Summer is officially over – it’s the Sunday before Labour Day and all across the country, people are trying to hold on to the last remnants of their holiday weekend, parents are busy getting their kids ready to start school on Tuesday, and I’m just relaxing thinking that finally, I’ve gotten everything done that I have to accomplish in the summer in order to be ready for a busy, busy fall season! For me, that makes summer even busier than fall so I’m looking forward to finally being able to take a few days off to relax.
Summer is the busiest time of year for Keith and I. Keith is the official sewing machine technician for over 25 schools which means that through July and August he has over 600 sewing machines and sergers that he personally services and almost 950 machines that he is responsible for! In my case, I’m busy making sure that new merchandise is selected, our catalogue is prepared, printed and mailed before the end of August, that we have classes ready to offer throughout the fall, that our class flyer is printed and available before the end of August, and on top of all that, we have our annual inventory count to do in the middle of the summer. Whew. I’m even more tired now, just thinking of it all. I’m happy to report that it’s all done now, the catalogue is in the hands of Canada Post, and the new products are flowing into our warehouse!
For me, like for many of you, fall means that I’ll finally have a chance to get back into my sewing room to get some sewing done. I’ve got several projects lined up already. First on the list is a new sleep sack for one of my grandsons – his feet are just about popping through what he’s been wearing and with cooler weather on the way, he’ll need one. Then I’ve got a quilt on the go for another grandson that is crying out to me to finish – and quickly. And finally, I want to make myself some new clothes. Garment sewing has always been my first love, and after seeing all the beautiful clothing that was featured this spring at Quilt Market in Portland, I’m inspired to get back to it. I think one of the first things I’ll make is this new Urban Tunic pattern from Indygo Junction.
One thing I love about fall is seeing all the great new products coming in for our latest catalogue. I’ve been trying to choose my favourite new item and I think it has to be StoryStickers by stkr.it. Technology has really changed our world and these new stickers and labels mean that I can stay connected with anyone – even when I’m miles away. StoryStickers are stick on, sew-on or iron-on labels with a QR code printed on them. QR codes can now be seen everywhere and by scanning one with a Smart Phone or tablet, they will take you to a website with information. Businesses use them to take you to their web site for marketing purposes, but these StoryStickers let you save a song, a video, photos, or even a story so that someone else can access your message from anywhere, as long as they have internet access and the app (which is free). I’m planning on using these to stay connected with my three grandsons – wherever they are. The quilt I’m making for my newest grandson will have one sewn on the back that will tell him how much I love and miss him (he’s all the way across the country from me in North Bay, and with his daddy in the air force, it’s unlikely that he’ll ever live close to me). The boys will all get books from me with a StorySticker of me reading the book to them – they’ll let me turn any book into an audio book that I can personalize. It doesn’t stop there though. If you wanted to teach someone how to thread a serger for example, you could upload a short video showing the different steps to take and they could view it over and over again. I can see all kinds of uses – make an apron and attach a label with your favourite recipe, send a special “Happy Birthday” message. The list goes on and on. And since the messages are being stored on Amazon’s very secure server, you know that they will be around for a lifetime. Let me know what you come up with to use these stickers – it really is endless!
The sun is shining here and it’s time to make breakfast, so until next time,
It’s finally starting to look like spring! I have crocuses and daffodils blooming in my garden, the flowering cherry trees are coming into full bloom, I hear that the first robins have been seen in many parts of Canada, and our Spring Catalogue Update and Spring & Summer Class Schedule are now printed, available for download from our home page at www.agreatnotion.com and either in the mail or almost in the mail.
We’ve found some great new sewing and quilting products that you’ll see in our new Spring 2013 Catalogue Update. With all the babies in my life lately, I was pleased to find some new patterns that I’ll be making up for them – my grandsons will be getting some cute ties, and you’ll find a great pattern for converting onesie t-shirts into quick-to-make dresses for little girls. I love the Cuddle Monstor Nap or Bath Wraps – they remind me of a hooded towel I made my son long ago that he loved – and wore until it was threadbare. Still on the baby theme, we’ve got great new PUL prints and coordinates from Babyville Boutique that are perfect for diaper covers and so much more. We’re also looking forward to some great placemat and coaster projects with the pre-cut Craft Packs of Craf-Tex Plus.
It’s been a busy winter both at home and at work for me. We have my daughter, her husband, baby and two dogs staying with us for another few months so our home and our lives are very full right now. At work, we’re in the depths of our annual trade show season – we were in Victoria last weekend at the Creative Stitches show there, next weekend we’ll be at the Tradex in Abbotsford for the Vancouver Creative Stitches show, and in another month, you’ll find Keith and I setting up our booth at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario for the Creativ Festival. I’m really looking forward to that show. We weren’t able to go last year due to the imminent arrival of grandson #2, and this year, we’ll be leaving the show and driving to North Bay to visit our other daughter who will soon be giving birth to grandson #3! We’re so happy and excited, and so blessed.
I’m busy designing my 3rd grandbaby quilt. The first two were appliquéd, with themes chosen by their parents and I put a lot of planning into each of them. I’ve been requested to do a pieced quilt this time, and I’m just waiting for the final choice of a fabric for the crib skirt before I finalize my design and fabrics. Watch for a photo in future blogs!
And now, since it’s a quiet day that I’m taking a break on, I’m going to post this and go and start working on a sewing project for myself – a rarity! I have some new fabric that I am dying to cut into. Actually, I have several pieces of new fabric - like many, I have a huge stash that I don’t seem to be able to get any smaller since I keep seeing fabric that I have to buy! Oh well, fabric has great insulating factors doesn’t it, and it doesn’t have a best before date!
Until next time,
What a great trip Pam and I had to Kansas City last weekend for Quilt Market. We had two and a half days to spend shopping at Market and we used up every minute of it, walking the long aisles and getting inspiration for the upcoming new catalogue, both stores, and of course for our own sewing and quilting. We saw many old friends from previous years of shopping at Market – people from Dritz, HoopSisters, Phillips Fiber Art, Marti and Richard Michell, and lots more, and made new friends that we’re looking forward to hearing from in the future.
The displays at Quilt Market are fabulous. This year, our plan was to try and walk through the entire show in one day – no mean feat as there was so many wonderful sights to see, it was hard to keep moving through! We made it through though on our first day, and then we were able to spend the rest of our time going back over the things that interested us the most.
Here are a few photos to tantalize you with the sights of Quilt Market – you’re going to have to stay tuned to hear about all the great things we found that we’ll be bringing in to our shops for you in the next few months.
I have to confess though, my mind was somewhat distracted as we walked the aisles at Quilt Market! Pam and I split up at the airport, Pam to return home, and I left to go on to my daughter’s home in Rochester, New York. You see, Jenny, my daughter who often contributes to this blog and to our Facebook page with stories of her journey as she learns to sew, was expecting her first baby, and for the days that I was at Quilt Market, was ready to deliver at any moment! I met with Keith at the airport in Chicago as I changed planes, and the two of us arrived in Rochester late Sunday evening, less than 12 hours before Jenny went into labour! Talk about timing it right (although, I’m sure that she was just waiting for her mother to arrive!) Now, I have a few more days here in Rochester to cuddle with my beautiful, brand new grandson, Henri! I’m sure you can agree that he was worth waiting for!
Watch for more details on our trip to Kansas City soon – I’m off to play with Henri!
I’m having a hard time deciding what my next sewing project should be! Since I broke my wrist in January, I haven’t really been able to do much sewing, and as it gradually recovers, I’ve started doing a bit of sewing here and a bit there, but I haven’t yet undertaken any projects that I’m really excited about. Mostly just finishing off a few things that have been started for a while. I will be starting soon on a baby quilt for grandchild #2, but since we don’t know the sex yet, and I want to incorporate the baby’s name into the quilt, that project is kind of on hold for another couple of weeks.
One of the new products that we got this spring is Clover’s new Trace ‘n Create E-Tablet and Paper Tablet Keeper templates. Since I have both an e-reader and a tablet computer that I like to carry around, I think that I will probably start my sewing here. These templates let you make two different styles of cases – one for electronic tablets and book readers, the other to keep paper notepads, and both are in 3 different sizes – small, medium and large.
I’m going to make a case for my tablet, another for my e-reader, and a third for a paper notepad and when they’re all done, I’ll write a review for you, include photos of my finished projects, and let you see how you like them! Not sure when I’ll have them finished though – in a couple of weeks I’ll be off to Kansas City for Quilt Market, and from there on to cuddle with a new grandbaby for a couple of weeks.
I’d love to hear from you too! Like us on Facebook and write on our wall to tell us what sewing projects are keeping you busy these days. Post some pictures to – I’d love to see them.
We’re excited to announce the launch of a new product line: Babyville Boutique™!
Babyville Boutique is a line of products designed to let you make your own cloth diapers and other baby items. They have everything you need, from instruction books to PUL fabric, cute snaps to ez tape, and appliques to buttons. Everything is safety tested to make sure it’s safe for your little one. I just love how darn cute they are! Which is good, because I’m (Jenny) expecting my own little one in May! That’s right, Judi’s going to be a grandma (again)!
Here’s a little video from Babyville that demonstrates how easy their system is:
We have the Babyville Boutique line available in both stores, as well as online here.
Fabrics can be purchased by the meter, or in cute sets like this one:
or this one: