Sunday, June 28, 2009

Why I started quilting.

When I was growing up, my paternal grandmother was a crafter but mostly a quilter. She had a huge room in their home dedicated to crafts. She did all kinds of crafts, bead work, knitting, crochet, dolls, stuffed animals, paper crafts, punch needle, latch hook, jewelery making, and so many more. Even today my Christmas tree is decorated in ornaments she made, my daughter's play with some of the stuffed animals she made me when I was a little girl. I still sleep under the afghan she made me, although too short for me now it is still my favorite blanket.

My fondest memories as a child are of my grandmother piecing blocks for another quilt, watching Wheel Of Fortune and me sitting under her feet picking up pins out of the carpet. It was the only way she'd let me in her sewing room and I was so honored to be in there with her, "helping" and wishing I could touch each and every bolt of fabric she had on the shelves. She had a hand quilting frame in the center of the room, next to her cutting table and as she was hand quilting, I'd get to sit under the frame in my "fort" and pick up the pins she dropped. Around the fall the ladies of the community would get together and make crafts for the local craft fairs. I always got to acompany my grandmother and hand her supplies as she was working. I loved going to those get togethers, all the ladies visiting with each other and my favorite part, all the baked goods they brought!

I always wanted my grandmother to teach me to quilt, my mother thought I was too young to learn and said that I'd learn in Home Ec class so my grandmother never got to teach me. Sadly she had ended up having 4 strokes. The first one wasn't bad and she was able to resume most of her regular activities after a couple of weeks, the second one made her give up all her crafts except quilting, but she had a hard time using her hands, the third stroke left her bed ridden and her all her crafts stayed un touched in that one room. The fourth stroke ended her life, I was 14 years old and had just started sewing in Home Ec class at school.

I made two pillows that year a shark and a cupcake, but that was the last of my sewing for years. The next time I picked up a needle I was 25 and 7 months pregnant with my first daughter, Megan. My husband and I had gone out to various craft shows looking for a baby quilt for our unborn daughter. I had something very specific in mind and I couldn't find what I wanted. My husband suggested that I make one myself. I was very hesitant to try quilting myself, I had in my head all my grandmother's quilts and how perfect they all seemed, I couldn't make anything like she made.

Late one night, I was awake with bad heartburn and I decided to look on for a quilt top, or a finished quilt. I stumbled upon "quilt kits" and discovered that these where precut fabric and a pattern to assemble your own quilt top. I found one that I just adored, it was a very beautiful pastel rainbow colored quilt kit using all Moda fabrics. At the time I had no idea who Moda was didn't know what a deal I was getting. I bought the kit and waited for it to arrive.

But I had a problem, I had no sewing machine! Christmas and my Birthday are 5 days apart and coming very soon. Usually I don't mind that everyone forgets my birthday, it is so close to Christmas that people just forget and that has been happening since I was very little. This year I was determined to get something for my birthday, a sweing machine. I thought if I made the offer to have both presents combined into one gift I could convince my husband that spending $100 or so on a machine wasn't too expensive. He agreed and went to find out what he could on sewing machines. He enlisted his mom's help and she ended up taking over the project, I am very thankful for that!

She went to a local quilt store in town, it was right next to her favorite coffee shop and asked them what kind of machine would be good. They were Janome dealers and I ended up with a Janome DC3050 as my very first sewing machine. I was hooked! What a lovely machine, a little intimidating at first, but Tina, the Janome dealer and quilt shop owner showed me how to use it and clean it and I couldn't have been happier. I have been using my Janome ever since, I bought another Janome Mini as a backup when I take my machine into be serviced and my oldest daughter is getting a Janome Magnolia 7312 for her first machine for Christmas this year.

Ever since I made that first quilt I have been hooked on quilting. I made my first 3 quilts from kits I bought off eBay and then I finally got the courage to cut my own fabric. I am mostly a self taught quilter with the exception of picking up tips and ideas from my quilt group and online forum friends and ofcourse books.

That is why I started quilting. Why then did I start my quilt shop? It was kind of a natural progression for me. I was a stay at home mom and was looking for ways to suppliment our familiy's income. I sold handmade candles for awhile, taught and still teach BabySigns, and I tried Melaluca for awhile too. Quilting just seems to fit better. I enjoy it, I don't mind getting 3 hours of sleep some nights if I have to work late and get up early with the girls (that's what Startbucks is for) and I truely love the different challenges that come from making custom quilts and sharing my love for quilting with anyone I can!

When my family moves to Colorado I might consider opening a physical location once both girls are in school full time but I will for sure get a Long Arm machine and offer that service as well. I am even trying my hand at designing a quilt. The possibilites are endless for a quilter.

I'd like to know why YOU started quilting? Post a comment here or email me at

Saturday, June 27, 2009

New Items on etsy

SnowTopQuilts shop on :)

A gift set with free shipping was added today at my etsy shop along with a few other things.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Where did you get that picture?

I have been asked a couple of times about where I got the picture I use on my blog, facebook, and my website. An old friend of mine and poker buddy, Jake Nielsen is a photographer and a phenomenal artist. He is allowing me to use his photograph for my company. If you are interested in seeing more of Jake's work you can contact him here

My commute...

is nonexistent. I don't get the time in the car like most people to unwind from work and a crazy hectic day. Instead, my "office" is about 15 feet from my family room and I walk by it a 100 times a day when I am not actually working. I never really leave work, but I never really leave home either. In my case, I couldn't get to sleep at night, there was always something else that needed to be done. As far as work goes, I do my work when I can through out the day and most of it at night after my girls asleep. Which is where my problems started. I was always working at night right before bed, it is really the only time I have to work uninterupted. So I was having issues with stopping work at bed time. I seemed to always go to bed thinking about work, what else needs to be done, or the one thing that kept me up most of all...designing quilt patterns in my head!

So I came up with a system to help myself get to sleep without thinking! Read a book. Any book about anything but quilting, business or building websites. It started when the new Jennifer Chiaverini book came out, one of the Elm Creek Quilts Novels. I know that is about quilting, but it is a novel, a story line, not a how to book. I do have to admit that the Elm Creek novels are too good and I was still up at night, but it did get my mind off work. Now I read other books, mostly Dean Koontz novels but I will read others too every now and then.

Reading takes my mind off my work and makes it easier to fall asleep. I make sure I leave myself an hour or however long I want to spend reading. Usually I have to set an alarm to remind myself of the time and then another alarm to remind myself to stop reading. The trick is to listen to the alarms and have self discipline. That can be hard when you are really into whatever it is your doing, but it helps to keep yourself well rested and sane and keep up your drive and motivation to work from home.

I hope this helps some of you work from home people out there.

Sunday, June 21, 2009 Update

I have decided to switch web hosts. So my site might be down for a week or so. I have to rebuild my site and try to figure out how to re-direct my domain name to the new servers. My old host is taking their sweet time getting me the necessary information to re-direct but I expect to have the problem fixed by Monday or Tuesday at the very latest.

I ordered some more Krafter's products from Stone Creek Creations. I was unable to obtain more of the Krafter's Komfycush but I did manage to get a couple of the Krafter's purses, even a couple of "retired" but limited Kakhi colored and some other items as well. These are the photos of the items I ordered.

Here is a picture of the Krafter's Komfycush, I have two of these in Royal Blue listed at my Etsy shop.

I also ordered the KP2 Krafter's purse, it is a larger version of the Krafter's Purse.As soon as I can get my site switched to the new host I will publish it and I should be ready to take orders at that time. I am very excited to get my store up and running entirely. It is such a great feeling to be that much closer to contributing to my family's well being again, and to share my love of quilting with all of you.

Works in progress

Some people ask me what I am working on as far as quilts go, well most of the time I am working on something to list in my Etsy store, But I always have more then a few projects that need to be completed for personal use. I have been quilting for over 4 years now and I don't have one quilt that I made of my own! My two daughters have their baby quilts that I made for them, and many friends and family members have quilts I made for them, but I have yet to finish a quilt for myself.

As for what I am working on for my Etsy and eBay stores, I am in the middle of two twin sized pinwheels, and one king sized pinwheels. I am cutting up fabric for a couple of star quilts and I am designing a quilt around some fabric from Hoffman Farbics now.

I am really hoping to get an Alchemy for a daybed quilt, I am drawing a design for the buyer now to see if she likes what I have to offer. Crossing Fingers.

For my personal projects, I have the fabric picked out and sitting in a drawer for a double wedding ring, fussy cut around some fabric from Moda. It will be a king sized quilt with matching shams. I still have my mother's day project going on, an applique quilt I designed from the state flower, tree, and bird of Colorado along with some mountains.

I started an all hand pieced, hand quilted wall hanging about this time last year. I am in the process of hand quilting it now. Eventually I'll finish it, but I keep putting it down to complete or start other projects :) When I do complete this quilt it will be framed in a picture frame.

A few months ago I made a quilt in a cup for a friend of mine who loves butterflies and her husband kept taking her cup, they said it kept water really cold. So I decided I'd suprise him with his own quilt in a cup so I am making his cup now. My friend's cup has been broken, so I am also making her another cup.

I was very active in a quilting forum for a couple of years and I participated in a lot of swaps, from charm swaps to block swaps and I have a few of those blocks from the swaps to make into quilts. I usually give those to Project Linus. I will for sure keep one of the quilts, as it was a friendship quilt and all of my friends participated.

There are some projects I am forgetting, but these are the majority of them.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Welcome to the Snow Top Quilts blog. I am so excited to be able to share my love of quilting with you. Feel free to follow this blog, as I will be adding quilting tips and techniques, ideas, Block of the Month, contests and promotions, patterns, recipes, and so much more.

Snow Top Quilts was started in March of 2009. The reason I choose the name Snow Top Quilts is because my family and I are planning to move to Colorado, hopefully before the end of the year, and we are looking at homes in the mountains. I love snow covered mountains, they are peaceful to me just as quilting is peaceful to me.

At you'll be able to buy fabric, patterns, pattern books, quilting novels, notions, quilt kits, finished quilts and order custom quilts. Soon, I will have a section for quilters to list and sell their quilted creations on my web site. My hope is to become a full quilt shop online.

I decided to start this quilting store all with my own money and I make and sell quilts on and to help pay for my inventory. It is a slow process but it is a very gratifying choice, especially in this economy. Because of this decision I have a limited inventory to start with but it is growing, I hope you'll check my store often to find out what's new. I also have some inventory listed at

If you have any great quilting tips, or are having a problem with a pattern or technique, send me an email and I will post it on this blog for you and others can comment and offer advice or other tips on that topic.

I hope you join me as a fellow quilter or just someone who is curious, on this fun and exciting journey through the quilting world.