New Rule: No stitching when I’m actually sick

img_0671While I was in Savannah I got sick. The technical term: convention crud, it’s been a while since having a cold and this one kind of did me in. Taking two multi-hour naps in one day should have given me a bit of a clue, right? Being tired from being sick, and wanting to get the quilt pieced and quilted, mistakes were made. I posted a photo of the within a few minutes I got a text letting me know something was pieced in the wrong way. I looked over the quilt found the all of the pieces that were pieced in the wrong direction, and fixed them. Including one that is in that is in the main body of the quilt. That took a little bit of work, but to quote a friend, “HUZZAH!” it’s fixed.

Oh it worked! @sewbatik #sewbatik #bernina #piecing

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productimage-picture-so-fine-50-438-mulberry-550-yds-polyester-thread-40304The quilt is now basted, and waiting it’s turn in the quilting queue. I’m doing one of the smaller quilts first to get into the quilterly groove and then I’ll tackle this one. I have a cone of So Fine 438 Mulberry. The color is in the same tone as the Indigo, rich and deep but is just the lovelies shade of purple. The quilting will show, it’ll be subtle.

When I quilted the Red/Oatmeal I used two layers of batting the first a layer of wool as it has great stitch definition; the second a layer of a cotton/silk batting as it offers structure. As the quilt hangs it looks stiff, as though it wouldn’t drape well on a bed. The batting will relax if it ever gets washed. I did not have time to do that prior to sending the quilt off. So the structure and stitch definition are part of that. The quilts will travel, and hang in booth, these things need to last. The quilt is also quilted pretty densely, however the thread is fine. Using two layers of batting helps assure that the tension will remain good through the whole quilt.

If these quilts ever get used on a bed they will be WARM! wool and silk are breathable, and keep a body or two warm, without being uncomfortable. When I finally get around to making a quilt for my sweetie again I’ll be using two layers of batting.

Throughout the next week or so I’ll be posting sneak peeks on Instagram of the quilts in progress. @terilucas

Have a fab quilty day,


PS I’ve started with 12 bobbins…who wants to guess?




Talk about a quilt with Character

double-irish-chain-full-viewTalk about a quilt that is a character. And I’m going to share some of its most interesting character traits.

But first, let’s see how Kelly Ann measures up. Worth the visuals alone.

I’ve talked about this quilt here and here.

I love this quilt, always have. The character in this quilt rests in the memories of making the quilt. Buying the fabric. The physical memory of the rotary cutter and the left index finger meeting. The machine quilting complete with bad tension, pigtails on the back. The quilting decisions. Oh how I loved making those decisions.

Were they the right decisions for this quilt? Yes!
Would I make these same decisions now? Probably not.

So about the character in this quilt? It built mine.

Happy Quilting!


Whew! I finished

So, I’ve been quiet the last few days. I’ve been quilting! And quilting, and quilting, and quilting.

@sewbatik #bernina #quilting #terilucasquilts So excited to be where I am in this moment

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This quilt is fun. Diane did a great job piecing this.
This quilt game me a few tinsel highlights. I’ll talk more about that at another time, in another place. Yes, I’ll tell you when.
This quilt reminds me of the possibilities. And there are many.

This quilt will hang at Road to California in the SewBatik booth, along with another one that I used as a warm up exercise. 20170105_223003It’s been a while since I’ve done a larger quilt on the 1080. Part of me loved it. I was starting to hear when the bobbin was running out. To say that having cones of thread made this whole project easier would be an understatement.


If you’re at Road…take a selfie in the booth and tag me either on instagram: @terilucas or #terilucasquilts

Happy Quilting!

HMQS a brief

My sweetie brought the lilacs in for me. They smell so lovely.

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It’s hard to believe I’ve been home for 24 hours already arriving home late yesterday afternoon. My sweetie brought these in for me so I thought I’d share them around a bit.


I got to have dinner with Claudia Pfeil and Laurie Tigner. And spend a little bit of time with Paula Reid. I’ve wanted to meet Renae Haddadin for a long time, and after a few times of walking by, I finally did introduce myself. I was totally inspired by a line in Marie Bostwick’s book, “she puts her girdle on one leg at a time.” It was so worth it.

And then there were these folks, my first group of students…they were  eager and willing to learn. 20160504_130610



This particular group was learning to Go With the Flow. And go with the flow they did. Each student making choices about color, and texture. In these pics they’re learning one very important thing – most machines thread the same way on the top. Did you know that? The biggest difference is the bobbin and that is a simple thing. Really. Truly it is. A big thank you to Nutall’s BERNINA Sewing Center for providing BERNINA 7 Series and brother sewing machines.

and then I took the “And Now What?!” class on a group tour of the teacher quilts…specifically mine. These gals and I had a great time talking about words, idea’s, thoughts, and theme’s that can inspire a quilt.


And that leads me here to Melissa Averino’s quilt, “My Brothers Jeans”. I just stood and took it in. You know sometimes a quilt has a deeper meaning than the surface implies. The name begins to give you a clue. And when you look beyond (this is key) the reason this won Best of Show at Quilt Con 2016 is apparent. The width of the aisles prevented me from getting a full shot however I’m not sure it’s necessary. There is an unassuming quality about this quilt, it tells a story that grabs the heart. I can’t imagine dumpster diving for jeans. I.just.can’t. Yes, there’s way more to the story…

20160505_144024And then I got to award my teacher ribbon to Deborah Poole for her whole cloth, “Wickedly Green” An acid green quilt is simply amazing. It caught my attention because, like cheddar orange, it stood out in the field of whole cloth quilts. It’s kind of awesome.

I love the quilting community. I love the uniqueness. I love the differences. I love the stories that bring us together. What’s your story?

Happy Quilting!



daiwabo fabricsThe other night my friend and I had a discussion about value. Color value. She is an artist who takes actual classes, paints, quilts, plays viola, you get the drift. Part of the conversation drifted to the new job and one component that I am struggling with, less and less, but still struggling. There is a learning curve with every new thing we take on, this is mine at this moment.
While I don’t have formal training as an artist I get color intuitively, I know the basics: the color wheel, how to use it, how to show others how to use it; I know what works for me and how to help new quilters select fabric and thread for quilts. This is what’s irritating about this particular struggle, I feel like I *should* get this, easily. Surprise! I don’t.
After a bit of conversation over dinner what I’m having a difficult time with is separating out the value. So we have a solution that I’m going to try out soon. The fascinating thing though is that while I’m struggling with this it’s what I’m working on right now for the book. And the funny things is that I get it! So you can see why this makes no sense. Ha!
Aside: we had dinner at The Bayou in Mt. Vernon, such good Cajun food!

I’m off to work for the day at the day job. Have a quilterly day!

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!


Inventing quilting

Ruler Work Cross HatchingA way back when, that moment I invented quilting the full expectation of the breadth and scope of quilting, in all its various forms and functions I saw in full clarity. Inventing quilting was pretty hard work, well worth the effort I’d say. Watching quilters and quilt making take this delightful turn from utilitarian blankets keeping people warm on cold nights to a recognized form of art has taken a ton of effort. Good grief I had no idea that quilt makers would be so stubborn about the way things “should be”. Yi yi yi! The intent from the beginning to create functional beauty. Functional beauty takes many forms including adorning walls, messages that start conversations, quilts that are seemingly offensive until the story behind them is understood.
Fabric designers, gosh the way they employ the color sense that I gave them – giving piecers and quilters so many ideas and ways to use designed fabrics. An unintended side effect is paralyzing fear in quilters it’s that whole free will thing.  And solids! Oh my 303 solid colors from one company alone, blank canvases to add gorgeous stitching and complement every fabric from every company.

And thread don’tcha just love how thread designers (yes, that’s what they’re supposed to be called) use color in so many varieties and variegation and fibers. I have to say my fave is the silk thread oh the delightfully tiny stitching that is created with this fine, fine thread. Much to my amusement one of the thread companies is making a variegated silk. Delish, simply delish. The complimentary industry: needles, oh the variety of needles for both hand and machine quilting. Whoa! I’m totally digging wool and linen and heavier weight cotton thread too. And have you seen the embroidery floss? That’s brilliant if I do say so myself.

trapunto-scissorsAnd while we’re at it, yes, yes when I invented quilting I intended for machine quilting from piecing to finishing the binding. Trust me, machine quilters have some serious skills from understanding how tension works and how it changes with the given materials. And art quilters, I gave them a different vision of quilting all together. One that isn’t “traditional” or “normal” or “plays by the rules”. Ahem, there are no rules, I didn’t make any. No in the way that most people think. Most of my rules looked like:

Do good work
Find what works with you
Don’t worry about what others think

hand quilting 001The whole point of both hand and machine work is for quilters to take their creativity to a whole new level or quite frankly be comfortable with whatever method they choose. To quote Mr. Rogers, “everybody’s fancy, everybody’s fine, your body’s fancy and so is mine” (admit it you’re singing it now aren’t you), each quilter is different, their quilts are different and unique. When I invented quilting I expected, wanted this, quilters to take quilt making in a direction that makes them happy, to grow and explore. I wanted quilters to work with color that resonates within their soul, to not worry so much about what other people think about their choices. A natural outgrowth of this is quilt competitions. Yes it is a natural outgrowth that encourages quilters to do their very best. And that’s essential. However, the side effect that I don’t like that quilters feel diminished if their quilts don’t do well in a competition or diminished when they do this type of quilting or that type of quilting. Yeah, No. I can’t help that though. As much as I’d like for this not to happen it will continue, quilters have feelings and they need to be honored.

When I invented quilting guilds of all kinds, a great variety of quilting magazines, websites, blogs, tutorials and social media were all a part of that plan. Any way for quilt makers to connect and enjoy the company of one another. It’s an important component of the overall connectedness intended in the quilt making process.

When I invented quilting is a tongue in cheek piece written because:

I’m pretty hilarious. I’m wildly popular and pretty and wicked smart. And because I can.

Happy Quilting!