I'm sharing a little of what I recently worked on, and a finish, plus plans for 2020!
This year, as the past 4, have brought many changes. As a caregiver for my mom, who has Alzheimer's, the past 3 1/2 years was devoted to that, with as much quilting as I could fit. She had a serious downturn in her disease during the summer, and is now in a facility that can handle it. She's no longer independent in any respect, needs full assistance with everything, and isn't walking. Rather than modify the house, hire full time aides and get a hospital bed and Hoya lift, plus a ramp, this is the best for her. I'm learning how to be a daughter again, although I'm still in charge of her medical needs, and visit her almost every day. The aides and nurses are wonderful with her. Except for occasional sundowning issues, she's calmer. I dealt with the agitation and her physical issues with the disease, so they have it pretty easy, by comparison. She still recognizes me, and will occasionally name me, or mention I'm her daughter. She'll chat with me and loves when I bring her treats and give her a manicure.
I've decided that 2020 will be a year for more business growth, now that I have more time to dedicate to it.
First, I'm thrilled to announce that I am an Island Batik Ambassador for my 7th year, and that one of my designs was chosen to become a pattern, and will debut at Quilt Market in May. I hope to continue that phase of my business. 2019 was also the year that I was able to make part of my business dreams come true, with the purchase of my Handi-Quilter Amara long arm machine. I love having access to this wonderful machine, and hope to increase my skills.
Here are a few recent things I've been working on.
My cousin is an avid New York Islanders Hockey fan, and asked me to make a quilt. I finally found Islanders licensed fabric, and have completed the top for him. It's almost ready to quilt on my Handiquilter Amara. I don't have a current photo of the whole top, but I did design the border to be a "signature" block, so he can get his favorite players to autograph it. I plan to make this a custom order item in my shop when it's done. He donated a Jersey for the center patch, and the solid fabrics are all Island Batik's new collection, White, Orange and Cobalt. I'll make it for other teams, as requested.
While working on this, my cousin invited me to their Christmas Eve party, with other cousins and their kids. I was thrilled I got a chance to hold Nick, an adorable 11 week old infant. I love babies!
They had a Yankee Gift game, where the gift needed to be a good gift that someone would want to steal. Since I knew most of the family loves the Islanders, I decided to make a cross body purse with the same fabrics. It was a huge hit! My cousin's wife ended up stealing it from the first who picked it, and the second who stole it from her, and I'm now offering it as a custom in my shop. I have an order for a Giants Football team one. The pattern is Pink Sand Beach's Barbados bag.
I also made a Vogue pattern 1505 Jacket for a friend, using Island Batik Rayon in Raspberry Fusion. You can see more about this in my last post.
I decided to make a type of hammock for my long arm. It's to hold the batting and the top, keeping them off the floor and away from Hazel's dog hair. At least that's the plan. I've had to clean the batting and tops when quilting, because she can brush against them when they are below the frame. Handi Quilter sells one, but it's mesh, and would not protect the batting from hair. I decided to make one using clear vinyl, so it can protect the batting and hopefully make it less hairy, lol. I wanted something that was easy to clean, as well, and figured that any fur that gets on the vinyl between quilts will be easy to wipe off with a Swiffer. I sewed double fold binding along the front edge, which ties with elastic so it doesn't pull the frame when I'm rolling the quilted part back, and adjusting the next section. The back has ties from the binding. I have to do a minor adjustment, but think it will do what I need it to.
The Islanders quilt is almost ready to be stitched. The hammock seems to be holding the batting and protecting it from dog hair, so that's good. I hope to start stitching it New Year's day! Aren't we supposed to start the year doing what we love, and want to do the rest of the year?
And I also finished The Quilter's Planner Sew-Along top for 2019. I've been making blocks each month, and had to assemble the top before 2020. I need to add the next borders, and plan to make a pieced border because I have quite a bit of the blue collection of FQs left. And I like to make big quilts. The designs are in the magazine that comes with the planner, which is my favorite way to keep track of sewing related stuff. It will be quilted soon, and again, it's all Island Batik fabric.
So, here's hoping 2020 brings more fun and sewing time!
My business goals are as follows:
1. Update blog heading and get affiliation links and advertising sponsors.
2. Design more patterns, get at least 1 published in a magazine, and find a new print shop to work with me on them. My old print shop closed, went out of business. I like working with a local company, so have to do a little research to find someone I can work with, for a fair price.
3. Join a guild.
4. Get Vanna, the Handiquilter Amara, working more. I would love to quilt for others and possibly rent time to a few who may want to quilt their own tops, but don't have access to a long arm.
5. Make a quilt to enter in the local guild's show.
6. Do another guild presentation and trunk show, and teach a class.
7. Finish more of the unfinished quilts I have. I'm not making a list of them public, but there are a few. lol.
8. Continue adding fabric, thread and supplies to my Etsy shop, as well as things I make. I'm hoping to have an independent shop by 2021.
9. Participate in more blog hops and linky parties. I would like to add at least 2 that I haven't joined before. Oh look at that, I think this is my first with Quilting Jetgirl. Way to meet a goal on the first day of the new decade!
I'm linking with Quilting Jetgirl's #2020PlanningParty. Thanks so much for reading. If you know someone who can help with the blog update and affiliation links, please let me know. And if you know someone in the New York, New Jersey area who would like to have me speak at their guild, please let me know. Thanks!