Tuesday, September 12, 2023

It's all too much!!!

Oh, world of wonders -- my Fitbit synced last night and changed the time. My phone was set to the right time, so it didn't bother me too much. But somehow, I changed the notifications, so I was getting texts on it, which kills the battery, so I have to change that. 

I totally lied -- I did not contact Microsoft yesterday to get my email fixed, but that wouldn't have helped with pictures for the blog. I didn't take any yesterday. GASP --- what happened? 

I went for a walk in the morning, and I lied yesterday when I said there was no direct entrance to this line of hotels. There is, but it is close to the exit off the highway, and I missed it. So yes -- you can easily get to the hotels from the one-way street. However, now I have the lay of the land, I'm good to get around - at least in this tiny pocket of Edmonton. 

The west location of Central Sewing is so close, I could have walked to it, but not with my suitcases!!!

It's a big beautiful store, but apparently it's the smaller of the two locations! Too bad there's no time to check out the other location. 

Anyway -- we had fun at the events. There's so much to talk about and so many samples to see -- if you ever get to attend one of these events, they are the best. And the rest of the week is in-person as well. No Zoom for sewing machines for the rest of the year. But I have my software Zoom classes, which I posted a few days ago. 

If you haven't signed up for one of those and have the software, check it out. 

I will warn you that the rest of the post is a bit of a reality check -- a scary one in the quilting business. And it's a bit cheeky of me to write this when I'm on the road --- I get it -- don't yell at me. I get it!!

In the past, I've mentioned how much more can the quilting industry take --- if you look at the number of yards of fabric that is pumped out by all the fabric companies each year, the numbers are obscene. In order to keep those companies in business, we all have to buy copious amounts of fabric each year. And since a huge part of that population is older, some of us are coming to the realization that we already have way too much and that we need to start destashing. Etc. 

I'm pretty sure I had created another post with more numbers in it, but that one linked above will have to do for now. 

I happened upon this video last night, which is very sad. Stephanie was a very good businessperson, and I watched her business grow from videos in her house to a full-blown store with a staff of 14 people. Now, she is shutting her store down. Check out the video -- it's heartbreaking, but there isn't room for everyone, and she's got a lot of experience. 

The same is going to happen for pattern designers as well. I happened upon another video from a pattern designer flogging a course to show you how to become a pattern designer and make a six-figure business like she did, employing her husband in her business!! If that doesn't sound like those crazy ads out there - I don't know what is. It's an ad, so I don't think I can link it. 

But the bottom line is that too many pattern designers are out there. They are flogging patterns that don't need to be created! I get it -- I really do since I'm in the business, but I never wanted to make money by monetizing my blog, or by selling patterns, or any of that stuff. I'm happy to teach, and that's all I want to do. And even then, there are a plethora of quilt teachers in the industry, and everyone has the BEST method. By the way, that is so not true -- just because you have a cell phone and can make a video doesn't make you a good teacher, quilter, or designer. 

Because of the economy, I suspect there will be further shake-downs in the industry, which is sad, but it has to happen. The quilters of the world can't afford to subscribe to every magazine, or mystery box, or take every quilt cruise -- how many of those are there these days? It used to be something special, then it mushroomed. 

Probably over 10 years ago, I cut back on what I spend and kept my dollars for those things that matter to me. I am still buying, but I will NOT buy the latest Designer X fabric line just because! That's such a waste of money (unless you have tons of it), and if you use the fabric, great, but if you don't? Who will clean all that stuff out of your house when you are gone or too sick to do it yourself.? 

The bottom line here is to decide your priorities in the quilting world. Do you want the latest tools and technologies (those are not cheap --so lots of saving is required)? Do you want copious amounts of fabric that you'll never use? If so, how are you going to store it? I could never understand storing it under the bed where it'll never see the light of day again. Do you want to get monthly surprises in the mail? 

Once you've determined what you want, look at your current spending habits. Can you afford all that? If so, then carry on. But if not -- one must decide what is the priority. At some point, when we all figure out our priorities, there will be a change in the industry. But until then, well, I digress. 

I could go on and on about this. I think we all need to look at things differently --- how we teach, how we present our info sessions to consumers on sewing machines, how we buy, etc. I might do another post in a bit when my brain is clearer. 

Perhaps I should sketch out an outline of a blog instead of just rambling off the top of my head. So, if you have ideas or suggestions on what areas need to be changed or how you feel overwhelmed by the number of ads (email) you get or whatever, drop me a note via email (elainetheriault@gmail.com) or comment on the blog, and I'll grab it. 

Now, where did all that come from? Oh yes -- Stephanie's video. I was shocked and feel so bad for her, but this is a sign of the times. Hopefully, we can all survive, and the industry can go from a feeding frenzy to a nice, sustainable one. Let's not talk about the environmental impact of those fabric companies creating billions of yards of fabric each year. 

I have my prediction in the world of notions and sewing machines, but I prefer to keep those to myself. 

On that happy note -- I'm out of here!!!!! 

Have a super day!!!!



  1. My city of 240,000 is down to only 1 !!!!!! quilt shop. Smaller ones closed through the early 2000s. And covid taught the older generation to shop online so my preferred shop closed her bricks and mortar to go online only. Fortunately, she is a friend and I am allowed to stroll fabric in the warehouse. (I detest online shopping as well as disliking shopping in the first place.

    I do track fabric out/in. So far this year I've sewn up 262 yards and purchased just 76 (2 bolts of wide backing are most of that) so 71% is from my stash. I've also purchased 2 bolts of batting and 7 more cones of thread for my long-arm quilting.

    I only buy a pattern if I am taking a class. The rest of my quilt design comes from my brain or pics I've seen. I'm amazed at the "new patterns" that are identical to quilts I've made over the course of 30 years. I don't pretend to understand copyright law but it seems wrong. I commented once on a blog and was severely chastised in her next blog post as she had NOT copied someone else's pattern. Um, OK.

    I always enjoy your blog posts. Enjoy the West :-)

  2. The other can if worms is how harmful the production of cotton fabric is for the environment. From growing the plant to the dyes used .. not good. Plus the carbon footprint itself is big. That said I try to buy 2nd hand fabric...so many quilters in my community are downsizing. Of course then that is even more detrimental to our precious local quilt stores. We are between a rock and a hard place.