Becoming an Efficient Quilter

Over my many years of being a professional quilter, I have found that to be more profitable, I needed to become more efficient.

Note that I am saying “efficient” not fast!

Many people assume that the only way you can make more profit is to become a faster quilter. They strive to run their quilting machine at a higher rate of speed, quilt less complex or dense patterns and do as many things as possible to “speed things up!”

What I have found is that when “speed” or “fast” is used, it usually leads to less accuracy, less choice for the customer (which could bring more boredom to the quilter) and sometimes “sloppy” stitching.

Instead of being a fast quilter, strive to be an efficient quilter!

Efficiency comes in many ways! And many times, it is the little things that make a huge difference in the time it takes to finish a quilt!

Here are some things that I have found to be extremely efficient in my quilting –

I pin my quilts to my leaders. I have found that a finger pin cushion is more efficient for holding my pins than any other pin holder. I can quickly get a pin from my finger instead of reaching across the bars of my machine to a “regular” pin cushion or pin holder.

For instructions on how to make a finger pin cushion Click Here

When doing free hand quilting, can I figure out a way to quilt the area – block, border, across the quilt top as a free hand pantograph – in such a way as to eliminate starts and stops? Or, can I sequence my quilting so that I can move from space to space without a start / stop.

Let’s assume that it takes two minutes to stop the machine, raise the needle, secure the thread, cut the thread, move the machine to a new space, bring up the bobbin thread, secure the thread, and then, finally, start quilting. If you had 10 start/ stops in a block, border, or across the quilt top, that would mean that up to 20 minutes of your life is spent doing all of this!

If you can figure out a way to eliminate some, or maybe all, of the starts /stops (except for the original start / stop) you could be done with your quilting in that much less time.

Remember, the less time you take to quilt a quilt, the more $$$ you will make!!

I have a FREE class that shows how I can quilt a significant amount in a workspace with only two starts and stops!

To view the information about this class Click Here

Here is another example – when I started machine quilting, I was taught that to quilt a feathered wreath, no matter what size, I had at least 3 starts / stops and possibly more depending on the fill in stitching I was doing. I soon found out that I could quilt ALL the feathered wreath, including fill in stitching with only ONE start / stop! It is amazing how much time that saved and my feathered wreaths look great.

For a FREE video on how I quilt feathered wreaths with one start / stop Click Here

And yes, there are times when I try as hard as I can, but I WILL have to make many starts /stops to get the design quilted. But I know that the extra time will be added into the fee I am charging my customer.

There is no way around it, putting the quilt on the quilting machine does take time! But the way you put the quilt top on the quilting machine can make the time you take to quilt the quilt more efficient.

Let me explain – Many quilters “float” their quilt tops. Floating a quilt top means that after the backing is secured to the appropriate rollers and the batting is laid out on top of the backing, then the quilt top is placed and smoothed on top of the batting. Most people will then stitch across the top raw edge of the quilt top, smooth the quilt out again and begin quilting. The extra quilt top is “floating free” and usually laying on the floor in a puddle of fabric.

This works OK until it is time to roll the quilt up so the next workspace is exposed. Then the quilter needs to smooth, measure, adjust, sometimes pin or secure the “loose” edge of the quilt so that it remains in place and the extra quilt is still in a puddle on the floor! All of this takes time!!! And it can be avoided.

How can all of this be avoided? By NOT floating your quilt top!!!

I have made a free video on why I DO NOT float my quilt top and how I attach my quilt to my machine.

To view the video Floating a Quilt – NO WAY!!  Click Here

Let’s do some quilter’s math –

Your quilt is 90 inches wide x 100 inches long and you are quilting a 10 inch pattern – pantograph, free hand, computerized, hand guided, it really doesn’t matter for this calculation.

That means that after your first workspace, you will have at least 9 more “roll ups” to get the un-quilted quilt into your workspace.

Let’s assume that you float your quilt top and it takes you 5 minutes to get your quilt ready for quilting. You have to smooth, measure, re-smooth, tug, maybe pin the layers together to get good tension on the quilt top, etc., etc.

Yes, I have watched quilters do all this, and more, to get their workspace ready for quilting!

That means that 45 minutes of the quilter’s life is dedicated to getting the quilt top ready for quilting!

Let’s now assume that you don’t float your quilt top. Yes, you will need a few minutes to pin / secure the bottom edge of your quilt top to the leader / roller, but, when you go to roll up the quilt into the next workspace, it may take you only 2 minutes, possibly less, to get the quilt in the workspace ready for quilting!

This quilter will spend only 18 minutes of their life getting the quilt top ready for quilting!

I speak only for myself – I’d rather be quilting than fussing with getting a quilt top ready for quilting!

Here is some other things to think about when you float your quilt. You may experience –

  • the quilt not being “square” after quilting – even if the quilt is “square” when it is put on the machine
  • wavy borders and a wonky bottom edge of the quilt
  • tension issues with the fabric(s) on the quilt top
  • side edges that may be wonky
  • and a few more, sometimes subtle, issues with the finished quilting!

One last thing, when I am at quilt shows, many times I can pick out the quilts that were floated. The floated quilts seem to hang a little wonky and sometimes there can be a noticeable difference in the size of the quilt along the top edge and along the bottom edges of the quilt.

Please, take some time to watch my video and let me know your thoughts.

To view the Floating a Quilt Top – NO WAY!! video Click Here

What things or techniques have you included in your quilting to make YOUR quilting more efficient?

Please leave your comments below or send them to me in an email to longarmu@ aol.com

Stay healthy, stay busy, keep quilting!!! 

Is it Good?? Maybe Not!!

I am writing about a recent customer quilt that I completed, which turned out to be a “learning experience.”

Here are the details –  Sunburst Quilt This is a pattern that is based on pinwheel blocks. IMHO pinwheel blocks ALWAYS have problems with “lumpy” and thick seam joins – which pinwheel patterns are notorious for!

Piecing hint – press any diagonal seams OPEN and the seam joins will be MUCH less bulky!

Because this quilt was done during the Covid pandemic, the quilt was dropped off at my front door. I did a cost estimate and quilting ideas which I sent to my customer via email.

Here is the Quilting Ideas and Estimate I sent to my customer

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Sunburst Quilt – 64 x 74 inches (4,736 square inches)
click on any photo for a larger view


Note – This photo is from the pattern cover.

I have two different ideas for this quilt.

#1 – All over “waves” which will go horizontally across the quilt. I am thinking a very pale yellow cotton thread (Signature, Sand Dollar color) See photos below, which are from another customer quilt from a few years ago.

 

#2 – Baptist Fan quilting as an all over pattern. The Baptist Fans (interlocking quarter circles) is quilted using circle templates and would be the higher of the prices quoted. I would use the same light yellow cotton thread as above. See photos below. These are my personal quilts.

  


Pricing

Thread – $10
Batting – $15 – Soft & Bright (Warm Co) preferred
Quilting – $175 – $250, depending on the quilting idea chosen

Let me know your thoughts and if you approve of the quilting ideas I have suggested.

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My customer choose #2, the all over Baptist Fans option, which I would charge $250.

At a quick glance, you might say, “Wow!! That is a lot of $$ for that size of quilt!” And, if you do the math, it is over 5 cents per square inch! And you may be thinking “Woo hoo, I am laughing and dancing all the way to the bank!!”

Before you do that, let’s put some more thought into this. Here is where the TIME factors into things.

Before I started the quilting, I had estimated about 8 hours of my life would go into this quilt. If I divided $250 by 8 hours, I would be making $31.25 per hour working on this quilt, which is barely above my minimum hourly wage goal.

Note: when I am in my studio working on a customer quilt, I want to make at least $30 per hour minimum on ANY quilt I am working on! This may seem like a lot of $$, but it also includes the operating expenses of my business of at least 30%. I would be making about $21 per hour after expenses. FWIW – minimum wage where I live (Seattle, WA) is $15 per hour.

That’s the estimate, the reality is that I spent almost 12 hours working on this quilt! Why did this quilt take so much more time? (How did I know it took me 12 hours to complete this quilt? Because I timed myself while working on the quilt and documented it on my worksheet. For details on this, check out my online class, Your Customer Worksheet by Clicking Here)

I have not quilted Baptist Fans for a while and I forgot how time consuming they can be to quilt. I use templates when I quilt the Baptist Fans and any templates (of any kind) WILL add extra time to the project.

Remember, this piecing pattern is based on pinwheels and I had to deal with the thick seam joins with extra starts, stops and trimmings – all of which added time. Even if I did an all over pattern or a pantograh, I would STILL have had to deal with the thick seam joins which would have added extra time to the quilting.

Let’s do the math on more time – $250 divided by 12 (hours) equals – $20.83 and if I allow 30% for my business operating expenses, my hourly wage would be $14.58, which is slightly below minimum wage in my area.

The lessons learned from this are –

1 – although the initial price seems high, when the quilt is finished you may be making LESS $$.
2 – don’t be afraid to charge more for more detailed or time consuming work. The MORE time it takes to do the work, the MORE $$ you should be charging.
3 – If you are using templates (of any kind), add MORE time and $$ to your estimate.
4 – the next time I quilt Baptist Fans, I WILL charge more – a LOT more!!!
5 – just because it cost more, it doesn’t mean you will be making more $$$

By the way, the quilt turned out fabulous and my customer was delighted!

  

Let’s do another scenario –

Let’s say that my customer chose Quilting Idea #1, wavy lines, instead of Baptist Fans, at $175. (.036 per square inch)

I could easily get that quilting completed in four hours. That would give me an estimated hourly wage of $43.75 per hour, less 30% operating expenses would equal $30.62 per hour!! Now THAT is a wage I can live with!!

If you have not been timing yourself when you are working on a quilt, PLEASE, PLEASE, start doing so!!! You will be AMAZED at what you can learn!

I welcome your thoughts and comments. Please leave them below or send them to me in an email to longarmu@aol.com.

Your Customer Worksheet Online Class

I am hosting a NEW, LIVE, in person, Zoom class, Your Customer Worksheet and More!! on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 12 noon Pacific (3 pm Eastern) –

We will be talking about Customer Worksheets – why they are SO important, why you NEED one, what to have printed (disclaimers) on it and a WHOLE LOT MORE!! Including a little bit about pricing.

Also, we will also be talking about the Unhappy Customer. What do you do if this happens – and it WILL happen! Do you have policies in place so when you have an unhappy customer, you will be ready and can deal with the situation?

Do you know that your Customer Worksheet becomes a legal document? If your unhappy customer would take you to small claims court, your Customer Worksheet can be used to show what you did, or didn’t do.

This class will last about 2 hours or so. It will also be recorded. When you register for this class, you will get 90 days, 24/7 access to the class and all class handouts (downloadable pdf files.)

For more information and to register for Your Customer Worksheet and More!! Click Here 

I know that to many people, this is the “boring” part of the business!! In reality, this is the IMPORTANT part of being in business!!!

One more item – In early April I hosted a Zoom meeting about Machine Quilting Business During the Pandemic. This meeting was recorded and is now available as a FREE online class.

For details on the FREE online class, Your Machine Quilting Business During the Pandemic, Click Here

If you have any questions about any of these classes please contact me at longarmu@aol.com

I look forward to seeing you in class on Tuesday, June 30 at 12 noon Pacific (3 pm Eastern) 

Pricing Survey and Talking Business

A few days ago, I posted four photos of quilts and asked questions about how YOU would price the quilting on these quilts. If you have responded, thank you so much for doing so.

So far there have been only a few responses. Two of the quilts had 6 responses and the other two quilts have had only 2 and 4 responses. I know that world events have been in the forefront of everyone’s thinking. As we settle into the “new normal” of our lives, please take a few minutes to respond to the survey. I will leave the survey open for a few more days.

To view the survey, Click Here

On a more serious note – we are all struggling with our “new normal” of living under pandemic conditions which can / do include mandated self-isolation, social distancing, and other restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus. At this moment, there is talk of extending these restrictions for another four weeks!

I KNOW this will not last forever and, deep in my gut, I KNOW we will all come out of this stronger and busier than ever before. But, until that happens, what do we do??? How will our businesses survive? I have to honestly say, I don’t know for sure. I have some ideas, and I’m pretty sure you have some ideas too. Maybe you don’t have any ideas – and that’s OK – but you are open to any ideas or suggestions.

Let’s work together and see if we can find some ideas, suggestions, thoughts and strategies on how to keep our quilting businesses going, and possibly thriving, during the next few months.

I am going to host a Zoom meeting on Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 1 pm Pacific Time. There we can talk to each other and share our ideas and thoughts on how to keep our business going during this time. This is a FREE meeting, but you do have to register. To register, send me an email at LongarmU@aol.com and let me know you are interested in attending. I will then send you an email with all the details for the meeting on Thursday afternoon.

In your email, if you would like, let me know what your biggest business problem / issue / situation is during these uncertain times. It may be something we can talk about during the meeting. And of course, no names would be associated with any problems / issues / or situations.

I don’t know if we will solve any problems / issues/ or situations, but talking about them will help us all!

I know that as women (I know there are a few guys here) we are VERY resilient and many times we do our best work when we put our heads together and work on our problems together.

Again, send me an email letting me know you are interested in attending this meeting on Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 1 pm Pacific Time.

If you have any questions about this or need more information, please contact me at LongarmU@aol.com

I am looking forward to talking and problem solving with you on this Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 1 pm Pacific Time.

A Pricing Cost Analysis

A LOT has been happening over the last few weeks and at this time we are all in a state of social distancing and (possible) self-isolation! As quilters, as business people, and as women (as most of us are) we always seem to have a LOT to do and we will keep busy, no matter what.

This can be the time where not only are we catching up on backlogged customer quilts or working on our own quilts, we can be working on our quilting business!

Join me on Monday, March 23, 2020 at 1 pm Pacific Time, for a LIVE, in person, online class about a Price Cost Analysis and how to apply this to your business. I know that this sounds dull, boring and scary, but this is information you NEED to know! You NEED to know how your business costs affect your pricing structure.

For more details on this class Click Here

If you have been in business for a while – you need this class!!
If you are starting your machine quilting business – you need this class!!

Note: This is a great time to start a machine quilting business! If I am a piecer and I have to stay home, I am going to be piecing a quilt top or two. They will need to be quilted – and YOU can do it!

If you have been quilting for others for a while, this is the time to communicate with your customers and tell them you are ready to quilt their quilts! I will talk about this in a future blog post.

This LIVE, online class will be about 2-1/2 hours in length, possibly a little bit longer, and there will be time for questions, answers and discussions.

This is the time to take what you have learned in this class, apply it to your business and make your business more profitable – and the word “profit” is NOT a bad word!

For details and to register for the Pricing Cost Analysis Online Class Click Here

If you have any questions about this class, please contact Cindy Roth at longarmu@aol.com 

Stay safe, stay well and keep on quilting!!!

What Would You Do?

I received the following email from a quilter a little while ago and with her permission I am posting it. At the end is my email back to her.

What would you do in this situation? Please feel free to leave a comment on her post or my response or send me a private email at LongarmU@aol.com I look forward to hearing your responses and reactions to this email.

Note: Unfortunately, I have no photo of the quilt described in this email.

There is more to this story which will be future blog post.

————————

Hello!

I work for a sewing machine retailer and I use their long arm to quilt quilts for them as well.

I had a lady come in and wanted me to quilt a wall hanging quilt on my long arm. I told her what she wanted could be done on a regular sewing machine but no, she wanted it long armed. So I said okay.

Simple stitch in the ditch, nothing else. She came in, hovered over me the whole time and she would scrutinize every stitch I made. We discussed before I agreed to take the quilt to be quilted that we were doing stitch in the ditch. I showed her exactly with my finger where I would be going along in the seams and she agreed. I get this quilt on my long arm, she scrutinizing every stitch I make and then she is upset because you can see the thread barely along the edge of the white fabric pieces that she had.( she picked black thread)

Her pieces were not cut correctly and I used a ruler to quilt her quilt. She watched me the whole time and only after it had been done and I moved to the next section did she say something.

I don’t normally allow someone to stand over me when I quilt unless they are a silent spectator or interested in the machine.

Her quilt gets done and I pull it off. She comments on how multiple things need to be seam ripped and redone. So I do them. Then she doesn’t like her side pieces because there is a “bubble” in the fabric. I advised her to have the center of the panels quilted because it was a long piece of open fabric. She didn’t want that and didn’t like the results.

She was upset it wasn’t don’t that same day (I never agree to do a quilt in a day no matter the size) and was angry that I took a lunch break.

I redid the side panels for her (still poofy) and my boss said to not remove any other stitching since she agreed beforehand and didn’t say anything till it was finished. (The customers words were “I don’t need all that extra”)

My question is, is it ridiculous to ask the customer to remove the stitching if they don’t like it? My only fear is she made it seem like she wouldn’t pay me after I spent 8 hours on it plus having to remove stitching and re-quilting it. I feel like she was trying to be dissatisfied with the job so she didn’t have to pay me.

Where her problem was, the stitch is barely visible on her white fabric, and I told her originally that it may not be exactly in the ditch because of her seams and the fact that her blocks were not square. (her seams are curved) she said she was okay with that.

She agreed to pick it up today and then didn’t show up or call. If she does show up and decided she still doesn’t like it, I will just agree to disagree and remove my stitches and give her the quilt back. I’ve already decided to not do anymore quilts for her.

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Here is my response –

Thank you for visiting the Longarm U website and taking the time to write about your nasty customer.

First of all, I feel your pain and frustration! I have had a few “bad” customers over the years and I know what it is like. It is gut wrenching! After the dust settles, take a deep breath, forget about this and move on!

To answer your questions – in my opinion, it is not ridiculous to have her take the stitches out of her quilt if she is not happy with it.

This is what I would do – I would insist that she pay you for your work (no $$, no quilt back. You need to be paid for the time you already have into this quilt) and she takes the quilt home with her. Tell her she can take the stitching out and you will re-quilt it for her, but, she needs to bring it back to you within a certain amount of time, maybe one or two months, not any longer. If she brings it back re-quilt it, but I bet she won’t. I would document this all and maybe have a “coupon” or certificate made up saying she has X number of days to bring it back for re-quilting. Have her sign this and make a copy for your records.

If she insists that you take out the stitching, I would say something like, “I have already taken out some of the stitching. Every time the stitching is removed the fabric(s) are weakened and may tear. I do not want to take the risk of damaging your quilt. I know that you can take out the stitching more carefully than I can.” This way, SHE is responsible for any damage to the quilt.

If she would bring the quilt back for re-quilting, I would inspect that quilt with a fine tooth comb and take photos of every inch of the quilt before I start working on it. I would also photo document the work you are doing on it.

Personally, I don’t think she will bring the quilt back and is probably scamming for free quilting.

Some other things I thought about while reading your email –

I would set up a “no go zone” around your machine and working area. NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE, except authorized store employees, goes into that area. You DO NOT need anyone at your shoulder watching you work! And the no go zone needs to be enforced at all times!!!

I have seen some shops where they have a (physical) fence around the quilting machine to keep people away from it.

What would have happened if she accidentally bumped you while you were using a ruler and the hopping foot jumped onto the ruler? Or she tried reaching towards the needle while it was running and the needle went through her finger?

Do you have a worksheet that you fill out when you intake the quilt? Is there somewhere on the workshop that says that payment must be received before the quilt is returned to the customer? Did she sign and date the worksheet? If so, the worksheet becomes a legal document which protects you and the shop you work for.

Hang in there, this will pass. This customer will probably never be happy with ANY thing you, or any other quilter will do for her.

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I look forward to hearing your responses and reactions to these emails.

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!”

A Cautionary Tale

Two weeks ago, I was working at my desktop computer, in my office, when I got the notice that I needed to “update and restart” my computer (I am running Windows 8 on a Dell computer). I did the restart and left the room for a cup of coffee.

I came back to my computer and ….., my sign in screen was totally different and my desktop was different too – and ALL my desktop files and folders were GONE!!! I searched deep in my computer and couldn’t find the files!! I wasn’t panicked, yet! (All my programs were still loaded on my computer, just the files and folders were gone!)

Fortunately, for the last 10 years or more, I have used Carbonite.com for my constant, in the background, back up and restore service. I can’t say enough good things about this company and their services. But I am getting away from my story!

I contacted Carbonite, did what they said, and restored ALL my files that I thought had been lost! But wait, there’s more!

When I went to upload information to my websites, the “connection” that is between my hosting service and my computer was lost along with a few other connections that I need for my business. These could all be re-connected, but it would take time and some phone calls, etc. (I can handle doing that, sort of!!!)

A few days later, I realized that one of the programs I used (Quicken, for my personal finances) wouldn’t work – I was using a 2013 version of the software! So, I upgraded my version of Quicken to a current version, and, of course, after it was finished uploading / upgrading I had to do a restart to get Quicken to work. Of course, I did so and went for another cup of coffee.

When I got back to the computer, my old (before all this started) sign in page AND desktop were back! Woo hoo – so I thought, but.., my desktop files and folders were ALL GONE AGAIN!!!! I couldn’t find then anywhere in my computer!

And, this was all happening the day before I was teaching several days of classes!!!

A few days later, after the classes were over, I took a deep breath, contacted Carbonite, again, and this time one of their people “took over” my computer, found my files, and reloaded them for me. Then I had to get information onto the websites and realized that the “connections” that were previously lost, had all re-appeared and seemed to be working, along with all my other connections that I thought were lost!

I am now a REALLY happy camper!!!

How does this relate to quilting??? If I did not have the Carbonite system on my computer, I would have lost (literally) 20 years of my business financial records and 20 years of quilt designs, pattern, writings, articles, etc., etc.

My plea to you is this – get something like Carbonite.com, or any other off site, secure storage system for YOUR computer files. There are several different companies who do this sort of thing, choose which one is best for you. JUST GET IT!!! You don’t know when YOUR computer is going to go “crazy” or, in the case of the California wildfires, tornadoes in the Midwest, flooding in the East Coast, or any other natural disaster,  you have to leave or evacuate your house with little or no warning!

Ask yourself this question, if something happened and ALL my computer files were lost, including family photos and other precious things that are on your computer, could you get them back???

I live in earthquake country – if there were a devastating earthquake and my home was destroyed (I think my fabric collection would keep the house upright) I CAN get my computer files back!!!

I truly hope that nothing catastrophic happens to you or your family, but please, with the way today’s world is, protect your computer files!!!

FWIW – Carbonite.com costs less than $75 per year, it is a legitimate business expense and, with TWO desktop restores in less than a week, this is a price I can – and will – gladly pay!!!

One more thing I have to do is to restore my computer again and see what happens! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that everything comes back the way it’s supposed to, but, if it doesn’t, I’ll be contacting Carbonite.com!!!

Please feel free to post any comments below. I would love to hear from you about this, especially if you use a different back up system.

Charging for Thread Live Online Class

This is the second in a series of LIVE online class about running a successful – and profitable –  machine quilting business.


As a machine quilting professional, are you charging a separate fee for thread that is being used on your customer’s quilt?

If you are not, you should be!

If you do, are you charging enough to cover the cost of your thread? And to make a profit??

Join Cindy Roth, who has been machine quilting as a business for over 25 years in this LIVE, in person, online class, Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 1 pm Pacific Time as she talks about this subject.

Cindy will talk about –

  • Why you SHOULD be charging for thread used in a quilt.
  • How to determine how much thread is used in any quilt.
  • How to determine the wholesale and retail cost of thread used.
  • How to present this information to your customer, especially if you have not charged for thread in the past.
  • Invoicing thread charges to your customer.
  • And a whole lot more, along with an opportunity for questions and answers!

This is not a class about what kind of thread is best or what thread to use on a quilt. Those are questions that only you and your machine can answer. This is a class on the “business end” of a machine quilting business!

This is the class that will give you the information YOU need to make YOUR business more profitable!

This class will be about 60 – 90 minutes in length.

If you can’t join the class on October 12, the class will be recorded and you can view it at your convenience.

With the busy Winter Holiday season fast approaching, NOW is the time to see if  your thread charges are accurate, or begin to charge for the threads used in your customer quilts.

For more information about the Charging for Thread in your Machine Quilting Business class or to register for this class, Click Here

If you have any comments or thoughts about charging for thread please feel free to leave a comment.

Finding Customers Online Class

I want to thank everyone who responded to the question on my previous post of “what is custom quilting.” I am still working on my custom quilting article and hope to have it completed soon!

Last month I hosted my first ever LIVE online class, Finding Customers for your Machine Quilting Business, and it was great! The people who attended were wonderful, there were several lively discussions and we all had a great time. Everyone who attended, including me, learned a LOT! 

I was able to record the class and it is now on the Longarm Classroom website. To view the information about the Finding Customers class Click Here When you register for this class you have 90 days of 24/7 access to the online class.

In this class we talk about finding local customers, customers from out of the area and how customers can find YOU!

If you are just starting on your machine quilting business journey or you have been quilting as a business for a while, you NEED to attend this class!

To register for the Finding Customers for your Machine Quilting Business online class Click Here

If you were a student in this class and would like to comment about it, please feel free to do so. I look forward to reading your comments. If you would like to send me a private comment, please send it to me at longarmu@aol.com 

I am planning on having another LIVE, online class in the not too distant future! When that class is ready, I will be sure to let you know about it! If there are any topics you would like to see in a class,  please let me know.