craft business, Kid's Sewing, libraries, Quilting, summer camp, Travel

Fun Stitchy Things to Do With Your Kids & Grandkids This Summer

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That’s right!  The Row by Row Junior experience is back for 2018.  If you like to shop hop, be sure to take your mini-me along for the ride!  Your little one(s) will be able to enjoy Row by Row activities geared just for them. Go here for more details.

 

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Designed for kids and adults, this weekly downloadable sew-along-series starts at the very beginning. Week 1 covers sewing machine basics, sewing vocabulary and simple stitches. Week 2 features a really cute popsicle project that can be made in an afternoon. Be sure to visit the Janome summer camp site each Monday for a new activity.

 

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Finally, be sure to check out your local library to see what crafty activities are scheduled as part of the Summer Reading Program.  Maker Space and Crafternoon programs are very hot right now in libraries!  Best of all – most are absolutely FREE!  (Oh, and if your library has one – be sure sign up to read to the READing dog if your ‘lil stitcher is in grades 1-6).

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Upcoming Sewing Classes

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June Kid’s Club Project

Kid’s Club @ Stitch N Quilt – Monthly Projects through December 2018
June – Hobo bag ($10 + supplies)
July – No meeting
August – Simple twirly skirt – pattern chosen by Sophie, Lucy and Chelsea  – ($25.00 + yardage to make skirt) EXTENDED SESSION CLASS – 3 – 3.5 hours
September – Upcycled snack bags ($15 + supplies)
October – No meeting
November – Vintage inspired turkey placemat/table decoration  ($15 + supplies)
December – Holiday tags and bags ($15 + supplies)

 

Classic Style T-Shirt Quilt Class @ Stitch N Quilt
Tuesday, June 12th from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  $30.00 fee
It’s easier than you think to turn those treasured t-shirts into something useful. Learn the basics of t-shirt prep, interfacing, block size and sashing options for grid-style t-shirt quilt. Bonus:  I will bring my steam press for you to use during class.

Private Lessons (in-studio)
Private lessons will resume in mid-August. After-school and evening times are available. Rates are $25.00/hour & up. Projects are designed with you in mind and may require an additional supply fee.

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Quick update on t-shirt quilts

I’ve noticed a lot of traffic to my Etsy shop for mosaic quilts. If you recently clicked only to find nothing there, please try again. I put the shop on vacation mode from January – May while I was completing the requirements for my reading endorsement.

I am currently completing two mosaic t-shirt quilts and will be able to accept new projects after 6/15.

Thank you for your interest.

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School’s Out & The Studio’s Open

Whew!  I made it!  I FINALLY completed my Reading Endorsement on 5/23 – which means I am now qualified to teach Reading in grades K-12.  It’s been an intense spring semester and the normal EOY craziness was even more so this year with a book fair thrown in the mix. I am so ready to put the 2017-18 school year behind me.

It’s stitching time again in my happy place!

Upcoming classes:
(1) Kid’s Club at Stitch N Quilt 6/9 (hobo bag) and 7/13 (zippered pouch)

(2) Fashionista Camp @ Stitch N Quilt in late June (skirt, embellished T and bracelet)

(3) Private Lessons & Crafter-noons in my studio (contact me for details)

Tech Editing Availability:
Currently accepting projects beginning 6/4/18.

 

 

 

 

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Digital Learning for Quilters and Sewists

Note:  I am an experienced online learner, having earned both of my advanced library degrees via distance learning.  I have also designed and delivered professional learning via online platforms.  As much as digital formats have opened up new opportunities for everyone, it is my experience that there are just some things that are better learned F2F to gain a working knowledge of the subject before delving into online learning.  This allows the student to have success in expanding that knowledge via digital learning. Sewing is one of those skills. 

The internet has been a real game changer when it comes to how we learn new things.  Not that long ago, you took an in-person class at a fabric shop or learned from mom/grandma.  These face-to-face lessons were often supplemented by a sewing book borrowed from the public library.

Those options still exist today; however, the quilter and sewist have many more choices. You can take a class at a guild meeting, weekend sewing retreat or on a cruise. You can learn on your own schedule via Craftsy or a DVD that you borrowed from the library. You can buy any number of digital books/magazines (some of these are even available through your local public library).  The quilting and sewing communities are known for their resource sharing and willingness to help one another out of any stitchy quandary.

Thanks to the sewist in Australia who took the time to make and upload the YouTube video demonstrating  how she alters men’s dress shirts.  Garment sewing is not my strong suit and I had to alter four (4) men’s dress shirts this week.  All done and they look professional!

That said, when I took a weekend quilting class at the Campbell Folk School, I was amazed by the number of younger sewists who were there to learn the basics because Craftsy, YouTube and videos from the library weren’t helping them learn how to sew. This confirmed what I had experienced with the kids I teach. (They’ll watch a video, but want someone right there when it gets to the hands-on part.) Sewing is like reading. You need someone to show you the basics and then you practice, practice and practice independently (sometimes with your teacher) to improve your skills.  You search out a “coach” when you need additional help.

I love having the convenience of on-demand learning in my home and I rarely take a F2F class anymore strictly to learn a technique. I will take an in-person class for socializing (or to experience something like the Campbell Folk School) or to learn from a particular instructor. But then again, I was already familiar with sewing basics thanks to my mom and middle school home economics.

Here are my suggestions for newbie sewists, both big and little:

  1. Take any and all machine classes that come with the purchase of your sewing machine. Most dealers offer a one-on-one introductory class. Sign up for it.
  2. Invest in a series of lessons that teach the basics – how to read a pattern and instruction sheet;  seam allowances and seam finishes; zipper installation; how to make buttonholes; how to do a basic hem; make a casing; basic quilting by machine.
  3. Try a simple project in each of these 4 categories – garment (simple skirt/t-shirt), quilting (charm square quilt), home dec (pillow cover) and accessories (zipper pouch/tote bag).
  4. Once you have a handle on the basics, you’ll find YouTube and sewing blogs to be great resources to advance your sewing skills – especially if you can’t afford in-person and online classes.  Your public library card is the best value in your wallet when it comes to access to sewing and maker learning resources. Some libraries even loan sewing machines or have them in the “maker space” that is so popular in libraries right now.
  5. If you gravitate toward a particular type of sewing – say garment sewing – try to find a group in your area to meet-up with on a regular basis.  The American Sewing Guild and Modern Quilt Guild are two national organizations with local chapters scattered across the United States.  Local fabric stores, quilt shops, yarn shops and even the big box fabric and craft stores sometimes serve as meeting spots for local creative fiber groups. Ask around.

Each person has a unique learning style.  Some will be able to learn what they need from YouTube without ever setting foot in a sewing class. However, most will fare much better with a basic understanding of sewing techniques learned from someone in person before they sign up for that Craftsy class.

 

 

 

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Stitching Stallions Color Preference Survey

Next week (5/4) is our final club meeting for this school year. We will make journal covers. To make this possible, Mrs. Kent and Ms. Harp will need to do some prep work in advance so your project is “needle ready” when you arrive for club.

Please take the following three (3) question survey before you leave today:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CJZYGRY

If you do not complete the survey, Mrs. Kent will choose colors for you.

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Wait – what? I signed up. Why was my class canceled?

Classes can be cancelled for any number of reasons – bad weather, double booking, shop emergency, instructor illness…but the main reason classes wind up being cancelled is because they don’t make – or meet the minimum enrollment.

Many quilt shops view classes as a marketing tool – not as a money making tool. It is designed to get customers in the door so they will buy something.  Class fees charged can vary widely.  Independent instructors, like me, are paid based on class enrollment.  The more students who take the class, the more money I make.  The local market has a lot to do with class fees charged.

For me, a minimum enrollment of 3 paid students is required to hold a class.  I have been burned more than once when we had a class meet the required minimum, but a sibling pair didn’t show up (nor had they paid).  The one kid who showed up basically got a 2-1/2 hour private sewing lesson for $15.00 (which I would ordinarily charge about $55.00).  Of course, I am not going to disappoint the kid who made it there on time and is eager to learn how to sew!  I merely chalked it up to a learning experience and the shop now requires prepayment to reserve spots in the the class.  If you miss, you forfeit the fee.

My sweet spot is 5-6 students who have some experience or bring grandma with them.  As much as I love to teach, it takes about 1 hour of prep time for a 2 hour kid’s class with a project I’ve taught previously.  Double that for a new project.  I want to at least make back my gas and expense money when I teach a class.  It’s not possible with a single student unless they are willing to pay private lesson rates.

My goal is to get to the equivalent of ASP special program rates per hour at the quilt shop.  Rates in my area currently range from $8-$13/hour (plus supply fees). I am able to do this teaching out of my home studio and parents pay the rate without any qualms. We renegotiated the rates for Kid’s Club at the quilt shop, so rates will be at the lower end of the ASP rates, but it’s still significantly higher for me.

There are some shops that can charge $250 to $350 for a series of sewing classes. Not in my area.  $25 per class, including supplies for kids, is about the max the local shoppers will pay. Adult classes frequently charge higher rates and are actually easier to teach!