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ffq-lar

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  1. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from fotch in Newbie advice   
    I love that we might have a spot for newbie advice soon!
    We have a depth of experience here on the forum that is unsurpassed. And a culture of generosity that can't be found anywhere else online.
    I'll start things off with some advice from my hubby Dennis. He is smart, makes me stuff, fixes my machine problems, and is cuddly. And he loves "the quilty women".
    Here is something we were talking about last night.
    Den says--if you want to become an expert at something you must practice that thing for 2000 hours. That's like a full-time job for a year. Eight hours a day for five days a week for 50 weeks. Nobody would do that. But that's what it takes to become "an expert". This pertains to every talent, hobby, or vocation. That's why the first advice you will get is PPP. Practice practice practice. Boring and easily discounted--but TRUE.
    So when you buy your longarm, load that first piece of fabric, and stare at it--please realize that it's just your first hour. Allow yourself to be "not good' until practice makes you "good". It will happen quicker than you can imagine. Muscles and eyes learn to work together. Trying new designs stretches your brain. Two months later you'll be saying "not bad" when you stitch something graceful and recognizable! Then you tackle your first "real quilt" and you are on the journey to your 2000 hours. You'll be good before you are "an expert" and thrill yourself with your pretty quilting.
    I send you good thoughts--may your stitches be perfect, your bobbins always full, and your life surrounded with beautiful quilts!
  2. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from ThreadWaggle in Newbie advice   
    I love that we might have a spot for newbie advice soon!
    We have a depth of experience here on the forum that is unsurpassed. And a culture of generosity that can't be found anywhere else online.
    I'll start things off with some advice from my hubby Dennis. He is smart, makes me stuff, fixes my machine problems, and is cuddly. And he loves "the quilty women".
    Here is something we were talking about last night.
    Den says--if you want to become an expert at something you must practice that thing for 2000 hours. That's like a full-time job for a year. Eight hours a day for five days a week for 50 weeks. Nobody would do that. But that's what it takes to become "an expert". This pertains to every talent, hobby, or vocation. That's why the first advice you will get is PPP. Practice practice practice. Boring and easily discounted--but TRUE.
    So when you buy your longarm, load that first piece of fabric, and stare at it--please realize that it's just your first hour. Allow yourself to be "not good' until practice makes you "good". It will happen quicker than you can imagine. Muscles and eyes learn to work together. Trying new designs stretches your brain. Two months later you'll be saying "not bad" when you stitch something graceful and recognizable! Then you tackle your first "real quilt" and you are on the journey to your 2000 hours. You'll be good before you are "an expert" and thrill yourself with your pretty quilting.
    I send you good thoughts--may your stitches be perfect, your bobbins always full, and your life surrounded with beautiful quilts!
  3. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from cdilday in Newbie advice   
    I love that we might have a spot for newbie advice soon!
    We have a depth of experience here on the forum that is unsurpassed. And a culture of generosity that can't be found anywhere else online.
    I'll start things off with some advice from my hubby Dennis. He is smart, makes me stuff, fixes my machine problems, and is cuddly. And he loves "the quilty women".
    Here is something we were talking about last night.
    Den says--if you want to become an expert at something you must practice that thing for 2000 hours. That's like a full-time job for a year. Eight hours a day for five days a week for 50 weeks. Nobody would do that. But that's what it takes to become "an expert". This pertains to every talent, hobby, or vocation. That's why the first advice you will get is PPP. Practice practice practice. Boring and easily discounted--but TRUE.
    So when you buy your longarm, load that first piece of fabric, and stare at it--please realize that it's just your first hour. Allow yourself to be "not good' until practice makes you "good". It will happen quicker than you can imagine. Muscles and eyes learn to work together. Trying new designs stretches your brain. Two months later you'll be saying "not bad" when you stitch something graceful and recognizable! Then you tackle your first "real quilt" and you are on the journey to your 2000 hours. You'll be good before you are "an expert" and thrill yourself with your pretty quilting.
    I send you good thoughts--may your stitches be perfect, your bobbins always full, and your life surrounded with beautiful quilts!
  4. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from lkl in Newbie advice   
    I love that we might have a spot for newbie advice soon!
    We have a depth of experience here on the forum that is unsurpassed. And a culture of generosity that can't be found anywhere else online.
    I'll start things off with some advice from my hubby Dennis. He is smart, makes me stuff, fixes my machine problems, and is cuddly. And he loves "the quilty women".
    Here is something we were talking about last night.
    Den says--if you want to become an expert at something you must practice that thing for 2000 hours. That's like a full-time job for a year. Eight hours a day for five days a week for 50 weeks. Nobody would do that. But that's what it takes to become "an expert". This pertains to every talent, hobby, or vocation. That's why the first advice you will get is PPP. Practice practice practice. Boring and easily discounted--but TRUE.
    So when you buy your longarm, load that first piece of fabric, and stare at it--please realize that it's just your first hour. Allow yourself to be "not good' until practice makes you "good". It will happen quicker than you can imagine. Muscles and eyes learn to work together. Trying new designs stretches your brain. Two months later you'll be saying "not bad" when you stitch something graceful and recognizable! Then you tackle your first "real quilt" and you are on the journey to your 2000 hours. You'll be good before you are "an expert" and thrill yourself with your pretty quilting.
    I send you good thoughts--may your stitches be perfect, your bobbins always full, and your life surrounded with beautiful quilts!
  5. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Dave-Jane in Newbie advice   
    I love that we might have a spot for newbie advice soon!
    We have a depth of experience here on the forum that is unsurpassed. And a culture of generosity that can't be found anywhere else online.
    I'll start things off with some advice from my hubby Dennis. He is smart, makes me stuff, fixes my machine problems, and is cuddly. And he loves "the quilty women".
    Here is something we were talking about last night.
    Den says--if you want to become an expert at something you must practice that thing for 2000 hours. That's like a full-time job for a year. Eight hours a day for five days a week for 50 weeks. Nobody would do that. But that's what it takes to become "an expert". This pertains to every talent, hobby, or vocation. That's why the first advice you will get is PPP. Practice practice practice. Boring and easily discounted--but TRUE.
    So when you buy your longarm, load that first piece of fabric, and stare at it--please realize that it's just your first hour. Allow yourself to be "not good' until practice makes you "good". It will happen quicker than you can imagine. Muscles and eyes learn to work together. Trying new designs stretches your brain. Two months later you'll be saying "not bad" when you stitch something graceful and recognizable! Then you tackle your first "real quilt" and you are on the journey to your 2000 hours. You'll be good before you are "an expert" and thrill yourself with your pretty quilting.
    I send you good thoughts--may your stitches be perfect, your bobbins always full, and your life surrounded with beautiful quilts!
  6. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Wendy in In What Order do you Quilt Samplers?   
    Do whatever you need to do to stabilize the blocks and keep the seams straight--then quilt in whatever order seems most logical. There are so many ways to accomplish the same thing and I never seem to do it the same way twice! Starting the top border is always a good idea--when the top advances you won't get creases like you do if it's just pinned down for later quilting.
    When it's all stabilized, I look to see what makes the most sense. Usually I stitch the most/biggest area I can manage with one color thread. If I've decided I can quilt all the colored fabrics in the sampler blocks with tan thread, I'll do all the tan top to bottom. Then if there is background to fill or a second color to use, I'll start again and quilt top to bottom (or bottom to top).
    If I'm using one color thread on everything, I stitch and finish each block as I go.
    If there are applique blocks scattered among the sampler blocks, I often outline the applique and stitch all the background fill. Then stitch on the applique where necessary with invisible thread.
    Then sashings and finally borders--especially if the quilt needs to be turned.
    I bet you get lots of different answers and they're all correct!
  7. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Sandra Darlington in Requests for time line on Christmas quilts   
    I did have two calls--definitely desperation calls since I assume these two picked up all the longarmer cards at the two local shops and were frantically dialing everyone. Neither seemed surprised when I couldn't take their quilt and both were nice to talk to.
    I have the first December quilt started, my tree is up as well as other decorations, a tiny bit of shopping done, so I'm ahead this year!
  8. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Parm in Repro quilt with applique   
    Here's a link to a cute quilt. When my customer and I were discussing a design for the plain block all she said was she didn't want a feathered wreath. I suggested a flower that mimicked the ones in her border and she wasn't thrilled with that idea. I told her I would invent a design just for her. That's why she got not-quite-feathers-and-not-quite-flowers in the plain block. I think it matched the cheerfulness of the quilt nicely and she was very happy with it all. Thanks for looking!
    http://www.flickr.co.../in/photostream

  9. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from smockingRN in Modern quilt   
    http://www.flickr.co.../in/photostream
    Out of desperation I now have a flickr account and can post links to photos. I think I have withdrawal--we aren't seeing as many photos as we used to and I miss them!
    Here's the modern quilt I posted about recently. It's hard to restrain myself--I'm so used to custom/feathers/scrolls/crosshatching. I like the look of this one and my customer was very happy. She is a young woman I've known for her whole life. She's in her late thirties and a breast cancer survivor with two small children. She is bitten by the quilting bug and wants to start a business somehow quilting related. I love that!
    Thanks for looking--I'll be catching up on photos now so don't get sick of me please!
    http://www.flickr.co...in/photostream/
  10. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Parm in Modern quilt   
    http://www.flickr.co.../in/photostream
    Out of desperation I now have a flickr account and can post links to photos. I think I have withdrawal--we aren't seeing as many photos as we used to and I miss them!
    Here's the modern quilt I posted about recently. It's hard to restrain myself--I'm so used to custom/feathers/scrolls/crosshatching. I like the look of this one and my customer was very happy. She is a young woman I've known for her whole life. She's in her late thirties and a breast cancer survivor with two small children. She is bitten by the quilting bug and wants to start a business somehow quilting related. I love that!
    Thanks for looking--I'll be catching up on photos now so don't get sick of me please!
    http://www.flickr.co...in/photostream/
  11. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from cdilday in Repro quilt with applique   
    Here's a link to a cute quilt. When my customer and I were discussing a design for the plain block all she said was she didn't want a feathered wreath. I suggested a flower that mimicked the ones in her border and she wasn't thrilled with that idea. I told her I would invent a design just for her. That's why she got not-quite-feathers-and-not-quite-flowers in the plain block. I think it matched the cheerfulness of the quilt nicely and she was very happy with it all. Thanks for looking!
    http://www.flickr.co.../in/photostream

  12. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from cdilday in French General quilt   
    You're going to be sick of me posting pictures!! I'm so glad to be able to share again.
    My customer calls this quilt "French General in Retreat" because of the French General line of fabrics she used and the fact that she pieced it completely at--you guessed it--a retreat!
    I loved the horizontal piecing in the columns and accented that with lots more horizontal stitching. The fabric had beautiful feathers in the print so I stitched formal-ish feathers up the neutral columns. Thanks for looking!

  13. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from LadyLake in Modern fabric   
    While watching the video that Angela posted on printing fabric, I was struck by this thought about "modern fabrics". I just finished a pretty quilt that was pieced with modern fabric--all grays, cream, muted celery, a touch of pale turquoise, a black and white print--all in geometric designs, stylized leaves and petals, grids, etc. Not one fabric with more than three color-blocks on the selvedge--most had two. The pattern for the quilt was block-y, had three borders, and while it was pretty, it wasn't gorgeous. Plus the quilting I did on it was acceptable but boring. I had no other choice!
    So I was thinking if this is the direction that quilts are going? Or is this a trend specific to younger/newer quilters? As such will it pass as new piecers heighten their skills and become interested in more intricate patterns--both in the fabric and for the quilt blocks?
    Remember the resurgence of knitting that started about 10 years ago? Every teenager and college girl learned simple knitting and made scarf after scarf using new gorgeous yarns that did the work--instead of intricate stitches. Those who loved it kept at it, bought more pretty yarn, learned to knit socks, hats, and maybe sweaters. They learned cables and bobbles, lace and intarsia.
    Maybe this will be the next step for the new quilters--start with the easy stuff and keep going until you hone your skills and enjoy more interesting designs. I hope so.
    Just thinking out loud.......
  14. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from semedo2000 in Bliss system   
    I've had the Bliss for a year now and figure the great ease of movement has extended my quilting years considerably. I highly recommend it.
    I agree that adding the M&M wheels is a step up, but having driven the old composite wheels, M&Ms on a demo machine, and the Bliss system---well, it's like a Volkswagen, a Camry, and a Ferrari. All are good cars, all have their uses and good points (and prices! ), but the driving is so different with each one. Consider what's acceptable and easy to use for you. If you have back or shoulder pains or stiffness, try out the Bliss if you can.
  15. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Sandra Darlington in making the entire quilt?   
    Oh Sandra--I feel better too! Your customer sounds very savvy and very nice. Win/win!
  16. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from MastiffMomQlt in The giving of thanks   
    Everyone is scurrying to shop for food, clean the house, bake, work that job that buys the food, make plans, count noses, and get it all done before the holiday arrives.
    I want to take time today to say how thankful I am for so many things--and especially our forum. This wonderful, safe, sane, generous spot where we can meet, make friends, help each other, and learn.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all!
  17. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from whitepinesquilter in The giving of thanks   
    Everyone is scurrying to shop for food, clean the house, bake, work that job that buys the food, make plans, count noses, and get it all done before the holiday arrives.
    I want to take time today to say how thankful I am for so many things--and especially our forum. This wonderful, safe, sane, generous spot where we can meet, make friends, help each other, and learn.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all!
  18. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Matt Sparrow in Quilt Path   
    Hi Lynn,
    Are you thinking about it? Barb brought hers to the last Moxie meeting and I was impressed. I especially liked the ability to stitch a motif freehand and save it for future use. Those samplers set on-point with alternate plain blocks and setting triangles--they always call for a space-filling motif and that would be a great place to stitch one triangle and one block and then let the machine do the rest!
    I fully realize that there is just as much if not more time involved in customized CG designing as opposed to freehand/stencils/marking designs. It will be just another weapon in the quilting arsenal! And another learning curve for me...
  19. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from CindyT in The giving of thanks   
    Everyone is scurrying to shop for food, clean the house, bake, work that job that buys the food, make plans, count noses, and get it all done before the holiday arrives.
    I want to take time today to say how thankful I am for so many things--and especially our forum. This wonderful, safe, sane, generous spot where we can meet, make friends, help each other, and learn.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all!
  20. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Quilting Heidi in The giving of thanks   
    Everyone is scurrying to shop for food, clean the house, bake, work that job that buys the food, make plans, count noses, and get it all done before the holiday arrives.
    I want to take time today to say how thankful I am for so many things--and especially our forum. This wonderful, safe, sane, generous spot where we can meet, make friends, help each other, and learn.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all!
  21. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from quiltingjoyful51 in making the entire quilt?   
    This situation has been discussed so often here--people (friends, co-workers, acquaintances, cousins, etc.) know we do "something" with quilting, love quilts, and would love to have a quilt for themselves or one of their family members. Educating these nice people to the expenses involved is an uphill battle. And usually ends up with someone unhappy. Either you are unhappy with yourself because you took huge chucks of your time and talent and gave them away (and will resent that fact for a long time). Or your customer is unhappy over the expense or you are charging more than they are comfortable paying and have to back out.
    I have a friend locally who barters her piecing for housecleaning. The two trade straight across an hour for an hour. The cleaner is a professional and charges $25 an hour for her services. Both think it's a fair trade. My friend doesn't barter quilting--just the piecing. I'm looking for a deal like that only on the quilting side!!
  22. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from cegates in Christmas in.......February?   
    Does everybody love wool batting? I do!!!
    Here is a holiday Hunter's Star--very nicely pieced with a batik backer. I needed a motif (not necessarily Christmas-y) to fill the odd shaped area--the cream and green. After some drawing, I came up with this leaf. I was able to stitch continuously around the center stars doing all four cream areas and also catch the cream diamonds of the center star.
    Then the green with green thread--the red diamonds of the centers were stitched with the green as well-- because the red had a black line-print of holly, the green thread looked black on that print. Lucky!
    SID the red zinger and a quick C-curve in the border--nothing shows there except the texture.
    Wool batting made all the difference with this one.
    It looks Victorian to me!
    (Oops--sorry--should have posted under "Pictures")

  23. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Smithsewnian Quilting in making the entire quilt?   
    This situation has been discussed so often here--people (friends, co-workers, acquaintances, cousins, etc.) know we do "something" with quilting, love quilts, and would love to have a quilt for themselves or one of their family members. Educating these nice people to the expenses involved is an uphill battle. And usually ends up with someone unhappy. Either you are unhappy with yourself because you took huge chucks of your time and talent and gave them away (and will resent that fact for a long time). Or your customer is unhappy over the expense or you are charging more than they are comfortable paying and have to back out.
    I have a friend locally who barters her piecing for housecleaning. The two trade straight across an hour for an hour. The cleaner is a professional and charges $25 an hour for her services. Both think it's a fair trade. My friend doesn't barter quilting--just the piecing. I'm looking for a deal like that only on the quilting side!!
  24. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Quilting Heidi in making the entire quilt?   
    Interesting contrast with your barter partner, Sandra.
    I'm trying to say this delicately so as not to ruffle feathers but---28 hours is way too long to knit a pair of socks.
    You are a quilter who doesn't charge by the hour, but by the job. Your price is figured by the density and complexity of the quilting and the size of the top.
    Unless the socks were dense (thin yarn) and complex (cables and lace and bobbles) and really huge, I think a better barter would have been --what is the standard of the "industry" for a pair of hand-knit socks? Look on etsy and if they are $60, that's what you should have figured the barter on. Not hours of knitting for sure. The variables in time used are huge compared to end product produced. Just something to look at next time this comes up.
    Imagine what a proficient knitter is up against when her friends admire her beautiful handmade socks and ask her what she would charge to make a pair for them! She has to go through the same things we do with hand-built quilts! The cost of materials is very high and the labor is priceless!
    Holy moley! I just checked out hand-knitted socks on etsy and the most expensive pair I could find was $46.00. Lots of them in the $20-$30 range.
  25. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Dave-Jane in making the entire quilt?   
    Is that all applique or is it from a panel? If it's a panel figure $100 per square yard--which is what many quote as a reasonable price considering all the work involved in building a quilt from scratch. The listed size is 57 x 73 = 4161 sq inches divided by 1296 (a square yard) = 3.21 sq yards X $100 equals more than anyone would be willing to pay at $100 per sq yd.
    That price includes material, labor, quilting, and binding. The longarm quilters mostly-unattained but wished-for hourly pay is $25 per hour. If you take it down to $20 per hour and do the math, all you can spend on this cute quilt is 16.5 hours. Can you get it done--fabric chosen, purchased, washed, ironed, cut, pieced, loaded, quilted, and bound in two hard-driving days? Do you want to do that? Will you accept $10 an hour and spend 30+ hours on it? And if you do, would that time be better spent doing other customer quilts and getting a better rate of pay?
    If that is all applique--even fused applique--run like the wind! You'll nevernevernever realize an acceptable per-hour charge for all that work.
    If the customer has their heart set on that exact quilt, can you steer them to an accommodating piecer who might be willing to take on the job? Let them negotiate the price for the piecing so you won't be the bad guy. Then offer to quilt it for your usual price.
    Sorry to rain on the parade, but it only takes one generous gesture to take on a job like this and realize it isn't worth the price most people are willing to pay.
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