Art? Sewing? Retail? Mental Illness??

Here at the shop I'm pretty open about the fact that I have struggle with mental illness most of my life. One of my more recent break downs came to a crumbling halt when I went to go jump off the Bear Mountain Bridge. Crazy, I know! But mental illness doesn't make sense, mental illness doesn't care that you have customers to attend to. Meds that keep me calm enough to not jump in front of cars don't care that I also have to be able to do math and help people figure out yardage and stuff.

See, my psychiatrist doesn't care that I feel pretty doped up. His main concern is to keep me above all safe. Safe from myself and safe from others. But mostly safe from myself. There are days when you'll come in and see I'm kind of out of it, maybe my eyes are a little swollen from crying in the stock room. 

Somedays it's just too much to bounce around the front, helping customers, bouncing back into the classroom to help someone, deal with all the shipments as they come in, make all my travel arrangements for work stuff, and carry on like I don't have a care in the world. 

I've written before about how involved we can get in customers lives. They're here because they have a new arrival and want to make all of the things for that new baby. Or maybe their best friend is going through something and they want to make something personal. Maybe there's a milestone or an event coming up in their lives and we're here to help make skirts or dresses or favors or come up with ideas for decorations or meet that family member that tends to take control of everything so we can make some decisions about you need. Customers come in when there's a death in the family, maybe to get fabric to wrap a loved ones body, sometimes to bring in their clothes and make momentos for them or their family. And we all talk and ask questions and try to support each other in any way we know how. And so many times, these people are people we've just met. Maybe we've seen them in passing in the store, maybe they've never bee here before. But we're all here as a community to help each other along.

Which brings me back; through all the darkness and all the misery that I've struggle through there have been many 'customers' (I use the term loosely since they are a bit more than that to me) who have helped me along the way. Have been understanding as my meds have changed and made me a confused lunatic. They've helped me organize my thoughts and listened to me as I ranted and raved about this one, that one or the other one. I've literally been caught when I was falling down. 

Some people may find it odd, others may not be so comfortable with it, but it's just the way a store like this operates. Everyone is welcome no matter how much or how little you sew. Whether you want to learn or thing you just can't do it. I manage with a mental illness that tries to keep me down and we all help each other. Come on in, the door's open.

Happy Sewing!,

Erin

Tools, tools everywhere!

There are plenty of times where I talk about new tools in the store and show you all how the gadgets and gizmos aplenty can help you in your sewing room. How this great ruler or this wonderful cutter will make your sewing and quilting so easy and precise! Have you ever seen something so wonderful?!? I think it’s about time to take a look at some of our old reliables hanging around. 

Erin the artist??

I had a whole long post about this. And I mean loooong. I decided to delete and start over because I was doing too much dancing around the topic. It was hitting a bit too close to home. Over the past couple of weeks I have had the blessing of meeting new people and invariably the topic of work comes up. Either indirectly or directly the other party in the conversation learns that I know how to put two pieces of fabric together. And lately these strangers have all used a word to describe me that I would have never ever in a million years used: Artist. 

Friendship Braids Everywhere

Inspiration for quilts and designs comes from all over the place. Sometimes I see fabrics and know I want to do something went with them. Other times I see patterns and projects and try to find fabric that would work. This time I happened to have a combination of both! This great collection had come in a few weeks back. All those beautiful soft colors just really spoke to me. But I could not decide on a pattern. There was just nothing that seemed to be ‘just right’ to go with them. So I stared at them and stared at them and just waited for something to finally speak to me. 

Prioroties

This week, setting priorities has been a major theme. In my quilting, personally and here at the store maintaining priorities has been a focal point. A few weeks back we had gotten in this great Christmas panel and a large portion of the collection to go with it. Of course I felt compelled to make the panel but I didn’t want to just layer and quilt as usual. I really wanted to DO something with it. In the course of my adventures at shows and online I had seen several panels sliced up and turned into Attic Windows blocks and this particular panel really seemed to fit the bill as something that work up like that beautifully. So I got to work slicing and dicing and piecing back together and before you knew it the thing was done and it was stunning.

Let's Talk About.... Home Decorating

Home decorating can be both fun and stressful... I mean going through all those books and trying to decide the best style of fabrics as well as color can be tricky. But there are plenty of resources available to you to help you choose the look and the colors you want for your home. Here are a few tips to help you when you come into the store to choose that perfect fabric!

Wrap and Zap Batting

Today I've decided to change it up a bit and do a little information on one of the newer products we have here at the store. Today I want to talk about Wrap and Zap batting. This batting is specifically designed for use in your projects that end up in the microwave. Things like those cute potato wraps or bowl cozies that are so easy and fun to make, especially as the holidays approach. The package comes with a free pattern to make a 'baked potato zapper' and since it is made of 100% cotton there is no more worries it will melt in the microwave!

Pillow Wraps!

All right, I know… I’ve made these empty promises about keeping up on my blog posts before. And life always seems to get in the way of my best intentions. So I’m not gonna promise I’ll do more blog posts. I’m gonna promise that I’m going to TRY to do more blog posts instead! I figured with a new school year, and my little one finally off to Kindergarten it was time to sit down and really put some time into this thing. I’ve also decided to take it in a bit of a different direction- I mean writing about all the things that I’m sewing is great and relevant but sometimes I get so caught up in what I’m sewing and getting it done I forget to take pictures, or I just forget to write about it because I’m on to the next thing already.

Glad to Be Home!

This past weekend I spent at the Holiday Inn, Mt. Kisco vending and teaching at Pinwheels and Friends. PNF is a unique setting where all the local vendors get together and do a Shop Hop conveniently under one roof. No need to drive around and travel all over the place, but all the fun and games of a traditional shop hop. It was so much fun. I can't speak for all the attendees but I can assure you that the vendors had a blast!

Pinwheels and Friends

If you're on our email list you've already heard the spiel from me about Pinwheels and Friends and you might be sick of hearing it by now but I think it's important to make sure the word really gets out there... Pinwheels and Friends is coming to the Holiday Inn in Mt. Kisco on January 30th and 31st and I want to make sure you know what it's all about. Pinwheels and Friends was the brainchild of Maria Tamoaka, owner of Pinwheels in Croton, NY. It was her vision to see all the local shops get together and do a 'Shop Hop' under one roof. All of us hanging out together with the items that make all our shops unique. In this smaller setting we can really spend time hanging out with our customers without the phones ringing and just spend time with you while you browse all the different shops and check out all the samples hanging up around the room. 

My Winter Uniform

I know lately I've been all about quilting. That seems to be my winter category and I have to tell you that as time has gone on, I've really learned to enjoy the process of piecing and have really started to become less and less afraid of free motion quilting. But this post isn't about quilting. I know, I know... It's about time! I wanted to share with you all my 'Winter Uniform'.

Through the last couple of years as I've gained weight, lost weight, gained weight, lost weight, gained weight in weird places and then lost it in weirder places my wardrobe has been all over the map. I sew a lot of my own clothes here at the store for a number of reasons. First of all how am I going to develop my own skills and work on my own challenges if I'm not sewing? And second of all it's a great way to show fabrics and patterns here in the store. So I saw this New Look pattern back in the fall:

I mean it is so simple with clean lines and raglan sleeves I just couldn't help myself. I had to make it. Let me tell you, I've made it at least 4 times now and each time I make it in a new fabric I just love it even more. For the sake of speed and simplicity I left the pocket off and did view 'C'. 

Combined with basic jewelry, leggings and some boots, I'm ready for work, shopping, a quick bite to eat with my hubby or anything else I want to do this winter!

If you haven't tried this pattern yet, i suggest you come in, get yours and get to sewing. Nothing like a cold winter day to sit and make yourself something awesome!!

Happy Sewing!!

 

Eirn

 

Oh the Mystery!

As I sit here on my couch drinking a cup of coffee aI keep thinking it's been a long, long time since I last posted a blog. I don't know why. Maybe I was just too busy sewing and running around to sit down and do some typing. But the New Year is in full swing and in typical Erin style I started it off frazzled and determined to get it all back on track.