Tuesday, May 5, 2020

My Pattern Design Business Experience - Part Two!

Welcome back to the second part of my blog series about my experiences in starting and running a quilting business. Last week, I gave a quick introduction to myself and how Quilting Affections Designs came about. This week I am going to focus on the question on if starting a quilt pattern design business is right for you.

To start, I know everyone is different, with different dreams, talents, lifestyles, and financial needs. Which means that everyone’s reason for wanting to start a business will be different. For me, I think it came down to wanting to quit the long commutes and long hours of working for the government and do something that I loved. When I decided to first start my business, I was working as a GS employee at the Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC.

At that time, my average day was getting up very early to catch a commuter bus a little before 6:00 am to get to work by 7:30 am. Then work a 9-hour day and then getting back on the bus to get home around 6:00 pm or later at night, depending on traffic. I can’t say I hated my job, but the long hours with the commute left me tired and drained. The best way I can describe it is that this was not taking me where I wanted to go.

In 2011, my husband retired from the Air Force after 23 years and was now working for a contracting company in DC, earning a good wage. Then in 2012, my youngest son graduated high school and joined the Air Force. With these changes, I decided it was time to start making changes in myself. With the support of my husband, I purchased an APQS Millennium and started to learn how to use it. Then in 2013, I quit my government job and started my own business.

I bring up this history to help explain a little of the background for the reason I started my business. While working for the government, I was tired, felt empty, and was not 100% happy with myself. Life is too short for that, so I decided to make a change. Luckily, from a financial standpoint, my husband and I was at a point where we could not only support ourselves but also finance a small business. Which I learned early on can be a costly endeavor.

Now I want to ask you, are you at a point in your life where you are not happy with the direction your career is going? Do you have a desire to do something different, maybe a creative drive? Starting a small business could be that change in your life that will make a difference.

I do want to throw out a word of caution, starting and running a home-based business is a lot of work, can get very expensive and create challenges that you never dreamed of. That will be the subject of next week’s blog; the challenges of starting and running a business from home.


  1. This is fun to read about your journey! I kind of “fell into it” and not sure I want to be in it....so I am working on figuring out what to really do. It is helpful to understand how/what others have done and learned.

  2. I enjoy reading your blog, especially about your pattern business. I just dabble in it as a hobby since I retired, but even with that, you are right - it can be expensive! Thanks for sharing your story with us!

  3. Very educational. Exactly why I dabble in it. I owned an interior design franchise for 35 years and sold in 2019. Now I just dabble, sew and quilt.