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.

Finding Customers Online Class

There is still space available for my first ever, in person, online class, Finding Customers for your Machine Quilting Business on Saturday, July 13, 2019, at 1 PM Pacific Time (4 PM Eastern Time).

If you are looking for ideas on how to find customers locally, how to find customers from out of the area and how your customers can find YOU, then this class is for you!

If you are busy on Saturday afternoon, don’t worry!! The class will be recorded and you can watch the class at a later date when it is more convenient for you!

This is the first time I am doing a class like this, and I’m sure there are going to be few hic-ups during the class. Because of this, the class fee is reduced. The will be the only time you will be able to attend this class at this price!

For more information on the Finding Customers class Click Here

If you have tried the “traditional ways” of finding customers and found that didn’t work too well, you NEED this class!

I am extremely excited to share this information with you and this is the only place I am advertising this live, online class.

Register NOW for this class and get some great ideas on how to Find Customers for your Machine Quilting Business! 

For more information about this in person, online class, Click Here

If you have any questions about this class or need more information, please send me an email at longarmu@aol.com

I look forward to welcoming you to the Finding Customers for your Machine Quilting Business class on Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 1 pm Pacific Time! 

Machine Quilting Myth #3

Machine Quilting Myth #3 is a “sort of” myth. This myth – If you have a quilting machine and want to start a machine quilting business, you will have instant customers and be very successful! can be true, but, in reality, you will have to work to get your machine quilting business going.

When I started machine quilting over 15 years ago, there were only a few machine quilters. There were no home quilting machines, only the “big girl” industrial style machines which cost several thousand dollars. Becase there were not many machine quilters (locally or nationally) anyone who wanted to begin a quilting business DID have an instant business.

When I was seriously thinking of purchasing a quilting machine 15 years ago, I had a couple of people who called me and asked if I got my machine yet and if I was ready to take their quilts! At that time, I had only told one or two people that I was thinking of getting machine!

Times have changed and so has the machine quilting business!

Today, there are many more machine quilters and many more quilting machines on the market. Many people are now purchasing a home quilting machine to quilt their own quilts and maybe charity quilts. Machine quilting is more accepted and I am always amazed at what machine quilters are stitching on their own quilts and their customers quilts. Personally, I think we can do more with our quilting machines than hand quilters can do with a needle and thread!

Because of all of this, it may be harder for someone to start a machine quilting business today than in the past.

This doesn’t hold true for everyone. You may live in an area where there are not many professional machine quilters or you may have a large circle of quilting friends that are waiting for you to begin your machine quilting business. If this is you, then congratulations! You are truly lucky! If this is not your situation, then you will have to “work” to make your machine quilting business a success.

There are many ways to begin (and grow) your machine quilting business.  One of the first things you should do is to go to the local quilt shop and ask permission to drop off business cards and brochures about your business and be sure that you bring samples of your work with you to show the quilt shop owner. You are enthusiastic about your new business and the local quilt shop may be receptive to new quilters.

But, sometimes the local quilt shop is not receptive to you and your new business. If this happens to you, don’t take it personally! There can be many different reasons for this.  (If you are a quilt shop owner, don’t worry! I’ll talk about your shop in a little bit.) There are many ways other than the local quilt shop to get your business moving.

The question for you is – What are the ways that you have started your machine quilting business or found new customers other than through the local quilt shop?

Please leave your answers in the comments section. I know that your ideas will be a GREAT help to everyone who reads this blog.