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Organizing Your Quilting Business

By Kelly Gallagher-Abbott, Jukebox Quilts

A streamlined process for how you will receive and handle quilts can make life easier on you and your customer. Clear expectations and good communication are sure to provide better customer satisfaction and better organization for your quilting business. Learn more about longarm businesses and Gammill’s business start-up  special by clicking here.

 

Intake Form

The best place to get all the information you need is when your customer delivers their quilt. Create an intake form and a system for organizing completed forms whether in a binder or electronically.

Here are some items you may want to include on an intake form:

  • Customer name and contact information
  • Drop off and due date
  • How they heard about you or referral source
  • Measurements of quilt
  • Disclaimer and permissions – some examples to include
    • Disclaimer about variances in quilting
    • Permission to photograph the quilt and use the image (you will need this if you wish to use photos of the quilt on social media or in other marketing efforts).
    • Agreement on credit for the quilt if entered into competitions, publications, etc.
  • Design or pattern approval with notations from customer
  • Project File – If using CreativeStudio, include a jpeg of the mockup and note the location of the electronic project file
  • Rates & Charges – Make sure quotes are realistic. If something unforeseen arises, immediately contact the customer.
    • Rate by the inch or the stitch (include a space for final time or stitch count)
    • An estimate of quilting charge
    • Additional charges such as thread, batting, binding, etc.

 

 

Project Management

Consider how you will organize your business. Those taking advantage of the Gammill Fall Business special will receive a free copy of Machine Quilters Business Manager Software. Click here to learn more about this software, which includes many of the tools covered in the intake form section of this article. Here are some other programs and tools that may be helpful in keeping your business organized:

 

Quilt Preparation

Let your customer know how to prepare their piece for longarm quilting. You can click here for a sample guide from Jukebox Quilts. Receiving quilts in a standard way can make the organization process go more smoothly.

 

Task List

Develop a task list that is to be completed for each quilt. Here are examples of what may be included on your list

  • Complete intake form and planning session
  • Photograph top and back of quilt with customer present
  • Document the intake and dates on calendar or project management software
  • Procure a pattern or design
  • Receive pattern, thread and batting
  • Order Supplies – thread, batting, etc.
  • Schedule dates to begin and end quilting
  • Complete invoice
  • Photograph and document completed quilt
  • Notify customer of quilt completion
  • Deliver quilt
  • Photograph customer with quilt for social media and your gallery
  • Send a thank you note or coupon to the customer
  • Send a thank you note or coupon to the referral source
  • Request feedback on customer satisfaction, utilize positive comments on your website, Facebook and other social media pages.

Financing Your Gammill

At Gammill, we know that purchasing a longarm is a big investment and a serious decision. That’s why our goal is to provide you with a machine that will stand up to the test of time and be an investment you can count on. That’s why our warranty covers commercial use and why our machines are built to produce a high volume of quilts for many years to come.

Customer Quilts

Many of our customers use their machines to complete customer quilts. Some quilt as a full time business to support their families. A Gammill allows them to have a career and still be home with children, enjoy an early retirement or be an artist each and every day. Others use their Gammills primarily for personal use but will complete a few customer quilts each month to make financing payments. Depending on the amount financed, this may take as little as two customer quilts each month.

financing infograph

 

Financing Options

For those who wish to finance their Gammill, there are several options.

 

American Financial Partners

Gammill partners with American Financial Partners (AFP) to provide financing options to our customers. This alliance provides many benefits:

  • Convenience (one page application)
  • Minimal up-front cost with two payments in advance instead of the conventional 20 percent down payment (based on credit approval)
  • Collateral – AFP only asks for the Gammill® machine as collateral
  • Fast response time from approval to funding
  • No pre-payment penalty (other than initial, minimal loan fees)
  • Up to 5-year financing available

You can learn more and complete an online application at financeyourgammill.com or by calling 888-AFP-4520 (888-237-4520).

 

Arvest Bank

Arvest Bank offers financing to Gammill customers who are residents of Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri or Arkansas. Click here to fill out an online application and select West Plains, MO for your bank location.

Business Equipment Financing is also available through Arvest Bank and its financial partners nationwide. For more information about this financing option, or for an application, contact your local Gammill dealer.
Other Financing Options

Customers often obtain financing through their bank or credit union.  To facilitate financing, a dealer can provide you with a quote listing what charges would be if you were to purchase a specific model.

 

Other resources

Check out our Shop & Compare page to find out more about how Gammill prices compare to other longarm brands.

Contact your local Gammill dealer for more information.

 

25th Anniversary

Yesterday, the Gammill team had a wonderful time surprising Paul and Mildred Statler with a 25th Anniversary Celebration at the Statler facility.

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Paul built the first computerized Statler Stitcher for his wife, Mildred, in 1990 and they began production quilting. A few years later, they began selling the machines commercially.

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The plaque presented to the Statlers from the Gammill team reads: “You have changed lives by your outstanding creativity and vows of excellence. We have all benefited from your exceptional service, untiring dedication, and unyielding commitment.”

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Thank you to the Statlers and congratulations on the amazing legacy you have built.

 

Dropping the Belts on Your Statler by Gammill

One of the great features about the Statler by Gammill is that you can easily switch from using the machine for computerized quilting into using it for hand guiding. The process to drop the X and Y belts only takes a few seconds. Click the video link for the tutorial.

 

Super Quick Trapunto Table Runner

trapunto cover

If you have the need for a quick project, why not try a wholecloth table runner? It goes much faster than piecing a project, and turns out just as (if not more) fabulous!

I started with a design I created using Electric Quilt (EQ7). I used the Card Basket block and repeated it three times with a small inner border and larger outer border.

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Then I printed out the 8″ block in full size so I could easily transfer to fabric.

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I used my design print out to plan my quilting.

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Once I was happy with the plan, I taped my block printout to my light box.

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Next, you’ll want to mark the center of your fabric. I simply fold the piece in half one direction and then in half the other direction and finger press. It marks the fabric just enough to line up the drawings.

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Then you line up the fabric fold over the center of the block print out.

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Using a chalk pencil trace over the block lines.

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As I move my fabric over I use a ruler to maintain the straight line to trace the next block.

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It is always a good idea to shut off the light box every so often to make sure you have traced all the block lines. Mark any areas you might have missed.

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Then move the fabric again to mark the third block. Use the ruler to line up and keep the edges straight. If you are having a hard time seeing the chalk lines when the light box in on, you can mark the edges with pins before moving the fabric

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Once all blocks are traced, you will want to draw the borders. In my EQ7 design I had a 1/2″ inner border and a 2″ outer border. These are marked using the ruler.

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Now your design is transferred and you are ready for quilting.

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Load your backing fabric on the Gammill as you normally would. I am using two layers of a poly batting as I want a trapunto look and also want the table runner to be firm and unwavering.

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Place your fabric with the transferred design on top of the double batting. Begin by basting outside of the marked edge.

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Then stitch along the marked edge line of the outer border.

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I like to stitch a few times around between the outer edge (shown with scissor point) and the basting line. It keeps the edges flat and out of my way while quilting.

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Then quilt all the border lines.

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Once all border lines have been stitched, it is time to stitch the block lines.

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As I want a trapunto look, I quilt my background areas fairly dense. I use the fills to cut through to other block lines in an attempt to stitch with the least amount of starts and stops possible

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You can see the majority of line stitching is finished and where the background areas were used to cut through to the next area.

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Then I go back and fill and stitch the center areas.

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I accidentally dropped my snips and ripped the fabric. As we all know, these things happen. I could have started over, but instead I made a design change and micro-stippled over the rip. You can barely see it at the scissor point. There is no need to toss the project, just work with the mistake.

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Continue stitch the background design and filling areas necessary to create the trapunto effect.

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Then fill your outer border. I chose feathers as they compliment just about everything.

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After stitch the feathers, go back and fill around them, adding more trapunto effect.

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And it’s done – and beautiful!

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It really is a super quick and easy project. Now bind and enjoy!

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by Karen Marchetti

Gammill Quilting Artist

www.creativelongarmquilting.com

www.gammill.com

Quilted iPad Cover

cover

It is back-to-school time and what better gift to give a student you know than a custom iPad cover!

Certified Instructor Cindy Carey with North Star Longarm Quilting shows us how to design and personalize an iPad cover to make a stylish and useful carrying case with a personal touch. She uses an 11.5 inch by 20 inch design for her iPad 4 cover but sizes may vary by make and model. Click here for the video tutorial (hand guided users may wish to skip to the 17 minute mark of the video once their design is quilted). CreativeStudio users, click here for the project file.
A bonus! Check out Cindy’s video on how to square your quilt backing for longarm quilting by clicking here.

Just in time for football season

 

Football season is gearing up! Check out this amazing team quilt from Beautiful Bee Quilting (beautifulbeequilting.weebly.com) and customer Nancy S.

From themed fabric to simply using your team’s colors in your favorite quilting pattern, there are many ways to create a quilt to keep you warm while you cheer on your team. Can’t find fabric with you team’s name? Try incorporating a t-shirt into the design

Have you completed a quilt themed after your favorite team? If so, send us your ideas and photo at contact@gammill.com.

Looking for inspiration? Check out our Theme Quilts board on Pinterest for more team quilt ideas https://www.pinterest.com/gammillquilting/holiday-theme-quilts/

 

Statler Stories – Karen Luther

For Karen Luther and her husband, owning a Statler has given them much more than the opportunity to make beautiful quilts. It has led them to new friends, support and a hobby they can share together. Click the video to see more.

Windows 10

Gammill is currently in the process of evaluating Windows 10 and has been for the past few months.  At this time, we feel Windows 10 is perfectly fine for use on any Stand Alone Mode (SAM) computer to run CreativeStudio software.  However, use of Windows 10 on computers that operate the Statler by Gammill is still being evaluated.  There will continue to be in-depth testing prior to recommending installation of Windows 10 on your Statler PC.  We will make a final announcement in the coming months concerning when Windows 10 will be safe to use on Statler by Gammill PCs.  With new Operating System releases there can be any number of things that can go wrong and we want to make sure that your Statlers are not forced into downtime due to a Windows error that could have been prevented.  Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for our Statler PCs running Windows 7 through Windows 8.1 until late July 2016. We appreciate your patience during this testing process and will release further information as soon as it is available.

 

Thank you,

Statler by Gammill Technical Team