Every so often I get questions and comments from readers and believe that others might like to hear the questions and answers as well so I answer the questions here on the blog. Today is one of those days.
The other day I got a very nice note from Charisma from Charisma’s Corner after she read this blog post-She writes, “I have been thinking about your post last week with the quilting industry & how to make a living. I loved your insight and the blog posts ( articles you shared) about fabric designing etc. I read several blogs and I like to hear others thoughts and experiences. So many people try to burst onto the scene and work their way in and honestly I thought you and Kelli totally had everything ahead of you….to accomplish all of that. To see that you really don’t make much money for all of that work and deadlines is eye opening. Once I read your post it made sense to me as to why all of my favorite designers are actually involved in many different industries…..it is really difficult to make a decent living on designing alone. Anyway getting to the point of why I am writing…..Have you thought about long arm quilting? ”
In the post I mentioned that I am going to go back to doing childcare and going back to quilting as a hobby….I’ll be honest…not for one single second have I ever in a zillion years ever ever thought of machine quilting as a business.
I am not that girl.
One time while at a party there was a lady there who had made a baby quilt for a niece. She took it to the machine quilter and it was quilted. The lady hated the quilting and took it back to the person that did the quilting. I know the person and they do quality quilting. The quilter apologized that she didn’t like the design but there was really nothing the quilter could do about it. The lady who made the baby quilt was furious and went home and ripped out all the quilting. I couldn’t deal with that.
I am not a perfectionist. Good for me is good. I am not a gal who frets over an eighth of an inch. I am not a girl who when I am machine quilting that I get my seam ripper out if the quilting is not perfect and I moved the machine to the left when I should have swirled to the right. I simply shrug my shoulders and move on. No one would want me as their machine quilter and I am fine with that. Becoming a perfectionist would be the death of me and I hate customer relations…I simply am a poor candidate to be a long arm quilter.
Case in point…here are my units for clue #2. See…they aren’t all perfect and I don’t care! If you read Bonnie’s instructions for making the quilt she tells everyone to draw a line and sew a needle’s width from the drawn line….I don’t do that either…I wing it. I don’t draw a line. I plop the square on the rectangle and eye ball it. Not every unit comes out perfect and I don’t care. I am a flawed and imperfect person and I don’t care if it shows in my quilting. I quilt for fun.
For me worrying about the eighth of an inch is not my cup of tea. If that worries you..that’s okay…you have to know yourself and what is acceptable to you. So in light of all of that you can see, I am not a candidate to be a machine quilter. Charisma-I am extremely flattered that you even thought that was a possibility though.
Shelia asked that I write a little more about Maxi Lock thread and how I feel about using it with my APQS Millennium long arm machine. Here goes…
I started out only using Superior and King Tut threads. Then one day I went into the LQS where I bought my Pfaff Grand Quilter. I was looking for a thread and they suggested the Maxi Lock thread so I could get the color I wanted. I said I didn’t know it could be used for long arm quilting and that Maxi Lock thread was simply a serger thread. They said that occasionally to get the right color they use Maxi Lock thread. I took the thread and got up to the counter and WOW!! It was 1/3 the price. That opened my eyes. I used it on that quilt with no problem.
After that I sheepishly would use it on a quilt or two thinking I was “not doing what was correct” but not minding the results. Then one day I saw a blog post that Judy over at Patchwork Times uses the thread for machine quilting sometimes. That got me thinking…I have used the thread. Others use the thread…maybe I should just “not do what was correct” and use the thread. That’s when I started using it the majority of the time.
I am not a “name brand” girl. I believe that I can easily wear a pair of jeans that aren’t “top of the line” and be comfortable in them and they cover my body. But I am way okay with not wearing “Rock Revival Jeans” or whatever the current hot name brand is.
I am sure that this thread is likely a little more linty. I am sure it will not work for everyone….but for me, I would rather pay $2 for on sale thread that works good and have to clean the machine a little more often than top of the line thread that is $20 a spool that is a little less linty. It’s an easy trade off for me. For others it’s not.
Everyone has their own price point and preference. Hubby and I both have low paying jobs but jobs that we love…buying $2 a spool thread is one of the many things we do that lets us keep the jobs and life style that we love. I would much rather have $2 thread and thrift shop clothing with a job I love verses a job I hate name brand named thread and brand named jeans. I don’t feel cheated by using the thread or my lifestyle for a moment. I feel empowered that I am not letting name brands rule me and that blessed I can still afford my hobby.
If you’re one of the lucky people who love their high paying job and love having name brand things..I’m happy for you. Enjoy not having to clean out the lint!
I encourage everyone to go out and buy a spool of Maxi Lock thread. Give it a try…if you hate it, you just did a cheap $2 ( or $4 when it’s not on sale) experiment. If you love it..you just found yourself a deal. Life is a series of checks and balances…we all need to find what works best for us….