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I Need Your Help

At the beginning of this year I set a huge goal for my little business.  In many ways this goal seems so overwhelming.  I have no clue how I will ever accomplish it.  Why may you ask would I do this to myself.  I ask myself that.  I’m pretty happy with where my business is.  But I would really like a computerized long arm.  It takes me so long to get all the Quilty Hug tops that are so generously donated and made at my sew in on my trusty domestic machine.  I’m thinking a computerized long arm would really help with this.  But they are not cheap.  Hence the lofty goal.

 I’m working hard to create fun classes, useful tutorials, and new patterns.  I’m taking a class to help me learn how to grow my business. Last weeks class assignment was to assess the needs of your customers.  Here’s were your help comes in.  As a quilter what do you look for in classes, and patterns?  Do you like pre-cut patterns, scrap patterns,etc.?  When taking a class what do you look for, method, project? 

 I appreciate your input.  I look forward to using it to serve you better.  I trust that as I put forth my best that good things will come back to me. 

That eventually I’ll reach my goal and be able to give even more.  Thank you for helping me to do this.


  • Material Girl says:

    I love scrappy quilts so I can use some of the fabric that I already own. I’m certainly not averse to buying some fabric to use, especially backgrounds,sashings,……I used to enjoy mysteries but would rather know what the end product will be. I think that some more masculine patterns might be welcome as there are so many for women and children. Just my thoughts, hope you get your long arm. Thanks fir sharing.

  • dq says:

    Hello Em. I am the wrong person to ask these questions because I rarely purchase patterns. I really like to create my own, but I don't think I am a typical quilter. I do believe that lots of quilters do like to purchase a kit because they like to make it EXACTLY like the designer – fabric and all. For me, however, I like to put my own fabrics together, and I don't like to repeat the same fabric pattern in a quilt even if it is in a different color.

  • Hettie Pringle /Stitchingmatters says:

    Nothing about buying patterns but as to your dream to get a computerised long arm. Why aim so high? Test drive a couple, find what is in your budget, remember a computer can be added later. I started this way and when I look at all the struggles people with the computerised long arms have, I think to myself "just do what you've been doing all along". Once you get the hang of it, loading is a breeze and you'll finsih twice the amount of quilts than having to pin or glue baste these. Then when you've made a couple of bucks, you go for the computer thing. The ladder… one step at a time.

  • Karen - Quilts...etc. says:

    I think a lot of people like to buy kits already made up. I'm a scrappy quilter and my goal is use my scraps but I do buy background. Is your goal to teach classes in your area or through on line process? Good luck in your decision I know the long arm computerized are very expensive – like getting a car payment every month??

  • Lisa Marie says:

    I recently upgraded from a non-computerized longarm to a computerized one. I got a whole new set-up, not just a computer system added to my old one. Anyway, what I have discovered is that it makes me able to do nicer quilting designs and a bigger variety of designs. It doesn't actually make me finish things faster. It takes time to choose and set up the computerized designs and I don't walk away while it is stitching. I might do a little something while I'm there (pulling paper off paper pieced blocks for example) but I want to be there in case something needs attention. I don't want to go back to the old system, as I love what I can do now, but you might need to investigate further to see if you should really expect to finish faster. I believe that longarm quilting is faster than domestic machine quilting, but I don't know that the computer speeds it up. Just my observations.

  • Wendy Caton Reed says:

    I don't take classes very often because I still work full time. I have taught many classes over the years and I find that most people like to have a kit to work with. I currently teach my potholder quilt method and I offer a kit. I find that there is always someone who doesn't like the choice of fabrics in the kit so I also take along a box of "extra" pieces for them to exchange if they want to. I wish you luck in growing your business. My friend just got a computer for her longarm and she is in heaven!

  • Frog Quilter says:

    I bought a new long arm last year. HQ Amar24. Love it and now am conte,plating getting the computerized component. My advice is get the long arm first, then later get the computerized add on. You may find you don't need it. I don't need it but I want it.

  • Susie H says:

    I like patterns with different sized quilts included. I also like patterns with suggested pressing instructions. I don't care if it's for pre-cuts or not. I don't usually buy pre-cuts but make my own. Hope this helps.

  • The Colorful Fabriholic says:

    I rarely take classes, but when I do it's to learn a new-to-me technique. I generally don't use pre-cuts, and I agree with Susie, I like when patterns give the pressing instructions. I wish you well in your business!

  • Cathy says:

    I don't take classes. I actually like to find vintage quilts I like and figure out how they are made myself so don't usually buy patterns. If I buy a book it is because it has several patterns in it that are complex and unusual and unique and usually require templates. I prefer templates with 1/4 inch seam allowance included and as others have mentioned — pressing instructions. I like to use scraps but don't necessarily like quick and easy scrap quilts. I have never bought pre-cuts or kits and I like to mix and match my own fabrics and/or make do.

    Good luck on your goal!

  • Tami Von Zalez says:

    I try to keep my quilting-related purchases to a bare minimum. Have you looked into a GoFundMe account?
    I am intrigued by being a longarmer too but I know my personality and have changed creative mediums many times throughout my life. So a huge investment like that, I'm not so inclined to purchase.

  • Sarah says:

    I would absolutely love to hear you give a talk (or lead a class) about your philosophy and approach to quilting–for lack of a better term, your pieces often demonstrate "stuctured improv" where there's freedom and variation in how you approach a block, yet it comes together in a coherent form.

    I rarely buy patterns–I really enjoy photo by photo tutorials. But I would go out of my way and pay to attend an event you were in (I'm in the DC metro area hint hint ;).

  • chrisknits says:

    I am on the program committee of our guild. I think a scrap project would be great. People don't really know how to use their scraps in quilts. Small projects are great, so they can get it done in a timely manner.

  • Farm Quilter says:

    If I am going to buy a pattern, it is going to be a very complex pattern or a paper pieced pattern that I can't figure out myself. When I take classes, I want to learn new techniques that will make my piecing easier. On the longarm, I've had mine for 10 years with no computer. It is so much easier and faster than using a sewing machine to quilt. I have used a computerized longarm that a friend has when I wanted super intricate designs and absolute perfection on my daughter's wedding quilt…I worked on that quilt for 8 days, 12 hours a day doing custom computerized quilting on the quilt and then finished it off with ruler work on my longarm at home…probably 100+ hours just in the quilting on that one! The computerized system can do a more intricate E2E pattern faster than doing it FMQ, so if that is what you are looking for, it may save you time. Have you chosen the longarm and computerized system you want to get? I know that there are a few of my brand of longarm that occasionally come up for sale that are used, and at a bit of a savings, so you might consider going that route. I would also check with the manufacturer at the end of the "season" to see if they are selling their "traveling" machines that they use at shows for people to try…they have been well cared for and sell at a discount.

  • Unknown says:

    I look for classes that are teaching a specific technique or one that you will leave with a finished product (or nearly).

  • Cathy says:

    I don’t buy patterns unless it’s something I absolutely love and can’t figure out myself. I enjoy taking classes (and I’m local to you, yay!) and usually look for technique over project – or both combined. I have only ever bought a kit once, and only then because it was on sale at Craftsy and I wanted the fabric.

  • em's scrapbag says:

    I'd love to share my philosophy and approach to quilting with you. I do workshops, trunk shows and lectures. Email me and lets see what we can work out. You're set on noreply so I can't contact you.

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