{All About Me}

 
Hi! My name is Natalie Smith, and I am a Founder and VP at Smith, Smith & Co., a local manufacturing company that specializes in small machines. For almost 10 years, I was VP of New Products, but a recent expansion has changed the company focus from manufacturing new products to developing the products we’ve designed, and I am now VP of Product Development. Some of our products include:

Yeah, I’m really a stay-at-home-mom, and this is the story of the rest of my life.  I am a wife, a Mama, a writer (which is how this blog title originally came to me!), a quilter, and a crafter.  FYI, I'm also a Mormon.  I love to do it all -- but it sometimes it gets me into trouble!  When I'm having insomnia because I have yardage measurements that just won't quit, I try to be grateful that I'm busy, not bored. :)

Recently, designing quilt patterns is my side job. It’s really a dream come true! I come from a long line of homemakers that do a little of everything. My Mom raised her girls to be ladies (ankles crossed!), and to her that included teaching us to do all sorts of crafty things. I can cook and clean and play piano and crochet – and lately quilting has become my favorite way to pass “my” time!

About Quilting
I started quilting when I was about 6. My Mom would always include me whenever her family had a quilt on, or when the little old ladies were quilting on the old church quilting frames, and I learned the most INTERESTING things from those ladies! They were just sewing & chatting, and my ears were wide open – I wanted to hear everything! I felt pretty grown-up to be considered one of the ladies.

These days, I REALLY love quilting, and my husband knows that a day that’s too busy to sew a little is usually not a great day in my world. I try to balance it all out by not quilting on Sundays – unless it’s a gift :). I love my family so much, and they are definitely first in my life – but I think it’s healthy for a Mama to do something just for her, and for me it’s quilting!


Baby Quilts
My first quilt was completed when I was 15 or 16. It was a whole-cloth quilt with a teddy bear in the middle and a ruffle edge -- and it was completely hand-quilted. I did the quilt for a donation to the Primary Children’s Hospital cancer ward. I had a little cousin who died of leukemia when she was only five, and I wanted to honor her memory and to help someone else who was maybe going through something similar. It was a darling quilt – I only wish I had a picture of it!

My first quilt as an adult was started as a way to pass the time. I was a receptionist at Sento Corporation, where I met my husband, and for the first few months I was there the HR department would give me files to sort through. Due to a restructure, my job description changed, and soon I found myself with a LOT of free time on my hands – and there’s only so much surfing on the internet I could do. I decided it wouldn’t be inappropriate to bring some sort of a project with me, and my cousin had just found out she was having her first baby, so I thought a baby quilt would be a nice present to give her. Since I was at the front desk of the company, though, I couldn’t do anything by machine, so I hand-pieced everything. After the first block, I decided my cousin could make do with a pillow! But I kept on working on my little quilt in hopes that someday soon I would bring home a little one.

Since I made a quilt for my first baby, I had to make one for my second, too. I kept the sheepies on my husband’s advice, and made a really traditional quilt for him.
*quilt*

When I found out I was having a little girl for my third, I decided to ask for some help. I went to a quilt shop and asked for pink and green – and discovered that fabric came in LINES! I got all my fabric from one line, and while I would now add a LOT more neutral, I’m not sad at how it turned out!
*quilt*

For my fourth baby, I did a really simple quilt. My husband requested more sheepies and I decided to make them really fuzzy with chenille! It was a bear to applique, but held up nicely for the two years he used the quilt. I also discovered minkee and decided my little man needed some dark brown on the back to make this blankie more snuggly.
*quilt*

We weren’t sure we were going to have another baby, and "Are we done?" was a question I asked myself constantly for almost two years. That time in between babies was a period where I really found myself needing a creative outlet I could really count on. I started to quilt, and fell more in love every day! I wanted to join a quilting bee, but couldn’t find one, so I started a little quilt group that meets once a month. It’s been so much fun! And kept me quilting on a more consistent basis. (Little did I know, there are a TON of quilting groups in my area – I just didn't even know where to start looking!)
 

When I had my fifth baby, I made a quilt I’m super proud of – my butterfly quilt. It uses the butterfly from one of Emily’s patterns and the rest I did from an inspiration quilt I saw in Pottery Barn kids. I love it so much!
 
Around my baby girl's second birthday, her butterfly quilt was just about ready for retirement – but she (and I!) wasn't ready for a big-girl bed, so I decided to make her another blankie.  Her one requirement was that it had minkie on it, and I loved her cute little butterfly so much I decided to make another, different butterfly blankie.  It was such a fun project that it only took me about two weeks to assemble, and one night to quilt! It's the perfect toddler size, and I hope to make a tutorial for it soon. It just took 42 charm squares, so it's perfect!
*quilt*


How "Natalie Ever After" Started
Earlier this year, I went to my first-ever quilt retreat. Since I’ve known Emily for quite a while, of course it was her “Cabin Fever” retreat! I wanted to be really productive at the retreat, so I knew I had to have a plan in mind before I went, because I didn’t want to waste all my kid-free time planning things out. For about a week beforehand, I made a plan and wrote it all down – and in the process, I realized that I was writing a pattern for myself. I’d never thought about it in those terms before, but I do it for almost every quilt I make – I just have to be able to see things on paper before I can bring myself to cut into that expensive fabric!

 
   With that realization came the idea to market patterns. I knew Emily had done it for years – in fact, we traded piano lessons for her son with patterns a few times! So, I asked her about her company and to talk about patterns, and one thing led to another… and here I am, with published patterns as a CRAZY OLD LADY! I love seeing them in print – I hope that feeling never goes away, because I plan on designing patterns for a good long time!

2 comments:

  1. Yay! I'm the first commenter! :) You are the best, not that I'm biased or anything ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Ha ha -- I love that you were first, sweetie! You're the best too. :)

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