The Road Less Traveled

Nope, I am not happy; and I really am not happy to be writing this post.  Those that saw my post on Friday read about my 48 month project.  The infamous quilt that has been in the making for way too long.   After my post I was inspired to do some marking and wanted to remove them to see what the design would look like.  The result has me in tears.

Did I prewash the fabric? Of course.  Am I sick to my stomach? The thought of fabric is making me nausea.  Have I cursed myself inside and out?  A million times over.  Were tears shed? Let’s just say I do need to re-stock on tissues.

Just the other day while I was finally motivated to tackle this quilt a friend of mine imparted this thought.  She said that maybe this quilt has already provided me with its lesson; she continued by stating that maybe it’s time to let it go and give the top away which would allow me to move on.  Her words held some truth to them, as I now believe that this quilt has something unique in store for me.

 

I have learned many lessons from this quilting disaster.  Here are just a couple:

Lesson #1

Hand dyed fabric wash repeat, wash, repeat UNTIL the color catchers come out the same color they went in as.  What color is that? White!

Lesson #2

The ability to salvage this quilt remains uncertain.  But rather than allowing my feelings of regret and frustration take over which would normally have me tossing this project aside indefinitely; I have chosen to go move forward and finish what I have started.  This UFO is taking me into uncharted territory. Will it ever be show worthy? Again, only time will tell.

If you are interested in joining me on this journey, then stay tuned.  I plan on keeping my readers abreast of where this new road takes me. It will definitely include the good, the bad and the ugly.   But I have a strange feeling that this quilt will be providing me with several quilting and life lessons that I will be more than happy to share with my fellow quilters.  And in the end together we will all see where this project ends up, maybe it’s in a show, or maybe we will find it in the classroom.

 

 

 

Just Say “NO”…Nicely

The word “No”, it is surely one of the shortest words in the dictionary.  BUT  those in the quilting business must acquire the ability to say it confidently and clearly.  I know, we always hear “stay away from negative words”, but when it comes to customer contact, networking, and growing your business it is imperative to understand that it is okay to say “NO”…nicely.

In case some of you out there need some examples of when it’s appropriate (or alleviates your guilt) to share that word, here is a short list.

The Okay to “No” List (according to Lisa)

When asked to use red thread  on the top of the quilt, and white thread in the bobbin.

If you don’t think the color choice is going to work it’s okay to give your opinion.  I would hope customers would appreciate your input and concern for the outcome of their project.  You are only giving a suggestion, and if it helps you sleep better at night for heaven’s sake “Say what you gotta say!”…nicely.

When your customer feels that quilting their king size top should cost $60.00 to complete.

It is ultimately YOUR time, and what does YOUR time mean to you? It’s okay to kindly indicate the price YOU feel is appropriate (that’s if you want to quilt a king size top in the first place).  But if you know that the price and size aren’t to your liking kindly tell your customer no…nicely.

You are asked to give a lecture, very exciting.  The lecture is 5 hours away and they want you to speak for 2 hours, is it really that exciting?

Perhaps it’s considered exciting if you feel that after adding up all your expenses, and time taken to do the lecture you can find some margin of profit that would be beneficial to you.  Again there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling that the distance just doesn’t meet the criteria that makes it a worthwhile venture.  Decline the offer by saying no…nicely.

Your quilt has caught the eye of a client who asks to purchase you prize-winning quilt for $400.00 dollars.

This should really be an easy “no”.  I realize that it is very flattering when a customer, or fellow quilter, is in awe of what you have designed. It’s especially attractive in regards to a project that’s been highly recognized and given a pretty blue ribbon.  However, the love, and sweat you poured into this amazing piece is way beyond $400. 00 if not priceless.  So give careful consideration when tempted to part with the quilt that has won “Best In Show”; be mindful of the dollars you are going to receive in exchange for the art you have created and probably will never forget.  You needn’t respond like Wonder Woman (although you may want to), but humbly say thank you and no…nicely.

Uttering the word “no” is not easy, but it needs to be communicated.  When I say communicated, I mean spoken “nicely” to that particular individual.  It’s not what you say to those around you, but how you say it that matters.  Done in a polite, respectful manner, the word “no” can be a very beautiful, short, and sweet expression.

Do you have a hard time saying no? Or maybe you can’t even fathom telling someone “no”.  Please share your experience on how you have/haven’t come to terms with that forbidden one syllable word.

Bring On 2017!

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My wish for my blog this year is to reach new members and sustain those that have already joined my journey.  In my “perfect blog world” each viewer would walk away taking with them at least one of the following:

A Smile: Each day, you should smile and giggle at least one time.  Did you know that the average child laughs 3oo times per day? That is incredible! If I can provide a little comic relief to someone’s day through my entries then 2017 will mentally be a tremendous year for many of you!

A Piece of New Information: Whether it’s acquiring insight on a technique, product, or one of my life experience’s as a quilter, hopefully, you will gain a little bit of education on various topics.  Should I succeed in sharing more than a little bit of new information than KUDDOS to both of us!

A Platform to Voice Your Thoughts:  Yes, I want to hear from you! I learn so much from those that follow my blog.  Your comments, and questions fuel my ideas and drive me to further grow both professionally and personally.   I greatly  appreciate all those that take the time to give me feedback.  Trust me, I learn so much from the thoughts that you all share.

SO BRING ON 2017!

AND 

May 2017 bring all my followers twelve months of learning, living, and loving their passion for quilting.

What To Wear?

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Ah the world is such a comfy, warm and lovely place when I am able to stay in my PJ’s for lengths of time that go beyond 8 a.m.  Yet, reality has a funny way of telling me that my wearing fleece bottoms and tops with the graphics of clouds and sheep cutely printed throughout would not be professional.  I suppose even a drive to the post office deserves a little more thought in attire.

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When it comes to working in the studio I still like the idea of feel comfortable.  Just as I need to feel comfortable with my machines, what I wear for quilting, creating templates and the million other details of running my business has me choosing sweat pants and a t-shirt.  I often feel  a tad frumpy when I see Drea enter the studio dressed in business casual attire from her full-time job and I look down at my favorite yoga pants and zip up hoodie.  The feeling doesn’t last but mere moments because Drea always takes a glance at my “dress code” and says “I would love to be dressed like that! Maybe I’ll keep a pair of sweats here so I can change out of my uncomfortable clothes.”

To make us both happy I suggested we think about instituting a dress up day and a PJ day.  She doesn’t realize my idea of dress up day is dresses, not business casual.

images-34I say “Go big or go home, right?” Heck if I’m gonna have a day to step it up, I am really going to step it up! Hopefully Drea doesn’t choose to say “I’ll skip the go big or go home theory.”  I think it might be fun having the red carpet experience in my studio!

Do you need to be in super comfy like me when you are working? Or do you have another go to fashion that has become your closet staple?