Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mad quilting

Been trying to take care of some of the backlog of quilts I have ... since last Tuesday I have quilted four quilts, and I'm in the middle of number five!  That is a lot for me ...  Here's a couple

First up is a lovely quilt from one of my friends ... this one has been on my shelves since March (yes, I have several that are that old!  yikes!!!!) ... this is a small quilt out of mostly French General fabric by Moda ... so cute!  
Quilted a small, tight swirl with Glide thread in top and bobbin.

This next quilt was quite large ... approximately queen size.  This is my pattern called Nick's Quilt and is made up of big blocks; it was screaming for a custom something, but I didn't have any great ideas, and I knew my customer wanted it quickly.  
I also knew it was for a man (no feathers or swirly, girly things!), and a bed quilt, so it was going to get a lot of wear.  I went back to my old standby ... the swirl.  
I used a 40 wt. cotton thread, with Bottom Line in the bobbin.  

Something I consider when quilting, is how many hours I will put into a project.  Although most people don't give me a $$ idea of what they would like, most of my customers want reasonably priced quilting, so I do consider that when I am deciding what kind of a design to do.

If you don't know this about me, I've said it plenty ... I am not a "custom" quilter.  I don't mean to sell myself short as I think I do excellent work.  But I am not going to take your quilt and turn it into a thread masterpiece with lots of intricate work and feathering, scrolls, doo dads here and there.  That is not my style.  I appreciate the artistry of that kind of quilting and there are many quilters that are out there for someone that wants that kind of quilting.  I prefer simple quilting, just something to keep the quilt together, accentuate the beauty of the piecing, but something understated.  True these are not my quilts, but almost everyone I quilt for says "just do what you think is best."  Those are the most wonderful words ... my least favorite words ... "I would like, this, this, this and this" or "please make it look like the quilt in this book."  I am discovering that it is plenty okay to say "no, I don't quilt like that."  I have my own style and it looks like my own style ... I can show you samples and I am happy to do something that you would like, but it is not going to look like that picture in the book.  

I quilt not to make big bucks ... it is something I enjoy doing, and I am grateful to be able to provide a service for good friends and new friends.  When it starts to become a chore, then I know that it is time to slow down or stop ... I don't make enough money at this for it to be something that stresses me out.  Something my husband said to me a couple years ago when I was going to buy my longarm was "is this a hobby or a business?"  You have to decide that ... I hate it when he is right!  He was right ... it is important to know.  I started quilting to help pay for my machine, but never really had enough information to know whether it was something I was going to want to continue to do until the machine is paid for.  I had a three year plan ... I'm at a little over 2 years, and the 3 year plan probably is going to take longer.  In March when my granddaughter was born, our entire family went through a life change ... it had actually been manifesting since about July of 2012 ... quilting helped me get through some stressful patches and for that I am grateful.  However, my quilting business also started to become a chore and I was absolutely overwhelmed by it and life.  I gave myself permission to take a break for several months, and in that time did some heavy soul searching.  I realized that I quilt because I love to, but when it is too much work, then it does not become something joyful, but just one more thing to do.  If it takes me another 2 years to pay my machine off, then it just will.  The money I will spend in interest (and I got a really low interest rate), is worth having a calm, sane existence.  I am in a place in my life where I don't need to stress about making money and I wish to do things that make me happy, not things that give me gray hair!!

One of my greatest blessings is this sweet little person ... 7 1/2 months old and trying to crawl!


QuiltedSquid said...

Hi C-well said! Love your quilting and G-baby is adorable!

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