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Posts Tagged ‘Jamie Wallen’

Quilting Tips From Road 2018 Teachers

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

Great takeaways and quilting tips from some of Road 2018’s popular Classes and $5.00 Lecture Series

Jenny Doan– Missouri Star

Quilting Tips: Take classes to learn new techniques. Use the ugliest fabric in your stash to practice what you are learning because you will make mistakes. Mistakes are essential to learning.Quilting Tips Quilt Show

Michelle Flores-Hoffman Fabrics

Quilting Tips: Online retailers that carry a wide variety of Hoffman Fabrics: eQuilter, Batik Plus, Hancock of Paducah, and Nancy’s Notions.  Quilting Tips Quilt Show

Hobbs Batting-

Quilting Tips: How to avoid Bearding (batting that pulls up through holes in the fabric): Use a high thread count fabric; Check thread tension to make sure thread isn’t too tight; Use a new needle; and Make sure the batting is good quality.Quilting Tips Quilt Show

Pat Simon-Quilting with Templates

Quilting Tips: Rulers are for measuring; Templates are for quilting. Do not use free motion, darning or other thin feet as they will slip under the template. Instead use high shank feet. Practice, Practice, Practice with a fabric sandwich and moving the fabric around while seated. Start out with smaller templates to get control.   Quilting Tips Quilt Show

Joyce Teng-Painting on Fabric

Quilting Tips: Kona Cotton and Tsukineko Ink are the perfect combination for the best results. Play around with the ink. Mix it with different mediums to create different effects. Use different tools to get the ink on the fabric. Experiment with different patterns.Quilting Tips Quilt Show

Annie Unrein-Zippers

Quilting Tips: Always use zippers 2-3 inches longer than called for. Shorter than that is so much harder to work with. Use “Wonder Clips” to hold all the layers together. Flat on the bottom so they don’t catch on machine; They won’t poke you; They won’t make holes in vinyl; and They hold everything tight.Quilting Tips Quilt Show

Jamie Wallen– Long Arm Quilting

Quilting Tips: Don’t wait until you’re ready to quilt to start learning quilting techniques. Print “contour line quilt blocks” from the Internet and come up with 3 different ways to quilt it yourself.  Practice every day 30-45 minutes with a pencil to build muscle memory. Anything a pencil can do, a longarm can do.    Quilting Tips Quilt Show What is your favorite quilting tip you learned in a quilting class?]]>

6 Tips For Your Quilt Business

Saturday, February 17th, 2018

Jamie Wallen, has owned a longarm quilting business for over 20 years. During his classes, not only did he help students improve their longarm quilting skills, he also shared advice about how to be a successful lonngarm quilting business owner based on his own experiences.

Practice. Practice. Practice.

Practice your craft at least a half an hour a day by drawing designs on paper, creating “muscle memory” for when you take the design to the machine. As you practice, learn new designs and techniques. Be willing to learn and grow with your talents and skills.

Go Online.

Jamie shared that there are 100’s of quilt block quilting design ideas online.  Search for contour line quilt blocks. Print them off and practice the designs.  Also search for current trends in quilts and come up with three different ways to quilt a particular designed quilt.

Clients Will Come

“No need to worry if you will get clients, ” assured Jamie. “They will come.” He recommended practicing your business pitch right along with practicing your quilting techniques.  You won’t have time to practice when a customer drops off their quilt.

Sharon was a student in one of Jamie’s classes. She has been quilting for over 20 years and started longarm quilting four years ago when her kids got out of school and she had more time. She has owned a longarm business, Bee Squared Quiltsfor 2 years. At first, she quilted for friends and their friends. She is ready to expand her business so that is why she took Jamie’s class. Her first longarm quilting class was with Jamie at Road 2016. She loved learning his design techniques and hearing his stories, so she signed up again in 2018. Her best take-away? Keep drawing.

Use Your Time Wisely In Your Studio

When Jamie first started his business, he found he was spending 10-12 hours in his studio but that he was wasting a lot of time. “There are lots of distractions and interruptions when you work out of your home. It’s takes self discipline to have a successful business,”  stressed Jamie. Some things that Jamie does to stay on track is to have a running timer on his machine. When he walks up to the machine, he hits it on and whenever he walks away, he hits it off so that all through the day he keeps a running total of the time he actually spends quilting. Today, he has cut down his quality time to 7-71/2 hours quilting.

Jamie recommends avoiding television when in the studio. Television causes a distraction because you often look away to see what it on. He prefers books on tape or podcasts because they keep you at the machine. “We need stimulation while we quilt and non-visual is best.”

Another suggestion is to take advantage of answering machines and voicemail. Stop every hour to stretch, check your messages, and do other tasks.

Make Friends With Your Clients.

Jamie shared this observation: “Your clientele are not just there for your services. They are also looking for friends. Make appointments with your clients to show you respect their time. Find out about them, their work, their interests. Offer them coffee. A mediocre quilter who treats his or her client kindly will be more successful than a superb quilter who doesn’t take an interest in their client.”

Another one of Jamie’s students, Chrissy, is new to the longarm quilting business world. She says she puts a lot of love in the quilting she does for her business, House of Threads. Chrissy said she liked “the touch and feel” of the machines during her class. She appreciated the opportunity to meet fellow quilters, see Jamie’s quilts up close, and have him answer questions. “Jamie is amazing.”    Tell The Truth.

“The human eye only corrects 75% of what it sees so the likelihood of your client catching a mistake isn’t that high. Still, it is better for you to bring it to their attention. Always come clean with your client if you mess up. Don’t try to cover it up.  And fessing up to a mistake doesn’t necessarily mean you will have to always undo your mistakes.”

Jamie’s tips can be adapted for anyone who owns their own business but especially for longarm quilters.

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Jamie Wallen And The Art Of Longarm Quilting

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

Innova machines under the tutelage of Jamie Wallen. Prior to becoming a long arm quilter, Jamie was a Registered Nurse for over 20 years. Burn out with the profession settled in after working 18-hour days, 7 days a week for so long. One day, in the mid-90’s, Jamie went to a friend’s house to help him put up a fence. His friend’s wife was a piecer and had a quilting magazine laying around. Jamie picked it up, thumbed through it, and saw an ad for a longarm quilting machine. He bought the machine 2 days later!! Right from the beginning, it was never about the piecing for Jamie; he was all about the longarm quilting.  He recalled, “I saw the potential for ‘painting on a canvas of what was finished.’” For two years, Jamie did nursing and quilting was his hobby. In those days, there was no support for longarm quilters so “you had to make it up as you went,” shared Jamie. He did a lot of practicing on bed sheets to come up with ideas. Soon, the quilting industry began to boom—and so did his business. How many quilts has he quilted? He stopped counting three years ago when his total reached 6,500!!   A resident of Michigan City, Indiana, he and his partner, Rich, travel extensively with their business, Quilters Apothecary. In 2017, they spent 34 weeks traveling over 60,000 miles driving and flying, including a one-month stint in Australia teaching in five different cities.    Jamie got in to teaching as a way to be a mentor for friends who made a big investment in their longarm machines but didn’t know what to do with them.  Today, he values teaching as a way to be a caretaker for the industry. Jamie teaches at Road approximately every other year (he previously taught in 2013 and 2016), and his classes sell out fast. Being from the East, he enjoys coming to Ontario during the winter. He appreciates the creative energy found at the show and all the inspiration that it has. Jamie says his students are always “happy and ready to learn.” During his classes, Jamie demonstrated drawing and quilting different designs as he shared personal stories of what it like to be a longarm quilter. One thing Jamie stressed with his students was the necessity of putting aside time each day for practicing.  With drawing, practicing at least a half hour to 45 minutes will help build muscle memory which eventually translates over to working on the machine. “Drawing designs is addictive. Anything a pencil can do, a longarm does,” Jamie said. He recommended keeping a TV tray, a folding chair, and some drawing tablets in the family room and use them when watching television.   With quilting, Jamie said that the biggest problem is waiting until you have a quilt before you start quilting. “You need to practice a lot before you lay down a quilt on the machine.” He added, “Every new quilt design is like learning cursive. It will look ugly at first,” but over time, “repetition brings rhythm.”   Looking for new longarm quilting ideas? Jamie recommends going online. “Search for contour line quilt blocks. There are 100’s of quilt blocks to print off and practice.” He also said to look for popular quilts, print a picture of them, and come up with three ways to quilt it.     What are the biggest changes Jamie has seen with longarm quilting since he started?  For one, it has become more of an industry than merely a hobby. People recognize its value and are willing to pay appropriately. Another change is how quilts are looked at in general. No longer are they just functional fabric items. They have evolved into family heirlooms where quilters preserve lasting legacies.  Jamie shared that the current biggest trend is photo quilts—4×4 inch photos on fabric. To learn more about Jamie Wallen and his quilting tools, please visit his website.      ]]>