A Message to Store Owners
This year has brought a lot of changes. The biggest one is that the teaching industry is down. Not just a little bit down. Way down. I still love to teach. I still offer classes and will always love to teach. But the opportunities are not as prevalent.
In the wake of the vacuum, I've been home more. There's a cute local store called Threadbenders, in Michigan City, IN that I'm very fond of. I've started doing their social media campaign.
Why social media? When was the last thing you looked up in the phone book? It is so much easier to go online and find what you need to know now. I think my last phone book landed in the bushes, but that doesn't matter because I don't use one any more.
But there' s a whole other level of this. This is how it works.
My god daughter called me up and said, "I need your help on a sewing project." I said, "What are you looking at?" She said, "Pull up my Pinterest page." Out popped a great project for fairy wings. We both clicked on to the picture to find ourselves at the how-to blog that had a list of instructions. Then we clicked the supply list for the stabilizer they had used it took us to the web page of a store that carried the stabilizer that really made that project work. The rest was a talk about logistics and color. Three clicks on the Internet had given us all the information we really needed. She ordered her fabric. I could talk her through and she was off to sew.
Let's wind back ten years ago. Ten years ago, we would have gotten together over a pot of tea, looked up a book that had some projects like that, gone to the store to see if there was a stabilizer and some fabric that might have worked. Maybe gone to three other stores if we didn't find what we needed. Not only is that in slow steps over several days. It’s a system that was hit or miss by definition. And it's impossible at a distance. I wonder how we got anything done.
We know that the younger generations depend heavily on the internet. Older sewers may have their doubts and fears. But these kids are right. The truth is that the internet advantage is massive. It gives us global and endless instant access to sources, experts. ideas, and information.
So the information we would have searched days or months for, is right there, on the screen within the time it takes to type the question. No searching for days. No need for a blind-end road trip to find what you need. No wonder people under thirty don't really keep phone books or directories.
What does that mean to those of us who are quilters looking for ideas, projects, fabrics, and tools and communities? That there is a much easier way to look. And it's so much easier that it's really worth the trouble to learn how.
What does that mean to those who serve quilters? The quilters are looking for easiest ways to find you. If you want them to join you, you must be there to be found. They may stumble across your store or guild in their travels. But they'll look for you first on the internet. If you're not there, they'll find someone who is.
How many stores have time to do this? If you're running a store, your time is taken up running the store. Most stores say they will, set it up, and fall down. It's just too much to do. It helps to have someone who's able to set up up and keep it rolling who knows what quilters do, what they need, what they want, and what entertains them.
It's been a hoot. Peg Cullen West owns the store and is and great quilt person. She's staffed her store with very expert and passionate quilters. She's opened her doors to quilters of all kinds and hosts the Michana Modern Quilt Guild. She has a long arm available either to rent or to have her quilt for you. And she has a secret weapon.: Henry.
I've loved photoshopping this store and branding it in unforgettable ways. They now have an integrated Pinterest, Facebook, and Blog and what I'm really doing is simply showing them off. I write their blog, find entertaining projects and bits of humor and show them as a great shop and great quilting community which they are.
One media pathway isn't really enough. You don’t want them to find you once. You want them to find you everywhere they look. You want to build not only name recognition, but a presence they remember. The social media world divides into several kinds of sites that provide different kinds of exposure. No one path will attract everyone. But a skillful weaving of those paths can create an excellent way to you or to the person or store that can help you. Being out there in a brick and mortar store provides a small local presence. Being on the internet in a skillful blending of media puts you at everyone's fingertips. It serves individuals, groups and stores alike, in ways can be fashioned to work for your circumstances to bring you to the people you need, and the people who need you.
So I'm looking for 3 to 4 more store to do this for. I can't really do it for more than that. I intend to be choosy, because you really need to care about a store to do it well.
I'm still delighted to come teach. But I'm changing as the world changes, and I'm really delighting in supporting and growing a small local business I believe in.
There's a series of articles I've written on social media at Quilting Hub. Quilting Hub is a media information center that's wonderfully expansive and community responsive. It's a great place to find all things quilty.
Art is not always your art. Sometimes it's artfully living. Sometimes it's showcasing someone else's artful living. It's all a creative effort towards joy.
And I'm looking for a few good stores. If you have, or know of a small store that might be interested, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Uptown Blanco Show was a great Success.
I'll be teaching there in March!
New Book !
Many Creatures Under Many Skies, a show booklet of my work will be available on sale at the show, as well as on my website. It's available for sale now.
In case you're no where near or you're wishing you could have a souvenir, I've made a small show catalog, Many Creatures under Many Skies, for sale at the show and on my web site. It's a grouping of some of the most exciting quilts I'll be sending to the show in a cool little booklet. You can order it now on my web site at http://www.ellenanneeddy.com/store.php?cat=1
I will be in Blanco from Friday February 28th through Sunday March 2nd with some great classes and a lecture. You can sign up now!
Go see my quilts! Did I mention they're for sale. Check at the new Uptown Blanco Textile Center for prices and availability.
Tutorial on Layers
Sometimes I suffer from tunnel blindness. I get so involved in one aspect of my art I can't see the next step. That's when it's time to back away from the sewing machine and play with a different toy.
So much of my art is done in layers. Sheer applique is layer after layer of color and texture. I create a layer of hand dye, then add a layer of stitching, add another layer of sheers, add a solid image and then add more stitching and sheers. I don't so much design a quilt as I build one in layers.
So its a good thing to try those layers on a whole other platform. I've begun some while back to study Photoshop on Lynda.com, which is a software classroom web site. I don't know anyone knows Photoshop. But I've learned some tricks and it's interesting it, too, works in layer.
See how I've made this great layered image in this tutorial blog
What I've always known. All art is art is art. Playing with layers in one form is no different than playing with another form. And I learned I like white swirls, a lot!
New Tutorial on making Tree Bark on the Blog:
New Tutorial for Inn Fuse!
Part 3 of Making Dragonflies Fly is ready and up! See Ellen use free motion applique to detail and color in this great dragonfly project.
Part 2 is up!
Because it's so simple and fun that even a pig on ice such as myself can't help but make a great dragonfly every time!
Again, we're testing out Inn Fuse the new fusible craft film from Innovative Craft. And we tested it here on
You know, the fabrics you wanted to use but you were scared. Well slide over her, over on toon
the ice and join us. It's a lot of fun.
Part one of Making Dragonflies Fly, A step by step tutorial on fusing sheers, lace, Angelina Fiber, Cheesecloth and Tulle with Inn Fuse, the new Fusible film from Innovative Craft.
This tutorial will help get you up and running with a Dragonfly in moonlight, flitting over a pond. This is the first installment. We'll have the other 2 segments up shortly.
New Products- New Projects
Yes. I did dye them in the crock pot.
Thread Magic Summer School is over!
But you can still check it out. It's on the site blog and it's also available to you in this free book available at issuu.com
We looked at different ways to create contrast to define and spark your work with color, and the differences between color mixing and picking.
So pick up this book, while it's free!
We've had a great week. I hope you've learned some great new ways to approach color, past picking the colors off the wheel. I need to thank Caryl Bryer Fallert, Kathy Weaver, and Susan Shie for letting me explore colors in their magificent work.
I need to thank Monique, Kleinhans, Rebecca Dorian Brown, Lauren Strach, Joan Davis, and Roberta Hoover Ranney for letting me put them in places of honor on the refrigerator gallery.
If you like this book , please recommend me to the guild, store, conference, or happening where you like to learn. So that we can share so much more than just class.
Tutorials from Quilting Arts on Couching, Darning feet and Corded Buttonhole Binding
Since I have some unexpected medical bills ( see my blog) I'vne begun to think differently about a lot of things.I do need to figure out how to pay for it. So I'm ofering things on Etsy I've never done before.
I used to simply stash. Now I am destashing.I have a mountain of fabric that I've collected over the years. I'm going to begin to destash, and I invite you to Raid My Fabric Stash, a new Etsy store started by my truly desperate self. And remind you that I have the mother of all stash of sheers, hand dyes, and other wonders. I invite you to raid my stash. We'll have new offerings up every week. We're starting with some fabric/fiber inspiration kits.Yesterday I found amazing strips of fabric in all kinds of designer prints. What is in the bottom of the pile? I don't even think God knows. But more will be coming soon.
I'm finding wonderful stuff that ought to belong to someone else. Could it be for you? Check it out.
If you've ever wanted a quilt of mine, this is the time. Check the web site, see if there's a piece you would like and contact me directly. I can offer a 30-50% discount depending on the piece. Call me and we'll make that happen. I'll also list some pieces on the Etsy site just to see what happens.
Check out my New Class Catalog!
Come check out all of Ellen's class offerings in this free class catalog on Scribd.
here are some new quilts, a new free book for you, some new classes for your guild,
Get Ellen 's free new pattern book, Patterns for Embroidery! You can download this great little pattern book from Ellen at Scribd.com
It includes dragonflies, frogs, ladybugs, wings and beetles for you do use in your work. If you're having a class it's a perfect way to prepare. If you've had class, and want more inspiration, it's great for that too. Either way, It's Ellen's gift to you.
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You'll find quilts and fabulous images on Ellen's Pinterest page!