Sharon Deming

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Everything posted by Sharon Deming

  1. Good for you! I do a good bit of teaching quilting classes and have a few thoughts. I assume from the subject of your post that you will teach at a resort, rather than at a quilt store. I also assume that the resort management (or you, yourself) are aware that there are people at the resort who are quilters or who sew. I sure would not want to see you go to the expense and effort of developing a class just to have no one sign up, or have folks interested but do not have a machine to sew with. You may want to explore with the resort about advertising the class to draw outsiders into the resort to go to the class. Are there quilt stores in your area? Google them and check out what they charge for their classes. That might give you an idea of what the market will bear in that area. I suggest a class no longer than 3 or 4 hours, something easy, and that can be finished or nearly finished within that time. Make a finished product well ahead of time so a picture can be posted with the invitation. Since this is a resort and not a quilt store, it may be good to offer a kit at extra cost. I usually have a prep-sheet with yardage and pre-workshop cutting instructions, and a handout of some sort at the workshop. If you use a copyrighted pattern - you cannot just give the participants a copy of yours, they must own a copy of their own. Three, very important things about quilting workshops. People like to have fun at a workshop - laughter is a good thing - keep it lighthearted. YOU are supposed to have fun, too! So no stressing over how you "perform" or whether you do everything "right". Just be a happy quilter who loves to share what she/he knows. AND, don't sell yourself short. Whether you have ever done a workshop before or not - you DO know what you are talking about. So, charge the going rate in the area - don't sell yourself short! If you would like to have a discussion about this privately - just message me with your email address. Blessings!
  2. I use the book-ring and plastic sleeve method. I primarily use pantographs, so I pull the thumbnail image from the seller's website, enlarge it to fit on a regular piece of copy paper, put it in a sleeve protector, and voila. The rings work better than a binder, because I can easily "audition" the printed sample on the quilt top to see if it seems suitable.
  3. Marilyn, sorry it took so long for me to respond! I am saddened to hear about your situation. Whether there is a cure for hoarding is a question for a serious professional. But I really understand about "invasion of my space". Since I was a child, I have needed to know that what's mine is respected by those around me. My ex-husband was a "sophisticated" hoarder. His collections of choice were clothes, magazines, newspapers, and a variety of hobby stuff. He started invading my sewing space in the first house we owned. After that, I determined that where ever we moved to, there would be some sort of personal, un-invadable space for each of us. And, now with the love of my life as my husband, I am grateful there is no issue with that. As is my custom, our home has his/hers office space, and his/hers hobby/activity space. Not ideal spaces - a freezing cold semi-finished basement for all but my office - but we both have our own space Another example is a friend of mine who tends to hoard - she is not a compulsive buyer, really, but lives in a small house that has no room for the type of storage she needs. The main issue is that she doesn't discard much except normal garbage and daily trash. She and her profoundly patient husband have resorted to renting 2 or 3 storage pods and storing them on their property. So, you are not alone with your dilemma. The solution that will work for me may not work for you. Yet, you deserve your own space, free from the constant risk of invasion. However you are able to negotiate that with your husband, I pray that you find a way. Blessings!
  4. Today, my mojo is saying "Don't bother me - I'm resting." I don't want to start construction on the new quilt, I don't want to quilt. Lately, I have been sorting through the small fabric stash of my dearest friend who passed away about a year ago. Getting it ready to sell. Today all I want to do is sit with her fabric. I miss her. I have things to do for the new quilt, though. I make patterns and construction handouts for my quilts so I can teach a workshop on them. So there are a few files I create to document yardage calculations, cutting table, etc., EQ8 file to update, make sure I have all of the border sizes correct, etc. So today, I have my computer with me in the studio. I get to sit with Dorothy (her DNA is all over the fabric), and get some documentation going -- maybe. Or just sit. I will have a satisfying day either way.
  5. Pamela, It's okay for your mojo to just sit down for a while. It is not required to "be productive" all of the time. You have just come off of the holidays, coping with your husband's surgery and recovery, and whatever else may be going on, and your energy and coping reservoir have been drained. It's okay to rest. When I complete a quilt or have no customer quilts staring at me, I sometimes feel a little lost. I have been known to just go into my studio, sit down at the sewing machine, talk to Miss Margie (Millie), or just look around. Usually, there is something to put away or to read or to touch or something, and my interest begins to be renewed. If you really want to get moving - invite a quilting buddy (someone you don't have to clean house for) to come and spend the day sewing. You will enjoy the company while you get to play with fabric. Blessings!
  6. When I was looking for a longarm a few years ago, I wound up narrowing my list to APQS and Innova. So I talked to my super-guru of a sewing machine service guy. He services every sort of longarm, sewing machine, serger, embroidery machine -both domestic and commercial in a region that includes 4 state. He knows everything. I asked him "If you were going to buy a longarm machine for yourself or a family member, what brand would you choose?" Without hesitating he said there were only 2 brand on his list. #1 is APQS and #2 in Innova. I asked him why he put APQS ahead of Innova. He said that APQS is very easy to service - everything you need to access is right up front. "And besides", he said, "APQS never breaks down." Customer service is the best in the business. They will stay with you as long as you need to get an answer to even the dumbest question. Every dealer I have met has been happy, professional, knowledgeable, and accessible. When I checked in your area, there are 3 dealers near Atlanta. My own treasured dealer is Sheridan Carter in Hendersonville, NC.(828) 286-2390. She is hosting a Roadshow on July 21, starting at 1:00 pm. Check the APQS roadshow schedule to see when there is one in your area. A roadshow is a great way to play with all of the machines and get all of your questions answered. Here's the link:
  7. Merry Jo, my Moda connection has forwarded my request for information about the kit and pattern to her contacts at Moda. Will post again when I hear back from her.
  8. I'm writing the email to the sales rep - is the kit a MODA kit or a kit put together by a quilt store?
  9. I noticed that Kathy Schmitz has a "contact me" tab on her website, and the contact form is at the bottom of that page. She might have an idea about the kit pattern. Also, I will send an email to someone I know who has been a moda sales rep for years. Maybe she has some information.
  10. Is the dragging specific to a particular place relative to the frame? Sometimes, when I am quilting near the leveler bar, I feel a drag. Always it is because there is not enough slack in the power cable right at the machine and the cable catches on the back of the carriage. I must not have the little tie strap tight enough to keep the cable firmly in place, because eventually I will have to increase the slack again.
  11. I'm so sorry to hear about your diagnosis! I am praying for you! Thank you so much for your information! It is very helpful. I just found a short video about quilter's garage sales. I hoped it would have more information -- but it was helpful (done in 2015):
  12. Early in April, the DH and I drove to Colorado to pick up the quilting-related items that had belonged to my best friend. She passed away in January. Compared to most quilters, she didn't really have a lot. But, it is enough to organize a quilter's home-going sale, but I'm at a loss on how to organize it or how to price the items. She bought the best quilt store fabric she could find, so it's all high quality. Please share with me whatever suggestions and experience you've had regarding quilters estate sales, pricing for fabric, whether to cut fabric, how to organize / display things, ANYTHING. Thanks so much!
  13. Millie will just float across the rails! Worth every penny. You will love it.
  14. I pay about $10 per year for a domain name, and pass-through service to my free blog on blogspot. It has static pages as well as the blog page. Nothing fancy, but it works for me.
  15. I have been buying Quilter's Cut through Amazon. When I first found them, the supplier only had the 45mm size, and I must have been one of her first few buyers. She now has all the usual sizes and some other cutting products. They are excellent blades. Quilter's Cut blades.
  16. Hey there everyone. I have just published a new, super easy quilt pattern on It's called Murphy's Corner and is perfect for the new piecer or improving beginner. Check it out at: Murphy's Corner by Sharon Deming
  17. I prefer a forum for this type of online "gathering". I have no idea how to search facebook for specific topics, regardless of date... Maybe there is one. Just seems this forum is a better venue for the technical stuff we love to talk about!
  18. Hi Donna. First, you are being too hard on yourself! The quilting is quite acceptable. If you have used a high quality thread - all will be well as the quilt is used and when it is washed. First, is the quilting in your picture on the top or the back of the quilt? There is an article on this website about railroading on the bobbin side: When there is railroading on top, I check the following: Is there an issue in the thread path - anything in the wrong place or getting caught on something? Or, try loosening the top tension. Or, if you are racing across your quilt, slow down. You can out run your needle and its ability to make good stitches. Or, try loosening the tension on the quilt. It should be loose enough that the machine throat plate area forms a little "mole-hill" as it moves across the quilt. Tension was my biggest learning curve when I got my first machine. Can't tell you how many times I called my dealer for advice! As you are learning, I suggest checking out your tension and speed on a practice sandwich before you load a quilt. Eventually, you will know what works for you. So, go easy on yourself. You are doing a great job! By the way, I really like the quilting design. Is it free motion or panto? What is the name of the panto?
  19. Hi Sandy. Welcome to the APQS forum! If I am not mistaken, both of the machines you mention are primarily sewing machines and have limited quilting space. Only 9" for the TL 2000, and I couldn't find any info on the other one, just a picture. They appear to be decent machines for domestic machine quilting. If you plan to do any quilting for other people, please hold out for a "big girl" longarm (as Cindy Roth) calls them, with at least 18" to 20" of throat space, and a good stitch regulator. Wait for a top quality longarm, too. My sewing machine repair guy services all kinds of sewing machines, longarms, etc., as well as the big commercial machines of all sorts. He knows everything. When I was deciding on a brand, I asked him what brand he would select for himself if he were in the market. APQS is at the top of the list. He said "they are very easy to service, and, besides, they never break down." The other brand that is on his very short list (of 2) is Innova. Whatever brand you are checking out, look for reviews online from people who bought them - and not on the manufacturer's website. Oh, there is a longarms for sale group on facebook. Check them out, too. Buying a longarm is very personal , of course. And there is more to consider than just price, especially if you want to quilt for others at some point. You don't want to just "make do" with a machine that was handy to get and affordable, but constantly gives you trouble or is inadequate for what you want it to do. Look for high quality stitches, a stitch regulator, adequate throat depth, and reliability. Equally as important: the availability of good customer service. When you find a nice longarm you are interested in, talk to the manufacturer or a dealer to see if they would be willing to answer questions and help you with any issues that come up. APQS is happy to provide excellent customer service to any APQS owner. You may have a great sewing machine repair service that also handles a variety of longarm machines. Just be sure you will have support when you need it. So, keep digging into information and reviews - and be patient, don't settle. Determine the maximum you can afford and go for as much longarm as you can. You will know the right machine when you see it. Feel free to message me if you have other questions.
  20. I only SID if I am doing custom quilting -- which for me is rare! I am an overall design kind of person and love pantos. But when I do SID, I use a fine blending thread and a ruler, of course.
  21. I wonder if Sheridan Carter (APQS store) in Hendersonville NC has some. She's still open today, I think. (828) 808-0065.
  22. I have never used the Stripology Ruler, but I DO fold my fabric twice to cut strips. The ruler has less of a chance to shift, so the results are more accurate for me.
  23. I primarily use my channel locks to see that the quilt is staying "square": rows are parallel to the rollers and are straight, and columns are perpendicular to the rollers and straight. Then you can re-position the top as needed. (That involves no stitching, just moving the machine head.) Doing that will reveal whether the borders are nice and flat and even or wavy or uneven or whatever state they are in. Then just deal with the borders - with or without the channel locks as appropriate. When basting uneven or fluffy borders, I "walk" the basting - using needle up and down, rather than normal stitching with the "go" toggle.
  24. Hey there my friends. The latest blog post is up. Sometimes I think I married a 10 year old....