2018 Word of the Year

As a word of the year Gratitude was a good one. I am grateful for the experience of 2017. Creativity is slowly returning. The Quilted Block of the Month Started (with big plans to continue in 2018). A few teaching opportunities. Learning about embroidery. Having a spouse who loves me deeply.

One of the considerations for 2017 was Focus, which had goals attached, a few still attainable:
like truly updating class names and descriptions –
focus on making art
tidy up the studio so it’s functional (in progress) stay tuned for photos

Over the last two weeks I’ve started looking at 2017 as it comes speeding like a race car to the end of the year. Here we are on December 14th.
Where on earth has this year gone?!
What did I like about this year?
What didn’t I like?
Have goals been met?
Are there new goals in place?
Am I actively taking part in the quilting career in meaningful ways?
What about my creative life, is it being nurtured?

In the middle of all of this thinking I started thinking about 2018.
What will be the Word of the Year?
What are the quilt related goals?
Life goals?

The other day I chatted with a very good friend wondering what 2018 would hold. The Word of the Year was part of the conversation as looking at 2018 is a bit of a puzzlement. Kind of like looking at the collected work of fabric on the shelves, wondering what delightful quilt will be made from the color and texture contained therein. I started thinking about stitching fabric together, it is connected with needle and thread, ideas, and a willingness to cut into it. The thoughts continued with the machine quilting, how the top, batting(s) and back are connected, once again, with needle and thread. One stitch connecting to the next.

As our conversation continued thoughts of how we as quilters are connected with needle and thread, with shared and varied ideas, how what one quilter does helps connect the dots for another quilter. We connect through sharing our life stories, our quilting ideas, our love of fabric, thread, and batting. And there it is, as obvious as the nose on my face, my 2018 Word of the Year:

Connect

It’s a great word. And with the Word now in Focus the ideas for the next several Quilted Block of the Month came into focus. One block I cannot remember the name for the life of me will make an appearance in January or February. Then I started thinking of a Double 9 Patch, and a Double Wedding Ring, they are on the list, and we’ll see what happens as the list goes up on the Wall of Inspiration.

Connecting with You is as important to me. If you have a favorite block please let me know the name, allowing me to add it to the list of possibilities. And let me know if there is a thread you would like me to talk about, sharing the way I’d set up my machine to use that particular thread.

I saw this video produced by Wonderfil that explains thread weight in a really nifty way:

I’m off to Connect with tidying up my sewing room. Watch Instagram later for some pics.

I’m teaching at the Quilt Basket in Pawling, NY Saturday January 20th. The class fee includes a kit. Just bring your machine, and be ready for a day of getting the stitchy stuff from your brain to your quilt top. I think we’ll start out with the bones for a tree.

Your Quilt, Your Rules!

Teri

Quilted Block of the Month: Kaleidoscope Feathers

IMG_20171112_101913_resizedSo here’s the second installment of the Kaleidoscope Quilted Block of the Month. I’m posting on Friday because I have a commitment tomorrow.

Let’s start with how much fun I had stitching this one out. I figured there’d be feathers, and bubbles, and swirls, something simple. Well. I did start out with feathers.

First step: stitching in the ditch, I used a pink Floriani Micro Thread (60 weight) embroidery thread with a size 70/10 Chrome needle. Why the pink? To show the seam lines in a pieced block. If this were going to be more than a sample for showing what the thread can do then a thread similar in color to the background would work.

IMG_20171112_115646_resized

This quilt is something of a two-fer: the back is this orange batik, I used the same bobbin thread throughout – the same pink to stitch in the bones of the block. I used cotton batting on this side of the quilt (orange), and wool batting on the oatmeal (cream) side of the quilt. This gives a sense of how the thread will look with different batting. I do prefer two batting on stuff that I’ll be taking to show.

Once the stitching in the ditch was complete I sat back to think about the motifs. Feathers around the center, waxing and waning with the shape of a diamond would create visual movement around the block that shows itself in the block.

20171112_103831_resized

Starting with a pearl at one end, I stitched along the top of the feather to give this finer thread a bit of weight and presence, and to help create the spine. As the feathers grew in length I’d switch to the opposite side, to continue filling the space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_20171112_105510_resized

To get to the next diamond shape I stitched through where the (seam) lines meet up. Anytime you’re working on a pieced quilt using the ditch to move from here to there is a great option rather than having a lot of stops and starts.

Tip: when starting or ending a new thread color, take the time to bury the threads at that moment to lessen the risk of stitching over them, or creating birds nests.

Next up: the center “star”, creating texture with the stitching that is simple, yet will create something that is visually dynamic.

Enjoy your stitching,

Teri

Something Shifted, When “no” is good

Rayna Gillman has a new book: Create Your own Improv: Modern Quilts With No Rules and No Rulers published by C&T. Rayna has been part of my quilt world forever. As the Community Editor for Generation Q Magazine reviewing books is part of the work. Head on over to the blog, read the review, and enter for an opportunity to win a copy of her book.

Now onto today’s post:

I started stitching the feathers on this Quilted Block of the Month Sunday morning. I only had one plan: use Quilters Select battings, and Floriani Micro Thread for the blog and take when I teach to show off the micro thread and batting.

img_20171112_141400_resized.jpg

It is a rare occasion that I speak of my private life, and even then most of the details are left unwritten, or unpublished as I choose to have a public life, and my Sweetie does not. I respect that private space.

That said the last few years have been personally challenging, where the “have-to-do’s” outweighed the “I want to do this” and even the “I need to do this”. I’ve wanted to finish a few quilts – both personal, and professionally that are still waiting for time and attention.

I’ve wanted to teach machine quilting more, write at least one book, and some of the things that naturally flow from doing that work. Not being able to delve much more deeply has been, well, challenging (gut wrenching) at best because the Quilting World stuff is home. With the personal machine quilting, I haven’t stopped, however it’s not been quite as creative as needed, as though I’ve been phoning it in. Okay, I have, I’ve been phoning it in. There have been moments where I’ve found the zone, quilting with reckless abandon, those experience few and far between.

Something shifted Sunday while stitching out the feathers for the current Quilted Block of the Month. The last few years have felt a lot like, “NO, Teri this isn’t for you” and “Who do you think you are?” and “No, just no” 2017 has had quite a few, “No’s” One was a huge surprise, however it freed me to let go of something that I’d been holding onto for dear life, thinking this was the best thing for me, and in letting go, in honoring the words I’m hearing, there’s a deeper sense of freedom to explore.

Another, “No” led to an experience of disappointment. BUT it’s okay, I don’t mind being disappointed. Disappointed means that I’m invested in, and yearn for this. This can either be a goal for another time, or an indication to move in another direction. Either way it’s minor, and all is well.

When the quilting started to happen on Sunday in the organic, let’s create texture, and use all the color way that is the personal quilting style. I breathed deeply that fresh air. Whatever comes next, I’m game.

Sneak peeks of the block of the month are on Instagram. Saturday will be why the feathers were chosen, why the 60 weight thread, and other decisions.

Join me. And more importantly:

Thank YOU 

for being part of my quilt world.

Enjoy your stitching,

Teri

Quilted Block of the Month: Kaleidoscope whole cloth edition

IMG_20171111_145534Saturday turned out to be an amazing day.

My sweetie and I took advantage of some time together at home to rearrange the furniture in the living room. There’s something cathartic about making changes that begins to free the creativity in my soul. On Saturdays post I chatted about taking a detour while working on the Quilted Block of the Month. I’m actually breaking out the Marcia Derse fabric that’s been waiting for me to use it for quite a long time. While stitching the other day I noticed another charm pack featuring Marcia’s fabric, then found some solids to go with it. Then remembered that I have those fat quarters that have been waiting and waiting for me to use them. Stay tuned to see how this all works out.

IMG_20170929_134108

When we last encountered our Quilted Block of the Month I’d finished the kaleidoscope block under the needle. Now, I may need to back up and show the finished quilt again, though that will be another day because there are exciting things on the horizon with the whole cloth part of this adventure.

 

IMG_20171111_171902

I chose the solid Oatmeal batik from SewBatik, cutting a 20” square. This gives space for the block, and the opportunity to create a border for the quilt, this will be determined later on, once the block itself is complete.

Since this is a light background the lead for the SewLine pencil that I’ve been marking with lately is too light for these old eyes to see, so I turned to one of my handy dandy chalk pencils that wear off with great ease. I used a gray, which actually provides just enough contrast to see the lines.

Batting wise I’m using Quilters Select Perfect Cotton Batting, and Quilters Select Soft Wool. The cotton is the first layer at the back of the quilt, the wool the top layer nearest the oatmeal batik.

Thread wise I’m using Floriani 60 weight in the top, and in the bobbin. I’ll be using this thread through the entire project. This should be fun. I started with hot pink to stitch the bones. There are loads more colors and lots of motifs to stitch out.

Enjoy your stitching,

Teri

 

 

 

 

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.

Quilted Block of the Month – September 2017

 

So, September and October can be a bit dodgy posting regularly. I’m learning how to use the Floriani Total Control U digitizing software. A friend asked me for some help with a bit of digitizing. I’d imported a photo into FTCU and told the software to do it’s thing. I couldn’t remember what I did. Well hello very popular search engine! Looky what I found. Getting Started with FTCU, complete with the solution. The internet has everything.

Now onto the Block. Spirals seem to be the thing, at least for the center, and spiraling out, well, kind of.

IMG_20170929_134108Once the spirals were echoed once I wanted to keep the outward moving feel.

Stay tuned to terificreations.com tomorrow for more details

A post shared by Teri Lucas (@terilucas) on

The video shows the feather work that continues out.

kaleidoscope block color here's what will happen

I’m still learning how to use the mouse and the touchscreen to draw on images. There’s a good feel for what the rest of the quilting will look like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

kaleidoscope multi

And here we go with a multi block piece.  I do have more kaleidoscope pieces to cut and make into something special.

This coming week will see me preparing for the Dutchess Heritage Celebration, working on Floriani projects, and getting two quilts pieced for Quilt Market.

Oh so you know I have a Sizzix. For anyone who doesn’t like the cutting process, or who has physical issues that limit their ability to cut fabric. Ebony Love of Love Bug Studios has some new dies she’d like to get made. And this quilter would love the dies because the quilts are gorgeous! She’s got a kickstarter campaign to raise the funds. FYI, a kickstarter is akin to a stock IPO on the stock exchange, a way of raising funds to get some work accomplished. What I love about this kickstarter is this allows all of us to benefit from Ebony’s creativity and damn hard work.

Happy Stitching,

Teri

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