A Long(arm) Story

I don’t talk much about the longarm part of my little business on my blog.

I was asked why that is . . .

So it got me to thinking . . .

And since I’ve been forcing myself to spend time on the dreaded treadmill, I’ve had some spare minutes for thinking . . .

And I think it’s for two main reasons.

First, I don’t think I’m that good at it yet. I’ve only had my machine for not quite 3 years, and have only been taking in customer quilts for just over 2 years. I still learn something on every single quilt. Honestly, I hope that doesn’t stop. I want to get better. I want to get a LOT better. The only way to do that is to keep at it, and keep practicing.

Second, I’m never sure if I should show customer’s quilts, and sometimes when I do want to, I never remember to ask permission or take any pictures, so I just never do. I feel like if the customer wants it to be seen, it’s their business to show it. I also know that if I’d just ask, they’d pretty much ALL be very happy for me to showcase their quilts. I need to get better about taking the pictures and asking permission.

So . . . I’ve decided to start showing a bit more of the quilting I do on my longarm, and to also start asking permission of my customers to show you some of their quilts that I’ve quilted as well. My Cowboy maintains that “No one will ever know what you can do if you don’t show them.” I have to agree . . . no matter how reluctant I am to toot my own horn.

So I’ll be back later with a post on the quilt I’m working on today, and tell you all about it, complete with pictures.

Meanwhile, you can go check out a few of the longarm quilters that I hope to be like when I grow up . . .

Judi Madsen of Green Fairy Quilts

Angela Walters, Quilting is My Therapy

Lisa, That Crazy Quilty Girl

Bari of Crossroads Custom Quilts

Oh, and trust me, you won’t be seeing work of that caliber in my posts . . . at least not until I’ve gotten some more practice time under my belt. But I hope by putting myself out there, it will help me improve faster, just so I won’t be embarrassed to show you stuff!

Published in: on February 8, 2012 at 3:48 pm  Comments (15)  

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15 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. If you have a form where you record your customer’s information about each quilt, what about updating it to ask for permission at the time you take the quilt in? At least you wouldn’t forget to ask. Still doesn’t solve the picture taking part but that would be one thing you wouldn’t have to remember.

  2. I, for one, am excited to see some of your longarm quilting. This kind of quilting just amazes me, since all I do for quilting is just done on my machine or hand tied.

  3. I agree with Knitnoid. If you get permission (or not) at the time you accept the quilt, you won’t have to worry about that part anymore. I also want to see what you are working on!

  4. Yay! I want to see what you’re working on too. It’ll inspire me in my FMQ quest.

  5. I want to see what you are working on also! I can sure understand you wanting to be like Judi, Angela, and Lisa, all unbelievable quilters, but me? You must be nuts! Well, I take that back. I know you are nuts, but you must be nuttier than I thought!

    I am with Knitnoid – put it on your intake form. That is where mine is, right at the top. Folks really like to see their quilts “published”. They can email Aunt Jane and Grandma Jones with the link and show off to everyone. Pretty cool!

  6. I would enjoy seeing your work. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Aren’t these quilters amazing?? Another one is Natalia from PieceNQuilt (http://piecenquilt.blogspot.com/) Would love to see some of your quilting.

  8. I too would love to see your quilting. I never get tired of looking at quilts and/or quilting on quilts.

  9. As a Customer of yours, I do not see a problem with a quilter taking a picture of my quilt and posting it on a blog but would have a problem with a quilter taking my quilt to a guild meeting and showing it. But don’t post the picture until after I’ve seen it. LOL!

  10. Okay, I’m pretty sure your work is totally awesome. I know you and how you work! So, I would love to see your work! And yes, you should showcase it more. ๐Ÿ™‚ My friend is a long armer…she has her clients sign a waiver (if they want to) before she even quilts the quilt, as part of the contract. They don’t have to give permission, but if they do, then she’s got it. Also, she never shows it until she’s given it back to the client so that they see it first, before she blogs it. I think that’s a great idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. The Cowboy has it right. You hate tooting your own horn. Good thing you didn’t plan to be a trumpeter! I have been harping at you for years about talking yourself up. Which is why I am your ad hoc PR agent sometimes. Get customers to sign waivers or give permission. Take pictures anyway. You can always delete the pics if the customer refuses. One of my own biggest disappointments with a customer (I don’t do things for customers very often) was that he refused to let the quilt be hung in our local show. It was a lovely quilt. Why did he refuse??? I would guess that only a small percentage will refuse and mostly because they can’t have their names out on the Internet. It would blow their cover in the witness protection program. Mafia revenge is awful!!

    • Hee. Mafia quilters!! Do they have to fussy cut around the blood stains and bullet holes?

  12. Wowee, why anyone would want to be me when they grow up, I’m not sure. I don’t even want to be me when I grow up. ๐Ÿ™‚
    As far as showing customers’ stuff, 90% of my customers know that I have a blog and that I post my work on their quilt tops there and on Facebook. And you know what? When I DON’T post their work, they think that’s a negative reflection of them. Liiiiiike, they think I didn’t consider their quilt “good enough” to post it on my blog. Which is never the case. But I quilt around 150 quilts a year. If I posted EVERY single one, it might get a little monotonous! I can’t imagine a customer refusing to let me share their quilt (aside from the obvious ones for designers).
    Never compare yourself to others. It’s fighting a losing battle to do so. Have confidence in your work, learn, grow, and share. That is why we do what we do, after all, isn’t it?

  13. Sharing your work is one of the funnest parts of being a longarm quilter!! We all start out as beginners and then progress as we practice. Seeing the progression through pictures is such a great reminder of how far we have come! Just like the commenter above, don’t compare yourself to others, enjoy the process!!!

  14. I hope to see some of your work as well! ๐Ÿ™‚

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