Thursday, January 26, 2017

Gettin' Busy!

I have a new pattern finished. This is actually an old pattern that I've redesigned with better blocks. Since it was called "Starry Beginnings" I wanted all the blocks to be star blocks to go along with the middle star. Star blocks are always very popular, so this pattern makes a nice choice for a beginner.
I hope that you can click on the photo and view it larger. I FINALLY quilted something and had great fun doing so.

 (please read and respond at the bottom of this post about a question I have concerning this pattern)

I was *trying* to get the block packaged and up for sale on the website before I told you about it but in the last two weeks since I finished the little sample, I've of course, in the true Ms Hillbilly style, had my share of road obstacles. For one, I am out of the diamonds and triangles needed for the pattern pack. I had a huge fight with my laser machine a couple of months ago when it decided to start a tiny fire. (common, they burn out right in the machine). But it was enough to frustrate me and not deal with it for awhile. Then I decided I need to just use the thing what I bought it for... cutting papers! So, to do so, I have to use one of these under the cardstock:

Only after having a fire, it was totally black and was leaving residue on the papers. So I read somewhere to try cleaning it in the oven. That sounded amazing to me. I stuck it in the oven, put it on self clean, and went to bed. Then I woke up the next morning, and had to remove it piece by piece. It was indeed very clean. But the glue holding it together couldn't withstand the extreme heat. So this is what MY honeycomb cutting mat looks like. 

Sigh. So I am awaiting on another to arrive from Ebay.
When it does arrive I am going to get to work packaging the papers and get the pattern pack ready to sell. It will be a very inexpensive pack with as it's just a small wall hanging or table mat.

While waiting, I decided it's high time to get some more PDF designs published for you.
So today I did a quick work of publishing this little guy. Remember I am publishing these in backwards order so that they are placed on my website in frontwards order. When viewing them, click on the little arrow to view them "newest first". You can do that HERE. 

Finally, back to this design: 

I want to give step by step instructions on how to stitch up each block.
Do you think that if I made a page tab on my blog, and link that on the page where I sell the pattern pack that it will be enough? Or should I try to publish it in paper? That would cost quite a bit more with all the color. I was thinking if I could just blog it, and link to it, then it would be there for them to view whenever. What do you think? 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Ice life lesson: business style

A couple of weeks ago we had an ice storm in our area. It wasn't bad enough that we lost power, or that it shut down businesses. (Been there done that too! ). But it was bad enough that I couldn't get to my car when I left work just before midnight. I had sent the sacker boys out to check out the situation. My car had arrived before theirs and was parked in the furthest parking row in the lot. The sacker boys came back and and told me that the salt trucks hadn't worked on my row and to be careful that it was slick by my car.

(So glad THIS wasn't my car.)

They weren't kidding! I slipped several times and decided I really had to walk slow. I couldn't even take baby steps. I had to take the tiniest little steps. At one point I really considering crawling, but knew it would ruin my pants and frankly, I didn't have the money for new ones. It took me a half hour to get to my car. It was slow and tedious. If I tried to speed up, I'd slip again! So, slowly, slowly, I finally arrived, and shouted with triumph. Literally. Next I just had to get home. Trust me, by the time I rolled into my driveway and made my way into the house I was so eager to crawl under my blankies and be comforted by my dog. (everyone else was asleep.)

This little true scenario is a reminder to me concerning my business. I have just purged forward, slipping, sliding, falling through the ice. Multiple times. I am done with that. I am taking smaller than baby steps. I mean REALLY SMALL tiny steps moving forward. I refuse to fall again. And if I do fall, I'll be going so slow it won't hurt much.

Sometimes it's hard to watch others seemingly getting to the finish line so much faster. They are successful with the same ideas you had long before they did. But then you look down at the big picture, and you see what life is all about. My family has learned so much about life in the last five stormy years. So, it's all good. And now... my friends... I move forward. With itty bitty steps. And you know what? When you take time to take tiny steps, you realize there is beauty in the storm.

I almost have my first pattern pack sample finished. Correctly this time. I cannot wait to show it to you. It won't be long until I get to the Tree Skirt Mystery.
I just wanted to get a couple of pattern packs done first. But you won't be waiting forever.
While waiting, stop and enjoy the view around you. 

Slow down. Take smaller than baby steps.
Life isn't a race.
English Paper Piecing isn't a race. At least not for me. Let the others finish first.
Look what they missed. 

(All images found via google). 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

New Year, New Job, New Project, New Direction, New Post

Everyone is always posting all about New when it comes to January. I really am not into the "new" stuff for "New Years". No new words or new goals. In fact, we were so busy New Years weekend at work I just wanted it to be over with to be down right honest.

With the New Year, I did begin a new job at work. I moved from being a grocery store cashier to being behind the customer service counter. Every store handles things differently, but this was a big move. Besides handling all lotto, lottery, tobacco sales, renting the rug doctor, doing money orders and western union, dealing with customer complaints and handling cashier issues; I also have to learn a lot of paperwork concerning over all store sales. I don't make the deposits or count the tills (yet.. that is another promotion I hope to eventually get and they seem to think I will before too long), I do have to double check all deposits, count safe money, deal with numbers in the computer and so on. I like the new job. Although this week I am exhausted because I am used to going to bed at 1:30 in the morning from closing the store, and this week I am up at 5 to open the store. Except tomorrow which I close the store. Then Sunday I open the store. Then Monday I close the store again. Yes. Totally exhausting. My co workers said get used to always being tired and never wanting to do anything. That's encouraging, lol! I am already that way!

Anyway, that was my New Year new thing for my job. Next it is time to tack my New Year new thing for my business.


I know everyone loves mysteries and they are chomping at the bit for the next one. You all have been chomping at the bit for the tree skirt for MONTHS. And I've been sewing on it. I actually love it. It is different than my other mysteries. We will be handling it differently and the design is more classic than I normally go about designing, but it's still very nice.

Last month I completely basically shut down everything business related until I could figure out what direction to go. And I took time off. I did sewing but I walked away from selling or socializing business wise. And now I am ready but I think I am going to disappoint some of you.

I really think before I finish my tree skirt, I want to go back and finish some other patterns. I really REALLY want to get some pattern packs released with photos of finished quilts (you know like a real quilt pattern designer does), and if I just keep sewing mysteries to the point of showing the design, then begin the next, then I just don't think I'll ever make head way!

I took my business down the the very very bottom and am rebuilding it from the bottom up and I feel like these pattern packs/ quilt patterns is the foundation that my business needs to be built on.

So, while I was planning to release the info concerning the next mystery here very soon, I think I am not going to. And I KNOW it will frustrate some of you. But, trust me, it will be worth waiting for. And your hillbilly friend can start at the bottom and begin rebuilding. Properly. I no longer deal with selling fabric, or notions or floss. I am just focusing on design. And that is how it should be. I am very happy with that decision. VERY HAPPY.

The only thing that makes me sad is knowing you will be frustrated that I am not releasing the mystery yet. But take heart. It's worth waiting for and I've already got it half sewn up. I am just tucking it away for a while until I get some of these others finished. And I'll share progress right here. I think you will like seeing the direction I am taking with it.

Hillbilly Quilt Shop is rebuilding from the ground up. I am going to go start on that foundation right now. (Hmmm... which pattern pack to begin with? Oh I know just the one: Stay tuned! )