Trying to Get Into a Long Arm Class?

It’s the first day of the month and at The Maker Spot that means registration for our March events is open! Unfortunately, over the last few months, it also means it is our highest complaint day. Luckily, our complaints are about how popular our Long Arm Quilting Machine classes are and not something more serious. In response to strong community interest, we realized that it is time to communicate with all of our users about what we are doing to resolve this matter.

But first, here are some important things to know…

  • Each long arm class is open for registration to 4 people (Edit: Updated on 3/31/16 to show that our Long Arm Classes now register 4 people instead of 3). The class is 3 hours long and provides each of those 4 people with the opportunity to learn by doing, not just watching a demonstration.
  • We have hosted 29 long arm classes since opening in August and have trained over 85 people to use the machine. Lucy (the Long Arm) has seen over 300 hours of usage in just 7 months.
  • Each long arm class is taught by 2 of our existing library staff and we have a total of 3 staff trained to teach. These staff gave up one weekend of their life (and drove to Houston) a few months ago to receive 16 hours of professional training.  Even though they collectively teach all of our soft crafts classes each month, they still perform their normal library duties each day and exceed expectations in all areas of their job. All of them are stellar employees who are passionate quilters just like you.

So…What are you doing to resolve this?

  • We are recruiting volunteer instructors and will assess their current skills and provide them with additional training to help teach classes.
  • We are training more existing library staff with quilting knowledge to teach the classes. Luckily, we aren’t in short supply of quilters in our library!
  • We are reducing our marketing efforts to zero for this particular class to abate the number of people wishing to take the class.
  • We are strongly encouraging all participants who are able to register for a class to show up for the class or cancel their registration in advance if they know they aren’t able to make it so that someone else can register in their place. If there is ever a cancellation in a Long Arm class, we always send out an email to our email list. If you would like to also receive this notification you can sign up here.

We sincerely appreciate all of the attention that these classes have gotten from our community, especially since our space is so new. This issue has been on our radar, but it is not a quick fix like some other things that we have encountered, so we encourage you to be patient with us, and with all of the library staff, as we work to map out the future of our Long Arm classes.

Can you help us with one thing?

One of our stumbling blocks in knowing how many more staff to train and how many more classes to provide is the fact that we do not know how much interest is still out there for this class. If you have a quick moment, please vote below to let us know that you are still trying to get into a class. Please note, this does not register you for a class–we are merely trying to get an approximate count of people that are interested in the class that haven’t been able to register.

22 thoughts on “Trying to Get Into a Long Arm Class?

  1. Patrice Mozelewski

    I have received this email on March 2, 9:20 am. Not helpful in trying to get a timely word out. I DID try to register at 9:02 yesterday and every class was already full. Frustrating.
    Patrice M.

    Reply
    • Christine Evans Post author

      Hi Patrice,
      I’m sorry to hear that. This article was our response to the frustration most experienced yesterday and we hope that knowing we are working to resolve this issue will prevent any future frustration. We hope to be able to serve the many people interested in this free service as quickly as possible.

      Reply
    • Christine Evans Post author

      Hi Tina,
      We have tried Saturday classes for our other equipment but have not yet tried a Saturday long arm class. I will pass your comments on to our staff for them to keep in mind when planning future classes.

      Reply
    • Christine Evans Post author

      Sharon,
      The schedule for machine reservations is available on a rolling 7 day period. So, for example on a Wednesday you will be able to reserve up until next Wednesday. Because of this, days are often filled before they come. Space may also be taken up by the many training classes we are providing. If you would ever like to use the machine and can’t reserve it online you are always welcome to call the space at 817-427-6850 to check that day’s availability.

      Reply
  2. Bonnie Wilson

    I’ve tried for several months to get into a long arm class with no success. But I’m glad to see you recognize the demand far outpaced your staffing and are trying to accommodate patrons. Kudos to you service minded librarians for launching this space and buying excellent equipment. Every new venture brings new challenges.

    Reply
    • Christine Evans Post author

      Bonnie,
      Thank you for you kind comments. Supply and demand is always a tricky thing to plan for and it has definitely been a challenge for us. But we are so excited to be the only space offering free training and usage of our long arm machine in the state of Texas that we are working as hard as we can to make this a better experience for everyone.

      Reply
  3. Rejeana Fiske

    How about training some of us to assist your teaching staff you already have so it would not take two of them for each class. That way you might be able to double the classes per month. I do have a teaching degree from West Chester University and am certified in Texas as well for Preschool-8th grade. I would gladly assist one of your teachers.
    Rejeana Fiske

    Reply
  4. Patricia Livingston

    I, also, have tried for months to sign up for the Long-Arm Quilting machine class. It is so frustrating! It is so silly that all of us have to wait for the next month at exactly 9:00 on the dot for the entire month of classes. When you try to sign up online, you are told that the classes are all filled. When you call by phone, you have to go through several transfers of people at the library, and then you are told that the classes are all filled. I don’t know how one is supposed to sign up for a class.

    Reply
    • Christine Evans Post author

      Patricia,
      I’m sorry to hear that. It seems at this point getting into a class is a matter of luck, rather than preparation. We are working to add more classes and to increase the class size so that everyone who is interested in this popular free class can have the opportunity to take it. We understand that this is a frustrating process, but we are doing the best that we can to make this a better experience for everyone.

      Reply
  5. Maggie Perkins

    I was on the site at 9:00. When viewing the class for March 14th or 15th, let was not given the option to register ever though there were 3 open spots. How do I get on a waiting lisy?

    Reply
    • Christine Evans Post author

      Maggie,
      Unfortunately we do not keep a waiting list. We are hoping to add more classes and maybe even increase the class size to accommodate more people in the future. We appreciate your patience while we work to scale this class so that it is available to a wider audience.

      Reply
  6. Elaine

    It would be great if we could get a second machine to keep up with demand! ( I know thy are very expensive, though!) Maybe charge a small rental fee for use of the second machine to recoup some cost?? And have second machine only for larger quilts/longer amounts of time??

    Reply
    • Christine Evans Post author

      Elaine,
      While this is a great suggestion, we are funded (at this point in time) solely by donations. If we were to receive a donation that would cover the cost of another long arm machine and we could find the space for it, we certainly wouldn’t turn it down!

      Reply
  7. Edna Mares

    The opportunities for taking classes of all kinds is a great privilege that you provide for the residents of MidCities. Thank you. I finally was able to register for a longarm and embroidery classes yesterday. I look forward to next week.

    Reply
    • Christine Evans Post author

      Edna,
      Thank you for your kind words. We are honored to be able to provide this free service to our community.

      Reply
  8. Lois Wise

    As a avid quilter, it’s wonderful to have such a machine available to the community. I hope many more communities learn from this example.

    Reply

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