Like everywhere else, inflation has come to your local quilt shop!

Fabric now averages $13 per yard at most of my LQS. One shop owner advised that new batik yardage would be even more when it arrived. I saw charm packs pushing $14 per pack and jelly rolls hovering near $50. No wonder I see so many quilters picking up cross-stitch (again). A few designers issue cross stitch patterns along with their quilt patterns. Aida cloth and DMC floss is a much cheaper way to make a version of your favorite quilt.

What amazes me even more is the cost of some classes and clubs. One local stitch lounge charges $85 per 2 hour class for kids. And their classes are routinely filled. Good for them! Gives me reason to rethink my pricing structure for my classes moving forward.

My previously scheduled class at the quilt museum didn’t meet the minimum enrollment to hold the class, so I had a free Saturday. Sadie and I wandered to a quilt shop in the far north ”burbs to get the scoop on a new Lori Holt club. Membership in the club is on a quarterly basis. It wasn’t a class, but more like a sit&sew, the staff told me. I asked about the possibility of being a drop-in visitor as I had to work most club meetings. They replied that they needed to ask the instructor. “If there’s an instructor, doesn’t that make it a class?” I thought to myself. Anyway, I received a callback as promised, but the fee quoted to be a drop-in visitor for one session was about 1/2 the quarterly “dues” for this club. Guess they don’t want drop-in visitors. I just want a regular sew day with fellow Lori Holt enthusiasts. That’s why I was excited to learn about this new club. Perhaps I’m missing something, but instructional/class rates are not what I expected for a 3 hour sit&sew. Most shops in the area charge $5-$10 for a sit&sew – not what this one was charging. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to pay the fee if there’s a kit or special project that the club is making. That’s not what was communicated to me. I’m supposed to bring my own project to work on for 3 hours. Not right now. I’ll do the online QAL and visit my friends at other shops when I’m off for school breaks.

Part of the pre-retirement planning success checklist recommends getting your social networks in place outside of work before you leave your job. My entire social universe has been work, family and a few neighbors for the past 18 months. I’ve missed quilt guild meetings, shop hops, retreats and quilt shows with my quilty peeps. I’ve missed therapy dog visits and reading with the kids every other Wednesday. I’ve missed live performances, street festivals, farmer’s markets, art museums and botanical gardens. Here’s hoping COVID is in the rear view mirror this time next year.

Learning to let go…

This has been a hard lesson to learn, especially for someone who prefers to be in control.

Working at an elementary school in a super high community COVID spread rate is no picnic. My mantra is to do the best I can while I am on the job to support students & staff, plus keep projects moving forward in the library. I take as many precautions as possible (including vax & mask most of the time). I have stepped back from many of the extras I used to do. No one seems to notice anyway. I leave mostly on time every day. I don’t take work home anymore. Know what? I’m much happier.

I can’t control or fix my husband’s cancer. He’s doing everything the doctor tells him to do to stay healthy and enjoy a reasonable quality of life. I’m there to support him, but I also have to make my own health a priority.

I can’t control which news stories are presented on radio, tv or the internet, but I do choose to ignore most of them.

I can’t control crime in Atlanta, but I do choose to stay away from the center city for my own safety. This saddens me because there are some wonderful things to do in Atlanta proper.

I can’t control the talent (e.g. spokespeople) companies choose to represent their brands; instead, I opt to do business to other companies that meet my needs and align with my values.

I can’t control the actions and choices of other family members. There are some I choose to keep at a distance for my own peace of mind.

I can’t control the stock market, Mother Nature or what other countries do. All I can do is save, invest, insure and keep my pantry stocked. Oh, and my sewing stash well supplied, too!

I can’t control the class schedule and course fees at a local quilt shop. There are two groups in which I’d love to participate, however, my schedule currently doesn’t allow it. (I personally think $20 for a 3 hour sit-n-sew is a bit much – $10 is more like it.) I can, however, look for online alternatives that will fit my schedule. And look into what’s involved in starting a craft group locally using a public space.

My Happy Place QAL

Are you in? This is my big quilt project for 2021. I had the best time making A Quilter’s Cottage in 2020.

Pincushion blocks are on tap for this week. Here’s a link to Lori Holt’s week 1 video on YouTube.

The rest of my background fabrics arrived yesterday (big happy dance)! Now, I’ll be able to finish cutting Week 3 and begin cutting for Week 4 blocks. Cutting and prepping blocks for 2-3 weeks in advance seems to work best for me. I try to cut a week as I use a week. This way, I’m always ready to sew, even during my craziest weeks.

I do not typically buy kits. I prefer to pull from my stash first, using the sewing guide as a point of reference for color selection. Then, I fill in with other fabrics as I needed. That’s why my projects are a mix of the current Lori Holt line, previous lines and other fabrics. I think it makes the final project more personal and keeps costs in line by shopping my stash first.

Here’s Jane all set up and ready to sew!

Tomato pincushion appliqué from My Happy Place QAL
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