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  1. 8 points
    LibbyG

    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
  2. 6 points
    ffq-lar

    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.
  3. 5 points
    Gator

    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.
  4. 5 points
    loraquilts

    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.
  5. 4 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
  6. 3 points
    LibbyG

    HONOR ABIDES HERE

    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
  7. 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.
  8. 2 points
    Problem solved! Thank you
  9. 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!
  10. 2 points
    mamu

    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.
  11. 2 points
    Pepsi Girl

    HONOR ABIDES HERE

    My sentiments exactly!
  12. 2 points
    mamu

    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.
  13. 2 points
    Kwiltr

    Using Two Layers of Batting

    That would be awesome LibbyG! I'd buy it! No, there isn't much convenient to me here, so online resources have been a godsend. In fact, just today I stumbled upon a thread that Dawn Cavanaugh had posted about raising the hopping foot to accommodate thick battings, of up to 3 or 4 business cards and equates one business card to the equivalent thickness of 4 pieces of a sticky note paper! Now that was enlightening! So I raised my hopping foot a bit more and voila, no more puckers! Thanks for your tips!
  14. 2 points
    Lovemyavy

    HONOR ABIDES HERE

    I don't see anything except a gorgeous quilt! Congratulations on your well-deserved honors. Your quilt is amazing!
  15. 2 points
    LibbyG

    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.
  16. 2 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!
  17. 2 points
    mlsa3

    HONOR ABIDES HERE

    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.
  18. 1 point
    InesR

    Needle Deflection - How Much

    Cagey, you are amazing!
  19. 1 point
    nancys13

    Using Two Layers of Batting

    Kathy, I saw that you mentioned your Type A personality with a little perfectionism thrown in! I hear ya! A few months after I got my Lenni (2 years ago) I jumped in with both feet and signed up for a class through craftonlineuniversity.com . It is called APQS Longarm Certification, Sponsored by Fons and Porter. Dawn Cavanaugh teaches the class. It's 14 lessons spanning maybe 16 weeks or so. It is not for the faint of heart! Dawn is a great teacher and she expects a lot.....so that should feed your perfectionism. It is pricey --- $499.00! But, what I learned in that class would have taken me years to learn on my own. Most of the assignments are mailed to Dawn and she personally critiques them. For being an online course it is very hands on and I cannot say enough about Dawn. The course also covers starting and building a business; it is pretty all encompassing. I am happy to say I passed the class and have the Certificate framed on my wall to prove it! Look into it.....good luck! Nancy
  20. 1 point
    Primitive1

    Using Two Layers of Batting

    Kathy, I think all of us have learned by just reading these posts over the years, in fact anytime I run into a problem I usually do a search for the problem and see several ways to get through it...the quilters on this forum are so generous with their time and knowledge, I am so thankful for them. Just keep practicing, watch all of the videos you can, take classes if possible, but over time you will feel more confident in what you are doing...it is a learning process that takes some of us (me) years....
  21. 1 point
    Welcome back Marci! I am glad you are feeling better and how exciting - a new Millie! Your quilts are beautiful and the one you made of your brother's ties will be a cherished one...I hope making it helped in the healing process for you and now when you see the quilt it brings only good memories for you!
  22. 1 point
    Marci; When you made the tie quilt, did you cut of the extra fabric on the back of the ties, and did you alter the width of them to get them to form the circle properly? Cagey
  23. 1 point
    I agree...very nice quilts and quilting........I lost my brother suddenly a few years back, he was 63. We were only 1 1/2 years apart and in our younger years, folks thought we were twins....I miss him so much.....I too had rotator cuff surgery this spring...they fixed the rotator tear, cleaned the joint, and removed part of my collar bone....I am just getting back into piecing and am hopefully going to get a quilt on the long arm to start doing some quilting again....I have a blissed Lucey so she is easy to move....a little scared....I know I will have to take breaks for a while.....and probably don't have the muscle control so plan on just doing over-alls at first...thanks for sharing.....Lin I started posting this yesterday....then the internet went down for me....glad it saved what I wrote as a draft....I am 4 1/2 months post surgery...still don't have full range of motion and strength....but at least I don't have the pain I had for the first three months...they say it is really important to keep doing the exercises so I will...see the doc again in a few months....this sure is a slow recovery...but they tell me it can take up to a year.....
  24. 1 point
    Beautiful quilts. And you will LOVE your new Millie. Keep your Intelliquilter for her too.
  25. 1 point
    Marie0722

    Loyal customers. ???

    I have always believed (and still do) that quilting makes the quilt. And when I moved from Europe to Canada and started working at the local quilt shop, I was totally surprised when I found out that most people don't agree with that assessment, that in fact most quilters don't actually like to quilt at all. They just like making the tops. And the quilting is not important to them at all. I love to quilt, and that's why I eventually decided to buy a longarm machine and quilt for others. I would love to add a computer to do the pantos for me because I find them quite boring. But I know that no one would pay me for that, it would have to be a business investment for myself. I custom quilt all my own stuff, and that's what I show at the guild meetings, and that's what brings me customers because they are all in awe of my skills (which are far from perfect, especially compared to what you guys post here but if you can't quilt at all, you might look at things a little differently). But the majority of them stills wants pantographs because it's cheaper.
  26. 1 point
    Kueser

    Loyal customers. ???

    How much you can charge depends on the area. We have lots of quilters doing their own and some for their friends, lots of work done under the table. In fact when I added the computer, I dropped my price on edge to edge because I didn't have to "do the work". A friend of mine is always talking about pricing with other longarmmers and I know she is talking at me about how cheap I am but I am trying to pay for the computer. A little bit is better than nothing.
  27. 1 point
    dickiesdarlin

    Loyal customers. ???

    My last 4 customers have asked for big allover patterns and puffy batting. They don't want tight quilting or custom, just want them done as gifts and don't want to spend lots of money, They say price of fabric is more than they like to pay and want to keep cost down, especially for donation quilts. Also local quilt shop has set up a longarm rental service and some are going that way, saying they want to do the whole quilt start to finish.
  28. 1 point
    Beautiful quilts and I know your brother would be honored if he could see the quilts. I also love the background for your quilt picture...love the outdoors. Really makes the quilts pop.
  29. 1 point
    Kwiltr

    Applique wall hangings

    Beautiful quilts!
  30. 1 point
    LisaC

    Applique wall hangings

    Beautiful, Libby! As usual! I love your work.
  31. 1 point
    Gosh, I'm really sorry to hear about Rita. I haven't been on here in so long, but I know she suffered with a lot of pain and health issues. I was looking back through the forum and it really looks like she had hopes the surgery she was to undergo would help. I will always remember her dry humor with and about 'himself'. What a beautiful picture of them above.
  32. 1 point
    Cagey

    George quilting machine and table for sale

    Kathy; Horizontal spool holder; http://shop.apqs.com/Horizontal-Dual-Spool-Holder-by-Hartley-Mfg_p_116.html You can make a horizontal spool holder for free by taking a piece of styrofoam and pushing it down over the normal George spool pin, then cut a short piece of hanger long enough to go through your horizontal spool with enough room to make a loop on one end, and so you can push it into the styrofoam horizontally. You just need something to hold the horizontal spool in a horizontal and stable position. You can pick up styrofoam like you would use in a flower arrangement for almost nothing at the large box stores in town. Then just thread the machine as normal. My guess is she intended to type, ..."Superior, Glide, cloth, and accessories/" Cagey
  33. 1 point
    Thank you Ines, LisaC, Gail, Cagey and Libby. (I'm not sure how to reply and thank you for the kind words directly. The forum has changed since I was last on here.)
  34. 1 point
    Cagey

    Applique wall hangings

    Libby; As always, your quilting is outstanding. I love the sharp crosshatch. Thank you for sharing. Cagey
  35. 1 point
    LibbyG

    Letter from Himself (RitaR's husband)

    Betsy, pm the address. Rita was on the forum all the time and he is probably lonely. Thank you once again for taking charge of making the quilt.
  36. 1 point
    Marci, they are the nicest memory quilts I've seen. I'm sorry you lost your brother so soon, but I'm sure there quilts will always bring fond memories to everyone. Congratulations on your upgrade!
  37. 1 point
    NHDeb

    Applique wall hangings

    Beautiful!
  38. 1 point
    I'm very sorry for your loss. Beautiful quilts and congrats on the new Millie.
  39. 1 point
    Marci, I am so sorry for your loss! Your brother had good taste in shirt plaids ! Your quilts are spectacular!!! Congratulations on your new Mille!
  40. 1 point
    Kwiltr

    Using Two Layers of Batting

    Thanks Eric for your tips! I would love to be able to take an advanced class from Angela Huffman! I get the trial and error process. I don't know if you noticed my other post more recently about getting tiny puckers on my quilt top, from the fabric being pushed, a result of the thickness factor. Do you have any thoughts on that? I was at the Quilt Expo in Portland recently so asked a few longarmers about it and they all said to raise my hopping foot a bit. I've only just returned home, but thought I would do that and see how it goes. I can always lower it back down. I'm talking another half or sol business car thickness. Business card thickness if such an arbitrary measurement?..like, how thick is a business card? Know what I mean .
  41. 1 point
    Those are absolutely beautiful! I am sure they will be cherished. The stories they will hear....
  42. 1 point
    My latest blog post is now available. Check it out at Quiltniques Blog
  43. 1 point
    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!
  44. 1 point
    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.
  45. 1 point
    ffq-lar

    Letter from Himself (RitaR's husband)

    Rita and Roland visiting Dennis and me in 2009.
  46. 1 point
    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"
  47. 1 point
    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.
  48. 1 point
    dlnewell

    Need help managing my business

    Maybe you should raise your prices. You don't want to suffer burnout. I do mine on a first come first serve basis. That being said, I have a list with clients names in order I receive a request to quilt their quilts and a need by date. That gives me the wiggle room to bump someone ahead in line if need be. I don't like to keep a lot of customer quilts at my home at any one time in case I were to suffer a fire or natural disaster. I call the customer when I'm a few weeks from working on their quilt so they can bring it to me.
  49. 1 point
    AnnP

    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.
  50. 1 point
    JudyL

    Which Size Bobbin to Get

    The only thing I struggled with when ordering my new machine was the bobbin size. I placed the order with the larger M size and almost immediately changed my mind and went back to the smaller Smart bobbin. I've been using the L size on the APQS machines since 2001 on three different machines and have never ever had one moment's problem with tension (or anything for that matter) and I also don't mind changing bobbins so I stuck with what I had used and had such good luck with. Who would think that the bobbin size would have caused me so much back and forth and emailing and calling to get that order changed! Now I sit back and wait for the new Milie to arrive!