Bessie has left the building.
Five years ago I went to Milwaukee Sewing Machine Company and purchased this industrial serger sewing machine. I had a small home machine, but had found it not "up to snuff" in the speed, agility, or strength departments. It takes a lot of whatever to handle several layers of heavy sweater knit fabrics and not complain or balk.
I brought her home and set her up, and I have to admit she intimidated me a bit. All those threads, exposed motor, and speed. It was a bit like getting out of a Chevy and into a Ferrari. (not that I have even driven either of those!)
But we soon became fast friends. As long as I gave her appropriate oil cocktails, and cleaned her out now and then, she ran like the wind! Scarves that had taken a long (almost unprofitable) amount of time, were now swiftly and securely seamed into glory! She never grumbled when summer came and I switched from sweaters to t-shirts. She loved the velvets I started using just this past year. If ever she coughed or skipped a stitch, it would be found to be a result of my ineptness, not hers.
I was cutting up all my remnants as I cleaned out my studio, and made a bunch of blankets, pillows and gift bags from the "leftovers". I have now listed them all in my Etsy main store.
I was going to take them with us, and hopefully do one last show in our new home town, but decided I would rather just move lighter!
These blankets are just the coziest items, I am snuggled in one most every evening! They are washable and dry-able (cold and delicate), so they are easy care also.
I have priced the pillow covers in color lots at wholesale pricing - but you can take advantage of the pricing for several gifts, or for a sofa full pf beautiful pillows!
And finally, a few gift bags; perfect for wine, or other liquids, or for a gift bag of several small items of food, or toiletries, or whatevers!
I have been thinking of all my customers (you?) a lot lately (for obvious reasons!) And I will miss the interaction I have had with each and everyone of them (you?). Without choosing a target demographics, I seemed to have found one, and oddly enough they were a lot like me! Women of a certain age (and that might be chronological, mental, or emotional!) who take on life with a grain of salt and a bit of humor and march to a slightly different drum beat.
I am amazed at the number of teachers who wear my garments to class. Fellow artists and craftsmen liked them. (my jewelry and handbag collection grew at ever show, as I did trades!) Women who knew what comfort brings to our lives wear them, and people who just want to wrap them selves in a bit of warmth, color, or recycled fabrics, bought them.
But what got me most was how nice they (you) all were! In this day and age of snark and vitriol in our entertainment and on-line, and our impersonal lives outside of our homes, it is easy to forget how really wonderful people are. I have been invited to homes, had generous offers for supplies, been graciously forgiven for slip-ups, been entrusted with making memories, and so much more from so many through the last six years.
Yesterday I ran into a different tribe of these women. In my photo group, we have started challenging each other to take "people photos". So far, if I didn't know the subjects, I have done this with subterfuge and secrecy, but yesterday I went for straight forward honesty. I decided to go to the Sow's Ear. It is a fantastic refuge in a near by town. Mostly yarn shop, with the added benefits of coffee, bakery and lunch, it is always filled with people who are not in a hurry (those that are, take their coffee to go).
My husband jokingly (and endearingly) refers to "the Crones" - my own small local tribe of women who laugh and sip, occasionally travel, make things, hug a lot, and love each other, but also understands how much they all mean to me. He loved to watch me interact with my non-local "crones" at the shows. Usually he would be on a bench near by chuckling as he listened to us "ohh" and "ahh" and twirl and talk and become friends over recycled scraps of sweaters! I know I will miss you all... and I think he will too!
Yesterday was the last show for jill2day and her roadie! It has been fun, and I can't begin to explain how much I have enjoyed meeting all of you and playing dress up in the booth. You have all taught me a lot and given my so much joy! I loved it when you stopped back year after year, to just say "hi" and wish me well. You know who you are, I know who you are.
I have also met a wonderful community of artists and crafters. I never realized how many dedicated people there are out there; going from show to show and providing wonderful clothing, artwork, garden decor, jewelry, pottery, and so much more, as an alternative to WalMart, Target, or Macy's! Please support them whenever you can. They are a lovely group of folks and work very hard to provide you with both entertainment and wares. If the next time you need a bracelet, a skirt, or a new coffee mug, you can buy from an artisan rather than a retailer, that would be a good deed, indeed.
Back to the skirts for a minute. I brought about a dozen knit skirts to the Chicago OOAK show in December, and they almost sold out the first day. They are so comfortable and provide winter warmth, but are not as stifling as sweaters can be for some people. They look great with just a knit shirt or turtleneck.
I had a pretty good stash of velvets and velor fabrics that I had accumulated, but didn't have any special plans for them. So I made some skirts from them also and Llove the way they turned out. They are very swishy and twirly!
SO I have a good inventory going for the January show, BUT I am pretty sure there is enough to go around for those who can't make the show! I will be posting the balance of my inventory on Etsy after the show (Aiming for February 1) I will also have a "clearance" section with the t-shirts and some home goods, etc that I have unearthed from seasonal storage.
I appreciate you hanging in with me, and hop that this will give"one last chance" for those who are looking for more jill2day garments.
If you are really into history, click here for blog posts prior to 2014 !