Oh sweet memories


"Twilight in the Bronx"

Eight years ago I was actively working on this quilt, Twilight in the Bronx. While having dinner with my sisters, sweetie and a very good friend my sisters gave me the batik fabric (where the applique’s come from) and three spools of thread, which I used in the star. It was right after this that I started the quilt, designing, deciding on the trapunto, and making further thread choices.

Right about this time the seam ripper was actively engaged in the taking out of thousands of stitches. At a meeting of our mini-group one of the quilters, rightly said, “You’re hiding your quilting,” and I took that to heart, making big changes. Later that year (2009) I entered this in the Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show where it won a second place ribbon in its category. This October I am the Featured Speaker at this show. I am truly honored. Thank you to Trish and the selection committee, and the quilt show committee. I’m thinking about entering one or two quilts in the show. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to compete and this would be a great start again.

Right after I came home from Quilt Market I had the idea to remake this quilt. Well, not so much remake it because been there, done that but make another quilt with the Lone Star as the bones of the quilt. I’m going to do this twice once on Radiance (that silk/cotton blend from Robert Kaufman) and once on chartreuse Supernova. This morning I woke up for with the idea for how to mark the quilt top. I’ll be posting that tidbit of information in Lucy’s Nickles.

A beginning.

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The Radiance is hanging on the wall ready for me to mark it.

Happy Quilting!


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Lucy’s Nickels

Towards Craftsmanship and story telling

Someone posted this Carhartt video of Jason Momoa crafting a story surrounding his life, craft, finding his life’s purpose, learning to enjoy life through acting. He speaks with

great love of his wife, and their children. Jason speaks with passion about his mom’s influence on his life, that she taught him to skateboard, and this is something he is passing onto his kids.

Jason speaks of craftsmanship. This caught my attention as it is a word I’d love to bring into the lexicon of quilt making. Merriam-Webster defines craftsmanship as: a worker who practices a trade or handcraft, and one who creates or performs with skill or dexterity especially in the manual arts. (Emphasis added.)The favorite word here is practice. Practice. Practice. Practice.
I have this thing for Craftsman houses, Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, Mondrian paintings, a well-done, and well curated fabric line, a well-made quilt, a well told story. What I can see underneath the thing is all of the work that went into getting to the point of creating the particular thing. I may not know each step, but more the level of effort and work. Make sense?

Nearly thirty years ago while serving as a volunteer at Habitat for Humanity I took a very basic clowning class offered by some of the other volunteers. Learning to clown, like quilt making, is something of a process wherein thought is given to your walk, your face including which features to exaggerate and de-emphasize. Perhaps in something of a telling way, I wanted to be a story telling clown. Clowning is not something I pursued with reckless abandon however, I could remake my clown face. The point of sharing this, is that clowning is something I tried. Story telling however, has stayed with me.


When the opportunity arises to give the Trunk Show of Quilts I get to tell the stories of the quilts, the struggles making them, and which are my faves. Taking in progress pieces that will not ever be finished in any way to show how I practice that which is the craft that has chosen me.  Just as it took Jason years to find his passion, for acting to find him, it’s taken me, any quilter who quilts, writes, teaches, shows, competes to get to the moment they are in. It’s risky business putting our stuff out there, because like actors we leave ourselves open to rejection, criticism, and a lot of tears and pain. And then there is the great joy of a quilt done like we envisioned, students getting “it”, ribbons on our quilts, and the feel of fabric beneath our fingers. The designs that wake us up at two in the morning because they just have to become something real.

One day the quilting story will write itself in a way in which allows me to breathe deeply the satisfaction of a well told story, the next quilt will be the one that will let me put it out in public.

This leads me to some writing, and quilting that is calling my name, so I’m off to hone my craft of quilting, and all of the things that go with it.

Happy Quilting,


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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. https://www.instagram.com/terilucas/ @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!