pumpkinpatchquilter

Do you ever get nervous quilting for an important customer?

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I have a blogging friend who sent me a quilt to quilt up for her.  I am SO NERVOUS!!!  I'm about 1/4 of the way through it and I find myself scrutinizing every stitch.  She is a really nice person and doesn't seem to be nit picky - though it's psyching me out a bit because the previous two long arm quilters she had she wasn't really happy with.  If she's happy it could be the chance to quilt future quilts for her that would be seen by many and possibly get me some good quilting business...but if she hates it - oh the embarassment!!!


Do you ever feel nervous or extra pressure quilting for certain people?  I was really confident of my quilting skills before the long arm came, but the whole learning everything all over again has really got me second guessing myself a lot!!!

 

EDITED TO ADD - Alright, I'm taking a break and trying to breathe!!!  There are some  hiccups but I think that overall they won't be too noticable when I'm done.  This is customer quilt number 5...but she knows that and I'm only charging her for edge to edge.  I quoted her for all over echoing and simple borders...but this quilt is a Queen and just too much applique and places begging for custom.  She was interested in custom but from the sounds of it, it was out of her budget...I could use the exposure and practice and I think that she will appreciate the extra effort...adding a couple pictures...I hope this is looking ok!!!

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Valerie Smith

Pumpkin Patch Quilter

http://www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

http://www.pumpkinpatchquilter.etsy.com

Pantograph Co-Designer for Urban Elementz

https://www.urbanelementz.com/shop/category/quilting-designs-by-designer/valerie-smith/

 

**As of March 2015 I will be Quilting on a 2000 APQS Certified Used Millennium!**

Quilting from January 2013 to February 2015 on a non-stitch regulated 1999 Ultimate 1

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Valerie-

Take a deep breath  and remember she came to you!  If she was at all concerned she would not have left her quilt with you.

Do NOT scrutinize every stitch!  It will make you crazy the worry from that is where you will make mistakes- 

YOU CAN DO IT!!!


Sewhappy

www.sewhappyquilts.com.

406-582.0914

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Yes, I used to feel that way.  Ms. "Perfect Piecer" gave me a quilt to do, and I was so nervous I was nearly paralyzed.  When I gave her the quilt back, I though her reaction was not very enthusiastic, although she did later send a glowing email.  I was so stressed, my husband finally said "You don't have to quilt for people if you don't want to.  You don't need to feel you have to 'pay me back' for the machine."  You are supposed to be enjoying this, not stressing over it.  Good point!

 

All we can do is our best.  We will have people who are thrilled, and people who find somebody they like better...for whatever reason...and we may never know what the reason is.  You do very beautiful work, and remember, it is HAND GUIDED.  If they want perfect, they will need to send the quilt to a computerized quilter. 


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Yes, some quilters (or should we call them toppers?) make me so nervous that I have to force myself to work on their quilt. In fact one client was so bossy, and demanding, and wanted custom work for a cheap price that I actually finished 1 of her 2 quilts and gave the other one back to her. She won't speak to me now but the relief I feel not to have to work on her quilts is well worth the snubs. My friends agreed and stuck by me!

Just be sure you are charging enough for custom work to justify your skill and the tension!


Jennifer Bernard

My quilted jackets are on a competition journey around the country

gathering pretty ribbons (sometimes)!

Quilting with my Millennium and playing with my Quiltazoid!

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I don't quilt as a business and have decided to even turn away most of the requests I get because it does make me nervous.   I don't like or need the stress.  I could never do this as a business.  It wouldn't be fun any more.........at least not for me.


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APQS Millenium and Quiltazoid

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Early on I stressed over quilting my own quilts!!!! I still have some of my better pieced quilts in the closet waiting to quilt because I want to improve my skills still yet!!! Remember: Stress is unproductive; it is a gamble on what the outcome is and if it is good then you have made yourself sick for nothing!!! Jesus says in Matthew 6:34 So do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own!  The girls advice above is all good!!!! You go girl! You are doing great!


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APQS Millenium in

Spring Creek, NV

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I added a few pictures up there...I am just really hoping that overall, because this quilt is huge and this is just one tiny bit of it, that the small hiccups will be lost on the overall look.  She wanted to stay prim so I think this accomplishes that.  I hope!!!

 

SewHappy - you are a good cheeleader, thank you!!!  I really need that!!!!!!!!!  :)

 

Zora - I have had one sort of like that so far.  She is a new quilter not so much a perfectionist, but was sort of unresponsive when I sent home the quilt...but later emailed me praises.  So...maybe some people are just hard to read??  You are right in that maybe I need to really stress that I do hand guided quilting.  I just don't see myself doing much with panto's and custom quilting is where I'd like to head with this.  I sort of feel that obligation to repay my Husband for the quilting machine too...it was a HUGE investment for us.  I didn't really intend to start a business when we first started looking, but being a stay at home Mom and maybe a little overconfident I thought, the extra money would be really nice and I think I can do this!!  I hope so anyhow!!  Thank you!

 

Jennifer - I totally understand why you'd say no!!  This lady is really really nice and that almost makes it scarier.  Her opinion means a lot to me and while I don't think she'd publicly humiliate me or anything...I am a little afraid she'll be silently disappointed. 

 

Linda - I can see why you'd make that choice!!!  It is stressful.  I can really use the extra income though so that is a huge motivator for me.

 

Lisa C - you are so kind to me!!!  You give good advice yourself and you're right, it's just not worth all this headache and I do think it's unproductive.  She's not doing this to me at all...it's ME stressing me out.  LOL* 


Valerie Smith

Pumpkin Patch Quilter

http://www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

http://www.pumpkinpatchquilter.etsy.com

Pantograph Co-Designer for Urban Elementz

https://www.urbanelementz.com/shop/category/quilting-designs-by-designer/valerie-smith/

 

**As of March 2015 I will be Quilting on a 2000 APQS Certified Used Millennium!**

Quilting from January 2013 to February 2015 on a non-stitch regulated 1999 Ultimate 1

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I had another professional longarmer ask me the same question recently!  She called and wanted to know if I ever got nervous or itimidated by a quilt.  She had one to do and was scared to get started.  I said, "No!  The quilt doesn't intimidate me, but sometimes I get intimidated by the quilt owner!"  I think she just needed a pep talk!  It's hard when the piecer doesn't give you much information to go on and you aren't familiar with their tastes.  You know it's important to please them and it may bring you more business.  Cetainly NOT pleasing them could possibly hurt you as well.  I kinda feel they have no right to complain if they aren't going to answer my questions so I can figure out what they like.

 

I quilt for several artists and designers.  The first one wouldn't tell me a thing about her tastes or what she envisioned the quilt to look like when it was done.  She just wanted to see what I would come up with for the quilt.  Luckily, she really liked what I did!  She looks at the quilting as part of the design process.  (Like that's not intimidating when you don't know what they are thinking!)  She also looks at quilters as another artist adding to her piece.  The only problem it caused so far is, she gave my name to some of her friends who are also artists.  And she told them to keep quiet and give me full rein on their projects.  So I can do anything I want!  Sounds good, but YIKES!  I'm always worried if I hit the mark and made it look how they want it to look.  Good thing I work well under pressure!  It does make you push your limits, try new things and expand your quilting abilities!  So I guess that's a plus.  It does add some unwanted performance pressure and I sure can see why some people just don't want to quilt for others.  I guess you have to like to be challenged.

 

Just remember: it's only a quilt.  It's not life and death.  We are our own worst critics.  A quilt is never looked at as close as we look at them.  We are looking at a small portion of the whole quilt, under bright lights and scrutinizing every stitch.  And!!  In a hundred years, it's not going to matter anyway! ;)

 

Take a deep breath and relax.  You're doing fine.  The quilt looks great.


Merry Jo

Merry Jo Rembold, Julian, CA

APQS Sales Representative

Millie & Quilt Path

Facebook: Creative Quilting by Merry Jo

Merryjorembold.com

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There will always be those quilts that make you 2nd guess yourself and make you fret.  I find most of the time all that panic was for notta!  LOL  I have a BAQ coming in and the last one I did I don't think I breathed for the 1st pass.  This woman had taken 2 years to applique that quilt and it was exquisite.  I sure didn't want to unsew and I didn't want to ruin her quilt.  I know I will likely have the same panic attack with her next beauty.  Just relax and breath and trust in your skill.

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Something I learned doing stained glass custom designs was to let your own artistry show through when presenting the finished product....especially when you have been given free reign to do with it as you please....I am never disappointed with the reaction from my clients then!!  Also, leave the thought out about her dumping her previous two quilters....I have dumped many artists because their vision just doesn't do my work justice....take a deep breath and quilt it as it was your own.

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I don't usually get too nervious but....OK here is my dilemma.  A local longarm quilter with a computerized system is moving and some of my customers have mentioned my name to friends who have used her in the past.  I AM nervous about quilting for them since they are used to perfect computer designs.  I plan to explain the difference to her customers if they call but I am uncomfortable with comparisons they may make.

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I had a customer who wanted me to quilt a vintage looking 9 patch blocks alternating with 12 inch plain squares. She wanted me to quilt an eagle in each of the plain blocks. I am a free hand artist. I don't do what I call cookie cutter designs that all look exactly alike. I did convince her to trace the eagle on each block with a wash out pen to save herself some money. Then I traced those darn eagles! It was not fun at all. The quilt still looked plain Jane and it cost. $200 to quilt. The next time she tried me with the same kind of vintage motif that she wanted traced I refered her to a computer quilter. My stress disappeared.

I will also say I am a part time quilter and I like getting my own things quilted. I also have time to help out with an increasing number of grandchildren. I do enough easy quilts to keep my skills up but not my stress!


Jennifer Bernard

My quilted jackets are on a competition journey around the country

gathering pretty ribbons (sometimes)!

Quilting with my Millennium and playing with my Quiltazoid!

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Sometimes I get almost scared with some quilts.  I would love to do a whole cloth but have no clue how to start I even know what I want to put on it but the min. I look at that blank fabric I just freeze.  You do beautiful work and I would take a deep breath step away and it will all be good.


Connie

Any day that I get to quilt is a great day.

Freedom SR 2011

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I think it is natural to get a bit nervous when quilting on a customer's quilt. We all want to do the best job that we can to please our customer, especially when we are quilting for a first time customer and hoping to drum up future business. The main thing is to relax, have fun with it and treat the quilt as if it was your own. The customer will love it!  If she don't love it then she is not meant to be a future customer and probably will save you some headaches.


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Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken.



 

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My knees don't knock as much as they once did when quilting customer quilts, but they still knock for new customers.  It's a process of learning to trust yourself and always doing the best you can.  I still learn something on every quilt I touch.  That's what keeps it interesting for me.

 

Lynn


Lynn Founatin

Fountain Fiber Arts, LLC

fountainfiber@bellsouth.net

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I'm glad to know it's not just me!!  My Husband reminded me that I'm doing this for fun.  I stay home with my kiddos, but we don't rely on quilting or crafting for an income, it's just a nice way for me to earn extra spending money for my quilting hobby and usually holidays.  I think walking away from the frame really helped too, because now that I've slept, it's looking much better to me!!!  

 

Do you remember when you first began quilting - when you'd look at a very experienced quilters work and go WOW.  I'm trying to remember that for people who haven't yet mastered the quilting aspect, they see it through different eyes.  I'm hoping that she loves it because I LOVE doing this and truly am quilting it as if it were my own.  If I had pieced this top, this is how I would have quilted it for myself.

 

Thank you all for the little pep talk and just sort of reminding me that I'm normal!!!  ;)


Valerie Smith

Pumpkin Patch Quilter

http://www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

http://www.pumpkinpatchquilter.etsy.com

Pantograph Co-Designer for Urban Elementz

https://www.urbanelementz.com/shop/category/quilting-designs-by-designer/valerie-smith/

 

**As of March 2015 I will be Quilting on a 2000 APQS Certified Used Millennium!**

Quilting from January 2013 to February 2015 on a non-stitch regulated 1999 Ultimate 1

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I don't usually get too nervious but....OK here is my dilemma.  A local longarm quilter with a computerized system is moving and some of my customers have mentioned my name to friends who have used her in the past.  I AM nervous about quilting for them since they are used to perfect computer designs.  I plan to explain the difference to her customers if they call but I am uncomfortable with comparisons they may make.

 

 

Julie I forgot to reply to this when I commented.  I TRULY understand what you are feeling.  I personally enjoy the freedom of hand guided quilting.  My concern is sort of, how do you educate the customer?  Most people I have encountered so far have NO idea what long arm quilting entails.  Many are new quilters, and they are still just grasping how to make a quilt top.  Not everyone wants to master the art either!!!  Some people just made a quilt and want it quilted, and aren't really interested in how I get the job done...they just want it done perfect and cheap.  That can be a little intimidating and frustrating!


Valerie Smith

Pumpkin Patch Quilter

http://www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

http://www.pumpkinpatchquilter.etsy.com

Pantograph Co-Designer for Urban Elementz

https://www.urbanelementz.com/shop/category/quilting-designs-by-designer/valerie-smith/

 

**As of March 2015 I will be Quilting on a 2000 APQS Certified Used Millennium!**

Quilting from January 2013 to February 2015 on a non-stitch regulated 1999 Ultimate 1

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Valerie,

 

Good advice above and I always think walking away for a night it always looks better in the morning.  I have a customer that has become a "raving fan" of my quilting and fortunately for me she is the best appliquer in our area and everyone loves her quilts as they are masterpieces and she always lets people know that I am her quilter.  (Good advertising for me) but I have taken her to several shows with me and as we are looking at quilts I have asked her to point out what she likes and what she sees that she doesn't like so it is helpful when I am working on one of her quilts.  She always gives me free reign too and that used to make me nervous but we are comfortable with each other's style now.  I once mentioned that I would love to have a computer and she immediately said "oh no, if you did I couldn't enter my quilts into the handquided categories in some shows!"  So I guess I have found my niche although I sometimes wish I did have one just to save time and make my job easier on other quilts.  I find my biggest stresser is a poorly pieced quilt, I always seem to feel it is my job to make a silk purse out of a ....well you know....and some are real challenges.  I tell myself that those are educating me....:)


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http://www.flickr.com/photos/sewmanyquiltssewlittletime/

Proud Millie Owner!

Sew Many Quilts - Sew Little Time

Custom Long Arm Quilting

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It took me forever not to be intimadated by customer quilts.  It is much easier now but still, when I'm ready to put needle down for the 1st time, I have to stop and make 1 more trip to the bathroom. Talk about nerves of steel!  As soon as I drop the needle, I seem to go into a more relaxed place. 

 

By the way, your quilting looks great.

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Thank you all so much for the support.  I truly appreciate it!!!!   I'm feeling a lot better and now that I'm almost done with the quilt I really like how it's turning out...fingers crossed!!  I'll post pictures when I'm done!


Valerie Smith

Pumpkin Patch Quilter

http://www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

http://www.pumpkinpatchquilter.etsy.com

Pantograph Co-Designer for Urban Elementz

https://www.urbanelementz.com/shop/category/quilting-designs-by-designer/valerie-smith/

 

**As of March 2015 I will be Quilting on a 2000 APQS Certified Used Millennium!**

Quilting from January 2013 to February 2015 on a non-stitch regulated 1999 Ultimate 1

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