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

 

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

 

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.

I couldn’t have taught Home Ec, and why it matters

I’m spending the day getting ready to go for training with RNK Distributing in Knoxville, TN. I’m excited. There’s a bit of paper work I need to fill out, I’m waiting for one bit of information that I should have later this afternoon. I need to print out what my schedule for the next several months will be – because exciting.

splat-with-binding

I’ve made a lot of crap over the years, and it’s all good. Seriously. This piece right here. Crap. Seriously. Aw-ful! Hang with me friends this whole thing is going to flip over!

I went looking for a specific picture or two of a quilt I made for my sweetie years ago as it has an example of really awful quilting. I take his quilt with me when I teach as it’s a good example of the work a beginner has to do in order to get to the quilting they want to do.

Every once in a while some form of this conversation happens:
National Amazing Author & Teacher (NAAT for short) who is learning how to quilt, “Here’s a photo of what I did. It’s really awful. I’ve been machine quilting for five whole months now and it should come out exactly the way I see it in my head every. single. time.”

Me, “Hey that looks really good. Consistent stitching and smooth curves.”

NAAT, “Most of the time my curves look like stick figures.”

Me, “Mine did too when I started learning quilting.”

NAAT, “I really should be better at this because blah, blah, blah.”

Me, “And what would you tell your students?”

NAAT, “You’re learning a new skill, be kind to yourself, be patient, and very forgiving.”

Me, “Huh. So how long have you been quilting and is being hard on yourself is working?”

NAAT, “Damn you Teri using my own words!”

Me, “Right?! Be kinder to yourself. Seriously this is good, keep going.”

Me, “PS you don’t want to hear the crap that runs through my head. I need to stop that.”

Be kind.

Like most of the kids of my generation I took home ec in Junior High, and High School. I loved it. Except for sewing clothing. Gah! There is part of me that wants to, but the learning I have to do to get to where I want to go. *See conversation above.*  Shhh don’t tell anyone I finally figure out the measurement for a good, appropriately supportive, upper foundational garment, that is comfortable.

cranberry almond muffinIn these classes we were learning how to cook, manage meal time, and so many other things. Baking, I’m all there I can go through that process and keep the kitchen in good order. Cooking however ick! When I concentrate really hard it’s okay. Will I ever make gourmet meals? Uh, no. Honestly I’m just not all that interested. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy eating good food, just all that prep work yick.

Now on the other hand. Prep work for making a quilt, I’m all in. Why? Because I’m really interested. I love quilting.

I knew in High School that I wanted to teach, thinking I’d be teaching Kindergarten or First Grade. Aren’t they so cute at that age? I’ve always loved little people. Over the years I’ve taught religious ed for first to fifth grades, and somewhere along the way I realized that while I love kids, I’m not a good teacher for them. How to explain that exactly? I’m not entirely sure, but I know this isn’t quite for me.

yvonne-porcella-quilt-e1472679184139.jpgAdults however, that’s a whole other ball game. The conversation with NAAT is one I have with a lot of adults. As kids we’re all caught up in the wonder of learning, and particularly when we’re younger, open to the idea of being Creative. Creativity is part of learning. It’s all one continuum. For adults we forget that Creativity, being creative is part of every day life. It’s one reason why we admire artists so much. They speak to our souls.

They light the path we want to take.

Often though, one thing we don’t see is a lot of the crap, and work that goes into making whatever it is that made your own heart go all twitterpated.

It’s why that conversation with NAAT is so essential.

It’s why I don’t teach home ec or early childhood years. There are people who find great joy in teaching these things. YAY! Thank YOU!!

It’s why I teach free motion machine quilting. This is where I find great joy.

Somewhere along the way quilting has become that thing, that creative outlet that feeds my soul, and in someway – when things are all working together – feeds yours as well.

Watching quilter, after quilter stop being so hard on themselves is such a beautiful thing.

I shared over on A Quilters Heart, that I’ve received some firm, “No’s” recently. They’ve been a bit challenging, however, they’ve also been very good. Why? Because I’m placing these “No’s” on the ground to use as stepping stones.

When things in our free motion quilting go all haywire, place them on the ground as stepping stones. Move forward. If you need a word of encouragement, you know where to find me.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

PS I still make a lot of crap. It just doesn’t always make it to my social media channels

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Sunday Social

Tomorrow evening I leave for Knoxville for training on Floriani Total Control U and Floriani Quilting software. In the meantime I have a version to start exploring. I created a monster that I’m now (for today) using as my profile picture on facebook. life-9.jpg

Then there is this. Even when life has been a bit challenging it’s still good. Something like this will be part of a sample that I make as I learn the software and begin teaching. There’s a lot to learn but I’m so game.

I get to meet with Kathy Sawyer Tuesday night. We met in Knoxville the first time I taught with AQS.

The August Quilted Block of the Month posted yesterday. The space in this particular block is filled, I have a plan for Saturday.

block complete

I’m participating in the Back to School Blog Hop hosted by Sam Hunter of Hunters Design Studio. Start on Sam’s post, she’s posted a video tutorial showing how to spray baste a quilt.

Day 2 – August 16 – Mandy Leins: Thread Dread: removing stray bits after quilting
Day 3 – August 17 – Nancy Stovall: The Sweet Creamy Filling
Day 4 – August 18 – Ebony Love: 7 Indispensible feet for your sewing machine Day 5 – August 19 – Michelle FreedmanMichelle Freedman: Machine throat plates
Day 6 – August 20 – Teresa Coates: Edge/Under/Top stitching
Day 7 – August 21 – Kelly Cole: Ten ways to regain your sew-jo
Day 8 – August 22 – Megan Dougherty: Choose to Fuse: tips for working with fusibles for applique
Day 9 – August 23 – Kim Lapacek: Tricks to being productive while hauling your kids around
Day 10 – August 24 – Yvonne Fuchs: Circuitboard quilting on Domestic and Longarm Machines
Day 11 – August 25 – Sandi Hazlewood: Chain Piecing Quilt Blocks Tips
Day 12 – August 26 – Juliet van der Heijden: Paper-piecing with children
Day 13 – August 27 – Maddie Kertay: Fabric folding for any storage solution
Day 14 – August 28 – Cath Hall: Working with Lawn fabric
Day 15 – August 29 – Tracy Mooney: Tips for the perfect seam
Day 16 – August 30 – Teri Lucas: How to bury thread
Day 17 – August 31 – Debby Brown: Securing machine quilting knots
Day 18 – September 1 – Flaun Cline: How to put some sparkle in your fabric pull (part 1)
Day 19 – September 2 – Jessica Darling: How to put some sparkle in your fabric pull (part 2)
Day 20 – September 3 – Trish Frankland: A bigger blade really IS better?!
Day 21 – September 4 – Lynn Krawczyk: Build a simple design with hand stitching
Day 22 – September 5 – Jane Davidson: How to make scrappy HSTs
Day 23 – September 6 – Linda Pearl: Low cost tips for organizing your sewing room
Day 24 – September 7 – Christa Watson – Top 10 tips for quilting on a domestic machine
Day 25 – September 8 – Sarah Nunes: To Starch or Not to Starch
Day 26 – September 9 – Suzy Webster: Testing fabric for bleeding
Day 27 – September 10 – Sarah Goer: Machine bind your quilts like a pro
Day 28 – September 11 – Vanda Chittenden: Beginner paper-piecing tips
Day 29 – September 12 – Cheryl Sleboda: Needle threading tips
Day 30 – September 13 – Kim Niedzwiecki – Different thread weights and when to use them
Day 31 – September 14 – Sandra Healy: Conquer Your Fear of Machine Appliqué
Day 32 – September 15 – Sandra Starley: The Basics of Antique Quilt Collecting

Here’s a link to my upcoming teaching schedule.

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Quilt Coach more on this soon.

Have a great quilterly day,

Teri

August Block of the Month An Original

August Block of the Month An Original

Technical difficulties sometimes present big problems. Other times they are opportunities for learning. Something went screwy a while back, causing something to happen to the version of Microsoft Office installed on my computer. I have an open source that I can use for documents, power point presentations, and graphics, it’s simply not as intuitive as Office. I could use the desktop but that requires a few back flips. I’m hoping by the time I get this posted I’ll at least have a line diagram that makes sense.

line draw d

Oh rejoice with me friends it worked!!! Hallelujah. You’ll notice later on that the line that is in the squares around the perimeter are not stitched. The motif that gets stitched in there is so fun. Want to see from the back?

The outer box is 12 inches. I’m using the Quilters Select 12” x 6” ruler. I’m digging these as they grip the fabric so no shifting! I use the twelve inch side to draw the outer lines. The 6” side helps me to keep the ruler straight marking the next line. Why not use a 12” ruler? Well the ruler I currently own has a chip in one corner. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

drawing the outside square

drawing the block mark the center poings
Marking the center points on all four sides. I used a hash mark, a dot will suffice.

Measure in from each side 1 1/2 or 2 inches, this will create the inner square. See the diagram above.

drawing the outside square hold pen 45 angle
Tip: hold the marking pencil at an angle along the ruler. This will help keep your lines straight, and consistence.

Now to make the smaller squares: connect the dots. Place the ruler from hash mark to has mark on an angle. Draw a line from the dot, to the inside line.

drawing the inside triangle

Finally connect the inside lines. august quilted block of the month line pdf shows the start stop points.

finished block

For August we’re exploring how quilting looks on a highly patterned, very colored fabric. As a newer quilter I would often let the fabric do the work for me using simple motifs or stippling to accomplish the work of quilting, I daresay this is common among quilters, and it’s perfectly fine. Whatever gets the job done.

Batting
I’m using two layers of a cotton wool batting by Hobbs. I do love multiple layers of batting, this is something I started doing on competition quilts after Tilde won it’s ribbon. The first (back) later might be cotton, or bamboo to give stability to the quilt; the top layer is wool, or silk for great stitch definition. On the rare occasion that I make bed quilts one layer of wool or silk is perfect, as they breathe, and keep a body warm.

When Hobbs debuted this cotton/wool blend I thought I’d died and gone to heaven as it provides the stability I want with good stitch definition. Bonus!

Thread
The where and how will be over the next several weeks.
Superior Metallic – 40 wt. and shiny. Interestingly it’s quite subtle.
Superior MicroQuilter – 100 wt polyester this is a new must have in my thread collection for everything from stitch in the ditch, to the intense quilting I’m passionate about.

Backing
Is a striped batik from Robert Kaufman Fabrics. I’ll share that on Instagram later this week.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

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Coming right up!

BTS general

Sam Hunter of Hunter’s Design Studios gathered the teachers This is going to be so much fun. I do know what I’m going to do, and I know when I’m going to do it. For right now let’s just say I’m going to tackle a long standing quilting tip.

A friend of mine told this six minute story. I cried.

Check out this facebook vid by Sarah Fabian of the Quilt Basket. There are a few spaces left in “If the Foot Fits use it” I’d love to see you there.

Debby Brown has a new tool! Check out this Postcard Trimming Tool. Not only is this the right size. there are centering lines for the design.

So, do you follow me on Instagram?

Maybe you saw this:

Here's the next block #quiltedblockofthemonth

A post shared by Teri Lucas (@terilucas) on

or this:

Saturday is the day! Part one of the August block. I designed this block based on a window I saw somewhere in lower Westchester county.

And today, I’m grateful for friends.

Happy Quilting,

Teri