Have you ever had that moment when you’re reading something, but misread it? Scrolling through facebook this morning I misread an ad that said, “Create Your Gifts” as “Celebrate Your Gifts”.
Creating your gifts, the things you give to others in celebration of the person whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or Kermit the Frog day is a good thing, an investment of time, the hard work you’ve put into learning how to make the thing, and the tools (thread, fabric, stabilizer, batting) you have. Creating gifts celebrates the others in our lives.
When I read Celebrate Your Gifts I thought that is the coolest advertisement EVER! After all having a gift is one thing, using it, exploring it, growing the gift, is quite another. Often we have more than one gift and they’re related. Intertwined is more like it. In using one, often something we’re thinking about for another gets thought through, resolved, or we have some kind of insight that grows these gifts together.
I quilt. (I’ll bet you’re shocked by that statement, not. at. all.) I teach, love this so much. I make stuff. I’ve tested, and written patterns, though this isn’t my favorite thing. The thing is, if someone said this to me I’d say you’re inexperienced. And this is true. The more you do a thing, the better you get at it.
Today I’m going to celebrate the gift of quilting in my life by: finishing a quilt I started last week, and starting to write a pattern.
Lately 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.
Now that Quilt Market is over I can come back to the Quilted Block of the month. Our last block is this amazing kaleidoscope block, which I finished a while ago.
The next part of this block will be drawing it on a solid piece of fabric, then adding quilting. I’ll be talking about batting, thread choices, and motifs. The kaleidoscope is a favorite block as it creates a lot of visual movement with straight line piecing.
The lines in the whole cloth will do the same thing. I have some ideas for quilting that are starting to bubble up to the surface that will give this some dimension and a bit of fun. Oh and another thought…oooh stay tuned!
On the last day of the Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show I popped out for a bit to go to Montgomery Place Orchards Farm Stand in Red Hook NY. The Pink Pearl apples on my list were sold out the week before, necessitating an apple change. Each apple was chosen in relation to making apple pie, I made two, one included bacon. Oh! My! Goodness! that was so good, and it’s on the “must make this again” list.
Last night I used the last of the apples to make applesauce. It was so very good. There’s enough left to snack on over the next couple of days. Fond memories of late summers in Ephrata, PA, standing around my friends kitchen table rough chopping apples to make, and freeze applesauce for the winter months. It was a lot of work, and the reward of going to the pool later in the day was totally worth it. Being something of a city kid this was eyeopening because applesauce comes from a jar, right?!
The apples, an heirloom variety from Montgomery Place (please don’t ask the specific type because I don’t remember) are particularly fragrant, and held up well over the last several weeks. Instead of dumping the water they cooked in, I put it in another pot to let it simmer down for a while. This simmering down takes time, and patience, something that embracing the process of baking way back when, taught me. The liquid simmered, and simmered until this lovely thick, tartly sweet syrup was all that was left. This syrup tasted so good on the pancakes this morning. What a delightful and satisfying experience when something works in the hoped for way.
This morning Seth Godin shared these words on his blog, “Are there places you feel like you’re falling behind where there’s actually no race?”
And of course, this brings us to quilting, and how we perceive our work in general. For the first time ever I had the opportunity to attend the awards ceremony at International Quilt Festival in Houston, it’s simple, straight forward, and beautiful. Seeing the quilts revealed around the room, one by one, highlighting each quilter(s) work is impressive. Someday I will be among those quilters. It’s one of MY personal goals. There was a sense of belonging, and knowing I can get there.
Here’s the thing. This isn’t a race for any of us. It’s a choice. WE also have the choice of honoring one another’s work, therefore honoring our own. We have the choice of recognizing the level of work that each quilter puts into making quilts from the beginner, advanced, and artist. We’re each different, we each bring something cool to the party. And for most of us, this is not a competitive thing. Because it’s not competitive let’s remember that this is not a race, comparing our work to others is useless. I know we’re going to do it anyway, it’s what we do. Let’s keep our own goals in mind, particularly as we read blogs, check out pinterest, see photos flooding our fb or twitter feed. By keeping our own goals in mind we have a better shot at not comparing our work to others, or better yet being inspired and not diminished by what we see out there.
One of my very first quilts lives on my bed, it’s got some serious problems. I still love every. single. stitch. lovingly put into that quilt. I love the awful tension. I love what that quilt taught me, and that it started me on the journey to where I am as a teacher and machine quilter. It wasn’t long after that quilt that I learned to understand tension.
The beautiful thing about quilting is that there’s room for all of us to become who we are as quilter makers. And if your path leads to being a fabric designer, pattern designer, teacher, competitive quilter, or a quilter who makes quilts for every member of the family, friends, and strangers who are in need then you are right where you fit, where you belong, and where you need to be.
Sew Much Cosplay has a new product coming soon that I love! Pixel Party a fusible, wash away stabilizer with a grid printed specifically for 2 1/2” charm squares. I made two quilts for the booth for Market and Festival. Check with your local Floriani dealer in about a month for Pixel Party Quilt.
I didn’t have a chance to wash or rinse this out before quilting, the stabilizer didn’t affect the quilting at all.
For the quilt with the fashion fabric I also used Dream Weave Fusible to stabilize the fabric and keep it from fraying when cutting, this worked great.
What I do recommend is stitching in the ditch when quilting. This stabilizes the quilt, and helps it lay flatter. The quilting is a simple butternut or pumpkin seed motif that can be stitched out freehand or using a ruler, your choice.
It’s a rainy Monday here in New York. I shadowed at a Floriani event hosted by Sew Right in Queens on Saturday and Sunday. This was my second shadowing event, the first hands-on, so much to learn, and a different style of teaching for sure. These events are project and process oriented. Project oriented in that we make six projects over two days, and process oriented in that the projects show the attendees the features of the machines we’re teaching on. Thankfully there were lots of problem-solving opportunities, and Judy – the Floriani Educator I shadowed – helped me, and the students through each step. While I’d done my best to prepare reviewing PowerPoint presentations there is something in the doing that makes the concepts very real.
The last project is a banner embroidered on burlap. Yes, you can embroider on burlap. This is cool. As soon as I do this on my own machine I’ll take pics and post them here.
Today begins Market follow up, I have a pdf to make for some of the shop owners who attended one of the two lectures I gave at Quilt Market. And as things happen the power cord on my laptop decided it didn’t want to work anymore. I say this as though the cord is a person and made a decision because it didn’t like me anymore. This will probably be making a trip back to Dell anyway so, while this is slightly annoying it’s manageable.
Debby and I arrived at our hotel within moments of each other. This after she arrived at my house just before 4 AM, whereupon my Sweetie took us to the airport dropping us off at our respective airlines. Arriving at the same time was a bonus.
We did manage to find lunch, and cupcakes.
Up until Friday I’d only spoken with Kay Brooks (the K of RNK) on the telephone. While Alex set up for her Schoolhouse presentation I helped with handing out samples of batting, and stabilizer, and a couple of pieces of paper. As other attendees asked about the booth number, someone you may know offered this information. That might be me. Once the Schoolhouse was over I helped pack things up, and introduced myself to Kay, sticking my hand out saying, “Hi! I know I seem a little like an overly eager helper, but I’m Teri Lucas, your new employee.” Yeah. I did that. Apparently she loved it.
I gave a quilt away.
A little back story. I knew way back when I made Shine Your Light that it wasn’t mine. There was one person that I thought it would go to, and brought it with me with the full intention of giving it to her. I started chatting with Alex Anderson in the media room when I realized it’s hers.
I’ll be strolling the Quilt Market floor this morning with Melissa. Then I’ll be here in Houston through Friday morning of Festival in the Pinwheels booth. Come by, get a hug and some Oakshott Cotton and Daiwabo.