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January 11, 2019
Planning 2019 and finishing Charlotte's quilt from Quilting & Learning

In a few hours, 2019 will be upon us....and I sure hope it's a good one :-) Thank you so much Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl for hosting this annual party!

#2019 Planning Party

I've been thinking a lot about what I want for 2019 and it's a lot like my planning for 2018. My goal is to keep learning and creating, and to minimize the stress. Easier said than done, but last year was better than 2017 and with any luck, other than January, I will be able to keep this in mind.

After posting my ...

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December 27, 2018
planning party from Charm About You

charm about you, lucy brennan, quilt making

I like writing lists. I write them a lot, about all sorts of things! It's become essential for me, lists give me focus and direction. I'm joining Quilting Jetgirl for the #2019planningparty and in this post I am outlining a list of plans for 2019. I'm trying to stay realistic with a hint of optimism, bringing back some much loved projects and joyful sewing. This is what I want to do...

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December 21, 2018
Quilt Show Planner Printables from Flying Parrot Quilts

With the new year almost upon us, it’s time to start thinking about which quilt shows to enter in 2019! I did a post some time ago on planning for quilt shows, and I thought I’d share some printable stickers so you can get in on the fun.

If you’re reading this and thinking “I don’t enter shows!” then let me encourage you to think about doing so. There’s nothing quite as fun as seeing your quilt hanging in a show, and lurking near it to watch show visitors ooh and aah over it.

The ...

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December 12, 2018
Reframe, Reflect + Reap the Rewards from Professional Quilter


December is often the month to look back at your year and plan ahead for the next one. In a recent blog, I discussed starting to plan by taking a look back at the good, the bad, and what you learned during the year.

This is the perfect time to evaluate what you learned and look for ways to reframe the challenges that you faced.


What exactly is reframing? It’s a technique to help you look at a belief,  situation, person, or even a relationship to change its meaning in your mind. This shift in perspective can make ...

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December 5, 2018
Looking Back and Moving Forward from Professional Quilter

The end of the year is often filled with planning activities. For many creative people. though, the thought of planning is beyond boring.

It can be black and white — after all it does involve looking at numbers. When you get right down to it, though, getting your big dreams and goals down on paper and figuring out how to accomplish them is creative. Especially when you get out those colored markers and pencils!

For more than ten years, I hosted an annual Planning Day, and we always start with looking back. Instead of jumping into what next year looks like ...

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November 25, 2018
Book Journey {an update} from Factotum of Arts

Back in December, I started letting you all know about the my goals and timelines for my book. Well, let me tell you I am really impressed by those that can get a book together in 6-12 months. Let me say with full-time job commitments, family life, other quilt project deadlines and teaching events, giving the book the priority it needs has not been easy.

As I am writing this, I am telling myself constantly that it is ok. As my lovely editor says “Your book will be ready in August”. August when, who knows. Obviously not 2018. I hope ...

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November 7, 2018
The Fortune Is In the Follow-up from Professional Quilter



How good are you at follow-up? You know, that is where the money is.

I was talking with a few of my clients who were heading back from Quilt Market with lots of follow-up items. Some were clearly immediate, such as filling orders, and those get processed right away.

The problem for my clients was that they came back with all these notes that weren’t really money related or where they couldn’t see the clear money connection or where they couldn’t remember the conversation. Plus they felt overwhelmed getting back in gear. And, the follow-up is in ...

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August 8, 2018
Moving Past Stuckedness from Professional Quilter


Have you ever had so much on your plate that you’re stuck with where to start? I know I have. Last week I started thinking about all the ideas I have to grow ICAP. There is the weekly blog/ezine, the monthly coaching and interview calls, and some content that is already planned to write. Then there is book in progress, the podcast in the works, and the work I want to have happen in our Facebook groups. Wait, I forgot about the webinar I am creating. I know I can look at the my projects and figure out ...

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June 27, 2018
Can You Find Your Art Supplies? from Professional Quilter


I have been in a “cleaning out” mode lately. We have talked about downsizing in the next few years. I always joke that I am on a five-year plan for decluttering and the time just keeps getting shorter.

Looking around at my studio, I realized that it could use a healthy cleaning. So I started sorting through books, fabrics and art supplies. Gosh, we quilters, sewists and artists certainly do accumulate a lot. I know I will appreciate the open space in which to create. Here are some tips if you are facing that increasing pile, or piles, of stuff ...

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June 20, 2018
Are you leaving money on the table? from Professional Quilter


We’re into the last six months of the year. Just where did the first six months go?!

Our ICAP Members’ Studio peeps regularly look at their numbers. How about you?

Have you look at your numbers for the first six months? What did you discover? Were you on track or were your results not quite what you were expecting?

I talked with one of my private clients recently about this, and she said she needed a cash infusion. I think finding that cash infusion comes down to two items: ideas you didn’t take action on and things you ...

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June 13, 2018
Train Tracks and Getting Things Done from Professional Quilter


One day recently I was stopped at a railroad bridge and started thinking about what we learned as kids about crossing the train tracks. Stop, look, and listen. Do you remember that?

The next morning I looked at the mountain of work on my desk – as well as those bright, shiny objects across the room – and wondered where I should start. I picked up the task on the top and started to work.

Shortly I became distracted and found myself on the way to the kitchen for another cup of tea.

Back to my desk. What was I working on ...

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May 30, 2018
Kick-up Your Summer Revenue from Professional Quilter


This is the unofficial first week of the summer. For many people, this is the time to kick back and take it easy. You know the lazy, crazy days of summer! And, sure people do take vacations, but not all of them are gone every day all summer. So, you shouldn’t be either.

If you are trying to grow your business, taking it easy really isn’t an option. And, if you take advantage of the time many people do take it easy, your business will be ahead of the game.

Here are some ideas to kick-up your revenues ...

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May 23, 2018
Surviving business storms from Professional Quilter

Last week was such a storm-filled one that I found myself searching for rainbows each time the rain stopped. And, I found a real beauty. I started thinking about the fact that rainbows are dependent on the storm and started comparing that to our business life.

My first thought was that we all have storms in our business, whether that is feeling overwhelmed by our work or not being able to get done what’s on our list because a “crisis” or storm brews. You have times that you are not in control. You also have financial storms, weeks or ...

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May 9, 2018
Create Powerful Intentions for Events from Professional Quilter



Many readers of this post are preparing for International Quilt Market, the annual trade show of the quilting and soft craft industries. You may be preparing for a retail show, an outdoor fair,  a conference, or other trade show. You may be preparing to host, present at, or attend an event.

I have talked with several of my clients preparing for the shows about their challenges, and the topic came up on on a recent monthly ICAP Members’ Studio group coaching call. It seems a lot of people are in a frenzy about what needs to get done.

I believe ...

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May 2, 2018
7 Steps for Success After a Workshop from Professional Quilter


This week a fabulous group of creative professionals from across North America joined me for our annual Creative Arts Business Summit. They spent three days working on, rather than in, their businesses. They learned new social media strategies, ideas for improving SEO, how to build and nourish customer relationships, plus lots more. By the end of the three days, they all left with a tremendous support network and a revenue plan for the year as well as a 90-day plan to move forward.

When was the last time you attended a workshop, returned excited only to get stuck with what ...

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April 25, 2018
Move the Needle in Your Creative Arts Business from Professional Quilter

For many of us, moving the needle may have different connotations, especially since so many who read this blog sew. Today I want to talk about moving the needle forward in your business. All of us get stuck. Sometimes it’s just a simple tweak that can get the machine moving again. Sometimes it is something bigger that you need to do to move your business to the next level. Here are nine ways that will help get you moving and bring in cash to your business:

Be clear about your goals.

Know where you are trying to go in ...

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March 7, 2018
How will you celebrate? from Professional Quilter

Do you regularly celebrate your accomplishments? I am not surprised if you don’t. Many entrepreneurs are so focused on what is next that they do not take the time to appreciate what they have accomplished. That is why most of my clients and students take time weekly to look at what they accomplished and celebrate that. It is part of their weekly Success and Strategies Summit.

The process

What exactly is the Success and Strategies Summit and how do you have one? It’s a process where you look back at your week, plan the next week, and celebrate ...

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February 21, 2018
Let’s take 15! from Professional Quilter


Do you ever look at what others have accomplished and think you can’t possibly do that? We all have that comparison gremlin to contend with. Do you then fall back on your standard excuse? I just don’t have time!

I’m going to challenge you on that.

I wrote about “you management” as opposed to “time management” a few weeks back. Today I want to share a simple concept that might make a difference in your day.

Let’s call it Take 15.

I know that you can find 15 minutes in your day. It might mean taking ...

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February 19, 2018
2018 is the year of the Quilty UFO from Brown Bird Designs Quilts

I spent all of last month completely obsessed with UFO’s. Not the alien carrier, flying saucer type but the quilty kind. Now if you are wondering What?! What is this crazy person talking about!” UFO also stands for Unfinished Object. Yes, that is right, BOM blocks, bee blocks, quilt tops, quilts that only need to be bound, patterns with fabric… all of those projects I have started and have left unfinished have been haunting me. The list keeps getting longer so I decided 2018 will be the year of Quilty UFO. Others might argue and tell me no, it ...

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January 6, 2018
Painful, Plodding Planning from Art In Search

     When it comes to planning my work and setting goals for the new year, I find it very painful. I don't think in a linear manner because I forget what went before. I need to see the whole picture, the aerial shot- global thinking, to grasp the particulars. If you don't understand this, that is ok, it is my problem. I have to mind map every big task in order to understand what is involved- whether it was my master's thesis or planning a quilt program to teach.
      I am good at making lists, so I made ...

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  • planning
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