30 years is a long time for “longarm quilting”! How did I get my start? I had worked on my own projects using a longarm starting in 1990. In 1994, my mom, who owned a longarm business, asked me to come work for her which of course I totally jumped at the opportunity. I did have experience with “piecing a quilt” but it was “the old way”, you know, cutting with scissors instead of a rotary blade, mat or ruler. So, off I went to (even though I knew how to piece) learn more skills at a local quilt store. By the time the class ended (4 weeks later), I had made 3 quilts, I was hooked on this “new way to quilting”!
Back then (1994), I knew two ways of machine quilting, pantographs and stipple. I was excellent at my stitch space, points, lining up the pantographs ect but my gawd, it sure got boring. One day my mom came to me and wanted me to do “free motion quilting” (machine quilting without using a pantograph or computerized pattern. I was like, HELL NO! I totally thought I had convinced her that I was “not worthy” of “free motion quilting” but she new otherwise and that was just the beginning. I must say that she had “ulterior” motives……..she didn’t like machine quilting! All these years and I find out, she doesn’t like quilting!!
I worked for my mom and “The Quilted Rose” for 20 years. In the 20th year of working for her, she surprised me with ” I am selling the business and retiring”! Well, that left no room for me and new owners so, I started my own longarming business. Starting was slow, one thinks, “I’ll just go after the clients I have known for last 20 years”……it doesn’t work that way! It literally took 3 years for “word of mouth” to spread for me. I entered 3 quilts into our local quilt show, San Diego Quilt Show. My phone started ringing off the hook. I had a client that was standing next to one of my quilts and with her on the phone with me while quilters were asking for my card. I guess you can say that my “career” finally took off”! Now, I am not the best longarmer by any means but I do take the time to find out what my client wants!
In 2016, I started my fabric company, Fantabulous Backs. A company that specializes in “extra wide quilt backing fabric”. I had noticed that my longarm clients were dropping off their quilts with the same backings. when asked, ” where did you get your backings” a specific chain store was mentioned! Enough said! I started making calls and my new “online business” was formed. I wanted to provide my clients with “quilt shop quality” 100% cotton backings. Now I have over 150 backings and an easy website to order from, fantabulousbacks.com .
So, back in 2019, I knew that I needed to take a different path, not with longarming or selling fabric, but with creating a blog. I have been asked and told, “you need a blog”. I was already posting pictures of quilts that I longarmed or fabric that I sold on facebook. What I noticed is that less and less quilters are engaged on facebook but they love blogs, go figure!! I plan to display all of your beautiful quilts, offer tips on preparing your quilts for longarming and of course, DOG PICTURES and maybe my garden pics, chickens ect!
With all that said, This is where I will be posting pictures of your beautiful quilts and the fabric I sell. I will be able to add more detail and hopefully have you all engaged. I thank you so much for growing with me and the relationships that we have formed. Please, you are invited to make comments, nothing political, just quilts!!
Love the post! Can’t wait to see more.