tiara silkAs I scrolled through my newsfeed the words “Quilt Police” with a familiar red line crossing out the words stopped me. It’s a conversation I have all the time with myself, with students, with other quilters. No Quilt Police. We might have an inner critic who provides great information. Alternately we might have an inner bitch that we need to deal with forthwith. I “met” my inner bitch this morning in a dream. I really need to learn not to eat peanut butter cookies before bed. Really. But my husband made them and they are soooooo good!

The dream encounter with the inner bitch ended with me waking myself up out of a bad dream. Thankfully it wasn’t 3 a.m.! In the dream the IB, as he shall now be called, was in another room quilting on a long arm. I could hear the quilting but, was in the process of cleaning, and clearing out another room. The room that needed cleaning was piled high with boxes of fabric and other stuff that needed my attention and a place to live in my home. All the while I could hear the IB quilting in the other room and the sound coming from there was loud. Annoyingly and frustratingly loud.

badge with author ribbonOnce finished with cleaning the room some friends and I were chatting. I went to close the door to the room where the IB quilted (because of the noise) and said to IB, “I’m tired of hearing this noise.” and closed the door behind me. Well, IB, indignant that I’d closed the door came out into the other room and started berating me, in front of my friends. Whoa! Really? That was wholly unnecessary. So, annoyed with the dream, I woke myself up and that was that.

Clearly that I’m writing this in a blog post says that the dream is still with me. I’m not so bothered by the dream. I get that in dreams each person represents a part of who we are…so why the heck I’m yelling at myself and berating myself isn’t so much beyond me as I see it as very much a part of our self-doubt. Considering too that Doubt, Fear, and Anger are all related to one another it’s no wonder that this crops up every now and again. The Self-Doubt cropped up yesterday for some reason. I’ll muddle through, always have, always will. There were, if I allow myself a little latitude, two conversations that led to this dream. The first included a bit on how a collective “we” views ourselves, and while it’s not true, it’s part of the Self-Doubt. The second included a little on how intense “we” can be. The intensity with which the IB unleashed the words is there. I remember being told once that I’m intense and I need to relax. Um, yeah, not happening. I will always be intense. Even when failing miserably, I’ll be intense. Clearly I’ve embraced this part of who I am…

variegated silk so prettyIt is my own personal intensity that makes me a damn good quilter. Yes, I’m owning this. It’s taken me a long time to get here. I’ve got the “Bang Head Here!” moments and memories where I roll my eyes and wonder how I managed to land here in this amazing world of quilting.
The intensity will carry me through to meeting a few more goals. Once I stop listening to the IB on such a regular basis. I see that the intensity of the IB has clear usefulness. If I’m working that hard to shut myself down, perhaps it’s time to listen and honor what the IB is saying and take that information to recognize the hard work I’ve done and am doing. I can see, sometimes really clearly, on the face of a student or customer how their face changes when I give them permission to explore. I see how things have changed in my own quilting world by giving myself that same permission.

We as a quilting community have not even begun to plumb the depths of quilt making. At. All. There is so much more we can do. We have specialists to help us do that from fabric designers to quilters. Specialists who all have their own inner critic that they’ve learned to dance with, to work with, to listen to, but not be ruled by. And we have our creative self.

There are no quilt police. Let’s go easy on ourselves. Let’s take the risks of making the quilts we’ve always wanted to make. Let’s remember we work 6″ from everything we do…so we see the “flaws” – that add character to our quilts. Let’s remember that most people won’t see them and if they do won’t point them out. And if they do, well, go ahead and cry in your hot chocolate for a moment. And then let’s move on. Let’s stop comparing our quilts and quilting to the work of others – remember they have their own IB to deal with.

And most of all

Let’s Quilt!


setting up for classOn a chilly Saturday morning I packed quilts, Jeannie (B 790) and myself into the car and headed off to the Village Fabric Shop in Red Hook, NY. The Hudson Valley, rich in history and beauty, feels so much like home, it’s always a pleasure to have an excuse to go there. Really I don’t need one however TEACHING is a great reason.
@play, Machine Quilting is a variation on Go With the Flow, we do some doodling/drawing first then onto the machines. Quilters were asked to take a couple of minutes with the “quilt” they chose from the handout and write words, thoughts, and images that come to mind. This leads into doing a little drawing on the quilt.

wonder woman pencil puchThe quilters all come up with something very different for each quilt. Each quilter is different, it’s so fun to watch what happens. Next up, the same process with one of the other quilts and let them draw this time. The whole goal is to see the possibilities. That the limits are merely their imagination. When the imagination is set free these quilters can do whatever they want.

It’s so fun to listen to the quiet as they think. The final part before stitching is to have them draw a bit on blank paper. At the end of each bit of time we share. The sharing then is to help spark their own creative process to see possibilities.drawing at the machines

Then get them stitching on the machines. The quilters can take one of the blocks they’re working on, or something completely different. One gal drew a butterfly block, based on a quilt she’d recently made. Then drew a butterfly. I had her transfer the free hand butterfly onto fabric and get stitching…it’s going to be pretty when it’s complete.

Another student started with a stencil…I totally flipped it on her. Flipped the quilt sandwich over and told her to just go for it. Once we got her machine stitching well her happy camper level went right up. And the look of joy on her face – priceless.

students hard at work

Shop owner Diana was playing along as she could. I’d given her a copy of Generation Q Magazine to peruse. Inspired by one quit she started drawing the block and filling in with some quilting motifs.

diana gen q inspiration

diana drawing
She has some interesting bits and pieces around the shop including an octopus tentacle pen. I got the shot because the texture is way cool. Can’t you just see this quilted out?village fabric shop pen cool texture

as soon as we can set a new date we’ll plan another class date. I am available to come teach at your guild or show.

Happy Quilting!


Today we welcome guest blogger Jennifer O’Brien. I met Jennifer years ago at a local quilt show as she demonstrated the proper way to use 505 basting spray. What a huge difference this has made in my machine quilting. 505 is fave of all the basting sprays, low odor, easily repositioned, and doesn’t add to the weight of the quilt.

Thank you Teri for inviting me to blog with you.

I am Jennifer O’Brien and I started a business 15 years ago in order to bring 505 Spray and Fix Temporary Adhesive, for machine embroidery and basting your quilts, to USA quilters.  I was sure it would help all of us who are great starters and never finish because we hate the basting process.


Jennifer 1Here is my latest project. I love old quilt tops and when I get one I love I want to finish it.  The first thing I do is find a backing that is period appropriate, usually white or muslin for the antique tops.  Next I spray baste with 505 Spray and Fix so I can machine quilt it. Here is the current basket quilt with double pink fabric for the background.  Did you know double pink fabric has been made since the early 1800’s?  There are tons of patterns with a light pink background and a dark pink pattern or vice versa with light on dark. This is a full size quilt and I will be able to baste all 3 layers together in about 15 minutes. Here is a YouTube video that shows the basics on how to spray baste.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2nPB8rGhiI

Not everyone can get down on the floor to baste a quilt or has the space to hang the quilt sandwich on a design wall to baste a quilt. Here is how I baste a quilt on a 6 foot table.

jennifer 2Layout batting centered over table. Place quilt top right side up centered over batting making sure you have extra batting all the way around.

jennifer 3Pull top back to about the half way point. Spray batting right to left all the way to side edges covering about 1 – 2 feet moving forward to the front edge of table. Roll quilt top forward over sprayed area and pat in place keeping lines straight and readjusting where needed to remove ripples. Slide sandwich away from you to bring more batting to the top of the table and repeat spray basting.

When you reach the end bottom of the edge quilt top slide the top and batting sandwich back to the center of the table plus a foot or so and begin again from the center and spray baste the opposite half of the quilt top.
Once the top is sprayed in place flip over so batting side is facing up and position backing fabric right side up is centered over the batting and spray baste the same way as the quilt top.  Then your sandwich is done and you are ready to quilt.  If you are hand quilting I recommend safety pinning the 3 layers of the outer edges so it doesn’t begin to release and start to come apart while you are quilting.jennifer 4

For more information visit: www.odifusa.com

Thanks Jennifer!

Happy Quilting!


UPDATE: Sr. Alicia won!!

Sr. Alicia from Mission of Our Lady of the Angels in Chicago, IL is competing on Chopped Monday evening. I’m looking forward to watching this episode and how the ingredients (listed in the pithy post) are transformed.

I haven’t had the privilege of meeting Sr. Alicia, or any of the other members of this newly formed, emerging community. I do know their founder Fr. Bob having worked with him for years. Sr. Stephanie runs the Chicago Marathon every year, along with a team, raising money for outreach in this neighborhood.

There has to be something exciting and nerve wracking about opening a basket and needing to use what’s inside. Contestants may add ingredients from the pantry as they transform the incongruous ingredients into some tasty morsel for the Chef/Judges to taste and make comments on.
Chefs learn skills over time from washing dishes and knife cuts to preparing a perfectly cooked steak and sublime desserts. Over time the palate is developed and refined as understanding of flavors, pairing said flavors and cooking technique and skill develops. As the skill and technique develop, an artistry develops. As the palate and skill develop the discernment of and need for good quality ingredients develops. This is all dependent upon drive, ambition, and a willingness to take risks and focus in on the skill set.

tiara silkI noted over time that the judges always focus in on the plate before them, not the person in front of them. That the critique, while somewhat subjective, is fair and kind, offering the Chef/Contestants information and insight. Comments are never mean.  I have noticed, too, that the Chefs have lots of the same qualities I see in quilters from raging self doubt, confidence in their skill, to over confidence. The confidence in skill and artistry is evident as it should be. Chefs who become contestants come for a variety of reasons from wanting/needing to prove something to outright fun. Chef’s who become the Head Chef in restaurants have worked incredibly hard to get where they are, developing and honing skill, often mentoring others along the way.

What I like about watching Chopped in particular is the process, from seeing the basket ingredients to the finished plates, how each different Chef can take the ingredients and do something completely different from every other Chef.

See where I’m going here?cranberry almond muffin

The quilting community is much the same here. It’s so fun to watch. It’s so fun to see new quilters come into the shop, choose fabrics to make their first quilt. It’s fun to see quilters become teachers and competitors. It’s fun to see some quilters just grow in skill, take risks and enjoy the process. It’s fun to see some quilters grow in skill for the sheer love and beauty of making something that wraps people up in love. Quilters make things that may not last. But what does last? The love.
Chefs make something fleeting, but it’s the same something filled with love and skill.

Cooking. Quilting. Developing Skill. With Passion and Hope in something fleeting. Something about Love. Kindness. And Passion.

Quilt on Friends,



Prep work for a GenQ Test Drive:


A photo posted by Teri Lucas (@terilucas) on

Over the next several issues I’m writing Test Drive for GenQ. This is one of my favorite features to write as I get to spend some time with my friends that I don’t get to see as much as I’d like. You know how it goes…everyone has something going on between work and family or other obligations. So for me this time is precious. They test, comment and we chat about quilting and life. Talk about my happy place. I’m so grateful that aef shares her home with us.

The prep work was fun…as I’ve run other Test Drives I have a good idea of questions to ask. This is key to the article and to listening in to their thoughts and then recording them for the article. Part of the prep work yesterday was doing some piecing. I pieced and pieced and pieced 2 1/2″ squares. Then because I wasn’t sure I’d have enough I pieced and pieced 5″ squares then cut them down to 2 1/2″ squares. I had more than I needed and I’m good with that more than is way better than not enough.

The more interesting part for me was…well…you’ll just have to wait for the article in GenQ.

Mums in my front garden

A photo posted by Teri Lucas (@terilucas) on

Happy Quilting!


quilt market signToday is rainy and raw. I love rain so I’m not terribly bothered by that. Rainy icky days are great for tidying up, for thinking, for catching up. So today is a catch up day.
Catching up will involve
A quilt top I’m making
A post or two for Generation Q Magazine
Some thinking about quilts I need to make for the book
Getting ready for a test drive for GenQ
And some other things, tidying up.GenerationQ Logo
Checking a friend’s sewing machine and cleaning that up and maybe writing directions for her to make tote bags…we’ll see where the rest of the day goes.
Then there’s planning for Quilt Market. I’m looking forward to going, meeting friends, both long time and new.  I’ll have my press creds, so be sure to tell me all your exciting news whilst we’re together.

Happy Quilting!


In the middle of August an invitation went out from Alex Anderson to a group of people to try, and test the new Quilters Select Batting by Floriani, I emailed Alex, the batting arrived a few days later. Needing a bit of a mental break at the end of the day, and longing to explore the depths of the B 790. There are 2 different battings the first a cotton, the second a poly/cotton blend. The adhesive is activated in a 2 step process, the first is a sneeze of water and the second, a heat setting. I like the spritzer on my bottles of Flatter, it’s a fine mist…which is perfect as it will not overly wet the batting. I’ll let you inhale the lovely scent of Yuzu and Fig. I will be getting more of this.

A photo posted by Teri Lucas (@terilucas) on

cotton settingThe heat setting on this is right about here, on the cotton setting. Cotton really wants a lower heat setting. Kind of learning to use the sewing machine at medium speed while quilting and piecing. It’s a simple thing that makes a huge difference in the overall product at the end. As an aside, I recently had The Quilt Show playing in the background and watched an episode with Sally Collins, I’ve long admired her and now long to take one of her classes. Details are important, slowing down, enjoying the steps is a good thing.

Now I’ve felt and tried fusible batting before. As a general rule, I don’t use it. It’s not bad, just not my favorite. Until now. My comment to Alex, “I’d use this in a competition quilt.” I like it that much.

This makes me giddy.#perfecttension #b790 #berninausa #bernina

A photo posted by Teri Lucas (@terilucas) on

I do have a couple of hints

  1. watch this video 
  2. cut the batting to the size of the quilt top and the backing a wee bit bigger. if you’re quilting a small piece you can do the whole process on the ironing board.
    And here’s a friendly reminder of the nature of cotton, it can be a bit stretchy so when layering things up, press the batting with your hands and later on with the iron.
  3. if you’re using this on a big quilt, do the spritzing on the floor or a big table, work in small sections just like using 505 Spray, then go to the ironing board
  4.  have all three layers together before going to the ironing board, the batting will stick to the ironing board
  5. when ironing, Press rather than iron.
  6. enjoy the process of quilting

Both the 100% cotton and poly/cotton quilt up beautifully

#bernina #b790 #Quilting

A photo posted by Teri Lucas (@terilucas) on

So here’s the bonus!

I have one of each batting to give away! That’s right, Thank you Floriani. So, in typical Generation Q fashion answer 1 of 2 questions:

  1. if you were given a vintage Singer Featherweight, that’s in rough shape, would you have it painted up in your fave colors?
  2. what are your favorite colors, and how would you use them in a quilt block?

I’ll draw 2 names Saturday September 19th. US entrants only please.

Happy Quilting!


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