talenti jar stops and starts*Note I started writing this early Friday morning and had the realization, “OhMiGosh I have to get to work” and made a mad dash to actually do that! Yes, I made it on time. No I did not finish this blog post. Surprise. The day was as busy as a bee hive. With NY City Traffic, dinner and an edit meeting with Melissa…well you can see how there was no Friday blog.

Thursday evening I met one of the gals taking my One Day Free Motion Quilting class at Hartsdale Fabrics. She’s a total newbie and by newbie I mean has never used a machine before. I can hardly wait to teach her. Yep you read that right I can hardly wait to teach her how to use the machine and how to play on said machine. I can hear the quilt police thoughts, “she’s learning quilting in the wrong way…piecing first, then machine quilting” And as I write that a Harry Chapin tune begins worming its way through my head, “Flowers are Red”.

As a quilter and a teacher I want to view quilting with fresh eyes and be inspired. I want to learn how to teach better and give my students the gift of being open to learning. I recently read a teachers bio (not sure if it’s a book review I’ve done recently or a blog so forgive the lack of a source) where she stated that she considers herself an Advanced Beginner. This gives her the freedom to continue learning, to make mistakes and be self-forgiving with them, to explore and play and have fun with her quilting. That’s inspiring! That’s giving  yourself permission, that’s saying it’s okay to make mistakes. Mistakes are the best opportunities!

Have a quilterly day,


fridge words

Waking up early has it’s benefits. I’m sitting at my dining room table sipping coffee, looking out my kitchen window and watching a beautiful sunrise creep up over the trees and telephone wires. The winter colors are much more subtle than summer but beautiful and inspiring none the less. Color ranging from a light to mid gray into peach and orange against the black of the trees. Sigh. This is why I love sunrise and sunset. It’s full of color that makes me happy. While I would have preferred to sleep this morning enjoying coffee and the sunrise bring a smile to my face and get me thinking about quilting.

I have magnetic words on my fridge. Have for years. Every once in a while I notice them and rearrange them. As I did so this morning the thought came to mind that I’d like to get a magnetic board for the quilt room and have words on there to rearrange an play with. That’s a some day, down the road kind of want. words on fridge writer

The image on the left is the current arrangement of some of the inspiring words. The image on the right is more editorial type words from some company. I find it rather amusing that these words fit one component of my quilting life that I just love: content, branding, style, words, print, copy, proposal, create. I can tell you this I love Melissa and Jake and every editor I’ve worked with over the last few years. So much so that I personally declare Tuesday December 16 National Publisher and Editor Day. If you’re a writer of any sort send your publisher and editor a Thank you note, in a text, an email, hand written, on their facebook wall.

thank youAs we get closer to the end of 2014 I would like to take this opportunity to

Thank You

for reading TerfiCreations.

I am grateful that you stop by and read the words I write. Thank you for coming along on this Journey of quilt making.

Happy Quilting!



photo courtesy C&T Publishing

I’ve just really started reading The Little Spark 30 Ways to Ignite You’re Creativity by Carrie Bloomston published by C&T. I wrote a review on the Generation Q website that you can read here. Reading to write a review and reading to absorb are different. Reading to write a review is rushed and hurried. Reading to absorb is quite different, it’s slower. I can stop and enjoy, think about what’s being read. I can stop to spend some time doodling, think about my quilt space and upcoming projects or doodle for a bit.

There is something about the sense of encouragement that really resonates with me. As I read I keep thinking, “This!” and “This!”  There are a couple of other books lately that I’ve had that same connection with. I’m liking that connection.

Carrie begins talking about space and how it’s set up, claiming some space as your own and keeping things in there related to your creativity. Keeping things out of there that belong in some other space in the house. Our space as quilters is important. This is the space where we make quilts. Where the work of our hands becomes a gift of our heart that will be shared.

I’m thinking about other quilt spaces I’ve been in, friends spaces that are all tidy and organized. Then think of mine with some sense ill ease. The thing is when I get there, despite the creative clutter I can do good work. This is where things get complicated; I like the idea of a clean tidy space where I can get my hands on everything however my creative brain doesn’t quite work that way. I like seeing my stuff. I like seeing quilts in progress and all the bits that go with them. What I’m not quite fond of is not being able to find a few things…and I can work on resolving that.
There are things in the space that can and will shortly move to other spaces. Over the next few days I’m going to make a plan and figure out how to make better use of my space and honor the fact that I like a bit of clutter. What I’m realizing I don’t like is mess and that’s where I am at the moment. I will have a free day and a plan soon. I’m looking forward to it. I think this will help me sort out stuff for the book as well.

CAM02012One of the things I’ve found very helpful for writing blogs and writing words for the book is changing my physical space. I’ve moved from the living room to the dining room table. Somehow it feels more conducive to getting the words on to the pages. Clearing some space in my brain. I feel more productive. Which in this regard is a great thing. That will help as I move forward with meeting goals and hitting due dates well.

And I’m making some scheduling changes at work that will help with this as well. As of the first of the year I am no longer working on Fridays. Part of this has to do with writing the book, part of this is to give me more space to teach at the store. Look for more quilting related classes to be added over the next few months. I can tell you there will be a paper piecing class (the project is sweet and has options), a quilting lab where you can come in and quilt for the day with suggestions from me and the other students, and I’m adding a whole cloth class. I haven’t schedule in dates yet but will post as soon as they’re on.

Happy Quilting!


The Presser foot is interchangeable with any BERNINA hopping foot

One of the questions from my previous post asked about the BERNINA long arm, to please give my thoughts. Note: today’s photos are linked from the BERNINA website, I have none of my own from the Ambassador Retreat as I was busy stitching happily along.
First thought, “it’s a BERNINA, how could I not love it?” Well there was that strong possibility that I would not love it so much. It might not be quite right.
Over the years I’ve stitched on lots of long arms at quilt shows wondering if the long arm was the way to go, because “you can’t do that on a home sewing machine.” There is a difference between the long arm and the domestic machine and essentially it’s do we move the pencil over the paper or move the paper under the pencil. I’m heading out a step further and saying that I think that essentially the movements are the same, it’s the layout of the quilt. That layout does make a huge difference for a lot of people. So if quilting on a domestic isn’t working, the bulk of a quilt is hard to handle then by all means work on a long arm. I will say that with some practice I could switch back and forth between the two. (Pssst – there’s that word again, Practice)

Q 24 User Interface

A bit about the Q 24: the user interface should look quite familiar. It’s about the same as you’d find on the computerized BERNINA’s making navigating around quite easy. The background color and texture are changeable and a welcome greeting can be programmed in. Not a high priority but fun.

There are 3 BERNINA Stitch Regulator Modes; BSR 1 and BSR 2 are the same as on the home sewing machines and BSR 3 is a basting stitch, and there is a Manual Mode.

Any of the BERNINA hopping feet will fit on this machine so you’ve got your choice of feet. This machine uses home sewing machine needles so it’s unlikely that we’ll run out and if we do, goodness gracious it’s just a trip to our local quilt shop for what we need.

Q 24 side shot featuring the bobbin winder, thread stand and programmable handles


The threading path on this is quite easy beginning over and slightly back from the user interface. It’s similar (with some differences) to a home sewing machine. BERNINA has incorporated the needle threader making that part a snap. The Bobbin winder is on board, place the bobbin on the winder, follow the thread path and fill that sucker up. The bobbin goes in like any other push-in bobbin and on this machine the door closes.

I’ve mentioned I quilt as much by sound as I do by sight. Partly what I’m listening for is the speed of the machine and the bobbin. On my 1080 I could hear when the bobbin was running out and most of the time I can on the B 780. The sound of this long arm is similar to the B 780 and the 1080. There’s something just right about it. I could listen to it all day.

And the movement. . . this long arm moves with ease and finesse. I was doing some of my teeny tiny pebbles while we were stitching on them. As a teacher I will tell you that stitching around the motifs on the fabric is one of the best ways to practice and that’s what I started out doing, just stitching around the motifs on the fabric loaded onto the frame. I was getting fairly close to being on those lines with little effort, with some serious practice I’d be there soon.

quilting practiceIf I had the foot print for the machine the Q 24 would be my long arm of choice. There, I’ve said it. I like this long arm just based on the features I’ve shared here.

The one quilting photo from the retreat I can share is this one. We were learning more about the BERNINA Stitch Regulator (on the home sewing machine) and I started stitching this out. you might notice that some of the words are going left to right and some are going right to left. Yep, I can write backwards.
Just like learning to write cursive well took us some time, learning to quilt well will take some time. Either way…have fun.

Happy Quilting!




BERNINA Ambassador Retreat Dec 2013

This morning I hop a flight to Chicago and go to BERNINA land, Aurora, IL for a 3 day retreat for BERNINA Ambassadors at the Creative Center. The retreat is either Monday though Wednesday or Wednesday through Friday. Tonight is the opening reception where we’ll meet who’s there. This is so fun. Tomorrow and Friday we’ll “work a little, sew a little, eat a little, sew a little more” spending time getting to know each other, the amazing BERNINA staff and the machines.

We might even get to play on the Q24 long arm. While I am a committed domestic machine quilter (home sewing machine) I do like to get to play on the long arm machines to get a feel for how the long arm quilters think. It is a bit different. Moon Set will be delivered either tonight or tomorrow. I have to finish the facing on it before delivery. Yesterday as I stitched on the facing I stitched it on the wrong way and had to put it on again. I have to mention that Susan Brubaker Knapps directions (see yesterday’s post) are easy to follow and the facing turned out well. One note: when topstitching the facing down monofilament thread would be perfect!

Moon SetOver the next few days I’ll be on instagram @terilucas and on fb so watch for photos there. I come back and go right to work on Saturday.

Happy Quilting!




whole cloth starting metallicYesterday I finished the quilting on Moon Set, the name of my nearly completed whole cloth challenge quilt. Binding or facing will be completed, probably on the plane to Chicago later this week. The determining factor for binding or facing will be when I trim it down, the quilt will let me know what it wants. I’m leaning toward facing. Susan Brubaker Knapp has a method I’d like to try so we’ll see what my time over the next couple of days brings.  As the day progressed I posted photos on Instagram – @terilucas.

It’s been a while since I stitched with metallic thread, I wanted to see how it would play on my B 780. I did not have to drop my tension down to zero as I did on my 1080. In the star I have a couple of raised stitches however the needle needed to be changed and I was doing some serious stitch over.

working with Lisas rulers Lisa Calle has a line of rulers that I’ve been wanting to play with for weeks to see if they can be used on a domestic sewing machine. And with some work yes they can. I took a moment to read the directions Lisa includes with the ruler sets. Shocking I know! She does give good, clear and pithy directions. When I commented on fb that there is a learning curve with the rulers Lisa’s response that longarm quilters have a learning curve as well. Reality: with any new tool or skill there is a learning curve.
I will blog more about this sometime soon – like within the next few weeks. You may remember I tried Angela Huffman’s ruler (read the interview here and about the ruler here) and like it so I had a good idea of how to handle the rulers before sitting down to stitch.

curviliciousI used the ruler along the entire top of the quilt having some decent success once I switched to an appropriate size for the space being stitched. I started out with a 3” ruler and sized up to a 5” ruler and it made a huge difference. We all know that using the right tool for the job makes a huge difference.

For the ruler work I used black Kimono Silk thread because I wanted the quilting to be there but not be a major focus and I wanted to be able to backtrack without thread build up. On this grape Radiance the fine thread does recede to the background of the quilt.

And the completed quilt:


Moon Set

Moon Set


Some quilt notes: Lisa H
Batting: two layers Hobbs Tuscany Silk batting
Thread: Superior Kimono Silk, King Tut and Magnifico; Weeks Dye Works 40 wt and 12 wt hand dye
Needles: top stitch 70/10 and 90/14
Hours: 40 ish

I am thrilled to have completed this quilt and will be happy to deliver it later this week. One final major job complete as I head full tilt into the book project.

Happy Quilting!


???????????????????????????????Good morning!
Happy Thanksgiving!
There is a lovely black and white challenge all over facebook. I like photos for a lot of reasons. My dad was an Air Force photographer, his love of photography carried through the rest of his life.
I’ve picked up a touch of his love for photography. One of my sisters has his touch with photos, particularly with food shots. I love that I can take images with my phone or point and shoot, lovin’ those 12 megapixels!

black and white challenge quantum styleOne reason I love taking photos is that it informs my quilting. I love taking photos of wrought iron…that becomes clearly evident in quilting motifs. Swirl! Swirl!
The other reason is I can get a sense of the balance of color by changing the setting to black & white. It’s so fascinating to see what happens. This lets me know, too, if I need to change anything, use a different color of thread. ???????????????????????????????I love it, there is so much great information in the photos.
Say I wanted to take a photo like this and make it into a quilt. The lights, mediums and dark color is clearly evident.???????????????????????????????

I can also get a really good sense of focal points and potential problems with a quilt might be so that I can correcting. It’s really fun to see where the balance is and think through how to correct it.

Another thing this lets me do is see how, get a sense of how thread will play. So say on the “tangle” I can change the weight of the thread to make the swirly bits be more present and knock back the darker areas with a finer thread or let me know what weight of thread to choose to give that area as much importance as it needs.

Tomorrow will be a fab day. A bit of quilting, a bit of cooking and a bit of reading & writing.

And a wee bit of thankfulness right now: Thank YOU for reading my blog. I’m grateful that you stop by.

Happy Quilting!



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