Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ready to start my next quilt!

Ready to start on the next quilt! An unconventional Christmas quilt! 
Instead of the usual red and green, I'm doing it in pink, black and white!
Those of you who know me will understand...those who don't, I'll explain one day :)
Keep watching for pictures!
And, the website is going up right after Christmas....stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

10 Days "Till Christmas! Ahhhhhh!

closeup of circle tree design

Finally got the "Rudolph" story book quilt done!...and the tree up...and the shopping done and wrapped! Well, almost..........

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What I do in my "spare" (yea, right) time !

"Winter Blues"
This is my "spare" time passion.(which I have very little of at the moment) I love the smell of a wet oil painting!

Sometimes I really regret High School, where I crammed in all the sewing and art courses I could. Sometimes taking them again because they were so fun. I kind've skipped the "important" stuff to follow my passion. It's hard to get a job in our small (but growing) city if you didn't follow "the norm" in H.S.

I have worked at all the sewing factories (UGH) and have painted the side of a Sporting Goods building, and poppies on a shed. I have worked for every (?) Bridal store in the area , but most people wouldn't call those "real jobs".

Oh, well, this is me, and I am having fun . And so excited to open for business in a few off to keep practising on the long arm!!
click here to see the only painting I have for sale

Saturday, December 4, 2010

How to Hide Your Stash!

Wish this was my fabric stash :)

Funny quilt video of 100 ways to "hide your stash" .  Mine is too organized to hide :)

Looking forward to my "grand opening" on January 2 , 2011! Gotta get the website up and running soon! Also have to pay my state $70 dollars for a fictitious name.
Right now in the midst of Christmas shopping and decorating...ugh!

Happy Holidays to all of you!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My first customer quilt !

My first customer quilt
I'm so excited to finally get to a quilt other than one I made. Here is my friend (and former boss's) dog quilt.
She's the owner of a screen printing and embroidery company. The quilt is made out of old jeans. Then she embroidered the squares with applique dogs and bones. It was VERY heavy. Because of all the embroidery I had to freehand stipple around all the dogs. On the long strips I used the computer to quilt another dog pattern. She was very pleased with the finished result.

I guess she wasn't a "real" customer...we didn't exchange any money. I traded her for lots of custom embroidered quilt labels, a tape gun and tape, and a diet coke :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Remembrance Day in Gettysburg, PA

Click here to see last years' Remembrance Day parade!

This is last year's parade in Gettysburg, PA (about 30 miles from my home)
It is a fascinating parade of the North and South reenactors. Some of the southern soldiers even march without shoes, because some of them really didn't have any by the time they got up here.

Ladies dressed in mourning clothes stand along the parade route and throw flowers at the soldiers feet. One of the bands plays "Hail to the Chief" as they pass by "Abraham Lincoln" who is standing by the cemetery with his color guard.

The end of the parade route ends at the "high water mark" where the soldiers split up and shake hands across the stone wall.

An amazing day...I probably won't get to go this year...have a quilt to finish, and can't get the hubby motivated.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tips for selling on eBay !

While I'm still practicing and getting ready to "open for business" (January 2, 2011), I thought I'd share my tips for successful selling on eBay:
  •  The best time to SELL is fall, winter and early spring (more people are indoors and spending more time at their computers)
  •  The best time to BUY something on eBay is summer! (which would make that the worst time to sell)
  • The number one rule is to always include a GOOD picture (the more the better) of the item(s) you are selling. Most people will not buy without a picture!
  • The best time to list an auction is so it starts on a weekend and ends on a weekend (more people are on their computers then, and it causes more bidding wars)
  • Take a gamble and start your listing at .99 cents! I know that sounds scary, but it makes your item stick out and most people are searching for "lowest price first" in the drop-down menu.
  • Make your shipping prices REASONABLE! Trust me, no one wants to pay for "handling" Go to USPS or UPS web sites to "guesstimate" the shipping.
  • Be careful shipping over seas or out of your country. Some countries have some strange "custom" laws. Also, shipping over seas is costly, it's like buying your package an airplane ticket!
  • In your description, always be accurate and honest...if it has a scratch...list it. Include measurements, colors and sizes. Also, if it smells musty, tell them!
  • Respond promptly to any questions or comment...even if you think they're dumb. Remember, the customer is ALWAYS right!
  • Never leave negative feedback for anyone. Because, they will leave it for you, and just one negative feedback drops your rating below 100%. It will take a year of no negative feedback's to get your rating back up to 100%! *If you feel you must leave a negative click on "positive" and leave your somewhat negative response in the dialog box...or...don't leave feedback at all for that transaction.
Hope these tips help! Let me know if you have others to add!   Check out my eBay!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

eBay keeps reminding me that it's almost Christmas!

Rudolph "book" quilt getting ready for the machine!
Every time you click on your eBay account now it reminds you how many days are left until Christmas! Ahhhhh! Can't believe it's that soon! I'm not ready!
Well the good thing is that I'm that much closer to officially opening my business! (Jan. 2, 2011)
This is a quilt I'm finishing up. It was a children's soft book, but I cut it up and made it into a quilt.
And , yes, that is my beloved Pfaff 7570 in the picture. I had to go rescue her from the "hospital" (for machines) They wanted $200 DOLLARS to fix her!!! I brought her home and cleaned and oiled her, and reset all the tensions myself. She's doing OK....

Sunday, October 31, 2010

How do you store and catagorize all your quilt magazines and patterns?

This is just part of one shelf of my books! 90 % of them are quilt books and magazines. There are some art books and some craft books too.
How do you organize your quilting mags., books and patterns you want to keep? I heard Mark Lipinski say that he went through all of his quilt magazines and scanned the patterns and directions he wanted to keep onto his computer. I have a few stored in my computer, but it's expensive (ink) to reprint them out so you can use them.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My personal stack of quilts waiting to be quilted

One stack ready to be quilted!

This is just one stack ready to be quilted. Got another stack down in the "man cave" (where the machine is)
My favorite one in this stack is the Amish quilt I bought at a sale. The girl didn't completely finish the top. With this machine I'll be able to "trace" her pattern and finish this quilt top. She, of course, did it by hand. I'm not.
The other one in this stack that is interesting is the one on the top: It's a "cheater" quilt I bought on Ebay. It is a BABY "wedding ring" quilt! After I got it I thought, "that's really weird"!

Took "my baby" to the "hospital"

Had to take my old "baby" Pfaff the "hospital"...sewing machine repair store...yesterday :(
Sad to leave her there even for a few days!
I think the tension went out of it (how much is that going to cost!?)  She is my 5TH sewing machine...I wore out (or didn't like) the other ones: I had a Morse, a Singer, a Kenmore, a Elna, and this Pfaff. What a trooper she has been! I did YEARS of Bridal alterations and quilting on her...hope she makes it!

I have to be a "CAD" designer??

Picture of some of the design software

It scared me when I saw the word "CAD" in the software the machine came with. I had always seen jobs with the word CAD in when they were advertising for engineers and such. But, it's not so bad...kind've fun actually. It's weird seeing it on your computer and they all of a sudden the quilting machine starts running!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Here Kitty Kitty !

"Nikki" sews a kitty !

Sewed a row of kitties during "longarm" practice yesterday. Fun!
Love the new machine, but the hard part is the "CAD" designing software. Love a challenge though. When I get to the end of my practice fabric, I am ready to put one of my "real" quilts on it!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 "Nikki" !!

This is my "Nikki"
Finally, "Nikki" has found a home. See, I told you she has to live in the "man cave" :)
I was going to name her (doesn't everyone name their machines?) Elizabeth, since she is a crown jewel, but my dealer said that it was made in Salt Lake City, UT.  My favorite TV series is "Big Love". And one of the wives is Nikki. So, Nikki it is!
Have the practice quilt on and having fun!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My first (and LAST) attempt at "freezer paper" piecing!

OK, so, I thought it sounded easy...freezer paper piecing. Only if you like to build puzzles and don't care if it takes two months!
This was not fun, but I love the result!! It won 2nd place at our county fair this summer.
Now, I'm tempted to put it under the longarm and quilt it some more. I feel like a mad scientist...

Recipe for: Scalloped Pineapple

Let me share my favorite recipe with you. I take this one to all the pot luck suppers!

Scalloped Pineapple

Combine 3 whole eggs (beaten), 1/2 C sugar, and 1 large can crushed pineapple (incl. juice) in a 2 quart buttered casserole dish.  Mix well.

Add 3 slices of cubed bread and a dash of vanilla. Mix again. Dot with 1/4 C butter.

Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 45 mins.

I'm still waiting.....

Well, Wednesday came and went and I STILL don't have the machine up and running. The poor guy was here for 6+ hours! We weren't happy with how the machine was running , so he's getting a new part. Now it will probably be Tuesday. That's OK...I'm getting a lot done around the house. Have you ever hand shampooed your carpet?

The frame of the machine is LOOONG! It does take up almost 14 feet! Think of the stuff you could hide under there!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Slides, slides , slides, OH MY !

Slides turn PINK after 30 years!
So, today I spent more than eight hours cleaning the "man cave" getting ready for the arrival of my new longarm machine tomorrow. But, first, I had to move the 1,700 SLIDES of my husband's family to the garage!

WHY did people ever take slides? They take up so much room...ugh! Have you ever tried to get a "slide projector"? I went to Staples and asked. They said that they don't make them anymore! Had to get one on Ebay.

Great, another project...going to take a picture of each slide we want to keep, then transfer it to a computer, then take the "pink" out of it with a photo program, then send them to Target to have them printed!

While I was in the process of doing all this, my husband said, "Hey that one is in backwards, the garage is on the wrong side!" Oh, great, so now I'll have to "flip" some of them!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Two more days to go!

So excited! My new longarm machine arrives in just two days! 

Have to start getting the "man cave cleaned out". Must also clean the laundry room beside it too...don't want the poor guy to smell any kitty litter :)  But, don't worry , the cat is NOT allowed in the longarm room-ever!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Website, domain names, and other evils

Welcome to cyberspace...who knew it could be this friggin hard! Have you ever bought  a domain name and tried to get a (free) web host to host it? 

All I want to do is to type in my purchased domain name ( to Google and it to bring up my web site. But, nooooo, it doesn't do that...RRRRRR

So, I thought maybe this blog would do the trick, but noooo, that doesn't work either! I feel stupid :(

Friday, October 8, 2010

Working for other people verses working for yourself

  Back in the olden days, I was self employed. I did alterations from home and contracted out work for bridal stores (don't get me started on bridezillias). My business was named: "The Alteration Station". This was before internet and cell phones (how did we live?)

  I LOVED being my own boss and staying home to raise my son. At first we were really poor. It takes a long time to get a business going. Then it got to the point that I was making a lot more money during certain times of the year: wedding and prom seasons. But, I was working sometimes 12 hours a day and 7 days a week. If you take those hours and divide it by how much you made you only are really making about $4.50 an hour! 

  Well, I was tired of all those hours and not having health insurance, and doing self-employment taxes. Plus , when you work at home all that work that you didn't get done is always staring at you. And people think if you "work at home" that you're not doing anything...ugh! So, I decided to go out and get a "real" job...

  Since 2001 I've had about 10+ "real" jobs and they pretty much all stank! (is stank a word?) I've been everything from a van driver to a nursing home caregiver, to a merchandiser, to retail. Wow, that just wasn't for me! I hate being in a box. I hate working at factories where the buzzer buzzes for you to take  a break and eat lunch...ugh! Felt like Fred Flintstone!

  So here last chance to be self-employed (the lesser of the two evils) again. I'm excited!

OK, I'm gonna go for it!

Ok, so, I'm just gonna go for my own longarm quilting business!
Finally talked my husband into letting me buy the "Baby Lock Crown Jewel" longarm quilting machine (BIG bucks-no car for me for about 5 more years!). Getting all the necessary legal stuff done, and trying to get a website started (more about that later).
   Machine is coming next week. They told me it would take 4 HOURS to set it up! takes about 14 feet of space!! Going to have to put it in the "man cave" :)   It won't fit in my sewing/ art room.