A professional longarm machine quilter for hire and some of the work I've done.
Remember this quilt from Thursday? The perfect quilt. It is a quilt made from blocks received in a block exchange during Christmas. Ok, so let me tell you what happened….
When I first received the quilt in the mail my first reaction was…. hmm…. how fast can I quilt it to enter MQX? The deadline for receiving entries is January 15. Could I do a really good job of quilting…. get it photographed…. get the entry filled out and mailed in time? Would she give me permission to enter? Where in this house can I take a full photo?
The more I worked on it the better I liked it. Yesterday was a mad rush to get an entry ready. First I had to contact the owner to get permission to enter it. Computer was acting up so that took awhile. I send an email asking permission. Then I wait…. and wait…. Ok, stop waiting and do more quilting….
Quilting finished…. yes, it still looks good enough to enter. No machine problems with tension that I could spot anywhere. Design looks good too. Time to take a picture…
Uh, where? Same problem I’ve had all along…. no place to take pictures of full quilts. I decide to move things out of the way of the one uninterrupted wall large enough to hang a quilt. I think to myself…. if I put some nails in the wall and use binder clips I can take the pictures. I get out the ladder…. now where did I put the hammer and nails? Mad search through the house to locate those. I measure down from the ceiling to get the nails placed evenly. By the way, my daughter says I’m the holes in the wall queen. I seem to have nail holes everywhere.
Next I need binder clips…. another mad search for those. Hmmm… I do remember putting them into a green bag… but what on earth did I do with them after that? I move things around and search through all the rooms. Ah ha! Now I remember, I put the bag into a plastic tool box. I dig under a few plastic boxes to find the right one.
I take the quilt off the machine…. put the binder clips on… try to hang the quilt… uh, the clips won’t hold. The quilt slips out of them. Now what? I spend some time thinking…. ok, maybe safety pins…. I do a mad search for safety pins. Great! The safety pins work. I hang the quilt and take the pictures.
Ok, now I need to get them printed. Geeze…. the computer doesn’t want to print pictures. I have 5 different softwares on my computer for printing pictures and none will print. I keep getting error messages. I want to run to a store to print them but I can’t. I have customers coming by to drop off quilts. So I keep trying…. One customer arrives and leaves. I try again. Ah ha! I have another inspiration… put the pictures in MS Word and print. Yup, it works. Not great but good enough.
Ok now… I’m still waiting on permission. I decide to go ahead and send the entry. If the owner says no I can always withdraw the entry. I go on a mad rush to find someone to take the envelope to the post office for me and send it by priority mail.
Well dang! Not one person around to take it to the post office…. now what? I still can’t leave because I’m expecting another customer. Ok, I think about it and realize… our mailman doesn’t get here until about 6 or 6:30 most days… I can go online to get a priority label. I grab the credit card and go online…. I sign up for USPS online service and get a pre-paid label.
I double check everything…. seal the envelope… attach the label… put it on the mailbox. Another customer arrives with her quilt top. We chat for over an hour… she’s a talker. customer leaves. She also rides the bus so I can’t ask her to take the envelope to the post office. It would be out of her way.
Mailman still hasn’t arrived and its after 5. Still no one around to take it to the post office. I pace the floor and watch for the mailman. I put the quilt back onto the machine for the last little bit of quilting. I forgot to put something inside three of the center squares.
The owner of the quilt calls… wow, she sounds exactly like my niece. We talk for awhile. She’s happy to be able to enter the quilt. It will be her first entry into a show anywhere. I ask if she can do good binding? Yes, she does. I asked because that’s one of the first things a judge looks at. Bad binding eliminates many quilts. I’ve just learned how to do good binding in the last couple of years myself. I’ll finish the quilting and get it picked up by UPS on Monday to be on its way to her. I want to talk longer but I’m still pacing the floor watching for the mailman.
At 7:30 I give up…. mailman isn’t coming today. This happens a lot here. The mailman just doesn’t show up. Today, I will have two mail deliveries. What happens is the mail that wasn’t delivered yesterday gets here in the morning when he finishes his route. Then he starts all over on the route. Which means he will be here again in the afternoon. Why this way instead of just putting it all together…. who knows? It’s a government thing. The government doesn’t make sense most of the time.
What will I do about the priority envelope? My sister in law is coming over this morning for a day of quilt lessons. I’ll ask my brother to run it to the post office after he drops her off. All I can do now is hope and wait… Hope it arrives in time…. wait to see if the quilt is accepted.
So here is the finished quilt….
And a picture of the center that I missed…. it’s quilted now though. On my computer, when I click for the larger size, it looks like I used verigated thread. I didn’t. I actually used a neutral color.