Monday, November 12, 2012

3 Years of Long-arm Quilting as a Business

Today is the anniversary of receiving my Gammill and getting started with my own long-arm machine quilting service, KISSed Quilts.

The largest part of my business is quilting client's quilt tops by adding the batting and backing into a sandwich and stitching through all layers to 'quilt' it.

Customer Quilts
Last night I finished Customer Quilt #187 since receiving my Gammill. That makes 65 customer quilts during year 3. Photos of each are at in the album 'Customer Quilts v.3'.

I also did 4 commissions. One was of embroidered blocks that were already done; another was a large scale version of my Elephant's Play pattern; two were memory quilts using shirts of the deceased. I have several in my queue, so I better get on with those in year 4!


For Charity, I collaborated with Barbara Bohlman and between us we got 12 donated to local charities through Walla Walla Valley Quilt Guild. I challenged myself with all of them to do them without my stitch regulator. I'm very pleased with how they turned out and hope that each person who uses them recognizes the love intended behind the spirit of making them. Photos of all are at in the 'Practice' album.

Our local quilt guild also makes quilts for members who have had a life altering event occur. This year I contributed many blocks, helped with the design, and quilted this lively 'hearts and flowers' quilt for Victoria. Our 'Hearts and Flowers' committee has been great to work with through the years.

I also quilted our Habitat for Humanity quilt and one of the wedding quilts we created for two young members of our guild who got married on the same day!

I really liked adding a block to the backing and making it the spot everyone could sign. This was a Buggy Barn pattern, but it sure looks different in 'brights'!

I also made several blocks for charity and donated them through the 'Just Us Quilters' Facebook group.

My red/yellow Baby Bud block ended up in this quilt.

This same group donated to my charity of choice, Walla Walla Children's Home Society. I'll be presenting this quilt to them shortly to use at their Sweet Hearts event in February 2013 as an auction item.

New Patterns that were published include (available at Craftsy):

Hugs and Kisses

Mi Amore

Charmed Network

Also created an additional sample of Zoe. This version is called 'Summer School', using the 'punctuation' line of fabric by American Jane for Moda.

Quilts in contests or made it into noteworthy shows included:

'Spinner' which won the Electric Quilt (EQ) BOM Layout Challenge; was juried into Pacific West Quilt Show (Tacoma, WA) and won a 2nd place ribbon in the Machine Quilted, pieced, solo category at Washington State Quilters-Spokane quilt show. It was also featured as a 'noteworthy' quilt in Machine Quilter's Unlimited magazine. I wrote a tutorial which has now been looked at over 10,000 times. Thank you to EQ for helping get the word out.

'My Olympic Connection' was also juried into MQX-West (Portland, OR). This photo is taken from the backside and flipped in photoshop so that the colors of the rings look correct (HA!)

Fall Trends (an industry only event at EESchenck), '1892 Rondure' won the Judges Best Technical Choice.

Quilting Gallery hosts weekly (almost) contests. I had several entered and won/placed as follows:

January 9 - New Beginnings - "My First Journey"
February 13 - Be My Valentine - "Mi Amore"
June 11 - Quilts for Dad - "Jinny's Garden" (I quilted this one that was made by my mother)
August 6 - Modern Geometric - "1892 Rondure"

In our local Walla Walla Valley Quilt Show, there were 13 client quilts in the show that I had quilted. So grateful to have such wonderful representation of my work.

In the past, this bird block was selected to be part of Nine Patch Media's DVD as a result of the Rose of Sharon EQ block challenge. I have finally made it up. Hope to get it quilted soon.

I had the opportunity to teach a couple of times this year. I taught 'Charmed Network' at Stash in Walla Walla, WA and I taught the Basics of EQ at Discount Sew & Vac in Pasco, WA.

The Country Register continues to be my muse. Every other month, for the past two years, a new article has been published in the local edition. This year several other editions picked up my articles, so you may have seen it in various editions across the country.

In blog land, I participated in the We Can Do It! Skill Builder Sampler. As we got to the last few blocks, there were two in particular that 'Sewn by Leila' featured my EQ instructions in the tutorials. Jinny Beyer Studio picked up the Feathered Star Tutorial and sent it out in her newsletter. Thank you Jinny! It has now been viewed over 3,500 times.

Here is the result of my quilt. Still hoping to get it quilted before the end of 2012.

I was also asked by SewCalGal to participate in the Fall EQ Modern Tools BlogHop. Here is the wallhanging that I drafted. All of my EQ tutorials can be found on the tab here on my blog.

This summer I was a tour escort to the International Quilt Festival of Ireland. I had the priviledge to lecture at the festival about Electric Quilt (EQ) Software and took 'Spinner' and my three McCall's Challenge entries from 2011 and explained how each utilized different features of EQ.

I got to work on some of my own stuff this year too, but will report on that in my Work In Progress (WIP) 2012 review at the end of the calendar year.

Although my totals seem less than last year, it was mostly interrupted by our own personal lives experiencing a change in job by my husband. He took a temporary position in California for 6 weeks, then was on unemployment and working on a project in our house for a while. We did take the opportunity to travel when we could. All good, in the journey of life. Now we're in the throws of moving to a new location with his new job. I'm hoping I can focus on the move in December and be ready to open my long-arm machine quilting service in a physical location outside the house in January. Stay tuned for those details.

Thank you for following along, your input and business throughout the year has been greatly appreciated.


  1. You've had a really great year, Marlene. :)

  2. Whew! A lot to be proud of!! Congrats!

  3. Dang you have been a busy bee! My EQ bee worked on your spinner tutorial. We did it. I think I'm going to suggest we try your feather-star tutorial next. Thanks for sharing.
    I was tagged in a game of Blog-Tag and in turn Tagged YOU.
    Hope you’re having an awesome day!

  4. Hi Marlene, I'm stopping by from Carla's Blog Tag game to say hello. Wow! You have been busy! Love the EQ Spinner quilt, I have the first and second versions of EQ. I'm your newest follower and I'd love if you would come over and follow me too!