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How your craft helps your store

craft

When work on your craft weans your business also suffers. Finding the time, money, and support to stay up to date on your craft can prove a difficult challenge.

Read on to discover ways to stay in the game, and how your craft helps your business too.

Time

How can we find the time to work on what we love? We get it, some days it’s easiest to come home, make dinner, and turn on the TV. You’re not alone in wanting to kick back. Try some of these hacks used by busy mothers and quilt shop owners to find the time to work on the hobby you love.

Enlist help. Consider working on something the entire family can join in on. Or, if you’d rather work on a project with people your own age, plan a retreat for your friends to work on a project with you.

If a schedule is something you need, write in time in your planner to work on your hobby just like you would a haircut or a meeting. Or, if your day is full of interruptions, put your quilt blocks in a room you’re always in. Perhaps the kitchen table, to pick up and work on while you’re making coffee or waiting for someone to arrive.

Money

Another major barrier to working on your craft is money. If some projects feel like they’re too expensive, think about it this way. If you make something fabulous with the most expensive products and hang it in your store, your store will benefit too. Customers will ask questions about what you used and will buy those products so their project can look as great as yours.

Support

Remember, it’s ok to ask for help. If you miss working on your craft, ask your spouse to help with child care one weekend afternoon. If you have a birthday or holiday coming up, consider asking for supplies or a retreat as a gift so you can continue your work. Everyone likes to see someone in their life thrive, and oftentimes asking for help is the easiest way to get there.

Inspiration for this blog post came from “Don’t be a hypocrite” by Beth Montpas published in the June 2020 issue of American Quilt Retailer.


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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.


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Manage your phone habits

Manage your phone habits

Our cell phones have become a central part of our lives. They’re the first things we check in the morning, we never leave the house without them, and we can’t even sit on the toilet without scrolling through a timeline.

Even if using your phone less isn’t on your radar, check out these tips to see if 1) it should be and 2) how to get some time back in your day.

Turn off notifications

Do you pick up your phone every time you see you have a new notification? Not only is this incredibly disrupting to the task you’re working on at hand, but constantly checking social media can contribute to feeling like you’re always missing out (in other words, FOMO). You’d be surprised how turning off notifications can help you check social media less. After all, out of sight means out of mind.

Limit phone time

Most phones have a system setting that shows how much time you’re spending on your phone and on what apps. This setting will send you a notification every week so you can track your progress. It can even show you how often you pick up your phone, and for what notifications!

Another way to limit phone time is by switching your display settings. Studies have shown that changing your display from color to black and white really does take the enjoyment out of scrolling, which means less time spent mindlessly scrolling.

Time equals money

What would you do if you had an extra hour in your day? As it turns out, you don’t need magic to make this happen—with some determination (and lifestyle changes) you can add more meaningful time in your life.


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.