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Here is a question--with the economic news so negative, have you noticed a change in your customer activity?

The reason I ask is I now have three finished tops awaiting pick up--and no one seems to want to come and get them! Usually I have a top for a couple of days after notification. One has been sitting for a month. That customer says "It\'s a Christmas gift" so she will come get it sometime before then. I very sweetly informed her that I wasn\'t comfortable nor did I have the room to store it for her until Christmas! She vaguely said she would come sometime soon.

Maybe their cash is tied up in other things--like a tank of gas!!

I am thinking of delivering more of these finished tops. Most are local and at least then they would be out of my studio.

The other two customers are in town and I have left messages with family members and on their answering machines--maybe my priority of getting these back home is not such a big priority for them. (After all, we are having Summer this week in Washington!)

Have you noticed a slight shift of enthusiasm lately? Or am I starting to worry too soon? Thanks for listening to me think out loud.

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Hi Linda-

That sure is a good question, But I wouldn\'t worry just yet.

It\'s summertime and the 4th is just around the corner, many people are just enjoying family, traveling, or just catching up on household stuff.

A few of my Customers say they take the summer off, but are back as soon as the weather changes.

Hang in there. See what happens.


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Hi Linda... well, I\'ve posted things on Craigs list that normally would sell in a snap.. not one nibble.. prices are not high on them by any means... I\'ve two jobs.. one for the guild, one for a friend and we\'ve not yet settled on a pattern.. we find ourselves on the rare occasion I go shopping with him, to get just what we need and nothing else.. gas money has to be here for Dr. appts. and meds.. Needed thread, so loaded up before prices and shipping prices go up again..

I\'m gearing up to try diff things.. quilt labels, machine embroidered, selling finished quilts.. getting rid of things like the Sulky thread cases, etc.. Viking parts.. and the old extended long arm.. IF we can.. at this point I think I\'d take almost anything, then realize how dumb that is.. Also the two treadle machines.. why collect dust when none of the kids, nor grands want them??

Yes, we see a lot of changes here.. traffic is less.. slower, but they are also just gearing up to start carpooling.. They need business shuttle buses.. the ones who go from say our town up into Cary make one stop, on up into Raleigh and make one and come home, return for pick ups in the evenings..

Not going shopping until we have several things on the list, other than medicines.. and then trying to think ahead and pick up a few things that won\'t spoil but will make up into a nice meal.

The oil companies have us by the throat and gas prices will shoot up about 4=5c by July 4.. then slowly go back down a few cents, till close to Labor Day.. Same routine, and start of College.. etc..

Worry won\'t help, might even give ulcers.. hate them.. I think I\'d prepare a statement that without further notice, policy changes are going into effect.. either pick up your finished quilt within 30 days or it will be sold with no recompensense.

It\'s fair.. Ceramic shops do it all the time, some tailors.. shoe repair shops.. etc..

Just like they expect and deserve pay for doing their jobs, you are entitled to expect, and do derseve pay for doing your job.. quilting their quilts.

Hope it lets up and everyone can relax a bit about the whole economy situation.


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I have heard other quilters complaining business has dropped off ever since January. I haven\'t seen that myself, knock on wood! I think people are trying to conserve right now. I think I\'ve just been lucky.

I have a statement on my order form and due bill. It says that quilts left and not fully paid for 90 days from completion will be sold to collect reibursement for quilting services. So far, I haven\'t had a problem. I hope it stays that way.

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Good question Linda,

My January, Feb and March were all busy for me, things slowed down in April and May and I\'ve only got 3 quilts here now. We had company for almost 2 weeks straight and I was kind of glad that no one else called to bring in any quilts. So, I think that people are taking vacations, as usual this time of year, maybe not driving as far, but never the less, they are finding things to do that keeps them from piecing as they do in the fall & winter. So I wouldn\'t worry too much, but I would certainly give your customers a deadline to get their quilts picked up. And maybe even put a phrase on your estimate sheet that quilts need to be picked up within say 30 +/- days of your call to pick them up. So far I haven\'t had that problem but I think I\'ll consider putting something like that on my sheet with the estimate on it. :cool:

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Things have really slowed down here it started last Jan . We already have had two business close up , people can\'t afford to support them .

I only have 2 quilts schedule for July , clients are still good at coming to pick them up as soon as they are done .

Linda just a thought once you start delivering you may not be able to quit ? For that reason alone I don\'t want to get started . At the same time some of my clients are 30 to 50 miles one way . May not be so in your area .

Rita lets hope that the economy situation will relax , how can it go on this way . My heart goes out to our children and those of us on fixed incomes .

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I have about 7 customer quilts to quilt. I like to have at least 10 - just makes me feel better. I had a new customer bring one by yesteday. It is a custom job for a grandchild. The borders were pieced and very friendly, as you all say - they were waving. For the first time in my career I layed the quitl out flat on the floor and said, "We have a little problem here." I showed her the waving on all 4 sides. She wants this quilt done by August 1st and wanted to know what I would charge to fix it. I told her my hourly rate and that it would take longer if I did it. Told her if she could fix it and bring it back to me, we could keep her in the same rotation and I could have it done by August 1st. Quoted her a price. Sent her on her way. She said she would fix it and get it back to me as soon as possible. DH flipped. Said she won\'t be back. I really didn\'t want to fix her problems. He doesn\'t realize how long that takes and how much trouble it is, not to mention the time factor. Lately I have had about a quilt dropped off every other week.

I have not had a problem with them picking their quilts up because all of the quilts I have here now are custom jobs.... the customer I am quilting for now dropped off 6 quilts - 5 are custom....that means no cash till the job is done....I hate that!!

I do deliver if I am going to be in their area. Ususally my customers are very close by so it is not a problem, besides it means payday if I deliver. I also offer to pick up thier quilt tops if they are repeat customers and if they are elderly or handicapped. That\'s just me...

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Mary Beth,

I ask for approx. half as a down payment when I take in a project. My customers seem to be okay with that, and it doesn't hurt so much when it's time to pick up. This also ensures that they will indeed come get their quilt when it is finished!

I have one customer whose tops I pick up and deliver. She is 84 and doesn't drive. I also deliver to my customers who work at the hospital nearby.

My business has stayed pretty steady since I began a year ago. Every time I get worried that no one is calling, the next day or so I will get two or three calls. I have been able to stay busy and am getting lots of practice. I still have several tops of my own waiting in line, but they always seem to stay at the end of the line!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I only quilt for myself or quilt quilts that I have made to order. I have not had a problem with the quilts being picked up and paid for because I usually work pretty close with my customer, picking out patterns, fabrics, etc. I usually have 1 or 2 quilts on order, I have another "real" job, so I don't really go looking for work.

However 3 fabrics stores, 1 exclusively for quilting, have gone out of business in my area.


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