Thursday, November 13, 2014

5 years as a professional long-armer

5 years of long-arming is done! Wow. I took delivery of my machine on 11/12/09.

This year is my first complete year in a commercial space. It has been a good thing.

Here is my recap for the year:

Customer Quilts
I am almost done with Customer Quilt #337. That makes 85 customer quilts during year 5 (20 more than both of the last two years). Photos of each quilt with details of the quilting designs, batting used, threads, etc. are at in the album 'Customer Quilts v.5'.

I also did 3 commissions. A Fall Table Runner given as a hostess gift, a baby quilt with photos printed in sepia tone so it just blended in with the fabric and a t-shirt quilt. The first two are in the Commissions Album and third is in the T-Shirts Quilts Album.

After being asked to take several photos of a man and his dog and make them into a quilt, an art collage ended up being printed on canvas and framed. This definitely pushed my Photoshop capabilities and the client was very happy.

Publications:  "You Can Quilt! Building Skills for Beginners" is undergoing editorial review and is due for publication February 2015 by AQS. This is co-authorized by myself and Leila Gardunia.

"Red, White and Quilted" by Linda Baxter Lasco, published by AQS included two quilts that I had the privilege to quilt --'Double Nine Patch' and 'Birds in the Air'. The DNP was featured on the inside front and back covers as well as its full write up and BITA was used as the cover for the Spring 2015 Wholesale Catalog and was selected to hang in the Ruby Jubilee Exhibit at International Quilt Festival in Houston.

New Patterns: Four Quilted-in-Honor themed designs using Bella Nonna's Design Studio Boondoggle Ruler(TM) and Boondoggle Baby Ruler(TM) are now available in the Dangling Diamonds pattern at Craftsy.

The Country Register continues to be my muse. Every other month, for the past four years, I have written a new article. It is now being picked up by many of the regions across Canada and the United States. Tell you read it?

Quilts in contests or made it into noteworthy shows/locations included:


2014 - Juried into AQS Phoenix

2013 -

  • juried into MQX-West in Portland and received a Teacher's Award from Georgia Still
  • Best of Show at Ferry County Fair.
  • 2nd Place at Lincoln County Fair

  • 2012 - EQ7 Layout Challenge Winner

    "Rosie's BOMb"

    • 2014
      • Fronnen Steppdecker Quilt Show - Odessa, WA - Ribbon
      • Juried into MQX New England
      • On display at the Grand Coulee Dam Visitor's Center as part of a special exhibit
        May - November
    • 2013
      • TriCities show - Outstanding in its Field
      • Pendleton show - Best Machine Quilter
      • Juried into Pacific West - Tacoma
      • Juried into AQS-Des Moines and received 2nd place, Bed Quilts, Machine Quilted (HUGE deal!)

    • 2014
      • Ferry County - WSQ 1st Place ----judges' advice was to re-block and I have. We'll see where it goes next!
    • 2013
      • WSQ-Spokane - INMQ Challenge category; 2nd Place - WSQ, Honorable Mention - INMQ'
      • Displayed in the Warm Company's booth at the International Quilt Market, Houston
    "Zig Zag Love"
    Creating a design as part of the red and white challenges that SewCalGal has been hosting this year and helping a charity group in Arizona resulted in this particular quilt. It also gave me an opportunity to experiment with some special quilting before I took on the challenge of the two quilts included in the 'Red, White and Quilted' book.
    • 2014 - Ferry County Fair - WSQ 2nd Place Ribbon
    "Red Starry Night"
    • 2014
      • Ferry County Fair - Challenge Entry - Judges Choice
      • WSQ Spokane - INMQ Honorable Mention - small quilts category

    In the Walla Walla Valley Quilt Show, there were quite a few client quilts in the show that I had
    quilted. So grateful to have such wonderful representation of my work. Second place, Large quilts, Viewer's Choice went to Dr. Susan Crawford for her Glacier Star with extended borders plus two of her own additional borders. I had the honor of quilting it.

    "Mesmerize" by Bella Nonna's Design Studio hung in the Fabri-Quilt booth at International Quilt Market. I got to quilt it!

    The astronomical exhibit at International Quilt Festival that was inspired by Astronaut Karen Nyberg, was a huge success. I entered a block and here it is in one of the 28 assembled quilts. I had fun finding blocks for 4 friends whose blocks also were used.

    Here is Karen standing with her block (red/white strips with a blue star about her shoulder height and 5th column from the left--she pieced it by hand in space and failed to bring any templates to help with cutting/sizing):


    The year long series wrapped up and will be coming out as a book in February 2015 (noted above). AQS is the publisher. Some students wanted to accelerate so it didn't end up taking a year, others preferred the block by block process.

    I'm now teaching some of my own self-published patterns and other popular designers. If you have a suggestion--we're always listening.

    Since my studio space allows for some fabric, I've kitted these patterns. Let me know if you're interested in any of these kits.

    Zoe -- a 'Fishy Fishy' version

    I periodically post a TIP on my KQ Facebook page. There is a photo album that contains an illustration for each tip. Tip Posts by KISSed Quilts.

    Personal WIPs have included 8 items finished, 7 sitting ready to quilt, and 6 (only 2 actively) in progress. I'll do a more in depth review of these at the end of 2014. Maybe I'll even get a few more finished and/or started!

    Most of the above has been published in older blog posts or on my KQ Facebook page with many more details provided.

    So...what did CQ1 look like? Here is the backside of the first client quilt that I did:

    I was so afraid of filling the negative space!

    Here are my other yearly reviews if you're curious about the journey I've been on. I'm grateful to all those who have shared so I could take their class and learn. Each time it seems that within a short period of time it is just the technique, style or critical lesson that I needed to employ on a project.

    Having the commercial space has begged me to offer fabric and notions. With over 200 bolts at the moment and another 100 on the way...I do hope if you're in the area that you'll stop by and find just the right fabrics that you need to get started on your next project or to finish one.
    Next summer I'll be participating in the Row by Row Experience. Stay tuned for the row design and exciting fabrics that will be used in the kit.
    Thank you for following along, your input and business throughout the year has been greatly appreciated.


    1. Yea, for being part of the 2015 Row by Row. I hope you have a fun block- not too hard to complete. Congrats on 5 years with your Longarm business. You have very few UFO's. That has been my goal this year to FINISH what I start.

    2. Just a few words. You are amazing and I am in awe.

    3. Amazing 5 years. You are so gosh darn talented. Super fun to see some of your beautiful highlights. Congratulations. I look forward to the next 5 years.....and many more.


    4. Thanks for posting. I'm coming to the end of my first year of having my longarm. It's encouraging to see where you are after 5 years.

    5. Congrats on your 5 year anniversary
      Love your work and blog