You can turn your hobby into a business…and turn that business back into a hobby. It’s perfectly okay!
A talented friend recently announced that she’s ending her long-standing quilting podcast. This comes on the heels of her and her business partner closing down their pattern/sewing biz last summer. I listened to her farewell episode tonight. She’d lost her love of sewing because she was always sewing for business and had no time to sew for pleasure. She didn’t set foot in her sewing room for over 6 months. She said her husband was even worried about her.
I can so totally relate! My day job directly impacts the amount of time and energy I have to devote to my business. That is one reason I stopped making t-shirt and baby quilts. I was busy and enjoyed creating the quilts, but I when I looked at the numbers, I wasn’t making any money after I accounted for all the time spent making those quilts.
So, I looked at my options:
(1) Teach from home. I did this for about a year with weekly after-school sewing sessions. Everyone had a great time, but having strangers in my house was just a little too unnerving for me. Occasionally, I have a group of neighborhood kids or children of co-workers in studio for a private lesson, but that’s about it.
(2) Rent space outside of my home to teach classes. Available, but too expensive with just 4-6 students.
(3) Affiliate with a local quilt shop. This has been the best solution. One shop marks up my fee per student and I suggest sell products for her. Another shop took 30% of the class fee and expected me to fill the class. I offered classes through Parks and Rec, but their class minimums were so high that the class never made. A local business offered use of their classroom space for free during biz hours. I was very grateful to have this option available. I am hopeful that I will be able to do summer camps this year.
(4) Technical editing. This has consistently been the BEST option as it is a service that is location independent.
For me, it’s spending time in my studio (aka “my happy place” ) stitching away on Miss Addie, my freearm Singer Featherweight 222. I never expected to own one, given the rarity of this model. Of course, there’s a story behind how she arrived on my doorstep, but that’s for another time. Let’s just say that being patient, paying cash and wanting a working machine versus a collectible edition helped make it happen.
Miss Addie is also a tangible reminder that life is short and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. My bout with Bell’s palsy and my husband’s stage 4 cancer diagnosis Summer 2019 put life in a completely different perspective. Self-care and indulging myself once in a while became a priority. Hubs is doing well 18 months post-surgery. It’s time for the caregiver (me) to start taking care of herself again.
Self-care meant many hours spent decluttering my studio and rehoming fabric, supplies and machines I no longer needed or wanted. My space feels much lighter now. It’s merely the first step on my way to a sewing studio makeover. I’m eager to get my design wall installed – but this means a fabric storage cabinet has to go. More decluttering to come!
Besides eat right, exercising and getting more sleep, self-care also involved spiffing up the wardrobe a bit. I’m now teaching more and with the gig at the SE Quilt & Textile Museum, I needed the boost of self-confidence that comes from looking put together and being well-rested.
I’m also reading more – personally and virtually via Zoom with Sadie to read with our therapy dog READ kiddos. Some in-person visiting opportunities are starting back up. We’ll be visiting GA Tech at the end of March for Wellness Week.
I got so tired of 2020’s Blursday that I made a promise to observe the holidays in 2021. We celebrated Mardi Gras with take-out from Pappadeaux’s on Tuesday. If you need help with day-to-day holidays, the folks at National Day Calendar do an outstanding job of celebrating the every day.
Other than travel, I’ve resumed the activities that brought me joy pre-COVID. Here’s hoping we can get back to a mask-free somewhat normal within 6-12 months. It absolutely stinks to have to teach while wearing a mask all day!
Beginning Quilting @ Stitch N Quilt – Thursday, 2/19 from 10:00 a.m. – 2 p.m.
We will be making Popsicle Sticks from Atkinson Designs in the smallest size. You will need (46) 2-1/2″ strips, or a jelly roll plus 4 light fat quarters to add enough variety to make this lap size quilt.
Students who were in the Perfect 5 Ruler technique classe asked me to teach a beginning quilting class. They chose this pattern. Most participants have chosen to use batiks; however, I have a Tula Pink jelly roll plus some FQs from the stash that I will be using to make my version.
The first session will cover proper rotary cutting techniques and achieving a perfect 1/4″ seam on your machine. As we move through the quilt-making process, we will also cover color placement, squaring up blocks, creative fixes for boo-boos, preparing the quilt top for quilting, basting the quilt sandwich, walking foot quilting and back-to-front binding by machine.
Future classes will be scheduled on Saturdays and the schedule will be set at our first class.
Class fee: $25.00 per session – contact Stitch N Quilt to register.
Transform a T-shirt! – Turn your cherished t-shirt into a pillow! – Begins March 8, 2021
(in partnership with the Southeast Quilt & Textile Museum)
This asynchronous class will last two weeks with students able to complete segments and their own pace and have a live Zoom call with me on Thursday evenings to check-in and ask questions in real time. We will have a virtual show & tell at the end of class.
This is one of my most popular F2F kid’s sewing classes. This is the ideal project for ‘tweens and teens with some sewing experience wanting a virtual sewing class geared toward them. It is also a good choice for mommy/grandma & me, homeschool parents or any adult wanting to teach a youngster to sew.
Any working sewing machine that makes a straight stitch can handle this project.
If you do not have access to a rotary cutter, ruler and mat, notify the class registrar. We can modify the project for you with paper templates to use with scissors and pins.
Cost: $35.00 – contact the SE Quilt & Textile Museum to register.