So who is Stumpy?
Welcome to my website!
Hi, I am Jackie and I am The Stumpy Quilter ....but how did I get here?
My journey so far is super short by so many standards! Back in 2017, living in Hertfordshire with hubby Nigel and two spaniels I had been a paper crafter for over 20 years, I realised the tradition of sending handmade cards was dying, as was my hobby, and so reluctantly I packed up my craft room with a view that hopefully one day the passion would resurface as would the world’s view of paper cards.
I consequently drove my ever supportive husband nuts with all my restless spare time and so in the late summer of 2017 he took things into his own hands to find me something to try. He gave me a cute little Brother sewing machine, not knowing I had been moved out of needlework at school...
However I quickly tried various things from aprons to cushions and came to understand dressmaking was still never going to be my thing. Then I discovered patchwork and quilting..it was paper crafting with fabric..I was in Heaven!
Over the coming months I tried my initial quilts and samplers, many a complete disaster, but slowly with the aid of the internet I managed a few things that seemed to turn out OK. Quickly I found the machine was struggling with my ever growing desire to go bigger and so for Christmas that year hubby bought my second machine, a fairly large Janome Atelier 5, and then it got to be really fun!
I had some lessons in 2018 which confirmed my love of piecing and not dressmaking...and the intricacy of my work grew. The challenge now was how to quilt them? The cost of sending them off to be professionally quilted was pretty huge and I did not feel my quilts deserved such attention yet!..but then my question was why can’t I do it? I struggled with my Janome for a while and did not do too bad on some of the earlier pieces. Straight lines was easy with a walking foot but the free motion ideas I had was quickly making my frustration peak and my poor Janome was groaning!
So in the October of 2018 I bought a mid-arm machine with a freestyler. Now I could play. I loved being able to use my creative flair to add swirls and meanders to a quilt. I am no real artist but I do love to doodle and this seemed to work!
Once again by the spring of 2019 I was beginning to push the boundaries of the set up as my designs got more complex and the challenge of tension came to haunt me. I was using such a clever idea that turned a normal machine into a quilting machine, but the issues I had had with tension on the Janome were still there as the machine was never designed to do this!
So after a visit to the craft show in Duxford a decision was made and for my 50th birthday Nigel bought me a 12 foot frame and a professional long arm machine from Handiquilter.
My beautiful Amara machine .."Stumpy" had arrived!
This then lead to further lessons, the discovery of pantographs..which I absolutely love doing, micro quilting and so much more. I still think I am far from the standards of some of the professional long armers at free motion quilting but I found my real strength in hand guided pantographs.
Now I was beginning to have stacks of quilted items around the house, some went to family and friends, some to charity and I was asked to make specific ones too, but I still had surplus..so I decided to put them up for sale and "see what happens" ….then it got really interesting as I began to get orders for commissions, my advent calendars were a huge success and I sold so many quilts. Hubby jumped back in to the fray, sold the Brother machine and the Janome Atelier and bought a Janome Memory Craft for all the pretty stitching, a Brother embroidery machine and a Juki DD8700 commercial machine for piecing. I had a little hobby business!
My next challenge was that this was quite a lonely hobby and I am such a social creature, so in 2020 I began the quilting experiences where patchworkers, who did not have the space for a long arm or simply did not need one at home, could come along for a fun filled day and finish their quilt using a pantograph edge to edge. I provided all the help and support, it was so much more fun for the quilter than sending it away and it was far better value for money, but the real value of course was that it was all their own work!
So this very fast journey had one casualty...my conservatory! The beautiful sitting space became a hive of quilting...for making...selling...commissions and of course the experiences and I had already out grown it.
Luckily for me the long term plan for the last 10 years or so was always a move to West Wales and after a tortuous time in the housing market we finally bought our new home at the very end of 2021. In the spring of 2022 I finished my new hobby studio which houses my paper crafting, quilting and an office for my day job!
Set in the beautiful heart of rural Carmarthenshire on a smallholding where I live with Nigel and now four spaniels is my own space which I have named Bumblebury Cottage; a creation of my own with a nod to my favourite author, Tolkien.
So I am back to making, quilting, paper crafting and so much more....and also now welcoming locals and those coming to stay in the area to the studio to complete their quilts on a Quilting Experience.
So why The Stumpy Quilter? Well at 5 foot and not a lot, married to someone over 6 feet, Stumpy has always been my cherished nickname from hubby...something to do with Hobbits...and now I have given this name of course to my long arm and the business!
Happy quilting! xx