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!”

Charity Quilt Challenge

With everything that has happened in my life the last year, I am determined to make several quilts this summer and donate them to charity organizations. I will donate some quilts to American Hero Quilts (quilts are donated to wounded service people here in the Northwest and in Afghanistan) and also to the charities that work in the hospital where I had my hip replacement surgeries. I also have some really cute cat fabric. I would like to make, then donate, a quilt to a local cat rescue organization. (I hope that they would use the quilt as a fund raiser.) And this weekend I will be working on a quilt (or two) to donate to the Oklahoma tornado victims.

When I donate quilts I give the quilt with an open heart and no strings attached. I hope that the organization appreciates the quilt and will use it in their best interest.

You may not have a lot of $$ to donate to a charity, but, as a quilter, you have the skills and the stash to make a quilt or two or three to donate. You may have a quilt top (or two) that is completed and just needs to be quilted.

Here is my challenge to you – this summer, make a quilt or two and donate it to a charity of your choice. This could be a UFO (un-finished object) a WIP (work in progress) or maybe even a PIG (project in a grocery sack!) You can even make a quilt specifically for this challenge. If you finish some quilts (you didn’t piece the quilt but you did quilt it) for any charity organizations, they are included in this challenge.

Take a photo of the quilt(s) and send it to me at longarmu@aol.com  by July 31. Include your name and the charity you are donating the quilt(s) to. I will post your photo on a separate “Charity Challenge” page on the Longarm U website. To view this page Click Here Let’s see how many quilts we can make!

After July 31 there will be a drawing from all the participants for a $50 Longarm U / Longarm Classroom Gift Certificate.

Let’s get going and “get ‘er done!” and make a difference in someone’s life.

PS – Please feel free to pass this post along to your friends and anyone you think would be interested in this challenge.