Feb 6, 2019

how to lift weight of large quilt while free motion quilting

I posted this image on IG today and I was asked about how the quilt is suspended.

Years ago, I saw a system that Carol Bryer Fallert used and I took her idea and made a system of my own. Here's a link to Carol's site.

I use a portable photography stand like this one:
And I put it on either side of my quilt table.

Most of the time, I just drape the quilt over the bar. If it doesn't stay, I use a small clamp. I try not to use the clamp because its easier to move the quilt with out it. As I work different part of the quilt, I can easily re-drape the quilt to lift the part I am not working on.

Doing this is really a life saver in terms of lifting the weight... it makes it SO much easier to free motion quilt.

You wouldn't think that lifting your quilt just a few inches off the table could really help much, but it does. Saves lots of stress on your arms pushing that weight around, and actually allows better stitches because the quilt will move easier.

Here's a full image of this quilt... taken before I started quilting. The quilt is a redo of a quilt that was made in 1890s.

Feb 2, 2019

back to my roots - hand quilting

For 15 years, I quilted by hand. My friend Amy G. taught me how to quilt and she is a hand quilting genius. Her stitches are perfect and beautiful. And I wanted my quilts to be soft and special like hers. Plus, I liked that I could take my projects with me as I drove my kids around to all their activities.

Then I decided to buy a fancy new machine - a Bernina. And for the past half-dozen years I have been working only with the machine. I do love it. And it certainly is faster and allows me to expand my creativity.

But ever since I started piecing this quilt from my collection of antique Japanese indigo, I felt it just had to be hand quilted. This one is huge - so its going to take some time. But these old fabrics are already very old, some are at least half a century old or older, so I figure they can wait it out while I slowly stitch my way over this incredibly beautiful cloth.

Feb 1, 2019

my quilt on someone else's wall

I made the Moose!

A while back, I posted about a quilt I was commissioned to make. It was such an honor and so fun to make this one. The new owners have had the quilt framed beautifully.

I have quilts of my own on my walls that are attached in various ways (mostly staples...!). I am thinking of investing in frames. This one looks so professional in this frame. Love it... and honored that someone else would want to hang one of my quilts on their wall.

Jan 11, 2019

the real deal - preview copies of my new book have arrived

The long awaited day is finally here. The preview copies of my new book were delivered to my doorstep. Its an exciting time, and also a bit nerve wracking. Exciting because the long and lonely process of writing, editing and publishing is over. Nerve wracking because now is the time to find out if this is a book anyone will want to read! That is the honest truth and I assume every author goes through some bit of that... even if they do not admit it.

"American Cotton: Farm to Quilt" was published by me --- Third Floor Quilts. I chose to go this route for a couple of reasons, the primary one being the ability to publish quicker than most big publishing companies.

Another reason was control of the whole process, including graphic design, photography, every little thing... including distribution! This book will be sold through my website, TeresaDuryeaWong.com and will be sold online through the Amazon Marketplace, but the price will be controlled. You will not find "American Cotton: Farm to Quilt" discounted on Amazon. That means hopefully you will find it in your local quilt store since I will offer quilt shops the opportunity to sell it and not be undercut by online sales.

Copies will begin shipping from my website early March 2019! Book is 156 pages, soft cover, filled with over 100 images of quilts, farms, cotton and more.

Whew. Its a lot! I am thrilled and a bit overwhelmed at the moment. But I am super excited about this new book and all the potential for it out there in the world.

I am working hard on a new lecture to bring this book to life in a lively and entertaining way! And I am already booked to give lectures at:

  • QuiltCon in Nashville
  • Quilters Guild in Plano
  • Quilt Guild of Greater Houston
  • Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild
  • Quilters' Guild of Dallas
  • Highland Lakes Quilt Guild
  • and many others are in the works!

This the real joy for me. Going out and visiting with guilds, bringing this story to life, and spending time with people who share a passion for quilts. That's what makes it all worth while.
Stay tuned for more.

Jan 7, 2019

one week into the new year, three quilts in the works

A great way to start of the first week of 2019... I have three quilts in the works. I've been working on the one above for about a month. This is a remake of antique quilt first made in 1890s. My quilt is titled "1890s Cheddar, Charcoal and Cherry". It's applique and pieced - 72 inches square (I think).

Its basted and I've started machine quilting it. The plan is to be able to finish it in a few more weeks. I am thinking about entering this in a competition this year... maybe IQA show at Int Quilt Festival. What do you think?

I have never entered IQA before. I have only entered 2 quilts in exhibitions, one was in Sacred Threads and another was a non-juried show and I was lucky enough to be accepted in both of those. But IQA is a whole different ball game. I'm not afraid of rejection though, so I guess I'll just go for it... however, best to wait and see how it looks when its done.

Photographed on the floor on my studio, sorry :(  I will try for better pics next time!

This one below is my indigo (self described) masterpiece. I first wrote about here back in June. The fabric is all antique (some as old as 100 years) and vintage Japanese textiles. I'm hand quilting it... so this will take quite a while. This one is quite large, 85 inches (I think...)

The quilt below is a top I finished over the holiday.

I plan to gift this quilt to a guy who did a really nice favor for me. Its a surprise, but I doubt he reads my blog... plus he does not know he is getting this. The fabrics are vintage cotton Yukata and new Japanese cotton prints. I started out making something small for him, and my ideas kept getting bigger and bigger, and thus I ended up with this big quilt. I hope he likes it, I think it will be big enough to lay on top of a bed as a second quilt, or something decorative.

Photographed on the floor... sorry! Might be really hard to give this one away!

Dec 14, 2018

the Japanese art of giving, I'm learning...

As I wrap presents and get ready for Christmas, I stop to think about the Japanese art of gift giving.

I feel so fortunate to have been given gifts all year long from my friends in Japan, and I treasure each and every one of these. This photo above is just a few of gifts that have made their way back to my Texas home this year. The Japanese tradition of gift giving is so rich, and something special.

While Westerners load up with presents during the holidays, the Japanese present special friends and guests with gifts every time they meet. And not just any gift! From my experience, the gifts that I have been so fortunate to receive are thoughtful and meaningful, both expensive and handmade, usually with a strong cultural connection to Japan.

I have been given gorgeous pottery and crystal made in Japan as well as handmade - incredibly crafted gifts. The workmanship is impeccable, of course, and I am astonished at the amount of time and money each person invested in these things and then had the selflessness to give them away - to me! 


In return for all of these amazing gifts, I have also tried to up my game in the art of gift giving. I don't always measure up, but I do try.

These two lovely ladies are colleagues who have become friends and I love hanging out with them in Osaka when I am there and in Houston when they are here for International Quilt Market. Hisako Fukui and Etsuko Shibayama both work for Yuwa fabrics, the manufacturer behind the stunning designs by Yoshiko Jinzenji, Keiko Goke and many other artists.

I made both of the tops they are wearing! The fabric is Yoshiko Jinzenji linen and cotton. When attended Quilt Market this year, I turned the corner to find their booth and I was so surprised and honored to see them both wearing my gifts!

The patterns for these tops are from Japanese sewing books, which are not in English I might add. Of course I cannot read Japanese, but I am good at following numbers and illustrations. I'm sure there are details lost in translation... haha... but I do love making (and wearing) these over-sized, hip designs.

Anyway, I have enormous respect for the Japanese art of gift giving. Over the years I have learned and grown in this tradition and its become a part of the experience I truly love.

Dec 12, 2018

waiting... waiting... why not make a quilt?

While I try to wait patiently for the arrival of my new book... I decided to make a new quilt. Of course, right? Like all good quilters, there are dozens of quilts in my head just waiting to come to life. For this one, I chose something I've never done before.

When I was in Lincoln in October giving a lecture on Yoshiko Jinzenji, the IQSCM had an exhibition of cheddar quilts. My first thought was that this exhibit would be a bit limiting, but I walked through it anyway, and I found myself riveted to the color palette and the beautiful quilts. Especially this one!

The exhibition is "Cheddar Quilts from the Joanna S. Rose Collection."

Pattern is Rising Sun or Circle Saw. Sadly, the maker's name is unknown. Made 1890-1900, probably in the Southern U.S. Hand pieced, hand quilted.

The museum article highlights this quote from Joanna - perhaps my favorite quote of the year!

"I am not a collector. I am a treasure hunter. A collector always wants to better a collection. I buy only what I like and for no other reason. Quilts look better when you have a lot of them."

So... I decided to recreate this incredibly original quilt from 1890! I have never done this before... but this awesome color palette and cool design just seems so modern. 

I am taking my time... why not? I decided to make the pieces in applique rather than trying to figure out all that intricate piecing. The applique also gives it an added dimension. 

Four blocks done so far...

For the "how to" part... First, all edges are turned under! I am using a combination of freezer paper or Templar templates, covering the seam allowance with a healthy swab of Magic sizing, then iron the edge over the template to make sharp points and perfectly round circles. 

After the shape is formed, I cut a matching piece of Misty Fuse and then fused the pieces to the foundation. Its a bit painstaking... and there is probably a better way... but in order to have the edge turned, this seemed the most logical technique.

The blocks will be 18 inches finished. Colors are a rich, deep red, charcoal and cheddar. Unlike the original quilter, I will machine quilt this one and I can't wait to get to it! More to come...