Anita's quilts and quilting

A professional longarm machine quilter for hire and some of the work I've done.


I didn’t quite finish the quilt I’ve had on the machine for two days. My SIL came over yesterday and needed help with her quilts which meant I had to stop my own work. I’m down to the very last couple of rows. I should be able to finish it this morning and post pictures tomorrow.

Hmmm… I guess I should say its official now. I had some phone calls yesterday to be put onto my waiting list. I told them I would not be putting any more names on it for awhile. I’ll only finish up the one’s already on the list and take a few months off. I guess that would be the equivalent of giving the boss my resignation. I don’t feel scared at all about giving up the main source of my income. I simply feel relieved!

I was asked what I plan to do when I no longer have long waiting lists of topper names. Oh my goodness, there are so many possibilities. I’ll list a few quilty things:

A – More charity quilts
B – Clothing memory quilts
C – T-shirt quilts
D – Write a quilt book
E – Create some art quilts
F – Teach those who buy a quilting machine what to do with it
G – Design quilts
H – Teach piecing classes at the LQSs
I – Enter a quilt contest or two
J – Work on a business plan to move
K – Show more ways to stay organized with quilting

That’s just the quilty type things I can do. There are many possibilities for non-quilt activities too. Like see the kids and grandkids. Have lunches with nice ladies. Visit art galleries. See, there are lots of things I can do.

I had been feeling kind of down the last few days. I got an email from a lady on the West Coast that really made me feel good. She pointed out that my blog posts are making a difference. That’s what I had hoped when I started it. I was beginning to doubt my blog posts were helping anyone. Time doesn’t allow me to answer bunches of emails but a nice one received like that now and then really helps me even if I can’t answer it right away.

My SIL asked me why I felt I should quit for awhile. Besides not having a life there are the hurtful comments made by toppers about machine quilters that are like a stab to my heart. What?!? No, no, the comments are not intentionally said to be hurtful but none the less they hurt. I read and hear comments like this: “I’m tired of waiting months for my machine quilter to finish my tops.” “I only had 3 tops so why should I have to wait 9 months or a year to get them back?” “She or he charges too much and takes too long.”

When I hear or read these comments I want to cry or scream or say here let me teach you how and you can do your own. All I can really say to these toppers is — if a machine quilter has possession of your tops for many months you are working the system wrong!

So why are these comments hurtful? Because I know how much of a life machine quilters give up just to stay ahead of the long waiting lists. It happens gradually, over time, as a machine quilter gains confidence to create better quilting. As he or she gets better and word spreads more people want to get their tops done by them.

A topper only knows about their own number of tops and not about the 30 or 40 other people who have called with 3 or 4 tops finished too. Do the math, if there are say – 20 people with 2 tops each calling one machine quilter. That’s 40 tops on a waiting list. Now say that those tops are all double bed size or larger and are to get custom quilting that takes on average 2 days each. That means – 20 customers; times 2 tops each; is 40 tops; times 2 days each — Oh my! 80 days of quilt work. Does the machine quilter work 80 straight days to get them done? What about illness, or family emergency, or a machine breakdown, or delay in getting supplies, or another 20 people calling with 2 tops each? These things also figure into how fast a machine quilter gets your tops finished. Come on toppers, have a heart, think about what you are asking of your machine quilter.

Time again for me to stop rambling and get into the studio. 45 quilts and counting down.



This entry was posted on May 26, 2007 by in ART JOURNEY, Journey 2007.

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