I have decided to leave my previous "About Me" section below this update, rather than attempt to erase or rewrite who I was and where I have come from.
To give you a more recent glimpse into my life, I am a mother to four, one of which will be graduating in about two weeks, while the youngest will be entering kindergarten in the fall. I was a stay at home (work from home) mother for 15 years, until 2016 when life changes required that I return to work.
While home raising my children, I built a quilting business (chronicled here in this blog) that allowed me to long arm machine quilt for clients all over the country, to lecture and teach quilting, to write about quilting for magazines, to have my work included in books, to co-design pantograph patterns (still available at Urban Elementz I should add), and to share my creativity with a large and diverse quilting community.
When venturing back into the professional world, I fell sort of backwards into a position as a legal assistant. The experience exposed me to the legal profession, and in many ways opened my eyes to the world. After some time in that role I decided to return to college, finish my undergraduate degree, and pursue law school. One of these days I will talk more about that, because the decision sounds quick and easy here as I write this, but it was a long agonizing process to finally get to the point of saying out loud, "I'm going to go to law school". I went back and forth many times and had to work to find the confidence within myself to make that decision.
I am on track (two weeks to be exact) to finish my Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Kent State University, and I have accepted an offer of admission from the University of Akron's Law School. This is another long and interesting story I may someday elaborate more on, as the process of preparing for and applying to law schools took me more than a year to complete. I feel as though I was rewarded with choices for my preparation and hard work, but things did not go quite how I anticipated. I am thrilled however at the final outcome, as I feel like Akron is going to be an excellent fit for me.
Currently, I am no longer accepting quilts, and while I still hope to find time to be creative and document some of that creativity here, I am not entirely sure what the future will hold. I have some ideas. People love to ask me what kind of law I would like to go into on the other side of law school - the truth is that question is so big I could not possibly answer it at this point in my journey. There are several areas of great interest to me, and the inevitable curse of mid-life is the desire to create meaning in all that we do. So I am devoted to the idea of doing something I find intellectually rewarding and yet - something beneficial to society and my community. Another blog post? Maybe. As I gain more exposure to areas of law and find more certainty in my path, I will share that with you.
For now, I am still here. Things look quite different, but I can tell you that I am a mother first, an incredibly creative and inquisitive heart second, and now a law student. The rest we will have to figure out as it comes!
Thank you for visiting!
Previous About Me Section Below:
My name is Valerie, and it is likely you found your way here to this website/blog because you like quilting. Well, I like quilting too!
I have been quilting since around age 23, and sewing since I can remember. I will let you do the math - but you could say that I have been quilting now for 14 years.
"Eunice" as my machine was affectionately called, was the great start to long arm quilting I needed - a bare bones workhorse and non-stitch regulated machine, this was how I began building my dreams! In a relatively short amount of time I was able to build a solid quilting foundation and begin quilting for others. Many of the client tops that were quilted on Eunice have won ribbons and cash awards at guild and regional shows. Two of my clients quilts were recently juried into MQX East and will be seen hanging on display with some of the best quilters in the machine quilting world this spring. I was even able to win my very own first national award at MQX Midwest this past fall with a trio of whole cloth stockings that were entirely quilted with my APQS Ultimate 1.
As my ideas have grown so have the immense possibilities. I was fortunate to have one of my quilting designs published in Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine and it even traveled with Meander Publishing all the way to Houston last fall to hang in the booth on display with some of the most well known quilters around. In addition, I was given the incredible opportunity to collaborate with Patricia Ritter of Urban Elementz to create a number of pantograph designs to be used with long arm quilting machines. It has been an incredible journey for which I am incredibly grateful, and with luck, with no end in sight!
In March of 2015 after longing for some of the upgraded features of the newer machines I decided to upgrade Eunice for a slightly newer (2000) APQS Millennium. The children and I have lovingly named her "Millie Mouse" in honor of our fondness for all things Disney. I have high hopes for Millie and the leg up in my art form that she will allow me. In the upcoming years I have big dreams and bigger goals to set out and accomplish, and I am excited at what lies ahead.
I am incredibly grateful to the people who trusted me early on in this process before I had anything to show to prove that I could do it. I can say with all truth that I love my job and the people I am so fortunate to get to work with!
I would be honored to quilt for you!
Updated December, 2018