Custom Longarm Machine Quilting

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Paisley's for Joy

I have a client, we'll call her Joy, who always has fun, beautiful quilts for me to quilt for her. Last week she brought me this beautiful quilt to do. She said she wanted a paisley/floral motif all over, and not too tight.

I did some research, and found a picture of a journal someone had made. On the front of the journal was a group of paisleys all glued together to form a flower. That was my inspiration for the design I quilted into Joy's quilt.
I finished the flowers the same way I finished the paisleys, to make them look like they belong together.
After the paisleys and flowers were quilted into the top, I filled in the larger unquilted areas with a loose meander. I was so excited to show Joy her quilt when she came to pick it up, and she was so happy with it.

This pattern is an original design, and is available for quilting into any size of quilt. The flowers and paisleys vary in size and orientation, and are placed at random throughout the quilt top.

The Story of My First Quilt

I know a lot of people are just starting to get into quilting, or are thinking about starting to get into quilting, and are wondering if it really is as hard as it looks or seems. Well, the answer is not always. Yes, some patterns are trickier than others, but the more you do it the easier it gets, and the more addicting it is. Plus, the proud feeling you get upon completing something beautiful and unique is one that I look forward to with every quilt. That's why I thought I would share the story of my first quilt with everyone.

Before 1999 I knew absolutely nothing about quilting or sewing. I had grown up in a home where the majority of our clothing was homemade by my mom, yet I had never sewn or quilted or made anything by myself.

I don't remember who came up with the idea, but one of the members of my local church youth group thought it would be fun if we all made quilts for a personal progress project.

For months we picked out designs, transferred them to fabric with iron-on Sulky pens (I still have mine), and colored them in. Towards the end of the year they handed out instructions on how to piece the quilts together. My mom suggested I ask my grandma for help, since she was a quilter and had helped my mom and her sister handquilt comforters. Grandma showed me how to piece the blocks together, and my mom helped me finish sewing the quilt top, and then loaded it on to the quilting frame for me.

All of the other girls in the youth group had tied their quilts with yarn on activity nights. I didn't like the way they looked, so I asked my mom if we could handquilt it. Over the next few weeks I spent almost all of my free time in our basement quilting that quilt. It turned out really nicely, considering I had never done a quilt before. Yes, there were some mistakes, but everytime I look at the quilt I remember my learning experience, and how I have only gotten better since then.

Over the years my first quilt has taken quite a beating. Some of the stitching has come undone, and the color has faded, but everytime I look at it I remember how proud I was when I finished it, and when I showed it off on an activity night.

Me, showing off my completed quilt in 1999:

My very first quilt, as it appears today. You can tell it is a little faded, especially on the "Precious Moments" blocks, and if you look closely you'll see that some of the quilting is either missing or has looped.

Note: I used a small satin ribbon for the quilting in all of the solid blocks, and regular white thread in the printed blocks. Also, the two blocks on the second row are backwards. I actually didn't notice this until I posted the picture, but Divine Nature should be on the left, and Individual Worth on the right.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Welcome to Designs by Laura Jo!!

Welcome to Designs by Laura Jo. I'm sure there are a few things you might be wondering. Like, Who am I? What type of equipment do I use? How much do I charge for my services? Well, I hope to be able to answer these questions and more.

Who is Designs by Laura Jo?

I am the mother of an adorable little boy, aged 2. I have been sewing and piecing quilts for over 4 years. I have been machine quilting for 2 years. Recently I have begun designing my own quilts, several of which are currently for sale in my Etsy shop. I love to sew and quilt, and I know how hard it can be at times. I know how frustrating it is to have something not work out exactly as I would have liked. That is why I want to do everything I can to help you complete your quilts.

What kind of equipment do you use?

I own two sewing machines. My first sewing machine I was given several years ago when I began sewing is a Janome Harmony. It helped me complete many projects, and was a great starter machine. I recently purchased a Singer HD110, professional grade sewing machine.

I also own a Gammill Classic Plus longarm quilting machine. I have been quilting on the Gammill for about 2 years now.

What do you charge for your services?

I have listed my prices and fees in the sidebar to the left. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Where do you do your quilting?

I currently work out of a local boutique and floral. I have my own little area at the back of the shop. Our shop has several little shop puppies, but they are not allowed in or near my quilting area. Our shop hours are:

M-F 10 AM - 5 PM Mountain time
Sat 10 AM- 2 PM Mountain time

I don't always work out of the shop. Sometimes I work out of my home, finishing quilts to sell in my Esty shop, or seaming quilt backings or binding quilts for clients. My home is pet and smoke free.

Do you have samples of your work?

Samples are coming soon! Please check back later for updates!

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me. Thanks for stopping by!