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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Hiring a Professional Long Arm Machine Quilter

7 Tips for Hiring a Long Arm Machine Quilter

By Mary Covey

Over the past several years, long arm machine quilting has become both a popular and beautiful way to finish projects. It is also a great business opportunity for many quilters. So, hiring a professional who uses a long arm machine is always an option for getting your projects completed. If you do decide to use a professional quilting service, keep these tips in mind:

  • Ask for references from other customers or from local quilt shops.
  • Ask to see samples of the quilter’s most recent work. Most professionals will have a web page or Facebook page with pictures of their most current work.
  • Check out the quilter’s policies and pricing. A quilter may charge by the square yard or by the square inch. Always ask what is included in the price. My price includes the thread and the labor. Another quilter may include thread, labor, and batting in their price.
  • Agree up front on the quilting design, batting, thread color, completion date, and finished quilting price. Binding your quilt is usually a completely separate price.
  • Be clear about what you expect to receive in exchange for the quoted price. Long arm quilters are just like other professionals (mechanics, electricians, plumbers, etc.), they will be happy to put a quote in writing.
  • Be willing to leave a deposit if it is requested. Just like the plumber, full payment is due when the quilting is competed.
  • Look over your quilt when you pick it up. If you have any questions or concerns about your quilt ask the quilter right then. Any business owner will want to hear your comments and address them immediately.

Because we know how much time and energy you put into making your quilt top, professional long arm quilters take pride in doing a good job for their customers. It is especially gratifying when the customer is pleased with your work. Don’t hide your quilt tops away in the closet. Get them finished by a long arm quilting professtional.

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Sewing for the Holidays

By Mary Covey

I always like to know what other designers are working on or what peaks their interest. There are hundreds of sites that can be looked at one at a time. Late in the evening when I have a few minutes, I do try to look at some of my favorite individual webpages or blogs. But when I only have a few minutes, the Moda blog is the one I read to catch up on the latest.  They cover a variety of interesting ideas, not just quilting. Thought you would enjoy this weeks Moda blog. Happy reading.

 

HERE’S WHAT MODA DESIGNERS ARE SEWING FOR THE HOLIDAYS

by Linzee McCray

It’s that time of year, when you’ll find lots of us at our sewing machines, creating gifts for those we love. If you’ve got your pedal to the metal right now as you whip up items for the holidays, you’re not alone. Moda’s designers are stitching, too. Here’s what a few of them are working on right now.

Brigitte Heitland is sewing presents, but not just for Christmas. Her first grandchild is due in January and she’s stitching up a storm in preparation.

Brigitte Heitland baby shoes

Brigitte says: “I have sewn baby jeans and baby shoes. These are so tiny, that I guess they have to put them on the baby’s feet as soon as he is delivered; otherwise he will grow out of them pretty soon. I don’t think a newborn even needs some shoes, but couldn’t resist making these.

Brigitte Heitland Baby Pants

 

“I’m working on a diaper bag for my daughter-in-law and she was free to choose whatever fabric she liked. I love her choices from my newest line REEL TIME. The prints are “lenses” and “dots.”
Brigitte Heitland tote
“I also made a baby quilt—of course—and used a Layer Cake from SweetWater, Lucy’s Crab Sack. I used my own Zen Chic pattern, It’s a Plus.”
Brigitte Heitland Baby Quilt
“For my niece I’ve made a quilt from only solids. This is a super easy beginner quilt, the top was done in only three hours. And I made a step-by-step tutorial for newbies, it’s on my YouTube channel (in German). We also have there a link to the free downloadable pattern.”
Brigitte Heitland solids quilt
Vanessa Goertzen is excited about a gift she stitched for a family member. ‘I just finished this quilt for my brother-in-law using Amy Ellis’s Modern Neutrals fabric and also using her pattern Soiree.” On her blog she notes that it makes a great “man-quilt.”
Vanessa Goertzen Moda blog post holiday
Laurie Simpson of Minick and Simpson is making little coin purses. “I was inspired by this book I found in New York. I can’t read it, but I can look at the pictures. I made some coin purses with scraps from our fabrics. The paper hexagons were a gift from Edyta (Sitar) at the last Spring Market. I’m making a coin purse for myself, Polly, a neighbor, and whomever…. if I can make enough.”
Laurie Simpson Moda holiday post
Laurie Simpson Moda holiday post 2
Laurie Simpson holiday blog post 3
Laurie Simpson holiday post
Gina Martin has a very special project going. “I haven’t started it yet, but I’m planning on making a lap quilt for my 96-year-old grandmother for Christmas. She’s always loved sewing and quilting and is thrilled that I now design fabric for Moda! The quilt is made from sample yardage that I just got. It’s a Christmas collection called Tole Christmas that ships to stores next summer. I’ve decided to use BasicGrey’s Sweet Tea pattern because I think it will highlight the prints nicely!”
GinaMartin.ToleChristmas2
“Not only do I get to sew with my upcoming line, but I get to do it on my “new” little 1936 Featherweight that I bought for myself. It’s the perfect little machine for piecing!”
GinaMartin.featherweight
GinaMartin.ToleChristmas-2
Barb Groves of Me and My Sister Designs has a couple of projects going. “I’m totally in the unfinished stage with two of my holiday sewing projects. In fact I’m more in the ‘piles of stuff still to start’ phase! My goal is to make a heart ornament for all my neighbors. I plan to hang one on all the front door knobs a few nights before Christmas. It’s a really good thing that there are only 10 houses on my street!  I also need to make a holiday mug mat for the embroidery club I joined this year. The exchange is on the 19th so I’d better get started tonight!  It just wouldn’t be Christmas if I started my projects early! Merry, Merry! “
Me and My Sister Designs Barb
My sister Mary is trying to finish a project she started this past year. It’s something that she doesn’t want to become a UFO for the New Year’s resolution list! She’s making our Milky Way quilt in different blue Bella solids. The plan is to variegate her stars from light to dark. It should be beautiful IF she ever gets it finished!”
Me and My Sister Designs Mary Star
Joanna Figueroa is partaking of a holiday sewing tradition. “Every Christmas, I save a Christmas quilt to bind even though I know that it’s likely that I won’t quite finish it in time given everything else that is going on. It just makes me happy to sit on the couch in the evenings and bind something that is “in the spirit” of the holidays. This year I am working on one of our kits from last year, Christmas Lollies. Its from our Lollipops pattern and I think that its one of my all time favorite quilts. We have done it in at least 5 different ways now and I love them all! I hope you are getting to stitch something for yourself this season! Merry Christmas!”
Joanna Figureroa holiday post christmaslollies
Joanna Figueroa holiday post bindingthequilt
Come back on Wednesday, when we’ll show you what more of what Moda designers are sewing now!
#moda #sewing #design
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A Year of Quilting

By Mary Covey

What were you doing last year at this time? That was the question that kept running through my mind as I was long arm quilting today. The answer to me was clear – long arm machine quilting. Since that is a huge part of my business, it made me smile.

Dorothy Smith's Quilt

Semi Feathers
www.marycoveydesigns.com

But then I began to reflect on all the changes my business has gone through in just a year. The old web page was in severe need of a facelift. I wanted a better way to communicate with you. With the help of some very talented people, the old site was taken away and a new blog (www.marycoveydesigns.com) was launched. The blog provides access to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more.

Custom Quilts by Mary Covey Designs Quilting

 

Because of the many requests from you, I expanded my business to include coaching in starting and growing a cottage industry. It will also include coaching in pattern/book development. I am looking forward to this new journey while continuing my love of long arm quilting for others.

This time of year is filled with lots of busy activities and traditions. It can really be hectic. Take time to slow down for a few moments and look back on your year of quilting. Think about where you were this time last year and how much you have accomplished since then.

I am thankful for everyone who has helped me this year. I am blessed to have support and encouragement everyday from my customers, friends, and family.

#Coaching #Patterns #Quilting

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