We became the new owners of Hooked on Quilting. What was meant to be an investment in our children’s future and a real-life learning ground for them has proven to be that and so much more. Not only did our children learn to interact with older folks, something that I personally think is vital but missing in today’s society, they also learned to help some of those older folks by carrying machines upstairs when we were in our original location, or heavy bags filled with treasures out to cars. When anyone would give them a little tip you’d have thought they were King Midas. To say they were thrilled, not to mention pleasantly surprised, would have been an understatement.
In addition to learning how to get along with their elders, Victoria and Nathanael both learned to make a Convergence Quilt from Ricky Tims when he came to the shop in April 2005. They both did a very good job if I do say so myself. After the workshops were over and we had some free time, I remember having them tell me what to do while I cut their strips. Since they were only ten and twelve respectively at the time, I didn’t want to take a chance of either of them losing a finger via the rotary cutter blade. They did all the sewing together of the strips and walked me through every step of the project. I think if we’d had a class with them as teachers the next day, their students would have been able to make a top just as they did. It was a testament to the great teaching ability of Mr. Tims, and the fact that they actually sat, listened, and learned during the two days he was with us. Oh yes, we can’t forget that they even got to wear his cowboy hat. What a thrill that was!
What else have they learned? Well, Victoria has been working at Dance Rocket City for the past year and a-half as a ballroom dance instructor who also has to sell folks on the positive aspects of learning how to dance. She will tell you that she learned her selling techniques from watching Miss Martha who has always professed to being able to sell an igloo to an Eskimo. After watching Miss Martha for several years, I have no doubt that she could do just that and even make sure they had a polar bear as an indoor pet. In addition to learning how to gently persuade people that they needed to learn something new, Victoria also learned to blanket stitch from Miss Martha. She does a great job according to her teacher. That ability was a blessing for me when Miss Martha retired at the end of 2013. Victoria was able to pick up Miss Martha’s M&M Club where she’d left off and finish the samples and pack the kits. All I had to do was make sure we had enough patterns and wool felt.
Of course it goes without saying that we have met and learned to love some of the most wonderful ladies, and a few gentlemen, in the world over the past eleven years. It’s always such a boost to see all the projects that are created and you can bank on the fact that I’m always looking at the fabrics to see which ones (hopefully several of them) came from this shop. It might sound odd, but it’s like having a little piece of myself infused into their project. That’s because when I buy fabric I buy it with not only my eyes but with my heart. It’s hard to explain really. Maybe the act of buying fabric will be a topic for a future blog post.
While I might be the owner of the shop and some folks think I know everything (I have no clue where they got that idea from either), I actually learn something new almost every week from those who pay us a visit. Sometimes I learn something new about quilting and sometimes it’s more of a life lesson. Either way, I too am learning as are those who grace us with their presence from time to time.
I wrote about the shop’s anniversary in June 2011. After re-reading that post, I realized that not a lot has changed. There are still more projects on the wanna-do list than will ever be done, seasoned quilters are still pulling from their stash, and there is still a great need to involve new folks in our creative pastime. So, it appears that as the old saying goes, a woman’s work is never done. We need to get busy and do those projects, use up that stash, and get some new blood into our world of quilting before having a brick and mortar quilt shop to visit becomes a memory of the past.