This week I’m having a fun beach vacation with the family and since I’m not sewing, I’ve had a bit of time to think about sewing instead. Recently it occurred to me that whenever I travel and teach, I often say that I do all of my own “stunt sewing” – and I know I’m somewhat of an anomaly when it comes to professional quilters that do this full-time. There’s nothing wrong with busy designers getting help, but I just love sewing my own stuff and don’t want to give it up!
View from my “office” this week at Hermosa Beach, CA where I’m writing this blog post.
Recently, someone asked me “now that you are successful in your business – when are you going to hire me to sew for you?” I know she meant it as a compliment and really wanted to help me out, but my gut reaction was – if I ever get to the point that I don’t have time to sew or quilt my own quilts, what’s the point of HAVING a quilting business??
For reals, I’d rather hire out my cooking and cleaning than ever give up sewing. In fact, I already have a team in place that helps me with some of the other tasks – a graphic designer helps lay out my patterns, and I just recently started using the services of a virtual assistant to help me with some of my pattern editing.
We’re starting off each beach day with a family bike ride; we love great views and great exercise!
From time to time, I’ll enlist other designer friends to make quilts to showcase my fabrics using their patterns, and sometimes enthusiastic fans and followers will pitch in and remake some of my older patterns using my fabric. In all of those cases though, they are making THEIR quilts, not MY quilts.
In fact, it was kind of funny that when I was working on creating the projects for my second book The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting, the deadlines were VERY tight. I had to make about 10 quilts in 4 months so my publisher offered to pitch in and help. Because the book focused on machine quilting, they offered to help with piecing or binding to help reduce my load. I looked at them like I thought they were crazy pants and politely turned them down. I’m not sure if it’s my control freak tendencies or what, but the fact of the matter is, I simply like to do each step of the process myself, LOL!!
One of the guest beds at the beach house is our “flat” staging area waiting for photography.
FYI – Dot’n Dash will be the quilt-along I’m doing next month– so stay tuned!!
Now that I’m designing fabric, I have even less time to sew because much of my time is spent with a sketchbook or at the computer. But all that really means is instead of mass producing large quantities of new quilts and patterns, I’ll be very thoughtful about the quilts I choose to make, and I’ll continue to enjoy every step! The other thing it means is that I can take more time to tell you about the quilts I am making, and share more than just one picture or blog post of each.
Jason loves scouting out interesting places for photographs. He saw these surfboards and thought they’d make an interesting backdrop. See the photo below…
Speaking about being more thoughtful about how I share my finished quilts, Jason had the brilliant idea of bringing a few of them with us so we could photograph them in cool beachy locations on vacation. I loved that idea, especially since there wasn’t much time for photography before quilt market.
So be on the lookout my official “Ta-Da” blog posts a little later on. I usually like to have a landing spot for the finished quilts I make which includes all of the pertinent details: size, materials used, quilt designs I chose, etc. I also enjoy writing up a little more about the process of making them so at least I can get a little more mileage out of each quilt, since there are fewer quilts to share. For some people, their quilt isn’t finished until it has a label. For me it’s not done until I’ve blogged about it.
This is an “outtake” of our photo session showing my son’s feet, who’s our official quilt holder.
He’s pretty good about hiding all of his body parts while we shoot, LOL!!
Kits for this quilt are available here.
While we are having a great time at the beach, (after a super busy spring and summer of teaching), you can be sure I’m also planning out the next round of quilts and patterns I’ll be working on later this year – and how I’ll be able to finish step of the process in a limited amount of time. After two rounds of fabric design (and working on my third!!), I think I finally have a handle on what a realistic timeline looks like, and feeling happy that I’m not biting off more than I can chew!
Now I’m curious – which parts of the quilting process do you enjoy most? Do you like to just piece, quilt, or do the whole shebang like me? Remember – it’s your quilt so there’s no wrong answer!!