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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/04/2012 in all areas

  1. 43 points

    To counter the hurt feelings

    ***Rules to live by on the forum (my perspective only and not sanctioned by APQS or any other governing body. )*** If you post a photo and ask for quilting design help, and no one replies--don't be discouraged. People are busy. People miss posts. People might have no helpful advice. Princesses might decide they don't want to monopolize the board and allow others to give their advice. You may be a princess yourself and everyone knows you'll figure it out better than they could anyway. Or finally, all one's ideas have been expressed by someone else and all you can do is nod and agree. If you post a photo of a finished quilt and ask what advice you might get, don't be discouraged if quilters give you that advice. If you say, "how am I doing? I'm very happy with the outcome.", we'll all give you compliments and comment on your progress. Everyone wants to see a new longarmer making progress. But don't ask for advice or a critique (like--what would a better design have been here?) unless you're willing to accept the advice as it was offered. Post those photos--all are happy to view others work, no matter what the skill level. We aren't stuck in princess mode. If we demean the princesses, they'll stop posting and advising. Can we please lose the princess thing? It's derogatory in the context which it is used and the only royalty we need here is Queen Dawn! I'm kicking the soapbox aside and will try to keep a perspective and be generous of those who have hurt feelings. I have had more than my share of emails over the past eight years calling me a show-off or other unkind things. I've also had emails thanking me for some insight or advice that I've given. So--here's a smilie with it's tongue out. You can't run me off, you can't stop me from sharing, you'll have to take me as I am and I'll do the same for you. I love you all, understand some better than others, and enjoy this forum so much--it's a huge part of my quilting life.
  2. 30 points

    Wish list

    The longarmers wish list. A wonderful, well-made and well-supported longarm. *check* A warm, dry, cheerful place to put this marvel. *check* A group of customers who are talented, creative, generous, and appreciative. *check* Another group of "sharers and carers" online who are accessible, giving, encouraging, and friendly. *check* Time enough to practice, experiment, and search for innovations. *check* A family who "gets it" and appreciates my efforts. *check* I guess I don't need anything for Christmas this year---I'm living the longarmers dream!
  3. 28 points

    cranky mini rant

    Hi Everyone, APQS loves all quilters, regardless of age, race, sex, or even machine brand. Unlike the restricted forums of some other companies, we welcome everyone here--even those who do not own an APQS machine (and those who wish to sell a non-APQS machine). Often we are even the ones listing the item for sale for that very customer. Most of the time that person has found such camaraderie, support, and great advice on this very forum that she has decided joining the APQS family is the right move for her. Sometimes a life-changing event has forced someone to sell a machine with no intention of buying another. And yes, in a few cases a person lists a machine for sale with the intent of buying a competitor's brand. We still believe our lifetime warranty, quality, and superior customer service make us the best machine on the market. But we will not bash or demean a competitor's brand to better position ourselves--it's not in our nature and we don't want to do business that way. Each person must find a machine and company that suits their style. It's our hope that if a person is unhappy with their choice of another brand, they will remember the way they were treated by the APQS family and will consider joining us instead. We get calls all the time for customers looking for a pattern they saw in APQ (American Patchwork and Quilting) or a kit they wanted from AQS (American Quilter's Society), since their acronyms are so close to APQS. It would be easy to simply say "you've go the wrong company" and hang up. But we take the time to help them find what they're looking for--whether it's a web link to the book they're after or the SKU number for the kit at AQS and their toll free number. In the end, we'd rather be thought of as the company who provided superior service to everyone--even to those who aren't directly our customers--because kindness will be rewarded in the end (even if it's only in the feeling that we did the right thing.) We hope you'll help us keep that welcoming spirit and that "family" feeling for those who seek it here. Thanks!
  4. 25 points
    Here's the latest finish. The odd spaces required some stand-and-stare. Feathers on the border and on the light fabrics. Scrolls and leaves on the darks. A spot of CCs inside the center HStriangles. So Fine putty color and purple thread on top. She provided W&N cotton batting. Her backer was unbleached muslin. This one, with the thin batting and high contrast in top thread colors required me to use tan bobbins with the light top thread and dark gray with the purple. I still had some trouble balancing the stitches. I'll add a photo of the back later so you can see. This one partially finished on the frame was my show-and-tell at the latest Moxie meeting. Here it is finished, Moxies! Thanks for looking! https://www.flickr.com/photos/larech/14939535873/ Here's a link to photos of the back so you can see the two bobbin thread colors. https://www.flickr.com/photos/larech/15380633929/
  5. 23 points

    No more "day job" for Linda!

    I sit here with my coffee on the first day of my retirement from my day job. The feeling is wonderful! My calendar for the next few months is full of fun---a trip to Disneyland with my sister, guild volunteering, Moxies at my house, the local Arts Walk, the list goes on. On the business side, for the first time in six months I will be caught up on my monthly quilt quota. I try for 6 quilts a month and I've been one quilt behind every month for a while! I'm busier than ever and need to get better organized--as usual--so I can pencil in some piecing and retreats! I was treated to a tear-producing farewell at work. They called former co-workers who I haven't seen for years to come to a get together after my last shift. The people are what I will miss the most! My job provided me with good pay, great benefits, nice people to work with, and allowed me to have the $$ and time to following a modest dream. For that I'll always be thankful. But I'm glad to move on. Let the fun begin!!
  6. 23 points
    Over the last year, these are the things I've learned ... I cannot sneeze and stipple at the same time. Backing loaded right side up does not look near as good on the back of a quilt as a backing loaded wrong side up. If you wear long sleeves, make sure your seam ripper or scissors are close to the head of the machine … just in case you sew your sleeve to the quilt while getting in those odd positions holding a ruler. A bug landing in spikey grey hair while FMQ can cause a 14” unwanted stitched line across a quilt that does not necessarily match the stitching pattern. Eyeballing a straight line does not mean the stitched line will be straight – use your channel locks. Changing a needle because you are having stitching and tension problems and putting the needle in backwards will not correct the stitching problems. Loading a quilt backing, batting and top on TOP of the leveler bar (instead of underneath it) will create stitching problems and tucks in your backing. QuiltPath does what you tell it to … not what you intend for it to do. When a customer says, “oh, just do what you want”, that’s not always what they mean. When a more experienced quilter tells you, “practice, practice, practice”… that IS what they mean! I have the best machine on the market today. APQS sales and service can’t be beat! This “family” on the forum is the greatest teacher I’ve found … no matter what question I have, someone is always ready with an answer. I learn so much reading your posts and seeing your pics. THANK YOU! I’m proud to be an APQS owner!
  7. 22 points

    cranky mini rant

    I've noticed an increase in posts involving non-APQS machines for sale. It bothers me quite a lot that the APQS sponsored and maintained forum is used by people with no interest in our forum who are selling items that are in direct competition with the company that sponsors the site. I'm all for being friendly and welcoming, but come on! Think about it. I bet anyone from the home office who reads the for-sale posts for a competing machine just cringe. They are in the business of selling APQS products and every machine that sells off this site may be one less that could have been an APQS. It's convenient for the seller and someone can be hijacked directly from the site. I know most of the posters are private owners and sometimes they are trying to sell their XYZ machine to upgrade to an APQS. I just think it's inappropriate. It's like someone at a trade show standing in line and handing out their catering business cards while they enjoy the free buffet put on by their competitor. I don't imagine anyone will restrict or remove the competing posts, since this place is famously friendly. But there are sites like Longarm U where any brand can be happily offered since there is no vested interest in brand. Cranky mini-rant over. Continue with your regularly scheduled quilting!
  8. 22 points
    My wonderful husband really gave me a great gift I was having problems with my Ultimate 1 and called Amy and ordered all new parts that were worn then had to leave to see my parents since my dad has terminal cancer on return my hubby completely went through my machine and replaced parts, timed machine, and even added new led lights on the head itself. he spent about 8 hours doing everything and it purrs beautifully now. I have to say that was a great Mother's Day present! Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day! Sandy
  9. 21 points
    Enchanted Quilting

    Silk Roses

    This was an orphaned project by a customer. All of a sudden she was committed to getting it finished. As you can see in the before picture there were waves and serious cupping. You can't see it, but there was also a slash almost dead center of the piece...hence the center design. I used bottomline thread and really quilted the snot out of it to get it to lay flat. Silk Rose - before by Charlotte Peterson Enchanted Quilting, on Flickr Missy's embroidered wreath by Charlotte Peterson Enchanted Quilting, on Flickr
  10. 21 points

    Big Judy N Amazon Star

    This one is 115" square with wool batting destined for her bed. I've just about converted all my customers to wool for bed quilts! It was on the frame for 10 days, using 12 pre-wound bobbins and eight thread color changes. Sorry for the glare --it's so big it drags on the floor! Thanks for looking!
  11. 21 points
    You may remember, I posted about my Drop in and Drop Off Party when I got back from Arizona for the winter...one customer brought seven quilts that day and told me she had three or four more. Mind you, this lady is in her 80's! I asked if she was chained to her machine all winter! She is not frail but was in a horrible auto accident in 1980. Her pelvis, hip and most other bones were not just broke big shattered. She had to be cut out of the car. She was told she could never walk again, she proved all the doctors wrong but she is a little unsteady on her feet and walks with a cane that has "arms" at the bottom. I am always worried about her coming over and have offered to pick up and drop off for her at her home, but she is independent and would not hear of it, so I just started delivering by telling her I was on my way to town and might as well stop by. I called her house to let her know the first three of her quilts were ready and I was dropping them off on my way to town, her husband answers the phone and says oh. I guess you didn't hear what happened.... My heart sank, I love this lady she is just so refreshing and fun to be with. I start telling him I was so sorry and he says oh no she is not dead she just fell and broke her femur just above the knee and the bad thing is that it is her good leg. It happened in their garage and she was wedged between the car and cabinets so it took paramedics a long while to get her out, in the mean time her daughter was called who is a nurse and she rode to the hospital with her in the ambulance. Later her daughter was telling me her mother was so worried about getting her quilts done it was all she could talk about in the ambulance and before surgery! Now that is a quilter!!!! She is in a rehab hospital and must remain non weight bearing on the leg for 3 to 4 months, her husband asked me to visit and talk quilts to get her mind off therapy and boredom. She was still fretting about getting them all done so I offered to sew on the bindings so she can hand stitch while she is confined. She beams when I show up looking like the bag lady lugging quilts, she had her daughter get the rest of her completed tops to me along with their made bindings or the fabric for them. I have been making bindings and sewing bindings it seems nonstop! Last Thursday was their 60th wedding Anniversery! I took a card and flowers to them, he visits every day without fail lugging his oxygen tank along with him. I am quickly running out of her finished quilts and will have to come up with something else for her to do soon! Gotta love her!!!
  12. 19 points
    I try to call my customers the month before their quilt is scheduled as a reminder and to set up the intake appointment. Last month was hectic and I didn't get that task done, figuring I'd see two of them at a meeting last night. One wasn't there and responded to my inquiring email that she didn't have a quilt ready and for me to schedule her again "some time in the future". The second answered at the meeting that she'd forgotten and would see if she had anything at home that she could bring me, but she "doubted it". I realize that I need to be more proactive contacting customers and setting up intakes, but it's obvious that all of us are in the end-of-summer frantic-ness. This isn't a huge deal for me. I have a backlog of customers and I can call a couple of scheduled customers for next month and will fill the two spots. Or I may throw something of my own on the machine---woo hoo! In any case, I'm retiring from the day-job at the store in two weeks (you can imagine how excited I am! ) and will be re-examining my business practices. I'll freely admit that on occasion I welcomed a no-show or rescheduled quilt. It gave me breathing room for custom quilts and I could do some charity quilts a couple of times a year. Now my time will be my own and I'll be scheduling with an eye to some off time for me and retreats and activities with my guild and girlfriends. And maybe requiring a deposit when my backlog gets far enough out that my customers forget they have a quilt scheduled! I love my job, love my customers, and always encourage newbies starting a business to have firm plans in place, set forth their "rules" clearly, and make the business "business-like". I guess I need to take my own advice!! If you've made it this far, thanks for listening!
  13. 19 points
    Although I did not know Elmer, I have been honored to have the opportunity to work on this quilt. I hope it does justice to his memory. Thank you Cheri for allowing me to do this for you. Assorted fabrics for the top, Kona white cotton on back. 17 top thread colors, white Fil-tec bobbins, Tuscany wool batting. https://www.flickr.com/photos/jtconcessions/sets/72157645495994175/
  14. 19 points

    Big blue and white quilt

    Here's the latest off the frame. It's a big blue and white quilt destined for a bed. The large white blocks were 16" square which is a challenge, especially on-point. I used designs I learned in a class at MQX taught by Sue Heinz. If you ever see her name, jump on the opportunity to take a class from her. We (another Moxie and I) are working with a well-known LQS to host her for classes. If this happens, I will post details here. I followed the cathedral window design in the border fabric and it worked well. Sometimes the fabric does the work for you! My customer was very happy. Arrow when you get to the Flickr link to see a detail shot. http://www.flickr.com/photos/larech/12111934264/
  15. 19 points
    ... but my heart soars with pride! I was honored when one of my longarm quilting customers (a local politician) called me to ask if I would donate my services to quilt some quilts for a newly constructed homeless shelter in our community for youth and teens. I said of course! Fifteen hand made quilts were given to me to help finish. These beautiful, colorful quilts will be draping across the beds in the shelter. It makes me so proud that I am able to contribute to the greater good in my community and play a small part in helping those young kids who need a safe, warm place to sleep, and people to give them love and guidance from their scary world which is filled with uncertainty. It's the little things we all do that add up to an enormous positive result. Here is a story if you want to read more. http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/fairbanks-youth-shelter-hopes-to-open-by-february/article_9d9af650-a90c-5542-9f61-4b40f0005af1.html
  16. 18 points
    Will now attempt to load photos of my new quilt: The Quilt with the Dragon Tattoo from the Tucson Quilt Fiesta last weekend. My record with adding photos is not too good…hope this will work. When my husband became obsessed with THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO books & movies, I collaborated with tattoo artist Stephanie Davis to include my favorite quilting motifs (feathers, spirals, dots) into an original drawing of a Chinese dragon. Then I turned the black & white drawing into this quilt. It is machine appliquéd and was quilted on my APQS George machine with feathers, several traditional Sashiko patterns and some scribbling or thread painting. Silk, metallic, cotton, rayon and polyester threads in all sizes (12 to 100) were used in the decorative stitching and quilting. Started in January 2013, completed January 2014.
  17. 18 points
    RoseCity Quilter

    Blue Delft Quilt

    Finished this one on Friday. It is one of my own. Patchwork blocks are from our store's Saterday Sampler program using patterns by From my Heart to your Hands. Flowers are machine embroidery using designs from Secrets of embroidery. Two layers of batting used, Hobbs 80/20 and Hobbs Washable Wool.
  18. 18 points

    Log Cabin

    A new customer wanted this done for a wedding gift for a relative. I put the heart design in the corner border and the center. I thought it would look adorable in all the pink blocks, but she said her grand daughter was marrying a surgeon and she thought it would be too much. Hey, he could end up being a cardiologist! Hobbs 80/20 and So Fine and BL. I have to thank Heidi and Charlotte for the quilting design. Normally I would have just feathered all the colors. But when Charlotte took Heidi's idea and quilted the lines, I loved it. What a wonderful forum we have! Log Cabin by LibbyG7, on Flickr Log Cabin (2) by LibbyG7, on Flickr Log Cabin (6) by LibbyG7, on Flickr Log Cabin (3) by LibbyG7, on Flickr
  19. 18 points
    Just off the frame--another two-week quilt! Last year, my guild challenge was a border-of-the-month. Starting with a center focus block, borders were added each month and shared at guild. This is a large bed-size medallion quilt. She wanted heavy custom so she can enter it in state-wide shows. She pulled fabrics from her stash a la Bonnie Hunter--only for color, not for content or era. There was the romantic toile (her focus fabric and the entire backer), some stripes and plaids, Jenny Beyer, calicoes, modern, etc. Her final one-inch piano key border was interesting with added squares at alternating ends. The only thing I couldn't talk her into was wool batting. She like 100% cotton in her bed quilts. But hanging, it looks fine. Miles of SID, feathers, line-work, six thread colors and invisible thread. And some stand-and-stare to try to find a cohesive quilting plan. Here's the Flickr link---scroll right for details. Thanks for looking! https://www.flickr.com/photos/larech/14581698753/
  20. 18 points

    Mesmerize - basic gray custom

    My customer wanted this to be customed. It was really hard for me because the lines were two feet long in some of the blocks. I had trouble keeping the line straight as I used DeLoa Jones CASTLE ruler. I would do each of the ends first and then the middle was loose, so when I stopped to reposition the ruler, the quilt wanted to bounce. Of course, this could have been operator error. Heidi suggested the dark lines be horizontal and vertical. I placed horizontal lines on the borders, so the binding wouldn't interfere. Then if another dark color was next, I would make those lines vertical. She wanted me to do as many different designs as I could in the white, so I put pebbles in all the centers. Then I tried to do the designs so they looked even, the circles drove me crazy, because I wasn't allowed to use any markers to divide the lines. I like all the designs to be even, so I did my best, and she loved the quilt. I used Hobbs 80/20 and So Fine and bottom line. Flickr has switched me over to the new photo experience which means I can't place the pictures in the post anymore. I complained and they said they were sorry, but I couldn't go back. https://www.flickr.com/photos/libbygquilts/
  21. 18 points

    Rhapsody Quilt Finished

    Hi all, I just finished this quilt for a customer and wanted to share some pictures with people what know what went into this one! I used two layers of batting, cotton and wool and all Glide silk thread. I think it turned out just beautiful! Janet
  22. 17 points

    Modern Baby Quilt

    Here is a quilt I recently worked on. I loved the green with teal together. So different. The solids were very dense tight fabrics to work with - worse than batik. You can see in one of the straight lines, I have to steam out the holes from where I restitched a line. I used my channel locks for the first time as straight line quilting. I always use them to straighten and square things up, but for quilting, I found out how extremely precise things have to be!
  23. 17 points
    Boy, all I can say is I wish that I had the Bliss rail system Sigh, maybe when I grow up. I saw a quilt on Pinterst quilted in a similar manner and knew it was a good place to do my practicing on circles and straight lines since this is my quilt. It is going into the Guild show anyway, wiggly lines and all. I need to do some more PPP..... When I made this quilt, I sort of OVER estimated the amount of fabric I would need. This was going to be a wall hanging LOL. It fits my queen size bed! And, I have enough leftover blocks to make a twin size. Geesh! IMG_20140421_122042 by chrisquilt00, on Flickr
  24. 17 points

    Swoon Quilt

    My friend Lynn brought me her Swoon quilt to custom quilt for her this week. She is going to use it as a wall hanging so I quilted it denser than I normally do for a bed quilt. She likes modern and traditional quilting designs so I blended the two styles together for her. It as a lot of fun to quilt in all the background spaces as I really wanted the stars to pop!
  25. 17 points
    Finally I am catching up and back in business!! Thanks to my good APQS forum quilting pal Marci - who saved my life by sending me a belt for my machine - I am sewing up a storm!! (...and Nigel piped up and offered help to me as well - I am so very grateful for you awesome quilting friends here!!!) I'll tell you what, I will never be afraid to change my motor brushes again either. I can change those suckers with my eyes closed and one hand tied behined my back now - YEAH!!! Only because I totally goofed and didn't have the spring right up against the back of the brushes, so they weren't advancing correctly. BUT - take a guess how many times I had to open up my machine to figure that out? LOL Then I pulled wires out that I didn't even know existed from opening up my motor so many times. But guess what? I am quilting again!!! YEAH!!! ...and I only had to bug Amy up at APQS once. Woohoo me! I think I've said enough four letter words to last me through all of 2014 too... LOL! So here's what I've finished up...loading up a Swoon quilt for one of my favortie customers this afternoon to work on next! DSCN4719 by Valerie/Pumpkin Patch Quilter, on Flickr DSCN4711 by Valerie/Pumpkin Patch Quilter, on Flickr DSCN4712 by Valerie/Pumpkin Patch Quilter, on Flickr Just a note - I DID stitch in the ditch around all borders and blocks - the scalloped border is fusible applique and very stiff - so despite two layers of batting it just didn't poof or fill up!