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Everything posted by sewingupastorm

  1. Here is a link to the winners: I got a third place in the group category with "Oregon Shores" I saw Caludia Phiels quilt and Ferrits quilts and they were just stunning.
  2. Terry do you have a circle template of some kind that is the right size to go around the white part.................then you can do feathers, leaves, or something around the circles which can be used as spines.
  3. Suzi try a tool for taking the lint off a sweater or a mans electric shaver to get rid of the bearding. I have found that warm and natural beards too. I will no longer use it on show quilts for that reason.
  4. Yes I do have some thoughts but first let me pick my jaw up off the floor! I would be sure the other longarmes in your area are made aware of her practices Gas does not cost that much and she is ripping someone off bigtime is she is gonna mark them up that much.
  5. that is just too awful for you to have to sleep under..............I can send you my address and will take it off your hands! All kidding aside I just love your colors and the design just pops!
  6. Oh the possibilities! That is beautiful! Ok you need a plan. Choose a dense fill or two. My current favorites are delicate McTavish and pebbles. Choose a theme say feathers, whimsey spirals or something like that. Do you want curvey or stairght lines in there. Say on the sqares.................fill every other one and do CC on the others.......this is just one option. You can do fill in the light areas for the stars. In the stars themselves choose swirls tat spiral from the center. Or do elegant feathers. Or do straight or curvey lines..........lots of options but choose one element and do it throughout the entire quiilt. One other thing this is a copy of a famous quilt. Find photos of the origional and get a magnifying glass and see how it was quilted..............this will give you some cues. Also see if the customer has ideas, wants and such. I will look forward to seeing what others say on this.
  7. I too love the solitude of where I live. I can go all day for days I am on the end of a dirt road and can not see the road and that suits me fine. I have nice scenery out the window............I see a mountain and the forest. I do not see my neighboors except those houses far away..........the closer ones are in the trees. When I want it I can drive to the city half an hour away.
  8. I would do exactly as Angie has instructed. I too will block quilts and the key really is not to touch them until they are bone dry!
  9. I kinda think there must be many right ways to do these as I am seeing a varity of things people have done. I just finished the binding of my first one today (it is for a customer). I had to fit 88 t-shirts into a king sized quilt.........boy was that a puzzle. In any case I bought a book on making them and the quilt store also told me to use a fusi knit which I did. Got it at JoAnns with a 40% off coupon. You want the stretch of the fusible to go the oposite way of the shirt. USE A PRESSING CLOTH and check the heat so you do not melt the desing on the fusilbe but make sure it is hot enough to stick. My fusible said to use steam so I sprayed them with a spray bottle before fusing. I rough cut the shirts and then fused then cut to the size I wanted. I used 1/2 inch seams (the book recomended this and it worked fine for me).
  10. YOu and your daughter make a great team. Your feathers look wonderful!
  11. Mary I am sooooooo glad to see this story has a happy ending...................the quilt looks wonderful! Hopefully you will have gained a new loyal customer and all you hard work will pay off in the end. Now go have that bottle of wine with no limits!
  12. I toally feel for you! It looks like you are working your wrinkle loose and haveing to do some frog stitching as well. I am not sure how the frames on the APQS work as I have another brand of machine. My top roller has the ability to come up and I can literally open the sandwich each time I advance the quilt which is what I do. I enables me to reach in and smooth the batting by a gentle pull from the center and then along the sides. Then I can lower my top roller and by keeping the the backing roller snug I have the batting laying perfectly smooth, I can bend over and see while I am doing the lowering. I started doing this routine after I got a wrinkle in my first year of quilting. If your frame enables you to do this it will save you in the future. By the way the quilt looks awesome and right now you are likely hating every minute of it but in the end you are gonna have one happy customer and she will likely keep comminng back. There are a few quilts in my past that I ended up spending great amounts of time on to fix something and ended up making pennies per hour on so I feel your pain!
  13. Teresa if you have a dream and just keep focusing on how to acheive it, it will become a reality! Just keep focusing and put away money to buy the machine and it will happen. Instant gratification is so wonderful but is not always ment to be! I will pray that something will happen and the machine will be yours!
  14. Yep Practice, practice, practice and then repeat the same over and over! The more you do the better and faster, not to mention the easier it gets!
  15. Dixie you were posting at the same time I was.................oh I love that idea. My daughters have lots of fleece that they have to have in the fabric store and I of course have no time to sew anything out of it. Can you give me a few details about those. What a great suprise if I took those pieces and made them throws. I am still enjoying the schlep bags you showed me how to make!
  16. When I began useing my longarm I really pulled my roller and streacher way too tight! I think they sometimes began to scream. I had tension problems, occasional puckers on the back and my seam ripper and I became well aquainted but I never had to rip out an entire quilt. I really feel for you! Now I keep it all nice and snug but never tight. Yesterday I loaded my first ever t-shirt quilt (which I am making from scratch for a customer. She gave me 88 t-shirts and I am giving her back on humongous quilt). I had to be really careful not to streach that sucker, in this case it was the top that was streachy. I just did an allover loose meander and the top I took off the machine is great. Bottom line go looser instead of tight. Just be sure it is all lying nice and flat and everything is nicely lined up. I think some wine and chocloate might make your ripping more tolerable............not too much wine though!
  17. Michael thanks for shareing your story. You have lots of great wisdom there. Here is my master plan. I have been struggling really hard for two years to stay afloat with my machine. I have made a tiny dent in the loan to purchase the machine so I still owe most of the purchase price. Then last Fall things began to pick up, and up and up! I am now pretty busy and am spending as much time as I can working on quilts for others making as much money as I can and hitting that loan as hard as I can. It is beginning to go down and I am hoping that if I do not have it paid in full by the end of this year that it will be next year for sure. I no longer have time to work on my quilts and have a languishing pile of beautiful UFOs with great ideas of how I would love to quilt them. I am however being sought out for some high end custom stuff and I am getting pretty darned good at what I do. I am also beginning to charge for that high end custom stuff and getting paid fairly well for what I do. I have gotten really fast at the easy stuff and those are great money makers...............queen or king on and off the machine the same day and at that I can load (or even start the next quilt). And.......................when this puppy gets paid off I am gonna save for a trip to Hawaii, be able to make a nice contribution the family coffers. Then in a few years the longarm business is gonna be just a few jobs when it is convient for me and I am gonna just quilt for MOI! I feel like in the meantime my quilting skills are only getting better as I practice on everyone elses tops. Not to mention that I love quilting and I can work in my jammies at home and get paid for it
  18. I would pay for the backing and fix the top and be done with it! In other words put it back in the condition she gave it to you in at no charge to her and then get paid for the difference. You were honest and you should not beat yourself up any more than you need to. I am sure you have learned from this mistake and you will be more careful about it in the future. I always lay my quilt on the backing before it goes on the machine with the top marked both on top and backing so there will be no unwelcome suprises once it is on the machine and the quilting process has begun. I have a very meticious routine and as long as I stick to it I will not have unwelcome operator error. Just remember that haste makes waste!
  19. Looks like you were on a roll! Great work. I only wish I still had time to work on my own quilts!
  20. This is a topic that comes up over and over. I remember when I was new trying to figure out prices. Here is what I did. I spent lots of time online looking for webstites of longarm quilters studying what they did and how much they charged. I set my prices in a competitive rate with them. Then what I did was give all my customers a 20% discount as a startup special. This way my customers knew what I was capapble of charging and when the discounts went away there was no sticker shock. There was a lady that posted here about a month ago that raised her prices and her customers where in shock. She had started too low and now wanted to up them to a decent wage. Better to post the prices now so people know what to expect. Now for custom prices. I started at 2.5 but have raised that to 3 cents per inch. Once your work gets really nice and people come looking for you they will pay what you ask if they really want your work. Even at 3 cents per inch I do not make much when you look at my log book. I make the most money on my 1 cents allover loose meander as I can do that really fast. Yesterday I did a quilt that was 117x 129 with an allover loose meander and it took only 5 hours. That is a pretty decent hourly wage. I am have been told my prices are really good but I will not over charge as some people in my area do. I figure that since I am new word is gonna get around that I do good quality work at a better price......................word is slowly getting around. I do not feel the need to make over 25 per hour on a quilt jsut because someone will pay that much. Like I said I make less on custom stuff. Another factor is that some of the competition is in stores that have longarms and they charge more for the overhead. My machine is in my garage and I am the owner and the operator In the stores there is someone making minimum or just over and the store owner is getting all the profits. As for ending stitching................early on I decided that ALL my thread tails would be tied in knots and buried. There is a great tutorial on Sharon Schamers website where she ties 4 thread together...............this is the join where you ran out of bobbin thread and voila nobody knows that there was a break in the thread. It is now habit to tie threads and it just looks cleaner and will not come loose as long as you tie your knots nice and snug. Yes this takes more time but if your customer shows your work in a show it is better. NOt to mention that if they show it to their friends it will look better.
  21. Terri I think you have it about right. Measure the edge to edge surface and charge ETE for that. Then I would measure the border and charge custom for that. Recently I was being nice and told a new customer I would not charge her extra for the feather design around her broder.................well it took much longer than the rest of the quilt by the time I did SITD, marked the spine of her feather and got it quilted. Thank goodness I did charge her a turning fee. Never again..............if they want a custom border they will pay for it from now on.
  22. Love that design...............are they feathers or leaves or mabye feaves or leavthers? In any case I just got out paper and pencil and drew my own version. I am teaching a class on feathers at a retreat so I am looking for as many variations as I can find and I have not seen any like yours before. The quilt looks awesome. I hear you about depressed. If you read my blog you will see the reason for my depression................our water pipes are frozen and we have to wait at least two months till they thaw. I am struggling with very little water here!
  23. Last month they had the porno photos of Brittany Spears right here on the I really want to see that! NOT. The froum moderaters were geat at getting those removed within minutes of my reporting it.
  24. Irish Chain does not need to be custom quilted. You could do an allover desing and it would look fine. Do what you are getting paid for. I jsut took an order to make an irish chain from scracth (I am making the entire project and she gets a finished quilt) I am going to do CC continous cruves in the squares and in the white area she want crosshatching....................not my idea I wanted to do wreaths in there but she is the customer so crosshatching it will be.