Saturday, January 9, 2010

Possibilites...An Amazing Experience

Having been a sewer for as long as I can imagine (I swear I came out of the womb with thread in my grasp), I have had the privilege of being a sewing gadget and publication junkie.  And, while I was a garment sewer for a long time and quilting grew on me when my kids were toddlers, my first publications were very few but I have noticed that I have nearly every publication from Nancy Smith and Lynda Milligan of Possibilites and The Great American Quilt Factory.  I have made their teddy bears, dolls (yes, dolls) and early quilt patterns (paper dolls).  Of all the things I have kept, every one of theirs have remainded part of my collection.  I guess I was a "groupie" long before I even knew who Nancy and Lynda were. 

In the last few years, I have had the honor and privilege to get to know them and Ashley Smith (daughter of Nancy) better.  Knowing them in this business has even more enamored me to their work, their passion and their spirit. 

While travelling with my son Teddy, I was able to carve out some time to trek to Denver to visit their store and to spend time with them.  I am even more amazed at their energy and their creativity and their store.  Along with getting to see their staff helping out on a very busy day, we made time for some lunch and fun conversation.  It was a great time and gave me a fabulous perspective.  As business owners, many believe we control our schedules and can come and go as we please.  Not so.  Taking time off in a busy day often means we will be taking lots of work home.  Yet, they took the time to spend away from the store a bit to enjoy lunch and for a chance to share with me a very fabulous view of Denver that I never would have seen had it not been for Ashley's adventuresome spirit and our willingness to try something different! 

When we made our way back to the store, I was busy chatting and getting ready to take some pictures of their amazing, amazing store before I left.  When I looked around and didn't find Nancy and Lynda, I was a bit embarassed that I had likely taken them from their office duties.  It was so refreshing to see them moving into action FAST.  Like myself, they enjoy getting out and being with customers and sharing their love first hand.  So, I snapped pictures of them cutting fabric for customers.  This is humbling and rewarding when one considers how incredibly talented these women are and how far their reach has been in our industry.  Yet, they reach into what got them into the business in the first place....just like so many of us....a passion to share with others their love for creating and sharing. 

I had hoped for pictures with them before I left but am carrying long with me the memory of their cheerful service and their genuine (and warm) welcome to me as I interrupted their day.   I will never forget their generous service and welcome to their customers and to me as a visitor.  Not only is their work inspiring, but THEY are personally and professionally inspiring!

They remain some of my favorite designers and people I respect. 

One other touching thing I found in their store were the quilts of other designers in their offices.  When asked about the quilts, there was such reverence for the designers in their voices of their willingness to share with them.  Perhaps my favorite was from one of my all time favorite designers and people, Libby Lehman.  An early rendition of her ribbon work but done in applique. 

Amazing people.....all of them.  I am truly blessed to enjoy their company.  Such an inspiring day!

All the Best to You, jill

1 comment:

Ashley said...

Thank you for such amazing comments on our store! We loved having lunch with you, and spending time chatting in the afternoon. What a great visit! Best wishes to you and your family, keep us posted on how things are going. Thank you for the wonderful afternoon!