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October 2017

September 2017

Are You Down For A Good Time?

 

Seeew...

I woke up on the right side of the bed this morning and I couldn't help but think about the good time we had during our A Quilting Life Weekend Workshops with Moda designer, Sherri McConnell! Sherri designs fabrics for Moda with her daughter Chelsi and also writes her popular A Quilting Life blog. I know I said I would share September's "What's For Breakfast?" Club project but if you promise me to always be down for a good time....I'll get to that in the next post!

For now I'll let the pictures tell the story, but one thing is clear...these ladies all know how to have a good time!

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If you needed proof...just follow Brenda's lead! She loaded up on Cinnamon Rolls from our neighbor, Lux Sucre Desserts and purchased one of Sherri's newest patterns!

That's definitely how to have...a good time!

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Debby, Freda, Kim and Jayne also know how to have a good time when the Quilt-A-Razzi ask them to pose for a photo with Sherri! The Happy Days Quilt was the featured project for day one.

P.S. Look at her bag, isn't it cute???

Of course, Sherri brought along many other samples to ensure everyone had....a what?

That's right...a good time!

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Pictured below, Jan T. knows how to have a good time! She spent some of her time shopping for these beautiful new Tilda bundles which the "Mothership" has decided to carry. Do you know about the Tilda brand of fabrics? Well if you don't, stay tuned....

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Is it just me, or are bag patterns getting cuter and cuter? Did you know the Aubri Tote Bag pictured below is made with two charm packs??? The possibilities are endless and ya know....with a bag like this, you're guaranteed to....what????

That's right...always have a good time...while SHOPPING!

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Pictured below are Linda, Donna and Cathy....who also know how to have a...good time!

Look at their smiles as they learn to work with the all-new Stripology Ruler! It's definitely bringing a smile to Cathy's face as she cuts her strips!

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I should tell you that the "Mothership" insists on good cutting space in the workshops. She's been to a few events where she had to cut while bending over or at her sewing machine. We will always try to keep our workshops to a reasonable size in which we can provide good cutting space!

It ensures that you will definitely....what?

You got it honey...have a good time!

Get the picture?

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Janell and Susanna stuck around on day one because they were determined to get ahead with their Happy Days project! Susanna drives up once a year from California to attend our workshops because she knows....she will.....take a guess?

That's right!

Have a good time!

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Even when you're in the Shoppe, I merchandise seeew that you will ....duh....have a good time!

This here is Sherri's newest collection, Creekside!

Oh and here's  a little secret, I'm not a female. LOL.

Over the past summer I can't tell you how many times someone said something like, "Well...so there's no one here to help me? Do you know anything about color?" -or- "why is a man in a quilt shop anyway?" and my favorite said to Christine, "a young man just took something from the counter behind you."

Clearly they don't follow the blog....like ever. But that's ok...because all I care about is that they have a....

You got it sweet cakes...

....have a good time!

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Loooooove these blues. The Creekside collection is also chalk full of some fantastic low volume prints and great basic prints that everyone can use in their stash!

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Look at Joyce and Janelle (not be confused with the other Janell) doing what quilty people do! Having a GOOD TIME!

Love me some of these two ladies! Joyce comes to many of the events and workshops we do and Janelle has been coming since we were in that very first original location! She was thrilled when she learned we moved into her neighborhood of Charbonneau!

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Both Janelle and Joyce were sewing their Patchwork Garden Quilt that will look just like this!

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What would you make with these Navy Blues? As you can see in many of the quilts around the room, Sherri uses it as her pop of color to make the quilts stand out.

P.S. Navy is the color that disappears quickly around our Shoppe. Seeew when we've got it, come on in and get some!

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Oh Joyce! There's always one in every group that defies the laws of gravity and gives the Quilt-A-Razzi that money shot!

Even the Squirrels took notice!

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But there's always that one Squirrel - who with his "Squirrel Cam" - knows how to capture everyone having a good time!
This squirrel is also very knowledgeable and will let you in on a little secret....Sherri will be back at the Shoppe March 16 & 17 2018 just in time for her next collection, Front Porch!

Until next time Squirrel Friends....Good Morning & Good Night!

Stay Seeew-cial and have a GOOD TIME! ~ Brian

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We Got Something They Don't....YOU!


Seeew...

Last week I shared a post about the importance of supporting your local brick and mortar quilt shops. This shouldn't be a controversial subject, but whenever I bring it up, it rattles a few feathers. To me...it's simply common sense. Shopping your brick and mortars combined with staying seeew-cial helps to create a local quilting community. Better put on them "No Excuses" Jeans because I'm feisty on this subject. If you can't shop a local brick and mortar, then make sure if you're ordering on-line that you are ordering from a website that has a brick and mortar you can visit! The phone is also an option. Remember that? Oh wait...it's in most of our hands!

 

In searching for a song this month, I was reminded of the "Mothership's" monthly "What's For Breakfast?" Club which will celebrate its 3rd year this October! With my recent obsession for Shania Twain's first new album in almost a decade, I felt "We Have Something They Don't" sums up the last year perfectly! If anyone stays strong and carries on...it's the M.T.H.S.P.!

Speaking of the M.T.H.S.P. here she is below sharing the two projects Sherri McConnell will be teaching here this weekend for A Quilting Life Weekend (Sep. 22 & 23).

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As I took pictures of the various women around the room, something else became clear. When it comes to the brick and mortar experience vs those on-line only gigs, we do "have something they don't" and that is...

YOU!

Your presence, your spirit, your enthusiasm, your creativity, your smiles and your stories...you can never get all of that from on-line.

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Pictured here is Bev. Bev was one of those who were thrilled with our move to Charbonneau because she lives around the corner. Part of the W.F.B.C. is "sharing" seeew Bev brought this beautiful dresden quilt called Muffet's Tuffet from American Jane.

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This was a kit we offered last year and it sold out so fast we didn't even have time to get our sample made. It was such a treat to see a customer bring in something from the Shoppe...that we didn't make! Great job Bev!

I should add that I am working with a new camera seeew if you don't see your picture here...it was blurry. I'll get better!

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This is Christine (no, not the one that works here) and I first remember Christine from our first session of Farm Girl Vintage. Every time she attends "What's For Breakfast?" she brings something bright and happy! This month she brought this adorable paper piecing project made from the Sew It By Number book by Kimberbell Designs.

BTW...Look at that ant fabric! Perfect theme for a project featuring watermelons! A total 10!

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I always forget that a blog post can only handle seeew many pictures before the post gets entirely too long. Seeew I created the collage above with some of the highlights from Saturday's event! As you can see from Rebecca  pictured up in the top left with her bear, you don't have to bring just quilts to "What's For Breakfast?" We celebrate all creativity and love to see what showcases your talents! We even had someone bring a violin that they made. Talk about skill set!

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BTW...when you win the fabulous prizes the "Mothership" gives out...it really does become a blur!!! LOL.

Best...Moment. Ever.


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Besides sharing your own projects and WINNING....there is one other aspect of this gathering that makes it oh-seeew-much fun! That other aspect is..the Mothership's Featured Project which is always (at least in my opinion) super cute! Just like the projects you bring, the featured project is not always something quilted, but it's always something to get the creative wheels spinning of any crafty enthusiast! 

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In celebration of Autumn, the "Mothership"used this very cute collection for the featured project. We do sell the collection here in the Shoppe and on our website. I will of course share the featured project with you in my next post, but look at this bundle...is it not the cutest? 12 Fat Quarters for $39 plus shipping. It can be on its way to you this week!

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There is however somebody who has already seen the project....and that's this little dude.

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He's got his Squirrel Cam in place and only he knows what squirrel-y shenanigans happen in that room!

Did you attend this month's What's For Breakfast? Have you attended others? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Alright, like I said...I'll be back to share the featured project in the next post! In the meantime, registration is now open for the October 14 What's For Breakfast? Club! This one is special because it will be the 3rd Anniversary of our monthly event seeew be sure to get signed up now. You can register by clicking here to our website or you can call us during Shoppe hours 10am-4pm Tuesday- Saturday at 503-694-8052!

 Don't it taste good to be together????

 Stay Seeew-cial ~ Brian

 Squirrel-Cam

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A Message To Fabric Manufacturers....Look What You Made Me Do

Seeew...

I have to hand it to Taylor Swift. The girl knows how to get her message across. Nearly 300 million views in almost two weeks! What I love most about her, is she challenges the "tilted stage" straight up. Who knew I was such a "Swiftie?"  

 

I happened to notice recently that Quilt World has a rather "tilted stage" when it comes to supporting local quilt shops. It appears we now are competing directly with designers selling their own fabrics. While they have been doing this for some time now, it just has me questioning seeew much. Maybe even too much for one blog post. It was already bad enough when designers started selling the patterns that they hoped shops would buy...but to now have to compete against them to sell fabric...really????

Why are designers selling their fabrics and/or other items?

Do they not realize that shops will decide not to purchase their collections and/or patterns when they do this?

It's a bit of a vicious equation: Customer follows designer, buys regular price from designer, but expects shops to have designer's fabric or patterns for when they suddenly decide to visit the shop. If shop has discontinued designer in the seven months since customer has last been in...customer then posts negative review about styles or quantity of fabric, shop now carries.

Because that makes sense, right? Way to support your local businesses!

Furthermore, do the manufacturers not pay them enough to design? Nothing annoys a store more than seeing a designer pre-selling their fabric collections BEFORE a shop even sees the collection.

When I brought this up to one of the leading manufacturers I was told they are committed to supporting local brick and mortar quilt shops.

Oh yeah?

Perhaps they don't know how they've over-saturated the market through Social Media so much that by the time the collection comes out we hear, "Oh I ordered that from <insert name of designer>" -or- "I've seen that already." We are not the only shop that feels this way. It's an industry wide feeling and I think it's high time shops start demanding an explanation.

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If quilters want shops to visit so they can "touch and feel" the fabric, then they better be willing to support them. You can ask the many Californians who travel up this way every Summer and they all tell us that shops in California are vanishing. Granted some shop owners retire but many of them have to make the decision to close their doors because of the costs involved.

When I have talked about this previously someone always chimes in with.."It's cheaper on-line." Oh if I earned a dime for every time I've heard this fired back at me!

My question to them is..."What isn't cheaper on-line?"

You can practically find anything on the web for "cheap." By the time you pay shipping, you might as well have taken the time to shop your local quilt shop. The in-store quilting experience is not supposed to be "cheap."  It's not supposed to be the instant gratification experience that the web provides. There is the cost of space, the cost of the employees to help you (including taxes on top of payroll), the cost to run your transaction on a credit card, the cost of samples to be made, the cost of a teacher to teach you, the cost associated with continuing to bring you new product. I could go on and on. Shops do not receive discounts on the product they bring to you. The MSRP is the "Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price." That MSRP ensures that costs are covered to operate and that the price is most of all a fair price for the value you are receiving.

The person sitting behind their Etsy account at home, or any "on-line only" source isn't interested in creating a physical space for you to visit. Some might have a dream to do it one day and good for them (good luck too honey) - but that's not the majority. In fact I was on Instagram the other day and shared a beautiful wool kit that we have made for Autumn. This individual wrote, "It's so cute. I just ordered it." When I didn't see their name appear I said, "I actually don't see an order from you." She wrote, "I ordered it from someone else on Etsy."

Oh I see. I get it.

We are good enough to follow for info, but we are not good enough to order from?

I have heard from some that young people don't want anything to do with quilting. I personally know that is not true but I will say it is always nice to see more. In fact, over the summer it was refreshing to see young people coming in with their grandma's and moms to participate in the Row by Row Junior. It gives me hope!

The truth is, a better future for all of us begins with us. There is a true value to all products and services. When we devalue everything, what's left? I question my own friends who brag about how they ordered food from Amazon. LOL. Are people really that lazy they can't get up and go to the grocery store? I take every opportunity to let them know how they have just worked towards killing off starter jobs for their children, or their nieces and nephews. It's just one example out of many, but many entry level jobs  - those jobs where young people spend their summer learning job skills between school - are being snuffed out by the internet and Social Media. Are you comfortable knowing that the automation of thousands of jobs will be the future? Are you comfortable with the "discount culture" that has been created? Worse however....are you comfortable knowing that automation will close all of your favorite quilt shops? This is your wake up call.

Seeew...what do you think? If you're a shop owner, feel free to share your thoughts below! If you're a customer, what say you? Keep in mind if you want to post a comment, please have more to say than just "the fabric is cheaper on-line" because that honestly just isn't news in 2017.

Stay Seeew-cial because dialogue must always happen! ~ Brian

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