Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tip Tuesday! Have a Latte Hop

See below for the Have a Latte Blog Hop Info!


"Tip Tuesday!" - Try Before You Buy

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired!

There are so many options for us quilters in regards to notions such as rulers, rotary cutters, cutting mats, irons, marking tools, etc. I don't know about you, but I certainly do not have unlimited resources and want to make my quilting purchases worthwhile.

I'm sure many of you can relate to having bought a tool because the advertising/demo made it look so easy and you just knew that it would solve all of your quilting issues. (Ok, I'm exaggerating there, but I think you get the idea.) 

Take the case of a rotary cutter I bought a number of years ago. It was a perfectly good cutter and it really did look like it would reduce strain on my wrist. I read the reviews, which were all glowing and even my friend had one and absolutely loved it. How could I go wrong, right? I bought one and excitedly opened the package as soon as I got home and started to use it.

Well, to make a long story short, I HATED that cutter. I couldn't get it to feel comfortable in my hand and my cutting accuracy suffered. Thinking I was holding it incorrectly, I searched the internet for tips on using the cutter, but to no avail. I was holding it properly, but it just wasn't working for me so I gave up and put that cutter in a drawer, never to be used again. (I did eventually ask my friend if she wanted a "travel" cutter and I gave it to her.)

It was shortly after that experience that I started teaching and I made the decision to address this issue, as I wanted my students to spend their money on classes and fabric instead of tools they wouldn't use. I asked the shops to allow me to "soft sell" by having tools and notions available in the classroom for use and for me to use during my demos. I wanted students to see them in action and try them all. (It was kind of a hard sell to one shop because they didn't want to open the package, but they did it and are very happy they did.)

I also started "collecting" notions for teaching. For my birthday, I asked for various tools and notions. I bought them when they were on sale. I accepted them from friends who had them, but never used them. It didn't take long before I had my "teaching kit" filled with at least four different styles and manufacturers of rotary cutters, ruler and mats. I also have various marking pens, chalks, pins, glue sticks, etc. in that kit and it is with me for every class I teach.  

When I teach or when I'm sewing with a group of people, I allow them and suggest that they try all the different styles and see what works for them. As a matter of fact. I often suggest that my new quilt students don't buy supplies until after the first class so they can "try before they buy." Afterall, I would never suggest that they purchase a sewing machine without researching and trying it, so why would I suggest they buy any notions without trying them. I know for a fact that these trials have saved a number of students money, or at least it saved them from buying tools they don't like. (Of course many of them spent the "saved" money on fabric, but that doesn't count.)

The shops in which I teach are ok with me doing this, as they often benefit from these trials. Although it isn't my main goal when teaching, most of my classes end with students making purchases of tools that they had never tried before. The student is happy, the shop owner is happy, and I'm happy.

So, my advice is -Try before you buy! 

It's Day 2 of the 
Have a Latte Blog Hop

Here are today's participants

 April 14

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