Thursday, February 6, 2014


Hello everyone, I'm Sue- joining this blog with Erin my oldest daughter. I am new to blogging so this will be quite the adventure. She asked me to tell you about myself and the kinds of projects I work on.


I was one of those kids that did arts and crafts all the time. Making my barbies clothes, making Christmas trees out of folding the pages of a readers digest for hours and then spray painting it green, painting by numbers kits, etc. I starting real sewing in Jr. high on my moms old singer machine. I later discovered mom knew the basics of sewing but I needed more instruction than that.

In high school I took 4 years of sewing, and as a senior I made a winter coat and a men's suit jacket, welted pockets and all. I kind of wish I still had that jacket to see what i would think about the workmanship on it now! I pretty much sewed my own clothes and even made my prom dress and my brides maids dresses for my wedding. After all that I pretty much can read a pattern and learn to do it, just by doing it. I'm a visual learner so If I can see it it makes sense to me how it was constructed.

I know I am mainly a quilter because I always want to quilt, but I have to be in the right mood to do all the other crafts I like to do. I run a long-arm quilting and sewing business. It funds my sewing habit so as not to take money from our family budget. I try to keep the business part time so that I have time to sew my own stuff. I can tell the balance is out of whack if I'm missing my own projects.


Midnight Quilt Studio is in my unfinished basement and when I sew I mostly watch BBC (Downton Abbey, Doc Martin, Sherlock)  and some other t.v. series. I love my new wireless headphones- now I can hear the t.v. over the hum of my long arm.. No more dragging a cord around!

My customer work consists mainly of long arm quilting. Right now I'm doing a lot of twin size T-shirt quilts from start to finish, for high school graduates to take to college. It's a fun and memorable gift.

I also finish and repair old quilts. Some were found in an attic and needed some love, borders, quilting and binding. Some need totally repaired with new (but old looking) fabric to repair damage. Those quilts are a labor of love- I make very little money on them, but if that was my special family quilt and I didn't know how to fix it, I'd want someone to love on it as they fix it, so that is what I do.

Another part of the business is alterations. I used to do clothing alterations for a clothing store and ran a home alterations and sewing business. At one point I made 150 black choir robes for my daughter's high school. Now I try to made the alterations part a very small part of my business and do it to help out my friends, their friends, and their friends, and... try to get it to stop there.  Last year I altered  two wedding dresses, relined a winter jacket, a bunch of hems, replaced zippers... oh, how people are afraid of zippers!

I also have a group of older ladies ( 55-85) who come to my home and I give them small sewing and quilting help. One year we made a king size Block of the Month quilt just to learn. Now we bring a project to share and get help and ideas. I also design patterns when we can't find what we want. I love teaching women to know about the little helpful things that give them better results with their projects.Now my 20 + year old daughters have bought sewing machines and want to learn to sew. Of course, they want my skill level in just a few easy lessons that took me 40 years to acquire, but they'll figure out soon that it takes time.


My own personal projects learn toward primitives, darker colors and applique, and I love to sit and piece a quilt. To listen to the hum of my machine zipping along at "rabbit" speed.  I do a quilt each year to keep me challenged. This year it is a Di Ford Quilt from Quilt Mania's Primarily Quilts book called Rotherfields Greys. It has lots of hexagons, which is a new technique for me. It is a 2 year Block of the Month club from Homestead Hearth in Mexico, MO. When I learned to applique I spent a whole year practicing different methods on one quilt to find out that "needle turn" is my method. It did take me a year to be comfortable and know what I was doing and not have to think so hard with each applique piece, but now I love applique. So stick with it! You develop skill with lots of practice, rarely on one project.

I also make a lot of baby quilts for my 12 grand kids. The rule is 1 for a baby shower gift, another when you turn one year old and then more if the kid asks. I try to keep a stack of them ready at all times.

Lest you think all I do is quilt, I occasionally do counted cross stitch and crochet, but only for smaller projects. I can knit and Erin says I am an experienced BEGINNER. I can read a pattern but forget how to do things that I don't do often enough. So I call Erin or get on youtube to see it done. I started a cardigan in Jan of 2013. I have the front and back done and two cuff up sleeves started with 4" on each one. I am learning to do the magic loop on these sleeves. I will then finish with a collar and front facing. The goal is to finish by Dec. 2014- two years for a cardigan... I'm okay with that.

I'm looking forward to sharing projects here and working with Erin on some new projects too. I'll share more next week!

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