Thursday, December 31, 2009
That is almost unheard of in my life. I have printed the foundations for the second quilt I need to make for publication in a magazine and will attempt to get as much done in these 2 days as possible. This quilt is the one that some of the fabric isn't available for yet. But that fabric goes in the borders, so I can make the center of the quilt and wait for the other fabric to arrive.
When this quilt is finished, I will start working on my new designs and class samples for 2010 classes. Some of those, I plan to post pictures of when they are finished.
I haven't gotten a new camera yet, but found out something interesting when I went to the camera store. Most digital cameras have a feature where you need to tell the camera what type of batteries you are using, because different batteries behave differently in your camera. Here's the problem, though--using alkaline batteries (which is what I have available at the moment), because the camera isn't on the alkaline battery setting, the camera tells me the batteries are low and shuts off immediately without giving me any time to change the setting! What a pain. But, that may mean I don't need a new camera right now. If you start seeing pictures show up on my blog again soon, you'll know I figured it out. Just don't hold your breath for that!
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Since my teaching proposal was accepted for Chautauqua Institution's Summer season, I need to get my sample made asap. And then there's Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis. I plan on having at least 3 new designs ready for that, but I also need to make travel plans as well. One of my sisters lives in Wisconsin and has agreed to come to Market to help me, so I am planning to fly to Wisconsin and rent a car and drive the 5 hours from there with all of my stuff and my sister.
Its going to be a busy year!
Friday, December 18, 2009
After I drop them off, I have almost an hour to work on a quilt that I am doing for a magazine (due for photography Jan. 8th), before I have to get ready to go to my job.
At work, we are dealing with all the husbands who wait until the last minute to find a sewing related gift for their wives. The hard part is getting a machine, that has to be ordered, in time for the holidays. And if it doesn't arrive in time, guess who's fault it is? Not hubby's, that's for sure.
Thankfully, my husband prefers to do the shopping for our kids and the rest of our families. I think he's afraid I'll spend too much. Which is probably true, since I shop from the heart not the wallet. I don't check prices. If I see something I think someone will like, I buy it and worry about how much it cost later. Not the smartest way to shop, but its the only way I know!
Anyway, I am looking forward to the calm after the storm, so I can get back to work on the things I truly love--designing and seeing my designs come to life in fabric. I have lots of things planned for next year and I can't wait to start working towards those goals.
One of the things I am most looking forward to is the opportunity to teach at Chautauqua Institution next summer. I got the confirmation email a couple of days ago that my teaching proposal was accepted and I will find out the schedule in mid-January and can start planning around it!
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I have no problem teaching a large group because of all the "give and take", but being the center of attention can be a little nerve wracking. Once I get going, I really enjoy showing my quilts, but that first 2 minutes can be torture.
I did a trunk show for a store a few years back, that was scheduled for 2 o'clock in the afternoon, but as I was arriving in town around 1 o'clock, my cell phone rang. It was the owner of the store asking if I was close. I told her I was about 10 minutes away and would be there shortly, not realizing that, according to her schedule, I was late. I walked into the store still expecting to be able to take my time and set up, when I turned the corner and saw what looked to be about 100 people (but in actuality was probably less than 50) waiting for me to arrive.
I just had to jump right in and it was probably my best and most candid lecture so far. Fortunately for me, several more ladies came in closer to 2 o'clock and were shocked to see that they had missed my trunk show (I did a private showing for them). It turned out that the original notice that had been sent out had the 2 o'clock start time, but in the reminder notice, the time had been accidentally changed to 1.
I am looking forward to the day when standing in front of an audience is "no big deal", but I don't want to lose the excitement that comes with being a little nervous.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I teach and lecture close to home, but I think I am finally ready to leave the nest. Starting in 2010, I am going to make myself available to guilds and shops farther away than my tri-state area (Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York). I have 2 young children, ages 9 and almost 12, but my husband's schedule has become a lot more flexible, recently, so one of us can always be here.
I am a homebody and would prefer to be here than anywhere else in the world, but am starting to realize that I would like to, at least, visit some other places!
If you belong to a guild or own a shop, and you think you might be interested in having me, or even just my quilts, "visit", drop me a line at email@example.com and I will send you my Trunk Show and Lecture Fees brochure.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
I also wanted to thank all of the people who commented on my blog or visited my website and signed my guestbook! For those of you who replied with their email address visible, if I haven't already replied to you, I will soon. For those of you whose email addresses weren't visible to me, I want to thank you for taking the time to visit my site and/or blog and invite you back anytime!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I'm not sure what I will write about yet, but I will have one copy of QUILTMAKER'S 100 BLOCKS FROM TODAY'S TOP DESIGNERS to give away to one lucky winner. Make sure you check Quiltmaker's blog for links to the other featured designers' blogs and for inspiration, ideas and giveaways galore! http://www.quiltmaker.com/quiltypleasures
Monday, November 02, 2009
Oh, and there are a couple of other quilt designers you might have heard of before such as: Carol Doak, Eleanor Burns, Pat Sloan, just to name a few. Their names made the front cover, but I am thrilled to just be included! This collector's edition is set to be on the newsstand November 17th, but it could show up sooner, so keep your eyes open for it. In the meantime, I have one copy to giveaway, so if you'd like a chance at it, leave me a comment and a way for me to get back in touch with you if you are the lucky winner! Heck, I might even autograph it if you're lucky!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
It is so exciting to FINALLY see some of my hard work paying off. I'm not even close to where I want to be in this business yet, but I think I am headed in the right direction.
I also got an email reminder yesterday, about an event coming up in December, at which I am the featured speaker. It is the American Sewing Guild's Holiday Luncheon being held at The Priory here in Pittsburgh. It is open to members and non-members. If you'd like some info on this event, check out the Guild's website: http://www.sewpittsburgh.org
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I live in a small 3 bedroom home, that has a familyroom, so I have been able to take over the diningroom and the livingroom for my business space. But both of those rooms are in the front of the house, so if someone comes to visit, they have to walk through or past my mess to reach the familyroom. It would be nice not to have to apologize for the condition of my home, but is that more important than doing something creative? According to my mother, YES! I don't expect to get rich from quilt designing, but I hope to get to the point where I can build another room onto the back of my house for my studio. One with a door that can be closed and locked!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Friday, October 02, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
This is a picture of my friend Cathy putting together kits for my OH CHRISTMAS TREE quilt (that isn't in this picture, unfortunately). In the background, you can see CARTWHEELING CLAUS, GINGERBREAD BOY, NIGHT JEWELS (which was in the controversial issue of Quilter's Home) AND IN THE MEADOW, BUBBLE BATH, THIS LITTLE PIGGIE and NOVA. I have a few more pictures that I will post later of the hall we were in and some of the other vendor's booths. I also got some pictures of some of the houses in Chautauqua Institution. Unfortuately, it was a little gloomy that day, but I think you can still get an idea of what a beautiful place it really is. Just to give you an idea of the scale of the hotel that I posted a picture of recently, if you click on the picture and enlarge it, look carefully on the right hand side near the tree trunk, and you will see my friend Darla. And, no, she's not a "little person".
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Monday, September 07, 2009
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
One of my picks for best quilt shop will be getting the recognition it deserves in the next issue of Quilt Sampler. I am so excited for them since it is the shop that introduced me to quilting in the first place. I am so lucky that the first shop I had ever been to, was such a wonderful place to learn and shop! The staff is an amazing group of women and the owner is just about the smartest, classiest woman I have ever met.
Sadly, another of my favorite shops will be closing, but until the "official" announcement is made, I can't say anything else about it.
I can't wait to get the new issue of Quilt Sampler, so I can say, "That's where I shop!".
Saturday, August 29, 2009
But even after putting that fact aside, there is one shop that I am surprised is able to stay in business. I have to admit that I didn't witness this behavior on my two visits to the shop, (where, thankfully, I didn't buy anything) but these stories have been related to me on several occasions, by more than a few different people. There is a shop in Pennsylvania, where the owner allows his dogs to roam freely around the shop and building, sleeping on the fabric bolts and sometimes chewing on them, pooping wherever they please and engaging in sexual acts in front of the customers. On top of that, his wife has been known to change a dirty diaper on top of the cutting table. Any one of these things would make me find another way to buy my quilt fabric if this was the only game in town, but combine them and it makes me think about health issues being a problem.
Have any of you ever been in a shop that you vow to never visit again? I would love to hear your quilt shop horror stories!
Friday, August 28, 2009
I will be adding at least 3 new patterns in the next month or two, so check back soon to see them or send me an email to be added to my mailing list. I only send out an email when I have a new pattern to show or a new design in a magazine.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Kourtney and I have big plans, which she calls, "Planning our Divahood", so being in the same place for a couple of days will be a good thing. We have several ideas for books we want to publish, retreats we'd like to hold and shows to prepare for. Meeting Kourtney, in the first place, was a stroke of luck. There are people you just click with the moment you meet them and know that you will know them for the rest of your life. Who knows, maybe we can be the next Fons and Porter, or Alex and Ricky! Well, why not?
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The DM asked for my address to send me something (he didn't say what) to make up for the bad experience, but having him call and apologize meant the most.
At least I can put this behind me and try to get back to what's important in my life. Its amazing how little things like this can drag you down and keep you from doing what you love to do. I'm thinking about designing a two color quilt...maybe, red and white....oh, and with stripes. What do you think?!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
My birthday was last Tuesday, so on Wednesday, my family took me out to dinner. I got to choose where we would go, which is usually a big hassle, since my husband doesn't like the chain restaurants. He thinks they are too expensive. After our experience, I'd have to agree. I chose T.G.I. Fridays, so that's where we went. The restaurant wasn't very busy, so we were seated right away (one benefit of the economy, I joked to my husband). We gave our order to the server, and 15 minutes later, my husband finally stopped her on one of her many trips past us to ask if his salad was coming soon. She went and got it from the kitchen. My two children and I waited patiently while he ate it, with me telling the kids that ours would be coming soon. I should have checked my watch at that point, but didn't, so I had no idea just how long we had been waiting. It wasn't until the two tables that were seated 20 minutes after us, started having their meals arrive, that it finally occured to me that there was a problem. I walked up to the front counter and demanded to see the manager. He came out from the kitchen and I explained the problem to him. Less than 5 minutes later, our meals arrived. My shrimp was cold, so it was obvious it had been sitting for a little while, but we were so hungry, I didn't complain. Our waitress tried to tell me that the table next to us was served so quickly because they only had burgers. It was not a valid excuse and I told her so. At no point, did the manager come back and check on us or apologize for the problem. We were not compensated in any way, no discount or free dessert to make up for their mistake. Nothing. No response from my complaint to their corporate office. They can't be doing so well in this economy to be able to ignore complaints and I'm sure I'm not the only one who's had a bad experience there.
Anyway, at least I've gotten this out of my system and I can try to get back to work on what's really important. And I hope my next post is of a more creative nature!
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
That changed this weekend. I spent the last 3 days at hers and Kourtney Kenzie's shop helping out with their shop hop. What could be better than spending a weekend in a quilt shop talking with other quilters and fondling fabric! The turnout was amazing, and Kourtney's and Melanie's shop is so wonderful, I know they have gotten a lot of new customers.
Now their shop is about 2.5 hours from my home, so I can't just jump in my car and head up there any time I feel like it, but when I do get to go, I get to stay with my friends, eat well, drink well and talk quilts to my hearts content. When I come back, I am tired but inspired and ready to go on to my next project!
If you are ever in their neck of the woods, it would be well worth your time to stop and check them out. They are located in beautiful "downtown" Pittsfield PA in a 200+ year old building right on Main St. Their phone number is 814-563-9798.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
We had an argument just the other day about throwing away things we don't need, and his response to that was, "If we throw everything away that we haven't used in the last two years, we'd have nothing." What he doesn't know, is that 2 days earlier, when he wasn't home, I threw away at least 5 bags of old toys and magazines that had been sitting around for awhile unused. No one has noticed.
I think I need to do the same thing with some of my fabric since my tastes have changed from when I started quilting 8 years ago. The fabrics that I couldn't live without then leave me cold now. I'll probably hang onto then a "little" while longer, but at least, when I say, "I could make something out of it", I'm telling the truth!
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Maybe a toast quilt is in order to justify this silly post!
Monday, May 25, 2009
Now it was much simpler than I expected, and I don't mind doing things for my kids, but I would love to know why people think if you quilt, you can sew ANYTHING else! Does anyone else run into this?
BTW, what do you think about my latest design? I really need to quit my day job so I can sew all these designs out! I'm back to trying to design one per day again now that Market it over, so at some point, I will start sewing some of these out and publishing patterns. If anyone has an opinion on which one/s I should start with, I would LOVE to hear it!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
My "studio"(dining room) is a wreck. And even though I know where everything is, I still have to rearrange everything to get any real work done. I have patterns everywhere. Fabric piled on top of fabric. Works in progress waiting in line.
My friends decided I need to move my whole operation to my living room, which doesn't get used, and give the dining room back to my family. Why can't I have both? The only problem with that is my living room is the only room in the house that looked like it was finished. Before long, my husband and 2 kids will be living in an apartment. I remember the blissful days when I didn't have to share my space, somedays I really miss them.
My comfort lies in the possibility that someday my "hobby turned occupation" may make it possible for me to have a real studio. One with a door that can be closed and locked and where I won't find school papers and insurance bills on top of my ironing board!
Monday, May 18, 2009
I got to meet so many people that I only know via email and Facebook it was like a big party! And since Market was in my hometown, I got to see a lot of people that I already know in real life. In fact, I was talking to a lady in my booth on Saturday and noticed her name tag. I looked at her and said,"That's not your name." She was shocked and said, "How did you know that?" Because I know _______ ________ and you're not her. (Left blank to protect the GUILTY but you know who you are and I'll keep your secret for a fee)
We had a good laugh and I'm expecting an email from the real _______ _______ very soon!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Hopefully, I'll have some really exciting stuff to tell you about next week after this is all over.
Monday, May 04, 2009
Sunday, May 03, 2009
BTW, my friend's fabric sale went okay. It could have and should have been much better, but I think with the economy the way it is, people are afraid to spend very much money, even when they are getting something at half price.
As soon as Market is over and I decide whether I will vend at Fall Market or not, my friends and I plan to work on a book! I have never done this before, but I figure with the help of good friends, you can do anything, right?
Monday, April 27, 2009
We just unloaded a truck with nearly 300 bolts of fabric that we hope will be almost empty by this time tomorrow! The owner of the store where I teach, offered her shop as a place for my friend to have her fabric sale. My friend didn't want to have her sale too close to home or negatively effect her partner's sales in the shop, so she was going to have to rent a conference room, or something, somewhere in a big city and do it all on her own.
I'm so glad that's not the case and I pray it will be enough to pay her health insurance bill.
There are less than 3 weeks to go until Quilt Market and I'm hoping between now and then, that I won't have to worry about my friend so much.
If we have good luck tomorrow, I will try and post a message about it. If the news isn't so good, I don't know if I will write about it at all. I've really tried to get the word out and do as much as I can, but you always wonder if you could do more. I know that money's tight right now for almost everyone, so I feel a little guilty about asking people to buy fabric that they don't necessarily need, but I'm hoping they do it anyway!
Friday, April 24, 2009
I tend to wait until the last minute to do the things I need to do. I have been talking about vending at Market since last year and now its only 3 weeks away. This will be my first time and, I hope, my "big break"! I have been at this for 6 years now and it would be wonderful to be able to do this full time instead of having to work a "real" job and design on the side. There would be nothing better than being able to make a living doing what you love to do!
I am trying to be positive but I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I have done all I can, including sending a message to a new Yahoo group that I just joined about 2 weeks ago. They all think I am a scammer! And since my messages are still on moderation, I can't defend myself. In my "real" life, I don't think I know anyone that DOESN'T trust me, so its hard to listen to people talking about you as if you're not there and frustrating since I can't respond to their comments in a timely manner. I didn't join the group for the purpose of asking them for help, but my friend needs help NOW, so I stuck my neck out. I don't think I'll be doing that again anytime soon!
There is still a lot of fabric available and it is gorgeous, so if anyone else is interested in a great deal, PLEASE contact me! Make sure I have some way of getting in touch with you. My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
He made it almost impossible for her to find a lawyer because he knows all of them in town and they were all afraid to take her on as a client. She finally found someone who didn't care who he was or what he could do to them. Now another problem has come up.
Supposedly, he was fired from his job in February and lost his health insurance. She has health problems, ( I am being vague to protect her) that make her uninsurable if she loses the insurance she has now. And she, literally, cannot live without her medications. He neglected to tell her about losing his job when it happened and now a couple of months later, must come up with the money to pay for COBRA starting from the day he stopped working.
She has no savings to draw from since she started a new business back in November and things have been so slow with the economy the way it is. And since there usually isn't any profit to speak of with a new business anyway for a couple of years, she has been forced to sell some of her "stock" at or near her cost to pay her bills.
"What is this stock?", I hear you saying to yourself. It is first quality quilter's cotton fabric from 2 of the most well-known fabric manufacturers. She is not trying to liquidate, she is only offering to sell as much fabric as necessary to pay her bills and keep her insured, so the offer is limited and will end as soon as she raises enough money to pay her bills. These are hand-dyes and hand-dye look fabrics that normally sell for $10 to $12 per yard she must sell for $6 per yard.
I'm sorry this post sounds like an infomercial, but I am talking about life or death for my friend. If there is anyone interested in getting in touch with my friend, please leave me a comment including your email address and I will get her contact information to you. I can also tell you which lines of fabric she has so you can check them out at the manufacturers' websites.
This could happen to almost any one of us, so I hope you'll consider helping her. Please feel free to let others know about this offer.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Monday, April 06, 2009
It was something I wanted to show my children for awhile, so I was glad to be able to combine my errand with something fun for them. We hung out at the lake for a bit, went for lunch with my friends, then headed home. We got home early enough there was still enough daylight left for my 8 year old son to get some time in at the skateboard park. He's embarrassed to have me sit in the park and watch, so I had to sit in the car with my daughter, who was getting annoyed every time I gasped over a fall or a jump he made. This is usually my husband's job, he's used to it and he can have it!
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Anyway, the class got me thinking that I should start teaching more. The only problem with that is I don't like to travel much. I don't like to be away from "my stuff". My kids don't like it when I go away either, so maybe this is something to think about for the future. I guess I'll keep teaching locally and concentrate on adding new designs to my line and see what happens.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I'm exaggerating, of course, but after a class like I had yesterday, I wonder why I bother.
There was one woman who, even after I matched all her intersections and pinned, sewed down the wrong side. I don't know what else I could have done for her other than sew it myself and I did that on several occasions. This went on all day, since the class was the result of 4 people asking me to teach them a project they wanted to have finished for Easter, so we planned to work as long as necessary. We started at 10:30 and went until the store closed at 5:00. I knew the original 4 people would be no trouble at all, but as they were talking about the upcoming class, a few others asked to join. I would never turn anyone away if I have room for them and think the project is something they can handle.
I am totally exhausted. I have the WHOLE day to recover before I have to do it all again!
Friday, March 20, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I am amazed at the reaction of some people who refuse to look at the magazine or read the article and yet feel compelled to make a judgement about it. On lemondrop for instance, people are up in arms about the Jesus with a gun quilt without ever wanting to hear the story behind it. Shawn Quinlan, another Pittsburgh quilter, is known for his controversial quilts, but if you talk to him and find out about his motivation in creating certain designs, you will find a very sensitive and intelligent man whose quilting is actually therapeutic for him. The quilt in question, was the result of his filming at an NRA convention where he saw a man holding a sign saying, "Jesus for Guns". People think he is mocking Jesus, when he is actually mocking people who choose to use the name of Jesus to promote their own cause. I honestly don't think Jesus would join that cause!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
Recently, I found a table runner design that is really cute, but the designer wrote the instructions for the runner to be done using 2" squares when it could easily be done with strips. She has the maker cutting fabric into 2" squares and then sewing the same fabric back together in rows. Does that make sense to anyone? I contacted the designer to ask if there was any reason it had to be done in squares and her response was that they just like the look of squares. This will be the last pattern I buy from this designer. I hope no one out there feels this way about any of my designs and if they do, I hope they will let me know!
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
When I used to do portraits, I was commissioned by the owner of the art supply store where I worked, to draw a portrait of his son as an anniversary gift for his wife. I finally got started the day before I was supposed to deliver it. My roommate came home from work and when I showed her my project, she said, "Oh Susie Wan (another story), can you start over?"
Well, I stayed up all night and continued to work on it. The next morning, my roommate couldn't believe it was the same drawing. I really knew it was good when the mother started to cry after opening the gift.
Anyway, my reason for bringing this up, is that Spring Quilt Market is here in Pittsburgh this year and I haven't done anything to get ready for it. I'm not even sure if I can still get a booth. I don't know if I am afraid of success or just lazy, but I have always been this way. Is there a pill for this?
Sunday, March 01, 2009
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Most of the time my students are really open and try very hard to keep up and follow my directions. But recently, I had a student that I wanted to ask why she signed up for a class when she obviously didn't want to do this particular project. From the moment she walked in, she wanted to change the design. I have done this class at least 6 times and made at least 5 samples, so I know this design inside and out. This lady refused to listen to instructions and ruined about a 1/2 yard of fabric before she would let me show her how to cut it. She then asked me how we were going to finish the project in two sessions when she and her friend weren't even finished cutting their fabric. I reminded her that I had said earlier, she didn't need to cut all of her fabric at once. At this point, she looked at her friend and said, "Let's finish cutting our fabric."
I gave up at that point. She's coming back for the second class next week, so I think I will have more to tell you then!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Anyway, lots of stuff has happened since my last post. I was published in Quilter's Home magazine for the first time last year in the March/April issue. As soon as it hit the stands, I was contacted by an editor from another magazine under the same corporation and was published 3 more times last year. So far this year, I was published in the March issue of Quilter's Home and I have to say, its just as exciting as the first time! Now I just need to find the time to sew out all of the designs I have saved in my computer so I have something to sell when people see my name in a magazine. I wish I could sew as fast as I design.
I also met a wonderful designer at a local quilt show that I hit it off with right away. Her name is Kourtney Kenzie and she is a force to be reckoned with! She lives about 3 hours north of me and opened her own quilt shop, with her friend Melanie Barrett, in Pittsfield PA. I swear, there is nothing this girl can't do. I'll put her website address in a future post as soon as she it set up.
I did my first Trunk Show/lecture in about 4 years in Beaver PA and actually enjoyed it. I am very shy by nature and have a difficult time standing up in front of a roomful of women who have probably been quilting 4 times longer than I. The ladies were so nice and made me feel so comfortable.
This is starting to sound like a Christmas Brag letter (which I hate), so I'm going to end for now, but with any luck, it won't be 3 years before I post again!