Each month in the Longarm League, we hold a coaching call with one of our members to talk about their business. This month I sat down with Melonie Morrow of Quilty Lab Creations. We talked about her journey getting started with longarming, balancing working outside the home and running a small business, carving out time to take care of the admin side of things, starting an email newsletter, the joy of helping new quilters finish their first quilts, and more!
While League members have full access to the recording of the call, we asked Melonie to share a little more about herself and her business with our blog readers.
Without further ado, let's meet Melonie...
Located: Fort Worth, TX
In business: 1 year
Machine and software: Handiquilter Forte with Prostitcher
In the Longarm League: 1 year
This month I hosted a roundtable discussion with three Longarm League members to discuss the challenges and rewards of being visible in your business as a small business owner. It was such a fun and motivating discussion, and while the full discussion replay is available for League members, I'm excited to share a few takeaways here on the blog and help you get to know our roundtable participants a little better.
My guests (left to right) were Jenn Giesbrecht of Jenn G. Quilt Co., Michelle Ramsay of Quilts Made With Love, and Susan Smith of Stitched by Susan. Each of these women has not only worked at becoming increasingly more visible in their business since I first met or became aware of them, they also have a great way of being themselves on social media and I loved being able to chat with them about their insights and perspectives. Let me introduce you to them!
Located: near Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada
I'm glad the time has come to release Pretty Petals into the world! As a designer, I can't help but have varying levels of excitement about the designs I work on. I'm sure this is totally normal with any creative job. I can't say this is my favorite design ever, but it's up there because of the overall texture it creates!
What I like about the design is the relative uniformity of the lines and spacing throughout the top. It just makes my heart happy. I like that it produces interesting texture that you don't have to think too much about. I like that it creates a background of pleasant arc-shapes that'll allow the focus to be on the piecing.
Floral themes are common in quilting in both the fabric selections available and in the quilt patterns themselves, so I like that this digital pantograph has a floral element that should compliment a floral top.
I also like that this design would pass as an interesting geometric...
Volunteer is a simple, uncomplicated edge-to-edge quilting design meant to create an interesting and bold texture.
In fact, 'Bold' was the working title of this design as I was saving and re-saving different options along the way. I also briefly considered naming it Lots of Love, but thought that might be too confusing. It looks a bit like LOL, and in the early days of the Internet, people on message boards couldn't decide if LOL stood for Laugh Out Loud or Lots Of Love.
In the end, I thought Volunteer works as a name because it looks like a person raising their hand. And I like one word names that haven't already been used for other E2E designs.
I think this quilting design would be great for modern-looking, geometric or graphically bold quilt patterns or fabrics. Or perhaps a child's quilt!
Here are the specifications for how I set up this design using my Intelliquilter on a baby-sized quilt sample (40" x 50" quilt...
Each month in the Longarm League, we hold a coaching call with one of our members to talk about their business. This month I sat down with Sara Korinek of Stitch Lab Quilting. Sara is a lifelong learner and entrepreneur at heart, with a wide-ranging background in retail and business management. We had a great discussion about her experience in running several small businesses over the course of her career, including a custom bag-making business, bike shops, and now longarm quilting! We also dove in to her experience in retail and teaching and talked about her ideas for the future. Sara is always looking ahead, thinking about where she wants to take her current business as well as contemplating what else might be in store down the road. For Sara, the sky is the limit and I can't wait to see what she does in her business next.
While League members have full access to the recording of the call, we asked Sara to share a little more about...
Now that my day job is supporting the Longarm League membership and teaching new longarm quilters how to start a business, I need to be extremely intentional about setting time aside to feed my own creativity or it does not happen.
After a 4-year hiatus, my passion for piecing was reignited this year after being invited to a retreat at Stitch Supply Co. in Altoona, Wisconsin. It was glorious! The desire to plan, cut, and sew a quilt top has stuck with me since retreat. I'm drawing the distinction here between piecing and quilting because I frequently quilt samples of new digital edge-to-edge designs, but that isn't the same feeling as creating patchwork.
It's safe to say, patchwork and I are back "on" again.
For this project, I started with a palette in mind. I pulled scraps from bins of pink, orange, yellow, and blue. I decided to work with the teal-y blues although I did let some darker royal shades pass through my...
Each month in the Longarm League membership, we discuss a topic relevant to longarm quilting and business. This month, we are bringing to the forefront various organizations and resources that exist to help small business owners. These are organizations that may offer business consulting, webinars and other online courses, and in some cases mentorship.
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides free business consulting and at-cost or low-cost training to small businesses, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit organizations. The SBDC has been around since 1975, but its services have evolved over time as technology has changed the way people do business today. As a result of COVID, webinars, Zoom calls, and other online learning platforms have revolutionized the way we are able to learn regardless of our locale.
We chatted with Rebecca Mixson of the SBDC with the University of Georgia. Rebecca is a business consultant who works with business owners in all...
I feel like I owe you an explanation for the name of this design. That will be coming soon.
But first, I thought I'd tell you the inspiration behind it. Back in December of 2021, Josh and I were watching the series called Landscapers that had recently premiered on HBO. It is based on a crime set in the 1990s in England. The series is visually moody, drab, and dark. There's a scene in an upstairs bedroom that had deep red, ornate wallpaper and I found myself asking Josh to stop and go back to a frame that showcased the wallpaper better.
This is what caught my eye.
While it's definitely not the same, this was my first sketch from the inspirational wallpaper:
After playing around with the design a number of times on my reMarkable tablet, I slowly let the feathers get plumper and more prominent as part of the design, allowing me to fill in the space more evenly while...
Each month in the Longarm League, we hold a coaching call with one of our members to talk about their business. This month I sat down with Jackie Lane of By the Block Quilting to talk all things marketing. While League members have full access to that recording, we asked Jackie to share a little more about herself and her business with our blog readers.
Without further ado, let's meet Jackie...
Located: Round Rock, TX
In business: Over 3 years
Machine and software: APQS Lucey with Quilt Path
In the Longarm League: Almost 1 year
What services do you provide at By the Block Quilting?
Edge to Edge quilting, binding services, t-shirt quilts
Do you have any advice for someone just starting out with their business?
Join the Longarm League as soon...
We moved into our current house four years ago.
When looking for houses, we fully planned to buy a ranch style home. I had long imagined how I'd take-over a hefty part of a beautifully finished basement. Yes, I was preemptively greedy about this imaginary space.
But, when the house we'd mentally moved into sold before we were in a position to make an offer, I saw what ended up being "our house" online with its glass studio doors right off the living room, and I knew I could deal with another option. I'm trying to sound chill—the house was BEYOND what I ever envisioned for our family, so I was thrilled beyond belief.
I was so taken with the house and the sewing room that the lack of closet or storage space didn't even occur to me. Even after using the room for years, I still didn't think the lack of storage was an issue I could do anything about.
Until a few months ago...
I was scrolling Instagram and saw in Stories...
We'd love to share a little bit about how we support longarm quilters through education and community. Updates typically go out on Wednesdays - we'd love to stay in touch with you!