Ripping Down the Road

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Unchosen Quilts

Posted by Julie Luoma on

Just for the fun of it, I like to make an art quilt occasionally.  I can be creative, learn something new, and see what happens without the pressure of needing to make it into a pattern

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Unchosen Quilts

Posted by Julie Luoma on

Just for the fun of it, I like to make an art quilt occasionally.  I can be creative, learn something new, and see what happens without the pressure of needing to make it into a pattern

Read more


And Then We Made A Mistake

Posted by Julie Luoma on

Have you ever made a relatively minor mistake but made it even worse when you tried to fix it?  It just heaps on the frustration, doesn't it?

We recently placed an order for copies of several of my patterns from a printing company that we've been very pleased with in the past.  I ordered a couple of weeks before I actually needed the patterns so there was plenty of time to receive them and they came to us right on time.  When the box arrived, I was impressed that they could fit such a large order in one box but didn't think about it much.  The next day we sat down to fold and package the patterns and realized that they had sent us only the first page of each pattern.  Oops, that's a problem.  I sent off an email detailing the problem and explaining that we needed the order reprinted and sent to our next show that started in a few days.  I quickly received an apology and reassurance that the order would be sent to both our regular and the temporary address to make sure we got it.

The next day I got both shipping confirmations to each address and they even partially refunded what I had paid.  I was impressed.  I know mistakes happen but it's all about how they are handled.

The order reached us the day before the show opened and we eagerly sat down and opened the 2 boxes.  Oh no!  This time we had all of the pages but they were printed on only one side of the paper instead of two sided.  We tried to see if we could assemble them properly but they just didn't work right that way and some were so many pages we could hardly stuff them in the plastic sleeves.  Argh! 

But oddly, I started laughing and could hardly stop.  How could this happen?  Obviously it wasn't intentional but what else could happen? I sent another email and immediately received a phone call.  The poor woman was beside herself and I was almost overwhelmed with a severe case of giggles.  She very generously offered to add folding and bagging services to the order and promised she'd personally make it right. 

This kind of thing used to happen back when I managed tax preparation offices.  But it was terrible then, with people already stressed about taxes and us unintentionally making it worse.  This was patterns.  Just patterns.  Nothing scary or tragic.  Just patterns.

Today we received the order for the 3rd time.  We looked at the box with some trepidation and set it aside while we opened the rest of the mail. Then we took a deep breath and slit the tape.  We carefully slid the first package out and opened it and beautiful, complete, two sided, folded and bagged patterns appeared!  We started laughing again and opened up all of the pretty, perfect patterns. 

We are pleased.  We will order from that company again.  We are thankful that we have reasons to laugh and support other businesses that are trying just as hard as we are to do our best and make a living doing what we love.  And our recycle bin will be overflowing this week.

Read more

And Then We Made A Mistake

Posted by Julie Luoma on

Have you ever made a relatively minor mistake but made it even worse when you tried to fix it?  It just heaps on the frustration, doesn't it?

We recently placed an order for copies of several of my patterns from a printing company that we've been very pleased with in the past.  I ordered a couple of weeks before I actually needed the patterns so there was plenty of time to receive them and they came to us right on time.  When the box arrived, I was impressed that they could fit such a large order in one box but didn't think about it much.  The next day we sat down to fold and package the patterns and realized that they had sent us only the first page of each pattern.  Oops, that's a problem.  I sent off an email detailing the problem and explaining that we needed the order reprinted and sent to our next show that started in a few days.  I quickly received an apology and reassurance that the order would be sent to both our regular and the temporary address to make sure we got it.

The next day I got both shipping confirmations to each address and they even partially refunded what I had paid.  I was impressed.  I know mistakes happen but it's all about how they are handled.

The order reached us the day before the show opened and we eagerly sat down and opened the 2 boxes.  Oh no!  This time we had all of the pages but they were printed on only one side of the paper instead of two sided.  We tried to see if we could assemble them properly but they just didn't work right that way and some were so many pages we could hardly stuff them in the plastic sleeves.  Argh! 

But oddly, I started laughing and could hardly stop.  How could this happen?  Obviously it wasn't intentional but what else could happen? I sent another email and immediately received a phone call.  The poor woman was beside herself and I was almost overwhelmed with a severe case of giggles.  She very generously offered to add folding and bagging services to the order and promised she'd personally make it right. 

This kind of thing used to happen back when I managed tax preparation offices.  But it was terrible then, with people already stressed about taxes and us unintentionally making it worse.  This was patterns.  Just patterns.  Nothing scary or tragic.  Just patterns.

Today we received the order for the 3rd time.  We looked at the box with some trepidation and set it aside while we opened the rest of the mail. Then we took a deep breath and slit the tape.  We carefully slid the first package out and opened it and beautiful, complete, two sided, folded and bagged patterns appeared!  We started laughing again and opened up all of the pretty, perfect patterns. 

We are pleased.  We will order from that company again.  We are thankful that we have reasons to laugh and support other businesses that are trying just as hard as we are to do our best and make a living doing what we love.  And our recycle bin will be overflowing this week.

Read more


New Starts

Posted by Julie Luoma on

I'm not someone who makes New Year Resolutions but for both our online and traveling shop, the new year is a great time to roll out new products.  I thought I'd share a little bit about what goes into offering new products.

First, we are constantly watching at shows and online on social media for new and interesting products.  We want useful and fairly unique products for our line.  We need to have a good balance of products we produce and products we order from other companies.  Why is this?  We make a better profit on items we produce and we can control the inventory much easier as well.  Of course when we are on the road we can't produce anything so that can potentially create a different problem.  It's much easier to simply receive a box of items that are ready to sell, but since we travel so much it becomes a juggling act to time the delivery of shipments to a location we know we will be at.  We've had a couple of missed deliveries!

The products that we select must be useful and affordable.  We must limit the number of products that require demonstration to understand as we can only demo one or two products at a time at shows.  We must be able to order the products easily and in reasonable quantities.

New products are always risky.  Asking customers if they would buy an item if we carried it is far different from the reality of actual sales.  We take a risk investing in new products but it sure is exciting!

Read more

New Starts

Posted by Julie Luoma on

I'm not someone who makes New Year Resolutions but for both our online and traveling shop, the new year is a great time to roll out new products.  I thought I'd share a little bit about what goes into offering new products.

First, we are constantly watching at shows and online on social media for new and interesting products.  We want useful and fairly unique products for our line.  We need to have a good balance of products we produce and products we order from other companies.  Why is this?  We make a better profit on items we produce and we can control the inventory much easier as well.  Of course when we are on the road we can't produce anything so that can potentially create a different problem.  It's much easier to simply receive a box of items that are ready to sell, but since we travel so much it becomes a juggling act to time the delivery of shipments to a location we know we will be at.  We've had a couple of missed deliveries!

The products that we select must be useful and affordable.  We must limit the number of products that require demonstration to understand as we can only demo one or two products at a time at shows.  We must be able to order the products easily and in reasonable quantities.

New products are always risky.  Asking customers if they would buy an item if we carried it is far different from the reality of actual sales.  We take a risk investing in new products but it sure is exciting!

Read more


You Really NEED to Stop at that Quilt Shop!

Posted by Julie Luoma on

After successfully stopping and procuring at least a fat quarter, begin looking for other uses  fat quarters in the car

Read more

You Really NEED to Stop at that Quilt Shop!

Posted by Julie Luoma on

After successfully stopping and procuring at least a fat quarter, begin looking for other uses  fat quarters in the car

Read more


What's That In My Bathroom?

Posted by Julie Luoma on

We spend over half of our time on the road but we don't just travel to quilt shows.  We love meeting people, doing volunteer work, and experiencing life in other countries.  We all know that customs are different in other countries, in fact, that's one of the things we like best about travel.  We enjoy learning how other people do life.

Last summer we went on a trip to South America, to volunteer in a vision clinic in Paraguay.  We flew to Chile, then on to Paraguay where we took a 5 hour bus ride to our final destination of Ciudad del Este.  We were there for 2 weeks and were housed in a decent hotel.  It reminded us of a college dormitory.  Basically, we had a queen sized bed, a twin bed, a counter with a refrigerator under it and small closet and a bathroom.  No chairs.  There was a restaurant downstairs where we ate the included breakfast and ordered dinner occasionally.

This was all very interesting and we enjoyed shopping locally and eating at nearby restaurants.  We also traveled to Argentina while we were there and visited the amazing Iguazu Falls.

During the 2 weeks we were away from home, we stayed in 3 different hotels.  We also encountered 3 different types of bidets.  I knew what a bidet was but not how to use one.  I'm still not entirely clear on that part.   I had no idea there were different kinds of bidets!  The first one was simply a hose with a sprayer on the end, like one might find next to a sink. I feared I would spray the ceiling so I left it.We stayed overnight in Argentina at a really cute little boutique hotel.  The bathroom was long and narrow with the shower at one end, opposite the toilet and the sink was in the middle facing the door.  This bathroom had an attachment on the toilet with dials and buttons.  I walked over and leaned over to look at it and touched one of the buttons.  A stream of water shot across the room and into the shower!  Very impressive.  I didn't attempt that one either.

Finally, after a long bus ride back to the city where we'd catch our flight home, we checked into one more hotel and found a third kind of bidet, the kind I had expected to see, a separate throne of sorts.  It was very late, I was tired and grumpy and I did not touch that throne once!  I look forward to more international travel in the future and I'm looking for a class on bidets.

Read more

What's That In My Bathroom?

Posted by Julie Luoma on

We spend over half of our time on the road but we don't just travel to quilt shows.  We love meeting people, doing volunteer work, and experiencing life in other countries.  We all know that customs are different in other countries, in fact, that's one of the things we like best about travel.  We enjoy learning how other people do life.

Last summer we went on a trip to South America, to volunteer in a vision clinic in Paraguay.  We flew to Chile, then on to Paraguay where we took a 5 hour bus ride to our final destination of Ciudad del Este.  We were there for 2 weeks and were housed in a decent hotel.  It reminded us of a college dormitory.  Basically, we had a queen sized bed, a twin bed, a counter with a refrigerator under it and small closet and a bathroom.  No chairs.  There was a restaurant downstairs where we ate the included breakfast and ordered dinner occasionally.

This was all very interesting and we enjoyed shopping locally and eating at nearby restaurants.  We also traveled to Argentina while we were there and visited the amazing Iguazu Falls.

During the 2 weeks we were away from home, we stayed in 3 different hotels.  We also encountered 3 different types of bidets.  I knew what a bidet was but not how to use one.  I'm still not entirely clear on that part.   I had no idea there were different kinds of bidets!  The first one was simply a hose with a sprayer on the end, like one might find next to a sink. I feared I would spray the ceiling so I left it.We stayed overnight in Argentina at a really cute little boutique hotel.  The bathroom was long and narrow with the shower at one end, opposite the toilet and the sink was in the middle facing the door.  This bathroom had an attachment on the toilet with dials and buttons.  I walked over and leaned over to look at it and touched one of the buttons.  A stream of water shot across the room and into the shower!  Very impressive.  I didn't attempt that one either.

Finally, after a long bus ride back to the city where we'd catch our flight home, we checked into one more hotel and found a third kind of bidet, the kind I had expected to see, a separate throne of sorts.  It was very late, I was tired and grumpy and I did not touch that throne once!  I look forward to more international travel in the future and I'm looking for a class on bidets.

Read more