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I often get questions about my daily schedule or if I piece/quilt all day everyday.

Well, not exactly. . .. as the owner of a small business, everyday is different, but everyday is full.

I thought it would be interesting to everyone to see a sample day when I am home. . . just a day in the life of a traveling quilt instructor/author/pattern/fabric designer.

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Hang on, here goes:

6AM

  • Grab iPad and check email and online class before getting out of bed.  Answer questions, delete spam emails, answer a few quick emails.
  • By  7am, walk dog, feed dog, feed and pet neighbor’s cat who likes to live part-time on our front porch, water ferns, flowers, herbs on front and back porch, sweep porches, unload dishwasher, clean counters, throw in a load of clothes into washer.

BEFORE NOON

  • answer emails for schedule requests in my upcoming calendar (which leads to some tentative schedule, have to check on that before answering about possible open dates in calendar
  • Send requests for teaching packets
  • Print out, add into QuickBooks and pack orders that came in over-night, print out postage, walk to mailbox and give the dog an extra lap around the block
  • Notice neighbor’s cat (who is still on our front porch) seems hungry, feed her, a bit more petting while she purrs and coos to me.
  • Back in office, while packing orders, notice we are low on one pattern.  Contact printer, email file, request patterns printed.  Add into calendar to pick up from printer.
  • Contact landscapers (who should have been here by 8am to trim landscape, remove and replant a few bushes that didn’t make it through the winter.  Rain has delayed them, they aren’t coming until next week, correct in calendar
  • Need to meet Gail, to pick up fabric she has cut and packaged for classes.  (Before leaving house, gather up garbage and recycling, will drop off on the way to get fabric.)
  • Stop at Dump/recycling center, meet Gail and get fabric packets.  Stop at grocery story and for a much needed stop at Dunkin’ Donuts. Drive home, unpack groceries, put clothes into dryer.
  • Sort fabric packets into colors and put into our storage area.
  • While putting fabric away,, notice we are low on a few colors of fabric for the webstore.  Make note to call and order fabric.
  • Grab a quick bite of lunch, and text husband about the landscapers

AFTERNOON

  • Check email, distributor order came in.  Reply back with shipping date, pack order, back to QuickBooks, print postage.  Walk back out to mailbox, another lap for the dog.
  • My FB message notification goes off, can I donate a quilt for an my upcoming class reunion?   I can, make a note in calendar to decide which quilt to donate, when to send description and photo graph.
  • Plans have shifted, since landscapers are not coming.  I can shift some work that needs concentration to this afternoon.
  • Pull out schedule for next week, teaching at conference, look at supply list and pack patterns, handouts, fabric packets for the kits for class.  Print out handouts for one class, collate and staple.  Print out “trip check-list” note class handouts and kits have been packed.  Pull travel details and contract for this trip from file, add to growing stack for “next trip”.  Prepare invoice, add to stack.
  • While printing handouts, notice toner and I-Units for laser printer are low.  Go online and order printer supplies.
  • While checking printing supplies, double-check paper supply. We are fine, bought paper two weeks ago, no need for more at this time.
  • While checking paper supply, check store notions, make sure we have supplies for upcoming classes.  Make note of areas that are low, add to “to-do” list for ordering next week.
  • Check calendar to make sure I’m up to date on all flight and hotel reservations for upcoming trips.  Add note to calendar when next hotel reservation needs to be made.
  • Check email, question about my new fabric line, research answer and reply
  • Run upstairs to laundry room, pull shirts to finish drying so no ironing is needed, finish drying rest of clothes.  Notice the dog has slopped food on the floor, near his food dish.  Grab steam mop, do a quick clean-up
  • Notice UPS has pulled up to the house.  Totes and boxes from booth at Spring Market is being delivered.  Carry 3 totes and several large boxes downstairs, unpack quilts, re-organize booth supplies for next Market, put booth supplies into storage totes
  • Back down to office, pull notes for new pattern for the latest fabric line.  Pattern is due in a few weeks, must start rough draft.  Turn off radio, all SM notifications so no distractions.  Write first draft of pattern, using notes I made while making quilt and double checking measurements with actual quilt.  This takes several hours.  On another day, I will need to format, check spelling, double or triple check the math, add illustrations and start cover graphics. (One pattern down, two more to go)
  • Check email, request for fabric for block challenge for an upcoming trip I will be teaching at.  Check on availability and possibility. .  . it is affirmative.  Get mailing address and prepare to mail.
  • Make notes for next fabric line, ideas/concept/color, add deadline to turn in to calendar.
  • Check to-do list and deadlines.  Magazine article is due shortly.  First and second draft of article have been completed.    Give a quick read-through, make notes in red to changes needed.  Will finish next week, add deadline to calendar.
  • Check email again, questions about fabric line that has been discontinued 5 years ago, reply and give options for finding out-of-print fabric lines.

LATE AFTERNOON/EVENING

  • Think about dinner, text husband about his ETA,   dash to kitchen fix salad and prepare meat for grill.    We eat, clean up kitchen, chat for a few minutes and back to work.
  • Check online class, answer questions, check email, answer what needs to be done, check calendar/deadlines.  Text daughter, meeting her tomorrow, plan meeting and plan work before I meet her.
  • Write first draft of next online newsletter,  write draft of next blog post.
  • Brisk walk with dog and husband, walk around yard and discuss landscaping.
  • Make notes of a new quilt design that popped in my head while walking the dog.
  • One more check of email/class/Social Media, starting to get tired. . . winding down. . . . and off to bed

This is a pretty good example of a sample day when I’m home, between teaching trips.  Helps to be organized and helps to multi-task.  Some days, I actually make it into my sewing studio!

International Quilt Market is held every spring and fall.   Fall Quilt Market is always held in Houston, usually around the middle to the end of October.  Spring Quilt Market is usually held in May and it moves around the country.

This year’s Spring Quilt Market will be held in Minneapolis and it is just around the corner!

It is always exciting to attend Quilt Market, see all the new items being released, seeing old friends, making new ones.

For those of us with booths, it is extra exciting.  The booth needs to be planned, curtains and table coverings made.  Quilts designed and made to showcase new fabric lines and patterns available.  Props and goodies prepared for the booth.  Handouts written and printed.  Patterns designed, illustrated, and printed.  Lots to do, usually in a short time.

The count down has begun! My booth has been packed and shipped.  I will see everything again,  next week during set-up.  I’m working on the last few quilts and will hand carry them with me.  I can’t wait to share them with you.

I will have new fabric collections to share!  I will post photos on my Facebook page while I’m at Market Once I get home, I will share photos here.  If you are going to Market, please stop by my booth #2046 and say hello.

Looking forward to seeing some of you at Market and sharing photos with everyone very soon!

Karen Combs is a internationally known quilt teacher, author and fabric designer. Visit her web site at http://www.karencombs.com

Karen’s Twitter Update

Karen's Instagram Update

On my way home from a delightful visit with the New Mexico Quilt Association. I had a wonderful class and  lecture with them.  I had a little free time this trip and took in some of the sights. Loved being with all of you!  #karencombsstudio My new fabric line has arrived!  Working on market samples for my booth now. I think another coffee is in order! #springquiltmarket2017  #karencombsstudio  #coffeetime

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