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LynnBarr

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  1. Upvote
    LynnBarr reacted to Gail O in Pricing question on quilt   
    Let it go. If you quilted what was requested in the price range you quoted, then you did nothing wrong. (Lovely quilting, by the way)  There could be a boatload of reasons that she has moved on to another quilter; the most likely being that she wants custom quilting for pantograph pricing. 
    Your business plan should not include financing others hobbies.
    Do not underestimate or undervalue your worth or skills!
  2. Like
    LynnBarr got a reaction from Mary Beth in MQS was disappointing   
    I went to the MQX show in Springfield IL this fall and was also disappointed with the number of vendors and the items they offered for sale. I was prepared to spend hundreds of dollars on fabric, rulers, and whatever else caught my eye. I ended up with a couple of fat quarters and some batting - at least my husband was happy!  In 2016 there was a vendor there with a bunch of Kaffe Fassett fabric. When I emailed her this summer to see if she would be at the MQX show in fall 2017, she said she would never be returning to that show because she lost so much money between travelling and the actual cost of the show. She seemed to still be angry at the entire situation, based on the curt response I received. I'm guessing that vendors just can't compete with online sellers' selection and prices so most of them only attend a couple of really big shows each year. I see their point, but it makes me sad. I like to see and touch the fabric or thread before I buy it. 
  3. Upvote
    LynnBarr reacted to DawnCavanaugh in Customer Service   
    As Customer Service Director, I appreciate your candid feedback! If you have not received the kind of service you expect, please let me know so that we can remedy the situation as quickly as possible. We do take pride in our customer service, and if we have fallen down on the job we want to make it right. Unfortunately, if we aren't alerted to a problem, then we can't fix it. If you have not had an issue resolved to your satisfaction, please let me know.
    I understand the desire to have more customer service technicians around the world to help customers who are not willing or able to do the repairs themselves. We'd like that too!  In fact, if you haven't looked at our "retailer" listings lately, be sure to do so--we have spent the past two years training nearly 50 of our dealers to become certified technicians who can do service work both in their stores or studios as well as "in the field". You can search for retailers who are certified technicians based on zip code or even by the certified tech designation.
    We have three more training sessions set up through next June that will bring that number up to well over 75 trained service people across the US, Canada, and Europe. Once our dealers have been trained, we will work to add more technicians who are "outside" of the APQS dealer family but are interested in receiving the training. That will make it easier for customers to find a regional service center for help with their machines if needed. While we'd love to have a technician on every corner just like Starbucks, as a small, family-owned company that is a bit out of our reach at the moment.
    The good news is that these machines are built to industrial standards and are designed for years of heavy use before the machine parts start showing wear and tear and need more than simply oiling and checking motor brushes. That's how we are able to offer a lifetime warranty on the machines. If they were prone to problems or frequent breakdowns, we'd go broke with warranty repairs. We realize that despite that reliability, some quilters just feel better if they have the machine "looked over" on a regular basis, which is a service that our certified techs can still provide. But it is also something that machine owners can also do themselves through a "mini spa kit" (see below).
    Many longarmers are convinced that their machines need a yearly "servicing" just like their home sewing machine. That may the case with other brands, but APQS machines do NOT need a yearly servicing. If a quilter keeps the machine clean, oils the machine properly, and checks the motor brushes annually, (all of which are described in detail in the machine manual found on the CD or USB that came with the machine and on our "Support" section of the APQS website) then even a machine used every single day for a business will not need typically need "servicing" until the 7th or 8th year of ownership. It's at that point of full-time use that the 'wear and tear' parts on the machine start affecting the stitch quality and will need repair or replacement.
    However, it IS still a machine, after all, and once in a while a machine may need attention before that point in time. We designed the machine so that any repairs are not only simple to do, but also user-friendly and more cost-effective than having to pay for a technician to make a house call or experience 'down time' by sending the machine back to the factory. But both of those options are available, along with certified technicians in the field, to help when needed.
    Regarding our "Spa in the Box", it is currently not listed on our online store, but that IS available for purchase for customers who call in to order it and doit  themselves. The Mini Spa kit includes instructions on how to 'check' the machine over, along with basic wear and tear parts for replacement if needed. The Deluxe Spa kit assumes the machine is due for that 7-8 year "check up" and that parts will be replaced for sure, rather than just 'evaluated'. We haven't listed it on the store at this time due to the variety of APQS models available--we want to be sure we send the correct repair parts to match the model.
    However, Lisa brings up a good point--we could list it on the store and simply request that the customer call us directly to place the order.
    If you're interested in either of the Spa Kits, you can call our Parts Team at 800-426-7233 or email us at parts@apqs.com for more info.
    And if you're struggling with your machine and need help, please let me know!
     
  4. Upvote
    LynnBarr got a reaction from Gail O in New Millie giveaway!   
    I really need to win this!  My husband says I should stop torturing myself. Every single time they do a new Millie giveaway I enter daily. I'm convinced that some day I will win, then I'm so disappointed when Dawn makes the winning call and my phone doesn't ring. He has to live with my pouting for a week! 
  5. Upvote
    LynnBarr got a reaction from quilterkp in New Millie giveaway!   
    I really need to win this!  My husband says I should stop torturing myself. Every single time they do a new Millie giveaway I enter daily. I'm convinced that some day I will win, then I'm so disappointed when Dawn makes the winning call and my phone doesn't ring. He has to live with my pouting for a week! 
  6. Upvote
    LynnBarr got a reaction from Mindy in The Millie Give Away   
    I have the habit of going to the Giveaway page every morning to enter....   The contest ending has really thrown off my morning routine!  I dream of winning, but I hope that whoever wins will join the forum and show us their progress. Good luck, everyone!  
  7. Upvote
    LynnBarr got a reaction from quilterkp in The Millie Give Away   
    I have the habit of going to the Giveaway page every morning to enter....   The contest ending has really thrown off my morning routine!  I dream of winning, but I hope that whoever wins will join the forum and show us their progress. Good luck, everyone!  
  8. Upvote
    LynnBarr reacted to loraquilts in Ordering a new Millie (gulp)   
    Pam,  you're going to love it.  Promise!     (if you bought the 30" Millie and decide you made a mistake, give me a shout.  I may be able to take it off your hands) ... But before you despair, give it a good try. 
    Breaking into longarm quilting as a business is going to be challenging, but with perseverance and LOTS of practice, you can make a go of it.  I'm in San Diego and there are tons of longarm quilters here.  You have to develop your skills so that you can compete, not only in terms of price and turn around time, but in terms of quality for your customers.  Find what you like to do best -- pantos, meander, freehand, or custom.  I specialize in custom quilting, but will also do pantos when my customers don't want to pay for custom work. 
    You may want to go to a local quilt store that does charity quilts and ask them if you can quilt some of their charity quilts for FREE.  This is a good way for you to get some practice in on your machine.  Do a dozen of the free charity quilts (or more if needed) until you get to the point where your circles are round (you'll understand this one once you start playing with freehand circles), and your lines are smooth.  After you return the free quilts, ask the store if you can leave some business cards with them.  Most quilt stores have a display rack for this purpose -- usually near the register. 
    Join a quilt guild, if you have the time.  The people in the guild are usually very friendly and helpful.  Many of them will already have a longarm quilter that they are using and are loyal to, so you need to come up with some enticement for them to give you a try. ..... maybe turnaround time or price will get some to give you a chance.  I know in my area most of the longarm quilters only do pantos, so with me specializing in custom work, I get a lot of customers that way and then the word spreads.  If you have an embroidery machine, you can offer to make a free custom embroidery label for first time customers.  I do this and find that my customers really like that little extra "thank you".  Then on future orders, they order an embroidered label for their quilts.  It's a win-win.
    Make a very conservative plan at first -- how many quilts will you need to do to recover the cost of the machine and how long will it take you to get and complete orders.  In the beginning, your biggest challenge is going to be finding customers.  Your order quantity will be low, but as you become known, it should pick up.  Plan on recovering the cost of your machine over several years, not just one.  For example, if you spent $25K on the machine and will charge an average of $120 per queen sized quilt, and can reasonably expect to get three customer orders per month, you can recover the cost of the machine in six years.  Of course the three quilts a month may be difficult to find in the first year, but by year three to six, you may be doing many more than three quilts per month. 
    I just read back over what I've written.  I hope that you don't get discouraged by the fact that at first things may be more challenging than rewarding.  This post was meant to give you a dose of reality rather than just paint a rosy picture.   Be patient and set realistic expectations.  Once you get going, I think you really will love it.  You can always post here to get words of encouragement as well.  I have found the men and women on this forum are EXCEPTIONAL!!!  They are honest, friendly, and always helpful.  Welcome!
    Wishing you much success on your new adventure! 
  9. Upvote
    LynnBarr got a reaction from Lemon Tree Tami in Had to race for home after work   
    That is too funny!  My husband jokes that there is some guy in a brown truck and brown uniform that keeps leaving gifts for me on our doorstep - he must be my "other boyfriend." And somehow the boyfriend in brown knows EXACTLY what I want - the right color fabric, the exact ruler I've been talking about, the correct color of thread to match the project I'm working on. It is a miracle!
  10. Upvote
    LynnBarr got a reaction from WandaGerdes in Had to race for home after work   
    That is too funny!  My husband jokes that there is some guy in a brown truck and brown uniform that keeps leaving gifts for me on our doorstep - he must be my "other boyfriend." And somehow the boyfriend in brown knows EXACTLY what I want - the right color fabric, the exact ruler I've been talking about, the correct color of thread to match the project I'm working on. It is a miracle!
  11. Upvote
    LynnBarr got a reaction from Mary Beth in Had to race for home after work   
    That is too funny!  My husband jokes that there is some guy in a brown truck and brown uniform that keeps leaving gifts for me on our doorstep - he must be my "other boyfriend." And somehow the boyfriend in brown knows EXACTLY what I want - the right color fabric, the exact ruler I've been talking about, the correct color of thread to match the project I'm working on. It is a miracle!
  12. Upvote
    LynnBarr got a reaction from dbams in Had to race for home after work   
    That is too funny!  My husband jokes that there is some guy in a brown truck and brown uniform that keeps leaving gifts for me on our doorstep - he must be my "other boyfriend." And somehow the boyfriend in brown knows EXACTLY what I want - the right color fabric, the exact ruler I've been talking about, the correct color of thread to match the project I'm working on. It is a miracle!
  13. Upvote
    LynnBarr got a reaction from Wyonut2run in Had to race for home after work   
    That is too funny!  My husband jokes that there is some guy in a brown truck and brown uniform that keeps leaving gifts for me on our doorstep - he must be my "other boyfriend." And somehow the boyfriend in brown knows EXACTLY what I want - the right color fabric, the exact ruler I've been talking about, the correct color of thread to match the project I'm working on. It is a miracle!
  14. Upvote
    LynnBarr got a reaction from Gail O in MQX Springfield IL show   
    Hello all. I hardly ever post anything on the forums because I don't own a longarm but I love reading all of the posts. I thought I would give a quick review of the MQX Midwest Show from a non-professional's view. My husband and I attended on Friday and spent almost all day there. First, the quilts on display were all stunning. For someone like me (a semi-beginner who quilts on a Tiara sit-down machine) every single quilt offered inspiration. I had wondered if attending this show would be "worth it" for  a hobby quilter who does not own a longarm and the answer is definitely YES. 
     
    I have never been to the Houston Quilt Festival, and I haven't been to the Paducah show in around 18 years so I don't really have anything to compare this to. If my impression is correct, the quilts at those two shows lean more toward professional masterpieces or art quilts - quilts that someone like me would never be able to make because I work a 50-hour-per-week job and only have a couple of hours to quilt on weekends. There were certainly pieces like that at the MQX show, but there were plenty of quilts that I felt that I could aspire to make at some point in my lifetime. I might not be explaining this very well - I hope it makes sense. And you could get really close to these quilts to see the details. The setup and the layout were all very nicely done.
     
    Let's be honest - at least half of the reason to go to a show is for the vendors! I assume almost everyone else feels the same way? I had seen the list online so I knew there would be around 40 different vendors. I certainly spent money on fabric and a few supplies but I was somewhat surprised at the seemingly indifferent attitude of some sellers. I saw several booths selling different rulers and templates but they were not demonstrating their products. And instead of acting approachable and interested, some sat in the corner of their booth and played on their phone and literally never even looked up at me, even though I visited the booth three different times over the course of the day. Oh well - I just moved along and figured I could find the answers and products online without bothering them. Most of the vendors were helpful and seemed excited about their products. I went to the APQS demo and loved it, and Bernie from Full Line Stencil had a great presentation and always had a crowd gathered around him. If any vendors are reading this, please understand that an upbeat and approachable attitude will encourage newbies like me to ask questions, and will improve your sales. And demonstrate your products for us please!
     
    I did get a chance to test drive the different APQS machines at their booth. I'm in love!  At this point I can't begin to fit a longarm into my budget, but is is nice to dream. And I enter the Millie Giveaway every day, so hopefully I will win that (ha!) and not need to come up with the money. Mark did the demo and was incredibly helpful and not pushy at all. 
     
    I will definitely go again in 2018. The Crowne Plaza in Springfield was a great venue for this show and we stayed Friday night and ate lunch and dinner Friday, and breakfast Saturday, in the hotel restaurant. I did not take any classes because by the time I knew about the show, most of the ones I was interested in were sold out. Also, my husband just had surgery on his leg and we didn't know if he would be up to a show, and I didn't want to spend the money on registration etc. and lose it if he couldn't travel. Next time, I will try to sign up for some classes! Just overhearing others' conversations about the classes made me want to participate. I didn't hear one bad thing about the show or the classes from anyone. 
     
     
  15. Upvote
    LynnBarr got a reaction from dbams in MQX Springfield IL show   
    Hello all. I hardly ever post anything on the forums because I don't own a longarm but I love reading all of the posts. I thought I would give a quick review of the MQX Midwest Show from a non-professional's view. My husband and I attended on Friday and spent almost all day there. First, the quilts on display were all stunning. For someone like me (a semi-beginner who quilts on a Tiara sit-down machine) every single quilt offered inspiration. I had wondered if attending this show would be "worth it" for  a hobby quilter who does not own a longarm and the answer is definitely YES. 
     
    I have never been to the Houston Quilt Festival, and I haven't been to the Paducah show in around 18 years so I don't really have anything to compare this to. If my impression is correct, the quilts at those two shows lean more toward professional masterpieces or art quilts - quilts that someone like me would never be able to make because I work a 50-hour-per-week job and only have a couple of hours to quilt on weekends. There were certainly pieces like that at the MQX show, but there were plenty of quilts that I felt that I could aspire to make at some point in my lifetime. I might not be explaining this very well - I hope it makes sense. And you could get really close to these quilts to see the details. The setup and the layout were all very nicely done.
     
    Let's be honest - at least half of the reason to go to a show is for the vendors! I assume almost everyone else feels the same way? I had seen the list online so I knew there would be around 40 different vendors. I certainly spent money on fabric and a few supplies but I was somewhat surprised at the seemingly indifferent attitude of some sellers. I saw several booths selling different rulers and templates but they were not demonstrating their products. And instead of acting approachable and interested, some sat in the corner of their booth and played on their phone and literally never even looked up at me, even though I visited the booth three different times over the course of the day. Oh well - I just moved along and figured I could find the answers and products online without bothering them. Most of the vendors were helpful and seemed excited about their products. I went to the APQS demo and loved it, and Bernie from Full Line Stencil had a great presentation and always had a crowd gathered around him. If any vendors are reading this, please understand that an upbeat and approachable attitude will encourage newbies like me to ask questions, and will improve your sales. And demonstrate your products for us please!
     
    I did get a chance to test drive the different APQS machines at their booth. I'm in love!  At this point I can't begin to fit a longarm into my budget, but is is nice to dream. And I enter the Millie Giveaway every day, so hopefully I will win that (ha!) and not need to come up with the money. Mark did the demo and was incredibly helpful and not pushy at all. 
     
    I will definitely go again in 2018. The Crowne Plaza in Springfield was a great venue for this show and we stayed Friday night and ate lunch and dinner Friday, and breakfast Saturday, in the hotel restaurant. I did not take any classes because by the time I knew about the show, most of the ones I was interested in were sold out. Also, my husband just had surgery on his leg and we didn't know if he would be up to a show, and I didn't want to spend the money on registration etc. and lose it if he couldn't travel. Next time, I will try to sign up for some classes! Just overhearing others' conversations about the classes made me want to participate. I didn't hear one bad thing about the show or the classes from anyone. 
     
     
  16. Upvote
    LynnBarr reacted to dbams in Millie Sweepstakes   
    My Emmeline is more than enough for the limited amount of quilting I do.  I won't enter, and will thereby improve the odds for everyone else!
  17. Upvote
    LynnBarr got a reaction from Mary Beth in Anyone Have Some Extra Valium   
    I feel like a 15 year old girl, just watching my phone hoping it will ring. But this time I'm hoping for Dawn to call, not some pimply-faced goofy 15 year old boy!
  18. Upvote
    LynnBarr got a reaction from Sheila S. in I Spent All Day Long.....   
    My husband and I have been trying to figure out if we can set it up in a spare bedroom, or if we will need to have the basement finished. My birthday is July 5 so he hopes I win and then he won't have to buy me anything for my birthday! 
  19. Upvote
    LynnBarr got a reaction from dbams in I Spent All Day Long.....   
    My husband and I have been trying to figure out if we can set it up in a spare bedroom, or if we will need to have the basement finished. My birthday is July 5 so he hopes I win and then he won't have to buy me anything for my birthday! 
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