Gifts – a life lesson.

So as a Longarmer my quilts tend not to be completed.

Clients quilts come first guess the sayings true a cobblers kids don’t have shoes or a mechanic has the worse running car. Anyways last weekend I was hosting a wedding shower and thought oh I have time to make a quilt for the bride and groom. Yeah that didn’t happen ! I did get it pieced but not quilted, a quilt takes time and that’s just the facts. So what’s a girl to do ? Well I hate to admit it but I have a number of quilts in different stages of the process. This little gem was pieced around 2008 , sat for many years as just a top. Taken out again ( 2012 ) to add fish , sat for another  year before quilting it . And then it sat with just the binding to be done. So morning of the shower I was sewing like a crazy person to finish the quilt.

Now looking at this little quilt I have mixed feelings about it. Is it my best work ? Today no … Over the years my skills have improved but every time I picked it up to work on it I was doing my best work at that time. Those are just the facts !  Improving ones skills takes time and practice. There is planning, color theory , following a set of instructions , then doing. And most importantly finishing. I personally have a hard time giving away certain quilts because in my head I think oh I do so much nicer work now . At last count I have 17 quilt tops waiting for me to finish & 30 plus finished quilts in the studio.  Thinking it’s time to let go of more quilts The young bride loved the quilt and I know I will finish the one I was working on and eventually give it to them (might take me 5 yrs. evil laugh to finish) .

So life lesson … Remember it’s your best work at this stage of your journey , be proud of your work and remember no one but you can see the little flaws !

Thinking I will now let go of some quilts and maybe try scheduling in a couple of my quilt tops at least once a month.





Added little feather fish through out the quilt.


Added little fish using my embroidery machine .

IMG_9563 IMG_9565 IMG_9570 IMG_9571 IMG_9573 IMG_9575 IMG_9577

Elephant Abstraction Workshop – Book your spot

The hottest quilt at the moment is this wonderful Elephant Abstractions quilt by violet craft. This quilt will take a full three days to create but well worth the time. And once you have done one chances are your going to make another one. We will walk your through the steps of paper piecing using freezer paper. No paper to remove and  minimal fabric waste. Come enjoy three days sewing, learning a new skill and creating something special.

Wednesday March 15th to Sunday 19th – this week you can pick and choose the three days or come all five

 Elephant Abstractions / Giraffe Abstraction Quilt Workshop

Come and enjoy a two day workshop to create your own elephant or giraffe quilt.

Cost $150 dollars  This includes the pattern.

All meals and snacks provided.

Supply List


Add a quarter inch ruler (If you don’t have no worries we have in studio)

Scoring tool (If you don’t have no worries we have in studio)

Freezer paper  ( can be purchased at your local grocery store)

2 meters of background fabric

Fabric strips that are at least 6 inches wide. Fat quarters work & lots of colors the more the merrier.

Things to note , the pattern calls for way to much fabric !   Fat quarters or six inch strips will work fine in a dozen or more  colors. The scraper the better. Shop in your stash  You will need two meters for the background fabric.

Sewing machines, irons, cutting mats and rotor cutters are provided. So you just need to bring yourself & Fabric.


We will be doing paperless paper piecing so if possible trace the entire pattern onto freezer paper. Assign a number for the colors so you know what color to use. Label all pieces. This will take a few hours to do but is well worth the time and saves distorting your pieces.

Class size – 4 quilters at our location Loopy D’s 79 Sunhurst Cres S.E. Calgary


And if you want to book a private workshop give us a call and we can schedule something that works for you.

And if you don’t quilt but want this wonderful quilt we will make it to order. For more information give us a call.


Looking back , Looking forward … Quilting Goals for 2017

2016 was an interesting year to say the least. In the spring we installed new windows in the studio . Then a small disaster happened and we ended up doing a complete renovation  in the studio. Reworked the entire studio. Did a major purge and donated fabric and quilts to a number of organizations.  September we where finally fully up and running. New floors & lighting makes for a happy Bright space. Must say loving the new set-up.

Due to the new set up we now have more room…

So we brought in more wide backing fabric ,  now we carry almost 75 bolts of 108″ wide backing , and adding to it on a regular basis. We started carrying Fireside which if you haven’t used before its so nice to work with and is soft ,  it’s 60″ wide .

We also still carry a full selection of battings .

Honestly can say 2016 was not a year I would want to do again but there was some amazing quilts that we had the pleasure of working on.

Looking forward 2017 should be a wonderful year. We have finally started working and developing our new patterns. We will be launching them at Heritage Park.

On our Facebook page doing a tip of the day although it might be more like tip of the week .

In the studio Finishing the last of last years work and looking forward to working on the quilts that are coming into the studio. Hoping to see some amazing quilts come in. Already two quilts have come in that will be shown at the Calgary Stampede so going to do some major playing to showcase the quilters work off.


s1095662774_30064013_1159Having a Valentines special – If you quilt has a heart on it anywhere you will save $25 dollars on the quilting.

Also we still offer classes so book a class learn a new skill. Give feed back as to what you would like to see in the New Year.



Sale just in time for Christmas !

Today I was asked why do I create ? Simple answer is it recharges my spirit and soul. Will my works ever been in a museum or art gallery chances are not . But who is to say. There are some amazing quilts in museums that the makers had no idea that their little piece of art would be so highly valued. My favorite such quilt was made be Harriet Powers. The Bible quilt made 1885-1886 all cotton , pieced and appliqued . The Quilt now lives in the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum  of American History. This proud African American woman loved the quilt so much she said it was not for sale for any price. Four years later when things where hard for her family she sold this quilt to Jennie Smith for a whole $5.oo dollars. Harriet  gave her a full description of each scene with great earnestness, and deep piety she departed. Harriet did come to visit Jennie Smith several times to see her quilt and Jennie Smith did provide Harriet with scraps of fabric from her own stash. Note I don’t think they had a stash back then, evil giggle.   Okay my past life is sneaking into this, yes I have worked in a museum as an archivist .  I hate to admit it but I have a rather large collection of books on vintage quilts , fabric, and fiber history. Any ways getting back on track we create because it’s part of our DNA . We want nice things for our home, a special gift for a loved one so we create with fiber. It’s an art form and it’s our voice. You look back in history and young women made samplers to put into their hope chests for their future home. As women this is a part of us. Saying this I am the first quilter in my family, to funny I know.

So I take pride in what I do and try my hardest to do the best job I can on every quilt that I get to be part of its story. Yes quilts have a story and sometimes that’s the best part of my day when a client is dropping off and I ask them about the quilt. Personally I have been working on a quilt that I have taking all over the world when I go to quilt it that will also be part of it’s story. And it will have designs representing all the cities, towns, and countries it’s been to.

Anyways that’s why I create .

Name Your Price Sale

Now if you have read my blog before you know our studio had a little disaster and I said once we where up and running we would be having a sale. So we are having a name your price sale. If you only want to spend $50 dollars on a quilt we will do two hours of quilting on that quilt, so you know it’s going to be a simple all over nothing custom. This is a great sale for baby quilts , Christmas throws etc. as you don’t need over the top quilting. Name your price sale Starts October 1st and runs until the end of the month.

Also things to note…

The studio will be closed October 17th until October 24th

Christmas deadline this year is December 5th. If you are needing your quilt done for a gift that’s as late as you can leave it.


Whole Cloth Quilt - twin

Whole Cloth Quilt – Custom


Reno Sale…

It’s been awhile since I last posted but their is a reason. On May 5th I had a plumber come in and install a new kitchen tap. That weekend I took a workshop with Luke Hanes (amazing workshop) although was home every night was to tired to head down into the studio . Monday morning into the studio I went to work to discover that the plumber didn’t do his job right and my studio was flooded ! Okay carpets where wet one wall wet and ceiling tiles destroyed. Spent the day sucking water up with the shop vac, called plumber basically dealt with the mess. Thought nothing more about it until the following week when my kitchen tiles where popping and cracking. Insurance company called and yes a lot more damage was done than what we first thought. Just saying we where not planning on a total house renovation ! They took out all the floors , including the sub floor in our kitchen and dinning room area as we had asbestives in the flooring. The base cabinets where destroyed which means new cabinets. Getting the picture. Been dealing with insurance company, disaster clean up, contractors and the list goes on. After seven weeks of living with this mess things are finally happening. The drywall is finally replace in the studio. They fixed and painted the one wall , which now means I get to go buy paint and do the other walls. The electrician comes in on Monday to replace our electrical panel and redo kitchen wiring (on my dime) cause well the building codes have changed and we now have to get the house up to code. The kitchen and dinning room are getting a total makeover . Yeah it’s time but was not in this years budget plan. The insurance company is only covering the flooring and the four base cabinets and that counter top area. The rest of the kitchen we could leave but really four new cabinets and then our old ones makes no sense . So we are having the entire kitchen made over and applying the funds from the insurance. To say the least it’s been crazy around here. As for the studio everything was boxed up so nothing came to harm. Yesterday they finally informed us that yes they would be taking out the carpets and replacing them. Okay no I am not putting carpets back in we picked a wonderful laminate flooring that we will pay the cost difference. Needless to say my pocket book is taking a major hit with all these unplanned renovations. We already did our big project this year installing new windows so not much is left in the piggy bank.

Saying this on July 15th until the end of the month we will be having a sale. Stay tuned on that. I am thinking have two quilts quilted third one free. 164970_612876008723932_755535659_n

As always look for the positive. On the plus side we are getting a new kitchen ! When we bought this house I was twenty truly I am not the same person I was then. And now I know what and how to design my new kitchen to totally work for our family. On the plus side when one uses the microwave and the kettle at the same time the breaker will not kick out. Evil giggle. On the plus side my studio is going to be switched around , reworked and function better.

I have also been purging the entire home and things are being donated, sold and given away. Also because I can’t work in the house or the studio my gardens have gotten my total attention. Evil laugh. Always look for the positive.

Next time I will post pictures of the before and after. Hope you drop of quilts in July just saying will be back up and running at full steam.

Art for a Cause…. Charity begins at home.

Morning, as I haul myself out of bed this morning looked outside to see my yard was white my first reaction was shit my plants where not covered. Living in Calgary the first rule of gardening is don’t plant anything until after the May long weekend. On closer inspection (put my glasses on) it wasn’t snow but the apple tree flowers dropping it’s peddles. Breathing a sigh of relief wander into the kitchen to grab a coffee then head outside to sit on the deck and watch the sun rise. Each day it’s important to take time to reflect, refocus & regroup for the up coming day. It’s also a great time to appreciate all the good in ones life. Sitting outside this morning watching the changing colors of the sunrise the oranges and yellows reminded me of the pictures of Fort McMurry fires flooding our news networks. It was cool outside , wind blowing and I was praying that they where not getting this wind. Better still rain would be a real nice thing at this point in time.

Our province right now is facing hard times with employment. Calgary is an oil and gas town and when things are bad in that industry we have the trickle down effect. Companies are letting go , people are cutting back and the dollars are not flowing. When you have a emergency such as this fire in Fort McMurry displacing an entire city you hope and pray we as a community can step up. I know my quilting community is doing that by making quilts. Donating their services and time.

While watching that incredible sunrise & reflecting I thought what could our studio do ? Yeah we could make quilts and donate them but what is really needed at this time ? Red Cross says make a donation and those funds would be used where it’s needed right now. So thinking cap on , another cup of coffee. What could we do ???

And it hit me !    ART –  for a cause 

What if all my quilting friends made a small art piece nothing large say a wall hanging or table mat size piece . If your not a quilter  make something.  My Husband said he could donate a photo or two.  Get your artwork  to the studio say by May 25th and we have an on line auction June 1st.   Sell the pieces then donate the funds to the Red Cross.

A little piece of art from many people can turn into something larger.


Some times small things can change the world.

So let me know what you think. I think its a wonderful plan and if there is enough interest we will get to work getting this plan into motion.  Today I think I shall do something special  to get this event started.



Snow ah, ah , ah…

Wow Christmas is just around the corner I know this cause I just came up for air to let the dogs out and ah we have like snow covering everything ! Now honestly I should have known this was going to happen as today winter tires where put on my truck. So yes Calgary blame the snow on me. So I should be freaking out that the holidays are just around the corner but yeah not even a little phased . This week and next week finishing off major quilts that are totally custom. I have been sick for the last month so it’s nice to be feeling like my usual self. I am not totally back to normal but at least I can work for more than ten minutes at a time. Some exciting things did happen this week had a TV crew in the studio filming … Guess someone thinks I have an unusual job. The crew was out of Toronto and it was interesting to say the least. Will keep you posted when and if it’s going to be aired. It’s a pilot show and they are not sure if it will be picked up but they have traveled all over Canada filming different people so who knows. Heck it still was an interesting day .  I don’t think I do anything unusual other than doing something one loves. The secret to a happy life is do something you love, surround yourself with positive happy people, love yourself . Three simple things . Will keep you posted.

Now with Christmas just around the corner have you booked your quilt in for quilting? All Longarm Studio’s  have deadlines as we to want to be able to spend time with our families. Loopy D’s Deadline for the Christmas Rush is December 5th. Schedule it in so we can add it to the calendar .

We are also offering a new service just in time for Christmas. Book a Christmas party, Birthday party or a girls night out at loopy D’s your guests will make and take home an art piece. You get to try something new and different. kit’s are made for each person and we custom the party for you. Each party will be geared around what you would like to try. And nothing needs to be purchased you just show up and everything is provided. It’s kind of nice not to be expected to purchase anything . It’s a party and if you fall in love with quilting I will be sure to send you to my favorite quilting shop as I totally believe in supporting local businesses.


Class sample

Class sample- make and take.

So that’s what we have been up to. Guess busy as usual. Stop on by drop off a quilt I would love to work with you to finish your quilt.


Busy Summer … Time for a sale !


Wow where has this summer gone ? Next week we change our clocks which in my world means summer is winding down and fall is greeting us. We added a new member to the family. Meet Lola a little French bulldog my son fell in love with ! Puppy training do I need to say more. This summer we also did IMG_1899tons of work in our yard. We had our  Fence replaced , we had our sidewalks poured so when coming to the studio you can park at the side and walk up the sidewalk to the deck and use  the side door . This is such a nice change !  Now my clients can just walk straight into the house and head downstairs to the studio. All our gardens where done, new gazebo & new furniture added. Gas hooked up outside and brick work finished. We have been enjoying out outdoor living space.   On the plus side we are done for the year ( we ran out of money , evil giggle)  and one can start thinking about Christmas. Yes I said it ! Okay before I get ahead of myself think I will be taking a vacation first.

Yes the studio will be closed From Sept 9th until the 24th . We are heading to Italy ! This is a once in a life time trip for us we are going with my sister in law and her husband . We have been planning and saving for this trip for a couple of years and now it’s just around the corner. Someone asked me the other day if I was excited and well to be honest no . I have been in panic mode more than anything.

As a small business taking time off is hard for a number of reasons.

  • if your on vacation no money is coming in.
  • while you are away no work is being done meaning no funds.
  • doors closed no work coming in meaning no funds
  • people think your no longer in business

Now I had these same worries last year when I took our vacation and when I got back had tons of new stories and totally came back refreshed and ready to work. Running a small business you have worries that unless you have walked this path you just don’t understand the stresses. I couldn’t imagine if I had rent to pay on top of it. Both my husband and I run small businesses so it’s a balancing act to say the least.

Anyways we are going to have a great time , see lots and do tons. My Italian lessons I took this year should help.

Now since it’s my birthday September 1st I thought we should have a sale. Starting today until Sept 7th… Call or email & say Happy Birthday and get your savings.

Birthday Sale

  • Book a class save $25 dollars
  • Drop off a quilt save $25 dollars on anything bigger than a twin quilt.
  • Batting   buy a roll    cost $250 dollars 40 yards per roll.

I hope to get lots of birthday wishes & hope to be busy in October .

The last two weeks have been trying to finish at least one quilt every day sometimes it happens and sometimes I finish two. Okay I have had a ton of small baby quilts in the shop so that helps. Next week are all monster size quilts that are going to take days. But today it’s all baby quilts.

I just finished this quilt for a client and rather like the colors she did this in. Wish it was mine … Oh and start following us on instagram: @loopyd_quilting



The business behind a quilt

One day I decided to make everyone in my family a quilt for Christmas ! Okay what was I thinking ? Well Fabric land had a $4 a meter sale on quilting fabric. Evil giggle off to the quilt store I went to see about getting a pattern and maybe taking a class. Heck the last time I used a sewing machine was in high school and well let me tell you making an apron doesn’t count as sewing. Okay in my twenties I did make a dress that ended up looking like one was wearing a tent. Just saying I was never friends with my sewing machine.

Took some classes, which is another story. Fell in love , if you had asked me then if I would own my own studio I would have be rolling over in stitches with laughter.

Jump ahead a few years . Now I run my own quilting empire (evil giggle ) And on a weekly basis I get this question oh could you make me a queen size quilt and how much will it cost me ? When I tell them usually you can see it in their eyes they think your nuts and way to expensive.

Here’s the facts – Dedicated quilter spends $3,200 hundred dollars a year on quilting . They typically own $13,000 in tools & supplies and their fabric stash is worth around $6000 dollars. You can spend up to $13,000 on a name-brand sewing machine. Don’t get me started if you own a longarm machine ! And this is just the tip of the ice. Factor in classes, patterns, etc. you get the picture quilting is an expensive hobby.

Now here’s where our business gets funky. Can you make me a baby quilt ? Yes I can but it’s going to cost you $150 dollars and that’s not anything over the top. Am I crazy ? Okay Fabric cost on the average here in Canada anywhere from $10 to $16 a meter . Okay yes sales happen but I still have to restock and then might not hit a sale. So baby quilt uses 3 meters of fabric , now batting , oh thread can’t forget thread. Spool of thread in quilt shop $8 dollars. Your getting the picture? Right now that baby quilt has cost me say $65 dollars for materials. Now cutting , piecing, sewing then quilting & binding. Can you say this will take a complete day and that’s if its simple ! My day rate is $150 dollars , so add the materials and that baby quilt should be priced at $215 dollars. Are you seeing that my math is not adding up ! Plus where’s your profit margin ?  Evil giggle in other words not making a profit if I quote you $150 for that quilt , and that little voice in your head was saying I was nuts. Well my voice is saying are you stupid you run a business you need to make a profit !

You can go on Etsy and see quilts being sold for next to nothing or quilters offering to make quilts for next to nothing. They are doing this to use up their stash or to be able to purchase more fabric. Last week on facebook a quilter was bragging that she purchased a king size quilt top for $25 dollars. She got a wonderful quilt and her friend had some extra cash to purchase more fabric ! Are you joking $25 dollars will buy you 2 meters of fabric that king size quilt had at least 6 meters of fabric in it. Your smart do the math personally I would have paid my friend at least $100 dollars cause I would have felt I was stealing from her if I had paid her anything less. Still shaking my head at that one !

Back on track … squirrel…. Evil giggle.

More Detail, more time means more money ... But so worth it.

More Detail, more time means more money … But so worth it.

Custom job - 11 hours to complete from start to finish.

Custom job – 11 hours to complete from start to finish.

$50 dollar quilt. I didn't make but shows a simple quilt job.

$50 dollar quilt. I didn’t make but shows a simple quilt job.




Not all quilts that are for sale are the same quality of work for example here is the same panel done differently. You can guess which one I did?  The simple one (I didn’t do) could be sold for $50 dollars. A panel cost $12 , backing fabric $12 , batting $5  , $2 for thread yeah your going to make $19 dollars which breaks down to about $10 an hour for ones work. Really I could pour coffee at Tim Horton’s and make more $$$. The one I did (okay my friend Charmaine Walker pieced the pinwheels , I put it together ) took about five hours to piece and four hours to quilt and  two hours for binding. It’s a little bigger and more fabric, cost for materials $ 65 dollars. If I was to sell this it’s going for $250 . Both of these are charity quilts and will be donated to Inn From the Cold & High River Flood relief when I have finished using them as  class samples.  They are used to show how quilting can make or break your quilt.

The general public just doesn’t realize what the cost of materials to make a quilt or how long it takes. We need to educate.

Honestly every time one person undersells, it harms the other quilters out there that are doing quality work and are trying to make a living wage. We need to raise our prices to a living wage for everyone’s sake in this business. Don’t do a poorer job to save time and money. I had a conversation with a commissioned quilter and she just does an all over stipple or loops because her clients don’t know the difference. Guess you get what you pay for.

In my business I see people offering a penny sale to grow their business , but the reality is those people that come drop off their quilts for that sale never come back it doesn’t grow ones business. And then you have a ton of work to do and getting paid less than minimum wage. I did this only once and would never recommend it to anyone.

I see quilting as a skill , I’m asking for the payment due a skilled worker because that is what I think I am.

So if you are reading this and just think you are a crafter think again your skilled there is value in your skills. Don’t just sell your quilts for next to nothing or for fabric. And those that want to commission a quilt know my prices are fair . You can always purchase a quilt at Wal-Mart or Target  because they cost less but  know that some child or woman in a third world county is making that quilt is also struggling to make a  living wage and the fabric quality might not be the same. Buyer beware.

Okay thinking I need a coffee… how can you tell yesterday I had three calls asking about custom  work but wanting to pay me pennies.


Custom vs Edge to Edge

FlowersA new client came to the studio two weeks ago and dropped off this jewel of a quilt. She had never had a longarmer do work for her so she had no idea how her quilt would turn out. We discussed how and what she wanted and then she left her quilt. This is a trust issue, one has to trust although as a quilter ask questions , see the artist work . Do you like their work, do you feel safe leaving your baby in the hands of a total stranger.  What is their skill level ? If you want me to do a panto (edge to edge following a pattern) yeah that’s not going to happen. Now ask me to create a flower and add a little something different yep will happen. Yes sometimes custom takes longer because we are thinking about the quilt and what it needs. Sometimes we are scared to touch it , we want the best to showcase the piecers work. The quilting should enhance the quilt. A lot of thought and time goes into custom . This was a simple custom the client was charged 2.5 cents an inch. for the job. Did it need any more no. Some times a quilt just needs an edge to edge but other times  spend a little more and have the spaces filled to enhance your work.

The Client loved the quilting job so much she hugged me with such love. I know that what I did helped  her quilt go from nice to very nice.   I am so looking forward to seeing it hung at Heritage Park at the end of May. She and her quilting group each made this quilt and will be entering them as a group display. She said some of them have just been quilted edge to edge a couple have there’s at they longarmers so it should be interesting to see them all together .IMG_0933