When Clint and I moved to Saint George 2 1/2 years ago we had a dream - it all started with me and my quilt patterns. After I had gone to a couple quilt shows and figured out that this little hobby of mine could be more than a hobby - we sold our house, packed our bags and moved, just like that. It was a split second decision and looking back - it was totally crazy - but with a lot of hard work and a whole lot of prayers we have been blessed so much to have a fully functioning work at home business. We owe a lot of that to all of our wonderful customers.

When we moved we bought my A-1 long arm - big ticket item as you all know - and we hoped for some business. I took my business cards to all the quilts stores around here and it wasn't until I was in one store that I met Linda who overheard that I was new to the area and that I was a quilter (at that point I was only doing my free hand allover patterns) so Linda asked for a card and had me quilt a quilt for her right away. I then started getting a few more quilts, then I met Emily and she had me do this quilt - I had a 2 week turnaround and this point - (Crazy, I know) but she requested to have bikini's in the quilt and it really required that I be creative. I remember praying that I could improve my quilting really fast so that I could continue to get customers. In the mean time I was still designing my quilts and Clint got some of my patterns into Moda. One of those goals that I just couldn't believe happened.
But as time went on, I got more and more quilts - they didn't seem to stop coming and then I realized I had to "schedule" quilts - what? Anyway, long story short, I am booked a year in advance. Really??

Now - add to the mix a baby and you have gotten behind on your quilting and continue to get behind with each quilt because things come up and you have four little kids that seem to need you more than ever. (sorry - I moved to 3rd person? is it 3rd? I never paid attention in English class).

But all this time I can't help but just think about the goals I made a long time ago and that I want to design, - quilts, stencils, fabric - I have booklets of graph paper full of new quilt ideas and tons of fabric ideas - but now I am looked at more as a long arm quilter. (I am not complaining - just trying to figure things out).

So - what do I do? Do I embrace my quilting because I do love it, realizing that one day I will be able to design like I want because the kids will be in school and I will have more time - or do I just keep trying to do it all and never getting to everything.

I find myself thinking about the designing all the time - it consumes my brain to the point where I don't even hear when Clint or the kids call my name the first few times - it has gotten to the point where I need to make a choice, or hire a million people to do the work that I can't get to.

Quilting? Patterns? Fabric? Where do I go? I know I am not considered a serious designer if I am not coming out with new patterns all the time - it's tough because I have a ton of things designed, but no way to get to them all because my kids take up most of my time and the rest of my free time is now quilting.

Anyway - just rambling on - I felt like I needed to get it all out and get your opinions about which direction I should head.

Maybe I should just shut up and realize that "I have it all" with a husband who loves me and four amazing kids.

PS - Don't get me wrong - I love to quilt and I will continue to finish my customer quilts, I just ask that you be a little bit patient with me as I try to get them done asap.
March 03, 2011 by Judi
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