Friday, July 31, 2020

Teri Lucas Has A Great New Book Out!

Must buy it alert: “Color, Thread & Free-Motion Quilting” is quite aptly subtitled “Learn to Stitch with Reckless Abandon”. This is more information I have seen on thread in one place ever and the way Teri relates it to color just catapults it into a necessary book in every quilter’s sewing room. If you are a beginner, count yourself as super lucky that it’s out now and that you don’t have to make all the mistakes that people like me did!

I love that Teri has stitched out so many different fabric and thread combinations to make this a great reference guide for choosing threads to go into your quilts. For instance, a quilt that I am working on now “told me” it wanted yellow thread on the royal blue fabric; one look at the book to see how that stitched out and I realized that it might be perfect for a different quilt, but not for this one, and I changed my mind.

Relating to that, my favorite part of the book is the “Imperfect Color Wheel” where she instructs us in how to make unfinished pieces that demonstrate how colors work together. She has arranged fabrics by color, sung her poetic odes to those hues, and then stitched on them with various colors of thread. There is so much inspiration in both the colors and the designs chosen for these small pieces and some little quirks tended to show up as I read them. For instance, I had quite a giggle about an item buried in the bottom paragraph about the color Brown: “I started my quilt life with strong anti-machine-quilting feelings, and yet here I am, writing a book on color and thread and machine quilting.”

I’ve known Teri for eight or nine years now (Maybe more — time seems to go faster and faster!) and never knew that she felt that way about machine quilting! We met while we were both teaching at an AQS show in Knoxville TN along with Laura Wasilowski and Karen Stone and the four of us did a fair amount of hanging out together. We’ve also met up at Quilt Market and other quilt shows over the years and I got to go to New York City at one point and spent a few days sightseeing (and eating cannoli) with her. She has such a super reputation as a teacher so I was very excited about the book and all the information that would be accessible even if you aren’t able to take a class from her.

This book will definitely be one of my dog-eared favorites!

Monday, July 27, 2020

What Are Your Stay at Home Activities?

The last time I flew was March 13, flying home from the cancelled Dallas Quilt Show. After that, in an email cascade of cancellations, all of my workshops and lectures disappeared for the whole year! I was all of a sudden living a “retirement life” that I thought would come years from now. So I’ve been reading, baking, running 25-30 miles a week (a weird passion of mine that didn’t manifest until last year at age 70-1/2 – who does that??), walking a few miles in the morning with my husband. I’ve joined that Sourdough Bread Baking Brigade that one reads about, gotten used to not going to the hairdresser or the nail person or the facialist – man, was I spoiled!

But I haven’t done much sewing. My sewing has always been deadline based. Class samples, quilts to show at a workshop, ideas that I wanted to try out so I could demonstrate them to classes. Ruler work kept me excited for quite a while, especially as the new ones just kept rolling out and I was sewing my brains out in a futile attempt to keep up. But now? Since my work came to a screeching halt? Very little sewing.

Last week I did go into the sewing room; I was playing with some fat quarters of the Ombre Blooms fabric and had a pattern called Ombre Gems from Quilty Love. Pretty straightforward to cut and sew and I really liked the fabrics. So I cut and sewed all the blocks and laid them out on the floor in the master bedroom, the biggest open floor space I have:

I think I am really going to like it! It won’t be quite as big as I like to make my quilts, but that’s OK, I cut some extra squares to do a pieced border between two white borders. Now all I have to do is get motivated to get those blocks pieced together!

So what are you doing with your home time? Do you have more of it than you used to? Less? Are you sewing more? Less? Making some beautiful things? I’d love to see pics!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Win a new Baby Lock Imagine Serger!

Nuttall's Sewing Centers is giving away a brand new Baby Lock Imagine Serger!  Have you seen the amazing Jet-Air Threading system??  Can you imagine how easy serging would be if you didn't have to thread the machine?  The Baby Lock Imagine is an advanced home serger and includes Jet-Air Threading which threads the lower loopers with the touch of a lever!  It also features Automatic Thread Delivery which threads in any order. 


Here's how to enter:

Take a selfie with any Baby Lock sewing, quilting, or embroidery machine, post on Facebook or Instagram with #babylockatnuttalls and you'll be entered to win!

* You must be following their Facebook / Instagram to win.
* No limit to number of entries - one entry per post tagged with #babylockatnuttalls.  Each entry must be unique.
*Contest open to United States only.
* Winner will be announced via Facebook Live on November 17 at their Baby Lock Serger Event.


Friday, October 12, 2018

BIG GIVEAWAY from Fat Quarter Shop!!

As a countdown to Fall Quilt Market, Fat Quarter Shop is having a MEGA GIVEAWAY!!!  

Two prizes valued at $500 each!

And super simple to enter!

Just click HERE to read their fun blog post and fill our their survey.

Winners announced on October31!

Good luck!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

BabyLock Tech and the New Machine

BabyLock Tech is held every year in St. Louis. It’s a convention for BabyLock dealers to see the new machines, get a lot of really great education (I often hear from multiple line dealers that the BabyLock classes are the best available in the sewing industry) and, of course, shop the vendors.
Michelle and I were there for a week setting up the Mettler USA booth, manning the booth and tearing it down on the last day. After a more than satisfactory conclusion — Michelle sold cabinets and I booked 4 workshop sessions — we did some sight seeing.  And we got to see the new Solaris machine, sister to the Brother Lumiere. Haven’t gotten my hands on one of them yet, but I’m teaching at Hokema’s in Redding CA next week, September 13-15, and they will have one for me to play with! Of course, I’m immediately attracted to the 13” throat space — biggest in the market and exciting for quilters and machine embroiderers!

Of course, if you are in St. Louis, pics have to include the arch; this was taken at St. Louis the King Basicilica. For some reason, my blogging program will only allow me to type above a pic, but not below it, so I guess this is the end!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Coburg, Oregon Quilt Show

This show is going to be so much fun! I have been working with the Sew Steady company for several years now. Promoting their extension tables was the first thing and then I moved right along with them when the Westalee template line came out. Now probably 60% of my teaching is the Westalee ruler/template workshops that I have developed. The rest is my machine quilting classes because we still have a lot of beginner/intermediate quilters who want to learn how to quilt their tops on a domestic machine.

So I get to do both at this show! I’ll actually start teaching the day before the show starts.  

Thursday and Friday, July 19-20, I’ll teach my Fluff & Stuff two day machine quilting class. There will be a description and supply list in the Coburg Quilt Show information and also here

Then on Saturday, July 21, I’ll be teaching Feathers Both Ways, presenting feathers with and without templates. We’ll be doing feathers with stencils, freehand feathers and template (ruler) feathers – all good! Who doesn’t want to play with feathers? Again, there will be a description and supply list in the Coburg Quilt Show information, or you can click here.

Monday, April 16, 2018

18 HSTs

Step One is to make 18 half square triangles. The directions called for triangle paper, but I didn’t have any laying around the sewing room, so grabbed my EZ Angle ruler and starting cutting pairs.
Really like these fabrics together!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Wild Geese Straight Furrows Quilt Along

Early this month, I received an invitation from The Fat Quarter Shop to participate in one of their quilt alongs. This was the first invitation when I would actually be in town to sit down at the machine and make something with them, so I filled out the form and hoped they would pick me!
This was an easy one — it’s only one block, but of course I need to have it done pretty quick as deadline date is looming.
So here are the fabrics I picked out of my stash — what do you think?

Sunday, February 4, 2018

More Quilty Reading: Scrappy Project Planner

Quilting more has left me with a few more scraps than normal and, as sometimes happen when you’re thinking about something, help appeared! I have pledged to read one general quilting book and one machine quilting book each month to see what new things I can pack in the quiltiverse part of my brain. Maybe this doesn’t really qualify as a book, but there is some reading and a few quilt patterns, so…

There’s a nice chatty introduction by the author, Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet, and then the sections that help a quilter keep track of all the various projects she or he has going on. The first helpful page invites you to list out 50 projects. I wonder if I could make a copy and punch holes in it for upward of 50? One of my good friends admitted to having 114 unfinished projects; I’m afraid to count, so maybe I would use this for new things that I am starting rather than the ongoing.

Then each of those 50 projects gets their own set of project pages where you can record everything, glue in fabric swatches, sketch a block design and/or quilt layout, make notes. One thing that Lori suggested was that we record in there where we purchased the fabric in case we, ahem, need more!

Then Lori dives into time management; there is a general calendar (not pictured) for the months and then a weekly sheet, undated so that you can use them every week if you want starting at any time of the year, or you could just use them for your busier weeks where you can actually  map out your quilting time as you move your projects along toward completion.

Now this is good advice! How does she actually cut up and divide her scraps so that they are available to use later in the most common sizes – this was welcome news to me. I’ve always put everything ¼ yard or larger back up on the shelf and then cut everything else into 2-1/2 “ strips and tossed them in a light, medium or dark value scrap bucket. That way, I could make my own jelly rolls. But I really like Lori’s idea of cutting 7”, 5” and 3-1/2” as well so that you have more options in using your scraps.

There are also patterns for six quilts, two of which I really liked and might have to start cutting scraps for – and maybe filling out a project sheet?

Each chapter has a divider with a good quote – this was my favorite.  Also each project sheet and each weekly calendar sheet has a quilty quote – that’s over 100 quotes to inspire you!

I liked this book a lot; not being a particularly organized person by nature, I’m hoping that this will help keep track of some of the projects I’d like to make and get me budgeting some time on them. Another thing that I think will be fun and helpful is a first Sunday of the month meeting at my local quilt store, Bolts in the Bathtub. Each attendee brings the three projects that she (no men have joined at this point) would like to work on and, perhaps finish, in the coming month. We’re all meeting at noon this Sunday and showing our projects to each other as well as the progress that was made on the January projects. There are prizes, of course….

I’m bringing Continuum, which I’ve started the sewing on, a grey and yellow table runner that I am doing for Mettler so they can have it in their booth for Quilt Market and other shows, and a quilt that I started last spring that I need to quilt the blocks and the sashings, but the borders and binding are already finished – don’t ask….Actually, I’ll tell – I was carrying it around with me demonstrating machine quilting on it. The border edges and batting, etc., were getting kind of ratty looking so I quilted the border and put the binding on to prevent damage to the quilt.

So what do you think of Lori’s book? Could you use some help organizationally or have you found your own way? Please share your ideas!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

You Really Thought I Stopped Sewing?

I was teaching a class the other day and one of the students said, “All you talk about now on your blog are books you are reading. Have you stopped sewing?”


I had three goals this month sewing-wise. I wanted to finish my goddaughter Destiny’s quilt, finish the Squares Plus quilt that I’m making as a gift for my friend Rhonda and get a start on my newest machine quilting ruler class quilt called Continuum.

Destiny’s quilt is 104”x117” – in a word, humongous! I told her that I would try to get all the quilting done and the binding sewn on to the front (the handwork’s on her!) by the time she moved from San Diego to join her husband, who is in med school in Las Cruces NM. She drove off into the sunrise on Saturday, January 27, and I put the quilt into her arms Friday afternoon the 26th – hours to spare, right?

I really love the fabric that Destiny ordered from Spoonflower. She and Nick love computer games and the fabrics she chose reflect this. So now they are living in Las Cruces where it can get pretty cool at night, so they’ll be happy to have the quilt on their bed.

I thought the piecing on this quilt would be quick and easy, not really thinking about all those itty bitty plus signs that meant a lot of 1-1/2’ squares! Small is not my favorite scale, but I love the way it turned out. Finished the quilting early in the month then worked on Destiny’s quilt, then back to Rhonda’s and finished the hand stitching on the binding a couple of days ago. I’ll see her in San Antonio in a couple of weeks and will be able to give it to her then. I don’t think she reads this, so it may even be a surprise!

Both of those quilts have bamboo batting and are so nice and soft and cuddly!

I knew I wouldn’t get the Continuum quilt finished, but I hoped to get enough of a start so that I could let Nuttall's in Salt Lake City know about fabric requirements for the Continuum class I’m teaching there in May. You aren’t looking at a black and white photo here: The quilt was originally made by Leonie West, the genius behind the Westalee ruler line, in shades of grey which is stunning to look at but difficult to figure out fabrics when you see it in a photo. Although I am beginning to learn that “seeing” in grey scale is a good thing and I’ve started taking photos of my quilts in black and white before making final decisions on block arrangements.

For a two day class, I’ve scaled down the quilt so that we are stitching 14 blocks that make a 48-1/2”  wide x 41-1/2” long quilt that is stitched out block by block and then assembled using a quilt as you go method that Leonie calls “Sashlee”. This was my planning sketch to get the math all down before I started cutting.

In my version, there are five fabrics in the quilt – dark, medium dark, medium, medium light and light. I chose dark magenta, dark pink, medium pink (which is also my backing fabric for all the pieces), grey with a small white polka dot and a white on white print as my five. Yesterday I cut all the backing and batting pieces and paired them up.

Today I cut all the top fabric pieces, matched them up with their batting/backing partners and labeled them with Alphabitties, the cute little 1” square plastic alphanumeric markers that I clip onto blocks, rows, etc. – whatever needs organizing before sewing. So now I can grab each top/batting/backing set and start doing the ruler quilting. Getting this quilt done is my first goal for February.

I’ve done a bunch of ruler quilting and teach it many times each year but I have never made a quilt with the quilt-as-you-go method. Have you? What do you think of it?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...