I’ve recently come to grips with being a single woman again. It has been a struggle, but only because the person who I considered my rock and my stability is no longer that in my life. There are good things about that though, and I am looking for silver linings.
Little Old Lady Quilting Studio here in Bedford, VA has passed its first year. I’ve had so much fun and I’ve had such wonderful support from the community here.
This past year I have had the great pleasure of working on some really fun quilt projects and ALSO gotten to create some incredible thread art for clients and collectors. As I get the time now to refocus on where I really want to go in the future. I realize more and more that I LOVE finishing quilt tops for others with FMQ. Doing an edge to edge pantograph design bores me to tears. There are lots of other long arm quilters that are content to do that. or they use computerized systems to essentially do the same thing. More Power to them for knowing their niche and what they need to do to make ends meet.
I no longer accept orders for traditional quilts from scratch here. They take a lot of time compared to my thread art works, (and energy and expertise which should be included in the pricing!) and many people in this small community just can’t afford to pay what a one of a kind handmade quilt is worth.
I am focused now on my thread art and one finishing quilts for people that understand the nature of free-motion quilting and that treasure a one of a kind finished quilt. I’m also creating whole cloth quilts for clients. There is something amazing and challenging and fun in taking a huge piece of blank fabric and using RUBY ( my H.Q. Avante 18 ) to draw and paint with thread to create a one of a kind heirloom.
This was a small wedding lap quilt I created for a wedding gift. I was allow total freedom in design and execution, as long as I used the wedding color dusty rose. The client and the couple were very happy with it!
Starting with a preprinted center panel I built a quilt around it in neutral colors for a client. She wanted the pop of color to come from the thread Work. This was a blast to create and to quilt. And she loves it!!!
Now in the studio I am concentrating more on my thread work and only doing quilts that interest me. I am so happy here in my Studio /Cabin. And having life work that fulfils me and give me a purpose makes all the difference in life!
I love to do commission work. I know a lot of artists don’t because there are so many variables to making a client happy. My artwork is so personal and unique to me. I explain very carefully how I have my own style of work and that I have a color palette that inspires me. I am happy, and in fact thrilled, when someone presents a photo to me of their beloved farm or home or pet and then allows me the freedom to create a one of a kind work of art based on that image.
I’ve been very grateful for the people who have trusted me over the last few years to create work s for them. Not only have they and I been very happy with the results, but each project forces me to grow a little more as an artist. I’m going to put a few of the pieces I’ve been proud of here to share.
First I apologize for being away for so long. I intended to keep this blog updated, but my new business kind of ran away with me and while I did take pictures of everything I worked on, I rarely had time to actually write and post.
I’m going back and try to put the things I’ve created and my quilting in some kind of chronological order with pictures of step by step (where I have them.)
First let me update you a bit on Little Old Lady Quilting Studio — the cabin and the Studio.
As you know I bought the Cabin and closed last December, 2017. I moved to Bedford (my home town) in January of 2018, I immediately discovered a lot of issues that needed to be updated that we had not counted on.
All I can say is thank the goddess for the fact that we did carry a home warranty on the place. It more than paid for itself 5 times over. in the past year we have had to replace the refrigerator, the dishwasher, the washer AND dryer, and the Stove. We also had to have a mold remediation and treatments for issues in the crawl spaces under the cabin AND the Studio. ($$$) The handicapped walkways that were one of the selling features that attracted me in the first place were completely rotted through. We had to replace them and the deck on the cabin. THEN we found out we had to have a new roof on the cabin. The previous owners were DIYs who didn’t know what they were doing, and did not install the roof properly, so we had mold and water damage in the roof of the cabin and great room.
That all being said, it is STILL heaven here. I will happily spend the rest of my life here in Bedford doing the art and fiber work I love so much.
It is true. Here is one more crazy little old lady who wants to spend her days sewing, creating things, and then telling everyone about it. Forgive me! I can’t help it! I
I can’t help it! I have never been one to sit around idle and watch life pass me by. I also really enjoy being of service to others. The majority of quilters that I’ve known in my life really enjoy the making of a beautiful quilt top and finding the right material for a backing, but don’t really enjoy the hours it takes hand-quilting it, or the struggle of trying to wrangle and wrestle it to machine quilt it on a domestic sewing machine.
Since I can best serve others by doing the quilting that so many people don’t really want to do… well there it is a new business is born! I love the artistic part of finding the right patterns to compliment the already existing beauty fo a quilt top. A long-arm machine can work several ways. It can work edge to edge following a pre-determined computer program, or it can be used like an artist uses a pen to draw a pattern on the surface of the quilt. I LOVE both ways.