Quilting schedule for the new year

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Someone asked on twitter recently, so I figured I’d better write out how my schedule works, what’s in the queue and how far out I can schedule new quilts to be made.

I like to leave myself lots of time, since I only quilt on my weekends and a couple nights through the week. The rest of my weeknights are for things like errands, visiting grandchildren and spending time with the husband or my teenage daughter (the last one left at home). Also sleeping.

Right now I say I am booked till March 2017, which means I have enough to keep me busy until then and any new quilts started now will not be finished until then.

Want a tshirt quilt? We’re looking at a March finish.
Want a custom quilt? Yep, March.

Right now I am slightly ahead of schedule, but I still have a list that needs doing. These are all customer quilts somewhere in the completion pipeline.

Harley quilt
Night Sky quilt
tshirt bag
improv baby quilt

+plus two more in preliminary early stages

Fear not, though – at least two of these are near completion or will finish up soon. Most of these will be out the door by the end of January.

So you can start the new year by counting up your tshirts to make a tshirt quilt and get on my list, or finally think about having a custom quilt made to your specifications.

Some custom quilts can take a good six months or so to sort out details, choose fabrics, gather supplies and then there’s the design time…

Any other quilts you see in progress on my various social media accounts are ones that are in my personal backlog and I’m finishing up “just because.” I work on these as creative exercises and a break between client quilts. Most of them will be offered for sale. If you are interested in one you’ve seen – just ask!

As always, any quilt you’ve seen that I’ve made previously that was sold or gifted can also be made just for you. The pricing on the tshirt quilt page is a good place to start – custom quilts are more, depending.

Because I can’t not quilt

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Last night I was at yet another guild meeting, being in two guilds and it being the holiday season, and we were once again talking about all things quilting.

It is slowly dawning on me that maybe other people who enjoy the same hobby as I do haven’t been doing it as long as I assumed and maybe don’t even partake as often. Challenging my own assumptions here as I too insist I am not the fuddy duddy old grandmother traditional muddy fabric quilter.

Talking to other ladies who do not have dedicated sewing rooms and who do not sew almost every day but maybe get a couple hours in once a week, if they’re lucky.

Talking to other ladies who make maybe six quilts a year, slowly and with a purpose – for  a son’s wedding, a new baby, an older child off to college. A reason, a means to an end.

How do you do it, they ask, and I see half the question in their eye of “why?” as well. “You’re so… driven,” they remark. I make light sometimes, saying I don’t really clean my house, who likes cleaning right? I’d rather sew.

Sometimes, if I think we have time, I tell them a small story.

Do you know any writers, I ask? I work with some writers, I know some writers and a musician. The thing is, they have to write. The words, the music, it is there – in them – and it has to come out. There’s no reason, no reasoning,  it just is. The music wants to come to life, the story needs to be written.

That’s how I quilt, that’s how I sew. I have to.

In every house we’ve lived in, no matter the state of renovation. In any stage of life – babies underfoot, teenagers borrowing the machine, no room dedicated and yet there I was, sewing in a corner because I had to.

I look at a scrap of fabric and get ideas. I see the garment, I see the quilt block.

I look at quilt tops unfinished, and see the quilting.

I close my eyes and there it is – yet another design. I try and record it somewhere, a scrap of paper, notebook, sticky notes at the side of the bed on the nightstand full of half asleep scrawls and rustic sketches I look at sideways with awake eyes.

I moved my work desk and laptop to our sewing room / future office, to make room for the Christmas tree. Only temporary for the holidays, I said. The busy holidays where less sewing happens. But I’m here, surrounded by piles of fabric in various stages of design and completion.

It’s been four days since I’ve sewn anything. I’m feeling the pull.

Four days, and I tell myself if I just swing my chair across the room and sew for ten minutes on a work break, I’l be fiiiine and hope I don’t forget I have a day job.

Because I can’t not quilt.