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The Rush Is Over
By Dan Novak

Now that the Christmas rush is over, its time to think about how productive the year has been. Have you completed the number of quilts that you set out to do? Were you over booked? Did you have a lot of down time? Were you able to make repairs and adjustments on your own? What could you do to be more productive?
When booking quilts to be done, donít over book yourself. Allow some time for the unexpected things such as family matters, minor equipment repairs, supply shortages and forgotten plans. When we have over booked ourselves, we have to work under pressure. Most people do not work well under pressure. We start to stress out and make silly mistakes. Often times messing up things that we do daily without any thought or effort. We also tend to forget about the daily maintenance that our quilting machines require, such as oiling and cleaning. Donít take in quilts from customers that make every job you do for them a problem. You know who these customers are. Set yourself up to work at a comfortable pace. If you were busy all of the time last year, it might be time to raise your prices. You might then work a few less hours and make a bit more money. Set yourself up to win.
To avoid down time, check your machine over at least twice a week. When you have some time to spare, make yourself a checklist and use it. Try to learn as much about your machine as you can. Take some classes to learn how your machine works and what steps you can take to maintain it. Also take classes to improve your existing skills.
Is your current machine the right machine for the job? Is your machine and frame big enough to tackle the workload that you have in front of you? There are many options and accessories that can speed up some of these jobs. If you think that you might need a different machine, see what your machine might be worth as a trade-in. You might be surprised. A clean, well-maintained machine will hold its value very well. Check with your machine dealer to see if there are any upgrades or options that would be to your advantage, often a larger more equipped machine can make you more productive.
Reflect on 2006 and make plans for 2007. Set your goals high and stick with them.
Good luck and keep the quilts rolling!