Thursday, January 2, 2014

Quilt Withdrawal is Real

Over the last 6 years that I've been quilting, I've found myself getting antsy when I am prevented from quilting for several days due to busy work schedule etc.  I laughingly called it "quilt withdrawal", and joked about it.  But, now I know, it's a real condition!

I had a complete hip replacement the week before Christmas, and I totally underestimated how quick - or I should say SLOW, recovering would be.  Somehow I thought that while I was home I'd be able to sit at my sewing machine and sew, and was looking forward to having a couple of weeks to spend quilting.  Unfortunately, what I've discovered is that I am having far more difficulty getting around than I had anticipated, and going down into the basement to my sewing room has been impossible so far.  So, other than hand sewing a binding on one quilt, I've been unable to quilt - and it's like going cold turkey!  I watch quilting videos, work on mastering my quilting business software program, read quilt magazines, but it just makes me want to get quilting even more.  I find myself feeling irritable, and frustrated that my body is preventing me from doing what my heart and mind want to do.

I've known for a long time that quilting has become a form of relaxation and therapy for me.  When I'm over tired from work or life's various conundrums, I quilt to find relief and peace.  This surgery has been very stressful for me personally, but it has also been hard on my poor husband who not only has to take care of me, but also keep running our construction and mini-storage businesses, by himself.  He's doing his own work, and mine too.  He's taken over all the tasks I've been doing, and having to learn it on the fly.  Most of it is not difficult, once you know what you need to do, but it's time consuming, and certainly not the kind of work he's used to.  He's doing great, but it's hard on him, and seeing that, it's hard on me, and I feel guilty.

I keep wishing I could fast forward about a month or two and be back doing all the things I'm used to doing, working, quilting, going to guild meetings, visiting with my girlfriend Brenda.    Hopefully I'll be getting around better next week, can maybe quilt a little if I can get my studio warmed up, and even go in to the office for a day or two to help my husband out.  In the meantime, I guess I'll watch some more Craftsy classes, and try to plan some future quilts.  So, if you read this, do a little quilting yourself, and treasure it.  I'll be jealous!

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Christmas Rush

This being my first year operating my Longarm quilting business, I haven't dealt with the "Christmas Rush" before, although my fellow longarmers warned me to be ready for it.  The hardest part is trying to estimate how long each quilt will take, so I don't make a delivery date promise I cannot keep.  And of course, none of those committments are for my own quilts, which I'd like to get done for my own family and friends.

Then, to top things off, I learned recently that I need to have a complete hip replacement done, in mid December!  Luckily I just finished my last Christmas delivery quilt for a customer, so that's done.  As for those quilts I hoped to finish for my family - well, I think they'll understand if they're a little late.

Here are some of the quilts that made their deadlines:
"Remembering My Dad"
  This one is called "Remembering My Dad", a memory quilt that was commissioned by Kim G. as a tribute to her father.  All the leaves are made from her father's plaid flannel shirts.  Since so many of the shirts were blue, I suggested adding additional fabric to vary the color of the leaves, and also adding the "river" to tie in the blue.  The red cardinal was a special request by my client.  All of the applique in the tree is flannel, and the back of the quilt is also flannel as Kim requested so she could cuddle up with something soft.  It is all machine appliqued, and then quilted with echos, clouds, grass, and water  motif stitching on my Gammil long arm machine.  The finished quilt is 6 ft. high, and 5 ft. wide, and includes a hanging sleeve to hang on a wall, or use as a quilt to snuggle up with. 

Making this was a labor of love for me, since I lost my own father in 2005.  My quilting studio was my father's former workshop, where we spent many hours together, refinishing antiques.  So, all the time I was working on this quilt for Kim, I was thinking about my own father, and remembering him, just as Kim remembers and misses her own father.  We were both "daddy's little girl".

Another quilt that got done is this really cool vintage quilt, done in the tumbling blocks design.  Something of a challenge, but came out great.

and this quilt was done for the Boone County Council on Aging's Quilt group.  This one was a challenge to decide how to quilt, but I think it turned out great.

Happy holidays everyone, and hope all your quilt projects get finished!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Keeping busy with customer quilts

I've been doing customer quilts for a few months now, and must say I do really enjoy it.  When a client brings in a quilt top, I feel like it's Christmas when I open the bag to see it.

My customers so far have all been very sweet people, and all have seemed to be very happy with their quilts, so that's a blessing.  I just wish I had a little more time to spend on some of my own quilts!

Here's a couple of the latest completed quilts:

This one was done as a raffle quilt for the Boone County Council on Aging.

This one was batik strips, on which I used variegated thread, turned out very pretty.
 "Twisted Witch" by Gerry Gerlach, very cute!

 Connie Kolts applique hearts was fun to work on.
My first "modern" quilt by Jan Luhman, very pretty.