In the Longarm League membership, we published an interview with Jenae Alves of Vintage Stitch by Jenae.
This was one of those times that as soon as we hung up, I couldn't wait to share the Zoom call with the membership because it was packed with lots of useful tidbits about business. Plus, it's just so interesting to hear how other quilters in our specialized, little realm 😜 do things!
Jenae has grown her reach on Instagram by over 10k followers in the last year! She attributes a lot of her growth to effectively using video on the platform.
Let's start by talking about setup, shall we?
It may surprise you to learn that in order to record a video of her longarm stitching a digital pantograph, she simply holds her iPhone in her hands as steadily as possible. How is that for a low-tech solution? I love the simplicity!
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For wider-shots of her frame as she applies the binding at the longarm, she uses a tripod made by Socialite Lighting. Hers includes a ring light, but they have a number of options at a number of different price points on their website. And honestly, it sounds like any tripod would fit the bill for this job.
Jenae shared with us that she uses an app called InShot. After talking to her, I downloaded it from the app store, too. I used it recently to stitch out a sample of Framed Feathers, shared at the top of this post. It is soooo slick! If you haven't checked it out yet, it's worth a shot... er, Inshot... (rimshot 😂 don't hate me).
Once she uploads a video into InShot, she uses the tools within the app to turn the sound all the way down to eliminate any machine noises. Then she edits the speed of the clip to fit her purpose. At the time of this publishing, Instagram allows one-minute clips as a post to your main feed (although you can upload several one-minute videos to a single post if you want to). For Reels, the max time is 30 seconds and for Stories, they can be 15 seconds long although it is possible to create multiple Stories.
Other app features include the ability to add music, apply a filter, use text, or even use a logo like I have in mine.
At the risk of ending this list on an even number, (Who in their right mind has the top four tips? It feels wrong and I'm sorry.) another tip we talked about pertains to the fact that all the tops we quilt might not fit with the design aesthetic we are going for in our feeds. 😬 This is an issue that gets brought up every once in a while in our membership community. Do you have to post every client quilt you work on? The short answer is no! Your feed, your rules. However, in posting an up-close video of your computerized machine doing its thing, suddenly the focus becomes about the mesmerizing pantograph pattern that's being stitched out and less about the quilt top itself.
Content can be hard to come by particularly when you're just starting out in business and may not have abundant client tops to feature. You'll want to post about every blessed top that lands on your frame. Posting a closeup of the stitching is a way to feature every quilt even if it's ugly. There, I said it. 😂
Plus, don't discount the fact that the automated stitching can be so interesting to those "piecers" who follow your account! Give the people what they want!
This call with Jenae was a goldmine. She talked about her goal-setting and mindset practices, going from ten to forty quilts per month in the last year, her new studio, new equipment, an exciting new product, using her website form and social media to attempt to tame her wild queue, life hacks that help her maximize her days while working a FULL-TIME JOB. Yes, it's true. She explained her ingenious method for cataloging new pantographs she gets and how helpful it is to her clients in choosing designs for their tops. There is probably even more I'm forgetting to tell you about our call, it was that good.
If you would like to join our membership to watch or listen to the call with Jenae or any of our other content, we'd love to have you join us! If you're a longarm quilter quilting for others, we'd love to have you! Check out the membership benefits here. If you are at the beginning stages of your quilting business or interested in getting started, check out our Rookie Season course, made just for 'rookies'. We'd love to help you get your start!