Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wow it's been an exciting week to say the least in my world. This week had a meeting with the printers . We are designing my logo, getting flyer's designed, business cards, and art cards done. Those I think excite me the most. Fran said should get some pictures of the studio and quilts that they could use and one might consider hiring a photographer. Well guess what that very night at a birthday party I met one. Can you say thinking the stars are all lining up for me. So the next day Brad emailed me , check out his web site  and yes going to have him come in and take some shots. It's funny how things work out. That was my Tuesday, on Monday I decided that I would book more classes and take a couple more days off work. Thought my families would complain when I gave them my new holiday schedule and everyone was fine with the additional three days off. Mind you I gave 3 months notice for one day and seven months notice for the days taking in December. Why did it take me 15 yrs to discover one could take time off work ? I swear for the last 15 years my family has only ever taken ten days for holidays a year.  Okay you have to know  both Rodney and I are self employed so it's a juggling act to take time off when  two companies are involved. Anyways booked more classes and am doing the happy dance cause learning has always excited me. So in June taking an extra day of classes with Deloa Jones. You can see her crazy at I love what she can do with feathers.

charity quilt for guild

On Wednesday finished binding on a charity quilt for the guild. Wanted it completed so I could show off my quilting skills . Okay just remember this is only my sixth quilt on the new machine.And with each quilt getting better and better. At my guild meeting last night the ladies loved what was done and I also brought Mr Bones to show off . Today will finish another charity quilt if time allows. So there you have it to date been crazy busy just the way I like it.

Now to net work more and get my name out there so that one can start building clients. Now to start dealing with building my web site so that every thing will be ready for our Grand opening. Mark your Calendar for July 22 - 24 !  Figure that's the best date for Loopy D's to hit the ground running. Most of my classes will be under my belt. Our family is back from holidays well rested, stampede will have been over so one will need a BBQ  to attend. Okay still working on what we will be doing but have started collecting some killer door prizes. ( Can you say money going out faster than coming in ) Idea's would be great so feedback is always welcome.
So there you have it all wrapped up in a bow a view into my small world now into the mix one has to add eight daycare kids, one Jack Russel, one university student , husband that is home one week gone the next for work. Notice the list starting with the ones that make the most work down to the one person in my life that makes it worth working from home. All my adventures would not be possible if I did not have Rodney by my side. Crazy man sees my vision and is on board for the crazy even after 29 years. I'm the dreamer, he's the one that keeps me grounded.
Now your goal for this week is to make some suggestions , tell me what you would like to be offered as services . In general would love to hear your feedback.  Chat Later got to head to the Longarm and do some real work. Enjoy your day.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Come Jump with me.

Well it's been an interesting couple of weeks to say the least. For the last four years I have been quilting , learning and educating myself in all that is quilting. The history is always unfolding, some quilts take my breath away. The artistry is really not appreciated by most, but wow it's art . My goal for  my quilts is to create something that looked like what was in my head. Sometimes it happened but for the most part never did . Then off they went to the longarm quilter to finish. Yes I sent my quilts out that I thought where special. I did quilt the everyday ones don't get me wrong. And hence that's why I now own a longarm machine because I was not always happy with what came back. Part of it was my fault as one needs to tell the quilter what you want. To say have fun really can mean different things to different people.

Monica's quilt- Eva's block

Anyways I have now quilted two quilts for paying clients. That's right Molly is earning her keep! They where not big quilts but I know that the ladies put a lot of time and love into their creations. Monica let me do her quilt that we all made blocks for. Each block was done by a different lady. We all have been together for 3 yrs sewing so we all put much love or our crazy into each block we made. So when she trusted me it was an honor . The Block Eva did with all the paper piecing scared me to quilt but I think I did it justice. The end results of this quilt made me smile. The next quilt was for Mary Beth. She loves making quilts but she can't quilt them due to her handicap . When I asked her what she wanted done her answer was you decide !  The part she hates is trying to figure out what to do with the finished top. She hates picking the design , the thread , basically the whole finishing process. Well I took her quilt and played. Took Sue Pattens advice and listened to Mary Beth, then looked at the quilt and asked what she thought of this and maybe do that . End results really did make me smile and proud of the work. It's scary taking these tops that these women are trusting you with and try to capture what they want onto their quilt. I can now see why my quilts never turned out the way I wanted them to cause I did not tell the longarmer what I wanted. And they also needed to give back impute. Taking a quilt to another person to finish is hard , you have worked on that top for along time and now you are giving up control. So good lesson is to have a good relationship with your LA person.

I Once I finished those quilts I have started working on charity quilts for the guild. Must do something special cause every quilt is a showcase of my work. And as Rod says building a client base is the most import part of my business at this time. Today I got my phones up and answering service set up . I will be getting the web site done in the next couple of weeks. Then it's back to Edmonton for more lessons. Can hardly wait to take more classes . This round is with Deloa Jones she does out of this world work with feathers. Will see if I can schedule another work day off to take two classes of hers. It's hard fitting in these classes when they interfere with my full time paying job. Although doing these classes has been like a life line or recharger for me. I quilt and sew because it is where I can create and be myself. No rules to follow  , no boxes to fit into no one to please.Okay I do follow rules but the art quilts are all mine.  It's where I am allowed to play. So thinking might have to schedule another day off . I run a day home and it's hard when my taking time off effects families but thinking a happy Deb is a much better childcare provider. This year I did have an eye opener when I asked for a day off due to a funeral and one parent said I really did not need a whole day. So that's when I started booking time off cause really I also have a life outside of work. It also pushed me into the longarm business faster. 
Loopy D's Longarm studio

Quilting side of business

Well there you have it . I told you I would take you along on my new adventure. Working hard to build my skills. The studio is up and running as you can tell from the pictures. I will be offering longarm classes plus renting out the machine once you have taken the class. All my supplies have been ordered. My husband is crazy and says get everything now because our dollar is so good. So I have placed orders for more thread, batting and rulers plus books and stencils. Right now it feels like the money is flying out the window and not much coming back . This will change in time as once I have everything I will not have to order more for now. The joys of starting a new business. So if you want more information to  book a Longarm  class, schedule an appointment for longarm services my number is 403 669 9523 . I am jumping want to come play in our waters?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Your worth it !


Loopy D's Studio

Taking a break from working on my new long arm machine yes I have a new toy and loving every minute I get to use it. While I was drinking my morning coffee and reading the new Quilt life Magazine there was an article that made me stop and think.

We as women make our homes express ourselfs and our tastes through color, decor and nic knacks but do we have our own space to create & play. Our kids have play rooms, our teens have the basement, the men in our lives might have a man cave or a garage but do we as women make space where we play? Last year I took a course on working in small places. The instructor had a slide show of quilters spaces. Now the quilts these ladies made where wonderful but the space that they worked from sucked. I know it's not right to have all your sewing items and machine in the hall closet . Really you could not find a better place to work in ? Or the dinning room table , again family dinners are not as common but your machine is at the wrong height and the lighting stinks. Are we not active in paying the bills that we don't place value on us ?

Molly & Me with quilt
I cut in half to play on.

When I got my first Longarm frame it was 10 feet long and about 2.5 feet wide, my son was flabbergassed that I was taking up all his space in the basement. I looked him in the eyes and said did you pay the morgage? I think not so this machine stays. It's taken me some time to claim more of my house for myself but once it happened well the house reflecs my passion. Now don't get me wrong I worked at the kitchen table for about six months . Then one day after moving the machine again cause we eat family dinners together I said to my husband we have two spare rooms and how often are both filled? My studio space was born. Last year an organization company came in and helped me take control of the space and I have never looked back.  Last week my Millenuim arrived , Molly as I call her (anything that cost more than my first car needs a name) Well this set up is 14 feet long, four feet wide do I need to say more she takes up alot of space but my son and husband smiled and knew I am happy.

So take a look at your space , do you have one? If not why not? When you have an area that is just yours where no one touches the tools or moves a project you can walk away do something else then come back to it and continue . I don't care if you quilt or scrapbook when you have a hobby you need a space that your family does not disturb. Your more productive, creative and most of all happy . Now go look around your home is there a corner or a small room that you can claim ? I am thinking you can find it,  so that's your challenge this week take time and space for you.  Would love to see your spaces so post them. Now back to work I go as the quilt that is on the frame is not being finished with me on this machine.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Mr Bone's on Bass
Quilt top design by B. Sparrow
Skeleton all Mine.

Afternoon , Well I did it I took the plunge. Today I bought my Millennium Long arm machine. Breath. Wow okay you may not understand why I am so over whelmed. When I bought my first car I spent $8,000.00 dollars, was okay with that. Next car 22,000.00 dollars , went into the washroom and got sick. At that point in time I hated thinking I owed so much money. Today well I spent more than that in my Pj's,  but am doing a small happy dance.

You see I am taking a step forward. I have ran a day home for almost 15 yrs. For the most part it's been great but as with every job you have good days and bad days. It's time to look forward and have the conversation with ones self. Is this what I want to be doing in five years. Well easy answer NO it's not. Next question  -  what do you want to be doing? Again easy answer, although five years ago I could not answer that question.

Since I started quilting I found my voice . And yes as with everything in my life went for it with all my heart and soul. When each day is a gift use it well cause it could all be gone tomorrow. (Life scare when my son was five). Now discovered that I enjoy the quilting as much as the piecing maybe more so. Piecing is fine , following a pattern is wonderful but I have never been one to stay in the lines so where does this leave me? Simple answer do the work that makes the quilt a quilt.

Now for the next four months I will be travelling all over the country taking classes from some amazing Long arm Art's. Yes they are artist when they can make a flower come to life or a feather float in the corners of a quilt. These teachers have been doing this form of art for years and I can hardly wait to soak up what they have to offer. Next week it's classes with Sue Patten whom is amazing.

Found a name - Loopy D's quilting & Long arm studio. It makes me smile a combination of my favorite companion ( Luna ) we call her loopy cause she runs in circles and does these silly little loops when we are heading out. And a long arm artist makes many Loops.  D is for me and the rest is  what we do. Plus those that know me know that I am a  little bit loopy for the most part.

So for the next year will be working on improving my skills, building a clientele , designing more so Loopy D's can offer a little more crazy to ones quilts.

Long term plan be able to make this addiction pay for it's self and be able to take two weeks off a year. So yes today I spent money but in the long run it will pay for it's self and I can work when I want. Plus I can go for a coffee with a friend or have lunch with the girls.

Scary to be moving into the unknown but I think life needs to have risks and one should at least try. I can always be a Wal Mart greeter . Okay evil laugh I am not that old.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Our Past our legacy


Purple monstrosity

As I look outside into my garden resting under a coat of snow it makes one reflect on the past and whats to come next. Spring is just around the corner and all those buds waiting to pop up from under the cold blank of winter. I am not one that reflects on my genealogy but I love history and the artifacts that have survived . In my teens I worked for the Cranbrook Railway museum  restoring  the train cars. Peeling away the paint, dirt and grim of so many years. It was a dirty job but wow looking at the end results and knowing you saved something for the future made my heart sing. Now many years later looking at my life makes me wonder about what one will leave behind for the next generation to restore , preserve or just enjoy. Spent morning reading a couple of
history research papers hence the reflection.
Last month I made a Baby Jane quilt , it was nice but nothing special in my eyes. Not like Jane A Stickler's quilt from 1863 or Harriet Powers bible quilts from the 1800's. Mrs. Powers sold her quilt back then for five dollars so she could feed her family, Ms. Stickle made the quilt while she waited for the men in her life to return from war. Did these women know that a hundred years later women would be making their quilts in ah of what they had made with the tools and fabric of the day.
While my family was in New york we went to many museums, and yes we enjoyed it but the one item that stuck in my head was a piece of fabric that was painted and stitched from the 1700's. Fabric and working with it is part of a women's DNA . Thinking this is why I took to quilting like a duck to water , it's in my DNA.

Mermaids song
Made it into National Juried Show 2010

We all have a creative side somewhere, will someone be holding one of my quilts or my mothers painting and wondering what  where we thinking while making it. After the trip back from New York I came to the conclusion that yes I was an artist like my mother and grandmother. These ladies paint and draw cause it's part of them. Are they famous no will their works survive who knows. Put they loved doing it. As for myself my quilting friends can spot one of my pieces without being told who made it. Do I love what I do silly question and the answer is yes. Am I an artist yes because I am creating something to express how I am feeling. So while my mother thinks its just sewing ( She has one of my quilts & she has it on her bed with the back side showing not the front with all the work)  I think yes some pieces are functional  but others are works of Art.

Now here is the question of the day, do you think of your work as art, or just functional ? And in a hundred years when someone is holding it what will they think about it? I am thinking they will think it's Art what do you think?

Nana's Parlor
Just made after my grandmother pasted.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Do you have a goal or Plan?

My life is full of fun, color, & will always
take time to party & have a glass of wine
Sexy Shoes a must.

If you had asked me four years ago what would I be doing I could not answer you. Well I could , I would be working, maybe taking some classes and dealing with my day to day life. Did I have a plan for the future no just work, save for my retirement and pray that my family was happy and healthy. Those people that say do what you love well I never understood that as for me I liked different things but never loved anything.  Wow has things changed .
Who would have known that walking into a quilt store would change my life so much in such a short time. Found my passion, discovered color, discovered that it was okay to play & explore my creative side and met amazing people. This journey I am on has changed due to teachers that have opened doors to my imagination. My first instructor whom I love is Linda Ward she called me out and challenged me along the way. She has given of her time and let me fly. Others have taught and I have soaked up everything they had to offer. But as in life it's never a straight road, my journey changed when I took a class from Matt Sparrow . I love making my quilts but it was the quilting that always seemed to fall short. Sending them out was fine but for the most part when they came back my vision and the quilters vision where  different. I bought a long arm frame and put a regular sewing machine on it. For me this has worked well but has it's short comings . So as in all that I do I booked a class with Matt to see how to improve my quilting. Had him do a quilt for me and he got me!  The quilt is a work of Art due to Matt's skills. Hence why I took a class from him.  One day with him caused an explosion in my world.
All of a sudden I knew what I wanted to be doing and needed a plan of attack to reach my goal. Came home sat down with my husband and explained my crazy plan. So now I am saving for a proper long arm machine and frame. In March taking time off to head to Edmonton to take Classes with Sue Patten, then in June taking more time off to go to Long arm University and taking classes with Cathy Roth. A couple of weeks ago took a workshop with Lorraine Stangness. All these classes before I even own a machine (way to funny)
Reason behind this is to be able to play on a number of different machines and test drive them. So when it comes time to buy I will buy the machine that will work the best for my needs. Hate to spend that kind of money and not love it or make it pay for it's self.
Now all this is great but would not happen or could not happen if I did not have the support of my family. My Husband has kept me on track and helped me keep on track when obstacles have come my way.
So look around you,  people come into your life for a reason. I know My Husband is my anchor, and all the people that are around me are here to teach me life lessons and I value all of them.
Now here is the question of the day , who inspires you ? What are your future goals, have you set any? What are you going to do to reach these goals? If you don't have a goal in mind maybe it's time to look around your world and view it differently.  Hope I make you think. :)

And for those teachers and people that have inspired me know that I value you , respect you and am grateful you came into my crazy world. Hugs and kisses coming your way.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Power of a quilt

Okay go get a box of tissues cause by the end of this you will be shedding a few tears... Ready ...cause not sure if I am but here goes anyways. On Sunday we awake to a call at 4:30 am. Took a minute or two to figure out whom was on the phone . My friend has just had the police at her door telling the family that their youngest son was killed in a car accident. The grief is flowing threw the phone lines. We are up ! The  first thing my husband says is go see if our son is home safe and sound. You see he went out with friends that night and was not the driver . Relief sets in as we see the sneakers by the door way. Go down to his room and steal a hug. Coffee on shower and off Rod and I go in different directions as he had to move work around last week and could not stay in town this week. Me off to help where I can. As I walk into my friends home you can feel the sadness. Hugs, the tale unfolds tears are shed. Turns out my job is the official hugger. Each time a new person comes in D. (my friend) goes and greets the newest guest and the tears flow. The grief is palpable and no one knows how to comfort this family. My reaction is to hug, I don't have the words cause I don't know this loss and hope never to. So I wrap my arms around both D and her husband when it's needed. The pain is so real , and raw that one feels helpless. By the end of this day I have a headache from all the tears shed.
Before leaving I ask D if I can have some of her son's t-shirts so I can make her a quilt. You see all day long she is clutching his things with an iron grip afraid if she lets go it might be true. It's not real , I'm going to wake up she says under her breath a hundred times this day.  Into his room we go typical young man's room cloths everywhere , gym gear everywhere, the smell of hockey gear ahhhh but she looks we laugh and cry some more. In my arms the shirts go,  I know she is trusting that I will not harm the items she is giving me,  letting go of more. ( crying now  ? I sure am)
On the drive home make a call to two quilting friends explaining what has been going on and yes they will come and help. At nine Sandra arrives we open a bottle of wine she listens then to the studio we go. For the next couple of hours we talk , chat and sew. My soul is recharging . In the morning Sandra heads to work, I head to the sewing machine. All day long the machine sews and sews, the noise is like a hum that's soothing after lunch it's down stairs to the long arm. In my dreams I dreamt of angel wings but in the end I stitched hearts flowing threw the quilt landing here and there. In the corner quilt Love you Travis . Back upstairs square the quilt and machine sew the binding on.
Load quilt , Luna and myself into the truck and head to the other side of the city. Walk into the house where their was over fifty people. By the end of the night over 100 people will have came to show their respects. D. sees me and the quilt and is in my arms. The quilt is then scooped up and she has it on the floor inspecting, soaking up what I had done. Tears are flowing her oldest son is thanking me and crying , this family embraces me and this quilt. Now it's nothing special eight meters of fabric, nine t-shirts that are used but the power it holds words can't describe. When I left tonight my friend was on the coach curled up under it finally resting.
The power it holds is love. Travis is there giving them that last hug.
So thinking this is the nicest quilt I have ever done because it was done with the purest intent love.
Thinking your crying now.  Go hug you kids, call them , email them cause you never know when the Angels want them by there side. I know I have given JD more hugs in the last two day than he would like oh well. Now to bed I head not looking forward to the next couple of days but will  smile and let my spirtes flow.