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Some of my clients are quilters who love to piece, but not finish quilting and binding. I often have requests to do these parts for them. Both can be time consuming, but I find them fun.
One of my recent orders involving one of these quilters was in March. My mother-in-law had given my name and information to a previous co-worker, who had recently taken a quilting class, and was happy to call me and have me long arm her almost finished project.
I was glad for the business, as I hadn’t done any work for a client since January or so. But imagine my jubilation when I found out that she wasn’t the only one who had taken the class- her best friend and friend’s two daughters had also made a quilt- and wanted me to do theirs too!
The client, and her best friend, and one of the best friend’s daughters all mailed me their quilts. Triple the business!!
What really stuck out to me here was the fact that all of the clients had done the same class, and their quilts were all the same pattern. And yet, the colors and fabrics and also what kind of quilting they wanted varied immensely.
The first client’s quilt was made out of multicolored batiks. On that one I used teal thread and a paisley quilting pattern. The result was very pretty. My mother said it was “stunning”.
The second’s client’s quilt was yellow, green, and bright pink. I used white thread for this one, in a floral design.
The second client’s daughter made the quilt that was probably my favorite. I thought it was really cute. It was in all nautical fabrics, and so I decided to use a whale quilting pattern. I used a red, white, and blue variegated thread for the stitching.
I mailed the quilts back to the clients, and they all loved them. In fact, the first client is sending me another quilt! I’m glad I was able to help three more happy customers!
In the past months I have been very busy with life in general, but as soon as I got the chance to write this blog, I knew exactly which order I was going to write about!
It was the beginning of December when I got call from a new client, with a very interesting request. He had gotten my information from Blue Hen Quilt Shop, where my friends let me leave business cards. His parents had recently downsized, and his father had been forced to get rid of a collection of hats that he had owned.
The client had salvaged some of the hats, and asked me to make a pillow out of them. His father did not know about it, as it was to be a gift. I took the job, though I had never done anything like it before. It was very exciting!
He brought me thirteen hat insignias that I would use to make the pillow case from. (The pillow was plain) Making the pillow case out of hats, as I had never done before, was a challenge, but was also fun, because I learned from the experience.
The first step was to trim the hat insignias. I then fused them to a 20” square of fabric. On my machine, I stitched around them. Next, I layered the case on my beloved long arm machine. I hand guided around them, and I was very pleased with the results.
So was the customer! He, being a lawyer, suggested that I patent the design. (My daughter found this hilarious!) It is unclear whether I will do this, but I was very glad to know I had done such a good job on something very new to me.
New challenges are always welcome to me, though some things are harder than others. It is always fascinating to see how things turn out! Though there may be a day that I have to turn down a request, I hope that day doesn’t come soon!
It was definitely hard, but I am willing to do it again if it means business. What a creative way to display a collection!
Many years ago I offered to let my daughter choose blocks for a quilt for her bed. She was getting older and outgrowing the adorable ducky quilt Mom and I had made for her when she was two. I gave her an applique pattern book thinking she would pick one or two and then I would piece the rest of the blocks.
Boy, was I wrong!
Instead Maddie chose 25 blocks. I managed to get her to choose her favorite 15 and told her it would be years before I was finished. She agreed. Several times over the next 4 years she regretted her decision as I carefully hand appliqued flowers, leaves, baskets, and a bird.
But over the summer I finally finished the quilt and entered it in the Ladybug Quilt Guild’s show. It won 2nd place for hand applique bed-sized quilts!!
Maddie now loves sleeping under this labor of love. Her favorite blocks are the bird and the dragonflies. My favorite element is the shimmery fabric I found in our scrap bag for the dragonflies’ wings.
This was my latest order. It was something new for me! I had never used neckties before. It was definitely a learning experience. First of all, I had not thought about the fact that many ties are silk and therefore stretchy. I decided to use fusible interfacing on all of the ties instead of just the stretchier ones to give me a more uniform feel at the end.
Some of the ties were light enough that white interfacing worked, but for most of the ties I used black. This was also helpful as a few of the ties were older and fraying a little. The interfacing will stop the fraying so the blocks will last longer.
Next I laid out the quilt with the fuchsia fabric that the customer and I had chosen for the sashing (fabric between the blocks) since that was her favorite color. I sent her a picture and then we had a dilemma. She didn’t think the fuchsia was the best choice. We thought about gray but decided on this royal blue. And I am so glad that we changed it. The blue made the ties stand out without being too distracting like the fuchsia would have done.
My next hurdle was the initials that the customer asked for. I have cut out letters in the past and hand stitched or machine stitched them on. But she asked for script letters which are much harder to machine stitch and so I decided to try something I had heard about at a quilting conference last year. I put a square of beige tie over another tie block and had the longarm stitch the initials. I then trimmed away the extra fabric and voila!
Once the initials were done it was all downhill work. The quilting went quickly and so did the binding.
The customer picked it up and was very pleased with the result! Another happy customer.