Wednesday, August 15, 2018

10 years

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This picture has so much meaning for me, especially with the little guy watching me quilt.  It was 10 years ago this week that I was pregnant with our 3rd child, we had just sold our home and we were awaiting the arrival of Jonah so that we could head down to Saint George, Utah from Salt Lake to make a fresh start.  Clint had quit his job and we decided that we would take Green Fairy Quilts to a new level by making it our full time business. 

I can still see the faces of family and friends as they tried to be supportive, but I knew deep down they thought we were crazy.  I mean, who quits their job, sells their home, has a baby and moves 4 hours away from any family? At the time Clint and I were desperate for a change and knew this was right for us.  We did have the money from the sale of our home to make this work and we had about a year to do it.  At the time we knew our kids were young enough, they would not have any clue if we failed - our oldest was 3 at the time.

The back story is that my mom and I had been working together and going to shows to sell my patterns and quilt kits. I had also learned to free motion quilt, not very well I might say, on my mom's machine and with our move, we would buy a quilting machine. Clint and I saw the potential in the business and we had always wanted to work for ourselves, so one day when Clint was working down here in Saint George, he looked around and said it felt like home.  He immediately called me and said, "do you think we could sell the house and start the business down here?" I was desperate for a change and agreed.  It was really hard to tell my mom, but she understood and was supportive. 

So, the house was put on the market, For Sale by Owner - we bought low and sold high.  This was 2008 - we got every last drop of equity in that house and then waited to move after Jonah was born.  We were in the house for 3 days and then moved down to Saint George. It was 2 weeks later that the housing market crashed - and it crashed hard in our area.  This was the first miracle, we knew that God had been taking care of us and allowed timing to be perfect. 

In October 2008 we finally got my own A1 longarm and I started quilting. I never had any lessons, so I had to teach myself, I knew a little free motion from using my mom's machine.  I relied a lot on pictures I could find, but there really weren't a lot of resources back then.  I said a lot of prayers and worked hard to build a clientele, the big breaks were the word of mouth references and blogging.  I started this blog and shared what I was doing and looking back, I had no idea what I was doing.  I spent hours and hours researching how to blog, how to make great photos, anything I could think of to make it better, I was doing. Meanwhile, Clint was building the website and he started adding precuts to the website. I remember in January 2009 our total sales on the website were just over $100.00 - definitely not an income for a family of 5 - but Clint was determined to make it work. I remember telling him several times that it wasn't working and that he needed to find a job, but he kept going, kept persisting and working harder and harder. He had the faith and determination to make this work and he helped me realize that we could do this. 

So many things have happened in the 10 years since that first move.  Clint has built and maintained an incredible website, he works so hard. I have been able to take quilting to a whole new level with free-motion, ruler work and secondary designs. I feel like I have grown so much in my artistry and I know that this creative outlet has given me more than I could ever ask for. I went into this business wanting to just design quilt patterns, but it has turned into so much more. God has given us a better outcome than we could have ever imagined and for that I will forever be grateful. 

We have been blessed to have helped people in Romania with our charity, so many donations and quilts have been given and distributed, several trips have been taken to help those in need.  We couldn't have done all of this without all of you.  So many wonderful customers and friends we have gained along the way. There are so many wonderful memories I have and this anniversary has made me really reflect on those.  There have been hard times, but the good times far outweigh the bad times. We work hard and have had to learn to juggle business, marriage, kids, religious obligations and extended family. 

I look back at the travels I have made to teach quilting - I didn't even know this was an option when I first started.  I look back and realize the first 3 "no's" on book proposals were a huge blessing because it led me to AQS publishing and they couldn't have been more incredible to work with on my first and second book.  Then, we filmed 3 iquilt classes - it's all crazy to think about.  I really just wanted to work from home, and I have had more opportunities to travel than any WAHM could ever want.  I have learned so much and grown in so many ways.  

Thank you so much for following us on our journey and for making the dreams we had come true.  Life is a gift and we are so blessed.  Thanks for listening.  10 years! Here's to 10 more!  Who knows what the next 10 will bring, I can't imagine it being any better than it already is.


22 comments:

Melissa Farmer said...

A VERY Happy Anniversary to you both!! I could not be happier for your presence and all that you offer both on your website as well as your gorgeous quilting and patterns! I actually leave this weekend to see a dear friend in Washington and we will be sewing all week! I plan to share with her your fabulous website!
Please continue your awesome website and I will continue to buy! Lol
May you have decades ahead of even more success and joy!! Congratulations and Thank You for believing in your dream!

Leeanne said...

Fantastic Judi & Clint! Is it really ten years? I think I have been following you from the beginning of your blog and ALWAYS found your quilting to be an inspiration. I felt a kinship with you because I loved quilting for others and I had 4 kids too. All the very best for the future........hugs from me down here in New Zealand xx

Unknown said...

Happy 10th Anniversary! I am so glad you guys have made a successful go of this! I love shopping on your site, seeing all your beautiful quilting, and I have even taken one of your iQuilt classes. Thanks for sharing your story and the story behind the name, "Green Fairy Quilts". Love it! Wishing you much more success for many more years. Hugs from So. Cal.

Pauline Michaud said...

Judi, I remember the first time I saw pictures of your quilting and found your blog. I was simply awestruck and amazed at your beautiful quilting. I enjoyed seeing the videos you shot on your longarm in your bedroom, and felt I could relate to a stay-at-home mom trying to make things work. I remember wishing I could live closer so I could meet you somehow... and then lo and behold, you came to teach in Canada. I couldn't believe it and to this day, it is one of my favourite memories. I was absolutely thrilled to have the chance to meet you in person and to learn to quilt from you to boot! Congratulations to you and Clint! Without what you've both achieved, I would never have had that amazing opportunity and I am very, very grateful for your friendship! Here's to another amazing 10 years to come!

mascanlon said...

Congratulations! I have followed you for a very long time and I certainly know how fabulous your shop is! Here’s to many more years of creativity and success!

Gemini Jen NZ said...

Congratulations! It has been wonderful to follow along via the blog - you guys are an example of how setting a goal and working hard to achieve it is do-able! Here's to the next ten years and whatever they bring...

shoshu said...

first of all, congratulations!!! i bless you with many more years of courage, discovery, joy, endurance, and all that you heart desires, i pray for you. in lieu of an "anniversary gift", i would like to take this time to thank you for putting my feet on the road to quilting in the manner that brings my much joy. until i happened on you course on i- quilt [ i think the first one was your quilting around applique course], i'd only seen teachers saying that marking was not the way to go, and although i was already bitten by the quilting bug, after watching you course, [and subsequently buying the next two courses and both books!!!], that i began to experience that totality of joy, of wow, this is really beautiful and i can really do it!!!! i'm no where near where your skill level is, but from here, on my journey, i get better each day.thank you!
shoshana

Andrea R said...

So much congrats! You're an inspiration. :)

Yesterday was my last day at the tech job I've had for 6-7 years. Today I'm a full-time quilter/shop owner, so thanks for laying down a path. :)

Designing Duo said...

Happy Anniversary! Thank you for relating your business journey as it confirms my belief in what you and Clint do for your customers. I truly make a special effort to buy from small businesses, and knowing your background story supports my decision. Spreading your blessings to a charity that is close to your hearts is another reason I like doing business with you. Congratulations on your first 10 years, and may you continue to prosper and spread joy!

Needled Mom said...

Congratulations to both of you. It is wonderful that you are able to follow your dreams and be so successful. I know that they has been a lot of work poured into it and it shows! Best wishes for the next ten.

Doug Sobel said...

Congratulations to you and your family. I can't tell you how much difference your books, online classes and taking your class at MQX has made in my quilting. Thank you so much!

Shasta Matova said...

Happy anniversary! You've accomplished so much in the last ten years. It's my blogiversary too, but I haven't accomplished nearly as much as you have!

KaHolly said...

An incredible journey that was obviously meant to be! Happy anniversary.

kupton52 said...

Happy 10th Anniversary...I've been a fan of yours for such a long time and am a relatively new longarm quilter myself. I've learned so much from and videos online and through iQuilt. Your's is such a sweet story of courage and faith. Thank God Clint was diligent and even a bit stubborn. May God continue to bless you and yours, Green Fairy quilts and your Romanian charity efforts.

Dondi Murdock said...

I didn't realize how very brave you and Clint had been in the beginning. I am so proud of you! I'm so very glad to hear of your gratitude, too because that is one of the great sources of happiness. I have felt so blessed to give here and there of little bits of dollars to your charity when I order. In this time of scams, it is wonderful to know of a true charity that delivers what it promises to do. I wish you continued success with your family, faith, your charity, and your business!

Mary Howland said...

Happy Anniversary to both of you! May God continue to bless your family and business.

Bambi Pearson said...

Congrats to you both! I love your website and the quality of products and the prices are wonderful. Keep up the good work and God bless.

Chookyblue...... said...

Welldone.... Congrats.......

Kristin said...

Congratulations on your success!!! =)

Rebecca Grace said...

Congratulations on your milestone! You have brought so much joy to others around the world with your quilting and your story is truly inspirational.

Jennifer Gail said...

Yay for you Judy!

Becki said...

I will never forget seeing a quilt in Paducah that I recognized as being quilted by you! Words often don't come out as I plan, so I hope I make sense when I say--your story proves that when you put God first in your life, family, business, HE will bless you beyond your needs. May He continue to bless your family. Thank you for sharing your talent with all of us.