My name is Cyndi Rich, and I have been a quilter for over 20 years now. Over the course of those years, I have probably made about 200 quilts. I remember back to my very first quilt that I made. It was actually a table runner, and it is currently displayed on my coffee table in my family room. Although the edges are frayed at this point from the multiple washings and just overall use, I still love having it there as a symbol of my quilting journey.
I used to work with a woman named Kit in Los Angeles, and she would bring a white whole cloth quilt to work every day and do a little hand quilting on the quilt every day at lunch. I remember being captivated by that quilt. I would dream about it and wonder how something so beautiful could be made with just a needle and thread. Every day I would question her about what she was doing, how she did it, how she planned the quilting designs, etc. It was remarkable. Having two small boys at home, I just didn’t have the time to be a quilter; but it was definitely the first “to do” I ever put on my bucket list.
After moving to Massachusetts, we didn’t know anyone here. I needed to find a new hobby since all my previous hobbies were outside activities (tennis and soccer). I didn’t realize how much I took the mild temps in California for granted where you could be outside all year long doing the things you loved. When looking for something to do, I remembered that beautiful whole cloth quilt and decided the time was right to take up quilting. Being a sewer since I was 12 years old, I thought I would take to quilting like a duck to water. My first mistake was signing up for a hand piecing sewing class. It was a 3-week class with homework in between. By the end of that first week I was pulling my hair out. I just didn’t have the patience to hand piece anything. So I called the instructor and begged her to let me finish my runner by machine. Fortunately, she was very accommodating (thank you Jane Barnhart); and I never looked back.
I was making quilts for everyone. I perfected my skills over several projects, each challenging me to try a new technique or a new style of quilting. My first real quilt was for one of my employees to celebrate her wedding. A big king sized quilt using an Eleanor Burns Quilt in a Day pattern called Morning Star. I remember being terrified at the thought of having to pick out four colors (including background) that went together. After all, I was spending a lot of money and really wasn’t confident in what I was doing. Thanks to Louisa Smith at All About Quilts in Walpole, I was able to make my fabric selections and sew a beautiful quilt. And I made more and more until I had that unmistakable pile of UFOs that so many of us can relate to (check out this site to see ways you can repurpose your UFOs)
I needed to get these quilts finished, so I bought books to learn how to machine quilt. After all, everyone was doing it, and it had become all the rage among my quilting friends. Ooooh, not pretty! I just didn’t like doing it, I wasn’t very good at it, and I felt I was “ruining” all my tops. I just couldn’t get the hang of moving the quilt at a speed my sewing machine liked and therefore create even, consistent stitches. And don’t get me started on wadding up my quilts in that little 6” space to the right of the needle. And then a friend let me in on a little secret. She “quilted by check.” What a revelation. It changed my quilting world. I sent my first quilt off to Gail Moffit, and she did a beautiful job. This was a marriage made in heaven. I got to make all of the tops I wanted, and Gail quilted them up for me. My productivity soared!
Now I own a quilt shop and get to go to work every day doing something I love. But my productivity has also plummeted! Not a whole lot of time to work on my own stuff anymore. But we have the absolute best customers, and I have so enjoyed being a part of their quilting journeys and living vicariously through their quilting projects.
I hope you stop on by the shop if you are in the area to experience the wonderful world of quilting and sewing that we have created for you. If not, you can get a taste of what we offer through our on-line shop. Either way, we hope you enjoy the experience.