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quiltmonkey

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  1. I wanted to add one more thing regarding your original heading of cutting off a customer. So here is the thing and don't ever forget it: You are providing a service. You as the business owner reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. This is your machine and your time is valuable. What you need to do is establish some "guestimated hours" to complete specific sizes of quilts. For example: A crib size baby quilt might take an hour. Set a general ballpark cost price range for quilting a baby quilt within a reasonable timeframe. Quote the customer that in general, this quilt will cost X dollars, but this is an estimate. Have something written in there that if it takes more than (reasonable time) to complete quilting, an additional fee of, X dollars per 30 minutes will be added until it's completed. A lap size quilt might take two hours. Ditto above. A queen size quilt might take three-four hours. Ditto on the general price range. Same with king size quilt. When you set those general price ranges and estimated times for completion, to include the additional charge (for those problem quilts). If you have a customer that is requiring you to spend a lot of time fussing on a quilt because it's wonky or your having to take pleats and be creative in just getting the quilt to lay flat, you need to charge for that time.
  2. I don't rent my machine out for people to quilt on, but I have provided longarm quilting for customers since 2007, so I've experienced every level of quilt under the sun: from very beginner not knowing what a 1/4" seam allowance is, to advanced quilter whose quilts were immaculately spectacular. So, here's my perspective on it all: Bottom line: it's just a quilt that will be loved and cuddled under, and 99.999% of the time the customer is thrilled because it's quilted. It might not be perfect, but it will be loved. So, I don't try to fret too much. The friendly ones can be challenging and wonky, but I don't spend lots of time trying to fix a friendly border. It's going to lay on a bed or on a couch. I've quilted many quilts with dog-ears in the corners and friendly borders. Never a customer complaint. I just manipulate the quilt top to get it to lay as flat as possible. One thing that drives me batty is when a seam is open, and my hopping foot quilts itself into a hole and it's a major PITA to get that unstuck without damaging the fabric. So, I hold the top up towards the light and look through to see if there are any open seams and fix those. For the new customers who are learning, I always always spoke to them in a way that I would have wanted to be spoke to if I were in their shoes. I was never snotty or condescending. I encouraged them, gave them some simple tips to do for improving, and explained the basics when it was necessary. Always took my advice to heart and did better next time. Another piece of advice I can give you for those double D and couble C quilt tops is to starch and steam them really good before putting them on the quilt frame. The starch and steam will tighten up the fibers, make the top a little stiffer so you can manage the wonkiness a little better. Definitely charge for that service, or ask your customer to do this starch and steam before brining it to you. Quilters are just like you and me. We are all loving this hobby, so I never discouraged, always tried to help and encourage. In all of the years I have quilted for customers, I never used the word "no" or turned a customer away, except for one lady who I did not know who handed me her wadded up quilt top (seriously) and it looked like a dog had laid on top of it for three weeks. I handed it back and asked her to please remove the dog hair. She was actually mad at me (embarrassed?) and I never saw her again. OK bye. LOL. Best
  3. Lots of stops and starts with concentric circles. But it would look cool. Have fun, whatever you choose to do
  4. This is really pretty. I love the pattern and I've wanted to make one for myself! If you have circle boards with spirals or swirls, that would look really cool edge to edge. If you're not good with pantos, would you consider doing freehand continuous curve arcs? Personally, if it were me I would do an edge to edge pattern, something spiral or swirly all across the entire quilt with a subtle thread, light gray or off white. Show us the finished quilt!
  5. Neither. I'm a pinner. The only time I use my zippers is if I am working on a heavy custom quilt that I need to zip on and off the frame multiple times. The only other time I use zippers is to put on my large practice sandwich to test out designs or get my memory back on how to quilt something. Otherwise, if it is just a quilt I load one time only, I pin directly to the leaders. It is hassle free, very quick and everything is loaded in less than 10 minutes and I'm quilting away... otherwise, I'm fussing with sewing things to zippers, or snapping things to fabric. Not a fan of the snappers. they are a PITA, IMHO.
  6. Nancy, I would LOVE TO SEE the final result of your hanky project. It's so good to see your sweet face here again. Miss you! Shana
  7. I have a Millennium since 2006. I do not recommend removing the thread cutter.... Just let it be. The Hartley base will no longer fit if you remove it. I actually like having the thread cutter on there because it gives me a little more "base" for my ruler work if I need to do something small and not install the ruler base.
  8. Honestly, I think the worst thing that we can do is fold up a quilt, put it away in a dark closet and leave it that way because fold lines and fading starts to form and it's hard to get those out over time. If at all possible lay your quilts flat on top of each other on a large bed. If you want to display it, you could hang it on a wall. I would sew a loop along one side and slip a wooden dowel inside and use two mounting brackets on each side to attach the dowel to the wall. Try to avoid mounting on a wall that gets a lot of direct sunlight. Indirect is OK.
  9. I am an equal opportunity appreciator of all kinds, types of threads. You name it, I have it. It's a delicate balance to get the tension just right with each thread, but over time you get it and can really have fun with all kinds of thread. I love to play with metallic thread, rainbows, monofilament, ribbon threads, etc... Depending on the thread, sometimes I need to use more Sewer's Aid, or move up a size on the needle, or loosen the top tension a bit. Practice and play. that is the fun of it all.
  10. What Jim said. Regarding the roller brake -- you can adjust the brakes to your liking; lighter or tighter.
  11. You could use two layers of batting in a quilt. But you can also lay two quilt on top of each other on the bed - that's what I do and the air pockets between the two quilts make a cozy warm bed!
  12. Here's what I would do: Questions: What thread brand and weight are you using? Often times, shredding thread is caused because the eye of the needle is too small for the thread to easily travel through. Isolate the issue by doing several things: First, switch to a larger size needle. Go slower. If that doesn't work, check for a burr in the hole of the needle plate that might be catching the thread. Also try a brand new bobbin and a new bobbin case. These two things have wear and tear over time so it's good to have several spare on hand. Make sure that no stray threads are stuck in the bobbin area. Try a different brand/weight of thread. Check the thread path. re-thread the machine. Those are starters.
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