Saturday, October 19, 2019

Meeting Mary Fons

Another great day at the CreativFestival. I saw so many people that I know and got to meet many new ones as well. Thanks so stopping by to say HI. And a special HELLO to those that were attending the wine and cheese who follow my blog. I wasn't able to get to a few people because I do have a job to do - fancy that! Today, I must get back to my missed conversations from the previous day and there are four items that I need to check out today since today is the last day.

Each day of the CreativFestival has it's own vibe and I have to say that yesterday was strange. We had customers in our booth up until almost the very end of the day which is very unusual. There are many options in the world of sewing/quilting/embellishing these days and it takes a while to work out exactly what suits each person.

I spent the day babysitting the embroidery machines in our booth. It's hard to handle five machines and chat with customers and those that stop to visit, but I try! Since the machines are on slow-motion mode for the show (thankfully when I'm at home, they're going full speed) and we try for a design with a monochromatic color scheme, they doesn't require a whole lot of attention, but funny how it seems that every machine runs out of bobbin thread at the same time.

I embroidered a couple of postcards for the Canadian Quilter's Association Postcard challenge. Using motifs in the machine and the built-in fonts, I came up with four or was that five different cards for them. Guess what? I forgot to take pictures. I'll see if I can get pictures of the final cards as I know they were making them in their booth. OH - I see there's a theme. Oh well - I didn't follow the theme and that's OK. Seriously - these little pieces are art measure 4" by 6". ANYONE can make one. Try something new. Should I run a postcard making class???

I decided to attend the wine and cheese with Mary Fons at the end of the day. We had to wait a bit as there was a mix-up of the time. So while we waited, we chatted and well - there was an empty sofa there that I couldn't just let an opportunity slip by.

Hanging out
Yep - there is me - hanging out on the sofa at the workroom's booth which is where the event was held. How cool is that!!! I haven't been to this shop in a while. I should get myself there as it's a very neat space. Super creative!

But once things got going, this is what it looked like. That's Mary on the right and on the sofa is Karen Valino, the owner of the workroom. Johanna Masko in the red (I've heard her name EVERYWHERE, but had never met her before - she's a quilt teacher) and Denise Wild on the end. Check out her website - she's done a lot of very interesting things.

I think it was an excellent choice for panel members.

The panel

The top was 20/20 - Where are Quilts headed?  It was a small and intimate group of attendees but you know what? That was just fine with me. We all got a chance to offer up our opinions which is very important. I'm so intrigued by the topic that I want to explore this a little bit more and I'll be using my blog to tell you my findings. If anyone has any thoughts, comments, ideas, or even inside scoop - I'd love to hear from you.

Here are some quick questions that you can think about. Honestly, I think a Master's Thesis on this topic would be amazing.

  • How have your spending patterns (in terms of money and what you buy) changed over the years?
  • Have your priorities changed?
  • Have you become an online shopper?
    • If so, what do you buy online and why?
  • What about your consumption rate? Are you making as fast as you're buying?
  • Are you stockpiling for retirement?
  • What do you do with stuff that you no longer like or want?
  • What are your thoughts on making quilts by recycling or upcycling?
  • What do you think about the modern movement? Is this going to "save" the quilting industry?
  • Do modern quilts need to be made with modern fabric?
  • Do you want to have access (in the stores) to more or fewer fabrics? 
  •  The amount of new stuff coming out each year is obscene - do we need that many options?
  • Do you consider the environmental impact of all the cotton/fabrics that you buy?

Well - you get my drift. I could write an essay (blog post) on each one of those questions!!! Getting feedback from you will make it way more interesting than just my rambling on. E-mail me if you have something you'd like to share. I get it that for most of you quilting is a hobby, but it's way more than that for a lot of people who are in the industry. Magazine editors (like Mary, who is the editor of QuiltFolk which is a beautiful publication), pattern designers, fabric designers, store owners, sewing machine companies, etc.) Without those people, you could still have a hobby in quilting, but it wouldn't be nearly as interesting or would it???

At the end of the event, I got a picture with Mary (of course!). She's a lovely person and I was very happy that I attended the event.

Me and Mary Fons

It was late when we left and I didn't get home until almost 9 PM. Now I'm up and ready for the last day at the show. My favorite day! At least tear down is way faster than setting up.

On that note, have a super day. (Don't forget to send me your thoughts on the future of quilting or some insight to your buying habits or thoughts on the industry - I'd love to hear from you).



  1. I stockpiled for my retirement as I knew my disposable income would be lower. The trouble is you get used to being able to help yourself to all sorts of new things. Then there are still wonderful new things and you are stuck with older things. My solution has been to make an old project and then treat myself to something new, but it has to be made immediately, then it is back to something old from my stockpile. I have even managed to mix a new focus fabric with a bunch of my older fabrics that had not already been meant for something else. Fabric colours change quickly, so this is sometimes hard to do but is very satisfying when you succeed. Unfortunately, for the quilting industry my quilting related spending is less then half of what it used to be, but this is good for me. We need to get younger people into quilting, so that the industry doesn't collapse. Mentoring a new quilter would help. Talk to your family members and to new faces at your quilt guilds. You might just save the industry, one person at a time.

    1. Elizabeth - I LOVE the mentoring idea. And yes - I (and many others of the close or already retired) - buying patterns have definitely changed. Thanks for the info.