Life is so interesting. I find that whenever things seem to be moving along on an even keel, something is sure to come along and knock us out of our comfort zone. I actually don't think I'd want it any other way.
This past year was a good one! Lots of changes. No bordom here. I added a couple of CQ classes in addition to my machine sales which gave me the opportunity to teach lots of gals and some guys how much more their CQ could do. I visited Rogers, AR, British Columbia, Canada and Portland, OR to teach. I also had several students fly in for private lessons. It was great. Not only did I get to share new techniques with them, but they with me. I am always amazed at how much I learn of my students!
I tend to get into ruts so in order to avoid them, I love pushing my CQ and myself to be more creative. I want to make it do everything I can think of. So far I can't say I have been disappointed.
On the home front, last November, John, thought we ought to open a real brick and mortor store. So as in our usual manner, we did YIKES. We opened the Quilting Machine Shop in Bunnell, FL. I love it. Now I have a great open space to give classes and a place to bring other educators in to broaden our local longarm community's quilting horizons.
We presently have 3 A1 Quilting Machines 1 CompuQuilter and 2 HQ 16's in our showroom. Wow, am I loving it! I hope to add another CQ this year to have 2 available for classes.
Installations still keep us busy. Seems like I never have enough time to get everything accomplished but I keep plugging away. February will be a fun month. Jamie Wallen will be here for a guest appearence and a workshop! The North Central Longarm Guild will meet in the shop and we will celebrate our grand opening!
I'd like to share some thoughts I have developed regarding IQ vs and CQ.
I was working Road to California last week. I've wanted to give the IQ a good test for some time but never seem to be able to do so. Either I'm busing in the booth or their booth is busy when I can get over there. As good luck would have it, I did get a chance to visit the Nolting booth on Sunday and try out the IQ. The guys there know me as a CQ gal and were gracious when I asked for a demo. A lovely gal who I didn't know started to show me the system. She had not run it too often and apologized for her inexperience with the system and said she'd give it her best shot. She assured me it was easy to use. I was really OK with that, I have enough compterized quilting experience now to walk my way through most of the process so I wasn't worried about whether it was a professional showing or not.
After several minutes of showing me the IQ, flipping from window to window to window and so on...(don't know exactly how many different windows she put information into, I lost count) just to run a simple motif. I immediately saw that all the hype of having the computer mounted to the top of your system was very necessary with the IQ. They have to go between many windows before they can activate a run! Having all those windows available at your fingertips is manditory!
I kept thinking, we have only one window in which we set up our design! Now, that's easy! Then we just go to our execute page to run it. Wow! I found it so hard to see the design and layout on the small IQ screen. For some time now, I thought well, we must be missing something with our big monitors. So many other systems seem to be going to the small mounted screens. In reality we are NOT missing anything!!! Quite the contrary, they're the ones missing out. They miss the ease of setting your quilt up in one window! They miss that we can load CQ on any laptop or desktop to play with while our quilts are happily quilting along. If they remove their monitor, they can't sew until they put it back. So much for multi-tasking there! And they miss viewing their quilt in a nice large view, big enough to know what you have placed in it!
I was told that 'everyone' says that the IQ is so easy to use and is the best system on the market. Maybe I'm just spoiled, I really didn't find all those screens easy to use at all. I found myself wondering where I was and what I was entering??? I also didn't feel like I was quilting on the 'best' either. I did appreciate the opportunity to try out the IQ! I now can be even more appreciative of the great system I use! If you think you've been missing something. Well, you haven't. The grass may always look greener, but rarely is it. We are so fortunate to be CQ owners! Thanks Stan for such a great easy to use system!