What Is It

IMG_7639_ffWe all have favorites. Favorite foods, books, movies, people, sayings, things, etc. Sharing these favorites with others makes them even more special. Just like everyone else I have my own list of favorites I’m just bursting to share.  So I’m hereby declaring Friday’s as my favorite’s day. Be watching for my first installment.

Safety First!

Hobbies & Hazards

Hobbies, no matter how enjoyable, have some sort of risk or danger associated with them. Take for example these hobbies and their inherent dangers:

  • Woodworking:
  1. sore finger from a hammer swing and a miss
  2. cut to skin or loss of digit from saw
  • Stained glass:
  1. hazardous fumes from solder
  2. cuts to fingers/skin from glass and/or the tool used to cut the glass
  •  Even quilting has a few dangers associated with it:
  1.  pin pricks
  2. finger caught in sewing machine needle
  3. buying too much fabric = empty wallet (jk)
  4. skin burned by contact with hot surface of iron and/or steam

Rotary Cutters

The occupational hazard I think about most is the injuries that can occur from a rotary cutter. Rotary cutters are incredibly sharp. The thin round blade attached to the handle easily and quickly cuts through fabric. As a result, they can cut through many other things as well. Of the non-fabric items that I have sliced through, these are the two things that come to mind:

  • My cat’s ear: My cats just love to be by me, no matter where I am. One of my cats found out the hard way just how sharp a rotary blade is and how quickly damage can be done. After trying to discourage her presence, on my table, too no avail, I gave up and went about my business. As I prepared to swipe through a segment of fabric she just happened to slide her head and her ear in the direct path of the rotary cutter. The tip of her ear and the blade of my rotary cutter ended up in the same place at the same time. Needless to say the rotary cutter won out. Cat = 0 Rotary Cutter = 1
  • My skin

Two Kinds

There are two kinds of rotary cutters. The first and older version of the rotary cutter has a safety guard that must be manually unlocked/locked. The fancier rotary cutter has an automatic guard that slides out-of-the-way when the two-part handle is squeezed together. I have the manual version.

Never Fool-Proof

The built-in manual safety feature isn’t fool-proof for obvious reasons. In order for it to be affective it must be engaged. The other reason is, even with the safety on, one can still get cut by the blade. I had first-hand experience with just such a mishap.

As is usually the case, the manual safety for my rotary cutter was engaged. Out of clumsiness I dropped the rotary cutter off my table. When it landed it first hit my leg, then the floor. The floor was not damaged but my leg was. The “protected” cutting blade somehow cut my skin. So to those quilters that insist that a covered blade is a safe blade I say hog-wash. Never assume a rotary cutting blade is safe.

Safety First

No matter what activity you enjoy, always observe the safety measures associated with the hobby. The safeguards are there for a reason. While careful observance may not completely protect you from the inherent dangers, it will certainly eliminate most of them.

Before You Start Your Quilt

This is an open letter to all of my customers past, present or future.

Anyone that has made a quilt will attest to the incredible amount of time and money it takes to go from start to finish. The unthinkable thought of ending up with a finished project that is not what we had hoped for or dreamed of is both frightening and devastating. Often times the difference between a pleasing outcome and one that we would much rather hide away in a closet could have been access to reliable assistance.

With the advent of the internet we have, at our fingertips, the ability to peruse an endless list of topics. Finding just the right one that will address your questions or concerns can be a very frustrating process. Sometimes finding the answer, to what seemed like a simple question, can end up consuming a huge block of time with little or no satisfaction.

I believe I just happen to have the solution to many of your problem. Filed inside my archives are documents addressing the most commonly asked questions. To make it easy to access the resources I have included links to some of them below. So next time, after you’ve selected your pattern and purchased your fabric, before your start, consult with these resources. I think you will be very glad you did.

For further assistance check out the categories labeled Tips.

Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to your return visit. Any questions? Add a comment.

You’ve Got to be Kidding!

IMG_0216I’m participating in the WordPress Blogging 101 challenge. The class runs through the entire month of August. Some of the lessons and things that I learn will be shared with you and some will not. Those items will take place behind the scenes and will not be evident to you.

So far I have successfully completed assignment number one. Today I am turning my attention to the next lesson. Day Two of the Blogging 101 adventure really presented a challenge for me. My blog has been in existence since 2013. I’ve had the same title and tagline since it’s inception.

  • In A Stitch Quilting
  • Professional Long-Arm Quilter

Both were chosen because of the name and nature of my business. Changing either one seemed absolutely out of the question. How could I make a change and yet not lose my identity.

Even though the idea seemed absurd the assignment really got me thinking. I spent the better part of the day mulling over the idea in my head. When my husband arrived home from work I bounced the assignment off him. He at first wasn’t too sure about making a change but then his dry sense of humor kicked in. Suggestion after suggestion began rolling off his tongue like water out of a tap. Given his nature for crazy ideas I must confess at best they received a quick chuckle from me and then were instantly dismissed. I even tried enlisting the help of my adult children but received little or no response. So finally I decided I needed to take a serious look at my blog, on my own.

As stated above, the primary reason for my blog was the promotion of my long-arm quilting business. Since its inception I have focused the majority of my posts on the details relating to the pursuit of my craft. However, just like a bowl of spaghetti, my life is a maze of intertwined activities. Maintaining a blog that left out the other facets of me became increasingly difficult. Eventually my personal life began to creep into my writing. While their inclusion has not become the main focus of my posts I think their addition has made my blog feel much more rounded. After analyzing my blog and the direction I would like it to take, I decided a change was in order.

Once I had overcome the mental obstacle prohibiting me from making a change it was time to start pondering how best to convey my new focus. The assignment suggested making a list of the words that best described your blog so I did just that. The more I wrote the more I sensed a new theme.

I want my readers to know that I am not just a professional long-arm quilter. I am a well-rounded quilter with stories to tell and a life to share. I want them to know the whole me. The good, the bad, the ugly. In presenting a more all-inclusive approach I hope to develop a blog that is more inviting…a place to call home.

So, after hours of reflection I decided to make a change. My URL, inastitchquilting.com, will remain the same because I don’t want to lose that connection. My blog’s title and tagline, however, are not. The new title and tagline are, as you can see from above

  • A Quilter’s Corner
  • Creating Memories One Stitch At A Time

I am well aware that change is difficult but don’t worry! I am still the same person providing the same quality long-arm quilting services. I’m just allowing myself to spread my wings.

Thanks for visiting with me today. I hope the rest of your day is wonderful!

Any thoughts? Leave a comment.

Just Checking In

PicMonkey CollageI started this blog way back in the Spring of 2013. The reason for the new adventure was the purchase of my Tin Lizzie Long-Arm quilt machine from Park City Quilting. This acquisition was the initial equipment purchase for my new business In A Stitch Quilting. Along with the excitement of obtaining my fabulous new machine came the exuberance accompanied by starting my new business. My mind was racing with the potential to provide my services to customers.

I educated myself in the nuances of owning and operating my Tin Lizzie by taking classes both in-person and on-line. Through those experiences and the practice I received from hours and hours of hands-on quilting I gained a wealth of knowledge.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with a wonderful group of customers. Their projects have been as varied as the people are unique. Their faith in my skills has given me the opportunity to broaden my talents even further.  I’ve been very fortunate in that most of my customers give me the artistic license to quilt their projects how ever I see fit.

This blog has provided the priceless opportunity to show my customers’ creations, with permission, to the world. Being able to share the finished projects with my readers brings the much warranted recognition these women deserve and might not otherwise receive. The reactions I receive from my customers, when they read about their very own quilt on my blog, is immeasurable. The experience of owning my very own long-arm quilt machine and working with the customers that have crossed my path has exceeded my initial expectations.

Looking toward the future I would like to see my customer as well as my reader base expand. I would also like to experience more interaction between myself and my readers. I find their comments to be both rewarding and educational. Other possible goals might include teaching as well as pattern development.

I’ve enjoyed sharing my vision as well as my experience with you. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. I look forward to your continued support.