Quilt Store

Wednesday Wait Loss 51: Celebrating Local Quilt Stores and What I've Learned

Welcome to my Wednesday Wait Loss, where you get the encouragement you need to stop waiting and to get those long lost works in progress finally finished!

As you probably know, this week I've been busy writing a series of posts about my favorite quilt store--Always in Stitches. This Saturday is Local Quilt Store Day and I'm hoping to encourage you to support your local quilt store by paying them a visit. I'm not alone in this effort--Always in Stitches and Island Batik are sponsoring some great giveaways!

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I've already shared how a quilt shop's customers make it special, and how a quilt shop creates a special learning and sharing environment. Today I thought I'd share some of the things I've learned by working in the shop.

Simply by working there, I've learned more about the business side of quilting. I find this kind of stuff fascinating, and a nice compliment to what I'm learning about the quilt patterning and fabric design part of the quilting business.

At the shop, the staff is encouraged to keep learning. With a shop as big as Always in Stitches, there is a lot you can learn if you want. Classes for us are free, and this year I've made it a goal to finally learn longarm quilting. I've signed up for the February class, and I'll be sure to let you know what I learn. The shop has both a longarm and a midarm you can rent after taking the basic how-to class. I can't wait to expand my horizons!

But really, who needs special classes? Every day at the store it seems that I learn something. Whether it's a new technique presented by a customer or a new tool I'm pricing for inventory, the opportunities for learning surround me daily and I just love it.

For example today Betty (a co-worker) showed me her blocks from a recent class. Who knew you could create four-patch Kaleidoscope blocks? Somehow I always think of them as made with triangles. We sell a Magic Mirrors tool that helps you discover the kaleidoscopic potential of a prospective fabric. Cool, eh?

Processing the new inventory that comes into the store provides me with endless things to learn about and drool over. Here are a few goodies I thought I'd share.

A few months ago, this cute kit came in. I love how simple this is! Make a few hexies, add the jewelry fixings, and you've got a necklace! I love how clever and easy this is.

Ever try to cut a bunch of 2-7/8" squares? This gizmo hooks onto your ruler, providing not only a visual guide but an edge that perfectly aligns your fabric. Haven't tried it yet, but I think it's cool.

The minute I saw these Quilter Select non-slip rulers and mats at Market, it was love at first sight! You can trim one side of a square, press and turn, and the ruler holds onto the fabric perfectly so you can trim the other side.

The minute I saw these Quilter Select non-slip rulers and mats at Market, it was love at first sight! You can trim one side of a square, press and turn, and the ruler holds onto the fabric perfectly so you can trim the other side.

This amazing powder fuses fabric! I'm going to use it the next time I do an art piece with tiny pieces.

There's a demo table near the front of the shop where customers and staff can learn about new tools and products. You'll notice that some of my favorites are there. <grin>

Everybody has their favorite tools it seems, so we often learn from each other. When the magnetic wands came in, Debra couldn't get over how easy it was to pick up pins!

Stephanie is our resident gadget guru. I don't think there's a tool she hasn't used, so if I ever have a question about a new product, I just ask Stephanie.

Well, that's what I've been learning at the shop. Let's see what you've been up to! First though let's see who made the weekly feature.

Wednesday Wait Loss

This week I want to feature Kate, who recently finished the signature blocks for a wedding quilt. Weddings make me happy, and so do people who make their monthly goals. Great job Kate! Have fun at the wedding!

Congratulations Kate! Here's an "I Was Featured" button for your blogs.

Wednesday Wait Loss Featured

Time to link up your works in progress or recent quilt finishes! Here are some quick reminders about the linky party:

  • This linky is all about encouragement, so please visit a few of the links and leave a comment.
  • If you’re uploading a photo from your phone/computer, leave a comment below that explains your project. And for the rest of us, please reply to a few of these comments leaving words of encouragement for a quick finish.
  • Please link back to my post somewhere in your blog post or use @inquiringquilter and #wedwaitloss to tag me in your Instagram/Flickr post.
  • If you link a photo from Facebook, please mention @InquiringQuilter and my Wednesday Wait Loss.

Remember, if you need help linking up, click the Wed Wait Loss tab above for step by steps.

And don't forget to enter my giveaways! Be sure to read my post about learning opportunities at your local quilt shop and to enter to win one of two Island Batik Stash Builder rolls. Also, the Island Batik Four Seasons Blog Hop is still going on! Be sure to read all about it here, and to enter the hop giveaways.

Linking to several fun quilty linky parties, including these: Let's Be Social, Moving it Forward, Linky Tuesday, To-Do Tuesday, WIPs Linky, Midweek Makers, Needle and Thread Thursday, Off the Wall Fridays, Friday Foto Fun, Finished or Not Friday, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

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Tell me..What have you been working on?

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I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

Celebrating Local Quilt Stores: Learning Community

This Saturday is Local Quilt Shop Day, and the Island Batik Ambassadors are partnering with local quilt shops to encourage everyone to shop local.

I work at Always in Stitches (a local quilt store) and this week I'm writing a series of posts about the store and what I love about it. The store is sponsoring some giveaways along with Island Batik, so be sure to follow me so you can get updates whenever I post. You'll find the ways to follow me at the top of my sidebar.

In my first post, I talked about our customers and why they make AIS a great place to work. You can read that post by clicking here.

Today I want to talk about the learning community a local quilt store provides. The owner of Always in Stitches opened the shop specifically to provide a community for crafters to gather and learn in a safe, supportive environment. Always in Stitches is a large shop that carries quilting, cross-stitching, wool, knitting, and crocheting supplies so there's lots to learn about!

We have regular groups that meet at the shop to knit, quilt, crochet and create other hand crafts. I love walking through the shop and seeing so much creativity and laughter going on. It makes every day I work there special.

However, long before I started working there, I joined a bee that meets regularly at the shop. We are one of several quilting bees that do that. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to quilt all day long in a quilt shop! It's like being locked in a candy store. We often stop our sewing just to browse, both to be inspired and to pick up a supply or two. And unlike a candy shop, it's fat free! <grin>

The shop has a large staff, many of which are experts at knitting, crocheting, cross-stitching, and/or quilting. We also sell Janome sewing/serging machines and Handi Quilter midarm and longarms at the store, and we have a serger guru and several longarmers on staff. What a great place to work and learn!

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Join me tomorrow for another post in my series on my favorite local quilt store, Always in Stitches. This post is special--my weekly Wednesday Wait Loss. I'll continue this topic by sharing some of the things I've learned at the shop, and also I'll provide my weekly linkup. I hope you'll link up a work in project or finished quilt and join in on the fun of Wednesday Wait Loss! In the meantime, here's a giveaway to keep you entertained.

As you probably know, Island Batik sells packages of rolled 5" x 42" strips they call Stash Builders. For today's giveaway, I'm going to give a roll of these luscious batik strips to two lucky winners! Yep, you have two chances to win! To enter, use the two Rafflecopters below.

Rafflecopter One - Enter for a chance to win the first Island Batik Stash Builder Roll

If you like the Always in Stitches Facebook page, then while visiting be sure to Follow it to get updates on special events and sales! There's a big to-do at the shop this Saturday that you won't want to miss! You don't need to Like or Follow Always in Stitches to enter the giveaway although they'd be happy if you do--just visit the page as instructed by the Rafflecopter.

Congratulations to our winners!

So sad...no one entered this giveaway. :-(

Rafflecopter two- Enter for a chance to win the second Island Batik Stash Builder Roll

As before, if you like what you see on my Inquiring Quilter Facebook page, then be sure to click the Follow button to get updates on my weekly posts and frequent giveaways! Like before, you're under no obligation whatsoever to Follow me on Facebook in order to enter the giveaway. Simply visit the page as instructed by the Rafflecopter.

So sad...no one entered this giveaway either. :-(

Be sure to complete the Rafflecopters to enter (just click the buttons to visit the pages, and then click the I Did It button to show you've commented--after leaving an actual comment that is! <grin>). Make sure you leave your email address with your comment so I can contact you if you win! This giveaway is open to US residents only.

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Good luck in the giveaway! Be sure to complete each rafflecopter and to leave comments to enter, and to include your email address.

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

Celebrating Local Quilt Stores: Customers

As you know I love working at a local quilt store, Always in Stitches. We have a lot of quilt stores in the area, but what makes Always in Stitches stand out in my mind is the feeling you get when you come in the door. Often you're greeted by the staff in a way that makes you feel like you've come home. That was probably the number one reason why I wanted to work there--that feeling of community.

Here we are at our recent staff Christmas party. The staff is so close that there were several former employees at the party. Yep, we are family and we stay that way, even when someone leaves the store.

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This week, I'll be featuring the store in my posts so you can see why I find it a special place to work. This Saturday is Local Quilt Shop Day, and Island Batik is encouraging its Ambassadors to support the day by working closely with a local store so obviously I chose Always in Stitches! Be sure to stop by this week for my giveaways, and to learn more about why I love Always in Stitches.

Today I want to focus on the customers. One of the things I love most about working in the shop is when a customer shares a project with us. It's like having a daily quilt show and tell and they are so inspirational.

Here are a few recent spontaneous show and tells.

Even kids get in the act! Here are two recent donations for the Linus project.

It's funny--I helped put together the kits for this quilt recently and when a customer came in with a finished quilt, I felt so proud! (As if I'd had anything to do with it besides pick out some fabric. <grin>)

Kathy Shouten made this bag using Girls Night Out fabric (designed by Terri Degenkalb, a local fabric designer) and the On the Town Shopper Bag pattern (a free download from Windham Fabrics).

What a breath of spring it was to see this fun quilt on a dreary Winter's day.

Sometimes customer quilts give me so many new ideas to add to my quilting re. I love that!

This customer, Gene Murdock, brought in this quilt made with drawings her Dad colored and she copied onto fabric. What an awesome idea!

This customer, Gene Murdock, brought in this quilt made with drawings her Dad colored and she copied onto fabric. What an awesome idea!

Gillian White brought this quilt in recently. Love the setting, with the blocks in the corners. What a clever idea!

Sometimes a customer quilt will be interesting both front and back. That reminds me that a quilt has two sides.

Cheryl Kitchen Vance shared this awesome quilt that featured a lot of literary fabrics (fabrics with literary pictures and quotes).

Katrina Jewula shared this dramatic quilt just the other day. I love those reds!

I love helping our customers pick out fabric or to help them figure out how much fabric they might need for a project. These things really connect with my pattern design skills and I love sharing that.

If you'd like to share what you've been working on, I have a special linkup each Wednesday! Click here to visit my most recent link up so you can add your project. You can link from a blog post if you're a blogger, or from Instagram or Flickr. You can also link direct from your phone/computer or even from Facebook if you want. Click the Wed Wait Loss tab above to find step by step how-to's.

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tell me...what do you like best about your local quilt store?

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!