Because of this abundance I fill I would be ungrateful if I did not give back. Here in lies the balancing act we all must perform. I think women especially struggle with this act. If we take time to develope our talents and interests are we taking away from our families, especially our children? But if we spend all our time taking care of others we feel spent and our well runs dry. How do we find the balance? This balancing act has been on my mind a lot lately. As things have begun to grow and change in my life.
A few years ago, when my baby went to school, I was faced for the first time in 14 years with a chunck of time that would be all mine. No interuptions. No "Mom, I need..." "Mom, where's...", "Mom, he's..." you get the idea. In a way this was sad and I felt a hole in my life. A void that needed to be filled. So to fill it I started sewing displays for a local quilt shop. I figured I could do this at home on my own time so if there was a field trip, a sick child or I was needed in some other way my job would not interfere with it. This worked great. I loved it. I was doing what I love and still there for my family and friends when needed.
Well it grew. The owner, Ruth Ann, of the shop had some fabric that she was trying to move and asked me if I had any ideas. Also at this time was our annual neighborhood quilt project. A friend of mine had given me a bunch of fabric for this. I was piecing it because no piece was big enough by it's self. And by accident I came up with something that would work with Ruth Ann's fabric. I showed her. She liked it and told me to make it into a pattern and she would sell it in the shop. So not really knowing what I was doing I wrote directions. Had my sister, Becky, photograph it. My sister, Julie, helped me design a pattern cover and get everything ready for the printer. My first pattern was born.
This was quite exciting. I have always wanted to be a designer, although in high school I though I would be a fasion designer. Ruth Ann had some oriental fabric that she was having a hard time moving so while at my mom's I played on some graph paper and came up with this. It was more successful than my Taffy Pull.
And this little hobby/addiction of mine grew again. This time a neighbor of mine, Kathy, whose family owns a wholesale business that sells fabric and notions to area shops heard what I was doing. She told me she was having a venders market at her wharehouse would I like to come to it and see how I do. WOW! I took her up on her offer. I came up with a few more designs and gave it a go.I met wonderful shop owners who were kind and bought my patterns. I met fabric reps and got to see all that was new and upcoming. It was a wonderful day for me. Over the next couple of years I continues to design and sell my patterns. When Ruth Ann retired I stopped sewing displays for her shop. I was busy designing but felt obligated to her. After all she was the one that got me started on this great journey. I picked up a few distributors. I was content with my little hobby/business. I made enough money to feed my sewing habit.
Then this summer I was invited to a picnic for local designers given by Valerie Burton and Annie Smith. Although I was unable to stay for the pod cast with Annie, hubby was in the hospital with an infection from his burst appendix, she encouraged me to start a blog. So when life settled down I started this blog. I was hesitant to bring up that I design and sell patterns. Even after all that has happened it is hard for me to put myself out there. Also I have seen the great success of my sister Julie. Although I don't think that could ever happen to me, the possiblity scares me to death. That could really throw my balancing act out of wack. But my mom, above mentioned sisters, and friends kept encouraging me. Then I started selling patterns here without telling you that I do this little thing. I would get a comment asking where I got a pattern for one of my quilts and I would have to say it was my own design. I talked to Nanette about her selling patterns on her blog. I really appreciate all that she told me she was ever so helpful. I thought about doing like she does and just putting the patterns on the side bar. But I feel a little weird about trying to sell things to my friends. I never give those house parties where people come to buy things like Pampered Chef. I never want my friends to feel obligated to by stuff because they are my friends. So I created a website. Or rather I had one created. If you are interested stop by. See what I have done.