Thursday, October 20, 2011

QUILTONOMICS 101 - Part 2

Sorry for the extreme delay on what was promised to be a weekly post....I guess the "one man show" shop ownership is getting to me.  Fingers crossed that I can afford some additional help in the new year!!

On to Part 2.....

PATTERNS:

We all love the inspiration we find in purchasing new patterns and books.  (and shop owners love selling them to you)!  However, in these economic tough times, think about all of the free and reduced price places where you can find that same inspiration and instruction.

1.  First and foremost is the internet.  Google the type of pattern you are looking for and add the words free pattern to the search and see what you come up with.  i.e. - you are looking for a christmas tree skirt pattern type "free christmas tree skirt pattern" into your search engine and spend a few minutes looking through what's out there.  BE AWARE!!! Most free patterns have not been tested so you may well find that the patterns are not always 100% reliable.  An experienced sewer can usually spot a glaring boo boo...so read thru the instructions carefully prior to cutting into your beloved fabric.

2.  Revisit your personal (or public) library.  If you are like me you cannot part with any of your back issue magazines or books.  Sit down with your favorite beverage and page through some of those old issues.  The fabrics may come and go, but the patterns remain timeless.

3.  Check the class schedules at your LQS.  I have started adding in some classes that make use of "free" patterns...I would rather have my customer save a few bucks on a pattern and still be able to come in to take the class and purchase a higher quality fabric from me.

4.  Sale! Sale! Sale!  Every LQS has a sale area whether it's patterns, fabric or notions,  check through those carefully so that you can add something new at a reduced price...you may give up a stamp on your loyalty/reward card but the savings are worth it!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

QUILTONOMICS 101 - Part 1 The Quilting of it All

Before I begin, I feel that I must point out several important things.  In NO WAY am I discouraging anyone from frequenting quilt shops (after all I am a shop owner)...or patronizing their longarmer or any other venue.  This is simply a way to save if you find you must and for those of you fortunate enough to not be feeling the money crunch..PLEASE  SPEND SPEND SPEND !!!

The first area in which you can save is your quilting.  Many of us have gotten into the habit of sending every single quilt top out to a longarm service.  While this is great and the longarmers thank you for it..this might just be one way to trim a little cash.  Ask yourself several very important questions before you ship off your next top:
  1. How large is the top?  If it is a throw size or smaller you may very well be able to machine quilt it yourself.
  2. What is the intent of the quilt??  If it is a quilt that is intended to be loved to pieces, i.e. a baby quilt, a charity quilt, or a quilt for a teenager...these are the perfect tops to machine quilt yourself and at the same time get in some really good quilting practice.  If a quilt is intended to be an heirloom, please consider hand quilting where size is never an issue and the time spent is worth the end result.
  3. Am I ready to learn a new skill?  Now might be the perfect time to take a machine/hand quilting course at your local shop.  The investment in the class fee will more than pay off with your first finished project.  Hand quilting is becoming less and less prevelant but can be a relaxing and fulfilling way to finish those quilts which are intended as heirlooms.
  4. Will my longarmer be insulted?  As many of you know, whenever you send a quilt out to your favorite longarmer they have no less than a 6-8 week turn around time.  There is plenty of business out there for them and like every artist they encourage new learning processes!!
Let me know what you think of these tips and if you have any to add!!  I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this particular subject!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Quiltonomics 101

Good Morning Bloggers:

I am going to spend the next few posts (hopefully 1 per week) going over some of the ways that we can continue to pursue our passion during this economic crunch that doesn't seem to want to end!   I am calling this mini-course

QUILTONOMICS 101 - The Basics of Quilting thru a bad Economy!

As some of you are aware, I recently opened my own Quilt Shop.  (Who does this in an economic crisis??).  There are many ways that you can still follow your quilting passion, still support your local shops and get your "fix", all while saving money!!

.  This is my first savings gift to you...visiting my blog and picking up these little short cuts and tips is free rather than having to purchase a book magazine to gain some of this insight!

Some of you may already be using alot of these tricks; but for some it might just set off that little lightbulb that makes you say.....YES, I can continue to quilt through this!!  Follow my ramblings on this subject and please comment and spread the word about this blog and mini-course!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Update...Quilts of Valor



Just Arrived from Moda
200 Star Blocks!!




 You can imagine my surprise when I opened a package from Moda and in it were 200 star blocks from quilters all over the country.  Apparently, when Moda put the call out for Just One Star in the hopes of collecting 1800....they actually collected 10,000!!!  The excess star blocks were then sent back out to the Regional Coordinators of the Quilts of Valor program for use in quilts to be made for the program.

As you can see, I used the Flag of Valor pattern for my setting.  This uses 18 of the star blocks with alternating strip rows and a top piece to resemble a flag.  Quick and wonderful way to get a top done.  If anyone is interested in making a quilt for the program...please contact me and I will arrange to get as many stars to you or your group as you request.  All I ask is that when your top is complete you go to the qovf.org website and complete the necessary steps toward donation.  I am also selling the finishing kit for the Flag of Valor as I have it shown, if you wish to purchase that and have it shipped with your stars.  Shop phone 856-240-1410.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Quilting & The Economy

As I was down on my hands and knees pin basting this antique quilt top this morning, I got to wondering......what are you doing in this tough economy to save money and still be able to pursue quilting???  Are you hand/machine quilting your own quilts rather than sending them out???  are you cutting back on classes???  are you shopping online lookin for deals???  or simply stopped eating so you don't have to give up any part of quilting??

Let me know!!  This new shop venture has me baffled....I'm running sales, classes, cut my profit margin and STILL don't seem to be drawing many quilters out of the woodwork!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Quilted Nest Joins Quilts of Valor

I am very please to report that The Quilted Nest is now part of the Quilts of Valor program.  This program seeks to get handmade quilts to our veterans.  I am now offering fabrics from the Red Rooster Studio Quilts of Valor Collection and we will be having a 6 part mystery quilt.  You may choose to purchase the fabrics at the shop (part of the proceeds of this go to the program), or use your own patriotic scraps.  Beginning June 7 the first mystery clue can be picked up.  Yardage and yardage requirements available after the 1st.  Then every other week after that another mystery clue can be picked up.  Once your quilt top is completed, if you wish to donate it to the program, futher instructions will be given.

If you are not close by, you can give me a call and I can take a phone order then email your clues bi-weekly.

What could be better than the 2 things quilters love most....mysteries and charities....

You can go to http://www.qovf.org/ to read more about the program or visit our facebook page and follow the link to take you there.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Riley Blake - I Wanna Be A Cowboy & Contest

I just finished redo - ing one of my two front windows. In honor of the 2011 collection from Riley Blake - I wanna be a cowboy 2 - we are in full western mode. Hop

on over to The Quilted Nest facebook page to participate in the Western Window contest I am running now through Monday May 30th.

I will make every attempt to keep the bloggers up to date with the shop happenings as well as the projects I am working on. In the window you will see the sample quilt featuring the fabric line (this is a free pattern from Riley Blake) also, I have recovered some very cool stirrup lamps so that the shades use the theme fabric, and finally made a decorative pennant string to pull it all together.

Hope to see some of you soon on my fb page as well as here....spread the word!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Onward and Upward....

As you might know, it was my plan to blog about how I was going to juggle a full time job while still devoting my time to quilting. It has not worked!! I am too tired at the end of the day to even pick up a quilting magazine and flip the pages.
I have now totally changed direction and am hanging up my 9 to 5 and opening my own quilt shop. I have heard many people say that there is even less time to sew when you own your own shop; however, I am going into it with 25 years of finance behind me so the business end should run smoothly. It is my hope that I can know do what I am very good at and merge it with what I love to do and come up with a successful business.
Wish me well and follow along, as I will definately have the time to post and share my project with you all!

Like me on facebook as well and when I reach 500 followers, I will be running a super duper giveaway!

Robin