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Why I Matter

Each year, we are required to write a personal narrative in response to question posed by administration. Our response, along with our picture, is posted outside our classroom (or library in my case) doors for the world to see. Here’s mine. 

  • I am a person who is uniquely made.
  • Boomer chose me as “his” human.  Together, we have made 200+ visits as a pet therapy team to area libraries, schools, hospitals, nursing homes and events.
  • Sewing is my superpower. It feeds my creative soul and geek girl tendencies while providing the opportunity to share my love of making things with others. (Backpack and uniform repairs included.)
  • As a librarian, I introduce kids to the magic of books and the joys of reading.
  • In the library, I offer a safe environment for kids to explore what interests them and “windows” to take a peek at the outside world.
  • As a librarian, I guide kids through the inquiry process (aka how to find answers to their burning questions) by modeling search strategies, showcasing resources and demonstrating my own critical thinking steps during the process.
  • Here at the RIVER, the library is often the first stop many students and staff make when they have a question or need something (even if unrelated to the library). Simply put, we are the hub of the school!
  • While often found behind the scenes (where I prefer to be), I work hard to find solutions to challenges and figure out ways to get the resources we need.
  • I care – sometimes TOO much – and willingly share my time, talents & resources with others.
  • Finally, I come to The River every day where my kids show me how much
     I DO MATTER.

This year’s essay was particularly vexing for me to write. You see, my day job title is that of Media Specialist. It seems like this year I am being asked to do everything but that. The school district’s library department has issued one set of criteria for libraries and my administrative team seems to be doing the exact opposite. It’s extremely frustrating, especially when you feel your concerns are falling on deaf ears. And after the tense meeting on Friday afternoon, I truly felt as if I no longer mattered as a person to certain individuals or added value to the school as a Media Specialist. Instead, my value to the organization seems to lie in having a big library space and in supervising students to provide teacher release time. As one of the other specialists said, “Welcome to the Babysitter’s Club.”

No, thank you. 

I hold value as a person, creative, librarian and entrepreneur.  The essay I posted here finally came about after I snapped out of my pity party.  If this organization doesn’t appreciate what I bring to the table, then it will soon be time to find one that will.

 

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Finding your happy place

My happy spot right now is the kitchen table.  A sewing machine sits on one end flanked by my Martelli turntable cutting mat on one side with the pressing pad and iron on the other. Yes, I have a beautiful sewing studio in the basement, but I like to sew where I can binge watch TV on the big screen when no one else is home.  The project I’m currently working on is portable – lots of Flying Geese blocks that I cut while at the ILA Conference in Austin a week ago.

It’s helped get me through a rather rough start to the new school year. I came back from the conference excited to really work on reading and literacy skills at my school. Instead, I find myself trying to figure out exactly what my role is. Let’s just say that it’s been a week and leave it at that.  I do know, however, that my elementary school librarian days are numbered. It’s time to move in a different direction.

So, I will focus on some extreme self care and sewing this weekend.

Happy Sewing!

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Stitching on the Go

20180716_163620Meet my new travel companion!  This little 5 pound wonder is going with me on a plane  later this week. I’ll be gone for nearly a week with a fair amount of downtime built into my schedule. I won’t have a car and there’s not a lot to do in the evenings near the hotel unless you’re into the bar and band scene (which I am not).  So why not stitch? It’s amazing what you can get done in 2-3 hours of uninterrupted sewing time – if you plan/precut your projects ahead of time.  It’s like a mini sewing retreat.

I typically carry a hand embroidery project with me whenever I travel. Hand embroidery and reading are good for 1-2 nights. This is why I pack a machine whenever I travel by car and will be gone more than a couple of nights.  This time, my original plan was to pack a folding cutting mat, small ruler and rotary cutter in my suitcase. I would do all of the sub-cutting for an upcoming project (there’s a lot of it!).

Then, I met this little purple machine. It’s a 1/2 size sewing machine (think Janome Sew Mini). It uses REAL sewing machine feet, makes a nice straight stitch and can do buttonholes. I thought, why not give it a try on a simple quilt top I wanted to make from charm squares and 2-1/2″ strips?  My test using the 1/4″ foot was fine. You do have to use metal bobbins and a piecing thread like Mettler, Gutermann or Missouri Star for best results. Love me some Aurifil, but it’s too fine for this machine – thread breakage and skipped stitches happened frequently during my test. Switching to a smaller needle didn’t seem help either.

I don’t expect this little purple machine to replace my regular travel sewing machine, or to go with me on sewing retreats. However, it will be interesting to see if it is a viable option for machine stitching on the go when traveling by air is the chosen mode of transportation. If not, it’ll certainly look cute displayed on a shelf in my studio and will be perfect for my 5 year old neighbor as she learns to sew.

craft business, Kid's Sewing, Quilting, Tech Editing

Check out this super cute pattern!

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Meet Josefina and Jeffery!

Ira Rott is a well-known designer in crochet circles, but decided to translate one of her most popular crochet patterns into a sewing pattern.  This is the result!

Although rated for intermediate sewists, an advanced beginner would be fine with this pattern. It does introduce some techniques with which you might not be familiar, but it’s all part of the learning process, right?

And yes, yours truly assisted by tech editing this delightful pattern.

It’s available in her Etsy shop as a pdf download.  Get yours here.

Happy sewing!

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Summertime Sewing

The exterior house painting is now complete!  Just like that, my summer “honey-do” list is complete!  It’s finally time to get crafty!

Extended time in my happy place is just what I need after an emotionally draining few weeks.  Too much staff turnover at the day job and too many loved ones passing away.  Funerals are not my thing. After two of them in the past month for both a close friend and a former colleague,  that’s enough of that for a while, thank you very much.

I have one t-shirt quilt left to complete and then it is sew time for me:

  1. Duvet cover for master bedroom.
  2. Assemble Lady of the Lake quilt top and send to longarm quilter.
  3. Practice “ruler work” on unfinished quilt tops that have been hanging on the rack for a while.
  4. Get back to Dog Park quilt that I meant to make for Boomer’s pet stylist, Miss Lorena.  On Friday, I learned she’d recently passed away.  For some reason, news of her passing really hit me hard. Now, I’m determined to get the quilt finished in time for the East Cobb Quilt Guild Show next year.  I will do this one entirely by myself – including the machine quilting.

This quote by Mary Anne Radmacher sums up my personal mantra exactly:

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.