Happy 2016

By Mary Covey

Scrappy Star Quilt with floral backing

Scrappy Star Quilt with floral backing

After the holidays I am always ready for the fresh start that a new year brings. It is such a great time to evaluate the past year. You can learn from failures and move past them but you can also learn from successes and celebrate them. The new year lets us look forward with enthusiasm to changing old habits and lets us embrace new ideas.

I have numerous ideas for improving my business to make it more efficient, organized, and up to date. I am committed to doing the same high quality work for my customers that I have always tried to do.  But after listening to the requests of so many of my loyal customers and in an effort to better serve you, we will be updating our invoicing process to accept credit/debit cards and PayPal. We will still accept checks but in a slightly different manner. You can learn all about the changes on the Longarm Quilting page or just give me call if you have questions.

I have never been able to operate without the help of a team of people who work behind the scenes – quilt shop owners, wholesalers, teachers, etc. In 2016 my daughter in law will be learning some different aspects of the business while teaching me some much-needed lessons in technology.  My sister-in-law Shirley (who many of you have known for years as the lady who binds your quilts) will be helping in the role of inspecting finished quilts. Shirley Pittinger will continue to provide her expert support managing my website and social media.

I am excited  to be hosting two new groups on Facebook that share nothing but pictures and information about free motion quilting. To keep up on the latest, ask to join one of these groups – Free Motion Quilting or Freedom With Free Motion Longarm Quilting. Because I want to stay current on the latest trends and designs in quilting, I will be involved in numerous training seminars around the country this year with some of the top teachers in the quilting world. I am happy to say that I will also have the opportunity  to teach a few quilting seminars myself.  Teaching “Creativity to Cash” at Jenks  Community Education and taking a business training course from International Association of Creative Arts Professionals are just a few of the other things I will be involved with in the coming months.

There are so many other plans and projects in the works that I am looking forward to sharing with you in the coming weeks and months. If you have tips or ideas you would like to share with me, write me a comment or send me an e-mail so we can learn from each other. I want to thank each of you for all your words of encouragement over this past year.

Best wishes for 2016.

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Woo-Hoo!

By Mary Covey

I have been a quilter, author, and teacher for over 25 years. Over the course of those years, and because of my passion for teaching and sharing with students, I have attended a lot of conferences and classes. I have had the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the best people in business. One question that I am always asked is “How did you start your business?” Trying to share this information on the go and in just a few sentences was always difficult.

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Recently, I was given the opportunity to develop a class that will be presented at Jenks Community Education. This is a Woo-Hoo moment for me. I will be able to share my experiences with others who want to have the freedom of owning their own business.

“Creativity to Cash – How to Start a Home Based Business” is the title of the class. The class will take you through the basic steps needed to start a home based business. We will explore ways to profit from your hobby, how to make a business plan, create visibility and branding, and organization. You can view information about the class and register at www.jenkscommunityed.com or call 918-298-0340.

#entreprenuer #smallbusiness #biztips

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Craftsy’s Shop to Unlock Sale!

Craftsy’s Shop to Unlock Sale!
By Mary Covey
(sponsored post)
Don’t miss Craftsy’s Shop to Unlock Sale happening now! Get up to 50% off online classes for a limited time only! If you purchase a class during the flash sale, you will unlock a second set of classes on sale. For users that purchase, you will receive a subsequent email with a link “unlocking” the next set of classes. Hurry, this offer expires on November 9th, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT. Shop Craftsy‘s Shop to Unlock Sale now and save big.

Craftsy's Shop to Unlock Sale

Craftsy’s Shop to Unlock Sale

 

Amazing Applique OnLine Class

Amazing Applique OnLine Class

 

Craftsy Start Machine Quilting Class

Craftsy Start Machine Quilting Class

 

Craftsy's Quilt As you Go Patchwork Bags Class

Craftsy’s Quilt As you Go Patchwork Bags Class

 

 

Craftsy's Color Play for Quilters Class

Craftsy’s Color Play for Quilters Class

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6 Tips and Tricks Every Quilter Should Know

6 Tips & Tricks Every Quilter Should Know

By Mary Covey

I recently read the following post by Sherri McConnell titled “Tips and Tidbits” from her blog.  Sherri offers 6 tips and tricks every new (or seasoned) quilter should know. I really enjoyed her pictures and her very useful tips her grandmother shared with her many years ago.

Whether you are a beginning quilter or a seasoned one, you will enjoy this practical advice.

Enjoy reading and have fun with your latest project!

 

TIPS AND TIDBITS

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Quilting Tips and Tidbits

It’s actually been many years ago now that I received my first lessons in quilting from my grandmother, and many of the tips she shared with me on that sunny afternoon are bits of information I use daily in my quilting…twenty some years later. Here is a round-up of my favorite tips and tidbits to share with new quilters: these are review for seasoned quilters but are simple steps that can make a big difference for new quilters just joining in and learning all about this amazing past time.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

This was the first thing I learned from my grandmother and one of the tips that helps me most in my daily quilting. It’s a simple rule, but it really does work. A good start…including accurate cutting and measuring…is essential to a good finish.

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Know Your Seam Allowance

Know Your Seam Allowance

My grandmother also told me to use a 1/4″ seam allowance for all of my quilting (unless directed otherwise by a pattern), but it was a few years later while taking a class at a local quilt shop that I learned what this really meant. A wonderful teacher showed me that my seam allowance was actually a thread or two bigger than 1/4″ which resulted in some of my piecing being just a bit off (those 1/16″ inch variations can really add up in a big quilt)! So measure your seam allowance periodically to make sure you’re on track. You can adjust your needle to the right or left if necessary, obtain a 1/4″ seam guide, or use painters tape to mark the true 1/4″ line on your machine.

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Pin and Mark

Keep it Together: Pin and Mark

Somewhere along the line pins seem to have received a bad reputation. While it does take a little longer to pin…the results can be wonderfully surprising. Although it isn’t necessary to always use pins, if you’re having trouble with matching seams or getting a lot of different points to match up, pins might be the best solution. While I don’t always use pins for simple chain-piecing, I always use them if there is something that needs to be lined up.

Properly marking is important, too. Use a pencil to mark on the wrong side of light fabrics or chalk for darker fabrics to mark lines for half square triangles and corner square (“flip and sew”) corners. While it often looks like it’s going to be just fine if you “eyeball” it, marking can also improve accuracy by leaps and bounds.

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Fabric Preparation

Fabric Prep

Fabric preparation is another step some quilters like to skip: after all, most quilters love fabric so much they just want to jump right in and sew. But your fabric may need pressing before cutting, and this can be especially important when using pieces from fat eighth and fat quarter bundles. Just think of it as a little extra time you get to spend with the fabric!

Some quilters like to use steam when pressing their fabric for the first time. This can cut down on shrinkage later on–an important step especially when working with lots of pieces or smaller pieces. An additional step many quilters use is to both starch and press their fabrics before beginning any project. Whether or not to pre-wash your fabrics is another decision to make before beginning. Although I pre-wash only when I’m going to use fabric for garment construction, there are many others who pre-wash all of their quilting cottons.

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Quilted Pillow

Handle with Care

Fabric can be stretched, and if your fabric is stretched enough your blocks might end up distorted. Use care when handling bias edges: don’t fear working with triangles for half-square triangles, quarter-square triangles, and flying geese … just handle with care to prevent stretching.

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Handle with Care

I do have one final tip, and it’s my favorite one to share. Enjoy yourself while you are sewing and quilting. Your projects are yours, and they should bring you great joy while you’re working…quilting is the best hobby!

What is your favorite advice for new quilters…?

#Tipsandtricks #quilting #sewing

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