After the Quilting

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas or Hanukkah and a great New Year!

The holidays are over, now it is time to hunker down and survive the winter weather! And to think about our machine quilting business.

January and February are usually slower months in the quilting year so enjoy this down time to work on a charity quilt or two or even quilt some of your own quilts! If you need a good project for both piecing and quilting, check out the Uneven 9 Patch online class. For details of this class Click Here

After a recent machine quilting group meeting, I received an email from an attendee who wrote –

How do people keep track of quilts (especially customer quilts) that they have completed? Do they use any special software? If so, what is it and what do they like / dislike about it.

I told her that I would write about it in this blog and see what YOU do “after the quilting!”

Please post your comments below or contact me privately via email at longarmu@aol.com

Here is what I do “after the quilting.” I am old school and I don’t have any special aps or programs for this.

When my customer brings a quilt for me to complete, I have a worksheet that I fill out and they must sign. As I work on the quilt, I refer to the worksheet and make notes, calculations, etc., directly on to the worksheet.

When I am completely finished with the customer quilt, I will make an invoice for the quilt, print out two copies and make a PDF of the invoice. (I use QuickBooks for my business accounting and it is easy to make invoices and PDF’s of the invoice.) I staple one of the invoice copies to the worksheet and these are stored in either a 3 ring binder or a large file folder and filed (usually) by date.

On my desktop computer, I have a file for customer quilts. There are sub files for each year, example 2018 Quilts, 2019 Quilts, and now 2020 Quilts. Inside that folder is where I have individual folders for each customer quilt.

I will save the invoice PDF in the customer folder along with any photos that I have taken of that quilt. Many times, I will take photos of the quilt “in progress” and send them to my customer as I am working on their quilt. Those photos are in this folder also along with the finished quilt photos.

Note – I could take a photo of the worksheet, both front and back and any notes, and include them in the customer file on my computer.

I like to send an email to my customer letting her know that her quilt is completed. I will attach to her email a zipped folder that contains the invoice PDF along with some photos of the finished quilt. I try to make a blog post with photos of her quilt on my personal blog before I send the zipped folder to her. (To view my personal blog Click Here

Here is a screen shot photo of the inside of a customer folder showing the invoice PDF and photos. (I have not yet put these photos on my personal blog yet! I know, I am WAY behind!!!) Click on the photo for a larger view.

In the Quilt Year Folder on the computer, I also have a file for Charity Quilts, Family Quilts or any other projects I am working on. If you do quilts for several different charities, you may want to make a special “Charity Quilt” folder and have sub folders for each charity.

Once you get started with this, it is fairly simple to keep track of customer information and customer photos “after the quilting!”

Let me know how YOU keep track of your customer information “after the quilting!”

About Cindy Roth
Mother of 3, Grandmother of 10 and quilting forever!

3 Responses to After the Quilting

  1. Robyn Gotch says:

    My process is: 1. fill out my form (much like you do) 2. Document that process through images 3. record all information in an Access Data Base that I designed. 4. Finally, I create an invoice for every quilt which is then filed away electronically AND on paper.

    The electronic files I keep are very detailed and organized. This makes it much easier to create my blog content, update my website and Facebook and search for information later on. If I did not take pictures and stay organized, blogging would be a nightmare.

    I wish I could post an image of my database dashboard here, it is very functional.

  2. palmadavis says:

    When a client brings me her quilt I use Cindy’s worksheet for the estimate. Client goes home with a signed form (very important). As I work on the quilt I “clock in” and “clock out” so I know my hourly wage. As the quilt gets worked on I send updates to the client. When the quilt is completed I hang it on the design wall so the client will see it as she comes in. Always an oooo and ahhh. I use “machine quilters business manager” to keep my records straight and to make a professional looking receipt. My handwriting is atrocious and unreadable to most so the program helps a lot. All the quilts I have done are photographed and put in folders on my computer and in Dropbox and in an extra external hard drive.

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