Tidying, Rearranging, and Gratitude

fan block

So the cool thing about being on social media is that asking just the right question will get an answer pretty dang quickly. Thank you John Kubiniec for reconnecting me with this amazing block: Letha’s Electric Fan
Here’s one
And another
And one more – John designed this one for Windham Fabrics

You may notice that the ones in the links have a circle in the center, and the mock up has a square. This is how I remember seeing the block years ago – so there must be some variation I saw years ago. When I make it, and plan it out for whole cloth work, it will have the square in the center. When Letha’s Fan came up the thoughts of, “This is way out of my league” stopped me from piecing it at the time. This is on the list for the 2018 Quilted Block of the Month.

Well, that brief victory, preceded by the selection of the Word of the Year, led to something I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time: organize my sewing room.

And now that you’ve stopped laughing.

I love my shelving unit from Ikea, it’s perfectly functional for storing fabric, and probably books. But add batting and quilts needing stitching, and this perfect storage unit comes up short. Yeah, yeah it’s taller than me but who’s looking.

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Well, the other day a new shelving unit came home with me. Please pardon the “mess” while the tidy up continues. This shelving unit is 18” wide and, yes it’s still taller than me. it went together fairly easily, although the step stool aided the placement of the top two shelved. Have I mentioned that I’m short?

I was able to bring some books out of the closet. Once I have some other stuff sorted the books will go on the Ikea unit, and some other stuff will find it’s way over here. I tell ya, it takes time to get this stuff sorted out.

Well now that this is here, there are two other pieces of furniture that need to move so that the space functions better. This movement leaves space for the heat to come into the room. Oh this quilter does love to work in a warm room during the winter.

Moving this in means that I can see the quilts that are waiting for their turn at the machine. Following a friends lead there will be a list making it’s way to the inspiration wall.

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The Sizzix , and the sewing machine will move, and a cabinet my great uncle made will go here. The rulers should stay where they are for now, leaving them close enough to the cutting table.

Part of the plan is to make a space to keep each Quilted Block of the Month. I got big plans, actually it’s a bunch of little plans to make the space function better.

There’s still the matter of the thread drawer. Hmm, that has to move somewhere, maybe.

Your Quilt,
Your Rules,

Teri

 

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

Stay Tuned: a Trip Report

I’ve traveled to two events for Floriani one about an hour outside of Philly, and the other about an hour from Knoxville. The next Hands on Sewing School is in Binghampton, NY January 5 – 7. These events are amazing from the word go. Kay Brooks teaches so much about stabilizers and how to use them. It’s really cool to know that baby onesies can be embroidered using Floriani No Show Mesh, Wet N Gone Tacky or Perfect Stick, Embroidery Perfection Tape, and either Heat N Gone or Water Soluble Topping. Follow this up by covering the embroidery with Dream Weave Ultra to protect baby’s skin and voila! The stabilizer Guide helps a lot!

There are software classes, embroidery lessons, digital cutters, and so much fun. If you’ve ever considered switching mats and rulers to Quilters Select, this is the best time.

While helping one of the students with something I did this:

further proof that keeping your hands away from moving needles (and needle bars) is a good thing. And it’s healing better than I thought.

I’m home now to work on making samples to show at events down the road.

Lucas Moon Over Manhattan 39 x 34

I’ll be teaching Brain Dump: Stitch the Scary Stuff in Your Brain at the Quilt Basket in Pawling, NY on Saturday January 20th. Later this week I’m sending @play to hang in the quilt shop. Brain Dump: Stitch the Scary Stuff is a play on Go With the Flow – there will be a full description up on the Lectures/Workshop page shortly.

I’ve shared coffee woes over the years. This morning, in a pre-coffee stupor I failed to realize that the coffee pot itself was not located on the warmer. I heard the beep beep beep alert letting me know the coffee was finished. Well, the coffee ended up all over the counter. Sigh. When I was looking for one of the previous coffee posts I happened upon the best and worst hot chocolate I ever made. The hot chocolate hangover…well, let’s just say I never made that hot chocolate like that again. But it tasted so very good.

Time to make this day happen!

Enjoy every single stitch,

Teri

The Quiet Quilter

at play greg caseIt’s been a quiet weekish here on the blog. I wanted to blog last night because on Saturday January 20th I’m teaching at the Quilt Basket in Pawling NY, it’ll be a variation on Go With the Flow called “Brain Dump: Stitch the Scary Stuff in Your Brain” the class fee includes a kit. I’ll list the deet’s next week. Why the delay?

Well, I’m so glad you asked: I’m currently in Pigeon Forge TN for a Hands on Sewing School. If you’ve never been it’s so worth going. This three and one half day event is chock full of opportunities to learn about stabilizers, embroidery, tools, techniques, and electronic cutters. This is amazing. As an educator I’m learning so very much, and immediately learning, and sharing stuff I know.

Before students arrive tomorrow we have work to finish. But we’ll be ready.

Stay tuned for the next installment of the Quilted Block of the month.

Happy Stitching,

Teri

 

Quilted Block of the Month Kaleidoscope Arcs

double-irish-chain-full-viewButternut, Pumpkin Seeds, Pepitas, curves, arcs whatever you call them they soften up hard lines on any quilt. But did you know they might lead to

dancing?

Well perhaps not dancing, but rather a source for adding texture to create visual interest. When I’m working on these blocks I’m going for fun, and done. Because for everything that we do in our daily lives quilting is fun, brings pleasure, releases stress, gives us time away from daily life things. So nothing I show you will be perfect, it’s quite possible it’ll be more detailed than necessary but hey, using thread is so fun.

IMG_20171112_115646_resizedI’m showing the back first. This center stitching is all based on the butternut/pumpkin seed stitching. Simple. Remember this is NOT perfect, and it is that imperfection that give this quilt some of the visual interest.

As you know I’m not much of a planner when it comes to quilting. I do admire quilters who plan, like Lisa Calle, her Divide and Design gives quilters a way to, layer by layer, see how their quilts will look when the quilting is finished. The surprise makes me kind of giddy. So as I got started on the center I thought, I’ll use this butternut/pepita motif as curvy lines soften straight lines. So off I go stitching, stitching!

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Look closely, you can see the pink line running through? That’s the “bones” or stitching in the ditch. It is around these lines that the arcs are stitched, from corner to corner, around the center “square” where the corners of the blocks would meet, if there were blocks, but there aren’t any, so…
I stitched up toward the peak of the triangle in between the feathers, when I got about half-way up I started heading up into the peak of the triangle. This helps create that deeper line heading out toward that peak.

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Once this was finished I moved into the center making the arcs along side where the seams of the blocks would meet up.

You can see it a bit better from the front:

 

 

 

 

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This changes the shape, the visual shape of the kaleidoscope blocks. Seams that were once easily noticed, are now hidden in the stitching. This takes a little doing, and a bit of time. It’s right after this that “Brain Dump: Stitch the Stuff of your Dreams, Release the Kraken” came to be. This shows, and represents a shift in thinking about what can be stitched, a letting go of the “should” and stitching the stuff that is just waiting to be stitched out. You know the stuff, we see it on a quilt, and yet hesitate because it won’t be perfect, or it might not turn out exactly as we think it should.

I’m heading out on Wednesday for back to back Hands on Sewing Schools with Floriani. The first is in Pennsylvania so Road Trip! The second is in Pigeon Forge TN. Check back on Wednesday for links to the facebook pages, a finished quilt top (see a sneak peek below) for one of the other educators, and a couple of in-the-hoop cosmetic bags designed by Pickle Pie designs.

Enjoy your stitching,

Teri

Floriani Micro Thread @Florianiembroidery

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A beautiful day

 

Yesterday was girls day out with Debby, Melissa and Karen. An impromptu trip to Pins and Needles in Mt Kisco led to fabric coming and two Cutie Patterns home with me. Shocking! I know. As I write a plan is forming for the best use of said fabric, pairing with some solid batiks from my fave batik place. Pictures and the idea will follow later this week.

Lisa was celebrating small business Saturday with a little bit of food and a class. Just a note, there’s a new yarn shop in Mt. Kisco, they have beautiful yarn and are friendly. Karen is now working there a couple of days a week. She knits, she tats, she quilts. Yes, I’ll get the name for you soon.

We went to dinner at Holy Smoke:

Head on over to fill in the blank for us.

Dueling marshmallows with @debbybrownquilts

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You may have noticed that I didn’t do the Quilted Block of the month post yesterday. Short story, the post is coming, this week held some technical difficulties that I’m still working out, but in the end it will all work out. If it works out the way I think it will, it’ll add a little something special to photos.

Take a moment and:

Follow me on Instagram
Like my facebook page
and

Enjoy your stitching,

Teri

A little bit of this

There is something fascinating about learning new things: sometimes the whole process is easy peasy, smooth sailing, yada yada; and sometimes my head and the cinder block wall just might come in contact with one another, producing the most beautiful stars and light show. Yes, yes, it’s really painful however I never actually do it.

Instead I phone a friend. In this case Lisa Archer of Pickle Pie Designs. Lisa is the Queen of in the hoop embroidery projects, in my world anyway. While she didn’t invent them she did write the book, which I have. I chose to call her instead because she’s fun.

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I needed to add a placement line on a project, wanting it to stitch first, stop, allow me to place the stuff for the postcard down, and then start stitching again. Seems simple enough, right?

Bang.

Head.

Here.

I knew what I needed to do but didn’t know what I needed to do. Cue Lisa. We get on the phone, as she’s opening up software I realized/remembered the steps: draw placement line, size it appropriately – in this case 4” x 6” for a postcard, move it to the first position in the stitching order, change the thread color so that the machine needs to stop for a thread change, and finally add text.

I thanked Lisa for her help. Sometimes you just need someone who knows what their doing to listen to you. So this morning, after a few things I’ll be stitching out a few postcards as thank you gifts and just because gifts.

Enjoy your stitching,

Teri