it all started when

it all started when

20170614_190345 (1)my sweetie put the a/c in the window this morning. The last few days the desire to quilt several things has been held at bay while waiting for the a/c or the temperatures to cool down. Both happened today offering the opportunity to stitch. First up I made a postcard for the 1000 Postcards for Peace, which will be mailed tomorrow. The day was kind of icky news wise and had something of a big letdown so making the postcard was just perfect. I’m heading into the City to meet up with some friends and thought “hey, I’ll make one of them a little quilt!” Well, I didn’t quite finish but it’s giving me lots of ideas.

I chose a bit of gray Cherrywood as the front and back of the quilt; one layer of silk, and one layer of wool batting. This piece will be about 8” square, so no basting.

The quilting started with the pentagon in the center, just started stitching that to see what would happen when…per usual playing with thread was top priority. And then I have this thing for tiny stitching, though you may know that by now.

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Tiny bubbles are always a good choice in a quilt, after finding the right spot, and choosing the appropriate Tiara Silk (Superior). Wouldn’t you know it little bit of thought and watching the thread and getting the red where I wanted it was possible.

In the bobbin I have Kimono Silk from another quilt. Using the finer thread in the bobbin makes dense stitching possible.

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Opening the thread drawer I saw the Quilters Silk a 16/3 ply, grabbed the size 100 stop stitch needle because it’s thick stuff. This thread made an appearance on Shine Your Light. As this thread is very present it’s great for outlining, and allows from background stitching.

The fun part of stitching this, was hitting that creative quilting zone.

Remember I mentioned that my sweetie put the a/c in? Well, that sent the sewing room into a bit more of a tizz than necessary. Oh heck I need to tidy up again. Part of it is premarket prep when I tried making that skirt that turned out not to work so well and working on the Cherrywood Challenge, and working on a quilt for Pinwheels.  So Friday will be a bit of a tidy up before stitching.

All that’s left is binding, probably facing, and figuring out what to do with it.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

Oh! Join the fun on Lucy’s Nickles, we’re starting our next quilt very soon.

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Quilterly Writers Block

Quilterly Writers Block

I’m a quilter. And by that I love to free motion machine quilt. On and off I’ve had to work through the equivalent of writers block. I just. couldn’t. quilt. Those moments were tough but often led to something that would pleasantly surprise me. Whew.
Would it surprise you that, while I’ve been quilting on and off over the last few years,  I haven’t really done anything original, inspired, intentional for a long time. I’ve dabbled. Made a few small pieces. I’ve looked wistfully at the pile of quilts in need of time, attention, and breath.

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Cherrywood van Gogh Challenge

he last few years the need-to-dos have taken, necessary, priority over the gee-I-get-to-dos producing a level of fatigue not previously experienced.

I can assure you this has not been the most pleasant experience. Quilting is something akin to breathing. An exchange of oxygen, and carbon dioxide that gives life, helps clear the thoughts, work out whatever is going on in daily life. The need to do list has not changed, however the stress that built up from the need-to-do’s, has started to recede. I’m beginning to breathe deeply.

Overall quilt market was good, there’s still follow up to do. There were a few very difficult moments. Long about late Wednesday afternoon I stopped what I was doing, headed up to the sewing room and started the Cherrywood challenge. Cut, stitch. Cut, stitch. Cut, stitch. Rinse, repeat until this piece said, “I’m complete.” I’ve added a border bigger than currently needed because I have a habit of quilting densely and shrinking a quilt.2017-05-28 12.42.34

Well then this happened. A while back I had a give away on a post offering to quilt a small piece for one of the folks who commented. I knew it would take a little while and let the winner know that as finishing a quilt or two and getting ready for Market were the higher priorities. The winner said she likes red, so red Oakshott it is. Teeny tiny stitching makes me happy, so teeny tiny stitching all over this eight inch square quilt that needs trimming, facing, signing and sending.

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The back is as pretty as the front. This is making me think that trimming it up, and running a tight satin stitch along the edge might be a better plan.

As I’ve quilting a friend has repeatedly said, “the dam is broken!”, creativity has free reign. And these two pieces are evidence that the water is flowing, I’m breathing the air. My heart is full, and there are plans afoot for a couple of other projects.

I love quilting.

Teri

Of coffee and character- stuff happens

 

coffee makes me happy

I like coffee. A lot. I’m not a morning person, which will probably not come as a shock to my Sweetie, but may come as a bit of a shock to students or roommates. I can be irritatingly perky, sometimes even before coffee. Coffee helps me deal with things like this:

character call out

Yeah, sometimes this happens. And look! I left it there. I’ll deal with it a little bit later. As I stitched there was a little bit of a tug. There are several things that may have happened here:
I may have tugged too hard – this happens occasionally.
The needle may have had a burr – this happens, is unlikely here as the problems would have continued
There may be a burr in the stitch plate or bobbin case – again unlikely as the problems would have persisted
The thread may have had a weak spot or snag – this has happened

These kinds of things are why “a seam ripper is a quilters best friend”.

Now quilters, listen closely: this isn’t a competition level quilt, if it were a lot of things would be different on the quilt from the stitching to the thread choices. And the seam ripper and a sometimes wildly colorful vocabulary or tears would make a regular appearance. Originally this piece was going to be a study in a variety of metallic colors. Oh look! Shiny! As often happens I found a new thread, and by found I mean I bought some new thread, Superior’s MicroQuilter. Not only did I have to have it, it had to have me. Can you imagine all the tiny bubbles I’ll be able to make with this? Suwheet!

For now I’m finishing this quilt with great gusto, knowing that the character of this quilt is of the teaching/learning variety and simply makes me happy.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

 

I’m copying Debby’s homework

 

20170226_133050Debby and I have a long standing joke wherein we copy each other’s homework. When Debby was working on going to teach in Russia she made a quilt with the words “Bang Head Here” .  Click on the link to read an interview and more on the quilt. Shortly after she posted the quilt we talked about the idea now whirling about my head and she couldn’t wait to see it. So, my own version of  “Bang Head Here” complete with  an arrow pointing to a brick wall (see yesterday’s blog post for the photo) came to life. Someone at a quilt show pointed this out to Debby, that I’d made this quilt using her idea. Shock! Horror! Debby assured her that this was fine.

I’ve been admiring Debby’s ribbon candy on quilts for a while. I like the effect, and the ease of stitching. So on the quilt I’m doing for SewBatik I am, once again, copying Debby’s homework by stitching ribbon candy into selected sections of this quilt.

Debby commented on one of the photos, “my work here is done.” Yep, she finally won me over to ribbon candy and I’m having fun. The space that I’m working in narrows and widens over the surface of the quilt so there is variation in the motif over the surface. That said, I’m loving the effect.

Of course, for me, the seam ripper was out in the first six inches of stitching. Trying to fill the space as it was the ribbon candy wasn’t having the desired effect. By visually dividing the space it’s easier to stitch, and looks better. I’m hoping to get a decent shot later today. productimage-picture-so-fine-50-438-mulberry-550-yds-polyester-thread-40304

This So Fine thread (50 wt) from Superior is doing exactly what I knew it would, it stands out just enough from the Indigo and blends in well. Weird right? It’s like I planned it. IMG_20170308_204343

I’m on the third bobbin. and ready to get more stitching done this morning. Last night as I stitched I had this amazing moment of “this quilt will be flat when I’m finished”. It’s one of those moments as a quilter that just, well, you know. It’s one of those moments. I’m off to revel in more of that moment.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

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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

A post shared by Teri Lucas (@terilucas) on

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,

Teri

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

 

 

 

Well this is pretty darned awesome-sauce

 

A wee little bit ago I heard noise coming from the general vicinity of my sweetie’s computer. He’s not a fan of my Sunday evening television viewing, that’s blog fodder for another day. So, he turns his computer in my general direction, showing me:

Well just wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Just watch the whole thing. This woman clearly spent more than six minutes playing the drums. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Oh did I mention practice?

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Pardon the overexposure here. In the late afternoon the sun seems to live in front of the window, bathing the room in glorious (sometimes migraine inducing) light. This late afternoon bathing improves the mood, and strengthens the resolve to keep stitching, not so great for pics though.

I finished the strip sets for the Kings Puzzle Quilt. Which meant time to cut the aforementioned strips into individual units for the blocks. Wahoo! Progress.

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Part way through the cutting, and labeling I messaged a fellow quilter, dear friend, and teller of truth about a mistake in the pattern*. Grumble. She says, “the math is correct.” I send her a photo of the directions. “The pattern is correct.” She says.

The pattern* was indeed correct. I missed one key thing. It says “make 2 strip sets”. That would indeed mean that I could cut all of the necessary pieces. I took a deep breath. Made one more strip set, cut the necessary pieces and kept going.

That’s when I got ready to start stitching the blocks. 20170219_164416

First up, arranging the units in the correct order, and direction to make one block.Sixteen total are required but this step to be certain I’ve got it all together.

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It is now pinned to the swatches of Radiance that live on the wall in front of the sewing table. To the left of the machine are the units all laid out all ready for me to stitch. The next 15 blocks will be chain pieced.

So this quilt has reminded me of the need to double check everything. And ask my friends for help. Well, more to the point, grumble to friends, but be open to the possibility that I’ve done something wrong. In this case, I did.And even better, I had what I needed ready to stitch for the final strip set I needed.

Amusingly I’d been rejoicing over this:

because piecing is fun, and clearly develops character.

Happy Quilting,

Teri

Piecing

20170217_130840Piecing. I’m in the middle of making this quilt:

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It’ll be in Indigo.

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clicking on the picture will take you to SewBatik where you can get this.It’s coming along beautifully. These batiks have a beautiful hand, press beautifully, and take stitching well. I’m using Superior MasterPiece black for the piecing. As I finish seams they get pressed to set the thread into the seam, then pressed toward the Indigo. Yes, that’s pressed twice. As the piecing moves forward the seams will all receive the same treatment.

I’ll post on Instagram as the quilt progresses.

Happy Quilting,

Teri