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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Computer is back!

Hmmm…. Where was I? I’ve been without a computer for a few days. It started acting really weird. It started cutting itself on and off. I would be right in the middle of something and it would shut down. Then I would get up in the morning to find it turned itself on and was just kind of sitting there waiting on me. Really spooky!

The repair guy said it had picked up a really nasty virus called a Trojan horse. Now it is back with all kinds of safety software but it’s still not exactly right. I’m having trouble getting it to turn on which may just be a switch problem.

I gotta tell you about the first couple of days I was without a computer. It’s kind of funny if you think about it. I got up early as usual but couldn’t spend my usual couple of hours on the computer. I decided to go ahead and load the next top onto the machine so I could get an early start.

I get the backing all sewn onto the leaders and I’m rolling it on the bars. Oops! The backing has holes in it, right in the center. I take it back off and make a note to call the owner. 3 am is a little too early for phone calls.

Next quilt… I get the backing sewn to the leaders and look for the batting. Oh no, there isn’t any batting for it! The batting is due in on Friday. I take it back off and put it away.

Ok, next top… this time I check first but there is no batting. The batting delivery is due Friday.

The next top… I check, yes I have the batting. It gets sewn to the leaders and I’m rolling it onto the bars. Gee whiz, again, holes in the backing, right in the center. It gets taken back off and put away.

I go to the next quilt top…. there isn’t any backing for it here yet. I’m still waiting for her to bring it. She actually has 3 tops here, all without backing. Why would anyone take quilts to a machine quilter and not take the backing; especially when the waiting lists are so very long?

I go to the next top…. I get it sewn to the leaders and I’m rolling it on the bars. Oops!, holes in the backing. I’m beginning to think something is really wrong. I check the backing of all 3 tops. Yep! They all are the same backing and evidently from the same bolt. The holes are along the inside fold line of wide backing. It appears to be a manufacturing flaw caused by their machinery.

This process goes on for 15 tops. Not one can be quilted for one reason or another. I know I can’t call other customers because then I would have way too many here waiting to be finished.

I give up on working on the customer tops. It’s still too early to call anyone so I decide to work on one of the custom made tops. I go through 5 of them looking for machine work. Not one of them has approval from the customer so I can’t quilt them either.

I gave up on working on the machine. I just sew some of my charity quilt pieces that are pinned and ready. Got that finished in about 30 minutes. It’s still too early to make phone calls so I decide to do more updating of my custom quilt catalog. Here it is…

I have to print out more pictures and fill out the price cards. I like this catalog much better than the previous one. This is more compact and easier to read. Later in the day I did manage to get one customer to bring me a replacement backing. I finished that quilt the same day.

The other half.

Ok, the next day I’m going through my quilt work looking for something to start on. For what reason I don’t know, I thought the date was the 28th instead of the 21st. I get myself all in a panic wondering what in the world will I do?! I have 6 quilts with a promised finished date of July 1st. No way can I finish them all in that short a time. I don’t even have the batting for them yet!

I call the customer most likely to forgive me for not finishing on time and explain I somehow got farther behind than I thought. I tell her with only 2 days left in the month I can’t possibly finish her quilt. She says to me “Oh honey today is only the 21st.” I hesitate for a moment…. DUH!! Now I really feel stupid! We have a good laugh about it and I say hers will be the first one done when the batting arrives.

On one of my days without a computer, I did get in touch with a financial advisor who can tell me if I should move and expand my business or just stay where I am. As I was trying to explain quilts and the quilting business to him I realized he doesn’t have a clue about quilts. He is one of the many people who believe anything that goes on a bed is a quilt. Blankets are not quilts. Spreads are not quilts.

I finally asked him if he could possibly just visit my studio for a few minutes. I believe once he is actually here and can see what I do all day he can give me better advice. He is going to visit on Monday. He said he may bring his wife so she can see too.

So for the rest of this week I will be working overtime to finish some deadline quilts, pulling out financial papers, preparing presentation materials, cleaning up some of the clutter in the studio, and generally stressing myself out to keep up.

Quilts left to go? I’ve lost count on the quilts to finish. I have to do a recount but I don’t know if I will have time to post again before early next week.

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