And another year … and another year have passed me by….

So I’ll start with the bad news…. I’m slowing down. I’m still quilting but I will be limiting my work load.

For 15 years you’ve been witness to 7 weddings & 24 grandchildren and many of my quilting & non-quilting projects as well as your own quilts that have crossed my path. These past two years have had their challenges for our home. My husband’s Parkinson continues to worsen – that is what it does, so I’ve taken on more of role with managing his company, dealing with his clients & more. It has left less time for my own business but life is always presenting changes. When I started 15 years ago – I became the primary provider as the construction industry had gone belly up. I made enough to put food on the table, make the payment on my machine, buy supplies, & a few extras. As long as I needed the extra income, the Lord blessed me with great clients with lots of quilts. As time has gone by the need for extra income declined as did the quilting work. My husband new business ( now 13 years old) of providing internet services improved with each passing year to where we now provide full time employment for 3 of our children, 1 non family and part time for other children. It keeps us all busy!

The good news – I don’t need to quilt for work anymore. Really haven’t needed to for several years now, but I do enjoy it. I love the relationships & friendships I’ve developed with several of you over the years. One of you has been like a mom, others like sisters. A few of you came to the house and entertained my mom when I was caring for her. I have no plans to give up any of those!

So for my wonderful clients that have been with me through the years I’m still here for you! But I might take a bit longer to finish your quilts…..

Enjoy the photos! It’s two years worth but less than what previous years produced.

Grand baby #23

One of mine
New hobby to de-stress Paint by Numbers
One of mine
Youngest daughter wedding quilt – still haven’t finished quilting… sigh
Grandbaby #22 quilt
Skirts for granddaughters – pain in the butt!
Mermaid scarf long overdue to be blocked!
Little Red Hood cape for my granddaughter and my toes
Norwegian style knitting
Grandbaby #24 and his quilt
Refugee quilts
Dress for granddaughter

Oh my goodness! It’s 2020!

The other day I popped quickly in at Tanner’s Interiors  to pick up some quilts.  She happened to be in her shop that day and wondered how I was as she hadn’t heard anything from me in a while.   What I didn’t realize at the time is that the “in a while” was 15 months!!!!  I had no idea it has been so long since I posted your quilts, my projects or much of anything.

So it’s the beginning of a new year & a new decade!  And YES I’m still quilting!  And more.  If you want to catch up on my personal life – you’re welcome to read my personal blog.  www.hummingbirdhollow.org. 

Quilt shops – I still go out to Cottonwood in Charlottesville every few months as needed.  Amazingly Mary has expanded her shop compared to the ones I use to go to that have closed down.  Another quilt shop in Fredericksburg has also closed their doors in recent weeks.   And of course Tanner’s Interiors in Madison is still available for your to drop off/pick up your quilts.  I do have plenty of favorites online to buy quilt kits & fabrics from.

Here’s what you’ve been doing for over the last 15 month AND some of my projects.

Quilts 2018

It has been a very hectic year in my life. I’d like to believe that the next two months I can just relax and breathe, but not holding my breath.

Here’s what you’ve been busy doing this year with a few of my own interspersed!

A new year & quilting NEWS

Well its a new year!  The last several months have been an adjustment with my mom living with us, but we’ve finally fallen into somewhat of a rhythm with her.

Two quilt shops closed this fall!  So that meant coming up with alternate plans for deliveries & pick ups.

Fredericksburg area – Come on down to Partlow & see my studio!  Mom loves to chat if she’s here.  I enrolled her at a senior care center 3 days a week.  She loves it – she gets to chat with “new” people, play games & play the piano.  I get time to work without too many interruptions.  Please call for an appointment 540-846-9982.

Culpeper/Madison area – we are back in Madison.  The ladies at Tanner Interiors approached me about hosting as a delivery/pick up site. Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays between 10 am and 3 pm.  If these times don’t work for you, please let me know.

Tanner Interiors – Nancy Tanner & Lucille Broyles
542 Fairground Rd
Madison Va 22727
Farm, long driveway on Pratts side of Madison Primary School.
Sign at road.

I also signed up on Instagram as hummingbirdhollowcreation 

It’s a great way to follow what I’m up to at home & in the studio!  Your works will continue to be posted here on the blog! Here they are!

Quilt Pictures ONLY

Too busy to actually write something worthwhile so here’s a slide show of the year thus far!

Can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

I’ve been longarm quilting for 10 years now and quilted well over 2000 quilts in that time.  But there’s still something I haven’t achieved….. taking a imperfect quilt and making it perfect.

Recently a new client complained about my lack of design on her quilt compared to another’s she had seen.  The other quilt at the request of the quilter had parrots quilted on it to go with her fabrics and the intended recipient’s interests.   The new client’s was a rather simple design all solid fabrics.  She gave no preference for designs – to do what was best for the quilt.  So based on the size of the quilt, the piecing job, and in my opinion – a generous meandering was best.

I apologized that I hadn’t understood what she had wanted, but overall still felt it was best for the quilt.

Then she complained about some pleats & tucks…. well here I sit after a couple days of mulling this over.

My mentor has a policy – if the pieced top is not square or doesn’t lay flat, loose seams, wavy borders, etc – she returns it.  If the backing is too small, not squared, doesn’t lay flat because it was also pieced, etc.  She won’t quilt it.

Ten years ago – our family was struggling financially due to the crash in the housing market and husband’s job in construction.  I was willing to quilt anything and did – good, bad & ugly.

So over the years I’ve developed a reputation for being quite good at longarm quilting.  I’ve manage to make quilts I received better than I received them.  I’ve learned a few tricks to help ease in extra fullness in borders or hiding it a well place pleat.

But I can’t fix everything.  I can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.

 

REVIEW: Preparing your quilt for your longarmer

Deemed necessary as recent quilts have not been as ready as I’d prefer.

Pressing your quilt top – do it while your making it!  Your seams will line up better and it will be easier to do a block/row at a time versus trying to press it when its completed or worse not at all.

Backings – pressing isn’t totally necessary.  I’ve found the best method is spritzing as I load it on the rollers.  Pieced backings – please remove salvage edges and press seams open.  While pressing whole cloth backings is optional in my book – size is critical whether pieced or whole.  PLEASE allow an extra 6-8″ around the perimeter.  For example a 50×50 quilt top needs at least 62×62 backing & batting.  I need ample to attach to the machine and side clamps, thus avoiding mishaps with the needle hitting a clamp or pin at the edges.  The side clamps also help stabilize the quilt backing during the quilting process.

Edges – if your quilt has a border your good to go, but if you have a pieced edge?  Well that means lots of seam ends that could possibly come loose from handling.  You can do one of two things – 1) leave an inch tail of thread at the end of a seam or 2) sew a 1/4″ stay stitch around the perimeter of the quilt.

Update on my life – many of you already know, but my husband was diagnosed with Parkinson in December.  He lost his dad to Parkinson so we know what the future could possibly hold.  He is doing well, taking meds and staying active.  He plays racquetball 4-5 times a week with his sons and I do a water workout a few times a week with him that focuses on keeping his movements big and maintaining balance.  Our 10th grandchild arrived on Feb 1st.  She is a beautiful little girl.  Her quilt is unique – no longarm quilting.  I over-designed the size of it, so after some thought, she got a small cradle quilt at birth and the larger crib quilt is waiting on a few more crochet flowers.  I was involved in a car accident in March – that although not injured, knocked me for a loop emotionally.  I’ve had a difficult time getting out of a slump – much like writer’s block- a close friend came and cracked the whip and I’ve been doing much better.  I got my garden started & a few other projects started.  Which leads me to your quilts!  Lots of them! Your notes & phone calls about how much you love the designs I’ve quilted keep me going forward ~ Thank You!

Most recent mishap(July) was with my machine – while thinking too much about the accident and while basting one of my own, I decided to put a stitch through my finger – went in one side of the nail edge and a very small piercing and the other side of the nail bed edge.  No blood on the quilt – it happened really fast.  Made a trip to the ER – tetanus shot, x-rays (missed the bone, no needle pieces or thread fibers), painkillers, antibiotics – I was pretty fuzzy for a few days.  It’s healing but the nerve endings inside get a little irritated when I use the finger to type, press buttons, well pretty much anything that puts pressure on it. (September update – finger has healed very well.)

Now for the show!  Lots of quilts to show off!