The First Juan

There is this friend in my life who has been a great cheerleader to me. She comes to just about every event I host. She has sat through programs at the studio when no one showed but her. She sends me ideas, asks me what I’m doing next and reminds me to follow up.

She also dropped off a quilt to me for Juan. The first customer quilt. Before I even knew what questions to ask. Or how much to charge.

“Sometime by December.”  “However you want to quilt it.”  “Just let me know at the end.”  Totally trusting me with her work. Wow.

So, Juan and I discussed the possibilities. Everything about this quilt seemed to say “snow,” so we dug through Juan’s brain. Not snowflakes- too obvious. Not meander- too boring. How about swirls?  And oh yes, there are plenty of those to choose from. We settled on “Swirls Two” by Lone Pine Quilting, and loaded the quilt into Juan’s arms.

Now, I could, in the interest of promoting my business, and protecting Juan’s reputation, skip the gory details of what happened next. But, I can’t do it. I thought about it, but in the end I just can’t dress it up in an unrealistic outfit. It is what it is, and I’m glad it happened because I learned from it. (And the quilt turned out great in the end- don’t worry-)


This is the reality of quilting. This is the reason quilters cuss. After ripping out stitching THREE times, I finally made a call for help.


It turns out that if you don’t thread the bobbin winder correctly, it screws with your bobbin, which in turn screws with your tension, which in turn screws with your sanity.  It also turns out that there’s this really helpful thing on the Internet called YouTube that shows you how to do stuff. Like use the equipment in your studio.


Once I got that figured out, the rest was a breeze. Until I had to try to create an invoice. Hello. Took longer than quilting the quilt.



I was pleased with Juan’s work, and we had a good discussion on the importance of understanding the mechanics of thread tension. According to Juan, this was just the beginning, and there are many more lessons to come. But he also seems to think that I can be taught.


Makes me wanna put on a big, wooly sweater and drink a cuppa hot cocoa in front of a fire.

Except I live in Georgia. And it’s 68 degrees outside.

 

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