Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/21/2017 in Posts

  1. 11 points

    Letter from Himself (RitaR's husband)

    Rita and Roland visiting Dennis and me in 2009.
  2. 9 points

    Applique wall hangings

    My customer loves to applique using reproduction fabrics. The first quilt is called Flowers for Carol. She won a blue ribbon in the Bedford quilt show for small applique wall hangings. The second quilt was just finished. She likes warm and natural batting. I used Bottom line on the top and the bottom in the crosshatching. Flowers for Carol by Libby G, on Flickr Flowers for Carol (2) by Libby G, on Flickr applique by Libby G, on Flickr
  3. 9 points
    Hi. It's been awhile since I've been on here. It's been a hard year. First four months dealing with asthma and bronchitis. Then I injured my knee and shoulder on my way to Portland in June for one granddaughter's graduation from high school and another's birth of my second great granddaughter. I missed them both. I took my seat belt off, turned around, rested my knee on the seat and reached into the back seat of the pickup to get something. Felt immediate pain in my left knee like I had knelt on a jagged rock and in my right shoulder. We drove straight through (over 700 miles) to get to Portland and this happened a little over midway. Within 24 hours I couldn't walk at all nor use my arm. I was seen in ER and the decision was made to make a beeline for home. OMG was that ever the hardest thing. Thank goodness for good pharmaceuticals. I called both my private Dr and my ortho dr for appts on the drive home. Had to play the game...x-rays, MRI's, injections and finally surgery at the end of August. I shredded the meniscus on one side and tore the one on the other side in my left knee plus a couple of other things. No rotator cuff tear, but being on crutches all this time has taken it's toll on allowing it to heal. I'm still on crutches and it sucks big time. I'm planning to try another trip this week. DH has an Aikido seminar in Seattle so I'm tagging along and getting off in Portland for a couple of days. Now, what I intended to do here was show you a picture of a statue I love. My daughter had to go to SD last week so I asked her to take a picture of it for me. It's called "Dignity". It's a 50 foot tall statue of an Indian Maiden holding a Star Quilt (they called it a blanket, but we all know better) built in Chamberlain, SD on a hillside overlooking the Missouri river. It's the most beautiful thing.
  4. 9 points

    Lavender Rose

    Really enjoying work on a new quilt. This one is for my oldest grand-daughter for Christmas; I hope it will become a keepsake for her. The piecing is done to an Eleanor Burns "Quilt in a Day" (right!) pattern, with a color change from rose to lavender. But I'm very much enjoying doing the quilting. I took a couple of classes from Bethanne Nemesh at QuiltWeek in Paducah, and I'm using her "Nemeshing" fill pattern for the center of the quilt. I'll post more pictures when it's all done.
  5. 9 points

    Customer Service

    As Customer Service Director, I appreciate your candid feedback! If you have not received the kind of service you expect, please let me know so that we can remedy the situation as quickly as possible. We do take pride in our customer service, and if we have fallen down on the job we want to make it right. Unfortunately, if we aren't alerted to a problem, then we can't fix it. If you have not had an issue resolved to your satisfaction, please let me know. I understand the desire to have more customer service technicians around the world to help customers who are not willing or able to do the repairs themselves. We'd like that too! In fact, if you haven't looked at our "retailer" listings lately, be sure to do so--we have spent the past two years training nearly 50 of our dealers to become certified technicians who can do service work both in their stores or studios as well as "in the field". You can search for retailers who are certified technicians based on zip code or even by the certified tech designation. We have three more training sessions set up through next June that will bring that number up to well over 75 trained service people across the US, Canada, and Europe. Once our dealers have been trained, we will work to add more technicians who are "outside" of the APQS dealer family but are interested in receiving the training. That will make it easier for customers to find a regional service center for help with their machines if needed. While we'd love to have a technician on every corner just like Starbucks, as a small, family-owned company that is a bit out of our reach at the moment. The good news is that these machines are built to industrial standards and are designed for years of heavy use before the machine parts start showing wear and tear and need more than simply oiling and checking motor brushes. That's how we are able to offer a lifetime warranty on the machines. If they were prone to problems or frequent breakdowns, we'd go broke with warranty repairs. We realize that despite that reliability, some quilters just feel better if they have the machine "looked over" on a regular basis, which is a service that our certified techs can still provide. But it is also something that machine owners can also do themselves through a "mini spa kit" (see below). Many longarmers are convinced that their machines need a yearly "servicing" just like their home sewing machine. That may the case with other brands, but APQS machines do NOT need a yearly servicing. If a quilter keeps the machine clean, oils the machine properly, and checks the motor brushes annually, (all of which are described in detail in the machine manual found on the CD or USB that came with the machine and on our "Support" section of the APQS website) then even a machine used every single day for a business will not need typically need "servicing" until the 7th or 8th year of ownership. It's at that point of full-time use that the 'wear and tear' parts on the machine start affecting the stitch quality and will need repair or replacement. However, it IS still a machine, after all, and once in a while a machine may need attention before that point in time. We designed the machine so that any repairs are not only simple to do, but also user-friendly and more cost-effective than having to pay for a technician to make a house call or experience 'down time' by sending the machine back to the factory. But both of those options are available, along with certified technicians in the field, to help when needed. Regarding our "Spa in the Box", it is currently not listed on our online store, but that IS available for purchase for customers who call in to order it and doit themselves. The Mini Spa kit includes instructions on how to 'check' the machine over, along with basic wear and tear parts for replacement if needed. The Deluxe Spa kit assumes the machine is due for that 7-8 year "check up" and that parts will be replaced for sure, rather than just 'evaluated'. We haven't listed it on the store at this time due to the variety of APQS models available--we want to be sure we send the correct repair parts to match the model. However, Lisa brings up a good point--we could list it on the store and simply request that the customer call us directly to place the order. If you're interested in either of the Spa Kits, you can call our Parts Team at 800-426-7233 or email us at parts@apqs.com for more info. And if you're struggling with your machine and need help, please let me know!
  6. 8 points


    A new customer brought me this quilt, a pattern from Missouri Star Quilt, called Slice-a-Block. She made it for her daughter to hang in her new office. Since it had a lot of colors and a random design, I decided to just pantograph it. So Fine on top and Bottom Line in the bobbin. 80/20 Hobbs. Slice a Block by Libby G, on Flickr Since she had leftover fabric, she decided to make a wall hanging. Because it wasn't as big I decided to try a modern, for me, custom design. After quilting this, I decided to buy the little circle templates that DeLoa Jones and Jamie Wallen sell. It sure makes it easier to make those pebbles. Slice a Block (2) by Libby G, on Flickr
  7. 7 points
    UPDATE: I am not getting the Millie I had planned on. But I'm still very excited. Because I bought a very lightly used 2009 Freedom - and it was only 65 miles from my home. It has the quilt advance and hydraulic leg lifts, and I am upgrading the table to Bliss!! Hi ladies and gents, I haven't been on here in ages after going through a second shoulder surgery for a torn rotator cuff and impingement problems. My last surgery was 1 1/2 years ago, and I have been back to my heavy textile repair sewing and longarming for just a few months. I never regained all my strength back in my arms/shoulders so it's been a struggle to move my Ulti I around and get the smooth circles and feathers I used to do. I have M&M wheels on it and Intellistitch stitch regulation, but spending a lot to get a new table that could be blissed just didn't make sense to us. Sooo, I am making the jump!! Head first!! To a blissed Millie!!! God is good! My Ulti I is still, and has been, an amazing machine set up. I bought it from the original owner who sewed duvets and lined drapes together. She didn't use it much and eventually took it down and stored it for years. I bought it in 2011, added stitch regulation in 2012, quilted as I could while going through all the shoulder issues, and now am upgrading myself! I will be selling my Ulti soon, but I want to wait until my new one is here and going as I do memory quilts and other customer quilts. At that time I'll list the Ulti for sale here. I just have to keep pinching myself - this is real! I wanted to share a few pics of the memory quilts I recently made. These were made with personal love and tears as they are made from my younger brother's Lee's shirts. He passed away at only 50 years old, and I made quilts for his daughter, grandson, and mom. It is amazing how comforting these were to make, and so much more to see them bring comfort to them. Blessings to you all, Marci, Ulti I w/Intellistitch & M&M's Marci's Quilting & Sewing
  8. 6 points

    Letter from Himself (RitaR's husband)

    First, let me start off by apologizing for not posting this sooner. I received a thank you letter from Rita's husband, Roland (a.k.a Himself) at the end of June. I want to thank you and all the gals on the APQS forum. I know Rita really enjoyed talking to you all. I want to thank you for the lovely quilt you all made for Rita. I finally put it on our bed last week. It lightens up the room. I still stop and read some of the comments that you all wrote. I believe my daughter. Val, let you all know of Rita's passing on Mother's Day. I had met her on the Wednesday before Mother's Day in 1957, Val was born on the Saturday before Mother's Day of 1966, and she passes on Mother's Day. Roland then wrote of a number of times he and Rita met up with people from the forum while they were traveling, and how much they enjoyed that. He concluded by saying, Still stay in touch. It's by phone for me, I'm not a computer whiz. Tell all the gals on the forum hello for me. I've enjoyed the people from APQS and the visit we had there in '09. It's only 60 miles from my home town of Mapleton. If you would like Roland's phone number or mailing address, please PM me, and I will get that to you. It's not something I am comfortable posting publicly on the forum. Sorry again for the delay in sharing this letter. I tucked it in my computer bag with the intention of posting it while I was up north at our cottage, but then forgot all about it. You know what they say about good intentions . . .
  9. 6 points

    Loyal customers. ???

    Lora, great topic which needs to be brought up every now and then. I like hearing what's happening in other parts of the country and world. I have Millie with an IQ. I did not raise my prices when I got my computer. I didn't need to because I could do more quilts which evened the field. I charge a penny and a half for loose pantos/e2e and 2 pennies for tight pantos/e2e. I have a Quilt finishing shop a block away from me (I'm also in a small town) who charges about the same. The owner and I have a great relationship because she just does pantos/e2e. She also sells batting, wide backs and flannel. She does no custom, so she sends those customers to me or another longarmer. There's work for everyone. You really have to flow with the local pricing or you will loose those "bread and butter" customers. When I moved to Michigan, I asked around about longarm pricing before I decided on what to charge. I ask my customers to pick out the panto they want from the hundreds I have but if a customer wants a particular panto design that I don't have (i.e. hippos, fire hose, particular flowers), I charge them a one time special design charge of $15.00, plus my normal square inch charge. It will help you build your design catalog fast without coming directly from your pocket. I do the same with my embroidery business. Great info, advise and thoughts everyone.
  10. 6 points

    Loyal customers. ???

    No one has replied, so I will gingerly step in and give you my take on the problem. Adding a computer to your machine does not mean that you should raise your prices above the industry standard, especially for overall designs. The customer doesn't care how you get there or what you use---they are interested in the finished product and don't want to pay extra for computerized when someone else can do the same thing for less. I'm talking about pantos/overalls, not custom. Also, you have "niched" yourself. You have inadvertently sent a message to your customers that you are out of the panto/overall business by showing lots of custom quilting. Custom=$$$$ to everyone. Make some simple quilt tops and quilt them with overalls or a panto and show them everywhere. Remind them that you're still around and offering the less-expensive quilting. I think your customers perception of what you offer and your pricing has been muddled---that you are now too expensive. To get them back in the fold, use your favorite method to contact them and offer a blow-them-away deal on pantos and overalls "exclusively for you, my favorite customer". Any size quilt up to a Queen (you supply the limit for dimensions) with a choice of three pantos/computerized or freehand overall (not a big meander) for $100. This will price you at less than a cent-and-a-half, but will give your business a boost. They will dig out all the big UFOs and maybe get one done as a Christmas gift. Limit the number (like first 20 quilts) and limit the month---like November only or first two weeks in January. See if that will nudge them back to you. Good luck---it's disheartening when the customers you think are friends stop becoming customers.
  11. 6 points
    It's human nature to let one nasty incident overshadow hundreds of happy interactions. You have my sympathy and a hug from Washington. This has happened to me a few times, but never as blatant as this. If she isn't old enough to be losing her filters due to dementia, cut her loose. If she calls, remind her that she seemed unhappy the last time and perhaps she might search for another longarmer more to her liking. Be sweet, matter-of-fact, and don't let her suck you in again. It's such an ego-blow when they don't love what you do. You offered a fix and she declined. It still stings, but you keep doing you, sweet Shana!
  12. 6 points

    Lavender Rose 2

    I have now finished Lavender Rose and submitted it to a local show this morning. This was a big project for me, and I'm very happy with how it turned out. This is a Christmas keepsake gift for my oldest (14-y-o) granddaughter Kennedy, who loves the color lavender. I have always called her "Paw-Paw's Princess," and hence the tiara in the center. I chose the fairly simple Eleanor Burns "Romance Rose" pattern so there would be lots of white space for me to use in more advanced quilting than I have done. It's a Queen size, as you can see on the bed. The back and binding are completely white. (Well, actually, it's a gorgeous white-on-white pattern fabric.) I used Glide 60 white both top and bottom, with MagnaGlide bobbins. I'm still experimenting with bobbins, and these seem to work very well. Easy to use, too. I've tried self-wound aluminum bobbins and paper bobbins, but I think I like the MagnaGlide best. It's double batted for greater loft of the features, with Hobbs 80/20 on the bottom and Hobbs wool on top. Changed colors to Glide 40 on top for the yellow and lavender. (APQS: Please don't post this quilt on Facebook! It's a Christmas gift, and I would hate for my granddaughter to see it on FB first!) The outside interior is feathered hearts; I marked the hearts and the boundaries with disappearing pen prior to doing the feathers freeform. Corner hearts are a bit different. Ruler work on the border garlands, both the curves and the straight-line fill. Ruler SID on the yellow/green roping. Ruler SID around the green leaves and lavender roses. The entire center surround is done with "Nemeshing," partially inspired by Libby's award-winning quilt. I took the class from Bethanne Nemesh at QuiltWeek Fall Paducah to learn from the originator how to do it. It was my addition to include the vining that touches and grounds all the lavender roses. Last month, I really appreciated seeing Libby's insight into her approach - so I thought I'd offer a bit of my pre-work and thinking, also. After establishing the basic ideas, I did a partial-full sketch of the entire quilt to try out the ideas and see if I liked it. That also established some details about where to put hearts, where to Nemesh, and what to do with the tiara. Then, before loading the quilt, I did some practice on my white board. That helped me to "seal in" the physical motions of the freehand heart feathers. It was also done to full scale, so it helped me to size the various parts of the motifs. (e.g. How many feathers does it take to get from bottom to top of the heart? What to do with the more cramped interior of the hearts?) White boards are great, because I can erase part of something and try again. I did such a white board practice for each major motif, and took pictures of them to retain the memory while quilting. I found I needed that, because the first hearts were rolled up into the take-up roll when I was working on the later hearts; I wanted to make sure they were all the same! And then, as a chuckle, I thought I'd throw in this pic of my studio while in work. It gets rather messy with all the tools - and the eight various long-arm rulers aren't even shown; they are at the other end of Lucius in another tangle. I put them all away between quilts, but they migrate out while I'm working. (Yes, I know. The machine says "Lucey," but don't believe him; he's sexually challenged.)
  13. 5 points
    George and I are still in the "honeymoon phase", but I think he's truly won my heart! This week I finished a king bedspread 120" x 112" and cannot keep from hugging him. Just wanted to share what he helped me accomplish!
  14. 5 points

    Loyal customers. ???

    Just a quick update. I talked to one of my customers at the sewing club this morning and asked her why she was taking her quilts to another quilter instead of me (not in those words of course). I just wanted to hear from her what I could do to improve my business, my relationship with customers, etc. I could tell she was a little uncomfortable at first, but I assured her that I was not trying to coax her into coming back to me, just curious about the change. She said that she uses the other woman for all over panto work, and would be using me exclusively for custom work - something the other woman doesn't offer. She showed me an invoice from the other woman and her pricing was very similar to my new pricing, however, one thing she includes in her pricing is trimming the quilt and attaching the binding strips to the back of the quilt. gkazee, I really like your idea of making a sample quilt with the pantos that I would do for 1 1/2 cents a square inch. Linda, your suggestion of having a sale month is a great one too. I'll make up the sample quilt and promote my sale for the month of November and the first two weeks of December. We'll see what happens. Thank you all for being candid with me. I had checked around and found that my previous prices were about a cent below the average in my area. I had been told by many that I wasn't charging enough, so I raised my prices a little after I got the computerized system. Now I see your points about customers not caring that the stitching is perfect and just wanting to get the quilts finished quickly and as cheap as possible. Also, I recognize now that showcasing all of my custom work probably scared some people off. I think you are right - they see the detail and amount of effort in the quilting on those quilts and think $$$$$ cha-ching! and don't want to pay for that. Next year, I'm going to try to show off two quilts a month (probably lap size) - one with custom quilting and one with an all over panto. Hopefully, that will convey the message that I can do both. Thanks again. I really appreciate your honest feedback and input!!!!! Thank you.
  15. 5 points

    Ornament Webs by Jessica Schick

    today it is ugly and rainy with a Northeaster. SO I'm working on my SIL,'s Halloween quilt using the blocks in Jessica;s set. Love how it is working out. Thought you would enjoy! Using Superior's Rainbows thread and no problem with it today. It must be the Rain!!! 20170930_160401 by Dell Dunman, on Flickr 20170930_154450 by Dell Dunman, on Flickr
  16. 4 points
    Yep! Thanks, ladies for validating my sad circumstance. I agree, that as we people who provide a service to customers, we do reserve the right to refuse that service to anyone we wish. If she's not happy with me, fine. Go find someone else to be miserable to. I don't need that in my life. I'm too busy to be subjected to undeserved cruelty. I'll take a pass on this "Debby Downer" - she can go be mean to someone else.
  17. 4 points
    It's been a while since I've posted anything, but I thought I would post the completed quilt I did for my friend from work. I took everyone's advise and turned the quilt so that the batik blocks resemble flower pots. I also quilted flowers on it, but I decided to do an all over E2E pattern called Azalea I purchased from Urban Elementz, and I used Bottom Line 60 wt on top and glide magnetic bobbins on the bottom. Anne has two long haired Dachshunds that she and her husband adore so you can imagine my luck when I walked into my local quilt shop and found the batik fabric with paw prints on it to use as the backing. I was told by the person who delivered the quilt to Anne, that she usually didn't like blankets laid over her, but when she seen the quilt and all the messages on it, that she wouldn't let anyone remove it from her bed. She also could seem to stop rubbing her hands over the quilting, and she liked to hear the encouraging messaged read to her each day. Several weeks ago, Anne decided that she didn't want to go through anymore intensive treatment so she was transferred to the Hospice House. It is with a very sad heart that I must tell you that Anne went to be with the Lord at 6am this morning. I feel so blessed to have had the privilege of knowing and working with such a kind women, and I feel honored that the quilt brought her joy and comfort during her last days on this earth. I hope you enjoy the completed quilt, and please say a prayer for her husband Martin and their family as they deal with this sad loss in their lives.
  18. 4 points
    Oh goodness! I would not raise my prices unless you are undercharging your customers. Please don't raise prices unless the demand for you personally is absolutely necessary. Let's be fair to everyone. If you are overwhelmed with too many quilts and not enough time, use a calendar to schedule quilts. Perhaps you can divide and conquer like this: 1) Freehand quilting, schedule 2-3 per day, or how many you can manage to quilt in 4-5 hours in the mornings. Leave afternoons free for kids. Schedule these quilts on Mondays and Wednesdays. Mark them on the calendar with customer name. 2) Quilt Shop Quilts, schedule 2-3 per day, or how many you can manage to quilt in 4-5 hours in the mornings. Leave afternoons free for kids. Schedule these quilts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Mark them on the calendar with customer name. 3) T-shirt quilts you can cut and piece these together while your computer system is quilting. Schedule quilting these on Friday mornings or whenever you can spare time for one or two... but, give yourself a little break on Saturday and Sunday. .If you know you can squeeze out a couple of quick quilts here and there, you can adjust your calendar. 4) Important: As your calendar becomes scheduled out further than two-three months, you need to delegate to other longarm quilters in your area. I don't think it's fair to the customer or to you for them to wait for their quilt to be finished out later than three months. Really... unacceptable. You need to find other quilters in your area that can help you. Everyone wins with this. You. The customer. The other quilter who is in business, just like you. Everyone wins. No need to hord all of the quilts. There are lots more quilts coming down the pike. 5) I hate saying the word "No" and I very rarely do. I find a way to say "Yes" using one of the 4 steps above. Good luck!
  19. 4 points

    Customer Service

    Hi Cagey, Your assumption is right--barring a catastrophe with the machine, machines used only casually may not need any "wear and tear" maintenance for two decades or more (if ever). The machines we are seeing back at the factory now for the "spa treatment" are in the 2006-2008 model year, and most have been used in business settings. The most common "wear" items that eventually need replacement with extensive use are: hook assembly thread guides needle bar bushings motor brushes wheels canvases All of the items listed above can also be replaced by the customer to avoid having to send the machine back to headquarters. We have parts kits and individual parts along with video tutorials and written instructions for almost every repair. Our first goal is to try to get the machine up and running as quickly as possible for each customer, which means working directly with each customer to make repairs themselves. Frankly, the actual machine repairs are really not that hard. Our most common obstacle in Service is a customer's lack of confidence or fear that she (or he) can actually DO it on her own! If you can handle a screwdriver, you can repair the machine! If you have ever attended one of my classes, you have probably heard me share my favorite quote from Henry Ford. (I have lived my life with this thought in mind, and it has helped me accomplish so much more): "If you think you CAN, or you think you CAN'T, either way, you are right." My philosophy has always been...if I try and I fail, what do I have to lose? I may end up still having to call the repairman, but I MAY end up fixing the problem myself and gaining so much understanding and self-confidence to boot! However, we do understand that it may not be practical or possible for some customers to do the repairs themselves, which is why we began the certified tech program. Hopefully, we WILL get to the point where a tech is within a short driving distance of every machine owner. While the longarm world is still growing, we aren't to the point where there's a dealer in every town like there is a gas station or convenience store. As it is now, it's common outside large metropolitan areas to have to drive 4-6 hours to reach a qualified service person in MANY industries. I think the longarm world is a bit like the auto industry in that you can find a general auto mechanic in just about every town, just like you can find sewing machine repair people. But if you buy a Corvette, chances are good you'll need to take it to a Corvette dealer for service--they don't come to you. fbaldwin, Thanks for your input and great suggestion! I can see if the webmaster can at least put something on the Support tab that indicates we have Certified Technicians and how to find them. I realized after reading your response that someone needing service or support is not necessarily going to click on the "find a retailer" link to find local help. One of the other major life lessons I've learned in this job is that there is always room for improvement. All of your comments help us make APQS a stronger company!
  20. 3 points


    The Bedford Historical Society asked our guild to make them a raffle quilt for 2017. I've always wanted to make this quilt since I saw it in McCalls Quilting Magazine a number of years ago. I used Hobbs 80/20 batting, So Fine on top and Bottom Line in the bobbin. I added an extra row to the top and side of the pattern so it would be queen size. It won 2 First Place Awards, a Second Place and best longarm machine quilting in 3 different area quilt shows. Only one judge said she saw shadowing. I did try to press seams open, but it was easier to sew nine patches ironing to one side. How do you try to prevent shadowing? Honor Abides Here (2) by Libby G, on Flickr Cumberland MD quilt show 097 by Libby G, on Flickr Honor Abides Here (5) by Libby G, on Flickr Honor Abides Here (3) by Libby G, on Flickr
  21. 3 points

    Deciding on a Pantograph Size

    i have all sizes so that i can look at the top and decide what would look best on it. Some tops require more intricate dense patterns and others simple and open designs. The size indicates the width of the design from highest to lowest points. Your machine will accommodate a wider design easily. My recommendation is to have several different widths available so that you can 'audition' designs to the quilt top.
  22. 3 points
    I just had a new customer, but I've known her for years, bring me three quilts. The first was the baby quilt MOMMY AND ME, the second was a 3 D pinwheel quilt called, simply pinwheel again? No way to do a pantograph around all those pinwheels, the third quilt was a large 3D bowtie quilt. There were 96 blank blocks, six inches, where she wanted a feather wreath with the center unquilted so she could sew something there. She wanted the pinwheels blocks to have quilting in the flat space. I gave her quotes for all three quilts and she kept saying, OH, it doesn't matter. I ended up charging her 3 cents an inch for all the free motion quilting. As we know, it was a bargain. When I called her to pick up the quilts, she just had knee surgery so she sent her husband. My sister had a frozen loaf of banana bread to give her. When her husband came, I could tell he was upset with the price, but he didn't say anything. I still had another quilt to do for her and he asked for it back. She never called to thank us for the bread or to comment on the beautiful quilting job. It was upsetting to me and took me a week to get over it. But all my friends kept telling me it was a bargain and she didn't deserve a refund. I just realized I couldn't control her reaction, but I could control mine. We had talked about entering her quilts in the upcoming quilt show and she was excited about it. But I just left it go.
  23. 3 points
    stitchin cricket

    Customer Star Quilt

    I recently finished this quilt for a customer, and she loved it. I usually do a basic puzzle meander for her, but I wanted to do something a little different which she gave me permission to do. I did an E2E pattern from Digitech Patterns called Fantasy Flame that came with my Millie. I love the way it gives the impression of fireworks going off all around the stars. Hope you enjoy the pictures.
  24. 3 points
    My latest blog post is now available. Check it out at Quiltniques Blog
  25. 3 points

    I'm about to be BLISSED

    I have been saving for a while now, and went to the AQS show in Des Moines over the weekend and put it on order. I'm so excited! We're planning to pick it up next week.
  26. 3 points
    You know 'It takes all kinds'... I wouldn't quilt for her again. No one needs negativity directed at them. I have to relate an incident that happened to me..... I had (note I said had) a client that I quilted several quilts for. She called me one day asking all sorts of questions on borders. I spent some time with her helping her out with suggestions and the application process. So, we set up a day and time for her to come over and leave her quilt. Day comes and I am in my busy time with several quilts to do. I stayed downstairs waiting for her to arrive. My quilting studio is upstairs and I can not hear the front door when quilting..so I'm waiting for her. Our agreed time was for 1pm...by 1:45 I decide to go do some quilting, but still trying to listen for the front door. When it was 2:45 I sent her a text message asking if we were still on for today's drop off. I got a response from her at 4:30pm saying "I think I'll pass" then went on saying she might have another quilt at a later time. Not only did I feel the response was rude, but the fact that she didn't contact me prior to let me know she wouldn't be by was rude. Then I find out that she had been talking to a local quilt shop and the gal there said she would quilt her quilt for her...she decided to give it to her instead. So, next time she contacts me to quilt for her I will be letting her know "I think I'll pass"
  27. 3 points
    Maybe she realized that she could only blame herself for her choices and the difference between her expectations and the great work you did. Sorry this happened to you. Hopefully she will realize that you did a great work and will call to tell you that after she straightens out. I sure hope so. I did my first real client quilts a couple weeks ago and after delivery (while we sat and visited for an hour and a half about our kids and quilting) she called me a couple days later to tell me she finally had a chance to spread the two quilts out on the bed they were so pretty. I thanked her for even thinking to call and tell me that. It sure made me feel good about the work. I hope your customer can do the same.
  28. 3 points

    Magnifier warning

    Just wanted to let you know what happened the other day. One evening when I was cutting fabric, I wanted a little extra light because my ruler was casting a little shadow. I remembered my magnifier had a light, so I clamped it to my table and it was what I needed. I left it there and didn't think anything of it. A few days later I went to clear stuff off my cutting mat and noticed a burn mark. I just couldn't figure out how it happened. Then I noticed my magnifier clamped to my table. That table is next to a window. The burn on my mat was about 1-1/2 feet down from the magnifier. It must have been lined up just right so that the sun shining in the window caused the burn. I was blessed nothing else caught fire. It was there for several days. Deb.
  29. 3 points
    Thanks for your input, ladies! I came to the conclusion yesterday that it was my mistake. I personally can't imagine not knowing how you want your quilt quilted, and I always try to encourage people to get involved. That's what I did with free motion quilting for years. And then I finally realized it's not going to happen because most people just don't like the quilting part. That's essentially why I ended up buying a longarm. I have decided that while it's the customer's quilt and she has to like it, if I am not happy with it, it shouldn't be out there with my name on it. There is nothing I can do in this particular case, I have stated my professional opinion multiple times and given good reasons (in my opinion ) why the design does't work. But she wants it, and I will do it. But from now on I won't get them involved like this, and I will reserve the right to refuse when they insist on something that I don't think will work. In this case she was reluctant to give me the creative license to do what I want but she had no clue what she wanted either. I should have realized this and insisted. But I had never really talked to her before... it gets easier once you get to know them a little better. Vicki, I don't have a program but I usually draw on clear plastic to create an overlay and then take a picture. I am not going to waste more time on this one, I will get it done and out of the house and file it as a learning experience. Ines, thank you for saying this. When I look at all the pictures here and everybody is so talented, and then I look at my own stuff, and I see all these "flaws" (and yes, I know that I am the only one to see those ), I find it difficult to believe sometimes that people might choose me for my skills, especially since I haven't been doing this for very long compared to some of the others around here. As for Kathleen Riggs, she is definitely famous in her neck of the woods. She is in her 20s and from Alberta, Canada. Her mother is a fantastic quilter as well, and her father is a certified Judy Niemeyer instructor, so it must be in her genes.
  30. 3 points
    Gail O

    pool noodles for quilts

    You could cover the pool noodle with a sleeve of fabric - old sheets for example - before rolling your quilt around it.
  31. 3 points

    Panto Virtual Organizing Idea

    Just thought I'd share something I've started doing that has proven helpful. When I started machine quilting using pantographs I created a Pinterest board where I collected 'pins' of patterns I thought I might like to own at some point or even those I just thought were really interesting or cool. As I've been building my collection I started a new board of 'purchased pantographs' and now I move from my first location or pin a new image of any panto I buy (either new or private sale thru forums, etc) in this board. I can note information concerning the design - size, etc. and when I purchased it. This way I can scroll thru quickly and 'see' what I have when I'm at the computer without having to go to the studio to search through the rolls or scan through my written lists. The visual helps a lot! Happy quilting everyone!
  32. 3 points

    Customer Service

    This was a very good topic today and a lot of information given. Dawn, if there is a way to put your response under the service area of the website it might help more people to head in the right direction for answers. I had a 2003 Millie that was used when I bought it I had no idea how to fix anything or if it needed anything done to it when I got it. But I did read the manual repeatedly and when I couldn't figure something out I called. I loved the help each and everyone gave me. They even listened over the phone and were able to tell what the problem was just from listening to it! It may of taken some time to fix my issues and I am thankful they were all small but if I didn't follow the manual and keep things cleaned and oiled like we need to I would imagine that more would be wrong. Owning a machine no matter what kind it is means you are going to have to take care of it and learn the mechanics of your machine not just using it to sew or quilt. I no longer have my Millie and wished I had never had to sell her but life throws life out of wack at times and when the time comes I will have another APQS because the team members are great people to work with and these machines are absolutely wonderful!! Oh I forgot to tell you that if you have the ability to Skype on your computer or other means to video chat with them they can also see what you are talking about and can tell you what to do and watch YOU do it while they direct you. Wonderful help and Wonderful people! Just ask.
  33. 3 points

    Can Lucey handles this?

    So... I have some sewing machine needles that are for vinyl and I tried sewing on my DSM with a walking foot. So Im going to put the tshirt quilt on my frame and quilt the border, and then Im going to quilt the Tshirts on my DSM. I cant tell her no. She knows she messed up.
  34. 3 points

    Customer Service

    I agree wholeheartedly, Linda! Having lived in the middle of nowhere for many years, it was frustrating when having problems. NOBODY wanted to come to Elko, Nevada. I thought it would be better once we moved to the Vegas area, but nope. I have considered taking the machine maintenance class just for my own sanity, but that's an expensive endeavor, too.
  35. 2 points

    Pink Halloween Quilt

    Look what I got to quilt! It's a pink themed Halloween quilt, to display at our local hospital during the month of October. Pink because it's breast cancer awareness month. The Jackson Hole Quilt Guild rotates a quilt display every month at our local hospital. The nurses and patients really appreciate it. We've had a hard time in years past trying to find a pink quilt for the October display. So we had the bright idea to make a quilt just for that. Different people made the applique blocks, others sewed them together with sashing and border. I quilted it, and just handed it off to another member to attach the binding. A terrific collaboration. Last May I took a few classes from Judi Madsen in Salt Lake City. I just LOVE her work. So, you will see that she inspired this quilting. The bat bra block is the one that really got me started with the quilt designs. The lady who made it drew a spider in a web on the cleavage, so clever and so easy to quilt that design! Judi had just posted an applique quilt that she'd finished that had bugs in it. She gave the bugs motion by quilting a swirly design under them. I thought the ghosts need that swirly design too. Remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?! I used a wool batting, glide thread with magna glide bobbins. Love those magna glide bobbins! Angela Huffman is a great source for them and her delivery is super fast. Thanks for looking!
  36. 2 points
    Problem solved! Thank you
  37. 2 points
    Yes. Let it go! When we keep that ugly resentfulness in us, it only hurts us. Like LibbyG said We cant control people only how we deal with it!
  38. 2 points

    Loyal customers. ???

    I agree with Linda. You upgraded to a computerized system but your customers are not interested in that, they just want a nice design on their quilts that do not cost them so much. I have found that if a person is wanting a panto or all over design, they want this because they do not want to add more cost to their quilt. The only time I have had customers ask for custom or more detailed all over designs is that they are either gifting as a special gift or wanting to place the quilt in a show. Quilters are looking for the best deal they can get and the best quilting they can get. You have lost some of your clients because of your increase in price. You were wanting to off set the upgrade cost and hoping to get your clients to pay for this upgrade, hoping they would appreciate that computerized will make the designs more perfect for them. I do not have a computerized system and exclusively do panto's for my customers. I use to offer both custom and pantos, but found that my bread and butter was in the pantos, so I only do custom for myself now. There are other longarmers (some computerized) in my small rural area that do custom and some of my customers go to them for custom when that is what they want. However, they always come to me for their pantos because I offer lower price and a fast turn around time. These things are very important to them. I have often thought of upgrading to a computerized system, but only to shorten my time at the machine and produce a better stitch line in designs. It would help me do more quilts in less time I think, thus the volume of quilts done would actually help pay for this upgrade. As Linda said... offer some incentives to get your clients to come back. With more people getting their own quilting machines, we need to keep our businesses going with incentive marketing. Know what your quilters want, know what is being offered out there from other longarmers and adjust your pricing accordingly.
  39. 2 points


    I don't see anything except a gorgeous quilt! Congratulations on your well-deserved honors. Your quilt is amazing!
  40. 2 points

    Using Two Layers of Batting

    When I use two layers of batting, I always gently pull the bottom layer and put my hand under the quilt top to make sure it is straight. Then I do the top batting layer. I went to MQX and took many classes. It's probably not very convenient for you, but you can always ask on the forum or facebook. Many times it was a trial and error. At one point, I told myself I should write a book on WHAT NOT TO DO when longarming.
  41. 2 points
    Thank you Sharon, I appreciate the info and kind words. I did 27 years in the Navy and loved every minute of it. Our National Anthem still brings tears to my eyes.
  42. 2 points
    Shana; I guess she will be done quilting with your on number 6. I for one would say "no thank you" if she should ask you to quilt for her in the future. There is no reason to work for someone that is not appreciative of you artistry. Cagey
  43. 2 points
    I really like the customer to be part of the decision making process, but only if they really want to. Most of my customers just say "do what you think is best" but every once in a while, someone wants to really be involved with thread choice, design choice, etc. That's fine with me! I usually let the quilt tell me what it wants. I often look at the fabrics in the piecing to tell me what kind of designs would fit best.
  44. 2 points
    Hi Denise. I use Machine Quilters Business Manager: http://www.eurekadocumentation.com/machine-quilters-business-manager.html It isn't accounting software, but keeps up with the work orders, invoices, what quilts are waiting in line, etc. It will help you keep up with expenses and income. It isn't complicated and does the job for me. Although geared for quilting - I also have figured out how to use it to keep up with commissioned quilts, workshop income, and pattern sales. The developer, Mary Reinhardt, is very responsive to questions, too.
  45. 2 points
    Beatrice, I mostly get those customers that always say do what you want, this is my budget so I go from there...do you have a program that you can take a pic of the quilt and draw on it? If so then you could show her the options and give her your professional opinion on how it would look....
  46. 2 points

    variegated thread in bobbin

    I would definitely charge extra for this special request.
  47. 2 points

    Win A Millie September '17 version

    Being a southerner I was taught you can use your toes when you run out of fingers. Though it does get hard with number larger than 20, or if you lost a finger or toe like Uncle Mick. Cagey
  48. 2 points

    Magnifier warning

    I'm very careful with my magnifying glasses for this reason. I might be 64 3/4 but remember playing with them in science class. Really glad the burn stayed on the mat.
  49. 2 points

    Can Lucey handles this?

    It almost looks like the iron on vinyl to make raincoats etc. I am pretty sure it is not meant to be quilted. She may have to make a wall hanging out of this..... if it is not too heavy to hang. If she has some left, I would have her attach it to some t shirt scraps and then reheat it and see if it peels off. Even if there is a bit of residue, it would be better than having this heavy stuff on there. Then she can attach some lighter weight stabilizer, the right kind. It will be a lot of work to take apart and re-do. Guess it depends on how precious the shirts are too her.
  50. 2 points


    2 first places, 1 second place and best longarming...ha....I wouldn't care if there were shadows all over the thing....it's absolutely beautiful. Just tell them you didn't charge extra for the shadowing.