Summary of things that would describe this quilter:
Blogger & Owner of Stitches Quilting Online Store – Live in Salt Lake City Utah – Born on a farm but now live in a city – Quilter – DIY – Sewist – Pattern Writer – Surface Pattern Designer – Graphic Design – Special Needs Mom – Proud Handy User of Power and Hand Tools – Hand and Machine Embroidery – Heirloom Maker – Long Armer – Jewelry Maker – Gadget Lover – Technology Lover – (I use every gadget to its fullest potential to not waste money – I like to read the entire manual) – Social Media Networker – Laid 2 stories of my own hardwood floors – Redecorated husband’s law office with DIY Repurposed Stripped Filing Cabinets in Industrial Look – Thrift and Repurpose Lover – Positive – Appreciates Antique, Vintage, Simplistic Items – Bargain Enthusiast – Spiritually Oriented – Survivor – Creative parent – Gentle Spirited – Non Judgmental – Divorced and Happily Remarried for 12 years – Mother – Practical – Enjoy making Household Products and Makeup – Novice Photographer & Videographer – Entrepreneur – Firm Personal Believer in the Quote, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” (Often in this day and age we live a life of such over excess.) – Generous and Love to Share what I have with Others – Always and Endlessly trying to improve myself to be a better person.
My love of sewing started when I was a young girl and I actually made a vest with my grandmother on a non-electric foot treadle sewing machine!
As a teen, I loved finding a pattern to make something to wear or a gift for someone else. I always felt a sense of accomplishment after I made something, although I have to admit that sewing my own clothing was disappointing at this age.
I learned about quilting when I was in high school and I know this is mind boggling but my first quilt was a whole cloth hand quilted quilt. I started it in the 1980’s which the shiny fabric and design dates my selection, I found hand quilting relaxing although I have to admit that family members helped me finish it as it was a huge undertaking.
My next sewing adventure that I loved was making Halloween costumes for my children. It was something that my girlfriends and I enjoyed doing with our children and my children loved how I could make their imagination come alive with fabric. My children loved the super hero capes and everything else I sewed for them. Just a few years after I had my first child, a good friend, Randi Welch, taught me how to cut fabric and piece it back together again to create a quilt top. I loved it and embraced the craft with precision. The quilting generation at that time taught you to always press your seams to the side with the darker fabric. I lived in Galveston Texas at the time, with no fabric store on the island with my only access to Walmart fabrics and one small darling quilt store that I didn’t feel I could afford the quality quilting fabrics. Not having much of a budget for gifts during my 1st husband’s school and training, I made every gift for each holiday to extended family members. I loved giving gifts that were personal, useful and handmade. We didn’t have much money so I was very frugal with what I made.
I never lived in a place where I had easy access to trendy quilt stores and especially in Yuma, Arizona. I found myself having to travel three hours to Phoenix or San Diego to try to find quality quilting fabrics. Even though there was a quilting store in Yuma, they did not sell Moda fabrics, and I really loved the style of Moda fabrics. After my divorce in 2002, I invested some money into opening a 2,000 square foot brick and mortar quilt store.
I loved my Shoppe and it was a second home to my three young boys. When the fabric started arriving, I was in ecstatic and loved touching and arranging displays. My Shabby Chic Italian themed Shoppe attracted new young quilters along with the snow birds that would travel to Yuma for the winter months. The Shoppe had a large variety of classes available, but was ALWAYS open and room for someone to just plop in with their sewing machine to stitch there and socialize instead of being alone at home. The Shoppe had a beautiful area for children to play that had a custom crafted stucco Italian playhouse as the central feature along with dolls, quilts, tea sets, dress up clothing, legos, TV’s gaming and more.
It was darling because no child ever wanted to leave my Shoppe. After a mother would make her selections, we could see her nervously approach the child to say it was time to leave, and the child always protested. The mom would have to say to the child five or ten more minutes and then nervously walk the Shoppe and visit with others going back to retrieve the still resistant child. People loved to come to the Shoppe although leaving the Shoppe was often difficult. Every month I showcased a local ordinary quilter’s work and displayed all their pieces in the store. The Shoppe evolved monthly with new quilts from designated local quilters of the month let alone the beautiful samples for the fabric, books, pattern and notions being sold.
One of the hardest things I did was close the Shoppe, my youngest child sustained a traumatic brain injury at 11 months of age from riding a horse. He was paralyzed on the right side and had to learn everything over again and I already had one autistic son diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosiss . I knew I needed to focus all my energies to my children and it was costing so much to have other people run the shoppe. I remarried and moved to Utah. I had no idea how much fabric the sweet employees and snow birds had packed up for me after my son’s accident. Unknown to me these boxes traveled with me from Arizona to Utah. After getting my master’s degree 2008 and being the practical person that I am, I decided to re-open the Shoppe online with the boxes of bolts of fabric newly discovered from the store. The fabric sold like hot cakes because by that time the fabric was highly collectible and out of print.
After selling enough fabric, I saved up to buy a long arm quilting machine. I always wanted one and would only machine quilt my quilts on my domestic machine. I had a friend, Renae Haddadin, at Quilts on the Corner, that encouraged me that I could operate a long arm machine and after admiring them for years, I finally bought one in 2010. I don’t care to long arm for other people but love to long arm for myself and teach others how to long arm quilt tops they would make in my studio.
I choose the name of “Stitches” for my business in 2002 but after reopening it in 2008, I had to add “Stitches Quilting” to the name in Utah. The name Stitches represented happiness and lightheartedness. I am a glass half full kind of gal, and the one that looks at things through rose-colored glasses. I am one of those positive “Tiggers” that seem to naturally annoy “Eeyores”, although when I sense an “Eeyore” is with me, I am sensitive and naturally limit the positive annoying “Tigger” within me.
One thing that I love about quilting is the connections it brings with other people. Either making a gift by hand or building relationships through spending time to teach someone how to quilt those connections naturally come. I have domestic machines that are always available for people to come over and sew with.
I wouldn’t be able to even count the number of quilts I have made in my lifetime or the number of people I have taught to quilt. I’m apprehensive to just show you quilts I have made, as it isn’t the quilts that I work hard at making but connections with other people and impacting others’ lives through quilting that is important to me. Do you feel the same way about your quilts that each one is a personal journey of growth or meaning with an entire story behind it? An extremely simple quilt of mine may have the most amazing personal impact in my life based on why I was making the quilt and what journey I was on in my life at the time.
Many people think that they can’t quilt, based off of negative impressions say from their home ec class. Nothing thrills me more than to share my enthusiasm that anyone can do anything they set their mind to. Nothing is as difficult as it ever seems when it is broken down into sizable pieces. Especially for quilting because anyone can embrace it at any level as really it begins with simple sewing of straight lines. I love to teach people and even children that what they have told themselves from past experiences that they can’t do they really can do and are capable of anything if they have the faith and encouragement to try. Were you someone that didn’t think you had a skill set or thought it would be too difficult that made you apprehensive to enjoy quilting or something else in life?
Quilting is also a hobby that is simple or challenging as one wants. Each quilt is uniquely personal by learning new techniques, using different materials, fabrics, threads or expressions of what one loves at the time. That is what I love about quilting is the connections you make with others and that the craft is as easy or challenging as you want it. I now no longer need a pattern to make anything. Someone can just show me a picture or doodle of something and I can personally make it or teach them how to make it. I love the challenge to create my own patterns based off of the fabrics available, project needed and limitations existing. I find that sometimes the limitations we are given is what draws out the most creativity that is within us. Do you feel the same way? What is the simplest quilt you have made and then the most challenging? Do you find your emotional attachments of the quilts you make are based on the complexity of the quilting?
This blog is dedicated to teaching others what I have learned from many years of quilting and “stitching through life”. I fiercely believe that if someone buys fabric from me that I don’t want it to sit somewhere unfinished because they are overwhelmed by the project or just in need of some encouragement. I believe in supporting those that purchase things anywhere so they are used in that the work of our hands can delight the souls of others along with making ourselves feel uplifted and good.
A blogging tip from me at this time of developing my own blog is to make sure your branding is carried through all of your social media. Social media is a free place to draw others to the things we love. Make your email, usernames of all accounts the same along using the same profile picture and banners on every social media platform. Even if you are not comfortable with a certain social media platform and not nearly ready to even use it, save the user name so it is consistent with all your other social media accounts. One can also really polish their social media networking by inserting hyperlinks into the bottom of your email signature including social media icons, a photograph of yourself and logo of your brand. (photo) What blogging tip do you have to share, because I have a lot to learn including that this blog post should be shorter in length?
Another quilt blogging tip is to join our #Quilt Bloggers# Pinterest Group Board where we can pin our blog posts to and then each member of the group will repin each other’s group pins posted to the group Pinterest board. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to request to join.
For a quilting tip – take care of yourself meticulously now so that you can continue to quilt and share with others you love for a very long time. When I say take care of yourself, live a gentle life of balance, keeping in mind that a healthy physical, emotional and spiritual well-being will give you more time to quilt and create giving you extended years of health. I also believe in making your craft a family social affair to spend time together. What life or health things do you think can extend your ability to quilt a long and healthy life. My children always played right with me as I created things sometimes with them joining in to help and sweet gentle boundaries were always set to not touch the rotary cutter etc.
A quilting tip is to always have your sewing machine out or fabrics to cut. I reward myself with a bit of stitching after getting a ton of required demands of life done. But even that 15 minutes I may have been able to stitch something and admire the block or item gives me much pleasure. If you always have a small area available it is amazing what time can be carved out of a day while you wait for noodles to boil for dinner or whatever it might be. So have your machine or hand sewing project easily accessible. What do you think helps you make progress on your projects?
A quilting tip is that hard and fast rules of quilting may change through the years as access to quality quilting materials, techniques, technology and sciences evolve. (ex. the standard is now to press your seams open because thread and fabrics are of a very different strength) Summing it up don’t be so rigid on yourself. What quilting technique have you seen change through the years?
A great long arm quilting technique is to use Renae Haddadin’s “Red Snappers” to attach your backing and quilt to the leaders by just snapping away instead of pinning or sewing zipper leaders to your quilt top and backing. It saves a TON of time! Are you not amazed by the things that can still be invented in this quilting industry that has been around for centuries? Below is a video of Renae explaining how to use these “Red Snappers”! What an invention!
My dream is to make a complete cathedral quilt and have that quilt be on my bed in my later years when I can no longer quilt and pass on to another season and phase of life. But before then I plan on sharing what I have learned in my younger years with anyone that would like to join me on the journey and share their experiences with quilting and life. Attached is the picture of the cathedral window quilt that I have kept posted on my daydreaming board next to my sewing machine for years. What ultimate quilt do you day dream of making? What other life experiences have you learned from embracing the art of quilting?
Please comment below, I love to interact with people and hear the thoughts that you have. I certainly don’t just want to ramble but look forward to having a dialogue with all of you and learn the thoughts you have about quilting. I hope this article helps you learn more about me as the store owner of Stitches Quilting and author of “Stitching through Life” Blog.
Can’t wait to hear from all of you!
I was challenged to write this blog post as a member of the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Group. This is week 4 of the group and there are many other wonderful Quilt Bloggers that are a part of the group that you would enjoy reading about them and their blogs. There are also several valuable Giveaways that you can enter that are being used to promote this group of Bloggers. I can’t possibly thank enough the four group leaders that have inspired all of us to collaborate as a group and optimize our skills.
This Year’s Hosts
Meadow Mist Designs
Late Night Quilter
My personal group leader is Terri Ann with Childlike Fascination and my group is called the Sewcial Swarm
Welcome to the final week of the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop! I’m so happy and thankful that you’ve all been here to follow along and check out all these new quilt bloggers along with us. Today I am excited to introduce you additional members of the Sewcial Swarm Hive that are posting in week 4:
I invite you to click and visit their blogs, and leave them a friendly comment to say hi. Bloggers appreciate comments so much; so many of us don’t have friends to sew with and connect to the quilting world virtually. Comments make the online quilting world go ’round!