Quiltfest of NJ, Social Media and Character

First up Social Media:

Find me on Facebook here, here, and here.

Find me on Instagram here, and here.

Find me on Twitter @terilucas

Then there’s this:
I’m heading off to the QuiltFest of NJ today. I hope to see you there. I am at the end of a cold so I’ll understand if you don’t want to hug me and I won’t be on the huggy side today. While I know I’m on the upswing and not contagious…

And a day in the sewing room wouldn’t be complete without using my seam ripper. The blocks on the left are correct. The blocks on the right, not so much. I need to use my very favorite seam ripper and take the off.


Oh boy.

Happy Quilting,


By the way, there’s nothing like perspective to help you see that the quilt looks way better than you see it up close and personal. Take pictures, they’re worth quilterly sanity.

Perhaps, to think, to quilt

twilight finished 1Yesterday I watched Mad Men marathon style. This is a fascinating fictional show telling the story of a Madison Avenue advertising firm, it’s growth and changes over the years as they compete for ads and work towards becoming a powerhouse in the market. Historically accurate or not it is a well told story with characters that grow and change over the years. The writers tackle some serious issues of the time rather well.
Every time I heard the following quote I stopped whatever I was doing and listened:

Nostalgia – it’s delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek, “nostalgia” literally means “the pain from an old wound.” It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards… it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel, it’s called the carousel. It let’s us travel the way a child travels – around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved.

Don Draper

Nostalgia…is a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. Quilts…are a twinge in our hearts far more powerful than fabric and memory alone.

The memory of our quilts is just as important as the quilts themselves. I don’t have the first quilts or the first patchwork place mats I ever made. I often wonder the fate of that first quilt, it certainly has a powerful presence in my mind. I remember where I purchased some of the fabric, where I purchased the hoop, the batting, I remember over heating a polyester batiste compromising the fiber to the point where it was easy enough for the batting to migrate through, using needles to death. Images flash in my minds eye with each memory. I can see that quilt. I can feel that joy of finishing and giving the gift. There are things I could be embarrassed about however it was my first quilt, and I was learning. That quilt was the beginning of a life time journey in quilt making.

Each quilt tells a story, evokes a memory and memory is attached at the hip to emotional responses. Quilters wear their hearts on the quilts. It’s like we write up all that is in our heart, the beauty and grace, the pain and fear, the acceptance and non-acceptance, all of it end up on our quilts. Other quilters respond to something in the quilt. Often it’s the beauty of the quilt that captures their attention, then the quilter will go deeper. I love watching quilters respond to quilts hanging at a quilt show, breezing by some, stopping in their tracks to see another, to engage with it and, therefore, the quilt maker.

Storytelling is very much part of our humanity and our culture. There are stories that we love to hear over and over again; stories that bring us great joy, stories that recount painful life experiences, stories of healing and hope, stories of growth. The story is an essential component to who we are. Quilting is nothing if not relational: who we are to ourselves; who we are to our neighbors and friends; who we are to our community. Quilting is still a place to gather and share our experience, spend time with one another, teach and learn and share a common experience. Writing down the stories of our quilts becomes so much more important as we recognize how they tell us more about who we are. The story of the quilt might be as simple as name, address, dates of start and completion; the story might include the fabrics and batting used; or if like Twilight in the Bronx pictured above there is a tale to that quilt that I love to share – in part because the look of wonder on the faces of the hearers is rather delightful, when I share that Twilight was quilted twice, once primarily in black thread with most of that stitching picked out and then again with the colors now all over the surface. It is a quilt that still speaks to my heart and vies for the award of “Teri’s favorite” on a daily basis. Please don’t tell the other quilts.

Storytelling is akin to quilting in that the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. The story doesn’t ever need to be a “bestseller”, it just needs to be told. I’d like to sit here from my laptop and tell you to go tell the stories of your quilts by writing them down, recording vids yada, yada. What I say matters precious little in the long run, but your story matters, who you are as a quilt maker matters and that is worth preserving.

Happy Quilting!


Quilt Odyssey

Debby HandiQuilter Teri BERNINA
Debby Brown Handi Quilter Educator   – Teri Lucas BERNINA Ambassador

Going to quilt shows is just as much fun as ever when I can see this gal, Debby Brown.

The Quilt Basket Booth was located right under an air handling duct – blowing cool, COLD air down. Which I loved, however standing under it for hour upon hour Debby was COLD, hence the wearing of her Handi Quilter Sweater. I donned my BERNINA shirt this morning so here we are Fierce Competitors by day and good friends by night. Oh, bah, we’re good friends anyway. American Made Solids

The Quilt Basket is in the process of making the move from their current location in Wappingers Falls to Pawling – opening mid-August. They carry the entire line of the American Made Solids I came home with gray, black, lime and purple. Please don’t ask me the exact colors because, I really don’t know. I just had to have them. These are $6 per yard and have a lovely hand. I’m looking forward to doing some quilting with them in the very near future.

I very nearly purchased a thimble from TJ Lane. I was so close. Please, dear friends, don’t drop your teeth. I loved the look and feel of these thimbles when I was a hand quilter and wanted one then. They were on my “I MUST GET THIS TO QUILT LIST” way back when. These things are GORGEOUS! Amazing and beautiful and functional and did I mention Gorgeous? Who wouldn’t want to own something so very beautiful?

Traveling to a variety of shows you get to see some of the same vendors and begin to get to know them. I love Linda Pillion-Lease’s jewelry. I bought a button necklace from her that I still treasure. Today chatting with her was really different and I hope to interview her on my blog very, very soon. I listened to her tell the story of her art pieces, incorporating fabric and her jewelry. I was/am so moved that I hugged her before I left the booth. I can be a bit of a hugger if I know  you well, if not eh not so much hugging gets into personal space and well that whole introvert thing just gets me almost every time. When I hug I hug with my whole heart. The beauty I saw in her pieces and the story she told . . . . it’s a gift. . . .a personal beautiful journey. Oh damn words are going to fail me now.

I did spend some time in the quilts however did not get photos. Not for lack of trying. When I went in there were so many quilters vying for pictures of the quilts that moved me I just quit trying. I’m okay with that. Really. One thing I did walk away with a clear sense of. . . hand work is NOT a dying art. It never will be. There are so many quilters who love that part of the quilting world that it is here to stay. While hand quilters feel fewer and far between they are not. There were plenty of ribbon winners at Quilt Odyssey. While part of me rails at having separate categories for hand and machine quilting I get it – they are different and should be judged in a show accordingly. That said, they are both beautiful ways to quilt. And while I “gave up hand quilting for Lent” I can still pick up a thimble, needle, thread and get stitching.

Happy Quilting!


10 things I love about quilting

IMG_20140713_205900the people

they are way cool

and this person Gayle Schliemann always makes me smile

She has a cool bit on We All Sew this week

radiance and aurifil


I just love Radiance. I love the blend of cotton and silk working together to bring best of each to the quilting party.


Notions – notions make everything better

sewing machines – yes my B 780 and BERNINA 1080’s rock it!

patterns – they are the stuff of life – whether it’s a tutorial, commercial pattern or whatever resides in your head

the variety – this just makes me happy seeing all of the variety out there

GenerationQ Logo



magazines for any and every quilter – there’s something that fits ever quilter

and yes this is a shameless plug for the one I work on but I love it

I’ve found home

quilt guilds – these are places of people, and I love quilterly people and all they bring to the quilt party


quilt shops – what would we do without them, they are sources of information, community, fabric, patterns and quilt shop employees who are willing to share their knowledge

quilt shows – sources of inspiration and great variety. And there are vendors and classes and batting and . . .


Here’s my top 10 for today!


Happy Quilting,



Friday Musings!

rainy days and mondays 003It’s Friday and I’m off to work.

I’m hoping to have some time to piece a small quilt while I’m there – a shop sample.

And maybe bind a hexagonal quilt that’s been sitting there quilted for weeks.

I do love taking care of our customers.

I’ll have some teaching dates to announce shortly. I’m really excited about one of them – it’s a long time dream of mine to teach at this particular show and YAY!!!

I do have to say I am loving my work with Generation Q Magazine. Most of it is and will stay behind the scenes and I kinda like that. Oh that reminds me I have emails to send out to get a party started!

Happy Quilting!


A gift, a challenge and me

photo by Alison Faubert/Dominican Sisters of Hope

A Gift

My friend V, who occasionally comments on the blog here is a friend in person.We’ve spent time together, she’s helped me in the quilting class she attended and invited me to a retreat at Mariandale in Ossining, NY.  V came into the shop a while back and shared with me one of the most beautiful things ever.  At the request of the husband of quilter Nancy Murphy who passed away in 2001 from inflammatory breast cancer, this group of quilters led by Sr. Donna Brunell has been working toward finishing many of Nancy’s quilts in preparation for a show of Nancy’s quilts and sale Saturday & Sunday June 8 & 9 and Wednesday June 12.  You can read more about the story here.
If you get a chance this would be a wonderful show to go see.


A Challenge

You may, or may not, remember the Architectural Challenge posed by BJ Tatum and I, way back in August.  The goal was to have the quilts entered in Houston this year.  BJ finished hers and has sent the entry off to Houston. I on the other hand have a dream and a creative slump.  BJ has, very generously come up with some new guidelines and dates that are more manageable (for this quilter at least)

Hi everyone.  I know some of you have been making or want to make an architecturally inspired quilt for this challenge.  When Teri Lucas and I first issued the challenge, we had in mind that we would all have them done by now, but I know there are several quilters who have been working on one and haven’t finished.    And I also know that some of the earlier guidelines we suggested didn’t quite fit everyone’s ideas (Such an artistic bunch out there).  So Teri and I have decided to loosen things up.

Here are the new guidelines: 

1.  Make a quilt inspired by architectural elements: buildings, floors, ceilings, or even furniture.

2.  Any size, any shape.

3.  Complete by March 1, 2014 and send us the best picture you can of your quilt along with size information, and an artist’s statement about what inspired you, and a statement about how it was made and what  materials, threads, and embellishments you used.

4.  If you complete it before then and enter it into a show, we’d like to know that too, and any other information that you want to tell us.

We are hoping to pull all of this together in an article complete with photos.

And finally me. I have made a huge dent in tidying up my sewing room.  Letting go of stuff wasn’t as gut wrenching as I thought.  In fact it’s opened up a lot of space in my sewing room so that I can rearrange tables and drawers to maximize space.  I think part of this is a result of long term conversations with a friend refocusing what’s important, what’s not.  This is one of those “need to be reminded” rather than “educated”.  I can not tell you how grateful I am for this friend.  Well I could.  Except I’d gush.  I mean seriously gush.  She’d blush and it wouldn’t be pretty because she’s a humble character.

wednesday afternoon flora 008The Mountain Laurels are blooming!

Happy Quilting!


kal gazania bright yellowPS I haven’t forgotten my announcement. I just have to wait a little longer.


MQX Quilt Festival New England

This week was full and busy. Yiyiyi it was busy and so much fun.

designed and quilted by Betty Jo Tatum
“Perspective in Threads”designed and quilted by Betty Jo Tatum

Saturday I took a class with Jackie Kunkel of Canton Village Quilt Works is a certified Judy Niemeyer pattern teacher.  I, of course, had to be the worst student ever.  Well, not quite, ok not even.  I’ve paper pieced before but I wanted to learn a different method.  In the craziness of getting all my stuff together I left the pattern at home.  I had most of the supplies with me.  Jackie very kindly brought another pattern with her and by the end of the day I was fairly well caught up.  By Saturday a wonderful tiredness set in and I had a couple of blond moments in the process – one cutting mistake and one stitching mistake.  At that point I packed my stuff up, turned the machine off and chatted with a few people.  Jackie is a very, very good teacher.  She’s patient, clear and prepared.  If you have the opportunity to take a class with her, even if you don’t see yourself paper piecing long term I’d heartily encourage you to do so.  As an aside Judy’s patterns are well done.  As a teacher and as a student I’m more convinced the better we’re prepared the better our experience.  I know that’s not always easy with our full-to-the-brim lives.

Friday I taught Beginner Free Motion Machine Quilting (on a Janome’s provided by Bittersweet Fabric Shop in Boscawen, NH.)  I am always grateful for machines provided by the shops and companies!  Dave Lavalley and the Janome Educators provided great machines for the students and were there for them every step of the way.  THANK YOU!  Class went well, my students relaxed.  I love to see my students relax into the process of machine quilting.  Since we were in New England and most of my students are fans of the Red Sox I did take the opportunity to thank them for Kevin Youkilis.

Thursday afternoon I worked in the BERNINA booth for about 2 hours or so.  The gals from Sanford Sewing were warm and welcoming and we’re going to plan a machine quilting class in the fall.  Yay!  (There’s one other shop in another part of ME that I’m going to work with as well).  As soon as we have dates and times I’ll let you know.

mqx west 2311
Storm at Sea by Rose Orr – awarded my teacher ribbon

Wednesday was quilt show hanging day.  Kudos to Janet-Lee, Mary and their entire staff for getting this all organized.    Oh my!!  With whatever I was doing Wednesday night I missed the awards ceremony.  Congratulations to all of the winners, the quilts are absolutely amazing!  Quilters are really upping the quilting artistry and skill level on all types of machines and winning is going to get more challenging.

With only one class to teach I spent a lot of time volunteering around the show and helping out where ever help was needed.  I had intentions of doing some stitching and my prep work for Jackie Kunkel’s class.

Wednesday night I sat and stitched on the new Gammill Charm – the 20″ sit down long arm and I’m smitten.  Oh am I smitten.  The foot pedal is responsive the stitch quality is outstanding and the throat space.  Oh I like the throat space.  Like with anything else this is worth giving a try.

I didn’t get the opportunity to purchase much of anything – well I did get 3 yards of Radiance.  Oh that fabric is sweet!

After searching and searching I finally realized which quilt I wanted to give my Teacher Ribbon to, this Storm at Sea by Rose Orr of Colchester VT.  Most teachers will tell you we have criteria for awarding our ribbons.  I like to award the ribbon to someone who has machine quilted on their home sewing machine, although I really look for something that makes my heart sing.  Rose Orr’s Storm at Sea really caught my attention.  I’ve been fascinated with MC Escher for a long time, this quilt has Escher qualities and it caught my attention and in capturing my attention and chatting with Jeffrey Lomicka I decided this is it, this is the quilt.  Thanks Rose for entering this quilt and sharing your skills with quilting world.

Happy Quilting!


I have a few more photos that I’ll share later.