Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Rosie Rail Fence Variation

I used Helen Squire stencil in the border and a sashing I learned in Deloa Jones class at MQS 2008. The center was freehand version of a floral panto named Pailey Playtime. Signature Daisy on top with So Fine Rose Petal #416 and the bobbin was So Fine Daffodil #420 in the bobbin.

Moving Day Looms Large

We are moving. We signed the papers last Friday and we have been moving some boxes (read as: my stash) a little everyday. We have a bunch of help from our church coming this Saturday. The real estate agent is letting us use the Centry 21 moving truck complete with ramp.

We are in the midst of trying to setup the telephone, TV and internet. What a GIANT-sized pain that is. We are moving further from town so our wonderful Cox bundle does not work out here. AT&T had cable service here but that got burned out in the Witch Creek fire.

So we are doing phone from AT&T with a different number so those 500 business cards I got last month are no good and I will be ordering new ones.

The TV is Direct TV. I don't want to talk about it.

And the internet is called high-speed but it is wireless so we'll see. The internet company is proud to point out that they have 683 customers. I'm going to try to stay optimistic on our service, especially since it is the only game in town when you live this far out.

The house is a beauty, brand new. I only have one photo (from my phone) of the front as we drove away last Friday. It has a wonderful family room that will be my new studio. It has tons of storage with alder wood cabinets. There is a wet bar with sink and small fridge to keep those snacks and sodas close by. It has a fireplace that will probably never get used but it looks pretty. And I will finally have my sewing and quilting in one big room.

My current 3-car garage, also known as Jake and Ben's storage, is full. Dune buggy, quad, motorcycle, tool cabinets, Jake's fridge and their furniture from 2 apartments ago. The only thing that I will take to the new house is Jake and Dana's fridge. They are also moving this week but their new place has a fridge already.

The new 3-car garage will house a huge cutting table, my stash (all sorted by color now), my huge ironing board, boxes and boxes of batting. Funny, we have never had our cars in a garage. And Terry gets to set up his trains again in the smallest garage. We have hauled that train table around since 1981. It has not been set up since 1995. And he says that he is not a packrat. Yeah, right. I suggested to him that he have a small office in the garage also. Still in the same section, I don't want to lose any of my real estate. He has an office/study in the current house, too. He has always had an office and it has always been a close-the-door-when-people-visit mess. So he will have a neat study in the house and a mess in the garage. He actually likes the idea.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Listen to that voice in your head....

I had an odd experence with a customer recently. We exchanged phone messages a couple times and I was not certain that I understood what she said. "She wanted to see my work". Huh? That's what she said. I told her that when I finished a quilt, the customers want their quilts back, I didn't get to keep them.

It is Quail Valley by Pearl Pereira(52" x 66"). She wanted it quilted exactly like the quilt at a quilt shop about 20 miles away. OK, so I went 20 miles to see the quilt. A friend works there and she pulled the shop sample of Quail Valley down from the wall so I could examine the quilting and get some photos. I was making a mental thread inventory: Parchment, Charcoal, Latte brown, Evergreen, Brick, and 3 or four blues. The quilter had quilted 30 or so grass patches (3 lines of about 4 stitches each) in front of the house in the quilt. Lots of stops and starts with dark green thread. In fact, the whole quilt was covered in stops and starts.

What she wanted was for me to audition for her. I should have bailed out right then and there. Do you sometimes ignore that little voice in your head?

So I met her at the quilt shop with some of my show quilts. She and her daughter arrived and scrutinized my quilts within an inch of their lives. I almost asked if they wanted a magnifying glass, they had the quilts up close to their faces examining the stitching. That got the attention of some of the other gals in the LQS. They stayed back but they were all listening. The voice in my head started to warn me about this customer.

So I started my normal intake:
#1 What color is you backing? Answer: Cream

#2 What kind of batting would you like to use? Answer: Hobbs 80/20

#3 Do you understand that the bobbin thread will match the top thread? Answer: Will it show on the back?

Me: (Ah, Yeah) Yes, it will show.

Customer: Oh, no, I want you to use only cream colored thread on the back.

Me: With Hobbs, lots of stops and starts and all those thread changes, there may be some pokies where the front thread gets pulled to the back. Are you okay with that?

Customer: No

Me: How about a thin cotton batting on the bottom and the Hobbs on top so you still get that Hobbs antique look and there is room to make a good stitch in between the battings? (The voice in my head was screaming "RUN")

Customer: No, I only want to use Hobbs. (You could have heard a pin drop in the quilt shop)

Me: I'm sorry, I don't think that we are a good fit. I cannot guarantee that the thread will not pull through. I think that you would be much happier with another quilter. (I wish that I had used that line that Carla Barrett uses, something
about "disturbing my artistic harmony".

Customer: Oh.

The voice in my head was cheering.

Just so it was not a wasted trip for her (50 miles each way), I asked if I could see her quilt. It turns out that this was was her first quilt, first applique and it was perfect. It gathered a crowd. Everybody that had been listening wanted to see it.

I don't blame her for wanting to audition me. She had hundreds of hours in that piece. But her lack of flexibility lost me as her quilter. I recommended the quilter who had done the shop sample. The customer had already checked and was told that she was booked thru December. Oh well.

Afterwards, I computed what I lost financially by turning down this quilt. I charge by the square inch and this one was small. My price for custom is 3 cents an inch. I think that I can live without that $130.

I know that I can live without the hassle.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fall Quilt with Leaf Pile Panto

I Used a panto called Leaf Pile by Donna Reinharts that is no longer on the market. It was perfect with all these fall-like colors.

Halloween Haunted House

My friend Debbie made this very scary house for a contest at Cozy Quilts. I trapunto'd the house and the spooky tree with QD puff over Warm and Natural cotton.

She chose King Tut Bulrushes for the thread.

"Fright Night signups" are on the front of the BaNik's Quilt Works Studio. There is even a Class Toad's chair. Very clever.

I even used a spiky element to surround the Seminole border.

Quilting Emergency (siren noise in the background)

A neighbor called me Friday night in a frustrated snit. She is a hand quilter and had decided to try machine quilting a nephew's baby quilt (36" x 42) on her DSM. She was so upset. After quilting diagonally for a short bit, she turned the quilt over and looked at the back.

Horrors...puckers everywhere. (cue dramatic music). She called for an quilting emergency. I told her to bring her quilt over the next day at 4 P.M.

Right on time and in "hover" mode worried about getting this quilt done, she showed me a cute dotted quilt with stars. Very well pieced, she does immaculate work. She had never seen my studio and was amazed at the size of the machine, the thread, etc. Yes, Marie, thread comes in more colors than just white. LOL. Looking at over 200 cones of thread, what color do you think she chose for this dotted quilt?

Yes, she chose white. I explained that I could an all-over ribbons and stars and that it would go pretty fast. She didn't want to leave the quilt, she wanted to help pin it on the rollers and watch me work. Hmmmm.

OK, but I cannot quilt and chat so you chose. "You quilt, I'll watch". She was so surprised that there were stitches on the quilt and I was just moving my hands around. She needs to get out more.

She was walking out the door 70 minutes after she arrived with her nephew's gift all quilted and ready for binding. I don't imagine that she will ever be a real customer, her hand-quilting is divine. But she might tell some of her quilting buddies about me. It's always good to help your neighbor.

My life has changed in the last couple of years - some bumps, I retired from quilting, and then I moved to Texas. I'm anxious to see what new adventures await me in the next phase of my life.

About Me

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Ramona, California, United States
I started quilting when a quilt shop opened in our little town in January 2004. I have been hooked ever since.

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Books I"ve read lately

  • The Help (Kindle)
  • The Appeal by John Grisham
  • Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (again) by Harper Lee
  • Bleachers by John Grisham

This is called Fruit Cocktail

This is called Fruit Cocktail
It is all batiks