I would like to introduce the employees of the Surrey store, or as many of you call it, the Langley location. First off, there is Carol and she has worked here for 7 years. She began sewing when she was in grade eight and has continued ever since. She mostly likes to sew garments and is constantly taking classes to improve her garment making skills so she can pass that knowledge on to her students. She teaches Learn your Machine, Beginner Sewing, Intermediate Sewing and Sewing Club. Carol is a specialist in all things “garment” related and if you need some advice about a technique or fitting, she is the person to ask. Carol would say the “French curve” is her favourite notion; she uses it all the time for pattern drafting and pattern changes. You can find Carol in the machine department, ready to show off the latest and greatest sewing, embroidery, and quilting machines. We are glad Carol has been with us for so long.
Nancy has been with us for about 4 years and brings a vast knowledge of sewing machines, notions, quilting and garment sewing. She began sewing on her Mom’s treadle when she was 8 years old. Nancy teaches a variety of classes; free motion, quilting, applique, machine embroidery and landscape quilting. Nancy is our “specialist” in anything sewing machine related, which also includes knowledge about all the machines we sell, older model sewing machines, the presser feet, and techniques using the machines. She also knows a lot about free motion, stitching and thread painting. Picking only one favourite notion was hard for Nancy so here is her list of favourites and why; Clover mini iron- useful to iron small sections at a time, also great for marking a sewing line, Rotary Cutter- very useful for any kind of cutting be it curves or straight edges and easy to use even without a ruler, Magnetic Pin Bowl – the best pin catcher ever, Finger presser- crease a seam without heat and lastly a Stiletto- helps to evenly guide multiple layers of fabric through the presser foot. Wow that is quite the list!!
Mariann has been with us for a few years now, but lately she has decreased her hours and mostly just teaches classes. She is our “Bernina” specialist and has a vast knowledge of all things Bernina. She teaches All About Machine Embroidery, Master Your Bernina, Virtual Bernina and Design works. Mariann takes her classes seriously and you can always tell when she is in the building by all the things she brings to show off in class. Glad to have Mariann with us.
Nicole has been with us for just under 2 years. She has been sewing since she was 13 and most recently began quilting. Nicole took a Beginner Quilting class from about 2 years ago and then when a job opportunity came up she was ready for the challenge. Nicole has started teaching for us and does anything baby or young child related. She teaches the re-useable snack bag class, wet bags, baby change pad, Rag quilt, and paper piecing. Nicole would consider herself a specialist in PUL fabric, how to sew with it and what it is used for. She also knows our fabric, what collections we have and how to select and match fabrics. Her go to notion is the “Seam Fix” seam ripper and says it is SHARP!! It has the rubber “beehive” lid to pick up the threads after they have been ripped out!! Nicole is a great fit in our store.
Just over one year ago, Connie joined the team. She is another one of our Beginner Quilter graduates and just loves to quilt. She began sewing at 7 with her French Canadian Grandmother who taught her how to hand quilt. Connie enjoys Modern Quilting, t-shirt quilting, Folk Art Wool Hand Quilting and Colonial Quilts. She also likes to make bags. She has just started teaching for us and has taught a “Quickie” Quilt class, lunch bag class and will be teaching an upcoming Wool Folk Art hand stitching class as well as the ever popular “Jelly Roll Race”. Connie would consider herself a specialist in Modern Quilting, Folk Art and colour theory. Her favourite notion is the ¼” presser foot for her machine and the White Chaco liner-pen type (nice for that fine line and rubs off easily). Connie has travelled the world and has brought back fabric from everywhere including India, the UK, Japan, Brazil, New York City and New England. She loves colonial replica prints!! Come in and say hello to Connie, she is always helpful and has a story to share.
Celeste came to us just under one year ago and LOVES to quilt. She has been sewing since she was 13 years old, learning when she was in grade 8. Celeste is about to embark on teaching her first class. When the Fold n’ Stitch wreath pattern came in, she was so excited when asked to make a sample, and with that she will now teach it as a class. Celeste would consider herself a “specialist” in Quilting; I would consider her a specialist in the “Fold n’ Stitch wreath!! Her favourite notion is a Metal tip thimble, as she loves to hand sew and this keeps her fingers from getting injured. Welcome to the team, Celeste
Another Newcomer is Joan; coming to us about 9 months ago. Joan learned to sew when she was 14 and now does mainly quilting. Joan was not interested in teaching classes when she first started, but this fall will be teaching her first class; Introduction to T-Shirt Quilts. She would consider herself a specialist in quilting!! Her favourite notion is “Thread Heaven” for hand stitching; it keeps the thread from breaking and twisting. She claims to love all the “gadgets”!! Joan says “I use to love sew garments when my girls were small, but now I just love to quilt”. Keep up the good work Joan, and keep quilting!!
Our latest hire who has been with us for about one month now is Valerie. She likes to do all sorts of sewing and quilting and making bags. Valerie’s Mom told her when she was 8 she had to make her own doll clothes and so that is when she started sewing. Valerie is still trying to figure things out with the store and find where everything goes and so as of now she is not teaching, but would love to in the future. If you notice all the wonderful silver jewelry Valerie wears, it is all handmade by her. Very talented!! Her favourite notion is the ruler!! Welcome to the team Valerie.
I am so very happy to have these diverse, knowledgeable, and very personable ladies working for me in the store. My name is Susan Morse and I am the Manager of the Surrey Store. I have been with A Great Notion since October 2010, working part-time in the shop as a sales associate until July 2015 when I took over the full-time Manager position. I love my job, I love the ladies I get to work with every day and I love the challenge. I began sewing when I was about 8 years old, first on my Granny’s treadle and then moving onto my Mom’s Viking. I then took sewing for 5 years throughout high school learning the basics, then on to pattern drafting and finally with tailoring. I even made my Dad a sports jacket in high school. I have always sewn clothing, from sewing for myself, my wedding dress, and then moving on to sewing for my 3 daughters. I was not a quilter when I took this job, but have since become one. I love to teach classes and have my special group of ladies that keep returning to learn something new in “Sew Creative”! I also teach an embroidery software class as well. Some of my other duties outside of the store have to do with social media. I post every day, yes every day on Facebook!! I make up reference materials, promote classes, show off new fabric collections, post the odd funny cartoon, re-post things from other pages that are of interest to our readers and just keep you up to date with the newest sewing trends. The thing I miss the most about not being in the store as much is the customers. I have gotten to know some amazing people over the years, gotten to know about their families, and helped them with their projects. Outside of work I go for walks whenever I can. My husband and I made a list of all the Surrey Parks with trails this past spring and summer and one by one we hiked almost all of them.
I have now moved on to keeping this blog current. I will be publishing a post every 2 weeks, so if there is something you would like to see me write about, drop me a line and let me know.
Until next time,