What’s a BERNINA Ambassador?

This week, a group of BERNINA Ambassadors is doing a Bloghop.

This is a few of us — Lynn Harris, Christa Watson, Cheryl Sleboda, Joanne Sharpe, Kay England and me — at Spring Quilt Market in Salt Lake City 2016.

What do we do and why do we do it?

First of all, we love BERNINA. The sewing machines, the company.

We love to create. We love to inspire. These are the people I love to inspire — I start them young.

I want to share with you a few things that you may not know about me.

I started out as a garment sewer — sew-er not sewer.

Gran gave a sewing machine to my sister and me for Christmas when we were in high school. It was the only thing that we could mutually share and get along with. We had a calendar on the wall in the laundry room, where our Dad set up a desk for us to sew. We scheduled our “week to sew”– one week on, one week off. We made all of our clothes (except Levi jeans – who could improve on perfection?), including prom dresses. I made clothes on the weekends, wore them to school and took orders from my school mates. Repeat. Soon I was making clothes for their moms and my hairdresser’s girlfriend. It was a pretty cool way to support myself through school, doing something I loved to do.

Now, I’m really getting back into garment sewing. I want to return to making unique clothes that no one else has. I’m SO tired of ready-to-wear and faux sizing.

There is one quilt that I wish I had designed:

Patriotic Rose by Janet Miller of The City Stitcher

I love this quilt. I’ve made it once to use as a class sample, and gave it to the owner of the quilt shop in exchange for fabric to make a second quilt. Now, the fabric isn’t as exciting as it was when I made it, 10+ years ago. I will make it again sometime soon, with fresh fabric.

This is my production group for my iquilt online class that you can find here.

Amy, Alyssa, Cara, Joe and Niecy.

Excellent folks – every one. Filming the Fat Quarter Magic class was a surreal experience for me. We did this one year ago — it seems a world away now.

I make mistakes. Sometimes huge mistakes. Making quilts. Here’s an example:

Isn’t this a lovely quilt? no? Not my favorite either — but it’s a great teaching tool. What not to do.

Can you find the 54/40 or Fight block in the above quilt?

No? That’s okay — I made it wrong. See — there’s a rule with this particular block — the star points must be the darkest fabric. Now, look at the quilt again. Can you see it now?

Nowadays, I make things like this:

A is for Annie.

A is for Appliqué.

But I didn’t start here.

I started here:

I remind myself of this over and over.

I remind every student in every class.

So, if you desire to be a BERNINA Ambassador, or even own your first BERNINA sewing machine, remember that everyone starts at the beginning.

We all did. We started out with a BERNINA sewing machine. We got good at what we did. We taught classes at local quilt shops. We created blogs and podcasts, patterns, classes and books. We became professional artists.

In his book, OUTLIERS, Malcolm Gladwell stated a case that there is no such thing as an Overnight Sensation. It actually takes 10,000 hours of work to become an expert in a given field. I believe that statement to be true. (Read his chapter on The Beatles.)

10,000 hours ago, my quilts looked nothing like they do today. I bet yours don’t either.

I also tell my students and people who come to my lectures something that I hope they will remember:

Whatever quilt you’re currently on, you’re practicing on for the next quilt you’re going to make.

Think about it.

If the key to being a proficient machine quilter is all in the practice, why would that not also be true for the quilts you’re making? I get better with every quilt I make, each garment I make, each sweater that I knit.

I want to get better and better — it’s a challenge to me. I don’t compare my work to anyone else’s. I compare my work to what I’ve done before. That’s the true measure of accomplishment.

To see what the other BERNINA Ambassadors have to share, please visit their blogs on the Bloghop at the links and schedule below.

Happy Quilting!


Teri Lucas teri@terificreations.com

Monday March 20

Lynn Carson Harris harrislc@gmail.com

Kelly Ashton kelly@kellyquilter.com
Diane Doran info@dianedoran.com
Melody Crust melody@melodycrust.com

Tuesday March 21
Kathy Delaney kathy@kathydelaney.com
Christa Watson christa@christaquilts.com
Mandy Leins mandalei@gmail.com

Wednesday March 22
Sandy Fitzpatrick hissyfitz@earthlink.net
Beth Ferrier beth@applewd.com
Cheryl Sleboda cherylsleboda@gmail.com

Thursday March 23
Annie Smith annie@anniesmith.net
Lori Kennedy lckennedy@hotmail.com

Kari Carr kari@newleafstitches.com
Catherine Redford catherine@catherineredford.com

Friday March 24
Joanne Sharpe jzsharpe@yahoo.com
Cherry Guidry cherry@cherryblossomsquilting.com
Jenelle Montilone jenelle@trashn2tees.com



iQuilt is at it again

Hi Quilters!

I got an email from AQS today with a note to pass on to you:

And by the way, I’ll be at the quilt show in Paducah in April, doing demos in the iquilt booth. Please come by and say HI! The show program will have the complete schedule of appearances.

If you’ve never been to Paducah, you need to go at least once. The whole town comes out for the show and it is a spectacle to behold. I’ll be there Wednesday thru Saturday.


Fresh batch of journals!

I just added a fresh batch of journals to the online store this morning. Each is unique and once it’s gone, it can’t be reproduced. There are three journals that are customizable — so YOU get to choose what the quote is, what charm to add, etc.) and the price of customization is included in the price of the journal.

Since the latest issue of American Quilter magazine hit the stands and mailboxes last week, the store has been emptied and refilled a couple times. I even have several orders for custom journals! Choose your theme, colors, ephemera and whether to have a lined journals for collecting memories (or to use for The Artist’s Way Morning Pages), or to design quilts and keep your fabric swatches and inspiration in one place.

I’ve been making these lovely journals for over ten years, and I’ll keep making them as long as you’re interested.


Kids quilts

I have been looking at quilts and bedding for kids lately. Yes, being a grandmother does strange things to quilters. Quilts for kids. What do they like in a quilt?

If you ask my granddaughters, they would say, “Pink!” and “Purple!” Yes, I am sure they are products of traditional socialization. That’s okay. Most kids cannot think past their favorite color, action character, or Disney princess.

If I ask my grandsons, they would say “Hot Wheels!” and “Dude Perfect!” If you don’t know what Dude Perfect is, and if you have young grandkids, look it up on YouTube. They will be amazed that you know about it. Still, they are like their siblings. They cannot imagine past the latest cartoon they have seen.

For a quilt maker, you have to act quick. This month their favorite is Elsa and Anna. Next month it’s going to be Moana. Personally, if I were looking for a terrific bed cover/quilt for a kid, I would dig deeper into a child’s interest. See what they are learning in school that holds their interest. Instead of looking for a specific character, choose a role the child might like to play such as a scientist, a princess, a chef, or an explorer.  Choose themes for their quilt that celebrates the things these roles entail. For a scientist, perhaps a quilt that allows them to investigate the earth on a very rudimentary level. Something like this:

Designing and making a quilt like this is not overly complicated. Could you imagine piecing long curved strips of fabric that represent the different layers of the earth’s insides? Labelling them with their correct names using embroidery and adding appliqué embellishments of fossil figures and gemstones. Make pillows of a shovel and an volcano to add interest. For a final bit, a pillow that shows the green earth and the night sky with contellations. This is the ultimate of cool for any young boy or girls who is interested in science.

Or this:

Adventuresome boys and girls of all ages (I’m thinking about several adults) would love to sleep as if they were clothed in an astronaut’s suit. The helmet-style pillow makes the costume even more spectacular. Sure, this version is not much more than a photograph, but could you imagine making a suit and helmet of pieced fabrics layed-down as appliqué?!

Or this:

You could do the same thing for a young princess. Maybe find a used prom dress that is sitting around gathering dust. Sew it down to a quilt top. Decorate it with ribbons and bows and maybe even bits of confetti and your little one will have a ball every night they go to sleep! Don’t forget to appliqué a tiara on the pillow for maximum effect.

How about this:

I am thinking about strips cut and assembled as layers of a hamburger with all of the fixings. The sesames on the burger bun are large enough to quilt individually. Lettuce, tomato, dripping mayo and catchup will accent the burger and cheese layers. What a concept!

Or this

Boys and girls still dream about going to the stars and what they might find there. Here’s a space explorer’s dream. Rockets and robots is the name of this quilt. The pattern has many pieced blocks of different robots and rockets to take any youngster to the planets of their dreams.

As a matter of fact, this pattern is available right now in my store. Check it out.