Hey everyone! It’s that time of year again where we get to peek inside some studios! See what tips and tricks we can learn from them for our own spaces, and much more.
The hop is already in progress so there are quite a few for you to check out already! Come back to this list each day for a new studio to admire!
Can you believe I’ve been hosting this for over 6 years already?? I can’t. But each and every year we have new folks on the list and I’m proud to say that this is the largest Spring Clean Studio hop I’ve had! It’s kinda nice to have something to focus on while we are all at home.
Here are the amazing hoppers this year!
April 1 – Sam Hunter – http://www.huntersdesignstudio.com
April 2 – Marian Pena – http://www.seamstobesew.com
April 3 – Jennifer Fulton – http://www.inquiringquilter.com/questions
April 4 – Martha Wolf – http://Www.pinwheelprodns.com
April 5 – Jennifer Strauser – http://www.dizzyquilter.com
April 6 – Steph Carton – http://www.theelimonster.com/blog
April 7 – Simone Fisher – http://www.simonequilts.com/blog
April 8 – Kate Colleran – http://www.seamslikeadream.com
April 9 – Carolina Moore – http://www.alwaysexpectmoore.com
April 10 – Jen Frost – http://www.faithandfabricdesign.com/blog
April 11 – Leanne Parsons – http://www.devotedquilter.com
April 12 – Becca Fenstermaker – http://www.prettypiney.com/blog
April 13 – Sarah Myers – http://www.quilted-diary.com
April 14 – Mitzi Redd – http://www.reddhomestead.com
April 15 – Jeanette Larson – http://www.Jenonthefarm.com
April 16 – Camille Ainsworth – http://www.stitchinthenw.com
April 17 – Becky Philips Jorgenson – http://www.patchworkposse.com
April 18 – Bobbie Gentili – http://www.geekybobbin.com/category/blog
April 19 – Janellea Macbeth – http://www.janelleamacbeth.com/blog/
April 20 – Lisa Ruble – http://lovetocolormyworld.blogspot.com
April 21 – Debra Davis – http://www.tuning-my-heart.com/blog
April 22 – Rona Herman – http://www.Ronatheribbiter.com
April 23 – Sue Griffiths – http://www.duckcreekmountainquilting.com
April 24 – Sarah Ruiz- http://www.saroy.net/
April 25 – Jessica Caldwell – http://www.desertbloomquilting.com/
April 26 – Tammy Silvers – http://tamarinis.typepad.com
April 27 – Ebony Love – http://www.lovebugstudios.com/blog
April 28 – Cheryl Sleboda – http://blog.muppin.com
You can hang out with me each weekday on my Facebook page where I hope to go Live with sewing. While some of my projects are secret and I can’t show you, I have decided that for my own sanity and sewing for myself during this time, I’m going to break out my OLDEST UFO (unfinished object).
That would be my Baltimore Album Quilt, started in the year 2000, and hits the ripe old age of 20 years unfinished this spring. OUCH! I have everything for it, so it’s time to bring it out of the boxes in my closet and do some applique! I used to sew on this project on my lunch hour at work, and that’s what we will do here. You can watch live on my FB page at 1 pm CST each weekday.
If you have never done the various kinds of applique, or you have a BAQ you have always wanted to learn how to do, then join me each weekday at 1pm CST. The link to join my FB page is here!
In my business Facebook group I run for folks who have taken one of my business classes, I remind people that each day you have another chance to take a step forward in your business.
I often put it this way: WHAT ONE THING CAN YOU DO TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS MONEY TODAY?
I have a ring I bought in an airport in Seattle that reads: “The future depends on what you do today. ” It’s a quote by Mahatma Gandhi, and I look at this ring every single day to remind me that I have another chance today to do something… anything… to make some money for my business.
What does that look like? Well, here’s a few ideas:
-Is opening a business your dream? Then today is your lucky day to start! Are you dreaming of heading from part-time side job to full-time? You can do that too! Today is the day you take one action towards that.
-Run a sale on your website. Don’t have a website? Now’s a good time to start the research on putting one together.
-Work on a pattern, book idea, or artwork you have been planning for a while. Working on your merchandise makes money.
-Email someone to collaborate on a project. Email that person who has been waiting on a reply from you.
-Go through your unpaid invoices and send a reminder.
-Send out a marketing email to remind customers to shop. Mail something to shops or guilds to book you. Let people who haven’t heard from you in a while know you are there.
-Make a list of all the ways you planned to make money in your business. Start on one of them.
-Refresh your e-commerce listings, pattern covers, or merchandise graphics with new pictures.
-Start learning the thing you needed to learn to do things yourself. Do you need to learn Photoshop? How to build a website? Head over to YouTube and find a video to get you started.
Today you have another chance to take one step towards something that makes money. It’s a super helpful thing to me to decide what project to start on first: Which one will make me the most money? It helps make decisions on frivolous projects pretty simple.
Hopefully you can take that one step towards what will make your business profitable!
UPDATED! If you are a traveling teacher like me, you’re probably watching your income sources dry up in real time. What should have been a super busy spring season, with bookings taken close to two years ago, are canceling and some are not rescheduling.
It’s a scary time for those of us who rely on our quilting incomes. We have to do a lot of scrambling and business adjustments in order to see a way through the next few months. I’m going to put a few tips for you below so you can start to see your way through this mess. (I’m not going to talk about the virus or saftey tips here, though, since the CDC is probably better suited to do that…)
- Be the light. People, including all your customers and fans, are scared. This is scary. Or they are frustrated. They are mad this is impacting their life. Your business should be a lovely oasis of calm and inspiration during this time. Your online posts should be full of what makes you the creative genius you are. Start showing sneak peeks of what you are working on, etc.
- Do not disparage your cancellations online. This should go without saying, but lambasting the events that canceled you, or berating an event for not closing earlier, is a surefire way to never get invited anywhere again. Even on your personal pages. People screenshot stuff and send it around. Just be positive.
- Ramp up those online services. Do you have a shop online? Now is the perfect time to start working on one if you do not. If you have a shop, now is a great time to remind people that you have one! If you haven’t run a sale in a while, try one out. If you haven’t refreshed your listings in a while, now is a great time to do it. As you do, tell your customers what’s changed as a gentle nudge to have them go look.
- This is also a great time to revisit your website. Does it have all of your current offerings? Are your fees and more up to date? Do you need to update that headshot? Now is a great time to do this.
- Be visible online. Start thinking about doing the occasional Facebook Live videos so you pop up often for your online customers to see you. Remember, be positive and show what you are working on so your customers get excited about what is next for you. Plus, automatic social distancing.
- Engage your audiences with lots of questions they can answer. People are going to be home and bored. By engaging them you are building those connections. Remember what I always tell my social media students, every comment deserves a reply!
- Start an online challenge for your customers. The comic book industry is doing a 1000 comic book reading challenge. What can you challenge your customers to do, that’s related to your business, that you can start today?
- If you are sweating the income part of it, then there’s lots we can do in the short term. Take a look at these freelancer artist lists of income ideas that can help you. Side gigs may be your friend:
- Don’t panic. (I say this as the most anxiety filled person on the planet.) reach out to your friends. Ask for help. It will all be ok.
- ***NEW ***Here is a list of resources from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund regarding how the CARES act and Unemployment Insurance can help you. If you are a small business owner, there’s probably relief in here somewhere. It’s a great resource to determine where you fall and what may be available to you:
- ***NEW*** The Craft Industry Alliance has a list of resources you may want to look into, including information on grants and relief from organizations you may be connected with like Facebook, Etsy, and Quickbooks :
- ***NEW*** If you have to fax anything and you don’t have access to fax machines, this is the built in fax driver for PC users. This came in handy while filling out loan applications.
- ***NEW*** The National Retail Federation has resources for Retailers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including a list of state resources that may help all kinds of small businesses:
- ***NEW*** The company I use to do my accounting and payroll has a nice site of small business support for COVID-19. I am a VERY happy user of their accounting platform for over 5 years and it was super helpful to use to get my EIDL application filed:
- Are you a Quilt teacher that had an event cancel? Get yourself added to this list of teachers who are affected so quilt guilds or other events and shops can book us:
- Are you a vendor who was supposed to set up at a quilt show? Get yourself added to this list of vendors who could use an extra boost due to your canceled events:
I’m putting together a list of Teachers and vendors who were affected by cancellations so we can get a list of people who could use a little boost when this is over to help people (see above). Also, I’ll be updating this list as I come across more resources and more tips to help you. We are all going to be ok.
Check back here often for more tips!
Like this kind of info? You can buy me a coffee at Kofi, or you can hire me as a business consultant too! Have something to add to this list? Send a PM to Cheryl on Facebook with your tips and I’ll review them!
If you like to make lots of quilts, or you just happen to have lots that you want to display, then finding a storage solution that isn’t a huge piece of furniture is a challenge. One of the ways you can display lots of quilts and have them at hand to wrap around you on the sofa, but easily move them, is to use a ladder. At one time or another you may have used a ladder to try to take pictures of your quilts, but I mean to actually hang your quilts on the ladder as a decoration that doubles as storage.
Ladders for quilt display have been the rage at Quilt Market booths for some time now. They can display a few quilts in a small space and it can be easily moved. The quilts are easily accessible, and easily replaced.
There are plenty of ways to find a ladder to use for your quilts. Searching online for “blanket ladder” will get you dozens of styles and types, in a huge variety of price ranges. By going to a local vintage flea market, I found several wooden vintage ladders under $25. I also found several woodworkers selling “blanket” ladders that came in variety of finishes, also for around $25. One of the differences is that a ladder meant to climb is going to be more narrow, whereas a ladder made for displaying your quilts is going to be wider and will show more of the front of the quilt. Where you plan to put your ladder may help determine which you want.
One of the tips I recommend is to wrap the rungs of your ladder in acid free tissue paper. This way, the wood treatment of your ladder will not mark or transfer to your quilt over time. Another good tip is to rotate the folds of your quilts every few months, so that creases do not become permanent and any fading from light is not concentrated on one area for too long.
Tell me how you like to store your quilts by leaving us a comment on this post on our Facebook page! I’d love to see some photos of how you store your quilts.