I attended the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival a month ago. The shopportunity in the vendor hall was nothing short of amazing after 15 months of COVID lockdowns. Most every booth I visited seemed to have the turquoise Perfect Scissors by Karen K. Buckley, precut kits and the 3 yard quilt series books from Fabric Cafe, with assorted fabric bundles available for purchase.
The Fabric Cafe books are extremely versatile. I use them for teaching classes and making personal projects. In fact, I’m working on a baby quilt right now – Dominique from Modern Views from 3 Yard Quilts. I’d like to share 5 tips for working with this pattern:
Bonus tip: Use the same sewing machine to construct the inner portions of the quilt. It will be easier to match up the 1/4″ seams.
Within the past year, four Atlanta area quilt shops have announced closures. Only one was due to business being affected by COVID-19. One closure was due to health concerns and the other two due to the owner’s retirement. I understand one of the “retirement” shops has a potential buyer. Hopefully, we’ll know more soon. It’ll be interesting to see if we even have enough shops left to hold The Atlanta Quilt Shop Hop in 2022.
Only one shop in the area, Tiny Stitches in Marietta, is back to business as usual, 7 days a week. The remaining shops are open 2-4 days per week with limited hours. Stitch ‘N Quilt – long considered my “home” quilt shop where I taught kids & adult classes for 5 years – now closes at 3 p.m. No more stopping by on the way home from work! Now I’m basically limited to shopping at my LQS on the weekends. Part of summer break has been spent taking day trips to various shops in the North Georgia mountains to get a feel for each particular shop’s vibe. Along the way, I noticed a number of sewing machine dealers now stocking lines of quilting fabric and notions. It simply gives shoppers more options.
For me, where I shop depends on what I need and how fast I need it.
Weekdays: Hobby Lobby & Ashby Sewing
Saturdays: Stitch N Quilt, The Cotton Farm, Pickens County Mercantile & Quilt Shop, Atlanta Sewing Center (Duluth location)
Sundays: Tiny Stitches & Joann
I also dusted off my wholesale credentials and established accounts with certain suppliers. When I made t-shirt quilts, buying supplies wholesale made a noticeable difference in my profit margins. Now that I am regularly making project samples (and selling them) plus providing project kits for students, it was time to look at wholesale again. Saving money and time by having the essentials on-hand means I have more funds available to spend at my LQS and more time to create.
The last full week of summer break prior to reporting back for Teacher Pre-Planning is always bittersweet. You have big plans for the summer, yet the reality is you need the full month of June to simply decompress, perhaps fitting in a couple of vacation trips if you’re lucky. Mild panic starts to set as July rolls around. After the July 4th holiday, you realize you only have 3 weeks to get everything done before the time suck known as “the new school year” gets underway. This year is no different, yet COVID has definitely shaped my mindset about returning to 5 days per week at full throttle like we had pre-COVID.
N-O-P-E. Not gonna happen. I’m keeping my distance, cleaning like crazy, and leaving on time every day. I plan to be highly selective when it comes to extra duties & responsibilities. My physical, mental and emotional health depend on it.
10 things I’ve realized over the past year:
My last week of summer break will be spent sewing with a friend, getting my teeth cleaned, getting my back-to-school haircut & color, a bit of clothes shopping and a quick day trip to cross-off the last item on my summer bucket list.