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.

color fix 3

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

Mystery Quilter logo

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.

Cottoncuts_color_white bg_small

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

cotton cuts 1

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)

Quilted Block of the Month – Brain Overload it’s a Think

kal 2 use this oneGood Saturday morning friends. This is a morning of several tales of how we, as creatives, can over think things, make some mistakes, and that we can recover.

So, this morning as I sipped coffee, and realized it’s Saturday. Saturday, you know the day I’m committed to posting the Quilted Block of the Month. I got nuthin’! Nuthin’ dang it. The quilt is sitting in front of the Sizzix taunting me. How you might ask? Well, thank you for asking the question because this deserves something of a discussion.
But first allow me to pause and share this blog that got me thinking about what to write this morning, that I do have something to share. In the first few paragraphs the author, Sarah, writes about dropping things, and how this triggers memories from days long gone, and not in a straight line order. One memory is older, one is newer, all associating with the dropping and catching, or tossing from one hand to the next of some object.

These  words evoked a ton of images in my brain. Seemingly scattered, yet all meaningful in a delightfully weird, connected way.

You see this week has been fraught with some frustration, some serious work, and some honest-to-goodness solutions. If I were braver in this moment I’d show you the creative mess I’m working in (don’t judge, it actually works for me). I’d love to be in a tidier space, however it won’t happen until we decide to repaint this room in the autumn orange I’ve been jonesing for, forever. Then everything will come out of the room. Now this has me thinking about replacing the flooring to something other than carpet because the chair I have sinks into the carpet making hard to move, even with the huge chair mat underneath it.

I’m working on a quilt that needs to be ready for Quilt Market. In and of itself this is not a problem, I can, and do make quilts. However there are some specifics about this quilt that need to be in place. I was having some trouble, and realized I was using the wrong product.

dance bang head 1975First of all, I felt like a bit of an idiot at first. Then I realized, I’d made a mistake, it’s fixable, and I can move on. Done.

I’m also working on PowerPoint presentations for Quilt Market. I realized a long time ago that I do a lot of thinking before working something out. When I was in high school I’d do term papers and other things right before they were due. Sometimes the night before. I’d partly get myself all worked up about the due date, and what I had to do, then just sit down and get it done. What happens is, all of the thinking that happens when I’m all disconcerted end up being wildly productive. With the two I need to work on one is nearly complete and the other is still wandering about my head a little bit, however will be done in short order.

Now, back to the quilt. The possibilities for quilting are endless. That said there are a couple of ideas niggling at the back of my brain. I’ve wanted to highlight the circular movement that happens as a direct result of the angles in the quilt. While looking at the photo this morning I have a clearer idea of how I want that to happen. And it’s not how the original idea or thought.

So while thinking about what to write this morning 5 different options presented themselves, that I like. As of this moment I’m not quite sure which of these will win the incredibly vehement discussion in my head. Once that happens the discussion for thread will begin. And that, as you know, is a rather complicated, and involved discussion. Stay tuned. This should get really interesting.

While I’m often confident when I get started stitching there is still a struggle inside my brain for what will happen over the surface of a quilt. You’d think after all this dang time it’d be really easy. Nope. One thing leads to another, and another, and another. Resolutions come in the midst of come really weird, self-berating things that whizz around at light speed in my thoughts, and dream.

Now that these words are finished typing I can get to the sewing machine and finish one of 8 projects, all vying for attention. At the same time.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

Quilted Block of the Month August 2017

Bonus Edition

img_0230.jpg

This is one of the blocks I quilted when I was trying to write a book on free motion machine quilting.

Step 1: Cut two 10” squares of cotton fabric, layer with batting.

Step 2: Quilt. This sounds wildly simplistic and rather annoying. I get it. But, it’s what I did, and do.

Please allow me to back up a bit. A long time ago, in another galaxy, I was inspired by the Color Fixes on Linda M Poole’s blog. My finger would start making the general shape of the image while gazing upon the loveliness. Often these images swirled around in my brain for days, the color whirling and swirling to and fro like the ocean waves, or the concentric circles resulting from a stone thrown in a pond.

When sitting down to stitch something like this I’d grab those square, add batting – whatever I have on hand – and get started stitching. They never look like the images on Linda’s site. Nope. These are always in the form of whatever my brain is thinking in that moment. I pick a thread that inspires me in that moment, pick a spot along the edge and start stitching across somewhere. Along the way the line will bend, and curve, sometimes ending on the right or left side rather than directly across. Then I’ll echo back about 1/8th of an inch away from the previous line. Back and forth, back and forth until I like how it looks.

There is no worrying about perfection on these pieces. There is simply doing.

img_0226.jpg

Later on adding words started happening. Because quilting is a lot like hand writing.

So when you have a moment make a 10” quilt sandwich, grab your favorite spool of thread, put in a fresh needles that goes with your favorite thread, and get started stitching. “Don’t worry if its not good enough for anyone else to hear, just sing, sing a song.” Or in this case, quilt, quilt a quilt.

August Quilted Block of the Month
Quilted Block of the Month August Week 2
Quilted block of the Month August Week 3

Happy Quilting!

Teri

I couldn’t have taught Home Ec, and why it matters

I’m spending the day getting ready to go for training with RNK Distributing in Knoxville, TN. I’m excited. There’s a bit of paper work I need to fill out, I’m waiting for one bit of information that I should have later this afternoon. I need to print out what my schedule for the next several months will be – because exciting.

splat-with-binding

I’ve made a lot of crap over the years, and it’s all good. Seriously. This piece right here. Crap. Seriously. Aw-ful! Hang with me friends this whole thing is going to flip over!

I went looking for a specific picture or two of a quilt I made for my sweetie years ago as it has an example of really awful quilting. I take his quilt with me when I teach as it’s a good example of the work a beginner has to do in order to get to the quilting they want to do.

Every once in a while some form of this conversation happens:
National Amazing Author & Teacher (NAAT for short) who is learning how to quilt, “Here’s a photo of what I did. It’s really awful. I’ve been machine quilting for five whole months now and it should come out exactly the way I see it in my head every. single. time.”

Me, “Hey that looks really good. Consistent stitching and smooth curves.”

NAAT, “Most of the time my curves look like stick figures.”

Me, “Mine did too when I started learning quilting.”

NAAT, “I really should be better at this because blah, blah, blah.”

Me, “And what would you tell your students?”

NAAT, “You’re learning a new skill, be kind to yourself, be patient, and very forgiving.”

Me, “Huh. So how long have you been quilting and is being hard on yourself is working?”

NAAT, “Damn you Teri using my own words!”

Me, “Right?! Be kinder to yourself. Seriously this is good, keep going.”

Me, “PS you don’t want to hear the crap that runs through my head. I need to stop that.”

Be kind.

Like most of the kids of my generation I took home ec in Junior High, and High School. I loved it. Except for sewing clothing. Gah! There is part of me that wants to, but the learning I have to do to get to where I want to go. *See conversation above.*  Shhh don’t tell anyone I finally figure out the measurement for a good, appropriately supportive, upper foundational garment, that is comfortable.

cranberry almond muffinIn these classes we were learning how to cook, manage meal time, and so many other things. Baking, I’m all there I can go through that process and keep the kitchen in good order. Cooking however ick! When I concentrate really hard it’s okay. Will I ever make gourmet meals? Uh, no. Honestly I’m just not all that interested. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy eating good food, just all that prep work yick.

Now on the other hand. Prep work for making a quilt, I’m all in. Why? Because I’m really interested. I love quilting.

I knew in High School that I wanted to teach, thinking I’d be teaching Kindergarten or First Grade. Aren’t they so cute at that age? I’ve always loved little people. Over the years I’ve taught religious ed for first to fifth grades, and somewhere along the way I realized that while I love kids, I’m not a good teacher for them. How to explain that exactly? I’m not entirely sure, but I know this isn’t quite for me.

yvonne-porcella-quilt-e1472679184139.jpgAdults however, that’s a whole other ball game. The conversation with NAAT is one I have with a lot of adults. As kids we’re all caught up in the wonder of learning, and particularly when we’re younger, open to the idea of being Creative. Creativity is part of learning. It’s all one continuum. For adults we forget that Creativity, being creative is part of every day life. It’s one reason why we admire artists so much. They speak to our souls.

They light the path we want to take.

Often though, one thing we don’t see is a lot of the crap, and work that goes into making whatever it is that made your own heart go all twitterpated.

It’s why that conversation with NAAT is so essential.

It’s why I don’t teach home ec or early childhood years. There are people who find great joy in teaching these things. YAY! Thank YOU!!

It’s why I teach free motion machine quilting. This is where I find great joy.

Somewhere along the way quilting has become that thing, that creative outlet that feeds my soul, and in someway – when things are all working together – feeds yours as well.

Watching quilter, after quilter stop being so hard on themselves is such a beautiful thing.

I shared over on A Quilters Heart, that I’ve received some firm, “No’s” recently. They’ve been a bit challenging, however, they’ve also been very good. Why? Because I’m placing these “No’s” on the ground to use as stepping stones.

When things in our free motion quilting go all haywire, place them on the ground as stepping stones. Move forward. If you need a word of encouragement, you know where to find me.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

PS I still make a lot of crap. It just doesn’t always make it to my social media channels

Instagram
Pinterest
Twitter @terificreations
Facebook
Lucy’s Nickles a quilting experience

 

Quilted Block of the Month August week 2

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
The congratulatory messages on my new position with Floriani are simply awe inspiring.

Now onto our regularly scheduled program:center square

 

Oh I do remember giving  you this update sometime during the week in Instagram. Debby was stitching this motif on a postcard, and I was inspired by it. I’m not entirely certain that Debby posted this anywhere publicly so just know that I have permission to copy her homework at any time. Cool, eh? With this project you have permission to copy my homework. If you’re playing along please feel free to send me pictures and I’ll share them here on the blog.
Remember I tend to show all the stuff that I’m not happy with because I’m still learning how to machine quilt. 2017-08-11 19.29.52

Bernina 24 foot on ruler

 

 

The free-hand embroidery foot is aboutt 1/4” from needle center to the outer edge of the foot. I chose a spot roughly in the center of the square to start stitching a circle. Once the circle closed I very slowly started curving out until the edge of the foot was on the center circle. I kept stitching around, and around, and around, and around, and around and around. Once I reached the edge the ditch helped me keep the curves consistent. Using 80 weight thread in the bobbin means that there is little thready build up, and the fabric doesn’t distort.

IMG_20170804_163514

I’m going to show this one in a very quick vid.

This should give you an idea of how this motif is stitched out. This one looks like a wonky log cabin block, however it’s stitched from the outside in. On the quilt itself I simply winged it. In the video I used a ruler to make the lines. Going from the outside in is what helps create the visual twist.

in block stitching square 2
It’s interesting how thread looks on different color. 80 weight thread is the best!
in block stitching square 3
I like the different texture with the straight lines in the square and the ribbon candy in the border.
in block stitching square
This is the first square I stitched in. While I’ve done this before I wasn’t quite remembering the rhythm of the stitching. It came back after the first full round.

square ribbon candy

Stay tuned next week for the next installment of the Quilted Block of the Month.
Quilted Block of the Month August week one

Happy Quilting,

Teri

 

 

 

 

 

August Block of the Month An Original

August Block of the Month An Original

Technical difficulties sometimes present big problems. Other times they are opportunities for learning. Something went screwy a while back, causing something to happen to the version of Microsoft Office installed on my computer. I have an open source that I can use for documents, power point presentations, and graphics, it’s simply not as intuitive as Office. I could use the desktop but that requires a few back flips. I’m hoping by the time I get this posted I’ll at least have a line diagram that makes sense.

line draw d

Oh rejoice with me friends it worked!!! Hallelujah. You’ll notice later on that the line that is in the squares around the perimeter are not stitched. The motif that gets stitched in there is so fun. Want to see from the back?

Quilted Happiness Quilted Block of the Month #terilucasquilts #schmetzchrome #superiorthreads

A post shared by Teri Lucas (@terilucas) on

The outer box is 12 inches. I’m using the Quilters Select 12” x 6” ruler. I’m digging these as they grip the fabric so no shifting! I use the twelve inch side to draw the outer lines. The 6” side helps me to keep the ruler straight marking the next line. Why not use a 12” ruler? Well the ruler I currently own has a chip in one corner. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

drawing the outside square

drawing the block mark the center poings
Marking the center points on all four sides. I used a hash mark, a dot will suffice.

Measure in from each side 1 1/2 or 2 inches, this will create the inner square. See the diagram above.

drawing the outside square hold pen 45 angle
Tip: hold the marking pencil at an angle along the ruler. This will help keep your lines straight, and consistence.

Now to make the smaller squares: connect the dots. Place the ruler from hash mark to has mark on an angle. Draw a line from the dot, to the inside line.

drawing the inside triangle

Finally connect the inside lines. august quilted block of the month line pdf shows the start stop points.

finished block

For August we’re exploring how quilting looks on a highly patterned, very colored fabric. As a newer quilter I would often let the fabric do the work for me using simple motifs or stippling to accomplish the work of quilting, I daresay this is common among quilters, and it’s perfectly fine. Whatever gets the job done.

Batting
I’m using two layers of a cotton wool batting by Hobbs. I do love multiple layers of batting, this is something I started doing on competition quilts after Tilde won it’s ribbon. The first (back) later might be cotton, or bamboo to give stability to the quilt; the top layer is wool, or silk for great stitch definition. On the rare occasion that I make bed quilts one layer of wool or silk is perfect, as they breathe, and keep a body warm.

When Hobbs debuted this cotton/wool blend I thought I’d died and gone to heaven as it provides the stability I want with good stitch definition. Bonus!

Thread
The where and how will be over the next several weeks.
Superior Metallic – 40 wt. and shiny. Interestingly it’s quite subtle.
Superior MicroQuilter – 100 wt polyester this is a new must have in my thread collection for everything from stitch in the ditch, to the intense quilting I’m passionate about.

Backing
Is a striped batik from Robert Kaufman Fabrics. I’ll share that on Instagram later this week.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

Instagram: @terilucas
Twitter: @terificreations
Facebook
Lucy’s Nickles