And again it is Friday and I am Keeping My Promise!

17 02 2012

Again it is Friday and I am thankful for another awesome week! I have been extremely busy but that, praise God, is a good thing! I have two logos that I am working on for clients and I had the pleasure of meeting a great group of people in my Business Blogging Class on Wednesday evening.

As promised, I am going to pass along a couple of tip that I usually give in my beginning longarm quilting class.  Many quilters have problems with keeping the sides of their quilts straight from top to bottom. Although basting along the side of the quilt at each advance does help, here are two ways that you might be able to alleviate the problem:

  • Most quilting frames come with wimpy little clips for the sides of the quilt. Although there are expensive wide clips that you can purchase, here is a tip on how to make your own from “the queen of cheap”, me! First, go to your local home improvement store and pick up two of their FREE paint sticks for stirring cans of paint. These sticks are about 12″ long and about 1.5″ wide. Next, cut two 12″ squares of muslin and create sleeve that is the width of the paint stick along one side of each piece of muslin. Insert the paint stick. After loading your quilt, pin the non-sleeve side of the muslin to each side of the quilt. Attach the wimpy clips to the paint stick side of the muslin. You now will have even tension for at least 12″ of the quilt helping to keep it straight as you move down the quilt. NOTE: You will need to remove the side pieces before you advance the quilt and then pin them back on before you begin your next section of quilting.
  • Keep a tape measure draped around your neck and check your width after each advance. Sounds like a pain, right? Believe me, it will pay off if you can fix a problem before you get to the bottom of the quilt.

Well, that’s it for today. Tune in next Friday for another longarm quilting tip.

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So What is a QR code & Why Do I Need One?

3 10 2011

There has been alot of buzz about QR codes and the jury is still out on its ability to promote businesses. Since I have had alot of questions about QR codes in my classes, I thought I would pass along the information that I have researched. For the record, I think it is a great marketing tool and I plan to add it to all my business cards and anything else that I print for my business.

What is a QR Code?

Quality Response codes (QR codes) were originally created to track cars during the manufacturing process. Toyota is created with developing this method.

With the rising sophistication of technology, this code now has a wider range of uses which not only include tracking merchandise but also for purchase of tickets for transport or entertainment events, marketing products and to give consumers further product information within a store. These latest uses target mobile phone owners; they can receive test messages or go directly to web site. Users could also create an email or text message after scanning a QR code.

Businesses can generate their own QR codes so that mobile/smart phone users can scan. The generation and printing of these codes can be done very easily by visiting on of many free QR code generating sites or apps.

QR codes can store addresses and URLs that may appear in magazines, on signs, buses, T-Shirts or business cards. Users who have a camera feature on their phones

QR codes storing addresses and Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) may appear in magazines, on signs, on buses, on business cards, or on almost any object about which users might need information. Users with a camera phone equipped with a QR reader application can scan the image of the QR code to display text, view contact information, connect to a wireless network, or open a web page in the telephone’s browser.

It is believed that use of QR codes and other two dimensional codes (which can hold thousands of alphanumeric characters of information) will continue to grow in popularity. Why? Because users want immediate access to relevant information and QR codes can meet that need.

Because the code can hold large amounts of information, the simplicity of use, and its ability to connect people with each other and data makes it practical for businesses and the consumer.

To generate a QR code, businesses can use a free generator such as Kaywa, a site created by Datamatrix. Businesses can have the code link to a web page, text, or phone numbers.

There are a several  sites for generating QR codes and all are free. Consumers may want to download QR reader apps such as i-nigma (iPhone) or Barcode Scanner (Android).

How can you use QR codes in your business?

Here are some possibilities:
Share videos, web sites, or an eBook
Link to a Like button on the business Facebook page. You can use Likify to create a QR code that links your mobile device to a LIKE button on the page. Good news is that this simplifies merging all your social media with just one click.
Provide consumers with opportunities to receive special offers from your business or to subscribe to newsletters.
Place the QR code on the front or back of your business cards, brochures, T-Shirts or other marketing materials.
Place on the sides of your vehicles
Place on product tags and packaging, convention and event nametags
Add to point-of-sale receipts

Other great uses for QR codes:
Directions for product use or construction

Installation instructions
Places to purchase replacement parts or services
Directions to your business
Coupons or special offers for products
Additional products that would complement the product the consumer may have already purchased.
Customer feedback survey forms

To make sure that you use the QR code technology effectively, you may want to provide information on how to use them to your clients; make sure they understand the ease of use even for those who feel they are technologically challenged. You may also want to experiment with the size, location and color of the code. One more thing: register your business with Google Places and you will receive a decal from Google with a QR code to your company website.
Sources:

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-qr-codes-can-grow-your-business/





Quilts and Folks

20 02 2010

Today I would like to share a quilt that I recently completed, a new product and brag on my community ed students.  I also want to tell you about Over the Top Quilting.

First, I would like to brag on Doug, a student in my class. He has just uploaded his first posts, along with several images, and I have to say, I am impressed. I can hardly wait to see the other students’ work…they are really an exceptional group of individuals.

Secondly, I HAVE to tell you about a quilt that I finished this week that was actually for ME! I never have the opportunity to do quilts for me so this was a real treat. The pattern is by the lovely ladies at Las Colchas, a quilt shop located in a historic home near downtown San Antonio. It is basically a bunkhouse with a twist…I think when you see the pictures, you will understand what I mean. with the 6.5 inch “logs” , it is a quick quilt to make and, with cool fabric, a joy to piece. I chose to use a new pantograph to quilt this quilt.  I am pointing it out because I think it would be great for tailored quilts,  quilts for the men in your life or for baby quilts. It is called Dutch and has a lovely open look to it. Oh, and I don’t want to forget Swirl Meanderings, the panto that I used on the image of the red, white and blue quilt…I think it is perfect for a man’s quilt or baby quilt, too. BTW, the beautiful quilt was made by Liz of Texas as a QOV…it is beautifully pieced.

I am adding a new product to my “stock”. You will notice that I now have embroidered greeting cards that are very affordable; I will have the price list on my pricing page. The designs that I have currently are birthday (2), thank you, congratulations, new baby, anniversary and many more. The designs are from

Finally, I have to mention a fun class that I attended in Austin with the two sisters who own Over the Top quilting. Susan Rubino and her sister, Chris, are adorable and VERY talented. If you live in the Austin area and are looking for longarmers, look no further than these two ladies who not only do custom and edge to edge, but also do a fantastic job with art quilts.





The Return of Quilter’s Recipes!

16 02 2010

After a lengthy hiatus, at last, the quilter’s recipes returns to the ChiliQuiltes blog! Today, the recipe is one that I literally just made…I found it to be delicious and was originally published in our community newsletter by Julie Hudgins.  I think it would be perfect for any gathering, especially if your tastes lean toward Mexican cuisine.

Baked Southwestern Dip

15 oz can yellow corn kernels, drained
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2-1/4 oz can sliced black olives, drained
1 cup mayonaise
4 oz can of green chilies, drained
Pam Spray
2 jars of roasted red peppers, dained
Tortilla Chips
1 cup  shredded Monterey Jack or Colby Cheese (I used a Mexican blend)
Optional: 1 medium fresh jalapeno pepper or 2 T chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine drained corn, olives, and green chilies in a medium bowl. Finely dice roasted red peppers and add to bowl. Add both cheeses and mayonnaise. Stir well. Spray a baking dish lightly with Pam. Place dip into the dish and smooth the top. Bake until bubbly, approximately 20-30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.

Enjoy!





Bread and Butter Quilting: A New Service from ChiliQuiltes

11 04 2009

I recently received

this lovely quilt top.  Custom quilting was what I wanted to do but, unfortunately, there are time constraints on how long I could keep the quilt, so I decided to try a new technique that I learned at Innovations. This is a technique I “gleaned” from Elaine Huffman that she designed called Bread and Butter quilting. I have been able to achieve, I think, a custom look without rulers and all from the front of the machine. This being said, since this project turned out well, I will start offering it as another alternative for quilting through ChiliQuiltes. It will be priced lower than custom but higher than my highest free motion/panto at .0185 per square inch. Thanks, Elaine, for a great technique!





Quilter’s Recipe for Cold Weather

9 12 2008

This recipe is perfect for the winter “frosties” when they come your way. Enjoy!

San Antonio Style Tortilla Soup (from Fix It and Forget It Lightly Slow Cooker Recipes)

1 Tbsp of olive oil
1 onion chopped
2 cloves of gralic
2 tsp ground cumin
1 14.5 oz cans fa free chicken broth
1 15 oz. can stewed tomatoes
1/4 tsp of black pepper
2 cups boneless, skinless chicken breast, uncooked and cubed
2 cups water

Garnish:
2 cups shredded low fat cheese
fat free sour cream
baked tortilla chips

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover. Cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 4-6 hours.

Note: You can also add corn if you so desire to this soup.





My “Studio”

5 12 2008

I had a question recently regarding my workspace for my quilting and embroidery business.  My husband and I downsized to a townhome in preparation for being semi-retired (I still maintain a part-time position as a school librarian two days a week and my husband is teaching in a community college).  Our town house has an area that, in most cases, would be used as an upstairs living room but this has turned out to be the perfect place for my quiltilng frame and embroidery machine. The lighting is excellent and we had extra “pot” lights added to give even more lighting. My 12′ frame is a little tight 🙂 but I have arranged it so that I can still get behind the frame for executing pantos.  I have all of my storage underneath the frame so that helps to keep “stuff” under control. I currently have furniture to handle the overflow of books, patterns and thread but one of my Christmas presents for this year will be overhead cabinets and a cutting surface that will be portable. I really want more floor space, so this will help that dilema. I have included some photos…I am currently working on another quilt to fill that blank space above my frame; I hate not having a quilt that I can look at all the time !