JudyL

Best Advice I Ever Received

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I'm going to pass on the best longarming advice I ever received. Hopefully this will help someone.

When most of us received our machines, we felt a bit apprehensive and overwhelmed. Some of the reasons I believe we feel this way are because of the amount of money we spent, the amount of space in our homes we have given up and there was so much anticipation before the machine arrived and now it's time to put those plans into action and prove that we made the right decision.

It's easy to avoid the machine and that only makes matters worse.

Here's the advice: Think about how much time each day or each week you can realistically devote to the machine. Commit to spending that much time with the machine on and running. This doesn't count reading, watching videos, etc. . . this is actual time on the machine.

When I first started, I would go days without even going into the room with the machine because I was scared of the machine, scared I wouldn't make a go of this business after I promised my husband I could do it, scared I'd screw up someone else's quilt. We can come up with tons of reasons to avoid the machine.

But I decided I would spend one hour each day with the machine. I found that once my committed hour was finished, I didn't want to turn the machine off.

Even now, I know that I love longarming, I know that I have a successful business, but I still have to sometimes make myself get started quilting. I don't know why because once I start, I never want to stop and am always getting to bed way later than I planned because I just hate to stop quilting.

So . . figure out how much time you can spend with your machine, make yourself do it and I'm betting you will learn to love your machine and love longarming!

Good luck to all you newbies out there!


Judy Laquidara

Brownwood, TX

APQS Millennium

Blog: http://www.patchworktimes.com

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Thanks Judy,

It sounds like you have been talking to the "little voice in my head" I'll try your idea.

Leslie


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Leslie McSorley
The Crafty Unicorn Quilting
Harrington, Maine
APQS Freedom
www.TheCraftyUnicorn.com

Don't tell me not to burn the candle at both ends... Tell me where to get more wax!

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Thank you for the advice. I will be getting my machine soon and, frankly, I am scared to death. My business partner (we own a store together) is less enthusiastic about the idea than I am so I already feel a certain amount of pressure to suceed. This coupled with the fact that this business is brand new in France and we don't know if the French quilters will be receptive to having their quilts machine-quilted makes it even harder. Fortunately my family is behind me and I felt extremely supported by the APQS staff that I met recently in Germany. I will try to put your advice into practice as soon as I get my machine - hopefully next week!

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Wonderful advice Judy, and I'm going to take your advice, starting tonight.

To spend the hour practicing with different threads, different techniques, or actually quilting will get us bonded. :>)

It's kind of like having to do housework that really needs to be done, but you'd rather be quilting....so now I give only one hour every couple of days to housework and the rest is play time. :>)

Thanks

Rita

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Guest Linda S

I agree with this wholeheartedly. I was so excited to play with my machine when I first got it. Then, when everything wasn't perfect right off (mostly thread tension, adjusting the wheels, etc.), I became discouraged and downright afraid of the machine. I actually began to set an alarm clock for 7:00 p.m. each evening. I then had to go upstairs and use the machine for at least an hour. As Judy says, once I got going, I really didn't want to stop. Don't be intimidated. Ask questions, read tips, practice all you can! It will make a big difference.

Linda

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I find myself not being afraid of my machine, I get frustrated when other things get in the way when I want to quilt...like my job:P Then when I have time to quilt, I get really into it and just go, go, go..... Then I get everything that I have done and there is nothing to quilt ( Because I have not started taking in quilts) It is a vicious cycle and I just find myself repeating it... All I want to do is quilt 24 hours a day!! I guess theres worse things ;)


Melody Green

Beavercreek Quilting LLC.

APQS Millennium/ Compuquilter

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Judy I know what you mean. I just got my Milli in Nov and I have done about 15 quilts for others and a few for myself. I have spent a fortune on tools and supplies to boot. Right now I am in the HOLE big time. Yes it makes me nervous but I simply don't care at this point. I have having the time of my life. I work a 12 Hour shift job and still come home and quilt for 2 to 3 hours almost every day. Sometimes I just cut and trim for a few hours but I quilt some everyday. I work graveyards also and when I get up about noon, after coffee I quilt for short while before getting dressed for another night at work. My husband says I'm doing too much but the truth is I feel better knowing that I am being productive. I really want to be good with my machine so I practice practice practice. Just over a month ago I QUIT SMOKING which I never did in my home or sewing room anyway but I feel I might of replaced my addiction with a NEW one. One that brings me joy. It is 12:30 in the morning and yes I will stop to get my shower and go to bed soon. I just stopped in to check the chat room before calling it night. I can't wait to get some sleep and begin again tomorrow. I'm off until Monday so I will live in my quilt room until then. Thank goodness my Honey loves to cook and often brings me something good to eat every now and then. Tomorrow I will order some more supplies and spend some more MONEY. Sooner or later it will all pay off I am sure. I hope to quit my REAL JOb some day soon. But I'm working to pay for all that I need to get a fulltime start with everything I need. I'm very excited. I hope to begin a Trapunto soon. I keep hesitating to load it. I'm not ready. I get a week off in two weeks. Hopefully I'll get the nerve then. Have a good weekend everyone. Back to work and then I need SLEEP! l olol

My fear of the machine lasted right up until I loaded my first quilt and away my fear went. I just did it.


Tammie Baggett

aka Grammie Tammie

926 Stephens Dr

Westcliffe, Colorado 81252

grammietammie2014@gmail.com

 

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WOW! Grammie is like my idol! I want so much to get a machine and start a business, and I have told my hubby that I would work fulltime, quilt on the side, and pay off my machine as quickly as I could, but he is still not convinced. There are so many things standing in the way that I don't see how it will ever happen. My hubby keeps asking how I know that I want to long arm quilt when I have never even touched a long arm quilter, and I can't answer him except to say..I just know. He can't justify the money, and we are about to sell our house and move to an apartment for a year or so, thinking that we might build, or move to a ranch condo. Too many things to deal with now, but I know as well as I know my name that I want to do this. I just can't see how I can.........:(

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Thank you for your advice. I have been attempting quilting for about 2 years, (along with working full-time). I enjoy the pantographs because I can do them. I read posts that say you all would much rather do freehand than pantos. I think I would too, except that my freehand quilting looks terrible. I told the sales rep that I was not artistic and they said that I could do it with practice. Nope, not yet!! I plan to take some one-on-one classes soon, hopefully that will help. I want to love being a longarm quilter. Right now I feel like I kind of like it.


Mary Beth 

Powered by 2009 Freedom

Future winner of the Millie Sweepstakes

http://marysnutshell.blogspot.com/




 

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Mary Beth,

Hang in there, kiddo. I am still a rookie, my free hand consists of loops, stars and some scary ribbons. The loops look great though.:D

This past weekend I tried a panto for the first time. I amde some mistakes but I just kept going and slowly brought my laser/needle back into the pattern. I actually feel like the pantos may teach me some of the artsy

moves. We'll see.

You spoke of possibly taking classes. Oh, girlfriend you are just down the road from the MQS (Machine Quilter's Showcase) May 10 - 16 in Overland Park, Kansas. You gotta go.

I discussed it with my hubby. There are doezens of classes. I downloaded

the class sked, I can email it to you if you like. I wanted to go so badly that I was actuially considering asking my brother-in-law if I could sleep

on his couch. Yikes ! :o I am already flying to a class this year so we decided that next year I would do the MQS.

But you're right there.... so close to MQS. Even if you just go for

inspiration, you'll get an education.


Linda Card

APQS Chat Member since August 2005

Ramona Quilter Longarm Quilting Service (Retired Dec 2013)
Gammill Optimum Plus (sold to a friend Dec 2013)
Ramona, CA (Moved to Central Texas Sep 2014)

My webshots site: http://community.webshots.com/user/legcard (not active)
Blog site: http://ramona-quilter-big-dream.blogspot.com/ (not updated in months)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

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Ramona,

I attended MQS last year, yes, it is across town so no motel and food costs ;). I took every class I could think of last year, except the hands on classes. I was a chicken...I know, that won't get me anywhere. I was planning to go this year and take only hands on classes, except that I am trying to get a new job and if I do I won't be able to attend. My son works for an airline, so I can go out of town for classes - so that is my plan, one of these days.

I think you have posted pictures and you are doing a wonderful job, keep up the good work. I have decided I am never posting pictures, only enjoying the ones that do:) .

Thank you for your words of encouragement.

Mary Beth


Mary Beth 

Powered by 2009 Freedom

Future winner of the Millie Sweepstakes

http://marysnutshell.blogspot.com/




 

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dear Judy

I have had my new Millenium since August last year and want to thank you so much for the encouragement. It seemed forever that I dreamed of owning my own longarm machine. Then the timing was right, I bought it and now well its the monster in my longe room. Sure I am using it, but it is a chore at the moment not a delight. My confidence took a nose dive when I realised I couldn't produce the wonderful creations I wanted straight away, I've been practicing on my domestic machine for a lot of years, but these machines are quite different! Then the doubts, could I really have thought I could make this a successful business, I have to pay it off somehow, not mentioning the promises made to hubby that I could do it. I use so many excuses as to why I cant get to it today but I am changing my attitude from this moment. I am blessed to be able to own my own machine, Knowing that therec are many out there for whom this is still a dream is humbling and I am going to stop the moaning and get on with it. Thanks again for some common sense advice and will respond again when I have tamed the monster Bless you all

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Alison,

Now you'er talking. Just toss that fear out the door. Quilting is not hard. You just have to allow yourselk the time to practice. And STOP thinking you can't do it, you can,just do it. If you haven't, yet take some classes. It's a great way to build some confidence. Practice on paper. Doodling if one of the best forms of practicing. If you have the design in your head then you are only focusing on moving the machie and not the direstion to go.

Linda, you are right ,doing panto are a good way to learn designs and a lot of them you will be doing freehand after a couple of quilts with them NA din to week you will have lots of others under your belt.

Myrna

Myrna


Myrna Ficken A Quilter's Choice - APQS West, 5787 S. Gallup, Littleton, CO 80120;  Store 435-414-2026 Mobile 435-229-2703  myrnaf@q.com  www.aquilterschoice.com community. Look me up on Facebook   A Quilter's Choice - APQS West

 

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Judy, Thank you so much! My Millennium should arrive next week. I have been in a panic about the money I spent and the fear that I won't really be able to do this. My house is also for sale and the future is uncertain. I have been out of work over a year with chronic pain and I have been very discouraged. I didn't know what a longarm machine was until last September. Then I tried one and I have been obsessed with getting one.

Good grief, I just this minute named my new machine! Her name is Hope!

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Dear french quilter,

I understand what you feel. I live in Spain and I?m also scared to death. I will ask APQS to send me the machine by the end of this month and I wanted it so much that I might get overwheelmed whet it arrives. I?ve been researching for machines for 2 years (I went to Quilt Expo in Holland 2 years ago) and I will have the money to purchase it next week. I?ve prefered to have the money rather than asking for a bank loan. My husband supports me a lot and I hope I can show everybody that this is not an expensive hobby but a business.

There are less than 10 people in Spain doing long arming. However, most quilters in Spain think it?s a waste of money to pay someone to quilt for them. Well, not a waste of money but a luxury. I think many of them will change their minds when they start to see quilts quilted in a long arm.

Good luck

Cris from Seville.

Originally posted by joyfulstitches

Thank you for the advice. I will be getting my machine soon and, frankly, I am scared to death. My business partner (we own a store together) is less enthusiastic about the idea than I am so I already feel a certain amount of pressure to suceed. This coupled with the fact that this business is brand new in France and we don't know if the French quilters will be receptive to having their quilts machine-quilted makes it even harder. Fortunately my family is behind me and I felt extremely supported by the APQS staff that I met recently in Germany. I will try to put your advice into practice as soon as I get my machine - hopefully next week!

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Don?t be afraid!!!! If you need help in the future...I?ll help you whenever you want!:)

In mai (25th till 28th) an "Open House Week" with a lot of classes at the APQS Showroom Krefeld/Germany is already planned....so take time off and come to Krefeld!:cool:

Joy.....your machine is packed :D and it should be picked up today, but nobody came:(

I?ll let you know, when the machine is on way!

Christina....you will be very happy, don?t scare to phone me:)

Have a great time!

Claudia from Germany


Best wishes from over the ocean...


Quilt &Co.
tel.:0049 2151 773851
post@quilt-und-co.de
http://www.quilt-und-co.de
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http:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8g_pe2Kyos

//community.webshots.com/user/claudiapfeil

http://www.photoshow.net/quiltundco/quilts

Claudia Pfeil designs for Download:

http://www.longarmpatterns.com/

APQS-Millennium

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Thank you Judy. I was frozen with buyer's remorse, although I wasn't really sorry I bought it, jsut sorry I had to pay for it!! And how could I get customers? And my initial tires were soooooo discouraging!!! But then, you reminded me through your posts that I can satisfy some level of customers' work with excellent beginner skills and cafefully thought-out design choices. I'm nearly off and running, and although Nicole W. and Karen McT. don't have to worry about my competition (yet!?), I am starting to have some happy quilts out there!

Thanks

Anne in FL

Millie "Lola"


Anne in FL

Moonrabbit Quilts

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I am SO tickled that others have varying degrees of trepidation about their machines/their ability/their finances....I've gone the gauntlet of feelings over this machine...I really like the idea of setting a time and MAKING myself "punch in" to do it, just like having a seperate job...I am having a little better luck since I purchased the little books on "freehand" designs...I've gotten really pretty handy at a couple of them and think I could do a pretty decent looking quilt now. Loading the fabrics and the tension adjustment is causing some problems., You from the far-away countries...just hang in there, get really good and start showing off quilts that you've done...it won't be long and others will want some done too.

So, up to my studio I go to practice, practice...hope it helps...ML

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Judy,

Your advice couldn't be closer to the mark. I had to talk myself into being open to mistakes and trials and the whole idea of learning a new physical skill. Not to mention the tricks of the trade that I learn from all who contribute here and I get to apply in my own work. I still have stretches of time that I am not using my machine, as a hobbyist really at this point. I know this is not good, and I'm going to try your suggestion. I'm sure it will help.

Linda/9patch


Linda/9patch

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I was scared a little of my machine too. I have been practicing mostly on pantos to get a real fell for my machine. I am trying to learn to listen for the sound of how it should be going. Each panto I do I try for one that is a little more difficult. I feel like the pantos are my training ground that I can practice and get the feel of more difficult designs. Now as for the subject of money if you can make it or not. jwhy do we have to always feel so guilty for getting something that we love. do men feel tremendous guilt when they buy a boat, four wheeler, hunting gun or whatever their joy is? I don't think they would even mention it. If you bought an expensive machine and you enjoyed it and made wonderful things for your family and friends that is good enough too. If you get good and feel confident that you can do it for others then that is wonderful too. I'm not there yet. So everyone relax and enjoy our wonderful hobby. If the new machines make you really scared buy a used machine. I have a ten year old machine. My stitches are regulated by me. I love it. It is smooth and my stitches look nice. I continue to improve. I love my latest panto called Twirling Feathers on a batick.Good luck to all. I'm single so nobody cares if the machine takes up the living room. Nobody cares if I spend money on thread and pantos but also nobydy is there to help pay the bills. I heard a great saying and it was credited to a car salesman when talking to a customer he asked , "When would you ever enjoy it more"? Ask yourself that question about quilting and you will have your answer it is right now. Cheryll


Cheryll Baber

Millenium

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I've had my machine for almost a year now and feel pretty comfortable with it, but a first I had all of the same fears that are described above! Such a heavy weight on your shoulders when you are afraid of a machine!

Judy's advice is very wise. Spend time with the machine! Yesterday "Lizzie" and I were "not friends". I don't know why but she just would not behave! I tried several times and she was not having it! So today I got up with that Old Feeling of fear.............but after reading this thread I'm ready to give it a try!

tammy in AZ

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Ii am not a long-arm owner but I learn so much from this forum that I read it all. As a medium-expertise quilter, I'd like to remind you all that not all quilters want a complicated quilting design on their quilts. In some cases I think quilting that is too elaborate overpowers the design of the quilt. So please, beginniners, remember that there is room for simple quilting and many quilters will be as happy with simple as with elaborate. Each has its place. It depends on the style of the quilt and what the customer wants/likes. So when you meet a customer for the first time, you might just ask what they have in mind and whether they want simple or elaborate.

Many years ago I sold power supplies and printed circuit boards for computers. I worked with two very very good manufacturers but I didn't know anything about selling when I started. A good friend who was very successful in sales gave me the best advice I ever got. He said, Get to know your customer and his/her needs. Always put those needs first. When you understand the needs, you will know whether you are the best person to satisfy them. If you are not, recommend someone who can. Your customer will always remember you as someone who cares about their needs more than your income. And eventually they will call you or buy something from you. [You can read more about this philosophy of selling in a series of extremely short books called The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino.] That actually happened to me. A couple of years after I was unable to sell something to a buyer, she called me and said she was now working for a different company and now needed my product and she wanted me to provide it because she had never forgotten my attitude and caring.

Each of you will develop, I think, little specialties. If someone wants quilting that a competitor can do better than you can, give up the job and keep your reputation as caring for the customer.

So as you learn to do more elaborate designs, don't be afraid to pass up the ones you aren't ready for. The business will all come to you in the end and you will have more than you can handle.

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