This month in the Longarm League, our Business Spotlight is featuring Starla Landis of Guided Star Quilting. I sat down with her to talk about how her business has grown over the last few years and what's working for her now. Starla ran an in-home drapery business for 20 years before starting her longarm quilting business and she shared so many great tips around the tools and processes she's brought over from her drapery days and now uses in her longarm business. We're so excited to share this info-packed call with our members this week!
While League members have full access to the recording of the call, we asked Starla to share a little more about herself and her business with our blog readers.
Without further ado, let's meet Starla...
Located: Lancaster, PA
In business: almost 4 years
Machine and software: Bernina Q24 with Qmatic
In the Longarm League: Will be 4 years in February
Tell us a little about your business and the services you provide at Guided Star Quilting.
I do computerized edge to edge quilting. I also offer binding service and custom embroidered labels, as well as several types of batting.
Do you have any advice for someone just starting out with their business?
Find a mentor and/or someone you can bounce ideas off of, and get some honest feedback and encouragement. Networking is so important and being a part of the Longarm League gave that to me and helped build my confidence.
How did you get started longarm quilting?
I wanted to make a "Too Cool Tshirt " Quilt, because I loved the way they did the quilting, but I couldn't find anyone locally who would free motion quilt it like I wanted. I was also too cheap to send it to the actual company to have it quilted. So I took a longarm quilting class and quilted it myself!
I ended up working for that Quilt Shop for a year and during that time was trained on the longarm machine to do edge to edge quilting for customers. I soon realized that I did not love working retail and wanted more time with my grown daughters and their families, so decided to take the plunge and bought my own Bernina longarm machine.
Could you tell us about a business "win" you've had?
Within the past couple weeks, I quilted my 1000th quilt! In August I sent out a newsletter telling my customers that I was getting close to 1000 and that I would give my 1000th quilt client free quilting for that quilt. So much fun to tell Pat that she was the lucky quilter!!
What quilting designs have you been loving lately?
I always love Raindrops on Water...it still can get me mesmerized watching it stitch out!
What is your favorite notion for longarm quilting?
So life happens, and when I need to remove stitching, my Tinkle eyebrow razor works great in some instances!
What's your favorite part of making a quilt?
Probably the longarm quilting...recently every time I have made a quilt I am in a rush so it feels stressful and not fun! But so rewarding to get to the quilting part and see how much it enhances and finishes the project.
Favorite snack while sewing?
I try not to eat while quilting, but I do most all the time have a cup of Sweet & Spicy Tea in my mug throughout my day.
What other hobbies do you enjoy aside from quliting?
I really enjoy challenging hikes in our beautiful National Parks with my husband, Stu. We also love to do renovation projects together...either in our house, in one of our 4 daughters' houses or following natural disasters with Mennonite Disaster Service.
If you'd like to watch the business spotlight call with Starla, or are interested in being a guest, we'd love to have you join us! Whether you're interested in starting your own longarm quilting business, or wanting to improve your current business, check out our Rookie Season course! You can see all the details, read about how the course has helped previous students, and get started here.
Thanks so much for talking with us this month Starla!
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!