Monday, November 26, 2007

My Online Quilting Classroom website

One of the main reasons I am doing this blog is to help spread the word about my website which is dedicated to teaching quilting to anyone who wants to start quilting or just improve on the quilting skills they already have.

This website is not entirely my own, I have some wonderful and helpful partners who happen to live in Australia. I however live in the United States. I met my partners through another website which they own. It is called "Creative Quilting" and can be found at http://www.creative-quilting.com

I joined this site when it was first opened back around December of 2006. The site was free then, but since then it has become a paid subscription site. They did keep a limited membership that is still totally free, but with the paid subscriptions you get access to much more information. (it is one that I recommend you check out. There is a lot o great quilting information there.
Totally worth the money!

After joining this site, I found myself logging into the site several times a day. It became addicting to see what others were writing in the forums. I also found myself answering many basic quilting questions. The type of questions varied from simple to more complex. So I did some research if needed to answer the questions, but I was determined to help where I could. That is when the light bulb went off in my head! "This is how I can take my passion to teach people and to help people learn to quilt." Which for years I had struggled to find a way to take my quilting passions into a full time business. I have always wanted my own business, I just did not know how to start one. Let me share a bit more about some of those ideas.

Some of the business ideas I had over the years

For years I had dabbled in many possible business ideas. I tried to make it in the craft fair business, selling my handmade creations. (This is a tough market to break into, unless you have something really unique and lots of them to sell and lots of time to sit and wait for your customers) I found this to be difficult at best, as I needed to block off many of my weekends to sit at these fairs only to make a few dollars. After that I moved into teaching. This was something I did not realize I enjoyed so much until I started. I taught at quilt shops and other fabric stores. Then moved to community centers, park district centers, and even worked with "Girl Scouts" and many other groups. I even did private lessons in my home and traveled to others. It gave me great satisfaction to help others, and to see how excited they were when they finished something for the first time. While teaching I worked at JoAnn Fabrics and for a brief period I found myself in charge of the education department. That was a time when I really saw how much I wanted to help others learn how to create their own projects. I found myself teaching quilting, sewing, knitting and crochet to people of all ages. (children were especially fun to work with) All though I enjoyed the time there and my discount, I found myself dreaming of working for myself instead.

When the idea of owning my own shop came into my head, my husband thought I lost my mind! He said "Are you crazy?" "We can't afford that kind of risk now at this stage of our life." So as soon as I found the dream he squashed it. I know it would have been extremely tough to open a store, and I really did not want to have a store to sell inventory, I just wanted a place to teach quilting. Which to have to pay rent somewhere just for a classroom, and not know if I would have enough students to pay my rent was just that an idea. Not one worth finding funding or worth pursuing.


Back to my website idea

After joining the community on creative quilting I found that there is world out there who wants to learn quilting. I could not bring the world to my store (if I had a brick and mortar store) so why not build a virtual store. That is when I approached Michelle and Simon (the owners of creative quilting) about opening an online classroom. And just like that "Quilting Weekly" was born, and our friendship moved to business partners. I still have not met these wonderful people face to face. All our business is done through the internet. What a wonderful technology based world we live in. This relationship was built on faith and trust without ever meeting in person. Goes to show you there are still good people in the world today.

Quilting weekly is a virtual classroom. We provide you with the classes and all the support you need to complete your quilting projects. Now this is a new site, and still has a lot of work to make it the greatest site on the web. (But give us a little time and we will get there!) One of the things that makes this site so great is the ideas behind it are all driven by the customers who use it. We take our ideas from you the customer and create a site that you enjoy using. Our forums offer the quilter a place to ask and get answers to those pressing quilting questions, or just meet other quilters from around the world who share their same passions for quilting and fabric collecting. There are many other helpful links and pages to explore there to feed your need to learn quilting. If you want to have a a chat with your quilting friends you can use our chat room to do so, just enter the classroom and you will find the chat room link. From time to time we update the new sections to keep you aware of what we are doing on the site. Finally we are building a quilters FAQ's section. Where you can find lot's of helpful tips and tricks. (If you have a tip you want the world to know about e-mail me chris@quiltingweekly.com and I will be sure to add it)

This is about it for today, I must do some other non-quilting related tasks around the house so I can keep the family happy. I do hope to see you some time soon. Go ahead drop me a line by e-mail and tell me what you think. I would love to hear your ideas for my blog and my website. By the way the site is free. So go ahead and register, if you want to take a class then you only pay for that class. I promise there are no other fees or monthly subscriptions involved with quilting weekly.

Take care and happy quilting!
Chris



No comments:

Search This Blog