable part is the machine quilting – here is where a quilt, in my opinion, really becomes a quilt! Choosing the designs, whether marked or freehand, that enhance the piecing/applique to make a quilt stunning – that’s the whole end game for me!

Positive Negative Cover PhotoTeri: What are you quilting on these days?
Paula: Right now, I’m working my way through some of the kits and patterns I have around. In the summer, I tend to catch up on my piecing because it’s so dang hot here (I realize that’s a drawback of being a domestic machine quilter rather than a longarmer; I’ve got the thing in my lap!); in the cooler weather, I start working through the stack of tops and backings and get some quilts finished.

Teri: And, if you wouldn’t mind a little bit on how you pair needles, thread and batting
Paula: First, I choose my batting, using two criteria – 1) How far am I planning to leave open (some battings need to be quilted a lot more closely than others) and 2) What am I going to use the quilt for? (Is this an heirloom, an everyday user, a gift, a charity quilt?) Once I make the batting decision, then I choose my needles. For cotton batting, I use a jeans/denim needle; for most others, I use a microtex sharp. If I’m in doubt, I try both on my test sandwich (I ALWAYS make a test sandwich so I’m not experimenting on the actual quilt) and choose the one that gives me the best stitch. As far as threads go, I generally use 50 or 60 wt. cotton in the bobbin and anything I love that is high quality in the top of the machine – cotton, polyester embroidery thread, metallics, silk, glow in the dark – whatever meets my color/shimmer/thickness wants for the particular quilt. Once I’ve chosen my thread, then I go back to my needle style and choose the appropriate size within that style. So I have denim and microtex needles all the way from size 70 for silk up to 90 for metallics and thicker embroidery threads.

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This is a great time to catch up with Paula because she’s offering a sale on her Craftsy Class. Visit her website here. You can also catch up with her on facebook. And while the “challenge” is over, head on over to 2015 Free-Motion Quilt Challenge at Quilt Shop Gal for Paula’s Tutorial, and then stay for the rest.

Happy Quilting!



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.




Paula Reid’s Craftsy class, a review

Paula and me Little Italy dessert firstI’m working on prettying up an interview with Paula Reid that’s been in the works for a while. In the meantime I watched Paula’s Craftsy Class Start Machine Quilting with Paula Reid with the intent of giving it a review. You all know that I love Paula very much in part because she’s just a kind woman but in part because she took me under her wing at my very first national teaching gig and nurtured me along. I will be forever grateful for that.

About a 100 years ago Paula was a guest on a then popular quilting show. Her machine quilting episode is one I’d go back and watch now. Paula’s approach to machine quilting – essentially shoving a quilt into the machine, smoothing out around the needle (fluff and stuff) and stitching really spoke to me and influenced how I quilt and how I teach quilting.

Over the last few days I’ve watched her Craftsy class with great interest. As a teacher I’m looking for things I can pass onto my students. As a student I’m looking for tips and techniques I can bring into my own machine quilting. Start Machine Quilting has everything a beginner quilter needs to get started well and improve skill pretty quickly. One thing I like a lot is that Paula pin bastes the quilt and you get to see her method and why it works. One of the things she gets to do is start dealing with anything in the quilt that might be a little off during the basting process.

Paula shows how she deals with the bulk of a quilt, using her lap to carry the weight of the quilt as she gets started and then through the quilting process. This is one of the things that we all struggle with, particularly when we are new to machine quilting. The good thing about the Craftsy class is that you get to SEE how this is done. The camera work is fab.

One of the cooler things is Paula shows how she uses the walking foot (even feed foot) for doing the stitch in the ditch work. The walking foot is a tool every quilter needs and this falls into the note to self – get the walking foot for your machine. The coolest thing is the lesson on using stencils. This is worth the price of the class. Paula uses the stencils to add beautiful motifs to the quilt AND to figure out the stitching path as she is marking the quilt top.

The best thing about Paula’s class, it’s Paula. You get to see her and how she teaches. Paula is engaging and fun in real life and this comes across in the class. So here’s my honest opinion as a quilting teacher, if you get a chance – take this Craftsy class with Paula. You get the knowledge of a quilter who has years and over 1500 quilts of experience. That is priceless!

Happy Quilting!


top 10

I’ve seen a few top 10 things lately that I’ve liked and thought hey I’ll add my own

Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum – I love how the quilt world has rallied round this museum to keep it open

New England Quilt Museum – I’ve visited this museum as it’s on my way to visit family

Old Sturbridge Village – One of my fave museums

Historic Richmondtown – a local museum that I’m jonesing to get back to

Colonial Williamsburg – this is one of my faves to visit – their docents are amazing!

Conner Prairie – Loved visiting this place almost a two decades ago. Oh dear me I’m getting OLD! HAHAHA

And then there’s this: Day’s for Girls this is so special.

And my favorite Studio things

BERNINA Ambassador bobbin work 2 bobbins who doesn’t love a good bobbin case

and a good seam ripper

amazing thread and lovely fabric to quilt








and lovely people

market 2014 paula kim teriquilt market 2014 tracy teriquilt market 2014 rose hughes teritalentiIMG_20140713_205900

Diane SewBatik and me

3.5 million pebbles

CAM00518or quilting



I am working on Quantum Leap.  Nothing like a due date to get motivation to set in.  It’s due to Jeanie on my birthday!  YAY.  I love that part.  I’m celebrating this quilt as I go along and this will be a great way to celebrate my birthday.CAM00517

To stitch out the 3.5 million pebbles I am using 2 different colors of Magnifico and may use a 3rd once I stitch it out on my practice piece – thanks Jeanie – to see how it looks.  If it does what I think I’ll be madly in love with it.  Oh heavens me I am madly in love with this quilt.

I’ve been sharing a few photos like this oneFB_IMG_13812779448808075

and this one

FB_IMG_13815283992797648I do like to sip a little wine when I quilt. it’s relaxing and tasty.  Don’t let the camera angle fool ya, it’s all good…the wine and the quilt are not really in close proximity to one another.  Especially that red.  😉

FB_IMG_13815427076871322Over the course of quilting each of these scissors end up on the floor, usually falling when I’m paying attention to the quilting and not what’s under the machine.  The quilt sometimes snuggles under the tray shoving the scissors onto the floor fighting for more room and winning.

Those are just 3 of the many pair (including Paula Reids Batt Snips) that I have around…and yes dear quilters you do see my very favorite BERNINA seam ripper.  I love my BERNINA seam ripper….it’s so fine and get’s into the tiny stitches when I need it.  What isn’t pictured is the needle threader and needle to bury threads.

Oh and you can see the light that is in the bobbin area of the 780.  Yep, that’s one feature I love!!!