Teadoddles Talks #3 ~ Sew Good Sew Far

Happy Friday y’all!  Whose ready for Teadoddles Talks #3?  I’m ready & this is the first interviewee that I’ve actually met in person!  I’m excited for y’all to get to know her too!  Know a crafty person that would like to do an interview?  Let me know in the comments or email me with the link in the side bar.  Let’s see who’s talking today…

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Today I’m talking with Anna of Sew Good Sew Far.  I met Anna through Instagram & then I met her in person at this year’s QuiltCon in Savannah.  It was only for about 5 minutes between the classes she was taking.  Not nearly long enough!  It was long enough to get a quick photo, which you can see below.  I was so tired {as you can see!} & you can read more about that visit here if you like.

This interview was conducted over a series of emails.  I sent her a list of questions & she sent me answers & photos.  I will have my questions {Q}, her answers {A}, & my response to her answers {R}.  Anything I’ve added in the answers, like references, looks like this {added}.

All About Sew Good Sew Far

Q:  Your name always makes me smile!  How did you settle on “Sew Good Sew Far”?

A:  This was the name of one of my first blogs, I wanted “Sew Far Sew Good” but it was taken. I always loved the play on the word “Sew” and this seemed like a good way to get back to my roots.

R:  I love word play, especially if it involves sewing!  It’s a great name!

Q:  I see that you’ve started selling some fabrics through your Facebook Page & Shopify. How did that come about?

A:  I had an online shop way back in 2009 and with the boom of Modern Quilting decided that solids were the best way to appeal to the masses (less expensive than printed fabric, readily available and Moda Bella isn’t available outside of quilt shops). Sold off all the printed fabric when I had to relocate from San Antonio to Houston and recently decided to list it again because the bolts of beautiful solids are just taking up space in my house. I want the fabric to be put to good use which is why I’ve priced it to sell and when it’s gone I’m not planning to re-order. I want to find another way to serve the quilting and crafting community, most likely with web design and social media support.

R:  We’ve talked a little about your previous business adventures & it’s nice to find out a little more.  That fabric is definitely priced to sell & you can find it here.  Y’all save some for me, okay?  ; )

Q:  I’ve been seeing some awesome pictures on Instagram where you got to attend Quilt Market Houston! Please tell us all about it!

A:  Yes! I’m so fortunate to live in Houston where Fall Quilt Market (and International Quilt Festival) takes place each year. It used to be such a secret event in the Quilt Industry since it’s a trade show, it is a place where shop owners go to see the new fabrics, books and trends for the upcoming year and order fabric that usually isn’t even shipped until the next year.

I always get a little shock when I see all the #missingmarket posts at this time because Quilt Market requires credentials to get through the door. You have to show you have a business or that you serve the quilting community in some way (long arm, pattern designer, publisher). So when people get sad that they are missing market it seems strange that people are upset they are missing something they wouldn’t even have access to if they lived in the city where it is hosted, unless they have a business. And not EVERYONE can have a business in the quilting industry. If they did, it would kind of defeat the purpose, right? That’s how I see it at least.

Yes, I did attend this year because I made sure I had the correct credentials to attend, and I plan to build a business to support the industry, most likely as a web designer of some sort, I wasn’t attending to be able to purchase fabric at wholesale and I didn’t run around getting selfies with the fabric designers (I did do that a couple of years ago but this year my focus was on business plans).

R:  Well that’s something I certainly did not know!  Maybe some people see “quilt market” & think it’s kind of like a “super market”.  : D  I agree that not everyone can have a business in the quilting industry & I don’t think everyone wants to.  I think some people just want to see all the goodies before they come out in the stores – cause that would be awesome!  ; )

Q:  Do you attend these kinds of events frequently? I know you’re also going to the Quilt Festival Houston & I can’t wait to see & hear all about it!

A:  Since I opened an online shop back in 2009, I’ve attended quilt market a few times and I’ve attended Festival every year since we moved to Houston in 2011.

Attending Quilt Festival (and to some extent Market) is a lot like when I attend QuiltCon, it’s my way of getting to meet people IN REAL LIFE that I typically only chat with on Instagram (we met at QuiltCon Savannah, remember?)

I absolutely love volunteering at the Quilt Alliance Booth at Festival each year, it’s a chance to meet the sweet ladies and help promote a wonderful organization. Volunteering helps me be involved and keep my mind off spending my bank account!

R:  I do remember our meeting – which I wish could have lasted longer!  It was my first ever experience at an event like that & I was a little lost.  So much to see!  I was happy to meet an Instagram friend in real life too.  I can see why you like volunteering because there are so many things at those events that make you want to part with your money!

Q:  I know you got to stay at the QuiltCon for the whole event {lucky gal}! How was your experience at the event?

A:  QuiltCon was fun, again because I got to meet so many of my IG friends.

I do love to look at the quilts but I think I had more fun meeting up with people and helping out at the Quilt Alliance booth and my friend Jessica’s booth (Villa Rosa quilt shop)

I also attended a class with Sherri Lynn Wood which was awesome. It’s nice to be able to spend a day sewing after being around such beautiful quilts and being so inspired

R:  I agree!  I met some lovely ladies while having lunch & it was nice to be able to chat about fabric & sewing with people who get the obsession.  Taking a class would be fun because those quilts were amazing & inspiring!

Q:  Any plans to attend QuiltCon 2018?

A:  No, but I am tentatively planning on Nashville in 2019!

R:  OOOH!  I need to put that on my “must do” list!  : )  Maybe I’ll get to see you again!

Anna’s Family & Everyday Life

Q:  Tell us about your family…

A:   I just turned 38 and I’m a mom of one little boy, he is 5 and just started Kindergarten this year.  Wife to a sweet guy who is cool with my fabric addiction as long as I don’t mention his video game collection (not quite millennials but we’re on that borderline age group, Gen X I guess?)

R:  Sounds like a great deal!  My husband is more into hunting & we have a similar {unspoken!} deal.  ; )  You’re definitely in Gen X, right along with me!  We share a birthday month – yay!

Q:  Full time job?

A:  Yep, training developer for the customer service department, I design instructor led and online training (among other things)

R:  Sounds interesting.  Seems like you are well prepared for helping quilters with technical things.  🙂

Anna in her work cube decorated with mini quilts!

Q:  Any pets? Please tell us more!

A:  One dog, Coco, she’s my constant companion, she has a little blanket to lay on in my sewing room

R:  My little dog Lucky likes to hang out in my craft room too!  He has a blanket & a bed but he’s always trying to get in my thinking chair – even when I’m in it!

Fabric Love

Q:  What is your favorite fabric designer?

A:  Amy Butler {see it here}

R:  Very pretty fabric!

Q:  Favorite color?  {I think I know this answer!}

A:  Aqua!!

R:  I knew it!  It’s one of my faves too!

Sewing History

Q:  Who taught you to sew or how did you learn?

A:  My college boyfriend’s mom taught me to sew curtains and pillowcases when I bought my first home. Then she introduced me to the world of quilting fabric and Amy Butler and I was hooked!

R:  It’s amazing how the different people in our life influence some of our greatest passions!

Q:  How long have you been sewing?

A:  Since 2006 or 2007, seems longer though

R:  I think anytime we do something we love time lines become blurry.  : )

Q:  What do you like to sew?

A:  I mostly like to piece quilts, I love improvisational patchwork, mostly because it doesn’t require me to cut perfectly or match my points exactly. I also recently discovered the joy of working with non-traditional materials, such as men’s shirts and just cutting them with a pair of scissors and seeing where it takes me. On the other end of the spectrum, I like foundation paper piecing (NOT EPP) because of the precision I can get without having to cut accurately or plan super far ahead.

Recently I purchased two panels to cut and sew some dolls (so cute, one has a pink boom box and one has a little sewing machine!) and I’m interested in seeing if I can actually make them look like dolls.

R:  Doing improv work always feels so freeing to me.  It’s like I just let the fabric lead me where it wants to go.  FPP is one I enjoy as well & I agree – it gives you such precision with less fuss in the cutting.  I can’t wait to see your dolls!

Q:  How many quilts have you made?

A:  Hmm, finished? Probably 10.  Started that need to be pieced/quilted/bound? 15 at least.

R:  You know, I don’t even know how many I’ve made, so maybe I should figure that out too!  There are too many parts of quilts to count in my stash, but one day they will be something great.  : )

Q:  Are you a member of any quilt guilds?

A:  I’m a remote member of the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild, they are the group I started quilting with and it is the home of some of the sweetest and most talented women I know

R:  I so wish there was a quilt guild near me!  It looks like such fun!

Q:  What kind of machine do you have?

A:  I have a whole family of machines and they all have names!

Ginny is my featherweight and since she joined the family I haven’t really wanted to use anything else!

Jan is a Janome 2212 (basic and light weight, she likes to travel and has several tattoos from her adventures)

Bernie is my Bernina 640 who is a little on the heavier side, she’s the older sister who prefers to stay home and relax, she has an advanced computer.

Big Mama is my Janome 1600P, she is a straight stitch machine, super strong, she is speedy and efficient. Great for quilting bigger projects because of her longer throat.

I also have a couple of “orphan” machines, one is called Orphan Annie because we found her on the side of the road (I made my husband throw the car in reverse so I could rescue her from the trash), another is an older Singer (sadly doesn’t have a name yet) which needs some foot surgery to make it function correctly.

R:  I too have a family of machines, but I guess I’m the odd woman out, since I’ve never named them!  I didn’t know that was a thing until I started talking to quilters & sewers online.  ; D  You’re a great lady for rescuing that machine – I would have done the same!

Q:  Do you listen to or watch anything while sewing? If so, what?

A:  I love podcasts, especially anything along the lines of self-improvement and audio books.  I have a hard time watching TV when I sew because it is too distracting.

R:  Podcasts are one of my go-to’s as well.

Q:  How about sewing snacks?

A:  Anything with chocolate and coffee!

R:  I knew you were my kind of gal!  : D

More About Anna

Q:  Any other hobbies?

A:  Lately I’ve been really “into” the planning world and using a Bullet Journal to organize my life.  Is Instagram a hobby?

R:  I’d say Instagram does qualify as a hobby!  It takes up my attention more than it probably should.  : )

Q:  Where all have you traveled?

A:  I’ve been to Italy (Rome, Florence and Venice) with an airport layover in Frankfurt, I’ve been to Canada, New York City, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana (the casinos are only 2 hours from Houston), Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota (for work), San Diego CA and Napa and Sonoma, CA also.

I REALLY want to visit Portland OR and/or Seattle WA someday (Spring Quilt Market is going to be in Portland I think!!)

R:  Wow, you are a traveling lady!  Hope you make it to Portland & Seattle one day!

Q:  How do you fuel your sewing mojo?  Coffee?  Tea?  Wine?  Something else?

A:  Coffee is my preferred fuel, with hazelnut creamer preferably.

R:  Yes!  I like to mix up the creamers, but hazelnut is my husband’s favorite too.

Q:  Future plans?

A:  I’m trying to find my niche in the quilting world. I’m hoping to purchase a Long Arm and get my quilts finished, build up my skills, and maybe start quilting for others.

I also want to help people with their websites, blogs, social media presence, Etsy business. Anything that involves computers or technology and the creative space, I think I could help people with that if they feel lost. (I’m a teacher at heart so I can’t help but want to help others)

Also open to any inquiries, ask me and we can see what we can do!

R:  Those all sound awesome!  I know the technical side of blogging is not my favorite.  I’m sure that’s a niche that needs to be filled!

In Conclusion

I really enjoyed learning more about Anna & I hope y’all did too!  Here’s where you can find Anna & connect:

Sew Good Sew Far ~> BlogFacebook | Pinterest | Instagram

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