Twenty-twenty certainly has a vision all its own. One that seems to show us alternative ways of approaching all the things we’re doing from moving and book reviews to major quilt events. As a quilter learning alternate ways of doing things has allowed me to figure out what works for me. Once I learned the rules of plying scissors, needle, and thread to fabric then bending them to achieve the look and feel of the ideas floating around in my head became easier. Easier, not easy.
Thursday June 4 from 11:45 – 12:30 I’m presenting Building the Quilt Shop Community wherein I’ll offer tips, some of which will be familiar to you as a business owner, and some will be a different take on how to grow the quilting community. As I have some hope that we will once again be in person some of this is geared towards brick and mortar community growth.
Bob Negen of WhizBang! Retail Training is presenting Post-pandemic Marketing for your Quilt Shop. I’d encourage you to take BOTH. He’s going to offer core business training while I’m sharing what I know about building community from being a quilter, and working in and with quilt shops.
Building a quilt shop community, like building and maintaining this blogging/website community, takes a lot of work and effort. I assure you this is a struggle on my part, as I want to bring quilters into what I do assuring each of you that I take one stitch at a time, that a seam ripper is my very best friend, that there are mistakes in my work, and machine quilting on a home sewing machine is not only possible, it’s well worth the effort.
When I started machine quilting in the late 1990’s on my BERNINA 1080, machine quilting was still rather young in terms of the numbers of quilters taking it up. It was not new as quilters were doing this on their treadles from way back in the day. Long arms were making their way into the mainstream and showing us how much more we can do with our quilting. With the advent of wider machines home machine quilters are using rulers giving and adding to our quilting skill set and lexicon. And still quilters are doing hand quilting, adding different styles of stitching giving ever more depth and color to what we’re doing. The other day I was showing a student how to do some hand stitching on a very long term project giving her resources that were not available when she started piecing this quilt
Just as the look of quilting has changed over the years, the business of quilting has changed. In both the core has stayed the same, build relationships, do the best work you can, seek help in areas where needed, keep growing, find the thing that gives you life and work it as best you can, get advice where you can including taking classes and hiring people to help you; and most importantly be kind. When I started machine quilting I had *no* idea that this would be the skill where I publish my first book. When I started applying to teach I had no idea that I’d be teaching business related courses for the quilting world. I’ve kept putting one foot in front of the other, taking what opportunities I could, and doing my best work – which sometimes really sucked – and trying my best to grow as a quilter, as a writer, as a teacher as _______.
I’m inviting you to join me, join all of us who are presenting at this Virtual Quilt Market.