Thursday, December 22, 2011

Embracing Quilting

How do I even start? Since the first time I put together a pattern I have wanted to be known as the quilt pattern designer - I have had the goal to design fabric (for Moda, who else?) and we started this business with that thought in mind. I talked about my frustration here and I had so many wonderful people comment back and give me great advice. It's been a long 9 months - all the while trying to weed out the customer quilting - I haven't been successful at doing that. So, the last few months have been eye opening to me - really eye opening, but I didn't see it at first. After I wrote my post talking about my frustrations, I got a book deal - not two days later. But, they wanted to focus more on my quilting, I didn't really think anything of it - I was just pumped that I was working on my first book.

So, months have passed, while my desire to design quilts hasn't decreased, my ability to long arm quilt has increased. I can see quilts in ways that I never thought I could and you know what? I love it - I absolutely love it. I am always cursing myself whenever I start my detail quilting, but through the whole process I wouldn't have it any other way. I feel truly blessed knowing how to quilt. I have always felt that I have been blessed with a talent that should be shared, that's why I show so many pictures of my quilting and do tutorials when I can. I believe God blesses us all with talents and the more we share our gifts, the more we are given.

I have realized that my life is where it should be, and I am going to embrace the talent that God has blessed me with. I say this in the most humble way - and I hope you can see that through my post because if you know me, then you know that I owe all I have to God.

I decided that I will continue to long arm quilt. I will however not let it rule my life. My God, husband and children will always be first. So, I will not allow myself to get stressed over quilting any more because at one point I was ready to pull my hair out. My customers know that I will get their quilt done, but I won't promise unrealistic finish dates. I am also seriously considering competition quilting, which will mean that I will be allowing myself time to quilt for myself. With all this said - I won't ever stop designing quilts and I will make them available when I can. I also won't say no to Moda if they want me to design one day - hehe! But for now, this works and I hope to share my quilting life with you.

Thank you to all you amazing followers and to all the people who have encouraged me throughout these last few years. I really appreciate all of you. I can finally say that I am okay with being known as a long arm quilter.

Have a wonderful Christmas weekend!

Take care.

PS - I will keep you up to date on the book - for now it is still in the works.

44 comments:

FabricFascination said...

It is obvious that you have been blessed with wonderful talent in this area. You make it look easy. It is also obvious that quilting is only a part of who you are, and what you do. Thank you for sharing your journey. Happy Christmas to you and your family as well.

karenfae said...

you do have a wonderful talent and sometimes we need to stick with what we do best - good luck on the book - and Merry Christmas.
Karen

kwilter said...

Judi, I envy your talent! You are amazing! I have huge ambitions as well. But, I love the saying, "You can do anything, but not everything." I think that's especially true when you have little ones! Hang in there! You'll get to all your dreams someday! How exciting is a book deal?! Let me know when it's ready. I'll be the first in line to buy it!

DIANA said...

i am sure whatever do set your mind to will happen in its time i will look forward to your book and all that you do cant wait for each and every new quilt you quilt and blog about your quilting is to die for maybe someday i can have you do one of mine have a very merry holiday season

regan said...

Judi....I am so thoroughly delighted that I ever found your blog. You have inspired me to be a better fmq. Each time I see one of your wonderful quilts you've done, I am determined to push my limits, and try something new or more challenging. Thank you for sharing so much of your beautiful work with us all. You are truly an inspiration for us all, and I am sincerely grateful that you are going to continue to quilt. And yes, we definitely want to be 'in the loop' on your book! Can't wait!

Hoping you and your beautiful family and a wonderful Christmas holiday!

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

People who love what they do are amazing and it shows!!

corina said...

I will be first in line to buy your book! Your quilting is inspirational. You have such a talent for quilting. Your quilting elevates an ordinary top into an extraordinary one! I wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best for you and your family in the years to come!

LynCC said...

I'm so happy you're feeling better about things. It's so much nicer being in a state of equilibrium. And - yep, I can't wait for the book to come out. :)

Dirt Road Quilter said...

You may not consider yourself a quilt 'pattern' designer, but you are. You breathe life into each and every quilt that you quilt. Your quilting is exquisite and a well designed quilt is a partnership between the piecer and the quilter. May He continue to bless you.

Razzle Dazzle Quilter said...

Hi Judi
Well said, I have talked about you on my blog today.
Thank you for sharing
Linda
Taupo
New Zealand

*Stitches* said...

we are all blessed by the talents God has given you...and thank you for sharing your talents with all of us.
Merry Christmas,
Karen Madsen Walker

Linda said...

What an awesome post Judi. I'm pretty sure you are amazing at everything you set your mind to. Good for you for taking time to do what you know you need to do. Thank you so much for sharing your talent and expertise!! Merry Christmas!

Leeanne said...

You know you really are a treasure! Your posts are always interesting and most pleasing to the eyes....best wishes and bundles of happiness!

Cybele's patch said...

You have a great talent and I am so glad you share that with us your readers. I enjoy visiting your blog. You are a very sweet and generous person and that shows in your postings.
I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas!

Sunnybec said...

I always like reading your blog Judi. I only have one complaint..... Where were the pictures of your beautiful quilting!?!?!?! Merry Christmas! Linda

Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

You aren't only known as a long arm quilter, you are known as one of the best long arm quilters around. Do what you need to do to keep happiness and harmony with both your personal life and your business side too. Best wishes for the new year. I see lots of Best in Show ribbons coming your way when you start to compete.

Brita said...

Congrats! You surely deserve to be published for your quilting, it's wonderful. You should print out this blog and keep it where you will be reminded of it :-) wishing you much happiness and fulfillment in the coming year. Thank you for sharing your quilts, they are inspiring!

Dawn Hendrix said...

OO mercy you will never believe this but just last week I was getting ready to quilt a quilt and thought of you and said wouldn't it be AWESOME if she had a book.. I would love to see her method of even loading the quilt, to how she starts each border or her way of the entire process [ I would soooooo OWN that BOOK] You are FANTASTIC at what you do and I believe God has put you right where you need to be.

Thank You for all you do and share and for just being YOU!

Josie McRazie said...

I would hope that the people who bring you their quilts know that you 1) are only human 2) are an AMAZING quilter and therefore in great demand! Yes they are paying for a service but it goes back to the saying you can hav it done two of the three ways 1.right 2.cheap 3.fast! what two are you going to choose! Your work is just well worth the wait! I cannot wait to see the book!!
Happy holidays and a blesed season to you and your family!

Marisa said...

Congratulations on your book! You are blessed with wonderful talent.

Sarah Craig said...

Sometimes it's hard to see what we should be doing because of what we want to do - but it's obvious that God has blessed you with a real talent, not just for long-arm quilting, but for sharing technique with others! I have learned so much from your posts and tutorials, I can't wait for the book to come out to learn more! You are a truly exceptionally talented long arm quilter and I'm glad you are embracing that!! The rest will come if God wills..... meantime, keep doing what you're doing - it's wonderful!!! You and yours have a very merry Christmas!!

Diane said...

I am enthralled with your quilting. I have never seen anything so amazing. You definitely should enter some competitions. Talk to people who do it. There are really some things to know.

Good luck in all you do!
Merry Christmas!

twodraftmom said...

I just love your quilting and am so happy for you. As a newer longarm quilter, I'd love to see you show simpler versions of your designs as well as how you would quilt them. Good luck and god bless you and your family. Claire

Melissa @ Happy Quilting said...

And a dang good Long Arm Quilter at that!!!! Heavenly Father has truly blessed you and it is obvious that you have also worked very hard to develop that talent. We are all so lucky to get to see and learn from you. I can't wait for your book to come out and I would love to see what you would design for Moda (some day :).

onlymehere said...

I believe we all have to find our niche and I'm so happy you found your's with what you love. I've found that piecing is what I love most, the whole process from picking out fabric for a pattern (whether it's one I design or someone else's pattern). I've done quilting but have decided that it's not what I love most. Good luck with the book. I'll be anxious to see and buy it!
Cindy
P.S. Merry Christmas!

Miss Jean said...

I believe that once we are accepting of the talents that God gives us the possibilities are endless. If I were you now, I'd sit back and just watch what more He has in store for you.

You are the most amazing long arm quilter I have ever seen. Perhaps 20 years ago this type of "art" was not known, but it doesn't make it any less valid or important today.

Embrace it and give yourself a big pat on the back. You deserve it!!

PattyBYoung said...

Judi, you have inspired me to look at quilts in a different manner. Your innovation with design is fresh air. You totally rock, and whatever you do, know that you have made a contribution to the world. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Yuki said...

Love your blog. I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed reading your posts and gazing at your pictures. Your quilting has inspired me over and over again. Thanks. Merry Christmas. Yuki

Vicki said...

A very well written post. I have found over my life when I try to go down a path that I want to do and "force it", I find that really I am being lead by God to go down another. That being said, follow your heart and your dreams but keep open to what is laid out before you. You have an amazing talent for everything quilting. Your children are young for only a season in life, enjoy them too. Your customers will gladly wait for their beautiful quilt. :)

Barb said...

What an awesome revelation to you....and what a since of peace you have gained. You will find that you will accomplish a lot more now that you will get rid of the stress factor. You know I love you Judi, you are a wonderful person as well as mom, wife and quilter.

Have a wonderful Christmas Season!

Susan said...

It sounds like you have your priorities absolutely in the right order. When I had a longarm business, I decided how many hours a week I could realistically quilt for my clients. Then I made appointments for each quilt. I left myself time in between appointments. Usually, there was no problem meeting my commitments to others. I was not trying to support myself through the business, but to provide a few extras for the family. I didn't need more stress, and neither do you. When the thing you love becomes a stressful job, it stops being the thing you love. Quilting has always been too important to me for that. I think it is for you, too. You do beautiful work, and the Lord has truly blessed you with a talent, which you have striven to enlarge. Enjoy your days of Christmas with your family and the Lord.

Kathryn said...

Your quilting is a treasure. The variety is amazing. May you have a wonderful year ahead. Kathie L in Allentown

Patty said...

Quite a few years ago, I purchased a book titled "Quilting Makes the Quilt". You are not only a long arm quilter,but a Long Arm Quilter Extraordinaire! You have featured some very beautiful quilts but your detail, over the top, breath taking, eye popping, jaw dropping, oohing nd aching quilting REALLY makes the quilt!
Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Auntie Pami said...

Sometimes one door closes and another opens. Follow your heart. If you've only been doing this for 9 months, you are most definitel meant to be a longarm quilter. Your love for the designing is displayed with each stitch. Do not get frustrated. If you can, quilting for competition is another door opening for you. Best wishes for you and Clint in the new year.

Amy said...

I am so glad you have made peace with this! I am absolutely in awe of your quilting ability! I strive to one day have a tiny, miniscule amount of your God-given talent. Thank you for sharing all of your amazing work and giving such awesome inspiration to us!
Amy

Pam - said...

Judi, I'm so happy to read that you've realized how truly gifted you are and are content in knowing that. It's hard to believe you've been long-arm quilting for such a short time - - - it's almost as if you were born handling the long arm machine! You are an amazing talent & I've always been in awe of your work. No matter what other direction you take, I hope you never stop quilting.

Donna Becker said...

Isn't it delicious when the next right path clicks into place? It's like a big "WELCOME!" sign lights up, isn't it?
Drink it in, dear lady! I'll enjoy following your adventures.

Jenny said...

Hope your Christmas went well!! Like everyone else has said....your an inspiration to us all and graciously share your talent and inspire us all in our own quilting adventures!! Thanks for that!! YOUR WONDERFUL!

Jan Marie said...

I love your "additude of gratitude" Good luck with everything.

Pam said...

You are so talented.... I think many quilters that have the skill that you have eventually give up quilting for others, and do their own quilts and then TEACH! That will be awesome when I come to a big show & can take some classes from you. In the meantime, one of the hardest things I have had to do is learn to say "NO". I love quilting and wish I could do it all, but I just can't. When I take on projects that I don't have time for, I end up feeling burned out and resentful. I know you will find the right balance for you. Thanks!

Purple Quilter Queen said...

You ARE a VERY talented quilter Judi - God has truly given you a gift! Jenn

Chris said...

Hi~I found you via Em, over at Em Creates! Your machine quilting is stunning! I have been machine quilting for years, and love to see excellent work such as yours. You are an artist and obviously give 100% to each project. Happy New Year and Happy Quiltin!

Linda in Calif. said...

You have really been a blessing to me. Thanks for talking about God, and putting things into prospective. I love your quilting so I'll be the first in line to buy your book.

Holley said...

Your quilting is breath-taking. I'm sure you will accomplish whatever you wish, but I am so glad that you are adding beauty to the world in your lovely quilting.