Welcome to my blog. I was inspired by the book, "Blogging for Bliss" by Tara Frey.

Welcome to my blog. I was inspired by the book, "Blogging for Bliss" by Tara Frey. My goal is to share a little about my life, and a lot about my longarm quilting business, Lone Tree Designs.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Which Type of Quilter are You?

Gigi enjoys a good snuggle up next to a quilt!
A built in houses quilts rather than books
The entry way is the perfect place to showcase wall quilts.
Table runners can herald the season anywhere.

 Do you ever think about how people use their quilts?   Some people give away everything they make.  Some people save everything they make for family to fight over after they pass out of this life. Some use their quilts in their everyday lives, and some, like me, do a little bit of all three!

One of the ways that many people use their quilts is to bring joy to others.  Some quiltmakers are so unselfish that they literally give away everything they make as quickly as they make it.  They are the kind souls who give generously to as many charities as they possibly can.  Others, thinking that they are being helpful, give these precious quilters their "scraps" and the fabric that they found in grandma's basement.  Sometimes, these "gifts" simply feed the need to quilt non-stop for others in a desire that nothing go to waste.  Bless their hearts!   I am not one of those lovely people!

Yet a second type of quilter saves everything they make because it is too special to be used.  This quilter believes that every quilt they make is an heirloom, and, after being carefully shown to others, the quilts are packed away in a chest or in the back of a closet only to be taken out and refolded once a year so that permanent creases do not develop.  The idea behind this type of quilting is nice, I guess. The thinking is that our relatives, once we are no longer with them, will love and cherish these quilts as much as we do.  The reality...many of these "heirlooms" end up on garage sales, at Goodwill, or worse, being fought over at a family auction because no one can decide who should get grandma's quilts.  Again, this is not me.

The third type of quilter never makes a "magnum opus" in their quilting.  Every quilt is a "wham, bam, thank ya ma'am" quilt.  I am talking about Turning Twenties, Jelly Roll races, etc.  These quilts require nothing more than some fabric, a bit of time, and voila...instant gratification.  Because these quilts don't take a lot of time to create, they become ordinary, everyday objects.  They don't require custom quilting...any old pantograph will do.  They grace the beds of every room in the house.  They are used as table cloths, couch covers, and picnic blankets.  No worries.  If they wear out, we simply make another to replace it.  Me?  No way!

I am definitely a combination of all three types of quilters (as I assume a lot of us are!).  When I can, I donate to charity.  This means that a few small quilts per year are given to a charity of my choice.  I make a doll quilt or two for Christmas Of Sharing.  Toys for Tots has received a few of my quilts.  I give a quilt when I hear that someone has had a fire.  I may pull out a quilt for a friend who has a child in the hospital.  These are items that I give when I feel led to give, not out of obligation or some sense that I "have to" because I have been asked.  My time is valuable, and I don't choose to use it sewing for charity all the time.  I want to give back, but I also want to make things for myself and my family.

The main things that I do with my quilts are decorate my home and share them with others!  I display them whenever and wherever I can.  I do trunk shows and lectures so that I can share my work.  I enter them in quilt shows, the state fair, and hang them at the quilt shop.  My home decor reflects the seasons, and quilts, table toppers, runners, and wall quilts are a big part of that.  I give quilts to my kids, their spouses, and my three lovely grandchildren.  Most projects that I begin are simply for my own enjoyment of the creative process.  If I need a quilt for charity, I can usually scare one up from my stash.  If I feel like looking at a purple and teal pineapple on my bed, I have one!
Pineapple Retreat is one of my newest "favorites"
If I want to enjoy a reproduction 1930's quilt on my bed?  I have one...
What a handsome quilt hanger:)
The point of all this rambling...I gotta be me.  Each of us comes at the art of quilting with different goals and reasons for pursuing this quilting life.  My quilts are too special to ever be used as a table cloth, but not too special to ever use at all!  What kind of quilter are you?  I would love to hear from you how you like to use your quilts!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Quilty Friends

  Have you ever met someone that made you feel so comfortable in the first 5 minutes that you feel like you've known them for years?  I felt that way last night when I met Karianne Wood (pronounced "car-e-ann")  of Thistlewoodfarms.com  She was so genuine and so funny that I walked away wishing I could know her better! The minute I got home, I started following her blog...what better way to get to know Karianne than to read her blog on a regular basis!
A fun project using Karianne's fabric line from Hoffman Fabrics called "Sweet Tea"
  As I thought about my instant liking for Karianne, I started thinking about all my "quilty" friends in general.  Quilters are just the nicest people that I ever come across!  Whether I am doing a trunk show for a guild full of women that I have never met, teaching a class full of eager learners, or taking a class myself, I am always so excited to meet fellow quilters.  There is an instant rapport that occurs between two quilters.  Rather than awkwardly searching for something that we might have in common, we have an instant connection in a shared passion for the quilting arts.  From that connection, it doesn't take long for us to find other things that we have in common, and a friendship develops so quickly, it can feel like we have known each other for years.
   Believe it or not (and those that know me well and think I talk non-stop may not believe it!) I am an introvert by nature.  I find meeting new people uncomfortable and stressful.  Often, I avoid situations where I will be thrown into a group that I don't know.  The exception to this natural tendency of mine is when I have the chance to meet and spend time with quilters.  They are so warm and inviting, so welcoming, so unconditionally accepting, that I feel at home.  The friends I have made in the past seven years as a longarm quilter have truly blessed my life.  I have met wonderful women and found a comradery that I need in my life.  I am so thankful for my quilty friends, and I can't wait to make even more as I continue to speak and teach about my love of quilting.