Yes, it is true. I quilt for hire. But I am not a long-armer. I quilt the old-fashioned way, with my trusty home sewing machine. Sometimes it's hard work, and sometimes it's nothing but fun. I think the best part of quilting for hire (other than the income to support my habit) is seeing what other quilters are putting together. They have a different eye for color, and each has a unique sense of style. They add spice and variety to what I choose to put on my plate.
Take, for example, the "huge purple quilt." This is the quilt I am currently working on. It's a lovely queen-sized Garden Twist, something I would never make. Not because I don't like it, but because there are simply not enough hours in my life. Garden Twist does not make the list of quilts that I really want to sew. But here it is, in my sewing room, waiting for me to finish it. I've already quilted the roses and the wisteria. I just need to add a winding vine to hold them all in place. I believe I took this picture before I began the free motion quilting. How does one quilt a quilt this large on a home machine? It's like eating an elephant...just little bits at a time, and eventually it is finished.
I'm often asked how I pin-baste the quilts. This little wallhanging is waiting to be quilted. I took the picture before I closed the pins, so that they would show up better. Using too many pins is better than too few. The last thing you want is for your backing to slip and cause pleats or puckers. More pins will help prevent that.
This is what my sewing area looks like. My machine drops into the sewing table, giving me a nice workspace to support the quilt. I did encounter a problem with the table. I'm fairly tall, and the surface was too low for comfort. Once I put it up on 3" risers, most of the pains in my back just went away. Very, very nice. :)
Finally, this is a close-up of a finished table runner. I'm often asked about choosing a quilting design. My reply is that the piece itself or the fabric will "speak" to me. This Christmas table runner did exactly that. I didn't want to spoil the beautiful pine tree batik by quilting over the design, so I simply quilted "ground" behind the trees. In the border squares, I quilted holly leaves with gold metallic thread. Many of the fabrics had gold accents, so I chose my thread accordingly. The quilting is fairly simple and straight-forward.
My goal, when quilting for others, is for the quilting to enhance their work. They didn't make their quilt for my quilting, they made it because they liked the pattern or the fabric or it spoke to them. I try to find out what their quilt has said, then use the quilting to complete their vision. I'd like to think that I'm usually successful...
3 days ago