Category Archives: personal growth

Quilt Market 2016 My First Booth

November 7th 2016

I’m back from Quilt Market! It’s true what they say that dreaming is a form of planning.

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We’ve been back less than a week and I can hardly believe that I was even there. At Quilt Market. In Houston. With my very first booth!

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It was a great first experience. And I must say, I was very happy with how the booth turned out.There was a certain look and feel I was going for.

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 I was tickled to hear comments from passersby who commented that it was “bright, cheery, cute and beachy.” What more could a girl ask for on her first try?

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A couple of nights before leaving, I got the last minute idea to re-do one of my sea horses in a different and scrappy colorway, like @67kirsten had done. It’s important to hang the quilts strategically to catch the eye of people walking the floor and it worked.

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We kinda got there too early to set up. Because our booth was surrounded by huge crates from other companies, we did the drapes and floors and other small jobs and left the quilts for hanging the next day.

chair-table

We had a small round table for treats and a larger table decorated with bunting with patterns for sale.

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Getting feedback from people was so valuable and affirming for me as a designer. People “out there” like my stuff and that was so encouraging. It was also amazing to see how my Watercolor Sea Horses quilt was familiar to so many. Shop owners, individuals and even other designers would say how they had seen it, made it, loved it or sold it. Some even said that they teach a class with it! peppermints-on-the-beach

The Peppermints pattern was another one that stopped traffic. It was a sweet surprise. When I mentioned that a different color scheme would make it Salt Water Taffy (Thanks to Sheri from Sunshine in the Attic)  it put a smile on everyone’s face.

maui

Maui was the new quilt that made its appearance at Market. It was literally “hot off the long arm.” This is a great souvenir or memory quilt for that special trip to the Hawaiian Islands. This quilt depicts all the special sights known to Maui such as the Road to Hana with its 600+ curves, Pineapples as seen on the farms, fruity drinks and of course surfing. This one will be available in a couple of weeks.

But the best part by far was just connecting with people. People you have known virtually, via Social Media or Facebook.

qm2016-instapeeps

Starting from the top left and a bucket list item was meeting Jodie aka RicRac. She is from Australia, she is the first blogger I ever followed! She is also a librarian and crafty like me. I identified with her in so many ways, I felt like I too can take a crack at a creative career. Thanks Jodie! She is a hoot and kind and hugged a complete stranger! I warned her I would pop into her booth snap a picture and be off running out to mine. She’s so fun! She is also on Instagram @jodiericrac.

Vanessa from @LellaBoutique and designer from Moda stopped by (bottom left) and she was so sweet. I was flattered that she bought my Peppermint pattern which we both agreed would look fabulous in her Sugar Pie fabric line for the Salt Water Taffy look. Find her blog here.

Some friends from Instagram came by to say hi! @aquiltingchick and @donnaslavendarnest (bottom middle and right) as well as @thefeltedpear (top right) but I only found that we were “followers” after talking with her for a while. Isn’t that funny?

Can you spot @quilterPatSloan? When I first went to Market as a “spy” in 2014 she and I took a picture. So after pausing, every so slightly in front of my booth and recognizing the sea horses, we posed for another pic. You can also keep up with Pat on her blog.

cabs-collage

It is always great to catch up with my peeps from CABS (Creative Arts Business Summit) and my quilting coach Morna McEver from ICAP.

From left to right Morna, Daphne, Ebony from Love Bug Studios, Laurie Bay who combines her passion for animals and quilting, Kris from Poor House Quilts, Linda from The Patchwork Pearl and Joyce, thread painter at Joyce Hughes Originals.

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And of course, having the Mr along is always a plus. He especially enjoys exploring the restaurants in the area. It was such a joy to have our friend Cherry from Cherry Blossoms Studio join us for dinner one night.  The male bonding was not lacking since just one booth over they were talking about politics and business. It seems like there is always new friends to make at Quilt Market.

Listing Challenge September 2016

September 3rd 2016

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It’s time! If you follow me on Instagram or have read the blog when I posted this, then you know I am a fan of listing. I only just found out this event has been around since 2011 and I’ve only known about it since 2013 the debut of their December lists challenge. It’s a good alternative to full blown journaling that documents your “right now” in a short and fun way. What’s great about this challenge is there is no right or wrong way to do it. My first round, I bought a pre-made notebook and just added stickers and other embellishments.

30-days-of-lists-journal 2013

After registering for the challenge HERE, you get an email with links to printables, prompts (or you can get them by email daily) and a private blog link for each day’s list.  You can also go all out and scrapbook it tangibly or digitally or use Post-it notes. I find it’s a great down time at the end of the day. I really look forward to it. I know! Just call me a List Nerd.  

30 days of lists cover

For this September Challenge, I decided to use up some of what I have, which was a creative adventure itself. I am so happy with how this book turned out. The front and back covers are made with brown Kraft card stock and I also used some printables designed by Monika from the I love it all shop on Etsy.  (She also blogs here to give you ideas on how she uses her journals and products. I know you will get addicted to her goodies as I have.) The inside is full of a variety of paper and ephemera I hope to show as the challenge progresses.

practice list sea horse cut out

Before the challenge, many of us were getting antsy waiting for the first day of September to finally arrive. So for practice we chose a prompt from the March challenge list from (waaaay back) and posted that. I had this Sea Horse lying around with my paper scraps so I used that. (Shape cut with Cricut from cartridge Life is a Beach)

day 1

Here is the first list prompt. I did bunting because I wanted to start this off like a celebration! You may want to like their Facebook page 30 Days of Lists and stay in the loop for their next challenge.

Did you know there is also a private Facebook group just for this challenge? It’s a safe place for “List Nerds” to post their lists or even shy listers. Some people are in the group but are still wary about posting and that’s okay. I’ve met such nice people in this group, I dare call them friends even.

day 2

On Day 2, the prompt was “Don’t Judge Me But…” I edge punched some Kraft Card stock and made a little book and safely tucked it in the glassine bag. I posted the divulged list on the FB group but only this picture on Instagram (no peeking) I always use the hashtag #30lists when posting.

day 3

Some lists I like to ponder about after I read the prompt in the morning. This list for Day 3 was easy enough to do right away, so much to celebrate! I also knew I wanted to use that “celebrate” tag I had in my stash and there you have it. Still have the rest of the month to list.

Listing supplies

After I had finished making my book, I went out and got more listing supplies. The creative inspiration was just too much, I am ready to start prepping for December listing but I will try and resist… at least for a couple of months.

If you want to join in (catching up is perfectly okay!) Click here and sign up!

What I have been up to…

July 31st 2015

I know that I haven’t been blogging much lately and what I have posted has been mostly fleeting thoughts just to say “hey!”  If you have been by at all then you know that I have finally published pattern designs which has kept me quite busy sewing.

Aloha girl

Using Aloha Girl fabric by Fig Tree and Co by Joanna Figueroa for a new pattern.

Mr with fish on the beach

Photographing, which is WAAAY harder than it looks.

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Folding and stacking

patterns

and stuffing patterns.

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The good news is Checker Distributors has picked up my patterns, they have been found all the way in Iowa!

insta vacation

And there has been a lot of Instagramming. It seems there is a huge quilting community there which I love! Most of my online sales have been from Insta-peeps and I appreciate that so much. The encouragement, stories, de-stash sales and general support is wonderful! So I have been more active posting over there, you can follow me here. (elaine.summercrafter)

home sweet home Collage2

I have also joined several swaps (crazy I know) there is the Home Sweet Home Mini Swap (#homesweethomemini) where we make something “housy.”

beachbound mqs Collage

The Beach Bound MQS (#beachboundmqs) which was a no brainer, right?

dresden sun

I made my first Dresden as the sun. (More on that in a future post.)

christmas mosaic

And another “no brainer” of course, was the Christmas Swap and there are two. The Most Wonderful time of the Year 2015 (#themostwonderfultimeoftheyear2015) and a Christmas Craft Swap 2015 (#christmascraftswap2015).

Swaps are great because  they are good “down” projects to get your mind off of “work” related items. and sewing for fun. Swaps are also a good opportunity for making “quilty and crafty” friends since I don’t have any in person. On Instagram, I am not a “follower” collector, I prefer meeting and greeting authentic, genuine  people who love to quilt and craft and share their creations via IG. This commonality is important to me for general camaraderie and friendly support and encouragement. It really helps me connect with people who understand me and my love for quilting and vise versa.

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Another recent surprise I had was an invitation from Pat Sloan to be on her American Patchwork and Quilting podcast (click on link to hear some interviews).  Yep, I’m still pinching myself on that one. My interview will be sometime in September so I’ll keep you posted.

With Pat Sloan at Fall Quilt Market 2014

With Pat Sloan at Fall Quilt Market 2014

 I had reached out to her on one of her blogs regarding the quilting business some time last year (?)  and she was so gracious to answer all my questions via email and she gave me some great tips. I also had the pleasure of meeting her at Quilt Market 2014. She is generous and sweet, I have found that to be a common thread among quilters I meet.

Hoping to get back to some tutorials as I finish up some of those swaps and share them right here on the blog. Thanks for stopping by.

How to Grow a Business

April 12th 2015

Starting and growing a business is no easy task. Certainly not for me who does not think “in numbers.” I also suffer from B.S.O.S. Bright Shiny Object Syndrome so my mind is always distracted by the next thing that catches my eye like fabric, blogs, social media, projects, scraps or chocolate pretzels.  After several months of working with Morna McEver from International Association of Creative Arts Professionals I am happy to say I have come a long way.

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 For me, getting a coach to hold my hand along the way, has made such a difference. Not only in holding me accountable but also guiding me in the way I should go when my knowledge in an area has been exhausted. To further educate myself I attended the CABS business Summit hosted by Morna in Washington D.C. It was amazing!

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Things I learned at CABS 2015:

  1. I am not Wal-mart
  2. Ideas are only good if an action is attached.
  3. Time blocking yields focus.
  4. There is plenty for everyone.
  5. Work on your brilliance, outsource the rest.
  6. Wear what makes you feel confident.
  7. The Quilting business is a luxury, find your client.
  8. Imperfect action is better than idleness (unless our pattern has errors!)
  9. Morna is a hugger! 🙂
  10. A smile goes such a long way.
  11. Be authentic.
  12. Everyone doesn’t have to like your stuff, just enough people for you to make a living.
  13. If it’s NOT urgent, and NOT important let your kids do it!
  14. Encouragement is powerful.
  15. If you are in a group of energetic, talented, kind and helpful women, you are bound to succeed!
  16. “Free” is not a business model.
  17. Have BIG dreams.
  18. Our Faith is bigger than our fears.
  19. Don’t let perfection stand in the way of progress.
  20. We all have our own BRILLIANCE.
  21. Everything you need is in this group/room.

Cabs

These are the kind, talented, amazing women I met and some friends I made while I was there. Thanks so much ladies, it was such a pleasure to be a part of it, looking forward to next year!

Sewing for fun 2015

January 9th 2015

2015 is the year of keeping schedules, plans, deadlines and assignments. I tend to be a little attention deficit for one thing but attention focused on many things, so my word of the year is

FINISH image

I am challenging myself to finish tasks before starting new ones. And really this applies to so many different areas. I have broken it down into three categories to help me see the big picture: THINGS to finish, RESULTS from finishing and FEELINGS from finishing. One activity that I am going to schedule for sure is Sewing for fun. I am using it as a reward after I get all my work done (FINISH!) This will be a great motivator for me because it will be something to look forward to everyday that will also help me wind down from the stresses of daily life and schedules! 

sewing for fun

 Are you going to Sew for fun this year? You can make it ten minutes, 20 minutes or a whole day like Saturday, a sick day (ahem!) or a Sunday all to yourself!  I’ll be posting my projects in progress on Instagram (elaine.summercrafter) with the [Hashtag] #sewingforfun2015 and also right here on the blog. Grab the button if you want to.

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I am also building up my red and white stash, even more than before, after all that inspiration at Quilt Market. I keep adding to it in hopes to finally do a red and white quilt.I even got myself a book on the subject, but I have a feeling I may do my own pattern. I got these FQs at a shop in St. Augustine. Magrieta’s Quilt Shop.

FQs st augustine

Funny Story. I had this reindeer fabric in my Etsy shop since last year but they had sold out in that shop.  Then I placed an order of Christmas fabrics from a shop I  frequent, StitchinStash on Etsy, and they were a stowaway bundle, which I gladly told her I would keep! ; )

red and white reindeer

Also grabbed a sampling of Country Girl fabrics by Riley Blake  Designs also in St. Augustine, Bee’s Quilt Shop $ Studio, my husband’s reaction when we entered was “Now this is a quilt shop.”  I thought that was adorable, he is doing so well in his “Quilt Appreciation” training.

country girl fabric

And this Valentine mix (I couldn’t resist) …planning on making a scrap wreath

Valentine fabric

like this one in the shape of a heart!

Rag wreath Valentine heart scrap wreath

Someone in my house is an avid Olaf fan, so it’s about time I make something for her! The pattern idea came from bathroom tile. LOL More on that later.

olaf plush Olaf quilt

This Mini Starlight Pattern by Camille Roskelley over at Thimble Blossoms is a belated Christmas gift for a friend of mine which is perfect for the tiny scraps I can’t bear to throw out.

Starlight mini pattern

This quilt top has been finished for some time but starting my pattern business has really put it on the back burner for quilting. So I hope to finish this off for my Pastor, it’s a lot of quilting on my little machine. The pattern is Vintage from the Simply Retro book, also by Camille Roskelley.

Pastor's quilt

I also have a few totes planned in various fabrics, including Disney.

Disney fabric

Hoping to whip up some Christmas projects too with these fabric delights.

Tower of fabric

And while this is not sewing, I hope to feed my faith journey doodling in this jouraling bible. So excited! bible stickers journaling bible

So if I can complete at least 12 new projects at one a month, plus my own quilt patterns, I ‘ll will be a happy camper. Anyway, it’s not quantity is quality and how much fun will I be having! So are you going to be setting aside some Sewing for Fun in 2015? Do tell!