A Long Vacation and Thanks!

Back, what seems like many years ago, when I had time to do quilting for others, no quilting was scheduled in November and December because I wanted to enjoy my holidays too.  The good thing about doing longarm quilting is that you’re  your own boss.  If you want to work one day per month or 31 days per month, that’s ok (so long as the month has 31 days).  When I hear quilters talking about trying to get quilts finished on Christmas Eve to be delivered in time to be wrapped and under someone’s tree, I’m thinking . . is her family enjoying the holidays if she’s still quilting?  I’m not putting anyone down, or their business plan but for me, I want to enjoy the holidays and I want to bake goodies for everyone I know and I don’t want to be rushing to get quilts done.  So, nothing was scheduled for November or December.

January was taken off so I could work on my own tops.  During the year, I would let them pile up and then I’d spend a lot of time in January getting my own tops done.

So, I’ve carried that over into my teaching schedule.  I have nothing scheduled for November, December, January and heck . . I’ll just take off in February too.  February is off because of snow/ice concerns.

Today, I finished up the last workshop I’ll do for 2009.  It’s been a fantastic year!  My guess is that 2 or 3 or 5 years ago, had I dreamed about the perfect year a quilt addict could have, I wouldn’t have dreamed of anything half as good as 2009 has been. I’ve been to places I’ve never been; I’ve been to local restaurants and tasted local specialties; I’ve met people who will be friends forever; I’ve stayed in the homes of quilters I’d never met; I’ve spent quality time with my quilting friends.  I am so blessed!  So blessed that it almost scares me.  I don’t forget that many are struggling, finances are tough for many, friends are suffering from illness and heartache . . I do know how blessed I am.

Thanks . . more thanks than you’ll probably ever know . . to all of you who were instrumental in getting the invitation to me from your guild; for showing me around your town, for inviting me into your homes . . without those of you who believe in me enough to invite me to speak to your guilds, those of you who read the blog and do the projects I offer, those of you who buy the book . . none of this would be happening for me.

This very evening, my last evening to be out “working”, once the workshop was over, I went back to my room, a friend who has a longarm had been having some issues.  She picked me up at my room, we went to her home to work on her machine and got it fixed; then she took me out to dinner.  I protested but she insisted.  She’s a wonderful lady . . someone I would never have met had it not been for the quilting connections.  This was the 4th time we’ve been together this year!  I’m so happy to have her as a friend and I’m happy to have spent a lovely evening with her.

I am tired; I’m in a hotel alone tonight, a long way from home.  It will feel really good to get back home and not have to leave for 4 months, except for a trip or two to Louisiana but I’ll be ready to hit the deck again soon!

Thank you all!



  1. 1


    No, no, thank YOU! You’re so totally generous to your friends, both 3D and on your blog. You’ve shared your blessings with us a hundred times over!

  2. 2

    Marilyn says

    Just wanted to let you know that one of the posters on the quilting
    bee forum(delphi forums) was telling everyone how charming you are.
    It was great to read since I feel like I know you…..and thanks to you
    for all the info. and laughs on your blog.

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    Cynthia H., El Cerrito, CA says

    Thank *you* for providing a resource where I can communicate, however indirectly, with other quilters, look at your incredible work, watch the chickens at their (?) business, drop back in on my long-lost Southern life, at almost any hour of the day or night. It’s very difficult for me to see my friends in real life due to conflicting schedules and chronic pain (which severely limits the driving and then the visit b/c of concerns about getting back home), but at PatchworkTimes there is always someone home.

    Someone–and it’s usually, but doesn’t have to be, you–who has something to say about fabric or quilts or quilting or (ahem…) MEN! and their baffling ways or our little critter friends or our wild friends (deer?) or Mother Nature (the lightning) or just about anything. Almost the kind of variety I’d experience talking to one of my girlfriends in “real life.”

    Or I look at the photos of some of your quilts for color combination ideas–I’m pretty set in my ways, but Bonnie Hunter jolted me good last New Year’s, and I’m trying to stay jolted, as it were….

    You may feel blessed, but to me you’re definitely doing a good job of sharing it around, too.

    Thank you so much.

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    You are a blessing to people all over the world, and although we have not met in person, it feels as if you are one of my best friends who lives around the corner.

    You inspire me all the time, and you brighten up my days! May God bless you

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    Kathie L. says

    Enjoy your well-deserved months of you-time and a wonderful holiday season. Thanksgiving is my favorite, and I look forward to reading your food plans for the big event. I’ve had great fun reading your blog and look forward to what the future holds.

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    You’ve earned every bit of it Judy. You had a dream, you worked hard and followed it, and now you’re living it. You are what America is all about! If more people were like you, our economy wouldn’t be in such a mess!

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    You are a very hard worker AND a kind person….and very “real” to your blog reading quilting friends….most of whom you haven’t yet met…but all of whom adore you! Thanks for being who you are…and enjoy your well-deserved time off from being on the road!!!

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    pdudgeon says

    thanks for a very informative post today!
    I’ve been wondering when you had time to quilt for yourself with everything else you do. I’ve seen others in the quilting world and how busy their schedules are, and often wondered the same thing–when (or if!) they ever had time to quilt or longarm for themselves.

    Thru your blog you’ve taught me about the importance of giving a quilter plenty of lead time on a quilt, and it was good advice.
    On my first quilt that i sent out there was a problem, but because of the extra lead time everything was taken care of. i got a beautiful quilt back from my quilter with less stress than there would have been, had the lead time not been so long. you’ve given us many tips that make the whole process much easier and less stressful when sending out a quilt, for both the quilter and the quilt owner.

    it’s good to know that you’re taking the extra time for yourself and your family this holiday.
    Like you, i am wonderfully blessed now. There is chaos around me but i feel safe and secure. because of my stash i know that i can quilt for a while and yet still get new fabrics online with the click of a few buttons, because there are reliable, caring web folk out there who have found ways themselves to survive in this economy.
    I appreciate my local quilt stores as well, and enjoy the opportunity to re-fuel my creativity and stash from their offerings. visiting them feels like visiting friends.

    thanks for everything you’re doing, Judy–both for your web friends and for the quilting world at large.
    It is very much appreciated!

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    I really enjoy reading your blog and am sorry I couldn’t meet you when you came to Wichita (I had jury duty all week and my kids needed me in the evening). Thanks for all you do, and bust some serious stash in the next 4 months!

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    Bobbie says

    Judy-You make me feel like you are a best friend I’ve had forever. I learn so much here and appreciate it very much. I also get plenty of laughs here. You are just like “One of us” that is-“just one of the girls”. I’m heading in the sewing room right now-after I watch your video or machine binding again. watched it yesterday and came out with a big mess. Frog stitched last night all during the World Series. Try, try again until I get it right. Hugs, Bobbie

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    Linda says

    Judy, you thoroughly deserve the great year you’ve had. Without a lot of hard work on your part it would never have happened. And thank you for your blog. Sometimes seeing what you are working on gives me the inspiration I need to get myself into the sewing room and work on something. Enjoy your four months off…..trust me, it’ll go by lots faster than you think.

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    That was a very inspiring post to read today! I am so relieved to hear that quilting is alive and well and that quilters are keeping you busy.
    I look forward to hearing lots of fun stories about your adventures at home for a few months.
    You are always an inspiration…thank you!

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    Dory Miller says

    Judy, how far do you travel? I live in Quincy, CA, and my guild is looking to bring new people in for classes. Is this too far? If not, do you have a price breakdown and information on the classes you would teach?

    Thank you!!

    I’m really enjoying your blog and your recipes!!

  14. 14


    You are SO RIGHT that if you are quilting for others up to the last minute you and your family can’t enjoy the holidays. Since November and December are my biggest months for quilting for others I can’t take a vacation from them but I am trying to schedule only an amount of quilts that I can get accomplished without making myself crazy and have everything done no later than December 15th.

    kathie L.

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    I’m looking forward to some time at home too — November and maybe January without any travel.

    Can’t wait to see what you come up with in all that free time!