February 28, 2015

Online Quilt Shop -The Coffee Pot is On!

 

Did you know that more than half of all Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year?

smallbusinesslogoAs part of National Small Business Week, coming May 4-8, 2015, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.

My father owned a small flower shop in our little town of Flushing, Michigan.  The shop was called the “Caron Lee Flower Shop;” Yes, it was named after me.   My Mother-in-Law owned an antique shop downtown (Trudy’s Antiques), my husband owns and operates Mosey’s Woodworks, and as you may know, HandQuiltingSupplies.com is my online baby. 

 

Caron Lee Flower Shop

 

A small business needs a few things to help make it successful:  a good product, a commitment to quality, dedication to good service, and…customers.  Honesty, integrity and a good work ethic are critical qualities in a small business person.  Without those qualities, the business will not last.                                     

As quilters, we love going into a quilt shop where we can pet the fabric, use all of our senses to see, touch, hear, and yes, SMELL the fabric and atmosphere around us.  Quilt shops have been known to have cookies and coffee on hand (taste!), and I think any quilt shop I have ever walked into had a bell on the door. Most shops I frequent also have a cat or dog somewhere on the premises.

Caron2

 

HandQuiltingSupplies.com may not have a door for you to walk through, but we do have Stormie the (furry) Quilt Inspector here to monitor traffic.  There is usually a coffee pot running and munchies on the counter.  Our shop is continually adding products that YOU have requested.  If you have quilting questions, you’re always welcome to send an email and you will receive a response from a hand quilter with 40 years’ experience… not someone behind the counter who has never made a quilt. 

 

I can honestly say that since the business opened in June of 2014, I have had the most wonderful customers!  This has been a learning process for me…and you have all been fantastic about sharing ideas, suggestions, and caring support.  If I had to name just one thing that I wish I could change, that would be the cost to ship your goodies to you. It’s out of my control.  But my husband enjoys building remote control vehicles, so who knows… maybe ours will be the first online quilt shop with a drone to bring you your packages!

drone


www.HandQuiltingSupplies.com

Hand Quilting Supplies

205 Brookside Drive. Flushing, MI U.S.A. 48433

February 09, 2015

Quilt Like the Pros

 
  • Top tennis professionals: sisters Venus and Serena Williams.
  • For golf lessons, Billy Casper used to be the man… but sadly, he passed away recently. Now, the golf pros to watch are Jason Day, J.B. Holmes or Harris English.
  • How about fashion design? Gabrielle “Coco” Bonheur Chanel rocks the scene in France. Donna Karen in New York, Giorgio Armani is an outstanding Italian fashion designer. I could go on and list more, but so could you.
  • Auto racing: Michael Schumacher is a German Formula One race car driver who has a net worth of $800 million. Guess he did something right. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is an American NASCAR driver and media personality who has a net worth of $300 million.
  • Airline Pilot: Chesley Burnett "Sully" Sullenberger, III (born January 23, 1951) is a retired airline captain, aviation safety expert and accident investigator, best-selling author, speaker and consultant. He was hailed as a national hero in the United States when he successfully executed an emergency water landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River off Manhattan, New York City, after the aircraft was disabled by striking a flock of Canada geese during its initial climb out of LaGuardia Airport on January 15, 2009. All of the 155 passengers and crew aboard the aircraft survived.
  • A few of the top chefs in the world include Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Gordon James Ramsay. You know you would get a great meal from any of them.If I needed financial advice, Dave Ramsey would be my man. David L. "Dave" Ramsey III is an American financial author, radio host, television personality, and motivational speaker.

So why is all this information on a quilting blog? That’s an easy question to answer. Bear with me for a minute.

All of the individuals listed above are considered to have an extensive body of knowledge stored in their head. Once upon a time, they started at the beginning. Over considerable time, they experimented, studied and practiced. They took some hard knocks, and with time and practice, their muscles were fine-tuned for their area of expertise. Some of them went back to the beginning and started over. They developed skills and learned what works best. They became successful through hard work. I am sure all of them had a mentor that they followed diligently. And, when their mentor taught them something, they listened. They did not hesitate to take good advice from someone who knew what they were talking about. And if they struggled with that advice for a while, they didn’t stop and think to themselves, “No, I’m not doing it that way. My neighbor knows better.” Or “No, I’m not doing it that way, that makes no sense, and I’m new to this thing but I can figure it out my way.”

Are you following this?

I am constantly surprised when I hear quilters talk (or read what quilters have written) about quilting. For example, someone may be brand new to quilting and their instructor tells them they need to use a thimble. So they try one thimble for a few times, decide it feels awkward, and because they know somebody who knows somebody who has made a quilt and doesn’t use a thimble, so brush off their instructor’s thimble suggestion.

Or, several of the top quilters in the country will tell Jillian (or Mary or Louise or David) that they should baste the three layers of the quilt sandwich together before they hand quilt. Jillian, Mary, Louise and David find out that basting takes time, and they are anxious to get to the hand quilting. So they decide that these top quilters must not know what they are talking about, and they skip the basting stage. Later on when the quilt is complete, they wonder how the puckers on the back came to be.

And a quilt hoop or frame? What a STUPID idea! Whoever would use such a thing?
Prewash fabric? Why bother? It looks good enough when you bring it home from the store. Why would you go to all that trouble to wash it and iron it (excuse me, PRESS it)?

If I have a choice of airline pilots and Sully is one of my choices, I’m riding with him. He knows his stuff.

I’ve been in a financial mess before. I know and trust Dave Ramsey’s expertise, and would gladly do whatever he told me to do. He knows his stuff, and won’t steer me wrong.
If I ever need heart surgery, I’m hoping my family will get me to the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. The track record there is outstanding and the Clinic has proven to be highly respected around the world.

When my grandchildren are ready to learn how to drive, it would be fantastic if their next door neighbor were Dale Earnhart, Jr. I would feel much more at ease if they learned how to drive from a pro.

lead.learn
I have been quilting since 1975ish… I know quite a bit and I have won my share of blue ribbons around the country. But I don’t know it all. Not even close. That’s why I still turn to the experts in whatever I want to learn. I can use their expertise to get better. It might be tough at first; No, it might be downright hard! But if I want to learn something, I want to learn it right from someone who knows what they are doing.
I hope you do, too.


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If you are interested in learning more about how to make a quilt, please attend a high quality quilt show in your area and take a class from someone who has been quilting for quite awhile.
  Here are a few links to shows in 2015: