VaBeachQuilter's Blog

My Quilting Journey and Current News

I didn’t sew growing up…actually, I failed the sewing portion of home ec and aced the cooking portion (my sophomore year of high school) and ended up passing with a “C”.

When I was 19, an (now ex) sister-in-law taught me how to cross-stitch and there began my journey…

I cross-stitched for close to 10 years.  For  years my aunt, Sandy, tried to get me into quilting and I would have none of it.

One day, I finally decided that it would be neat to put my cross-stitched blocks into a quilt.  I dug out a sewing machine, that I had received a couple of years earlier, dusted off the box (yes, it was still new and unopened) and proceeded to “sew”.

Now, looking back on it 10 years later, that’s a very loose use of the word.  Quarter inch seam?  WHAT was that???

My brother’s wife, took me to Joann’s Fabrics to buy a rotary blade, cutting mat, ruler, and other quilting necessities…and I was off.

Okay, well NOT really.  I found a quilt shop close to my house (now out of business a couple of years) and took a paper piecing class.  I LIKED paper piecing…I really didn’t need to KNOW what a quarter-inch seam was because I just had to sew on the lines and make sure that my corners matched.  I GOT that.

So, for the next 3 years, that’s ALL I did.  Paper-piece.  It was a no brainer.  I remember thinking how BEAUTIFUL and AMAZING my quilts were!  I did mainly miniatures and had to teach myself how to bind.

About 7 years ago, we moved to the other side of the town.  I found another (so much NICER) quilt shop that was my FLAVOR (i.e. primitive/country).  They sent out an email asking for teachers, etc.

I responded that I could teach paper-piecing (I was an expert by that point) and Grandmother’s Flower Garden (using the plastic templates).  Thus, began another branch on my journey.

I taught for a couple of years and took a “Crazy” class one night.  I learned the Buggy Barn “crazy” method.   Amazingly, somewhere along the road, I LEARNED an accurate quarter-inch seam!!!  I couldn’t believe how fast I could whip out a quilt and still save time not having to rip out papers!!!

Oh man, I was HOOKED!!!  Thus, I became an expert in the Buggy Barn method and have taught a couple of dozen classes over the past couple of years.  I never looked at paper-piecing again.  To this day, I just SHUDDER to think of the hours it would take to paper-piece ANYTHING!

About 2 years ago, I cleaned out one of my sewing closets (yes, ONE of them…if you’re a quilter you KNOW what I mean!) and found a large plastic container filled with unfinished paper-pieced quilts.  The same quilts that I thought were BEAUTIFUL and AMAZING were now PAINFULLY embarrassing to look upon.  How dreadful they were!  Stitches showed, corners weren’t perfectly matched, and hundreds of papers yet to be pulled.  In disgust, I threw everything away!  I still don’t regret doing that…being (pretty much) self taught they were my learning curve.

I now teach a variety of classes for all skill levels.  I took up wool applique and machine applique.  I really enjoy both.

Being OCD, I’m a little lax about putting on bindings.  I don’t mind making bindings it’s the machine sewing portion that I can’t stand.  I don’t even mind the hand-stitching (I do a very small (7-9 stitches an inch) blind applique stitch).  It’s just that quilts are SO bulky and heavy and just a pain to maneuver.

I easily have a dozen quilts that have been sitting there, some for up to 4 years, because it wasn’t a priority to get them bound.  Actually, two good cases in point: 1) My “Stars In My Eye’s” Quilt was made (and quilted) 4 years ago and I JUST go the binding on! ; 2) I’m teaching a Grandmother’s Flower Garden (another quilt that’s 4 yrs old) and just started making the binding today.  *sigh*  We ALL have something that we dread doing…roflmao

Anyway, family and (especially) friends that knew me when I was in high school can’t believe that this is now what I do for a living.  I’ve made quilts for MLB players and their extended families.  I even had one quilt mentioned in a USA Today Sports edition.

Well, that’s my quilting journey.  I didn’t even get into my hectic personal life with a husband, 4 kids (ranging in age from 15 to 23), and a menagerie of animals.  Okay, the animals are probably an UNDER statement.  You judge for yourself:  a dogs, 3 cats, 4 ferrets, a love birds, and a Siberian dwarf hamster.  Just missing the partridge in the pear tree, I think!  lol

That’s a portion of the story of “me”.


UPDATE:  So, except for adjusting the animal account…the above post was written back in June 2009.  Nothing like being behind the 8 ball here.  LOL

Latest news… I haven’t worked at the quilt shop for almost 4 years.  I have done quite a few more quilts for the Upton family and their close friends.  I recently delivered to custom ordered ones, at the end of March, so that they would have them for Opening Day in Atlanta.

I still sell online, predominately Etsy and Artfire now.  I have opened a brick and mortar store, within the past week or so.

I’ve revamped a wide variety of sites and networking places and am now on this blog.

I have a new website that you can see picks of my new shop and some of the products that I currently sell.

I do 2-3 major craft shows (2-4 day shows) during the month of November.  So, I’m always swamped and live in perpetual panic mode from September to early December.  lol  But I love it and wouldn’t change a thing.

Well…that’s the latest news now… I’m going to try to be more diligent with the blogging.  *crossing fingers*



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