Hello! In my day job, I am a machine quilter / teacher / cartoonist / beading designer, so I thought I would share a bit about quilting from a machine quilter perspective. Before I begin, let me say that 99.999% of quilting clients are wonderful people and a delight to work with. Really.
I thought I would share a few of my stories and cartoons:
Pet Free Studios are a good thing. A few years ago I was building a house, so I moved my quilting machine into my dining room temporarily during construction. One of my cats got into the house and after eyeballing the customer quilt, went instead for a huge box of quilting thread – treating it as cat litter, thus ruining a few hundred dollars worth of my beautiful new thread. Not all was lost, as it did inspire this cartoon:
Not all quilts with "Issues" can be quilted out. I still remember my very first wonky quilt that I received from a customer. Wavy borders, bias that stretched when you glanced at it, and of course, the dreaded "C" cup in the middle of several intersecting seams. I somehow survived that quilt, learned how to tame most quilts with "issues," and even got a cartoon out of the deal:
Note: when I drew this cartoon, I was sure I would get complaints from quilters who piece. Instead, they loved it and always believe it was drawn for someone else – a friend, guild member or acquaintance who couldn’t piece a straight line to save their life… I’m OK with that- so long as they don’t send me hate mail.
One day, I received a judge’s comment in the mail that contained a rather silly remark about one of my show quilts. I decided some payback was in order, time to poke fun at silly judge comments by drawing yet another cartoon:
After I posted it, I figured, this time, I would certainly ruffle feathers and receive hate mail from quilt show judges. Instead, I received many requests by professional judges to use the cartoon in their guild presentations. They actually thought it was funny! Whew… what a relief!
My funniest client story was NOT the accountant who intentionally wrote the check for half the amount of the quilting cost, then kept me talking so I wouldn’t notice until she had driven off with tires burning rubber. No, that honor goes to the quilter who came to my pet free, smoke free studio and asked me to bathe and put on brand new clean clothes and not touch my pets in the morning so that her panel quilt would not be mussed with pet cooties. This is a true story!
After I mumbled something politely about my schedule being full, I quickly sent her on her way! Wasting no time, I ran to the mirror to see if I looked like a slob; sniffed my armpits to see if I smelled; and looked around to see if my studio was a disaster or a mess. But no, all were in order, thank goodness! After a request like that, I had to wonder, you know. J
Moral of the Story: It is never a good idea to ask your machine quilter to bathe if you want her to quilt your quilt.
Here is a cartoon that I drew recently for Carol Olson, (creator of the Fine Line Ruler) which features her favorite quilting quote. This fits in nicely with the last story.
Fortunately for me, all the people I quilt for are wonderful, kind people, so they haven’t asked me to bathe at all. Here are a just a small sampling of quilts I have quilted:
And here is a how-to design for all the machine quilters out there:
Thank you to Michele, for the opportunity to be a guest blogger. This is a fabulous site, and I wish I had thought of the concept first!! J