Monday, March 05, 2018

Dream a Little Dream

When my sweet Aunt Jenny died, the community where she lived held a memorial.  She had been making quilts since she was young--my grandmother made them, my cousins make them; it is a family thing.  She often sewed the bindings on charity quilts for her group.  People displayed some of the gorgeous quilts she made or worked on over the years.  I wandered around the open room, looking at these works of art, thinking, "WOW."  Then I started looking closer at the quilts and realized I could do that!  I could make a quilt.  

When I returned home, I bought a book of blocks with directions, some fabric, some batting and started sewing.  That year everyone received something.  Mom, the large block I made was framed and hung with the needle and thread woven into the frame (it is in my sewing area in the apartment in California).  My sister, my sons, all received decorative pillows with some block on it.  And I made a little block wallhanging for us.  I was on my way.

Over the years I have now made hundreds of quilts.  The majority of them have been given to kids or organizations for kids, but the family and friends have received a few.  At first I pieced and quilted all the tops on my little Husky Star.  What a trooper it is.  I still use it when I take classes because it travels nicely.  I upped my sewing machine to a Husqvarna Viking Sapphire (I love Husqvarna's and as you can see, they have been my dream machine since I started sewing on my little Singer back in 1968; it was my graduation gift from my folks)

Then I started paying people to quilt the larger ones like double bed size through king...and dreamed of owning a longarm quilting machine.  Alas, no space.  No money.  Nada.  So I continued to quilt what I could on my sweet machine.

I thought through many scenarios where I could get my longarm.  The neighbor's house was for sale and the back door is just steps away from our would make a PERFECT sewing/quilting space.  I could even have retreats there with sleepovers.  We could rent a space in the neighborhood and make that into a quilting space.  We could build onto the house and create a complete studio.  Then when we sell, it could be a den or music room or whatever.  I really like that idea.  I could see the French doors leading off into the space, the sewing station, the quilting frame, shelves and cabinets.  Doug vetoed that one. 

Then I decided to convert my half of the garage into a 200 sq ft quilting space and we set off to have it become something real.  Now you don't really want to know all of those hassles...but alas it didn't happen.  Instead we built a shed.

We hired Tuff Shed to build us a marvelous quilting studio.  As it is no more than 200sq ft and doesn't have it's own electricity, it didn't need a building permit.  YippeeSkippee!  Space built...longarm machine and frame delivered--a Juki TL2200QVP Quilt Virtuoso Pro Longarm with Grace Virtuoso King Frame.  And after a year-long battle with JUKI to get it running right (thank you Montavilla Sewing!), I had my space and my magic quilting machine.

I am trying to improve my quilting but I am still rather shaky.  I can't do fancy stuff, but I keep trying.  Those little kids who receive the quilts only care that they are warm and cuddly and filled with love.  Friends send me tops to quilt and donate; great to help me practice.  I have made a couple commissioned quilts and warn the receivers that I am learning...learning...learning.  It works.

And now...oh yeah and now.  I named the studio and Doug is making me a Barn Quilt for the outside wall.  It will be a Jacob's Ladder block with the name through the middle: Daisy Quilts. 



BethE said...

I see my quilt! Squee! I am glad you finally have JukiGirl working!

Lynn W. said...

You went through a lot of crap before JukiGirl works the way she's supposed to. I love that you have persisted and things are running the way they were meant to do.