Monday, May 30, 2016

Secret Project Revealed!

Happy Memorial day to those in the USA. A bitter sweet day if you've lost loved ones during their service for our country. You have my many thanks and much love. Freedom isn't free and I appreciate those who have secured it for us.

I promised to reveal my secret project and it's a whopper! Not a book, or another Craftsy class, but a whole sewing machine shop!

This is the shop where I've been working. Sew Simple is a Janome dealership and the only sewing machine repair shop that I know of in south-central Virginia that services all kinds of sewing machines.

After 30 years of serving the Lynchburg and surrounding areas, Mr. Heckman is enjoying his retirement. At 89, and having had several recent surgeries and losing his beloved wife in February, he deserves to spend his days however he wants.

The shop is a bit of a diamond in the rough, but he's the real jewel. He is going to be sorely missed. He lives next to the shop and I hope he'll pop in to visit from time to time. The shop is in need of decluttering, updating, and I'm hoping to make it a source of inspiration and fun. Of course there will be classes and fabulous Janome machines.

Instead of barbecuing, I'm spending my weekend and the next few days cleaning, reorganizing, painting (bye bye country blue from the 80's) and getting the shop set up to suit me and my family. The first thing was to set up two areas for my kids to hang out in while spending time in the small shop over the summer. They're heading out for nearly 3 weeks away after this week.

Then it was time to start painting. So much work to do. I think I'll be painting little bit buy bit for the next month or so. We're only closing the shop officially for one day for the change over in ownership, so I have to do what I can when the shop is normally closed (Sunday and Monday). Fresh paint on the door is a must.

I also have to get ready to show my customers the brand new Janome 9400! I've got a whole bunch of machines coming soon and I can't wait to set them out and show how they can make sewing and quilting so much more fun. We all need good tools to do our work. I feel a bit like that commercial (Was if for men's suits or an electric razor? I can't remember), "I liked it so much I bought the company!"

This isn't a quilt shop by any means. We have no fabric. That might change eventually. We do have plenty of accessories for Janomes and other machines too. We even have feet and parts for a lot of vintage machines.

My husband is now the machine service man and he's really enjoying it. He's always been a "fixer." He's a whiz at fixing machines, big and small. As he's gotten older, especially after having cancer, the appeal of fixing smaller machines inside a climate controlled building has sounded better and better. He's already attended Janome service training in 2004 and has studied with a sewing machine repairman from NC, as well as learned a lot from Mr. Heckman.

I never thought we could really buy this shop. Plenty of people wanted to see Sew Simple continue, but this isn't a cheap undertaking, nor do we have the kind of funds that most small businesses need to start up. But you wonderful quilting people? You made this possible! YOU! Every cent that we could save up from my Craftsy classes, ruler foot and ruler sales, even tiny bits of money from ads on my blog and YouTube channel was used to pull this off. There was no money to put into the shop from my husband's job or even a business loan. So this is all from my wonderful quilting peeps.

Pardon me while I shout it, "THANK YOU!"

What does it mean for the blog? Not much should change. In fact I'm hoping to see a bit more consistency in my posting and creating as it feels like I've been living two separate lives. Work in the shop and work at home for the blog and Craftsy classes. I'm merging my home studio space, the online shop inventory, and all the overflowing shipping supplies into the shop.

That's all for now, my paint is ready for another coat.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Free Motion Quilting Video: Fern Flower Motif

Better late than never! I finally got my latest video uploaded and edited on YouTube. I had a lot of fun building upon this sample from my Craftsy class and sharing it with you.

I hope you have a lovely Memorial Day if you are here in the States. No matter where you are, I think it's safe to say the men and women who served and died while serving their country should be honored.

Check back with me early next week because I'm finally going to reveal my big secret project!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Fern Feather Floral Motif Finale

Here's my finished pillow top! I really like how it turned out, especially the depth and dimension it appears to have. I'm a little annoyed at myself for the background fill around the edges. It started nice and tiny but got larger and larger as I worked around the edges.

I shot video of the last bit of this project just like I did for two other parts of it, plus there's the footage of it in my newest Craftsy class, Creative Quilting with Rulers, More Techniques and Motifs. (That's a 25% off link there!) Unfortunately, after doing a great job shooting and editing the video on my iPad, I have had no success in uploading it to YouTube.

It has me completely flustered. The video and camera quality of this iPad is great, and editing in iMovie has worked so much better than what I was using before, but uploading it is an exercise in futility. My latest workaround has been to upload it to the iCloud then download it to my laptop (not an i-anything) and now I'm getting ready to upload it to Youtube off the laptop. Ridiculous!

Hopefully, I'll get it on the YouTube soon.