Behind the Scenes Look at Planning Quilting Designs

There isn’t one single way that I plan out what I’m going to quilt on a quilt. Sometimes I know as soon as I see a top what I want to do on it, and sometimes I have absolutely no plan at all even after it’s loaded… so I stand there and stare at it for awhile. Usually the reality is somewhere in between.

Today I thought I would give you a peek at one way I narrow down ideas to choose what ultimately will be the final quilting.

My good friend and frequent collaborator, Stephanie, made an awesome version of the Fly Away Quilt by Heather Jones Studio:

Photo credit: Stephanie

As you can see, there is a lot of negative space in this top. And since Stephanie used solids, the entire quilt is pretty much negative space. The quilting will really show.

The pattern itself is very modern, has really cool asymmetry, and has a clear flow to it. This was one of those tops that I saw and had some nebulous ideas in my mind, but also wanted to preview some of them before taking it to the actual quilt. Sometimes an idea that I have might be good in theory, but doesn’t really fit the top in reality. So, how do I do this?

I use AutoDesk Sketchbook. There’s a free version called “Sketchbook Express” that I use on my Mac.

So I start with the quilt top. I usually use an actual picture of the top, but in this case Heather had a handy digital picture of the pattern on her Instagram page, which I used (and she graciously gave me permission to show on my blog- thanks, Heather!). Like so:

This is my blank slate. On the right you will see a toolbar with layers. I sketch out ideas in a layer separate from the background, so I can toggle the layer on and off. I can copy things only in the layer I’m working in, without also copying the background layer as well. Super handy!

So here is that same screen, but with Layer 1 toggled “on” so you can see my sketching in progress. If I like that as a base to work from, I would move to Layer 2 and start sketching in more. Basically every time I have something settled, I move to a new layer so that I can play around without messing up what I’ve already done.

If I have a couple of competing ideas, the layers come in handy for that, too. I can switch back and forth between ideas and see what I think looks best.

Here you can see I’ve turned Layer 2 off so that I could work on the center square in Layer 3 without any distractions. Then when I’m ready, I can just turn Layer 2 back on:

I’m a visual person, so I like this method of planning because it lets me see how a design will translate to a quilt. I prefer to do it on the computer vs drawing with a pencil and paper because a) I’ve always been a digital doodler since I was a kid messing around on MS Paint and b) the layers function just makes it ridiculously convenient. Not to mention the amount of erasing I’d be doing with a pencil.

And that’s about as far as I would feel the need to go on Sketchbook. I don’t usually sketch everything out to the last detail, especially because it would be hard to do all the small filler designs. I like to get the basic framework planned out, and then from there I can figure it out as I’m quilting.

Now. I drew this all up, felt like it looked good, and then walked away from it to load up the quilt, wind bobbins, all of that. When I came back to it with fresh eyes, I decided to deviate from it a bit.

fullsizeoutput_259cObviously, that’s totally okay. You don’t have to be married to what you sketch out. I decided that what I had drawn was a little too symmetrical to go with the flow of this top. That was a game-time decision.

The benefit, though, is that I would not have arrived at what I’m quilting if I hadn’t gone through the trouble of sketching it out first, so it’s not time wasted, in my opinion. I’m still going to keep the simple geometric lines that I sketched on the coral HSTs, and I still kept the big, corner diamonds, and even though I changed up how I’m doing the triangles in the background grey, it was still an idea that evolved from the original sketch.

So there you have it. I don’t always plan quilting designs this way, but I do find it to be a valuable tool in my arsenal.

Upgrading a Longarm vs. Buying for the First Time

I wanted to do a more in-depth explanation of what prompted me to upgrade my machine and why I picked my new one: an Innova 22″ with Lightning Stitch. It probably goes without saying but just for clarity’s sake: I bought my machine myself, I am not in any way affiliated with Innova, or anyone else for that matter. I wanted to definitely make that clear because this post may kind of come off like a sales pitch since I’m talking about why I purchased a new machine that I’m enthusiastic about, but it’s not. 😛

And for shout-out’s sake, my dealer is Hunter Heirloom Quilting in Missouri. I highly recommend them. They have been an absolute pleasure to do business with, and are just great, great people. Amy, thank you for everything!!

I bought my first longarm in pretty much the opposite way of how it’s widely recommended to make that kind of a purchase. If you go browse forums where people have asked any questions about how to pick a machine, you’ll see a lot of the same advice given over and over: go test drive as many models as you can! dealer support! manufacturer support! warranty! find what fits!

I bought my Gammill Premier off of eBay from a girl who was selling it for her grandmother about 4 hours away from me. I didn’t see it or touch it for the first time until after I had paid for it. The young woman I bought it from was very nice, but not a quilter, so she was no help for me at all. I had to figure everything out on my own entirely. For me at that time, having absolutely zero longarm experience, my biggest concern was cost. We had just purchased a house. I had to find a machine I could afford to pay for in cash.

I don’t regret that purchase one bit. I quilted away happily with that machine for years. It’s a great machine. The benefit of upgrading with experience under your belt is that you aren’t taking a shot in the dark. I know how I quilt. I know the kind of work I do, the kind of work I’d like to do… I have a frame of reference.

Without further ado, these are the things that are important to me, the things that prompted me to upgrade, and what I looked for in my search for a new machine:

Visibility. I stand in front of my machine 100% of the time and do everything freehand. I am also a pretty tall person (5’8″, for the curious), and I quickly discovered that at my height and the height of my table, I was looking down at the light bar on the handles of my machine. Sure, I could see what I was stitching around the needle area, but I couldn’t really see what I was stitching up to. I never thought to take a picture of my perspective looking down, but here’s a couple that I think give you the idea:

I ended up compensating for this by hunching over, and it killed my back. I couldn’t quilt for long periods at a time without a lot of back strain, which slowed me down quite a bit. So, visibility was a huge factor for me in my decision-making, and #1 on my list.

Stitch regulator. I do custom work and ruler work very frequently. Not having a stitch regulator when you’re doing a lot of ruler work is kind of a major pain. And it’s hard to get a nice, even stitch length if you’re turning your machine on at the start of each line and turning it off at the end… you have to take off quickly and slow down just right. So a stitch regulator was a must. At the same time, I learned how to quilt without a regulator. I quilt fast. I didn’t want to buy a machine with a regulator that would slow me down, or that I would rarely use because of its speed and/or responsiveness. I just wanted a regulator that does its job without extra effort from me. I’ve spent years quilting without thinking of a regulator and I don’t want to start now.

Channel lock was another. If you’re doing a lot of horizontal or vertical lines, the ability to lock your wheels in either direction makes that fantastically easy. I wanted it.

Increased throat space. This was on my list in last place, which might seem weird, but it’s true. My Gammill Premier had an 18″ throat, and of all the things that I felt were holding me back as a longarmer, the throat size really wasn’t one of them. Sure, a bigger throat is always nice because you don’t have to roll as often and it’s easier to do large blocks, but in longarm machines, inches cost you thousands. I definitely did not want to go smaller, but if I had to stay the same to get everything else that I wanted affordably, I was willing to make that trade.

So, that was my list. There are a LOT of bells and whistles out there. Hydraulic table lift. Power fabric advance. Cameras mounted below so you can see the bobbin tension without crawling under your table. I mean, some seriously cool, cool stuff. Again, the benefit of having a frame of reference is that it helped me whittle down the available options to the “must haves” vs the “cool, but don’t needs”.

I think it can get really easy when you start to shop around to see all of these things and sort of internalize that you HAVE to have this stuff to be able to quilt, to be successful, to do good work, etc. There are two things I have come to believe to be true that might seem contradictory, but I think are not when balanced with each other:

1. Your machine is a tool. It will only ever be as good as you are. If you don’t put in the time to practice and the effort to improve your skills, it doesn’t matter if you have the absolute best, top-of-the-line longarm machine in existence. They aren’t magical.

2. That said, it is possible to be limited by your machine, so buy the best you can afford. If you spend most of your time compensating for your machine, or it really isn’t the best tool for you, the friction you’ll encounter can be really frustrating. And there’s nothing like frustration to stifle your creativity and desire to quilt. Think of it this way: you can paint a wall with a paintbrush instead of a roller, but it’s not going to be as efficient or do as good of a job.

So! I purchased an Innova 22″ with Lightning Stitch. Here’s why I felt it matched my list of wants better than anything else, and other pros that sold me:

 

Check out this visibility, man!! My field of vision is wide, wide open. There is nothing more valuable to me than that.

Lightning Stitch. There is no other stitch regulator like it. It can keep up with me no matter how fast or (equally as important) slow I go. No funky long stitches coming out of points. Just smooth, even stitches without me bending over backwards to accommodate equipment that should be accommodating me.

Larger throat and channel lock. Check, and check.

Modular machine. This means that there is no difference between the models besides throat size. You don’t have to make hard choices and compromises. If there is a feature you want after you’ve purchased your machine, you can have it. Anything Innova offers can be retrofitted to the machine that you have. This is huge to me. I don’t want some amazing new feature to come out in five years and have to trade in my machine to buy a new one to get it. I just want to get it. Once you get used to the feel of a machine and how it moves and you know it like the back of your hand… it’s rough to switch to another.

Pro frame. Relatedly, all Innova machines come with the Pro frame. I found over and over in my searching instances where I was looking at Machine X, but I didn’t like X Frame, I liked Y Frame… but I didn’t want Machine Y, if that makes sense. What I like about the Pro frame is that it has a gas-assisted lifting top fabric bar, so you can straighten the batting, a continuous track, and after hand-cranking the take-up bar to raise and lower it, I’m delighted to be moving to a four bar system. I also like that the table legs are adjustable up to 13″, so my table can definitely be as high as I need it to be.

Another thing I noticed as I was searching around is that there are virtually no used Innovas for sale. They’re almost like unicorns. When one does pop up, it gets snatched up immediately, and they’re super, super hard to find. That says something to me as a buyer. And sure- you would expect to see more used machines for sale from brands that have been around for a long time simply because mathematically speaking, there’s more of them out there. But even accounting for that, it seemed to me that people who buy their Innovas love them and keep them. That’s a pretty huge endorsement of their product.

Beyond that, so many quilters that I admire, who quilt how I like to quilt, have made the switch to Innova. I’ve never been someone who has felt the need to buy something just because someone else has it, but it’s hard not to notice this and consider why that would be.

I had a lot of fun with my Gammill, and it will always have a place in my heart as my first machine… the machine I started my business with and learned how to longarm with. It was a great purchase. However, for the kind of quilting I do, and the workload that comes with quilting for others, it wasn’t meeting my needs anymore.

I’m looking forward to many, many years of quilting with my new machine!

The Overhead of Machine Quilting

While I was Googling around yesterday, I came across a new-to-me blog post that caught my eye. There’s been plenty of posts written about the real cost of quilts, the real cost of quilting, why quilters charge what they do, etc. The one I just read was written by Andi Rudebusch, and it’s really good. You can check it out here. In her post, she says:

And when you are self-employed, there are overhead expenses. While most longarm quilters work from their homes (eliminating the cost of rent) we do have other expenses such as advertising, insurance, computers, internet, websites, utilities, etc. Oh – did we mention self-employment taxes? And those people making minimum wage at WalMart get benefits – health insurance, paid vacations, sick leave, etc. As a business owner, if I don’t work a day, I don’t get paid for that day. I have to pay 15% for self employment taxes, I don’t have any money going into retirement accounts (unless *I* put some there). And after 8 hours on my feet driving around my longarm, I may need a massage or chiropractor appointment to keep my body in good shape. Guess who pays for that? Me!

I wanted to talk about this aspect specifically- the overhead of machine quilting. It’s a lot of numbers and I know people don’t want to get too in depth with numbers, but it’s worth discussing. If you’re curious about why longarm services cost what they do, I hope this will help. If you’re someone considering starting a longarm business, or someone who has just started out, you’re who I have in mind when I write this.


First, of course, is your machine. Machines have been a hot topic around here lately! I just bought an Innova 22″ with Lightning Stitch. If you Google around you will see that to buy a new one, you’ll pay $16K. It’s not a secret. That is a HUGE amount of money to drop on a machine, and it’s not even close to the most expensive one you can get. If you get a machine with a computerized system, you could pay double that. Either you pay in cash and need to make that money back to cross over into the black, or you have monthly payments to make.

There’s other quilting accoutrement to buy as well. You’ll need needles, thread- a LOT of thread in different colors and types, pins, something to hold your pins, oil, scissors, extra bobbins, a bobbin winder, rulers, templates, marking tools, adequate lighting, rolls of batting to offer your clients…. do you offer binding services? Then you’ll need a regular sewing machine, rotary cutter, rulers, and mat. And remember- many of these things are not one time purchases. I use a new needle on each client quilt, so I’m going through a lot of needles. I have to re-order thread all the time. Batting too. Pins tend to get lost. Rotary blades and scissors get dull. You never have enough bobbins. You get the idea. Maybe you already owned a lot of this stuff because you were a hobbyist before you became a business, but don’t forget: if something happens to it, you have to replace it. You’re not a hobbyist anymore.

Then there’s shipping supplies, if you have long-distance clientele. Boxes, labels, packing tape, plastic bags to protect quilts during shipping. All of this has to be re-purchased, too. If you meet up with local clients to return quilts, don’t forget your gas and mileage.

There’s all kinds of business-related miscellany, like business cards and signage, business license fees, invoicing software costs, website costs, printer, printer ink, paper, internet connection, computer, insurance, etc. Do you have an accountant to do your taxes? If so, that’s an expense. If you do them yourself, then that’s your time.

You should think of your time as overhead. Your time is valuable. Whether you’re a wife and mom of littles, a dad, a single guy, a grandparent, an alien undercover for your home planet… we all have other things we could be doing. People we love who we could be spending time with. There’s the time you spend actually doing your work, of course. There’s the time you’ve already spent practicing and improving your skills, the time you had to spend to learn the computer system you have and become proficient, the time you spend maintaining your machine (because if you don’t have a nearby dealer, you’re going to be your own mechanic, so add “tools” to the accoutrement you’ll need to buy), etc.

But what about all the time you spend working on your business outside of your studio? Updating social media, updating your website, designing newsletters, emailing back and forth with clients and colleagues, planning out marketing campaigns, staying up to date on happenings and trends in the industry, bookkeeping, inventory…. time and money you spend to attend classes and trade shows… It may feel like you’re doing some of this stuff in your free time, but it isn’t “free” time. Or at least, it shouldn’t be.

This isn’t a comprehensive list of expenses, but it’s a pretty decent overview, I’d say.

So what does all of this mean for you, the new quilter starting off on your longarm business journey, and what should you do about it? Well…

I think it’s worth mentioning here that there are factors outside of your control that affect the market you will find yourself in. The industry has changed, and it’s going to keep changing. There are a LOT more people with longarm machines now, so you have more competition in the sense that clients have more options to choose from. Social media has opened up the quilting world so that geography isn’t as big of a factor for people when choosing their quilter- sending quilts across the country is normal to do. There’s plenty of folks who buy a longarm machine just to quilt for themselves. More and more people are choosing to quilt their own quilts on their domestics now, too. Many quilt shops offer rental time on their longarms for people to finish their own quilts that way.

I think people staring out have this intrinsic fear of not being able to make it, which is a totally understandable fear when you’re starting a business. So, they don’t charge enough, hoping that their prices won’t scare paying customers away. Or maybe you do charge enough in theory, but you give away upgrades on quilting jobs so that people get custom jobs at E2E rates, because it’s your name on this work, and your portfolio… and you want to make every job you get count. Maybe you give away quilting jobs sometimes, hoping that it will pay off in word of mouth referrals or publicity. You do it with a “client base building” mentality. And believe me, I so get that. You start out just wanting so badly to be paid, man… isn’t some money better than none? I mean, until there’s money coming in, aren’t investments just losses?

I don’t have all the answers. I just have my opinion, which is: it’s a slippery slope. It’s hard to stop this once you’ve started, because people get used to it. Then, if you suddenly say “Hey… I’m not making enough to cover my expenses!” and charge appropriately, this seems like a massive hike in cost to clients who have gotten used to paying you less than you should have been taking all along.

All of this is to say to you, the brave soul venturing into this: begin as you mean to go on. Strategic giveaways and promotions are well and good and a tool in your marketing arsenal, but make sure you have a clear, trackable ROI in mind. What I mean is, don’t be vague with yourself about what you hope to accomplish with your giveaways and promos. Know ahead of time what you expect so you will know how to measure a marketing campaign’s success. Your entire business model can’t be a big giveaway, or it won’t work. You’ll end up frustrated. You might end up bitter. You might end up burning out.

I’ll leave you with this: Be generous. Be big-hearted. Just don’t be taken advantage of. Value yourself. If you don’t, no one else will. If this means you lose clients, so be it. Do you want clients who don’t value you? If this means you do fewer jobs, so be it. Is it better to do 10 jobs and make $1000, or 5 jobs and make $1000?

Freehand Quilting: A Manifesto

Or: “Thank you, but I promise I really don’t want a computerized system.”

If you missed it on Instagram, the Gammill is sold! Its replacement will be here in five days, not that I’m counting down or anything. 😉 More details to come on all of that soon (namely: the nitty gritty of what I was looking for in a new machine and why I made the switch). Now that the dust is settling, I was thinking today about the whole long process of buying a new longarm, and sort of decompressing a little bit. As I thought about it, I realized a pattern had emerged in my mind.

I talked to so many dealers and manufacturers when I was shopping around for a new longarm. Far and away they were just fantastic and helpful. Truly terrific people, and I wished I could buy a machine from so many of them. There were some, though, who didn’t seem to believe that I didn’t want a computerized quilting system. Or if they did believe me, they didn’t understand why that would be. I don’t think it was out of malice, but it was frustrating.

“I do exclusively freehand work.” I opened every conversation this way. I got some interesting responses:

“You’re not interested in a computer?”

“If you ever do decide to add a computer, you can add one to this machine down the road.”

“Of course, it would be so much faster for you to use a computer.” 

“You still pick the quilting designs and choose where they go in the blocks.”

“It could really free you up.”

Or my personal favorite: “… and you can always add a computer later; unless you’re just so good that you look down on those of us who use computers, ha ha ha.”

Ha ha ha, indeed.

Again, I don’t think it was meant to be frustrating, or that it was ill-intentioned. But hearing it over and over and over again, the subtext I was starting to hear was: “You’re naive. Give it time. If you’re serious about your business and making money, you’ll want a computer.”

Look. I don’t use a computer because I don’t want to. It’s as simple and as complex as that. Of course I could be faster if I used a computer… I’ll never be able to custom quilt anything faster than a computer could do it. I know you’re the one picking the quilting motifs with a computer… I already do that AND I had to learn how to quilt them out myself, too.

And as for that last quip… no, I don’t look down on people using computerized systems. Why would I? It’s not something I’m interested in doing but no one has crowned me Queen of Quilting yet, so why would I get my feathers ruffled about what other people want to do? Guess what? I personally don’t want to do T-shirt quilts, either. Good thing there’s a market out there full of quilters happy to do it!

Here’s the thing- I’ve spent a LOT of time and a LOT of money trying to get better and better at freehand quilting. Time and money that could have gone towards other things. I do freehand quilting because that’s what I’m passionate about. I like that a human person quilts the designs. I like that each feather frond or swirl is done in a unique and non-repeatable way. I just like it.

I don’t want a computer. It’s not the work I want to do. I want to send someone back a quilt that has quilting no one else has, or ever can. I quilt by machine, but I want to keep my human hands as much a part of the process as possible. I’m a business person, so of course I want to make money and I want to be successful, but my way. Quilting is my art and my craft and my trade all in one, and this is what I want to do with it. Other people do what they want to do with it. Yay for all of us!

 

So please, Salespeople of Earth… believe me when I tell you that I don’t want a computer. As my four year old would say: it’s a big world out there, hon. Lots of people have computerized systems and lots of people like that kind of quilting. Lots of people like batiks. Lots of people like Civil War Reproduction quilts. Lots of people like trapunto. Lots of people like improvisational piecing. Lots of people like oatmeal raisin cookies. I like freehand quilting. The End.

 

On selling and upgrading longarms

In case you missed it on Instagram, I am in the market for a new longarm quilting machine. I am excited and terrified at the same time. So that means I am looking for a new home for my current guy.

IMG_5875

Basically what’s motivating this is that I’ve gotten to a point in my business and skill set that I feel like some additional features would be good to have. I only do freehand work, and a lot of it is custom, so not having, say, a stitch regulator for ruler work is really time-consuming. Things like that.

I’m a little sad to think about letting my current machine go. I feel like we’ve been through so much together and I have a lot of great memories quilting with it. It’s a workhorse and shows no sign at all of slowing down. I’m also really nervous about having to acclimate to a new machine when I am so familiar with mine. But alas, I don’t have the space for two of these big ol’ things, so go it must. At this point, I have no idea what I’ll end up with. I’m exploring my options.

So! If you are in the market for a longarm quilting machine also, and are interested in mine, shoot me an email at thequiltingchamp [at] gmail [dot] com, or use the handy form on my home page to send me a message directly through my site. I’ll give you all the details of what is included. Let’s talk.

It’s Hip to be Square (and other backing thoughts)

Let’s talk backing.

Poor backing, it can sometimes be an afterthought. So much time and energy goes into making a beautiful quilt top, and then you finish and you’re like, “Oh yeah… backing.” For your longarm quilter though, backing is the first thing we think of when it’s time to load a quilt. In this post, I’ll share everything you ever wanted to know about backing fabric specifically for longarm quilting. For today, backing is the star!

1. It needs to be square!

If you’ve ever looked at a Quilting Services page on a machine quilter’s website, I would stake the farm* on the fact that at some point, “Square your backing!” or the equivalent is said. What does this mean? A square backing is one in which the top and bottom edges are parallel, and the sides are parallel. All four corners are 90º angles. There is no fullness- meaning if you spread that backing out on the floor, it would lay flat. No ripples or funky parts that won’t stay down.

  • Why does it matter? When I said backing was the first thing your longarmer thinks of, I wasn’t kidding. It is the first part of your quilt that gets loaded onto the frame. It is literally the foundation of the quilt sandwich- everything else rests on top of it. We pin the top and bottom edge of the backing to the top and bottom canvas leaders. These canvas leaders are on rollers that roll opposite of each other, so that we can get that backing taut. If the backing isn’t square, it won’t be nice and flat and taut. Part of it will be, but another part might hang loosely, or twist funkily. Don’t let all this talk of the top and bottom edges distract you- the sides are just as important! We have lines on those leaders to mark the center, and we find the center of the top and bottom edges of the backing (by folding in half and bringing the sides together) and match it up to the leader lines when we pin.

Here’s what it looks like. I loaded this backing unsquarely, for example purposes:

Messy floor... oops

See how it’s all droopy and ripply and and the seam lines aren’t straight and it’s generally just crazy? I can’t layer batting and a quilt top on that to quilt it.

IMG_2809

But see how nice and flat this quilt sandwich is? Underneath is a square backing that is giving me a great foundation for quilting.

It is important to pay attention to the grain of the fabric when cutting and piecing your backing. Here is an excellent article that goes over fabric grain if you feel a bit mystified about it. No matter how perfectly straight your cuts or piecing seams, if you’ve cut your backing off-grain, when your quilter rolls your backing up and the bars are pulling the fabric, it will stretch weirdly. You don’t want this! Fortunately, because backing requires such a large amount of fabric, you usually will be using it at the full width of fabric, or joining multiple full widths. Still, I mention it because it’s something to be mindful of and will greatly improve the quality of your finished product if it’s done correctly.

2. It needs to be sewn with a 1/2″ seam. 

In piecing a top, 1/4″ is the gold standard, but that isn’t best when piecing a backing. Instead, use a 1/2″.

  • Why does it matter? The rollers that I mentioned that roll opposite each other to get your backing taut put pressure on backing fabric. A 1/4″ seam is more likely to pop open than a 1/2″- so think of it as a safety measure.

3. It needs to be bigger than your top. 

Different longarmers have different requirements for how much bigger, so check with yours. For me, I ask for an extra 4″ on all sides, so a total of 8″. In other words, if your top is 80″ x 80″, your backing needs to be 88″ x 88″. Make sense?

  • Why does it matter? That excess gives us space to quilt to the edge of your top without the carriage of our machine running into the clamps that we attach to the sides. It gives us a place to test our tension. It’s a form of insurance that guarantees when we get to the bottom of your quilt top, there’s still plenty of backing left over and we’re not short. Basically, this is one of the most important things about your backing.

That about covers it. Those are the most important things you should know about backing fabric when you send your quilt to a longarm quilter. I hope that helps give a better understanding for why we ask for what we ask for. It’s not meant to be intimidating or a bunch of crazy rules to scare you off. What it boils down to is that we (I feel confident speaking for all longarmers here) want to do the best we can for you. We want to return to you a quilt that will make you ecstatic- and it all starts with the backing.

*I don’t actually have a farm. 

New Website

Hi friends!

You may have noticed I’ve been having website trouble in the past few months. I’m a one-woman show around here, and sometimes it really shows, like when I’m the worst tech support I’ve ever hired. Despite my best efforts to fix my site, I could not figure it out. I’ve been putting off the inevitable for months, but finally did what I had to do and just completely got rid of my old site. I’m bummed, because it was a lot of content that I’ve lost, but that’s okay. It started as a blog and morphed into a blog/business website, and since I don’t really blog anymore, from the ashes rising like a phoenix is a new business website. A really plain, simple phoenix.

So why, you might be wondering, after saying I don’t really blog anymore, am I setting up a blog on my business website? Well… sometimes I do have things I want to post. Like how-to’s on getting your backing fabric right for your longarm quilter, or how I choose my quilting designs, or maybe occasionally a free-motion tutorial.

This isn’t going to be a blog like my last blog. But I don’t want to close the door on this being a place where I can say what I want to say, either.

So that’s what this space is for. I don’t know how often I’ll update it or be putting out content, but there you have it.

Thanks for stopping by!