Ask Jo: How I Got Started Longarming -Part 1

Every so often questions and comments come from readers that I think others would like to hear my response to.  That’s when I feature them on the blog.  This is one of those days. Today’s question is about longarming.

Sarah asked: “Loved your post!! How did you get started long arm quilting

Hmm. I guess I’ll start at the beginning. Years ago…likely in 1990 my husband and I were living in Chester, Iowa. He was working for Tom Nagel…Tom’s wife was Marcia. Some of you might know Marcia as the owner of Pine Needles Quilt and Sew in Rochester, MN.

While our husbands were working, Marcia and I would often slip away and go to quilt and crafting shops. At that time I was making clothes for my girls, Kelli and Kayla, and was cross-stitching.

Then one day I went home to visit my parents. My mom could tell the kids were a little overwhelming for me. I was only 24. I had three kids. Kelli was 3, Kayla was 2, and Buck was a newborn. I was overwhelmed.

Mom sent me to town and gave me her list of errands. She told me to stay in town longer if I wanted. I did the errands and when I was in the grocery store I saw this magazine…

I bought it because I had planned on making these…

Meet the “Rat Pack”

While Olive and Twiggy were still here, I got a message from a friend who had a friend type of message…well they had a friend and they had dogs they wanted to surrender. Being I had an “out there” connection I felt like maybe I should volunteer to help with these dogs. I said I would but also said, I wouldn’t take them until Olive and Twiggy were placed as they were a lot of work. I even gave myself 24 hours of time without any extra dogs here…but then came the “Rat Pack”.

They are all some sort of rat terrier. In the front was Pepper, middle Wisser, and in the back a nameless pup.

They came to us because the owner’s life circumstances changed and she couldn’t afford to have six dogs in the house. So she picked these three and surrendered them to Heart Animal Rescue.

It turns out that Pepper and Wisser are siblings…both are full Rat Terrier breeds. The other nameless guy is a pup who is 5 months old. He is Wisser’s puppy. Wisser bred a Puggle that was in the house and this pup is the result. The lady actually explained that she had two litters last fall and was able to find homes for the rat terrier pups and the other puggle/rat terrier pups sold but had this one left. That’s the nameless pup.

Everyone is puppy-pad trained and hasn’t been outside much in their lives so one of my biggest jobs with having them here is to get them to transfer from puppy pads to outdoors. Imagine housetraining three dogs at once.

When we…

All the Confusion with the Blog

Hello everyone. Welcome to the blog post where Jo tries to explain some of the topsy-turvy stuff that has been going on here on the blog.

For the last month or so, on the writing side of things, I’ve had terrible trouble with writing the blog. The program freezes. Pictures show up on my side but not your side. I am back and forth trying to figure out what things could be. I can see things on my side but they don’t show up on your side.

I’ve been completely frustrated as writing a blog post takes an hour vs what would have taken me 45 minutes to write. The computer freezes…I wait for it to respond. When I click the cursor won’t move. It’s been very frustrating.

Kalissa came over one day and said-Mom. That enough. Something has to change. You can’t work like this.

I lamented that it would cost a lot more money to upgrade and she told me my choice was either I would be forced out of blogging because eventually, she felt this would all permanently freeze or I’d pay a few dollars, or I need to pony up the money. I gave in and agreed to do whatever she thought was best.

So…Last week we moved the blog to a new server. For those of you who don’t know what that means, think of my blog as a storefront in a mall parking lot. My storefront started out as a small business. All of the stores in the mall share the same parking lot. Over time, my store grew by leaps and bounds. There was no longer parking in front of my store I was starting to take up the parking spaces of the other stores and they were all getting frustrated with me and my customers were getting frustrated because there were no parking spaces ever open near my store because it was so busy. You guys are the customers with your cars wanting to park near my store.

Because there is no parking everyone is frustrated and things at my store aren’t moving as freely…as now I am too small for my store too. I don’t have space to add more merchandise (blog posts) and I don’t have room to navigate in the store.

That’s when a business knows it’s time to move and expand. That’s what we’ve been working on this week.

I’ve moved to a new storefront with a bigger parking lot. In internet terms, it means I moved to a new server with more space and hopefully here there is more room for me so writing will go easier and there’s more room for you so you aren’t fighting for parking spaces…meaning it is faster and as a viewer, you have a better experience while you are at the blog.

Sadly, that doesn’t really happen seamlessly. It’s good but not seamless.

So…here’s what happened.

Puppy Update: Olive and Twiggy

Well what a whirlwind with these foster puppies I have.  I thought it was crazy when I initially got them…the crazy with the rescue has continued.

I mentioned how energetic the puppies I have are…crazy with energy.  They are jumpy and a lot of work just to get them outside as it’s been one at a time for me because they are so bouncy.  While I’m trying to get one out of the kennel door, the other pup will run at the door full speed ahead.  It’s a workout for me!!

Next problem, Olive figured out how to scale the fence…she seriously, just started climbing it.  Then Twiggy figured out how to jump on the kennel that’s in the space and then jump over the fence.  Well, that wasn’t going to work. 

Thankfully all of us who are fostering dogs in this round are together on a Messenger group.  We’ve messaged our challenges, sharing advice but mostly sharing woes.  It turns out that everyone is having some of the same problems.  It was so awesome to have a safe place to share some of the puppy antics and frustrations. 

The group seemed to be a story topper group with lots of “can you believe what my dog just did”…” well my dog just….”.  It was one of those situations where you have laugh!

One of the other gals who is a seasoned foster mom told me to strap a tarp over the pen.  That worked perfectly.  It worked perfectly until the two figured out how to get out of that…then it went to this…

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