A needed detour

received_10214861315154854_resizedLately upon entering the sewing room there is a strong sense of being overwhelmed with ideas. Lots of ideas tumbling over, and over each seeking the deserved attention. While writing that sentence an idea to make a whole cloth using 60 weight thread in the top and bobbin popped into my head. I think I’m going to make a three-fer out of that one to feature the Floriani 60 weight thread, Quilters Select Wool batting, and for the Quilted Block of the Month for the blog. If I get really ambitious I might make more than one to share with a at least one other Educator.

The day started looking for a USB stick to transfer embroidery designs to the machine. While looking I found sample packs of fabric lines by Leslie Jenison – Urban Artifacts, and Alex Anderson – Mirage. So using them in the same quilt seems the only thing to do. Now a disclaimer, I’m not in love with using precuts, I know there are a lot of people who love them very much, and I see their value in the quilting world. And I would not ever tell anyone not to use them. They’re simply not my fave. So using them is a bit of a challenge for me.

After pairing them up, stitching and pressing I looked at the fabric stash, finding a line of striped batiks that I adore. I cut 9 1/2” strips, and 5” squares. Piecing for a good bit of the day yesterday was cathartic. That also meant that I didn’t do the Quilted Block of the Month, for good reason…I had no idea what fabric I wanted to stitch it out on. Gah! Quilters Block! Calgon take me away!

This morning I decided that the SewBatik Oatmeal is the way to go. It’ll show the color of the thread well, and marking it will be fairly easy.  Sometimes sitting on a project for an extra day or two is completely worth it, for me, and for the Quilted Block of the Month Project in part to show you that I struggle with determining designs, and colors. What has come to seem intuitive is actually a lot of thought.

After a bit more looking I did find the USB stick that I needed, and have transferred a few Pickle Pie Designs embroidery designs that I want to stitch out as samples. I’ll get going on each of these projects after a few home projects. I’ll post now and again to Instagram…so keep an eye there.

Did you hear about that time

I started singing this?

Singing isn’t in my skillset, and while I tend to sing with reckless abandon here at home, when I’m in public, lip syncing is great, and it makes it look like I know the words.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on two quilts that will hang in the RNK booth for Sew Much Cosplay. Sunday afternoon I walked out of the sewing room as a couple of quilt issues cropped up.

needleThe first was overcoming an intense desire to stitch my finger. Which, I indulged in. The needle didn’t fare nearly as well as my finger did. Go figure.

It wasn’t long after this happened that the realization of a need for some extended use of seam ripperThis one and I made great progress taking most of the quilting out, so that I could fix the bigger issues with the quilt. I started watching The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, extended version finding up the un-quilting by the end of the first movie. There was less than 40 minutes of The Two Towers left by the time I finished quilting.

Whilst tidying up threads somehow the tip of the scissors and my left hand met up, drawing blood. Can’t quite figure out why I’m intent on damaging the hand, right before going to Houston.

binding 1Each quilt got squared up, then the binding attached.

binding 2Sometimes I play favorites with my quilts – this one might be it.

So about that song at the beginning, I had a wee bit of an epiphany while quilting today. It’s something I speak with my students about all the time.

Be the best You, that You can be.

Happy Quilting,

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.

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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

 

Cotton Cuts Charity Mystery Hop

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There is nothing like multiple deadlines all rolling into one really busy six weeks that says let’s get everything done all on the same day. Yesterday I mentioned I’d been sick, and sleeping was about all I could manage for the entire weekend. So, I slept.

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You may remember a while back I wrote “caution opening box may lead to…”  I had the opportunity to meet up with Kim at spring market. T’was a delightful conversation filled with a few ideas. Including something like this blog hop/Mystery Quilt. Kim is something of a go-getter, took the fabric by the selvage, and started plotting  how this could work for Cotton Cuts – and here we are. I get the privilege of being Clue 3! Woot!

The clue arrived on time, as did a few other things in the works. Like a new job, things to learn, quilts to make for Market, my twenty fifth anniversary and getting ready for a quilt show where I have a boatload of work to prep. I took the aforementioned clue out of the packaging with pencils that have great quilterly sayings. What I didn’t plan on was getting sick right when the clue is due. Whoever expects the Spanish Inquisition._TeamZinnia (2)

With a few projects being worked on at the same time, the pieces were buried under a layer and a half of 2 1/2” squares for one quilt, and fabric ready to be cut into 2 1/2” squares for another project. After finding and sorting them, assigning the appropriate numbers for the fabric, the stitching began in earnest

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Oh, did I mention the epiphany I had while starting this project? No, hang onto your seam rippers, I’ll get there soon.

The first part of the clue has 2 segments, after sorting that precut pieces out I started stitching. Cool tidbit: no bunny ears on the triangles.

I’m using Superior MicroQuilter, a 100 wt (very fine) polyester thread for microquilting and applique, and I love it for piecing using a size 70/10 microtex needle, and shortened the stitch length to 2.25 mm.

Using a polyester thread also means I’m going to reduce the heat of the iron for setting the seam and pressing. This reduced heat means I’m not going to burn my fingers. I’m not particularly worried about the thread because I’ve been ironing cotton clothes made with polyester thread for years with no problems at all. What I do love about the 60, 80, and 100 wt threads, is the no bulk in the seam allowance.  cotton cuts 2

After piecing pressing with the finger pressing end of any multi-tool I have. Pictured here is the stiletto from byannie.com one of my faves! cotton-cuts-4-e1507162815600.jpg

I’ll be interested to see how the quilt comes together at the end of all of the clues.cotton cuts 3Because the color way is delightful.
So this Mystery Quilt has a purpose, it will be raffled off once it’s pieced and quilted, to benefit Valley Industries, the company that fulfills Cotton Cuts Boxes, this holds a special place in my heart for oh so many reasons. The raffle will remain open through the entire blogging event, tickets are $5.

Don’t forget to visit Cotton Cuts and read about their Mission.

July – Sheila Christensen (www.mysteryquilter.com) with guest blogger Kim Moos
August – Yvonne Fuchs (www.quiltingjetgirl.com)
September – Teri Lucas (www.terificreations.com)
October – Wendy Welsh (www.wendysquiltsandmore.blogspot.com)
November – Nicole Young (www.lillyella.com)
December – Chris Dodsley (www.madebychrissied.blogspot.com)
January – Amy Smart (www.diaryofaquilter.com)
February – Sam Hunter (www.huntersdesignstudio.com)
March – Cheryl Sleboda (www.muppin.com)

Kaleidoscope – Dreams do come true

Kaleidoscope – Dreams do come true

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this looks like a hot mess, and in a way it is. what you can’t see is the ever growing pile o’holyscraps over there ———->
I’ve wanted to make a kaleidoscope quilt for a long time. Even designing one in a program but not quite getting what I needed out of it. So Sizzix comes to the rescue. After pressing some* of these batiks I started cutting.

*some were from a 5” charm square pack I had from teaching some time back.

I wasn’t quite sure where this where this was going color placement wise, and quite frankly I’m still not. I know  you’re not surprised by this either.

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I made the choice for this one fabric to the be the background, realizing that I didn’t have enough I found this glorious orange. I ripped several pieces off the yardage, pressed, and figured out how to cut each strip to get the pieces I wanted.

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I’m using Superior’s MicroQuilter 100 wt polyester for the piecing. No distortion here.
Tip number two for the day, I put my iron on the lower middle setting for the cotton. Wow! what a difference this is making as I can press for longer periods of time and not burn my fingers. The bigger difference, the fabric isn’t warping. Good golly I’ve been quilting for over twenty-four years you’d think I would have learned this by now, right? Not so. Sheesh.

Now I have another idea for this same die.

I need to set this aside for a few days while I work on some other stuff. Stay tuned.

Saturday I’ll have another installment of the Quilted Block of the Month.

center square
Center square

Stay

Where have you been all my life?

I have fallen in love.

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The Sizzix Big Shot Pro arrived on my doorstep a few weeks ago. After taking it out of the box, and opening the box with the dies, changing locations twice, it sat there humming a little tune looking for my attention. Well, it’s mechanical, it doesn’t really hum. You’re a quilter you know what I mean. We get a new tool to make our quilting life easier, get it home, and have zero minutes to piece.

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There’s a project for the magazine I’m doing that requires hexagons, big ones. I am quite adept at cutting these on my own. I can read a ruler, find the correct angle. Cutting twenty four hexagons? Queue procrastination. I am aware that the sooner this gets done, the sooner it goes where it needs to, then things happen in the correct order, and I can turn in copy to Melissa & Jake on time. It’s really weird, they like that kind of thing.

I digress.

After taking the plastic off the die, setting aside the paper wrapper that Sizzix carefully designed to show said hexagon off in fine fashion. After pressing the Hoffman Indah Solids, doing a wee bit of preparatory rotary cutting to the size needed for the die, layered things up, I took a deep breath and turned the handle. And voila! hexagons in a matter of seconds.

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Can I just tell you what would normally have taken a couple of hours, took under thirty from pressing to finished hexagons. Oh my word, die cutters where have you been all my quilting life? This is one happy quilter.

Once the hexagons were done, a bit more prep work so that when all this gets to Melissa it’s ready to go.

With a bit more time before making dinner I pressed a few SewBatik bits in preparation for some piecing.

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I’ll share progress on that later, when I get to do some piecing. In the meantime…there are articles to write, fabric and quilts to ship, and a day job to find.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

 

This might be fun!

IMG_20170529_144837_780A few weeks ago I offered to make a quilt for Maria from Pinwheels, you see she has some new Oakshott cottons of the striped variety. Before I get there Pinwheels is now open in Hurleyville, NY. Check out this facebook video. Congratulations Maria I will get there soon and oh I have an idea!

The stripe makes me quite giddy. The tone-on-tone stripes and the texture of the Oakshott have the potential for adding so much to a quilt top, and in a way that will prove so much fun.

20170529_160044-1I started stitching Monday afternoon using a layering and free-form cutting technique that I used to make the quilt for the Cherrywood Challenge. Cutting, stitching, layering, cutting, stitching, rinse repeat. Just the beginning stitching is producing some lovely results. Layering the fabrics and cutting the curve to produce this drunkards path block…not bad at’all.
I’m using Superior’s MicroQuilter for the piecing of this project and am rather chuffed with the results. But wait! There’s more. I currently have 7 other blocks stitched together, and a few more pieces of the stripe, there will be more cutting, stitching in a curvilinear kind of way.  I can hardly wait to see how this works. It’s so lovely finding joy in quilting once again, enjoying the boundless opportunities to explore piecing, shape, and adding quilting later.

When I started writing this post, the idea for the quilt came into full-view, getting me all giddy and excited. A smile on my face, hands going a mile a minute, bringing the quilt into focus. This is the stuff of the quilting world that I love.

Happy Quilting!

Teri