While She Naps with Abby Glassenberg

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Special Episode: Craft Industry Alliance’s 2nd Anniversary

September 25th, 2017

In this special episode of the While She Naps podcast we're celebrating the second anniversary of Craft Industry Alliance, the trade association for makers, designers, suppliers, and content creators in all areas of craft. Founded in October of 2015 by myself and Kristin Link (of Sew Mama Sew) Craft Industry Alliance now has over 1,300 members!

For this episode we're bringing five of those members onto the show to talk about their businesses and their relationship to the organization. Plus, we ask each of them to recommend great stuff they're enjoying right now. Kristin and I co-host these conversations. We talk to Kate McKean, Kara Gott Warner, Ann Martin, and Traci Vaspol and Karen Katin.

Join Craft Industry Alliance today at http://www.craftindustryalliance.org.

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Episode #105: Christine Ricks

September 18th, 2017

On today’s episode of the While She Naps podcast we’re talking about building a career as a designer with my guest, Christine Ricks.

Christine is the Creative Director for Missouri Star Quilt Company’s publishing department, working with a team to design and produce their magazines, Block and Modblock. She’s trained as a graphic designer and has taken up quilting as another medium to express her creative self. Christine spent the 10 years prior to her current position working in surface pattern design and contributing to several fabric lines for BasicGrey produced by Moda. She also contributes to the Modern Quilt Guild’s Quilt of the month and served as president of the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild last year.

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This episode is sponsored by Craft Industry Alliance, a trade association for makers, designers, suppliers, and content creators in all sectors of craft from knitting and crochet to quilting, sewing, paper crafting, polymer clay, embroidery, cross stitch and more. Founded by myself and Kristin Link in 2015, Craft Industry Alliance now has 1,300 members. Get a professionally written digital journal twice a month with up-to-date information on what's happening in the industry, tune in to webinars taught by experts in their field, and join a supportive community of fellow creative business owners. Check it out at craftindustryalliance.org.

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To get the show notes for this episode visit my blog, whileshenaps.com, where you can sign up for my email newsletter to get the best in sewing, blogging, and small business delivered right to you inbox each week.

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Episode #104: Fred Drexler, Co-Founder, Sulky of America

September 4th, 2017

On today’s episode of the While She Naps podcast we’re talking about building an innovative company in the sewing industry with my guest, Fred Drexler.

Fred, along with his wife, Joyce, founded Sulky of America, a premier thread and stabilizer company. Fred began his career in the sewing industry in 1965 at age 23 as a salesman for the Singer Company in Akron Ohio. In 1969, he opened his own Singer dealership in Punta Gorda, Florida and met Joyce in 1974. She founded Speed Stitch, the company that popularized free motion embroidery using a domestic sewing machine. In 1987 Speed Stitch partnered with a German thread manufacturer to form Sulky of America.

We trace the history of the company from Fred’s early days selling Singer sewing machines, a job he took on a whim, to building one of the most significant companies in the home sewing and quilting industries today. Hear how Joyce stumbled upon water soluble stabilizer at a time when it was non-existent on the American market and how she and Fred went about making that product a massive commercial success. Sulky continues to partner and innovate today. This year they released an exclusive thread collection with Cotton+Steel.

In 2009 Fred passed the role of president of Sulky onto Jason Prater, an employee who had worked at the company since 1995. We talk about the particular challenges of selling Sulky and how Fred is thinking about the future.

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Today’s episode is sponsored by Girl Charlee Fabrics. Girl Charlee Fabrics is your online source for knit fabrics, carrying a wide selection of unique cotton jersey, cotton lycra, brushed poly spandex, french terry, and more. Girl Charlee Fabrics also stocks all the best indie sewing patterns from designers around the world. New customers save 10% on their first order, and always $7.99 flat rate shipping on any order, any size!  Shop now at girlcharlee.com.

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To get the show notes for this episode visit my blog, whileshenaps.com, where you can sign up for my email newsletter to get the best in sewing, blogging, and small business delivered right to you inbox each week.

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Episode #103: Jamie Chalmers, Mr. X Stitch

August 20th, 2017

On today's episode of the While She Naps podcast we're talking about cross stitch with my guest, Jamie Chalmers, also known as Mr X Stitch. Jamie took up cross stitching fifteen years ago and he’s never looked back. Since establishing the Mr X Stitch website in 2008, he has been showcasing new talent in the world of textiles and stitch and has curated a number of stitch-based exhibitions in the UK and Ireland. Jamie is an accomplished and internationally exhibited artist in his own right, and the curator of PUSH Stitchery (affiliate link), part of a series of books published by Lark showcasing the work of contemporary embroidery artists from around the world.

Jamie is an active leader in the online stitch community and what he has dubbed ‘the new embroidery movement’. He loves introducing new people to the benefits of embroidery from a creative and wellbeing standpoint and is proud to be an ambassador for the craft.

Hear how Jamie first got interested in cross stitch and what it is about needlecraft in general that continues to enthrall him. Jamie has run a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to launch his new magazine and he talks about how he approached that project. He also has over 30,000 followers on Instagram and gives us the details of his Instagram strategy. Mr X Stitch is a multi-contributor blog and Jamie explains how he runs a site like this. The site often features artwork with racy or politically controversial themes and Jamie explains how he filters what to include and what to reject. 

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Today's episode is sponsored by Needle and Foot, Fine Fabrics. This on-line fabric shop opened in January of 2017 with an ever-growing collection of modern fabrics. You will find a delightful collection of fabrics produced by Art Gallery Fabric, Andover and Windham Fabrics among others. Specializing in curated fat quarter bundles, Needle and Foot makes it possible to collect your favorite lines without breaking the budget. Bernadine Kringel, owner of Needle and Foot, treasures her customers and welcomes inquiries and requests. Let her help you put together just the right bundle! Use the coupon code WhileSheNaps15 for a 15% discount on your purchase (valid through the end of September 2017).

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Get the show notes for this episode on my blog, WhileSheNaps.com, where you can also sign up for my email newsletter to get the best in sewing, blogging, and small business delivered right to your inbox each week.

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Episode #102: Benjamin Levisay, CEO of XRX, Inc.

August 7th, 2017

I'm at Stitches United in Hartford, CT, talking with Benjamin Levisay, CEO of XRX, Inc., publishers of XRX Books as well as promoters of STITCHES Expos. Benjamin is a second-generation partner in this 31-year-old company originally started by his uncle, Alexis Xenakis, his father, David Xenakis, and their partner Elaine Rowley.

 Benjamin has been a part of the fiber industry since his family opened a yarn shop in Sioux Falls, SD when he was a small boy, an enterprise that later evolved into XRX. We talk about the closure of Knitters Magazine last and the expansion of the STITCHES shows. Benjamin explains the friction that sometimes arises between STITCHES and local yarn shops and how that might be resolved. We also talk about Benjamin's former podcast, Fiber Hooligans, a new physical product for selling digital books, and more.

Learn more about the STITCHES shows on their website.

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This episode is sponsored by Sew Surprised. Sew Surprised is a learn-to-sew subscription box that is delivered to your door every month. Each box will contain all the materials needed to make a complete project, along with a link to a video showing you exactly how to complete the project. Sew Surprised is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to sew, and we have boxes for boys, girls, and adults too! Visit us at Sew Surprised to get started.

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Get the show notes for this episode on my blog, WhileSheNaps.com, where you can sign up for my email newsletter to get the best in sewing, blogging, and small business delivered right to you inbox each week.

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Episode #101: Sue Bleiweiss

July 17th, 2017

Today we're talking about building a career as a quilter with my guest, Sue Bleiweiss. I’m here visiting Sue in her home studio in Pepperell, Massachusetts which is about 45 minutes from my home and is a beautiful place to visit in July.

Sue creates vibrant colorful art quilts intended to delight the eye of the viewer and draw them in for a closer look.  The author of several books, she has written numerous articles for Quilting Arts Magazine, appeared on The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims and Quilting Arts TV.  She's currently working on her 3rd book due out in the fall of 2018.   Sue’s award winning quilts have been exhibited internationally and reside in private collections all over the world.

Sue began her career in corporate America and transitioned to being a full-time artist shortly after September 11th, 2001. She talks about exploring a variety of art mediums, and even building a career in a few, before landing on quilting. Learn about hand dyeing fabric, fused applique, entering shows and writing books. Plus, most recently Sue has helped to curate and organize Threads of Resistance, a political quilt show that was recently installed at the New England Quilt Museum and will soon travel across the country.

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This episode is sponsored by Teresa Ascone. Teresa has created watercolor tutorials perfect for beginners! All tutorials include a framable print of the art, supply list, instructions and definitions. Teresa has taught art for more than 35 years, introducing hundreds of people to the marvelous world of watercolor - join her and access your own artistic expression!
www.etsy.com/shop/AsconeArtTutorials

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Get the show notes for this episode on my blog, whileshenaps.com, where you can sign up for my email newsletter to get the best in sewing, blogging, and small business delivered right to your inbox each week. Thank you!

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Episode #100: Alissa Haight Carlton

July 3rd, 2017

I'm talking with Alissa Haight Carlton. Alissa is a modern quilter, designer, author and the co-founder and Executive Director of the Modern Quilt Guild (MQG).  She has written two quilting books, Modern Minimal and Block Party. When not working in the quilting world, she heads up casting for Project Runway. Alissa lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons. 

Alissa tells the story of the founding of the MQG and how it's run today. She talks about how the organization has grown, why they chose non-profit status, and how they've handled pushback on various issues over the last seven years.

Alissa also explains what it's like to cast reality TV shows, especilly Project Runway. Hear what she's looking for in a cast member and how this show differs from other reality shows you might encounter.

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This episode is sponsored by Jacquelynnes Steves. The I Love Home Free Block of the Month and Sew Along at JacquelynneSteves.com is starting soon! The patterns are Free and you have an option for doing just piecing, or add applique or hand embroidery to your blocks. This is a great project for beginning to more advanced quilters! Patterns have lots of step by step diagrams, and there will be some video tutorials as well. Get lots of ideas for fabrics and colors, and tons of giveaways with incredible sponsors! Plus, join the fun Facebook community, Sew Quilty Friends, to share your photos, ideas, and questions. There is an optional fabric kit available too! Use discount code WHILESHENAPS2017 to get $6 off the regular price of the kit, now through July 10, 2017.

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Catch up with the Modern Quilt Guild on their website: themodernquiltguild.com

And follow Alissa's creative life on her Instagram feed: alissahaightcarlton

Get the show notes for this episode on my blog, whileshenaps.com, where you can also sign up for my email newsletter to get the best in sewing, blogging, and small business delivered right to your inbox each week. Thank you!

 

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Episode #99: Ellen March

June 19th, 2017

In this episode we're talking about sewing magazines and television with my guest, Ellen March. Ellen March is the Community Content Director for the sewing division of F+W Media, including the Sew News, Creative Machine Embroidery, BurdaStyle, Sew Daily and Sew it All brands. She’s appeared on several television shows spreading her love of sewing, most notably Hallmark’s Marie Osmond Show and DIY Network’s Uncommon Threads, and she hosted Sew it All TV on PBS for nine seasons.

Ellen traces her career in the sewing media industry from stumbling upon a job description for a graphic designers at Sew News (she wasn't a graphic designer, but applied for a job anyway) to pitching a PBS show, to overseeing a suite of sewing magazines and brands for F+W Media. One of the things that stands out about Ellen's journey is her willingness to ask for the job she wants and her eagerness to take on new challenges. Her approach is very inspiring.

I ask Ellen to detail for us what exactly sewing magazines are looking right now. She explains how to write a good pitch (and what not to do) and why she feels that being published in a magazine is a worthwhile endeavor for designers. If you'd like to get on the contributors list for Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery magazines, be sure to listen because Ellen shares the email address you can write to.

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This episode is sponsored by Sweetbriar Sisters. Sweetbriar Sisters is excited to announce their latest book, Hopeful Hatchlings! This sewing pattern collection includes nine different baby animals to hatch (and re-hatch!) from adorable zipper eggs. You can find Hopeful Hatchlings, along with a full collection of one of a kind toy patterns at SweetbriarSisters.com. Be sure to use coupon code ‘naps’ for 20% off your purchase of digital patterns (including the Hopeful Hatchlings eBook) from now until August 31. 

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Get the show notes from this episode on my blog, whileshenaps.com, where you can also sign up for my email newsletter to get the best in sewing, blogging, and small business delivered right to your inbox each week.

 

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Episode #98: Kathy Miller and Michael Steiner, Co-Founders of Michael Miller Fabrics

June 5th, 2017

On this episode of the While She Naps podcast we’re talking about running a fabric company with my guests, Kathy Miller and Michael Steiner. Kathy and Michael are the co-founders of Michael Miller Fabrics.

We begin by talking about Kathy's and Michael's careers before co-founding the company together. Kathy and Michael then explain how they met and came together to form their own fabric company. Michael Miller Fabrics has evolved considerably since its early days and you'll hear how and why it changed, and how the business was funded early on.

We talk about Quilt Market and how the role of trade shows is changing. We also talk about how Michael Miller has differentiated itself in a crowded marketplace. Kathy and Michael consider the future of fabric manufacturing and how digital printing might change things.

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Today's episode is sponsored by Cashmerette Patterns. Did you know that the average woman wears a size 16 and a DD bra, but that most sewing patterns stop at a 14 and are drafted for a B cup? That’s why Jenny Rushmore launched Cashmerette Patterns, the first sewing patterns designed for curves.  Cashmerette Patterns come in sizes 12 – 28 and cup sizes from C – H, and there are a range of modern patterns from the ultimate wrap dress to a button-down shirt that doesn’t gape at the bust. Use code WHILESHENAPS at shop.cashmerette.com to get 20% off your purchase before July 1.

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Get the show notes for this episode at WhileSheNaps.com where you can sign up for my email newsletter to get the best in sewing, blogging, and small business delivered right to your inbox each week.

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Episode #97: Nancy Zieman

May 15th, 2017

In this episode we're talking about building a lifelong career in sewing with my guest, Nancy Zieman.

Nancy Zieman is an author, designer, businesswomen, TV producer, blogger and national sewing authority. She’s the host of the popular show Sewing With Nancy®, which appears exclusively on public television stations across the United States and Canada. You can watch Sewing With Nancy® online at nancyzieman.com.

In this interview Nancy traces the history of her career. Hear how she first got onto public television and what those early days were like. Learn about the start of Nancy's Notions and how the business expanded over the past three decades. Nancy also talks about some personal issues including how she balanced being a working mother and the challenges she's faced due to Bell's palsy. Nancy's integrity, work ethic, and good humor are an inspiration.

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This episode is sponsored by Storey Publishing.

Storey Publishing offers quality books on crafting, gardening, natural health and wellness, cooking, and sustainable living. Their quilting, sewing, and fiber craft books are some of my favorites. Storey’s expert craft authors include recent While She Naps guest and QuiltCon presenter Thomas Knauer, author of The Quilt Design Coloring Workbook. You can all get a free downloadable quilt design coloring template from the book on Storey’s website. You can find the link in the show notes.

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Get the show notes for this episode on my blog, whileshenaps.com, where you can sign up for my email newsletter to get the best in sewing, blogging, and small business delivered right to your inbox each week.

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