I’ve always wanted to start a blog. I see so many now – pretty and organized and updated. When I was younger I had a Xanga. Do you guys remember Xanga? Before MySpace hit the scene, Xanga was the latest and greatest “social media” site. It was like a blog, but had a huge community, and people commented frequently and interacted. But when MySpace, and then Facebook, gained in popularity, Xanga faded out. I kept up with mine for a few years. But posting every day turned into once a week, then once a month. Before I knew it I was scrolling through year old posts, reminiscing about the past. I attempted to start blogging again. It will help me stay organized… I’ll want to go back and read it…. Oh, this will be my New Year’s resolution!! But those goals were quickly overshadowed by thoughts of attending college and boyfriends. Life for me had gone into hyper drive, and I didn’t have enough time to blog… or do my homework, or call my parents, or clean my apartment. I had more important things to do than to sit down at a computer for half an hour to write about how my day went.
Fast forward five years:
I was sitting on the floor in my living room with old family pictures scattered around me. I had been feeling particularly nostalgic that day, and wanted to see some of my old baby pictures. I had come across one that reminded me of my bedroom as a kid. My mom loved to decorate, and had designed my room with antiques, French lace, and family pass downs. But the one thing I had remembered most about that room was an old quilt my great grandmother had handmade. Although this quilt was beat up and torn (it was easily 50 years old), I loved it, and slept with it nearly every night and carried it with me everywhere I went.
As I sat there thinking about my childhood, I felt my first kick. What? Oh my goodness! He’s getting so big! I was 25 weeks pregnant with our first little boy. I was overjoyed that I felt him move, and instantly filled with so much emotion – excitement, anticipation, hope, wonder. I wanted everything for him. And then I thought about my room as a kid, and the quilt. I loved that quilt. It meant so much to me, and fascinated me that my grandmother made it with her own two hands. I want to make something for Jackson – something that he will love and be fascinated by. So that was it. I had made up my mind. I was going to make Jackson a quilt. I love doing DIY’s and making things with my hands. So this was gonna be a breeze for me! Or so I thought…
I had never sewn before – I didn’t even own a sewing machine. Up until that point, the only experience I had with sewing was using a needle and thread to re-apply a button. But I wasn’t going to let that stop me. No sewing machine? No problem! I’ll just sew it by hand! I’m extremely hard headed, and once I get an idea in my head, it is very hard for me to let it go. So once I decided to HAND piece and quilt this thing, that was it. A couple hours of research on how to quilt, and way too many fat quarters later, I was ready to start. Jackson’s nursery was mint, yellow, and orange, so I picked out some mint patterned fabric from WalMart, and a few more fabrics from Joann. Not only was this the first quilt/sewing project I had ever set my mind to, I decided to also make it probably the most difficult first quilt ever. A triangle quilt. No, I didn’t want squares, or something that would be easy. I wanted a super modern triangle quilt. What is wrong with me? At the time I didn’t think it would be difficult, but I was wrong – way wrong.
If you don’t know much about piecing or quilting, a square quilt is probably going to be your easiest way to go. All the little squares usually line up perfectly and you rarely have any problems. But with a triangle quilt, there is so much that can go wrong. If your angles are off, or you don’t offset the triangles when sewing exactly 1/4″ apart, the whole thing can become crooked and wonky. Needless to say, I learned that the hard way after I had pieced THREE rows and realized that I had to re-do them because I didn’t leave enough room to piece the rows together. Long story short, it took me the rest of my pregnancy to finish the thing. Don’t get me wrong, I loved doing it. It just took a very long time, and hundreds of hours.
My husband was so impressed with this quilt. I mean, I thought it was pretty good considering it was the first time I had ever sewn, but Mitch couldn’t shut up about it. He said that it was easily the best thing I had ever made, and he loved that I handmade it for Jackson. He told me that with how good the quilt actually turned out, how much I love doing crafts, and how I’m about to have a baby and would need to stop working, that I should be making and selling these online. I was flattered, but I didn’t even have a sewing machine, and I thought the quilt could use a lot of improvements before someone would be willing to buy it.
I really didn’t think much about it until after Jackson was born. He was 3 months old, and it was time for me to return to work. I loved my job, but it was bittersweet going back. I didn’t want to leave Jackson with a sitter or in daycare, and I loved spending time with him and watching him grow. I was a manager at Potbelly Sandwich Works (which have the BEST sandwiches, by the way) and I ended up working out a deal that I would only work once a week. That was awesome. I could stay at home with Jackson most of the time, and my husband would watch him on the day I worked. But as the months went by, I was needed for more shifts. Sometimes three or four times a week. I couldn’t keep doing it. My paycheck was too small to cover daycare, and Mitch was getting in trouble with his job for taking off so much to watch him. That’s when I thought about making quilts instead of working. I had talked to my family about what to do, and they all pretty much said the same thing – to do whatever I needed to do to stay at home.
I love doing crafts. Love it. Love it. Love it. I love learning how to make something and put it together. And I’ve always wanted to start my own business. I went to Texas A&M University, but didn’t graduate, so finding a big job had always seemed out of reach for me. My mom owned her own business, so I kind of grew up watching how owning a business works. So… I’ll start my own business. How? I was explaining my whole situation to my grandmother one day. I told her that I was thinking about making and selling quilts, but I didn’t know where to start, and I didn’t have a sewing machine. Before I could even go into the details, she stopped me and pulled out a BEAUTIFUL old Singer 401 (this machine was made in 1959, and the 401 model was Singers’ last all metal machine). Other than it being old and had been in storage for years, this machine was in PERFECT condition and barely used. She said I could have it. It meant so much to me! My family was being so supportive of my decision to start my own business, and now I had the equipment to do it.
For the next couple of months I practiced. I practiced making 1/4″ seams, sewing straight lines, quilting, different piecing techniques, binding, you name it. I was pretty much glued to that sewing machine. Mitch had cleaned it up and it was basically brand new. I easily put in over 100 hours of quilting in that machine in my first month, and I loved it. I had quite a few mess ups during that time, but sometimes you have to make mistakes in order to learn. By the end of the year, I had successfully made one quilt, and gained a ton of knowledge that I never would have had without the help and support of my family and friends. And as the new year was fast approaching, I began to have dreams and goals of actually starting my own business. I can do this. I can do this!
Mitch and my family where so supportive. They seriously pushed me to where I normally wouldn’t have been comfortable without them. The New Year came, and I decided to post the one quilt I had made on Etsy. While I was waiting for that one to sell, I posted a few more. Before I knew it I had 5 quilts and 5 sheets, and I was starting to get faster. Then I made my first sale. I was so excited! It was official. I had started a business!
And that’s where we are today. My shop is nearly a month old, but I already have so many plans and visions as to where I see this company going. I still have so much ongoing support from my family and friends, and I know this is where the Lord has placed me. As for this blog, I want this to be a place I can express my creativity and show a “behind the scenes” of Jumblebee Baby. I want to post DIY’s and tutorials for people that might share the same crafty passion I have. I want to house inspiration for beautiful nurseries and homes. I want to share my experiences so that other people that might want to start their own business know that they can do it. This is my life. This is my story.