Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Life As A Long Haul Trucker

I don't really drive a big rig. I drive a mini van. What many of you would consider a brand spanking new mini van, we only took delivery of it at the end of June. I would much prefer to be driving something small, sporty, with dual exhaust and 5 on the floor. Owning a quilt shop means that you haul a lot of "stuff" with you when you travel for work. So much stuff that something small and sporty would never do.

The reason that I feel like a long haul trucker is that when I arrived at work today and parked my brand spanking new mini van the odometer read 6314 miles. A mere 61 days old and I am averaging a little over 105 miles per day. That is a lot of mileage for someone that has a commute to work that is measured in FEET!

Most of the mileage accumulated making 2 trips to Florida. The first was for a wedding at the beginning of July, the second was last Thursday, returning our daughter Lindsay to college in Jacksonville. I drove Pittsburgh to Jacksonville, moved her into her dorm room, and drove back home to Pittsburgh in 36 hours. Then I drove to Maumee Ohio, near Toledo the very next day for the Checker Open House. Checker is our favorite wholesale distributor and I was scheduled to give a lecture on Sunday and demonstrate my new Creative Grid ruler to other shop owners on Monday. It was great fun - even if it did require an additional 3 1/2 hours of driving- each way!

This is a wholesale event for shop owners only.
On Sunday the shop owners were treated to lectures by Electric Quilt, myself, Sue Hausmann and Eleanor Burns. Between and after the lectures they shop the warehouse for goodies to take back to their stores. On Monday the shopping frenzy included the opportunity to stop by one of 20 or so booths and chat with designers, authors and manufacturers of a whole assortment of product. That is me in the back corner demonstrating my new Creative Grid Quick Trim ruler. - you are going to love it!

Susan and Mary Jane of the Quilt Branch, authors of the "Six Halves Make A Whole" series were on our right. Susan's House ruler is a Creative Grid product too. We love their stuff!

Joan Hawley of Lazy Girl Designs was on our left. I think I have been watching Joan demonstrate her purse patterns for well over a decade - is that possible? Her two new patterns are just as detailed and well thought out with step-by-step photos as they always have been.

Finishing out our little corner was Nancy Halvorsen. We are pretty excited about a new product we found that prints patterns right on to fusible web using your home printer. Nancy explained to Debby how to access a pdf of her artwork for the newest book and print the designs on the product - NO tracing! 'ya gotta love that!

From my point of view, one of the best things about this Open House is that Checker truly appreciates how hard we all work and Sunday evening after close, they take us all to dinner. It is a wonderful opportunity to catch up with other designers. I sat across from Eleanor Burns and next to Karla Alexander. Our table was close enough that I also had the opportunity to lean back and have a great conversation with Sue Hausmann. How's that for dinner companions?

I've known Eleanor for years, and it was nice to catch up on how her family is doing. This was my first opportunity to meet Karla, and it is easy to see why her books and rulers are so popular, we could easily become great friends! Check out that great mass of color behind her. Isn't her work beautiful!

It was my first opportunity to meet Sue Hausmann too. Naturally I feel like I know her from TV and I am quite sure that Sue had no idea who I was. She was gracious, delightful and I have to say that Sue is younger and so much more energetic and fun in person - I think PBS is so old fashion it actually ages people!

Sue and I have several things in common. This weekend tons of people were busy snapping photos and I don't think anyone took a good photo of either of us.

I don't think anyone would say that about Eleanor - she looked fabulous and entertained everyone with her barnyard presentation.

I'm adding this photo so that the next time your husband gives you a hard time about shopping at your local quilt store, you can prove to him that it could be worse - you shop by the yard - we shop by the bolt!
Now I am home for a few days before I have to head to Chicago for more Bernina training next week. The work here at home is piling up - what I really want to do is SEW!

1 comment:

Angie said...

That had to be such a nice trip!! Loved the pictures.