I learned today that beginning March 01, I am required by NC law to collect sales tax on services. Before now, services were not taxed. Items I purchase without paying sales tax--primarily thread & batting--have always been taxed. Now the entire invoice will be taxed.
I have said...If a cat has been on your quilt, please do NOT send it to me.
Please help me assess this situation realistically.
I have hesitated to post this before but understand that I remain affected by where a cat has been long after the cat is gone. Your quilts and anything on them get on my work table, on top of my bed for photos and on my longarming canvas. It does not wash out & it does not fade away. This is because the cat allergens are in the saliva.
I visited some friends of a friend years ago in Maryland. A short time into the visit, my throat and inner ears began to itch. They had a dog. When my sinuses clogged I asked if they had a cat. No. The previous owners did. These folks had lived here 5 years and long since removed the old carpet leaving only bare hard wood floors yet I was reacting the same way I do when a cat is present. It is NOT pleasant. Sneezing continuously and unable to breathe normally, we had to leave. Fortunately Sudafed settles everything down in about 30 minutes once I get away from the source.
Please understand that I do not want to live this way in my home.
Why am I posting now? A recent quilt came into my home & I began working with it. My throat had that tell tale feeling I know too well but have not experienced in years now. I did not go into a full blown attach but I also did not put the quilt on my bed or worktable. My sweet, dear customer is begging me to do her quilt & I would love to do it but my health and lifestyle are at risk. Or are they?
Another dear customer has sent me quilts in the past and I have NOT had a reaction. When she sent a photo with a gorgeous black cat sitting on a quilt she was planning to send, I did not say anything. I did cut the cat out of the photo (LOL-out of sight...) and tried to push it out of my mind.
So now I have several quilts in house from cat houses (LOL).
What would you do if you were me with customers counting on you?
What would you expect if you sent a quilt in good faith & you had a cat?
I care. I try to be fair and upfront and reasonable. Keep in mind I have never mentioned this before on this site & it has not been a problem with any quilts I have done over the past 3 years. Surely some of those homes had cats unbeknown to me. Perhaps I'm paranoid. Perhaps I have been darn lucky. I am sure of only one thing -- I do not know what will happen. I have a touch of allergies all the time but I manage just fine without medication whereas when I lived in the Roanoke valley, I had to go on shots immediately. Tricky stuff this. It could be that those shots built up an immunity that is now wearing off. That makes sense to me.
If I have quilted for you & you have a cat, please let me know.
That will help solve this dilemma in favor of my current customers. Thanks so much!!
Love and peace to all -- even your kitty
I do not and will not choose a quilting pattern for anyone. It is not a service I provide. I'll give a thumbs up or down on your pick, discuss, suggest/offer options, educate, call, email ... but never decide. It is bad business. The same goes for thread & density.
I will share all I know & answer any questions after which you will know as much as I do. I understand it is a bit scary. It is for me too & I often run my ideas by others. You are not my customer but my partner when it comes to your quilt.
When needed, I do try to give you--and me quite frankly--the best idea possible of how a particular pattern will look on your quilt. The BLOG has numerous examples of this. Often I will sketch a quilt to size in Electric Quilt 7 (EQ7), program the pattern into Intelliquilter (IQ) and then overlay the pattern on the quilt rendition. It is a lot of work that I really enjoy doing. If I can't do all that for a particular quilt, I will do the best I can.
Read these PREPARATION instructions: Squaring the quilt back is your job, not mine. It must be square to load and quilt correctly. Pressing the seams flat is your job, not mine. My job is to remove the inevitable creases due to folding & shipping so the quilt will load flat & stitch without avoidable puckers. These are time consuming but necessary jobs--your jobs--that someone must do. I would hate to have to start returning quilts that are not properly prepared or to start charging for these services but am strongly considering it. Or I could charge a surcharge & then issue a refund to those who properly prepare their quilts. You would hate it if I quilted what too many of you send the way you do. More & more often it is taking me a whole day just to prepare a quilt for proper loading. That is not fair to me. That is not fair to anyone waiting in the queue for their quilt to be done.
Please If your borders do not lay flat, fix them before you send them to me. They must lay flat to make a nice quilted product. Usually this will mean removing them and smoothing out any puckers or gathers. If I have to do this, I am going to charge $50. Otherwise, I will have to take ugly tucks to flatten the border in order to quilt it. Yuck!
Surely you realize that the time I spend blogging, emailing, photographing, overlaying, preparing quilts for loading, etc. are free services to you. I love doing it. I love quilting. However, frankly, I am often tempted to give up quilting for others because so many abuse my services. Be kind to your longarmer. Do your part & let's enjoy making beautiful quilts together. I need you as much as you need me. Thanks for reading my rant.
Oh, one more thing. When your quilt is top in the queue, be as available as you can via email or phone in case I have any critical questions. And check your post often as I post progress notes and photos.
Now breathe & laugh out loud. I am. I realize we all have better intentions than we live up to. Unintended "Oops" are allowed. I sure make them frequently. Gone quilting!
I get some questions quite often even though PREPARATION & PRICES cover many of them. Who has the time, right? I am posting this list so I can email a quick reference to it in the future.
Apparently I am the only one who can start a blog post, but you should be able to comment on any of them. Feel free to change the topic in your comment. To comment, click on the Comments link on the right or click on the blog title & scroll down. Also, notice that there are Archives & Categories on the right to narrow your search by month, customer name or topic.
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Share how someone felt when they received your gift.
Is there something I can do to improve this BLOG or my longarming?
If we're NOT Smilin' about Quiltin', something NEEDS Fixin'