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Hello there, I am writing an article for American Quilt Retailer about "Time & Money Saving Tips for the Longarm Quilter". I've been stashing away ideas for awhile now, but thought my article would be a whole lot more interesting if I included ideas from other experience quilters (since I obviously don't know everything!).:)

If any of you have good ideas, please post them here, and if I use any of them in my article I will mention you in my article (if you want to be mentioned!).

Ideas can be anything, even the littlest tips are welcome.

Thank you!

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Hello there, I am writing an article for American Quilt Retailer about "Time & Money Saving Tips for the Longarm Quilter". I've been stashing away ideas for awhile now, but thought my article would be a whole lot more interesting if I included ideas from other experience quilters (since I obviously don't know everything!).:)

If any of you have good ideas, please post them here, and if I use any of them in my article I will mention you in my article (if you want to be mentioned!).

Ideas can be anything, even the littlest tips are welcome.

Thank you!

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One thing I like to do is have a bobbin case for every weight of thread. The case is "pre-set" so I dont have to adjust it or use a tension gage at all. That way, when I switch types of thread (example: from King Tut to So Fine) all I have to do is grab the bobbin case set for So Fine.

Hope you get some good tips out of this.. right now, that's all I can think of.


F55CA928B31BF9D50E35FB71F402EFB1.png Millennium/Circle Lord 402-450-8321 Designer of the 1/2" foot for Ult II's. 1sheributler@gmail.com

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One thing I like to do is have a bobbin case for every weight of thread. The case is "pre-set" so I dont have to adjust it or use a tension gage at all. That way, when I switch types of thread (example: from King Tut to So Fine) all I have to do is grab the bobbin case set for So Fine.

Hope you get some good tips out of this.. right now, that's all I can think of.


F55CA928B31BF9D50E35FB71F402EFB1.png Millennium/Circle Lord 402-450-8321 Designer of the 1/2" foot for Ult II's. 1sheributler@gmail.com

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How to save time?

Limit drop-off and pick-up times. When determining a drop-off time, say "I have a half hour appointment available on Tuesday from 3 to 3:30." Even if you have all day, this tells the customer that you are a professional and have other things to do as well. If you do drop-off at the LQS, distraction is a problem, so play it by ear. (And spend some cash at the LQS to show them you appreciate their co-operation!)

Stay off the chat forum.:P

Stay off the phone. Let the machine pick up messages and return customer messages promptly. Treat your job as a job and return friend's calls "after business hours". This trains your buddies to realize that you have a real business and can't chat when you are trying to work.

Buy whatever tools will make you a better/faster/ more accurate quilter--and those that will eventually pay for themselves.

To save time, don't let yourself get burned-out. When quilting becomes the focus of your life and you dread loading that next quilt, it's time to re-prioritize. Take a break--re-charge--take a class--piece a top for yourself--walk/bike--go away for the weekend--whatever it takes to re-focus on the joy. Nothing eats up time like dragging yourself to the frame and staring at another top when the enthusiasm is gone.

Saving money?

Set up wholesale accounts whenever possible.

Sign up for emails from your favorite suppliers so you are notified of sales and specials.

If you have a Joann's near you, use those fabulous coupons for batting--prices close to wholesale with no shipping charges.

Find a bank that is small-business friendly for your account. Many will have a reduced rate if you do fewer than 100 transactions per month.

If you have squeezed the last drop of info from a book or DVD, or when you have advanced to the next step and have out-grown them--sell them!

Have fun with your article!


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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How to save time?

Limit drop-off and pick-up times. When determining a drop-off time, say "I have a half hour appointment available on Tuesday from 3 to 3:30." Even if you have all day, this tells the customer that you are a professional and have other things to do as well. If you do drop-off at the LQS, distraction is a problem, so play it by ear. (And spend some cash at the LQS to show them you appreciate their co-operation!)

Stay off the chat forum.:P

Stay off the phone. Let the machine pick up messages and return customer messages promptly. Treat your job as a job and return friend's calls "after business hours". This trains your buddies to realize that you have a real business and can't chat when you are trying to work.

Buy whatever tools will make you a better/faster/ more accurate quilter--and those that will eventually pay for themselves.

To save time, don't let yourself get burned-out. When quilting becomes the focus of your life and you dread loading that next quilt, it's time to re-prioritize. Take a break--re-charge--take a class--piece a top for yourself--walk/bike--go away for the weekend--whatever it takes to re-focus on the joy. Nothing eats up time like dragging yourself to the frame and staring at another top when the enthusiasm is gone.

Saving money?

Set up wholesale accounts whenever possible.

Sign up for emails from your favorite suppliers so you are notified of sales and specials.

If you have a Joann's near you, use those fabulous coupons for batting--prices close to wholesale with no shipping charges.

Find a bank that is small-business friendly for your account. Many will have a reduced rate if you do fewer than 100 transactions per month.

If you have squeezed the last drop of info from a book or DVD, or when you have advanced to the next step and have out-grown them--sell them!

Have fun with your article!


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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Schedule your day on a calendar just like you would any meetings or appointments. From 8-10 load and work on quilt X. 10-10:30, take a break, walk the dog. Things like that. I find that if I write myself a list of things to do today, it's easier to put them off until tomorrow. Where as if they have a scheduled time to occur, I'm more likely to get it done. Now I'll have to move "Cut out skirt" to a scheduled time tomorrow and off the "today's list" where it has lived for 3 weeks now.


Beth Durand

Elizabeth Originals Custom Quilting

www.eocquilting.com

beth@eocquilting.com

2006 APQS Millenium

Authorized APQS Dealer

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Schedule your day on a calendar just like you would any meetings or appointments. From 8-10 load and work on quilt X. 10-10:30, take a break, walk the dog. Things like that. I find that if I write myself a list of things to do today, it's easier to put them off until tomorrow. Where as if they have a scheduled time to occur, I'm more likely to get it done. Now I'll have to move "Cut out skirt" to a scheduled time tomorrow and off the "today's list" where it has lived for 3 weeks now.


Beth Durand

Elizabeth Originals Custom Quilting

www.eocquilting.com

beth@eocquilting.com

2006 APQS Millenium

Authorized APQS Dealer

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Thought of something else. When you are feeling guilty for doing things like taking the dog for a walk, try to make it a business related trip. Walk the dog to the bank, or the post office. That way, you get a break, the business stuff gets done, and the dog gets a walk. Just remember to give him/her a treat after the walk. That's the rule at my house, anyway.


Beth Durand

Elizabeth Originals Custom Quilting

www.eocquilting.com

beth@eocquilting.com

2006 APQS Millenium

Authorized APQS Dealer

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Thought of something else. When you are feeling guilty for doing things like taking the dog for a walk, try to make it a business related trip. Walk the dog to the bank, or the post office. That way, you get a break, the business stuff gets done, and the dog gets a walk. Just remember to give him/her a treat after the walk. That's the rule at my house, anyway.


Beth Durand

Elizabeth Originals Custom Quilting

www.eocquilting.com

beth@eocquilting.com

2006 APQS Millenium

Authorized APQS Dealer

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Great ideas so far--I just have a simple one--but works for me. I have a customer who loves to use up every scrap and turns them into various size tablerunners--to make it easier for me--I just baste all the backs together and then I only have to load once for several runners.

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Great ideas so far--I just have a simple one--but works for me. I have a customer who loves to use up every scrap and turns them into various size tablerunners--to make it easier for me--I just baste all the backs together and then I only have to load once for several runners.

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I don't take in quilts until I'm within 2 weeks of starting them. I keep a waiting list with name, size of quilt and what kind of quilting is required. I call my customers 2 weeks before to set-up a drop off appointment. At the time they go on my list I give them an estimate of when I'll be ready for them. Since I only quilt part-time this works very well for me and I don't have to have their quilts in my home waiting. My customers really like this and they often call me when they start a project so that by the time they are done I can quilt it. Some even book me when they pick-up a finished quilt.

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I don't take in quilts until I'm within 2 weeks of starting them. I keep a waiting list with name, size of quilt and what kind of quilting is required. I call my customers 2 weeks before to set-up a drop off appointment. At the time they go on my list I give them an estimate of when I'll be ready for them. Since I only quilt part-time this works very well for me and I don't have to have their quilts in my home waiting. My customers really like this and they often call me when they start a project so that by the time they are done I can quilt it. Some even book me when they pick-up a finished quilt.

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At times, my supply of bobbins becomes filled with partially used threads of assorted colors and types. I utilize these when doing scrappy quilts. Even the threads are scrappy, adding to the interest of the variety of scrap fabrics. This way, I get my bobbins emptied, use up the thread, and don't feel badly about mixing the colors on quilts.

I have utilized some of the suggestions already mentioned. Joining like-sized backings to run them consecutively works great, as does having the bobbin cases 'fixed' to the weight of the threads.

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At times, my supply of bobbins becomes filled with partially used threads of assorted colors and types. I utilize these when doing scrappy quilts. Even the threads are scrappy, adding to the interest of the variety of scrap fabrics. This way, I get my bobbins emptied, use up the thread, and don't feel badly about mixing the colors on quilts.

I have utilized some of the suggestions already mentioned. Joining like-sized backings to run them consecutively works great, as does having the bobbin cases 'fixed' to the weight of the threads.

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I THINK this is a time-saving tip, at least it is for me.

Always stop a project at a good starting point, so when you enter your studio you don't even have to think of "what's next."

When I turn off my longarm, for instance, the quilt has been rolled to the next starting point, the sides have been sewn down, everything is "ready to go." I just have to clamp the sides and start stitching.

Or if I need to make binding, the strips are ready to be sewn and laying at the sewing machine with the first 2 strips in position for sewing.


Georgene Huggett
APQS Sales, Service, Education
Poquoson, Virginia
http://www.AllNaturalChoices.com
APQS Millennium with Quilt Path

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I THINK this is a time-saving tip, at least it is for me.

Always stop a project at a good starting point, so when you enter your studio you don't even have to think of "what's next."

When I turn off my longarm, for instance, the quilt has been rolled to the next starting point, the sides have been sewn down, everything is "ready to go." I just have to clamp the sides and start stitching.

Or if I need to make binding, the strips are ready to be sewn and laying at the sewing machine with the first 2 strips in position for sewing.


Georgene Huggett
APQS Sales, Service, Education
Poquoson, Virginia
http://www.AllNaturalChoices.com
APQS Millennium with Quilt Path

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use a clear thin plexiglass board for drawing designs on to 'try' them out...before you sew...as to eliminate the need for frogging. or at least it is supposed to work that way! just make sure to put colored tape around the edge of the plexi so you don't draw on the quilt top. I do this and really helps!


Kristina at website http://withakquilting.blogspot.com/ and personal blog http://froggybottomquilting.blogspot.com/

 

Hoppily quilting along with FROGGER - my Green Millennium, and TOAD - my Liberty. Quiltazoid equipped too!

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use a clear thin plexiglass board for drawing designs on to 'try' them out...before you sew...as to eliminate the need for frogging. or at least it is supposed to work that way! just make sure to put colored tape around the edge of the plexi so you don't draw on the quilt top. I do this and really helps!


Kristina at website http://withakquilting.blogspot.com/ and personal blog http://froggybottomquilting.blogspot.com/

 

Hoppily quilting along with FROGGER - my Green Millennium, and TOAD - my Liberty. Quiltazoid equipped too!

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I quilt just for me so I don't have the experience of most everyone else on this forum. Almost all I know I learned here or on other forums. Well, anyway I stumbled on my tip last week while putting in a quilt for my son. As usual my ironing surface was-shall we say "untidy" and I had to seam the back and no where to iron the seam open. I tossed the back over my backing roller with the seam up along the length of the roller. It was like a really long skinny ironing board and I did not have to wrestle the extra fabric on either side of the seam. Ironing took about a minute and the back was right there ready to be pinned on.

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I quilt just for me so I don't have the experience of most everyone else on this forum. Almost all I know I learned here or on other forums. Well, anyway I stumbled on my tip last week while putting in a quilt for my son. As usual my ironing surface was-shall we say "untidy" and I had to seam the back and no where to iron the seam open. I tossed the back over my backing roller with the seam up along the length of the roller. It was like a really long skinny ironing board and I did not have to wrestle the extra fabric on either side of the seam. Ironing took about a minute and the back was right there ready to be pinned on.

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I can't say this is really time saving, but is definitely thread saving. I use a lot of Rasant and prefer to purchase this in small spools of many colours, but I found that when less than 1/4 full, the almost empty spool pops off my bobbin winder whilst trying to wind a bobbin. To try and prevent wasting thread, I put a spool holder from my domestic machine on the top of the spool and it stopped it from coming off! I have a Janome 9000 with small and large spool holders, just use whichever fits your spool of thread. I found that the bobbin still wound properly, no problems!

Shelley


Shelley

Heritage Country Quilting

Western Australia

2009 APQS Millenium, hand guided.

'Waltzing Matilda" or Milly Tilly!

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