November 21, 2008
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It has been a busy several weeks of travel for me. For the past 12 days I have straddled the retail worlds of mass marketing and independent dealerships in Puerto Rico. I have been to this island several times but this is the first time that I have visited a retailer other than International Sewing. It was most interesting as it turns out.
During my first week here I got to host a Dreamscape for the Brother Quattro. We had about 50 folks show up to learn more about the wonderful machine that they had been hearing about and of course they were happy to place their orders. Several folks bought the machine before they even came to the event. Like many of you in the US they must be patient when it comes to delivery. A secondary part of this Friday evening event was a “show and tell.” Many attendees brought the beautiful items that they have been sewing at home so they could share with friends and compete for prizes as well.
Figure 1- contest winner
There were plenty of winners but one gal that really made an impression has only been sewing for a few months. Happily it has been with an Innovis 1500D. When she showed an interest in sewing her mentor and manager at work recommended this machine and that she also start reading as much as she could about sewing and embroidery. She did and I have to tell you the results are impressive.
Figure 2-Heydee’s example using magazines to learn to sew
Heydee (pictured in red) also brought her sewing “posse” along for moral support.
Figure 3- International sewing friends
The Brother dealer hosted a sewing school over the weekend and attendees took classes from me and Janice Ferguson. Janice is a well respected Heirloom seamstress and the students loved using wide variety of Brother Machines to make her wonderful projects. As always they found it a joy to use the heirloom stitches and embroidery designs to make her special baby pillows and blankets. Sewing for babies is quite popular on this island. My classes focused on using your Brother machine to its fullest extent and of course I loved it every time they exclaimed, “I didn’t know that!” One project that we made was a soft photo frame that can be found on the www.brothersews.com site under Projects- Laura’s Photo Frame.
Figure 4-Laura’s photo frame
Figure 5- beautiful little girl in a wonderful dress that her aunt made for her!
The step in my island journey was to visit a several events being held during the annual WalMart Craft Fair. Again more gals came who just learn more and meet new friends. To any of you this should come as no surprise but it continues to amaze me at how many gals want to hang out with people who have the same interests as them. They learn so much from each other and so much fun.
Below is a photo of one of my new friends Nydia Bermudez….Nydia was anxiously waiting for her new LB6770 PRW sewing and embroidery machine to arrive so that she could start making all kinds of embroidered gifts for her daughter! As it happened, Nydia had returned home to find that her machine had been delivered and she was thrilled to pieces. I almost forgot, she also ordered PE-Design Lite and she is ready to start being her own embroidery designer as well. I love the fact that Brother has included tutorials with their embroidery software so you can learn at your own pace. Nydia also told me that she had created a small sewing business for altering curtains and she now has 13 stores in Puerto Rico using this unique service. I guess we are all fooled into thinking that everyone knows how to sew!
Figure 6- Nydia and June
Some folks from other countries would like me to help them find places to learn how to use their new machine, unfortunately while I do get around; I am not able to make those types of recommendations. The best bet would be to contact a local sewing or quilting guild. Even if that doesn’t make sense to you, I am sure that you will be able to make some contacts at one of these meetings. You will also find that there are several projects for your new embroidery machine posted on this site as well. And don’t forget about doing research on the internet for sewing books. Remember that is exactly how my new friends Heydee and Nydia learned to sew this year!