It’s been awhile. And by awhile, I mean way too long. I’ve been working full time plus helping at the shop too many hours to count. This isn’t a pity-party, but a party because that has all changed now!
I’m still at the shop too many hours to count, but that full time job is no longer on the table. I’ve taken a leap of faith, and I’m trying to follow a dream. (Or something like that….)
My husband has decided that I am a “Professional Quilter; Occupation: Quilter.” He made that declaration as I walked in the door one week ago after my last day training my replacement at the full time office job. I think he was under the impression that I won’t need to add to my personal fabric stash, now that I’m around fabric all day. He has no idea.. 🙂
Now that I’m at the shop, and supposedly have free time (I still haven’t seen any or that), we are going to start working of a few fun things we’ve been planning. We are also gearing up to announce our next few months of classes. So far, our classes have been successful, fun, and energetic, so we want to keep that going.
8 + 2 + 1 = ?
I’m a numbers person. I struggle with scrappy, I try to find a pattern even if it is hidden deep, I want some sort of order to things. I look for numbers. I think this is the only reason I can work up a pattern from a picture. My brain functions by adding seam allowance to things and using one yard lengths, 40 inch width, and feeling at home with a calculator in my hand. I might be a numbers person, but please do not ask me to do anything in my head. I need a calculator and something to write on: a napkin, post it note, paper, anything.
This weekend we quilted EIGHT quilts. They were all beautiful and all completely different. The quilts ranged from: a Harry Potter baby quilt (pictures are top secret until later this month), a fabulously finished t-shirt quilt from our class earlier this month, a jelly roll strip quilt that came to life with the quilting, a peacock-lovers wedding quilt, two twin Farm Girl Vintage quilts (I LOVE FGV!), a scrap quilt where the lady used a piece of wood cut by her husband- so resourceful and so smart, I have too many ideas now- and lastly one we finished at the end of last week called Tapestry.
I also started TWO quilts this weekend. Go big or go home, right? We have a class coming up, and my goal is to always make at least one quilt of each size before sharing any fabric measurements or class patterns. I am still working full time in addition to the shop, so my time has been scarce. I finally disappeared this weekend and started cutting. Friday and Saturday I spent finishing one size using our brand new Moda line, Poetry, and Sunday I found a couple helpers to help cut out the second quilt. I went with a much different feel than the first, opting for solids and a more modern look. I started sewing this one Sunday and Monday evening. I have great things planned for the quilting of this modern-like quilt, but I am not sure when I will sneak in any of my quilts on Millie. I’m thinking that would have to happen in the middle of the night one of these days. If you ever pass the shop late one night and see the midnight oil burning away, you will know what I am up to.
I have ONE pup who will try her hardest to stay awake with me. (I had to come up with some excuse to share another puppy picture). Our oldest knows the routine, and she will always go to bed and get comfy, but the youngest will stay awake, or try to, until I am ready for bed. I caught her watching me from the top of the stairs Monday night as I sewed late trying to finish up a quilt. She would open her eyes if I looked her way or moved, but she was so tired and fighting sleep so badly. It was too funny to watch.
8 + 2 + 1 = A successful weekend and start of a new week!
See you at the machine,
Weekends used to mean a time to relax, clean house, catch up on laundry, and go grocery shopping. Now, they mean sewing and being surrounded by fabric! I’m fine with this tradeoff, but my house might be included in the next State of Emergency Alert. Long days doing what I love, and an extremely understanding husband, make the tradeoff bearable.
This weekend was busy… and fabulous… and so much fun. Friday I worked with Millie and caught up on random shop things including placing more inventory around the shop and ordering even more fun stuff. Saturday we had our first class. The Disappearing Nine Patch Class was a blast. Although the pattern was the same, each quilt was vastly different. I cannot wait to see the finished quilts. Everyone made great progress during class, so ladies, don’t let that get buried in your unfinished project pile. I’m mainly talking to myself since I have had a partially finished D9P floating around in my car/backpack/sewing room for quite a while now.
Two of the quilts we finished this weekend were customer quilts. One was a fun Bruin T-shirt quilt and the other was a GORGEOUS star quilt. The t-shirt quilt was quilted using a pattern similar to the border print.
The Star quilt was quilted with a simple Damask pattern. Can we have an honest moment for three seconds? This quilt made me nervous. First, it is GORGEOUS. I cannot believe the time spent on this quilt. Secondly, the story behind it is one to break hearts and show love. Every stitch was sewn with love, and I felt compelled to carry that through the quilting. Lastly, it is just so breathtaking. I was not the one to take this quilt in, so I had not seen it before I started loading it onto Millie. Breathtaking. Simply amazing. I believe I asked my mom if they were sure they wanted me to touch it. A few deep breaths later Millie started to hum.
The quilting pattern was perfect as it did not take away from the quilt piecing. Thank goodness. I would not have been able to handle it if the quilting changed this quilt in the smallest way.
Shout out to tall husbands and brothers. Also chairs and friends. Taking some of these pictures can be difficult but they put up with my “just a few more pictures” every single time.
The last quilt from the weekend (which is still on Millie) was a quilt my brother-in-law, Devin, has sewn. He pixilated two Star Wars graphics and pieced them together using 3 1/2 inch squares. I think there is a rule that you try to do anything a brother asks (I only have brothers), so we were jumping into the deep end and learning new things, left and right this weekend.
First, we wanted to keep the squares lined up. The front and back were the same size and used the same 3 1/2 squares, so in theory they were to line up. To handle this and knowing that the back sometimes shrinks up more while quilting on a Longarm we pinned the squares together all throughout the quilt. I also attached leaders onto the backing so I would have enough space to attach the quilt to Millie. On the last row of pinning, we found that there was an extra row on the top piece. Something was wrong. The unpinning began and we finally found the problem in the middle. We repined and were ready to start quilting.
Devin found two images he liked and wanted quilted throughout his quilt. One was a TIE Fighter and the other was a X Wing. At first, we tried pulling the images into Quilt Path, the program I use on Millie, but the program could not understand what line to draw next. She was moving all over the place and creating around 45 “jumps” in one small square (Jumps are when the machine moves but does not sew, so you are left with long threads to trim). I finally decided to draw each image line-by-line, so I could control what she would sew next. I figured out how to upload a background image to “trace”, but it still took quite a bit of time, and it was a huge learning curve. I was besties with that undo button.
I also reset the line and dot design he had found so it would fit in the different spaces. We made different sized blocks so all of the lines and circles would stay the same size and not get stretched or scrunched when we set each block. I set Quilt Path up to have four point marking in place. Every block could be placed within the set boundary and not start to sew outside of the grid. Although some blocks are off slightly, most are extremely close.
After all the blocks were designed and ready, I showed Devin how to place each block using the four point set up, pull the bobbin up, and get Millie to sew each blocks. While he worked on this, I was able to work on a handful of other things around the shop.
Out of nowhere, we heard an awful noise and everyone started running to Millie as I kept saying “Press stop! Press stop!” Devin caught it, pressed stop many times, and we were there. She broke a needle. I tried looking for the other part of the needle and said a prayer that Millie’s timing was not messed up. After looking underneath Millie, I quickly noticed the hook assembly looked out of place and way wrong. To test, I put a new needle in and tried using the fly-wheel to make sure everything was okay. It was not. I jumped online and searched for the re-timing video APQS has recorded on YouTube. A machine’s timing is correct when the needle can enter the bobbin basket as the hook assembly spins around at just the right time. This creates a stitch. Needle down, hook assembly spins, needle up, stitch created. That is the simple way to say it.
When I realized the video was almost an hour long and knowing we still had quite a bit of quilting left to do, I called Brenda (The sweetest distributor from Barnsdall – Red Barn Quilting). She confirmed my fear and said we really needed to watch the video and follow each step in order and fully. I thanked her and turned back to the computer. Here goes nothing… After the first three steps, back up was called in. My father-in-law was already at the shop, so he stepped in and I walked away.
I was a ball of nerves as the video continued; file this using an emery board, pull on this, unscrew and remove that. Each step caused me more fear, and I was not helpful. I quickly exited the room and worked elsewhere while they went at it. On occasion they asked for my help, then I would quickly leave again. It was best this way.
Eventually she was back to sewing happily, which meant that I was back to being happy. We began sewing again, this time moving on from the line design and starting on the X Wing blocks. On the first block we all gathered around and were mesmerized by Millie (it happens quite often).
Devin continued placing the blocks and working away. All that is left now are the vertical borders which I will finish up this week. I need to work more in the design software to set those up. This takes quite a bit of time and we were all exhausted last night. Soon it will be finished.
All in all it was a busy but fabulous weekend. We accomplished quite a lot, chatted with friends, and finished quilts. Learning new things is a key component of this journey and I am always pleased when things turn out well even if we have to take the long route to the finish line.
A new week awaits and another class, the t-shirt quilt class, is happening next weekend.
See you at the machine,
Well, I jumped off the deep end for a moment and forgot to clue you all in. It’s been a little while since my last post.
On top of the quilt shop, I am still working a full time job. This week I had a business trip, so I did what every quilter would do and I loaded up my sewing machine in hopes of setting aside a few hours for sewing. Although my evenings were pretty full, I was able to start a new project. I like to think I needed a new project because I was in a new place. I’ll take any excuse to start something new.
It isn’t WIP Week, so I cannot get in trouble. Remember, one of the goals about WIP Week is no new projects, though I often break that rule too.
Anyways, right before I left I cut, and cut, and cut my fabric. Now all my pieces are cut and all I have to do is sew. This quilt is an old paper piecing pattern. I’m playing and learning, but mostly playing.
I did not get far, however I do have one fully finished block to share.
I know I have several other things to update you on, but I always forget or jump around while writing.
We had another warehouse trip this week, so watch for new inventory!! If you come to Open Sew Night tonight you might get a sneak peek as I input everything into our inventory system. Make sure you stop by. 🙂
Boxes and car loads of fabric are a few of my favorite things. Of course, Millie tops this list, but they are both pretty fabulous.
Last week I ventured more into custom quilting with several wall hangings. They turned out really well, and I had a blast learning even more.
I also finished a spectacular customer quilt in purples. There are even more quilts making it onto my need-to-make list, but I know I will never quite be able to finish that list. Instead, I will fall in love with each quilt that passes and enjoy getting to work with them for the moment.
A funny story; we looked high and low for a quilting pattern for the Kitty Cat quilt. The customer asked for paws or balls of yarn. The only paws I could find were obviously puppy dog paws or a tiger/bear type of paw. I couldn’t find any balls of yarn either. Finally, I found cricket balls. They really looked like balls of yarn, especially on a kitty cat quilt. I sent a picture to the customer and we agreed this was perfect! You never know what we will find, but I will keep looking until we can capture the look you are hoping for on your quilt.
Another update is that our first quilt class is this Saturday! The class is a disappearing nine patch quilt and we cannot wait. I have worked up several different sizes and the class is aimed at beginner level and up. Anyone can take this class and be successful.
I have finished the layer cake friendly version and I am working on the throw quilt/charm pack friendly version. I am using Ellen Medlock fabrics and I LOVE how it is turning out. Such a perfect spring quilt.
I think that brings you up-to-date. Don’t forget Open Sew Night TONIGHT! (It’s free!)
See you at the machine (tonight at Open Sew!),
When we started this journey many people asked if we would have any locally manufactured fabric. We have truly tried to meet everyone’s wants and wishes. With that said, yes! We do have many fabric lines that are local or made in the USA, but we also have a local designer! Ellen Medlock is a designer who lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
When we started talking, my mom remembered hearing of a local designer at different quilt shows and even remembered going into her shop some time ago. Many conversations later, we finally figured out her name and I was able to track her down. Although she has closed down her Tulsa shop, she still has an Etsy store and I found an email address. After drooling over her fabric line I asked… or begged… her to allow us the privilege of carrying several of her bolts. She said “Yes,” and I squealed in excitement. Not only is she local, I LOVE her designs!
Not love, but an oh-my-gosh-I-can’t-live-without-it kind of love! She uses bright colors and fun patterns. Her fabrics would be great in a kids quilt, but also work perfectly in so many other things. She has a panel to make a tote bag which is fabulous, and her kid’s counting book panel is to die for. It is just the cutest.
I think it is safe to say we are enjoying this process and pulling in as many different types of designers and manufactures as we can. We are adding to our inventory weekly and making more orders just as often. We really hope you will let us know if there is something you’re wishing for.
See you at the machine,
I do not even know how to begin telling you about this past weekend. I’ve talked to several people about how to start this post, what to write, how to translate what is in my head out into words. I guess I should start with a deep breath.
*breathe in* *breathe out*
I’m somewhere lost in the clouds. I wasn’t sure what to expect this weekend, but OH MY GOODNESS it was more than I ever could have dreamed. Friday night as we worked through last minute details everyone started guessing at how Saturday, the Grand Opening for Quilter’s Hideaway, would go. Some thought we would have quite a few people show up, others thought a handful, and my favorite saying was that no one would show up and we would all just eat the cake ourselves.
Well, I didn’t get a single piece of cake, and I am beyond okay with that. You all showed up. It wasn’t in waves or even a trickle. We were packed constantly. I really hope everyone felt welcomed, though, as we tried our best to greet everyone as if they were our focus. Each person who walked through those doors meant something to us. It was a shared dream. So many people wanted a quilt shop to visit and our dream was coming true with each passing minute.
We had many friends visit. My sweet Bible Study friends did not disappoint with doughnuts, flowers, and lemon cookies (my favorite!) other friends brought flowers, smiles, and hugs. A lady my mom swims with even brought each of us handmade leis. They smelled and looked incredible!
Although we were busy I was still able to catch glimpses of friends running into each other, people seeing one another after many years apart, and people meeting potential new friends. This is exactly what we were hoping for. A community of people coming together and enjoying the same thing. So many prayers were answered this weekend and our dreams came true before our eyes.
We could not have made it without our incredible friends who helped us tremendously! My mother in law and her bestie helped cut fabric and kept fabric put up, another sweet lady helped take care of the snacks and punch, yet another helped cut fabric and greet visitors, someone made a lunch run for us, others helped with random things that came up, and my husband rolled his sleeves up and jumped in to help enter fabric and take care of whatever needed done (so thankful for him!).
When we started this journey we really only planned on having one room for our shop and one room for the classroom. Now, we have spilled into four rooms for the shop. And don’t tell anyone, but I have more fabric being delivered this week.
I think my biggest worry about opening was how our point of sale system would work. I wanted a way to track inventory so when we open our online shop, the QH shop and the online shop could run simultaneously. I didn’t want to have to update the online inventory every time we sold something in the store. This took quite a bit of preplanning, research, and time spent inputting every item. The other component of it was that we wanted a way to open a ticket at the cutting table and let it feed over to the checkout… some way.
After reading and reading, we found a way! The Square offered an open ticket component that allows us to start a ticket and save it for later use. If you came into our shop this weekend, you were asked for your name at the cutting table. Well, you were asked your name unless you came back again later in the day and my husband remembered what your name was. I have no idea how he did that, but there were a couple times he remembered and I was in shock. I guess I better step it up.
We asked your name to start your ticket. Then, when you were ready to check out, you could head over and add your remaining goodies without having to carry everything around the whole time. It actually worked really well! I was pleasantly surprised and hope you enjoyed that quality as well.
There was one giant hiccup where I managed to miss inputting the barcodes for a few bolts of backing. I had to give my husband a crash course in the middle of everything so those could be updated. It all managed to work itself out. Now I just look back and giggle over it. I also might have forgotten to order more business cards but Quick Prints saved the day and we had plenty just in time.
There were a couple activities we had going on during Grand Opening as well. One of the activities was our giveaways. Every hour we had a drawing. There were a couple gift certificates to QH, a QH T-shirt, thread, free classes, and a couple free fabric items. These were so fun, and I have emailed the winners who were not present when their name was drawn. Our first winner was actually checking out when her name was drawn, and she won a gift certificate. It worked out perfectly!
Another activity we had going was to pick a quilt for our March 25th sewing class. There were three teams: Team Blue (Log Cabin), Team White (Turning 20), and Team Green (Half Square Triangle). Many people participated by placing a button of their favorite team into a jar. At the end of the day the totals were 12 Team White, 43 Team Green, and 57 Team Blue. It looks like we will be having a Log Cabin class in March! Many classes have already started filling, so make sure you sign up soon. We do not have our online sign up set up at this time, so you will need to sign up in the shop.
We cannot thank you enough for supporting Quilter’s Hideaway! We have many fun things planned for the year and cannot wait to share them with you.
On a completely different note, it is WIP Week! The first full week of every month is WIP (Work in Progress) Week. Find a project and try to tackle it. I have a few projects in mind that I will hopefully be finishing up this week. Stay tuned.
Make sure you share your WIPs using #QHWIPWeek on Facebook and Instagram so we can see what you are up to!
See you at the machine,