This weekend was somehow both totally amazing and exactly what I expected, at the same time. Whipstitch Atlanta celebrated a Grand Opening weekend that kicked off with a VIP press and blogger event Thursday night, giving us a chance to show off the shop, our fabric selection, and the amazing staff members who make it all happen day-to-day:
Friday, we hosted a screening of the indie documentary Handmade Nation–amazing! A standing-room-only crowd joined us for hot popcorn, a very cool film, and plenty of meeting an greeting. Even our brand-new baby joined us (fear not: I checked with the pediatrician, and he assured me that if I kept baby tucked away, she was perfectly healthy and ready to be taken out into public with no fear), and my amazing and supportive husband came along to be part of my exciting weekend.
Saturday, some of our amazing instructors offered mini-workshops and demonstrations to introduce customers to our classes–it was a crazy madhouse, which is so thrilling! I read again and again of people who are treated badly at fabric shops, and it makes my heart hurt. I’ve had some truly wretched experiences in big box fabric stores, and heard even worse stories from my students (one of my faves for sheer horror: a student took a bolt to the counter to ask for a fat quarter to be cut, and the employee at that particular big box fabric store said, “Ugh. Listen: Lemme explain how fabric works, OK? This is a yard, alright? (Rolls eyes.)” Shocking.). When I started Whipstitch, making it a place where people (gasp!) want to go was such a huge part of the vision for me, and I’m so proud and pleased when I see these wonderful women who teach our classes introduce someone new to the very cool things that can be done with fabric and needle and thread. Seriously awesome.
Sunday, we invited Jones Sharpening to come by and sharpen our shears and scissors–so happy to have found him (thanks to the mad skillz of our Kids’ Sewing instructor, Stacee)! The shop was full of plenty of new faces (thanks, Daily Candy!) and an electric excitement, if I can wax retail-poetic for a minute.
HUGE thanks to all of you who came by and made this weekend really special. Every member of the staff is so excited to be part of this new location, and I am constantly overwhelmed with gratitude as I see my vision for a gathering point for local stitchers, a community nexus for Atlanta craft, growing before my very eyes.
Now that it’s Monday, it’s back to Business as Usual: planning some amazing events for the coming months (let’s leak some teasers and say: Dana? Fabric Design Weekend? Doggie Party? YES!), getting ready for the book release (in just a few weeks–yikes!), and doing some sewing in those priceless moments when our new baby naps.
That last one calls for two essentials: quick projects and solid organization. I’ve spent some of my relaxing time poring over books for inspiration and ideas, and have been reminded of how valuable it can be to my creativity to NOT create for a time, to soak in ideas and think daydreamy thoughts, and to plan out something truly wonderful to the point that I’ve created such a clear vision in my head that if I don’t get started on it Right Now my fingers will itch right off my palms.
Mostly, I’ve been flipping through my new copy of Martha’s latest opus, and marking all the inspiring projects (and looking at others and realizing they’re eerily similar to some of my favorite blogs….hmmm….). I’m especially dedicated to mastering these:
French knots. I did not inherit my grandmother Miriam’s nutty gene for making flawless and beautiful French knots. In fact, mine are largely crap. This must change. And since embroidery has the advantage of being a small, portable project that needs little set-up and can go anywhere, it meets my current requirements for a quick project on a tight schedule, and can easily be worked while baby sleeps, right at my knee.
I’m thinking of a sampler first, and then I’m totally tackling that acorn-of-French-knots. Anyone who knows me knows I can’t resist an acorn. Wish me luck!