shirleyl

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  1. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from Kwiltr in How do you handle this?   
    The only way to eliminate your top and bottom issue is to make your backing a little longer. You could sew strips of muslin to the top and bottom to give you the room, on the sides the curtain rods for $3 from Walmart is what I use. Since I have put on my red snappers I keep a bolt of cheep muslin and add to backings that aren't long enough, usually a 2" strip is enough extra space. I have one client who gives just about an inch all the way around and they are pieced, I quit wasting my time trying to get her to make them bigger, I just sew muslin strips top and bottom and she'd gets to remove them, I thought after the first time she would get the hint, but nope. I charge her $5 extra. She doesn't care. For her edges I pin a strip to the sides and hook my clamps to it.
    Shirley
  2. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from Memory Quilter in Dumb Quiltpath question   
    Carol. Draw you design. There are several ways. I'm comfortable with pantos from the back, but also stencils marked on the front. Either way would work. I would put on a practice piece and if doing from the back you make sure your belts are engaged and choose record on QP. You may want to practice a couple of times, as the belts add resistance. You use the record feature and then save it. Can write a detailed description this evening if needed.
    Shirley
  3. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from Marta in Quiltazoid?Circle Lord? Hartley Fence? Pantographs? What to buy?   
    Slow down and take a deep breath. First thing I would get is a Hartley base and a straight ruler. It will come with a pantograph. Buy only one cone of thread you want to try like one glide or so fine or whatever until you figure out what you like. Same with prewound bobbins. I would then invest in some videos and classes. Until you know what you like you could go broke. You may like pantographs or you might not. Freehand and ruler work are the same. Play until you find what you like to do. Videos are great you can watch them over and over. With classes you wont remember it all. If you go with quiltpath you don't want a bunch of paper pantographs since you will be buying digitized ones. Also some marking tools like chalk a air erase pen etc are something you might need. Maybe a couple stencils.
    Don't buy a bunch of any one thing until you find your niche.
    Have fun and just ask questions the only dumb question is one you don't ask.
  4. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from Marta in Need a little pep talk - share your stories of starting out!   
    It can be tough starting out. I have been at it for a couple of years. Last year I just decided that the way to get my business out there was to do craft shows as advertising. An add in the paper or radio, just doesn't work anymore. You also need to get a business license for your city or county (and not all of them allow home business') as well as Sales Tax ID Number from the state as laws vary by state.
    I became licensed to make quilts using the logo of our state University (U of Wyoming) out of Minkee. And I started selling them while displaying a couple of my quilts behind me at craft shows. You would be suprised at the number of people that didn't think there was anyone in the area doing quilting other than the 2 local quilt shops with a 6 months waiting list. I have been able to increase my clientel and my income. Of course November and December were extremely busy sewing and quilting from 8 am to 11 pm. But it paid for Christmas and seems to have accompished getting my name out there. I haven't had hardly any quilts in January to quilt in pervious but I do have quite a few this year and I'm hoping it continues thru the year. I have made myself flexible as to when I will be available for drop off and pick up and try to have a 1 to 2 week turn around. I'm just honest and say I currently have 2 quilts in front of you (or however many) and I will try to get it out in the next couple of weeks or if it is a minkee quilt and I currently am in a minkee mess, they get bumped up. I also have the issue of I may have to leave at any given time to take care of family matters. So I tell them up front that if something comes up and I have to leave I will let them know of the delay as soon as possible.
    For the Christmas quilting season last year I called my current customers and asked how many they thought they would need quilted by Christmas and this was in October. It put the bug in their ear that they needed to think about it and get back to me. It started them earlier and gave me an idea of how many quilts I would have. I was after customer loyalty so I just told them I was trying to schedule so I knew how many new clients I could get in before christmas while still taking care of my existing clients, many of them appreciated it.
    I was able to honestly tell new people in a rush that either yes I had time to fit their quilt in or that I'm sorry I am booked with my regular clients. I did tell them that if they became an established client sometime during the year that it would give them first dibs on my available quilting spots. i have picked up a new client this month wanting to become established and she has 4 or 5 more coming up before fall.
    It depends on your area as to how long it will take to become established. The other thing I did when starting out is that I would charge my friends for a pantograph and they would allow me to do whatever I wanted. Usually if their quilt is talking and I want to play I get to practice (play) doing whatever I want and they ended up with a custom quilt at panto prices. Giving me experience and then as you get busy, they will be willing to pay for the custom if that is what they want. Sometimes I just can't bring myself to do a panto on an quilt that is screaming semi custom or custom, and I talk to the client and up grade their quilting to the next pay level for me and custom for them.
    I know that I am giving some of my time and talent away, but I look at it this way. I'm getting to practice and find my niche and the clients are really happy. Most of my clients tell me do whatever and let me decide. They also know that during crunch time (Christmas Season etc) that if I ask what they would like to pay and it is panto prices during the rush that is what they will get. Some of them have figured it out and find that they get alot more quilting for less price during the year which keeps me busy with a steady flow all year. During the rush they only get what they pay for.
    It has taken a few years to get to this point, but due to family issues, remodeling etc it has worked for me. What works for one person doesn't always work for another. The local quilt stores here don't like to refer anyone. Two of the Three stores quilt in their stores. So you have to work around them. Our local guild has several people with mid or long arms and they use each others machines and a couple like to quilt on their DSM so they are out.
    I did burn out between making product and quilting client quilts before Christmas, but I only came up with the idea in October. I vow it will not be that way this year and have started making product in between customer quilts and my own, putting it in totes for the Craft Show season so I will have a good inventory without all the anxiety.
    I like to sew and quilt, but I like to quilt other peoples quilts for a variety and this has given me more insight into being a better piecer. I have learned by other peoples mistakes and have been able to help them become better piecers as well.
    I have also started into a new thing. It is a home party business that is geared towards sewers and quilters and look forward to getting that going in the next couple weeks. I have discussed it with a couple of my current clients and they are thrilled as it is kits or just the pattern to use their stash. Many of them want me to teach new techniques and such and I was looking into that, but alot of them wanted kits and the cost of ordering all the fabric and having it in inventory for the kits was astounding and I just don't have that kind of money. I am looking at doing a monthly sewing thing where I pick a project and if they want to make it they order the product or just the pattern and I direct them in how to make it. I think I will pick up some quilting this way. I don't care if they want to learn to do the quilting on the DSM I'm willing to assist them in it. Some people are good at it and they love it. I quilted one on my DSM and vowed never again and bought a longarm.
    There are so many ways to build your business. But since I am prone to be a hermit and live in my sewing and quilting rooms, I was looking for an outlet to get with other people. I think that is one of the downfalls of working from home. I have had a lot of pressure from people to open a business with regular hours, but it won't work with my lifestyle. If I want a week off i just don't schedule any quilts for that week. If hubby wants to go camping for a week we go. If I need to take care of my mothers stuff for a week (which I do once a month), I just schedule around it.
    Having a business is great, but you don't get to work on your own stuff as much as you think you will.
    Sorry this is so long, but I think if you think about the issues ahead of time, maybe you could be better prepared for it as a full time business then I was. It can be overwhelming if you are used to working 40 hours outside of the home and now suddenly you are home 24/7. The "oh I will do it in a little while catches up with you". Ask me how I know. I work my day this way now. I sleep in if I want, run my errands and clean around the house, go to lunch with a friend if I want and do all my appointments in the morning or early afternoon. By 2 pm I am in my sewing room and work until time to cook dinner, take a break and cook dinner then go back downstairs and sew until 9 or 10 pm. It works in my household as hubby goes out in the shop to work on motorcycles or snowmachines or whatever until bedtime.
    Shirley
  5. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from jandcembroidery in Custom done using Quilt Path   
    The only part not done with Quilt Path was the ditch work.



  6. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from JeannieB in Custom done using Quilt Path   
    The only part not done with Quilt Path was the ditch work.



  7. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from yankiequilter in Custom done using Quilt Path   
    The only part not done with Quilt Path was the ditch work.



  8. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from o2b Quilting in Custom done using Quilt Path   
    The only part not done with Quilt Path was the ditch work.



  9. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from Gail O in Custom done using Quilt Path   
    The only part not done with Quilt Path was the ditch work.



  10. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from Oma in Custom done using Quilt Path   
    The only part not done with Quilt Path was the ditch work.



  11. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from dbams in Custom done using Quilt Path   
    The only part not done with Quilt Path was the ditch work.



  12. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from micajah in Custom done using Quilt Path   
    The only part not done with Quilt Path was the ditch work.



  13. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from Lemon Tree Tami in The new business is like the tortoise ... and thanks to the forum   
    It takes a while to get established. Hang in there, it will come!
    Shirley
  14. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from chickenscratch in 50 States I Spy Fabric Square Swap - WE GOT 50!   
    I'm in Wyoming for me.
    Shirley Lowseth
  15. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from aktbone in 50 States I Spy Fabric Square Swap - WE GOT 50!   
    I'm in Wyoming for me.
    Shirley Lowseth
  16. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from WandaGerdes in I'm not sure how I over looked it.   
    Piece your next quilt by running it with your other foot. I have seen scooters that you put your knee on, maybe after a few weeks you can get one of them. Just throwing a few ideas out there. You probably won't want to do much of anything for a week. Read a good book and draw and design your next quilt, doodle.
    Shirley
  17. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from Lemon Tree Tami in I Really Don't See What You Get Out Of Quilting   
    Hubby has snow mobiles, motorcycles and enjoys working on motors, machining and welding parts. He has his shop or garage out back I have the basement. I don't ask what he spends on parts, he don't ask what I spend on quilting. Mine us a business, his is a hobby for now I guess. My business also contributes to his hobby and vice versa. You have to have something you love.
    Shirley
  18. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from maggienoella in Maybe this isn't for me? Update   
    Sorry to say, but the people that touch a machine and are immediately wonderful quilters are few and far between. It takes practice, and I hate yo say, but we are our own worse critics. It takes some time to find your niche, some like pantos others custom and others freehand. Some like it all. It takes time, however it is a solitary business. I recommend music, audio books and getting together to see with friends. Do not totally isolate yourself.
    Shirley
  19. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from GMALKB in I Really Don't See What You Get Out Of Quilting   
    Hubby has snow mobiles, motorcycles and enjoys working on motors, machining and welding parts. He has his shop or garage out back I have the basement. I don't ask what he spends on parts, he don't ask what I spend on quilting. Mine us a business, his is a hobby for now I guess. My business also contributes to his hobby and vice versa. You have to have something you love.
    Shirley
  20. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from Myrna Ficken in Maybe this isn't for me? Update   
    Sorry to say, but the people that touch a machine and are immediately wonderful quilters are few and far between. It takes practice, and I hate yo say, but we are our own worse critics. It takes some time to find your niche, some like pantos others custom and others freehand. Some like it all. It takes time, however it is a solitary business. I recommend music, audio books and getting together to see with friends. Do not totally isolate yourself.
    Shirley
  21. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from quilterbme in computerized quilting   
    I'm in Rock Springs Wy. If you want yo come play with my Quilt Path you are more than welcome to. I have it on a 2002 Millenium non bliss. You can email me any questions at slowseth@msn.com. I'm not a rep just a satisfied customer.
    Shirley
  22. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from barbm in computerized quilting   
    I'm in Rock Springs Wy. If you want yo come play with my Quilt Path you are more than welcome to. I have it on a 2002 Millenium non bliss. You can email me any questions at slowseth@msn.com. I'm not a rep just a satisfied customer.
    Shirley
  23. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from ffq-lar in Spare time?   
    By the time I get my house cleaned it's time to start over. I took a break too, but not a restful one. But have a new grandchild yo show for it. Bad for the poor customer that had a quilt on my frame, she most definitely is getting a good discount. She has been very understanding.
    Shirley
  24. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from Beachside Quilter in Bobbins ... Regular aluminium or pre-wounds ??   
    Differdnt thread combinations require tweaking. I run mostly super bobs, some magna glides and an occasional self wound. I have the most trouble with self wounds. I run super bobs with lava, so fine, glide and the majority of the other lines, unless I have matching magna glides to my glide cones. I have a separate bobbin case for each application. Also if the bobbin case has been dropped it will cause issues. My first go to is clean bobbin case, then try a new one. They do not last forever.
    Shirley
  25. Upvote
    shirleyl got a reaction from Beachside Quilter in Did You Know How To Quilt Before?   
    I actually learned on my friends HQ16, it's the right machine for her but I wanted other things that I got with APQS. It is funny you mention your boat. I got my Longarm bu my husband and son wanting new snowmobiles. I said fine, you two can get new machines, but 3 have to be sold. They have several each. 6 months later we still had all the machines plus the two new ones, husband said buy your Longarm and leave my toys alone. Oh we won't count motorcycles or 4 wheelers either. Nov all of them I yave 1 four wheeler.