Thinking!

what would you do

This words of this meme have been popping up all over the place the last few days. And I’ve seriously had to give these words consideration.

Would I write a book? Well, uh. Ummm. Ehrm. Tried this. Didn’t go so well. Life got uncomfortably in the way, so fail? Not sure but at some point I’ll try this again. Note to self: you do know this stuff, you can write, and quilt with the best of them.

Would I move to the big City and see a good life there. Did that. Life is good.

Would I take climb Mount St Helen or hike the Grand Canyon? Being the indoorsy person I am probably not. Mount St. Helen has already spewed hot, molten lava in my lifetime causing lots of problems. The Grand Canyon is deep and wide. Did I mention being the indoorsy type?

Run a marathon. I’ve actually given this some consideration, I do live in NY after all.

Of course being who I am I started giving consideration to what failure actually is, and what kind of role failure plays in our quilterly lives. Is failure not doing something, never attempting it? Or is failure something else entirely? Is failure permanent or is it a temporary place to regroup?

So my first book writing attempt wasn’t a failure, life intervened in ways never imagined when I set out on that journey. I can still do this however, at this moment I need to take care of some other immediate things. It’s still on the table, just slightly out of reach. I’m good with that at the moment.

I started thinking about a local inventor: Thomas Edison. Rumor has it that he made 1000 attempts at making the light bulb before it actually worked. Was it 1000 failures? Or are there 1000 ways to not make a light bulb and he had to try every single one of them? Since his invention we’ve been using the term “light bulb moment” to describe moments when things work well together and our goal is met. It’s kind of exciting, forget kind of, it’s really exciting when this happens. Kind of like yelling Eureka! when a vacuum cleaner sucks. . . well.

IMG_0820So what would I do if I couldn’t fail? Nothing. Really. I wouldn’t be doing anything. My quilt life, my life would be inert. I’d be going nowhere, on the couch, in the living room, watching television never taking a stitch.

Then I got to thinking – there is a perception that failure us shameful, always, and every single time. It’s not. Sometimes it takes trying something more than 1000 times to figure it out. Is it shameful to stop before that 1000th time? No. Is it failure? Maybe. That’s okay. “Failure” helps us build our character. Especially when we keep going. I’m still not going to climb Mount St Helen, hike the Grand Canyon or run a marathon. These things don’t speak to my heart.

So the original question is good, a better one might be, “what is that one thing to pursue with reckless abandon?”

Happy Quilting!

Teri

 

Character – Lots and lots of Character

Character – Lots and lots of Character

Today is a two quilt day, each has character.

dad-would-be-honored-full-view-2Dad Would be Honored is the first Feathered Star using Marsha McCloskey’s directions I ever made. Most of the quilt is made with dad’s ties. Dad himself was a bit of character writing rotten poetry, his preferred place behind the camera – always observing, listening. I brought his ties home with me shortly after his death. It took me a little while to work up the courage to cut into the ties, and make the quilt. Every once in a while I think about making changes, if I did this or that the overall look would be more pleasing, and effective. The most important thing about Dad Would be Honored, my stepmom loves it just as it is, flaws and all. The moment I gave this to her is priceless. There is one thing I would change though I’d add fusible stabilizer to the ties making some of the piecing a lot easier. Part of me wants to sit here and rip apart the quilting, however I won’t because at the time I know I stitched to the best of my ability. Memory quilts hold something more, they hold our hearts stitched with great love.

star-quilt-10-may-08

If ever a quilt had a journey it’s this one. The fabrics are all Moda Marbles by Patrick Lose. The quilt itself is based on a Jinny Beyer pattern the setting corners should be 9 patches. It was a little bit beyond my skill level at the time so using solid pieces seemed the thing to do. The quilt was much larger at one point having squares in the corners and borders, it was quilted. I always like the quilt, didn’t like the quilting, so it sat in a UFO pile unfinished. An opportunity to make a quilt to donate came along, the seam ripper and I had a date, all of the quilting came out, I cut the quilt down, and re-quilted it. This may have been the first quilt I un-quilted, then re-quilted. The moon and stars seem to be a recurring them in my quilts. Oh sweet heavens inspire me!

Both of these quilts taught me so much. Trying something new is a good, using a seam ripper to take out something that isn’t working well is good, starting over is good.

Have a great quilterly day,

Teri

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday

IMG_5002Happy Easter!

Decadent ganache covered whoopie pies – check.

Waking up early – check.

Excited about this week – check.

Writing an unexpected blog – check.

Friend with a new venture – check. Really check out Ebony Love’s MADE Creative Fiber Arts Studio opening in June. MADE’s facebook page.

Tomorrow I finish piecing a quilt that will be in the Michael Miller booth at Quilt Market. It’s going to be fun! I can hardly wait to get into the sewing room to stitch.

Happy Quilting,

Teri

22 1/2 whoopie pies!

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Friday! Friday!

I’m baking these today:

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/classic-chocolate-whoopie-pies-recipe

We’re going to see old friends on Sunday for dinner and I’m bringing dessert. Something chocolaty and decadent. I’m taking the added step of drizzling them in chocolate ganache for a more decadent dessert. It’s been a while since I’ve baked like this so it’ll be so much fun.

Then I get to continue working on a quilt that I started yesterday. I’m designing on the fly and it’s so much fun. I’m using Kari Karr’s Clearly Perfect Angle to stitch flying geese.

@newleafstitches part one!

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When I put this on the machine there was this moment when the skies opened, the air became easier to breathe and my life improved by leaps and bounds! The Clearly Perfect Angle works wonders when stitching anything on an angle: half square triangles, binding, flying geese.

In a few weeks I’m going to try her new product the Clearly Perfect Slotted Trimmer. I’ve had this for a while but creative brain and I haven’t been on speaking terms lately. It’s been pretty darn icky. This happens now and again, it’s never pleasant, is sometimes painful as this ache in the core of my being longs to work and nothing. Generally what happens after this is something kind of fun.

So back to this quilt. There is piecing, fusible appliqué and a hashtag! I’m including a hashtag in the quilt. I’m sure I’m not the first person to include one in a quilt. I’m just amusing myself here. The quilt will be at Spring Market in St. Louis, then I’m participating in a blog tour on the Generation Q Magazine page shortly after that. The line, Hello by Susan Emory of Swirly Girls it’s so fun. I asked Susan to send me her favorite prints and I’d go from there. She did, I am and the pattern will be on the blog tour.

Have a great weekend. I’ll be back on Monday with a Character post.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

 

I’m piecing! I’m piecing!

20170411_131224Then I looked at this photo and thought good golly I do need to tidy up.

I like that the folder has orange dots.

And a cool thread holder from Blue Fig. Do you see that glorious silk thread? I love silk thread.

I see a memory from my friend Debby. She has an incredible sense of humor and a way of presenting gifts that imbues a sense of beauty and fun.

And business cards. This has me thinking of something I can make to store all of them easily. I could invest in a rolodex but what would be the fun in that?

So I’m off to do some more stitching, make a few calls. Organize some more fabric, and start a blog post for sometime next month. It’s going to take a little bit to write and get pics. And well, do some stuff to get the pics necessary for the post.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

 

Reading

For the last little while most of the books on my nightstand are either work related: meaning reading to participate in blogs for the magazine or faith related, it is Lent after all. Through our local library I picked up a copy of Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. After reading the first couple of chapters I skipped to the end of the book. Yes, it’s very much like reading the end to a really good novel before reading from beginning to end. And in Dr. Who fashion I can hear River Song saying, “Spoilers”.

This isn’t so much spoilers as it is curiosity. I know the book is a worthy read I’m simply trusting my gut. So her last thought is:

“Creativity is sacred, and it is not sacred.
What we make matters enormously, and it doesn’t matter at all.
We toil alone, and we’re accompanied by spirits.
We are terrified, and we are brave.
Art is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege.
Only when we are at our most playful can divinity finally get serious with us.
Make space for all these paradoxes to be equally true in your soul, and I promise – you can make anything.
So please calm down and get back to work, okay?
The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.”

cropped-live-your-brightest-life-11-e14726550775461.jpg

There are so many words rattling around inside my brain seeking escape at the tips of my fingers. And yet none of them seem the right words for this moment. Other than Yvonne was right

Shine your brightest light.

So, I’m going to go fold laundry, make a plan for tidying up the studio and get quilting. I started something new yesterday. Got annoyed with myself too because the makings of a whole bunch of 9 patches got dumped on the floor under the cutting table and now I can’t remember what I was doing.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

Saying Good bye

To a HUGE MESS

Join me in a studio clean up?

Ponder 1I just spent the better part of the last week tearing apart my sewing room looking for something. I found a whole bunch of other stuff, like a shelf, and the equivalent of three reams of paper for recycling, maybe four.

There are magazines that need some attention, good ones to that feature adult beverages that bring great joy in limited quantities in the sewing room. There is fabric for quilts. My sweetie’s bed is in need of a new quilt. And I need to piece. While I do not currently have a day job I can focus on making a beautiful quilt for him.

Some time back I ordered the Cherrywood Vincent van Gogh challenge fabric, and the idea is whirling around my head singing sweet music, in need of an outlet.

My inspiration wall is full of clutter. Notes of future quilts that I thought I would do. Words of Inspiration, Art work, fabric…all that have a place in this space. But visually it’s now making me nutty.

20161127_074244And there’s the quilts in progress that need my attention. Oh, so many quilts, and friends and family waiting for years go get these things while I’ve tried building something out of teaching.

I’m going to take a page or six out of the Debby Brown organization tips, that she regularly shares with me. Not in a, “you must do everything my way and all will be well in your world”, but in a “here’s how I manage to keep myself meeting goals” kind of way.

And not driving myself crazy next February, March, and April getting my stuff together.

So I’m starting a tidy up. I’m going to do a little bit of a tidy up before I show you more of what I’m doing. Kind of like cleaning up before the housekeeper comes to clean.

Later this year I’m starting something new. I need to get my ducks in a row and that means reaching out to someone to help me make that happen. A few people have already liked the new fb page. When I get those ducks following me I’ll send you over to the new digs.

Have a very quilterly week!

Teri