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Everything posted by qwltnlady

  1. Oh well, I'll never be able to compete against the perfection of a computer....I guess I kinda like the little imperfections here and there. Call me old-fashioned, but it reminds me it is hand-done. If I wanted absolute perfection, I would buy one from the store...but that's just me. I don't think the customers care one way or the other, I mean whether it's hand done or not, as long as it looks good. I guess just like hand vs machine piecing, folks just had to get used to new technology. I'm not sure how to feel...aaarrgghh - computers are taking over the world!
  2. I'm told that most businesses take 1-2 years or more to get off the ground. I sent a u2u to you, chickenscratch, check it out. I, too, have been told everywhere I go that there is soooooo much business out there. Well, doggonit, some of that is MINE! I have found that things are very slow and I am doing more charity and freebies than I would like, but I just believe that getting my name out there and not giving up will make a difference. I will not falter, I will not fail, I will not give up!
  3. I can't tell you how valuable this particular thread has been for me today. I have had the EXACT same problems with people grousing about price and I guess since I'm so new at this I let my insecurities get in the way. Sometimes I don't believe my own eyes that the product is as good as everyone (so far) has said it is. We are our own worst critic, I know, so I deal with those feelings a lot. I'm proud of you, Grammie and it makes me feel a lot more empowered. (Remember the song "Confidence" sung by Julie Andrews in "The Sound of Music"? We all need to sing that song sometimes!) LOL
  4. How in the world do you load on point? I would never have imagined you could do that!?
  5. Giftedhands Isn't that just the most frustrating thing? I guess if I were standing there I might just hand the person my card and say "I am a longarm quilter and I have a bit of time available, if you would like to call me." But maybe I'm just more outspoken then other people. How insensitive of the shop owner to do that...
  6. Funny this should be asked. North San Diego County (Vista) can be anywhere from 5 months to 1-2 weeks. I am currently the 1-2 week-er, cause I don't have a lot of business yet. But I've had the strangest things happen with all 3 of the customers I have had so far. For each of them, I have turned their quilts around faster than they expected and when I call to tell them their quilt is ready, so far each time (5 quilts total) they have been flustered and sounded almost disappointed that it was done "so fast". Actually, only 1 of them I did as a marathon. But since my neck just about broke doing it, I am learning to pace myself. Even so, I did a small (58 x 70" quilt) custom blocks and borders, turning, everything, in 5 days, called the customer and she had that same reaction. Any idea what these people are thinking? I'm starting to think I should just sit on them for a couple of extra days.... Robin
  7. I have found that some pantos' lines only "continue" in one direction. For ex. I tried to put one on "upside down" and couldn't follow the line from right to left, only left to right. Does that make sense? Robin
  8. Since that vac is round, how does it do with corners? Is there one for carpet? Robin
  9. I am having a problem with the yellow button, but usually after I've been using the machine for a couple of hours. What happens is that when I only want the needle to go down once, to bring up the bobbin thread, it will just go down and up numerous times. The longer I use the machine, the more times the needle will go up and down each time I stop to bring up bobbin thread. Also, when this occurs, the machine will make an intermittent "movement" noise, (I don't know how to describe it with words, I can make the sound, tho!) I have started to listen for this noise and just manually take the needle down and back up, but this is time consuming. Any suggestions? Robin
  10. Thank you all. Every response has been helpful in different ways. It is really great to get other perspectives. Stitchinsally, what a complete drag about the extra taxes! Anyway, I'll keep plugging away and like you said, God is the One in control and I need to keep trusting.
  11. Thanks so very much to everyone who replied. I do have brochures and have left them, as well as samples that I show every shop owner. I have advertised in my own guild newsletter, but there are 5 of us longarmers in the guild, so I'm not holding my breath there, although I have had 3 ladies tell me they are making quilts and will give them to me to do. I guess I'll wait and see. I definitely need to get my own quilts quilted and show them. I am working on one right now. That has been on my mind alot, so I know that is the right thing to do. Thanks for giving me "permission" to work on my own!!! Somehow I got the idea that all I should be doing is marketing and practicing on charity quilts and muslin! I've done several for Rosie's Calico Cupboard here in San Diego and my name is up on the webiste under the volunteer longarmers. I'm not sure what everyone means when they say to take classes. You don't finish projects there, but I can tell people what I do and bring brochures and stuff. Is that it? Right now I'm having a tough time justifying spending the money taking classes because I'm not earning any, but it being a business write off, I should just go ahead, I s'pose. BTW, I don't know how to access the U2U message. I saw it, and clicked on it, but didn't see a message. Must have done something wrong... Robin
  12. I know this is an older thread, but I am just getting started and have probably done everything JudyL said NOT to do when starting. So does that mean I'm screwed? I've bought this $15000 machine that is just going to suck down payments, and have nothing to help pay for it? So far, my experience has been that everyone I have showed samples to has had really good things to say about them, asked to keep one (I made some small ones) and said things like "I'll send business your way" and "I have this shop sample but am waiting for the backing, so maybe you could do it" (no phone call to do it, however), or "I have things that need to get done quickly for the shop hop" (which starts this Saturday, no phone call to do them, visted this place last week) Basically everyone has been "all talk". I am getting somewhat depressed. I don't know what else to do, I can't afford to advertise in every newsletter or magazine.....is this normal? I did research in this area and EVERY person without exception said that all the longarmers were "booked solid" and there was "a lot of work out there." WHERE????? Any ideas? Sorry to be so down and thanks for letting me rant. Maybe I'm just impatient. I've had my machine since November 2005 and it now March and no customers. I'm getting scared. Robin in So. CA.
  13. Thanks, Myrna for your advice. I have not taken a class yet, so that is one I can do. What is a "PPP" class? My next guild show is not until 2007, but I will show more work at guild. Onlty thing is you have to MAKE the quilts first!!! It looks like there are a million things to do and they are all equally important. Make and quilt your own quilts to show, do samples (did this) go to shops (doing this) enter shows (when available) create a website (in process) advertise in guild newsletters (doing this), on and on. I'm not complaining, mind you, just sharing what I have been up to. I think I am really impatient. I have only had the machine since November.
  14. Found out yesterday that there are 315 known LA'ers in California!! There are actually more than that, becuz' my name and the name of 4 friends of mine who are in business are not on that list. anyhoo, I am wondering how long it takes to get customers? I have just barely started and am doing everything I know to do, so I am sure it will happen at some point, but what do you think people want to see before they will take a chance on a newbie? Especially here in CA, where, by the way, there are the MOST LA'ers...
  15. Has anyone ever tried putting zippers on all 4 sides to facilitate turning? I thought about it, but I wonder how the loose ends of the side zippers would behave when rolling the quilt on, advancing, etc. How would that affect the quilt itself?
  16. I am having the same problem with inconsistent tension. I am using American & Efrid Permacore and I do the tension tests, checking threading, etc. etc. and I notice that in certain, regular places in my pattern, I get the "line" on the back, but the rest of the pattern will be fine tension-wise until I come to that spot again. Cindee Ferris, the best quilter around these parts, uses American & Efrid and seems to do quite well with it. I have tried slowing down with no change and tried speeding up with mixed success...maybe it just takes more experience... Robin
  17. Just my 2 cents, I live in So. Cal and can attest that many LA'ers charge by the hour, but how can you reliably tell how long something is going to take? I just did a medium panto on a 73" x 83" that took me 9 hours, start to finish, (I'm still kinda new at this) I timed myself from pinning all the way to unrolling. If I charged even the CHEAPEST which around here is $20/hour it would be beyond reasonable to expect someone to pay that. I charge by the sq in. and break things into simple, medium, intricate and (someday) heirloom. So, on some stuff I will come out ahead and others a bit behind, but I think it will average out and for me, this sounds like the most fair. At least you can give a more accurate estimate of the charges to the customer.
  18. I am right in the middle of the charging dilemma and am glad to see I'm not alone. Any suggestions as to how to price something that has "Baltimore Album" style outlining of applique? I have a Robert Callahan Sampler from several years back (an old McCalls pattern, I'm sure some of you have seen it) to do for a customer and I'm having nightmares. Not to mention that I am VERY NEW TO THIS and have been practicing like a maniac to get ready for it. Luckily, she said to take my time. Robin
  19. Has anyone ever used the Edge Rider wheels from Kings Men? I am thinking about getting them because I have an applique quilt that I am a little nervous about doing and wondered if anyone had tried to use them. They are rather pricey and I didn't want to get them unless I could get some feedback. Robin Kinley
  20. When I first discovered quilting, I was in St. Jacob's, Ontario, Canada and saw quilts (not China made, but made by the Mennonites in the area) in the stores for no less than $1700 Canadian dollars. I don't know what the exchange rate was, but it would have been more than that in American dollars. A friend of mine did a flower pounded quilt for someone. She also flippantly said (not believing she would be taken up on it) Not for less than $1500." Of course, $1500 is what she got for a specialized quilt that she did everything on but the Longarming. So....are we artisans or "seamstresses" (not to belittle seamstresses, as my mom made all my clothes as a kid) but you know what I mean...
  21. Hi Sue in Australia, Yes, I mean the handlbars.
  22. Hi Sue! I have a Liberty and the roller closest to me (#3?) is at waist height. I noticed that when I get to about 3 inches away from the roller, the crossbar is directly in the way.
  23. Am I the only person out here who has trouble seeing through the head? I stand to the side and cant make the shapes, I stand in the front, and can't SEE where I'm going OR the shapes, I lift the table. and can still only see a little way off. I bend down and look through the front and make strange shapes, all sorts of things. Is there a "right" place to stand? (I feel really dumb asking this, since I have yet to see it on the forum anywhere...)Any tips would be great!
  24. Alex, thanks for logging on and updating the forum. I know I absolutely love Simply Quilts and cannot count the number of ideas, techniques, and wealth of quilting info I have gotten over time! I thought boycotting advertisers was done to protest the show's content. I'm not exactly sure how one goes about boycotting a cable channel without just getting rid of cable alltogether....I guess complaining to HGTV is about all we've got right now. I certainly will.