Quilting, ripping & thinking

May 28, 2012 § 7 Comments

Thank you for your votes on which project I should finish next! I still haven’t decided because I’m still working on quilting these.  So keep voting!  Your thoughts have been very persuasive!

I was all set on Friday to quilt two of my quilts on the rental mid-arm machine at my local quilt shop. But the thread kept breaking.  At least 7 times or more on roughly half the quilt. We tried everything… changing the tension, changing the needle, cleaning the bobbin case… and it still kept breaking. After 2 1/2 hours and a little more than half done I gave up. I can usually quilt an entire lap-sized quilt with easy loopy stitches in roughly 1 1/2 hours.  I didn’t even attempt the 2nd quilt. Now I am in the process of ripping out all of the stitching. I hope the big holes left by the needle will eventually wash out. This white fabric is from JoAnn Fabrics and the weave is a little denser than regular quilting weight cottons.  It’s times like these that I wish I had a quilting machine at home. Then I could continue to tinker away at it as I have time.

On another note…  I was reading Jenny Gordy’s post on her blog Wiksten about running a small business and have had similar thoughts and feelings. Not the ones about growing too fast. I’ve never pushed that hard to grow. I believe in small steps.  At least for me.  But the feelings of frustration in not being able to do what I have imagined I can identify with.  This last year of dealing with the mono & insomnia has sucked the energy out of me for any sort of business decisions, let alone just plain quilting.  I’m glad to be feeling so much better. But now I am left in a place where I don’t know what I really want to do with my quilt patterns. I’ve stopped selling through distributors because I haven’t had the energy to print, package & ship large orders.  And I’ve seriously thought about converting all of my patterns to pdf download as a way to semi-sustain them.  And then there is the whole shopping cart thing to figure out.  I’m left wondering where this all fits in with life in general?  So many thoughts and questions and no real decisions about where I’m going or what I want to do. It’s always been my objective to do this because I enjoy it and because I want to pass on the joy of making something with your own hands.  How that looks as a business, I have no idea. I’d love to hear how others have managed a small pattern business. What goals or parameters have you given yourself? What has been your biggest hurdle? How do you balance time, energy, inspiration, ideas, making, packaging, shipping and all that? Do you actively seek out advice or do you just let it happen as it happens? As a consumer, what do you love about quilting patterns and what is the biggest turn-off when buying a pattern?  Any other thoughts you’d care to share?

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