#1 Q: Judi, I would like to know how you learned to do the beautiful quilting that you do? Also, how long you have done it?
A: I am self-taught, I do everything freehand and I have never used a pantograph. Mostly trial and error when it comes to quilting.
My mom bought a long-arm in August 2004, so technically I have been quilting for almost six years, but it was very sparse, and mostly my own samples. It wasn't until I bought my long-arm in October 2008 that I started really quilting. So, a little over a year.
#2 Q:Does your husband like peanut butter? What did you do in high school? Can you sew when you have a headache? When can I purchase your fabulous fabric line? Do your children know the words to the Muffin man song? What is your favorite color? Why? (I love green too, I am just throwing that in) If sewing is your occupation, what is your favorite hobby? Where would you go on vacation? How many siblings do you have? What is your full name? What is your exact natural hair color (I think we might match...help Abby) What is your favorite candy? Olive Garden or johhny Carinos? Fish or Chicken? How fast can your little boys eat a banana? What was your favorite subject in school? Do you like to garden? What is your favorite flower? Do you have carpal tunnel? If you were a breakfast cereal what would your name be, and would there be a toy in the box? Sunrise or Sunset? Do you enjoy air travel? Have I asked enough questions?
A: Yes he loves peanut butter! I ran track in high school, I don't get too many headaches, but I wouldn't sew if I did. Fabric line? I wish I had one, someday! No, they don't know that song. I love green, can't get enough of it, but not forest green please! Favorite hobby, piecing my own designs. Hawaii! 10. JANM. I don't know what my natural hair color is anymore. Olive Garden. Chicken. 30 seconds. P.E. I used to. Hyacinth. Yes. Golden Grahams, yes. Both. I hate airplanes! Yes --- there you go Jen!
#3 Q:So you moved to St. George for your business, why? Your husband helps you, does he also help in the home so you can do your beautiful long arm quilting.
A: My husband was working in St. George when we made the decision to move here. He liked it here so we just picked this city and made the leap. We are glad we did because we love it here. We have a great system working here and yes, he does help with the household chores, I rarely have to touch the dishes.
#4 Q: How much do you charge to quilt the beautiful quilts you do?
A: Please email me at Judi (at) greenfairyquilts (dot) com for pricing
#5 Q: how did you get started in the business...quilting...selling fabrics...etc.
A: It started with my first quilt about six years ago, I made a crib size quilt using a strip piece technique and made about twenty of them. Then I started drawing my own designs and made them. I guess the quilting bug just hit me hard! I saw my designs selling as kits in stores and realized that it was something I could do. I started part time while I was a stay at home mom and it wasn't until I had a really successful quilt show that my husband and I thought it would possibly work full time. If my mom hadn't bought her long-arm I don't think I would have started the business and quilting, the possibility of finishing my own quilts made all the difference.
#6 Q: I wanna know on your quilts do you baste the whole quilt around the edge's & only use 1 rail??
A: I baste the edges of the quilt at the top and sides as I go, then at the bottom to finish the quilt. I use three rails, two at the back of the table for the backing and quilt front, and one rail at the front of the table to hold the backing and that's where I baste the top to start.
#7 Q: What are your inspirations for your quilting designs? What quilting teachers influence you the most? Would you ever consider self publishing a quilting design book?
A: Inspiration comes a lot with the quilt top and the fabrics used, sometimes just a design in a fabric can be an awesome design like in this quilt. I haven't taken a class, so I can't say what teacher is my favorite, but I did buy a dvd from Renae Haddadin because she is an amazing quilter and I would love to be as good as her someday. I don't know if I would publish a quilting design book, I guess it could be in the future. Thanks for thinking it's possible.
#8 Q: I'd like to see a picture of your long-arm machine. How did you get started? Did you take lessons?
A: See a picture of my machine here and check out question #5 for the get started question and no I did not take lessons.
#9 Q: What made you decide to open this business with Clint. I assume from what I've read that this is Clint's full-time job too (sorry if I'm wrong). How did you know how to price your services? What do you do if a client isn't satisfied (which I'm sure never happens with you). How do you balance it all, kids, husband, chores, work, church?
A: Clint's job was great, but he was out of town a lot, we saw some success with my patterns and decided to take the leap of faith and make it work for us. I compared my services to other quilters and priced accordingly. I haven't had a client (that I know of) that hasn't liked my quilting. But I did have a couple people when I first started quilting that showed me they didn't like me leaving spaces in my quilting and I filled them in, since then I never leave empty spaces.
How do I balance? Well, Clint and I have a great system that works for us. I spend the days with my children while Clint works in our office (room) filling orders, printing patterns, and working on our website and I quilt and design during nap time and bed time. That makes for long days, but I don't stay up too late. I am still working on getting all the chores done (laundry) but I have the kids help me during the day. I make time to do my church responsibilities and we go to church every Sunday, I don't work on Sunday and I don't plan on ever.
#10 Q: Did you just happen upon it one day and thought "I can do this!" or was there someone in your family that quilted. Do you also have favorite blocks you like to make? How large is your studio by the way?
A: I did say I could do this, and my mom did have a quilting machine, but I did most of the quilting. I don't have a favorite block, I just like to make a new design and move on to the next new design. Studio? I wish! One day I will have a studio for all my fun toys, but for now my bedroom is about 17 x 15 feet and it works.
#11 Q: I would like to know how you and your husband got involved in giving quilts to orphanages in Romania. Do you or Clint have a specific connection?
A: Oddly enough I was watching Oprah and it was a show about people making differences by using their skills, I figured quilts was my skill and thought it would be great to share quilts with people who needed them. Clint served a mission for two years in Romania and grew to love the people there. So, we decided to help by taking donated quilts to kids in orphanages and using the donated money to buy toys and food and clothing as needed.
#12 Q: A) Did you buy the long-arm machine specifically to do customer quilts, or did you initially purchase it for your own personal pleasure? I bought the long-arm machine to do customer quilts and my own designs.
B) Did you start off with a long-arm machine or did you "graduate" from a regular domestic sewing machine? I started with a long-arm machine, I have never attempted to quilt on a domestic machine.
C) When you look at a quilt block, how do you decide what pattern to quilt within the space? (a personal challenge of mine!) I struggle with this too, but I take in the fabric, the piecing and what the customer wants into consideration. A little vague, sorry, but sometimes it just pops in my head what to do.
D) Now that you have been quilting as an occupation, has it taken the fun out of quilting for you? I always enjoy quilting as an art and love the practice I get with each quilt, but being on a time line has taken some fun out of it. Don't get me wrong I do love it, but anytime you have deadlines you can get a little stressed.
E) Is it your hope to continue to quilt professionally forever, or do you have another aspiration at heart? I think I will always quilt, but I think I would like to someday be good enough to just do show quilts and go that route, I also want to continue my pattern line because designing is where my heart is.
#13 Q: I would love to know how you balance Mommy-ing and work-ing? I can't seem to find that balance.
A: The answer to question #9 should answer most of that, but my kids are first.
#14 Q: Did you start free-motion quilting on a regular/domestic machine? How long before you evolved to this professional level of quilting?
A: I started on a long-arm, it wasn't until last year that I started improving and perfecting my quilting, I never even attempted pebbling, shadowing and echoing until summer time last year. So, once you learn it, you just get better with each quilt. My motto is to never look back!
#15 Q: I'm very new to (regular) machine quilting and have been using a walking foot. I have no problem stitching in from the edge of the fabric. How do I start in the middle? How do I start so that the stitching doesn't unravel/come out? When I try to back stitch with the walking foot I break a needle just about every time! Thanks!
A: I don't use a regular machine to quilt, so I am not the best to answer this, sorry! My only suggestion would be to have everything basted together, or pinned together before you start.
#16 Q: How do you decide what fabric to order for your shop. Do you design the pattern first and then choose fabric or vise versa?
A: I order what I like personally, but I like more fabrics than I order so it's tough. I have a pattern and kit planned for each fabric line before I buy, just getting the time to make the new patterns and kits is were I am struggling at the moment.
#17 Q: How did you come up with the name Green Fairy? How long does your company excist? What is you favorite fabric line? Are you going to continue the charity quilting and is there any way we can help you with making blocks?
A: I have the explanation of the Green Fairy name on my sidebar under "about me." I have been designing and using the name of Green Fairy since 2005, but full time only since 2008. My current favorite fabric line is OZ by Sanae- we have some in our shoppe. We will continue our charity, our goal is to go every year. We do pay our own way with our own funds (not donated funds) to travel to Romania, so as long as we can continue to do that we will. We will be giving out more information on that as we get closer.
#18 Q: As a Longarmquilter, what gives you the worst hassle when someone brings in an unfinished quilt: not square/ not pressed..? So maybe a do/ don't list would be great. Also I would love more insight in the correct/ best way of pressing seam allowances, especially when they are some kind of stars with a "bulk" in the middle. Any idea of how many quilts you have long arm quilted? Do you keep a log?
A: The worst hassle I have had to deal with is quilts that are not square and not pressed. You must press your quilts, and press as you go, each piece, each block, each border.
Another problem that I have noticed is borders! Aggh, borders are so hard, especially when they are stretched. Borders are tricky, and I am planning on doing a tip/tutorial to help out with that- hopefully soon.
Press each seam down (to set the stitch) and then press it to one side. If you have a lot of seams matching up, then press the seam down then open it up. It really is important to press your seam before you press it to one side or open it up.
I have no idea how many quilts I have quilted in the past, but I started keeping track this year and will hopefully have a number for that at the end of the year.
#19 Q: How come you are such a wonderful person? How come I like and admire you so much? Love, Em
A: I am blushing! You are the best Emily!