Facebook, Tweeter, Snapchat, and Pinterest are just a few of the many social media sources that we all utilize to share our business and craft of quilting. The internet is amazing in providing us with the such ample opportunities to connect with one another. I did say amazing, but the word “amazing” encompasses the amazingly good, the amazingly bad and the amazingly ugly!
I love providing information, and instruction for peers in this arena that would like to enhance their quilting skills. I recently have taken to trying out Facebook Live as a different approach to sharing my work rather than simply posting to Facebook or Youtube.
All we want to do is share in a positive manner, correct? Well, this where we leave the “amazingly good” and step into the “amazingly bad” and “amazingly ugly”.
I am extremely lucky to have such a responsive group of followers. Most of whom provided me with incredible insight on what they have experienced after viewing or reading my material on social media. However, there are those that feel the need to express certain opinions, or statements that have me wondering “Didn’t their elders teach them that if they can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”? Apparently they didn’t absorb that little life lesson. Constructive criticism is part of life, that I get, and that I truly appreciate. However, social media does open up Pandora’s Box and allows those random few to spread negativity into my sites. This is where we notice the amazingly ugly.
I’d like to say:
That’s right, I politely say no thank you to those that insist on using my social media as a soap box for their little thoughts. If I wanted your unkind opinions and comments I would ask for them. I do not.
I purposely provide videos and informational posts on various social media that won’t cost anyone a dime, nickel or penny. Close the tab, screen, whatever and one would be “Lisa Free”!
So to all those lovely social media resources that I have implemented into my business, I am grateful for all the connections I have made and continue to make on a daily basis. But to all my viewers I would like to remind everyone that it is “my” sandbox. I am more than happy to invite anyone who is willing to play nicely to join me. If you aren’t going to play nice then stay away from “Lisa’s” sandbox!
My adventure in longarm quilting took off in 2004, and at that time I longed to be able to stitch out a pantograph. Alas, I did NOT seem to have any talent for producing a pantograph. I was totally “Pantograph Challenged” which was a blessing, unbeknownst to me, in disguise. But during that time period it was sadly, quite clear pantographs and Lisa weren’t going to be friends.
My inability to stitch a panto forced me to initiate my work from the front of my machine. It became apparent if I wanted any of my designs to come alive on fabric I would need to start the process off this way. I took baby steps, to begin it was just a meander. Next I incorporated stars, loops, and hearts to this meander. As my baby steps grew, the strides in designs grew. Over time I was no longer taking steps; I was running! My confidence finally paved the road to implementing feathers, feathers flew into custom, custom brought about stitch in the ditch…and so on, and so on, and so on.
Being “Pantograph Challenged” was fate. I truly believe that piece of my quilting journey drove me to become the quilter I am today. If creating pantos had been smooth sailing from the get go I often wonder where I might be now.
So this raises a question to many quilters: Are Pantos a Good Place to Start?
They aren’t necessarily a bad place to begin. I encourage my students to become more familiar and comfortable standing in front of the machine, rather than behind the machine. Starting in the front of the machine will help in a couple of ways:
Gaining insight and understanding regarding “proper balance”. Was the quilt evenly quilted or did it become smaller and tighter on one side?
Hearing the sound of the machine when things go awry. With some machines the sound changes, (i.e tension) In addition, being positioned in front of the machine will provide the ability to SEE the stitches. Obviously having a visual will allow immediate access to viewing issues.
After about a year, I became proficiently decent at pantos. I vividly recall completing an entire row of quilting, only to spend an unpleasant amount of time ripping out the that row due to tension issues. Yes, I had heard the machine, it sounded a little different. Yes, I chose to ignore it. And yes, I ultimately paid the price for my lazy choices. What took 15 minutes to establish, took 3 hours to eliminate. That most definitely was not a good quilting day.
Are you new to your machine? If so I would ask you to consider working from the front of your machine for a couple of months prior to diving head first into attempting any pantos from behind. Then let me know how the transition went.
As 2016 comes to a close it is time to do some business soul-searching. This professional soul-searching has me asking myself “What has benefitted my customers and myself financially?” Well, after much deliberating, and number counting I have determined that it is necessary to wish a fond farewell to some of my rulers.
The ProCurve 4, 8 and 16 rulers and the ProCurve Lite 1,2 and 16 rulers will no longer be available for purchase after those in stock have been sold. Why am I discontinuing these products? Well, numbers don’t lie and unfortunately the sales from these rulers do not justify any further manufacturing. I am excited to say that upon review the ProCurve 1 and 2 and the ProCurve Lite 4 and 8 remained solid sellers and therefore they have no plans of going anywhere.
Act now since the ProCurve 4, 8 and 16 rulers; in addition to the ProCurve Lite 1,2 and 16 rulers are on sale for 50% off. I have a limited supply in stock so if these were on your want list now is the time to get them!
It’s too hard to keep quiet when some thrilling news is brewing here in my studio. So why keep quiet? Life is too short not share good new! That being said, coming soon in 2017 will I will be revealing a new ruler!
If all goes according to plan it will be making its debut during the first quarter of this upcoming year, I’m pretty sure it might just be a girls best friend.
Houston we have arrived…bring on the world of VENDING.
Since I am an individual who feels very out of control unless I have everything mapped out, down to the tiniest detail, Judy and I created a mock vending booth in my studio a few weeks prior to the event. Together we took the morning to put together display racks and configure exactly how our “real” booth would appear once we reached Houston. Taking into consideration all the pieces of equipment and quilting items our space required, we both felt as though a two-hour set up was more than manageable.
This ensemble was an estimated five-hour production. Not two, but five hours which is over double what this team had projected as a reasonable time frame. What was I thinking? I obviously had the mindset of a “newbie”. Erecting this exhibit took an exorbitant amount of energy and time which we were depleted of by the half way mark. Oh, that’s right, the “half way mark” was what Judy and I thought would be the allotted time needed to furnish our booth.
Five hours later, our mission was accomplished. Deep breaths were taken, and our back and minds were aching. Nevertheless, as you can see below, Judy was rearing and ready to go for all our Houston quilters!
Thank you Houston for an amazing vending experience! Judy and I are having a wonderful time and will be heading back to Pennsylvania having learned so much. I have compiled a list or rather lists of “What to Do” and “What Not to Do” for our next vending adventure. I am very curious to see if we can minimize the five-hour installation time. Do you have any insight to bestow upon this green vendor? As you can see I could definitely use any and all tips you have to offer!
If you haven’t been by the booth and are in Houston, its booth #1323. Love to see you and Flat Lisa.