Instagram Magic Part II

As a followup to a previous post a week or two ago (Instagram Magic), I am happy to report that I received my first batch of CHATBOOKS Instagram books in the mail this past week!! As I told you before, all of my IG photos divided by 60 photos/book totaled 13 books. I chose to receive 5 at a time, so I got my first 5 and should receive my next 5 next month (July), then the last 3 (plus I may be ready for #14 by then) probably in August. Although after receiving the first 5, I kind of want to go ahead and get them all!!

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Above are 4 of the 5 and each book measures 6″ x 6″. I was SO HAPPY looking through all of these IG photos (MEMORIES) going back to 2011! Jeff and the kids enjoyed looking through them too (and pointing out all of the clothes from 2011 that Jeff STILL WEARS!) We live in the age of cell phones photos. I can’t even say we live in the age of digital cameras anymore. We do, but I have taken mine on 2 beach trips this summer and have yet to take a picture with it. I only use my digital camera for AC design photos! Everything is on my phone.

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Each book is labeled. You chose the name of the books and I went with The Gulledges. Original, I know. I love that each book is organized by date and broken down in to volumes. I guess I joined IG in 2011? You also get to go through ALL of your IG photos and exclude any that you don’t want printed in the book. Like the picture of the rain or that rabbit you saw in the yard.

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Each photos is also labeled with the date (YAY!) and some of them have the location. I guess it depends if your location services was turned on? Each pic also has captions underneath and some of mine were blank. I guess before I “got” Instagram and understood how to use it? The Emojis also show up as little characters. NOT Emoji friendly I guess but they are cute!

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Anyway, I love this *HAPPY* and wanted to share!! If you are an avid IG lover like I am, then try it out! You can get your first book free with my code!

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In Applique Cafe news, we’ve started our 4th of July SALE!

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I also added 3 new designs last week and all of them are the quick vintage/redwork stitch designs that are so easy and popular right now. I used medium cutaway stabilizer on these shirts, plus water soluble on top. You could also use a lighter cutaway. You just want to be sure to avoid any puckering! All of these are featured on our home page in case you are working on FALLfootball helmet 3 500-horz

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

20 Things Every Embroiderer Should Know

In case you missed the weekend Craftsy sale a couple of weekends ago, I have a special offer for 1 particular class you can take advantage of. 20 Things Every Machine Embroiderer Should Know by Lindee Goodall is one that caught my attention and you can get it for 43% off through midnight next Wednesday, June 24th. Once you purchase this class, or any other, it’s YOURS to watch over and over and over again! Just click on either link below to check this one out! 20 things class

Here are the basics of this class:

1) Hooping – I say when you can master this, you’ve climbed a huge mountain!! Hooping was my #1 issue when I first started doing embroidery! I still hoop most everything!

2) Choosing Stabilizers – When to use what, where, when, how and why! :)

3) Selecting Needles & Threads

4) Removing Embroidery – We all make mistakes! Learn how to avoid them, and what to do when it happens (besides cursing and throwing the machine out the nearest window).

5) Finishing Embroidery – Trimming jump stitches if your machine doesn’t do it for you, removing stabilizer when you are done, pressing (or ironing) the finished product, etc.

6) Choosing Designs & Fabrics – Your #1 choice you make when doing applique is which design and FABRIC! Also, learn how to avoid those annoying complicated designs (with 48 steps).

7) Customizing Designs

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New designs were added to Applique Cafe yesterday, btw….. Evidently we have a beach theme + church thing going on this week! :)

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Instagram Magic

Who loves INSTAGRAM? Me!! As you can see, I have 1,000 posts on my personal IG account. I LOVE Instagram and love being able to post snapshots of life and I LOVE scrolling through and seeing snapshots of my follow-ees lives! I like Facebook too, although sometimes it makes me crazy. But, I prefer IG because it’s less *stuff* like time-sucking blog posts articles, videos and useless information. Not everything needs to go to Facebook people….

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You may already know this, but there is a website out there called Chatbooks.com and they will put your IG photos in to cute little photo albums/books and mail them to you for $6/book. Each book contains 60 photos. I think there is another website or two out there like this (or probably a dozen of them) but I keep seeing Chatbooks so I thought I would give it a try! It is super easy to use and in about an hour or less I put together 13 books of my Instagram photos!!Chatbook

What’s great is that you can go through every single album and “exclude” any photos that you do not want in your book. That’s why it took me about an hour! So all the photos I’ve posted of Starbucks drinks and non-people things, I went through and excluded (or you can delete them altogether). You can also chose the COVER photo for each book AND>>>>> you can chose how you want to receive your books. I had 13 to catch up on, so it gave me the option to have them print 1 a month, 5 a month, 10 a month or I could chose to receive them all right now. I went with 5 a month so by August I should be caught up!

I should get my first 5 books sometime next week and will be sure to post when I do! Check it out, and you can use MY CODE below to get your first book FREE!! :) Happy Summer!!

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Craftsy Weekend Sale

Just a quick post about Craftsy’s “Create the Unexpected” weekend sale! All classes, which you keep forever once you purchase, are discounted for the weekend (through Sunday, June 7th at 11:59 MT). In case you are wondering what Craftsy is, it’s a cool website I discovered a month or two ago and they have some awesome instructional videos on embroidery and applique. I posted about a couple of them – check out THIS POST and THIS POST (Stabilizer Savvy and How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business).

Another video that caught my attention: 20 Things Every Machine Embroiderer Should Know. There are a few others – embroidering on terry cloth (towels), embroidering on knits and machine embroidered applique. Check out the Embroidery tab under Online Classes or click the banner below!

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Have a great weekend!! I’d love to hear what videos you like! Email me at rosemarygulledge@appliquecafe.com or comment below to share!! :)

School.Is.Out…

Y’all. It’s SUMMER. I think I am in denial and feel like I’m just on Spring Break vacation. How did we get here? My kids finished school on May 22 and the next day we headed to the beach which we have never done before (left town right after school gets out). We are still here and are enjoying some family time for another week. Here are a few pics from this past week, plus some pics of some of our new AND old designs.

Maggie got to come to the beach with us, and she is loving beach life! A little salt air does us all good!

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One of her fave spots is looking out at the Gulf! Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach, but we may have taken her crab hunting one night (when it was dark and no one could see).

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This is my favorite of her spread eagle looking out over the pool.

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We celebrated Browder’s 12th (!!!!) birthday Monday and he requested a trip to Big Daddy’s ripoff Arcade. $100 will get you a couple of candy necklaces!! Just kidding. I think we really spent $20 for 25 minutes of entertainment and a bunch of useless tickets.

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Sissy and I made cupcakes.

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He’s 12 y’all! That’s almost 13…

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Tuesday night my mom came for a visit so we took her to one of our fave spots – Fisherman’s Corner. If you ever come to Perdido Key or Orange Beach, call and make a reservation. It’s a shack, but some of the best seafood you’ll ever eat!

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Now on to Applique Cafe stuff. First of all, we are having a SALE through June 3rd, which is…. I have no idea what day it is….

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Here are some new designs we’ve added over the past month or so sewn by Jilly’s Mom Made That. All of these designs are on our website of course and are ON SALE!

Crab 22 Elephant 42 Flower Patch 22 Saw Tooth Fish1 Umbrella and Rain Boots1 Vintage Golf Green1 Vintage String of Fish1

Here are some other AC designs that I’ve sewn recently. The shorts are from Old Navy and were a funny yellowish greenish color to match. I had ONE fabric so I went with it and some other coordinating thread colors. Love how it turned out!

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A dear friend of mine is having a baby this summer, so I did a couple of (Blanks Boutique) gowns for her! They zip up the side so they are super easy to applique!

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This is a Monkey Tails Blanks dress with our Popsicle Trio design! I love a good trio! :)

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Here are 3 other NEW designs we listed this week! I love the Vintage stitch designs (such as the Fireworks). They are SO easy and fast to stitch! I recommend using a cutaway stabilizer on the bottom AND solvy or water soluble on top for those designs.

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Happy Summer!

Organization, Part 3

Did you think I forgot about ORGANIZATION?? Here is my next (and last) installment of organization posts! Hopefully you caught my previous 2 blog posts on some cool videos I found – Stabilizer Savvy and How to Start an Embroidery Machine Business. Now back to Organization and Part 1 & Part 2 are on the blog…

Tips & Timesavers for doing monograms and appliques

Beth’s answer to this – if she has 10-15 minutes before school, carpool or a sports event, she will sit down and design monograms (in her software) so they are ready when she is ready to sew them. She also may cut fabric and iron on the backing (Heat N Bond Lite) so she’s ready!

This is also where having extra hoops comes in handy! When I first started, my PE700 came with 1 5×7 hoop. Of course I ordered the 4×4 and 2×3, but also eventually ordered extra 4×4 and 5×7 hoops. That way I could work on hooping the next item while stitching another. I now have 3 4×4 hoops, 2 5×7 and a variety of other hoops – Durkee 9×9 and 6×6. I also have a variety of Fast Frames so I have plenty of hoops/frames to get the next item ready!

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INSTEAD of cruising Facebook (or Instagram, or Pinterest…) while that 46 minute monogram stitches, see what else you have to work on and start preparing. Iron, mark your center, go ahead and hoop it or attach it to the fast frame, cut your fabric for appliques, iron them and apply Heat N Bond Lite. Go ahead and set aside thread colors for the next project! There are lots of ways to maximize your time while sewing. Try not to get distracted! 

I think I posted this photo before, but while the burp cloth was stitching, I went ahead and ironed the bib, marked the center and ironed tearaway stabilizer on the back. I knew I was doing a small patch applique, so I went ahead and cut that fabric, ironed it and applied my Heat N Bond Lite. It’s ready to hoop and stitch!

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I was doing a few of these cute bags the other day from Ikea. While 1 was stitching, I went ahead and got the next one ready – center marked and attached to the fast frame! I didn’t have another frame to get the 3rd one ready, but I went ahead and marked my center. IMG_5574

Easiest Way to Pick out Fabric & Thread Colors

This can be hard sometimes and easy sometimes! For me, Sew What-Pro saves me A LOT of time in this department. When I am getting ready to sample or sew a NEW design, I always open it up in SWP first and change the colors around to get an idea of what colors I want to use. This gives me a head start in choosing fabrics. Here’s an example:

This is what the design looked like fresh out of being digitized, ready for me to sample. As most of you know, my husband Jeff does the digitizing and he makes each step a different color, but there’s no rhyme or reason to which colors he chooses.

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The first thing I do is change the colors to help me visualize what color fabric and threads I plan to use. For boy designs I usually start with primary colors, or my favorites like turquoise, lime, orange, etc. For girls, I usually start with hot pink and then go from there – turquoise, lime green, orange. This is just a starting place!

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This is one of our single fabric patch designs, so I typically use simple fabrics like ginghams, stripes & polka dots. As you can see, setting the colors I want to use before I sew it really helps!

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Sometimes you might be matching a pair of shorts, or matching a monogram to some trim on a bag. Those projects are easy! Sometimes I am sampling new designs and I will sort through every piece of floral fabric I own trying to find the perfect fabric. This is where organized fabric comes in handy! I have mine organized by design – polka dots, ginghams, florals, boy fabrics, textured fabrics (minky & chenille), etc.  Keeping your fabric & thread organized is a good start!

If your applique is several fabrics, start by nailing down the main fabric. If it’s a floral, see what goes with it – polka dots, ginghams, stripes, solids, etc. Most of our designs at Applique Cafe are very SIMPLE. Other than Turkey designs and a hand full of others, most of our designs aren’t more than a few fabrics which makes your job easier!

When do you not work or when is it OK to take the day off?

Beth tries really hard not to work when her kids are around! See my last post! :) If her kids are playing outside, she might throw something easy and “safe” on the machine. If she is not in the mood to embroider, she tries to stay away from the machine. I agree! That’s when you make the most mistakes, or your machine will act up FOR SURE. Personally, I try not to work on the weekends. There are some Saturdays when we have nothing going on and the kids are down the street playing, so I might sit down and get some work done. I often have people call and want to come over at all times of the day, including when we are eating dinner. I try to avoid that! You need to keep family time sacred, and as much as you think you need to work for 12 hours a day, you need to pace yourself, be more organized and set a reasonable work schedule!

Another tip or suggestions that I got:

At the end of the day, put everything back in it’s place! Put your hoops away. Make sure your fabric is all back in the right basket. Throw away the scraps and things that need to be thrown away. Finish up the day by leaving your work space organized and clean, then you are ready for the next day!

If you have any other suggestions or tips, do share! Leave us a comment and I will be sure to share!

Stabilizer Savvy

Happy Monday! I’m excited to share with you ANOTHER great video class on Craftsy that I just watched! This one is on STABILIZER and is perfect for beginners, but still great for the experienced embroiderer like me. I took 4+ pages of notes!

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This one is called Stabilizer Savvy with Terri Hanson, and it’s 9 lessons and took me about an hour to watch. I skipped through a few parts and you can also go back and watch different lessons or skip around.

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Here are the lesson topics:

1) Intro

2) Storage, Labeling & Other Basics – this lesson gave a couple of cool ideas for storing your stabilizer and labeling it to know what is what! She also went over hooping and basics of stabilizer (stabilizer = SUPPORT for your garment or item).

3) Cut-Away Stabilizer – medium weight vs. mesh which doesn’t show through as much

4) Tear-Away Stabilizer – great for more stable fabrics like denim, towels, canvas, etc., she also goes over “floating” tearaway stabilizer underneath

5) Sticky Stabilizer – true sticky stabilizer vs. spray adhesive + cutaway, what to do about sticky residue

6) Water Soluble Stabilizer – wash away vs. film topper and when you need them (she discussed free-standing lace designs and patch-looking designs)

7) Fusible Fleece (I skipped this one but will watch later)

8) Fuse & Stick Stabilizer (such as Heat N Bond Lite or Wonder Under) – in this lesson she goes through the applique process step by step also which might be helpful for beginners

9) Toppings & Cloud Cover (aka Solvy & Comfort Cover) – WHEN do you use these and how to remove it

I tried doing a video once using my Iphone and ended up posting like 9 snippets of video of me trying to applique and show you how to use my machine! 😛 What I love about the Craftsy videos is that they are professionally done (in a real studio) and super easy to understand. There are Questions & Answers on the right side of your screen with real people asking questions and Terri and others answering. You can also check out the Q & A’s under the Discussions tab when you are done. There’s also a spot at the bottom to type NOTES while you are watching that you can look at later (or you can hand write them like me!)  Also, when you purchase the class, you can watch it as many times as you’d like and you are given materials you can download like a sample design that Terri used and a Resources & Templates download which is like a cheat sheet with short notes on which stabilizer to use with what (for this particular class).

Here are a few of my take-aways for this class:

Stabilizer is used to SUPPORT the item you are monogramming, embroidering or appliqueing! She goes over hooping and stabilizer and how to avoid gaps in fill stitch designs, distorted designs and puckering which are usually all stabilizer issues! When all else fails, test your design first on a similar fabric to make sure your stabilizer is right!

If you missed my last post, it was another awesome video ~ How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business.

All designs are on sale at Applique Cafe til the 28th!

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How To Start a Machine Embroidery Business

OK people… I may be “late to the party”, but I just came across a cool website for embroidery. Has everyone else already heard of (and joined) Craftsy? The class that has caught my attention, mostly because I get asked this question A LOT, is How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business.

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Here are the topics covered by Marie Zinno, who owns and operates a successful embroidery business! Marie has written books and contributes regularly to popular sewing magazines. In other words, she is WAY more qualified than me to give you great tips and advice on starting your own embroidery business! :)

Lesson 1 – Business Basics – stuff you need to consider, think about and decide BEFORE you take the plunge!

Lesson 2 – Choosing a Machine – single needle? multi needle? single head? multi head/multi needle? Say what? Pros and cons of each and how to choose!

Lesson 3 – Ordering Blanks & Keeping Inventory – sounds like how NOT to just order everything you see that’s cute! 😉  Be strategic in what you order!

Lesson 4 – Pricing Embroidery & Taking Orders – what is your time worth? I think we all struggle with this one! How much do we charge these people??

Lesson 5 – Customizing & Bundling – learn how to package your products and innovative ways to create gifts and items people will WANT to purchase!

Lesson 6 – Organize Your Studio – this sounds like the whole “organization” thing I’ve been blogging about!

Lesson 7 – Promoting Your Business – you are ready now, so how do you get the word out?

Y’all, I’m excited about this CLASS! The good news is that you can watch it on your own schedule! Here is what you get:

  • 7 HD video lessons with anytime, anywhere access
  • Class materials, including pricing guidelines, order templates and vendor lists
  • Detailed instruction, explanation and demonstration
  • Answers from Marie in our virtual classroom

If you are interested in this video class series, please follow my link HERE! There is a cost involved, but for the information you are getting, that you can have access to anytime, it’s worth it!!

Organization, Part 2

I wanted to go ahead and do part 2 of my Organization posts, but first, I am excited about something new we are selling on our website. I looked back through my old records, and on June 4, 2007 I purchased my first embroidery (font) software. If you’ve read my blog, you know I use Monogram Wizard Plus for my fonts (names & initials) and I use Sew What-Pro for merging and editing. I bought MWP first and have loved it for almost EIGHT years!! I don’t have to tell you I love SWP too, as we’ve been selling it on the website (here) for a little over a year now and I mention it on my blog quite often. It’s become our top seller each month over any single applique design. We are now selling Monogram Wizard Plus too, and while it’s more expensive than SWP, it’s worth every penny! I’ve used it for the past almost-8 years, so it calculates to just $30 a year thus far. It’s a great investment if you are in the business of embroidery and monogramming!  Check it out – click HERE!

Here is just a sampling of what you can do in Monogram Wizard Plus. Lots of great fonts and motifs:

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Here is a screen shot of your workspace in MWP. It’s super easy to use and super easy to scroll through all of the various font options, sizes, etc. Again, a great investment! You can click on the TAG Monogram Wizard Plus on the right column, or search “Monogram Wizard Plus” on my blog in the search box. There is also a post or two in Helpful Posts.

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Now on to ORGANIZATION. As a follow up to my last post, Part 1, Kristi D. messaged me about a couple of apps you can download to help with to do lists and organization. They are: Evernote and Todoist (not “todolist”, but todo+ist). I just downloaded Todoist so I will try it out and see how it works! It looks like you can add tasks to certain days, set up reminders, etc. I just downloaded it so I haven’t gotten far yet! I may still be a pen and paper kind of girl but will give it a try!

OK…..

When is the best time to work?

I think everyone might answer this question differently because we are all in different stages of life and all have different schedules. Beth S. answered “I try to throw one or two things on the machine after my kids go to bed. I get a lot done when my husband takes my boys to practices.” (yay hubby!) Beth also works from home on Fridays so she tries to get 5 or more things on the machine on Fridays. For me, I try to get work done when my kids are at school. They go to a classical Christian school and they get out at 12:30 every day, so this is sometimes hard! Morning is my time to run my errands sans kids, go to bible study, volunteer at their school, etc. Usually 1 or 2 mornings a week I get to just stay home and work. I also try to work in the afternoons while they are doing their homework, but this is usually chaotic and I’m constantly interrupted and usually get frustrated. I try NOT to work much when Jeff gets home from work and throughout the evening, but sometimes it happens a day or two a week while the boys are at soccer practice. I also try to avoid working on the weekends unless we have NOTHING to do and I need to knock out a job or two. as I type this on Sunday afternoon…. If your kids are small and take naps, nap time is a great time to try to get a few things done! Maybe nights and weekend are your only time to work. That’s fine too! Just don’t sacrifice precious time with your family to work unless you have to.

Overall I think you have to look at your schedule and try to carve out time when you can get some work done uninterrupted! If you do this part time, you need to set hours and stick to them. I have a friend who lives in Atlanta who once told me that he intentionally gets up in the mornings, gets dressed and purposefully goes out for coffee or to grab breakfast. He then “goes to work” which is back at home. It’s hard to separate yourself from being at home when you work there! I am often distracted by laundry, cleaning, the dog, watching TV (I love The Today Show!), etc.

This is what happens when I try to work in the midst of kids!!

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When is the best time to check email (other than every 5 minutes like I do sometimes….)?

I would add to this: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and all the other “distractions” I struggle with that are “for work” but can distract me for an hour!! When we first started Applique Cafe, I worked out of our dining room in our old house and felt the need to check email literally every time I walked by the dining room. It was out of control! Depending on what your business is and how important email is to you, I would say to check it 3 times a day. Set a schedule and try to stick to it barring special circumstances. Try to check it in the morning when you get up or sometime in the morning when you have a few minutes. Check it at lunchtime or in the afternoon if you are away from home during the day. Lastly, check it quickly at night before heading to bed. We do have to check ours often b/c the majority of our business is email, but I have found that if I check it too much, I am taking time out of my day to check it and may only receive 4 emails b/c I just checked it 20 minutes ago!

Social Media… if anyone is guilty of wasting too much time on social media, it is ME! There is no telling what I could accomplish in the hours and hours I’ve wasted since Facebook was invented! If you use social media for your business, try to stick with the same 3 or so times a day rule. Yes you might need to check Facebook to see if you have any messages or comments you need to check on. What you don’t need is to open Facebook in the middle of sewing a shirt and waste 30 minutes scrolling through to see what all your friends are up to! Same with Pinterest and Instagram! Both are great tools for business and most importantly they are FREE, but they can also distract you from your work and next thing you know an hour has passed and you haven’t even finished a single monogram! SET LIMITS!! 

How many items do you do each day? Goals are good!!

Beth S. says that she sets small goals. If she has 11 baseball bags on her to do list, then she tries to complete 2 to 3 a day. If she finds some extra time here or there, she can usually exceed her goal. I agree with Beth in that small goals are a great idea! I not only do this with embroidery work, but I do it with my every day stuff as well. Every day I either think about what I need to get done that day or write it down. It might be: go to the bank, send out X email, bathe the dog, monogram Leslie’s 2 items. Doesn’t it feel good to mark those things off the list, 1 by 1? I might have 32 embroidery items on my to do list, but know today is sort of a busy day and I don’t have a lot of time. Set a small goal of monogramming 1 thing, or 2 or 3 things. A lot of times you might be able to squeeze in 1 more and that’s great, but if you can’t, then at the very least you can accomplish the small goals before the day is done!

That’s all for today! I will continue next time with time savers & tips for doing monograms and appliques and the easiest fastest way to pick out fabric and thread colors! I would love to read your comments or suggestions for ORGANIZATION, so comment away!

Organization, Part 1

A couple of months ago, I did a blog post soliciting help, tips, shortcuts, whatever… on being organized and efficient. Just to show you how efficient I am, 2 months later I am finally back to share what I learned! I have to give a special SHOUT OUT to Beth S. who took the time to answer my plea for help in this area. Her answers were organized by questions by the way, so 2 thumbs up!

To give you a little background on Beth, she works full time and got her first embroidery machine 5 years ago. She upgraded to a Brother PR650 6-needle after 2 years, uses Monogram Wizard Plus and also has several extra hoops (I will touch on that later). Her biggest business is logos on baseball stuff (bags, pullovers, etc.) She’s an accountant by trade, so she is super efficient and doesn’t like to have inventory sitting around the house. Her goal is to create a sizable business so she can retire from her “real job” and still have income for vacations! I think that’s how a lot of us start out… embroidery “on the side” until we can see if we can really do it full time and still contribute to the family income or make a decent living. On the side, making extra money, is always good too!

Here is the first question on organizing orders! I will continue to answer the questions from THIS POST in future posts. I don’t want to overwhelm anyone! :) A lot of the answers came from Beth, some from my own experience and a few others from emails and comments on the post.

How do you organize orders?

Beth has a to-do list on her computer that she keeps open at all times. It includes to dos for her house, real job & embroidery and she updates it throughout the day. She organizes her orders in the order in which they were received, but will sometimes switch between customers based on which hoop she is using on her machine. Beth’s turnaround time is a standard “2 weeks” but she often finishes early! Personally, I get overwhelmed with big orders! If I have a big order staring at me, and a couple of onesie twosie items on my to do list, I sometimes knock out the 1 or 2 items and then work on the big order. As long as I’m getting my orders done in a timely manner, it doesn’t really matter and it feels good to mark items off the to do list!!

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I sometimes carry a little notepad or notebook around with me where I keep all of my to dos! I am 40-something years old, so if it ain’t written down, it ain’t going to happen. I can have someone bring over a bib to monogram and tell me they want bubblegum pink thread and a Master Circle monogram. Fast forward a few hours, and I cannot tell you what color or what font they want if it’s not written down. Truth.

As far as organizing orders, you need to have a system for writing stuff down. Whether it be a notepad where you write down the date and what the customer wants, or something more sophisticated like a typed up order form with the date and all the important details included on it. I believe you also need a PLACE to PUT your orders and a way to keep them organized. I got this nifty thing at Hobby Lobby on clearance a couple of years ago… The numbers come in handy!

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It helps that I have a dedicated sewing room now, but years ago I worked in our dining room and I had a wire industrial shelf from Target (see photo below) and baskets from Walmart where I kept all of my orders. That’s when I was doing customer work full time, and Jeff would sometimes hide stuff from me because I would become overwhelmed at my to do pile on the shelf. I think the key is to be organized as best you can! Put a date on everything. Keep a spreadsheet with important order info on it. Print emails if people email orders to you. Develop some type of system that works for you depending on where you do your embroidery, where you keep your to do orders, when you find time to work, etc.

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If you aren’t organized, find a friend who is and ask for help! I have a friend who is super successful in the embroidery business. Her sister is super organized so she came in and helped her develop a system to keep track of all of her orders!

Keeping a good calendar is great too! Jeff and I have have 2 of these dry erase calendars on our wall in our office. We have 2 months going at a time. I know smart phones can do all that for us, but we like things written down.

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Chime in by commenting if you have any more specific ideas! Next I will cover the best time to work and juggling the computer stuff – email, social media, etc.