While She Naps with Abby Glassenberg

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Episode #113: Casey York

January 15th, 2018

Today we're talking about quilting and art history with my guest, Casey York.

Casey has sewn for most of her life and has been making quilts for a decade. Initially inspired by the graphic possibilities of appliqué, she has worked in the quilting industry to push the boundaries of this tradition with her graphic, contemporary designs and patterns. Casey received her Ph.D. in art history in 2012 and is known in the quilting industry for her two books, Modern Appliqué Illusions (2014) and The Appliqué Book (2016). Her first line of fabric, Fine|Spun, Volume One, was released by Studio 37 Fabrics (a division of Marcus Textiles) in the summer of 2017. She invites you to visit her website, casey-york.com, to learn more about her work.

We talk about how to get a fabric line with a major manufacturer, the benefits of writing craft books, and how Casey applies her academic background in art history to the artwork she's producing now.



Today’s show is sponsored by Spoonflower. If you’re a creative person who loves to design, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of seeing your art printed onto fabric, or better yet — seeing someone across the globe purchase it and make something amazing.

Spoonflower is the first company to make it possible to digitally print custom fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap with no minimums, and no limitation of colors. Shop from thousands of indie designs, or sell your own designs and earn up to 15% commission on every sale. The best part? As an independent seller you always keep the rights to your work. While She Naps podcast listeners can get 15% off your next Spoonflower fabric order. Go to try.spoonflower.com/abby and enter your email address to receive your coupon code.


Get the show notes for this episode by visiting 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 you inbox each week.


Episode #112: Carol Soderlund

January 1st, 2018

On today's episode of the While She Naps podcast we're talking about color and dye with my guest, Carol Soderlund.

An artist and educator for 25 years, Carol’s curiosity about the range of color derived from yellow, red, and blue dyes led to her creation of her Color Mixing system for dyers. Carol encourages the freedom of mixing color by eye with results-based samples to guide the student. A former high school teacher, Carol was nominated for Teacher of the Year in 2013 and again in 2015 by the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals. Carol is co-author of Playful Fabric Printing with Melanie Testa. She has shown her quilts in juried venues across the country, winning awards including Best of Show at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas.


This episode is sponsored by StitchCraft. Online or at the pretty pink building in Boca Raton – StitchCraft is a one stop shop for the best service and selection for creative quilting, sewing and stitching. Stitchcraft offers Batiks, Tropicals, Kaffe Fassett and thousands of other fabrics plus embroidery, sashiko, wool and punchneedle.  Make a resolution this year to hone your skills or learn a new craft and let StitchCraft help.  Use the promo code NAPS2018 to save 15% on your next order.


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.

Episode #111: Ricky Tims

December 18th, 2017

On today's episode of the While She Naps podcast we're talking about quilting and music with my guest, Ricky Tims.

Ricky Tims has successfully blended two diverse passions into one very unique and interesting career. His skills as a pianist, composer and producer have been evident by the thousands who have heard his music.

He is known in the international world of quilting as a best-selling author, enthusiastic and encouraging teacher, an award-winning quilter, fabric designer, and a talented and spellbinding speaker. His innovative and entertaining presentations feature live music and humor combined with scholarly insights and wisdom. His quilts have been displayed worldwide and are highly regarded as excellent examples of contemporary quilts with traditional appeal.

Ricky maintains an extensive international schedule of teaching and speaking engagements, and is co-founder and co-host of The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims.

Ricky is challenged by creativity in all forms, and encourages individuals to cultivate self-expression, reach for the unreachable, and believe in the impossible.


Turn your creative passion into a fulfilling career! How to Make It, published by Chronicle Books and written by photographer and small business owner Erin Austen Abbott, is the ultimate guide to making a living by making things. Featuring 25 profiles of illustrators, jewelry designers, ceramicists, painters, clothing designers, and printmakers, How to Make It provides a behind-the-scenes look at the daily rituals and best practices that keep these creative entrepreneurs on track.


To get the show notes for this episode visit 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 you inbox each week.

Episode #110: 2017 Community Episode

December 4th, 2017

Today's episode of the While She Naps podcast is our second annual community episode. In this very special episode I invite you, the listeners, to recommend great stuff you're enjoying right now. A few weeks ago I put a call out on the blog and in my newsletter asking listeners to recommend a book, app, website, tool, notion, or podcast that they would recommend to a creative friend. I heard from so many of you! I put all of your recommendations together in this episode!

My co-host for the Community Episode again this year is Stacey Trock. Stacey is a crochet designer and she's also a marketing consultant for the yarn industry. Check her out here. In addition to hearing your recommendations, Stacey and I have some of our own. All together I think you'll discover lots of neat stuff to check out!


This episode is sponsored by STITCHES United. Please join us for STITCHES United 2018 at the Hartford Convention Center on March 22-25, 2018. Get ready for an entirely new kind of crafting expo; sewing, quilting, knitting, crochet, and MORE, all under one roof! This show is for multi-crafters—those not defined by one craft or even by one medium—with stimulating classes and shopping for ALL— sewers, quilters, AND knitters, crocheters, weavers, and others interested in all things fabric AND yarn. Exclusively for While She Naps listeners, you can get 20% OFF STITCHES United 2018 classes and events by visiting www.STITCHES.events/United and entering the coupon code WHILESHENAPS18 at check-out. You can learn more at www.STITCHES.events/United


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.

Episode #109: Shea Henderson

November 18th, 2017

We're talking about building a sewing community with my guest, Shea Henderson.

 A former middle school math teacher, Shea Henderson now owns Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio, a sewing and quilt pattern company. She is the author of the award winning book School of Sewing: Learn it. Teach it. Sew Together. and her work has been featured in several books and magazines. She is one of founding members and a former president of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild. Shea lives in Kansas City, MO with her husband and three young children. Find more of her work at emptybobbinsewing.com and on Instagram at @emptybobbin.

We talk about creating print patterns, writing book proposals and going through the publishing process, teaching sewing, building a community around sewing and quilting, and balancing family and career.


This episode is sponsored by Pin Peddlers. Are you crafting crazy?  A lover of all things quilting and sewing? Share your passion for creativity in what you wear! Pin Peddlers is the place to choose pins, charms, and jewelry to make the perfect creative statement! Use the code “NAPS” to save 15% off your next stock order at pinpeddlers.com.
Pin Peddlers. Love what you do. Wear what you love.


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


Special Episode to Honor Nancy Zieman’s Memory

November 14th, 2017

I’m so saddened by this morning’s news that Nancy Zieman has passed away. Nancy was a huge inspiration to me, and to so many of us. As a woman, a business person, and a working mom, Nancy lived her life with grace. She worked hard, had an excellent moral compass, and set a high bar for all of us to reach when it comes to being a participant in the sewing and quilting industry.

In May, a few months before she got sick with cancer again, I had the privilege of interviewing Nancy Zieman about her work and her life. It was truly an honor and I have to say it was also a highlight of my professional career. I wanted to replay that interview for you today as a way of honoring Nancy’s memory which I know lives on so strongly in all of us. This episode orignally aired on May 15, 2017. Here it is again.

Episode #108: The State of the Quilting Industry 2017

November 6th, 2017

I recorded this episode of the While She Naps podcast at Quilt Market in Houston last week. We had a discussion about the state of the quilting industry with three quilt shop owners: Janet Lutz, Karen Montgomery, and Kris Thurgood.

Janet Lutz is the owner of Calico Gals, a quilt shop located in Syracuse, NY. Janet is also the founder of Row by Row Experience, a program which reaches over 3,000 quilt shops worldwide.

Karen Montgomery has owned The Quilt Company, a full service, brick and mortar quilt shop just outside Pittsburgh, PA, for 25 years.  Industry insiders might know Karen from her Savvy Buying column published in FabShop News.  Most recently Karen has joined with Janet to create Sewposium a popular creative business retreat for shop owners.

Kris Thurgood is the owner of My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe located in Logan, Utah. Two years ago she organized My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe as a franchise and is now opening a 2nd location in Midway, Utah. Kris, along with her identical twin sister Kim, have been featured on national television shows including The Rachael Ray Show and The Nate Berkus Show. They co-hosted a weekly craft and sewing webshow called, The DIY Dish for several years as well.

Together we discussed a wide range of topics including:

  • What makes some quilt shops succeed while others fail
  • The ups and downs of relationships with fabric manufacturers
  • Competition from Massdrop, Craftsy, and Fabric.com, plus Etsy shops and Facebook groups that sell fabric
  • Quilt Market and how it's changed over time (Karen has been to over 50 Quilt Markets), how much it costs a shop to attend and whether it's worthwhile
  • Ecommerce
  • Digital fabric printing and how it might affect the industry in the future
  • What would happen if fabric companies began selling direct to consumer
  • Adding yarn to the mix
  • The complexities and rewards of selling sewing machines

I learned a tremendous amount from talking with these three women and I'm really hoping you'll find the conversation equally interesting. Running a brick-and-mortar quilt shop requires a lot of hard work and they are doing it and succeeding.


Today's episode is sponsored by Handmade Rebellion. Handmade Rebellion offers a wide variety of creative shirts, hoodies, pins, and other swag for fiber artists of all shapes, ages, and sizes. Let the world know that you are part of the maker movement with style! Remember to use coupon code WHILESHENAPS on handmaderebellion.com to save 15% off your next order, with free domestic shipping over $35. Join the rebellion!


Well, __, thank you so much for taking the time to be on the While She Naps podcast. I really enjoyed talking with you.

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.

Episode #107: Eleanor Burns

October 16th, 2017

Today we're talking about building a successful career in quilting with my guest, Eleanor Burns.

Eleanor Burns is truly a star in the quilting industry. She entered the field in 1978 with a self-published book, "Make a Quilt in a Day-Log Cabin Pattern.” Her innovative techniques in "strip piecing" made quilting possible for busy sewers and remains popular today. Eleanor’s signature technique is to take time treasured patterns and make them quick and easy to sew with new methods.

In 1990, Eleanor pioneered the way people view quiltmaking with her Quilt in a Day television series, which still broadcasts nationwide. She continues to be a highly sought after teacher and demonstrates her patterns and techniques on the Quilt in a Day website, live streaming webinars, and on YouTube.

In 1998 Eleanor designed her first fabric collection, "Anniversary Florals," with Benartex. She’s designed several more since then and has also collaborated in designing several special edition sewing machines. To date, Eleanor has published over 150 books and patterns and created numerous quilt rulers, templates and tools.


This episode is sponsored by GlassEyesOnline. GlassEyesOnLine is your go to source for Glass Eyes, Plastic Safety Eyes and Noses, Joints and Insertion Tools for your creative projects. Use their eyes, noses and joints in Sewing, Crochet, Needle Felting, Amigurumi, Knitting, Sculpture, Wood Carving, Puppetry, Teddy Bear and Doll Making and many other arts and crafts projects. GlassEyesOnLine is a family owned and operated business located in the Low Country, South Carolina that ships World Wide. Jerry hand crafts the insertion tools and paints the iridescent and sparkle eyes. Use Code ABBY1017 to get Free Shipping on your $25.00 order in October.


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.

Episode #106: Arvin Pairavi, President and Co-Owner of Shannon Fabrics

October 2nd, 2017

On today's episode of the While She Naps podcast we're talking about building a fabric company with my guest, Arvin Pairavi.

 Arvin is the President and Co-Owner of Shannon Fabrics, a family owned importer and distributor of plush fabrics. Arvin joined the company in 2000 to work with his father and has helped grow Shannon Fabrics from a small business to a team of more than 50 employees.

In this interview we trace the Pairavi family's history in the fabric business. Arvin's grandfather and father had fabric stores in Iran before the family fled to the United States as refugees in the late 1980s. Once settled in Los Angeles, his father went into the fabric business again, opening a retail and wholesale fabric shop focusing on garment fabrics.

When the family hit hard times due to the stock market crash in late 1999, Arvin left his job in the electronics business to help his father. They began importing fabrics, expanding their wholesale business significantly. On a buying trip Arvin discovered a new, exceptionally soft polyester fabric that was different from anything currently on the market at that time. He placed a small order for what Shannon Fabrics called Cuddle fabric and was thrilled when this new substrate became an immediate success. Today, it's one of Shannon's premier products and is available in nearly 100 colors.

A few years later Shannon Fabrics entered the quilting industry, attending Quilt Market for the first time. Later, a licensing partnership with Robert Kaufman led to more popularity among local quilt shops.


This episode is sponsored by Okan Arts. Okan Arts offers vintage Japanese fabrics for adventuresome sewists and quilters. The shop specializes in high-quality yukata cottons that are hand-dyed and traditionally used to make summer kimonos. The fabric patterns range from classic geometrics in indigo and white, to bold, lyrical motifs in vivid colors. Be sure to visit Okan Arts when you are in Seattle, or online at okanarts.com.


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.

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.