Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Fun of March

March seems to be the time when the quilting bug starts really hitting. There are retreats and quilt shows popping up all over the place. Must be Springtime. Unfortantely, my LQS just recently closed, I have to drive an hour North or South to get to a quilt store. Not only that, but the local quilt guild only puts on a show every other year.

So hear I am, listening to the talk of the Ladies on the Q&N who went to Tomball to the retreat Jess has there every year. Wanting to go to a quilt show. Or at least go browse a shop. Guess it's time for a town trip :) Another of our members was talking about a local shop hop she went on. How fun is that! I need to find an area nearby that does those. And then I remember, and see ads for, the online shop hop. Cool, at least I can go window shopping on my computer.

I am having a great time. Finding new stores, and seeing all the new fabs and gadgets coming out. I'm going to try real hard to find most the bunnies too. I've decided to make folders on my favorites list, one for each of my favorite designers/manufacturers. The stores that I find on the shop hop that have a lot of my favorties for good prices, go into a folder. My favorites list has grown quite a bit in the last few days. LOL.

More fun in March. Jess always has a mystery quilt when she goes to the retreat. If you haven't tried one of her mystery quilts yet, you are really missing out. She is a fabulous designer! I choose bright, Spring colors for my mystery this year. And it sure does bring in the sunshine.

And to top that off, we are having a lovely 1930's repro fabric swap! I've just ordered my fabric (found it when I was shop hopping ) and can't wait to get a bunch of lovelies back. I have a great pattern for a hexagon table cloth that would look adorable in these.

Have fun hopping and shopping. Don't forget to stop in Jess's store and look at her yummy fabric kits.

Till next time.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Embracing Change

Hello friends and fellow quilters,

As many of you know, exciting things have been happening in the Smith household over the past half year. We welcomed our second child, Sapphire, into our lives on August 17. She is a "woman" with a voice and is already keeping Billy (my DH), Sammy (our 3-year-old) and myself on our toes!

In October I made my annual trip to Quilt Market in Houston. The trip was fruitful - I picked up a position teaching at the LQS and signed on to design quilt patterns with Northcott fabrics.

In December we learned that Billy was accepted into the Nurse Practitioner program at Texas Tech University Health Science Center, and he started classes in January. He has been working very hard for a very long time to reach his career goals, and (I think I speak for all of us) when I say that we are elated that an end to all of his training is finally in sight. August of 2012 (just when Sammy starts Kindergarten) marks the end of his journey!

Each of these new endeavors brings along with it many challenges. Since the early part of winter, I have been pondering how The Quilt and Needle can adapt to help meet these challenges. Billy and I believe that our children benefit from having a stay at home Mom, and we ardently hope that I can continue to work at home while raising our babies.

After much consultation with my peers and many hours spent praying and meditating on the subject, I have decided on a new fee structure for our Mystery Quilt Weekends. Participation in a single Mystery Quilt Weekend (with pattern) will now be $9.95. If you would like to sign up for the entire year (all four Mystery Quilt Weekends with patterns), you can do so at the discounted price of $34.95. Visit The Quilt and Needle Store for more information. (If you purchase a kit or retreat package from us, the Mystery Quilt Weekend and pattern are included!)

Many of our projects, clubs, activities, etc. will continue to be free of charge and anyone is welcome to participate. I enjoy the open atmosphere of our online community and hope that we will continue to grow and learn from one another for many years to come!

Additionally, we will begin phasing out the "fabric from the bolt" section of our website and begin concentrating only on kits for our original patterns, 5-yard-bundles, and bolt ends and remnants at a discount. Kits for our Mystery Quilt Weekends will continue to be available in our store for your convenience.

I hope you understand the reasoning behind these changes. I am a quilt designer, shop owner and quilting teacher. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a woman. I am sincerely grateful to each of you for the support you have given me in all that I am, and all that I hope to be.

With warmest regards,

Jessica J.E. Smith