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Monthly Planning

monthly planning

Take control of your time through planning.

This post is for anyone feeling overwhelmed and like they never have the time to get projects done. Read on for tips on how to can clean your calendar and schedule the time to reach your goals.

Start Fresh

Similar to any cleaning project, what’s the first thing you do? Empty it out of course! Emptying your calendar is a little more difficult than that, but there is a work around.

First, start with a blank calendar. Next, fill in nonnegotiables, like working out, picking up kids, etc. Then block off any appointments that happen each week. Finally, fill in projects that move you and your business forward. The time this takes will vary person-to-person, but make sure it becomes a date on the calendar and not just something to do someday.

Last but not least, finish with your tasks. This can be working on books, social media, marketing, etc. If any of these can be made into categories put them on the calendar on days you’d like to complete them. The best part about this piece is that some tasks only need to be done once or twice a month.

Planning Around Your Schedule

Now, reality sets in. It’s time to compare your ideal calendar with what’s really happening. Is there anything you can move to be more intentional with your time? Can anything be integrated so you can be closer to the ideal?

Patience is key here as the ideal is just a goal. Remember, you control your calendar. Don’t let your calendar control you!

Inspiration for this post came from “Take Charge of Your Calendar” by Julie Miller Davis published in the June 2022 issue of American Quilt Retailer.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you. And don’t forget, you can always purchase single issues if you prefer that instead.

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Common quilting mistakes

Quilt mistakes

Learning a new skill can be both fun and challenging, but making mistakes along the way is just part of the journey (and part of the fun too). Check out these mistakes made by both beginning and experienced quilters alike to help you become an expert quilter in no time.

Take your time

Someone very wise once told me haste makes waste. This is true for all things in life, but whether you’re working on your first quilt, or your 50th, you can still make very basic mistakes by working on a project too quickly.

Along with taking your time, it’s also important to plan ahead. Planning your quilt in advance can save time later down the line. Make sure you have enough fabric and plan your piecing beforehand to make sure your project is executed seamlessly (no pun intended).

Basic mistakes

One of the largest and most noticeable mistakes beginning quilters make is cutting incorrectly. It’s important to be precise on every quilt, but especially for quilts with a lot of piecing.

Another common mishap is not back stitching. Back stitching is important in securing the ends of pieces, and can contribute to blocks not squaring away.

Two common things beginning quilters get wrong are batting and marking tools. If you’re unsure what batting would be best to use, seek assistance at a fabric store. Also at fabric stores are machine washable markers perfect for quilt projects; buy several so you always have multiple at hand.

Fabric mistakes

Common fabric mistakes include pressing too hard and not buying enough. Again, when in doubt consult an employee at a fabric store if you’re not sure how many yards of fabric you’ll need for a project. Also don’t forget to prewash that fabric once you bring it home from the store, especially if a quilt is going to include colors by white material.

Last but not least, follow pattern directions. Some new patterns are harder than they seem; stick to the directions to make sure the quilt turns out as it should.

What are some things you wish you knew when you started quilting? Quilting is a life-long journey and an ever-evolving art; making some mistakes along the way is just part of the fun.

Thanks to Create with Claudia for the inspiration behind this post.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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Disaster Planning

Disaster planning

Disaster planning: what a bleak topic to address, right? Despite it’s lack of appeal, it is important for your business to prepare for whatever this winter may throw your way.


Do you have an easy way to contact your employees to let them know if the store will close during inclement weather? What if their checks are delivered by mail? Some changes your business could make (like switching to direct deposit) will make your life easier in the long run too.

After letting your employees know they can stay at home, send an email blast to your customers letting them know too. Don’t forget to post on social media as well (and the best part is you can do all of this while still in your pajamas).


You likely already have systems in place to help with the aftermath of a disaster. Review your insurance policy to make sure things your business may be susceptible to (flooding for instance) is covered. Knowing what your insurance covers before you use it can help alleviate the stress that comes from disasters; coverages can even include things such as shrubs, business continuation, and much more. Speak with your insurance agent to find out more.


It goes without saying, but a big part of disaster planning is the planning part. Is your business ready in case the power goes out? Keep extra blankets and flashlights handy in case this happens.

Regularly checking smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is always a good idea. If you don’t already have escape routes planned for fires, then add that to your list too (and post the routes in each room). Your employees will only be ready during a disaster if tools are provided before, so for everyone’s safety, educate your employees on how to handle themselves and customers during a worst-case scenario.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.