Monday, June 3, 2013

Getting a Little Crafty...and Quilty

I don't believe I've ever talked about it on here, but I thought I'd share an interesting tidbit about me and my mother.  We own an online quilt shop and sell all (well, almost all) of the makings you would need to sew a quilt.  We're talking fabric, patterns, notions (rulers, scissors, etc.) and much more.  If you'd like to take a gander at our site, then you can simply click here.

The idea for this quilt shop was actually mine, believe it or not.  You see, a few years ago on Super Bowl Sunday, I went with my mom and mother-in-law to a quilt shop for a sale.  Did you know that most quilt shops have big sales on that day?  What a great way to give the ladies something to do on a day when the men are glued to the TV!  Anyway, I remember holding the place in line for fabric to be cut while my mom and mother-in-law browsed (it was a loooong line).  And I thought to myself as I looked around, "This looks like fun...we could do this."  So, I brought it up to my mom and she was all for it, though she wanted to just do an online shop, not a brick and mortar. 

Well, the quilt shop was launched a little over a year ago and we're pretty happy with the way things are rolling.  We've got a fair amount of repeat customers and have learned some of the ins and outs of this business, though we're always learning!  We both really enjoy it and it's almost like not having a job.  You always hear that you should find what you enjoy and make that your job.  I think we might have found that niche for us both.

As you might recall, I just recently got a fantastic table set up for my sewing machine again.  It's been years since I've really had a place to sit down and sew and create.  Well, since I've been able to explore that creative outlet in myself again, I've kinda gone wild between the aprons I'm making and attempting to sell on Etsy and whatnot.  At any point in my house I'm either reading, crocheting or sewing.  Or reading AND crocheting or sewing if it's an audiobook. 

Here within the past week I've decided to go a little bit further...  My mother brought me a bunch of pre-cut projects out of her stash and below is one that I made in one afternoon.

I love how this table runner turned out and I'll probably reuse the pattern with some different fabric here pretty soon.  Before I made this I only had one table runner for our formal dining room table.  I'd love to have a handful of different ones to rotate throughout the year. 

Well, after I whipped up that bad boy I decided I'd try something that I've never done before.  Now, I want to premise this by sharing that my mom has purchased a long-arm machine for the shop.  If you're unfamiliar with what a long-arm machine is, it's basically a huge sewing machine that does the actual quilting part of a quilt.  A lot of people love to put together a quilt top, that's the creative and fun part.  But, a lot of people don't like to do the quilting part, which is laying the quilt top, batting and the backing together, then sewing a pretty pattern throughout (AKA quilting).  At some point in our shop we want to offer those services, but first we have to experiment a little.  So, my mom gave me some quilt blocks to assemble and eventually I'll get to use them as my guinea pigs on the long arm machine. 

So!  With that being said, I started my first ever quilt.  Here's a pic of the twelve blocks I sewed together and the pattern sheet.  On the far left of the tri-fold sheet is how the quilt will look assembled.  I'll be putting these blocks together really soon, then the quilt top will go in my "guinea pig" pile.  Exciting times, huh?!  And I'm so blessed to have both my mother and mother-in-law as back-ups for all of this.  Both love to sew and quilt, so if I run across a problem then I have both available for advice on how best to proceed.

If you're interested in what long-arming looks like by a true professional (and not what my novice/amateur stuff will be looking like) then I highly suggest checking out the Green Fairy Quilt Blog.  Her work is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.  I, literally, look on in awe at what she can create with her long-arm; her feathers and swirls are gorgeous.  If I can get just half as good at it as she is, then I'll be happy!  You can visit her blog by clicking here.

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